Sunday, 2 December 2012
Jay goes nuts for a bag of monkeys!
The monkey nut trick worked in my own back garden today! I put some down late yesterday and when I got up today they had almost all gone - I thought it must be either a squirrel or a Jay that had taken them. As Sarah had arisen earlier and was working in the room overlooking the back garden, I asked if she had seen any largish birds in the garden, to which she replied that she's seen a pinkish bird which she thought might have been just a collared dove.
Well, I thought it might in fact be a Jay and so I kept looking out of the kitchen window for the next half hour. All of sudden a Jay appeared on the fence and it was trying to get the last few nuts out of a home-made feeder I had suspended from one of my feeding stations. The bird flew off the fence and picked out a nut in flight before returning to the fence. It did this four times and so could store at least four monkey nuts in its gullet, which is quite an amazing feat on it's own. Then it flew off to bury them somewhere for the winter.
Whilst the Jay was away I opened the patio windows and threw some more monkey nuts on to the lawn about four metres from the house and lay in wait in the house with my camera. However, it was so cold I couldn't leave the windows open for any longer than about 10 minutes and I had to close them.
Five minutes or so later the bird returned and, after flying from tree to tree for a while, spotted the nuts on the lawn and came down to collect them. I couldn't reopen the patio because I knew it would scare this skittish bird. So I had to shoot the photos through the glass, but even so I'm quite pleased with them. This is the closest I've ever had Jays in my garden and it's all thanks to Alan Flavell's monkey nut trick. Cheers Alan!