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The first Swallow was seen, not as might be supposed in the south or south-east of England, but four miles south of Glasgow, on the 2nd of March, and Mr. Robert Gray states that this is the earliest record of its arrival in Scotland. It is, indeed, an exceptionally early arrival, for nearly a month expired before another was seen at Cromer, on the 31st of the same month, and six weeks elapsed between the first and second appearance of the bird in Scotland. On the 1st April, with a S.E. wind, this harbinger of spring arrived at Great Cotes, in Lincolnshire, and on the 3rd of that month was noticed simultaneously at Nottingham and Taunton. From the 6th of April the arrival of Swallows was pretty general until the 13th, when they were first noticed in Ireland at Ballina, co
Mayo, and on the following day at Glasnevin, Dublin, and at Bray, in the county of Wicklow. The temperature then at Bray was 530, and the wind S.W. In these localities and dates there is nothing to indicate anything like a precise line of immigration; on the contrary, the birds first appeared where they were least expected. The prevalence of gales, however, at that particular season doubtless operated to retard their progress, and induced them to linger about sheltered localities where food could be obtained. Mr. Wm. Jeffery, who is well situated for observation on the Sussex coast, between the downs and the sea, remarked that most of the spring migrants were several days later than usual in their arrival, and the Swallow in particular not only came later, but lingered longer than is its wont in his neighbourhood. A single bird of this species was seen by him, flying round a steam threshing-machine, on the 10th of December. "Whether it had been disturbed," he says, "from hybernation in the oatrick which was being threshed, or only attracted by the warmth from the engine, I cannot say. It flew very weakly, and was not long seen."
On the 2nd of November, with the temperature at 45"50, and the wind W., the species was still in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, and on the 13th November, during cold weather, two were seen on the beach' at Exmouth. I may here remark that but little attention is paid to the time of departure of a species compared to. that which is given to the date of its arrival.
The Martin was observed to come later and go earlier than the Swallow, the earliest and latest dates being respectively April 10 at Marlborough, and November 7 at Leiston, Suffolk. And in the case of this bird the movement northwards might be traced by the dates, as Wiltshire, April 10; Worcester, April 1t ; Yorkshire, April 11 and 13 (the weather fine, with temperature 530, and wind W.); Derbyshire, April 15. Further to the westward, viz., at Llandderfel, in Merionethshire, its appearance was not noticed until the 13th of 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 is 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