When my friends Neil and Kell suggested a day out looking for bush birds I told them that actually seeing a Bellbird would be top of my list! These friends have watched birds in this district for many years so they suggested that Brooloo in the Mary Valley was the easiest place they knew for Bellbirds.
The proper name for a Bellbird is a Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys). They are a smallish bird (19 cm) and colored olive green which of course just appears brown up against the sky. Their call is a high-pitched bell sound - hear it here. They have a dark yellow beak and legs and a yellow patch in front of the eye.
Bellbirds feed in among the leaves of trees and there is a dense stand of forest at Brooloo. However, there are also a number of dead trees as well and the birds seemed to choose these trees in which to rest.
The birds were still very high in the trees but just within reach of my long lens. One of the birds sat up there and fluffed its feathers out and then preened before flying off as fast as it had come.
This was certainly the highlight of the day for me. We then went off to another spot in the bush were there were more Bellbirds and a variety of other birds. Neil and Kell thought that the birds in this other spot were even better! More about that in the next post!
For more bird photos go to the Bird Photography Weekly.