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bird-like song is again for a short time heard. Mr. Sinclair has observed the Garden Warbler at Inverkip in Renfrewshire, where the richlywooded preserves afford it a constant shelter during its summer sojourn." In Shetland, according to Dr. Saxby,1 it is a rare autumn visitor, usually occurring in September. By exercising great caution he has sometimes approached within a few feet of the bird, and watched it picking the green aphides from the sycamore leaves. It does not appear to have been observed in Orkney. Its range northwards in Europe, according to Nilsson, extends to Sweden, where it is observed to be a regular summer visitant, arriving in May and leaving in August. In all the countries bordering the Mediterranean it appears to be well known. Mr. Saunders informs me that it is common in Spain in spring and autumn; and Mr. Wright, referring to its presence at the same seasons in Malta, where it is known as the far-famed "beccafico" of the Italians, says that as many as a hundred dozen are sometimes brought in at a time.1 Lord Lilford has once found this bird nesting in Epirus.2 The late Mr. C. J. Andersson met with it as far south as Damaraland, South-west Africa. In habits the Garden Warbler closely resembles other members of the genus. Shy and restless, it differs from the Blackcap in its inferior powers of song, and from the Whitethroats in being less garrulous. It is nevertheless a beautiful songster, and will sometimes sit in the midst of a thick bush in the evening, like a Nightingale, and maintain a continued warble for several minutes without a pause. Its song is somewhat irregular, both in time and tune, but it is wonderfully mellow for so small a bird. It sometimes commences its song like a Blackbird, but always ends with its own. In some of its actions it resembles the Willow Wren, for it seems constantly in motion, hopping from bough
1 "The Birds of Shetland," p. 73.
to bough in search of insects, and singing at intervals. It is very partial to fruit of all kinds, but at the same time destroys vast numbers of caterpillars, spiders, and aphides. Much against my inclination I have shot a few Garden Warblers in the spring soon after their arrival, for the purpose of ascertaining the nature of their food, and can therefore affirm, from personal inspection, that they destroy quantities of insects which are destructive to foliage. Under the head of Blackcap, I have referred to the nest of the Garden Warbler for the purpose of comparison, and need only add here that it is generally well concealed, and that, unless the owner is seen near the nest, it is oftentimes not very easy to distinguish the eggs from those of its congener, which have been already described.
THE COMMON WHITETHROAT.
I ."'AR from leading a retired life like the last-*- named bird, the Whitethroat forces itself into notice by its noisy chattering and repeated sallies into the air. We cannot walk along a country lane in May without being reminded at every twenty yards of the presence of this demonstrative little bird. With crest-feathers erect and half-extended wings, it bustles in and out, gesticulating loudly, and seems to live in a perpetual state of excitement.
The country lads call it the "Nettle Creeper," from its frequenting overgrown ditches and hedgebanks where the nettle is plentiful, amongst the stems of which it builds its nest. It comes to us about the third week in April, and remains until the end of August. It is very generally distributed in the British Islands, and is as common in Ireland as it is in England. In the north of Scotland it is said to be rare; but a correspondent of Mr. More finds it breeding regularly in Mull and Iona.1 It visits Scandinavia in summer, and is found also at that season in Russia and Siberia. It is one of the commonest birds in spring and autumn in Malta, and is occasionally observed in Corfu in September and October. In winter it is not uncommon in Asia Minor and North-east Africa. Amongst the birds collected at Aboo, North-west India, by Dr. King, in September, 1868, Mr. Hume found one which both he and M. Jules Verreaux identified at
'Cf. "Ibis," 1865, p. 25.