R's got himself a couple of old telephotos recently and had set himself the unenviable task of trying to capture the local bellbirds seeking honey in one of the earliest spring blossoms around here- the wild currant, Ribes sanguineum. It's a feral species from North America. Bellbirds are native but they will exploit most exotic nectar sources.
These currants are certainly beautiful, glowing violet pink in the slanting light of afternoon and heralding the end of winter so we adore them too, but I have to say they smell like a hundred elderly tomcats and I shudder to think what sort of contribution they make to honey.
Bellbirds vacillate between being relatively confiding and flicking off at the slightest suspicion of your intrusion so they can be difficult to capture. These images are highly characteristic of their undisturbed behaviour; hats off to R for having the patience to observe them effectively.
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