A tree creeper (Certhia familiaris), beautifully camouflaged against the bark and moss of an oak.

We know there are tree creepers in the reserve but they are so shy and retiring, so difficult to spot, they are rarely reported. Cheryl Cronnie found and photographed this one yesterday.

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Her pictures clearly show the bird’s long, thin, downward-curving beak which it uses to probe the cracks and crevices of a tree trunk, the stiff tail it uses to prop itself against vertical surfaces like a woodpecker, and the long toes tipped with sharp curved claws for gripping as it climbs.

Tree creepers are home birds: most will rarely leave the few trees that make up their territory. Some will even spend their whole lives in a single tree.

Conservation status: Green
Protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

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