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desirable that some more convincing evidence than that which already exists of its occurrence here should be placed upon record.


{Anthus cervinus.)

'TH H E present bird has, as yet, been scarcely .*- admitted into the British list. I have seen a specimen in the collection of Mr. Bond, which was killed at Unst, Shetland, on the 4th May, 1854, and about the same year, but in September, another in the same collection was shot at Freshwater in the Isle of Wight.

In the adult plumage the species is easily recognized by the ruddy brown colouring of the upper portions of the plumage, and by the rufous patch upon the throat.

In size it is equal to the Meadow Pipit, and by some naturalists it has been considered a permanent race or variety of that species; but the observations of Prof. Newton on this point1 certainly tend to show that the species is a valid one. It was met with by him in June, 1855, when in company with Messrs. Wolley and Simpson, in a restricted locality in East Finmark, between Wadso and Nyborg, and several well-identified nests were procured. A specimen procured in Heligoland is in Herr Gatke's collection.


It is not uncommon as a winter visitant in Turkey, and Mr. Wright has shot many specimens in Malta, where he says it arrives in small flocks in spring and autumn. In Egypt and Nubia this bird quite takes the place of A. pratensis, and is sometimes very common there. It probably winters also in Palestine, although Canon Tristram, during his sojourn there at that season, only met with a single specimen on the coast of the plain of Sharon. It has been found in China, Japan, Formosa, and Hainan, by Mr. Swinhoe, who suggests that this bird in its winter plumage is the Anthus japonicus of Temminck and Schlegel. Mr. Blyth thinks that it should probably be erased from the Indian list, as the ordinary Himalayan species, A. rosaceus of Hodgson, has been confounded with it. Upon this point, however, much difference of opinion prevails. Dr. Jerdon, in his "Birds of India," gives rosaceus as a synonym of cervinus, and Mr. Hume is puzzled to distinguish rosaceus from arboreus. He says (" Ibis," 1870, p. 288): "Typical examples of both species seem unmistakably distinct, but intermediate forms of the most puzzling character occur, of such a nature that it really seems to me impossible to decide to which species they ought to be referred."

1 See Bree's "Birds of Europe," vol. ii. p. 155.

Professor Newton considers that the Redthroated Pipit is as yet scarcely entitled to a place in the list of British Birds; nevertheless it is a bird, as he says, whose migratory habits and wide north-eastern range make it very likely to occur in this country, and probably its recognition as an occasional visitor to the British Islands is only a matter of time and observation. THE SPOTTED FLYCATCHER.


(Muscicapa grisola.}

'I ^HE family of Flycatchers is a very large -*• one, having representatives in all parts of the globe; but in the British Islands two species only can with propriety be included in the list of annual summer migrants. It is true that at least one other species has been met with in this country, to which allusion will be made presently; but it cannot be regarded in any other light than that of a rare and accidental visitant. The Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa grisola), as remarked by the eminent Irish naturalist, Thompson, is probably little known, except to the observant ornithologist. Owing to the dulness of its plumage, its want of song, and its weak call being seldom heard, it is certainly one of the least obtrusive of our birds; the trees, too, having put forth their "leafy honours" before the period of its arrival, further serve to screen it from observation. It is one of the latest of our summer migrants to arrive, seldom appearing before the second week in May, and generally taking its departure during the first week of September. It is found throughout the British Islands, but is much less common in Scotland. It has, however, been found breeding as far north as Sutherland and Caithness. The situation selected by this bird for its abode during its stay with us is generally in the neighbourhood of gardens and orchards, where it takes up its quarters on a wall or fruit tree, and sallies forth into the air after passing insects. The name of Spotted Flycatcher is more appropriately bestowed upon the bird in its immature

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