Ruth Chesters's picture

Are Jays increasing in numbers?

Up until about a month ago I had only ever seen 1 Jay that I can recall in my 30 odd years of life but since then I have seen 4!

I initially saw 1 flying low along a hedgerow and a few days later I saw a pair in a different location but again flying low along a hedgerow. This morning I have seen another but in the same location I saw the pair so I'm thinking it is likely to be one of the pair seen earlier.

Are they increasing in numbers or have I just been extremely fortunate to get so many sightings in such a short period?



ophrys's picture


It's just the time of year. Jays are very mobile in Autumn and numbers are often seen well away from what you would consider typical Jay habitat. The Lower Derwent Valley, local to me, is a wetland area with hedgerows but little woodland, yet they always pass over at this time of year in some numbers.


My Flickr photos...

DavidHowdon's picture


See (NB the two full stops are part of the URL) for a brief summary of population trends in Jay.

james spencer's picture


There is an eruptive movement of Jays at the moment due to a Europe wide failure of the acorn crop. Birds are being seen in all sorts of places they are normally absent. Most birds are of british origin but there is a suggestion that some maybe from the continent. There was an incredible 668 over Hunstanton the other day.

kiteyw's picture


I have had 2 or 3 in my garden recently, never had them before. Concur with the eruption as well, as it was mentioned on Autumnwatch.


Simon Walker's picture

More than normal here too

In Herts/Beds, though looking at the acorn situation it looks to me like the gall wasps that caused the problem have been very active here as well as on the Continent. I've seen a couple of Jays going for sweet chestnuts.

Numbers seem to have dropped off a little in the last couple of weeks though. That's my impression, anyway - it could be wrong.