Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/243

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BIRDS 176. Common Curlew. Numenius arquata (Linn.) An occasional winter visitor only, appar- ently halting for a time on its way across the country. Its well known whistle may not infrequently be heard in the night. 177. Black Tern. Hydrochelidon nigra (Linn.) An uncertain though not very rare visitor to the streams of the county. On several occasions adult birds have been met with in the spring on the Avon at Warwick, Strat- ford, and Bidford, and on the Arrow at Alcester. In the autumn immature birds sometimes appear. It is reported to be not infrequent in the north part of the county in the spring and autumn. 178. White-winged Black Tern. Hydro- chelidon leucoptera (Schinz) One of these birds was shot while flying over the Avon near Welford on 8 May, 1884. The stream at that place divides the counties of Warwick and Gloucester. The specimen was in adult plumage, but the sex could not be determined. 179. Gull-billed Tern. Sterna ang/ica, Mon- tagu. A bird of this species was shot flying over the reservoir at Wormleighton on 24 April, 1876, and brought to Mr. Peter Spicer for preservation. From Mr. T. Ground I learn that a gull-billed tern occurred at Coleshill in 1899. 1 80. Sandwich Tern. Sterna cantiaca, Gmelin. A sandwich tern was shot at Hampton in Arden in April, 1876, and brought to Mr. Peter Spicer of Leamington. Mr. Chase records this as an occasional autumn visitor, and says that it has occurred at Castle Brom- wich. 1 8 1. Common Tern. Sterna Jluviati/is, Naumann. This is by no means a common bird in the county, but has often been confounded with the arctic tern, which is less rare on the spring migration. A pair of common terns in adult plumage were shot together over the Avon near Luddington on 18 August, 1841. Since that date a few others have appeared. Mr. Chase however speaks of it as being often observed around the city of Birming- ham during spring and autumn migration. 182. Arctic Tern. Sterna macrura, Naumann. More common than the last species in the spring and autumn migration. The great flights which appeared on the Severn and Avon in May, 1842, extended up the latter river to its source. Most of the specimens brought to the bird stuffers in the autumn have been immature birds. 183. Little Tern. Sterna minuta, Linn. A rare straggler on our streams, but it has been shot on the Avon as high up as War- wick. 184. Sabine's Gull. Xema sabinii (J. Sabine) Mr. Chase says, ' Once occurred near Coles- hill in October, 1883.' 185. Little Gull. Larus minutus, Pallas. A specimen of this small gull was shot while flying over the Avon near Bidford and brought to Stratford for preservation, where the writer saw and examined it. The plum- age was that of an immature bird. 1 86. Brown-headed Gull. Larus ridibundus, Linn. The distance of this county from the sea, and the absence of a river estuary, must materially influence the appearance of many marine birds such as the gulls, and accord- ingly the records of their appearance are very meagre, and like all the others the present species is only known as a straggler, though immature examples are not of rare appearance in the autumn. 187. Common Gull. Larus canus, Linn. An occasional wanderer only, but some- times staying in the open fields and feeding on earthworms. 1 88. Herring-Gull. Larus argentatus, Gmelin. Like the last only an uncertain visitor, though adult as well as immature birds have been observed. 189. Lesser Black-backed Gull. Larus fuscus, Linn. An uncommon straggler, which has how- ever been observed at many places in the county, including the north, as noticed by Mr. Chase. 190. Great Black-backed Gull. Larus marinus, Linn. Of rare occurrence. It seldom makes a halt in in its flight across this county. An example is reported to have been taken at Shustoke. [Pomatorhine Skua. Stercorarius pomator- hinus (Temminck) Reported by Mr. Chase as very rare in the Birmingham district.] 205