Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

its geographical distribution has not been yet clearly defined. It is observed in Southern Europe at the periods of migration, and we may therefore presume that it accompanies its congeners and other small summer migrants to North Africa, Asia Minor, and Palestine.

SAVI’S WARBLER.

(Salicaria luscinoides.)

was

comme

[ocr errors]

P EFORE the fens were drained, it is said

that the rarer species, Savi's Warbler, was not uncommon in the eastern counties of England. The fen-men used to distinguish it from the Grasshopper Warbler by its note, calling the commoner species “the reeler," the other “ the night reeler," from the resemblance of its note to the whirr of the reel used by the wool-spinners. In Norfolk, according to Mr. Stevenson, it appears to have been known to the marsh-men as “the red craking reed-wren.” The fens of Baitsbight, Burwell, and Whittlesea were formerly noted localities for this species, then regarded as a regular summer migrant ; but extensive drainage and increased cultivation of waste land has apparently destroyed the only breeding haunt which had any attraction for it, and it can now be only considered a rare summer visitant. I have once, and only once, seen this species alive in England. This was in a large reed-bed close to the river, near Iken, in Suffolk, in the month of September, 1874. The bird first attracted my attention by the very rufous colour of the dorsal plumage, and as I succeeded in obtaining a near view of it, I feel confident that I was not mistaken in the species. The nest and eggs of this bird are reported to have been taken in Norfolk, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Essex, Kent, and once in Devonshire.' In general appearance at a distance it is not unlike the Reed Warbler, but on closer inspection will be found to have the upper portions of the plumage and the tail more rufous, like the Nightingale ; hence the term luscinoides which has been applied to it. The English name is borrowed from its discoverer, Signor Savi, who found it in Tuscany, and published an account of it in the “ Nuovo Giornale di Litteratura,” 1824, and in his “Ornithologia Toscana,” vol. i. p. 270. The eggs are something like those of the Grasshopper Warbler, but larger and darker ; "the nest is very different, being composed entirely of sedge, so closely woven and interlaced as to remind one of the mat-baskets which are used by fishmongers. Of the geographical distribution of this bird we have yet a good deal to learn. It does not appear to range very far northwards, but is observed annually in summer in Southern Europe, passing by way of Sicily and the Maltese Islands to Egypt. Mr. Salvin found it abundant in the Marsh of Zana, and Mr. Tyrwhitt Drake met with it in Tangier and Eastern Morocco.

1 “Ibis," 1865, p. 23.

[ocr errors]

THE AQUATIC WARBLER.

(Salicaria aquatica.) N three occasions only has the Aquatic

Warbler been recognised in England. One taken at Hove, near Brighton, in October, 1853, is in the collection of Mr. Borrer ;' a second, in my possession, was killed near Loughborough, in the summer of 1864;' and a third, believed to have been obtained near Dover, is in the Dover Museum. This bird resembles the Sedge Warbler in size and general appearance, but, in addition to the light stripe over each eye, it differs in having a light stripe down the centre of the forehead ; this, being very distinct, furnishes a good means of identifying it readily. The species has been figured by Dr. Bree in his “ Birds of Europe,” to which work the reader may be referred for

i Cf. Newton, P. Z. S., 1866, p. 210. 2. “Ibis," 1867, p. 468. 3 Cf. J. H. Gurney, jun., “Zoologist," 1871, p. 2521.

further information and a more detailed description. I may supplement his remarks, however, by saying that Lord Lilford found it common in Corfu in May, and at Nice in August and September ;? and that Mr. T. Drake met with it in March in Tangier and Eastern Morocco.? Now that its occasional presence in this country has been detected, ornithologists should look out for it between April and September, and scrutinize every Sedge-bird they see, on the chance of meeting with the rarer species.

ce

THE MARSH WARBLER.

(Salicaria palustris.) IN appearance this bird resembles the com

I mon Reed Warbler, just as the Aquatic Warbler resembles the Sedge-bird. It is one of the plain-backed species, and similarity in appearance as well as in habits causes it doubt

1“ Ibis," 1860, p. 232.

2“ Ibis,” 1867, p. 426.

« AnteriorContinuar »