I was very surprised just a moment ago when my wife call to me there were a pair of Jays in the garden.
We have been in this house which is surrounded by others for 10 years and have never seen a Jay in the area - no Oak trees local to us. They were both within 15 feet of the window so we had a good view of these quite lovely birds. We can only presume they came to pinch the peanuts put out for the birds; one certainly had one in its bill.
I haven't seen a jay in this neck of the woods for the last 5 years, but this year I've seen five in the area. I've got a bunch of goldfinches in the garden, hogging the feeders, and attacking any other birds that dare to come near. Even the hoodies back off when the goldfinches start their ASBO antics.
We have a couple of jays outsite every day. Also magpies . my feeders are emptied quickly by great tits. Have seen 2 green and one lesser spotted woodpeckers on a dead willow in my neighbours garden a lot, and a nuthatch.Wish I had goldfinches, or ideally, bullfinches as at my last house.
"You're lucky, jays are normally very secretive birds" Ours must be extrovert as they have been there for years, hopping along my boundary wall.Thy look well fed. They look nice but like all crow family seem a bit aggressive, and not a songbird!
That was our main surprise. We are around 500 yards from the nearest trees and several miles from any copse or woodland. Given they were pinching the peanuts I think they came simply for food.
We get many small birds - Gold finches, Green finches, Blue tits, Great tits, Sparrows (of course), a Dunnock, Robins and a Wren - some of which nest in the garden. We also have a 'resident' Sparrow Hawk and have seen a Spotted Woodpecker on one occasion. We also get Wood Pigeon, (the inevitable) Collar Doves, Blackbirds, Starlings and some others. But the arrival of these Jays was as big an event as the Woodpecker.