Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/229

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BIRDS 17. Garden- Warbler. Sylvia hortensis (Bech- stein) Not so often seen as the blackcap, but nevertheless fairly common in the county. Its song is a low, sweet, and continuous warble, having a conversational tone, and the bird while uttering it is very earnest and gesticulating. 1 8. Goldcrest. Regulus cristatus, K. L. Koch. A resident bird in Warwickshire which breeds in many localities, though not abun- dantly. The writer has seen a nest which was suspended from the branch of a yew tree in a garden at the back of a house in High Street, Warwick, the contents of which were visible from an upper window. That garden was however only separated from the wooded grounds of the castle by a back lane and a high wall. In the great Lebanon cedars at the castle the writer has many times seen this little bird. 19. Firecrest. Regulus ignicapillus (Brehm) Although this bird has undoubtedly oc- curred in Warwickshire no localities or dates can be recorded. A few specimens killed at no great distance from Warwick were brought to John Spicer of that town for preservation, one of which, a male, was examined by the present writer when freshly mounted. 20. Chiffchaff. Phylloscopus rufus (Bechstein) A very early summer migrant, but though common not very abundant. It is also an early breeder, the nest being sometimes con- structed before its congeners, the willow- warbler and the wood-warbler, have made their appearance. It is generally placed on or near the ground, but the writer has quite recently seen one in a thick mass of ivy on the top of a wall eight feet from the ground. 21. Willow- Warbler. Phylloscopus trochilus (Linn.) This bird so closely resembles the chiffchaff as to be with difficulty distinguished from it. There is however a wide difference in the song and in the coloration of the eggs. It is common over the greater part of the county. 22. Wood- Warbler. Phylloscopus sibilatrix (Bechstein) A much rarer bird in Warwickshire than its allies, the chiffchaff and willow-warbler, but easily distinguished from them by its somewhat greater size, and by its relatively longer wings. It is a frequenter of trees and coppices, and its peculiar trill, for it hardly merits the name of song, may be sometimes heard from the very top of a tall tree. Its domed nest, always on or near the ground, is at once recognizable by its lining of horse- hair. 23. Reed - Warbler. Acrocephalus streperus (Vieillot) A noisy little summer migrant found by all the streams in the county where there are reeds. It will sometimes frequent osier beds, and the present writer has heard it and seen its nest in the osiers almost immediately under the walls of Warwick Castle. The nest is always suspended between three or four reeds or osiers, and occasionally between the stems of the willow herb, but reeds are always pre- ferred. 24. Marsh-Warbler. Acrocephalus palustris (Bechstein) The writer has heard the warble of this sweet songster in the neighbourhood of Strat- ford-on-Avon more than once, and is fully assured of its occurrence in Warwickshire, but cannot speak of its distribution in the county. 25. Sedge- Warbler. Acrocephalus phragmitis (Bechstein) To be seen in almost every hedge in most parts of the county. 26. Grasshopper-Warbler. Locustella neevia (Boddaert) Although by no means a rare bird it is not abundant, and appears to be rather local even within the limits of the county. In the north of Warwickshire it is less abun- dent than elsewhere, and is reported by Mr. Chase to be far from common around Bir- mingham. In the valley of the Avon its peculiar trill may be often heard in fields of wheat and barley. In these places it breeds, the nest being placed on the ground and well concealed beneath the tangled corn. 27. Hedge - Sparrow. Accentor modularis (Linn.) Common, resident, and generally dis- tributed. 28. Alpine Accentor. Accentor collaris (Sco- poli) An alpine accentor which was shot in proximity to the village of Ettington near Stratford-on-Avon a few years since may have been killed in Warwickshire, for Etting- ton is almost on the line of division between the counties of Warwick and Worcester. 191