Short-toed Treecreeper Identification notes.

N.B this bird has been accepted by the BBRC in 2020 and is the 32nd record for this species in Britain.

I managed to get round to organising my notes on the Short-toed Treecreeper I came across at Langdon hole on September 21st 2020 and thought I would share them here.  I wanted the description to BBRC to be ‘water tight’ as its only field notes, a written description and photos compared to a bird in the hand and audio recordings of the voice. Although I have found each plumage feature to fit well with Short-toed and I believe my description of the voice to be a decent phonetic representation.  Short toed treecreepers can call abit like Eurasian treecreeper; a ‘waxwing like’ “srrri, srrri”, but also a ‘coal tit like’ call which Eurasian treecreeper does not make.  Below is an excerpt from the description of the voice followed by annotated images ;

“I had been hoping/expecting to hear the Coal tit-like call to confirm my analysis of Short-toed treecreeper from plumage features. A couple of minutes later and I saw the Treecreeper fly back to the eastern end of the fence and begin working its way down towards me again, I knew I needed better photos and was sitting in the grass waiting for it to emerge when – “duii…duei…tduiit” – it called loudly from right in front to me, three Coal tit-like notes with the last sounding fractionally longer. An adrenaline moment! These same notes were heard again moments before the bird flew off down the cliff face towards more suitable cover and not seen again.”

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I also think that the site and structure on which I found the bird should be mentioned; a rusty metal fence right on the cliff face above the port of Dover, not exactly an excellent place to be a treecreeper for any length of time and suggestive that the bird was fairly freshly arrived, feeds into the find and perhaps the ID nicely.

Sttc site

site 2

Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

One thought on “Short-toed Treecreeper Identification notes.”

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