• Claire Stott

‘Jack, jack!’

Wildlife photography can often be a very lonely occupation and one requiring vast amounts of patience. I have spent countless hours sitting alone (often in some very uncomfortable spots) just watching and waiting for that next close encounter or interesting piece of behaviour to occur. More often than not I am left disappointed as things don’t quite go according to plan.

Today was one such day and the harbour seemed all but deserted with not a single bird to be seen and nothing to break the silence but the gentle lapping of the ebb and flow of the tide.

I was just ready to give up and call it a day when a solitary jackdaw flew in and landed close by. This jackdaw was likely one of the resident harbour flock who I have spent many months observing and getting used to my presence, judging by it’s bold behaviour.

As it strode among the rocks on the shore the jackdaw interrupted the quiet with excitable chattering calls.

Unlike it’s corvid cousins with their harsh cawing sounds, the jackdaw has a very distinct sound. Often described as squeaky or metallic, the typical contact/flight calls are said to sound like ‘chyak-chyak’ or ‘jack, jack’.


These sounds are usually the jackdaws way of keeping in contact with each other but on this occasion, and in the absence of any other birds I couldn’t help but wonder if they were in fact directed at me.

Making eye contact…

It certainly appeared to be the case as the jackdaw came ever closer, observing me with curious head tilts and uttering more of those squeaky calls.

Perhaps the jackdaw was using his calls to demand for the food it knew was often concealed inside my camera bag ? (No such luck today) These birds are highly intelligent and will no doubt have learnt that I am a source of food from our many previous encounters.

Food please?

Whatever the reason for this noisy encounter, it was nevertheless a great opportunity for some rather charming portraits of one of my favourite birds.

Want to know more about the location where these photos were taken? Read here.

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#birdwatching #outdoors #aberystwyth #jackdaw #birds #birdbehaviour #birdphotography #crows #corvid #urbanbirds

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