Short-Toed Treecreepers and reflections on bird photography
It’s always a thrill to see a bird creeping like a mouse up a tree trunk. It’s only when it flies down to the bottom of the next tree that you’re sure it’s a bird. There’s a Short-Toed Treecreeper here at the Lago di Alviano:
What brilliantly adapted birds. The curve of their beak is exceptionally adapted for probing into the crevices in tree bark and extracting invertebrates. And that camouflage:
It’s great to get close. I’ve seen a Short-Toed Treecreeper before in Italy but never this close:
This is exceptional. I can even see its tongue and every detail of its plumage.
How did I get this close? We’re at a WWF reserve which has bird hides. One of them is the ‘small birds hide’ where a variety of seeds are put out to attract birds. There’s also the dead stump of a tree with deep crinkled bark. It’s that which has attracted the Short-Toed Treecreeper today. It’s €10 for the key to the reserve.
There’s also something which I’ve never seen in the UK; a reflection pool. Birds come to drink and you can get wonderful shots of them reflected in the water. As I check nature websites, bird forums and Facebook groups and Twitter accounts all I can see in the UK is, ‘captured yesterday at my hide’, or, ‘at my private hide’ and, ‘my mate has been taming them for a year and is now setting up a workshop if interested.‘ All the UK workshops seem very expensive, sanitised nature experiences, often £100 for a day. If only we had some publicly available facilities like the ones here, that would be great. Do you know of any?
It’s been wonderful to spend time with this little character.
I think I’ll start a funding campaign for my local country park to have a reflection pool table. Surely enjoying photographing nature shouldn’t all be a commodity exploited by private enterprise at £100 per day?
After all, nature is free.
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