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And the flying foxes put on a wonderful show

And the flying foxes put on a wonderful show

I have just come back from a wonderful ‘Social Bat Watch’ event in Turrella Reserve put on by the Wolli Creek Preservation Society as part of Australasian Bat Month.

It was hard to estimate because of the happy children running everywhere, but about 200 people came to watch around 9,500 flying foxes leave their camp to hunt for food during the night.

It was a BYO picnic & that is what most people did.   The Wolli Creek Preservation Society had an information stall, plus games & face painting for the kids.  By the end of the night, most children were wearing painted bat faces & carrying paper bats on sticks & other hand-made bat toys.  Sparklers ended the night when the bats had finished flying overhead.

People relaxed, drank & ate & as dusk fell, out came the bats – a dribble at first & then the sky was full of these beautiful creatures. For some reason, perhaps curiosity, a greater number than usual took the route directly over the crowd & it was spectacular to watch.

I am biased, as the sight of bats flying overhead in large numbers is one of my favourite sights, but friends who had not experienced this before were really delighted. If you haven’t done it, you are missing something incredibly beautiful – and it is free, every night at Turrella Reserve.

The start of the flyover.

The start of the flyover.  As it gets darker more flying foxes fill the sky.

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Flying foxes start to flyout from their camp in Wolli Creek.

Flying foxes start to flyout from their camp in Wolli Creek.

March is ‘Australasian Bat Month’ & there is a ‘Social Bat Watch’ event on the evening of Friday 6th March 2015 in Turrella Reserve. The event is supported by the Wolli Creek Preservation Society, City of Canterbury Council, Rockdale City Council, Transport Sydney Trains & the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage.

Bring a picnic dinner, rug or chair & insect repellent (for the mosquitoes) & watch thousands of grey-headed flying foxes stream out of their Turrella camp.

I have done this a few times & it is a glorious experience. A few bats start flying & within minutes, the camp starts to leave to go hunting for food.  Bats fly in a few directions & thousands fly over Turrella Reserve. You get a good view of them.

It’s wonderful to watch. I really was awestruck the first time I witnessed this & wondered why I had this on my ‘to-do’ list for so long without actually doing it.

We are so lucky to have such nature close to us. Flying foxes are extremely beneficial to the environment & without them, our forests would be in real trouble.

There will be ‘Batty Craft’ for young & old & the opportunity to learn about flying foxes.

WHERE: Turrella Reserve beside Wolli creek.  Enter via Henderson Street Turrella or Finlays Avenue Earlwood.  Please note that there are no toilets at Turrella Reserve.

WHEN: Friday 6th March 2015.

TIME: 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Bring your camera too.  You will be wanting to take photographs of this awe-inspiring event.

For more information email bats@wollicreek.org.au

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