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  our wild singapore: Bat Shoot
mms upload for 15, 16 and 17 Aug 04 (Sun-Tue)

15/08/04 20:38 Bat Shoot #1:
Tonight we are out shooting bats with Kwok Wai.
15/08/04 20:46 Bat Shoot #2:
This must the most relaxed and civilised "field" trip ever. Literally just sitting down and letting the bats do all the work.
15/08/04 20:54 Bat Shoot #3:
The bats have come to feed on the fruiting chiku trees in this very urban setting. They are flying around quietly in flocks like little black butterflies. Most people would probably have missed them, but not eagle-eyed Kwok Wai!
15/08/04 20:59 Bat Shoot #4:
Kwok Wai is getting really good shots while I am struggling with my set-up which is designed more for taking flatworms moving at...well...snail's pace ;-) than bats zooming around at hundred miles per hour. Also, those bats at high up and far far away. Might as well be on the moon.

15/08/04 21:16 Bat Shoot #5:
The bats have fed and stopped flying. They are apparently are now hanging about (literally) in the upper branches, digesting. So it's time to pack up everything. For a change, all the cameras are pointing upwards instead of downwards. Alas, I've got absolutely ZERO decent shots. Kwok Wai, however, has lots and will be posting these up on his website.

16/08/04 19:21 Bat Shoot #6:
Today the wildfilms crew is here to try document the bats. It's a lovely sunset and Tom got great footage of it.
16/08/04 19:58 Bat Shoot #7:
The bats were back and having a great time. We discreetly filmed one particular chiku and realised, wow, the bats are SMALLER than the chiku. It took about half an hour and lots of bats taking turns before half the chiku was eaten.
Posted by kllow14 Posted on 18/08/04 13:39 Wow, they also have sharing and caring ideas instead of just wack food. COOL!!

Posted by Ria Posted on 18/08/04 14:30
Actually, they just "wack food". But because they are so tiny, I guess there's only so much chiku they can stuff into their mouths before they need to go off and digest. So the next one just comes in grabs a bite. Sometimes, there appears to be arguments by impatient bats who think the one on the chiku has had enough.

Posted by voyager Posted on 19/08/04 00:55
Should see them just take each other off the chiku... By crashing into the poor sap eating there!
16/08/04 20:23 Bat Shoot #8:
Filming is a lot easier than taking photos (though Tom will kill me for saying this :-) Just lock the frame and let it roll. The person we should feel sorry for is the one holding the lights.
Posted by kllow14 Posted on 18/08/04 13:40
Yeah, buy more ice creams then....;P

Posted by Ria Posted on 18/08/04 14:28
Yah, that's one way to make sure I don't get scolding from the crew :-)

Posted by Himawari Posted on 18/08/04 16:42
But it is worth the neck ache just looking at them feed......they look so cute when they hugged the chiku. :o)

Posted by voyager Posted on 19/08/04 00:55
Yah... And the way that the chiku that they were eating is actually LARGER than them....
16/08/04 22:26 Bat Shoot #9:
We're back home and it's time to pack up for tomorrow's early morning trip...but before we knock off for the night, let's check out our bat footage!!
16/08/04 23:18 Bat Shoot #10:
Wow! Awesome footage of bats stuffing their faces INTO their food (and WITH food). This is a shot of the video screen. The bright portions on the upper and lower right are the number displays on the video. The actual shot is really quite dark as we didn't want to disturb the bats feeding.
17/08/04 20:03 Bat Shoot #11 (last):
We're BACK, with ALL the BIG equipment to properly document those cute little bats. Here is Tom trying to collect their animated "discussions" over the chikus. The bats were still at it tonight. And in the end, there were more than enough chikus for every one :-)
Posted by kllow14 Posted on 18/08/04 13:45
Bat 1 - Wow this chiku taste nice, better than the ones in AMK.
Bat 2 - Really, come on let me have a taste of it too. You can have a quiz. How many bats it takes to eat 1 chiku?

Posted by Ria Posted on 18/08/04 14:26
You really crack me up :-) Where does this wonderful humour come from?...Actually, the conversation is probably more like "hey, it's MY turn on the chiku"; "says who?"; and as Bat 1 and Bat 2 fly off to discuss this further, Bat 3 swoops in to chomp off a mouthful going "yummy!". (of course, this is a PG rated site, so we don't add what we strongly suspect are stronger adjectives and nouns used in the conversation :-)

Posted by Ria Posted on 18/08/04 14:26
The quiz is a wonderful idea!!

Posted by Huziah Posted on 18/08/04 18:38
I have a chiku tree in my backyard garden. The bats attack them boldly after 7pm. We used to not hear them now we can very clearly. We have never gotten to eating any of the ripe chikus. In the daytime, the crows sneak into our kitchen while our silly Burmese cat hide in terror while the crows pick on his food! How's that for living with nature???

Posted by kllow14 Posted on 18/08/04 23:59
If you really want to eat the ripe chikus, then you will have to defend them while they are still growing. When I was growing up, my father would wrap the fruits that he wanted to protect in newspaper or plastic bags, and ensure that there was a way for any water that condenses in there to flow out. But then, that worked with mangoes, and we were never fans of chikus very much.... Posted by voyager Posted on 19/08/04 00:52 Hurray to Huziah for also supporting the cause for nature too. Burmese cats are usually shy in nature if i am not wrong.

Posted by Ria Posted on 19/08/04 01:12
In defending our chikus, do spare a thought for the bats and leave a few for them yah? :-) Besides being really very cute, bats play a very important role in general. Various different kinds of bats play a role in pollinating our favourite fruits like durians, dispersing seeds of our forest trees and thus regenerating our forests, eating mossies and other nasty bugs. And of course other animals eat bats. Without bats, our world will be so much poorer in spirit and in substance :-)

More about the common fruit bat and Kwok Wai's photos of this shooting trip on Wild Life Singapore


these blog entries were first uploaded on MoBlog Singapore! Celebrate Singapore NDP 04
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