So a little while ago I was writing about this awesome hobby I have stumbled into, of bird watching. Bird listening, bird photographing, bird appreciation.
I mentioned a bucket list of birds. One of them is the bell bird. I’d looked them up to know what to look for and found them to be very generic; brown, small, plain. In other words, hard to find!!
Whenever I’ve been out and about since and heard their typical call, I’ve tried to find the bird by focussing in on where the call is coming from.
Have you ever heard a bell bird? That distinctive “ting ting” noise? It’s hard to locate!! It has some ventriloquist properties and seems to come from multiple locations at the same time! And usually from a while away, not just nearby.
So today I went to the zoo. To look at animals and have a day out of the house and away from my walls and floors. I have a zoo membership this year which means I can come and go as many times as I want!! This is pretty exciting but since getting the membership I haven’t been again until today. This shows the power of depression – the power of lack of motivation, loss of energy and interest and inability to enjoy life. If I can’t enjoy the zoo, there is little left that I can enjoy!!
Anyway today I got up and going, it was panning out to be a good day with a reasonable amount of energy so I went to the zoo, camera in hand ready to see some cool animals. I carried my map from last time. I’d ticked off all the animals I saw on that day, so I planned to start where I left off and keep going around. First stop was the seal talk at 11.30am but I was just a few minutes too late. There was still one seal up on a rock putting on a bit of a show which was fun. Then I had a look at the penguins, very cute! Great new enclosure for them as well and always fun to watch. Especially cool watching them swim around and shake off after.
As I was heading out of the penguin enclosure I heard bell birds! Really close! Closer than I’ve ever heard them!! With my camera in hand I slowed down and started looking around hoping to catch a glimpse. And next thing I was in the middle of a bell bird fiesta!! A beautiful big old ghost gum tree right next to the path, and bell birds flitting here there and everywhere!! Exhilaration!! I saw a bell bird! I saw several bell birds! I got photographs of bell birds!! So exciting! Ah the enjoyment of being able to enjoy things again – so amazing!
So here I am standing in the middle of the path taking shot after shot chasing these flitting dancing birds around the branches of the tree, this angle that angle, too dark there, in the light here, great shot here, missed that shot, re-focus, re-aim, awesome fun!! And some guy says to me, ‘it is a beautiful old tree isn’t it?’ Well, true it is gorgeous, but more importantly, bellbirds!! Life goal being achieved here buddy, never mind the old tree!!
And then, a bell bird flew down and landed a metre from my foot!! And started eating out of a blossom. Then another one, then another. Clear shots right at hand, hardly any zoom needed!! Well count my day as made! I’ve been at the zoo thirty minutes and I can go home satisfied with birds that are not even in an enclosure!! How about that??
So here are a few photos, can’t believe that I have them here to share!! I’ve looked the bird up in The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds that I’ve borrowed from the library this week, and it is actually a type of minor, the bell minor. There’s another type, the crested bellbird but that’s for another day!
So a good day turned into a great event by the delights of nature! Satisfying, fun, exciting, and altogether fabulicious!!