Oct 11, 2010

Twitchin treecreepers

After an abortive attempt to get to Deerness yesterday when I managed as far as the Wideford burn before having to limp back, today I managed to finally see the Treecreeper that’s been at Grindigar. Deerness was hooching with birds. Although I wasn’t searching about much it seemed most bushes and shrubs held birds. Just turning off the main drag to Grindigar a dazzling colourful Redstart shot across the road in front of me and disappeared down the field. Slowing with the thrill and watching it go I realise the string of willows along the road side contain a flock of Goldcrests! I trundle along at walking pace and the Goldcrests seem happy to ignore the bike and give fine views. Parking up and moving slowly in through the gate to the wee quarry garden a flock of brambling spook and take noisily to the air. A peer inside and the bench is a third of the way down and I take a pew on it and sort my gear. Its soon obvious that the fleeing brambling didn’t take all the birds with them and with the quiet returning movement begins again. The canopy is moving with Goldcrests and the bright warm air is full of their high pitch calls. I have seen quite a few on migration over the last few years but today was the first time I have seen them feeding on the ground out in the open. Quite oblivious to my presence they were coming within ten feet of me, some times with three on the ground at one time, other times they were in the willow directly overhead!! Through this I was trying to quietly get them in to the scope for a photograph whilst on the ground it was marginally better than trying to snap them in the branches. They scurried around like clockwork toys and entertaining as they were proved dammed difficult to get in the viewfinder!!
Robins were well represented in the common migrant stakes with three seeming to be in view at any one time. I’m sure there were a lot more about though as a Sparrowhawk pass had an awful lot of alarm calling going on all at one time. Once things settled and restarted a Blackcap showed up for a minute and a Garden warbler landed in the apple trees but was gone when the camera was pointed in its direction. It was a calling male Chaffinch that delivered my bird of the day. It had caught my attention in the lower boughs of on of the conifers and as I was watching it a movement below caught my eye. Here at last was the Tree creeper. Forty five minutes waiting has produced this exciting and beautiful bird. With a white belly, mottled brown back and curved beak it moved up and down the trunks of the fir trees hunting insects at a cracking pace. It is an industrious little chap and a challenge and a half to digiscope, No sooner is it in the viewfinder than its gone behind a trunk or off down a branch. I move over to the heebies and it moves down the line of willows. With little more than blurred shots the camera abandoned I enjoy great views for about tem minutes before it flies directly towards me and enters the heebie two foot above my head. I wait about for fifteen more minutes but this the last time I see it out. I am happy enough though and it was a super last view. That was it for me as I have places to be and have to head home. All is not dull there though and a pair of Goldcrests that had been there in the morning remained all day…adding another name to the garden list!

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