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Uvalde Glide 18M / 15M Contest - Rest Day Report

 

Today was a rest day at Uvalde: no contest tasks.  Tows were available for anyone wishing to do some non-contest flying, but there were no takers.

The Frio Bat Cave expedition was declared a success by all concerned.  We arrived well before dusk, but just in time to see the first wave of Mexican (aka Brazilian) Free-tailed bats depart for a night’s insect hunting.  Also present were a few Red-Tailed Hawks and one Prairie Falcon.  These were able to obtain some bat snacks, though not without considerable effort – it’s clear that bats are skilled aviators.  This year there were lulls in the bat flow, despite an apparent small increase in the total population.  But at its peak the departure rate was substantial and the sound of something like 30,000 bat wings quite impressive.  

Dinner prior to the bat event was at Neal’s restaurant, a local tradition overlooking the Frio (= Cold) River.  Normally a popular swimming and tubing spot, the drought has reduced this to a bare trickle (flow about 10% of normal, not very cold) and clearly harmed the tube rental business.  But there is still enough water to keep birds happy, including White-winged Doves, Painted Buntings, Yellow-throated Warblers and Bullocks Orioles.

 

- John Good

Posted: 8/11/2011


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