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I could easily have overlooked this feather if, at the very moment I glanced down, the sun hadn’t shone through a fleeting break in the dense cloud cover and highlighted the tiny splodge of bright blue on one side below the white.

210201 jay feather (1)

Once I’d picked up the feather and looked closer, I also noticed the faint blue mottling at the other end of the white patch. That blue is an indisputable identification pointer – this is from a Jay, it’s one of the less vibrant and well marked of its wing feathers.