Every day of our travels this past year held the promise of adventure. We saw some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, its most extraordinary animals, and of course all those birds. Along the way, we asked ourselves how we would adjust once we returned to Innsbruck. Transitioning back to work, to the possibility of an office job, and to a climate where birds and animals are more scarce than in the tropics was a looming possibility. But last weekend, we were reminded that there are a few enigmatic species of bird still worth seeking out even in our own backyard.
We had asked a close friend of ours if he had any tips for birding beyond our normal haunts. He recommended we seek out the rare Wallcreeper, which raises its young during the summer time and may be more busy and active in searching for food at this time of year. His advice panned out and we were treated to amazing views of five rare Wallcreeper in a local gorge.
According to BirdLife.org, the Wallcreeper lives at altitude, residing at 1000-3000 meters above sea level. It is related to the more commonly seen nuthatch and treecreeper. Though its conservation status is “least concern”, the Wallcreeper is rarely seen. It blends in easily on sheer rock faces, and can often only be spotted when changing position, flashing its beautiful red wings.
Actually, seeing not one but five Wallcreeper was an amazing experience. The light wasn’t great for photography but some of the photos still panned out (the summer of 14 sure has been cloudy)! It was a reminder that there are new and amazing birds to see at home, even in Tirol where wildlife and colorful birds can sometimes seem rare.
Check out more Wallcreeper photos!