I say return, but I know they have been here all the time. That said I have now seen just four Treecreepers in 10 years in Barwick and two of those were yesterday. I saw my first not long after we moved here as it moved up the Ash tree at the back of the garden and my second sighting was at the back of the Badger’s Eye Plantation, moving through the trees.
Yesterday’s encounter took place in front of our noses as we sat in the shade at the top of the garden. It was late in the afternoon and the Ash tree was alive with birds, mostly Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits in what I assume was a mixed feeding flock that was working down the ribbon of trees of our little valley. Earlier in the day we had seen the Nuthatch on our nuts, itself a noteworthy appearance and now it appeared on the lower branches of the Ash, hazelnut in its beak. It flew to the trunk of the tree, possibly to work on its nut, and in landing disturbed what until now had been the invisible form of a Treecreeper Certhia familiaris.
We only saw it because it moved. In the brief flapping and tweeting that followed the Nuthatch lost it’s nut and the now distinguishable Treecreeper could be followed as it moved up the trunk of the tree. Shortly afterwards another, (it’s pair?) was spotted as they moved to mid-height in the tree, before the two birds moved off to disappear again into the surrounding trees.