Sometimes It’s What You Can’t See

Hello everybody!  Today happens to be one of those times when a common quandary becomes crystal clear – at least for the immediate post.  If you happen to carry  large glass into the field,  I am sure you’ve been questioned as to whether you are a birder or a photographer.  I’ve noted in the past my feelings toward that inquiry and will not belabor that point for the sanity of my readers.  Doubt aside, the answer to that question for this particular series is — I’m a birder.  Has there been enlightenment, an epiphany or some form of life clarity that has put everything into perspective?  Nope – very simply, these pictures basically suck hehehe.   No way around it, soft, cluttered, difficult to discern, boring … pick your negative critique of choice, they are there in all their dark glory.  Why bother subjecting you to such poor images?  The answer is – it actually fits the narrative (oh, and it makes my other images look that much better ha).

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

Today’s featured feathered friend is a bit of a creep:

“I wish I was special

But I’m a creep

I’m a weirdo

What the hell am I doing here?

I don’t belong here.”

Figured I would go ahead and provide you the lyrics because if you were around the alt scene in the early 90’s I guarantee you started singing that song as soon as you saw that word – complete with adult words.

But I’m not talking about Yorke’s drunk trying to get the attention of a woman.. in this case I’m referring to the stealthy little forest bird called the Brown Creeper.

Hit the jump see some more truly craptastic shots of our stealthy friend.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

Luckily the Creeper has been featured previously here on Intrigued and those shots were taken by the photographer (link here).  I recommend checking out that post if you really want to see the detailed features of this bird.  Today the focus (oops a photography term)  is on what you can’t see vs what you can see.  As a quick background, our specimen was found in our backyard way back on 11/24/20.  I’ll pause there for just a bit to allow that to sink in … a mere 15 days ago (not years) – how is that for a fresh post!

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

As we were forced by the pandemic to work remotely, I opted to set up my office in the kitchen.  Kudos to my wife for accommodating that and only pointing out the fact we each have our own den/office a paltry once or twice a day.  Trust me, I didn’t do it just to punish Linda for retiring before me…the real reason is our kitchen is set out providing a 180 degree view of the woods.  Basically put my office desk in the middle of a forest with full access to whatever wildlife wanted to join my meetings.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

Earlier in November, I was sitting there and noticed a large bullet come in from the side and embed itself into the side of our closest tree.  It happened so fast I wasn’t exactly sure what had happened – small, darkish object flashed by and then disappeared into the trunk.   Squinted, changed angles, went closer to the windows – nothing provided a clue to what just happened.  Mid-conference call at the time, decided it was imagined and opted to let it go.   Would periodically glance over during the rest of the call, but nothing explained it.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

On the 24th I was sitting at my wilderness desk when the EXACT same thing happened.  Object flashes by and embeds itself in the tree.  This time I was not in a call and quickly went out on the porch to investigate.  After searching around, spotted a small white line making its way up the trunk – creeping if you will.  Now it made sense as I was able to discern the sliver of white from the chest feathering, the thin curved bill and those ridiculously oversized feet.  Quickly grabbed The Beast and went back to tin the well camouflaged bird.  Inevitably, I would lose it as it changed angles or covered up the chest, re-locate the white stripe further up the tree and then try to cut through branches and convince the sensor there was really a bird hidden on the trunk.

Brown Creeper found on lot in Brimfield, IL in November 2020

The results of all this was a new appreciation for what I couldn’t see.  This tiny bird’s feathering blended perfectly into its surroundings.  This was my first sighting of the Creeper since we moved to our new home in the woods – hell, it was the first sighting of a Creeper outside of the Colorado series referenced above.  How often has it visited me in the past, has it always been coming around and I just never noticed – never spotting it dancing from tree to tree against a lighter background.  No longer do I doubt Cornell’s region maps.  I’m smarter now and will be keeping my eyes open for the next visitor.  Fingers crossed those sightings will come with better photography execution … but then again.. I kinda like being able to claim the “birder” role!

Stay safe everyone and hope you enjoyed this rather fresh post … don’t get used to it!!

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