Wednesday, January 02, 2008
We were all treated to a relatively close view of a Jay on our walk around the Walthamstow reservoirs during our new year break. One of my favourite birds, the (intelligent) Jay, and certainly the blue and black, barred feathers on its wings are my favourite of all the British birds' feathers.
A subtle pink colour, with a thick black moustache, they can fluff up their plumage, especially their speckled crowns, to make themselves appear more threatening.
Jays are famous for acorn-burying and "anting" (where they land on an ants nest, and deliberately antagonise the insects to cover their feathers in formic acid - to act as a natural insecticide).
A corvid (crow), Jays are often pretty shy, and the normal encounter you'll get is a characteristic screech, followed by the view of a white rump flying away from you in the typical bouncy flight of this bird.
This is hardly a great shot of a Jay, (very poor light, and through a large amount of branches...) but it may be the best I can expect for some time...