Treecreeper and its tantalizing prance

Bar-tailed Treecreeper

The treecreeper is a rather comforting bird to look at… ensconced in its arboreal domain, enquiring for food among nooks and crannies, subsisting industriously… twixt humility and hubris, it prefers the former, choosing a benign camouflage over loud contrast… skittering up trees with hastiness akin to a rodent, leading some hapless insects to the end of their mortal tether, it holds up a mirror to the bourgeois birdwatcher, one reaffirming the futility of seeking well-defined meanings in the intricate tapestries of natural ecosystems… there’s a sense of reconciliation that one finds when thinking of the treecreeper, a poignancy that underlines the busy foraging… ‘tis rather simple yet unique, the modus operandi of this bird, with strong claws and a stiff tail for balancing, it runs swiftly up tree barks, probing them with its curved bill, and once at the top, fly down to the base of the next tree to start all over again… so specialized that it can only creep up and not down… so exasperating for the photographer as it always tends to disappear to the other side of the tree, making it a point to spiral its way up rather than taking a linear path…

Bar-tailed Treecreeper

It always springs a surprise, the treecreeper, every time I’ve seen it, probably because of the camouflage due to which it seems to suddenly emerge… this one near Gushaini was a bit of motion seen from a corner of the eye on the trees above Falchan river where I was plying my trade with redstarts, forktails and dippers… as usual, it gave a sighting and then disappeared to the other side, after which followed a minute-long game of cat and mouse between the camera and the bird… momentary appearances, frantically trying to focus, sometimes succeeding, most of the time to no avail… as usual, ‘twas the briefest of rendezvous, the bird disappearing into the forest and the birdwatcher back to scanning the river…

Bar-tailed Treecreeper

Musing on a Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving nature while suffering in a desk job...

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