Glen Quey is a delightful spot nestled in the Ochils between Glendevon and Dollar, and with the newly planted native trees that proliferate the area, it is also a wonderful place for wildlife.

On my most recent visit, I glimpsed jays scouring the woodlands for nuts and seeds, while ravens soared overhead.

Jays are colourful birds, with their soft-pink upperparts combined with startling azure wing flashes, but it is unusual ever to get close enough to one to appreciate this beauty, for they are tremendously shy creatures.

For such a stunning bird, the jay really has the most awful call. It is not even worth trying to find some redeeming quality in the sharp strident hissing screech that conjures an image of an incredibly bad-tempered creature that likes nothing better than to spend its time bickering and scolding.

But rather than being in a perpetual state of strangled torment, it’s simply a case of nature not endowing jays with a more musical repertoire.

In jay-speak these raucous calls are in all likelihood an indication of happy birds collecting autumn’s rich harvest from the forest floor.

Jays are great hoarders and will bury nuts and seeds over considerable distances. It is thought that the jay takes careful note of obvious landmarks such as bushes and boulders near where each acorn is stored so that they can be found later in winter when food is less abundant.

However, the sheer number of seeds involved means that a reasonable proportion will never be retrieved, and through its actions, the bird plays an important role in the spread of oak and other trees to new areas.

Out on the reservoir at Glen Quey, a pair of goldeneye ducks bobbed on the water.

As I brought a drake into focus through my binoculars, I was immediately struck by his bright yellow eyes which caught the sunlight in a most remarkable way.

It was almost as if the eyes were powered by electricity, their glowing orbs shining out like a torch beam.

These ducks certainly have a most appropriate name and those gleaming eyes an intensity that lingers long in the mind.