BIRDS 98. Hen-Harrier. Circus cyaneus (Linn.) Formerly not rare but now almost unknown in the county. An adult male shot near Alces- ter in 1850 is now in the writer's collection, and there is one in the Worcester Museum in similar plumage from the same locality. These are probably the ones referred to by Mr. Chase in his list of the birds of the dis- trict around Birmingham, dated 1886. The latest record is of one, a female, shot in the eighties on the estate of Mr. J. R. West, near Stratford-on-Avon, and brought to Mr. G. Quatremayne of that town for preserva- tion. more recently, namely in 1897, a bird of this species was killed at Ragley near Alcester. It has been twice noted at Coleshill as stated by Mr. Chase. I O2. White-tailed Eagle. Halia'etus albicilla (Linn.) An immature and very spotted example of this bird was trapped at a place called Knaven- hill, on the estate of Mr. J. R. West, a few miles south-east of Stratford-on-Avon, on 22 November, 1879, and is now preserved in the mansion at Alscot. A second was seen at the same time which was not taken. 99. Montagu's Harrier. Circus cineraceus 103. Sparrow-Hawk. Accipiter nisus (Linn.) (Montagu) An adult male was shot at Sutton Coldfield in the winter of 1 839-40 and brought to John Spicer of Warwick, where it was seen by the present writer and secured for his collection. It is an unusually dark-coloured example. Sutton Coldfield in former times, when less frequented than at present, was a locality for many rare species of birds. 100. Buzzard. Buteo vu/garis, Leach. The buzzard can only now be admitted into the Warwickshire list as a straggler, al- though even formerly it was not very rare. The Rev. W. T. Bree, advanced in years thirty or forty years ago, spoke of the nesting of the buzzard at Allesley near Coventry ; and an old keeper remembered taking the eggs in a wild wooded place known as Snitterfield Bushes, between Warwick and Stratford-on- Avon. Waverley Wood near Stonleigh was also at one time a haunt of the buzzard, as were the woods near Alcester, on the estates of the Marquis of Hertford and the Throckmorton family. The most recent oc- currences of the buzzard were in 1871, when one was shot at Ilmington, and in 1877 when one was trapped at Bishopton near Stratford- on-Avon. The last on record was trapped in December, 1887, at Ragley, the seat of the Marquis of Hertford. Mr. Chase mentions two localities where the buzzard had been observed, Alcester and Sutton Coldfield. 1 01. Rough-legged Buzzard. Buteo lagopus (Gmelin) There are several instances on record of the appearance of this bird in the county. In the autumn of 1845 one was taken at Edstone near Stratford-on-Avon ; one at Charlcote in the spring of 1881 ; and a third at Oldpark, Warwick, in March, 1882. In the early part of the winter of 1891 one was shot at Ettington near Stratford ; and A resident species, which though still com- mon is by no means abundant. An old nest of a crow or magpie, or even of a wood- pigeon, is almost always chosen as a foundation for its nest, and in every instance which has come within the observation of the writer there has been a complete superstructure added by the hawk. 104. Kite. Milvus ictinus, Savigny. The late veteran Warwickshire ornitholo- gist, the Rev. W. T. Bree of Allesley, many years ago informed the writer that he re- membered the kite nesting in some tall elms near Allesley, but that it had long before that time ceased to do so, and was no longer even seen. In the autumn of 1848 a kite was taken on the estate of Lord Leigh at Ston- leigh Abbey, which is now in the Warwick Museum. In the following year another was shot near the same spot, which coming into the hands of John Spicer of Warwick passed into the collection of the present writer. A later record is that of one killed at Alscot, the residence of Mr. J. R. West, on 1 6 Feb- ruary, 1884. That the kite 'has occurred near Tamworth,' on the authority of Mr. Chase, is the only traceable record of this bird in the north of the county. 105. Honey-Buzzard. Perms apivorus(L'mn.) In the Warwick Museum are six specimens of the honey-buzzard, all taken in the county. According to the statements of the keeper on the estate of Lord Leigh at Stonleigh one pair of these was shot in Bericot Wood. A second pair was shot while engaged in building a nest in Waverley Wood on the same estate, on 12 June, 1841. The two pairs above mentioned have been most care- fully examined by the writer, but owing to the absence of accurate labels neither the pairs nor the sexes can be determined. There is a notice of them by Mr. J. P. Wilmot 199
Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/237
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.