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bird, rare or otherwise, much rarer, is to shoot any specimen observed “at sight.” Probably this paradoxical gentleman would deny all these assertions; but he has a much simpler way than argument, or proof, for silencing controversy: he replies to charges of "lamentable ignorance," by calling his opponents geese, and insinuating they are April fools. As much as we have seen of the discussion is closed by a communication of a very different kind—an admirable letter from the Rev. G. C. Green, of Modbury Vicarage, Ivybridge, South Devon, in which, after correcting several of Mr. Cornish's blunders, he goes on to say, "I can see no possible occasion for shooting these unfortunate little birds immediately on their arrival with us, as no mistake can be made in identifying such easily noticeable birds by any one who would be likely to take any notice of them at all. I am no mere sentimentalist. I have been a keen sportsman for many years of my life. I have made a large collection of birds. But of late years I have taken much greater pleasure in observing their habits out of door without wishing to possess them as specimens, and although I am not opposed to a few being secured for purposes of science, especially such as only visit us in the winter, or only pass our shores on the way to other countries, I do protest strongly against the wanton destruction of life of a common and most useful bird, merely that it may be identified, especially on its first return to our shores for the purpose of breeding. I commend to Mr. Cornish's notice the study of the writings of the Selborne Society, which I think would interest him. I could supply him with several of these if he would care to read them, and should be only too glad if he could be induced to join us." We thank Mr. Green for his wise and humane words, and shall be glad to learn that he has been successful in what seems to be a most difficult task-Mr. Cornish's conversion.
Migration of Birds.-The Rev. A. Rawson, Fallbarrow, Bowness, Windermere, points out that there was a slight error in his article with above title in the February number of NATURE NOTES. In the 9th and 10th lines from the bottom of page 20 the words "last week of September, 1878," should read "first week of October, 1876," and in line 11 from the bottom of the same page the date should be 1875 not 1885. Mr. Rawson's present residence at Windermere should be borne in mind in reading the article, as in some parts of it the observations made at Windermere are contrasted with those at Bromley in Kent. On the same subject we have received the following letter from Mr. T. G. Ward, of Leighton Buzzard : -"As the time for the arrival of the swallow and martin and other of our summer visitors is at hand, I think it may be interesting to readers of NATURE NOTES to give the dates of the arrival and departure of them in this neighbourhood. From four years' observation on the coming and going of the swallow tribe, I find that the swallow, as a general rule, makes its first appearance here about the 15th and 16th of April, and they begin to depart by the end of September, though several remain till the middle of October; but a few stragglers, of course, can be seen later, thus one was observed on the 31st of October, and another as late as the 25th of November. The sand-martin seems to make its appearance here much about the same time as the swallow. The house-martin does not appear so soon as the above species, there being about a week or ten days difference, but their departure is about the same time as the swallow. The swift is the last of this family to arrive and the first to depart, appearing in this neighbourhood by the first week of May, and departing about the middle of August, though stragglers can be seen a few days later. Of the warblers, the chiff-chaff and willow-wren arrive at the end of March, the lesser and greater white-throat at the beginning of April, while the nightingale, redstart, and grasshopper warbler appear by the middle of the month. The following list is the first appearance and latest departure (from four years' observation) of the summer birds of passage here :-
Swallow, April 16th
Yellow wagtail, April 15th...
September and October
August and September
Turtledove, April 23rd
End of Summer
OFFICIAL NOTICES, &c.
THE object of the Selborne Society is to unite lovers of Nature for common study and the defence of natural objects (birds, plants, beautiful landscapes, &c.) aga the destruction by which they are constantly menaced. The minimum Annual Subscription (which entitles the subscriber to a monthly copy of the Society's Magazine) is 2s. 6d. All particulars as to membership may be obtained from the Secretary of the Selborne Society, 9, Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C.
THE ANNUAL GENERAL Meeting of the Society will be held on Thursday, May 1st, at 3 o'clock, at the Burlington Hall, 23, Savile Row, London, W. All Subscribing Members of half-a-crown and upwards, who have paid their subscription to a Branch, or to the Honorary Secretary of the Council, are eligible to the offices of the Society, and qualified to vote at the General Meeting.
SEVERAL alterations in the Rules of the Society will be recommended by the Council for adoption by the members at the Annual Meeting. Of these the most important is the following addition to Rule 8:-" Representatives of Branches shall be elected in the proportion of one Representative to each 50 members; but every Branch shall have at least one Representative. It shall be allowable for any Representative, not residing in London, to vote by proxy duly authorised in writing."
IN answer to the notice in the last number of NATURE NOTES as to back numbers of the Selborne Magazine, Miss Huish has kindly sent us, from Torquay, some copies which we have distributed. Mr. Wakefield, 41, Lancaster Park, Richmond, late honorary secretary of the Lower Thames Valley Branch, and Miss Hope, 14, Airlie Gardens, Campden Hill, hon. secretary of the Kensington Branch, write to say that they have copies of the required numbers for disposal. It is hoped that the whole of the remaining stock of the Selborne Magazine will shortly be obtainable by members at the offices of the Society.
WE have received some kind promises of Subscriptions to the proposed Magazine Fund, but they are not as yet sufficient in amount to warrant the proposed enlargement, and indeed it does not seem just that the great mass of Members should accept a boon at the expense of a few liberal ones. The suggestion has been made from several sources, that those Members who are willing to pay an extra shilling in their yearly subscription, for the purpose of providing the increased space desired, should signify the same by means of a post-card. Those who already pay more than the minimum subscription might express their desire to devote a shilling of their subscription to the Magazine Fund. This would be of course a purely voluntary arrangement, but somewhat on the same lines as the decision of the Lower Thames Valley Branch at their Annual Meeting, to send a recommendation to the Council that the minimum Subscription, entitling Members to the receipt of the Magazine, should be 3s. 6d. The objection to the suggestion which has been made of obtaining a revenue by additional advertisements, is that any increase of more than four pages would double the cost of the postage of the Magazine.
ALTHOUGH "Selborniana" takes up this month a much larger proportion of the Magazine than usual, several Letters and Communications are crowded out for want of space. It is particularly requested that subscriptions, and letters bearing on the general business of the Society, should not be forwarded to the Editors. Editorial communications should be addressed to the Rev. PERCY MYLES, I, Argyle Road, Ealing, W..
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By GEORGE BOWDLER BUCKTON, F.R.S., Corr. Memb. Acad. Nat. Hist. of Philadelphia, Memb. de la Soc. Ent. de France. Illustrated by more than 400 Coloured Drawings. In Eight Parts. Demy 8vo. Part I. 8s.
No coloured monograph of the British Cicada exists, and it is even believed that no adequately illustrated monograph exists of European species. Partly to meet this want, it is proposed to publish eight quarterly parts, each containing on an average ten litho-chromo plates and letterpress, illustrating the forms, metamorphoses, general anatomy, and the chief details connected with the life-history of this family of insects. The work will contain also short diagnoses of all the British species, about 230 in number, most of which have come under the author's notice, each species being illustrated by one or more coloured drawings. Some account will be given of the curious myths and tales told by ancient Greek and Latin poets, and descriptions will be appended relating to the curious sound-organs possessed by some species, and other subjects connected with the economy of this interesting but difficult group of Rhynchotous insects. Mr. Buckton's name is well known to entomologists, and this book represents the labour and observation of many years.
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The new page will afford opportunities for the introduction of ornamental initial letters (which the narrow column did not admit), headpieces and tailpieces, copied from good examples, or expressly designed. As it will contain somewhat less matter than before, the number of pages will be proportionately increased.
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