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May, when the temperature stood at 480, and the wind N.W. Strange to say, it was not observed in 1872 by any correspondent in Scotland and Ireland.
The Sandmartin is always amongst the first comers to arrive, and was seen in three different counties during the last week of March, viz., in Sussex, Wilts, and Worcester, the weather dull, with the wind blowing from the westward. Its stay in this country is never so prolonged as that of the Swallow, or even the Martin. Large flights are observed preparing to migrate at the end of August and beginning of September, and at the end of the latter month all have gone southward again for the winter. In 1872, however, the species was seen exceptionally as late as October 7.
The Swift is rarely seen before the first week of May or after the first week of August, and of thirty independent observations upon this bird, three only refer to its appearance during the last days of April, four-and-twenty record its arrival between the 1st and 17th of May, and three only relate to its disappearance—from Garvoch, Perthshire, on July 29, from Leicester on August 2, and from Exeter on August 12. It was first seen upon the Devonshire coast at Plymouth and Torquay, and at the former place was particularly numerous. It may be worth noting that a male Swift shot at Cromer by Mr. J. H. Gurney, jun., on June 15, was found to have the under parts denuded of feathers, which would indicate that the males take their turn at incubation.
The Swallows and Swifts are thus brought together, out of the order of the above list, to admit of a more easy comparison of the dates of arrival and departure. We will now follow the order above indicated, commenting only on such facts as appear noteworthy.
The thirty observations which relate to the Cuckoo tend to show that the usual time of its arrival in this country is between the 20th and 27th of April, and in no instance was it observed before the 6th of April (at Torquay) which was considered an exceptionally early date to meet with it. On the Lincolnshire shore it arrived with a southerly wind, in Merionethshire with a west wind, and on the Irish coast with a southwest wind, the weather warm and mild, the temperature 49° to 50-5°.
The most northerly point of observation was Dundee, where it was seen on April 29, but it had been previously noticed at Garvoch, Perthshire, on the 27th, and near Falkirk in Stirlingshire on the 25th of the same month. In Fife, Forfar, and Tayside, Mr. P. Henderson, from personal observation, has frequently found Cuckoos' breasts bare of feathers, as if from incubation, and has observed old birds feeding their own young—a fact in the economy of this bird which has frequently been disputed.
As early as the 2nd of March the Chiff-chaff arrived at Torquay; and, being seen at Chudleigh and Taunton on the 9th, at Northrepps, Norfolk, on the 13th, Hovingham, near York, on the 14th, and Melbourne, Derbyshire, on the 28th, it is easy to trace the gradual movement from south to north of this restless but hardy little bird. A south or south-west wind seems to be most favourable to its arrival, but in this case, as in the case of- other species, the data are not sufficient to enable one to judge of this with certainty. It was last seen on Sept. 12 at Sparham in Norfolk.
The Willow Wren was noticed in the midland and northern counties long before its arrival was recorded on the south coast. In Devonshire and Sussex it was observed during the first week of April on various dates from the 3rd to the 7th; in Surrey, Berks, Herts, Norfolk, Lincoln, and Yorkshire somewhat later, that is to say, between the 7th and the 10th of the month; and yet at Nottingham and Melbourne in Derbyshire it was seen upon the exceptionally early date of March 29. In every case where the wind was noted at the time, it was blowing from the W. or S.W., generally from the latter quarter.
Only one notice was supplied of its occurrence in Wales, namely, in the parish of Llandderfel on April 28; but this date does not throw much light upon the progress of the bird westward, for its arrival had already been noted at Glasnevin, co. Dublin, on the ioth, and at Ballina, co. Mayo, on the 13th of the same month. On the last-mentioned date its appearance in Scotland was chronicled in the county of Stirling, but no information was given during that year of its having been observed further north.
In the case of tHe Common Whitethroat something like a line of migration is indicated by the dates at which the bird was observed. Thus, arriving on the Devonshire, Sussex, and Kentish shores on April 11, 13, and 14 respectively, it was in Berkshire, at East and West Woodhay, on the 15th and 16th; in Leicestershire on the 18th, at Nottingham on the 21st, at Great Cotes in Lincolnshire on the 22nd, at Hovingham, near York, on the 23rd, and by May 6 was as far north as Falkirk. The wind, in all cases where it was noticed, was blowing from the west or south-west, the temperature gradually rising from 480 to 620.
Of the five-and-twenty observations made