Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 4 (1900).djvu/416

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

382

THE ZOOLOGIST.

habit of the Sparrow-Hawk has been noticed elsewhere.—A.H. Meiklejohn (Highworth, Ashford, Kent).

Nesting of the Hobby in Shropshire.—In 'The Zoologist' for March last (ante, p. 143), I noted that the Hobby (Falco subbuteo) nested in 1899 near Ludlow. My friend Mr. J. Palmer, who originally found the nest, has just informed me that the pair have returned this year, and laid again in the identical spot. The eggs were taken June 30th, but, as last year, they have laid again, and are being allowed to rear the brood. The Hobby is known to return year after year to the same nest, but the habit is curious, inasmuch as it does not build a nest for itself. In this case the nest is an old Crow's. Another pair of Hobbies are haunting the vicinity, and a male was shot five miles away on July 3rd. These three are probably the young reared there last year. I trust they may be spared.—H.E. Forrest (Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury).

Curlew Nesting in Surrey.—I have just heard of a Curlew's nest (Numenius arquata) being found in the spring of 1896 on Chobham Common, about twenty-eight miles from London, two eggs from which are now in the possession of a Mr. Tice. Has the Curlew ever been known to nest in Surrey before? I have seen the two eggs, and they are certainly those of a Curlew.—Spencer H. Le Marchant (Chobham Place, Woking).

[In Mr. Bucknill's 'Birds of Surrey' it is stated that in 1893, "during the whole of the summer, a pair were noticed near Frensham, which probably had a nest on the moor (Streatfield in lit.)."—Ed.]

Variations in the Notes and Songs of Birds in different Districts.—The above subject is one which seems to have been noticed very little by ornithologists; in fact, I never remember seeing more than one reference at all to it. If this variation was slight, it would be possible for it not to have been noticed by naturalists; but this is not so, the differences being so marked that I cannot believe it has escaped the notice of those who know all the notes and the song of all birds they have come in contact with. It does not appear to me to be a difference in the way the song is put together, but rather that the note is in a different key, and therefore the first time you hear it you are apt to be misled into believing it is entirely a different bird. If it were only in the resident bird that this variation existed, it might be explained by the climate; but this is not so, the differences being much more marked in the summer migrants than in the more resident species. Then, again, it does not exist in all birds, and the explanation of it puzzles me. Taking the two districts that I am best acquainted with—that is to say, Worcestershire and Co. Donegal—I will give the difference as it appears to me. The notes and songs of all birds in which this variation exists are in a lower key in Donegal than Worcester-