Town Lake Kayak to Congress Bridge to see the bats 8/11/22

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Town Lake Kayak to Congress Bridge to see the bats

Surprisingly cloudy and not too hot

Ian and Court

We used to live down by the Congress Avenue bridge from 2008-2010, so we’ve seen the bats plenty of times, but never from the water, so we decided to check it out! For those not aware, the Congress Avenue bridge in downtown Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world with approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that come out every night to eat a billion bugs.

The Hill Country Conservancy set up a “Bat Paddle” from the Texas Rowing Center on this warm August night. There was a decent turnout of probably 20 or so people and we all set off as a pack, but eventually split up and went at our own pace.

It’s crazy to see the Austin skyline now, compared to when we last kayaked here back in 2015.

It took about 45 minutes to paddle down to the bridge and as the sun got closer to the horizon, the colors got more dramatic.

good reflection

Plenty of people were lined up on top of the bridge waiting for the bats. I often forget that this happens EVERY night in the warmer months in Austin (most months). They were right on time as the sun hit the horizon.

Video:

We hung out for 20 minutes or so and watched the river of bats in the sky flow out to the east. Then we started the paddle back in the sunset.

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