A million bats under my feet

The last word on my Austin visit back in October goes to one of that city’s most famous attractions.  Each summer evening, the world’s largest urban bat colony flies out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge into the night.   And by largest, I’m taking about more than a million bats taking flight over the course of a few minutes.

Wanting to get a prime spot on the bridge, I arrived about 30 minutes before sundown where a good crowd had already taken their places:

Waiting on the Congress Avenue Bridge

People had also taken up spots on both sides of the Colorado River for the nightly show:

DSCF6377

While waiting for the bats to emerge from underneath the bridge on a spectacular early October evening, the river provided some activity to help pass the time.  There were a number of tour boats slowly going up and down the river as well as this rowing club with one of its teams much stronger than the other:

Watching rowers from the Congress Avenue Bridge

As the sun set, it was becoming clear that the bats were going to be making a slightly later exit from underneath the bridge on this day.  Not a problem given the stunning view of the Austin skyline from my perch on Congress Ave:

Waiting on the Congress Avenue Bridge

It was almost 9:15pm when the bats made their appearance.  It was far too dark to get any spectacular photographs, but I’ll never forget the sense of all that movement just over the railing a mere few metres from my face.  I got a couple of snaps looking over the edge of the bridge, that although not great, give some idea of the number of bats.  Definitely worth the ninety minutes of my time.

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