Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/239

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BIRDS preserved is the main cause of the destruction of the heronries. 115. Little Egret. Ardea garzetta, Linn. This is recognized as a Warwickshire bird on the authority of Mr. W. C. Cristie, who in the ninth volume of the Magazine of Natural History (1836), records the occurrence of one which was shot at Sutton Coldfield. Three specimens are indeed mentioned in that communication as having been shot there. To that statement I may now add that all three were taken at different, but not widely separated times to John Spicer of Warwick for preservation, where they were seen by Dr. Lloyd of Warwick, who was then interested in the formation of the museum there, and wished to secure them for the collection. He how- ever failed to do so, and subsequent inquiries made by him in conjunction with the present writer as to their whereabouts were without result. 1 1 6. Little Bittern. Ardetta minuta (Linn.) An immature bird of this species was shot between Warwick and Stratford some years since and brought to the latter town for pre- servation, where it was seen by the writer. There is also a notice in the ninth volume of the Magazine of Natural History (1836) of one which was shot at Sutton Coldfield. 117. Bittern. Botaurus stellarh (Linn.) A rare visitor to the Avon and other rivers, but formerly much more common, especially in severe winters. A considerable number have been noted from time to time at Sutton Coldfield and recorded by Mr. Chase and Mr. Steele Elliott. 1 1 8. Grey Lag-Goose. Anser cinereus, Meyer. Formerly an occasional visitor, but now unknown to the county. 119. White-fronted Goose. Anser albifrons (Scopoli) A straggler only to the county. 1 2O. Bean-Goose. Anser segetum (Gmelin) Formerly when flights of wild geese periodi- cally passed over from east to west, or the reverse, single birds not infrequently dropped out of the flights and alighted, generally in the middle of some large field, and after a rest renewed their journey. Individuals of this species were most frequently known to have done so. 121. Pink-footed Goose. Anser brachrhyn- cbus, Baillon. Like the last named this species was much more common formerly than at the present time. It must be now regarded as of very rare occurrence in the county. 122. Barnacle - Goose. Bernicla leucopsis (Bechstein) Of very uncertain appearance, indeed a mere straggler. 123. Brent Goose. Bernicla brenta (Pallas) Like the last of very uncertain occurrence, but has been noted at several localities in the county. The Canada Goose has been shot several times in Warwickshire, once on the large pool at Chesterton on the estate of Lord Willoughby de Broke. The Egyptian Goose has also been obtained, but neither has any substantial claim to a place amongst British birds. 124. Whooper Swan. Cygnus musicus, Bech- stein. Occasionally small flights of this bird have appeared on the Avon in severe winters, though very rarely. In the winter of 1894-5 six or seven frequented that river near Bid- ford for more than a week. 125. Common Sheld-Duck. Tadorna cornuta (S. G. Gmelin) Appears only as a straggler, and most of the examples examined have proved to be immature. Mr. Chase however says 'a magnificent male was shot at Hawksbury near Coventry in 1 88 1.' [Ruddy Sheld-Duck. Tadorna casarca (Linn.) Mr. Chase mentions two occurrences of this bird in the Birmingham district, namely at Neckells and at Yardley Wood, but sug- gests that they were escaped birds.] 126. Mallard or Wild Duck. Anas boscas, Linn. Resident and breeding where protected. [Gadwall. Anas strepera, Linn. Very rare, and doubtfully a Warwickshire bird. One was met with at Lichfield in December, 1881.] 127. Shoveler. Spatula clypeata (Linn.) An uncertain winter visitor, but single birds sometimes appear on the Avon and the other streams. One was shot at Sutton Coldfield in 1867. 128. Pintail. Dafila acuta (Linn.) An occasional winter visitor. 201 26