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been thus stated: "They consist, so far as we can ascertain, merely in the presence of a bright buff or pale cinnamon tinge on the breast of the male in A. rupestris, and perhaps in that form being of a slighter build than A. obscurus. In the female of the so-called A. rupestris the warm colour is much more faintly indicated; in some specimens it is doubtful whether it exists at all. The outer tail feathers, which in A. spinoletta afford so sure a diagnosis, are in A rupestris just as dingy as in A. obscurus!'
There can be no doubt that the chemical constituents of colour in the plumage of birds are always more or less affected by climatic agency; and, this being so, one can hardly be justified in founding a new species on mere variation of colour, where there is at the same time no modification of structure. There can be little doubt that the Scandinavian Rock Pipit is identical with our own bird, the slight differences observable being easily accounted for through climate and the season of the year at which specimens are obtained.
The late Mr. Wheelwright makes no mention of this bird when treating of the ornithology of Lapland. Messrs. Godman met with it on the seashore at Bodo, Norway, " in tolerable abundance," and Mr. Hewitson also saw it in Norway. Although Temminck says that it goes as far north as Greenland, this does not appear to be the case; for Professor Reinhardt, who has paid especial attention to the ornithology of Greenland, states that only two species of Pipit are to be met with there—namely, the American Anthus ludovicianus, which breeds there, and A. pratensis, of which, as above stated, a single specimen only is recorded to have been obtained. It is rather remarkable that Professor Blasius has not included the Rock Pipit in the avifauna of Heligoland, seeing that A. cervinus, A. ludovicianus, and A. Richardi are all stated to have been taken on that island.1
Although found upon the shores of Holland,
Belgium, and France, it either goes no farther to the south-west, or else it has been overlooked; for neither Mr. Howard Saunders, in his " List of the Birds of Southern Spain," nor the Rev. A. C. Smith, in his "Sketch of the Birds of Portugal," give it a place in the avifauna of those countries. Mr. C. A. Wright states (" Ibis," 1869, p. 246) that he has only obtained a single specimen in Malta. Further eastward, namely, on the coasts of Epirus and Corfu, Lord Lilford found it to be common, and on this account it has been included by Messrs. Elwes and Buckley in their "List of the Birds of Turkey." I am not sure whether it has been met with in Asia Minor, but probably it does not extend either eastward or southward beyond the coast line of the Mediterranean. The observations of naturalists certainly tend to prove that its proper habitat is Northern Europe, and perhaps nowhere is it commoner than in the British Islands.
THE TREE PIPIT.
\ LTHOUGH a regular summer visitant to England, the Tree Pipit, like the Nightingale, from some unexplained cause, is distributed over a very limited area. It never reaches Ireland, and is considered rare in Scotland, although the nest has been found as far north as Dumbarton, Aberdeen, Banff, and East Inverness.1 Even in Wales and Cornwall it is a scarce bird, so that England may be said to be the western limit of its geographical range. Mr. Wheelwright never met with it in Lapland, but Messrs. Godman found it in June as far north as Bodo, in Norway, and from this latitude southwards to the Mediterranean it seems to be well known in summer. Mr. Howard Saunders says that it is generally distributed in Spain from autumn to spring, and he suspects that some remain to breed on the high plateaux. In Portugal, according to the Rev. A. C. Smith, it is rare. Mr. Wright, of Malta, states that it is very common in the island in spring and autumn, departing in May northwards, and returning in September and October. He adds that a few remain the winter. According to the observations of Lord Lilford, it is now and then seen at Corfu in winter, throughout which season it is found in small flocks, apparently on passage to North Africa. Mr. Layard does not include it in his " Birds of South Africa," but, according to Professor Sundevall (" Svenska Foglarna," p. 41), a specimen was killed by Wahlberg on the Limpopo, in Kaffirland, between lat. 25 deg.