BIRD LIFE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
second week which as a rule brings the first Swallow, skimming past on light and graceful wing and looking all steel-blue in the April sunshine, which has filled the meads with marsh-marigolds and brought a crowd of bees to the wallflowers. The flight of the swallow is so entirely different from that of any of our resident birds that with the merest glimpse one recognises the new-comer. For some days previously the Sand Martin, shorter winged and mouse-coloured, has been hawking gnats over the surface of lake and river. With the Swallow comes the Willow Wren. Its soft, liquid, musical chime is heard from the orchard, when the grass begins to grow long and sends up the first flower-spikes or bennets. Now, too, in the meadows, running about amongst the grazing cattle, is seen the Yellow Wagtail, not to be confused with the so-called Grey Wagtail which has haunted brooks and stream-sides through the winter, though the latter, unfortunately for clearness of nomenclature, also shows a good deal of yellow. But there is no mistaking the rich canary-yellow breast of the new arrival.
By the middle of the month the Nightingale should be heard in its favourite haunts, not as yet in concert form, but merely, as it were, running over the opening bars. All the warblers, if the weather is Cold when they arrive, remain silent and are little seen. It is noticeable that each pair of nightingales keeps through-