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Animals

Country diary: mighty oaks have sprung from the work of the lively jay

Talsarnau, Gwynedd: This colourful bird in collecting and hiding acorns is surely responsible for large tracts of oakwood throughout Britain

The rackety magpie family has moved home, from the ivy bush to a tall cypress with a dying ash tree beside it. I can see the convenience of this. The ash branches are perfect lookout posts to all quarters. The gloomy depths of the cypress provide suitable roosts for the entire magpie clan. But its established occupants are none too pleased. Collared doves grumble out their grievances daylong. The far more startling protests of the jays reach my ears from wherever my feet have taken me around the village.

Related: Country diary: magpies are not to be seen in black and white terms

Related: Country diary: colourful jays with electrifying chat

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