We had many reasons for buying our house in York (nearly a year ago now). Many were valid, sensible things based on the state of the roof, or the number of bedrooms. The normal stuff. But there were some less rational reasons. Like the Treecreeper we saw outside the house the first time we saw it*.
I’ve always loved the Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris). They have a wonderful habit of popping out at close range, at eye-level, before disappearing on up the tree. As such, you can get some great views.
There’s a key aspect of what I just said there: “up the tree”. Up. Not down. Treecreepers cannot climb back down. They behave like no other bird you will see, scaling up and around a tree, then flying down and across to the next. They might manage a little downwards movement if going along the underside of a branch, but mainly it’s just up, up, up.
This could all make them very obvious, but unlike the showier woodpeckers and nuthatches that have similar behaviour, the tiny Treecreeper has quite exceptional camouflage. As you can see here:
They are remarkable little workers, climbing as much as 2500m a day (which means in a week they scale greater than the height of Mount Everest!). They power themselves by eating tiny insects from the surface, and just into the bark, of trees.
There was at least one pair flitting about, so I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if I can find a nest site too.
* A word of warning, don’t just buy a house based on availability of wildlife