Monday, June 20, 2011

Bulgaria: Wallcreeper!

June 9th, 2011

While the area of Trigrad was our only real location for seeing White-fronted Dippers well, the main reason for traveling through the Rhodopes was to visit the Trigrad Gorge for a very special bird - the Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria).  Some have identified the Wallcreeper as one of the top fifty birds desired to be seen by birders. This may be true, but I like best Karl Overman's description of the Wallcreeper as "a world-class bird."  Formerly the Wallcreeper was associated with nuthatches and creepers, but today it is the sole species in its own family, Tichodromidae.  

We were not disappointed.  Mladen knew of a location with a nesting pair  in a rock crevice that we could view from a distance of no more than 15 meters.  He knew the time to arrive - when the male would be out of the nest to hunt insects and return to feed the female.  All of this turned out to be just as he described.

The Wallcreeper is a difficult bird to photograph with a point-and-shoot camera.  My shutter is just not fast enough.  While the bird gives the impression of being cooperative, it also moves very quickly.

Since I could not take good still shots, the best I have to offer is video of a female Wallcreeper hunting insects around her nest.  In the background you'll hear Mladen's camera firing away and Carli commenting on how beautiful this bird is.  To Karl's comment I would add that the Wallcreeper is a show-stopper.

Finally, Wallcreeper viewers bunched together on our Wallcreeper cliff ledge.  Don't look down or step back!

Още, за да се!

1 comment:

Jerry Jourdan said...

Congratulations on the Wallcreeper, Cathy! Karl is right, the bird is truly 'world-class' and a top 10 bird in my book. Being able to get any kind of photograph is remarkable, so well done!