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the poor things, bleeding and mutilated, thrown into the river with a kick and a flourish of adjectives. « Fishermen who behave with such wanton cruelty justify the diatribes which those who are not anglers often heap upon the gentle craft.”
A Hawk and a Heron--Psha! "TO THE EDITOR OF NATURE NOTES," THE SELBORNE SOCIETY'S MAGAZINE.
Sir, -I extract the following letter from that excellent provincial journal, the Western Morning News, as an illustration of the way in which the Selborne Society is regarded by a gentleman who is not, we trust, a member of the famed Devon and Cornwall Philosophical Society, whose Transactions form such a valuable addition to our scientific literature :
"6 THE SHOOTING OF RARE BIRDS. “SIR,- I very much fear that in the eyes of the sentimentalists who weep over the capture of rare birds and beasts and fishes, I shall appear as indeed little better than one of the wicked.' Since I wrote you last on this subject I have compassed the death of a heron, and have eaten it. I have found its flesh dark, better in taste than pheasant or partridge, on a level with woodcock and snipe, but inferior to grouse or harvest curlew ; but I judged from an old receipt-book that it was a dry bird, and I had it cooked with one of the old and somewhat expensive wine sauces. This sauce will probably prove the most effectual means of preserving the bird. I have also compassed the death of a common buzzard, a hawk perfectly well known (as indeed its name imports) in England, and which breeds freely in Cornwall as far west as the cliffs of Tintagel, but of which a specimen has not been procured in this neighbourhood for the last thirty years.
“ Yours truly,
“Thos. CORNISH. Penzance, 15th December, 1889."
What useful purpose has Mr. Cornish achieved by eating a stuffy heron and stuffing a common buzzard ? Dyspepsia, no doubt, produced by not having previously buried the heron in wood ashes, has made him ready to sneer at those who have long known a hawk from a hernshaw” and who without“ sentimentality," but with honest sentiment, think that science gains more by the preservation of a vermin-killing bird such as the buzzard, which has not appeared in the neighbourhood of Penzance for the last thirty years, than by compassing its death.
As there is an admirable museum in Penzance, surely this rare visitant to the neighbourhood was not wanted for scientific purposes ? But could it have been with a view to self-preservation in the cause of science that this ardent naturalist stuffed himself-with heron and “old expensive wine sauce "? I believe that any good taxidermist would assure him that to recommend this method of stuffing, even for that common and valueless bird, Anser ineptus, was “ all stuff.”
TO THE EDITOR OF
The Preservation of Sudbrook Park.
NATURE NOTES,” THE SELBORNE SOCIETY'S MAGAZINE. SIR,-Sudbrook Park is a piece of Crown land, beautifully situated in the Vale of Petersham, immediately adjoining Richmond Park. The Lower Thames Valley Branch of the Selborne Society, on finding that this spot was likely to be built over, called a meeting, which was held at the “Star and Garter" Hotel, and a General Committee was appointed to watch over the matter, and to organise a deputation to wait upon the Commissioners of Woods and Forests to protest against their vandalism, and to advocate that Sudbrook Park should be thrown open to the public and added on to Petersham Park, to which the school children of London, in the summer time, come in shoals, and are allowed to play games and enjoy the beauties of nature. His Grace the Duke of Fife, who has a seat in the neighbourhood, and other noblemen and gentlemen, have joined the Committee; the Kyrle Society, the Commons Preservation Society, and the Metropolitan Gardens Association, have seconded the efforts being made to preserve the park from destruction, and it is hoped that our united efforts will meet with success and will show to other neighbourhoods the value of having an organisation like a branch of the Selborne Society ready at hand to watch over their interests.
T. F. WAKEFIELD,
Hon. Sec. to Committee. P.S.--We feel that should Sudbrook Park be built over, we should soon lose many of the wild birds which are now to be met with in Richmond Park, close at hand. We have there herons, hawks, night-jars, owls, woodpeckers, wild water fowl, kingfishers, woodpigeons, rooks, nuthatches, &c., &c.
On the same subject the following weighty and interesting letter has been received by the Editor of the Richmond and Trickenham Times, from Sir Frederick Leighton, P.R.A., one of the vice-presidents of the Lower Thames Valley Branch of the Selborne Society :
“ DEAR MR. KING,- I have to acknowledge your letter of the 6th instant, informing me that the Lower Thames Valley Branch of the Selborne Society is energetically at work to save Sudbrook Park from the encroachments of the builder. I earnestly wish you success in so good a cause, and one of importance to so many. Your lovely park, with its wide wild spaces, and its sweet fresh air, is—and is daily more and more becoming-a priceless possession to the inhabitants of this black and monstrous metropolis ; and it is so in its most frequented part perhaps in great measure from the fact that Sudbrook Park shields it as a bulwark against smoke and bricks and mortar. I sincerely trust it may never lose that protection, for I feel that the breaking down of this barrier would have most mischievous results in many ways. I think public opinion will be warmly in your favour, and will strengthen your hands. Certainly my very best wishes follow you in your present endeavours.
“ I am, yours faithfully,
“ FRED. LEIGHTOX. “ 2, Holland Park Road, Kensington, W.,
"8th January, 1890.”
At a meeting of the Central Council, held on Wednesday, the 8th instant, Mr. J. L. Otter, the honorary treasurer, presented a statement of accounts, showing ihat, after all liabilities to the 31st of December, 1889, had been met, there was a small balance in hand. It was estimated that when the accounts were fully made up before the general meeting on the ist of May, there would be a considerable surplus.
SOME reports of meetings and several other communications sent in have been unavoidably postponed through lack of space. Names of new members and subscriptions paid will appear in this column in future numbers.
COMMUNICATIONS on the general business of the Society ought to be sent to the Secretary of the Selborne Society, 9, Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C. ; Edicorial communications to the Rev. Percy MYLES, I, Argyle Road Ealing, W.
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