Jay – 2003-07 breeding

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed6031
Breeding probable3285
Breeding possible10896
No of tetrads occupied200 (of 478)212 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads41.8%43.3%

The Jay is a medium-sized bird which is pinkish-brown in appearance, with blue and white wing patches, black tail and white rump. Despite its striking appearance, the Jay is shy and retiring and its presence is often first revealed by its raucous call. It is found in woodland and mature gardens, placing its nest close up to the trunks of trees or among thickets of ivy or thorns.

An estimate of 600 pairs breeding in Pembrokeshire was made at the close of the 1984-88 survey, based on an average density of three pairs per occupied tetrad. The 1988-91 National Atlas used an average density of four pairs per tetrad when calculating the UK total breeding population. The relative abundance map in that book indicates that this value might well have been applicable to Pembrokeshire. This would have elevated the county total to 800 pairs. The BBS charted a decrease of 14% across Wales between 1994 and 2007 and the survey of 2003-07 returned a 6% increase in distribution in the county. Applying the BBS value to the 2007 county distribution, results in an estimate of 730 pairs breeding in Pembrokeshire at the end of 2007.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

More about the Jay in Pembrokeshire

Jay – 1994

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident

1984-88
Breeding confirmed60
Breeding probable32
Breeding possible108
No of tetrads occupied200 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads41.8%

Resident according to Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) but not numerous. Today, Jays breed throughout the wooded areas of Pembrokeshire including the more mature conifer plantations. Experience of some woodland plots suggests that three pairs per tetrad would be a reasonable assessment of average density, and hence the total population would be about 600 pairs.

They are periodically eruptive, with small groups being found wandering around the open coast during the autumn. This could be triggered by high productivity or a response to food shortage. The acorn crop failed in 1983 and Jays were widely eruptive in both Britain and on the continent.  They had enjoyed a successful breeding season in West Wales that year, and the combination of these factors resulted in many flocks wandering westwards, largely in October and early November (John and Roskell 1985). In 1983, 200 birds passed south over Martin’s Haven on 6 October and 127 coasted southwards at Strumble Head on 19 October.  Many smaller parties were seen moving along all the coasts and groups of up to 20 were frequently seen about the exposed coastal plains, where Jays are not normally found. Up to 38 reached Skomer and two were seen flying out to sea towards Ireland from Strumble Head — they were watched until lost to view, still heading steadily north-west.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

JOHN, A.W.G., and ROSKELL, J. 1985. Jay movements in autumn 1983. British Birds 78: 611—637.

More about the Jay in Pembrokeshire

Jay – 1980s winter

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident

The BTO winter atlas showed that Jays were present in most 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 11 birds.

It is possible that the highest numerical plots were due to a hangover from the Jay invasion of autumn 1983. 

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

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Jay – 1894

Garrulus glandarius – Resident; not common.

In a county with so few woods as Pembrokeshire this bird of the coppice would naturally be somewhat scarce, and in the woods where he occurs he is, unfortunately, the object of constant persecution at the hand of keepers. We had plenty of Jays around us at Stone Hall, and derived constant amusement from their clever mimicry of other birds. So cleverly did they copy the mating notes of our friends the Brown Owls, that we have frequently gone out on our lawn to look up into a tree expecting to see an Owl upon one of its branches, when an impudent Jay has fluttered out.

We took a young one out of a nest in the shrubbery one year, and brought it up in a cage, side by side with an accomplished Ring-necked Parrakeet (Palaornis iorquatus). The Jay soon learned all the Polly’s words, and would repeat them in the Polly’s ridiculous voice, to the great indignation of that bird, who for a long time sulked in silence in consequence.

One summer we had quite a plague of rats and field mice in our kitchen garden, and all our peas were being fast devoured. To destroy these pests we put poisoned pieces of bread about the garden, and, unfortunately, these were seen and carried off by the Jays, the result being that we found their dead bodies lying all over our grounds. After this we saw no Jays for several years. The survivors not only left us, but must have represented to their fellows that our covers were dangerous, and it was only after a long interval that confidence was restored, and any Jays returned to us.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Jay in Pembrokeshire

Jay

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident

Jay – 2003-07 breeding

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 60 31 Breeding probable 32 85 Breeding possible 108 96 No of tetrads occupied 200 (of 478) 212 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 41.8% 43.3% The Jay is a medium-sized bird which is pinkish-brown in appearance, with blue […]

Jay – 1994

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 60 Breeding probable 32 Breeding possible 108 No of tetrads occupied 200 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 41.8% Resident according to Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) but not numerous. Today, Jays breed throughout the wooded areas of Pembrokeshire including the more mature conifer plantations. […]

Jay – 1980s winter

Garrulus glandarius – YSGRECH Y COED – Breeding resident The BTO winter atlas showed that Jays were present in most 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 11 birds. It is possible that the highest […]

Jay – 1968-72 breeding

Red = breeding confirmed Orange = breeding probable Yellow = breeding possible More about the Jay in Pembrokeshire

British Jay – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

Jay – 1894

Species account from the 1894 Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands by the Rev. Murray Mathew