Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/231

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BIRDS or opening, which may be either in a build- ing or old tree. During a very long period of observation the present writer has only discovered three nests. 38. Pied Wagtail. Motadlla lugubris, Tem- minck. As a resident bird the pied wagtail is not abundant, though common, and the nest is less frequently seen than formerly. The flights, chiefly of young birds, which repair to the Avon and other streams are fewer in number and smaller. The osier beds near the castle at Warwick used formerly to be a favourite roosting place with this bird. In the autumn the number is materially increased by arrivals which probably pass on, as they are not often seen in mid-winter, though a few frequent the sheepfolds, and sometimes suffer severely from the wool and earth which tightly clogs their toes. 39. White Wagtail. Motadlla alba, Linn. As a Warwickshire bird the record was for some time confined to a single occur- rence ; that of an adult male which was seen by the writer feeding on the mud in a ditch in close proximity to the bridge over the Avon at Stratford. The beautiful pearly grey of the back will at once distinguish this species from the pied wagtail. Mr. Steele Elliott reports a pair which appeared in the park at Sutton Cold field on 8 May, 1897, and it may be confidently expected to appear in other localities in the county. 40. Grey Wagtail. Motadlla mefanope, Pallas. Except as an autumn visitor this species is rare in the county, and has never been re- corded as breeding in it, and only once has it come under the notice of the present writer in full summer plumage. In the early part of the summer of 1898 Mr. C. C. Jones of Loxley Hall shot one with a full black throat near the village of Loxley, which is now in his collection. In the district around Bir- mingham it has been observed in summer dress, and Mr. Chase has suggested the proba- bility of its sometimes breeding there. The sides of streams are the haunts of the grey wagtail, and it is most frequently seen just when the various water-plants have rotted down and lie in masses in the water. On these it loves to run and flit. [Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail. Motadlla flava, Linn. A bird of this species was shot at Welford- on-Avon in the county of Gloucester only two hundred yards from the Avon where it divides that county from Warwickshire.] 41. Yellow Wagtail. Motadlla rait (Bona- parte) An abundant bird all through the sum- mer, breeding freely in cultivated fields and meadows, and generally distributed in the county. 42. Tree-Pipit. Anthus trivia/is (Linn.) Common and generally distributed in the county all through the summer, and is to be seen chiefly in meadows and pastures. 43. Meadow-Pipit. Anthus pratensis (Linn.) A common resident which breeds in the county and is met with in sheepfolds in the winter, and also in meadows which have re- cently been flooded. In the latter places it seems to find abundance of food left by the receding water. 44. Rock-Pipit. Anthus obscurus (Latham) This bird appears occasionally on the Avon, though but rarely. Some years ago several were shot near Warwick and brought to John Spicer of that town for preservation, some of which are in the writer's collection. As it is known to frequent the broad water of the Severn its appearance on the Avon might be expected more frequently. 45. Golden Oriole. Oriolus ga/bu/a, Linn. A good many years since two golden orioles, probably a pair, were shot on the estate of Sir Robert Peel near Tamworth, and brought to John Spicer of Warwick for preservation. There is also a record in the Zoologist in 1871 of the occurrence of a bird of this species at Barton near Tamworth. About twenty years ago a fine male was shot at Ilming- ton near the boundary of Warwickshire and brought to Mr. G. Quatremayne of Strat- ford, in whose hands it remained for some time and was seen by the present writer. The last named bird was repeatedly seen in and near the village of Ilmington before being shot. 46. Great Grey Shrike. Lanius excubitor, Linn. The present, though a rare bird, has too frequently appeared in the county to render a close enumeration of the instances necessary. Specimens were years ago brought to John Spicer of Warwick for preservation, and others were subsequently received by H. Coombs of Stratford-on-Avon, namely in the winter of 1844-5 ar >d 1846-7. More recently Mr. Hunt of Alcester has received specimens which were shot in the county. One which was taken near Stratford in the winter of 1 844-5 was secured in the following manner. 193