Let's hear it for the Jay
The mild winter in Cumbria and at The Lough seems to have benefited our local wildlife and in particular our feathered friends!
It’s quite incredible just how many different types of bird can be seen both on The Lough itself and in the surrounding woodland. In addition to the usual residents such as blackbirds, blue tits and bullfinches, we've recently also spotted two greylags, a great spotted woodpecker and even a jay!
Jays don’t always get a good press, often down to their noisy, chattering call, and in fact, they were once persecuted by gamekeepers as they would take the eggs and young of game birds, but here at the Tranquil Otter, we love them! Their beautiful pinkish brown colour with striking blue flashes through their wings certainly light up in the shafts of sunlight that penetrate the wood.
Interestingly, Jays were also hunted down by fishermen who prized their bright coloured feathers for fly fishing.
Jays love the oak trees in our woodland, and although they will eat almost anything from berries and fruit to small rodents, they love acorns and are incredible hoarders. Research has shown that jays can store, and more importantly, retrieve several thousand acorns to keep them going through the sparse winter months.