Jim Thomson | The Bell Miners are calling

HOME DELIVERY: The adult bird about to land at the nest, bringing food to the chicks.
HOME DELIVERY: The adult bird about to land at the nest, bringing food to the chicks.

Very close to Maitland you can find large groups of Bell Miner birds, and they can be some of our early nesters.

FEEDING TIME: Bell Miners are solidly built honeyeaters, mostly olive green in colour.

FEEDING TIME: Bell Miners are solidly built honeyeaters, mostly olive green in colour.

Past bird hunts took me to Minmi where we can usually find large schools of them – more often than not you’ll hear them first. Find one nest, and chances are you’ll find others nearby.

Bell Miners are very tame and you can sit close to them without disturbing them. They usually nest in thick scrub, long grass or low bushes.

Photographing them depends on their location. Because of vegetation the use of a long lens is not always the way to go. In the past I have used a short lens, with the camera set close in, pre focus and lock, shutter speed 200 about f11 ISO 200. Set your flashes to 1/16 power, this short duration freezes the action. Adjust your aperture to get correct exposure, most important.

Once set, trigger the camera with wireless control from some distance away. The small output of the flashes does not disturb the birds and some remarkable shots can be the result.

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