I have been fortunate in the past three or more years to hear the beautiful song of the Korimako, New Zealand Bellbird. Eventually I spotted one in the garden but it was a fleeting view as this fast moving bird was there and gone.
Two very tall Bottle Brush trees in neighbouring gardens provide food for our nectar feeding birds, especially the Tui and Bellbird.
My attempts to photograph a Bellbird have been futile so far. But today our lovely visiting Bellbird ( or perhaps more than one) has been in and around the garden and singing temptingly close by.
With cold winter light offering little assistance I ventured out with my camera to try and locate Korimako feeding in the tree across the road. The zoom on my camera is very good and I was able to gain one photo.
I crossed the road carefully and stood a way off from the tree believing that the bird would be fearful and take flight. However food was a stronger pull and with plenty of foliage to hide safely in I was able to move closer and closer without causing the bird to fly away.
My luck held and I came home with some pleasing photographs and the great sense of achievement gained from ticking a “wanted bird” off the list.
I have included a link to a sound clip of the clear, bell like song of this very special New Zealand native bird.
My suspicions were that we had a Bellbird back in the neighbourhood. The Bellbird or Korimako (such a beautiful Maori name for this bird) has the most delightful song but the clever Tuis can mimic it so a sighting is the only real proof.
Captain Cook, who led explorations to New Zealand, described the song of the Bellbird as sounding “like small bells exquisitely tuned.”
I noted a Bellbird visitor back in February and March 2012 on my blog.
Proof perfect happened yesterday as I got out of my car and heard the most beautiful song coming from the Silver Birch tree above me. Sure enough there was a male Bellbird, olive green but with glimpses of black and iridescent shaded feathers, singing to me before he flew off rapidly across the road to a large Bottle brush tree. As a nectar feeder that tree will be providing good food right now.
Later in the afternoon I sat at an upstairs window and watched him chase and catch an insect and then bully two starlings from another tree. A tree large enough for all three birds with space to spare! He is smaller than a starling too but that was not of any importance it would seem.
Do I have a photo of this very welcome visitor? No, but I will work on that. They are extremely well camouflaged birds and quick in their movements.
In the meantime here is a photo of a Bellbird source doc.govt.nz
and here is website to give you a lot more information about yet another of our wonderful native birds who are returning to our suburbs in increasing numbers.
Today has been a hot, sunny day. The sort of February day we expect. Sadly such days have been few and far between since Christmas time 2011.
At lunch time I heard the prettiest song and as I looked out into our back garden I saw a grey- fawn coloured bird darting amongst the leaves of the golden elm tree.
It was bigger than a sparrow but smaller than a blackbird and it sang with such clear, bell-like sounds interspersed with more ordinary chirrups.
It was gone before I could look for the camera and I doubt that I would have managed to capture it without a zoom lens and more technique than I have.
I checked my NZ birds book and was delighted to find that I had seen a New Zealand Bellbird, or Korimako, its Maori name. It was Mrs Bellbird. I had heard her song a couple of times in the previous weeks but I could not see the singer.
I am so thrilled that I have finally seen a Bellbird in the wild and even more thrilled that the bird was in my garden. I hope Mrs Bellbird returns soon and brings Mr Bellbird with her.