...a Brown Creeper--one of my favorite winter birds! I love the high-pitched peeping noises these tiny little pieces of moving bark make. Perfectly camouflaged, they are sometime hard to spot.
Sunday, when Rick and Matty took off for hockey games in Columbus, I took off for Ft. Ancient. Hoping to catch a few new winter birds, I picked up the Mound Trail through the meadow by the bird blind. The leaf cover on the ground was heavy, and I had to slow down several times to inch my way across the ground because I was making more ruckus than one person should be able to make! At one point I came to a complete stop to just listen, and as I did, the woods seemed to come to life with the peeping of Brown Creepers. I would hear one to the right....another to the left...one far away...close...behind me....and on and on. It was as if 50 birds were hiding on 50 different trees, calling to each other and making sure they remained invisible to me. Finally I started seeing movement as a bird would leave one tree and fly down to the bottom of another. I was able to keep track of eight birds at this time, but one bird I couldn't find. He was very, very close, but I couldn't seem to track his call, then suddenly he appeared! The little wood chip materialized right in front of me and almost seemed to pause for the camera!
I don't often get a chance to photograph these masters of camouflage. They move up the tree so fast and jump from here to there. I usually just watch them through the binocs. I like how he's following the angle of the bark here.
I thought he might stop and look in the hole, but he didn't. He was too busy looking for bugs to bother with an empty hole...for heaven's sake...
...and it's a good thing he didn't because if you look closely, you can see a big fat bug in his bill, which he found and ate shortly after passing the hole. Eww...creepy!
Click here for one of my earliest posts. It's about a Brown Creeper and the info about him from my first "field guide" from 1968, "Teach Me About Birds--Flash Cards in Full Color!" (The cards are gorgeous, and have really cool facts. I loved them back then when I was just in the first grade. )
For posts about Fort Ancient, click here. Fort Ancient is located in Warren County in Ohio and is on a gorgeous wooded plateau perched 245 feet above the Little Miami River. It is the largest prehistoric earthen hilltop enclosure in the United States. Built 2000 years ago by Mound Builders, the earth walls stretch 3.5 miles, enclosing over 100 acres of hilltop. Mound Builders used small baskets to move more than 553,000 cubic yards of soil to form the earthen walls that reach from 4 to 23 feet in height. Amazingly, most of the earthworks are still visible and retain the same form they had over 2000 years ago! Archeologists estimate it took about 400 years (100BC – 290AD) to build the entire complex.
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