The first phrase is a commonly used cliche in Australia and I’m not sure of its origins, although I suspect it was coined by someone who liked alliteration and didn’t like bats. The second is commonly used in the United States to denote being extremely upset. The origin coming from an allusion to insanity, bats in your belfry. Because of their sensitivity to sound, church belfries would only be inhabited by bats if the bells were no longer rung. Lots of bats means lots of bat shit!
On our Kooloonbung walk we hear and smell the bats (grey headed flying foxes) before we see them. They roost in the branches of the casuarinas, 4 to 8 metres up. However this morning many of them chose a different spot along the path and were very low down. They are noisy creatures, usually screeching and chattering but our presence caused a great hullabaloo. They scurried up branches, flew around and generally showed signs of being disturbed. We opted to take another path because we know that batshit is neither boring or crazy, but very annoying to have in your hair and difficult to get off your clothes. When I first moved to Port Macquarie I took the washing in each night, not because of the rain but we were on a bat flight path!
There are people who don’t like this colony of grey headed flying foxes who live in the Kooloonbung nature park, and if they had their way would have them destroyed. However bats are a keystone species and if we want to continue to have rainforests then we must actively look after our bat populations. For more information about bats here is the website Don’t shoot Bats.
Pictured are some of those never boring, but a little crazy denizens.