I tried again yesterday morning and struck gold almost straight away. I had tried what I consider the favoured paths, the two that run west to east from the dried-up pond to the main north-south ride. This is the area that the Firecrests also like, but I only heard Goldcrests. The next best area is a slightly smaller ride that runs between the eastern side of the Quaker complex and the aforementioned dried-up pond, i.e. not very far as the Treecreeper flies. I saw the bird before I heard it, flying ahead of me between two trees. I’d only been seeing Tits and a few Goldcrests, so this immediately struck me as being different. Excitingly different, and you can’t often say that about a Treecreeper.
Now a 16-35mm wide-angle lens isn’t ideal for photographing small birds, but I like to think that you don’t visit here just for the photos. But it is there. For ease of scrutiny and audit purposes I’ve taken the 3 pixels it inhabits and blown it up for you. Don't say I don't go that extra mile. As I am sure I have mentioned Treecreeper used to be a rare bird in Wanstead. Or rather it was once common, but at the point I moved here had inexplicably disappeared. You can probably search through my blog archives and chart my amazement at why they were not here in numbers given what appears to be perfect habitat, and I still remember very vividly the day I found my first Treecreeper in Reservoir Wood, and the mass twitch that ensued. Tim remains grateful to this day. Since then they seem to be regaining a foothold, and along with Nuthatch are definitely on the up. Nuthatch of course is somewhat less subtle so it is very difficult to say if it is returning faster, but on any given day I would expect to be able to find Nuthatch in three distinct places, whereas as far as a I know Bush Wood is the only place where Treecreeper is regularly found.
So Bush Wood strikes again, and when I came back almost exactly 12 hours later..... but that's for another day. Got to eke this stuff out somehow!