Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Short Toed Treecreeper

I spent the weekend in Essex, the primary reason being to see my new nephew but also to say hi to the rest of the family and friends. I left early on Sunday morning with Landguard set in my sights. I arrived at about 8.30 and was greeted by glum cold faces, the same could be said for the next 2 hours. Just as I was thinking of giving up I heard a shout that someone had just seen it, great stuff, at least I knew it was still there.
About 10 mins past and it was relocated a little way along the ridge I got onto it for a nano second while it was perched in full view, unfortunately someone was a bit over excited and shouted ITS AT 3 O'CLOCK IN THE SMALL BUSH (I mean shouted) at which the bird disappeared, I'm not going to say what I was thinking at the time, although I believe someone was a little less contained and gave them a talking to. I managed at least 5 brief views which were ok but not what you want from a bird so similar to 'our' species, the fact that the 30 or so people ran to see the bird each time it was seen did not help. So in the end I (quite selfishly!) watched the bird without letting anyone know for about 1 minute in full view, then let others know it was on show, sure enough a few seconds later it was off again. I don't usually do that sort of thing but it was necessary and worthwhile in this case.
I managed to see the wing markings quite well in the final view as well as noticing the white tips, long bill and buffy flanks, it had a different look about it. The bird was calling quite frequently which was helpful although the crowd of 30 or so seemed to not register the fact that it was calling at all!! It is afterall probably the best form of id based on brief views, oh well they' learn that if they use their ears they will see more.

My favorite quotes of the morning were;
'is it a pale bird'
'is it a small bird'
'where is it I cant find it in my scope and have not yet seen it' [use binoculars!]
'what does our usual treecreeper look like, is this not the same?'
I was amazed by the comments and lack of knowledge of how to birdwatch/use optics. I was embarrassed to be there at times! Still a cracking little UK tick which could probably be best described as a birders bird, those who didnt know what they were looking/listening for really missed out.. oh well, I was happy at least.

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