Flora and fauna – the tree creeper

Tree creepers are not rare but you don’t see them very often. That’s partly because they’re usually silent but more due to their secretive creeping up the rough bark of trees in search of spiders and larvae of insects hidden in the fissures of the bark.

A treecreepers beak is perfectly designed for this: a fine curved pair of tweezers.

I saw one in the garden the other day climbing a larch tree so I was on the lookout when I saw this one on a gnarly old willow.

Treecreepers are usually loners but in winter they often join wandering groups of long-tailed tits on the lookout for likely food sources.

Treecreepers can’t head downwards; their toes aren’t designed for this, so they head upwards, then fly to the bottom of the tree trunk again and start again. The nuthatch is the master of downward motion…watch this space. (FS)

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