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clear, and very different from the muddy tint of the egg of the Reed Warbler. The female sits daily for some hours; but the male takes his turn. Incubation lasts thirteen days.” It would be extremely satisfactory to establish the fact of the regular migration to this country in spring of the Marsh Warbler; and it is to be hoped that ornithologists in all parts of the kingdom will not omit to investigate the subject,
and record their observations.
THE GREAT REED WARBLER.
OT only has this fine species visited England on several occasions, but in a few instances it has been found nesting here. It has, therefore, a good claim to be introduced into the present sketch. Specimens of the bird
have been obtained, oncé in Northumberland, and three or four times in Kent," and the eggs have been taken in Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire.” The reader has only to picture to himself a bird like the Reed Wren, but twice its size, and he will have an idea of the appearance of the Great Reed Warbler. Nor does the resemblance end here. It makes a nest just like the Reed Wren, but much larger, and lays eggs similarly coloured, but larger. It is a fine species, and its loud and varied notes, when once heard, can never be forgotten. Those who have had opportunities, such as I have enjoyed, on the opposite shores of Holland, of listening to this bird will regret with me that its visits to England are not more frequent. It is possible, as suggested by Mr. Hancock in the earliest notice of its occurrence here,” that it may be a regular summer visitant to our island; but its song is so loud and so remarkable, that
1. Cf. Yarrell, “Hist. Brit. Birds,” vol. i. pp. 300, 301. * Cf. “Ibis,” 1865, p. 24. * “Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist,” 1847, p. 135.
any naturalist. The species is tolerably well dispersed throughout Europe, and according to Mr. Yarrell has been found as far eastward as Bengal, Japan, and Borneo. The Eastern bird, however, would appear to be the Salicaria turdoides orientalis of the “Fauna Japonica,” and distinct from the European species. See Captain Blakiston on the Ornithology of Northern Japan, “Ibis,” 1862, p. 317; Mr. Swinhoe on Formosan Ornithology, “Ibis,” 1863, p. 305; and the Rev. H. B. Tristram, “Ibis,” 1867, p. 78, on the Ornithology of Palestine, where both forms occur.
THE RUFO US WARBLER.
ROM its peculiar coloration this bird is not likely to be confounded with any other species. Apart from the rufous tint of the upper portion of the plumage which has
suggested its English name, the tail is totally unlike that of any of the river warblers; for, instead of being of a uniform brown, it has a broad band of black across both webs of all the feathers (except the two centre ones) towards their extremities, which black band is terminated by white. This is very conspicuous as the bird moves it up and down, and could not fail to attract the notice of anyone who has paid attention to birds. It does not appear, however, that this species has been identified in this country with certainty more than twice, although it may possibly have occurred oftener. A specimen shot at Plumpton Bosthill, near Brighton, in September, 1854, was recorded by Mr. Borrer in the “Zoologist” for that year (p. 451 1), and was figured by Mr. Yarrell in the third edition of his “History of British Birds” (i. p. 314). A second, obtained at Start Point, Devonshire, in September, 1859, was noticed by Mr. Llewellyn in the “Annals and Magazine of Nat. History,” 1859 (iv. p. 399), and in the “Ibis,” 1860 (p. 103). It is possible that this may be the Red-tailed Warbler (Sylvia erythaca), six specimens of which are stated to have been taken near Plymouth, and to have occurred there for the first time in Britain." From a want of acquaintance with its habits, this bird has been erroneously called the Rufous Sedge Warbler. It is never found in the neighbourhood of sedge, but on the driest ground, amidst scrub and thick underwood. In fact, as regards structure and habits, it differs in so many respects from the river warblers that it has been generally separated from them, and, except for convenience, ought not to be included in the present sketch. Its real home seems to be North Africa and Palestine; but it is not uncommon in some parts of Southern Europe, and is found (accidentally only) as far north as the British