Bellingen Birdwatching


Bellingen is a funky little town that is home to some amazing winged creatures like the Welcome Swallow, Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian White Ibis, and Grey-headed flying fox.

Exploring Bellingen is an activity the whole family will enjoy. The variety of bird species that can be spotted on this easy walk through the heart of Bellingen makes it the perfect experience for those who love birds…and good coffee.  Wander through the heart of the community, over Lavender’s bridge, onto ‘Bat Island’ and experience great cafes, boutiques, picnic spots, and effortless bird watching opportunities.

Starting at the top of town, near the war memorial, where two towering Norfolk Pine trees grow, you are likely to encounter Australian Magpie, Rainbow Lorikeet, Blue-faced Honeyeater and Magpie Lark.

Heading down High Street keep an eye out for House Sparrows and Welcome Swallows. The swallows are constantly swooping and gliding, often quite low, in search of flying insects and are easily identified by their sleek blue appearance, rusty red head and forked tails.

At the junction of High Street and Hyde Street, turn left towards Lavenders Bridge and the Bellinger River, where you are likely to see a number of water birds such as the Pacific Black Duck, Wood Duck, Little Pied Cormorant and Dusky Moorhen.  If you are fortunate you may even glimpse an Azure Kingfisher in a dazzling blur of blue and orange flitting across the water.

Bellingen Island (a.k.a. Bat Island), a rainforest pocket only a short stroll from the town centre is home to a maternity camp of Grey Headed Flying foxes whose numbers swell seasonally. Every evening is a thrilling wildlife spectacle as the bats, often in the thousands, leave their roosts and head off into the surrounding mountains and forests to feed. There are many birds that may be spotted in this fascinating little rainforest pocket. Species including Wompoo Pigeon, Top-knot Pigeon, Barred Cuckoo Shrike, Figbird, and White-headed Pigeon are all regular visitors when the various trees are in fruit.

Walking back to town through the Showgrounds you are likely to sight a number of species including Pied Butcherbird, Galah, Australian White Ibis, and Willie Wagtail. During the summer months it is also a reliable place to see Dollarbirds, a summer visitor from New Guinea.