A scarcely noticed bird, the treecreeper (Certhia familiaris), described as a perfect little packet of form and function, is reckoned to have increased in numbers here, although this is not readily confirmed.
A respected birding source finds the observation (of UK origin) of interest but one wonders at the difficulties of enumerating a tiny mouse-like feathered species which cling to the trunks of old trees in gardens and parkland barely noticeable on the protective bark and in crevices where they hide and make their nests.
A Dublin reader recently noticed one making its way up and around a mature garden cypress and was fascinated at its upwards and onwards progress, aided by curved bill and claw, and, having reached a summit, flitting off to continue its insect quest from the bottom of another tree.
Treecreepers have brown and black streaked backs and white or pale buff under-parts with short, strong legs and large feet and claws for tree climbing, aided by a long, de-curved bill, an ideal probe for collecting insects and spiders while it climbs. The tail is also used as a climbing aid, becoming gradually pointed by abrasions.
One observer pointed out that the bird has an "unendearing habit" of climbing out of sight when aware of being observed!
This tiny, jerky bird can also climb upside-down along horizontal branches and in winter will throw caution to the winds and flock with roaming tits.
There are two species of 'creepers in Europe, the Eurasian found in these islands and northern Europe - with a separate resident group in the Himalayas and stretching to Japan - and the short-toed, in southern mainland countries from Portugal to Poland, Greece and Turkey.
The treecreeper lays up to six eggs in a tiny cup hidden behind a piece of loose bark, or, occasionally, between planks in a garden shed. Legendary naturalist WH Hudson wrote of it more than a century ago of being more of a parasite than other similar birds but never failing to interest because of its appearance and actions.
It can be spotted in surprising locations. One was seen asleep in an old railway tunnel in England clinging to soot-thickened walls surrounded by spiders, moths and spent butterflies, no doubt after a hearty supper of such fare.
But its favoured abode since the mid-1850s has been the pliable-barked giant Wellingtonia, sequoia or Californian redwood planted in demesnes such as Emo Court in Laois - an avenue of them - Powerscourt Waterfall in Wicklow, Inistiogue in Co Kilkenny (a Coast Redwood, the largest in Europe at 42m) and the famous Dawn Redwood at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin's Glasnevin.
There are redwoods in California more than 2,000 years old, as high as 25-storey buildings and with metre-thick bark, offering more than a lifetime of sustenance and sanctuary for any treecreeper.