The next morning was the start of conference-related activities. Off we went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, via a boat ride down the river. More about the sanctuary later, but first I want to tell you about about our trip there.
The boat trip lasts about an hour and a half, but the time goes quickly. There’s a lot to look at, and our hosts fed us tea, played Australian musicians on the PA system, and shared a wealth of knowledge about the interesting history and natural history of the area. I had a great time meeting other conference delegates, taking photos, and drinking in the passing scenery.
This (above) is the official Skywatch photo for the week, because it shows more sky than either of the other two photos. However, there’s more to the sky than just the scattering of blue light.
The highlight of the trip to the sanctuary was the view as we went past Indooroopilly Island. I really, really like bats, and these are megabats, i.e., black flying-foxes, a species of fruit bat. They are huge – with wingspans up to a meter, which is a pretty darn big bat. They also have cute little faces that look very foxlike, making it easy to see where they get their name. I’ve only seen them in zoos previously, and didn’t think I’d have a chance to see the Brisbane colony in the wild. I had no idea we’d pass them on the way to the koalas, so this was a pleasant surprise indeed.
Bat Care Brisbane’s website has more information about them, as well as the smaller but equally cute grey flying-foxes. BCB’s mascot, Gilbert, has his own page on Facebook, and even though they aren’t native to North America, Bat Conservation International has a pair of flying-foxes as education bats.
Now, what better representatives of the sky could you find that these delightful creatures?
Skywatch is a meme, a communal sharing, of photos of the sky from around the world. It’s just-for-fun, not-for-profit, and noncompetitive. To participate, blog a photo which includes the sky, then add its link to the master list at the Skywatch website. Enjoy, and visit the rest of the Skywatch posts when they are posted at 7:30 GMT today.Australia, flying-foxes, fox bats, megabats