A Thousand Gold Coast Bats

This evening I witnessed a rare and incredible sight; a sky filled with thousands of bats flocking towards the south. It’s not uncommon to see large bats in the Gold Coast, but it is rare to see more than two or three at a time, much less a thousand. I wonder where they were going?

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I realize that the bats look like mosquitoes in these pictures, but it was quite incredible to watch them flock by for over 15 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like it and wish I had a higher quality camera to capture this phenomenon… Rats! (or should I say BATS!)

If you know anything about bat migration patterns and have an explanation for this strange behaviour, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

15/02/2016 UPDATE: I’ve now seen the bats 2 more times, so I guess it’s not as rare as I though. A lot of Australian people have contacted me saying that they’ve recently noticed bats doing the same thing in different locations around the country. After talking to a lot of people and doing some research, it is likely that the bats are flocking towards food, following seasonal migration patterns.

04/03/2016 UPDATE: Just kidding, I found out I live near a bat colony. Apparently this happens every night but I’ve never noticed it.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow….looks cool! Interesting that they were all flying together!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. findingnyc says:

    What an amazing experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have seen this here in Sydney over my house before, it’s really amazing! Just thousands of bats all together. Great photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      Wow do you know why they do it? I’ve never seen anything like it!

      Like

      1. No I don’t, but I just looked up on google and a website australianbatclinic.com.au says that “Mega Bats typically follow the bloom of the gum trees in their feeding and migration patterns” and “Bats move around to different roosts depending on mating, food sources and migration patterns”.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sue says:

    Amazing photos, would have loved to see it. Kinda looks freaky too! lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. aczaczka says:

    We got horseshoe bats that would swoop down over your head when you walk in the evening. This though is much cooler.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      Wow sounds amazing!

      Like

  6. I know how you are feeling. A couple of weeks ago I headed out to see the bald eagles and it didn’t matter how many photos I took, nothing could capture the essence of being there. You writing gave me an idea of how exciting it was

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      Isn’t it the worst! I’m always thinking about buying a better camera but I’m trying to be a minimalist!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. natalietanner says:

    Wow! We have the largest urban bat colony in the world in Austin, Texas and it is really wild to see. You had a fantastic experience and to even capture it in photos! Amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow that’s incredible! We have too our adventures in Gold Coast last January 2016, I got it done written in my blog as well …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Special K says:

    I hail from a bat-populous area, and have found myself a couple of times in the middle of a wave of the little things, rushing out of their roosts (wrong term, I suppose) to hunt and feed for the night– maybe you were witnessing the same. Whatever it was, it’s great, isn’t it?

    Thanks for stopping by The Expositrix!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      Thanks for sharing! It could also be a seasonal thing as a lot of Australian people have been contacting me saying that they also noticed this recently.

      Like

  10. Globetrotter says:

    That is so cool!

    Like

  11. mg says:

    In the past 2 weeks I’ve seen it 3 times in Southport, Gold Coast, heading north though. Today was probably the biggest amount so far. Not sure why. I’ve seen big groups down the southern end of the Coast before but nothing like what I’ve been seeing recently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jessica Lim says:

      I saw it again tonight too! Maybe it’s seasonal?

      Like

  12. Battambang – one million bats or so – is something to see

    Liked by 1 person

  13. beccajtalbot says:

    This is amazing!!! I’d love to experience something like this ☺️

    Like

  14. If you live near a large bat colony these sights often occur each twilight as the bats wake up and head for their evening feeding grounds. I have seen a large colony in Boonah near their entrance roundabout, one near Amberly, west of Brisbane, and at Stafford, on the northside of Brisbane. If you hang out near their colony at sundown you’d probably see this more regularly. Keep your eyes peeled!

    Like

  15. drews journal says:

    It’s not really an unusual sight in the northern parts of Australia – to as far south as Sydney.
    Darwin is amazing with these animals. The evening sky quickly turns dark by the sheer number of bats in flight. They are nocturnal so as soon as the sun goes down the colonies take flight and search for food.
    They play havoc to farmers.

    Like

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