- Travel Info
- Photo Diary
Giant Fruit Bat
When I arrived on Ishigaki island two years ago we were welcomed by an unseasonal 28 degrees centigrade, today however the temperature was a far more pleasant 21 degrees. The sky was blue, the air fresh, and the humidity of the summer for once seemed like a distant memory. It's weather like this which makes living on a tropical island during the winter so special.
Whenever I head out to Banna I always pack my macro lens due to the sheer diversity of insects (particularly butterflies) which inhabit the park. However, it turned out that today's visit would offer something quite special. As I descended some stairs and stepped into a clearing which I've visited many times before I was brought to an abrupt halt by a sight which I could hardly believe.
Luckily I had a 70-300mm lens on my 50D, having used it to snap some birds further back up the road. I quickly selected a combination of settings which I knew would produce an acceptable result before carefully pointing my camera at the bat, which was still looking at me directly in the face. I breathed a sigh of relief as I checked the view finder and realised that I'd managed to grab a few shots which would be good enough for the website.
Having achieved the bare-minimum I decided to get my tripod, which would enable me to take some low-ISO shots of the bat, which was almost completely motionless in the wind-sheltered forest clearing. However, my luck was about to run out. Just as I clicked the camera into place the bat finally decided that enough was enough and took to the sky, its yellow/orange breast catching the sun as its heavy wings beat through the air.
It was dark by the time that I turned off the main road and headed towards my apartment. I suddenly saw what I thought was the silhouette of another bat shoot across the road in front of me. I turned my bike around and headed back up the hill; sure enough, there it was sitting in a tree, feasting on some fruit in a rather frenzied, yet amusing manner (if these things were carnivorous they'd no doubt be nasty pieces of work).