Wapping Wildlife – Jamrach the Jay

We’ve recently installed a couple of bird feeders in our front ‘garden’ (moss patch) – one filled with a seed mix and the other with peanuts, we’ve also been putting out some monkey-nuts for the larger birds and squirrels.
We’ve been visited by quite a few corvids (the crow family) though my favourite of the larger birds is Jamrach the (Eurasian) Jay. The jay is a hoarder, typically of acorns, which like squirrels bury their finds. 
The RSPB describes the jay as ‘shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover’. Initially the jay seems very cautious – when monkey-nuts in shells are left out the Jay often swoops down, grabs a monkey and flies off with it, presumably to break into elsewhere, which is very different to the crows which will smash the monkey nuts in situ and wood pigeons which attempt to break into the nuts but fail with their piddly pigeon beaks. However, once the crows clear off, the jay comes out and potters about working through the scraps, hiding under a hedge when someone walks past.
Most of the Jay is a sandy brown colour, but has some distinctive markings, with a blue flash and black tips on its wings and is topped with a white crown streaked in black.
Hiding undercover with streaked crown

Nibbling on a nut left behind by a crow

Tempted by the postie’s discarded rubber band

Jumping Jay

Confusing a catkin for a caterpillar

The catkin wasn’t quite as tasty as expected

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