Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 5 (1901).djvu/96

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72

THE ZOOLOGIST

There is also an interesting article on the habits of Moor-hens from the pen of Mr. C. L. Hett in the same journal for December, 1897 (vol. iv. p. 27), in which Mr. Hett expresses the opinion that some of these nests are built by the young themselves.—J. Lewis Bonhote (Ditton Hall, Fen Ditton, Cambridge).

Red-necked Phalarope in Lincolnshire.—Though perhaps not so rare on the autumn passage as is generally supposed, the occurrence of the Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus hyperboreus) seems worth placing on record. During the last week of October, 1900, one of these birds was sent to me by a local Plover-catcher which had just been killed at North Cotes. The same man told me that he had caught a similar bird a few days previously, but had allowed it to spoil.—G.H. Caton Haigh (Aber-iâ, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, North Wales).

The Names of British Birds.—Mr. H.A. Macpherson, in his note (Zool. 1900, p. 558), joins issue with me on the derivation of Fulmar, and contends that the word has nothing to do with Foumart or Foulmart. In this, I venture to suggest, he is not quite correct. The English used the word originally (in the form of Foul Mart) to designate the Polecat, on account of the strong smell for which that mammal is notorious. The word was then borrowed by the Gaels of Scotland, and in the form of Fulmair was, for the same reason, bestowed on the Petrel in question. The modern English, in their turn, adopted the Gaelic name, by which the bird is now universally recognised. I think Mr. Macpherson will find, on reference to any trustworthy authority, that I am correct in stating that the word is purely English, and it is through that language that it finds a place in the Gaelic vocabulary. Still, if he can trace the word back to the "purely Gaelic sources" he mentions, I am willing to admit myself in error. A propos of Mr. Aplin's query as to Pie having some reference to the pied plumage of the Magpie and other birds, a question of no little interest is raised. It can, however, be easily understood that Pie, though really imitative of the bird's cry, came to be significant of black and white plumage owing to its association with the Magpie. If, on the other hand, Mr. Aplin contends that Picus (with which Pie is akin) has some connection with pictus, "painted," his suggestion is probably the correct one. Mr. Aplin also calls attention to the ch in Pochard being hard, and cites Poker as another name for the bird. This very fact, instead of making the connection between Pochard and Poacher slighter, in reality considerably strengthens it, since poach has an intimate relation to the word poke (to thrust). As to the guille in Guillemot, there is no manner of doubt that it is the same word as gull. The French had simply adapted the Breton (Celtic) form gwelan, and had added, by way of explanation, their