Oh No! Trouble with the Neighbours Part 2

That strange beastie back garden sound is back but it’s moved next door and is living in a tree. I’m not talking about the original strange Australian back garden beastie sounds that I wrote about in my post Strange Australian Back Garden Beastie Sounds.

No, not that one. I’m talking about the one that sounded like this…

As the video has clearly already told you, these noises are being made by fruit bats or flying foxes. But then you knew that, didn’t you? You will have read it in my post Strange Australian Back Garden Beastie Sounds Part 2.

Flying foxes

These flying foxes have been noisily occupying the tree next door for a couple of weeks now. I’m pretty sure they fly in at night and then feed on the tree and then by daytime they are gone again.

Where, I don’t know.

My suspicion is they fly back to where ever their colony or ‘campsite’ is, but I can’t be 100% sure about that. There aren’t that many bat caves around these parts, and generally speaking flying foxes are running out of places to live.

There is a chance that they do actually roost here in the top of this tree, but I could find no real evidence that I could capture on film, and I took quite a few photographs at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon today…

tree  (1) tree  (2) tree  (3) tree  (4)

On this one picture though, if I zoom in further than I should really be zooming in, I do see something that looks like the face of a bat. Could it be?

Here’s the close-up…

bat close up

If it were hanging upside down, I’d say it was a fruit bat, but it’s not upside down so I’m not so sure. Here’s the really strange thing though, as I took all of these photographs I could hear them, I just couldn’t see them.

Maybe they are in there somewhere, but it’s much more likely that what I could hear were just one or two early arrivals. I think these bats generally fly back to their ‘campsite’ which would almost certainly be a larger collection of trees somewhere closer to the river.

These bats are very noisy and the sounds you can hear in the above video do tend to last from around 7 PM through to about two or 3 o’clock in the morning. I don’t mind them as neighbours, but I think I’d be happier to see them move on and I was encouraged to know that last time I did a post about fruit bats in my back garden it was also October.

So perhaps it’s just this time of the year when they like to munch on residential trees?

Fruit bats are pollinators and seed dispersers, and very good they are at it too. Without them the ecosystem would suffer and it has been estimated that over 130 plants that produce products used by us humans rely upon bats for their seed dispersal or pollination.

So, as well as being great fun on Halloween, bats are also quite important to us. Despite the noise, the smell, and the link to vampires, bats are a good thing.

Anyway, why did I call this post “Oh No! Trouble with the Neighbours Part 2”? Because this isn’t the first time I’ve had noisy neighbours, it has happened before and I wrote about it in my post called Oh No! Trouble with the Neighbours.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Yvonne Lashford August 19, 2015, 7:16 am |

    Hi Bob, I’m glad I found your article. It has given me hope that the noise that kept me awake all night won’t go on for ever! I live in Adelaide close to the city. Fruit bats moved in a few years ago to our botanic gardens. I live on a street full of gum trees and I wondered what this noisy creature[s] could be eating .As spring is approaching there must be something on the trees – the parrots are certainly extremely noisy!

    • BobinOz August 19, 2015, 8:30 pm |

      Yes, hopefully that noise will move on. I’m only guessing, but I think that once they’ve eaten whatever it is they eat from the trees, they move on to find another tree. Then you can sleep easy again.

  • Grant February 5, 2014, 12:54 am |

    Hi Bob,

    I enjoy your posts and it’s great to see your positive light shone in some of Australia’s more interesting quirks. This post made me think of a great place to see a fairly large bay colony in the western suburbs. The pan pacific gardens on the ipswich motorway are fairly unremarkable driving along, but if you stop by on or just before sunset you’ll see large numbers setting off into the evening to feed on the masses of fig tree fruit (among other things) in and around greater Brisbane. You’ll also be able to see some much smaller microbats heading off as well.

    It’s a pretty amazing site. Probably don’t take your dog into the gardens as there is a large amount of bat droppings which can pose some problems. But a great look at these amazing native pollinators that are so often feared. And seeing as your out in the western suburbs it’s likely not too far from home.


    • BobinOz February 5, 2014, 5:51 pm |

      Hi Grant

      I actually saw a similar very large colony when I was driving back from Yamba last month along the Pacific motorway. We stopped off at a petrol station for some eats, must have been just about the south side of Logan.

      Seemed to me there were thousands of bats munching on the trees surrounding the car parks and the noise was overwhelming.

      Next time I’m driving down the Ipswich motorway during the evening, I’ll keep a lookout for the colony you mention.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Helena October 16, 2013, 9:37 am |

    love bats – for all the environmental reasons you mentioned – we have them regularly visiting our garden, and they do squabble

    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 3:06 pm |

      Yes, they do squabble, that’s for sure. Sounds like they do nothing but squabble! They are cute looking things though, so I can understand why you love them.

  • John Vance October 16, 2013, 1:58 am |

    I dont wish to worry you but : Perhaps you couls ask for some council advice. Why? Diseases these bats might carry…. Hendra virus? Which is akin to hydrophobia.
    While I am not sure of my facts, it would pay to check up…. http://tinyurl.com/mynastybats While its spread by bats and horses and then humans in that order they are not sure……..

    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 3:05 pm |

      Hi John, you are right to warn about the dangers that these bats could present, I am aware of the Hendra virus, we have had a couple of outbreaks here in Queensland in the last few years.

      It is a nasty virus, has an extraordinarily high morbidity rate, I think 50%. It is extremely rare though and does not transmit directly from bats to humans, it normally goes bats, horses and then humans.

      So I am aware, but not overly concerned, my feeling is that these bats will be gone soon. Last time they were here it was also October and I think the tree sprouts something at this time of year that they like to eat, and when they’ve eaten it all they’ll be off.

      I hope so anyway, the noise would be a little too much all year round.

      Cheers, Bob

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