Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day
cleanskies

you asked for it 2: never the treecreeper

Strangely, I stopped writing about my journeys down the tow-path after I saw the treecreeper. It was early in the year, before the pollarded trees had fuzzed up with leaves and there was nothing to shield this shy little bird from my gaze. Just one glance, then gone; no time for a camera. But even a glimpse is a rare treasure; they hide, they're camouflaged, they hug the tree like giant moths.

However, they're territorial, and this one was hunting a tree I walked past every day. It occurred to me that if I walked by often enough, and had my camera ready each time, there might at some point be another chance. Then I found myself thinking that each morning's no show as I passed the pollarded lime tree would be a tiny disappointment, now that I knew the treecreeper was there, just out of sight. And I put my camera away and stopped hunting the skulking and insectivorous treecreeper. I hear it often enough though; that distinct high delicate fluting whistle (you can hear it here).

In September, the birds begin to wake up after their summer moult, and sing again. New adults encroach into mature territories, older birds falter a little, trying out their rusty voices. Later it'll get serious, and they'll start to practice, fight and mark out their spaces along the tow-path. But for now it's sheer exuberance; food is plentiful, their feathers are fresh, and the trees along the river are warmed by the last of the summer sunshine.

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