Jays are shy birds and relatively seldom seen, though personally I always tend to notice them in Autumn when they become more obvious. In fact I often go all year without seeing any until Autumn. At this time of year they're often to be seen breaking cover and making short swooping darts between low branches and the ground in their quest for acorns and other seasonal goodies.

I watched the one in the picture above doing exactly that in the denser woodland of Hampstead Heath in London. It wouldn't let me get much closer than 8 yards though, being fundamentally a very wary bird. As one of the most exotic looking native species it's always nice to see them.

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