Before this game the Shakers had won four and drawn one of their previous five visits and for long stretches it seemed only a matter of time before they would get in front.
The visitors missed two outstanding chances while dominating the first 45 minutes.
As early as the fifth minute Elliott Bennett caught Michael Jones in possession and, with the flag down and Notts spread-eagled, it looked a simple finishing opportunity, except that the shot was pulled wide for an incredible miss.
Bury went closer and were unlucky after 22 minutes when Jones thundered a shot against Russell Hoult's right-hand post.
The visitors soon picked up the pace at the beginning of the second half, Andy Bishop gliding past Mike Edwards but finding his shot saved by Hoult at the near post, with a piece of good positional goalkeeping.
Bury's winning goal arrived on 79 minutes and was a gift. From a free-kick taken by Jones, central defender Ryan Cresswell rose unmarked to thunder a header past the helpless Hoult.
Notts created few scoring opportunities, two of the best falling to Richard Butcher, one of which brought Wayne Brown's best save of the match.
Then in the dying moments, Notts had a chance to save a point when Myles Weston turned on the ball in the penalty area before lashing it wide.
It was Notts' third defeat in eight days and contrasts sharply with their previous run of eleven games unbeaten.
One note of satisfaction for Notts was the promising debut in midfield by Lewis Neal, signed on loan from Preston North End.