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in such weather on the coast are always very deceptive: the same day I had a stalk after what appeared nothing less than a party of graylag geese, which on a nearer acquaintance were resolved into hooded crows.
Storm Petrel.—One day, about the end of the second week in December, there was a storm petrel flying to and fro in the outfall to the old dock at Grimsby.
Kingfisher.—Very abundant in the marshes since October.
Wood Pigeon.—Dec. 29th. One shot at roosting time had the crop crammed with haws.
Great CoteB, Ulceby, Lincolnshire.
Ornithological Notes from Norfolk. By H. Stevenson, F.L.S.
(Continued from Zool. S. S. 3710.)
Wood Sandpiper.—Mr. J. E. Harting, when staying at Yarmouth, at the beginning of this month, shot a single bird of this species, on the 6th, from the banks of the Bure.
Green Sandpiper.—During the same week Mr. Harting also shot five green sandpipers from the marsh "dykes" about Breydon, these birds being then plentiful, as they were earlier in the season.
Waders on Breydon.—An accurate knowledge of species and the help of a good glass make long odds as between the amateur and professional gunuer, and hence no doubt Mr. Harting's invariable success in picking up good birds on his visits to Yarmouth. Besides those above recorded, I find, from notes he has kindly supplied me with, that Mr. Harting procured an adult greenshank on the 4th; a young blacktailed godwit, from a marsh near Breydon, on the 5th, and no less than nineteen knots the same day; also two pigmy curlews out of a flock on the 12th. On the 16th he also found a solitary spotted redshank feeding on the "muds," which proved through the glass to have a partially black breast, but this rarity escaped owing to the punt having been too heavily weighted to be pushed within shot.
Gray Phalarope.—I am indebted to Mr. Harting for one of the most interesting specimens of this bird in my collection, from the intermediate state of its plumage, partly summer and winter. The date of its appearance, on the 12th of this month, is unusually early, and that it was a chance straggler seems probable from its being quite alone, swimming about in a small "plash" of water on the Breydon "flats," and that no others have since come to my notice. As usual, it showed no apprehension of danger when approached. I have never seen an example of this species, killed in Norfolk, with so much of the summer plumage still remaining.
Terns.—One black tern was shot on Breydon by Mr. Halting on the 5th, and two on the J 2th, with some of the common species.
Marsh Harrier.—Two of these birds were seen on Ranworth Broad during the first week of this month, and one was shot about a week later in that neighbourhood.
Osprey.—A young male killed on the 13th at Potter Heigham, near Yarmouth, was sent me on the following day, and was, 1 fear, the same bird which had been seen at Ranworth and one or two neighbouring localities during the previous week, carrying off fish from the broad waters.
Wigeon remaining in Summer ?—A broadman at Surlingham, named Rich, assures me that when swan "upping" in the second week of August, at a place known as "Rudd's Waters," between Surlingham and Rockland Broads, he flushed a male wigeon, and having seen a pair in the same neighbourhood as late as the month of May, believes they remained to nest there, more particularly as the waters referred to are scarcely ever disturbed and have been full of other fowl throughout the summer. Rich assures me he saw the yellow about the head of the male wigeon distinctly. To these local gunners this species is known as the "smee," the difference between " smee" and " smew" being well known to them. Another broadman, named Trett, also from Surlingham, informs me that some forty years ago, when fishing in the summer, near the same "Rudd's Waters," a male wigeon came out from the reeds, quite close to the boat, when his father, who was with him, remarked that the female had a nest close by. Both these men assert that occasionally a wigeon or tufted duck, slightly wounded, remains with us through the summer.
Fieldfare.—Major Irby sent me, in the flesh, on the 20th, a fieldfare shot by himself on the 17th. This early arrival (?) shows no mark of immaturity, and from the breast-bone the birdstuffer who made a skin of it for me considered it a last year's bird. Mr. Irby also informs me that he saw two at Boyland about the 7th of June, but could find no nest.
Crane.—I am indebted to Mr. S. K. Gayford, of East Wretham, for the following particulars respecting a crane killed on a farm in his occupation on Mr. Birch's eslate. The presence of some such bird in the neighbourhood was first indicated by the appearance of foot-marks on some arable land, quite a month before the bird itself was seen, and later still Mr. Gayford observed a very large bird "towering high in the air like a very big hawk." The mystery was solved, however, on the 30th of August, when a crane was seen by Mr. Gayford himself" about a hundred yards from a flock of sheep, and some two hundred yards from the shepherd's 'page' who was tending the sheep, feeding on a heath of about three hundred acres, with other large heaths and about two hundred acres of arable land adjoining." On that day Mr.Gayford spent several hours on horseback trying to get within shot of it, but learning from the "page" that early in the morning it had been at the sheep-fold and paid little attention to him, he left his gun with the head shepherd, who shot the bird on the following Monday, the 1st of September. Mr. Newby, of Thetford, who stuffed it, informs me it was a male in immature plumage, and weighed ten pounds thirteen ounces. It is now preserved at Wretham Hall, with a white stork shot by Mr. Gayford near the same spot some thirty-five years ago.
Kingfisher.—Mr. Gurney sends me the following interesting note bearing on the migratory habits of this species:—" About the 13th of September several were observed on the beach at Blakeney, and on the 14th a single bird was seen flying by the edge of the waves at Cromer, which perched on a breakwater." Our birdstuffers have had several specimens during this month.
Waders.—A sanderling, two bartailed godwits and one knot were shot at Blakeney on the 23rd (also a young lesser tern), and a reeve at Beeston, near Cromer, on the 13th.
Great Crested Grebe.—Saw a pair on Surlingham Broad, with one young bird of the year, on the 24th.
Summer Migrants.—A few reed and sedge birds at Surlingham on the 24th; lots of sand martins and a pair or two of swallows, but no swifts. Several of the latter were seen at Beeston on the 9th; a male redstart at Erpingham on the 12th; several nightjars shot during the latter part of the month; a spotted flycatcher seen on the 3rd and a turtle dove on the 20th. On the 23rd Mr. Dowell informs me he saw swallows and wild geese flying over the same field.
SECOND SERIES—VOL. IX. 1
Buff-coloured Swallows.—Two buff-coloured varieties of the swallow were killed at Surlingham in the early part of this month.
Norfolk Plover.—I am credibly informed that about the middle of this month a flock of about one hundred of these plovers was seen on land at West Ilarling, where they breed every year, and probably the resident birds had been joined by others. Mr. J. H. Gurney, jun., also saw some twenty of these birds rising in twos and threes from the turnips at Kelling, near Holt, on the 1st of September,—another breeding-haunt on the opposite side of the county.
Lapwing.—About the 18th Mr. Ringer tells me he saw a larger number of lapwings on his heath, at West Hading, than he has seen there for many years. This is probably, in some degree, the effect of the new Act.
Hooded Crow.—Mr. Gurney writes that the first flight of these birds was observed at Trimingham, near Cromer, on the 9th, and a single bird at Sherringham on the 10th. On the 19th, a bright sunny morning, I saw a single hooded crow pass over my garden, close to Norwich, about 11 P.M., and afterwards, with a glass, watched a large number, all following the same route, in numbers of from six to a dozen, flying in a westerly direction. Sometimes a whole group would pause and hover round in circles, and then pass on like the rest, but most of them kept steadily on. We had much rain and wind on the following day.
Sea Gulls Inland.—On the 30th, about 3 P.M., I saw seven gulls, which were apparently the common gull (Larus canus), passing over the city at no considerable height, a circumstance I never remember to have witnessed before.
Great Gray Shrike.—One shot on Yarmouth Denes on the 27th.
Summer Migrants.—A female redstart seen by Mr. Gurney at Tiimingham on the 10th; nightjars heard near Northrepps on the 6th; Mr. Gurney saw a swallow on the 11th.
Wigeon.—Several on the coast at Beeston, near Cromer, and one shot from a pond in that parish on the 15th.
November, 1873. Snow Bunting.—When staying at Lowestoft between the 10th and 23rd I found a large flock of these birds nearly every morning on the Pakefield Cliffs, feeding on the stubble and ploughed lands. I imagine their appearance was regulated each day, in some degree, by the tide, as I found them later and later on the same spot, and if disturbed after a certain time in the morning they always flew off in the direction of the brackish marshes bordering the river. At other times when flushed they would fly round, uttering a pretty musical note on the wing, all twittering and turning together,] and sometimes tamely alighting in the path within a few feet of the passers-by. There appeared to be over a hundred when I first saw them, but their numbers diminished by degrees, being probably shot at in the marshes: the sight of the whole flock as they alighted on a dark plough was very peculiar, the white on the wings being visible after the darker tints were lost in contact with the soil, and for an instant giving the appearance of strewn fragments of white paper, falling with the wind. They never alighted on the sands or sloping sides of the cliffs, but kept to the fields, notwithstanding the traffic.
Stonechat and Goldcresl.—I found several pairs of stonechats on the Lowestoft Denes, and on one occasion three or four pairs of goldcrests in some furze-bushes, ou the summit of the cliffs.
Gulls.—Saw several fine old great blackbacks "riding" out at sea, near the fishing-smacks, and towards the time of low water I always remarked considerable numbers of gulls, chiefly young birds, making towards Yarmouth, sometimes fifty or sixty in a flock: these no doubt frequent the Breydon Muds daily, when exposed. All these birds seemed to be in full moult at the time, as the sands at high-water mark were strewn with their wingfeathers, from old as well as young. T noticed on one spot on the sand-hills, where a gull had evidently been preening itself early in the morning, as many body-feathers as a swan would leave after a similar toilet by the river-side.
Ruff.—A young male of this species was shot at Stalhain on the 21st.
Kingfisher.—Many of these birds seen during the month, as at Aldeburgh, according to Mr. F. Hele's note in the 'Field' of November 15.
Mealy Redpoll.—These birds, so scarce last winter, are now most plentiful. Our birdcatchers have taken many of them quite close to the city, where they frequent the alder trees near the river.