Jays are normally shy birds. We sometimes see one but more often hear them, shrieking at each other. They’re resident here, as they are in the UK, but there seem to be more of them here. Perhaps we see more than we think do as they are easy to mistake for hoopoes, also resident in Southern Spain. The hoopoes are smaller but in flight the flash of black and white wings can be confused with a jay. We never see hoopoes near the house though. They seem to prefer the olive groves, and rather sweetly we always see them in pairs shuffling along the earth searching for insects. Standing at the kitchen window, waiting for the kettle to boil, it is definitely a jay I see fly from the almond tree by the door to the big walnut tree halfway down the hillside. The flash of blue on his wing reminds me that the jay is brother to the magpie, which though supposedly resident in Spain we have never seen here.
Its chilly today, forecast to be 13°. There’s no wind but it’s still too cold to eat our lunch outside. We sit in the sun for half an hour, shelling walnuts. It’s a satisfying job and we soon work up an appetite. It feels like a soup day so I make our store cupboard standby, lentil soup, which we eat with some of Mercadona’s excellent walnut bread.
5 to remember
la sopa – soup
tímido/a – shy
el pájaro – bird
ser residente – to be resident [in a country]
el pan de nuez – walnut bread