Garrulus Glandarius of the the Corvidae has long been a bit of a favorite of mine. No, not the Roman gladiator (although there's gotta be a joke about ' rustle crow' in there somewhere ), but the bird.
Jays rule OK......the feathered Scarlet Pimpernel of the woods.
Secretive, shy and guardedly reclusive by nature but busy and resplendent in activity and appearance, it intrigues me that such a reserved character as the Jay should, in contrast, sport such colorful livery, and be so naturally active.
Each time I manage to catch sight of a Jay, or even just hear its distinctive call, I still get a bit of a buzz.
The white flash of its rump as it disappears through its usual wooded habitat.....or rarer, a 'glassed' (as we hard-core stalkers say) view of it, sitting pretty in russet and blue-flashed splendor with neat ermine breast and speckled quiff....is always a joy.
The self elected guardian and conservationist of the Oak Wood, it's nut collection and distribution service is as potent a part of the natural regeneration of native woodland as anything human husbandry and management can achieve. It's vocal early warning system given out to all and sundry as part of it's habitual shyness, is as effective a defense against 'incoming' as anything else.
Being of crow genus, it is in birdie terms of course, a genius.
It won't ever understand string theory or operate heavy machinery, but like all corvids, it thinks, observes and learns, using information to help its own avian pursuits. If ever there were to be a Krypton Factor featuring our feathered friends, Jay boy could well prove
favourite...It would intellectually beat yer average finch, tit or warbler wings down. Woodpigeon would be humiliated. (I've always thought them as thicko's anyway)
As well as being smart, sassy and physically active, Mr Mrs Jay are romantic, sensitive souls who pair-up and in contemporary fashion are best friends as well as wedded partners......looking out for each other in every respect.
They are generally sociable, specifically with other 'crows', and are to known to take the p*ss by imitating other birdcalls.....
A good looking, characterful bird resident in my much loved woodland environment.......what's not to like ?
( I write this having just returned from a short meander in my local woods during which I was rewarded with a sighting of, you guessed it.....)