Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 4 (1900).djvu/171

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NOTES AND QUERIES.

143

AVES.

Early Appearance of Chiffchaff.—On Feb. 25th I noticed a Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus rufus) in a local farmyard. The bird was briskly catching flies, and appeared to be in good condition.—Wm. Delves, Jun. (Maynard's Green, Horeham Road, Sussex).

Great Tit nesting in active Bee-hive.—In the Chester Museum there is exhibited in a glass case a Blue Tit's nest in an empty bee-hive. A far stranger incident occurred last year at Ludlow. A Great Tit (Parus major) built a nest and laid twelve eggs in the midst of an active bee-hive. The bird went in and out through the same entrance-hole that was used by the Bees, and neither bird nor insects seemed to interfere with each other. The hive was about half-full of honeycomb, and the Bees hard at work the whole time. The eggs were taken on May 2nd by Mr. J. Palmer, Secretary of the county Bee-keepers' Association, who reported the circumstances to me.—H.E. Forrest (Bayston Hill, near Shrewsbury).

Nesting Habits of the Great Tit.—While thanking Mr. Tuck for his suggestion (ante, p. 82), I should like to say that I am aware that Parus major is sometimes in the habit of covering the eggs of an incomplete clutch with loose nest-materials. In these cases the nests are "apparently unfinished." Among the tenants of his nesting-boxes Mr. Tuck does not mention the Robin, which has used boxes here.—O.V. Aplin (Bloxham, Oxon).

Marsh-Harrier in Berkshire.—A Marsh-Harrier (Circus æruginosus), which, I believe, to be a three years' old cock, was shot Oct. 2nd, 1899, by my nephew Ralph Cooper; his wing was only just tipped, and in three weeks he could fly quite strong again. I keep him in a large wire aviary, where he can have a good thirty yards' fly when he wishes, and have one corner covered on the top, and the sides done up with ivy, where he roosts on the top of a large bavin. He is fed on Sparrows, Rats, and Rabbits.—T. Terry Cooper (Swallowfield, near Reading).

[This note was received through our correspondent Mr. George W. Bradshaw, who writes that the bird has also been seen and identified by Mr. H.M. Wallis, M.B.O.U., of Reading.—Ed.]

Nesting of the Hobby in Shropshire.—Last summer a pair of Hobbies (Falco subbuteo) nested near Ludlow, utilizing a Crow's nest several years old in the top of a large oak tree, but adding a little fresh lining of birch-twigs and bracken-stalks. Early in May the male was found dead near the tree, but the hen went away and quickly returned with a new mate. The first clutch of three eggs was taken July 1st, but it is believed that the birds bred again, as they remained in the neighbour-