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Natal more or less all the year round, but more plentifully during the summer.1 The climate of Lower Egypt is apparently too cold for this species in winter, but at that season it is resident and abundant in Upper Egypt.2
As winter disappears it gradually moves northward, and a month before it arrives in England it is found in some numbers along the entire coast-line of the Mediterranean. Mr. Osbert Salvin saw it at Tunis on the 8th March, and subsequently numerous at Algiers. In the middle of March, Mr. Chambers found it plentiful at Tripoli, and at the end of the same month it was observed by Mr. Howard Saunders at Gibraltar. In the middle of April, Lord Lilford remarked that it was common in the neighbourhood of Madrid; about which time, according to Messrs. Elwes and Buckley (" Ibis," 1870, p. 200), it usually makes its appearance in Turkey, arriving there doubtless from the Ionian Islands,3
Egypt and Palestine, where it is said to appear in the last week of March.1
From Spain, through France, to England is but a short journey for a bird with powers of wing like the Swift; and hence one is not surprised to see hawking over the South Downs in May the birds which but a week previously were circling round the Moorish towers of Spain. Its return southward in autumn is apparently by the same route as that chosen for its northward journey in spring, and in this respect it differs in habit from many other species.2 •
In India its place is to a certain extent taken by a non-migratory species, Cypselus affinis, but it has nevertheless been met with in that country. An Indian specimen was received from Dr. Jerdon, presumably from the north-west.3 It has also been forwarded from Afghanistan,4 and Dr. Stoliczka found it at Leh, in Western Thibet. I am aware that some naturalists have expressed doubts as to the identity of the Swift found at the Cape of Good Hope with Cypselus apus; but, after an examination of several examples of the African bird, I have been unable to discover that it differs in any material respect from our well-known summer migrant.
1 Tristram, "Ibis," 1865, p. 77.
s In the Grey Phalarope we have a notable instance of a contrary habit. This bird passes through England on its way southward in autumn, but invariably selects some other route on its return northward in spring.
3 Blyth, "Ibis," 1866, p. 339.
* Blyth, "Ibis," 1865, p. 45.
THE ALPINE SWIFT.
O rare a visitant to this country is the Alpine Swift that not more than a score ol individuals have been met with since the first specimen was captured in 1820. In that year a bird of this species was killed at Kingsgate, in the Isle of Thanet, during the month of June and since that time the following examples are recorded to have been met with :—
One, Dover, Aug. 20, 1830; "Note-book of a Naturalist," p. 226.
One, Buckenham, Norfolk, Oct. 13, 1831; Yarrell, " Hist. Brit. Birds," vol. ii. p. 266.
One, Rathfarnham, near Dublin, March, 1833; "Dublin Penny Journal," March, 1833. Yarrell, "Hist. Brit. Birds," vol. ii. p. 266.
One, Saffron Walden, Essex, July, 1838; Macgillivray, " Hist. Brit. Birds," iii. p. 613.
One, Leicester, Sept. 23, 1839; Macgillivray, "Hist. Brit. Birds," iii. p. 613.
One, seen forty miles west of Land's End, in June, 1842; Couch, " Cornish Fauna," p. 147.
One, Cambridge, May, 1844; E. B. Fitton, "Zoologist," 1845, P- 1191
One, near Doneraile, co. Cork, June, 1844; Thompson, "Nat. Hist. Ireland" (Birds), vol. i. p. 418.
One, St. Leonard's.on-Sea, Oct., 1851; Ellman, "Zoologist," 1852, p. 3330.
One, Mylor, Cornwall, 1859; Bullimore, "Cornish Fauna," p. 24.
One, Hulme, near Manchester, Oct. 18, 1863; Carter, "Zoologist," 1863, p. 8846.
One seen at Kingsbury Reservoir, Aug. 1841, and one shot near Reading the next day; Harting, "Birds of Middlesex," p. 128.
One, near Lough Neagh, May, 1866; Howard Saunders, "Zoologist," 1866, p. 389.
One, near Weston-super-Mare; Cecil Smith, "Birds of Somersetshire," p. 287.
Several seen, Isle of Arran, July, 1866; H. Blake Knox, "Zoologist," 1866, p. 456.
Several seen, Achill Island; H. Blake Knox, "Zoologist," 1866, p. 523.
One, near the Lizard, Cornwall; Rodd, " List of the Birds of Cornwall," 2nd ed. p. 23.
One, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, Sept. 8, 1870; Hele, "The Field," Sept. 17, 1870.
One seen, Colchester, June 8, 1871; Dr. Bree, "The Field," June 17, 1871.
One seen, South Point, Durham, July 24, 1871 ; G. E. Crawhall, "The Field," Aug. 5, 1871.
In all the above instances the birds were shot, except where stated to have been seen only.
The term "Alpine Swift" is unfortunately a misnomer, since the bird is in no way confined