Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 5 (1901).djvu/95

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NOTES AND QUERIES.

71

that the majority of the specimens had been so badly attacked by moths and mould that it was desirable to have the greater part of them destroyed. Among the number of those preserved was a very fair specimen of Ardea garzetta, and pasted on the back of the case which contained it was a label, turned yellow by age, bearing the following inscription:—"Egret. Male. Shot March, 1826, near Paul Humberside, Yorkshire." All this is quite clear, but there is no trace of initials or name of the owner or collector. The record is, however, intact and indisputable. It only remains for me to add my apology for having kept ornithologists so long in ignorance of such an interesting fact. Besides the foregoing, there were also the following species, bearing labels in the same handwriting: —

Machetes pugnax, Linn.—"Ruff... Yorkshire," ... is all that I can make out. These are two specimens of each sex in breeding plumage. One of the males has a dark purplish ruff finely vermiculated with buff-white; the other is cream-coloured, sparingly marked with isolated blackish vermiculations.

Himantopus candidus, Bon.—Labelled "Long-legged Plover..... Linconshire." .... All the rest is illegible.

Milvus ictinus, Sav.—"Kite. Female. Caught in a trap, June, 1824, Eglinton Wood, near Doncaster."

Perhaps it may be well to add that the first named species has been remounted, but before I did this I made a photograph of the specimen as it was originally stuffed.—Robt. Newstead (Grosvenor Museum, Chester).

Bittern in Oxfordshire.—A specimen of the Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) was brought to me for identification on Jan. 26th, having been shot on that date near Ridge's Weir, on the Thames, by a gamekeeper in the employ of a local gentleman. Though the bird was shot on the Oxfordshire side of the stream, the ornithologists of Berkshire would, I should imagine, be perfectly justified in claiming it as well, seeing that the two counties are there merely divided by the Thames. One of the best authorities on the Birds of Oxfordshire informs me that the Bittern must now be regarded as a rare winter visitor to Oxfordshire. Last year he heard of four specimens having occurred in the county. The year 1900 was, he states, remarkable all over the kingdom for the number of Bitterns which were either shot or seen.—W.H. Warner (Fyfield, near Abingdon).

The Nesting Habits of Moor-hens.—I have been much interested in the article on Moor-hens by your contributor, Mr. Oliver G. Pike (ante, p. 17); and, since he asks if this habit of building nests as landing stages for the young has been observed by other correspondents, I may mention that I have frequently observed it, and that a note to that effect was published in the 'Avicultural Magazine' for January, 1898 (vol. iv. p. 52).