Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/241

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BIRDS lection it afterwards passed. It proved to be a female. About the same time one was shot, as was stated, at Edge Hill, which may have been one of the same flock and was brought to Mr. G. Quatremayne of Stratford for preservation. With the latter specimen, which was a male, several others were shot, which were plucked and eaten. In the Zoologist (1873, p. 3801) there is a record of the appearance of the sand-grouse at Swin- fin near Tamworth. 145. Black Grouse. Tetrao tetrix, Linn. Was formerly not very rare at Sutton Cold- field. A pair were shot there in October, 1871. It is now probably extinct. 146. Red Grouse. Lagopus scoticus (Latham) Occurred formerly at Sutton Coldfield, but is no longer found there. 147. Pheasant. Phasianus co/cbicus, Linn. Occurs where preserved. 148. Partridge. Perdix cinerea, Latham. Its presence depends chiefly on its pro- tection. 149. Red-legged Partridge. Caccabis rufa (Linn.) Is rather local in its distribution, and does not appear to supersede the common part- ridge even under protection. 150. Quail. Coturnix communis, Bonnaterre. A summer visitor, but though not rare the quail cannot be considered as otherwise than uncommon. It has occurred in most parts of the county, though only sparingly. 151. Corn-Crake or Land-Rail. Crex praten- sis, Bechstein. A summer visitor whose presence is known by its loud raking note. That note, once so common in the meadows bordering the Avon and its tributaries, is now much less frequently heard. Formerly the corn-crakes were nu- merous enough in the meadows for their voices to be heard apparently in rivalry, and their nests were often mown out in the hay season. They were never so abundant in the cultivated fields, but now they are not often heard in either meadow or cornfield, and the nest is rarely seen. 152. Spotted Crake. Porzana maruetta (Leach) Though not absolutely rare in the county this species is by no means common. It is most frequent in the spring and autumn, but has occurred both in summer and mid- winter. In the summer of 1848 one was caught by a cat in an osier bed under the walls of Warwick Castle, and came at once into the hands of the present writer. In January, 1860, one was shot on the Avon where it divides the counties of Warwick and Gloucester, a few miles down stream from Stratford. It is stated to have nested in Sutton Park in 1880. 153. Water-Rail. Rallus aquattcus, Linn. A migratory bird in the county and com- mon throughout the winter, but unknown in the summer. 154. Moor-Hen. Gallinula ch/oropus (Linn.) A common resident which breeds freely in the county. If closely observed it will be seen retiring to roost with great punctual- ity towards nightfall into some bush or low tree, generally one overhanging the water of a river or pool, climbing up the branches which hang down into the water. The habit of ascending into trees even to a con- siderable height out of the way of danger is not uncommon with the moor-hen. When out shooting some years ago the present writer saw a moor-hen which was flushed by the dog fly directly up into the very top of a large oak, and there disappear from sight. Shortly afterwards a second was put up which was seen to drop directly into the old nest of a crow. A well directed shot at the bottom of the nest brought both the birds out in great haste, but apparently unhurt. The moor-hen will become very tame if not alarmed, and has been known to approach quite near to a dwelling and feed morning and evening with the poultry. 155. Coot. Fullca atra, Linn. Common on ornamental or protected waters. 156. Little Bustard. Otis tetrax, Linn. ' Once at Thickbroom near Tamworth.' Chase. 157. Stone-Curlew. (Edicnemus scolopax (S. G. Gmelin) Two specimens of this bird which were killed in the valley of the Avon are in the possession of the writer. One was taken at Wilmcote near Stratford on 19 October, 1847, an d tne other shot on i January, 1853, on the border between the counties of War- wick and Gloucester near Weston-on-Avon. [Dotterel. Eudromias morinellus (Linn.) Has occurred at Perry Barr near Birming- ham in 1882, and on Cannock Chace in 1875.] 203