The Bat Cam: Tachyon XC 2010, Fenix P1D Cree LED
An Area Set Aside for Watching Bats
Further Explanatory Signage for Bat Watchers
I rode Bip out to a spot along the Arizona Canal where Mexican free-tailed bats live in the summer. They live in a man-made cave like structure where part of the Arizona Canal Diversion Channel, or ACDC, goes underground. The bats live at the apex of the triangle in this photo on wikimapia.
I've seen these bats emerge before. They are small, fast-moving creatures that come out just before sunset to skim along the canal eating insects. Riding along the canal just after sunset is one of my favorite times to be out in the summer, so I've watched them often, and always thought, "I should try to photograph them some time." I recognize that as small, fast-moving creatures that skim the water, the would be difficult to capture pictures of, without more equipment and brighter lights than I want to haul out there on my bicycle, so this time I just tried the minimalist helmet cam and sort of bright LED light to see what that combo could capture.
The bats emerge from underground in ones or twos, and they are moving right along. You can see the results of my efforts below. When I was a lot younger, I shot 16mm film, and I had this light bar that ran on 110v, with four 150w floods on it. I think with that setup and the camera I had, I could get some decent footage of the bats skimming along the canal eating bugs. By the time they hit the canal in numbers, though, it was so dark that I couldn't get much with what I had, so below you can see a few of them coming out from underground, anyway. Get up. Go ride.