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Full text of "Lord Lilford on birds: being a collection of informal and unpublished writings by the late president of the British Ornithologists' Union. With contributed papers upon falconry and otter hunting, his favourite sports"

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FOR THE PEOPLE 

FOR EDVCATION 

FOR SCIENCE 






LIBRARY 

OF 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM 

OF 

NATURAL HISTORY 





the man claims our ~atthhtioh as mucn a?, or 
more Hian, tho biology of the birds. Jn addi- 
tion to this wo fiud a chapter of nearly 50 pages 
dpvotrd chiefly 'o two oontribnted papers on 
Ottor-huntius and Falconry. The result is a 
fairly larjfe voliuno, published at a fairly large 
pric:^. and containing a g.ood deal of hetero- 
geneous information, of which in (ho main it 
may bo said that to tho general reader muih of 
tho ornithological side will be wearisome, wliile 
the export uill find a great portion of the hook 
given up to matters which, though full of their 
own special interest, he had hardly expected to 
find in a work "on birds." The plates, how- 
ever, illustrating viirious kinds of birds, are ex- 
cellent ; the paper.= on Otter-hunting and Fal- 
conry are bright and inspiriting, and sufficient 
in tJiemselves to kindle a flame of enthusiasm 
in the brea.st of the uninitiat«l : while the study 
of a character at once so symp;ithetic. and c'xact 
as tliat nf the late Lord Lilford cannot fail to 
be of tho grealcst benefit to any reader. And 
to llKwe, and Ihc^y roust be many, to whom it 
is a pleasure to linger ovei- the srattorcd noles 
of a careful observer of tho fans of natural 
history whereby tjicy will gain both instruotion 
and delight this book may be fairly eonmiendcd. 
But it I'annot be regarded as » serious (nntri- 
bution cither (o ornitLology proper or loEcienre 
at large. This is not to .^ay that the notes 
Uiemsplves are at fault, or even useless: but 
they are notes only. ?iich as may he pigeon- 
jtiolcd or even gathcr»ti up into coherent form 

witJiin the pages of some soientifio journal, but 
such as shctild Dewer find their way into book 
form iml.il the time oiroes when they may serve 
their purpoee as illustrations of general prin- 
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LORD LILFORD ON BIRDS 




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S. 

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L 



ORD LILFORD^ =^-^ 
ON BIRDS 



BEING A COLLECTION OF INFORMAL AND 
UNPUBLISHED WRITINGS BY THE LATE 
PRESIDENT OF THE BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' 
UNION . WITH CONTRIBUTED PAPERS UPON 
FALCONRY AND OTTER HUNTING, HIS 
FAVOURITE SPORTS 



1 



EDITED BY 

AUBYN TREVOR-BATTYE 

M.A., F.L.S., ETC. 

MEMBER OF THE BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' UNION 
AND ILLUSTRATED BY 

ARCHIBALD THORBURN 



London: HUTCHINSON & CO 
Paternoster Row -*> '•> ^9^3 



PRINTED BV 

HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEV, LD. 

LONDON AND AYLESBURY. 



PREFACE 

Ornithologically this book falls into three natural 
divisions, each with its own particular appeal. 

The Mediterranean Journals with their lists of birds 
obtained or seen would be valuable, if only as models 
of careful work ; but beyond this, such a companion 
as their recorder must surely add delightful interest to 
any voyage in the narrow sea. 

None of the natural history has been left out ; the 
Editor has only ventured to remove (as not in any way 
material to the record) the greater part of the weather 
log, with purely personal or social references. 

Although the systematic position and the scientific 
names of some of the birds have changed since the 
diaries were written, they are easily recognisable by an 
ornithologist as they stand : it has therefore seemed 
well in the great majority of instances to leave them 
unaltered. 

The letters on his own countryside are, it is true, 



vi PREFACE 

almost entirely concerned with the small occurrences of 
every day ; but all our knowledge of the ways of 
living creatures has grown from careful records such as 
these, and the subject is one of unfailing interest ; if it 
begins with Gilbert White, it ends — where ? 

The same thought applies to the Aviary Notes ; 
how sure a welcome awaits these — the record at first 
hand of a master ' aviarist ' — is sufficiently brought 
home to us by the reflection that a periodical has been 
successfully run for years in this country, devoted to 
nothing else than an interchange of experiences among 
those who keep living birds. 

All the letters, unless it is otherwise stated, were 
written from Lilford Hall. They are not always given 
under order of dates ; it has often seemed better to 
group them about the leading subjects with which they 
are concerned. 

An opinion entitled to great respect was expressed to 
the Editor, that otter hunting and falconry. Lord Lilford's 
favourite sports, might need some introduction to the 
general reader ; that otter hunting is not, like fox-hunting, 
' everybody's ' sport ; and that, indeed, the idea not 
uncommonly obtains that the otter is still barbarously 
despatched with the spear. Falconry, it was pointed out, 
was a still more restricted pursuit. The Editor has 
therefore ventured himself to write a short account of 
otter hunting, and has been fortunate in obtaining a 



PREFACE vii 

description of falconry from the pen of the Rev. Gage 
Earle Freeman.^ 

Nearly all of the pictures which illustrate this 
volume are studies of individual birds in the collection 
at Lilford. 

Our thanks are rendered to Mr. E. G. B. Meade-Waldo 

for his help in reading through the proof-sheets, and his 

kind interest in the preparation of the book. 

1 Author of Falconry: its History, Claims, and Practice. We 
have much pleasure in quoting in this connection a passage we 
find in a letter written by Lord Lilford to Mr. Freeman in 1895 :— 
" You have done more to keep English falconers in the right way 
than any man now living. No such practical work as yours has 
been written on falconry this century." 




Lord Lilford's F.wourite Flower. 



LORD LILFORD'S PUBLISHED WORKS. 

Coloured Figures of the British Birds. 

The First Edition of this work, which was issued in parts 
by subscription, commenced in October, 1885, and the second 
in April, 1891. 'Edition' is really a misnomer; for when 
in 189 1 it was decided to admit a further set of subscribers 
(at rather a higher rate of subscription) only some eighteen 
(or so) of the plates had yet appeared. These were 
retouched and, in the opinion of many good judges, 
actually improved. Thenceforward the First and Second 
Editions were identical, running together and ending 
simultaneously. 

Notes 071 tlu Birds of Northamptonshire and Neighbourhood. 

This book was published in 1895. Some parts of it had 
already appeared in the form of communicated papers (see 
below) and some had been printed for private circulation. 

But besides these books Lord Lilford's literary labours include 
a variety of articles in the Zoologist, the Ibis, and elsewhere. 
Certain chance notes — e.g., in the Field — are omitted, otherwise 
the following list is believed to be complete : — 

In the Ibis. 
Under the name of the Hon. Thomas L. Powys. 

i860. Notes on birds observed in the Ionian Islands, and the 
provinces of Albania proper, Epirus, Acarnania, and 
Montenegro. Pages i-io, 133-140, 228-239. 



X LORD LILFORHS PUBLISHED WORKS 

Under the name of Lord Lilford. 

1862. On the extinction in Europe of the common francolin 

{Fraticolinus vulgaris, Steph.). 352-356. 
1865. Notes on the ornithology of Spain, 166-177, pi. V. {Ai/uila 

ncevioides). Ditto 1866, 173-187, 377-392, pi. X. (eggs 

of Aquila pennafa and Cyanopica cooki). 
1873. Letter on Calandrella brachydactyla and Nidneiiiui hiidsoiiicus. 

98. 
1880. Letter on Lams aiidoui/ii s.nd other Spanish birds. 480-483. 

1883. Letter on Otis tarda and other Spanish birds. 233. 

1884. Rare birds in Andalucia. 124. 

1887. Notes on Mediterranean ornithology, 261-283, pl- VIIL 

{Falco pji/iicus). 

1888. Preface to Dr. F. H. H. Guillemard's "Ornithological 

notes of a tour in Cyprus," 1887. 94. 

1889. -^ list of the birds of Cyprus. 305^350. 
1892. Letter on Turnix nigricollis. 466. 



In the Zoologist. 

Under the name of the Hon. T. L. Powys. 

1850. Occurrence of the smew {Mergiis albellus) in Northampton- 
shire. 2775. 

1850. Nest and eggs of the rose-coloured pastor {Pastor roseus). 

2968. 

1851. Occurrence of the Caspian tern near Lausanne. 3209,3210. 
1851. Note on birds entrapped at a magpie's nest. 3275. 

185 1. Occurrence of black grouse and quails in Northamptonshire. 

3278. 

1852. Note on the kite and buzzard trapped at Blenheim. 3388. 
1852. Occurrence of the black redstart near Oxford. 3476. 



LORD LILFORD'S PUBLISHED WORKS xi 

1852. Occurrence of the ring dotterel {Charadrius hiaticula) near 

Oxford. 3476. 
1852. Occurrence of the glossy ibis in Ireland. 3477- 
1852. The shore lark {Alauda alpestris) breeding in Devonshire. 

3707- 

1852. Occurrence of the blue-throated warbler (Sylvia siiedai) in 
South Devon. 3709. 

1852. Occurrence of the pratincole {Glareola forquata) in Devon- 
shire. 3710. 

1854. Occurrence of various birds in Oxfordshire. 4165. 

1854. Note on the late abundance of the spotted crake (Crex 

porrAina). 4165. 

1855. Occurrence of the bittern and goosander in Northamptonshire, 

and of the red-throated diver in Plymouth Sound. 

4762. 
1855. Occurrence of Buonaparte's gull {Larus Buonapartii) on the 

Irish coast. 4762, 4809. 
1861. Note on the alpine chough as observed in the Ionian 

Islands. 7352. (In Ibis II. 136.) 



1877 
1879 
1879 
1880 
1880 
1881 
i88r 
1882 
1883 
1883 



Under the name of Lord Lilford. 

Purple gallinule in Northamptonshire. 252. 

Green shag in Northamptonshire. 426. 

Manx shearwater in Northamptonshire. 426. 

White-fronted goose in Northamptonshire. 66. 

Solitary snipe in Northamptonshire. 444. 

Ornithological notes from North Northamptonshire. 24, 61. 

Roseate tern on the Norfolk coast. 26. 

Ornithological notes from Northamptonshire. 16, 392. 

26 
Note on the ornithology of Northamptonshire. 425-429, 
466-468, 502. 



xii LORD LJLFORD'S PUBLISHED WORKS 

1883. Common scoter inland. 495. 

1884. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire. 192-194, 

450-455- 

1885. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire. 181-183. 

1885. Hoopoe in Northamptonshire. 259. 

1886. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire and neighbour- 

hood. 465-471. 

1887. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire and neighbour- 

hood. 249-254, 452-457. 

1887. A puffin in London. 263. 

1888. Magpies attacking a weakly donkey. 184. 
1888. Pallas's sand grouse in Spain. 301. 

1888. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire and neighbour- 

hood. 456-466. 

1889. Hawks devouring their prey on the wing. 185. 

1889. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire and neighbour- 

hood. 422-430. 

1890. Large race of great grey shrike. 108. 

1891. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire. 41-53. 

1892. „ „ „ „ „ „ 201-210. 

1892. Variety of Grus cinerea in Spain. 265. 

1893. Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire and neighbour- 

hood for 1892. 89-97. 

1893. Purple gallinules in Norfolk and Sussex. 147. 

1894, Notes on the ornithology of Northamptonshire and neighbour- 

hood for 1893. 2 10-22 1. 
1894 Pheasant nesting in a tree. 266. Proc. Zool. Soc, London, 

1 881-1890. 
1882. Exhibition of, and remarks upon, a skin of Emheriza ritstka, 

caught at Elstree reservoir. 721. 
1888. Exhibition of a specimen of Aqitila rapax from Southern 

Spain. 248, 



LORD LILFORD'S PUBLISHED WORKS xiii 

Mammalia. In the Zoologist- 

1884. Notes on Mammalia of Northamptonshire. 428. 

1885. Dormouse in Northamptonshire. 257. 

1886. Albino badgers. 363. 

1887. A few words on European bats. 61-67. 
1887. The bank vole in Northamptonshire. 463. 

1890. Hedgehog v. rat. 453. 

1891. The polecat in Northamptonshire. 342. 

1892. The polecat in Northamptonshire. 20, 224. 
1894. Barbastelle in Northamptonshire. 187. 
1894. Barbastelle in Huntingdonshire. 395. 

For the above list the Editor is indebted to Dr. Paul Leverkiihn, 
C.M.Z.S., of the Scientific Library and Institution of H.R.H. The 
Prince of Bulgaria, Sophia. His compilation of Lord Lilford's papers 
was published in the Ornith. Monatsschrift des Deutschen Vereins s. 
SchiUze der Vogelwelt, XXL, 1896, No. 9, pp. 262-264. 



NOTE. 

The full title of Lord Lilford's well-known book, always spoken of as 
" Coloured Figures of the British Birds," and so referred to throughout this 
volume, is "Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands." 



CONTENTS 



CHAP PAGE 

Lord Lilford's Published Works . . . . ix 



Introduction ........ i 

I. The Surroundings of Lord Lilford's Home. . 4 
IL Local Observation. . . . . . .11 

in. Ponds, Paddocks, and Aviaries .... 36 

IV. Notes on Illustrations ...... 90 

V. Otter Hunting, Falconry, and Shooting . . 98 

VI. Notes from Mediterranean Journals . . . 146 

VII. Tributes to Knowledge, Kindness, and Sympathies 247 

.Appendix I ....... . 272 

Appendix II . . . . . . . . 293 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Lord Lilford in his Study Frontispiece 

Fishing on the Nene Facing page 4 



STUDIES OF BIRDS IN THE COLLECTION AT 
LILFORD HALL 

The tame Lammergeiers Facing page 32 



The Pinetum 

Sankey and Grip 

Golden Eagle's nest in the Aviary 
Trained Goshawk on the fist . 
Hobby, with leash and block . 

Stanley's Crane 

Ruffs fighting 

Flamingoes in the Aviary pond 
The Great Skuas .... 



Greenland Falcon 



58 
82 

94 
114 

132 
170 
184 
196 
214 

234 



CORRIGENDUM 

Page Sj. Five lines from foot: for "are pendulous, and 
have no aftershaft " substitute "are pendulous 
but single, having no aftershaft." 



LORD LILFORD ON BIRDS 



INTRODUCTION 

Thomas Littleton, fourth Baron Lilford, was born in 
1833. In 1867 he was elected President of the British 
Ornithologists' Union, a position which he held until his 
death, in 1896. Such, in a word, is all that need be 
said here. For this is not a biography ; the personal 
history of the late Lord Lilford has already been 
written by one whose title to the task was clear. 
That picture, built on the intimate memories of a 
sister's affection, necessarily stands alone. 

But in the days of his travels and activity, and no less 
in those long years in the chair of an invalid, Lord 
Lilford acquired a large store of exact and absolute 
knowledge, which must needs have for inquirers in the 
same field a value too great to be missed. 

His, too, was a keen enthusiasm and a wide kindness 
of heart ; his constant daily endeavour was to encourage 
interest in living creatures and (quite humbly and simply) 
to help others through what he himself had learnt. The 
more widely could he have been helpful the better would 



2 INTRODUCTION 

he have been pleased. It is in the certainty of this 
assurance that the letters have been contributed which 
herein appear. 

The present book is, then, of Lord Lilford as naturalist 
— as sportsman also, but primarily as naturalist — revealed 
in his own informal writings. Entrusted to the Editor's 
hands with words whose very graciousness was their 
command, it has been till now delayed ; yet a book of 
this kind may gain, perhaps, not lose, in the perspective 
that a few years give. Be this as it may, all pains bestowed 
upon his task are but an imperfect measure of the Editor's 
true admiration for and grateful memory of this most 
charming of naturalists and kindest of friends. 

We should not visit him at Lilford till we have been 
with him in the Mediterranean which was his inspiration, 
or we shall miss the key to his later interests. 

For this reason are given parts of his old diaries when 
abroad. The diaries were recorded on a yacht, the letters 
were written with crippled fingers which scarce could hold a 
pen. These strictly natural history extracts give necessarily 
but an imperfect impression of how the letters really ran. 
Though all spontaneous and unstudied, those who received 
them used to think them something more than clear : they 
seemed marked by a simple grace of diction which gave 
them a distinction quite their own. 

Our duty has been to pass on to others a naturalist's 
thought and work, and we have attempted nothing more. 
Yet, as one looks again over these pages, one cannot 



INTRODUCTION 3 

but wonder how much they may also perhaps convey 
of Lord Lilford's character and personality to those who 
did not know him. One cannot tell ; he was too little 
self-conscious ever to pose, ever to attempt self-portraiture. 
There were no mannerisms, conceits, or eccentricities to 
seize upon for ' genius ' ; he was a sane, single-hearted, 
keen, accomplished English gentleman. In all the letters 
we have had before us he writes but one thing of himself, 
and with that one thing we will end : — 

" My life-history is soon summed up. I have, I fear, 
been an idler, devoted more to my own amusement than 
anything else, till I have learned, by physical suffering, 
the lesson that the real value of existence here below 
consists in the good that we may be able to do for 
others." ^ 

^ To Mrs. Owen Visger. 



CHAPTER I 
The Surroundings ot Lord Liltord's Home 

The life and work of Lord Lilford was to so great 
an extent inseparably related to his home, that it seems 
necessary to give some idea of this from the point of 
view of a visitor. 

The nearest town to Lilford of any pretensions is 
Oundle, which lies on the Midland Railway, about half- 
way between Kettering and Peterborough ; for Lilford 
is in the north-west corner of Northamptonshire, on the 
borders of what was once Rockingham Forest. It is in 
the valley of the river Nene, which, rising near the 
Haddons, runs the length of the county, and crosses the 
junction of Lincoln, Norfolk and Cambridge to enter 
the Wash. 

"Ours," writes Lord Lilford (August 5th, i860) 
" is a deep, slow-moving, muddy, weedy stream, producing 
pike, perch, eels, roach, carp, tench, dace, bream, ruff, rudd, 
chubb, bleak and gudgeon, and very rarely a trout." ' 

1 To the Rev. Canon Tristram. 



LORD LILFORD'S HOME 5 

And again (January 23rd, 1889): 

" I never saw or heard of a barbel in any part of the 
Nene, certainly not in the neighbourhood of Lilford, as 
I own, more or less, some twelve miles of river and 
tributary brooks ; in my father's time the river was 
systematically dragged for the whole length of our domain 
in February and March, and I have bottom-fished every 
inch of it with every variety of bait at various times of 
year between 1840 and 1888, and never caught, seen, or 
heard of a barbel : in fact, I believe that our river 
produces every English river fish except barbel, grayling, 
and possibly one or two fishes of the family Salmonidie. 
Perch have perhaps increased in number in our river, but 
certainly diminished in average size very palpably. In my 
early fishing days we used to catch many of 2 lbs. and 
over, and 3-pounders were not very rare ; but it is quite 
exceptional now to catch a perch of 1 lb." ^ 

Northamptonshire is commonly spoken of as a flat and 
rather uninteresting county ; but about Lilford, at any rate, 
it is neither the one nor the other. If not conspicuously 
striking, it is characteristically English, and as such is 
full of charm. It is a rolling, almost a hilly country, 
and is closely wooded with singularly fine timber. With 
the botany of this neighbourhood we are not acquainted ; 
probably its botany is not very distinctive, though henbane 
grows there (and not only on rubbish-heaps). Bladderwort 

1 To Dr. Albert Giinther. 



6 THE SURROUNDINGS OF 

(Utricularia), too, is found in a backwater of the Nene ; 
and bladderwort, as a natural; trap for living organisms, 
gives interest to any stream. 

The park at Lilford, though not in reality very large, 
appears to be so ; for, by means of sunk fences cunningly 
set, it merges insensibly into the surrounding country. It 
supports some three hundred head of fallow deer. 

But the glory of the park is its growth of trees. One 
does not often see in the same area so many noble trees of 
different kinds as here. The elms — characteristic Northamp- 
tonshire trees — have attained magnificent proportions, and 
the chestnuts, ash, beech and oak are not far from being 
as fine as they can be. The box grows strongly at 
Lilford ; it appears to do there almost as well as on its 
native chalk hills. It forms a hedge on either side of the 
road that brings you to the gates, and gives a warm look 
to the coverts. But a visitor to Lilford, especially if he 
went late in May, would probably bear away with him 
the memory of the hawthorns more than all of these, and 
he would be right. In many places in England, in old 
park and forest lands, thorns with larger boles may be 
seen — old giants these, but commonlv stunted and going 
back. But very seldom do thorns run up so high as at 
Lilford, or fall over from the top so gracefully, or reach 
so low and far with the tips of their fingers, and with 
such a foam of bloom. 

A country like this, of hollow elms and old oak woods, 
is always a favoured one for tree-loving birds — though, alas ! 



LORD LILFORD'S HOME 7 

they are not always protected with so strong a hand and 
such loving interest as here. The hawfinch, always a local 
and capricious bird in its choice of a breeding-place, was 
long waited for, but nested here at last. 

"Till the spring of the year 1870," Lord Lilford 
writes,^ " we only knew the hawfinch in the neighbourhood 
of Lilford as an occasional, and by no means a common, 
winter visitor. On April 4th of the year just named I 
observed some half-dozen or more of these birds haunting 
the old thorn bushes on our lawn ; they remained about 
for some days, but in spite of minute and protracted search 
in the most likely localities we could not discover that they 
attempted to nest with us, and they had all disappeared 
before the middle of April. A pair or more, however, 
undoubtedly bred not far off, for in July and August I 
constantly observed some of the species about our kitchen 
garden. In the very severe weather of December, 1870 
and 1 87 1, we were visited by very large flocks of haw- 
finches ; ai:d since the date last named some of these 
birds have nested regularly about our pleasure-grounds, and 
have become only too well known to our gardeners and 
cottagers from their constant and serious depredations 
amongst the green peas and other vegetables." 

Curiously enough, as against the establishment of haw- 
finches there was a gradual falling off in the numbers of 

' The Birds of Northamptonshire, i., 185. 



8 THE SURROUNDINGS OF 

green woodpeckers, a bird to whose habits the district 
was well adapted. This is difficult to explain, but was 
possibly connected with a recurrence of very severe 
winters, which kill these birds in great numbers by 
preventing them from feeding on the ground, as they 
are much in the habit of doing. On the other hand, 
the lesser spotted woodpecker, in many parts of England 
regarded as rare, is at Lilford the commonest species 
of the three ; and Lord Lilford has this interesting 
note upon them : ' — 

" In the first sunny days of February, and sometimes 

even earlier, the loud, jarring noise produced by this 

species may be heard amongst the tall elms and other 

trees closely surrounding Lilford, often proceeding from 

two or three birds at the same moment, and continued at 

intervals from daylight till dusk. From long and close 

observation we long ago convinced ourselves that this 

noise is a call, and has nothing to do with intentional 

disturbance of insect food, as has often been supposed 

and stated ; nor is it produced, as we with many others 

formerly imagined, by the rapid vibration of the bird's 

beak in a crack of rotten wood, but simply by a 

hammering or tapping action which the human eye cannot 

follow. On a calm day, or with a light, favouring 

breeze, the sound then produced may be heard at a distance 

of quite half a mile, or even more." 

^ The Birds of Northampton shire, i., 271. 



LORD LILFORD'S HOME 9 

But, much as Lilford owes to its woodlands, it owes 
still more to the river Nene. This stream is a direct 
highway to and from the sea, and by it come many birds 
to visit or stay near Lilford's coverts and park. Some, 
flying high in air, follow it inland as a clue when they 
come from over seas. Perhaps the hobbies come that 
way : they appear in the Lilford woods about the middle 
of May, to lay their eggs in the old nests of the magpie or 
the carrion crow ; for the hobby is a wise little falcon, and 
waits for the clothing of the woods in leaf to make 
concealment sure. Probably the redwings and fieldfares 
also keep an eye on the river when they cross from 
Scandinavia in the autumn, and visit for food the Lilford 
thorns. Sandpipers and curlew also follow the Nene 
valley as they come south. The river brings in many 
wildfowl, and from time to time an individual or two 
of an uncommon species: thus, in January 1876 sixteen 
Bewick's swans came down near Lilford, and remained 
for several days ; while the tufted duck, pochard, scaup, 
and golden-eye are on the list of winter visitors. 

Apropos of the different behaviour of wildfowl on the 
wing, Lord Lilford writes : ' — 

" I noticed a peculiarity in the habits of this species 
(the gadwall) at the sunset flight : whilst the mallards 
would circle cautiously several times around their feeding- 
place before settling, the teal come dashing in over the 

' The Birds of Northamptonshire, ii., 175. 



lo LORD LILFORD'S HOME 

tops of the reeds, and the shovellers drop in quietly in 
small parties, the gadwalls came straight over at a con- 
siderable height, and without any preliminary circumvolu- 
tion, always turned suddenly and came pouring in from 
the direction opposite to that of their first approach." 

These observations were made while sporting in Epirus. 



CHAPTER II 
Local Observation 

The letters which follow speak for themselves. They are 
instinct with the spirit of the old first-hand observers, the 
spirit of Gilbert White. Remarks on the weather, on the 
hay crop, on spring and autumn migrations are followed 
by observations on particular birds, the success of experi- 
ments with little owls, or encouragement to friends away 
abroad. 

He was indeed the good genius of every would-be 
ornithologist, generously giving, out of his great knowledge 
and experience, help and information on even the smallest 
points. Anybody who heard a new note, found a strange 
egg, saw a doubtful species ; anybody who had a new 
bird ' fad ' or a new bird ' cause ' came to him. To 
" write to Lord Lilford " seemed to such persons as 
inevitable as to others to " write to the Times." And for 
all his shrewdness of intellect, sense of humour, impatience 
with folly and gift of satire, ignorance, if the right 
endeavour underlay it, was never rebuffed. Such kindness 
brought him an increasing volume of chance correspondence ; 



12 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

yet his letters were always promptly answered, unless he 
were absolutely ill in bed. It is wonderful now to look 
back on this, and having even a very sinall fragment of 
his correspondence before one, to reflect on the resolution 
such work, so minutely and conscientiously done, must 
have entailed. As was but natural, his most regular 
correspondents were those who, like himself, were keepers 
of birds, or naturalists travelling in his old haunts. 

''July itth, 1888. 
" Birds of all kinds are numerous here this year, but 
at least two-thirds of a wonderful hatch of partridges are 
drowned. We have at least three times our usual — very 
small — number of swifts, and the small waders, lesser white- 
throats, willow wrens, chifFchafFs, sedge and reed warblers 
are in very great force. The meadows are swarming with 
landrails." ^ 

"July T,ist, 1888. 

" The finest hatch of partridges on record in these parts 
is virtually extinct, and a fiir hay crop has gone the 
same way. 

" Waders are passing over every night, and if the rain 
goes on for another week we shall have many snipes, 
spotted rails, whimbrels, and possibly a rufF or two. Black 
tern and green sandpiper have already appeared."" 

' To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 
* To the same. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 13 

" October i^th, 1888. 

" I am exceedingly obliged to you for yours of the 13th, 
and the interesting information therein contained, as well 
as for the paper on the sand-grouse in the Spurn district. 

" I do not know of one of these wanderers having been 
killed in this county this year, but I have good authority 
for the appearance in this neighbourhood of three together, 
and two solitary individuals. The first of these passed 
over the head of my informant within fifteen yards, with 
its feet hanging from the weight of the clay adhering." ' 

'■'^Bournemouth^ October 3iiY, i888. 

" The first woodcock positively seen near Lilford was 
on October i8th, the first grev crow on October ist. 
Fieldfares, earlier than in any previous record, on 
September 29Ch. I have authentic information of a flock 
of some twenty felts in Cambridgeshire on September 5th. 

" 1 have heard of the great crested grebes breeding 
on several of the reservoirs in the southern division of 
our county for some years, and latterly on a large pond 
in the northern division, and also close to our frontier 
in Rutland." "~ 

"December i^th, 1889. 
" This has been a very peculiar autumn, in its average 
extraordinary mildness. We had snow and a few days 
of sharp frost in many places, but now foggy mornings, 

' To John Cordeaux, Esq. 
^ To the same. 



14 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

and generally bright, sunny afternoons. I have not heard 
of any great number of woodcocks anywhere, but it has 
been a good autumn for visitors on the east coast. I 
have heard of redbreasted fly-catchers, ortolans, fire-crest, 
and several two-barred crossbills. There was a marvellous 
invasion of common crossbills in Portugal and Andalucia 
in September and October ; the King of Portugal told me 
that for three days they were passing over some pine 
woods on the coast where he was shooting, in tens of 
thousands, and a great many appeared in the Campo de 
Gibraltar at Seville and at Malaga, where they were 
previously ail but unknown. There was a great catch 

of hawks at Valkenswaard,* but L tells me that all 

were small birds. A BufFon's skua f was picked up near 
Lilford alive on November st and sent to me." ' 

"January dtk, 1891. 

" I have so far, by living upstairs in a room with double 

windows and a very big fireplace, managed to keep myself, 

a hoopoe, a Madeira blackcap, and one of the genus 

Turnix, J which ornithologists nickname the ' Andalucian 

> To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Valkenswaard— a village in North Brabant — has long been a 
favourite place for the capture of hawks when on passage, by means of 
decoys and a bow-net. See article on Falconry later on in this book. 

t Bufifon's Skua (SUnorarius parasiticus). This bird belongs to 
a group of the gulls, known (from their livelihood being largely 
gained by pursuit and robbery of other gulls) as ' robber gulls.' 
Buffon's is a characteristic Arctic species. 

\ The quails. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 15 

hemipode,' in very fair good health. Burghley tells me the 
small fishes find it so cold in the water that they jump 
ashore, in proof of which he has brought me two baskets 
full for my piscivorous birds." ^ 

"■December \ith, 1891. 
" I should very much like to have your otter, but as 
my principal object in view is a mate and playfellow for my 
female, I fear it would break her heart to part with him 
again, so that I must decline your offer with many thanks. 
I hear of very few woodcocks (we never have many) here- 
abouts, and singularly few snipes. Our valley has been 
more or less under water since the middle of October. 
We have had a good many ducks, and, for us, an unusual 
lot of teal. No end of fieldfares ; a good many arrived 
in September, about six weeks earlier than usual." ^ 

'■'■February ilth, 1892. 
" You are doing better out of this country at present ; 
for after some ten days of lovely mild weather, with wood- 
pigeons cooing, rooks building, and thrushes in full song, 
on Monday last, 15th, we had a fall of six inches of snow 
on the level, and last night the thermometer in our kitchen 
garden registered 30 degrees of frost. The Campo de 
Gibraltar, Cork Woods, Sierra del Nino, Plaza de Levante, 
etc., are delightful, and I am very glad that you enjoyed 
your three davs there. 

1 To the Rev. W. WiUimott. 

2 To E. G. B. Meade- Waldo, Esq. 



1 6 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

" I am very anxious to have some of the marsh owls 
alive ; they ought to be breeding now." 

" May i^th, 1892. 
" I have only been out of the house once since October 
last. I am told that most of our spring birds are here in 
very unusual numbers, and most of them earlier than usual. 
A pair, if not two, of little owls have taken their young 
off safely at no great distance. We have a great many 
hawfinches nesting close to the house, and a nest of long- 
eared owl and snipe (both deserted) have been found for 
the first time in my recollection in this immediate 
neighbourhood." ' 

'■'■May 2\5t, 1892. 

" I have not heard recently ot anv little owls * at a 
distance, and of no nests at more than two miles from this. 
I am told of two nests of tawny owls with the young still in 
them, and we have seven or eight barn owls sitting. Can 
you spare me any young long-eared .' I want to establish 
them at large here. 

" A nest of little woodpecker was found on our lawn 
yesterday ; the bird is common enough, but the nest is very 
hard to find. A kite was identified on competent authority 
about sixteen miles from us on the 2nd, and I hear of 



1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* The Little Owl {Athene noctua), a Continental species. Lord 
Lilford [see later] liberated at different times many of these birds. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 17 

a "gurt ork"* (not a great auk) recently seen at about 
the same distance in another direction." ' 

" September 6th, 1892. 
" These summer excursions and incursions of crossbills 
are very remarkable and unaccountable. The crossbill 
{curvirostra) is an exceedingly rare bird in this county, 
but the way in which hawfinches have colonised our 
neighbourhood is a caution and warning to gardeners. 
We always had, and I am glad to say, still have, great 
numbers of goldfinches in this district, where agriculture 
has never advanced since the Restoration." - 

" Oa/>6er lotk, 1893. 

" Your mention of the abundance of hawfinches at 
Rope Hill is to me very remarkable, as, although last year 
we had at least ten or a dozen nests about our lawn and 
pleasure grounds, this year we could not discover one, and 
the birds were, comparatively, vefy scarce at pea-time. 

" With the exception of redwings, which arrived about 
a fortnight earlier than usual, all our migrants are late ; 
but a great tide has set in during the last few days, 
and our beech trees are full of travelling woodpigeons, 
chaffinches, and some bramblings, whilst flock after flock 
of pipits, linnets, skylarks, starlings and peewits are 
passing to the S.W. up our valley." ^ 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 
' To the same. 
' To the same. 
* Great hawk. 



1 8 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

Note from " Aviary Record." 
"January loM, 1894: Green woodpecker (Gecinus 
viridis) * pulling out thatch from roof of schoolhouse, 
Lilford (Edwards)." 

"December iTik, 1894. 
" We have scarcely any hawfinches in our neighbour- 
hood this summer, and I have heard of very few during 
the autumn. Before 1870 we looked upon them as very 
irregular, but occasionally abundant winter visitors ; now 
they are sometimes extremely abundant breeders, and 
scarce after the month of September." ^ 

"January 26th, 1895. 

" Three little auks, one of them captured by a cat, 
were brought to me from this neighbourhood the day 
before yesterday ; two were picked up in the county, and 
one of them brought to me alive about October 13th ult., 
and I heard of another found just over our frontier in 

Beds about the same time. G. L tells me of two in 

the New Forest on Monday last. Doctor H told 

me of the ' auk-storm ' on the Yorks coast. 

" The only other remarkable birds that I have heard 
of as occurring recendy in Ithis neighbourhood are my 
bimaculated duck, or drake, on our decoy, on 21st ult., 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* The Green Woodpecker is less of a purely tree bird than our 
other woodpeckers, often seeking its food (ants, etc.) on the ground. 
This bird was probably looking for insects. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 19 

three smews on our river, near the house last week, and 
a waxwing female, shot at Brington on 21st inst." * 

''April 2Sth, 1895. 

" We had not much snow here, but the glass went 
down to below zero on several nights. I did not hear 
of many dead birds found here, except starlings and a 
few fieldfares. 

" We seldom have many song thrushes after the 
beginning of November, but two came constantly to be fed. 
There is no doubt that this species has suffered more than 
any of our common birds. I have only once heard its 
song, and I only hear of some half-dozen nests about our 
pleasure grounds, as against a usual average of twenty- 
five to thirty. 

" I do not perceive or hear about any noticeable 
diminution amongst our blackbirds, but starlings and 
robins are remarkable for their comparative scarcity just 
now. 

" We had a great many fowl about the middle of 
the frost — mallard, wigeon, pochard, ten tufted ducks, a 
few teal, pintail, and three smews ; only one small lot of 
pinkfooted (.'') geese. The most remarkable ornithological 
occurrences were those of a great northern diver that 
was killed near Northampton in December, and is now in 
my possession ; eight whoopers * that remained here for 

^ To John Cordeaux, Esq. 

* The Whooper Swan {Cyg/ius ferus), a winter visitor which breeds 
in Iceland. 



ao LOCAL OBSERVATION 

two days, March i6th-i7th, and a grey-hen killed on 
i8th idr' 

"May T,rd, 1895. 

" I cannot even hear of an occupied nest of owl of 
any sort hereabouts. It is true that almost all our favourite 
tawny owl trees were uprooted in the fall of March 24th, 
but we have some left, and plenty of the owls. Here 
three eggs is the rule, but I have known of four. 

"Our first swift appeared yesterday, and all our regular 
spring birds are now in, except turtle-dove, hobby, and 
nightjar. The clrl bunting is almost unknown in the 
county. I remember seeing several one summer between 

Southampton and Hamble, and used to see them 

at Hythe." ' 

"April 2ot/!, 1892. 
" I take it as most friendly and obliging of you to 
give me the very welcome news of the kites' nest in 
your county,* and I sincerely hope that your most praise- 
worthy efforts may be rewarded by your having the 
satisfaction of seeing some seven or eight kites circling 
in the air. I wish there was a chance of the return of 
this fine bird to its ancient haunts in the great woodlands 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

2 To the same. 

* The Common Kite {Milvus ictinus), once the scavenger of London, 
is now only just not extinct in this country. Not many years ago 
several were wantonly slaughtered in a Welsh district, where now, 
as Mr. Phillips informs us, but a single bird remains. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 21 

of this country. I can just remember the days when it 
was still tolerably common." ^ 

"January J3//1, 1893. 
"I am much obliged to you for yours of nth, and 
am very glad to have your experience about the kites 
remaining in Wales through the year : this is not the 
case in Inverness-shire." ^ 

"January ^i\ih, 1895. 
" I do not think the kites would drive away the 
young during the year of their birth, but it is quite 
probable that they might object to the new building of 
a fresh pair within the limits of their hunting district. 
In my experience in Spain we seldom found a nest of 
red kite within a m.ile of another of the same species. 
The black kite, on the other hand, we often found in 
small scattered colonies of half a dozen nests, perhaps 
within a radius of 500 or 600 yards." ^ 

"April 25//%, 1895. 
"Thanks very much for yours of the 2ist. I am 
very glad that you enjoyed your visit to my beloved 
old haunts in Glentromie and Guich so much. We used 
to call the loch below the lodge, Loch'n Sheillach — 
the Lake of the Willows. I grieve to hear of four stuffed 
eagles. All our spring birds as yet arrived are pretty 

' To E. Cambridge Phillips, Esq. 
* To the same. 
' To the same. 



22 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

well up to their average dates. We have a good many 
plovers' eggs here, and a good many from Green Bank. 
There are, I am assured, two pairs of redshanks 
nesting in Achurch meadow, but the eggs are as yet 
undiscovered.^ 

" That hill-fox hunting is not bad fun, and I hope 
that your party will kill all of them, and not send any 
cubs south for sale alive. I shall be very glad indeed if 
you can find a nest of goosanders * and send me one or 
two eggs ; don't take them all. I should very much 
like also some young mergansers alive. I suspect that 
you will have to watch very close to find a nest of 
goosanders among tree roots near water, or in a hollow 
tree.^ 

" Four golden plovers in full summer plumage, with 
black waistcoats, have been for some days haunting 
Achurch and St. Peter's meadow ; but these golden plovers 
do not lay till May, and of course the chances of their 
doing so are very small, f but whatever their intentions 
may be, they are evidently paired, and apparently 

1 To Walter M. Stopford, Esq. 

^ To the same. 

* The Goosander {Mergus /nerganser) and the Merganser (M. 
serrator) belong to the tooth-billed division of the ducks, i.e., their 
mandibles have a saw edge — a provision designed to enable them 
to catch the fish on which they feed. They nest on the lochs in 
the north of Scotland, where the former is by far the rarer bird of 
the two. 

t The Golden Plover (Cliaradrius pluvialis) nests on high 
moorlands and high, open hills. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 23 

unwilling to desert their friends the peewits. We 
have fine weather, with bright sun, but bitterly cold 
winds. 

" I hear that the damage done by the hurricane in 
Norfolk is a thousand times worse than here, and it is 
woeful enough here. 

" If your goosanders are not mergansers, do all you 
can to find a nest, as but few have been found in Great 
Britain. The mergansers breed in all suitable localities in 
the Highlands. 

" The first pheasant's egg in the pens yesterday ; but 
there have been ' wild ' ones for the last week or more. 

" Siskins ought to nest on Speyside. 

" The Bough ton keeper tells me of a sparrow-hawk 
taking a woodcock there on the 9th." ' 

"May 6M, 1895. 
" A pair of herons built a big nest in Piper's spinney 
just above Braunsea bridge, but they have not yet laid ! 
Well-regulated herons have young on wing before this. 
The last arrival in spring birds was a turtle-dove on the 
3rd. All others are in except butcher bird, hobby and 
nightjar. There are no end of nightingales ; very few 
song thrushes ; numerous corncrakes ; a good sprinkling 
of cuckoos, tree pipits, chifFchafFs ; and more wood 
warblers than I ever knew of before."^ 

1 To Walter M. Stopford, Esq. 
^ To the same. 



24 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

"June 24th, 1887. 

" I am exceedingly obliged to you for your very 
interesting letter, which reached me here yesterday, and 
for the very perfect nest and eggs of wood warblers that 
came safely to hand this morning. The only one of 
my people here who knows this bird assures me that 
there are two pairs within a short distance of this house 
(they are by no means common just hereabouts),* but that 
he cannot find a nest. We are not much troubled by 
collectors in these parts, probably because we have no 
heaths or commons, and, as far as is generally known, 
no ornithological specialities. 

" We have a fine crop of barn owls, but not quite so 
many tawnies as usual. What do you say about the male 
owls sitting in a wild state .? I have known of more 
than one instance of a tawny male, and scops, ditto, shot 
from the nest." ' 

"January 21st, 1896. 

" The black-throated diver recorded by me in last 
Field is the only unusual bird that has occurred to 
my knowledge in the district of late. We had thousands 
of fieldfares, and our usual number of redwings ; about 
our average of woodcocks (a very small one), hardly any 
snipe, and no wild-fowl except mallard, in any number. 
" The woodpigeon malady of diseased primary feathers 

' To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Because the \\'ood Warbler {Phylloscopui sibilatrix) is a beech- 
loving species. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 25 

was very noticeable here, but having devoured the 
few acorns, the survivors have left us for some time. 
Hawfinches and storm thrushes have been very scarce." ^ 

"■August zrd, 1888. 
" My falconer took two very young hobbies * yesterday 
from a big nest in a tall oak tree about 1 50 yards from 
that out of which he took three on July 28th in 1886 
and 1887. The woodman averred that four young 
kestrels were hatched in, and flew from this year's nest 
about six weeks ago. These two young birds are the 
largest that I ever saw for their age ; they are entirely 
down-clad, except tips of tail and wing feathers. There 
was a woodpigeon's nest, with two small young, in the 
same tree as the hobbies." - 

"September 6th, 1891. 
" I have had a glimpse of what 1 believe to have 
been an osprey here, but I was at the moment engaged 
in a fight with a pike, and the bird disappeared behind 
some high trees, and I saw it no more." ^ 

" September ttk, 1892. 
" I only know positively of one brood of little owls 
hatched out this summer hereabouts ; we have every reason, 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

^ To the same. 

^ To the same. 

* The Hobby {Falco subbuteo). This little falcon is a summer 
visitor to Britain, arriving after the appearance of the leaf on the 
oak-trees, in which it usually nests. 



26 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

short of certainty, to believe that another lot have come 
ofF successfully. 

" I have a pair of young bearded vultures flying at 
hack.*"^ 

"June 14M, 1892. 
" I had no idea that there were even three pairs of 
ernes f now nesting in our islands ; but, three or thirty, 
I would subject people attacking them to losing their right 
hand, their left ears for an osprey, and their noses for 
a kite." " 

"February 20th, 1892. 
" You may be interested in hearing that we have a little 
owl {Athene) sitting on five eggs in a hollow tree not far 
off. I have turned out a great many of these birds during 
the past few years, and this is the fifth nest of which I 
have had positive information." ^ 

" December 1 -jth, 1 894. 
" T B was here for a few hours on Saturday, 



and told me of your redwing-killing kestrel. It is only 
curious to me that a ' raptor ' with such comparatively 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

^ To the same. 

' To E. Cambridge Phillips, Esq. 

* Young falcons, before being taken into training, are allowed to 
live at liberty so long as they will come regularly to take the food placed 
for them by the falconer. Thi.s is called flying 'at hack.' See article 
on Falconry later on. 

t White-tailed Sea-eagle {Haliaetus albicilla). 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 27 

powerful feet as the kestrel does not more often pick 
up birds from the trees, bushes, and in air. Of course, 
we know that he takes a certain number on the ground. 
I have only twice in my life seen a kestrel go for a 
bird with apparently murderous intention : * in the first 
instance at a missel thrush, which baffled him entirely 
in a thick tree, and as I believe, scared him off by chatter ; 
in the second instance, curiously enough very near the 
same place, I was standing forward under a fence about 
up to my shoulder for partridges, and a covey rose at 
perhaps five hundred yards from me on a big pasture 
field, and were coming skimming the ground towards me, 
when one of the kestrels that I had noticed circling and 
hovering high in air, shut its wings and made a really 
grand stoop at these birds (they were hardly big enough 
to shoot), and put the whole lot except the old cock 
(who came on to me and met his fate) into some long 
grass and rushes. The stoop was so fine that I thought 
that I must have been deceived as to the stooper, but 
there was in fact no mistake whatever about it. 

" Do your redwings suffer from the kestrel in the air ? 
And do you notice any other birds taking the holly berries .'' 
We have very few hollies in this neighbourhood, and I 
cannot discover that any birds save redwings, and rarely 
other Turdi, even touch them." ' 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* The Kestrel or Wind-hover {Falco tiiinuncuhis), like the barn-owl, 
habitually feeds on mice and voles. 



2 8 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

" Septemler 6th, 1891. 
" With regard to the hybridisation of pigeons. I 
received last spring, from a neighbouring parson, a bird 
that I believe to be one of the persuasion known as 
' Antwerp carriers.' It was caught, unable to fly, near 
his house, and he, thinking it might have escaped hence, 
let me know about it, and eventually sent it over to me 
as a present. It has a metal ring round one leg, with a 
date, letter and number. After a few days I put this 
bird into the aviary with the Bolle's, the laurel and 
trocaz,* besides a male stockdove. This latter has paired 
with the carrier, and they are now taking turn and turn 
about on two eggs. I am very curious to see what the 
produce, if there is any, will be like. They have been 
sitting about six days." ' 

"January \^ih, 1893. 

" Are you quite satisfied that some of the birds 

imported by Mr. H did actually come direct to him 

from Asiatic Turkey ? In the only district in .Albania in 
which we found pheasants, their chief diet consisted of 
acorns, Indian corn, hips, privet berries, and of course 
insect food. 

" The variety, not only in size and weight but also 
in markings and in habits, between grey partridges from 
different parts even of our own islands, is indeed most 

' To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Pigeons : Columba bollii, C. laurivora .Ti:d C. trocaz (see later). 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 29 

remarkable. In Northern Spain the common grey partridge 
ranges up to and breeds at 5000-6000 feet above the 
sea, and very rarely comes below 2000 feet. It is a small, 
dark-coloured bird with nearly black legs, and is by no 
means common, Caccabis rufa being the partridge of the 
country." ^ 

" /uiie 14M, 1892. 

" There is in my opinion no harm whatever in 
killing the old male bustards * at any time up to the 
end of IMay, and no excuse whatever for killing 
hens after March ; but supposing that every British 
officer from Gibraltar killed every bustard he shot 
at between September and May 31st, I do not think 
that it would materially affect the breed in Spain ; 
for Andalucia is constantly reinforced from Estremadura 
and La Mancha, and the natives really trouble very little 
about those birds, though they will shoot at them or 
at anything else, from the nest or not, when they get 
the chance. 

" If any real harm is done to the breed of bustards 
in Andalucia it is in the marisma, where almost every 
herdsman carries a gun and squirts at everything." ' 

' To E. Cambridge Phillips, Esq. 

^ To the same. 

* The Great Bustard {Otis tarda), once an inhabitant of open 
cultivated and uncultivated lands in Britain, now only an irregulat 
visitor to this country, is shot by ' driving ' on the Andalucian 
plains. 



30 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

" March 12th, 1887. 
" Are you aware that, about the year 1 808, a gamekeeper 
of the name of Agars, then in the employ of W. Thos. 
St. Quintin, Esq., of Lowthorpe and Scampston Hall 
(Yorkshire), secured eleven great bustards, as the result 
of one shot from behind a stalking horse.''"' 

"September 22nd, 1895. 

" Three polecats were killed near this place early this 
year. I can remember them nearly as common as stoats, 
but of late years we seldom get hold of more than two 
in three or four years. No marten has been killed in 
this county to my knowledge for some ten or twelve 
years, or for some thirty before that. They used to 
be quite common some seventy years ago, in the forest of 
Rockingham." ' 

'■'■December 12th, 1895. 

"With regard to peregrines about Salisbury cathedral, 
I can only say that seven is a very unusual number to 
be seen together, but there is no impossibility about it. 

" I am glad to hear of the proposed arrangement on 
the spire in favour of our friends, the peregrines."^ 

"March 16//7, 1895. 
" I knew that a pair of peregrines occasionally bred upon 
the spire ot Salisbury cathedral, but I had no idea that they 

1 To W. H. St. Quintin, Esq. 

^ To the same. 

' To the Rev. W. Willimott. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 31 

did so regularly, and am delighted to find that the good 
dean takes such a warm interest in them. It is remarkable 
that the red-throated diver at Northampton should have 
been considered as worthy of record in the 'Times and 
Standard, whilst the much rarer great northern diver 
(killed in the same neighbourhood) and given to me in 
November last, passed, so far as I know, without public 
record of any sort." ^ 

"December 26tk, 1894. 
" The only ornithological event of much interest that 
has recently taken place in this neighbourhood, to my 
knowledge, was the capture on our decoy, a few days ago, 
of a most lovely hybrid (male) between mallard and teal. 
I never before handled one of this cross." - 

"■March ^rd, 1891. 
" White and pied stoats are exceptionally rare here, but 
four out of some nine or ten of these little beasts, brought 
to me during the last few weeks, have been more or less 
white, one very nearly quite white ; all these varieties were 
of the gentler sex." ' 

1 To the Rev. W. Willimott. 

2 To the same. 
^ To the same. 

Note. — Mr. Willimott writes, July wtk, 1896: "Lord Lilford corre- 
sponded with me off and on for some thirty years. I first had the privilege 
of meeting him when Robert Barr was falconer to the old hawking club, 
when he was fairly well and strong, and could ride as well as most of the 
party." — Letter to Hoif. Mrs. Dreiuiit. 



32 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

"July yd, 1890. 
" Your young Cornish squire, as a protector of eagles 
and falcons, deserves to be known and appreciated far and 
wide. I rented a forest in Inverness-shire for several years, 
and looked upon the golden eagles which bred there 
annually, not only as my good friends on account of their 
destruction of blue hares, which are pestilential nuisances 
in stalking, but also on account of the wholesome dread they 
inspired in the breasts of the grey crows, which will follow 
and mob the sea-eagle, but sneak off the moor directly 
a golden is in sight. A young falcon was caught alive in 
October last on the Norfolk coast, in a shore net, and taken 
uninjured to a friend of mine, who sent her off at once 
to an ardent falconer friend in Herts ; the latter immediately 
took her in hand and flew her at rooks, at which she flew 
very well. In April last she sailed away and was lost, and 
mirabile dictu, was shot by Lord Coke in the park 
at Holkham, not more than a mile from where she was 
originally taken, within twenty-four hours after she was lost. 
Lord Coke, curiously enough, sent her body to my friend 
who had first received her alive." ' 

^^Bournemouth, March nth, iSgo. 
" The bearded vulture * or Gypaetus is to be met with 
in all the sierras of Spain, but certainly does not breed 

' To the Rev. W. Willimott. 

* The Bearded Vulture {Gyfaetus barbatus) ranges over lofty 
mountain chains from Portugal and Spain to the Himalayas. For an 
account of Lord Lilford's domesticated pair, see Presidential Address, 
P- 39- 




The tamk Lajimergeikrs, 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 33 

in the neighbourhood of Valencia, which is more or less 
of a flat garden for miles. Poor Rudolph was always in 
such a tearing hurry that he never gave himself a chance 
of becoming really acquainted with the birds of Spain ; of 
course, as Gypaetus does not breed in colonies, never lays 
more than two eggs, and is by no means a wary bird, it 
can hardly be said to be ' common ' anywhere in Europe ; 
but my experience has been to the effect that a pair, 
sometimes two pairs, are always to be found breeding in 
Spain, not amongst, but very near to the many colonies 
of griffons. I believe that you will find that all the 
most birdy localities on the Danube, above Belgrade, 
are in the hands of private owners, who, however, 
especially in Hungary, are most civil and obliging to 
English naturalists. Let me know if you think I can 
be of any sort of use to you." ' 

''April i^th, 1888. 
" I do not remember to have heard of golden eagles 
hatched in captivity, or, as far as I recollect, even of their 
laying eggs in those circumstances. The truth, as I am 
firmly convinced, is that in these large species of eagle, 
the birds are not really ' mature ' till they have com- 
pleted their fifth or sixth year, and in a wild state some 
never acquire the fully mature dress, though they may 
live for a hundred years ; and another curious fact is 
that a pair of old eagles that have bred and driven off 

1 To Col. H. Barclay. 



34 LOCAL OBSERVATION 

their young in one season, will often pass a year or 
two in the same locality, and use the nest as a 
resting-place, without any attempt at reproduction, and 
resume the process in another season. I must say that 
I have never seen anything more confirmatory of the 
passage of small birds on the backs of large ones, than 
the presence of enormous numbers of Motacilla flava* 
amongst several hundreds of freshly arrived storks in 
South Spain, in 1872. We saw this as we went by 
steamer down the Guadalquivir : the wagtails were scarce 
till we came down to the spot upon which the storks 
were drilling and consulting, and there the little birds 
were swarming." ^ 

"October ^th, 1889. 
" I had a letter two days ago from the Crown Prince 
of Portugal, describing a marvellous passage of crossbills 
over a sandy, pine-grown district on the coast of that 
country, where the bird was previously entirely unknown. 
He says that he and his companion shot a hundred and 
fifty, and were only deterred from shooting several 
thousands by the fact that they had butchered more than 
they wanted. By the same post I had a letter from Seville, 
telling me that there are now large numbers in that 
neighbourhood, where hitherto they have been, to say the 
least of it, very uncommon." " 

1 To Dr. Albert Giinther. 

' To the Rev. Murray Matthew. 

* The Blue-headed Wagtail. 



LOCAL OBSERVATION 35 

" Decetnber \^th, 1889. 

" Did you shoot any of the Hierro ravens ? And do 
they in any way differ from the ordinary type ? 

" I presume that Hierro is the least-known island of 
the Canarian group ; from your account it would not be 
a very eligible residence for any length of time, but in 
my younger days I would have made acquaintance with 
those big Hzards,* or known the reason why." ' 

I To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Laceria simoni. Simony's Lizard. — A very large lizard that is 
confined to a small rocky island — little more than a rock — off the 
coast of Hierro. There are two of these rocks, the Zalmones, on 
only one of which the lizard lives — viz., that farthest from the shore. 
Owing to almost continuous surf it is rarely possible to land. This 
lizard feeds on crabs. 

The Hierro raven i.s C. tingiianus, the Tangier raven. — 
E. G. B. M-VV. 



CHAPTER III 
*onds, Paddocks, and Avdaries 



') 



As is well known, LilforJ was celebrated during the late 
peer's lifetime for one of the most remarkable — in some 
directions the most remarkable — collections of living birds 
in any private hands. Carefully as birds may be attended 
to (and the management of the Lilford aviaries was 
little short of perfection), it is inevitable that in a large 
collection losses and additions must make constant changes 
in the list. But Lord Lilford's presidential address to 
the members of the Northamptonshire Field Naturalists' 
Club, which follows here at length, so admirably describes 
the chief features of the collection at that date, that it 
needs but a few words of introduction. 

Lilford Hall is a dia:nified and comfortable-looking 
Jacobean house, built of grey Ketton stone, and a little 
raised above the river Nene. 

The hall door faces a gravel, balustraded sweep, which 
formed a favourite parade-ground of the ravens, Sankey 
and Grip. The south — the drawing-room side — looks on 
to a terraced lawn, where the falcons sat on their blocks, 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 37 

grouped about an old cedar. Beyond this, and towards the 
right, stretch other lawns and shrubberies. Here was the 
long line of large aviaries devoted to waders, doves and other 
birds. Opposite these again, and partly sheltered by over- 
hanging trees and scrub, where Mantell's apteryx hid from 
daylight and laid its egg, was a large natural shallow pool, 
in which flamingoes waded and a few wildfowl swam. 

On the opposite side of the house the ground falls 
quickly to the river, and here, close to the wall, was the 
twisted beech tree in which the ravens made their nest ; 
and a little farther on, the summer enclosure of the 
elephantine tortoise which it took five men to lift. 

Directly behind the house is a wide courtyard, about 
which were situated a variety of living things. Here the 
Spanish bear lived in its corner ; and close by it the 
pair of bonxies, or great skuas ('robber gulls') shared 
a subdivided enclosure with great bustards and Bewick's 
swans. In another corner was the eagles' aviary, and 
near it a long glass-covered house, where the lemurs were, 
and long rows of cages containing beautiful and rare 
finches, blue jays, jay-shrikes, the grakles, and other birds 
described in the presidential address. 

On the same side, but away beyond the house, about 
two acres of ground had been completely enclosed, and 
were known as the Pinetum. It contained fine timber 
trees, shrubberies, grass, and water, and was entirely sur- 
rounded with a high iron fence and wire netting. This 
netting was made cat-proof and fox-proof, by splaying 



38 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

the barbed wire top towards the outside, so as to throw 
back any marauding climber. 

The great glory of this large enclosure was the 
collection of cranes, for such a collection had almost 
certainly never been got together before. Also in this 
paddock were the pelicans. The water was divided into 
two areas by a grass-covered causeway which ran across 
it, and was a great sunning-place for the ducks. 

At the sides of this enclosure were aviaries which 
held several varieties of partridge and francolin, and 
others in which lived a wild cat and the large dormice. 

So much for the general situation of the birds' 
homes. We will now visit the collection itself under the 
only possible guide ; for no memory of visits to Lilford 
stands out like that of the gentle master of all ' our 
show ' (as he used to call it), wheeled about among his 
birds. Here one day he halted to point out, and very 
cautiously, a willow wren's nest in a thick shrub on the 
lawn, built most unusually at a height above the ground. 
Presently he called attention to a dark hole where the 
apteryx was hidden with her egg ; and soon he was 
nursing in his arms another apteryx, which had been taken 
from its hiding-place; for this bird is so strictly nocturnal 
that you would never see it at all were you not some- 
times to extract it from its chosen haunt. 

The following account of the Lilford collection was 
given by Lord Lilford, as his Presidential Address, on 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 39 

the occasion of a visit (in February, 1894) from the 
members of the Northamptonshire Field Club. 

" It occurs to me that, as I have virtually recorded, in 
our Natural History Journal, all of importance that I had 
to communicate with regard to the occurrence of birds in 
Northamptonshire, and as, to my very great regret, I am 
(as I long have been) unable to occupy the presidential 
chair and address the meeting in person, it may interest 
and amuse some of those present to listen to a few notes 
upon some of the inmates of our vivaria at Lilford. 

"It is probable that some of those present have already 
visited Lilford, and to these I sorrowfully announce that 
my old raven, Sankey, whom they will remember as one 
of the most amusing of our living creatures, went blind 
some years ago, and died last year. His companion of 
later years. Grip by name, is quite as amusing, but not 
so familiar and sociable as the ' late lamented,' whose 
name he constantly repeats, and has apparently taken to 
himself Since the death of Sankey, Grip has had, as a 
mate, another raven, from Spain, and is rapidly instructing 
it in every sort of mischief and ' devilment.' One after- 
noon in November last, I heard these ravens making a very 
unusual clamour close in front of the house, and on looking 
out of the window, perceived that they had got hold of, 
and nearly killed a peregrine falcon ; I sent out a servant, 
who secured the falcon without difficulty. We found that 
it was an old wild bird suffering from a sort of asthma 



40 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

known to falconers as the ' croaks,' and somewhat poor 
in flesh. I would willingly have tried to keep this falcon 
alive and restored it to liberty, but the ravens had injured 
it so severely that it was only common mercy to kill it. 
How or why it allowed itself to be seized and worried 
by its antagonists we can never know. 

" Our Spanish bear will also probably be remembered 
by any who have come to Lilford during the ten years 
that she has been here ; I am glad to say that she is still 
well, though occasionally subject to rheumatism, resulting 
from an injury to one of her legs on her journey to this 
place. In connection with this animal a rather amusing 
incident occurred some years ago : I was anxious to 
provide her with a companion of the other sex, and, 
having heard of several of these in the possession of a 
dealer, during my absence from home entered into nego- 
tiations for the purchase of a young male bear from 
Russia. The dealer in question accepted my terms without 
sending me a reply, and the next news of the matter 
that reached me at Bournemouth was a telegram from 
Lilford announcing the arrival there of a female bear, 
without any previous warning or advice of despatch. 
Upon this I telegraphed to the dealer, saying that the 
animal sent was of the wrong sex, and would be returned 
to him at once. It will hardly be believed that on 
receiving this message my enterprising friend sent off 
a second bear to Lilford without notice, and again a 
female, so that for one night there were three she-bears 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 41 

on the premises ! My old bear is very good-tempered 
as a rule, but on one or two occasions has shown great 
fury to strangers, without any apparent cause. She is 
now so accustomed to solitude, as regards her own species, 
that I should hardly like to introduce a younger and 
weaker bear of either sex into her company. It is perhaps 
worthy of note that this bear is particularly fond of the 
leaves of the elm, but either wholly rejects or shows no 
liking for those of any other of our common trees. 

" Another four-footed lady at Lilford for whom I 
am anxious to find a mate, is the otter, caught some 
years ago when not half-grown, near Warmington, and 
now living in and about a small tank in our kitchen 
garden. 

" My collection of mammalia is small ; perhaps to the 
general public the most interesting of this order of animals, 
now living at Lilford, would be the ruffed lemur, from 
Madagascar, a beautiful nocturnal animal, allied to the 
family of monkeys, with fine, long, black and white fur. 
Two collared fruit-bats have been here for some years, 
but as these beasts spend the whole of the day hanging 
head downwards from the top of their cage, I can hardly 
expect that the ordinary visitor should care much about 
them ; their bodies are, roughly speaking, about the size 
of a moderate-sized common rat, the outstretched wings 
would measure about three feet, perhaps more, from point 
to point. This species breeds annually in the Zoological 
Gardens, whence I procured my specimens ; it is found 



42 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

in Egypt, Palestine, and Cyprus, where it commits great 
ravages upon dates and other fruit. I have living 
specimens of the four European species of dormouse, but 
have nothing of any general interest to record about 
them, except that one species, known as the ' garden 
dormouse,' does not exhibit the drowsy^ tendencies of our 
common English dormouse or the two others of this 
family in the day-time, but is always remarkably active, 
and ready to bite and scratch whenever handled. We 
have during the last two years bred a good many of the 
exceedingly pretty striped mouse of Africa, known as the 
Barbary mouse, from a pair procured for me by a friend 
in Morocco. We have not taken the trouble to make 
special pets of any of these mice, but they are not only 
very tamable but also capable of a considerable amount 
of education : a lady who paid us a visit last year brought 
one of these little animals with her, and had taught it 
to sit up on a doll's chair, open a little cupboard, take 
sugar from a drawer, hold up and drink milk or tea from 
a teacup, sham dead at her command, and perform 
other tricks ; in fact, this mouse displayed quite as 
much intelligence, in his degree, as an average lady's 
lap-dog. 

" Although we have had many losses among the birds 
of prey, some of the oldest denizens of our aviaries are 
of this class ; in fact, the most ancient living creature in 
the collection is a white-tailed or sea eagle, taken from 
a nest in the south of Ireland in the early spring of 1854, 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 43 

and therefore now very nearly forty years of age. It is 
only of late that she has shown any signs of old age, 
in a certain lack of activity that causes her to remain 
much upon the ground instead of perching ; but she is 
still in very fine plumage, and it would, I think, be 
extremely dangerous for a stranger to venture into her 
compartment. This species of eagle has been so persecuted 
and killed down in its former breeding-haunts in Scotland 
and Ireland that I may say with certainty that not more 
than three pairs, at the outside, now nest in the United 
Kingdom. A few stragglers visit our country irregularly 
on passage, probably from Norway, and meet with no 
mercy, being, with few exceptions, shot or trapped at once, 
and almost invariably recorded in the newspapers as 
* magnificent specimens of the golden eagle.' This golden 
eagle is far more common in Scotland than the sea eagle, 
but fortunately seldom travels to any very considerable 
distance from its mountain haunts. Northamptonshire is 
one of the few English counties that can lay claim to an 
occurrence of the golden eagle within its limits, whilst 
nearly every English county is guilty of the blood of the 
sea eagle. A very fine immature female of this latter 
species was killed at Oakley, near Kettering, in February 
1 891, and I am acquainted with several other occurrences 
in Northamptonshire. In my opinion there is no sense 
or reason in the destruction of an eagle in our country 
but so long as 'British bird-collectors offer long prices for 
specimens slaughtered within the limits of the four seas, 



44 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

every loafer with a gun will very naturally shoot every 
feathered thing that offers him a chance. 

" Mr. Cosgrave,* my chief in charge of the Lilford 
collections, assures me that the birds that afford, perhaps, 
most amusement to our numerous visitors are a black 
and a griffon vulture, that have been here since 1865 
and 1 867, and were both taken in my presence from 
their respective nests in Spain. The former bird is a 
female, and for the last twelve or thirteen years has 
annually made a large nest and laid from one to 
three eggs. Since the griffon (of whose sex I am 
uncertain) has been in the same compartment with this 
black vulture, it has annually taken a share in making 
the nest, and displayed quite equal ferocity on the 
approach of human visitors. The first egg is generally 
laid during the first week of March. As I considered the 
pairing of these two birds, though extremely improbable, 
as not entirely impossible, I have once or twice left the 
eggs in the nest, but although assiduously incubated by 
both birds, they have invariably proved infertile. How- 
ever, for months after the eggs have been removed, the 
black vulture, when any one approaches the front of the 

* Clementina Lady Lilford writes : " Richard Cosgrave entered 
Lord Lilford's service as falconer and keeper of the aviaries in 
November 1893. His intelligence and his interest in birds, increa.sed 
by constant friendly intercourse with, and instruction from Lord 
Lilford, soon made him a most valuable and reliable assistant, 
and one whose unfailing devotion and trustworthiness were deeply 
appreciated by his employer." 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 45 

compartment, goes through a variety of most grotesque 
antics that provoke the most stolid of visitors into roars 
of laughter, and must be seen to be believed in — at all 
events I should be extremely puzzled to do them adequate 
justice with pen and ink. During this performance of 
its companion the griffon vulture frequently assumes very 
absurd attitudes of defiance, possibly of admiration, but 
does not take any very active part in the ' show.' 

" We have two fine bearded vultures, or lammergeiers, 
one of which (with a companion that has died very 
lately) enjoyed complete liberty since its arrival here as 
a nestling till a few days ago, when I was obliged to have 
it caught up and confined, on account of very conspicuous 
breaches of decency about the roof of the house and our 
flower garden. I extremely regret this necessity, as the 
sight of these large birds soaring about the place, generally 
pursued by a cloud of rooks, was certainly unique in 
England, and afforded to me, who am well acquainted 
with the lammergeier in its native haunts, a constant 
source of interest and pleasant memories of localities that 
are still to a great extent unspoiled by man. These birds 
of mine were very tame and perfectly harmless ; indeed, 
with the exception of a few playful attacks on trousers, 
gaiters, petticoats and boots, I never heard of any malice 
on their part towards any living creature. Their natural 
food consists of carrion and garbage of all sorts, tortoises, 
and other small reptiles ; and I hold the many stories 
that are current on the Continent, of their carrying off 



46 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

children, lambs and kids, as very nearly, if not entirely 
mythical. 

" Amongst the most beautiful of our recent acquisitions 
in raptorial birds is an adult white-bellied sea eagle from 
Australia : this is the first of its species that I ever 
possessed, and its strikingly contrasted plumage of pure 
rich grey and white render it a very great ornament to 
the collection. I have many other eagles of great interest 
to myself, but not calling for special notice in notes 
intended for a more or less public meeting. 

" Of my favourite birds, the owls, I have at this time 
of writing some twenty different species alive. I may 
mention, as special varieties amongst them, a very fine 
Nepaul wood owl, a South African eagle owl, and four 
Ural owls ; I believe these birds to be the only living 
representatives of their respective species now in England. 

" Whilst on the subject of owls I may add that for 
several years past I have annually set at liberty a 
considerable number of the little owl, properly so called 
{^Athene noctua)^ from Holland, and that several pairs of 
these most amusing birds have nested and reared broods 
in the neighbourhood of Lilford. It is remarkable that, 
although this species is abundant in Holland, and by no 
means uncommon in certain parts of France, Belgium 
and Germany, it has been rarely met with in a wild state 
in our country. I trust, however, that I have now fully 
succeeded in establishing it as a Northamptonshire bird, 
and earnestly entreat all present, who may have the 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 47 

opportunity, to protect and encourage these birds ; they 
are excellent mouse-catchers, very bad neighbours to young 
sparrows in their nests, and therefore valuable friends 
to farmers and gardeners. The nest of this owl is 
generally placed either in a hollow tree at no great height 
from the ground, or in vacant spaces in the masonry 
of old buildings. The parent birds are very bold in 
defence of their young, and a neighbour of ours has had 
his hat knocked off by one of these little owls as he 
passed near the ash-tree in which there was a brood of 
young — a fact of which he was quite unconscious. I 
confess that when this story was originally told to me 
by a third person I had my doubts as to its truth, but 
last summer I had an opportunity of enquiring from 
the aforesaid neighbour, who assured me that not only 
was this story perfectly true, but that he had been again 
attacked last year, in a different locaHty, by a little owl, 
which no doubt had young ones in the roof of an old 
church hard by. These little owls are very easily tamed, 
if taken in hand whilst quite young, and, besides their 
taste for mice, are very efficient in the destruction of 
cockroaches and other beetles. 

*' I cannot help once more taking up a text that I 
have, I fear, worn almost threadbare already ; it is — never 
destroy or molest an owl of any sort. I consider all the 
owls as not only harmless, but most useful, and the barn, 
white, or screech-owl as perhaps the most serviceable to 
man of English birds. I think that farmers and game- 



48 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

keepers have discovered that ui destroying owls they are 
murdering their best friends, but as long as women 
persist in disfiguring themselves by wearing owls' heads 
and wings as ornaments, and dealers will give a price 
for these birds to maice up into screens (for which they 
find a ready sale), so long will the idiotic destruction of 
owls continue. 

" To revert to the collections at Lilford, we have a large 
number of caged birds of many different species, amongst 
which I may specially mention as sweet singers, a blue 
rock-thrush that we took from the nest on the coast 
of Sardinia nearly twelve years ago, and two of a small 
dark race of blackcap from Madeira, that have passed 
five winters at Lilford, and are both singing in the room 
in which I am now writing. 

" I must not forget the very beautiful Indian birds 
commonly known as ' shama,' of which I have two. The 
natural notes of this bird are very varied and powerful, 
many of them extremely sweet, and they readily imitate 
the songs of other species, and indeed almost any other 
sound that they can compass. To those of you who care 
about birds, and are not acquainted with the shama, 
I may say that this bird is larger than a redbreast, to 
which it has a certain resemblance in shape ; but it has a tail 
longer in relative proportion than that of our common 
magpie. Roughly speaking, the upper parts of the plumage, 
head and throat, are glossy black, the breast of a tawny 
orange colour, and the long tail black and white. No 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 49 

more charming cage-bird than this can be found ; but, 
alas, it is not very long-lived, and is very susceptible 
of cold and damp. 

" Another cage-bird worthy of notice from its rarity, 
beauty, and pleasant song, is the so-called ' Teydean ' 
chaffinch. The natural habitat of this species is strictly 
limited to a high zone of the Peak of Teneriffe ; it has 
never been met with elsewhere. I may briefly describe 
this bird as considerably larger than our common chaffinch, 
and of a general fine grey colour. 

" I have recently lost another bird of great interest from 
its rarity, and the locality from which it was forwarded 
to me : I allude to the chestnut-winged grakle {^zAmydrus 
tristrami). This bird, the only one of its species that has 
ever been seen alive in this country, is of a family allied 
to the starlings and crows, and was procured from the 
neighbourhood of the monastery of Mar-Saba, not far from 
Bethlehem. The monks protect and encourage these birds, 
which become quite tame, and nest in the caverns and 
fissures of the cliffs in the gorge of the ' Brook Kedron ' 
and similar localities in Southern Palestine. Mar-Saba is 
somewhat difficult of access, but is frequently visited by 
tourists in the Holy Land, to whom the bird to which 
I am referring is generally known as the golden-winged 
blackbird. Canon Tristram tells us that the male has a 
loud and melodious whistle ; but my bird was a female, 
and almost silent. 

" Amongst my most beautiful cage-birds I must note 

4 



50 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

two species of South American jay, the common blue 
jay of North America, the so-called ' blue robin ' from 
the same country, the green leaf-bird from South India, 
and a troupial from Brazil. 

" In what we at Lilford specially designate as the 
Aviaries I have a considerable variety of birds from different 
parts of the world. Amongst those most likely to arrest 
the attention of visitors unlearned in birds are a group 
of avocets, with their curiously delicate upturned beaks, 
their plumage of pure black and white, and their long grey 
legs and half-webbed feet. These pretty and interesting 
birds were formerly common in certain parts of England, 
and bred in considerable numbers upon the coast of Norfolk, 
but have now become scarce from the persecution of gunners 
and egg-stealers. My avocets were sent to me from 
Holland. We have also several sea-pies, better known 
perhaps as oyster-catchers, and a good many other small 
wading birds, such as curlew, godwits of both species, 
ruffs and reeves, redshanks and knots. The antics of the 
ruffs during May and June are most amusing. 

"As I believe that the breeding of the wood-pigeon 
in captivity is not a common occurrence, I mention that 
a pair of these birds nested and laid four times last year, 
in the compartment of the aviary nearest to the house at 
Lilford, and reared three young birds to maturity. I have 
a fine pair of the wood-pigeon peculiar to the island of 
Madeira (Columba trocaz), and many of the very beautiful 
crested doves of Australia, which breed freely in the bushes 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 51 

of the aviary. Another very brilliantly plumaged bird of 
the pigeon family is the green and gold Nicobar pigeon ; 
but this bird has no attraction, except the brilliancy of its 
plumage ; it is sluggish, and often remains crouching under 
a bush for hours together. 

" Some fine purple porphyries, or water-hens, with red 
beaks and legs, are pretty sure to attract notice ; the birds 
of this family now in the aviary are from Cochin China. 

" We have four species of ibis : the brilliant scarlet ibis 
from South America, the black and white sacred ibis from 
the Upper Nile, the Australian ibis that very closely 
resembles it, and a small flock of the European glossy 
ibis. These last-named birds were sent to me from Spain ; 
and it may amuse some of you to hear that in the winter 
of 1892 I sent out a list of birds to an agent in Seville, 
who has for some years been in the habit of collecting 
live birds for me. In making out this list, I wrote opposite 
to the Spanish name of the glossy ibis (which is not in 
most seasons a very common bird in Andalucia), two 
Spanish words that might be liberally translated as meaning 
' a good many.' My amazement may be imagined when I 
inform you that, in June 1893, I heard from my agent 
aforesaid that he had ninety-five of these birds awaiting 
my orders ! I told him that I did not want more than 
twenty or thirty at the outside, but he nevertheless shipped 
sixty of them from Gibraltar, all of which were landed 
alive and in good condition in London, and twelve of 
them forwarded to Lilford. These birds have a very 



52 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

peculiar habit of taking the sun by elevating one wing 
to its full extent towards the sky and drooping the other 
to the ground, in an attitude that I have never seen in 
any other bird. 

" In the central division of the aviary are a small flock 
of Alpine choughs, very active and noisy birds, with black 
plumage, yellow beaks, and red legs. Many of this species 
have nested and laid eggs in their compartment, but in 
the few instances in which the eggs have been hatched 
out, the parent birds have entirely abandoned their young 
after the first or second day. I have had many of that 
beautiful sp-^cies, the red-legged or Cornish chough, but 
although they thrive well in complete liberty I have found 
it impossible to keep them in health in the aviary for 
any length of time. 

" Other most lively and amusing inmates of this part 
of the aviary are the nutcrackers — rare and irregular 
stragglers of the crow family to our country, but common 
enough in many of the forests of Central and Northern 
Europe ; these birds in their native haunts commence laying 
in March, whilst the snow still lies deep upon the ground. 
Whether from this or some other cause, it is comparatively 
speaking only of recent years that the eggs of the nut- 
crackers have become generally known to ornithologists, 
and I had offered a high price for the living bird to English 
and foreign dealers for thirty years before I could obtain 
even one of them. During the last few years I have 
been offered many more of these birds than I require. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 53 

The seeds of various coniferous trees, especially those of 
Pinus cemb)-a, are the favourite food of the nutcracker. 

" The farthest division of the aviary, divided into three 
compartments, I have devoted principally to aquatic birds, 
amongst which a small group of flamingoes are perhaps 
the most remarkable, not only from the beautiful roseate 
colour of the upper parts of their wings, and their 
extravagantly long necks and legs, but also from the 
extraordinary and apparently unnatural positions that they 
constantly assume. On one occasion a damsel who visited 
the flamingoes with a large party, on seeing these birds, 
was heard to exclaim to her mother : ' Oh ! Ma, do just 
look at these great geese ; wouldn't they just make fine 
giblets .' ' We have never put the necks of these birds 
to culinary use, but the flesh of their bodies is tolerably 
good eating, and there is a tradition to the eff^ect that 
their tongues were considered as great delicacies by the 
epicures of old Rome. I have seen many acres of marsh 
thickly covered by flamingoes in Southern Spain, and the 
efl^ect of the rising or setting sun upon a dense flock of 
these birds on wing is indescribably beautiful, giving at a 
distance the efi^ect of a floating roseate cloud. 

"A pink-headed duck from India, in this part of the 
aviary, is one of the rarest birds in my collection ; 
during my forty years of live bird collecting I have 
only obtained three of this species. The present survivor 
is a female, and by no means a handsome or conspicuous 
bird. A small flock of marbled ducks from Spain are 



54 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

worthy of notice as exceedingly rare in living collections, 
though common enough in Andalucia and North-west 
Africa. Perhaps the most beautiful of the web-footed 
birds in this portion of our aviaries are the Japanese 
teals ; but with these little ducks, as indeed with almost 
all others of the duck, family, we have been grievously 
disappointed in our hopes of nests and eggs ; in fact, 
in the case of the two last-mentioned species, I am not 
aware of the production of even a single egg. We have 
a fine pair of the blue wavy or white-necked goose from 
North America, and of the white snow-goose from the 
same country. 

" In the central aviary will be found two very beautiful 
species of small herons, the little and the bufF-backed 
egrets. My specimens came to me from Spain, but the 
latter bird is also very abundant in Egypt, and is con- 
stantly pointed out by the guides to British tourists as 
the sacred ibis of the ancient Egyptians, a bird that has 
for many years been almost unknown in Lower Egypt. 
These egrets are most adroit fly-catchers, and my birds 
feed themselves to a great extent on these pests during 
the summer months. I have at this moment a dominican 
gull that has been here for more than twenty years, and 
has reared several broods of young hybrids, produced by 
a cross with the common British herring gull. An 
Australian thick-knee, or stone curlew, is a very great 
favourite with us, from its tameness and quaint attitudes ; 
this is a handsome bird, considerably larger than the 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 55 

thick-knee or stone curlew of this country, with a 
delicately contrasted plumage of various shades of brown 
and buff, and brilliant yellow irides. 

" In the courtyard, in a wired enclosure adjoining the 
domicile of the bear, are two of the great skuas {Stercorarius 
catarrhactes\ a dark-coloured bird of the gull family ; 
these birds were sent to me from the island of Foula, 
in Scotland, which island is, with the exception of 
one other locality in the same group, the only British 
breeding-place of this species. 

" A few years ago an enterprising youth at Birmingham 
issued a circular proposing the formation of a syndicate, 
whose members should invest various sums as shares in 
a fund to enable the advertiser to visit the Orkney and 
Shetland Islands to collect birds' eggs, the plunder to 
be divided according to the respective amount of sub- 
scriptions. The eggs of the great skua were specially 
mentioned, as likely to be the most valuable result of 
this looting adventure. In the interest of birds in general, 
and of this bird in particular, I at once sent the circular 
above mentioned with an indignant protest to the editor 
of the Times ; Mr. Wilson Noble, IVI.P. for Hastings, 
with whom I had no acquaintance or correspondence, 
did the same, and a strong leading article on the subject 
of the destruction of rare birds appeared in the "Times 
simultaneously with these communications. The result 
of all this was that the editor of one of the leading 
papers in Birmingham received an evening visit from 



56 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

the author of the circular, who, in fear and trembling 
and dread of incarceration in the Clock Tower at 
Westminster, begged that his advertisement might be 
withdrawn from circulation, and confessed that it was 
only a scheme to obtain funds for a private holiday 
excursion to the North for egg collecting. 

" These skuas were sent to me in charge of a native 
of Foula, a small island that lies at some eighteen miles 
distant from the mainland of Shetland. This individual 
had never seen a tree worthy of the name till he took the 
train from Aberdeen on his way to Lilford ; and although 
he spoke excellent English, was evidently of pure 
Scandinavian descent, and to me, as a naturalist, more 
interesting even than the birds that he brought with 
him. The proprietor of Foula, who sent me these skuas, 
is very anxious to protect the breeding birds, but the 
high price offered for their eggs by unscrupulous 
collectors, often, I fear, proves too great a temptation 
to the tew inhabitants of this rocky and unproductive 
island. The old skuas, or ' bonxies,' as they are called 
in Shetland, are very powerful and courageous birds, 
and in defence of their young will attack, not only 
eagles and other birds of prey, but also any four-footed 
animal, and even human beings. They live principally by 
robbing other gulls of their prey, and, as I was assured 
by the Shctlander before mentioned, frequently catch and 
devour the smaller gulls themseh-es ; for this purpose 
their sharply curved claws are well adapted. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 57 

" In the enclosure next to the skuas is a group of 
great bustards, from Spain, all birds of last year. This 
fine species, as most of you are probably aware, was 
formerly well known, and not uncommon, as a resident 
in various parts of England, notably in the open districts 
of Norfolk, Suffolk, the downs of Sussex, Hampshire 
and Wiltshire, and the wolds of Yorkshire ; but 
enclosure, high farming, and the increase of population 
have driven the bustards away, and in England nowadays 
we are only occasionally visited by a few stragglers, that 
very rarely escape the fate of all uncommon birds. In 
Spain the great bustard is still very numerous, and is not 
much molested by the natives, who do not esteem its 
flesh highly ; yet a young bustard is, in my opinion, 
excellent for the table, and even the old males, which 
not infrequently weigh 30 lb., can be made into 
first-rate soup. From the nature of the country that 
they inhabit, and their exceeding wariness, these birds 
afford most exciting sport. On this subject I cannot 
do better than refer any of those present who may 
be interested in sport or natural history to a work 
entitled I'Vild Spain by Messrs. Abel Chapman and 
W. Buck. 

"In conclusion of our round of inspection at Lilford, 
we next come to what no doubt will prove to ornitholo- 
gists the plum of the collection, in an enclosure in the 
park behind the house known as the Pinetum. Here 
we have a pond with various species of ducks and a 



58 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

pair of crested pelicans, taking their pleasures thereon ; 
but the main interest centres in the large collection of 
that very graceful family, the cranes. Till within a 
month ago I was the proud possessor of specimens of 
all this family save one, the wattled crane of South 
Africa ; but, alas ! my three beautiful Stanley cranes 
all drooped and died within a week, leaving a lamentable 
gap in the beautiful group. The rarest of these cranes 
is the hooded crane from Japan (Grus monachus) ; and 
unfortunately the only individual of this species that I 
have been able to obtain broke a leg last summer, but 
is in perfect health ; this is not a very striking bird, 
either in colour or size, when compared with other cranes. 
In my opinion the very acme of bird beauty is reached 
by the Manchurian, or sacred crane of Japan, which is 
so commonly represented in Japanese paintings and 
embroidery ; and I think that the great white crane 
of North America comes as a very close second in 
elegance of shape and grace of movement. But all the 
cranes are beautiful — from the stately sarus of India, 
which reaches to a height of six feet, down to the 
demoiselle, of about the size of a thin goose. 

" Before leaving the Pinetum I must relate an 
occurrence in connection with birds, that amused me vastly 
at the time, and may raise a smile now. A visitor to 
Lilford, who evidently took a great interest in our 
birds, was just leaving, when he suddenly turned to his 
conductor and said : ' By the way, I saw in the papers 




The Pinetum. 



In Ihe foreground a Wattled and a Crowned Crane. Behind, from left to right, a Stanley and a 
Sams Crane, a Black Stork and African Pelicans. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 59 

some time ago that Lord Lilford had given a very 
long price for an egg of the great auk. I trust that 
he was successful in hatching it.' To those present who 
are aware that the great auk has been virtually extinct 
in this world for some fifty years, the humour of this 
inquiry is apparent. 

" I have this moment received a telegram informing 
me that an egg of the great auk was sold by auction 
in London this afternoon for three hundred guineas." 

The greater number of the letters which follow were 
written to a correspondent, himself a most successful 
breeder of birds. Like Lord Lilford, he placed the 
owls among his first favourites, and had for years 
successfully bred the eagle owl of Europe [Bubo maximus), 
and had been also very fortunate with the snowy owl 
(Nyctea scandiaca) and many other species. Hence the 
constant references to owls. This gentleman was spending 
many successive winters in the Canary Islands, and because 
of his thorough and admirable work done there, came 
justly to be the acknowledged authority on the birds of 
those islands. 

But though their letters do not here appear, Lord 
Lilford had correspondents in many European countries, 
and men whom he set to find him birds. 

It is — not v,'ithout its side of pathos — delightful to 
think of this kind naturalist, sitting in his study (his 
hand, so to say, on the ornithology of Europe), spinning 



6o PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

the threads which wove into such interesting and valuable 
results, the blue rock-thrush and the little Madeira 
blackcap singing by his chair the while. 

"June 2i,th, 1887. 

" I am glad to hear that some buzzards have flown, 
and hope that the Montagus * may do likewise. 

" I grieve to say that all the nests and young birds 
in my aviaries with one or two worthless exceptions 
came to grief this year. The Alpine chough hatched 
three young, but after feeding them assiduously for 
several days suddenly gave up all care of them, and 
my man failed in his efforts to bring them up by hand. 
The eagle owl's eggs were bad — went rotten as they do 
with me three times out of four. The tawny owl ate 
the only young one hatched. 

" I am much obliged for your offer of the young 
eagle owls, but I have no room for them. I will try 
to place them for you if you wish to dispose of 

them. I should think that the Duke of \V , who 

encourages eagles and almost all wild birds on his forest, 
would like to try the experiment of turning out these 
grand birds. 

* In reference to the nesting of the Common Buzzard {Buteo 
vulgaris) and Montagu's Harrier {Circus cineraceus) in Hampshire. 
Both these fine and interesting birds endeavoured, with varying 
success, through many years to bring off their young. But in spite 
of the most energetic efforts to protect them, it is found difficult to 
evade the collector of BrHish-\.2ik^n eggs. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 6i 

" The polecat ferrets are first-rate ratters, but are rather 
big for the job. I have not found them particularly savage. 
If your young badgers are not too old, you will find that 
by keeping a good-tempered young dog or two with them, 
and never allowing them to hide themselves up in the day, 
they will become as tame and playful as otters." ^ 

"June 2\th, 1888. 

" I congratulate you on your tame shrike : I lump 
together all the great grey shrikes, L. major, L. excubitor, 
L. nieridionalis, L. algeriensis, L. lahtona. All grey birds 
have a tendency to isabellinism under a hot sun and dry 

surroundings. T , S , D , and others would, 

if they could, make species of the sun and moon." " 

''August 24M, 1888. 

" I am no ' chattist,' and do not know Pr. borbonica 
at all. I write entirely without book, and of course 
know nothing of the habits and voice of your bird,* but 
being a ' lumper ' am at present induced to look upon it 
as a good race, or sub-species of Pr. rubkola — quite as 
good though, as a species, as Parus britannicus, P. Cypriotes, 
and many more." ' 

I To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 
^ To the same. 
•* To the same. 

* A true stonechat {Fratincola dacotUe), pecuHaf to the island of 
Fuerteventura, in which island even it is very local. ^E. G. B. M-W. 



62 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

"July 28//4, 1 888. 
" I have very great pleasure in offering for your 
acceptance two Lapp owls (6". lapponicum),* of which species 
I received ten young birds last night from Helsingfors, 
with two of »S'. uralense, eight S. ulula, and five S. 
tengmalmi. If these two last lots thrive, I could, and 
should be glad to send you one or two of each." ^ 

"July T,ist, i888. 

" Alas ! I wrote to you in the first exultation of the 
receipt of the owls that arrived late at night. I was not 
able on account of the incessant rain to get out to see them 
on Saturday, but seized an interval between showers on 
Sunday to be wheeled round to inspect them ; and am sorry 
to say that all of the Lapp owls have evidently been taken 
from the nests much too soon, and with one or two excep- 
tions, have one wing broken, besides a good deal of cramp 
and general debility. Two of them drowned themselves 
in a shallow pan ; of the eight left, I fear that I must lose 
one. The others are all flourishing and as tame as can be. 

" P.S. — It has not rained for nearly two hours, and 
I have just been to look round. The Lapps have, with 
one exception, improved immensely since Sunday on warm 
rats and rabbits. I do not know that any of these owls, 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* One of these Lapp Owls given me by Lord Lilford in i888 is 
still alive, September 1902, and in perfect health; it is a male, and has 
always had one stiff wing. These Lapp owls are the only individuals 
of the species that have ever been imported into Britain. — E. G. B. M-W. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 63 

except Tengmalm's, have been seen alive in England 
before ; certainly S. uraknse has not. The hawk owls fly 
to hand, and feed thereon. I am quite certain that they 
might be trained to take young rabbits and rats." ' 

"August 2()tk, 1888. 

" These Lapps were evidently taken too young from 
the nests, and no doubt were hustled and crowded in 
panniers on their journey by pony and boat to Helsing- 
fors from the breeding-place. I believe that you will 
find a brail very useful ; we put brails on the whole lot 
when they first arrived, and all the survivors are very 
much improved.* My experience is rhat all these wood 
owls eat but little at a meal, comparatively speaking, but 
require a good deal of food before the first moult. I 
have a very rare and beautiful large wood owl from 
Nepaul {S. newarense) that came to me in the down three 
years ago, and is now one of the finest birds that I ever 
saw in captivity. During the first months of his sojourn 
here he would devour a whole full-grown rabbit during 
the twenty-four hours, but never more than two or three 
mouthfuls at a time ; now a small, young rabbit, or two 
or three little roach suffice him for the day, and I 
notice much the same thing with the downy owl (.S". 
perspicillatum) from S. America." ^ 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 
^ To the same. 

* A brail is a strip of leather with which falconers confine one wing 
of a hawk so that it cannot be moved. 



64 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

''April ibth, 1889. 

" The poor fellow who sent me the consignment of 
Scandinavian owls last year died about three months ago, 
and I heard this morning from his widow that all the 
owls in that part of Finland have failed this year, many 
old birds having been picked up dead, many young found 
dead in the nests, and endless rotten eggs in abandoned 
nests. In fact, I gather that out of fifty nests only one 
contained living young, and those in such a weakly state 
that the finder would not take them. I fancy this 
account refers chiefly to the hawk owl (5. funerea) and 
Tengmalm's (6". tengmalmi) and in a less degree to the 
Lapp owl {^S. lapponicum), but I have asked for further 
details." 2 

" October 2nd, 1889. 
" I have had a long letter sent to me in Swedish by 
the widow of the poor fellow who procured the Scandina- 
vian owls for me last year, written to her by her cousin, 
who was the main agent in finding and forwarding the 
birds from Lapland. He attributes the failure of the 
owls this year to the death of small rodents and snipes, 
caused by the protracted snows. I imagine that by 
' snipes ' he means small waders of all kinds, which of 
course would be prevented from nesting in the morasses 
of Scandinavia by snow lying on their usual feeding- 
grounds. It would seem that last year there was an 

1 To E. G. B. MeadeWaldo, Esq. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 65 

unusual abundance of all small rodents in those parts, 
though this writer does not specially mention the lem-^^ 
mings. I am sorry to hear of the death of your 
Lapp ; my two survivors are doing well. I believe 
that one of them, if it lives, will become pure white ; 
they have both developed a very curious note, some- 
thing like the rapid half bark, half growl of a little deep- 
voiced beagle puppy. My three-toed woodpecker * only 
lived for about a fortnight, though he fed on ants' 
eggs, hard-boiled egg and breadcrumbs, flies, gentles, 
etc., and tapped vigorously till the end. The grey- 
headed one was at the point of death, but has entirely 
picked up again ; he has been put into a large den, 
and liberally supplied with great clods of earth containing 
ants' nests. 

" I have had many hoopoes ; they became absurdly 
tame, but I do not think it possible to keep them through 
the winter in this country, except by letting them fly in 
a sanded room in a temperature of 70° — 80°. 

" I have two young rollers,t tailless but healthy, very 
jealous of each other and quarrelsome ; one of them is 
quite tame." ' 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Picoides tridacfylus. A Continental species not on the British 
list. 

t The Roller (Coracias garrulus), a bird allied to the woodpeckers 
and kingfishers, is a straggling visitor to Britain. It is nearly the 
size of a jackdaw, and is wonderfully coloured in chestnut and many 
shades of clear blue. 

5 



66 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

"Bournemouth, February ii^th, 1889. 
" The quail is a partial resident in all countries in 
which it is found, certainly in the British Islands and 
Spain, Greece and North Africa. We have had some 
sharp spells of frost, then about ten days of bright, 
mild weather, birds singing and some of them nesting, 
then, during the last week, a tremendous snowstorm. 
Snow never lies here, but I hear of eight inches at 
Lilford and six in London ; and in Holland dams have 
burst and flooded great extents of country. Now we 
have a cold and pouring wet thaw. I heard of two 
whoopers yesterday at Lilford. The death of Rudolph, 
of Austria, is a very great loss to ornithology, and one of 
the most shocking tragedies I ever heard of. I knew 
him slightly. Every one is full of those never-to-be- 
sufficiently-condemned county councils, and the most 
shameful persecution of the Bishop of Lincoln. I fear 
that the Columba bollii * that you were good enough to 
give me are all cocks, as I do not hear of any sign of 
their pairing or nesting. In fact, two of them set upon 
and bullied the third to such an extent that they had to 
be separated. I have some interesting desert birds alive 
here in the shape of two thick-billed larks {Ramphocoris 
clot-bey') and an Algerian horned lark {Otocorys bilopha). 
They came from Oran to the Zoological Gardens with 

* Bolle's Pigeon {Columba bollii), a true wood-pigeon, confined to 
the virgin laurel forests of the Western Canary Islands, its natural 
food being solely the fruit of these trees. — E. G. B. M-W. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 67 

some trumpeter bullfinches. If and are not kept 

in permanent quarantine or put into the presidio, pray 
greet them cordially and tell the former that he shall 
drink a bottle of old port that he knows of at Lilford 
for every courser that he brings to me alive. (I have 
only nine bottles left, but this need not limit his endea- 
vours.) What enemies beside man have the houbaras * in 
Fuerteventura .' Are there any predatory wild mammalia ^ 
" I had a sharpish touch of the enemy some two 
months ago, but am now fairly well. I have not been 
out of the house for more than ten weeks. I wish that 
you could send us some of the Canarian air in stone 
bottles at (.'') per dozen."' 

"April \6th, 1889. 

" Am greatly obliged for the female titmouse, and 
still more so for the two young bollii, which came to me 
from the Zoological Gardens this evening. I had already 
put a supposed pair of C. bollii into the aviary, where 
they seem to be perfectly happy and contented, but have 
as yet shown no signs of wishing to nest. The titmouse f 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* The Houbara Bustard (Otis iindiilaia) is an African species, which 
occasionally visits Andalucia. It is considerable smaller than the 
Great Bustard {O. tarda) (for which see Presidential Address, p. 39), 
and with one other, Macqueen's Bustard {O. macqueent), is distinguished 
by a ruffed neck. 

t Parus palmensis, a new species of blue tit, with a white breast, 
peculiar to the island of La Palma ; it is almost entirely contincd 
to the pine forest.— E. G. B. M-W. 



68 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

has already been figured for the Ibis, to my mind most 
indifferently. The pair of Canarian chaffinches [F. tintillon) 
are real beauties, and very pleasant, cheerful birds ; if 
they thrive through the winter I think that there is little 
doubt but that they will nest." 

"/line ird, 1889. 

" I shall greatly value the eggs of courser* that you 
are good enough to spare to me. I should say you would 
find an old courser easier to keep alive than young ones. 
I presume that these birds feed principally upon coleopterous 
insects and small mollusca, and if so, would, I should 
think, readily 'train off' upon flies, cockroaches, and 
shreds of boiled or raw liver or other lean meat thrown 

to them upon sandy ground. F kept a courser alive 

from the end of August till November at Tangier on 
grasshoppers, after that on the larvae of beetles ; he kept 
the one alive from August 1851 till October 1859, when 
he was forced to leave Tangier, and found that it had 
died before his return thither in April i860. This bird 
laid thirty-two eggs, and supplied many European collectors, 
but not your present correspondent. 

" I have no doubt you are right about the male 
houbaras helping in the rearing of their young. I sup- 
pose that this sub-genus is not polygamous, as the great 
bustard, to a certain extent, certainly is. I am very 

* See note on p. 203. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 69 

glad you have well established your new chat by finding 
its nest and eggs. Your new titmouse sounds a good 
thing also. 

" All the blue and ultra blue tits are rather difficult 
to keep ; but the best chance is to give them flies, 
mosquitoes, gnats, oven-dried ants and their eggs, and any 
sort of small caterpillar. Perhaps as good a plan as any 
would be to give them a growing tree or shrub with 
free access for the Aphides, upon which I think our tits 
principally feed in summer. The Spanish tits make very 
free with the cochineal bug. The best seed is crushed 
sunflower and reed seeds, but no seed is good for tits 
for a continuance." ' 

"Bournemouth, December i<)th, 1889. 

" I have three of Curruca heinekeni alive, sent home 

last year to me from Madeira by Dr. G . They are 

charming little birds, and all sing well. I have one of 
them here at my side as 1 write. Is it a fact that no 
one has seen a female of this race .'' You probably know 
the Madeira myth that these birds are hatched from 
every fifth egg laid by S. atricapilla. 

" Another race of Parus in such a limited group of islands 
as the Canaries is very singular and interesting. It is most 
kind of you to promise me some specimens of this and 
a male of T. palmensis — you have the best of good right 
to propose a scientific name for this new discovery. 

' To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 



70 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

" I have a beautiful white-necked crane alive here, 
Grus leucauchen from Japan, and at Lilford one of the still 
more rare hooded cranes {Grus monachus) from the same 
country, the second that has come to Europe alive." ' 

" January isl, 1891. 

" We have had, and are still having, the most 
severe spell of frost and snow that I ever remember, 
the temperature varying from 10° to 26" of frost at 
night for the last three weeks, and on several occa- 
sions as low as 20° at noon. This will no doubt 
account for your wigeon, and probably for the large 
migration of buzzards also. I seldom read of more cold- 
blooded atrocity than what you tell me of the ancient 
Canarian and the sitting partridges. 

" My birds have been suffering dreadfully during the 
long frost, but, curiously enough, it is the northern birds 
that have suffered the most. 1 have lost four snowy 
owls, and have no male bird left. My nutcrackers are 
dying daily, yet all the Canarian survivors are flourishing. 
One of the laurels * has paired with a Bolle male and laid 
two eggs ; one was broken, but she now sits assiduously 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Canarian Laurel Dove {Columba laurivora), a very fine wood- 
pigeon, found only in certain very precipitous forests in the islands 
of Gomera and La Palma (Canaries). It differs much from the true 
Wood Pigeon in its habit of spending most of its time on the ground. 
Its food consist principally of the fruit of the Til-tree {Orsodaphnce 
fxtens) and the vinatigo (JPersea indka). 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 71 

on the other, and I have separated the BoUe and put 
him with the other laurel. I keep all the pigeons indoors 
in a temperature of from 50" — 6f, and so far they have 
done well. I may say the same of all the houbaras. 

" I think that the Teydean chaffinches (F. teydea) are 
very hardy, but I do not expose them to the open air 
in this fearful weather. My Madeira blackcaps are in 
full song, and the trumpeters * are all well. My wife's 
pet bullfinch was constantly bullied by his mate till a 
merciful Providence removed her. I then gave him 
a male F. teydea for company, and they have become 
fast friends and both as tame as birds can be. 

" This severe weather has driven no end of wildfowl 
in upon our eastern and southern coasts, but I hear of 
very {&\v varieties. Some great bags of woodcocks have 
been made in Ireland ; here we have nothing really 
uncommon." ^ 

"■April 20th, 1 89 1. 
"A bittern, one of four, in a sort of shed cage in 
our courtyard here, visible to frequent passers at all hours 
of the day, has twisted some straw into the semblance of 
a nest, and laid an egg, upon which she sits steadily, and 
allows herself to be stroked with perfect equanimity. 
She is one of two procured in 1889, and has apparently 
paired with a young bird of 1890, as her original com- 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* The Trumpeter Bullfinch {Erythrospiza githaginea). 



72 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

panion got to be very nasty, and was always bullying the 
others." ' 

"April 2r)th, 1891. 
" You will be glad to hear that one of the bitterns 
sits steadily upon four eggs in courtyard." ° 

"May Mt, 1891. 
" The bittern now sits steadily upon five eggs." '" 

'May list, 1891. 
" Alas, all the bittern's eggs were addled, and I am 
greatly disappointed. I have four bitterns, and, never 
dreaming of their laying, kept them in a sort of shed, 
previously inhabited by badgers, in our courtyard, where 
people are constantly passing with horses, carriages and 
dogs, that the birds might become tame."* 

"December i-Tt/i, 1891. 
" I have four little bitterns doing well, but in my 
eyes the gem of my live stock now is a great black 
woodpecker, in splendid condition and perfectly tame. 
Two broods of little owls were reared in this neighbour- 
hood last summer. Reeves's pheasants did excellently well 
in this county, but would not stay in my coverts, so I 

> To W. H. St. Quintin, Esq. 

* To A. Thorburn, Esq. 
^ To the same. 

* To W. H. St. Quintin, Esq. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 73 

gave up rearing them ; they are bad birds to bring up 
to a flushing point, and very fond of going back ; they 
wander immense distances in single file and run for 



"May T,rd, 1893. 

" I shall be much interested in hearing of any success 
with the water-shrews. I should suggest waiting till they 
have young, digging out the nest, and putting it with 
the young into a " live " mouse trap. 

" Do you care for any British bats alive ? " " 

"April 21st, 1893. 
" About harvest mice : I have kept many, and have 
five, recently received from Surrey, in the room from which 
I am writing. I have found that the best way to keep 
them for observation is in a large glass jar, such as they 
pickle snakes and fishes in at South Kensington. I put 
a perforated zinc top upon this and give reeds or straws 
for the mice to scramble up and amuse themselves with. 
It would be well to have a removable zinc bottom or tray 
to facilitate cleaning and feeding. The cage that Groom 
made for me was, if I remember rightly, not for mice 
but bats. I cannot say that I ever had much luck with 
my harvest mice, as they have a nasty habit of eating 
each others' tails, and, as 1 suppose, finding these palatable, 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

2 To the Editor. 



74 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

of killing and devouring one another. I have found 
this to be the case even when I had only a pair 
together. 

" The only animal of the shrew family that I ever 
attempted to keep was a Spanish trumpet shrew {Mygale 
pyrenaicum), and he declined all food, and died in a day or 
two ; but no doubt the thing is to be done, and I should 
suggest some arrangement of the nature of a small 
aquarium."^ 

''April 2stk, 1893. 

" I do not think that any variety in food would alter 
the vicious propensity in the harvest mice ; I used to 
give my former captives of this species meal worms, 
flies, moths, beetles, besides their usual food of wheat, in 
grain and green, and every sort of garden produce. I 
may mention that my present lot were sent to me by 
my old friend F. H. Salvin (of whom you probably know 
something), from his place near Guildford. With per- 
forated zinc tops, I do not think you need fear any 
condensation in glass cases ; I only use the jar to have 
the pleasure of seeing the harvesters run up and down 
the stem's of seed and long grasses. 

" I think that your sexual theory in re harvest mice 
is very likely correct, but I do not pretend to pronounce 
positively." ° 

iTo the Editor. 
^ To the same. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 75 

"May ist, 1893. 

" Expect two ' Barbarians ' * to-morrow, they were bred 
here in October last. 

" I trust that the pink-foots at Hollcham will pull off 
a legitimate brood, but geese are given to illicit amours. 
A white-fronted female on my pond, in spite of having 
an apparently healthy male of her own species in com- 
pany, last year took up with a bean gander and brought 
three goslings into the world, but unfortunately only 
one of them survived the process of pinioning. He 
is a splendid bird now, all ' bean,' except a white- 
fronted patch, t At last we have a nice sprinkle of 



"■June 2-i,7-d, 1893. 

" You may be interested to hear that I received three 
young great black woodpeckers (P. marlius) last night, 
and that I have two last year's lammergeiers (Gyp: barbatus) 
flying about at complete liberty. We have, thank God,^^ 

1 To the Editor. 

* Barbary mice {Mus barbarus). 

t Of the three species of wild goose mentioned here the Whitefronted 
(i.e. white forehead) Goose (A/iser albifrons) is a winter visitor to 
Britain. Its principal breeding quarters are in Arctic Russia. The 
Bean Goose {A. segetmn), which breeds also in Arctic Russia, and in 
Novaya Zemblya and in Scandinavia, likewise comes to us in winter. 
The third species of grey goose, to which reference is made by Lord 
Lilford as 'pink-foots,' is the Pinkfooted Goose {A. brachyrhynckus), 
which breeds in Iceland and Spitsbergen, but apparently not in the 
district named above. 



76 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

had a steady, soft rain of some eight hours' duration in 
the past night, and there are signs of more to come." ^ 

"July 2nd, 1893. 

" Two of the young black woodpeckers are doing 
well on a diet of ants' eggs and wasp grubs, of which 
latter we have a superabundant supply this year. I 
have kept Gecinus viridis, G. canus, P. mariius, P. 
leuconotus, P. major, P. tridactylus, and the golden- 
winged pecker of N. America, but I cannot say that any 
have done really well with me except P. major and the 
last named. With all the others there is a great difficulty 
in training them ofF insect food, but P. major takes 
readily to various fruits, chopped meat, crushed hemp 
seed, and hard-boiled eggs. The young black wood- 
pecker only differs from the adult in having, in both 
sexes, the whole of the crown scarlet. A friend of mine 
came to us the other day direct from a visit to the 
Fames, and reported very full, breeding colonies. 

" My infirmities have prevented me from seeing the 
Zoological Gardens since 1884, but 1 hear woeful accounts 
of the condition of many of the living animals there. I fear 
that financial ' tightness ' has something to do with this. 

"Your story of Syrnium cinereum is most interesting.* 

1 To the Editor. 

* This refers to the securing of a Great Grey Owl {Syrnium cinereum) 
in North-West Canada, by the simple ruse of hiding in the grass, 
squeaking like a rat, and throwing forward a brown cloth cap. The 
owl stooped at this, seized it, and was shot as it was carrying it off. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 77 

I wish that you would publish it, or allow me to do so. 
I have no acquaintance with this species, but have a fine 
pair of his near relations (6". lapponicum) here since 1888." 

"July d,fh, 1893. 

" AH the woodpeckers mentioned in my last may be 
kept in fairly good health tor some months, especially if 
taken when adult, but they generally go wrong iji the moult. 

" There are many recorded occurrences of P. martius 
in our islands, but not one has been satisfactorily 
authenticated, and specimens are not infrequently to be 
found in Leadenhall Market, sent over with consignments 
of Scandinavian game, capercaillie, willow grouse, black- 
game, hazel grouse, etc. 

" I am very sure that your grey owl adventure, with 
date and locality, would be welcomed by the editor of 
the Zoologist, if not by him of the Ibis. At all events, 
if you do not care to send it yourself, I should be most 
happy to do so on your authority." ' 

'■'■August 20th, 1893. 
" Snipes at this time of year live to a great extent 
on gnats and other small flying insects, and the maggots that 
they find in the dung of cattle and sheep. I have very 
frequently found the fragments -of shells of mollusca in 
them at all times of the year. In my opinion a snipe is 
hardly eatable before November. 

1 To the Editor. 



78 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

" I have a common gull that was picked up in a 
perishing condition some three years ago, and now lives 
with flamingoes and other birds, in an enclosure with a 
circular stone basin through which a little stream of 
water constantly runs. I have never seen him on the 
basin except for washing purposes." ^ 

"October 2&th, 1893. 

" October 7th is very late for a hobby anywhere in 
British waters, still more so off Flamborough, as this 
little hawk is by no means common to the north of the 
Trent." * 

" I should be glad to have as many of the 
Archangelic cats f as you can possibly procure, and am 
prepared to pay a good price for them." - 

" Octo/ier lot/i, 1893. 
" I have only one Lapp owl now left, and he also 
looks droopy. The Ural's egg came to nothing." ^ I 

1 To the Editor. 

* To the same. 

3 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

* Referring to a Hobby Falcon {F. siibHiieo) that had alighted 
on the rigging of a ship in which the editor was coming from the 
White Sea. 

t The domestic cat of Archangel is blue in colour and is shaped 
like the old Egyptian cat. It is also very distinct from our own in 
its ways. The Editor brought home from Archangel in 1893 three 
kittens of this kind, one of which is still (1902) thriving, and the 
mother of a numerous progeny, but not one of them resembles herself. 
Lord Lilford had one years ago in his rooms in Tenterden Street. 

t See p. 86. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 79 

Note from " Aviary Record." 

"■October i~jth^ 1893: Lapp owl, Syrnium lapponi- 
cum, last survivor of ten from Finland in 1888, died." 

"August 16M, 1889. 
" I am sorry to say that my black shahin (F. peri- 
grinator) died a few days ago from a tumour on the 
breast-bone. She was moulting when I received her, and 
going on satisfactorily in that way. We never put 
her on the wing, as our country is so enclosed and 
full of high trees that if she raked off in pursuit of 
quarry she would hardly have found her way back, at 
all events in this summer-time. She was just a very 
small, very dark peregrinoid falcon, very docile and as 
tame and as playful as a kitten." ^ 

"April 25M, 1895. 

" The most remarkable additions to my live stock 
are two of the giant tortoises from Aldabra, the male 
weighing 346 lbs., a nice little covey of Madagascar 
francolins, ten of Tristram's grakles from Palestine, and, 
lastly, a very fine wild cat from Germany. 

" I am very glad to hear of the young pheasants in 
Teneriffe. Alfonso XIII. should give you the Grand 
Cross of Carlos III. I have heard nothing of any 
Scandinavian owls, except snowy, but I hear that, as 
usual in a lemming year, the fields are alive with rough- 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 



8o PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

legged buzzards. Merlins do now and then rest in trees. 
I know of one instance in Hants, and I believ'^e that in 
Norway they frequently do so." ' 

'•^December i-jth, 1891. 

" The only Canarian bird that I have lost of late is 
one of the trumpeter bullfinches two days ago, from some 
unknown cause, in very fair condition. The Laurivora 
shows no desire to nest : she is fairly tame. Two of the 
C. bollii have paired, nested, and laid an egg within the last 
ii^'N days, but my man tells me sit so irregularly that 
there is little chance of hatching. The surviving houbara 
is well, I am assured ; but as my hybernation com- 
menced at the time of my upset on October 25th, and 
lasts till May as a general rule, all my outdoor bird 
news is derived from others. 

" I should think that Reeves's pheasants would do 
admirably well in Palma. I know they are exceedingly 
hardy, as Pere David, the Jesuit missionary who did so 
much ornithology in North China, assured me that these 
pheasants haunted pine forests at 5000 and 6000 feet 
above the sea during the summer, living principally upon 
mountain berries and small fir-cone seeds, and only came 
down in the winter to the tea-gardens in the mountain 
districts. 

" I should think that you will enjoy your months in 
Morocco greatly, but I fear that you will have to go for 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 8i 

a long distance from Tangier to get any good shooting. 
Our Vice-Consul at Saffi knows something about falconry, 
and has many Arab falconer friends. From what he tells 
me, it seems that the Arabs only train two species of 
falcon — ' Nebli,' which I take to be the typical peregrine, 
and ' Buhari,' which must, I think, be F. punicus, not 
F. barbarus. I cannot make out that he is acquainted 
either with barbarus or the lanner {^F. fddeggi), both of 
which are common and breed in Morocco. 

" My own chief requirements in Morocco are the 
marsh owl {Phasmoptynx capensis) and the great horned 
owl (^Bubo ascalaphus) and, above all, the francolin {bical- 
caratus), in any numbers, alive. I have for some time 
been working hard to try and get some of these latter 
for the Comte de Paris, to turn down in his cotos in 
Andalucia, where I am sure that they would do well." ' 

"July iqth, 1892. 

" The most interesting events in my live-stock 
collection have been the birth of a Galago demidoffi* about 
two months ago, doing well ; the laying of eggs by 
some Australian peewits {Sarciophorus pectoralis), ditto 
by Madagascar bush-quails {Turnix nigricollis) ; the nesting 
of a pair of night herons, several eggs laid ; the death 
of many of my nutcrackers and of the laurel pigeon 
that you sent me last. (Female by dissection.) 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 
* A little lemuroid animal. 



82 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

" My surviving pair of trumpeters laid two eggs on 
floor of cage, and broke one of them, but are now nest- 
making in a box, and I hope mean business." ' 

Note from " 'Aviary Record." 

^^ September \~lth, 1893 : Raven, ' Sankey ' (Corcus 
corax) taken from nest near Santander in May 1876, died." 

A mate for the survivor was obtained, with the 
following successful result : — 

"■April ird, 1894. 
" The ravens have a new nest and three eggs in the 
big beech tree at the west corner of the house." " 

Note from " Aviary Record.''' 

"■April 20th, 1894: Four ravens {Corvus corax\ 
hatched out at Lilford. Now about three days old." 

"April nth, 1895. 
" I have reason to fear that both of my ravens are 
males. They built a huge nest and lined it carefully. 
The smaller, younger bird was actually sitting in the 
nest for some time, but he (or she) was so terrified 
by the awful hurricane of March 24th that, having 
nearly full use of its wings, it went away to the 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

2 To Walter M. Stopford, Esq. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 83 

plantation near Cosgrave's house, and it was some 
time before it was caught and clipped. In the mean- 
time old Grip carried up a lot of stones and arranged 
them about the walls of the nest ; now, though they 
both keep about the tree in which the nest is, they 
seem to have given up all attention to their edifice." ' 

"February 2^rd, 1895. 

" The ravens have built a huge nest in the same 
place as last year, and are busily employed in lining it, 
though Cosgrave seems persuaded that the substitute 
for the deceased mother of last year is a male." ^ 

"June 2nd, 1896. 

" I am not quite sure if Aperyx oweni * has ever had 
an egg in this country before, or not ; I know that 
«/f. mantelli has done so. I should, however, think 
that ours is the first instance of an egg of zApteryx 
laid in this country in perfectly natural circumstances." ^ 

^ To A. Thorburn, Esq. 

^ To the same. 

' To the same. 

* The Apteryx (Kiwi of the Maories) is a wingless bird peculiar 
to New Zealand. Itself no larger than a common fowl, it is related 
to the gigantic extinct Moa {Dhiornis). Its feathers, like those of 
the Emeu, are pendulous, and have no ' aftershaft.' It has a long, 
curved bill for probing the earth, and is strictly nocturnal in its habits, 
showing shrinking and resentment when disturbed in its hiding-place 
during the daytime. The bird in question laid its egg at the end 
of a burrow by the side of the garden pond where the flamingoes were. 



84 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

"May 25M, 1889. 

" I turned down about forty little owls, about the 
house here and over a radius of some three or four 
miles in the neighbourhood, early in July last. Several 
were too young to feed themselves, or, rather, to find 
their own food, and we recaptured more than half of 
those originally put out. A very few were found dead. 
Several were constantly seen about ; during the summer 
and autumn of 1888 many disappeared entirely, but 
three or four were seen, and often heard, throughout 
the winter. On April 23rd, 1889, one of my keepers 
discovered a nest in the hollow bough of a high ash 
tree in the deer-park. The old bird would not move, 
but on being gently pushed with a stick, two eggs were 
visible. On May 10th two young birds about a week 
old could be made out, and on the 22nd, four or five, 
all of different sizes. The keepers tell me that it is 
impossible to see anything from the open end of the 
bough, but there is a cleft near the nest from which, in 
certain lights, the old bird and her produce can be 
partially seen. Her mate haunts a crab tree, at a short 
distance from the nest. This is encouraging, and I shall 
invest largely in little owls this summer, and adopt some- 
what different treatment. Similar experiments have been 
tried, to my knowledge, in Hants, Sussex, Norfolk and 
Yorkshire, but I do not know of a brood having been 
reared in a genuinely free condition in this country, till 
this lot of mine. The little owl will nest freely in 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 85 

captivity, but generally the parents devour their young. 
One of my night-herons laid an egg this morning on 
the top of a box bush, trodden to a sort of flat 
form by a stork. Those night-herons have been here 
for three years, and I have great hopes of a brood." ^ 

"June 22nJ, 1893, 
" It would be interesting to know where the Scoulton 
gulls get their mice,* and of what species the latter are. 
" I envy your seeing the gadwalls and ' short-billed 
culloos ' t at such close quarters in their native homes. 

" y/ propos of the ferocity of owls, a cottager in this 
neighbourhood found a well-feathered young tawny on 
the ground below the nesting hole in April last, and 
carried it home to his cottage at a short distance. Two 
nights afterwards, as he was feeding this owlet, one of 
the old ones dashed at his head and clawed him nastily 
about the nose and eyes." ^ 

"June 2T,rd, 1893. 
" Last year we had a nest of little owls {^Athene noctua), 
of which I have turned out a great many, in an ash- 
stump about two miles ofF. The tenant of the farm 
was passing the place unawares one evening when the 

1 To the Rev. Murray Matthew. 
' To the Editor. 

* In this very dry summer the Brown-headed Gulls brought many 
voles to their nests. 

t The Thickknee or Norfolk Plover {CEdicnemus scolopax). 



86 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

young were about half-grown, and the old bird came 
at him from behind and knocked his hat off. 1 may 
mention that we have a home-bred family of these little 
owls just now able to fly in our deer-park. 

" One of my Ural owls (S. uraknse') laid an egg this 
spring, but did not seem disposed to sit, so we put the 
egg into a nest of barn owl, containing five of the 
owner's eggs, but the Ural has, I am sorrv to say, 
' gone scatt,' as they say in Devon. 

" I have a bittern in the aviaries sitting upon three 

eggs. 

" We have a return of almost overpowering, breeze- 
less heat ; no pleasure out of doors after 6 a.m. or before 
5.30 p.m."' 

^^ June 2i°th, 1894. 

" The most interesting addition to my live stock of 
late is a fine, healthy Hyrax capensis, first cousin to 
H. syriacus, the coney of Scripture, of Lev. xi. 5, 
Deut. xiv. 7, Psalm civ. 18, and Proverbs xxx. 26. The 
nearest ally of this small, rock-dwelling genus is the 
rhinoceros." - 

''November i^f/i, 1866. 

" I have a very fine specimen of Falco norvegicus 
alive ; he was brought from Norway last year, and has 
moulted out very clean and fine ; it is the first of its 
species that I ever saw alive, and is most decidedly a 

' To the Editor. 

^ To the Rev. Murray Matthew. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 87 

very different bird from either islandus or candicans. 
This falcon has much more of the peregrine about him 
in make and appearance." ' 

"February 26th, 1885. 
" Alas ! I fear that all personal locomotion, except 
that I can share with ' inert matter,' is out of the 
question, though I am, thank God, very fairly well in 
general health. I am quite out of the swim, ornitho- 
logically, and entirely dependent upon the compassion and 
sympathy of my birdy brethren for information. My old 
blue rock-thrush taken from the nest in the Strait of 
Bonifacio in May 1882 moulted in September last, very 
thoroughly, into a plumage much resembling, but rather 
an exaggeration of, a nestling bird, all the breast and 
flank feathers edged with dirty white, and the plumage 
of those parts unusually downy and thick ; within the last 
three weeks he has begun to moult again, and some few 
of the wing coverts are all broadly tipped with a slightly 
rusty white." - 

"April i6th, 1894. 
" The sparrow-hawk does good service by taking hard- 
billed birds, as Passer impudicus (Mihi), Damnabilis (Irby), 
Papisticus (Tristram), Sanguineus (agricols), and other 
grain-devourers." ^ 

■^ To the Rev. Canon Tristram. 
2 To the same. 
' To the same. 



88 PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 

^'August 26tk, 1894. 

" My most interesting live-stock acquisitions of late 

have been Hyrax capensis, a batch of Caccabis melano- 

cephalus from Aden, and a splendid Grus carunculata, the 

one species that was lacking in my collection of cranes."' 

" ^fay 20///, 1896. 
" I thank you very much for your most welcome 
congratulations on the important addition to our vivaria,* 
and the neat and suitable label for the recent acquisition, 
if I thought that your label would inspire an ornitho- 
logist's tastes, I would try and persuade the happy mother 
to attach it permanently to her infant, but there is another 
and sterner lady in temporary possession, who would, I am 
sure, reject any such suggestion." " 

" May 30M, 1896. 

"Thank you for yours of the 28th. I sent you no 
' harpy ' in the usually accepted sense of the term, but 
a fine old white-bellied sea eagle (Haiiae/us leucogaster), 
sent to me some four or five years ago from Melbourne, 
with a younger bird of the same species, which still 
survives. I am very glad that, as cruel fate snatched her 
from me, she is acceptable to you. 

" I told Cosgrave on Friday to send you the remains 
of a burrowing-owl, bred here last year. I believe that 

' To the Rev. Canon Tristram. 

' To the same. 

• Birth of a grandson, May 8th, 1896. 



PONDS, PADDOCKS, AND AVIARIES 89 

the present bird was shipped at Buenos Ayres, but about 
this I am not sure. In the meantime our grass lands are 
being regularly scorched up, and our trees given over to 
the caterpillar and cankerworm." ^ 

But in addition to his correspondence, Lord Lilford set 
himself the daily task of entering a register of the arrivals 
of new birds and the general progress of his collection. 
How carefully and fully this was done, when health per- 
mitted, will be gathered from Appendix I. It is the 
record for the first eight months of 1893. 

^ To the Rev. Canon Tristram. 



CHAPTER l\ 
Notes on Illustrations 

The following letters to Mr. Thorburn relate to that 
artist's work for Coloured Figures of the British Birds. 
They show the infinite pains Lord Lilford took to have 
each plate, not only perfect as a representation of the 
bird in question, but perfect also as a reflection of the 
natural surroundings in which it lived. The beauty and 
fidelity of Mr. Thorburn's work may be seen in those 
volumes, and need no other tribute ; but it must have 
been a true pleasure to himself to have received such 
letters and to be thus assured of the high appreciation 
of this gifted and minutely critical judge. 

"Af'ri/ isM, 1888. 

" As regards the surroundings of the birds that you 
mention, the oyster catcher should be on a sea beach of 
shingle and sand, with indication of a flock of same 
species in the background ; the rufF and reeve on grassy 
marsh land with any marsh flowers that you may think 



NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 91 

suit the picture — marsh marigold, meadow-sweet, forget- 
me-not, etc. ; white-fronted goose, one of a flock — flat 
sea coast ; bernicle, I think, swimming — in foreground 
sea, high mountains in background ; whooper, flock 
on a wild highland loch ; Bewick's swan off a flat 
coast ; pufiin, a group in full summer dress on steep 
slope of short turf over sea ; cliff honeycombed with 
burrows — rabbits, sea pinks ; razorbill, a black clift or 
chalk cliff face, rows of birds — gulls indicated." 

"/ufy Ml, 1888. 
" The angle of eye in teal is rather too acute." 

"August loth, 1888. 

" Is not the toe or oyster catcher in the water — 
I mean the inner toe of right foot — a little too much 
fore-shortened, and ought not the !bill to be rather 
more yellow near the point .'' " 

" BounieiHOulh, Novcmba- lotli, 1888. 

" I have some floating ideas that I had rather not 
have mentioned at present of bringing out a quarto work 
of the birds of Spain. I should like to have about ten 
or twelve full-page plates of characteristic Spanish species 
as illustrations, namely bearded vultures, white-shouldered 
eagle, booted eagle, blue-winged magpie, Irby's titmouse, 
Andalucian short-toed lark, great bustard, black vulture, 



92 NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 

flamingo, marbled duck, and possibly one or two more ; 
and if my present idea takes shape should be most 
happy to entrust the illustrations to you. In any case 
I should be glad if you would make me a drawing of 
adult bearded vulture. Your sketches from the bird at 
Lilford would do admirably for attitude, but I should 
like to represent the deep tawny-red throat and breast of 
the wild bird. I want as much of a ' picture ' as you 
think the colourists are likely to reproduce satisfactorily 
— a single bird on a pinnacle of mountain limestone, 
looking over a wild rugged valley far below, with a snowy 
range in the far background, would I think do well." 

"January 2%th, 1889. 

"I do not remember at this moment if you took a 
sketch of my old white-tailed eagle at Lilford, or not ; 
if not it might be as well to defer finishing sketch of 
adult till you have an opportunity of taking her portrait, 
as she is thirty-five years old, and has always moulted 
out very clean ; alive or dead you could hardly have 
a more perfect specimen. 

"I do not know whether it would be possible tO' 
convey in a drawing the pearly bloom on the plumage of 
this bird — at all events I have never seen an attempt at 
it ; but you have succeeded so admirably with the flum 
bloom on a golden eagle and a buzzard that I am 
inclined to think that you would not be beaten by thi& 
peculiarity." 



NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 93 

''April 11th, 1889. 
"The eagle is perfect with the exception of the iris, 
which should, I think, be a shade lighter in colour." 

''May stfi, 1889. 

"The white-shouldered eagle {A. adalberti) should be 
represented on a dead top bough of Lombardy poplar or 
willow, in an open country with scrubby vegetation, 
cistus, rosemary, lentiscus, myrtle, and a belt of dark firs 
in extreme distance ; patches of yellow sand amongst the 
scrub, a distant rabbit, very intense blue cloudless sky. 

" The booted eagle {A. pennata) in pine forest on 
hillside, the trees bare of bough to a considerable height." 

" February \s,th, 1890. 

" I received your note of the 12th with the drawings 
last night. The mergansers are quite perfect, and I 
think that your sketch in your letter for their attitude 
will be excellent. I would put them on a fresh-water 
mountain loch, in preference to the sea. About the 
black guillemot — I think the best plan would be to 
figure the adult bird sitting in something of the attitude 
of your sitting sketch sent, but looking downwards 
instead of upwards, and a young bird (that is, one in the 
plumage that you have figured) flying off to a small 
flock in the background on the sea. You could put the 
old black bird on a great seaweed-covered stone close 
to the water at the foot of a cliff. 



94 NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 

" I enclose two little crakes [Crex parvd) just received 
from Spain, and should be glad to have a drawing for 
the book taken from it. The beak in the March-killed 
specimen should be green, with red at base ; irides pale 
currant red, legs and toes green, of a somewhat darker 
shade than beak. In the September bird the only difference 
is that the beak and legs are not so brightly coloured. 
The surroundings should be a very watery marsh ; in 
fact, you might make one of the birds swimming. In 
action these little birds exactly resemble our common 
water-hen, and jerk up their tails in walking and 
swimming just in the fiishion of that species." 

" May 2nd. 
" We are both delighted with your beautiful picture 
of the eagle, which has just arrived. You have not only 
admirably portrayed the characteristic aspect of the bird, 
but thrown an element of Highland poetry into the work 
that is not often attained, and it deserves all praise. I 
most gladly retain it, and shall always treasure it, for my 
heart is very often in the Highlands amongst the eagles 
and the wild deer." 

" AllgtiSt 2\St. 

" The colour of neck and breast of water-rail is, I 
think, now quite right. I presume that you took the 
colour of irides from authority ; I must confess that I 
never saw them so bright, and should have been inclined 
to say that reddish hazel-brown was the usual colour." 




o 
O 



NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 95 

" Felruary 19//?, 1892. 

" I fear that you will be sick of spotted eagles, but I 
write to say that I am sending you the Subborne specimen 
just as I received it last night from Messrs. Pratt of 
Brighton. It is one of the most beautifully marked of 
its species that I ever saw, and I shall be much obliged 
if you will make a careful drawing of it for the book. It 
would be well to put some life into it. I think as it had a 
water rat in its stomach when killed, I would put one in its 
talon in the drawing, and to give the bird an expression of 
seeing something far off after catching his vole. This I 
leave to you, only asking you to make the drawing in 
attitude quite unlike the bird at Cambridge." 

" J/oy iqfh, 1893. 

" The osprey drawing has only one slight defect, and 
is otherwise quite perfect : namely this, that the principal 
figure is rather too broad — thick — and gives to me a 
certain impression of heaviness. I do not know if you 
can alter this by not showing quite so much of the 
right wing, or ' drawing ' in feathers of lower belly, and 
showing more of the legs. I should be sorry to have 
this beautiful figure much altered, but you will understand 
me when I say that the aspect is too ' buzzardy.' The 
osprey is a particularly wide-awake bird in look and in 
fact." 

" August 1th. 

" The cream-coloured courser is quite perfect. A faint 
indication of strong rufous in the head of the distant 



96 NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 

falcon would indicate a lanner — the most probable falcon 
of the North African desert. 

" The great snipe is also excellent, but I should be 
glad if possible if you could show a little of the white on 
the wings and spread the tail slightly. 

" The irides in a black Montagu's harrier received 
alive on Saturday are dark, as in a true falcon, otherwise 
this drawing is quite perfect. 

" Barlramia is only a sandpiper in name ; it is a plover 
that in summer frequents the dry uplands and feeds on 
grasshoppers. 1 think it would be better to cut out the 
water and to make the surroundings a somewhat sunburnt 
grass prairie, indicating a second bird or two on wing or 
on foot in the far background." 

'■'■November 29//;. 

" I am sending you a good skin of storm petrel that 
I received some time ago in flesh from W. Eagle Clarke 
of the Edinburgh Museum. He especially wishes to 
call my attention and yours to the peculiar shape and 
elevation of the forehead, which he says has never been 
properly indicated in drawings. I should like to have 
this bird drawn in flight, in the trough ot a heavy rolling 
sea, unless you consider that too bold an attempt. If so 
it would perhaps be best to make him skimming the 
water with legs at their full length and toes extended ; 
in fact, -running on the water with wings extended. 
What I want to trv is the very striking effect of these 
little black birds against a deep blue ocean sea and foam." 



NOTES ON ILLUSTRATIONS 97 

" December qtk. 
" The storm petrel drawing is lovely, and I can 
suggest no alteration. The brown snipe is equally good, 
but with regard to the proposed figure in the background, 
I would suggest putting the bird on both feet ; I like 
the attitude delineated, but certain captious subscribers 
have objected to some pictures on account of this one- 
legged attitude." 

" Bournemouth, January 20th, 1896. 

" I return the drawing of the grebe, which, good as 
it was before, is now, I think, much improved. Dabchick 
or little grebe was, I think, amongst the names I sent 
you, and I think that those two with horned and eared 
grebes would make a good set of four. I have a fair 
specimen (British) in Princes Street of eared grebe shot 
by Lord Clifton in my presence in Weymouth Bay in 
April 1876, but no doubt you will be able to obtain 
more fully adult birds. In the drawing of this species 
I should like to introduce nest and eggs. I have plenty 
of the latter, which when first laid are of the usual greenish- 
yellow white, but in Spain soon become very deep un- 
broken chocolate colour, from the constant covering with 
rotten weeds in a hot sun ; but, as I think of it, the 
eared grebe has never been known to breed in this 
country, so perhaps the dabchick's nest (which as the 
spring advances you will be able to study from nature 
in St. James's Park) would be the more appropriate for 
this work." 

7 



CHAPTER V 
Otter Hunting, Falconry, and Shooting 

A CONTEMPLATED article by Lord Lilford opeiis with the 
following words upon sport : — 

" The word sport is untranslatable, and I must confess 
that I find it almost equally indefinable, but I wish in the 
following remarks to show to what an extent the term 
is commonly abused or misunderstood. 

" To begin with the form of sport with which I am, 
or rather was most intimately acquainted — shooting, 
' good sport ' is generally applied to a considerable bag ; 
and certainly, if the number of head slain in a day's 
shooting in itself satisfies the sporting inclination, the term 
is legitimately applied. But I contend that ' sport ' may 
be enjoyed in the highest degree in the pursuit of wild 
animals by fair means, without the attainment of success 
in the death of any beast, bird or fish, and that disap- 
pointment should only enhance the keenness of the real 
sportsman. Here I feel sure I shall meet with the assent 

of hunting men, but I am doubtful if mv brother gunners 

98 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 99 

and anglers will entirely go with me. I look upon fox 
and otter hunting, falconry and fly-fishing, as the highest 
kinds of sport to be enjoyed in this country, simply 
because in the first instance science is assisted by horse 
and hound ; in the second the falcon is reclaimed with 
infinite pains to serve man by its natural instincts ; and 
because in the third you can only rely for success upon 
your own skill and knowledge of the habits of the 
creatures to be captured. 

" Let me say at once that, with all due respect to the 
lover ot racing and athletic games, I look upon these as 
more or less excellent forms of amusement that do not 
legitimately come under what I hold to constitute ' sport ' 
in its true sense. 

" I quite admit that to watch a number of thorough- 
bred horses doing their best, and fairly ridden, is a 'joy 
for ever ' ; and a good match at cricket or football, or an 
evenly contested yacht or boat race are full of charm to 
the lookers on ; but in all these three there is lacking the 
interest of outwitting wild animals, with the odds against 
the pursuer, and this latter condition is, in my humble 
opinion, the one essential constituent of real ' sport.' 

" A great many gallant followers of foxhounds go out 
simply tor the excitement of a glorious gallop and plenty 
of jumping, not a few simply to display their horse- 
manship and cut down others ; and these objects are 
obtainable without hounds or fox. But the joy and pride 
of hunting is, to those who know the habits of the fox. 



loo OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

and delight in cultivating the natural instinct of the hound, 
in driving on a hot scent, and elaborately picking up a 
cold one — in fact in the exercise of the full powers of brain 
and instinct in biped and quadruped. The good or bad 
run depends almost entirely upon the qualities of fox and 
hounds. The best huntsman cannot make a bad fox run 
straight, and with the best of foxes bad hounds are use- 
less. All this is strikingly applicable to otter hunting, 
in which most delightful sport the object of pursuit has 
very long odds in his favour." 

While we are very far from saying or supposing that 
the last word has been spoken on sport in the abstract, or 
sport as it is carried on in this country, such a contribution 
to the question as this must needs be full of interest. It 
was written by one who was not only a singularly clear 
thinker, but was himself the best example of his own 
creed. 

Of all forms of English sport, none agree with the 
postulates of 'natural conditions' and 'fairness' in quite 
such an absolute degree as the sister sports of hunting, 
fishing, and falconry. The opinion which Lord Lilford 
held of fox hunting may be read in the tribute he has 
paid to it above. And, although the claims of otter 
hunting held his first homage, the foxhounds were ever 
welcomed by him with the heartiness of a true sportsman, 
and no one was more delighted than himself when they 
went away from his coverts on the line of a good stout 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING loi 

fox. But to otter hunting, ' the dearest joy of my heart 
after falconry,' as he called it, ^ he was early devoted, 
and he never swerved in his allegiance. 

In this ' most delightful sport,' as he truly wrote, 
' the object of pursuit has very long odds in his favour.' 
And here, as there must needs be many to whom the 
opportunity of seeing otter-hounds at work has been 
denied, a few words upon this particular form of sport 
may not be out of place, and it is for these alone that 
they are written. 

Otters and Otter Hunting. 

The otter is said to be a ' nocturnal animal.' This 
must not be taken to mean literally that it is never abroad 
in the daylight, but that it seldom is. When the sun is 
dying behind the last turn of the shoulder of the hill, 
when the woof of whitening vapour begins to form over 
the withies, when the cattle cough in the chilling meadow 
lands and the peewits come dropping in silently over the 
gateway where the hay hangs caught by the high thorn 
hedge, then it is that the otter wakes from its sleep in the 
reeds, or under the roots of an oak or alder, and begins 
to move for food. 

Otters are great travellers, ranging very far up and 
down stream on their nightly quests. They swim very 
quietly, slipping into the water as if it were oil. Though 
you listen never so carefully, you do not hear much that 

' Letter to the Editor. 



I02 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

tells you the otters are moving, excepting a whistled 
call which comes now and then from the reed-beds. 
Masterly as the otter is in the water, supreme as are 
its powers of swimming and diving, it no more cares 
for unnecessary hard work, in its hunting than other 
animals. When going up stream, especially if the current 
is swift, it frequently lands, and often cuts the bend of 
the stream by travelling across the land from corner to 
corner. A practised eye will easily notice these spots 
where the otter lands and runs up the bank ; for otters, 
like most other wild creatures, follow one another's lead. 
Causes which the eyes of human beings may not 
detect are no doubt answerable for the claims of one 
landing-place over another. It may be the set of the 
eddy from a half-sunk willow stub, the angle at which 
the bank rises, the chances of cover and concealment — any 
one or all of fifty points may determine the advantages 
of a particular landing-place ; but at all events, if otters 
are abundant, it will be paddled into a regular run. Here 
you will see the otter's footprints in the mud, the prints 
of four round toes like no other creature's track. This 
footprint is called by otter hunters, the ' seal.' Other 
signs, such as remains of digested food (in hunting parlance 
' spraints '), will be noticed on hillocks of the grass or on 
stones which show themselves above the water. 

Although some streams are more favoured than others, 
there is probably not one in the country that is not 
visited at times by otters, and the attention of even unob- 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 103 

servant persons is occasionally arrested by the spectacle of 
a partly eaten fish lying on the bank. The otter first 
begins to eat those parts about the head, except when 
dealing with an eel, when it commences with the tail end. 

Because of its cautious and secret manner of life, an 
otter will often continue to frequent a stream for a long 
time, and be unsuspected. Indeed many a stream has 
held otters from time immemorial, and yet no one has 
guessed this, until the coming of a pack of otter-hounds 
has ' shown the varmint up.' Even that omniscient 
person, the dusty miller, in spite of his peculiar oppor- 
tunities, was scarcely prepared to find in the thatch of 
his own outhouse one of its favourite sleeping-places. 
Yes, otters often choose strange quarters, and though 
their usual ' holts ' are drains, caves, rocks, holes under 
tree roots, and withy beds, we have known one to frequent 
an ivied tree, and have bolted another from under a 
barn floor. 

The hounds throw light on obscure points like these, 
and by attentively observing the behaviour of hounds 
much may be learnt. 

No spear is ever used in this hunting — that barbarism 
has long died out ; either the quarry goes scot free, or 
there is an honest kill by hounds. Every one is familiar 
from the engravings with the look of traditional otter- 
hounds. But alas, that picturesque animal, with his wiry 
coat, shaggy eyebrows, long ears and deep bell-like voice, 
is now in a minority in many packs. It is a pity that 



I04 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

it should be so, but his own failings have led to this 
result. He is generally a babbler, throwing his tongue 
without good reason, or without reason sufficiently good ; 
if tired, he insists on speaking to an old scent, and it is 
particularly exasperating when you want hounds to get on 
quickly, to have a particular individual hanging over a 
worn-out scent. Further, the rough coat of the otter- 
hound holds the water, so that he grows chilly sooner 
than the foxhound. On the whole, therefore, in spite of 
tradition, the old otter-hound has given place in these 
packs to the foxhound. It is a little difficult to enter 
foxhounds to otter, but, once entered, the foxhound 
proves himself second to none in reliability and patience, 
in pluck, in facing the water, and in enduring wet and 
cold. 

We are now ready for a morning's hunting, and by 
this we mean early morning, for the scent soon grows 
faint on the drying grass, and so the otter hunter must 
be up betimes. We will join the master at the kennels, 
and go with him and his hounds to the meet, five miles 
off, at Mill Bridge. 

A cold, clear rift is just beginning to widen in the 
eastern sky as we set off with the pack — twelve couple 
of good hounds, as fit as exercise and the most thoughtful 
care can make them. 

At the mill itself a small field is waiting, which includes 
one or two ladies. Most of them are dressed in the 
colours of the hunt. Everyone carries a long ash pole 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 105 

tipped with metal. This pole is used as a help in getting 
over hedges and ditches, for sounding depths, and for 
' poking about ' generally. The upper end of the pole 
is nowadays fitted with a small ring, in place of the old 
spear head. 

A few cheery " Good mornings," and hounds are 
moved off. Into the drenching dew of the meadows we 
go, and up the side of the stream. 

There are disappointments in otter hunting as in 
everything else, and there are even blank days. Red-letter 
days there are also, as that described by the late Mr. 
Collier in 1884, when his hounds, finding close to Lynd- 
hurst, took right away from the river and over the hills, 
and killed at the end of sixteen miles. We will, however, 
discuss no extreme instances, but take an ordinary typical 
day. 

It is not long before a hound opens, and immediately 
the whole pack rallies to him, and is soon feathering over 
a patch of grass, where it is evident an otter has come 
out and rolled. Then up the stream they go, first one 
hound and then another giving tongue, as they pick up 
from point to point a fairly good scent. They are 
' hunting a drag,' or in other words, puzzling out the 
course followed by the otter in its wanderings of the 
previous night. This at least is the hope of all con- 
cerned, though it is of course possible they may be 
* running heel ' — drawing away from their otter instead 
of up to him. 



io6 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

But now there is a louder crash than hitherto, and 
the whole pack swings to the line. That is beautiful ; 
it is true music, the deep voices of the few rough ones 
just supplying what is wanted to make the perfect chord. 
Up the stream they go for a mile or more, now flashing 
through a reed-bed, now cutting the corners and over the 
grass, till at last — some in the water, some on the bank — 
they cluster like bees about a dark hole under the gnarled 
roots of a pollard oak. They have marked their otter 
home. The otter is found now, and there are a few 
minutes of breathing-time before the next move. Mean- 
time, to some one of experience falls the duty of taking 
up a position at the first shallow below the pool, while 
the shallows above are watched in the same way, and 
plans are laid for circumventing the quarry. A terrier 
may be used if there is one with the pack game enough 
for the task. But a simple and usually effective plan is 
for some of those present to stand in a group above the 
' holt ' or ' hover,' and at a given signal to jump in 
unison. The vibration so caused is usually too much for 
the otter's nerves. He quickly moves. As soon as 
the otter is bolted, the watcher will need all his attention 
fixed on the water, for it swims so rapidly and silently 
that in less than even a foot of water it may easily pass 
unobserved. Until then, if he has an artist's eye, he 
may for those few moments linger over a picture that 
in itself is a pure delight. 

What is the most characteristic country for otter hunting 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 107 

it is hard to say. Wales, Devonshire, Surrey, Hampshire, 
Northamptonshire, any country where streams are huntable, 
that is to say, not deep or with heavy water, is equally 
good for the sport. On the left of our present stream 
rises a bank of young wheat, fringed with grass and early 
flowers. Above this runs a line of woodland, bright 
green in its young dress, but softening in outline and 
dimming into blue shadows as it stretches away, till it 
turns the shoulder of the hill to form the rampart of 
another vale. But here, on this side of the river, all is 
flat. The water meadows lie here, runnelled in all directions 
by ' carriers ' — cuts where the water is guided for the 
irrigation of the land. Here and there the water-gates 
are closed and the little streams shut back ; and so in 
places the water floods over the edges and away among 
the grass roots, till there comes up a rank green swathe 
that makes the first early summer crop. Between the 
grasses the running water glistens and sparkles in the 
morning sun, and all across the water meadows stretches 
a web of rising mist ; here in lines of bluey whiteness, 
there in banks of smoke-like billows, curling up to lose 
themselves in vapour under the growing warmth. 

A little farther down, a backwater leaves the stream, 
and leads into a tract of grass and rushes that mark the 
position of an old duck decoy. It is many a year since 
the decoy was worked, yet some of the old screens still 
show themselves among the rushes, though the channels 
and pipes are silted up. It is a marvellously peaceful 



io8 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

spot. Girdled round with gnarled pollard oaks and 
gigantic silver poplars, it is a natural reserve for many 
kind of birds, and, excepting when the hounds come, it lies 
almost unvisited throughout the year. There is not a 
heronry here, but the place is constantly haunted by 
herons, and even now a pair of these magnificent birds, 
startled by the noise of the hunting, rise heavily and sail 
away. Here water-rails nest every year, and when you 
come down quietly in the evening you may hear their 
piping in the grasses, and perhaps catch sight of them 
running along the little tracks which they and the water- 
hens keep open, and looking as they run more like 
some small mammal than a bird. The paired redshanks 
also, who run along the cattle-rails, or fly calling incessantly 
in their resentment of intrusion, do much to give a sense 
of wildness to the scene. 

But now the otter is away, bolted from his 
hiding-place by the stamp of many feet. He is into 
the river like a flash, and the water is broken into 
waves and circles by the first rush of the hounds. 

Is he up or down .'' Down it is — a watcher at the 
shallow below tallies him as he glides over the stones 
in a foot of water, with no more disturbance than is 
made by a fish. 

It is indeed a beautiful sight to see the hounds. 
Now an old hound gives tongue as he swims, taking 
the scent ofi^ the top of the water from the bubbles that 
come up from the otter's coat. That is Woodman, an old 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 109 

rough-coated dog, a little too prone to throw his tongue 
on a stale scent, but a good hound nevertheless. See 
how Bellman, that hound with the tan ears, is examining 
every stone that shows above the water. Our quarry is 
still going down stream, but has not been sighted again. 
Suddenly, at the point of a little spinney, the hounds 
leave the stream and dash ofF along a hedgerow. True 
enough the otter has landed, and is bent on making a 
point across country. He is viewed now and then, but 
close as the hounds are at times to his stern, they 
cannot do more than keep him moving, for he is 
running a line of stout old thorn trees. Now Into the 
stream he goes again. On we go ; speak to him, 
Bugler ! There is a shallow below which must be lined. 
A human chain is formed across it ; shoulder to shoulder 
stand some of the field (the younger ones generally, 
who have never had rheumatism), and endeavour to 
prevent him from going down. Twenty yards before he 
reaches them he leaves the water again, under cover of 
a bed of willow herb, and cutting a corner, runs right 
between the legs of the rector of the parish and is 
into the water again. He is now in heavy mill water, 
where we may leave him. For, once an otter reaches 
water such as this, he has it all his own way. He has 
but to float about, just keeping his nose above water, 
or coming up at intervals to breathe, and hounds can 
do nothing with him. And if they do not take him 
to-day ? What then ? This very night he will probably 



no OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

be ofF floating down on the top of the water, until he 
reaches the main river, and even perhaps the sea. But 
no good sportsman minds, so long as hounds are not 
too often disappointed ; the drag-hunt is the prettiest 
part of it, and many regret the kill. 

This outline of the otter and his ways has not been 
written for any of that company of light-hearted 
Englishmen who already know the joys of otter hunting. 
Of these forbearance is asked, with a description which 
does but imperfect justice to the sport they love. It 
will have been written, nevertheless, to little purpose, if 
it does not go to show those who are less fortunate, 
that here is a form of sport pre-eminently demanding 
patience, skill, and all the best qualities that true sport 
needs. Not alone in the mystery that veils the otter's 
movements, but in the natural conditions of the hunt, 
dwells an unique charm. The scent of the early morning, 
the dew that lies heavy on the grass and stars the 
spiders' webs, or whitens the long reaches of the river 
under the first spell of the sun ; the wildfowl that whip 
up from the small side streams, rise high overhead, 
and circle round lower and lower till they drop for 
rest at last into the quiet of the old decoy ; the gaunt 
grey heron, startled from the shallows, and croaking a 
hoarse protest as he labours off to other fishing-grounds ; 
the water itself — emerald here over beds of water star- 
wort, here broken into spinning, hissing foam-globes, or 
pressing smooth as melted glass between the gates of the 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING iii 

weir — all these and a hundred other joys of morning 
speak straight to the heart of the otter hunter, and 
cannot die from his memory for any vicissitudes of life. 
No wonder Lord Lilford should place this only 
second to the noble art of falconry itself. It appealed 
not only to his sporting instincts, but to that love 
which was in him for all that was beautiful and free. 
His letters are full of references to the otter and his ways. 

"_/?/«« IS/, 1893. 
" I am thankful to say that I am, and for a long 
time have been as well as I can ever expect to be, and 
was able about a fortnight ago to assist at an hour and 
a halt's otter hunt in my chair, from find to finish, of 
a dog otter, small, but very game, with the Bucks otter- 
hounds."^ 

'■'■June 2nd, 1896. 
" We had a kill with the Bucks otter-hounds at 
Barnwell Mill, on Saturday, and a lovely drag from a 
short distance above Shill Mill, right up to the Stone 
Bridge island. I grieve to say that this drag ended in 
the chopping of a small cub, upon which I had set my 
heart, hoping to secure him alive as a pet ; but the 
poor little beast lay fast asleep on the bank, when the 
hounds suddenly came upon him, instead of being, as I 
hoped, securely up the old lawn drain, whence we could 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 



112 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

easily have bagged him alive. However, he has a brother 
or sister left, and quite able to take care of itself. We 
killed the dam here on the I2th May after a fine hunt 
of about an hour." ' 

And again, in reference to scent in animals : — 

" Scent, in what we humorously call the lower animals, 
is, and must alwa\s remain a mystery. I once was otter 
hunting on a stream in South Devon. After a quick, 
short drag, we put down two otters from the roots of an 
old oak, overhanging the water. The larger otter took 
up stream, and I ran off as hard as I could go, to try 
and see him go over a shallow stickle, while the hounds 
followed the smaller otter down stream, for some ten 
minutes before they could be stopped. My gentleman 
just put his nose up in mid-stream opposite to me. I 
tallied him, but it was certainly more than a quarter of 
an hour before the hounds came tearing along the bank, 
on my side, quite mute ; immediately that the leading 
hounds reached me they opened with a crash, though the 
stream ran swiftly, and they were running down wind. 
This happened about 7 a.m., and we did not handle the 
other otter till after 5 p.m." - 

"April \2th, 1895. 
" Don't let them kill or injure their otter, but coax 
him or her into a pigsty or a byre, a bothy or a 

1 To Hon. Mrs. Crichton. 
^ To T. Buckley, Esq. 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 113 

' shielin wast,' and throw a sack over him. In the 
meantime I have, within the last few days, had very 
good news of otters hereabout." ' 

" April ze^th, 1895. 
" The otter-hounds had a grand day from Brocic 
Hall, near Weedon, on Tuesday — three-mile drag, two 
and three-quarter hours' swimming work, killing a dog 
otter of twenty-two pounds at the end of it." " 

" May 6th, 1895. 
" The otter-hounds were here on Saturday, but did 
not find till they got to Wadenhoe. The water is too 
high and too thick to do any good, and they could 
not hunt a bit. They met this morning at Elton Mill 
to draw up the Fotheringhay brook, and were to go to 
Stamford to-night." ' 



But hunting the otter, as we have already seen from 
Lord Lilford's own words, yielded one place in his estima- 
tion to falconry — ' the noble mysterie ' as he was wont to 
speak of it, using the phrase of an old writer. The 
allusions in his correspondence to the beautiful art of 
training falcons, are for the greater part of too technical a 
character for the general reader. We, therefore, attach but 

1 To Walter M. Stopford, Esq. 
^ To the same. 
' To the same. 



114 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

a single letter, which shows that, even in his captivity as an 
invalid, he was able to do a little at his favourite sport. 

"November ;}o//i, 1893. 
" I have not been able to hold a giui, to stand, or 
to walk a yard since January 1886, but I do, or did, 
see my young goshawk flv often during September and 
October last. She has bagged well over three hundred 
rabbits since August, when first on the wing. I should 
guess that it was a falcon that knocked down the pheasant 
that you tell of, if ' knock down ' is the correct term 
for the performance. We have had singularly few wild 
falcons here this year, probably owing to the scarcity of 
teal, but as you take in the Field you will probably see 
the account by me, of a very singular capture of a falcon 
close in front of the house here on 24th inst.* I have 
a very fine Iceland falcon, with alas ! a damaged wing- 
joint, flying as well as she can to the lure. I am able 
to watch this performance from my window." * 

The country round Lilford Hall, though suitable 
enough to the goshawk, is far too much enclosed, and 
too much wooded for successful flights with falcons after 
rooks, and in any case Lord Lilford, as an invalid, would 
not have been able to follow a flight. None the less 
he kept many peregrines, partly for old associations' sake, 

' To the Rev. G. E. Freeman. 
* See Presidential Address, p. 39. 




TKAiNiiD Goshawk on Tnii fist. 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 115 

and partly tor the joy of seeing them fly to the lure, in 
itself one of the most beautiful exhibitions that a man can 
wish to see. Lord Lilford says in one of his letters, that 
all that he knew of falconry he learnt from ' Dear old 
Clough Newcome's ' practice in the field. Mr. Newcome, 
of FeltweU Hall, Norfolk, the secretary of the Loo Club 
and the Old Hawking Club, was ' the ablest and most 
skilful amateur falconer of the present century.' * 

We will now pass on to a sketch of falconry from an 
able pen, designed to lead the unlearned, or unpractised, 
to a better understanding of ' the noble mysterie.' 

It is written by the Rev. Gage Earle Freeman, well 
known as an accomplished falconer, f 

Falcons and Falconry. 

Of falconry, Lord Lilford's favourite sport, very little 
indeed is known in the present day, and such knowledge 
as exists is confined to but a few sportsmen. 

Upon its antiquity I will say only a few words ; 
and, to give but two or three facts, I shall have to learn 
what I myself taught in Falconry, its Claims, History, 
and Practice, which was published in 1859. 

" Mr. Layard, in the second volume of his Nineveh, 
tells us that he found in the ruins of Kharsabad a bas- 

* Falconry (Badminton Library), by the Hon. G. I-ascelles, p. 339. 
t Mr. Freem.in wrote for many years on hawking matters in 
the Field, under the pseudonym of ' Peregrine.' 



ii6 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

relief, ' in which there appeared to be a falconer bearing 
a hawk on his wrist.' Aristotle, in his Animated 
Nature, says : ' When the hawks seized a bird they 
dropped it among the hunters ' ; and, in a work ascribed 
to Aristotle, we find : ' Hawks appear when called.' 
I find that I copied the following from Turner's History 
of the Anglo-Saxons, vol. iii., chip, vii., p. 65 : — 
' Hawks and falcons were also favourite subjects of amuse- 
ment, and valuable presents in those days, when, the 
country being much overrun with wood, every species of 
the feathered race abounded in all parts. A King of Kent 
begged of a friend abroad two falcons, of such skill and 
courage as to attack cranes willingly, and seizing them to 
throw them on the ground.' Spelman, in his Glossarium 
Archceologicum «.iys that ' the art of falconry was invented 
more than a thousand years before ' ; he writing in 1629." 

I will conclude what I have to say concerning the 
antiquity of the sport by a short quotation from a 
passage I wrote so many years ago. It refers to the 
practice in Europe : " We may gather from all this that 
falconry was tolerably well established as a leading sport 
in Europe, and possibly in these islands, at a very early 
period of our history — between the fourth and sixth 
centuries perhaps ; England, however, being later than 
Germany in adopting it." 

So much for the facts concerning the antiquity. 
What was the spirit of those times with regard to the 
sport } May 1 quote myself once more } 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 117 

" The love of this sport had now become a perfect 
passion — nay, a mania. Europe was inflamed with it. 
Monarchs, nobles and knights, disdaining the moderate 
draughts of its pleasures, drained them to intoxication, 
and lived for them, as for their fame. If a gallant were 
in prison he would carve falcons on the walls ; if in 
a court, or in a church, he would bear them on his 
glove ; if in the grave, they would be figured on his 
tombstone ; nay, his bride took a merlin to the altar on 
her wedding day. . . . Not to love hawking was a 
proof of the grossest vulgarity of disposition, and of 
many drops of churlish blood." 

And all this has passed into tradition. However, 
we must not forget that, in the last century, there 
was an unquestionable revival of the sport, in which 
the Old Hawking Club, of which Lord Lilford was a 
member, was conspicuous. One could wish the revival 
were on the increase, but that is hardly so. 

Lord Lilford would certainly not have wished the 
destruction of one sport for the sake of another. He 
was fond of shooting ; it could well go hand-in-hand 
with falconry. I have shot with him, and (though he 
was even then somewhat lame) it was a lucky grouse 
that escaped his gun. 

But it is time that something was said about the 
practice of falconry. 

Falconers divide the hawks which they train into two 
classes — viz., long-winged and short-winged hawks. Of 



ii8 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

long-winged hawks we have the following : — Peregrine ; 
jer- or gyr- falcon (these names include the Iceland, 
Greenland, and Norway falcons) ; lanner ; sacre ; Barbary 
falcon ; hobby ; merlin. Of short-winged hawks : — 
Goshawk and sparrow-hawk. 

I. — Long-winged Hawks. 

It may be well to say at once that falconers of the 
present day do not use the lanner, sacre, or the Barbary 
falcon (though the last kind, I should think, would 
be found excellent for partridges) ; and the gyr-falcon * 
is very seldom to be found in training now. 

Let us begin with the peregrine {Falco peregrinus), a 
bird to which I, at least, owe more than half the 
pleasure of my life, and one to which Lord Lilford 
was devotedly attached. 

Peregrines taken from their nests in the crag are 
called eyesses ; those caught in their after-life, in the 
bow-net, are haggards, if in the adult plumage ; if in 
the first plumage, red hawks. All hawks, in fact, are 
either eyesses or 'wild-caught.' 

Eyesses must be hacked ; this is quite necessary 
with the peregrine, and hardly less necessary with the 
merlin. 

What is hacking.^ It is this : 

A hamper has arrived, from Scotland, let us say ; 

* Lord Lilford once had a Greenland falcon, which he much 
liked.— G. E. F. 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 119 

it contains several peregrines just taken from the eyrie ; 
and, let us hope, only just taken. If they have been 
carried from the nest when they were little more than 
masses of white down, reared by the cragsman at his 
home for many days, and despatched to the falconer 
when some feathers have appeared, they will be simply 
worthless. They will, when trained, scream and fly 
round their trainer's head, looking to him only for food. 
What should be done is this : the young hawks must be 
left in the nest till they can nearly fly (I have known 
one that was found some distance from the nest, and 
was caught by the hand on the rocks), and then packed 
ofi^ at once. Care should be taken also that the journey 
be as rapid as circumstances admit. Then comes the 
hack ; a period of liberty for eyesses which lasts some 
weeks. The object is to teach them to fly, to expand 
and exercise the muscles of the wings ; to put them, 
in short, when the time is over, in very much the 
same position they would have been in, as far as 
strength and adroitness are concerned, had they not 
been captured. 

There are two ways in which the hack can be 
arranged : the first is as follows : — 

When the young hawks are able to leave the loft 
where they were placed, they find a large board to 
which meat is tied, and they readily feed. As day 
follows day, they go farther and farther from the 
house, but return to the board at feeding-times. 



120 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

Should they be very forward when they are received, 
they are fastened to the blocks near the board until 
they thoroughly recognise it as the place where they 
will find food. When this happens, they are quietly 
released. It is considered essential, by those who adopt 
this form of hack, that the hawks should see as little 
of any human being as possible. The fear is that, 
should they recognise their feeders, they will scream 
and fly low. 

The second arrangement is this : 

The hawks are placed on a platform in the loft with 
straw, not hay, for their bedding. As soon as they can 
tear food for themselves, it is offered to them on lures, 
one lure for each hawk. The falconer whistles loudly 
while they feed. Presently they fly down to the floor to 
feed from the lures ; then the loft door is opened and 
they fly out, settling probably on the house or on the 
nearest tree. They soon go a couple of miles or so away, 
but return at feeding-times at the sight of the lures and 
the sound of the whistle. 

This was my own plan ; it was the plan of my old 
friend William Brodrick, whom I knew in 1850. I never 
had a case of screaming or low-flying, unless by accident 
I had received a bird taken from the eyrie when it was 
too young. Such a bird I should not keep for a day ; 
and no one ever saw one of my entered evesses fly low 
when ' waiting on,' or heard it scream. There is this 
obvious advantage, too, in this second plan — that the 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 12 r 

birds when taken up know the lure and the whistle. 
And, as for wildness — a good thing at this time — it is as 
necessary to use the bow-net for taking up these as it is 
in taking up those which have been fed from the hack- 
board. In either case, the eyesses, on being put into the 
loft, have been furnished with bells and jesses, the bell 
being somewhat heavier than that used when the training 
is over, which should be as light as possible. I myself 
am for a very long hack, even up to the point of danger 
of the birds being lost. Be bold, I say ; you had better 
have four good than five indifferent hawks. 

We now come to wild-caught hawks — i.e., haggards 
and red hawks, both ' passage hawks.' These are yearly 
taken in Holland, as I shall show at once by an extract 
from Reminiscences of a Falconer, an excellent work by 
my late friend Major Charles Hawkins Fisher, of the 
Castle, Stroud, Gloucester.* The extract shows the 
means of capture ; the place is in the neighbourhood of 
Valkenswaard, Eindhoven, Holland. 

" The method adopted is intricate and interesting, and 
can only be briefly deecribed here. The so-called ' huts ' 
are pits dug out, walled with sods, and roofed with sods 
and heather, so as to be very undistinguishable from 
the surroundings. The occupant, who is frequently by 

* They are taken in England also. Lord Lilford sent me a fine 
haggard caught on his own property in Northamptonshire. He 
named her Miss Hardcastle, because he hoped she would ^ stoop to 
conquer.' To my great sorrow she broke her swivel when in the 
process of training and I never saw her again. — G. E. F. 



122 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

profession a cobbler, is provided with provisions, water 
and schnapps, and a sack of boots and shoes to mend. As 
his vision is but circumscribed he depends greatly upon a 
little living sentinel who lives in full sight of his hut in 
a little turf cabin or cage outside. This sentinel is the 
larger butcher-bird or shrike. 

" The moment he perceives any bird of prey, however 
far off, and however high (I am told beyond the power of 
human vision), he becomes highly agitated and calls and 
attracts the attention of the occupant of the hut. . . . 
In addition to this sentinel, the hawk-catcher is supplied 
with a pigeon, who lives in a little turf hut at the foot 
of a pole, to the top of which is attached a cord reaching 
to his hand. Another pigeon, similarly lodged, about one 
hundred yards from his hut door and close to a carefully 
concealed bow-net, working easily and well, also from inside 
the hut, completes his devices. The butcher-bird's actions 
denote the approach of the migrating hawk — species, age 
and sex unknown — and the hawk-catcher pretends to be 
able to determine the distance and quality of the approach- 
ing migrant, by the different intensity of the terror of the 
sentinel. When deemed sufficiently near, the hawk-catcher 
pulls the string of the pole-pigeon, and causes him to 
flutter forth from his shelter, but so that he can instantly 
regain it at need. This lure is frequently sufficient to 
attract the passing hawk (probablv sharp-set) from the 
clouds, and is often instantly followed bv the rush of 
the lofty and violent stoop — most grateful of all sounds 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 123 

to the patient ear of the concealed cobbler. In a moment 
the lure pigeon is gone, safe once more in his little hut. 
The disappointed hawk wheels round, whereupon the 
cobbler pulls the other poor, devoted pigeon out of his 
shelter and leaves him exposed. Down comes the hawk 
very often (seeing nothing wrong) and kills, and soon 
begins to eat his prey. . . . The delighted cobbler takes 
a good hold of the cord or wire that throws the bow- 
net (a most clever contrivance) and with one masterly 
pull the hawk and pigeon are therein, from whence there 
is no escape." 

The hawk, whether ' passage ' or eyess, is now out 
of the bow-net, and in the falconer's hands for training. 
Taming, however, comes first. It is not my business in 
this little essay to say how this or that matter is accom- 
plished ; I have only to say what is done, and what 
must be done. 

A leash is supplied in the case of the eyess, who 
has worn jesses during hack ; leash and jesses to the 
wild-caught bird. Then comes carrying on the gloved 
left hand, the persistent persuasion to feed from it ; 
breaking to the hood ; accustoming the unhooded hawk 
to the presence of strangers ; jumping to fist from the 
screen or block ; flying some yards to the lure, a creance 
(a long string tied to the ground) having been fastened 
to the leash ; and ultimately flying at liberty to the 
falconer's call and lure. 

The hawk is ' reclaimed ' — I trust it is understood 



124 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

that I am now speaking only of the peregrine — and is in 
a condition to fly game. We are on the moors, hoping 
soon to fly and kill a grouse. This quarry, as a rule, we 
attack only with the female bird — the ' falcon.' Yesterday 
we took out the old pointer who has helped us on many 
a day's game-hawking, but to-day we had only beaters- 
and markers. What was our plan yesterday } This, put 
shortly : — There were only two of us, and one falcon ; 
our time was short, and the moor close to the house. 
Old Don ranged well, but carefully ; a dead point — no 
hare thai; grouse to a certainty. The hawk is cast off; 
she rises in wide circles ; give her plenty of time : will 
she get any higher ? No ; well then, put up the grouse. 
Don knows his business, and up get the birds. Poor Don ! 
every one complains thdt we have spoilt him for shooting. 
The hawk, though high, was a considerable distance from 
the rise, but she answered to the ringing shout, " ho-ha, 
ha ! " and spun down upon the five birds which had 
risen. The distance was too great, however, to admit of 
her cutting one over at once ; the flight was something 
like a stern chase. A ' put-in ' t We feared it, and it 
was. In other words, the grouse had dashed into thick 
cover. But she ' waits on ' well above them. We and the 
dog rush on ; it is a considerable distance, but she is a 
fairly patient bird. Up gets one of the grouse ; he is- 
cut over at the first stoop, and the falconer, lifting the 
grouse on his gloved hand, the hawk being on the quarry,, 
lets his bird eat the head and neck, and some fresh and 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 125 

tender beefsteak which he takes from his pouch. She 
was, in fact, ' fed-up,' for we had to go home. 

So much for yesterday. As far as to-day is concerned, 
we have been hawking, as I have said, without a dog, 
for this is what happened. Don was left at home. A 
pointer, as will be seen, is not necessary, but I strongly 
recommend a dog at heel, to put out birds which have 
been ' put in.' Well do I remember the want of one. 
The memory plagues me even now. A falcon was 
* waiting on,' and I could not find a grouse ; at last, up 
got a snipe, and there was a splendid ringing flight ; the 
snipe was soon out of sight in the sky, and the hawk, 
if I saw her at all, did not look bigger than a butterfly. 
At last, they came down ; the hawk had compelled her 
quarry to do that. It was a ' put in,' only a hundred 
yards or so from where I stood, in deep heather. I was 
soon on the spot, as far as I could make it out ; but I 
was alone, and the hawk was waiting above me ; she was 
most patient. Oh for a dog ! At that moment I would 
have half ruined myself for only the loan of a dog. I 
was on my hands and knees turning over the heather, and 
examining every hole; and this, perhaps, a dozen or twenty 
yards from where the snipe had hid itself; I could not 
mark the spot nearer. At last the hawk left me, and 
went home, not half a mile away ; she could stand it 
no longer. But this is a long digression. 

On the day I am writing about there was no dog, 
but I had markers and beaters. The moor was small. 



126 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

and the ground very uneven, hilly in fact. The markers 
were placed on the high ground, the beaters were with 
me ; the falcon was waiting on. " Now, my lads, ofF 
with you ; get them up as fast as you can." They dash 
off; and in a moment, as it happened, a single grouse 
got up. The falcon was just above, but very nicely high. 
A shower of feathers, as if the grouse had been struck by 
small shot ; she is on it, waiting till I come up. We did 
not ' feed up ' this time, but killed another before we 
went home. The markers helped in that case ; the 
' kill ' was out of my sight, and they let me know it 
had happened, and where it was, by throwing caps in the 
air and pointing, like signposts, to the place. 

But this is hawking on a small scale. On a larger 
moor, and with the assistance of professionals, six or 
eight hawks may be taken out on the cadge, and a whole 
day spent on the sport. 

1 have spoken of eyesses and of wild-caught hawks. 
Falconers agree that for grouse, rooks, and certainly for 
heron, wild-caught birds are the better. 

A word, and but little more than a word, on partridge- 
hawking. The tiercel, or male bird, one-third smaller 
than the female, is certainly to be chosen for this sport. 
It is grouse-hawking in miniature as regards the size of 
the hawk used, that of the quarry, and the extent of land 
ranged over. It is very pretty sport, and is conducted 
in precisely the same way as that of grouse-hawking. 
Partridges are often ' put-in ' to ditches, or the bottom 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 127 

of a thick hedge, and a small dog accustomed to the 
hawks, and one they know well, is necessary. Still, the 
majority of kills, if there is luck, take place in the open. 
But if one wished to make a man a falconer, he should 
be taken on to the moors. He would recollect many a 
good day's shooting to dogs, his own favourite pointers 
and setters ; how well they ranged, how thoroughly steady 
they were to points, and to ' down-charge,' how proud 
he was to show them to his friends. He might remember, 
too, his patience at the butts till the pack came over, and 
the splendid rights and lefts. 

No doubt this is very fine, hut you will show your 
friend something still finer. And, in writing this, I may 
in some trifling measure repeat what I have just written. 
You and he have been running over heather, you both 
have positively drunk the mountain-air ; fragrance, the very 
strength of a life-giving fragrance, has been the breath 
of your nostrils. More than that ! Up in the cloudless 
sky has circled the bird, who you know has watched your 
every movement, has waited for your help as patiently 
as you have waited for hers. She could have left you, 
and have been twenty miles away in almost as many 
minutes. She chose you before that. What will your 
friend think of this sport ^ How marvellously patient 
she is ! You pause ; the partridges lay close, but they 
are off now. One flash from above, the bright sun on 
her wings ; the shout that called her still ringing ! The 
leading old cock spins from the stroke of her foot ; she is 



128 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

on him in the heather ; she looks for your approach, 
as proud as you are. 

People know nothing of the sport, or they would 
honour it. Could a man see spch a flis^ht as that I have 
just described and not do all he knew to become a 
falconer .'' 

Rook-hawking next. It is heron-hawking in minia- 
ture. In both, to carry out the sport properly, the 
ground must be free from trees. The quarry, whichever 
of these it may be, is looked for on the ' passage,' going 
for food, or returning with it. The falconer carries the 
falcon on his glove ; the leash, of course, has been removed, 
and she is held by the jesses ; she is hooded. When 
a rook comes fairly near — a hundred yards, if you like — 
the hood is removed, and the hawk cast off". Two are 
often flown at a rook ; two always at a heron. They 
have no mean quarry to attack, for a good old rook 
will shift from the stoop with very great dexterity, and 
the flight may be a very long one ; a good horse is 
necessary if the whole, or anything like it, is to be seen 
thoroughly. When there are a few trees on the hawking 
ground, it is well to carry a pistol, loaded with blank 
cartridge, to be tired immediately under the tree where 
the rook has taken refuge ; this will often, but not 
always, dislodge it. But one of the difficulties in rook- 
hawking is to induce the hawk to fly the quarry. 
Naturally, she very much dislikes the flavour of the flesh. 
A few falcons will take to rooks at once, but they are 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 129 

the exception ; ' entering ' is the remedy. A rook is 
offered in a creance to a very sharp-set hawk, she takes 
it, it is killed at once, and the falconer adroitly fastens 
the greater part of a newly killed pigeon, still warm, 
under the rook's wing, having taken care to remove the 
pigeon's wings, and any feathers likely to betray the 
fraud. "If this is rook," thinks the falcon, "all I can 
say is that I have slandered the poor bird very much, 
and I shall certainly fly the first I see." 

Magpie-hawking is very good sport indeed. The 
falconers, ladies perhaps among them, should be on horse- 
back. Of course, the country must be free from woods, 
but there may be bushes and some hedges if the fields 
are large. There should be some few beaters with the 
party, so that the magpie may easily be driven out of 
the cover to which he has taken when pressed by the 
single tiercel, or cast of tiercels, which are after him. 
The crack of a whip is sometimes, but not often, enough 
to send him again into the open. 

But I must remember that space is limited, and that I 
have yet, amongst long-winged hawks, to say something 
of the merlin and hobby. The merlin {Falco cesalori) 
is the smallest of British hawks ; an exquisite little 
creature, a pet and a companion for ladies, a bird capable 
of showing the falconer excellent sport. It is very 
handsome, too, and the male, when in the adult plumage, 
has a beautiful blue back ; he would be worth having 
if he were only to be looked at. But these birds are 

9 



I JO OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

more than beautiful ; they may be made the companions 
of your walks, following on the wing, and coming to the 
glove when called. I have known a little male bird 
which had received a few mouthfuls of food in the 
morning and was then thrown out of the window, meet 
his master or mistress a couple of hours later, his presence 
being intimated by his settling on one of their heads ; 
then he would of course be fed, and would probably be 
carried on the glove till the walk was over. 

Taken from hack, or wild-caught, these birds are 
treated in the same manner as that described in the case 
ot the peregrine ; they become tame very soon, and I 
once had a fine wild-caught hen bird, which knew the 
lure, and followed me in the lields, one fortnight after 
she had been taken out of the birdcatcher's net. 

As to the quarry at which they are flown, they 
will take blackbirds, thrushes, ring-ouzels — any small bird, 
in fact ; their only fault, notwithstanding their extreme 
tameness, being a disposition to ' carry.' With most 
birds, however, this can be overcome, and the falconer 
will go up to his hawk with confidence that she will 
wait for him, content that he shall have the quarry just 
killed, and knowing that he will feed her from it. 

But the quarry for the merlin — there is only one of 
consequence — is the skylark. Here — and this has been 
often said — we have heron-hawking in miniature. In 
both, the ' ringing ' flight is the great matter. \r\ 
grouse-hawking, as we have just seen, the hawk comes 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 131 

down from a height in "one fell swoop" — 'stoop' as 
we call it in these days ; in heron-, rook-, and lark- 
hawking, she goes up, hawk and quarry ' ringing,' till 
they are nearly, or quite, out of sight. A stranger to the 
sport would say, " We shall never see that bird again ! " 
But the fact is that you could probably see it in a few 
seconds. Well I remember, when I began falconry, 
William Brodrick scolding me for calling a merlin " out 
of sight." She was just disappearing in the sky, and 
to have lost her in those days would have made me 
melancholy for a week, so I whistled, threw up the 
lure, and she came. 

Such is the merlin. Then we have the hobby {Falco 
subbuteo). I only wish I could say anything complimen- 
tary of this hawk. There is a great beauty, no doubt ; 
but is there not an old adage, ' Handsome is that 
handsome does ' } The hobby to look at is the very 
perfection of a falcon ; the length of wing by which, 
amongst other signs, a falcon is known, is longer in 
proportion than that of any other member of the 
family ; the general appearance is, in fact, wonderfully- 
typical. The bird is a little larger than the merlin. 
They are migratoi-y and difficult to procure. Surely, 
considering their perfect form, they could fly ! They 
ought to beat a merlin, but they don't, nor, indeed, at 
all equal it. Lord Lilford told me that he had offered 
a good price for one that would fly larks well, but the 
difficulty is to get one that will fly them at all. There 



132 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

is a mystery about the bird ; it might cry, as a certain 
lady cried : " The curse has come upon me." For, look 
at the difference between then and now ! We find 
Latham, whose Falconry was published in 1633, 
writing of the hobby in terms of enthusiastic praise. 
He says : " She will show herself a hawk to please a 
prince, for you may fly her twenty times in the after- 
noon when no other hawks will fly, but must be waited 
on." In short, he says that the hobby will flv par- 
tridges, quails, larks, and all in the most perfect manner. 
So much tor ' then ' ; ' now ' the very best merlin 
trainers can't make a hobby go iifty yards after a lark, 
nor, indeed, can they make her care for any quarry. Is 
there vet a chance .'' Will some one read up Latham and 
other old hawking books, try if they can extract a hidden 
hint, and give their whole mind to practice in the field ? 
I have now done with the long-winged hawks, except 
that I ought to add that falconers keep them on 
blocks, or on the screen, the former, in my opinion, 
being the better resting-place, as on the screen the 
feathers not infrequently get damaged. Like all hawks 
they must be often offered a bath. 

II. — Sfwrt-winged Hawks. 

There are two short-winged hawks, the goshawk and 
the sparrow-hawk. The goshawk is by far the larger 
bird, but thev resemble each other very much in other 
respects, except that the goshawk has stout legs and 



i ii> ifZ. 








Hobby, with leash and block. 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 133 

feet, while the sparrow-hawk has slight ones. However, 
ornithologists have separated them very widely, neither 
genus nor species being the same. The goshawk is 
Astur palumbarius, and the sparrow-hawk Accipiter nisiis. 
They are separated, too, in their habits ; the goshawk, on 
the whole, preferring fur, and the sparrow-hawk confining 
itself to feather. 

The bow-perch is generally used for these birds 
instead of the block, though the latter is well enough 
suited for the sparrow-hawk. This perch is a simple 
contrivance ; it is made of a length of pliant wood, 
ash perhaps, and it becomes a ' bow ' by being bent, 
and for a bowstring, strong string, or what is far 
better, strong wire is used. The ends^ however, differ 
from those of an ordinary bow ; they should be a foot 
in length beyond the place where the bowstring is 
fastened, and this in order that they may be most 
thoroughly and firmly buried in the ground. A sub- 
stantial ring has been run up the wood before the 
bow was fashioned, it moves easily up and down, and 
to it the leash is fastened. Blocks and perches must, 
of course, be on grass, or well surrounded with straw 
when under cover, or the hawk, when bating, will injure 
Sts plumage. 

Goshawks may sometimes be procured by advertise- 
ments. The best come from Norway, but they are 
found also in France and Germany. England will have 
none of them now ; there was a time when it was their 



134 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

home. Like other hawks, they may be taken as nestlings 
or they mav be wild-caught. Colonel Delme RadclifFe 
once warned me against having a hao^gard, but the bird 
in its first plumage, although wild-caught, is very good, 
and as a rule to be preferred to an eyess. In training, 
a hood, so contrived that food may just be seen through 
it (food and nothing else) can be used ; but the bird 
should be accustomed very soon to feed ' from the fist ' 
without it, and to endure the presence of strangers. 
This part of the business is a trying time to the falconer, 
for goshawks and sparrow-hawks have a fearful temper. 
It is only to be overcome by time and constant attention, 
the goshawk, at any rate, becoming at last very fairly 
amiable. 

As with other hawks, the entering to quarry is done 
by degrees : there is no greater mistake than hurry in 
the training. At first a dead rabbit, opened so as to show 
the flesh about the shoulder, may be given at the bow- 
perch : a couple of days after, the hawk being very 
sharp-set, a live rabbit in a short creance should be offered ; 
on it being taken, the falconer will kill it, and allow the 
hawk to feed from the shoulders as before — and so by 
degrees the bird will fly wild rabbits. Half a dozen may 
be taken in a morning's or afternoon's walk ; more in 
fact, but it is well not to repeat large numbers day after 
day. It was my custom at first to stab the rabbit 
at once, but I think there is a better plan. Have a 
man or boy behind you, carrying a dead rabbit, skinned 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 135 

towards the head ; take this and pass the live one to him 
to be adroitly killed bv the usual neck-breaking process : 
allow the hawk to take a mouthful from the dead rabbit, 
and whilst she is eating lift her on the glove, holding 
the jesses firmly : she is then ready for another flight. 
Some goshawks will take hares, but if they are used for 
that quarry, they must not be allowed to fly rabbits ; if 
they are, they will look for the easier flight, and scarcely 
care for the more difiicult. 

The female bird only is used for hares and rabbits. 
The male will fly pheasants well, and indeed partridges, 
but he is hardly fast enough to be quite relied on for 
a strong full-grown partridge, at any rate in flight : he 
may drive his quarry into low cover where a dog may 
take it. 

A goshawk must be in ' yarak ' before she is flown. 
Unless this is so, leave her on her perch, for she will 
be of no use whatever. What therefore is yarak .'' I 
quote from my little book, How I became a Falconer. 
A goshawk in yarak is : " simply when she is in a good 
temper, decidedly hungry, and eager for quarry. She gives 
two or three screams at your approach, and probably bates 
towards you ; she sets out her feathers, making herself 
look large ; has a peculiar look in her yellow eyes — a sort 
of mixture of earnestness and amiability . . . beware of 
the opposite symptoms. It is no use taking her from her 
perch if she gives a chirping sound, very different from 
the scream ; if she has a wild eye, with contracted pupil ; 



136 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

if she makes herself look small by closing all her feathers 
tightly round her." 

The short-winged hawks fly ' from the fist,' as it is 
called ; in fact, so does the merlin. In other words, they 
do not ' wait on ' ; any one who knew the goshawk would 
think the notion that she could do so a very comic one 
indeed. Carried unhooded, they at once see their quarry 
and dash after it. 

I have always liked the goshawk ; when she thoroughly 
knows you she is very friendly. I had one once — my 
close friend and companion — for more than nine years ; 
she died on my hand, of aneurism. I have mentioned this, 
I am sure, in other essays on falconrv, but it may be 
interesting in this place. She was wonderfully stuffed 
for me by Mr. Brodrick, and is in this house now, almost 
as lifelike as when she lived. 

I must now write a few lines about the sparrow-hawk. 
I don't think that Lord Lilford took much interest in this 
bird, though he was certainly fond of the goshawk : and 
indeed the sparrow-hawk is hardly one of the most in- 
teresting hawks. She requires an immense deal of patient 
attention, and when she is in flying order she must be 
flown often. The male (musket), as well as the female, 
may be made to fly blackbirds well, and blackbird-hawking 
is really an exciting sport. Two or three people should 
join in it, for the hedges must be well guarded and beaten, 
as it is necessary to drive out the quarry as soon as it is 
' put in ' by the hawk. The sparrow-hawk, like the 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 137 

goshawk, should be made to fly to the fist ; that is 
essential, especially with the former bird, but it is well 
also that they should understand some sort of lure ; one 
of these hawks may take its ' stand ' in a tree, and 
obstinately remain there : a lure will often bring it down 
when the ' fist ' has little attraction. 

The female bird will fly three- fourths-grown partridges, 
and will sometimes take an old one : water-hens, too, she 
will take, when they can be found far enough from water ; 
for landrails she was always famous, and a quail would be 
excellent quarry for either the male or the female bird. 

The sparrow-hawk, like the goshawk, may be broken 
to the hood, but it should be rarely used. The bird 
must be carried without it on days when she flies and 
when she does not. And just one hint as to carrying on 
the glove : it is absolutely necessary, day after day, but 
it must not be made a toil to the hawk : a little bit of 
food — the leg of a pigeon with the feathers off, for 
instance — should be in the right hand, so that when the 
bird becomes impatient and disposed to be cross, just a 
glimpse and a very small taste may be ofFered. 

As to the kind of food, one must be specially careful 
with both merlins and sparrow-hawks : even fresh and 
tender beefsteak, excellent with peregrines and goshawks, 
and very proper on occasion with the smaller hawks, 
must be given sparingly. Sheep's heart and birds should 
be the usual food. All hawks require castings two or three 
times in the week — i.e.., feather or fur with their food. 



138 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

Perhaps a word or two should be said about disease 
and medicine. 

The croaks is a kind of cough : bruised peppercorn 
may be given in the castings. 

Inflammation of the crop. The food is thrown up. 
Give a little powdered rhubarb in the morning ; but there 
is little chance of recovery. 

Worms. River-sand with the meat and occasionally 
rhubarb. 

I wonder if our ancestors did better than this with 
their wonderful remedies ! 

The following is from the Gentleman s Recreation^ 
A.D. 1677 : 

" Take germander, pelamountain, basil, grummel-seed, 
and broom-flowers, of each half an ounce ; hyssop, 
sassafras, polypodium, and horse-mints, of each a quarter 
of an ounce, and the like of nutmegs ; cubebs, borage, 
mummy, mugwort, sage, and the four kinds of mirobolans, 
of each halt an ounce ; of aloes succotrine the fifth part 
of an ounce, and of saffron one whole ounce." This is 
to be " put into a hen's gut, tied at both ends." 1 
hope it may be found agreeable. 

Moulting. This occurs once a year. The seventh 
feather in the wing is generally dropped first, and that 
not long after the middle or end of March. During 
moult the birds must be kept fat, or the new feathers will 
be poor ones. They are not flown at quarry, but should 
have some exercise. Moult is not over till the autumn. 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 139 

Imping is the mending of a broken feather. A falconer 
will have hawk's feathers by him. He chooses one which 
belonged to a hawk precisely like, in every way, to the 
bird whose wing or tail he is about to imp. The 
imping needle is a short piece of steel wire filed into a 
triangular shape ; it is dipped in brine to cause rust and 
therefore adhesion. Suppose the third feather in the wing 
is broken ; take precisely the same feather from those you 
have in reserve ; be sure of the exact length in cuttinof : 
do that at an angle ; pass half the needle into the false 
feather, half into that of the bird you are imping, close 
tightly, and scarcely a mark of the junction will be seen. 

" My task is over," concludes Mr. Freeman. " It has 
been a pleasant one indeed. I am delighted at having 
had the pleasure and the privilege of contributing to this 
book, for Lord Lilford was, through a great number of 
years, my constant and most kind friend." 

But in addition to otter hunting and falconry, there 
were few forms of sport in which Lord Lilford had not 
graduated, and the following extracts from letters throw 
a pleasing light upon the genial spirit he brought to 
these pursuits. 

He writes, under date October 22nd, 1895 : 
" The cleverest retriever, and certainly one of the 
most charming and sympathetic companions of my early 
manhood, was a cross between collie and setter. For 



140 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

nearly thirteen years she was always with me, and knew 
my little manners and habits better than any human 
being. I lost her one day, in Sardinia, about twenty 
miles from Cagliari, at a spot to which I had gone 
on wheels the previous evening. Old Nellie lay under 
our feet in the buggy in which we drove, so that she 
could not possibly have seen any landmarks, or stopped 
to sniff at any spots where other of her species had left 
their traces. We slept, the night of our arrival at the 
village, in an old tumbledown country house, Nellie under 
my bed. The next morning we sallied forth early, and 
for two or three hours had capital sport with Barbary 
partridges, quails, and a few hares. It was about the 
middle of October, very hot, and Nellie was thirsty. She 
disappeared about 1 1 a.m., and I whistled for and sought 
her in vain, the whole of the afternoon. My host of 
the R.Y.S. Schooner Claymore was anxious to leave 
Cagliari for Palermo on the evening of the day following, 
so I returned disconsolate to the yacht by 9.30 p.m. My 
good friend, knowing how I loved my Nellie, kindly 
consented to stay till the following morning. 

" I spent a miserable day, and turned in early. My 
host and our other companion went ashore to the opera ; I 
was conscious of the gig shoving off to bring them aboard 
about 1 1 p.m., and the next thing that I knew of was 
Nellie's jumping up into my bunk, and licking my hands. 
She had found her way back twenty miles through an 
unknown country, and evidently came straight down to- 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 141 

the quay, and jumped into the yacht gig directly it came 
alongside. This could hardly be a case of scent. 

" This Nellie several times brought me two partridges 
together, and on one occasion a hare and a partridge. 
Here, in our shrubberies, Nellie would often ' tree ' a 
cat, and give me notice by a low bark, quite different 
from her usual note or ' mark ' at a rabbit in its 
burrow. If I took no notice, she would soon come to 
me with all her hackles up, and growl, wagging her stern 
all the time. I once knocked down a woodcock in pretty 
thick covert, and sent her to fetch it. She was a long 
time away, and came back without it, but she looked 
into my face, evidently anxious to tell me something. 
I tried her again, but she would not move till I pushed 
into the thorns myself, when she yapped with pleasure, 
and went gently ahead of me through the thick stuff, 
stopping at last and looking upwards, with her stern 
going. I looked up into the trees and bushes, but could 
see nothing for a time, till at last I caught sight of the 
tip of wing projecting from a broken stump at about four 
feet from the ground, and found my woodcock caught 
thereon. In this case, I feel sure that she had seen, 
not scented, the bird. Many a time she left me to go 
to a distance, and pick up a bird that she had watched 
till it fell, in many cases when I did not know of its 
being wounded. Peace to her ashes, and a truce to this 
long yarn." ' 

^ To T. Buckley, Esq. 



142 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

"October 20th, 1887. 
" I never enjoyed flighting in perfection except in 
Epirus and Tunis. Imagine, after a good day with the 
woodcocks, wading into water knee-deep ; birds around, 
mallard, gadwall, shoveller, teal, pintail, wigeon, pochard, 
tufters, golden-eye, with eagle owl booing from rocks close 
by, bitterns almost brushing one's face, snipe ' scaping ' in 
every direction, and woodcock flipping round like bats. 

" A neighbour of ours found an old hare, in a 
neat and well-used form in his strawberry bed. His 
garden was walled on three sides, to a height of perhaps 
fourteen feet, and on the fourth side to about three 
feet, with a drop on the outside of some five feet or 
more to a little stream, the opposite bank of which 
was about level with the foot of a low wall, and quite 
four feet from it at the narrowest part. At one end 
of this low wall was a little latched gate, opening upon 
a plank bridge over the stream. My friend, on first 
finding the hare amongst his strawberries, called a 
garden lad, posted himself at the gate, and told the 
boy to put the hare up. She came leisurely up to the 
little gate, but, on finding my friend there, turned, and 
tried the low wall in several places. On the approach 
of the boy, she at last jumped on to the wall, and tumbled 
headlong into the stream, in which there were only a tew 
inches of water. She scuttled along the bottom, and 
disappeared. The next afternoon she was again in her 
form, and, on being touched with a stick, hopped off 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 143 

to the gate, stood on her hind legs, quietly pressed 
down the latch, and crossed the bridge. After this my 
friend virtually left her alone, only now and then taking 
a friend to let him see old Sarah open the gate. 

" I had a Siberian hare for two or three days in my 
rooms in Tenterden Street, who did battle with any one 
who attempted to touch him, and finally turned cat and 
housemaid out of the room." ' 

"September ^th, 1887. 
" One of the best pointers I ever owned 7iever failed, 
but would always poke up his first bird or coney ; if 
he was far ahead he would look round, and if I were 
not in shooting distance, would steal up, put up his 
birds, and then come crawling up to me, to be scolded. 
I never hit him, for he was perfectly conscious of his 
offence ; except with the first bird of the day, I never saw 
him make a mistake. In Scotland, on broken, hillocky 
ground, directly I had loaded and waved my hand to 
him he would run off down wind, and go clean out of 
sight, ranging rapidly towards me if he found the birds 
and thought I could not see him, as was very often the 
case. He would come tearing along his original down- 
wind line, and directly he saw me, wheel sharply 
round and point in the direction of the birds that he 
had found, wait till I came up to him, and would 
take me to the spot without any attempt to get the 

' To the Rev. Murray Matthew. 



\ 



144 OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 

wind again, and an expression that said, as plainly as 
any words, that he was guided simply by memory. 
Up-wind he ranged not very wide, but in the most 
perfect form that I ever saw." '■ 

That Lord Lilford never wrote publicly upon sporting 
matters may perhaps have been due to his inherent fond- 
ness for all living creatures. Be this as it niav, in 
this direction he has committed little to writing beyond 
passing allusions in his diaries or letters. 

Thus on January iith, 1896: "Although, as you know, 
I was a very ardent gunner in my time, I would rather 
see a real good flight with a good hawk at any feathered 
quarry than take part in the slaughter of any number of 
tame-bred pheasants." - 

That ' tame-bred ' pheasants are no less difficult than 
wild ones to shoot, no one knew better than himself, 
or had more contempt for the absurdities that are 
written in the Press and elsewhere on this subject. 
The distinction he draws between the two forms of 
sport lay in the instinctive and unsportsmanlike shrinking 
from the idea of the non-natural culture of the pheasant. 

" With regard to rabbit shooting," he writes on 
March 3rdj 1891: "I fear that I cannot claim ever to 

^ To the Rev. Murray Matthew. 
2 To the Rev. G. E. Freeman. 



OTTER HUNTING, FALCONRY, SHOOTING 145 

have been a really first-class shot at them or anything 
else ; but I did get a knack of killing them stone-dead, 
which seems to be rare nowadays. In the open, with 
a bunny going all he knew, there was no art in this ; 
but in thick cover, with the object cautiously hopping 
about, my view was always to hustle him into rapid 
flight, and seize the right instant to put the whole 
charge behind his ears. One seldom gets a shot in 
thick cover at rabbits at more than fifteen or twenty 
yards, and the main object should be not to blow them 
to pieces. For this sort of work I always preferred a 
twenty-bore. The right moment to fire came upon one 
by instinct, after some practice." ^ 

' To the Rev. Murray Matthew. 



10 



CHAPTER VI 
Notes from Mediterranean Journals 

The extracts which follow are Lord Lilford's journals of 
cruises in the Mediterranean in the years 1874, 1878- 
1879, and 1882. 

This does not, however, exhaust the voyages he made ; 
the absent links are, therefore, very kindly supplied as 
follows by one who was often his companion at sea, and 
in many ornithological days in Spain.' 

" 1869, April 20th. Lilford met me at Seville, having come from 
London. On the 23rd we drove very early to Algaba, a small pueblo 
east of Seville, and each killed our first great bustard. On the 26th 
we started by steamer at 5 a.m. for Coria, a town some few miles 
down the Guadalquivir, and thence drove with Manuel and his sons 
in a carro to the Palacio of the Goto del Rey, a wearisome journey, 
lasting till six in the evening ; the carro was a covered country 
cart with wooden wheels, which creaked without cessation, and the 
covering was so low we had to squat or lie on the poles, which 
formed the floor, a painful position. The Palacio was a ramshackle 
place, once a shooting bo.x of the Royal Goto, capable of accommo- 
dating eight sportsmen. Our cooking, etc., was done by Lilford's 

1 Lieut.-Golonel L. Howard L. Irby, author of The Ornithology 

of the Straits of Gibraltar. 

146 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 147 

courier. Pan and a French bird skinner came with us. The 
mosquitoes were in such swarms that we had to burn dried rosemary, 
nearly suffocating ourselves. 

"Here we stayed till May ist, getting many, to us, new birds and 
eggs, among them the eggs and young of the Spanish imperial eagle. 
Some of these young eagles were brought to England and lived for 
many years at Lilford, one surviving to 1893. 

" We returned to Seville, as I had to return on the 6th to 
Gibraltar, where Lilford came on the 4th of June, staying there 
with me till the 13th, when he left for England in the P. and O. 
steamer Massilia. 

" 1872. In this year Lilford next visited Spain, when he and 
Lady Lilford arrived in the Poonah at Gibraltar, stopping there 
from February 6th till the 1 7th, when they left for Seville, where 
I joined them from March 29th till April 5th, when we went after 
bustard. 

"On May ist, 1876, Lilford, Dr. O'Connor and myself left 
Plymouth at 8 a.m. in the Zara, a three-hundred-ton schooner. With 
a very favourable wind we reached Santander in sixty hours, a very 
quick passage. 

" We remained in Santander harbour till May 23rd, daily going 
out after birds, amongst others getting a nest of young ravens, one 
of which became the celebrated 'Sankey.' On the 23rd we trained 
to Torre la Vega, thence driving to Unquera, sleeping there. We 
drove the next day to Potes, going through the Desfiladero, a grandly 
picturesque pass between Panes and Potes. We stayed in a posada 
at the latter place until June 13th, having got a good many birds, 
including great black and middle-spotted woodpeckers, seeing some 
capercaillie. 

"From June ist to 7th we had various, and alas! unsuccessful 
beats for bears, we saw their tracks, but never got a shot ; however, 
the scenery was magnificent and the country interesting, though so 
excessively steep and broken that you couldn't have found a spot 
level enough for a cricket pitch. 

"On June 13th we drove to Comillas on the coast, returning to 
Santander through Santillana, of Gil Bias fame, and Torre la Vega. 
We remained in Santander harbour on board the Zara till the 21st, 



148 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

on which day we started for Bordeaux, but with adverse winds 
only got so far as Royau on the Gironde, thence going by rail to 
Bordeaux on the 25 th, leaving next day for Paris, where I left 
Lilford." 



January to June, 1874 
Genoa 

'■'■January 2'ith, 1874. Went up to see the Museo- 
Civile on the Acquabola. The Marchese Giacomo 
Doria, who is curator, proposed to the municipality some 
five years ago to present his collections in various 
branches to that body, if they would find him house 
room for them and appoint him curator. They con- 
sented and gave him a villa, which he has arranged as a 
museum on a most excellent plan. The principal part 
of the collection is still in skins, but a considerable 
number of mammalia and birds are stuffed and mounted. 
Doria made large collections in Persia and Borneo, but 
the chief interest to me lies in the local collection, which 
is very rich is ornithology. The chief rarities in that 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 149 

branch are Audouin's gull {Larus audouini)* E. aureola, 
the little bunting (£. pusilla), E. Ci£sia^ and the Eleonora 
falcon {Falco eleonora'),^ all killed in the neighbourhood 
of Genoa. The collection is also rich in bats (^Cheiroptera'), 
of which order Doria has met with fourteen species in 
this neighbourhood. He is an excellent fellow and most 
obliging, kindly presenting me with Salvadori's work on 
the birds of Italy, two numbers of Proceedings of this 
museum society, and some reptiles. He told me very 
many interesting facts : viz., the present abundance of the 
ibex in the Royal preserves near Aosta, the occasional 
visits to Genoa in large numbers of the rose-coloured 
starling and the nutcracker, and the abundance of a seal 
{^Phoca monacha) on the islet of Cervoli, south of Elba. 
In the gardens attached to the museum there are a few 
living animals ; for example a fine tiger, a puma, a 
Sardinian red deer, and a male and female moufflon, and 
an eagle which I take to be the spotted eagle {Aquila 
tiavia). He has a very fine male specimen of the 
francolin {F. vulgaris), which he obtained about four years 
ago from Sicily, where it formed part of a collection made 

* Audouin's Gull {Larus audouini), an extremely beautiful gull 
with a black-banded coral-red bill, and eyelids of the same colour. 
Lord Lilford (see later) recorded it from Vacca, off the S.W. point of 
Sardinia, its most westerly known breeding-place. When the Editor 
visited this little island in 1896 he found it much infested by rats. 

t La Marmora's, or the Eleonora Falcon {Falco ehonorce), is a 
member of the hobby group of falcons. It is an inhabitant of lands 
on the southern border of the Mediterranean, and Lord Lilford (see 
later) records it from Toro, near Vacca. 



I50 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

by a doctor in some village not far from Girgent: ; no 
one knows when it was killed. He assures me that the 
Greek partridge {^Caccabis gracd) is not very common in 
this neighbourhood, where the red-leg {Caccabis rufa) is 
the common species, while the common partridge {Terdix 
cinerea) * is not rare. My steward has found the two 
latter in some numbers in the market here, as well as the 
Barbary partridge (Caccabis peirosa) from Sardinia. Many 
gulls frequent the harbour, apparently all herring gulls 
(Larus argentatus) or their Mediterranean representative, f 
and the brown-headed gull {Lams ridibundus)." 

Spezi.a. 

"January 31^-/ — Februar)' ^rd. A great many gulls, 
chieflv the brown-headed gull, frequent the bay during 
the daytime ; they collect together about sunset, and 
fly out seawards, probably to some favourite rock, on 
which they pass the night. 

" February ^^d. We sailed from Spezia, and got, 
into Leghorn about daylight." 

* The group Cairalns, to which our Red-leg Partridge belongs, differs 
from Perdix (the Grey Partridge, of which our common partridge may 
be regarded as the type) in the presence of knobs (rudimentary spurs) 
on the legs of the males : and, generally, these partridges tend towards 
the true gallinaceous birds. 

t The Mediterranean Herring Gull, constantly referred to here as 
Larus kucophaus, is better known as L. cachinnans. It differs from 
our Herring Gull by having yellow, instead of flesh-coloured legs and 
feet, an orange-red ring round the eye, and a darker mantle. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 151 

Leghorn. Pisa 

^'February ^t/i. Drove to Pisa and back. 
" February ^th. Sailed for Naples." 

Birds seen between Leghorn and Pisa, February 4th 

" Tinnunculus alaudarius, Corvus frugilegus, Columba anas, Passer 
italice, Fringilla carduelis, Alauda cristata, Motacilla alba, Fringilla 
ccelebs." 

Birds seen at Sea 

" Larus argentatus, L. ridibundus, L. caniis, L. melayiocephalus, 
Puffinus (sp. ?), Uria (sp. ?), Tringa (sp. ?). Two small flocks of 
some sandpiper flying low towards the land, apparently coming 
from Corsica." 

Naples 

" We remained at Naples till March 4th, having had 
an accident to the yacht, and generally very cold wet 
weather. We stayed at Lady Holland's house, the 
Palazzo Mocella, and made as many excursions as the 
weather would permit. I hardly ever saw any country, 
except some parts of France, so entirely devoid of birds, 
saving the gulls in the port. Game of all sorts is scarce 
in the market and very dear, almost all the shooting 
being in private hands. The king has some fine shooting 
in the neighbourhood, particularly at Licola, where there is 
an immense quantity of wildfowl. The chief information 
on sport I had was from the Cavalier Mario Matuno, who 
is grand veneur to the king. He tells me that bears are 
still found in some parts of the Abruzzi, and that wolves 
are not uncommon in the mountains, red and fallow deer 



152 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

in the preserves, and roe deer in all the large woods. 
Hares are pretty numerous, rabbits less so. The grey 
partridge is common in the plains, and in the hills Caccabis 
saxatilis is found ; this last appears to be the only species 
of its genus in this part of Italy ; the Barbary partridge 
is sent to the market from Sardinia. Wild boars are 
very abundant, and foxes, martens and porcupine more 
or less common in the country. 

" I shot two good specimens of the Adriatic black- 
headed gull (Larus melaKocephalus), one common gull (Z,. 
canus) immature, and one brown-headed gull (L. ridi- 
bundus) * from deck of yacht in the harbour." 

Other Birds seen about Naples 

" Accipiter nisus, Fringilla carduelis, F. serinus, F. Moris, Passer 
italics, Motacilla alba, M. boarula, Phyllcpneuste rufa, Eriihacus 
rubecula, Sylvia melanocephala, S. atricapilla. Troglodytes europaus. 
Anas crecca, A. boscas, Fulica atra, Podiceps minor." 

Birds seen in tlie Market at Naples 

" Garrulus glandarius, Fringilla cxlebs, F. chloris, F. serinus, F. 
carduelis, Alauda arvensis, Columba torquata, Saxicola rubicola, Perdix 
cinerea, Caccabis saxatilis, C. petrosa, Crex porzana, Scolopax rusticola, 
S. galliiiago, S. gallinula, Machetes pi/gnax, Liinosa melanura, Vanellus 
cristatus, Charadrius pluvialis, Anas boscas, A. sirepera, A. clypeata, 
A. crecca, Mareca penelope, Fuligida ferina, Mergus albellus." 

* The Brown-headed Gull {Larus ridibundus), sometimes called the 
Black-headed Gull — though its hood is chocolate-coloured — belongs to 
the group of hooded gulls, which include the Adriatic Gull (Z. melano- 
cephalus). The gulls which annually visit London belong to this 
species ; they nest on inland pieces of fresh water. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 153 

'■'■February \oth. Bought a fine blue rock-thrush* and 
two hill mynahs t in Naples. In the king's aviary at 
Capo di Monte I saw several hybrids between common 
and golden pheasants. 

'■'■February l6th. Noticed many bats flying in bright 
sunshine about Pozzuoli. One that I knocked down 
with the carriage whip near the Lago d'Aguana proved 
to be Schreiber's bat {Vespertilio schreiberi), but we saw 
other species. Many lizards in sunny places, I think 
chiefly Lacerta muralis. 

" In one of the dark chambers of Pompeii I knocked 
down four specimens of V. schreiberi and a dead horse- 
shoe bat, I think Rhinolophus euryale, but the other bats 
devoured him. 

" There is a collection of birds and other animals at 
the University, but nothing very remarkable, and the 
specimens are crowded and badly arranged. There is a 
male Sicilian francolin. I made acquaintance with one of 
the professors, G. Palma, who has a small private collection. 
He showed me some gulls which present many charac- 
teristics of the Adriatic black-headed gull (Z. melano- 
cephalui) and the brown-headed gull (L. ridibundus), and 
are very puzzling. I cannot help thinking that they must 
be hybrids. He has a young pelican (Peiecanus crispus), % 
shot near Naples, which he considers P. omcrotalus. § 

* See Presidential Address, p. 39. 

t See Aviary Notes. 

J The Dalmatian Pelican. 

§ The Common or Egyptian Pelican. 



154 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

" March ^th. Went by train to Torre del Annun- 
ziata, whither I had sent the yacht a few days before for 
good air and water, as the men were suffering from want 
of these requisites at Naples. Sailed thence March 7th, 
with a fair breeze, which left us becalmed just off Capri. 
Crept along with occasional light breezes till the afternoon 
of March 9th, some miles south of Stromboli, when a 
very strong head wind met us blowing directly out of 
the Straits of Messina, with occasional fierce squalls. As 
wind and current were against us, we did not attempt 
to push through the Straits, but brought up in a little 
bay to the north of the Faro. Fierce squalls through 
the night. Came into Messina early on morning of 
March loth, where we remained till i6th. Very cold, wet, 
snowy weather, with occasional furious squalls of wind. 

" At Torre del Annunziata, M shot a good speci- 
men of Larus melanocephalus, getting the black head, and I 
a specimen of L. ridibundus in the same condition. We saw 
many ducks, and several flights of peewits going northwards. 

M reported swallows, but I saw none. I saw several 

skylarks at sea off Stromboli, and some cranes passed us 
at night. Many shearwaters * and a few gulls seen at sea. 

* The Shearwaters {Puffinus) are sea-fowl belonging to the Petrel 
family {Procellariidie). They lay their eggs in the end of underground 
burrows or of deep splits in the rock. The true Great Shearwater 
(/*. major) probably nests far south of the Equator ; the " big " 
shearwaters, to which Lord Lilford refers later as nesting, being 
P. kuh/i, and his "smaller" shearwaters probably the Manx Shear- 
water {P. angiorum), or P. yelkouan. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 155 

Messina 

"■March nth. Went out to the Faro in the cutter.' 
Thousands of gulls, chiefly L. melanocephalus, also /.. 
argentatus, L. ridibundus and L. canus. Saw a very large 
shearwater, and a few terns,* the Sandwich tern, I think 
[Sterna cantiaca), near the Faro. Saw the first house 
martins. At the little salt lakes at the Faro, they stick 
up wooden herons as decoys ; it appears that the common 
and the purple heron {Ardea cinerea and A. purpurea) 
pass in great numbers in spring. Many of the L. 
melanocephalus, of which I shot three, have the black 
head nearly perfect, others show very little trace of it. 

" About Capo Sant' Andrea, saw the common kestrel 
{Falco tinnunculus), the blue rock-thrush {Monticola cyanea), 
black redstart (Ruticilla titys), kingfisher {Alcedo ispida), 
rock pigeon [Columba livid), and gulls. Between Messina 
and Taormina, saw several little gulls {Larus minutus), and 
two or three flights of cranes {Grus cinerea). Young 
R brought me off two bottles of lizards, appar- 
ently all of one species (L. viridis), but one (Gecko 
platydactylus ?). 

" Saw ten vultures going north at an immense height 
in the air." 

Taormina 
'■^ March 16th. A bright sunny morning. Sailed for 
Taormina, where we anchored. Beautiful scenery all 

* Popularly known as ' Sea-swallows.' 



156 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

along the coast on both sides of the straits. Took cutter 
and went round to the caves and holes in the clifF, about 
Capo Sant' Andrea, where many pigeons are reported, but 
where few seem to exist. 

" We sailed for Catania about 1 1 a.m., light airs^ 
of wind and heavy swell, and did not get into Catania 
till about 6 p.m. The whole coast, with grand views of 
Etna, very fine indeed. The harbour of Catania is small 
and crowded, exposed to south winds, but pretty secure 
from all other quarters." 

Catania 

'■'■March i^th. Beautiful day. My 41st birthday;, 
they dressed ship for me. We went ashore and tried in 
vain to see the Biscari Museum, which is shut up at present. 
In the market a great many fish and some birds. Catania 
is a fine town, with wide streets well paved with lava, 
and an air of prosperity about it, and not so many beggars 
as usual in Italian cities. Went up to the old convent of 
the Benedittini, an immense building with some splendid 
marbles in the church and a fine library and small 
museum of antiquities. Curious picture (date 1536) ot 
a saint with a white-headed duck i^Anas leucocephala) and 
a common francolin {Francolinus vulgaris).* No artist's- 
name. Saint being fed by an angel." 

* The francolins are allied to the partridges. FrancoUnus vulgaris: 
is the Common Francolin of Europe. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 157 

" In the market of Catania saw Fulica atra in some quantities, one 
Porphyria, Machetes pugnax. Anas boscas, A. querquedula, Mareca 
penelope, Fuligula rufina, Scolopax gallinago. A great many calan- 
dras in cages, and greenfinches, goldfinches, serins, and linnets in 
the live bird market. Not a great many gulls in the harbours. 
Great quantities of fish of many species in the market — mullet, 
tench, and eels from Lentini, and endless varieties of sea fish. In 
the gardens of the Benedittini convent were many Passer salickolus, 
Fringilla carduelis and F. Moris and many lizards ; I think L. 
muralis. They call the Porphyria ' Faccianu,' i.e. pheasant." 

'■^ March i()th. Went to see the Botanical and Zoo- 
logical Gardens ; at the latter there are a {qw beasts and 
birds. Tried fishing just out of the harbour and caught 
a few very small fish." 

'^ March 20th. Drove out to Nicolosi, about twelve 
miles ; the whole country a mass of lava, well cultivated ; 
olives, carobs, vines, oranges and lemons, wheat, prickly 
pear, lupins, etc. Round Nicolosi lies a frightful waste 
of black lava, with here and there scrub oaks, squills, and 
other shrubs, with a good deal of Spanish broom. We 
took mules and rode up to the Monte Rossi — an old 
crater, whence there is a splendid view of Etna and the 
whole plain of Catania. Very few birds." 

"March 2isi. Beautiful day. We took the cutter 
and went away to the mouth of a canal about eight or 
ten miles to the S.W. Fine sheets of water and marshes 
and sandhills. A great many birds. I cannot v/alk and 
M cannot shoot, so we did not do much." 



158 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

" Saw the following birds : — Kestrel, marsh harrier, kingfisher 
common swallow, blackbird, song thrush, black-headed warbler, fan- 
tailed warbler, Cetti's warbler, sedge warbler, marsh warbler, white 
wagtail, yellow wagtail, skylark, crested lark, calandra, short-toed lark, 
Spanish sparrow, chaffinch, linnet, goldfinch, jackdaw, magpie, quail, 
spotted crake, Baillon's crake, water-rail, water-hen, coot, Kentish 
plover, greenshank, redshank, wood sandpiper, ruff", common snipe, 
jack snipe, curlew, wigeon, red-crested whistling duck, pochard, 
tufted duck. Sandwich tern, black-headed gull, herring gull, and several 
tringcz that I could not be sure about. We only shot i quail, 
I snipe, I spotted crake, i Baillon's crake and one Sandwich tern. 
Killed a snake, I think Trepidonodzis natrix var., without yellow 
mark at the back of head j several seen. Saw many lizards and a 
rabbit." 

''March lyrd. Fine day. We took a carriage at 
6.30 a.m., and drove to the Lake of Lentini, about fourteen 
miles, first across the great plain of Catania, cultivated and 
now flooded, to the river Simeto ; crossed by a ferry boat, 
then over about six miles of undulating stony hills. The 
lake is a great sheet of water with a thick fringe of high 
reeds. We got a boat which was of no use. Great 
quantities of fish, mullet and tench, jumping all about us. 
Did little, for the reasons before mentioned. We remained 
at and about Catania till March 30th, when we sailed for 
the mouth of the Pantani river, where we went ashore 
to shoot ; got boats upon the lake on the proper left of 
stream and penetrated some distance into the reed jungle 
at the northern end thereof." 

" Besides many of the birds before mentioned, saw golden plover, 
peewit, solitary snipe, bittern, common heron, teal, garganey, black 
redstart, green sandpiper, and cormorant. Heard poiphyrio and saw a 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 159 

flock of wild geese and a few common wild ducks ; also a hare. Wc 
shot 3 snipes, i teal, t peewit, i golden plover, 2 spotted rails. Saw 
also common starling." 

"March 2-jth. On the Simeto river shot i bittern, 2 snipes, 
I golden plover." 

"March 2W1. Pantani. i curlew, i solitary snipe, 4 full snipes, 

1 jack snipe, 4 spotted rails, i wild duck, i garganey, 2 black-headed 
gulls, I calandra, i quail." 

'■'■March loth. 13 coots, 2 garganey, 2 white-eyed ducks, 5 snipes, 

2 waterhens." 

"March ^ist. 13 coots, i mallard, i white -eyed duck. Lost 
2 mallards and 2 garganeys, besides some coots." 

Pantani di Catania 

" March 30//2. In a stack near the house where we 
hired out boats the cutter's crew found a quantity of 
snakes, chiefly Coluber natrix, which swarms all about the 
marshes, and I fancy one or two of the black variety of 
Laments atrovirens. Poland found a nest in the reeds, 
I fancy of sedge warbler {Schcenobanus), with three eggs." 

Catania. — Lentini, Agosta, and Syracuse 

" March 2>'^st. The yacht lay off and on all last 
night, and we landed at the same place to shoot ; lost 
several things in the dense reeds. I found a nest of a 
porphyrio * in a heap of growing flags, containing one egg. 
The nest is exactly like that of a common water-hen, or 
perhaps not quite so high - sided as some nests of that 

* The Porphyries are ' water-hens.' Many of them are coloured 
blue or bluish-purple, and have red legs, feet and bills. 



i6o MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

bird. This porphyrio is very common, and is to be heard 
all day and night, but very seldom seen. I only caught 
a glimpse of one during the whole two days we spent 
amongst the reeds and flags. The most abundant ducks 
are now garganeys and white-eyed ; I also saw mallard, 
gadwall, pintail, shoveller, pochard, red-crested whistling 
and white-headed ducks. Marsh harriers * very common, 
one or two grey harriers which look like C. pallidus, no 
other birds of prey, except a {qw kestrels and an odd 
kite or two about the Pantani, magpies in swarms nesting 
in the tamarisks with which the reed marsh is dotted, 
ravens, hooded crows, and jackdaws. We saw great 
numbers of warblers (particularly Cetti's), yellow and white 
wagtails, coots in thousands, and great numbers of water- 
hens, water-rails, spotted and Baillon's crakes. The marshes 
are now drying and the snipes and other waders becoming 
scarcer and scarcer. Saw several bitterns, common herons 
and an occasional lesser egret; sandpipers [Totanus stag- 
natilis, T. hypoleucus, and T. glareola) common. Many 
curlews {Numenius arquatus and N. tenuir Osiris'). Heard 
a Scops owl calling near Lentini. One ot our boatmen 

* The harriers {Circus) are raptorial birds, which, though included 
in the Falconidcc:, may perhaps be regarded from their flight and certain 
superficial characters {e.g. arrangement of head-feathers) as intermediate 
between that family and the owls {Strigidie). As a rule they nest on 
the ground. The Marsh Harrier (C ceritginosus) is practically extinct 
with us as a breeding species, but the Hen Harrier {C. cyaneus) and 
Montagu's Harrier (C cineraceus) still nest in Britain. The Pallid 
Harrier {C. pallidus) is an inhabitant of South-eastern Europe. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES i6i 

had heard of francolins as an extinct bird by the name of 
Tretari ; he says no herons except the purple (^Ardea 
purpurea) and night heron {Nyctkorax griseus) nest about 
the Pantani. 

" Yacht went round to Agosta. We, after shooting, took 
mules and rode to Lentini, about eight miles through a 
pretty country. After great wrangling with our muleteers 
we got a carriage to Agosta, and, starting about 8 p.m., 
drove through what must be beautiful country by Carlen- 
tini and Villosmundo to Agosta, where we arrived about 
11.30 p.m., nineteen miles from Lentini. Found the yacht 
and went on board. Beautiful, bright, hot weather and 
splendid moonlight nights. The country abounds in wild 
flowers, a small crimson stonecrop in some places being 
very conspicuous." 

Syracuse 
'■^ April 1st. We sailed from Agosta with a head 
breeze, which freshened up, and beat into the harbour of 
Syracuse. Agosta seems a dilapidated, wretched town, but 
the bay is splendid. Syracuse is, as all the world knows, 
a fine harbour, but not nearly so extensive, or I should 
say so well sheltered, as that of Agosta. A guide, one 
Valerio, came oft to us soon after we arrived, and I 
commissioned him to employ every one that he could lay 
hands upon to bring in birds, bats, lizards, snakes, etc." 

" April ^th. The villani sent out to collect began to 
come in, and brought a various assortment of snakes, 

1 1 



1 62 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

lizards, and bats. We took a boat up the Anapo river 
to the fountain of Cyane in the afternoon. Fine snipe 
marshes, but very little in them now. The papyrus 
flourishes all along the upper part of the river, which is 
a narrow, insignificant stream, swarming with mullet. The 
fountain of Cyane is the head-spring, a beautiful deep 
blue, clear pool. More arrivals of animals in the evening." 

" The collecting expeditions brought in three species of bat, 
Rhinoloplms bihastatus, and, I lielieve, R. euryale, possibly R. divosus 
and Vespertilio kuhli ; some Pyrgita pctronia alive, two or three 
species of snakes, Cohiber ?!aMx, and Zamenis atrovirens, and several 
species of lizards, one I believe Lacerta rmiraUs viridis (?) and another 
a Gecko, and Gougylus oceHatus, besides a great variety of beetles, 
centipedes, frogs, woodlice, etc., etc." 

"April e^th. The steward brought in a specimen of Vesp. schreibcri 
from the Greek tombs. 

Magpies nesting in papyrus on banks of Anapo. 

Villani brought off five rock-sparrows {Pyrgita petronia), alive, two 
of which soon died, also various reptiles." 

" April 6th. A man came with some hundred bats^ 
caught in a cave to the southward, almost all Rhinolcfhus 
euryale I think, perhaps some R. divosus, five or six Vesp. 
schreiberi, and one Vesp. murinus. Out at the Saline I 
shot one snipe and one little kestrel (Falco cenchris). Saw 
the western black-throated wheatear (Saxicola stapaziiia)* a 
few ducks, herons, a spotted crake, and some species of 

• The wheatears {Saxicola) belong to the thrush family, allying 
the thrushes with the chats. The Common \ATieatear {S. amifii/ie) of 
our downlands nests in rabbit holes or in stone walls. The Black- 
throated Wheatear {S. siapazina), a South European species, has very 
rarely visited us. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 163 

plover (^Charadrius). M shot a greenshank, and a 

little ringed-plover in the bay." 

" A/ril -jth. A great concourse of villani on board bringing bats 
— Rhinolophiis egnoriiim, R. euryale, R. bihastatus, and birds alive — 
hoopoe, golden plover, spotted crake, the latter of which I kept ; some 
snakes, of which I kept three Zainenis atrovircns var. carhotiarius, three 
Goiigylus ocellatus. The lizards seem to like small snails, of which 
we find any quantity ashore, chiefly on the squill plants. At the 
Saline very few snipes left. I only shot six jack, two Spanish 
sparrows, one crested lark. Many kestrels about, F. tinnunculus and 
F. cenchris. Saw Saxicola eenanthe. Saw an egret (I think Ardea 
alba). Men ashore with a pair of common kestrels, and some more 
black snakes (Z. atrovirens). A kite {Milvus regalis), hangs about the 
shipping in the bay." 

" Jpril loth. Went with M to the Saline, or 

salt pans at the head of the bay ; birdy-looking places, 
but too many people about for much bird-life. In the 
afternoon to see the catacombs and old subterranean 
church, where, they say, St. Paul preached on his stay- 
here. These catacombs are of immense extent, and not 
half explored. They are all hewn out of the solid rock, 
I suppose by the early Greek colonists, but were afterwards 
used by the Christian inhabitants. 

" At the SaHne, a marshy flat to the proper 
right of the Anapo river, intersected with streams and 
ditches, we found two or three snipes, a good number 
of little ringed-plover (^-Egialitis curonica), of which we 
shot five, some common sandpipers {T. hypoleucus), of 
which we shot four, two snipes, and one spotted crake 



1 64 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

{Crex porzana). Saw ii few common wild ducks, a red- 
shank, or two, Alpine swift, some sedge warblers, of which 
I shot one for identification, a great many larks {Alauda 
calandra and A. cri5tata\ etc. Saw a fine kite on shore 
of bay, several kestrels, some pipits (?) and a whitethroat, 
I think the lesser whitethroat. Found a Vesp. schreiberi 
in the catacombs. In some lemon groves, near the Orecchio 
di Dionisio, it seems that all the sparrows (P. salicicolus) 
of the neighbourhood come in to roost ; they kept 
streaming into this from all quarters for about an hour 
in thousands, and made a deafening noise, which ceased 
immediately for an instant or two upon the crack ot a 
whip, and then redoubled. A sparrow-hawk was soaring 
over them. A peasant brought a curious longicorn beetle,* 
found in hollow wood, and another beautiful young 

snake, which is, I fancy, Z. hippocrepis. E saw a 

hoopoe fly across our bows in the morning, and one was 
brought off to us alive, but badly wounded, at night, 
which M bought." 

'■'■April wth. We were induced by a report of quails 
having arrived, and the Syracusan nobility having gone 
in pursuit to the Isola Bianca, to go out to the Scala 
Grasca to try our luck, but we only found two or three 
paisani and had no sport. 

" On the way to the Scala we saw several common 

* Longuvrnes. A group of beetles characterised by the e.\treme 
lens'th of their antennas. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 165 

and black-throated wheatears (S. a'uanthe and S. stapaztHii), 
which appear to have just arrived. Saw a male grey harrier 
(sp. ?), only two or three quails, evidently birds that 
have passed the winter here. Found several Gougylus 
ocellatus under stones in the wheat fields, also a large 
centipede. A peasant brought ofF a dormouse {^Myoxu5\ 
the same as the Spanish species, but too much damaged to 
be worth keeping. Another fine specimen of Z. atrovirens 
brought in the evening." 

'■''April i2th. Sunday. Drove out in the afternoon 
to the convent and Tornia degli Capucini. Immense 
extent of quarried rock, with a great variety of wild plants 
and ferns. 

'^ April lyh. Many bats brought off", chiefly R. 
ferrum eq, some V. schreiberi, two or three R. hihastatus, 
and one that I am not sure about, but think is V. 
rnegapodius. Round the bay we saw many kestrels (chiefly, 
I think, the lesser kestrel,* F. cenchris), some Alpine 
and common swifts, a hoopoe, two stone curlews, great 
flights of yellow wagtails, a small flock of stilts, a large 
flock of some diving duck, which looked like tufted,t 
but were too far off" to make out. Shot a common 
whitethroat." 

* This little falcon, much smaller than our Kestrel {F. tinnunculus), 
is very abundant in summer in Andalucia. Very many may be seen 
flying about the cathedral in Seville. 

t The Tufted Duck {Fuligula cristaia). 



1 66 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

" April Ufth. M , at the Saline, found many 

wood sandpipers (7'. glareola), of which he shot five, two 
spotted crakes {Crex porzana), and one red-throated pipit 
i^Anthus cervinus). He reports many yellow wagtails, some 
with black, heads." 

'■'■April 1 6//;. Just off Muro di Porco saw a roller 
(Coracias garrulus), very tired, making in for the land. 
A yellow wagtail and a swallow came on board. Saw 
several of these, and many shearwaters. Scops owl 
brought on board." 

"April ijth. A turtle-dove came on board early, 
and rested a long time on our mainstay. Saw many 
cranes, common herons, and some little egrets bound 
northwards. Great many shearwaters off Malta. Steward 
reports many quails and small birds in the market, also 
a purple heron ; he brought off two Scops owls." 

Malt..\ 

" April I S//z. We went with Admiral Drummond 
and a large party on board the Antelope to Gozo ; 
picnicked at the Torre degli Giganti, an old Phoenician 
town much after the fashion of the Murhags in 
Sardinia. Made acquaintance with Mr. C. A. Wright, 
editor of the Malta Times, the ornithologist of Malta. 
He has a good collection of birds, all killed in the 
island. Got several birds from the market." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 167 

The only birds I saw and heard out in the country were, 
common bunting, swift, swallow, yellow wagtail, fantail warbler 
{Sylvia cisticola). Steward bought a fine white-backed rock-thrush 
{M. saxatilis) in the market. 1 saw nothing therein in the evening 
but quails, hoopoe, turtle-dove, common bunting, short-toed lark, 
and thick-knee. 

" Wright's principal treasures are a very fine specimen of the 
Eleonora falcon {Falco ekonora:), in, I should say, third year's 
plumage, very perfect and bright in colouring, a good specimen 
of Bartram's sandpiper and of the white-winged plover, also a fine 
Saxko/a leucocephala, killed not long ago. He has a few reptiles, 
amongst others, a curious, dark variety of Lacerta muralis, found 
in Filfola ; of this he gave me a specimen, as also a young snake, 
which he says is Coluber leopardinus, but I think it must be 
Z. hippocrepis. It seems that C. leopardinus and Zamenis atrovirens 
are the only two snakes of Malta. He gave me a bat, I think 
V. kuhii, but am by no means sure. V. murinus appears to be 
common. Wright gave me two good specimens of little stint." 

" Birds heard of, observed, and obtained from market at Valetta 
from April 17th to May 7th, 1874. 

Falco vespcrtinus. Monticola atruapilla. 

F. cenchris. Petrocincla saxatilis. 

Circus (Bruginosus. Ruticilla titys. 

C. pallidus. Saxicola stopazina. 

Sirix flammea. Sylvia cinerea. 

Scops gilt. S. curruca. 

Cuculus canorus. S. melanocephala. 

Merops apiaster. Phyllopneuste sibilatrix. 

Caprimulgus europceus. Budytes flavus. 

Cypselus apus. Alotacilla alba. 

Clielidon urbica. Calandrtlla brachydactyla 

Hirundo rustica. Emberiza miliaria. 

Muscicapa collaris. Passer salicicolus. 

Turtur auritus. Oriolus galbula. 

Ortygia coturnix. Coracias garrulus. 



1 68 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

Crex forzana. Larus leucophsus. 

Glareola pratituola. Upupa epops. 

^Egialitis fluviatilis. CEdicnemus crepitans. 

Himantopus candidus. Tri/igu temmincki. 

Totanns glottis. Scolopax major. 

T. glareola. Ardeola minor. 

T. hypokucus. Ardea purpurea. 

Fuffinus kuhli. Phcenicopterus rosetis. 

Tringa subarquata. Fuffinus anglorum. 
Muscicapa collaris. 



Palermo 

'■'■May 13//?. In the Universita is a fair collection 
of Sicilian birds, with a few mammals and several bats 
which were too high up to examine closely ; but I made 
out Dysopes rueppellii, V. ma-rinus, V. auritus, Barbastellus, 
and there are a good many other species. Professor 
Doderlein tells me that the fallow deer (C damn) is still 
found wild in some of the forests of Sicily, also the 
roebuck (C. capreolus), but the latter is rare. Wolves 
(of which there are specimens in the collection) are still 
found in the island. 1 noticed the dormouse ( Myoxus glis) 
and M. nitela, pine marten, polecat, and weasel {not the 
stoat), fox, badger, and porcupine. Amongst the birds 
the great rarities are three very fine specimens of 
Audouin's gull {Larus audouini), apparently fine adult 
birds, two slender-billed gulls {Larus tenuirostris), two 
cream-coloured coursers {Cursorius gallicus), and four 
common francolins {Francolinus vulgaris), about which 
Doderlein gives full particulars in his book. He tells 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 169 

me that the hemipode {Turnix sylvatica)* is very common 
in certain parts of the south coast of Sicily. He showed 
me a falcon about which he was doubtful, which I consider 
undoubtedly a specimen of the true lanner (F. lanarius, 
Schlegel).+ It very much resembles some of those which I 
obtained the year before last from Mogador ; it was killed 
near Palermo. He gave me some interesting particulars 
of the ornithology of Ustica and Pantellaria, from the 
latter of which he has just returned. Marmora's warbler 
{Sylvia sarda) is very common there, and in Ustica a falcon 
breeds, which must I expect be F. eieomra. The lammer- 
geier [Gypaetus barbatus^ and griffon vulture {Gyps fulvus) 
are not uncommon in Sicily. Caccabis graca is the only- 
partridge, and the red-rumped swallow {Hirundo rufuld) is 
by no means rare. I had no time to go into the subject 
of bats and reptiles, and must, if possible, go again." 

'■'■ May i^ih. Saw many bee-eaters and some woodchats 
at the Favorita." 

'■^ May i6(h. Several swallows came about us in the 
gale, and a poor turtle-dove got knocked into the sea 
by our mainsail." 

" May ijth. During the day we had a wood shrike 
{Lanius rufus), a swift {Cypselus apus), some dozen of 

* One of a group of quails known as ' bustard-quails.' The hind 
toe is absent in this group. (See Presidential Address, p. 39.) 
t The Saker. (Gen/ma sacer or lanarius.) 



lyo MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

common swallows, a house martin, a wheatear (^Saxkola 
cenanthe\ two wood warblers {Phyllopneuste sibilatrix), a 
garden warbler, a redstart (i?. phcenicurus), and several 
doves (JFurtur auritus) on board and about us. Many 
shearwaters about." 

CAGLIARf 

^^ May i<)th. Fine morning with a south-west breeze. 
We went away to the Stagno de la Scaffa in the cutter, 
but could not get her about much, owing to want of 
water. Landed on the island. Found a very old friend, 
Antonio Fanni, whom I knew here in 1862, and engaged 
him and his boat for to-morrow. 

" A nightjar (^Caprimulgus europ^us) flew close past 
the yacht from the sea, and lit amongst the stones under 
the sea wall. We saw marsh harriers in abundance, 
kestrel, hoopoe, rose-backed shrike, many warblers (Sylvia 
melanocephala, S. cimrea, S. curruca), calandra and short- 
toed larks in great abundance. There were many quails, 
but it was almost impossible to flush them in the thick 
scrub on the island. We also saw common wild duck, 
thick-knee, turtle-dove, a few small waders, Larus 
leucophaus. Sandwich tern {Sterna cantiaca) and S. leuco- 
paria, and coots. Only shot i rabbit, 2 coots, 2 quails, 
2 short-toed larks, i common bunting, and i young shag." 

" May loth. Fine inorning, strong wind. We went 
away to La Scaffii, took the boats, and went right away 
to the far end of the Stagno. 




Stanley Crane. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 171 

"Saw black vulture,* flamingo, purple and squacco 
herons, red-crested whistling duck, and hooded crow, 
besides birds seen yesterday. Found many nests of the 
last-named in the tamarisks by side of river ; one con- 
tained two young, which we brought home ; only one 
flamingo seen. We shot two young L. leucophieus, 

and two coots. M found a nest of the short-toed 

lark with three eggs." 

"May list. Lowering gloomy day. We drove out 
to Ouarta to see the festa of S. Helena, the patroness of 
the village. There was a fear of rain, so the women 
were not nearly so gorgeously arrayed as usual at these 
festas. About seventy yoke of oxen decked with flowers 
and little holy pictures, lemons, etc., marched in the pro- 
cession of the saint. We were taken by the host, Signor 
L. Rossi Vitelli, into his house, and introduced to his 
wife and family ; all most civil. We saw the procession 
from his upper windows. It blew hard at night." 

" May 12nd. Gloomy, threatening day, with sirocco 
wind. I went off to La ScafFa about 9 a.m., got Antonio 

* The vultures of Spain — other than the Lammergeier — are three 
in number : the Black Vulture ( Vultiir monachus), a solitary, tree- 
nesting species, which lays but one egg; the Griffon Vulture {Gyps 
fulvus), which nests colonially on rocks, and lays one, or more rarely 
two eggs ; and the Egyptian Vulture {Neophron pennoptert/s), which 
nests in rocks, sometimes on disused nests of other large birds, and 
usually lays two eggs ; but in no species are these nesting situations 
invariable. 



172 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

with his boat and went away to the isolotti. Found many- 
birds and eggs ; an interesting day, and no rain to speak 
of. I brought Antonio and his nephew on board. He 
tells me that all the stagni were once terra firma and 
cultivated, but that during some war in the time of the 
Pisan dominion, some one or other enemy let in the sea 
water and drowned the country. {Quien snbe '^) 

" On the isolotti we found a good many nests and 
eggs of the common tern. We took about sixty eggs of 
this species, and also eggs of the little tern. These are 
the two most abundant species. The sandwich tern is 
also common, but we found no eggs ot it. Saw one 
solitary black tern {Sterna Jissipes). Found several nests, 
of the common wild duck with eggs, one with young^ 
ones, and one nest of three eggs of the Kentish plover, 
too hard-sat to blow. Prince caught a young duck 
about half grown, and an old one on the nest. I saw 
the following species : — 

" Osprey, black vulture, marsh harrier, falcon,, 
kestrel, grey crow, calandra, skylark, short-toed lark, 
stonechat, common bunting, fantailed warbler, Kentish 
plover, coot, water-hen, wild duck, red-crested pochard, 
herring gull, Sandwich tern, common tern, little tern, 
black tern, flamingo, and cormorant. I shot 4 Sandwich 
tern, 4 common tern, 3 little tern, 2 herring gulls, 2. 
Kentish plovers, 2 wild ducks. The red-crested pochards- 
are in large flocks, and do not seem to be breeding; 
as yet. Prince caught the coots just hatched." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 173 

" May -ij^th. Rounded C. Spartivento about 2 p.m. 
Beautiful coast. Wind ahead, so we ran in and anchored 
behind Isola Rossa, in the Bay of Teulada, where we 
found a Neapolitan brigantine, full of passengers, bound 
to Boria and Algiers. The captain thereof asked me to 
go fishing with him ; I declined. He brought us off a 
few small rock fish, and I gave him a bottle of Monica- 
Sauterian wine from Old Cara. The Isola is a rocky 
Island overgrown with scrub. 

" Made out on the Isola Rossa a great number of 
rock doves, shags, Alpine swifts, common swifts, a 
peregrine falcon, one or two Eleonora falcons, some 
kestrels, and herring gulls," 

Vacca 

" May 25//;. Beautiful morning. Went away to 
the Isola Rossa between 5 and 6 a.m. Found and shot 
a good many birds. The yacht got under way about 
7.30, and stood off and on for us. Went aboard about 
9 a.m., and stood away with light head breezes round 
Cape Teulada. Bore away for the island of Vacca, 
about two or three miles from Cape Sperone. The 
yacht lay to and we went off to the island, a high 
black precipitous mass of apparently volcanic rock. 
Found a place where the two men could scramble ashore 
on the east side. Great ornithological success. On 
board again about 7 p.m. ; head wind, so ran about 
three miles up the Bay of Palmas towards San Antioco, 



174 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

and anchored in a snug bay in about ten fathoms, and 
had a quiet night. Vacca is covered with ice plant on 
the steep parts, and at the top are flat places overgrown 
with coarse grass and other plants. On the south side the 
rock overhangs the sea ; the west side is quite precipitous, 
and weather-worn to an appalling extent." 

"■^ May 2^th. On the Isola Rossa, which is very 
rough, rocky, and overgrown with various bushes and 
grasses, we found a vast number of shags (Carbo 
desmarest'i), some young of which were still in the nests, 
on the east side of the island, which is steep and craggv, 
as is the north end. It slopes down to the south and 
west and there are many places where a landing can be 

effected. M reports a spring of fresh water. Besides 

the shags we saw peregrine falcon, kestrel, rock dove, 
Alpine and common swifts, rock martin [CotiU rupestris). 
blue thrush, and herring gull. The switts are in vast 
numbers, and there are a good many rock doves. We 
shot 3 adult and i young shag, i peregrine falcon, i 
kestrel, 6 rock doves, 3 Alpine swifts, and i rock 
martin, of which I only saw a pair with their nest under 
a shelf of rock, not very high but quite inaccessible. 
Jem Poland, who went ashore, reported many lizards 
and several empty gulls' nests. He brought away one 
egg of herring gull, which was too hard-sat to blow. 

M found and broke an egg which I suppose to 

have been a shag's. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 175 

" Last night after dinner I was on deck and 
heard strange moaning sounds from the rock, which 
I attributed to wild cats or perhaps seals, but am now 
convinced that they proceeded from the big cinereous 
shearwater, of which, however, we did not see any about 
the rock. On nearing Vacca we could distinctly make 
out amongst hundreds of gulls a large number of Falco 
eleomvce ; of which more anon. The shags on and 
about the island were in incredible numbers, quite 
fringing the little rock of Vitello and sitting on every 
coign of vantage on the rock of the island itself. We 
saw a great', many shearwaters in the Bay of Palmas 
and four griffon vultures about Cape Teulapa. Two 
of the men went ashore at a cleft on the east side 
of the island. The Eleonora falcons kept swooping over 

us ; I got one, and M three (brought to bag), 

but I knocked down another, and he says he shot 
three more. Only one of those bagged was in the 
hobbyish plumage, all the rest were sooty. They found 
several big shearwaters {Pitffinus kuhli) on their nests 
under the debris in the aforesaid cleft, and caught 
three and got their eggs. Some swifts, but not in 
vast numbers. Several pigeons and one turtle-dove. 
We shot four F. eleonorie, five rock doves, and caught 
the three shearwaters mentioned before. The rock is 
inexpressibly wild and grand, and the multitude of 
birds makes it most interesting. Saw a very large seal 
close to us." 



176 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

Vacca and Toro 
" May idth. Beautiful morning. Went off in the 
cutter again about 6 a.m. to Vacca ; did not find so 
many birds, but landed several of the men who brought 
off many eggs. The yacht got under way about 8.30 a.m., 
and stood down towards us with a light north-west breeze ; 
we went on board about 9 a.m. and ran down to the lee 
side of Toro (some seven miles perhaps). Toro is of 
an entirely different formation from Vacca ; it is higher 
and apparently composed of hard sandstone very much 
fretted and broken by weather ; the northern side slopes 
in a sort of succession of broken terraces to the sea. 
The eastern side is chiefly precipitous, with masses of 
sea-beaten rock at the foot of the steeps. The island is 
overgrown with a plant bearing a bright yellow flower. 
The western side, exposed to the blowing north-west wind, 
we did not explore. Owing to the height of the rock 
we did not reach many birds, but I had my greatest 
ornithological triumph. We got on board again about 
I p.m., and it immediately came on to blow very hard 
from the north-west, so we, being rather in want of supplies, 
ran on to the bay of Palmas, and anchored off San Antioco. 
I stayed on board and blew eggs. The wind fell, and we 
had a very quiet night, with occasional heavy showers. 

Additional Entry 
" On Vacca this morning we found that the 
Eleonora falcons had, to a great measure, left the rock, 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 177 

and those we saw were shy ; I succeeded, however, in 
shooting two, one a splendid black bird, the other was 
one of yesterday's wounded birds, and unfortunately fell 
on a ledge to which the men could not clamber. The 
rock doves also made themselves scarce, and we only 
shot two. The men scoured the island, and brought 
off several dozen of herring gulls' eggs and twelve eggs 
of the great shearwater, with seven of the parent birds, 
caught on the nest about the cliffs at the south end of 
the rock. I saw many Alpine swifts, but not the swarm 
that was at Isola Rossa ; on the west side, which is very 
grand, a few kestrels ; shags really in thousands. The 
common swifts have a settlement on the low crags at the 
north-east end. I shot a very fine raven, one of two 
seen. The men brought down two young herring gulls. 

" On Toro we found a great many Eleonora falcons, 
but they flew so high, and were so shy, that I only 

got one, a beautiful specimen, very black. M and 

some of our boys having landed with some difficulty on 
the north side, Tait, James Hills, and I lay in the boat on 
the west side. I noticed several gulls on their nests on a 
weed-grown slope on the north-east side, not very high 
up, and directly they took wing I saw that they were 
not the herring gull (^Larus argentatus). One gave me a 
good chance, and I brought him down dead on the rock 
close to us ; Hills went to pick him up, and what was 
my delight when I found he was a splendid specimen of 
Lnrus audouini. I immediately sent Hills to the nests ; 

12 



178 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

he found six eggs, one nest containing two, and four 
others one egg each. The eggs are hke those of the 
herring gull, but considerably smaller. I fired several 
shots, but did not get another ; they are very shy and 
wary, and I only had No. 4 and 6 shot. There appeared 
to be a colony of, perhaps, eight or ten pairs in the 
particular spot mentioned. 

" We had seen a great many gulls at the north- 
west corner as we sailed up, but the wind and swell 
were so dead on that I did not care to go round there. 
The men brought off one voung gull alive, but I had 
told them that I did not want eggs of herring gull, so 
they did not take any. I noticed at least two pairs of 
Barbary falcons,* but they flew high about the precipices, 
screaming and chasing the Eleonoras and gulls, and did 
not give a chance. We saw no rock doves, no swifts, 
and few shags on Toro. The men reported many lizards, 
but caught none. On Vacca thev saw also manv lizards, 
and many snakes, but were afraid to handle them ; 
Jem Poland also reports on Vacca a small, dark bird, 
probably Sylvia sarda ; he found two empty nests built 
of grass in the scrub on that island. I told the steward 
to examine the crops of the falcons : he found in the 
dark bird the remains of some small, dark coleopterous 
insect, and in the hobby-coloured bird a yellowish, 
transparent-winged insect. 

* Falco barbarus, a small red-naped North African form of the 
Red Shahin (^F. babylonicus). 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 179 

"On going off to Vacca in the morning, we found 
a great many shearwaters sitting on the water, amongst 
which were some of the smaller species, but we found no 
eggs of this bird. On Toro is none of the ice plant, 
which covers the slopes in Vacca. These Eleonora 
- falcons have a cry quite different from the peregrine 
or kestrel, and, indeed, from the hobby — a sort of hoarse 
chide, something like that of the true lanner (F. lanarius). 
The shearwaters, on being caught, make a sad, moaning 
noise, and sometimes throw up green, oily matter. I found 
the eggs of Audouin's gull almost all hard-sat, and had to 
make ghastly holes in some of them. The shearwaters' 
eggs were all fresh." 

Bay of Palmas 

" May ^-jth. We ran down to about our anchorage 
of Monday night last, a bay on the west side of the Bay 
of Palmas, where we found a number of coral fishers, 
Genoese and Neapolitans, who had run in there for 
shelter from the gale. They told us they dredge the 
coral in about fifty to sixty fathoms. The country round 
our little bay consists of low hills, with a thick growth 
of lentiscus and euphorbia. The white sand in the bay 
is most beautiful, and the water wonderfully clear; 
there is a small winter stream, now only a chain of 
shallow pools, with tamarisks and other shrubs growing 
about it ; some cultivation. Conversed with some native 
goatherds, who gave us some milk fresh from the nanny- 



i8o MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

goats. We took our guns, but did nothing ; the hills 
are most grievous walking, being covered with loose 
and sharp-edged stones. 

" In this little bay, which I call Success Bay, we saw 
but little in the bird way ; one snake eagle {Circaetus 
gallicus)* a iz^^ blackbirds, linnets, goldfinches, many 
buntings, two or three ravens, a gull or two, and black- 
headed warblers were about all. W R , who 

had no gun, put up a pair of partridges. I got two 
small, young gulls from the coral fishers, taken, they 
say, on Toro, which I believe to be Larus audouini ; 
we bought also some red mullet, caught in this bay, 
and a fair bit of coral. One of the Sonde goatherds, 
on my asking about tortoises, said he had seen one 
that morning, and conducted me to a shallow pool in 
the little stream, where he soon grubbed out an emys 
with his hoe, which I pocketed. Some of the coral boys 
had a sparrow's nest, with eggs, and a nest of young 
blackbirds. I find almost all the herring gulls' eggs 
hard-sat, and very difficult to blow." 

" May 2%th. Very fine morning ; stood out for Toro 
about 10.30 a.m. with a light north-westerly breeze. 
Found a very heavy sea outside, which broke so. hard 
upon Toro that though M and I went off in the 

* The Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) is common in Andalucia 
during the summer, but on the approach of winter, as the snakes and 
lizards, on which it feeds, retire, it migrates into Africa. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES i8i 

cutter I hardly liked to attempt landing any of our boys ; 
yet we had, for the very short time we were away, 
great success. We ran back with a fresh breeze to our 
anchorage of Monday 25th, i.e. the first bay on the west 
side of the Bay of Palmas, inside an old watch tower." 

" Off Toro we shot two very fine specimens of Larus audouini 
and a good dark Fako ekonorce, of which we saw a great many. 
The gulls (Z. audouini) do not make much noise, and their cry is 
not so hoarse as that of Z. kucophccus." 

Vacca. Toro. Sailing for Port Mahon 

" May i()th. About 6 a.m. we stood away for Vacca, 
with many volunteers in the cutters, to explore the island. 
Some success. Came on board again and went awav for 

Toro. Landed M and the captain, with many of 

the men. 

" On Vacca we got two F. eleonorte in the hobbyish 
plumage, fine specimens, and recovered by aid of a rope 
the remains of the specimen lost on the 26th ; this 

had been picked to pieces by the ravens. M shot a 

fine male raven, and the men got a nest of these birds 
containing three callow young. There were a good many 
Eleonora falcons and rock doves about on the south and 
south-west sides of the island. The men got a tin box 
full of lizards (Gougylus ocellatus) alive, and a shearwater 
and egg. Tait found the wing feathers of a common 
nightjar in a little cave. We bagged 2 F. eleonorte, 
3 rock doves, i raven, i shearwater, and the young 



1 82 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

raven and. lizards before mentioned. A large black snake 
reported, apparently in pursuit of a quail. On Tore 
we found a very great number of F. eleonorte^ more 
than 1 have seen together before, but Larus audouini 
had made himself scarce, and I am not quite certain 
that I clearly made out a single bird of that species ; 
the men, however, found six of its eggs, which I 
emptied with very great trouble, as they almost all 
contained young birds, dead and within a day or two 
of hatching. I repeatedly saw and had two or three very 
long shots at a beautiful Barbary falcon, but I only knocked 
out a wing feather or two. I think from the action of this 
bird that the nest is somewhere in the precipices near the 
extreme summit of the island on the east side. The men 
report thousands of green lizards, but could not catch any. 
We bagged five F. eleomrie, six eggs of Larus audouini and a 
young shag, cut over by Jem Poland with a boat's stretcher." 

" May 30M. The steward found the remains of some 
small bird in the crop ot one of the hobby-plumaged 
Eleonora falcons. The rest of those shot yesterday con- 
tained several species of beetles, dragon-flies, grasshoppers, 
and an animal something like a diminutive boiled shrimp. 
Saw a great many porpoises and a turtle." 

Port Mahon 

'■^ May 3 1 J/. Some flying fish seen off^ Cape Negro. 
In the harbour of Port Mahon saw kestrel, swift, swallow, 
herring gull, and heard quails." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 183 

^'■'June 1st. Dull, gloomy day, strong south-west wind 
outside the island, which, however, we hardly felt in our 
sheltered nook here. I spent the greater part of the 
morning and a good deal of the afternoon in blowing 
herring gulls' eggs from Vacca, a very nasty job, as they 
were almost all either just ready to hatch or rotten. The 
Consul's interpreter tells me that he is the happy owner 
of the Isla del Ayre, some five miles from the entrance 
to the harbour, and that on said isla are many rabbits 
and a quantity of perfectly black lizards ; this we must 
investigate when the wind permits. Took the cutter in 
the afternoon, and rowed about the north side of the 
harbour into several little snug bays, where we found 
natives fishing with nets and lines, catching large round- 
banded fishes with the former and ' lisa ' with the latter." 

Isla del Ayre 

" June 2nd. Fine, bright, warm day. The Consul's 
interpreter gave us leave to go to his island, the Isla 
del Ayre, to the south-west, and shoot some rabbits. 
We had to row all the way to the island, some eight or 
ten miles, as there was no wind. Too much swell on 
the cliffs of Minorca to attempt shooting pigeons, of 
which we saw several. The Isla del Ayre is a jumble 
of rock overgrown in some places with samphire and 
thistles. Found the three lighthouse men, an Alavese, 
an Ivi^an, and a Mallorquin, very civil and intelligent. 
M shot some rabbits. 



1 84 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

" We saw a kite {Milvus regalis) hanging about the 
north side of the harbour, many cormorants (I think Ph. 
carbo\ and herring gulls. About the cliffs and caves 
some rock doves, many swifts and kestrels. On the 
island a good many rabbits, some pied with white and 
some sandy, a pair of ravens, an eagle, which looked to 
me like Circaetus gallkus, a few rock doves, a gull or 
two, and some blue rock-thrushes. The lizards, which 
are shining glossy black above and blue beneath, seem to 
me to be the same variety of race of Lacerta mtiralis as 
that found in Filfla, Malta. The lighthouse men say that 
there are no snakes whatever on the island, and that many 
birds kill themselves against the light at passage times." 

Cahera 

" yune j^th. Fine morning. Just as I went on deck 
at 6 a.m. a breeze sprang up from the east-north-east, 
and we spun away round Cape Salinas to the lee of the 
island of Cahera, which is high and precipitous with 
wood and scrub in many places. 

" At the west of the island, a fine range of weather- 
worn limestone precipices, we saw very few birds ; a kite, 
two or three shags, some swifts, herring gulls (one of 
which was shot), a blue rock-thrush, and a large brown 
hawk, possibly an osprey, were about all. Saw a beautiful 
flying fish as we came off to the yacht. I noticed a 
great many of the smaller shearwaters at sea, which look 
very dark on the back compared to the others. Saw 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 1,85 

three very large cetaceans out at sea and some stormy- 
petrels. The few goats we saw on Cahera appeared to 
be quite tame. It is said that there are wild goats on 
the island." 

IviZA 

" June ^th. Anchored in the Bay of Iviza. The town 
of Iviza stands on a rock of the north side of the bay in a 
rather good situation, but looks a poor place. A pretty 
amphitheatre of hills with fine cultivation in the valleys. 
We got away with a breeze from east-south-east ; very 
heavy sea till we got through the passage between Iviza 
and Formentera. Here we found the water perfectly 
smooth, and slipped merrily along past Vedra, a high 
and curiously shaped little island, into the Bay of San 
Antonio of Puerto Magus, and brought up about 4.30 
p.m. in five fathoms close to the little village of San 
Antonio. I heard several quails calling. No rock doves, 
which I had hoped for. Beautiful warm evening. 

" Apparently a singular absence of birds all round 
the coast of Iviza. We saw nothing, but a very few 
yellow-legged herring gulls (L. leucophdeus), and a very 
few shearwaters. A good many flying fish." 

" yune 6th. A man of San Antonio assured me that 
on the islands Correjera and Bledas are many black 
lizards, which are not found on Iviza ; he also declares 
that there are no snakes at all in Iviza. Several tunny 
fish followed close under our stern for a long time ; one 



1 86 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

of them was struck deep by Tait with the harpoon, but 
wrenched it out. Saw three or four stormy petrels." 

" 'June <^th. Started in the cutter about 4.30 a.m. 
for the Dehesa ; cloudy morning. We landed on the beach 
near where the pines begin, and wandered about amongst 
them with no result ; took boat and went down some 
three miles farther on. No sport. It came out very hot 
and we took a long siesta in the shade. 

" The paucity of bird life in the Dehesa is remark- 
able. We only saw about half a dozen rabbits, two or 
three kites, several woodchats, many buntings, crested 
larks, greenfinches, black-headed, passerine and fantail 
warblers, two or three kingfishers, and a ringed-plover. 

M saw some lizards, but could not secure any. 

Many sweet plants, myrtle, thyme, rosemary, lentiscus — 
and wild flowers in abundance, quantities of butterflies, 
and insects of all kinds. Not many lizards. Saw one 
large snake, I think Calopetta lacertina. I found a nest 
of common bunting with six, and a nest of black-headed 
warbler with four eggs. Quantities of shells." 

At Sea 

'•'■June \ith. Beautiful day. We had light airs of 
wind and calm all day, and made but little way. Passed 
the Columbretes island, which rather made my mouth 
water, as there are reported to be many snakes and no 
doubt many birds there. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 187 

" Many porpoises, two sharks, and two turtles seen. 
Vast numbers of small, snake-like fishes drifting past us 
all day." 



November 1878 to May 1879 

Plymouth 

" November i st. Arrived in Glowworm at Plymouth 
about 1 1 last night, after a fiir run from Lyming- 
ton Roads, which anchorage we left under steam and 
sailed about 8 a.m. yesterday. Saw some gannets* and 
a great many guillemots on our way. Fine, bright, 
frosty morning. I hear of three inches of snow at 
Lilford, and they sav there has been some on Dartmoor, 
and that woodcocks have come in in some numbers. 
T. shot the only one seen of this species in Oxon Wood 
on Monday last." 

" November 2nd. Fine moonlight night with slight 
haze, just the weather for woodcocks on migration." 

" November T,^d. A common gull (L. canus) has 
for some years frequented the garden of the Vicarage 
at Ivybridge, where Mrs. G feeds him, and has 

* The Gannet {Sula hissana) also called the Solan Goose, breeds, 
as is generally known, in great numbers on the Bass Rock and on 
Ailsa Craig. It is not a ' goose,' but is allied to the cormorants 
and the pelicans. It is only a winter visitor to the Southern Atlantic. 



1 88 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

become quite tame. He sometimes disappears for several 
days ; I saw him this afternoon sitting on the top of one 
of the chimneys of the Vicarage. He does not seem 
specially to affect the little pond." 

At Sea 

" November ith. It fell calm early, so we got 
up steam and proceeded easily all day. Very fine 
and much warmer. We saw a great quantity of two 
species of porpoise, one of which Calmadv * shot dead 
with a No. 4 cartridge, but though we went about to 
pick him up, we could not find him, and I presume he 
sank. I shot a large shearwater. Saw large numbers of 
sea birds — gannets, gulls, shearwaters, guillemots, and two 
small dark-coloured skuas. 

" A migrating fieldfare, very tired, flew around us- 
several times, but would not come aboard." 

At Sea and Gironde 

" November %th. A good many lesser black-backed 
gulls and laughing gulls in the Gironde. Saw one 
flock of wigeon ; also crows, and some small birds, larks- 
or pipits, crossing the river." 

Pauillac 

" November ()th. Went ofi^ in the cutter to the- 
other side of the river, where we saw some mud 

* The Captain. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 189 

creeks and backwaters, but almost entirely devoid of 
bird life. We landed on the He Philippe and found a 
beautiful bit of snipey, reedy ground, but we only saw 
two of the desired birds, and only one shot was fired, 
without result. Saw a itw fowl and other things." 

Santander 

" November 20th. Took cutter away up Ria de 
Cubas in search of woodcocks. Not much luck, as, 
though we found three, we only had a shot at and 
killed one. A good many fowl, and mud birds about, 
but very wide awake." 

^'■November 21st. Fine morning. Spent the day at 
the harbour birds. The flat space inside sea at top of 
harbour is now all wet and swampy, and swarms with 
fowl of sorts." 

" November 22nd. Went and visited O'Connor's 
sands for dunlin with some success, then Rio de Cubas. 
Tried Bosque del Coronel : only saw one woodcock ; no 
shot at him." 

" November 2\th. Squally gusts from south-west 
but very warm. A flock of thirty wild geese seen." 

" November 26th. Wild windy morning, but fine 
overhead and very warm. Started in steam launch 
towing dinghy about 11.30 a.m. and proceeded up Curlew 



I90 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

Creek. Had several exciting chases after scoters,* but 
were unlucky in losing two that we knocked down, and 
also a fine male hen-harrier, at which I fired, but it 
fell into a piece of Indian corn near Maliano, and was 
not to be found. We lunched at Port Plover, and after- 
wards went away up Quarantine Creek. Very little sport, 
but good fun cruising about." 

" I^ovember 2%th. Left for the O'Connor sands, upon 
the north side of which the sea was breaking grandly, the 
wind having shifted to north-west. I shot a young herring 
gull and had one long crack at a great northern diver, 
who did not like it, dived, and as far as we were con- 
cerned, never came up again. We landed on the sands, 
and finding no birds thereon proceeded to the Venta 
de Soma and across the hill to the left of it. Found 
a beautiful-looking woodcock covert just behind the 
village, but no woodcock in the part of it that we tried. 
Met a don with a dog, who told us that there had been 
a vast number of woodcocks some days ago, but that he 
feared that this southerly wind had taken them all away. 
He directed us to a weedy lake just south of the village 
of Paredo, where he said there were some snipes. We 
went on there, and found several. I was tired and sat 
about, and only got two or three long shots. Calmady 
tramped the marsh boldly and had several shots, but 

* The scoters are sea ducks, although they come inland at 
nesting time. The birds referred to were probably the Common 
Scoter (CEdemia nigra). 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 191 

somehow was out of form and only shot one jack snipe. 
Minna flushed two or three water-rails out of shot." 

" December ^th. Bright morning, heavy squalls of 
rain and hail. Went away in steam launch and dinghy 
down to sand-spit, shooting a scoter on the way. We 
were rather too late for the dunlins, as, when disturbed, 
they knew that the muds at head of harbour were bare, 
and made off there. We had two long exciting and 
eventually successful chases after a great northern and 
red-throated diver." 

" December ^ik. Went away as usual with steam 
launch and dinghy to the sand-spit, but found the dunlins, 
though in great numbers, unapproachable. Had the 
extraordinary luck to kill two great northern divers in 
three shots." 

^'December i^th. Glowing morning. Got under way 
soon after 8 a.m. and steamed out. Got a north-east 
breeze for a few hours ; rainy squalls. Saw a grey 
phalarope sitting calmly on the waves after the fashion 
of a gull." 

VlGO 

" December i^th. Scenery very fine ; rugged granite 
mountains all around, with patches of fir and oak wood 
in places, and cultivation here and there. I was much 
reminded of the West of Scotland and Its lochs. We 



192 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

went right away as far as we could get, some eight 
miles or so, to a little marsh below Villa Boa. We saw 
myriads of wild-fowl in the bay, but quite unapproach- 
able. Found a few snipes, but awkward to shoot. A 
nice alder tarn, most likely-looking place for woodcock, 
but saw none." 

^^ January 2nd, 1879. Beautiful morning, but very red 
sunrise — a bad omen. The doctor and I went off after 
breakfast in cutter across the bay to a wooded point and 
wandered about through fine woods intersected at short 
distances by granite walls very wearisome to surmount ; 
not much undergrowth, but here and there patches of 
brambles and boggy springs. We only saw one wood- 
cock, which escaped us. The doctor had a shot at what 
he calls grouse-red-legged partridges. We cruised along 
the north shore after luncheon and shot a {qv^ water birds." 

" January ith. Strong wind in morning, rather better 
about II. Started in cutter, but it came on to blow and 
rain furiously, and we could not do much. Conversed 
with a native sportsman who lies up on one of the rocky 
islands ; he tells me that he sometimes gets a heavy shot 
at sleeping ducks wafted down to him by wind on tide. 
He knows of only five sorts of ducks — mallard, wigeon, 
teal, scoters, and mergansers. I noticed several peculiarities 
of the Gallician dialect — e.g., the ' g' strongly aspirated, as 
Vijo for Vigo, etc. He always addresses me as ' sinore ' 
instead of senor, and put many u's in place of o's." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 193 

'■'■January \'^th. Went off in cutter to north side of 
bay, landed near Cangas ; very pretty, but, in the way of 
shoot, quite unproductive country ; shores fringed with 
reefs of rock. 

" Saw great northern diver, sparrow-hawk. Vast flights 
of wigeon going out seaward, and two or three adult 
gannets in the bay." 

Lisbon 

*' January i\th. Went ashore about noon and up to 
see the Natural History Museum. Made acquaintance 
with Barboza du Bocage, who was most civil and did the 
honours of the collection. There are many interesting 
things, but the birds are dreadfully badly stuffed. Many 
comparatively common Spanish birds seem to be absent 
from, or rare in Portugal — e.g.^ Passer salicicolus, Capri- 
mulgus rujicollis. Bocage showed me a specimen, a 
very bad one, of the blackcap from the Azores, with a 
black hood, apparently very distinct from the common 
form, and a new triton, lately discovered in Portugal. 
The cream of the collection are the birds from the 
Portuguese African possessions." 

" January i^th. I never noticed gulls so tame as 
here, chiefly L. ridibundus, with a few L. fuscus, L. argen- 
latus, or L. leucophi£us!' 

'■'■January I'&th. Very fine bright morning. We 
waited for a pilot, who was engaged to come on board at 

13 



194 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

6 a.m., till nearly 8. Got another man, almost wholly 
unintelligible ; steamed a few miles up under the north 
hank. Dense fog came on that soon passed ofF. About 1 2 
Saurin and I went off in the cutter up the river : a long, 
fruitless pull, as we found it quite impossible to get 
anywhere near land, immense flat muds stretching in all 
directions. It came on showery. We did at last manage 
to land on an island, where I had an ineffectual shot 
at a short-eared owl, the only thing I saw within shot. 
There are a vast number of wild-fowl and marsh birds, 
but no means of getting at them. Saw marsh harrier, 
merlin, short-eared owl, cormorant, wild duck, wigeon, 
shoveler, teal, spoonbill, (.'') egret, curlew, redshank, whim- 
brel, heron, dunlin, grey plover, meadow pipit, ringed- 
plover, skylark, crested lark, white wagtail, avocet, goose 
(sp. ?), snipe." 

" 'January i<^th. Very bright morning. Started in 
steam launch a long way up the river Tagus, landed on 
various islands, saw a great many wild-fowl and some 
snipes, but totally unapproachable. Met an old shooter 
in a little canoe, who told me that he had been shooting 
wild-fowl and catching eels with a bunch of worms for 
sixty years. He only had one teal." 

Cadiz 
" Februayy yd. Went away in cutter to the Tro- 
cadero, and some way up a creek on river towards Puerto 
Real. Great flats with salt pans, not many birds." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 195 

" February i^th. Bright morning, strong north- 
west wind. After breakfast and writing several letters 
we went ashore and found Juan Espinar and his brother 
Pepe waiting for us, the former having brought a mare 
from la Marismilla lent to me by the administrator. I 
mounted her, and with Pepe's horse set off for the 
Cara de la Marismilla, where I found Juan's daughter 
Maria now married to a carabineer, looking very pretty. 
We went on thence to the edge of the marisma, found 
some beautiful snipey-looking places, but did not see a 
single snipe, or anything else shootable within range 
except a few rabbits, at one of which the captain shot 
and missed. They all say that this is about the worst 
season for small game that they ever had. Last year 
the partridges and rabbits died of drought. There has 
been no cold this winter to send in snipes or woodcocks, 
and the Marisma is so full that nothing can be done. 

" Saw imperial eagle,* common kite, kestrel, raven, 
magpie, blackbird, song-thrush, chaffinch, serin, black- 
headed warbler, robin, pipits, white wagtail, red- 
legged partridge, whimbrel, flamingo, wild duck, etc." 

San Lucar de Barrameda 
" February 1 8//?. A white owl shrieks round the 
vessel every night. Heard chifFchafF in Alcazar gardens. 
Large flock of wild geese passed over at night." 

* Aquila adalberti, also called the White-shouldered Eagle. .\. 
tree-nesting eagle, generally distributed in suitable localities in VVestcin 
Andalucia. 



196 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

'■'■February \-jth. Saw, for the first time this 

course, great bustard, crane, white stork, calandra lark, 

besides quantities of peewits, golden plover, curlews, and 

small waders, marsh harriers, ravens, etc., etc." 

Seville 

" February 22nd. Fine morning, very high wind. 
Took carriage, with T. and Saccone, the interpreter, to 
Coria del Rio. The road between San Juan and Triana 
is almost impracticable, a complete slough of despond — 
mud, water, and ruts, deep enough to bury a regiment. 
However, we arrived safely, and T. went off after snipes 
with Manuel's son and got thirteen, chiefly jacks. I 
went with old Manuel to his hut about a mile off, but 
my shooting was stopped by a tremendous squall of 
rain and wind, which forced me to shelter again in the 
hut, where T. eventually came, and we lunched. We 
started towards Seville about 4.30, and had to walk 
from San Juan to Triana. 

" Saw neophron and common kite. T. saw a good 
many snipes, but chiefly jacks. Old Manuel has four 
lanner's * eggs for me ; also a bottle of snakes and 
lizards in spirits. 

* The Lanner {Fako feldeggi). This falcon was formerly much 
used in falconry, and has been trained in England of late years with 
qualified success. It does not moult the striped feathers of the 
breast into ' bars,' as the peregrine does, but the longitudinal stripes 
of the immature bird remain longitudinal. 




FLAMiNt;oi;s in thk Aviakv pond. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 197 

" Ruiz brought his cousin, Rafael Mena, of Malaga, 
to see me in the evening. This seems a very intelligent 
man ; he tells me that three more trumpeter bullfinches 
have turned up at Malaga, and that the cream-coloured 
courser has occurred there three times in his recollection. 
He knows of a young Gypaetus now in the nest." 

" February ij^th. Started in steam launch with T. 
and captain for Algaba ; arrived about 10 a.m. Took 
Perico, his brother-in-law, two sons, and two horses 
after bustards. Went a long way, only saw nine, and 
only got one long ineffectual shot. 

" Saw griffon vultures, bustards, cranes, storks, sand 
martins, kingfisher, Cetti's warbler, Bonelli's eagle, peewits, 
one snipe, great number of larks — calandras, skylarks, and 
crested. A very itw Cdandrella. Multitudes of kestrels 
T. shot a hoopoe." 

" February i^th. In steam launch to Algaba, picked 
up Perico and a pilot for Alcata del Rio, arrived about 
10.30. Saw a great many bustards, but our only shots 
were at impossible distances." 

'^ Februaty iGth. Fine bright day. We took steam 
launch at 9 a.m., and proceeded to Coria. Met Manuel 
and son with a horse ; along river-side to Puebla, 
behind which village are many likely snipey places. We 
found a good many, but the full snipes were very wild, 
and those we killed were mostly jacks. The golden 
plovers afforded good sport. Bag : 12 golden plovers, 



198 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

14 snipes, 2 peewits, i ringed plover, i green sandpiper, 
2 thrushes. Saw serpent eagle." 

" February ^'jth. Another brilliant day. We went 
down in steam launch to San Juan de Alfarache, whither 
a carriage came to meet us, and took us on to Puebla. 
We beat much the same ground as yesterday, and had 
fair sport. Bag : 1 8 golden plovers, 1 6 snipes, 3 peewits. 
Saw stone curlews." 

" March %th. Perico came from Algaba with accounts 
of many bands of bustards thereabouts. Settled to go 
out thither to-morrow. 

" Started at 6.30 a.m. in a carriage to the Venta de 
Rio Palo, about a mile beyond Italica, on ' the road to 
Badajoz. Perico and others met us there. We found a 
great many bustards, but they came very high, and we 
only got one, a young male. Saw myriads of cranes on 
their way north, several hoopoes, stone curlews, etc., 
nothing new. Found old Manuel on board, with a very 
fine adult peregrine, a wigeon, and a pintail from 
the Isla." 

" March 1 2th. T. and I took cutter, and had a 
drive after fictitious bustards in the Isla Mayor, then 
on to the huts at entrance to La Corta, where we found 
Manuel's sons and Vincente Anchor^n. Went ashore 
and drove some cranes, of which we saw many. I got 
one, a long shot. Saw some bustards." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 199 

'■'■'March 13//J. Fine morning; to La Corta, Guadal- 
quivir. We got away in steam launch about 7 a.m., and 
were conducted down the main river and posted out in 
the open by Manuel and sons, who also took, up positions. 
The Algaba people drove the country from La Corta 
towards us. A great many cranes came over, but high, 
and none fell, in spite of several barrels from T. and 
captain. At last a large flock of bustards, apparently 
mostly, if not all, old males, came at us, and low. T. 
knocked down one, and one at which I fired two barrels, 
fell some way behind us and was found. It threatened 
rain, and thunder growled in the distance, but the 
weather held up. We had several drives, and altogether 
managed to bag eight fine old male bustards. Great 
sport, making up amply for all our previous disappoint- 
ments in the shooting line. 

" By far the majority of the bustards, of which 
there are a very great number, are old males, and 
fly quite low ; some of them have good beards already, 
and the necks puffy.* Saw a good many pintailed sand 
grouse, a few snipes, peewits, teal, and a small falcon, 
which I suggest was a lanner, $. None of the spring 
pajaros de marisma as yet. Cranes still in vast herds, 
trumpeting in every direction." 

'■'■March i^th. We found a good many bustards, 

* The male Great Bustard {Otis tarda) develops in the breeding 
season a tuft of bristly feathers at the base of the bill, and also a 
gular (throat) pouch which can, at will, be greatly distended. 



200 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

and they came well except to me. We went a little way 
up the Brazo del Este, but had no luck whatever owing 
to muffishness. Several heavy showers, during the worst 
of which we sheltered in a shepherd's hut and lunched. 
As we were sitting in the boat at the huts, close to 
the yacht, after having given up shooting, a female 
bustard was weak enough to fly past ; she received four 
barrels from T., Frost, and self, and fell a victim. Saw 
many pintailed sand grouse." 

" March 1 5//z. We started about 7, and took much 
the same line as yesterday. Found a good many 
bustards, but again the shooters were at fault. I killed 
two, an old barbon, and a young male of last year, the 
only two which presented themselves to me. 

" Saw vast flocks of white storks. T. shot a fine male 
pintail and a mallard (of which we saw several) ; also 
a green sandpiper, one of three. Saw a few teal, not 
many cranes, and a good number of vultures." 

"March \-jth. Fine morning, wind veering north- 
east at daybreak, but glass going rapidly down. We 
took up the Brazo del Este, and made nearly the 
whole circuit ot the Isla Menor. We saw one or two 
large lots of bustards, but none of us had a shot at 
them, and the only animal bagged was a hare, shot by 
old Manuel. A great quantity of grifFon and Egyptian 
vultures and common and black kites about some dead 
horses in the marisma of Palacios. Every sign of rain 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 201 

at nightfall. Saw a good many mallards and garganeys 
and some marsh birds, I think rufFs and black-tailed 
godwits." 

"March 18//;. Heavy rain. It was rather better 
in the afternoon, and T. went ashore with the captain, 
and shot two black-bellied sand grouse. They went 
again after dinner, and took one alive, with light and 
bell. T. had a shot at bustard, without result." 

Gibraltar 

^"^ March lyrd. T. walked up to the signal station 

afterwards with M and saw Bonelli's eagle on 

her nest. 

" Went down to see Mr. V at the Waterport 

guard ; he is much vexed at this new prohibitory law 
about shooting in Spain. He goes out to-morrow to 
look after a Bonelli's * nest in some crags near Castellar. 
He tells me that the ospreys are already sitting at the 
east side of the rock." 

" March 2^th. Have heard Scops owls these last few 
days about the rock." 

" March 2<)th. It is remarkable that amongst hundreds 
of gulls at the slaughter place at the back of the rock 

* Bonelli's Eagle {Nisaetus fasciatus) is with the Booted Eagle 
{JVtsaefKS pennatus) representative in Europe of a small group of 
long-legged eagles. They are neat-looking and active birds; the 
former nesting on ledges of rock, the latter in cork and pine-trees 
in Morocco and Andalucia. 



202 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

I did not see one herring gull. All L. fuscus, ridibundus, 
and, I think, a few melanocephalus, but cannot be quite 
c ertain." 

^' April T^rd to April zyd. Between these dates I was 
kept on board by an attack of gout. The weather was 
very unsettled and showery, with cold winds." 

'^ April list. V took an egg of neophron from a 

nest of Circa'etus gallicus in cork wood ; this is the 
first instance I ever heard of of the former species 
breeding on a tree. 

" V and T. took a nest, with five eggs, of blue 

rock-thrush (tW. cyanus) from hole in wall in Charles V. 
rampart. 

"V caught a kite (M. regalii) on her nest, in 

a trap, and took two eggs in a tall pine tree." 

Malaga 

"April ic^th. Started in a carriage for a spot to the 
left of road to Torre Molinos, some three miles off, 

where M expected to find some crakes, but none 

were seen. The greater part of the flat country is 
covered with sugar canes, and almost all this part 
belongs to the Hesedias, who have a large sugar 
factory, iron foundries and cotton mills. We lunched at 
the house of their administrator, a very civil individual, 
from Estremadura, who gave me wonderful accounts of 
the number and variety of birds near Caceres. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 203 

" In the institute at IVIalaga the most remarkable 
things are an immature specimen of Larus audouini, 
without date (but Mena says undoubtedly killed near 
the town, probably seven or eight years ago), and a 
specimen of Cursorius gallicus * killed near the town. 
Mena tells me that he knows of two other occurrences 
of this species, and a fine specimen of the little bunting 
(^Emberiza fusil! a). 

" Mena had a skin of plover, which I bought, having 
little doubt that it is a specimen of Charadrius fulvus, 
the Asiatic golden plover, killed near Malaga, May 2ist, 
1878. Several fine flamingos just brought in, and a 
great many eggs of Gyps fulvus ; I also bought Richards's 
pipit [Anthus richardi) and the pallid swift {Cypselus 
pallidus)." 

Alboran 

" April 26th. Beautiful bright day. Got up steam 
and started about 8 a.m. to explore the island of Alboran, 
some ninety miles south-east by east. I had often heard 
of the abundance of sea birds there, but a lighthouse 
has lately been built, and I had fears. We saw the 
back fins of several sharks and one or two shear- 
waters. We sighted the island and lighthouse about 

* The Cream-coloured Courser {Cursorius gallicus). These are 
desert birds, allied to the pratincoles, and through them to the 
true plovers. They are exceedingly active birds, both on the 
wing and on foot, and feed on insects, being especially fond of 
grasshoppers. 



204 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

2 p.m., and on getting within a few miles saw several 
small whales spouting and blowing all around us. We 
anchored on the south side of the island about 5.45 p.m., 
in eight fathoms sand and weed, and Ruiz, T., and I 
went off to a landing-place just below the lighthouse, 
speaking two of the inhabitants on our way, fishing, or 
rather setting a trot. One of these men told us that 
there were no birds but gulls (of which we could see 
a good many), and only one kind, now laying. 

" The island is, I should say, rather more than half 
a mile long, and apparently only some few hundred yards 
across. It is all low cliff, some fifty feet high, of a 
yellowish sandstone, with here and there big stones 
imbedded therein, and with many caves and fissures and 
flat reefs lying off it. The lighthouse stands close to the 
western end of the island. Several of the natives, or 
rather inhabitants of the lighthouse, came down to speak 
to us, and told us the lighthouse has only been built 
three years ; that there were four families, no spring of 
water, only one sort of gull (of which they had eggs), 
no rock doves, many seals, and sometimes a good many 
birds of passage, quails, turtle-doves, hoopoes, and larks.. 
T. and Ruiz landed to explore whilst I cruised round in 
the cutter. I saw herring and lesser black-backed gulls, 
and fancied that I made out Audouin's gull by its great 
length of wing, but I did not get a shot. Saw one 
turnstone, two or three common sandpipers and whimbrel, 
two or three redshanks and tv/o stilts, evidently on migra- 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 205 

tion, and puzzled whither to go. T. and Ruiz appeared 
on the top of the clifF with a gull, which T. had shot, 
and I went roujid to wait for them at the landing-place, 
where they soon joined me. T. had bagged two fine 
specimens of Larus audotdni and a whinchat, and told me 
that he had knocked down two more of the gulls, which 
fell out at sea ; he had a shot also at a hawk, which 
escaped. Ruiz had taken three gulls' eggs, but certainly 
not those of L. ai<dj:(ini. The only other bird they saw 
was a pipit. 

" The lighthouse people brought us down several 
gulls' eggs, but they were either those of L. leucoph^us 
or L. fuscus. On seeing our gulls they declared that 
they were the most common species, but they seemed to 
know very little on the subject, and to care less. The 
sun was going down and a breeze springing up, so I 
was very reluctantly obliged to go back to the yacht, 
and hope for a calm day to-morrow ; but it was not to be. 

Mr. M caught a small shark from the yacht's deck 

about three feet long. A strong breeze from the west 
got up, and we rolled and strained at our anchor most 
uncomfortably all night. 

" The only vegetation on the island except sea weeds 
is a short heathery plant, of which T. brought off a 
specimen. The nearest land is Cape Tres Forcas, in 
Morocco, which is plainly visible ; the nearest point in 
Spain they told me was Adra. We could also see the 
Spanish land. They depend upon Almina for all their 



2o6 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

supplies, had only had three visits from vessels, except 
their supply boat, in the last three years, and have been 
twenty-seven days now expecting this last. They have 
turned out a few rabbits, which they say are doing well." 

Valencia 

'■'■ April l()th. Talked of going into Alicante, but it 
fell nearly calm at night, and as we were still some way 
from that port at daylight of 30th, 1 decided on going 
right on to Valencia ; so we got up steam and ran along 
the coast, which is very wild and barren — high rugged 
peaks, here and there a bay, with a village and some 
cultivation. Curious Gibraltar-like rock, near Calpe. Saw 
a gannet, the first I ever recollect to have seen in the 
Mediterranean, except at the back of the rock of Gibraltar. 
We did not see more than three or four gulls during 
these last two days, or any other sea birds, though some 
parts of the coast seem well suited for them." 

" May 2nd. Don Manuel Cabelle, who tells me that 
the Crown Prince of Austria is expected, and wants to 
shoot on the Albufera, where, as there is no shooting 
to be done at this time of year, they propose to get up 
a mullet fishery for him." 

"May 3r</. In Museum best things in birds are Aquila ncevia, 
Sylvia melanogaster, Tichodroma murarias, Toianus fuscus, T. 
stagnatilis, Oidcmia fusca. I find that Emberiza citrindla is common 
here. I merely mention the above birds as all having occurred near 
Valencia while not common in Spain." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 207 

Birds Seen at Aleufera 

" Neophron pcrcnopterus, Circus aeruginosus, Hirundo rustiai, H. 
urhica, Cotyle riparia, Cypselus apus, Sylvia cisiicola, S. turdoides, 
S. provincialis, Ardea cinerea, A. purpurea, Oriolus gallmla, 
Totanus calidris, T. hypokucus, ^gialitis {?), Anas (sp. ?), 
Budytes flavus. Many warblers of sorts." 

" May ^th. Fine bright morning. Tracey came to 
me about 6 a.m. and announced that the Crown Prince 
of Austria had arrived, and about 8 a.m. told me that 
he and his people were all landing with guns. Shortly 
afterwards came Don Manuel Cabelle in a great state of 
agitation to tell me that they were all going off imme- 
diately, that nothing was prepared, and that the Prince 
invited me and T. to join him in the expedition. We 
jumped into our shooting things, and went ashore. Found 
that the Prince and his people had started in four 
carriages a few minutes before ; we followed at once in 
a small 'bus with Don Manuel, who kept on repeating 
that it was folly, nothing was prepared, nothing would 
be shot, and so on. We soon overtook the other 
carriages, which were very badly horsed, and on getting 
within about half a mile of Salar, the fishing village of the 
Albufera, the Prince lost patience, as the road and horses 
were so bad, and jumped out. I got out and introduced 
myself and T. to him. He is a very slight, tall boy, 
not the least like the portrait which he sent to me. He 
was most cordially civil, introduced me to his brother-in- 
law, Prince Leopold of Bavaria, and the rest of his suite, 
amongst others one of the Brehms, who accompanies him 



2o8 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

as naturalist to the expedition. I put him — the Prince — 
and his brother-in-law into our 'bus, and we struggled 
on to Salar, where the whole party embarked in five flat- 
bottomed boats, and went off to a spot called la Franca, 
where there are dense, strong reed beds. 

" We saw but iew birds. We talked ornithology 
and shooting — French with the Prince, and English with 
Brehm. These two went off in a little punt in amongst 
the reeds, where we could not follow, so we waited their 
return outside the reed beds. T. knocked down a 
purple heron, but it could not be retrieved. In the 
meantime two Guardias Civiles came off and said that 
their colonel wanted to present himself and pay his 
respects. The Prince and Brehm came back having 
shot nothing, and we all landed on the Dehesa. The 
party marched in line back towards Salar. I tramped 
along the path bv the water-side with the G. C. colonel, 
a very civil, fine-looking fellow, with the boats following, 
till we reached a sort of muddy canal, which is only 
passable at each end, and cuts right across the Dehesa. 
A good many shots were fired by the party. 

" At this spot they came to the boats and re- 
embarked rather disgusted, and we went spinning away 
under sail past Salar, to a spot on the canal whither we 
had sent on the carriages ; got into them again and went 
to a place on the river, whence there is a short cut by 
foot to the Grao. On our way we found a clap-net set, 
and several wretched swallows pegged down as decoys. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 209 

The Royalties immediately cut these adrift and let 
them go." 

IviZA 

"May <)th. Ran through the Frena and anchored 
in Iviza harbour about 7 a.m. on morning of 9th. A 
pretty bay and tolerably snug anchorage formed by 
several islands ; a sort of amphitheatre of hills with 
scrubby vegetation, the plains at foot of them apparently 
well cultivated and dotted with flat-topped houses. My 
principal object here is to try to get over to explore 
Formentera. The Consul tells me he has property and 
a salt lake there, but there is no possibility of lying 
anywhere there with this detestable wind. We heard 
of some salt pans in Iviza, which sounded Hkely for 
birds, and went about with the son of the Consul to try 
and find the officer of the Civil Guard to give us leave 
to shoot, but he was not to be found. The town is 
crowded on a rocky hillside with a fort and church at 
the top. Good market places. We bought a pound of 
tunny brought in this morning from Formentera. People 
talk a curious sort of Valencian patois. Red caps a la 
Catalan seem to be much the fashion here." 

" May lot/i. Fine and bright, wind still strong 
but not so cold. We all went away after breakfast m 
cutter, skirting the shores to the south-west, chiefly 
rocky, with here and there stretches of sandy beach. We 
landed first at the foot of a range of sombre hills and 

14 



2IO MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

found a great flat with some pools of water, shallow, 
and full of fish, but not many birds about. The captain 
went right away to the westwards and reports a great 
salt lake near the sea on other side the island but very 
few birds. Ruiz took a stroll on the hillside and shot 
a few small birds. T. hung about the pools and shot 
a fine osprey. We lunched on the beach and proceeded 
round a rocky point where we disturbed a raven from 
her nest. Landed on a sand-hilly spot with strong 
growth of juniper and lentiscus. Found great salt pans 
again. T. and Ruiz shot a few birds and I saw one 
which utterly puzzled me. 

" Seeing some respectable-looking youths cruising 
wistfully round the yacht, I invited them on board 
and showed them over her. They gave me a good 
deal of information on the zoological capabilities of 

ID 
viza. 

'■^ May iiih. These boys say that there are 
martens and genets in the island, no foxes or weasels 
or other animal dafiim ; hares very scarce ; rabbits 
abundant ; a great many bats of various sizes, some of 
them white. They told me that many gulls breed in the 
islands of Espandelle and Espalmador, and that when they 
go ferreting there they bolt from the burrows many 
birds which they call ' virots ' — shearwaters. These are 
also caught and eaten by the fishermen in great numbers. 
They say that there are a great many partridges in Iviza, 
and in the winter many woodcocks and snipes. The birds 



MEDITERR.\NEAN NOTES 



21 I 



they specially mentioned were hoopoe, bee-eater, quail, 
landrail, coot, heron, flamingo, and peewit. Curiously 
enough, they all professed to recognise Dresser's plate of 
Chettusia gregaria* and said that it was found here (?) ! " 



Birds Observed in Iviza 



Pandion kaliaetns. 
Falco peregrinus. 
F. subbuteo (?). 
F. tinmitiaihis. 
Hirundo rustica. 
H. urbica. 
Cypselus apus. 
Coiyle riparia. 
Muscicapa grisola. 
Phyllopneuste trochilus. 
Sylvia phragmitis. 
Turdus merula. 
Monticola cyanca. 
Saxicola mnanthe. 
Pratincola rubicola. 
Parus ('sp. ?) 
Lanius rufiis. 
Budytes flavus. 
Gakrida cristata. 



Calandrella hrachydadyla. 
Emberiza miliaria. 
Passer domesticus. 
Fringilla chloris. 
Lijiota cannahina. 
Car due lis ekgans. 
Turtur auritus. 
CEdicnenius crepitans. 
yEgialitis cantianus. 
Strepsilas interpres. 
Hamatopus ostralegus. 
Totanus glottis. 
Totanus calidris. 
Tringa (.?). 
Nutnenius (?). 
Larus fuscus. 
L. leucophceus. 
Upupa epops. 
Puffintis cinereus. 



Barcelona 

"May 14.1/1. A nightjar came on board in early 
morning. Several laughing gulls f in the harbour." 

* The Black-bellied Lapwing, an eastern bird, 
t L. ridibundiis. So called from its call. It is also known as 
the Brown-headed Gull. 



212 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

February to May, 1882 
Sevilla 

" February c^th. Old Manuel Llanos came, bring- 
ing with him a good specimen of the imperial eagle 
(^Aquila adalberti) in the sandy mottled plumage of im- 
maturity, two grey-lag geese {^Anser ferus), and two 
Spanish magpies {Cyanopica cooki). He says that owing 
to the abundant rains a great number of birds nested in 
the marisma and cotos last year, amongst others the 
glossy ibis, which had not done so before to his know- 
ledge ; of this species he got some three clutches of eggs, 
all of which, except that one sent to me, were destroyed 

by mice. P went to the Museo and Casa de Pilatos, 

and I to see old F, Barlow, who is quite laid up. 

Noticed willow wren {Phylloscopus trochilus) in orange 
trees in the Plaza under our windows. 

" Manuel also brought a young imperial eagle alive, 
insisting that it was of another species, which only appears 
in these parts during the winter. 

" Drove out (in afternoon) along Las Delicias and 
away back by the Canas de Carmona on the road to 
Alcata de Guadeira. Lovely bright warm day." 

" Noticed tlie following birds : — Circus cyaneus, Hirundo urbica, 
Ruticilla titys. Passer domesticus, Fringilla cxleis, Fringilla serinus, 
Carduelis elegans, Anthus campestris, Alauda cristata, A. arvensis, 
Sturftus vulgaris, Turdus musicus, Grus dnereus, Pratincola rubicola, 
Motacilla alba, Emberiza miliaria." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 213 

" February %th. Left by train for Cadiz. All the 
marisma about Las Alcantarillas seems to be perfectly dry." 

" Noticed the following fresh birds : — Milvus regalis, Otis tarda, 
O. tetrax, Hirundo rustica'' 

Cadiz 

" February gth. Saw the following birds (in the harbour) : — Larits 
fusais, L. leucophceus, L. canus." 

San Lucar de Barrameda, Guadalquivir 

" February \oth. Under sail for the Huelva river, 

but, finding a heavy sea, ran in under shelter of Chipiona 

Point, got a pilot, and waited till the tide served, and 

we got over the bar of San Lucar without difficulty." 

" Birds seen : — Phalacrocorax carbo, Fiiffinus, two species, Alca 
tarda, Fratercula ardica." 

'■'■ Februaiy nth. Started up the river just before 
the tide made upwards, and with one or two temporary 
groundings, anchored at the lower end of the Corta, in 
the Isla Menor, about 6 p.m. We saw great numbers of 
wigeon (Mareca penelope), some pintail {Anas acuta), mallard 
{Anas boscas), geese {Anser ferus) in great quantities, some 
curlews {Numenius arquatus), whimbrel {Numenius phceopus), 
redshank {Totanus calidris), dunlins (Tringa variabilis), and 
other small waders, besides several species recorded before." 

La Corta, Guadalquivir 
"■^ February \2th. Fine bright day with north-west 
breeze. We moved up early to the upper end of the 



214 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

Corta, taking the ground several times, but getting off 
without much difficulty, and anchored about 10.30 a.m. 
Vicente and Manuel's two sons, Miguel and Francisco, 
appeared about midday with horses, and said that their 
father would be here to-morrow morning. They brought 
with them a very fine disembowelled wild cat {Felis 
catus), which they killed a short time ago in the Coto 
del Rey. We saw various birds new to our this year's 
list.* We saw many geese, a few bustards and cranes. 
Perico de Algaba turned up, and gave a most woeful 
account of the floods of last spring at his village ; his 
house was completely destroyed, his donkey and pig 
drowned, many of his vicinos were in a still worse plight, 
and many took refuge in the tower. All the wheat 
was destroyed, and the vines and olives ruined. This 
year there is hardly any water in the marisma. Francisco 
went out and brought in a couple of grey lag geese,t which 
he killed by stalking with the horse. He sat for some 
time with us in the cabin after dinner, and I showed him 
some of Dresser's plates of ducks, etc., of which he gave 



* " Gyps ftilvus, Neophron percnopfenis, Comis corax, ^-Ei^ialitis 
hiaticula." 

t The Grey Lag Goose {Anser ferns) is commonly held to be the 
chief originator of our domestic goose. It is the only wild goose 
which nests in Britain (Scotland). Although it is said to nest very 
occasionally in Andalucia, the birds here referred to would be winter 
visitors. The name means (Prof. Skeat) the lagging goose, i.e., the 
lagging-behind goose — staying to nest — when other species leave in the 
spring. 




?/ 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 215 

me the local names.* He recognised the white-headed 
duck (^Erismatura leucocephala) as one of a species which 
appeared at Santa Olalla this year for the first time to 
his knowledge. We laid our plans for an early start 
after the geese to-morrow morning." 

" February 1 3//;. Intent on wild geese, I and 

I rose about 5 a.m., and started in the steam launch 
with the captain and the gente to a spot some two miles 
down the river in the Isla Menor. The hijos de Manuel 
and Perico borrowed a big hoe and soon dug me out a 

hole in the open field, the captain and I concealed 

themselves as best they could farther along, and Miguel 
and Francisco went away to stalk with the horse and try 
to put the geese (of which many hundreds were feeding 
in sight of us) over our heads. These ninos went a long 
way, and we waited more or less patiently for some three 

hours, but the geese passed over I and T., quite out 

of shot, although they both fired. One flock of some 
fifteen or sixteen great bustards passed out of shot and 
settled not very far behind us, and when the nims came 
back with one goose we went and took up position along 
the bank of the river for them. Perico went round to 
put them over, and before they got up some geese came, 
and, passing close to the captain, he bagged two at one 

* "A. boscas, ' Pato real ' ; A. acuta, ' P. rabudo ' ; A. marmorata, 
'Ruilla'; A. dypeata, ' Sardinero ' ; Q. crecca, ' Sarcereta ' ; Q. circia, 
' Carranaca ' ; Tadorna cornuta, ' Ansereta ' ; T. rutihi, ' Pato 
tarro.' " 



2i6 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

shot. The bustards gave one of the ninos a shot, which 
had no effect, and a big cock bird separated from the 

others, and was coming well for I , but the captain 

fired at it when quite out of shot and turned it awav. 
Beautiful bright day, with easterly wind. Old Manuel 
arrived. We started again about 4 p.m. to try flighting 
for geese, but they all passed too high. The nifios 
found a wounded one, which they brought on board 
alive. A great many griffon vultures about a dead horse 
some way down the river. Vicente tried to tow it up 
to give T. some amusement with the vultures, but the 
ebb tide was too much and he had to leave the beast 
moored for to-morrow." 

" Fresh birds seen : Pterocks arenarius, Totanus glottis." 

La Corta, Guadalquivir 

" February i^th. Beautiful morning with easterly 
breeze. We started in the steam launch about 9 a.m. 
and went away through the Corta to the Brazo del Este, 

some way up which I got out and beat part of the 

bank on proper right for snipes, I cruising along in the 
launch. We did not find many. After a while we picked 

up I and took him to a spot higher up on proper 

left bank, whence he sallied with Miguel and Francisco 
to look for snipes at the wet places in the direction of 
las Alcantarillas. I cruised backwards and forwards, 
shooting at whatever offered itself on the river, which 
was not much, though we saw enorinous numbers of 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 217 

wigeon and a few mallard and teal. About 4.30 p.m. 

1 rejoined us and said that he had found very few 

snipes, but had seen swarms of geese and various duck 
fowl. On our way back, we shot some wigeon crippled 
by the shore gunner, and also some small waders. Our 
bag consisted of one goose, caught alive, one wigeon, 
one teal, three peewits, five snipes, one little stint, and 
some twenty ringed plover, Kentish plover, and dunlins." 

" Fresh birds seen : Totatius hypohuais, Viiltur monachus, Chara- 
drius pluvialis, j^gialitis cantiana, Scolopax gallinago, Linota catifiabina, 
Tringa minuta. 

" Reported by I : Hirundo riparia, Anas c/ypeata, Pterocles 

alckata." 

^^ February i^ih. Most beautiful day. I and 1 

sallied with la gente about 9 a.m., and had several 
attempts at the bustards, but entirely without success, 
and we came home absolutely empty-handed. We 
noticed in a flock of geese, one very considerably smaller 
than her companions, possibly the little white-fronted 
goose {^Anser erythropus'), which has occurred in these 
parts. Vicente reports having seen hoopoes {Upupa epops) 
a day or two ago. We saw a good number of bustards 
and, I think, more geese than we had seen before, 
swarms of wigeon and a ^qw black-bellied sand grouse. 
The vultures decline to come to our dead horse." 

" Fresh birds seen : FaLo peregrinus, CEdicnemus crepitans" 

" February i dth. Another beautiful, bright day, but 
a coldish wind. I and I went away down the river. 



21 8 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

but had no chance at the bustards, of which we did not 
see many. We had a little bit of sniping about the 
mouth of the Brazo del Este and a soft place just below 
it on the right bank of Isia Mayor. We got one 
golden plover, one peewit, eleven snipes, thirteen dunlins, 
two ringed-plover, one Kentish plover. A lad from Coria 
brought me a young otter {Lutra vulgaris) caught near 
that place, small and very tame." 

^^ February i-jth. Very fine, hot dav. We went 
away in steam launch about 8 a.m. for la Campania, 
the spot where the Brazo del Este leaves the main 
river. Saw very few snipes, and those iz'w very wild. 
Some way down the brazo we came to an island covered 
with thick brambles, reeds, and white poplars, out of 
which we startled many birds — e.g.^ kites, marsh harriers, 
barn owls, sparrow-hawk, water-hen, common heron, and 

wild duck. I and Francisco landed, but foui^d an 

impenetrable jungle, full of old nests, which Miguel 
declares to be those of the night heron {Nycticorax griseus') 
and purple heron {^Ardea purpurea). We proceeded 
down the bra%o and had some tolerable sport, bagging 
altogether four mallard, two wigeon, one teal, four golden 
plover, two peewits, one water-rail, three snipes, one 
quail, two marsh harriers, and a water tortoise (Eniys, sp.?) 
captured alive. On our way home we flushed a 
regular bouquet of marsh harriers out of some high 
reed, and bagged two of them." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 219 

" Fresh birds seen : Accipiter fiisus, Strix flammea, Ardea 
bubulcus, GaUinula chloropus, Rallies aquaticus." 

"February iSM. Perhaps the most perfect of the 
many lovely days that we have had. We landed on the 
Isla Mayor, and went away to the western brazo of the 
river to look for snipes ; saw very {qv/, but we only 
brought home one bustard and a blacktailed godwit * 
(^Limosa belgica), which last was the only fresh species 
which we met with. We saw a good many bustards, 
cranes, a great many golden plover, five pintailed sand 
grouse, some curlews and redshanks. We were unlucky 
altogether, and 1, to mv shame, managed not to kill a 
bustard which gave me a fair chance. Sent the yacht 
down to the lower end of the Corta ; she left the 
steam launch for us at the huts at upper end. Bade 
farewell to la gente ■ at sundown, and rushed down la 
Corta with a swinging ebb tide ; found the vessel right 
away below the mouth of Brazo del Este, having had a 
very narrow escape of being run down by a Spanish 
steamer at her moorings above. Good Spanish proverb 
from Vicente : " Al cazador lena y al lenador caza." 

" List of birds observed in Andalucia, February : J'uUur monachus, 
Gyps fulvus, Neophron perawpferus, Circus ceruginosics. Circus cyaneus, 
Biiteo vulgaris, AccipUcr nisus, Milvus regalis, Falco peregritius, F. tin- 
mtnculus, F. cenchris, Strix flammea, Turdus musicus, Ruticilla tifys, 



* A wading bird belonging to the Scolopacida (sandpiper, snipe, 
and curlew family). It has ceased to breed in England since the 
draining of the fens. A winter migrant to Andalucia. 



220 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

Pratincola rudkola, Erithacus rubecula, Phylloscopus minor. Ph. trochilus, 
Cettia cettii, Cisticola cursitans, Motacilla alba, M.flava, Anthus pratensis, 
Hirundo rustica, Chdidon urbica, Cottle riparia, Carduelis clegans? 
Serinus hortulanus, Passer domesticus, P. salkicoltis, Fringilla Calebs, 
Linota cannabina, Emberiza miliaria, Galerita cristata, Alauda arvensis, 
Calandrella (sp. ?), Melanocorypha calandra, Sturnus vulgaris, Cyano- 
pica cooki, Corvus corax, Upnpa epops, Phalacrocorax carbo, Ardea 
cinerea, Ardea bubulcus, Ciconia alba, Anser ferus. Anas boscas, A. 
clypeaia, A. crecca, A. acuta, Mareca penelope, Pterocles arenarius, 
Pt. alchata, Coturnix communis, Rallus atjiiaticus, Gallinula chloropus. 
Grits cinerats, Otis tarda, O. tetrax, CEdiciieinus crepitans, Chara- 
drius pluvialis, yEgialitis cantiana, y£. hiaticula, Vanellus cristatus, 
Scolopax gallinago, Tringa alpina, T. minuta, Totanus hypoleuctis, 2. 
calidris, T. glottis, Ntimenius pkceopus, N. arquatus. Sterna (sp. ?), 
Larus ridibundtis, L. canus, L. leucophaus, L. fuscus, L. marinus, 
Lestris (sp. ?), Piiffinits (two sp. ?), Alca tarda, Lomvia (sp. ?), 
Fratercula arctica." 

San Luc^^r de Barrameda 

^'February \<)th. A most lovely morning. In the 
steam launch tor San Lucar about 9.45. Very pleasant 
run ; read a good deal of Spain and the Spaniards by 
Azamat Batuk. Saw vast numbers of geese and wigeon^ 
and six sheldrakes {Tadorna cornuta), and two grey 
plovers {^Sqiiatanla helvetica), both species new to our 
present list of birds seen in Andalucia. Arrived at ban 
Lucar at 3.25 p.m." 

Cadiz to Gibraltar 

" February 24th. Fine bright morning. As it did not 
seem to blow so hard we started about 8.20 a.m. tor 
Gibraltar ; met a very heavy sea and fresh breeze outside,. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 221 

and ploughed slowly through it till off Tarifa, when Tracey 
stood over under the African land and got smooth water 

and strong current in his favour. I reports two 

birds fresh to our list — viz., gannet (^Sula bassana\ and 
a petrel, probably Bulwer's petrel (Oceanites bulweri)* 
Bonelli's eagle reported as sitting near the signal 
station. We remained at Gibraltar till the end of the 
month." 

Malaga 

'■'March ist to 11//;. Had several visits from Rafael 
Mena, who said that it had been an exceptionally bad 

winter for birds of all sorts. 1 made an expedition 

with said Mena to el chorro in search of lammergeiers 
{Gypa'etus barbatus), but could not find the nesting place 
or get a shot at the birds, of which they saw one. He 
brought back one chough {^Pyrrhocorax graculus), of which 
they saw many, and also reported golden eagle i^Aquila 
fulva), black chat (Saxicola leucura), and blue rock-thrush 
(^Monticola cyanus). T., I , and Peck made several 

* The petrels belong to a large division of birds distinguished 
by tubular nostrils (Turbinares), which frequent every sea and ocean 
of the world. This division includes many and varied forms, from 
the giant Wandering 1 Albatross (Diomedea exulans) to the little Storm 
Petrel {Proallaria pelagica). The shearwaters, as before said, also 
fall into this weird, restless group of birds. Some of them never 
touch land but at nesting time ; and they have the general habit 
of wandering the waters like lost spirits. Ames damrtees of the 
Bosphorus ; yelkouan of the Arab, from the P^ulmar {Fulinarus 
glacialis) of the Arctic to those of the Southern seas they have 
impressed every voyager in the same way. 



222 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

boating expeditions in the bay and found numbers of 
scoters (^Oidemia nigra), razor bills [.4lca tarda), brown- 
headed {Larus ridibundus) and lesser black-backed gulls 
(L. fuscus), sandwich terns {Sterna cantiaca), one diver 
(^Colymbus), several skuas (Lestris sp. ?), the great and 
small Mediterranean shearwaters {Puffinus kuhli and 
T. yelkouan), common herons (^Ardea cinerea), two grebes 
{Vodicefs sp. ?), and an osprey [Tandion haliaetus). They 
brought in one specimen of skua alive, which is, I think, 
undoubtedly Richardson's skua {Lestris richardsoni), in 
the nearly uniform brown plumage. Mena made me 
a present of a hemipode {Tar nix) alive, which seems 
well used to a cage." 

" March \ith. We let the skua out for a walk and 
wash on deck." 

" March 1 5//z. Fine, but the wind still easterly. Mena 
called, bringing the shearwaters' skins. It is remarkable 
that all those of the smaller species are females. Mena 
told me that he could always distinguish between common 
(Cypselus apus) and pallid swifts (C. pallidus), by their 
manner of going under the tiles to their nests, the tormer 
flying straight in, and the latter always pausing at the 
entrance. He also told me that he had seen the first of 
this species this year on 13th inst." 

At Sea 
"March \6th. We left Malaga about 8 a.m. A 
hoopoe came aboard in the morning. We saw many 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 225 

lesser black-backed gulls, shearwaters, some porpoises, and 
near Adra a flight of cranes making the Spanish coast 
from the southward." 

Valencia 

'■'■ March 2is(. Senor Arevalo told me that Sylvia 
melanopogon is not uncommon here, but was formerly much 
more so (i/r) near IVIalaga, and that its eggs vary quite 
as much in colour as those of Cisticola. He also told me 
of the occurrence on the Albufera of the African pelican 
{Pelecatius onocrotalus), and of a specimen of Chelidon, which 
they cannot determine." 

" March '12nd. Don Manuel Cabelle came and sat 
with me for some time. He says that this has been 
a wonderfully good season for wild-fowl on the Albufera ; 
he asked T. to go out and join him at the fishing 
village at the Albufera to-morrow evening, to shoot the 
next day. He tells me of a bird three times the size 
of a swan ! entirely white ! ! and about five feet high ! ! ! 
shot near here, and now to be seen stuffed at the Casino 
de los Cazadores ; this must surely be a myth, but 
requires investigation." 

" March 2\th. Don Jose Arevalo, bringing with 
him the unknown Chelidon, which is, as far as I can 
see, nothing but a common house martin {Chelidon urbica'). 
Don Jose stayed some time, and gave me a memento 
in the shape ot a sketch of the head of a pallid swift 



2 24 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

{Cypselus pallidus). T. came back about 6.15 p.m., with 
Don M. Cabelle, after a fair day, for the time of 
year, at the Albufera ; they brought back thirty-four 
fowl, shovelers, garganeys, pintail, wigeon, teal, and 
pochard, and a very fine adult common heron, alive, 
wounded in the wing." 

Minorca 

^^ March 26th. Being Sunday, and all of us wanting 
rest, I decided on going into Port Mahon, and, running 
up, anchored before the town about i p.m. ; not another 
ship in the harbour, except a steamer under repair. 
Noticed a great number of shearwaters, some shags 
{Phalacrocorax gt'aculus), an osprey, many gulls, and 
another bird of prey (I think a common buzzard) about 
the entrance of the harbour. It is remarkable that all 
the gulls here appear to be the Mediterranean herring 
gull {Larus leucophaus'). I do not see either black- 
backed or laughing gull." 

Port Mahon 

" March 2,0th. Saw several common kites. We found 
a heavyish sea outside, but very light breeze from south- 
west ; steamed along, rolling gaily. More shearwaters than 
I ever saw before together. Saw a puffin {Fratercula 
arctica) alone some miles out from Port Mahon. Most 
lovely sunset and fine moonlight night." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 225 

At Sea 

^^ March 3ij-/. Saw the first black-headed gnW {Larus 
melanocephalus) of this cruise. Two or three tired 
robins {Erithacus rubeculd) came on board. At 12 a.m. 
we were twenty-six miles from Cape Caccia, in Sardinia, 
the nearest land. Very soon afterwards we made Cape 
Argentiera and Asinara ; at 6 p.m. we were off the 
lighthouse at the latter spot. Very light westerly breeze. 
Many porpoises ; lovely moonlight night. We ran fast 
through the Strait of Bonifacio, and about midnight 
rounded the light on the island of Razzoli." 

'■'■April ist. At about 8.30 a.m. the captain reported 
no sign of a breeze, so I ordered steam for 10 a.m., and 
we ran along the coast of Corsica ; a lovely morning, 
with the faintest of ripples from the south." 

Spezia 

" April 2^d. Drove in afternoon to Porto Venese ; 
very pretty views over the bay, but country much spoiled 
by the masses of olives. Birds exceedingly scarce ; I onlv 
^noticed chaffinch, great titmouse, and kestrel, besides a 
itw gulls. We went afterwards for a drive to the valley 
of the Magra, over a low col. To the north-east, a wild 
river torrent bed, with very little water in it now ; 
picturesque villages perched on hills round about. Heard 
and saw sparrow, crested lark, cirl bunting, blackbird, 
swallow, house martin." 

15 



226 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

" Jpril -jth. An old fellow in a sort of coracle shot 
into a flock of black-headed gulls, and bagged two of 
them, which he brought on board alive. He informed 
me that he shot from la passione. Great shoals of 
small fishes playing round the vessel after dark." 

Leghorn 

'■'■April \^th. VYe beat into Leghorn and anchored 
in the outer harbour. Three United States men 

of war moored at the mole. We got leave to go into 
the inner harbour, and found the R. Y. S. s.s. Golden 
Eagle there. Went ashore and drove about the town 
— clean, wide streets and large squares, but rather a 
melancholy place. Many gulls in outer harbour." 

'■''April \^t/i. I took train for Pisa at 10.42 a.m. 
The line runs through the forest of Tombolo, a very 
gamey-looking locality with pines, oaks, ilex, and thick 
under-covert of brambles, thorn, heather, fern, with great 
stretches of fine-looking snipe ground in the open spots. 
Saw a troop of camels, but nothing in the way of birds, 
except kestrel, magpie, skylark, crested lark, fantail 
warbler, and common heron. Arrived at Pisa at 11.9 
a.m. and went straight to the Natural History Museum, 
which is chiefly rich in fossils and minerals ; they have 
a good great auk (Alca impennis), and apparently a fair 
collection of local birds, but they are not kept apart from 
the others, and some are without labels, others placed so 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 227 

high as not to be distinguishable. There are some very 
well stuffed groups — viz., a fine wild boar with a lance- 
head in his shoulder and two dogs, a party of rose 
starlings {Pastor roseus) and golden orioles {Oriolus galbula) 
on a cherry tree, and penduline titmice {Sgithalus 
pendulinus) with nests. I then went to bookseller's to 
try and find Salvadori's Italian Ornithology^ which was not 
to be had. I saw the first number of Giglioli's book on 
Italian Birds, something in the style of Bettoni. I bought 
a good copy of Aldrovardi's Birds for 7 francs 50 cents." 

Elba 

" April I gth. We went into Porto Longone, at the 
eastern end of Elba, but it looked anything but aviferous, 
so we went round Capes Fina and Calamita. We, how- 
ever, found that the wind, which had been apparently 
dying away in the Piombino channel, was coming down 
hke steam off the high hills, and though parts of the 
coast looked very good for pigeons, boat work would 
have been unpleasant to say the least of it. On the east 
side the island is well cultivated, and full of iron mines ; 
the outline of the hills is very picturesque ; on the south 
side there is a good deal of cliff and some fine bays, in 
one of which we anchored. A gentleman's house and 
some scattered cottages are placed at the head of this 
bay, with a sandy beach and vines ; high land all around. 
The name of the place is Acona on the charts. Some 
natives, two of them exceedingly handsome young fellows. 



22 8 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

came off- to us in a boat, and said that there was nothing 
to be procured here except wine ; no fish, no vegetables. 
There are, they say, some pigeons about the rocks. The 
wind dropped at night." 

" April iQth. We went away in the cutter after 
breakfast and cruised along the rocks to the westward as 
far as the eastern point of the bay of Canipo. Saw rock 
doves {Columba livia), but not in any great numbers and 
very wild. I got two, but only by lying up and sending 
boat to stir them up. Ran across the bay of Campo, 
where we took boat and went to the westward, but only 
saw two rock doves, of which we got one. Beautiful 
distant view of Corsica, with a great deal of snow on the 
high tops ; Pianosa, low as it is, distinctly visible. We 
came back and explored the southern point and eastern 
side of the promontory which separates the bays of Acona 
and Stella. Saw more rock doves, but they were very 
wild, and we only managed to bag one more. The 
rocks of this promontory are of the colours red, green, 
black and yellow. We came round and took up our 
anchorage of last night in the bay of Acona." 

(Written later.) " The rocks of this southern side ot 
Elba present to the unlearned every variety of colour, 
stratification, and apparently geological formatioiT ; in 
places they are certainly limestone, in others red and some 
black conglomerate, with here and there blocks of black 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 229 

marble with white veins, whilst there are patches of 
bright green and brilliant yellow sandstone in some spots. 

" The absence of sea birds is very remarkable. We 
only saw four gulls and two shags. The ravens have 
a nest in what appears to be a tolerably accessible 
spot on the eastern side of the promontory mentioned. 
When I shot the first two rock doves, several of 
their feathers floating in the air were caught and carried 
off by the crag martins which are very numerous. 

" The doctor reports two pair of partridges {CaccaUs 
rufa)y 

" Birds seen : Neophron pennopterus, Fako tinnunculus, Falco 
(sp. ?), Corvus corax, Cottle rupestris, Monticola cyaiiits, Chelidon urhica, 
Columba livia, Larus kiicophaus, Phalacrocorax graculus." 

'■'■April 21st. Another lovely day. The doctor landed 
with gun and Zulu at the head of the bay on east side, 
and T. and I went away in the cutter round the east 
side of our promontory. We saw few pigeons ; they were 
very wild, and we did not bag one. We attempted a 
siege of the ravens' nest, but the cliff was so friable that 
it was a service of danger, and we had to abandon it. 
The yacht came round to us. We saw a common tern 
(Sterna fluviatilis). Steered off to the eastward ; coast 
full of iron, worked in many places. We went away in 
cutter again to the south-east: splendid cliffs full of caves, 
but we only saw two pigeons far out of shot ; saw a 
peregrine falcon, no gulls, no shags, no seals. Came 



230 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

round and anchored in Porto Longone, a pretty harbour, 
with high hills and a good deal of cultivation." 

Monte Cristo and Giglio 

"April iind. Most beautiful cloudless morning. 
Steered for Monte Cristo with a light air from the 
north. The eastern side of this ishmd is a sloping mass 
of grey rock, with patches of green scrub here and there, 
and one or two watercourses. W steamed slowly along 
the northern side, near the western end of which is a 
cove and valley, with a few houses and an old ruined 
convent on a peak above them ; a good deal of cultiva- 
tion, vineyards, figs, and ilexes. We went away in the 
cutter and explored the whole of the western side, but 
did not see a single rock pigeon. We found a good 
many herring gulls, apparently breeding on a bit of table 
land at the top of the cliffs, two or three shags, and two 
pairs of peregrines which evidently had nests in the crags, 
which are very high and full of most suitable ledges and 
holes. We came off to the yacht about i p.m., and 
steamed slowly along the south side ; the whole island 
is extremely picturesque. We made away for Giglio from 
the south-east end. 

" Giglio on the west side is high and rocky, but for 
the greater part sloping to the sea, every available spot 
terraced with vineyards and dotted with white cabins. 
An ancient village lies on the top of the ridge ; the 
south-west point is low, with a lighthouse, on rounding 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 231 

which we went away in the cutter and explored the 
whole of the southern side of the island, which is formed 
of cliffs of moderate height with small caves and 
crannies. We found several (not a great many) rock 
doves, and shot four of them and a green sandpiper 
(Toianus ochropus), which seemed quite out of his locality 
amongst these rocks. A pair of peregrines had a nest, 
which we could see in a hole of the cliff, not far from 
the lighthouse. Saw a pair of Alpine swifts (^Cypselus 
melba), kestrels, and one or two blue rock-thrushes. The 
falcons seem to be of the small Mediterranean race. 
We steamed across and anchored off Port Ercole on the 
mainland. We also saw a common sandpiper {^Totanus 
hypoleucus) on Giglio." 

Port Ercole 

"■^ April iT^rd. We caught a small fish, apparently of 
the Scomber family, but with three anal or ventral fins, 
the first sharply armed, a short prickly dorsal and long 
caudal fin above tail very forked, and a row of prickles 
on either side of the posterior half of the body. Eye 
very large, snout somewhat long in proportion, bony, 
colour light green on back with darker mackerel-like 
markings, under parts silvery white. Tail fine, yellow, 
about seven inches in total length. Can find nothing to 
compare with this specimen in Couch's Fishes of Great 
Britain. 

" Port Ercole is a small bay at the southern foot of 



2 32 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

Mount Argentaro ; a small walled town and fort are 
situated on its west side, a conical hill with fort on 
the other, and a small marina at the north-east end of the 
bay. Peck and T. went ashore, and describe a pretty, 
well-cultivated, English-looking country, with good road 
hedgerows of whitethorn, brambles, etc., and a profusion of 
wild flowers, of which they brought off a good many," 



LrlANNUTRI 

" Jpril 24//?. Very fine morning. We steamed over 
to Giannutri, about eleven miles, let go our anchor about 
9 a.m. in the little gulf of Palmatoja, a snug harbour in 
westerly, northerly, or southerly winds ; fifteen fathoms 
close to the shore. The island consists of undulating 
limestone hills, for the most part overgrown with thick 
scrub. On the eastern side the sea cliffs are low, very 
much water-fretted, red, grey, and black. There was 
such a very heavy swell that we could not do any good 
with the boats on western side. T., Peck, and captain 
landed, but shot nothing and saw very little ; were 
warned off by lighthouse people, who said that the 
northern half of the island was rented and preserved for 
shooting by some Livornese. 

" A fine specimen of sub-alpine warbler (Sylvia 
subalpiua) picked up on deck dead. 

" The fishermen brought off a greater forkbeard 
{Pbycis blennoides), another fish which I take to be 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 233 

Pagellus erythrinus, some small murarite [^Murtena helena) 
and a curious fish of apparently the Cottus family. 
Later on they brought a basket full of small fishes, 
amongst which the most conspicuous were some brilliantly 
coloured little fishes, which I take to be the rainbow 
wrass {Coris julus), or a nearly allied species. Many 
small specimens of various species of the Labrus family 
were brought to us, and some blennies and other 
fishes. These fishermen spoke a Neapolitan jargon, which 
I found very difficult to understand, but they lied freely 
on many subjects. They had a few fragments of pink 
coral. 

"The gulls are breeding; the men brought off nine 
eggs in the evening. The doctor caught two small lizards 
(^Zootoca muralis, I think). The lighthouse men said that 
there are no rock doves on the island, that formerly there 
were many wild boars, now plenty of rabbits and many 
wild cats, and that red-legged and grey partridges come 
here in the winter ! ! that there are two pairs of ravens, 
and that the lessee has turned down some pheasants. 
There is no fresh water, except in tanks, on the island. 
The men set a trot, and caught some small conger ; a line 
was carried off by some fish from the vessel's side." 

" Birds seen : Falco peregrinus, of which T. shot a fine adult 
female as she was feeding on a rock on north side. We also saw 
the male bird. Upupa epops, Phamicuni ruticilla, Sylvia meiano- 
cephahi, Cypselus melba, C. apus, Cuculus canorus, Totanus hypakucus, 
Larus leucophceus, Tiirtiir communis, Linota cannabina, and other 
small birds not distinguished." 



234 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

GiGLIO 

'^ April 25///. Fine, bright morning, but a heavy south- 
westerly swell prevented our going round to the west 
side of the island to see the caves and grottoes. The 
men got some more gulls' eggs, and caught some of the 
fishes before mentioned in the trammel. The captain and 
the doctor landed and walked about the southern end of 
the island, but shot nothing, and only reported a solitary 
quail. T. and I loafed about the bay in the cutter ; 
saw a beautiful female peregrine. Went aboard again to 
luncheon, got up steam, and ran over to the little port 
of Giglio, a nook under high hills, where we fondly 
dreamed that, with this westerly swell, we might lie 
snugly ; but the swell came in from the south-east, and 
we had a very roily evening and night. Smart voung 
port officer reports no birds of any kind except on passage, 
but the boys in boats say that there are many rock doves 
in the cliffs close by, and probably know more than the 
official." 

San St e fa no 

" April 26th. Ran across to San Stefano, where we 
found an excellent harbour on the north side of Mount 
Argentario. There is very little said about this place in 
the Sailing Directions, but we could not have a better place 
with southerly winds. The town lies on a little bay on 
a slope of the mountain, with a good deal of cultivation 
about it, and iron mines and foundries not far off". 




Gki£i:nl.\nd Falcon. 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 235 

There is a tunny fishery just in front of the town ; we 
saw them haul their net once with no result, but in a 
subsequent haul they took three large tunnies {Scomber 
tliynnus) and a sword fish (^Xip/iias). In the afternoon 
we went off in steam launch with a view of trying to 
get into Lake Orbitello, but the entrance is barred with 
mullet traps ; so we coasted for a little way along the 
sandy strip which separates the lake from the bay, and 
then away as far as the heavy sea would let us towards 
the west under high cliffs." 

^^ April 27//;. Bright morning, but the glass very low 
and stormy, squally wind from south-west, with a very 
heavy sea running outside. Many shearwaters of both 
species scudding about the bay. T. shot three of the 
larger sort from on deck." 

Straits of Bonifacio. Maddalena 
" A/flj 1st. We crept round Razzoli with its light- 
house, past Santa Maria, Budella, Spargio, Spargiotto, into 
Maddalena roads off the town, and anchored about 
I p.m. These islands are very rocky and barren-looking, 
but the Sardinian coast is green and wild. We saw 
Garibaldi's house on Caprera. The strong east wind 
prevented any sort of pleasure. I went to the town, which 
seems clean and well-built. I find that the people decline 
to be considered as Sardes, but call themselves ' islanders,' 
and say that they are all of Genoese or Corsican 
extraction. 



236 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

" A few swallows [Hirundo rustica) came on board. 
Peck reported a quail flying past the vessel. A harrier 
(^Circus cineraceus, I think) was nearly blown foul of us 
off Razzoli. Saw no other birds except kestrel, one shag, 
gulls, shearwaters, and two terns. One old native seems 
to recognise my description of Audouin's gull." 

Maddalena 

'■'■May 2nd. Received a note from the man who keeps 
the cafe, and with whom I had a talk yesterday, that he 
had found an individual who knew the places for various- 
birds and the soundings, so we fetched off this Trojan, 
an old shipwright, and went away in steam launch to 
some small rocky islands in the channel which divides- 
Maddalena from Caprera, in front and rather to the 
north-west of Garibaldi's house. We did not do much» 
but the day came out fine and hot, and it was very 
enjoyable. We held away round the south-west end of 
Caprera to a small island which they call Porco, but found 
next to nothing. Came back through the channel between 
San Stefano and the mainland of Sardinia ; called at 
Parao, Sapari, and elsewhere. Heaps of charcoal and a 
fine spring of water." 

" Birds seen and heard : Falco peregrinus, Nisaetus boncUi, 
Pandion haiiaetiis, Cori'iis corax, Merops apiaster, Sylvia mehino- 
cephala, Troglodytes parvulus, Columha livia, Caccalns petrosa, Larus' 
kucophaus, Phalacrocorax graculus, Sterna fluviatilis. Our old Trojan 
seemed to know Audouin's gull by my description, and called it 
' Cirulia." " 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 237 

" Maddalena, Caprera, and the little islands which lie 
between and about them, seem to be entirely composed of 
granite, and to produce very little natural vegetation except 
macchia, i.e. low scrub. I think that the islands visited by 
us had been harried before, as we only found two nests of 
herring gull with hard-sat eggs, and on Porco all the shear- 
water's nests were empty. We found a {e.w rock pigeons 
and two of their nests without eggs. On coming on 
board we found that Goodridge, the first mate, had killed 
a fine Audouin's gull from the yacht's deck with a rifle 
ball at three hundred yards on the wing ! ! and that this 
is the ' ciruHa ' of our Trojan, who is a very decent old 
fellow and seems to tell the truth. The shag is abundant, 
and we shot several without any sign of a crest, and saw 
two white-bellied young birds which almost looked like 
products of this year. The osprey seems to be common, 
gulls not very abundant, and terns very few. Our Trojan 
said that Porco and some of the other small islands are 
so infested with enormous rats, which he calls ' pontici,' 
that it is unsafe to sleep there ! ! ! I am told that all the 
forests in the north of Sardinia have been, or are being, 
destroyed for charcoal, and that from that cause and the 
number of professional pot-hunters, who come from Italy, 
game both small and large is becoming very scarce." 

" May T^rd. I was called on deck by news of a ' red- 
billed gull' just before breakfast, and found a fine Audouin 
hovering under our stern, but having large shot in the 



238 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

small gun and the bird being near I managed to miss, 
or at all events, not to bag him. Some Neapolitan 
fishermen came alongside, with an enormous skate, 
a nurse hound {Squalus canicula), a large fish of the 
shark family, which I cannot make out, and some fine 
lobsters. We found a falcon's nest, with young, in a hole 
of the clifT near the south-west point of Maddalena, and 
saw one old and the young birds, but had not the means 
for a siege. Several rock doves, of which T. shot one, 
and as we lay off the rocks an Audouin's gull hovered over 
us and fell to T.'s gun. We saw another of these at a 
distance, an osprey devouring a fish on a big boulder stone, 
a Bonelli's eagle high in air, and a blue rock-thrush. After 
we came aboard another Audouin fell to T.'s gun over the 
stern. All these three specimens, although apparently in 
fully adult plumage, are somewhat smaller than those from 
Toro and Alboran, and the legs and feet are of a dusky 
olive green instead of dark lead colour, as in the former 
specimens. They are by no means abundant, but seem to 
be much less wary here than the herring gull. 

" We went away to the falcon's nest mentioned before, 
and then cruised ofT round a point on the mainland into 
the bay of Trana and back again, lunched in a little cove 
on eastern side of this point, where the telegraphic cable 
lands from Maddalena ; went away to a sandy beach at 
the head of Agincourt road, shoved the dinghy over the 
beach into a small river and proceeded as far as we could 
get up it, but were soon stopped by shallow water. This 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 239 

spot is known as Mezzo Sciffo. The banks of the stream 
are fringed with spike rushes, tamarisks, flags, reeds, and 
green scrub, and altogether it looks likely for wild-fowl, 
snipes, a woodcock or two, and perhaps a pig ; but it is 
crossed at a short distance from the sea by a bridge and 
carriageable road to Tempio." 

" May ^th. The falcon's nest was easily got at 
by our trusty climber going hand over hand up a rope 
lowered from above. It contained two fine young birds, 
male and female, which we took and sent on board. 
Found very few rock doves, and only shot two saw two 
Audouins in the bay of Trana, but could not bag them. 
At Mezzo Sciffo T. shot a purple heron, which looks 
like a bird of last year." 

"The birds new to our Maddalena list were: Circus mruginosus 
Emberiza miliaria, Turdus merula, Linota cannabina, Anas boscas, 
Ardea purpurea, and Gallinula Moropus." 

" May ^t/i. Saw several Alpine swifts hawking over 
the town. One Audouin's gull seen off San Stefano, 
from which island the goatherds brought off a nest of 
blue rock-thrush with five eggs in the evening. 

" The young falcons feed themselves ravenously " 

" A/ay 6(h. After luncheon, Peck, the captain, and I 
went away in steam launch with the old Trojan to the 
coast of Caprera, where the latter tried for conger, seeming 
to know every hole amongst the stones. He threw in 



240 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

some very fragrant little fishes as ground-bait, and let 
down a strong line and hook baited with a small sea 
perch. It was very amusing but not successful. 

" The San Stefano shepherds brought off two very 
young rock doves. Tracey shot another very fine 
Audouin from on deck. Saw Sterna cantiaca, Buteo 
vulgaris, Fringilla carduelis, and heard Emberiza cirlus." 

" Birds, new to list, shot on San Stefano : Melizophilus undatus, 
M. sarJus, Muscicapa lucfuosa. T. shot another Audouin from deck." 

'•'•May %th. Tracey shot another beautiful Audouin, ?, 
from deck." 

'■'•May nth. Very fine and warm; light air from 
north-east. We went away with steam launch for the 
Barretini islands, exploring several small islets on our 
way, without great result. 

" Boys brought me a nest with four young blue 
rock-thrushes. We found a good many rock doves, 
and took eight of their eggs from a small islet off 
the west side ot Maddalena, where common swifts 
were also breeding, but the only nest of this last 
species found was empty. On another islet we found 
several gulls' nests, with young, and eggs ready to hatch. 
Peck brought off an egg, remarbably small for L. 
leucop/ueus, but, as we did not see a single Audouin all 
day, I feel very doubtful about it. On the nearest 
Barretini island, which is high, were a great many 
herring gulls, some rock doves, and a raven, but the 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 241 

gulls' nests have been harried, and, as a party of Neapolitan 
fishermen were at the same game on the outer island, 
I did not think it worth while going to it. Almost every 
islet has its pair, or more, of blue rock-thrushes." 

'■'■May i2th. T. shot an Audouin off the coast of 
Caprera. We saw two or three more of these birds off 
the coast of Sardinia, but from their manners, and the 
eggs in the ovaries being very small, I fancy that they 
have not begun to lay yet. T. shot a fine raven on 
the island Capucini. We saw two or three ospreys, 
but nothing new to our list, except grey crow {Corvus 
comix), shot at head of the bay of Arraguena ; saw 
many common terns. Explored one or two nests of 
bee-eater,* without result. Peck caught a small snake, 
I believe C. viridoflavus. On Porco we found the nests 
of shearwater, empty ; some evidently destroyed by rats." 

Spargi and Spargiotto 

"■"^ May ij/Zz. Explored Spargi and Spargiotto. The 
eastern side of Spargi slopes to the sea, and ends on 
low, broken cliff and boulder stones, with here and 
there patches of white sandy beach. We found some 
ten or twelve pairs of Audouin's gulls on one of these 

* The Bee-eater {AL-rops apiaster). This brilliantly plumaged bird 
is familiar to those acquainted with the countries of the Mediterranean, 
as it flies about the gardens and fields hawking for flies, after the 
fashion of the swallow. It nests colonially, excavating burrows like 
those of the Sand Martin {Cotik riparia). 

16 



242 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

spots, and T. shot three of them, and might have shot 
more, hut I do not wish to exterminate them ; on being 
disturbed they flew a short distance, and settled on the 
water in a body- I heard for the first time here their 
cry, which is something like the anger note ot L. 
leucoph^us, but not so hoarse, and more plaintive. Our 
old Trojan and others landed and searched for eggs» 
but, although they found a few nests, one broken egg- 
shell was the only result. We cruised round the 
northern and western sides of Spargi, which are for 
the most part high and rocky ; saw a good many rock 
doves, of which T. shot one. We went ofF to Spargiotto, 
a small island about a mile to the west of Spargi, 
consisting of immense blocks of granite in the wildest 
confusion ; here were many rock doves and common 
buzzards and a pair of ravens, but we could not bag 
anything ; returned to western side of Spargi. Discovered 
a falcon's nest in an apparently almost inaccessible hole 
in high cliff; had an inefl^ectual chase after two young 
shags, which could not fly ; went back round northern 
end of Spargi ; lunched in a cove where there is some 
fresh water ; saw a raven pursued by two kestrels, and two 
or three ospreys, one of which carried a fish. We found 
the Audouins at the same spot, and T. shot one more. 
A further search only resulted in a few broken fragments 
of egg-shells ; the nests are evidently plundered as fast 
as the eggs are laid, either by rats, ravens, or pigs, of 
which there is a herd on the island." 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 243 

Maddalena 

" May I ^ih. T., Peck, and captain went off to 
Spargi for Audouin's eggs, but only found a few broken 
egg-shells, the ravens having been beforehand with them. 
We went after luncheon to the islands between Madda- 
lena and Caprera ; saw nothing except an osprey carrying 
large fish. The old Trojan shot another specimen of 
Sardinian warbler ; some Neapolitans brought a fine 
specimen of dusky perch (Serrafius gigas) weighing 
22 lbs. from Tavolara. Boy brought Passer salickolus 
alive. Trojan and captain brought two nests with eggs 
and several birds — Melizophilus sardus* also woodlark 
{Alauda arborea) — new to list." 

" May iGth. Saw several vultures {V. monachus and 
G. fulvus). The captain and the old Trojan went 
round the western end of San Stefano to inspect the 
bones of a whale which was cast ashore on the northern 
side of Maddalena and towed to this spot. Secured and 
brought off the two jaw-bones." 

" May 1 7//;. The captain went off before daylight 
to the haunts of Audouin on Spargi, but found nothing 
but broken egg-shells. The whale must have been a 
monster ; nothing now left but bone. Trojan shot several 
Melizophilus sardus and caught a young one alive, well 

* La Marmora's Warbler. See p. 253. 



244 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

feathered. Fishermen brought two bass, 1 1 lbs. and 
6i lbs." 

West Coast of Corsica. Sagona 

'■'■May \%th. We rounded Maddalena, found heavy- 
sea and fresh breeze ; held away through the straits, 
passed close to Bonifacio and crept along the western side 
of Corsica into a calm. Ran into the bay of Sagona and 
anchored in a sheltered nook at the head on north-east 
corner thereof in about eight fathoms. This coast of 
Corsica did not please my eye so much as the other, 
but it is full of bays, and clouds hid the mountain tops. 

" Saw a flock of white birds flying along the coast, 
which I believe to be Ardea garzetta." 

'■'■May \()th. A tired turtle-dove flew round us 
several times and tried to alight on our rigging." 



Ni 



CE 



" Ma'y 22nd. Louis Galle had many night herons 
{Nycticorax griseus), purple heron {Ardea purpurea), one 
little bittern {Ardetta minuta), one red-footed falcon {Falco 
vespertinus), several lesser grey shrike (Lanius minor), 
whiskered tern {Hydrochelidon fissipes), lately killed near 
Nice. He told me that last spring he had obtained 
a good specimen of the Caspian tern {Sterna caspia) 
here ; he had various reptiles, of which I bought a 
beautiful specimen alive of Coronella girundica. He had 



MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 245 

also Calopeltis lacertina, Lacerta ocellata, and L. viridis. 
I found that our turtle eats fish readily, which reminds 
me that Galle had a pure white turtle-dove {Turtur 
communis), a variety which I do not recollect to have 
before met with." 

***** 

Lord Lilford maintained to the last a devoted 
attachment to that land of his old delight, Spain, whose 
tongue he spoke like a pure-bred Castilian. You could 
touch him to enthusiasm in a moment by any reference to 
experience in his magic region of Andalucia. The editor's 
father had early ' entered ' his sons to Don Quixote, who 
was to him less a hero of the imagination than a living 
personality. So it chanced that years ago in Andalucia 
we had set ourselves to find a helmet as near as 
possible the counterpart of that the Don wore. It 
meant a long search,- because, although miniature basins 
of the same form still hang as signs outside the barbers' 
shops, the full-sized old brass basins have long given 
place to copies in crockery. At last in a rubbish shop 
in the purlieus of Granada the veritable thing was found — 
one of old red brass that took a polish like gold, and 
was all dinted over as though from the many encounters 
of the poor mad knight. 

It was a great delight to be able to send_ this to 
one who, on his travels, had been wont to keep a copy 
of the great book in his pocket, and knew it by heart, 
so to say, in the original text. 

t 



246 MEDITERRANEAN NOTES 

''June %th, 1895. 

" I delayed a reply to yours of 5th till the Jelmo 
de Mambrino should appear, and now I fear that you are 
off to Sweden. 

" The celebrated head-piece arrived this morning sin 
novedad, and I am sincerely obliged for this recuerdo de 
Espana, Cervantes, our Don, and many happy associations 
of days gone by." 



CHAPTER VII 

Tributes to Knowledge, Kindness, and 
Sympathies 

His own written words perhaps bring out more faithfully 
than any outside tribute could, what manner of man this 
naturalist was. 

And yet there are claims, the claim of long acquaint- 
ance really to know, of distinguished attainment fairly to 
judge, which cannot be disobeyed, but rather gratefully 
allowed. And more : happy as Lord Lilford would 
have been that what he wrote on birds should be 
put within the reach of any who shared his love for 
that study, a greater happiness would have been for 
him in this, namely, the appreciation of his lifelong 
work by men whose opinion he especially respected, 
as of himself by men whom the years had made 
him love. 

The following letters were written to the Hon. Mrs. 
Drewitt, sister to Lord Lilford, shortly after his 
death. 



248 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

From the Rev. H. B. Tristram, LL.D., D.D., 
F.R.S., Canon of Durham. 

Author of T/ie Fauna and Flora of Paleslhie, and many other 
works. 

" It is not an easy task to write my impressions of 
the character of your dear brother, because an outsider 
might set down much that I would wish to say of him 
as the result of personal friendship, and, therefore, 
exaggerated. But he was one whose amiability and 
goodness of character it would be impossible to exaggerate 
in the various aspects under which I knew him. 

" Our acquaintance began soon after his return from 
Tunis in 1858, and it very soon ripened into intimacy; 
for we had, as I soon found, far more subjects of 
common interest than merely our cognate tastes in natural 
history. In society, as a young man, I should say his 
marked characteristic was placid cheerfulness, and this, as 
you well know, was a marked feature to the last, and 
sustained him during years of constant suffering, such 
as it pleases God to visit very few men with. I 
remember a mutual friend, who was not a Christian in 
any real sense, remarking to me : ' What a wonderful 
religious faith Lilford must have, to be so cheerful 
under his sufferings ! I am sure I could not stand them 
without feeling resentment against Providence.' 

" His faith was childlike, and his whole demeanour 
proved it. He was so pure and reverent in thought 
and word. No one in his presence ever dared an 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 249 

irreverent or profane jest or innuendo, and this not 
because he would have lectured or even rebuked him. 
It was simply the reverent purity of his presence, if I 
may so speak. 

"Then, in his intercourse with the humblest of his 
social inferiors, he was unaffected and simple, without 
being patronising, and won not only their respect, but 
their aiFection. I remember his noticing a sickly- 
looking young woman, who used to work in Porter's 
bookbinding shop, and being told that it was a case of 
incipient consumption, unasked, he paid for her voyage 
to Australia, which, I believe, restored her to health. 
This is only one instance of many ; yet, with an utter 
absence of hauteur, no one could ever take a liberty 
with him. 

"As a naturalist, he was a typical field naturalist. 
His powers of observation were great. Nothing ever 
escaped him, however minute, in the habits and ways of 
animals, especially of birds, and he could describe them. 
He exemplified his favourite saying, that, in spite of all 
that has been written, accurate personal observation will 
always be of infinite value. 

" He modestly deprecated the idea of his being a 
scientific naturalist, but he was really far more so than 
he would allow, though his love for nature was far too 
fresh to allow him to enter into the wrangles about 
nomenclature and such dry-as-dust topics, by which 
many try to bring themselves into notice. But for all 



2 50 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

that, no man had a clearer or more satisfactory grasp 
of the principles of classification, though he never 
wrote on structural anatomy. He would say that writing 
a full account of the human skeleton was not writing a 
history of man. That is, the history of the living man, 
his habits, ideas, mode of life, art, and family relations ; 
and so it should be with the history of lower creatures. 
I can only add that my friendship with him was one 
of the happiest episodes of a happy life." 

From Albert Gunther, M.A., F.R.S., -M.D., Ph.D., 
President of the Linnean Society. 

Late Keeper of the Zoological Department, British Museum of Natural 

History. 

" From the first day of our acquaintance Lord Lilford 
exercised upon me the same power of attraction which 
has been felt by all who had the good fortune of coming 
into contact with him. His handsome, open, and intel- 
lectual face, animated by cheerful conversation, gave you 
the impression of a thoroughly sincere character, with 
whom one could be at ease from the first moment, and 
to whom one could open one's thoughts without reserve. 
Devotion to sport and love for nature were common to 
both of us. As to the former, and as to all matters 
referring to birds, he was my master, and he found in 
me a ready pupil ; in other zoological subjects I was able 
to give him some assistance in return. From his travels 
in the South of Europe he brought back with him a keen 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 251 

interest in every kind of European mammal and reptile. 
As to fishes, he restricted his interest to those found in 
his own river. 

" Within the first hour of my first visit to Lilford 
(how well do I recollect that glorious day in July !) we 
were exploring the uppermost accessible parts of the 
house in search of bats ; and the early morning of the 
next day (about 2 a.m.) found us on the river trying for 
bream, which never would bite, giving us ample leisure 
for discussion of their curious habits. In conversation, 
whilst he was apparently searching for instruction, he 
imparted from his rich store of knowledge most valuable 
information, inasmuch as he never made any statement 
which was not based upon, or confirmed by, his own 
observation. I never knew a more accurate or more 
reliable observer ; and as he devoted almost the whole of 
his life to the study of nature, he knew some parts of it 
to perfection. He often would say that he was not a 
scientific naturalist. This was true in that sense, that 
he cared comparatively little about branches beyond his 
own special field of study, that he never made himself 
acquainted with the internal structure of animals, their 
classification, or with technicalities of zoology. But if 
the accurate and systematic observation of the habits of 
animals, if searching for the facts in nature without 
entering the mazy ways of hypothesis or imagination, 
may be called science, he could claim the title of scientific 
Jiaturalist with any other in the land. Often, when he 



252 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

was engaged in the examination of specimens, I had the 
opportunity of admiring his power of discrimination, as 
well as his judgment in appreciating real or so-called 
specific characters. His long experience and intimate 
acquaintance with living animals gave him immense 
advantages in forming a sound opinion on doubtful 
questions, or in the identification ot museum specimens. 
His caution in delivering an opinion on subjects not 
studied by himself was remarkable, and may be an example 
to many a ' scientific ornithologist.' Thus also in his 
writings he invariably distinguishes his own observations 
from information received by him from other sources. 

" His amiable nature made him friends in every grade 
of society ; and he seemed to be particularly attached to 
those who were in sympathy with his love of nature. 
In my own recollection I never saw him so happy as 
when he started in the morning for the day's shooting, 
in company with his old friends, or when, in the evening, 
he could smoke with them his after-dinner pipe and 'talk 
shop.' A fluent conversationalist, never at a loss for the 
most appropriate expression, it was a pleasure to listen 
to him, especially as he blended his conversation with 
touches of exquisite humour. As he talked, so he wrote. 
He was the most punctual correspondent ; to every letter 
addressed to him, even to such as required no reply, the 
next post brought one in response. To those whom he 
reckoned among his friends, he gave his love unstintedly ; 
he wanted to know all about their life, and shared their 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 253 

joys as well as their sorrows. Nothing touched him 
more unpleasantly than any disagreement between them. 

" He is gone now ; but whoever had the happiness 
of knowing him intimately, will retain in his heart a 
corner for his loving memory ; and when the present 
generation has passed away, the monuments which he has 
built for himself, by his works, will last for ever." 

From Henry Dresser, F.Z.S., F.L.S., etc. 

Author of The Bh'ds of Europe. 

" I have looked over your late brother's published 
notes on European (chiefly Mediterranean) Ornithology, 
and though there are very many most interesting notes, 
there is nothing of great novelty recorded. His best 
find was, I think, that of Larus audouini which he found 
breeding on Vacca {^Ibis, 1875, p. 31), and he also 
recorded it from Corfu {^Ibis, i860, p. 356). He also 
found Marmora's warbler {Melezophilus sardus) nesting on 
Spargi {Ibis, 1887, p. 282), which is worthy of noticing, 
as these are the only authentic eggs I know. Also he 
first recorded Sylvia melanothorax from Cyprus, and 
procured a new titmouse {Tarus Cypriotes) there, through 
his collectors, and I described and exhibited this bird for- 
him, as he could not come to town to do so. Also he 
was the only person who has obtained Numenius hudsonicus 
(an American whimbrel) in Spain {Ibis., 1873, P- 98)- 

" You will, I fear, find no record respecting the many 
kind actions your late brother so often did, as he was 



254 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

one who carefully avoided all allusion to any good he 
did, and I believe destroyed all letters on the subject, 
but those who knew him well were cognisant of very 
many kindly and generous actions. I need onlv name 
one that concerned myself. When I undertook the 
publication of the Birds of Europe, I was rather troubled 
about ways and means, for had it proved a failure, 
it would have entailed a heavy loss on me. I talked 
matters over with him, and he encouraged me to go 
on, assuring me that my friends would stand by me. 
Later on he made me a formal offer to lend me money, 
should I need it, adding that if it were lost I should not 
be called on to refund it, and that it was not to bear 
any interest in any case. I promised that, should I ever 
need it, I would avail myself of his offer, but determined 
not to do so unless hard pressed, and I am thankful to 
say that I managed without having to come to him for 
assistance ; though, at the same time, I felt, and 
still feel, as grateful as if I had borrowed the money. 
I do not find any letters on the subject, and doubtless 
have destroyed them. I find one letter, however, written 
February 23rd, 1870 (a year before the publication was 
commenced), in which he says : ' I would offer, if not 
interfering with vour plans, to share some ot the expenses 
of publication, plates, etc. If you accept my offer, I 
should not for an instant think of interfering with your 
ideas on the management or form of the publication, or 
be in any way offended or hurt if you decline my offer.' " 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 255 

From The Rev. Murray Matthew. 
Author of the Birds of Somerset, etc. 

" It would be impossible for any one, who had for a 
long time enjoyed the privilege of correspondence with 
the late Lord Lilford, not to have formed a very 
sincere regard for him, as his kindness and goodness were 
as plainly revealed in his letters, as his high attain- 
ments in the natural history subjects, with which they 
were chiefly concerned. His consideration for his depend- 
ants ; for the poor people upon his estates ; his anxiety 
to administer his church patronage as a sacred trust ; 
his impatience of modern politics ; his readiness and 
courtesy to impart information ; his liberality in helping 
students with specimens from his aviaries and large 
collections ; his general sympathy in all that befell his 
friends and correspondents : all these are matters which 
were brought out in the course of his letters, which 
may be truly stated to have been such clear exponents of 
his character that his views beforehand on any question 
brought before him could be surely anticipated. He was 
so real and thorough himself that he had a hearty 
impatience of all shams. I believe he only once addressed 
the House of Lords, and that was to support a Bill for 
the protection of his favourites during the nesting season, 
when he was gratified by receiving Lord Beaconsfield's 
approval of the manner in which he had stated his case. 
It must also be added that he possessed a great sense 
of humour, and enjoyed nothing better than hearing or 



256 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

receiving a good story, and in repeating it. Anything 
bearing upon folk-lore ; any quaint sayings of the 
peasantry, especially from the west country, were very 
dear to him ; as was also anything illustrating the doings 
or history of the gypsies, in whom he had become 
deeply interested while travelling in Spain. A spirit of 
cheerfulness, with a determination to make the best of 
everything, is also apparent in his letters. His long illness 
and infirmity were patiently and bravely borne, and 
while conscious of ail that had been taken from him, 
and not without natural regret for power to enjoy once 
more the old days of sport and travel, he often expressed 
his gratitude for the mercies that were still left." 

As is needless to say. Lord Lilford was ready to 
throw his influence on the side of any cause having for 
its motive the protection of the birds. But he did this 
wisely, carefully and seriously, always with an eye, not 
alone to what was possible, but to what was tor the best. 
He was statesman to the birds. No one knew better than 
he that you may defend a good cause badly, as you may 
defend a bad cause well. He knew that over-statement 
was bad defence ; that to insist with the sentimentalists 
that certain given birds, which do an immense amount of 
good, do no harm, was as bad in policy as untrue in fact. 

How clear he was in his own mind that the Egg Act 
was unwisely framed, and his reasons for thinking so, the 
following remarks show ; — 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 257 

''May yd, 1895. 
" I think the Egg Act is foolishness as a whole. The 
only possible good that it may do is in places to which 
the public have free access — e.g., the New Forest and the 
breeding-places of terns, etc., on the coasts. The im- 
possibility of conscientiously swearing to the identity of 
any egg ofF which you do not see the bird fly is an 
insuperable obstacle to protecting species by name, and the 
only way in which the Act might work efficiently is by 
fixing a close season for all eggs in certain places." ' 

"January 24///, 1895. 
" I most heartily congratulate you on the success of 
your efforts with the County Council for the protection 
of the eggs of kite, buzzard, all owls, kestrel, and 
butcher-bird. The other birds do not, in my opinion, 
require legal protection ; and I fear that if the applica- 
tion, so far as regards them, is granted, it may lead to 
endless vexatious prosecution and litigation, as no sane 
man ought to swear to any egg off which he did not 
personally see the parent bird fly ; and if your magistrates 
are (as a body) capable of distinguishing between the egg 
of a sparrow and that of a wagtail, I can only say that 
they are more learned than nine-tenths of their brethren. 
However, the intention is excellent, and all honour to 
you and Mr. Cobb." - 

1 To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 
* To E. Cambridge Phillips, Esq. 

17 



258 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

On the protection of terns on our coast, he writes as 
follows : — 

" May \2th, 1892. 
"I quite sympathise in your indignation at the de- 
struction and harassing of the terns on the Suffolk coast, 
but I fear that it is all but impossible to stop it, as I 
presume that even the owner or lessee of the land cannot 
warn people off the foreshores, and our legislators have 
repeatedly declined to protect any eggs but those of game 

birds. I am not personally acquainted with Lord R , 

and before writing to him should like to have your 
permission to send your letter to him, as I cannot speak 
on my own experience with regard to this lamentable 
state of affairs." ^ 

" May \6th., 1892. 
" As perhaps you know, the Fame Islands Bird Pro- 
tection Association has done infinite good, and I cannot 
see why similar local associations should not be formed, 
as they might be, at a very small expense, and work 
most beneficially in the interest of breeding, and often, of 
now uncommon birds. At the Fame Islands the expense 
isj of course, much heavier than it need be on a mainland 
locality, as we have to pay the wages of several boatmen 
and watchers, and for the maintenance of boats in good 
repair, etc. In Scilly the Lord-Lieutenant is absolute, 
and can permit or forbid whatever he likes, as we land- 

1 To G. Hope, Esq. 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 259 

owners are still permitted to do (in the unconfiscated parts 
of our possessions) with regard to feathered fowl."^ 

''June ^rJ, 1892. 

" 1 would not altogether prohibit the taking of eggs ; 
it should be done under expert supervision, as is done on 
many peewit breeding-places, to the material increase ot 
healthy birds." - 

"May 24M. 

" I am glad to find that Lord R appears to be 

quite inclined to protect the terns as far as possible ; with 
regard to his legal rights, I suggested to him, in my reply, 
the formation of a local association for the protection of 
these terns during the breeding season, adding that should 
such an association be formed, I would gladly contribute 
j^5 annually to its funds.* But what is urgently needed 
in these special cases is an extension of the close time. 
There is no season for killing terns at all, but I do not 
think that even the all-powerful ' Arry ' could effectually 
resist local extensions of close time if the inhabitants of 
the localities supported them with vigour. Judicious egg- 
taking really does little, if any harm to well-stocked bird 
colonies ; but it is the indiscriminate slaughter of the 

1 To G. Hope, Esq. 

2 To the same. 

* In reference to this correspondence Mr. Hope writes : (July 
i4tk, 1896), "His aid and suggestions in 1892, though perhaps 
not recognised, certainly helped to sow the seeds of which the present 
societies on our East coast are the outcome." 



26o TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

birds in August for sport, hats, and feminine folly, that 
plays the mischief with our coast-breeding birds. Since 
the Fame Islands Association has been started, a certain 
number of eggs, the first layings of various species, are 
taken and sold for the benefit of the boatmen and fisher- 
men, with manifest advantage to the birds, who, if allowed 
to increase without any check, would overcrowd the 
islands, and, in all probability, degenerate in strength and 
beauty." ' 

Himself President of the Northampton Field Natu- 
ralists' Club, he encouraged and helped such local work 
wherever centralised. He was invariably patient and kind 
to ignorance, knowing well that men's leisure and oppor- 
tunities are unequal. Get a love of nature into the heart 
of the people, he would have said, and knowledge will 
come in its turn. None the less, with his keen sense of 
humour, an incident such as that described in the following 
delightful letter would amuse him immensely : — 

^'July -^th, 1895. 
" A small fruiterer at Peterborough wrote to me 
saying that he had shot a strange hawk, and found on 
enquiring from a friend that it was a ' humming 
buzzard'* {sic\ and that I was an ammature oi birds, 
so that he was sending to me. The bird arrived in due 

1 To G. Hope, Esq. 

* The Honey Buzzard {Fernis apivorus) is a migratory bird of 
prey, now exceedingly rare as a nesting species in this country. 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 261 

course, and proved to be a splendid adult peregrine, 
but the point of the story lies in the fact that the person 
who declared it to be a ' humming buzzard ' is one of 

the Hon. Secretaries of the Natural History and 

Scientific Society ! " ^ 

While Lord Lilford fully recognised the interest 
and importance to a naturalist of being able personally 
to collect specimens necessary for his own study, or for 
national collections, no man, as we have seen, was ever 
more opposed to wanton and senseless destruction. 

Further, he felt most bitterly about the wholesale 
traffic in eggs of birds at the hands of traders, as a 
commercial speculation, and steadily refused to have 
anything to do with such persons. Nor could he under- 
stand that spirit of possession or vulgar rivalry which 
prompts men to stick at nothing, so that they get a 
larger series than others have, of eggs taken in Britain, 
or of rare British birds ; or the same kind of practice 
elsewhere. It is asking too much of human nature, 
to expect that under these circumstances a dealer will 
not be found to meet the demand. For example, a 
naturalist having recorded the extremely interesting 
establishment of the cream-coloured courser in the 
Canarian island Fuertaventura, a certain chymist set to 
work to sweep the island clear of their eggs. Hence 
the following : — 

1 To E. Cambridge Phillips, Esq. 



^6^ TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

"July ird, 1889. 
" I had heard of the horrible raid upon the coursers' 
eggs in Fuertaveiitura. Their coming over in such numbers 
to breed there, is sufficiently remarkable. I wish that you 
would show up this robbery in the FieldT ^ 

''August idth, 1889. 

" I understand that no one will look at G 's skins 

or eggs at the prices marked on his list, and I confess 
that I shall not be sorry if the results of this expedition 
sicken him of devastating the island of their peculiar and 
very interesting denizens." ° 

"September i^th, 1891. 

" I enclose a copy of R G 's letter to D — ; 

the latter gave me permission to make what use of it 
I might think proper, but although I was very naturally 
indignant at the time, I am now doubtful as to the 
advisability of calling public attention to the matter, as no 
one can put a stop to this horrible trade, except the 
Spanish officials, and they probably are of opinion that 
mas vale diner qua palabra de caballero.* " ^ 

It is refreshing to speculate upon the number of egg- 
buyers taken in by such a swindle as the following : — 

' To E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, Esq. 

' To the same. ^ To the same. 

* Money is worth more than a gentleman's word. 



KINDNESS AND SYMPATHIES 263 

'■^ March 22rd, 1892. 
" I was with Edward Verreaux (egg dealer) in Paris 
when there arrived a large consignment of skins and 
eggs from South Russia. I was asked to assist at the 
unpacking of the two cases. There was no list or invoice 
of any kind. The first box contained perhaps two 
hundred eggs, or I should say perhaps fifty or sixty 
species beautifully packed, and with the names of the 
species in Russian, written on each egg ; no date, no 
locality. A big note-book was produced, and the two 
brothers proceeded to separate and name the eggs in the 
book, as it seemed to me, purely as fancy dictated. I 
was consulted now and then, and prevented some eggs 
of little bustard being put down to a gull {Larus 
melanocephalus), but I held my tongue, except when 
questioned, and a lot of eggs of redshank were named 
and priced in the book as a rare plover's. Some eggs 
of a crane {Grus virgo) did duty for those of an eagle 
(Jquiia imperialis) ; eggs of H. nigra, the black tern, 
and probably H. leucopterus, were lumped into those of 
a pratincole, and all labelled as belonging to this last 
species. Four white eggs that I have no doubt were laid 
by the eagle owl {Bubo maximus) went down in the list 
as those of the black stork (Ciconia nigra), and so on 
ad infiiiitum* The naive way in which the brothers 
confessed their entire ignorance, and shot at probabilities, 

* This is further supported l)y Mr. Dresser out of his own 
experience. 



264 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

was most amusing, and gave me a lesson about buying 
eggs that I have never forgotten. I feel convinced 
that both the brothers were honestly dealing according 
to their lights, which were certainly very dim, in the 
matter of oology, and theirs was the leading zoological 
business in Paris at the time, 1862."^ 

Any report of the wanton killing of breeding birds 
invariably aroused his indignation. Thus he writes to an 
old friend and schoolfellow : — 

"March i,th, 1890. 
" I have read poor Rudolph of Austria's book (the 
late Crown Prince). I had some correspondence with 
him, and met him at Valencia, where he was most 
especially civil and friendly to me, and my darling eldest 
boy, who is gone ; the book is very interesting, and 
most characteristic of the eager, impetuous boy who wrote 
it. The slaughter of breeding birds is simply disgusting, 
and only to be excused by the youth of the writer, and 
the cold-blooded brutality of his ornithological guide and 
counsellor B . His notes on Spain are faulty." - 

The ladies' fashion of wearing feathers in their hats, 
a fashion sometimes involving most barbarous cruelty 
to nesting birds, enlisted all Lord Lilford's chivalrous 

' To the Rev. Murwy Matthew. 
* Colonel H. Barclay. 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 265 

indignation, and he did all he could to further the good 
efforts of the Society for the Protection of Birds. Thus 
he writes to the Secretary of that Society : — 

''July 20tk, 1895. 

" You must permit me to applaud and thank you for 
your energetic action with regard to the dealers, and I 
devoutly hope that it may be crowned with the success 
that it so fully deserves. I am convinced that the whole 
mischief arises from apathy and ignorance, and it is 
extremely difficult to arouse the public mind against a 
long-established barbarity, that does not come immediately 
under their eyes. I mean that I believe that many 
plumiferous ladies would shrink from wearing robins', 
swallows', and other common British birds' skins or 
feathers, who would never give a thought to wearing 
bright plumage of birds with which they have no personal 
acquaintance. People read the articles and letters of 
protest in the newspapers, exclaim : ' How shocking ! ' 
and forget all about it. If we could only stop the 
demand, the supply would soon fall off ; but in the 
meantime, it seems that the supply must fail from the 
extinction of the birds themselves. Personally I think 
that this is a subject that calls for state legislation, much 
more than the egg-stealing at home. This last offence 
may very well be stopped by private landowners and 
occupiers who will take the trouble to think, and by 
law in public places. 



266 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

" Whatever may be the event, you are fighting a 
gallant fight." ' 

And again : 

"December 2(ttk, 1891. 

" I beg to wish you many happy New Years for 
yourself and all who are dear to you, not forgetting 
our friends, the birds, for whom you are making such 
a gallant effort. I am quite certain that the only reason 
that you do not enlist more actual members is simply 
idleness and want of interest, certainly not want of 
sympathy in your object ; that you are gaining ground, 
however, I happen to know as a fact. I am sending 
you a duplicate copy of my Coloured Figures, in which 
you will see, under the head of great white heron and 
common tern, that I am doing all in my power for your 
society. I think, in this country, some of our sea-birds 
— gulls, terns, and diving birds of various species — 
suffered more than others from the feather fashion, but 
it has played havoc all the world over."- 

He would have had all the world take as great an 
interest in natural history as himself, and always offered 
the most kind and generous encouragement to those 
who were trying to popularise it. Nowhere is this 
better shown than in the following letters : — 

^ To Mrs. Lemon, Hon. Sec. to the Society for the Protection 
of Birds. 

■ To Mrs. Phillips. 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 267 

"January c,tk, 1895. 

" This part of Northamptonshire is decidedly rich 
in birds, for an inland locality, as you will believe 
when I tell you that a clergyman, and first-class ornitho- 
logist, at a few miles distance told me that last May 
he had one hundred and fifty-six nests of twenty-four 
species in the curtilage of his vicarage, without counting 
those of house-sparrow, but including a rookery of some 
fifty nests. It will be a real pleasure to me if I can 
give you any information about any special points in 
zoology, but I must tell you that for the last nine years 
I have been entirely crippled, and confined to a wheeled 
chair, and therefore almost debarred from personal out- 
door observation. I have loved and studied birds and 
beasts since I was a child, alas ! some sixty years ago, 
and have a fine collection of living animals here that I 
should have great delight in showing to you." ' 

"February ^rd, 1895. 

" Pray do not allow any want of scientific knowledge 
to deter you from continuing your charming writings 
on natural history. We have a cockatoo here, that I 
bought at Father Jamrach's in April 1867 ; he is of a 
rare species, the great blue-eyed cockatoo of the Solomon 
Islands. When I first had him he was delightfully tame 
and quiet, but on coming home, after three months in 
Spain, I found him savage, wild, and intolerably noisy, 

^ To Mrs. Ovren Visger, Editor of A Son of the Marshes. 



268 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

and in 1868 gave him to an old ladv in the neigh- 
bourhood, who loved and cherished him as a joy for 
ever, till her death, last year, when the bird was sent 
back to me by the executors, and now rejoices the heart 
of our housekeeper. I read your papers in Cornhill with 
delight, and should like to look at them again." ^ 

"■February i^th, 1895. 
"I have had an interesting present from a bird- 
stuffer at Northampton, in the shape of a living bullfinch, 
jet black, a very cheery little person, full of importance, 
and singing his natural notes all day long. I have seen 
many a so-called ' black ' bullfinch, but they were all 
simply dark-coloured, sooty, or dingy red brown, but 
this one is absolutely as black as good coal, without a 
feather of any other tint." " 

"January ^ist, 1895. 
" I only write to thank you greatly for your little 
book just received, in which I have no doubt of finding 
very great interest. We have intense cold, and the 
poor birds are having a real bad time. The following 
species crowd for our scraps on the terrace beneath our 
windows : rook, jackdaw, starling, blackbird, song thrush, 
missel thrush, robin, hedge-sparrow, nuthatch, chaffinch 
sparrow, great tit, coal tit, marsh tit, and partridge." ° 

' To Mrs. Owen Visger. 
' To the same. 
' To the same. 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 269 

We leave this chapter with the following delightful 
letter : — 



" April iT,th, 1895. 

" When I was a small boy, my grandfather. Lord 
Holland, sent me word from Holland House, that he 
had a live curiosity to show me. I went off at once 
and found that one of the gardeners had caught a genuine 
green lizard (^Lacej'ta viridis), on a wall in the garden. As 
this is not a British species, it had probably escaped, but 
it was a lovely animal ; I had never seen one before, and 
was most bitterly disappointed when my mother declined 
to let me carry it off in a bandbox. 

" I used to be a great deal at Little Holland House, 
where my mother's aunt. Miss Fox, lived. There was 
a delightful garden, full of birds, attached to this 
charming, old-fashioned cottage, and as my ' Little 
Aunty,' as we called her, was the personification of 
kindness and good sense, with a great love of Nature, 
and (for the date) a good collection of bird books, a stay 
at Little Holland House was a pure delight to me. 

" I may say much the same of St. Anne's, near 
Chertsey, which has now come into my hands, and where 
I well remember seeing Mrs. Fox — widow of Charles 
James. There I first made the acquaintance, not only 
of the night-jar, but also of the ' Ingenioso Hidalgo, 
Don Quijote de la Mancha,' who has been my delight 
and constant companion ever since, and first inspired me 



2 70 TRIBUTES TO KNOWLEDGE, 

with the passion for the things of Spain that still burns 
brightly. I can never ' mind ' anything that you write, 
and about keeping birds in confinement, I have only 
gone in for a large and serious collection since I became 
crippled, and therefore could not see birds elsewhere 
than at home." ^ 

No one has better reason than the Editor gratefully 
to remember that spirit of generosity so characteristic 
of Lord Lilford to which Mr. Dresser refers. 

In 1893 -we were contemplating a voyage of 
exploration to the Island of Kolguev in Barents Sea, 
which, as an untouched land, promised great results in 
ornithology. As the island had never yet been visited 
by an Englishman it was necessary to make a preliminary 
voyage with the object of trying to obtain some infor- 
mation from the sealers and fishermen of the Arctic 
littoral. This we did that summer. On our return 
we wrote our experiences to Lord Liltord, who makes 
the following reference in his letter of reply : — 

"/u/y 4/A, 1S92. 

"It is really most obliging of you to send me the 
report about Kolguev. It is all quite new to me, and 
if I was not infirm, and still had the old Glowjjorm, 
I think that I should fit out at once for a visit to this 
'island of the blessed' (^birds)." 

1 To Mrs. Owen Visger. 



KINDNESS, AND SYMPATHIES 271 

Later on Lord Lilford wrote to suggest that his 
nephew, Mr. Mervyn Powys, should also go, adding : — 

" I share your ignorance of the probable cost of char- 
tering a small steamer per month, but whatever it may 
come to, I would pay half the total sum for as long as 
you care to hire her." An offer he more than made 
good. 

A later post brought a letter in which he writes : 

"Jan. 2e,th, 1894. 

" I am writing to make enquiries about my old 
yacht, the ss. Glowworm, which was originally built ex- 
pressly for a trip to Spitsbergen. I do not know her 
present owner, but a great friend of his is an old friend 
and remote connection of mine." 

The Glowworm was not available, so another yacht, 
the s.y. Saxon, was obtained, and made the voyage well. 



APPENDIX 1 

The notes which follow are taken from Lord Lilford's 
everyday book on the events of his aviaries. We have put 
it in as an Appendix, simply from the consideration that it 
may not be so interesting for the general reader as other 
parts of the book. Its interest for all keepers of a living 
collection is of course beyond question. 

LILFORD AVIARY AND LIVING COLLECTION 
NOTES, 1893. 

January \st. "Grip" the English raven rolls and enjoys 
himself in the snow. 

January i,th. Great black-backed gull in, I should say, plumage 
of third year, received from C. F. Dyer of Ramsgate, in exchange 
for couple of mallards. 

January 6th. Two horned owls, that I believe to be Bubo 
macu/osiis, received from Jamrach, who avows positively that they 
came to him direct from Natal. 

January \ot/i. Grey-headed green woodpecker {Gednus canus) 
and one of the large northern race of pied woodpecker {Ficus cissa) 
received from Jamrach, who declares that both these birds came 
to him from Siberia. 

Chestnut winged grakle {AmyJrus tristrami) received from 
Zoological Gardens. This bird is the survivor of two landed at 
Southampton last month for me, and procured through the kind 

offices of Miss N R by one Dauod Jamal of Jerusalem, 

from the monastery of Mar Saba not far from Bethlehem. These 



APPENDIX I 273 

birds were sent in most miserable condition, emaciated and un- 
speakably filthy, from Southampton to the care of A. D. Bartlett 
at the Zoological Gardens ; one died in a few days and was sent 
to me, cleaned here by W. Edwards and presented to Alfred 
Newton. By dint of unceasing and skilful care Bartlett has managed 
to restore the survivor to excellent health. I believe it to be a 
female ; it is an active and lively bird, constantly uttering a somewhat 
tedious, but not unmusical, whistle, of three or four notes, and 
occasionally a harsh grating chide. Its tail and primaries are a 
good deal broken, but it is otherwise in fair plumage. It feeds 
well upon various soft food, and is very fond of beetles. I believe 
that this is the only one of its species now alive in Europe. 

January 12th. Waxwing {Ampelis garruliis). Very poor, ragged 
specimen, received from Jamrach. This is the first of the species 
that I have received alive for some time, but I have refused several 
offers, as, though the birds are beautiful, they are gluttonous, stupid, 
and filthy in habits, and seldom live long in cages. 

January 13M. Tiger bittern {Tigrisoma tigrinum) received from 
W. Cross of Liverpool. This bird, in ragged plumage, was so weak 
when it first arrived that it was unable to stand, but under 
Cosgrave's care soon recovered, and is evidently a young bird that 
has been reared from the nest by hand. Cosgrave tells me that 
it is fond of being noticed and handled, a very exceptional trait in 
my experience in birds of this family. 

Goliath heron [Ardea goliath) received from W. Cross of 
Liverpool. A very fine young bird from South Africa. We put 
it with another of same species that I have had here for some 
months, but we soon had to separate them as they fought 
viciously, 

The latter bird lived and did well in the courtyard during the 
summer and early autumn, and lived on fairly amicable terms with 
two young bearded vultures {Gypaetus barbatus), who although 
they were at perfect liberty, and acquired the full use of their 
wings, kept about this particular division, into which they were 
put on their first arrival before they could fly. 

The giant heron never became tame, but on being stirred up or 

18 



2 74 APPENDIX 1 

approached by man, would throw up the undigested portion of its 
last meal of flesh or fish, which was immediately devoured by the 
vultures. 

Common heron {Ardea cinerea) from South Africa (?), received on 
approval from Cross and returned. 

January i6th. Manchurian crane (Grus viridirostris), one of 
several that have been here for some years, which had been ailing 
for some months,' died, and was sent by express desire to Bowdler 
Sharpe, of South Kensington Museum. 

I find these most beautiful birds as a rule hardy, and amongst 
the most tame of the family, of which I possess every known 
species, except the wattled crane {Grus caruuculatui), alive. 

Grey eagle owl {Bubo cineraccus) that had lived here for more 
than twenty years, purchased from Jamrach, died. 

January 20th. An Indian bulbul {Fycnonotus jocosus) died, 
apparently of old age. 

La Marmora's falcon {Falco ekonora) died of frounce. This bird, 
perfect in plumage, and by far the most beautiful of many of its 
species that I have kept alive here, was bought last year of William 
Blake of Ross, Herefordshire, through an advertisement in the 
Bazaar, sent to me by Lieut.-Colonel E. Butler. It had been 
obtained two years ago by the present vendor from a London 
dealer, and in all probability came originally from Morocco. 

Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes). Four received from Castang. 

January 2^th. Marbled duck [Anas angusiirostris) died. This 
is the second that I have lost out of a consignment from Andalucia 
received in the summer of 1892 — the first of their species, as I 
have reason to believe, that have ever reached this country alive. 
The species is, however, common enough as a summer visitor to 
the marisma of the Guadalquivir, where it breeds, and was more 
than usually abundant in 1892, after the subsidence of the great 
floods of January and February. 

January 26th. Hen harrier {Circus cyancus) received from W. 
Blake, of Ross. The vendor informs me that this bird, which is 



APPENDIX 1 275 

half moulted and in very ragged plumage, was taken from a nest in 
Sutherland last summer. 

White cygnet {Cvgnus olor) sent as a present from me to L 

S . This bird, a very fine male, was presented to me by the 

authorities of St. John's College, Cambridge, where for many years 
(as I am informed by Alfred Newton) a pair of common swans have 
produced broods, of which one is always pure white after losing the 
down. 

lamiary 2'jth. Little bustard S {0/is tetrax) brought in dead. 
This bird, the only one that I have received alive for many years, 
was sent to me as a present by H. Shorland, of La Fontaine, near 
Tours, last autumn, and was, I believe, captured in that neighbourhood. 

Boobook owl (Ninox boobooK) received from Jamrach. 

Cayenne lapwing ( Vanellus cayennensis) received from W. Cross. 
This is the first of the species that I have ever bought ; it is in 
ragged plumage, but appears to be healthy, and is very tame. 

Tiger bittern (Tigrisoma tigrintim) received from W. Cross. An 
older bird than that previously recorded, very ragged and savage. 

January 30M. Pied woodpecker from Russia, brought in dead. 

White-necked crane {Grus kucauchen) died. This bird, which has 
long been ailing, was one of three obtained from London dealers 
about three years ago. My idea is that unless these birds pair or 
mate (as my other two of this species undoubtedly have done) when 
they reach maturity, they gradually droop and die. 

February \st. Hen-harrier (Circus cyatieus), in very bad feather 
and much bruised. This bird was said to have been received from 
Holland by vendor. 

February yd. Cereopsis geese {Cereopsis novtt-hellandia) nesting 
in courtyard (Jide Cosgrave). Those birds, purchased from Ed. 
Marshall, of Marlow, last year, are not by any means amicable with 
other birds, and are all-round savage now. 

February 6th. Marbled duck ; another brought in dead, in 
excellent condition. 

February ith. Hill mynahs {Gracula intermedia). Two very fine 
birds received from Mrs. E. H. P . 



276 APPENDIX I 

I could not resist one more chance of keeping this most amusmg 
species, although I have lost many after a few months of captivity. 
The imitative vocal power of the hill mynah surpasses those of any 
other of the many talking birds with which I have any acquaintance. 
One of these two imitates the sound of a railway engine. They are 
both in e.xceptionally good plumage and apparent health. 

Blue bird {Sia//a sialis), of North America. Pair received from 

Mrs. E. H. P . This is a species that I have been without for 

many years. I have never had much luck in keeping them alive, but 
they often do well, and have bred in Englg.nd. 

February lofh. Alpine accentors {Accentor collaris). Thirteen 
received from Jamrach. I have received a good many of this species 
from London dealers during the last few years, all said to have come 
from Switzerland. They do fairly well in cages, not so well in 
aviaries, and sing very sweetly, but are rather quarrelsome inter se. 

February nth. Cereopsis geese {cf. antek) are making a second 
nest. 

February 14/.5. Barbary falcon (Fako barbarus) brought in deadi 
of frounce. This bird, a most beautiful adult, was bought last 
autumn and came from Mogador. I have been most unfortunate 
with many of this species. 

February i^t't. Alpine accentors {cf. antei), two sent as present 
to Rev. Murray A. Mathew. 

February 20th. Bewick swan J" {Cygnus bewicki) died after wasting 
for some time. This bird was bought of Castang, desperately wounded 
by a shot from punt gun on the Essex coast in 1879, and recovered 
marvellously here ; though on the water it swam in a helpless and 
lop-sided fashion, on land it was very active, and of late years had 
become occasionally very aggressive towards human visitors. 

One of two whoopers {Cygnus ferus) which I put on the river, 
pinioned, this last summer (having lost its companion by brutal spite 
of a ruffian at Aldwinkle in the autumn) took up its headquarters 
above our bridge island, but for several months past has waddled up 
every morning and spent the whole or greater part of each day just 
outside the wires of the enclosure, in which the Bewick swan just 



APPENDIX I 277 

mentioned was confined. We let him inside on one occasion, and 
the result was a desperate fight. The whooper is continually 
' whooping ' loudly. The Bewick swan's note, comparatively seldom 
heard, is entirely different — shorter and less musical, but both of 
these birds have been a good deal excited of late by the presence 
on the river of several wild birds of both species. 

February 22nd. Double-spurred francolins {Francolinus bical- 
caratus). Si.x sent away. These birds are from consignments of 
about twenty individuals, all told, received from Dar-el-Baida, or 
Casablanca, on the Morocco coast, during the past year. I am sending 
these three pairs to the Comte de Paris, via Gibraltar, to be turned 
down on his Coto at Villa Manrique, Seville, where he has already 
turned out a few, ordered by me from Morocco as a present to him. 

From all that I can learn these birds are extremely local in 
Morocco, and although tolerably abundant in the neighbourhood of 
Casablanca and Rabat, are virtually unknown at Tangier, Tetuan, 
and Mogadon They are said to frequent thick covert in the neigh- 
bourhood of water, to afford good sport with dogs, and to be most 
excellent for the table. I have had a few before the present lot, 
alive here from Rabat ; one of them laid several eggs of an unspotted, 
pale, creamy colour, but would not sit. 

February i^th. White-bellied nuthatch {Sitta albiveniris, Mihi). 
Three received from Jamrach. These birds, of which I had already 
five, in all their habits closely resemble our common species, although 
I fancy that there is a perceptible difference in some of their notes ; 
they are extremely pugnacious, and I find it impossible to keep two 
of them together. In some of them the chestnut on flanks is extremely 
prominent, and very rich in colour, whilst in others it is barely 
visilile. Said to have come from Siberia. 

Small gallinule {Gallinula, sp. ?). Two received from Jamrach on 
approval ; unknown to him and me ; said to have come from China. 

March 2nd. Cape barn owl {Strix (apcnsis) laid an egg the first 
of this year. This bird is the survivor of two purchased from Jamrach 
in 1884. I only call it as above on the authority of the vendor. 
It lays a few eggs every year. 



278 APPENDIX I 

March T,rd. Shag, <^ {Phalacrocorax graculus), Northamptonshire 
specimen, died. This bird was picked up near Higham Ferrers 
after heavy gales in the first days of September 1892, and sent to 
me alive by one Shelton. 

Alarch ^th. Lammergeier {Gypaetus barbatus) lay on the grass 
basking in front of the house. This is one of two young birds of last 
year, procured through G. Frank from Western Switzerland. These 
birds have been at complete liberty since I received them last summer 
before they could fly, till Cosgrave told me that one of them seemed 
to be suffering from the cold of early January, and was taken into 
shelter, where he has completely recovered. The bird, still at liberty, 
never goes to any considerable distance, and very seldom mounts to 
more than seventy or eighty feet from the ground. He generally 
roosts about the courtyard walls, seems to be more sensitive of wet 
than cold, and remains quite tame. 

March x'^th. Small gallinules {Gallinula angulata), Sundevall 
{fide P. L. Sclater and R. B. Sharpe). I sent these two birds to 
London for inspection by Sclater, who tells me that he and Sharpe 
make them out as specimens of the above-named South African 
species. This species, in immature plumage, is figured in Ibis, 1859, 
under the name of GaU'mula puinila, Sclater. 

March \i>th. Night heron {Xyctkorax griseus), in aviary, laid 
first egg of season. 

March \itli. Me.\ican jays {Cyanocorax luxuosus). Two received 
from Jamrach. The first of the species ever seen alive by me. Active 
and very pretty birds, with a curious squeal, that reminds me greatly 
of the cry of the common buzzard. 

March 20th. Cinereous vulture {I'ultur monachus\ old Spanish 
bird, laid an egg. This bird was taken from a nest in a high pine 
tree in the forest near San Ildefonso, Old Castille, in June, 1S65 
{Ibis, 1866, pp. 388, 389). 

March 27///. White-shouldered eagle i {Aquihi adalberti) died. 
I believe that this bird was the only male of three brought home by 
me from a nest in the Goto del Rey in 1869 ; but I have had several 
at various times since, and having been so much away from home, 



APPENDIX 1 279 

and, when at home, so much shut up in the winters, I cannot feel 
quite sure. 

Bittern {Botaurus stellaris) began to ' boom ' on 20th inst. In 
April 1 89 1 two of this species made a nest in a cage in our court- 
yard, and laid five eggs, upon which one or other of the parent birds 
sat continually, but did not hatch. 

Woodpigeons {Columba palumbus). Pair in aviary have two eggs, 
and sit thereon. 

Mexican jay. One died, in apparent excellent condition. 

April lotk. Grey coly shrikes {Hypocolius ampelinus). A pair 
received from Bartlett. These birds {fide Bartlett) were received at 
Zoological Gardens, with others of same species, from the Persian 
Gulf They are remarkably tame. I can detect very little affinity in 
them to the shrike family, and only name them as above for want of 
a better name. Their favourite food is fruit, but they are also fond 
of meal-worms, and would, I feel certain, very much like house-flies, 
if we could find any. In fact, they are evidently of waxwing-flycatcher 
affinity. The picture of this bird in Ibis for 1868, p. 181, is much 
more slender in look than my birds, and their colour is mousey, not 
creamy, as in picture. 

April \ith. Woodpigeons in aviary have hatched both eggs. 
Military starling {Sturnella militaris) purchased last summer, died 
from abscess. 

April i6tli. Great bustard {Otis tarda) in aviary, picking up and 
swallowing feathers. 

April i8tk. Cinereous vulture laid another egg, rather better 
coloured than first. 

April igt/i. Hybrid bean + white-fronted goose {Anser segetuin, 

S-\-A. albifrons, ? ), bred on aviary pond last year with others, of 

■which it is the sole survivor, is in very fine plumage. It has the 

lender neck and orange-coloured legs and feet of its male parent, 

with a small white frontal patch ; no bars on breast. 

April 20th. Goliath heron {cf. antea) received on approval from 
Jamrach as Ardea atricollis, to which it has no resemblance in plumage, 
and is much larger. 



2 8o APPENDIX I 

Porphyrio {Porphyria, sp. ?) Three, supposed to be P. caruleus, 
received on approval from Jamrach. Said by him to have been pro- 
cured from Sicily, through a dealer at Marseilles. 

I cannot believe that these birds belong to that species, on account 
of their small size and the very dark plumage of their backs, and I 
was inclined to look upon them as the Australian black-backed 
porphyrio {P. rnela/iotus), but on the following day Jamrach sent 
down one of the latter species for comparison. This bird is con- 
siderably larger than the three others, and the shape of frontal shield 
differs much from theirs, so that at present I am much puzzled about 
species of latter. 

April 22?id. Chilian pintail {Dafila spinicauda) sits on eggs in 
sunk fence of pinetum. This nest is almost in the same spot as last 
year, and the bird on the nest was almost entirely hidden in a mass 
of dead leaves, with only her head and small portion of neck exposed, 
and very difficult to see. 

April 2yd. Australian native companion {Grus australasiana), 
one of four in pinetum, has lately developed the unamiable habit 
of driving away all the other cranes from their feeding bo.xes, though 
not apparently hungry himself. 

April 2^th. Senegal pies {Cryptorkina afro). One of two of this 
species received last year, with brilliant coral red beak, has changed 
the colour of that instrument to black, like that of its male, or 
companion. 

April 2^tk. Lesser kestrels {Fako ceiiihris). Four, apparently 
adults, received from Jamrach. 

Chinese laughing thrush (Lcucodioptron carwrum) received on 
approval from, and returned to, Jamrach. 

April 28M. Hooded crane {Grus monackiis), in pinetum, broke 
a leg. 

April 2()tk. Sardinian starling S {Sliirnus unicolor) has paired 
with the only common starling in the same compartment of aviary, 
and sits alternately with her on eggs in a box. 

May \st. For the first time heard the call note of double- 



APPENDIX 1 28 r 

spurred francolins ; very powerful and strident, somewhat resembling- 
that of guinea-fowl, but more prolonged and guttural. 

May 2nd. The white-fronted goose ? and bean goose $ 
having again paired this year, to-day hatched four of six eggs at 
aviary pond. 

May 2,rd. Pochard {Fuligula ferina) sits on six eggs in pinetum. 

May 6th. American peregrine or ' duck hawk ' ? {Falco anatiivt) 
received as a present from Major Ernest Anne, who informs me 
that it was taken on board ship at about 1500 miles off the coast 
of Canada. This bird is considerably smaller than an average Falco 
peregrinus of the same sex, and is very dark in colour. I am 
disposed to consider her as a bird of last year. 

May 6th. Bronze-winged pigeons {Fhaps chalcoptera), of which 
I have a pair, produce many eggs, but will not sit, so we put two 
into a nest of woodpigeons in aviary {cf. antea), removing the eggs 
of latter birds — a second sitting that I omitted to note in this 
book. 

May lofh. White-bellied sea eagles {Haliaetus leucogaster). 
Two very fine specimens, adult and immature, received from 
Melbourne as a present from Edward Marshall. 

May i6th. Five hybrids of spotted-billed and yellow-billed 
&ac\s {Anas pacilorhyiiiha, c?, and A?tas .xanthorhyncha ?) hatched 
out at aviary pond. 

May 11 th and i8//z. Ural owl {Syrniuni ura/cnse), one of two 
received from Russian Finland in 1888, laid an egg but made no 
nest and would not sit, so we transferred the egg to a nest in the 
park that contained four of barn owl {Strix flammea). 

May \^th. Ruffs {Machetes pugnax) all in splendid 'show,' 
are full of antics, pugnacious and very amorous. 

May 20th. Boobook owl {Nhuyx hoobook) received from 
Melbourne as a present from Edward Marshall. 

Madeiran woodpigeon {Columba irocaz), one of three now in 
the aviary received from Dr. Hicks of Funchal, made a slight nest 
under one of the box bushes, on the bare gravel, and laid one egg. 



2 82 APPENDIX I 

Yellow-breasted bunting {Emberiza aureola), one of four purchased 
last year from Jamrach, laid an egg on floor of cage, without any 
attempt at making a nest. 

May 2<)tk. Seriemas {Cariama cristata). Two received from 
A. Thomson, head keeper at Zoological Gardens. 

May $Qi/t. Sardinian starling. A pair have hatched out three 
young in bo.x, old aviary. 

/une 2nd. Yellow-breasted bunting {cf. antea) has laid two 
more eggs, but will not sit. 

Jtine T,rd. Pink-headed drake {Anas caryophyllacea), one of pair 
purchased last year from Jamrach, died after pining for several 
days. These ducks, the only pair that were ever offered to me 
alive for sale, bore the winter very well, and in fact throve in all 
•ways till a few days ago. They are stupid and heavy birds, only 
interesting from their rarity and remarkable colour of heads. 

June ^fh. Trumpeter bullfinch {Erythrospiza githaginea) laid an 

egg- 
Sardinian starlings {cf. antek), three young, all dead from parental 

neglect. 

June dth. Common curlew {Numenius arquatus). Two young in 
down received from T. Mann, of Aigle Hill, Allonby, as a present. 
The smaller of the two died on the following day ; the other soon 
took greedily to a diet of earth-worms, chopped liver, etc., and 
became perfectly tame. 

June Zth. White-breasted gallinule {GalUnula phxnicura), received 
in a dying state from \V. Cross on 7th inst., died in its cage next day. 

Shamas {Cittacincla macrura). Two received from W. Cross. 

Common bittern laid first egg of this season. 

Long-eared owls {Asia otus). Three young received from a Mr. 
Adams, of the Lodge, Cockley Cley, Swaffham. 

June <)th. Common bittern has another egg and sits. 
Little owls {Athene noctua). Thirty received from Castang. 

June loth. Woodpigeons in aviary busy nesting for third time 
this year. 



APPENDIX I 283 

fune \^th. Knot {Triiiga canutus). An egg that I am convinced 
is of this species laid in aviary. 

Larger white egret {Ardca sp. ?) died in fine condition. 

June \ith. Ditto. I have never been able satisfactorily to deter- 
mine the species of this bird, as the locality given by the vendor, 
West Africa, was most certainly incorrect. 

June 19///. Received a shama from Cross in place of one deceased. 

Received through F. Collier two Chilian eagles {Geranoaetus 
melannhuais) in immature plumage, said to have been sent from 
Bahia Blanca. These birds are so much smaller than any of their 
species that I have ever previously seen, that I sent them up to 
Bartlett to be assured about them. They are very fine, healthy 
birds in fairly good plumage and remarkably tame, agreeing amicably 
with a crowd of other raptores in western yard. 

June 22nd. Twenty-three little owls received from Castang. 

Three black woodpeckers {Picus martins) received from Jararach ; 
all young birds. 

Two pied woodpeckers {Pints major). 

The black woodpeckers are in very bad condition of flesh and 
plumage. One died on 25th inst., the other two I think will live ; 
they feed greedily on ants' eggs, but prefer wasp grubs to any other 
food that we can find for them, though they will not touch the 
developed imago of this insect. Jamrach assured me that he received 
them from Gratz. The pied woodpeckers, also young birds from 
the same locality, are the finest of their species that I ever saw, in 
perfect health and plumage and as tame as possible. 

June 22nd. Received four young scarlet ibis {Ibis rubra) from 
Jamrach. 

June 2yd. One of my northern nuthatches died. Sent to H. E. 
Dresser. 

Two young goshawks {Astur palumbarius) received from Mons. 
P. A. Pichot. These birds are male and female, and were, as I believe, 
taken from a nest in a forest near Rouen, whence I had received others. 

Jtine 2-]th. Madeiran pigeon laid an egg on the ground, found 
■cracked. 



284 APPENDIX I 

Jtine 2C)t/i. Two young ringed plovers {^gialitis hiaticula), one 
dead, received from Cumberland. 

June 2fith. Tawny eagle {Aguila rapax) and golden eagle {Aquila 
chrysaetus) from Abyssinia received on approval from Jamrach. 

I kept the tawny eagle, which is a fine bird of the light browrt 
race, very much resembling the most recently received of the two 
already here, and the light-coloured bird of Wolfs plate in the Ibis. 
Jamrach declared that this bird came to him from North Africa, 
probably Morocco. I returned the golden eagle, as I do not want 
one of that species ; this was a remarkably large, strong young bird 
with pure white tarsi. 

July \st. Australian maned goose i {Bernicla jubata) died ii> 
good condition. This bird was one of a pair purchased last year 
from Jamrach ; they had both done remarkably well in the new 
aviary, feeding chiefly on the grass growing therein. I suspect that 
the commencement of the moult was the cause of death. 

July 2,rd. Great bustard $ (Otis tarda) died after long weakness. 
This was one of a consignment received some years ago from Seville, 
and presented by me to W. H. St. Quintin ; it was injured when it 
arrived, and St. Quintin, after keeping it for a year or more, sent 
it back to me, rather than kill it, in October 1S90. It did well 
here, but was always weakly on the legs from an injury to the ribs, 
and probably to the vertebra, on the journey from Spain, though it 
fed well, moulted clean every year, and was impudently tame and 
pugnacious. 

Woodpigeons {;/. antek) have hatched out one young bird. 

July 6tk. Little bitterns {Ardetta minuta). Three very young,, 
received from Castang. 

July &tli. Australian crane (</. antea) died after failing for some 
time. 

Great white Siberian cranes (Grus Icucogeranus) in pinetum, 
reported by Cosgrave to be suffering from the excessive heat more 
than any other birds in the collection. 

July nth. Bearded vulture {cf. antek). Very fine young bird 
received from Malaea. 



APPENDIX I 285 

Bonelli's eagle {Pseudaetus bonelli). Young male received from 
Malaga. 

/uly 12th. Marbled duck {cf. antea), long lame and ailing, died. 
Was a female by dissection, and despatched to Bowdler Sharpe at South 
Kensington. 

Booted eagle {Aquila pennata), in bad condition, received from 
Jamrach. 

July iTjth. Egyptian eagle owl (Bubo ascalaphus) received from a 
Mr. Weeks, of Cheswardine, near Market Drayton, who says that it was 
captured at Luxor. 

Common bittern (cf. antea). Three eggs all proved rotten. 

July \<-^th. Japanese kite {Milvus mclanotis ?) received from E. 
Marshall. 

Owl from Japan {Slv/>s sp. ?), id. 

July 2^tk. — Two great blue herons {Ardea herodias) sent on 
approval by Cross ; returned. 

Two caracaras {Polyborus brasiliensis) from Uruguay, received from 
O. V. Aplin. 

Pileated jay {Cyanocorax pileatus), id. 

Four long-eared owls (Asia otus) received from Mr. Adams, of 
Cockley Cley, West Norfolk. 

August \st. Tawny eagle {Aquiia rapa.x) {cf. ante^). Killed by 
white-bellied sea eagle {Haliaetus leucogaster), through the bars of the 
compartment in eagle yard. 

August 2nd. Redshank (Totanus calidris) received from F. Dyer 
of Ramsgate. 

Three black woodpeckers {Picus marlius) received from Jamrach. 

One Montagu's harrier {Circus cineraceus), melanic variety, received 
from Mons. P. A. Pichot, of Paris, with four others of the same species 
of ordinary type, which I left at Zoological Gardens. In the individual 
above noticed the whole of the plumage is of a uniform very deep brown, 
almost black, the irides of the same colour. I believe that all this lot 
of harriers were taken from nests in northern France. 

One honey buzzard {Pernis apivorus), white mottled variety, received 
from Mons. Pichot (as above). This bird was still unable to fly, and 



2 86 APPENDIX I 

has developed into a very beautiful and charmingly tame pet, only 
showing a little restlessness at the autumnal migration time. 

August St/:. One nutcracker {Corvus caryocatactes) presented by 
Dr. A. Giinther. 

August gt/i. One lanner {Fako feldeggi) received from Consul 
Hunot, of Saffi, Morocco. 

One serpent eagle ( Circaetus gallicus), id. 

I presented both the last named birds to the Zoological Society. 

August loth. Diuca diuca, from Chili, received last year, identified 
by P. L. Sclater. 

Three porphyries (P. edwardsi), South China. 

Brown-headed gull {Larus ridibundus) pinioned by shot on Tich- 
marsh. 

August i2ih. Red-backed shrike {Lanius coUurio), young, received 
from Bazeley, of Northampton. 

August icjth. Thirteen little bitterns (Ardetta niinuta), from Holland, 
received from Castang. 

August 2ist. Six avocets {Avocctta recurvirostra), six redshanks 
{Totanus calidris), and black-tailed godwit {Limosa mehnurd), from 
Holland. Received by order of F. Blaauw. 

August 22nd. Three herring gulls {Larus argentatus), immature, 
from south coast, presented by Alex. Berens. 

August 2^th. Little kestrel {Falco cenchris), southern starling 
{Sturnus uniiolor), great bustard {Otis tarda), little bustard {Otis tetrax), 
glossy ibis {Plegadis falcinellus), marbled ducks {Anas angustirostris), 
from Andalucia, received, per Ochenden, from Gibraltar. 

August 30M. — Black-headed partridges {Caccahis melanocephald) 
received via Bartlett from Aden. 

White-shafted francolins {Fraiicolinus infuscatits), from Somali 
coast, id. 

Singed sand grouse {Pterocks exustus) received via Bartlett from 
Aden. 



APPENDIX 1 



287 



But there was already the collection of years before 
this record began to be kept in this particular form. Of the 
extent and variety of the Lilford Collection of living birds 
during the whole period of its existence some general idea 
may be gathered from the following list. It includes, not all, 
but the greater proportion of the birds new to the Aviaries 
between the date last given and the third week in March 1896 
— a space of not three years. 



Mantell's apteryx 
Owen's apteryx . 
Greek partridge . 
Barbary partridge 
Black-headed partridge 
Bamboo partridge 
Common francolin 
Grant's francolin 
White-shafted francolin 
Double-spurred francolin 
Madagascar francolin . 
Guinea fowl 
Crested colin 
Scaly colin 

Chinese button quails 
Pintailed sand grouse 
Singed sand grouse . 
Madeiran woodpigeon 
Laurel pigeon . 
Bolle's pigeon . 
Spotted pigeon . 
Snow pigeon 

Grey headed fruit pigeon 
Carolina crake . 
American water rail . 
Ypacaha rail 



Apteryx mantel It. 

Apteryx oiveni. 

Caccabis saxatilis (Austria). 

Caccabis petrosa. 

Caccabis melanocephala (Aden). 

Bambusicola thoracica. 

FrancoUtnis vulgaris. 

Fraticolinus granti. 

Francolinus kucoscepkus. 

Francolinus bicakaratus. 

Alargaroperdi.x niadagascariensis. 

Nianida sp. ? 

Eupsychortyx cristatus. 

Callipepla squamata. 

Excalfactoria chinensis. 

Pterocles alchata. 

Pterocles exustus (Aden). 

Columba trocaz (hatched in Aviary). 

Columba laurivora. 

Columba bollii. 

Cobimba maculosa (South America). 

Columba leuconota (S. Himalayas ; 

hatched in Aviary). 
Columba o;vea1 (India). 
Forzana Carolina. 
Aramides cayennensis. 
Aramides ypacaha- 



288 



APPENDIX 1 



Pectoral rail 
Blue water-hen . 
Green-backed Gallinul 
Allen's gallinule 
Martinique gallinule 
White-breasted gallinule 
Black-throated diver 
Fulmar 
Puffin 

Common gull . 
Sandwich tern . 
Stone curlew 
Great bustard . 
Green sandpiper 
Common sandpiper 
AustraHan wattled lapwing 
Avocet 
Knot 

Oyster-catcher . 
Black-tailed godwit 
Black-necked stilt 
Pratincole 
Sarus crane 
White-necked crane 
Wattled crane . 
Stanley's crane . 
Tufted umbre . 
Purple heron 
Great white heron 
5quaccQ heron . 
Little egret 
Buff-backed egret 
Night heron 
Bittern 
Little bittern 
Tiger bittern 
Roseate spoonbill 



. Rallus pectoralis. 

. Porphyria edwardsi. 

. Porphyria smarcigdonotus. 

. Porphyria alleni. 

. Porphyria martinica. 

Gallinula phainicura. 

Colymbus arcticus. 
. Fulmarus glacialis. 
. Fratercula arctica. 

Larus canus. 
. Sterna cantiaca. 

CEdicnemus crepitans. 

Otis tarda. 

Tatanus ochropus. 

Tatanus hypoleucos. 

Sarciophorus pec tor a lis. 
. Avocetta recurvirastra. 

Tringa canutus. 
. HcBtnatopus ostrakgus. 

Limosa melanura. 

Himantopus nigricollis. 

Glareola pratincola. 

Grus aniigane. 

Grus leucauchen. 
. Grus carunculata (South Africa). 

Tetrapteryx paradisea. 
. Scopus umbretta (Bechuanaland). 
. Ardea purpurea. 

Ardea alba. 
. Ardea ralloides. 
. Ardea garzetta. 
. Ardea bubulcus. 
. Aycticorax griseus (Arabia). 
. Botaurus stellaris. 
. Ardeola minuta. 

Tigrisoma tigrinum. 
. Plataka ajaja. 



APPENDIX I 



289 



Spoonbill . 

South American white ibis 

Black-headed ibis 

Smew 

Gadwall . 

Garganey . 

Shoveller . 

Pink-headed duck 

Scaup 

Pochard . 

Golden Eye 

Tufted duck 

White-eyed pochard . 

Red-crested pochard 

Merganser 

Eider duck 

Maned goose 

Spur-winged goose . 

Cassin's snow-goose . 

Snow-goose 

Whooper swan . 

Bewick's swan . 

South American flamingo 

Flamingo . 

American darter 

Pygmy cormorant 

Marsh harrier . 

Montagu's harrier 

Goshawk . 

American sparrow-hawk 

Common buzzard 

Red-backed buzzard . 
Many-zoned hawk 
Chanting falcon 
Lammergeier , 



. Plaialea kucorodia. 

Eudocimus albus. 
. Ibis melatwcephala. 
. Mergus albellus. 
. Anas strepera. 
. Anas querquedtda. 
. Anas clypeata. 
. Anas caryophyllacea. 

FuUgula marila. 
. Fuligula ferina. 

Fuligula clangula. 
. Fuligula cristata. 
. Fuligula nyroca. 

Fuligula rufina. 
. Afergus serraior. 
. Soinateria mollissima. 
. Bernida jubata. 
. Pledropterus gainbensis. 

Chen hypoboreus. 

Chen albatus. 

Cygnus ferus. 
• Cygnus bewicki. 
. Phanicopterus ignipalliatus. 
. Phanicopterus roseus. 
. Plotus anhinga. 

Carbo pygmceus. 
. Circus icricginosus. 

Circus cineraceus. 
. Astur palumbarius. 

Accipiter fuscus. 

Buteo vulgaris (very dark variety ; 
Holland). 
. Buteo erythronotus (Patagonia). 
. Melierax polyzonus. 
. Melierax canorus. 
. Gypaetus barbatus (Switzerland and 
Almeria). 

19 



290 



APPENDIX 1 



White-shouldered eagle 
Imperial eagle 
Spotted eagle 
Golden eagle 
Black kite 
Common kite 
Barbary falcon 
Hobby . 
Peregrine . 
Lanner 
Merlin 

Cinnamon kestrel 
Common kestrel 
La Marmora's falcon 
American kestrel 
Australian peregrine 
Mediterranean peregrine 
Eagle owl 
Spotted eagle-owl 
Cape eagle-owl 
Burrowing owl . 
American hawk-owl 
Short-eared owl 
Long-eared owl 
Lapp owl . 
Tawny owl 
Ural owl . 
Spot-bellied owl 
Little owl . 
Masked owl 
South American liarn-owl 
Barn-owl . 
Black-headed caique 
Great blue-eyed cockatoo 
Red-faced parakeet . 
Orange-flanked parakeet 
Carolina parakeet 



. A(/uila adalberti (Southern Spain). 

. Aqiiila iniperialis. 

. Aquila ncevia. 

. Aquila chrysaetus. 

. Milvus migrans. 

. Milvus regalis. 

. Falco barbarus. 

. Falco subbuteo (Southern Spain). 

. Falco peregrinus. 

. Falco feldeggi. 

. Falco asalon. 

. Falco cinnamomina. 

. Falco tinnunctilus. 

. Falco eleonorcE (Morocco). 

Falco sparverius. 
. Falco melanogenys. 
. Falco pttnicus. 
. Bilbo maximus. 
. Bubo maculosus. 
. Bubo capensis. 
. Speotyto cunicularia. 

Syrnia funerea. 
, Asio brachyotus. 
. Asio otus. 
. Syrnium lapponicum. 
. Syrnium aluco. 

Syrnium uralense. 

Carine spilogastra. 
. Athene noctua. 
. Strix castanops (Australia). 
. S/rix guatemala. 
. Strix flavvma. 

Cdica melanocephala. 

Cacatua ophthalinica. 
. Platycercus novce-zealandicB. 
. Brotogerys pyrrliopterus. 
, Conurus cnrolinensis. 



APPENDIX I 



291 



Guira cuckoo . 
Indian black cuckoo 
Senegal touraco 
Toucan 

Green woodpecker 
Pied woodpecker 
Black woodpecker 
Brahminy mynah 
Hill mynah 
Purple-headed starling 
Long-tailed glossy starling 
Malabar starling 

Rose pastor 
Tristram's grakle 

Black-collared grakle , 

Blue-winged magpie 

Nutcracker 

Australian " chough '' 

Alpine chough . 

Blue hunting-pie 

Indian oriole 

Golden oriole . 

Red-winged hang-nest 

Hairy-headed drongo 

Regent bird 

Beautiful grass-finch . 

Gouldian finch . 

North Queensland grass-finch 

House-sparrow . 

Brambling 

Greenfinch 

Teydean chaffinch 

Brazilian finch . 

Mealy redpoll . 

Twite 
Crossbill . 
Pine grosbeak . 



Guira piririgua. 
Eudynamis orientalis. 
Corythaix persa. 
Pteroglossus wiedi. 
Gecinus viridis. 
Picus major, 
Picus martins. 
Teinenuchus pagodarum. 
Gracula intermedia. 
. Sturnus purpuracens. 
. Lamprotornis ceneus. 
. Sturnopastor malabaricus. 
, Pastor roseus. 
. Amydrus iristrami. 
. Graculipica nigricollis. 

Cyanopica cooki. 
. Niicifraga caryocatactes. 
Cocora.x nielaiwcephala. 
. Fregilus alpinus. 
Urocissa occipitalis. 
Oriolus indicus. 
. Oriolus auratus. 
. Agelaius phceniceus. 
Chibia hottentota. 
Sericulus melinus. 
. Poephila mirabilis. 
. Poephila gouldice. 
. Poephila cincta. 
. Passer domesticus. 

Fringilla monfifriiigilla. 
. Fringilla chloris. 
. Fringilla teydea. 
Guiraca cyanea. 
. Linota linaria. 
. Linota flavirostris. 
. Loxia curvirostra. 
. Pyrrhulo, ^nucleator. 



292 



APPENDIX I 



South American bullfinch 


Oryzoborus crassirostris. 


Woodlark 


. Alauda arborea. 


Snow-bunting . 


. Pkdrophanes nivalis. 


Lapland bunting 


Caliariiis lapponicus. 


Bearded reedling 


Panuriis biarinicus. 


Greater nightingale . 


Daulias philoinela. 


White-spotted blue-throat 


. Cyanecula suecica. 


Grasshopper warbler . 


. Locustella nxvia. 


Barred warbler . 


. Sylvia nisoria (North Germany) 


Blue robin 


. Cyanea wilsoni. 


Alpine accentor 


. Accentor collaris. 


Blue rock-thrush 


. Monticola cyanea. 


Pied rock-thrush 


. Monticola saxatilis. 


Giant kingfisher 


. Dacelo gigantea. 


Kingfisher 


. Alcedo ispida. 


Dusky bulbul . 


. Pycnonotus obscurus. 


Sulphury tyrant 


. Pyranga sulp/iurea. 


Crested jay-thrush 


. Garrulax leucolophus. 


White-throated jay-thrush 


Garrulax albogularis. 


Necklaced jay-thrush . 


. Garrulax picticollis. 


Striated jay-thrush 


Grainmatoptila striata. 


Interesting Hyurids. 


Fuligula rufina 4 F. ferina. 


Anns boscas 


+ Mareca penelope. 


Anas boscas 


4- A. querquedula. 



APPENDIX II 

Although the following extracts do not perhaps pretend 
to the interest of what has gone before, they seem worth 
giving, as showing how the ruling passion was never laid 
aside, never allowed to grow rusty, even amid apparently the 
most unfavourable surroundings. London itself was made by 
the enthusiasm of this naturalist a place of daily ornithological 
interest ; while, on every little trip into the country, he takes 
notes, even of the most familiar birds, with just as much care 
as though engaged on the exploration of an unknown land. 
Thus he records the observation of no fewer than thirty- 
one species of birds on a single drive from Windsor to 
Sunningdale. 

London 

November /\tli, 1881. Very waini, showery day. Went round to 
Den * in the morning, and did some work at my Birds of North- 
amptonshire. Had visits there from Verner and Gunther, who talked 
much of choughs {Fregilus graculus) observed near St. Davids, and 
say that they seemed to feed almost entirely on insects of the gnat 
{Tipuld) family. 

November ^th. Went in the morning to Zoological Gardens 
specially to see my Spanish bear, which is quite blind, but seems 
healthy (very different in looks from a young bear from Russia which 

• So Lovrl Lilford called his rooms in Tenlerdeii Street, at the time tlic meeting- 
place of the members of the British Ornithologists' Union. 

393 



294 APPENDIX II 

is in the same den) and the Beatrix antelopes {Oryx heatrix), which 
I received from Muscat through Col. Miles, and presented to the 
Society. The latter are both females, Ijeautiful animals, but one has 
unfortunately broken both horns, and lost an eye. 

In the Field of to-day is a notice from Mr. W. Tomalin of a 
black-throated diver {Cofym/ms arcticus) shot on Naseby Reservoir 
by a Mr. Kennall of Northampton, on October 25th, and sent to 
Mr. J. Gardner, 29, 0.\ford Street, for preservation. This requires 
investigation as to species. 

November %th. Colder and slightly foggy. I went to Gardner's 
to see the diver before mentioned, and found that it is a genuine 
black-throated diver {Colymbus arcticus). Went ^to Uen and found 
Paul Mollen there, not having been able to start last night for 
Holland on account of fog. 

G. Hunt writes that he and the keeper had killed eighty-one 
snipes and jack snipes in six days' shooting. Burton showed me a 
fine hybrid from Russia, between willow grouse {Lagopus saiiceti) 
and black game {Tetrao tetrix). 

November \oth. Very mild, fine day. Went round to Den, 
and hunted through many bird drawers in search of some missing 
skins, without success. Leopold called, and sat with me for some 
time. Received a long-expected box from Ruiz, containing many 
eggs of the marbled duck (Amu angustirostris), some doubtful, 
supposed to be those of pochard {Fuligiila ferina), a skin of black 
stork (Cico'iia nigra, juv.), and one of crested coot {Fit/ica crisiala). 
Tri-stram looked in, and lunched with me at Oriental ; gave me 
some interesting details of his last travels in Palestine, Syria, and 
Asia Minor; the most startling fact being the discovery of a darter 
{Plotui) breeding on the Lake of Antioch. 

November 11//1. Mild, dull day. Went to Burton's, who holds 
out faint hopes that some of my missing bird skins may yet be 
there. Spent the greater part of the day at Den writing my notes 
for Birds of Northamptonshire. 

November i$th. Fine, mild day. Went to Burton's, and found 
the skin of Barbary falcon, about which my mind has been so 



APPENDIX II 



295 



much exercised. Irby paid me a visit al the Den. Dined at 
Zoological Club dinner at (jro.svenor Restaurant at 6 p.m. — Flower, 
Srlatcr, A. Newton, (liinther, Dresser, O. Salvin, Saunders, Grote, 
Holdsworth, Forbes, Dobson, Hamilton, another, Waterhouse, and 
self. Meeting afterwards at 1 1, Hanover Square. Tristram exhibited 
a very fine skin, and some eggs of the African darter {Plotus 
levaillanii) from the Lake of Antioch, Newton a specimen of rustic 
bunting {Emberiza rustled) shot in Yorkshire, and Sclater a stuffed 
glossy ibis {Plegadis falcinellus) shot last September in Hampshire. 
Several interesting papers read — one relating to a splendid humming- 
bird {Loddigesia iiiiral/ilis) from Peru, of which specimens were 
exhibited. 

November iSf/i. Thick, chilly fog. I went up by appointment 
to British Museum at 12, where Giinther met me, and showed me 
the groups of British birds, with nests and eggs, of which he is 
very justly proud. He also showed me an extraordinary tree-frog 
from South Americ.T, with perfectly developed young in a bag in 
its back. 

November i2>th. Fine bright day after heavy rain in the night. 
I went hunting for some pleasant cage bird in the Seven Dials district, 
but found nothing that particularly took my fancy. Sabin has a fine 
white blackbird and a young mocking bird {Aliiniis polyglottis). 

November 20th. Notice in Field of Stone Curlew {(Edicnemtis 
crepitans), shot at Gayton, near Northampton, October 28th. This is a 
rare bird in agro northantoniense. 

November 2yd. Very fine and bright. Paul Mollen called on 
his way back from Valkcnswaard to Lilford, bringing two ash-coloured 
shrikes alive for me, which have been used at tlie huts for catching 
the hawks. 

November 25M. The shrikes are very wild, but feed well. 

November 26th. Irby and Edward Acheson called at Den, and 
I went with former in a cab to Leadenhall Market. Castang has a 
young male Bonelli's eagle {Psettdaetusbonelli, ^, juv.), two, lanners {Fako 
fe/deggi), and a young night heron {Nyticorax griseus). Great quantities 
of capercaillie (Tetiao urogallus) in the market, also some black game 



296 APPENDIX II 

{Tetrao tetrix), a few hazel grouse (Tetrao bonasia), and willow grouse 
{Lagoptis sa/iceti). Very few wild-fowl {Anatidce). 

November 26th. Received three snipes, five jack snipes, and a wild 
duck from Lilford. 

December Tth. Began corrections and addenda for Dresser's 
Birds of Europe. Received three snipes from Lilford. 

December i^th. Heard from G. Hunt that he had killed eleven 
wild ducks with one shot with the big gun which I gave him, also 
that there are hardly any fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) in the country. 
Leo sent a skin of hybrid, I think second cross between Reeves's 
{Phasianus reevesi) and common pheasant. This bird has a trace 
of white neck collar, I believe it is from Suffolk, a descendant of the 
old male Reeves's cock pheasant which I gave to Nat Barnardiston 
years ago ; this bird met his fate lately after propagating a numerous 
hybrid race. 

December -ioth. I received a letter from Rev. G. E. Morris, 
Rector of Middleton Scriven, near Bridgnorth, Salop, enclosing head 
and wing of a petrel picked up in that neighbourhood, about which 
he had written to the Standard {vide Standard, December 8th, 1881, 
p. 2), and which I think is not, as he supposes, the stormy petrel 
(Thalassidroma pelagica), but a young fork-tailed petrel {Thalassidroma 
leucorrhoa). 

December wth. I make out from Dresser's book that the petrel 
above mentioned is a specimen of Leach's or the fork-tailed petrel. 



Brighton 

December 2-i,rd. Went to Swaysland, who showed us a pair of 
fork-tailed petrels recently obtained near this place, also two birds 
which look like hybrids between greenfinch {Fringilla chloris) and 
brown linnet {Fringilla catiiiabina) ; of this Swaysland says he has 
obtained many specimens. He also had some good specimens of grey 
redstart {Ruticilla cairii), to my mind a very distinct bird from black 
redstart {Ruticilla titys), which often turns up here, and of which 
Swaysland had several specimens. 



APPENDIX II 297 

December 26th. Young Walter Swaysland called in the evening to 
tell me that he had a dark-breasted variety of barn-owl {Sirix flammed) 
brought in alive. 1 had a long ornithological chat with him. 

Decemhei- 27///. Swaysland has a good many live birds in a com- 
partment at the end of the pier below the platform, which, in spite 
of very limited space, seem to flourish. I bought a pair of mealy 
red-polls {Liiiota linaria). 

December 29//?. Colonel Verner showed me a cinnamon 
greenfinch and cinnamon linnet, a red-breasted thrush {Turdus 
migraforius), nightingale, blackcap, and other birds. He went with 
us to see Booth's collection of stuffed British birds in the Dyke 
Road. It is a very fine one, most of the birds admirably well 
stuffed and mounted. His cases of golden (Aqtiila fiilva) and 
white-tailed eagles {Aquila albicilla) especially are beautiful. Booth 
has a lot of gannets (^Sula bassana) alive in his garden, one of which 
was bred there this year. G. Hunt tells of a bird seen at 
Wadenhoe by Quincey, which sounds more like a nutcracker 
{JVucifraga caryocatactes) than anything else. 

December ^oth. Received and corrected proofs of a fresh 
small portion of my notes on Northamptonshire birds for the 
Journal of our Natural History Society. 

London 

January yd, 1882. Went back to Den and found a large 
concourse of ornithologists. Seebohm showed us some beautiful 
skins from Astrachan and Siberia; one of the most interesting was 
a flamingo {P/uenicopterus antiquortwi) in down, from the Caspian. 
He also showed some beautiful specimens of the little partridge 
{Perdix barbatus) from North China. 

January 26th. My remaining butcher-bird died. Discovered 
an egg of glossy ibis {Plegadis falcinellus) amongst those received 
in the last box from Manuel of Coria. It was not mentioned 
in Ruiz's invoice and I had overlooked it, but old Manuel 
mentioned it in a letter received a few days ago. It was taken in 
the marisma. 



298 APPENDIX II 

The two months following upon his cruise in the Mediter- 
ranean in this year, Lord Lilford spent partly in London, 
partly at Neuenahr, whither he went to take the waters. 

The first entry in the following extracts finds him just 
returned. 

Dover. London 

May ic^th. M S reports my bear at Zoological Gardens 

as being very ill. 

Letters from old Manuel announcing the finding of a lanner's 
nest in the Coto de Donana with three young birds and an egg. 
Female bird shot and found to be minus one leg. Country so 
dry that no flamingoes are to be found. 

Gave Dresser a pair of Audouin's gulls. 

London 

May 26th. Agreed to buy the great auk and egg of C 

for ^300. 

Irby tells me that Mcna has obtained Totamts stagnati/is near Malaga. 

Dresser has successfully blown the eggs of Melizophilus sardus. 
I sent the two snakes up to the Zoological Gardens. 

May 21th. Invested in a fireproof safe for the better 
preservation of the three great auk's eggs. 

George Hunt tells me that in March he killed 500 woodpigeons 
near Gidding in little over a week. 

Windsor and Sunningd.\le 
May T,\st. Drove up the Long Walk to Cumberland Lodge; 
the beeches in great beauty and rhododendrons in full ijloom, the 
young fern and many rabbits adding to the beauty of our drive to 
Sunningd.ile. Noticed the following birds : — Blackbird, song-thrush, 
missel-thrush, swallow, house-martin, sand-martin, swift, rook, jackdaw, 
nightingale, blackcap, lesser whitcthroat, chiffchafT, willow-wren, wood- 
wren, robin, wren, great tit, coal tit, starling, skylark, pied wagtail, 
yellow-hammer, stone-chat, stock-dove, chaffinch, common sparrow, 
tree-creeper, pheasant, heron, mallard. 



APPENDIX II 299 

London 

June 1st. Went to Jamrach's, where I bought twelve roseate 
pastors and a laughing kingfisher. Principal things noticed : Splendid 
pair of Persian greyhounds, three Australian quails, and some jerboas. 

Neuenahr 

June T,rd. Birds observed between Flushing and Cologne : Marsh- 
harrier, kestrel, white wagtail, skylark, common sparrow, starling, 
carrion crow, peewit, common redshank, common heron, white stork, 
brown-headed gull, mallard, and cormorant. 

June ^th. Was able, thank God, to stroll round the garden with 
frequent rests, more than I have done in the walking way for many 
a day. 

Heard landrail and many nightjars at dusk. 

I notice that most of the sparrows about the east side of the Curhaus, 
where we are now located, are the tree sparrow {Passer montanus), 
which species, curiously enough, escaped my notice altogether last year. 
The birds seem just as abundant as in last summer, but more forward 
in their domestic arrangements. I did not hear so much song of 
nightingale, but saw a good many, and heard their churr in all directions. 
Several lesser whitethroats {Sylvia curruca) amongst the pea-sticks 
just under our windows ; they and the black redstarts are kept in a 
constant state of excitement by prowling cats, which affords excellent 
opportunities of observation. Saw a robin in Curgarten for the first 
time, the only birds of this species last year seen by me were in the 
hills. Many cuckoos. 

June 6f/i. Very fine hot day with south-west breeze. I wandered 
out after breakfast along the Acazien Allee and saw a good many birds, 
but there is so much more grass and covert of all sorts this year than 
last, and the breeze was so strong that it was bad for observation. I, 
however, added three additional species to list of birds seen here, as 
follows : — 

Saw a pair of hawfinches {Coccothraustes vulgaris) and a pair of 
bullfinches (Pyrrhula europcea), new to list, and heard a note often 
repeated which I have no hesitation in assigning to the grey-headed 
woodpecker {Gecinus can us). 



300 APPENDIX II 

June 1th. Heard unmistakable note of nuthatch {Sitta, sp. ?) new 
to my Neuenahr bird list. 

June Ztk. Common wren {Troglodytes parvulus) singing lustily 
close to hotel this morning ; new to Neuenahr bird list. 

June <)tk. My bearded Stuhlknecht of last year told me that he 
knew of a nest of kite in the Wald with two eggs. 

June loth. 1 had a visit from a Neuenahr keeper, with whom 
I plunged recklessly into the tongue of the Fatherland, and got on 
fairly well. 

The sportsman did not seem to recognise the hobby = " Baumfalke " 
from my description, but knows the following Raptores : — kestrel = 
" Thurmfalka," goshawk = " Habicht," sparrow-hawk = " Sperber," kite = 
" Weier," buzzard and probably honey-buzzard = " Bussard," eagle- 
owl ="Uhu," barn-owl = "Katzuhle." He also knows Gecinus canus 
as "Grauer Specht," and told me that there are a good many gelin- 
notes = " Hazelhahn " in the Wald, and that he knew of a nest with 
seven eggs hatched ofif about a week ago. No blackgame= " Birkhaln " 
in this \Vald ; a few woodcock =" Waldschnepfe " breed therein; 
many roe = "Reh" and wild-boars = " Wildschwein." 

June \2th. My bearded Stuhlknecht brought me a mutilated 
jay = "Magen," which he said had been shot in the Curgarten, and 
insisted with some truth that it was a " Raubvogel " = bird of 'prey. 

Jujte i^th. Letter from G. Hunt, telling of catching some good 
trout in Troywell brook, and little ones in Wadenhoe eel-trap ; 
ailso of long-eared owl {Asio otus) at his reservoir, and green sand- 
piper {Tetanus ochropus) last month on the brook. 

Bartlett has secured the two Persian greyhounds for me {vide 
antei June ist, 1882). 

A young wild swine {Sus scrqfa) brought to our sitting-room at 
night by a wilder youth, who, as far as we could make out, said it 
was one of four taken in a pitfall this morning in the Hoh-Wald 
not far off. It appeared to me to be moribund. 

June i^th. Saw a young titys redstart about on his own 
account. 

June 16th. My younger Stuhlknecht of last year brought me a 



APPENDIX II 301 

very fine specimen of long-eared bat {Fkcoius auri(us), and our 
waiter tells of a man at Altenahr who has two young " Uhus " {Bubo 
maximus ?) alive. 

Jime \'jth. Found that the "Uhus" mentioned above had been 
sold and sent to Bonn. Young swallows flying. 

Letter from Leo, with some details about his Egyptian birds ; 
the best things seem to be ^gialitis asiatka in breeding plumage, 
and a fiilcon doubtful but supposed to be F. barbartis. 

June \%th. Heard from G. Lascelles that the two young 
falcons from the Maddalena, which had reached him in wretched 
condition, were improving. Wrote to Castang, telling him to send 
down a lanner, hobby, and hawk, which he thinks is Saker, to Lilford. 

June ii.)th. Saw kingfisher {Akedo ispida), new to Neuenahr 
list ; also a woodpecker in Curgarten, which I am almost certain was 
Gecinus canus. 

June 2otk. Watched tree creepers {Certhia familiaris) feeding 
their young in nest at head of pollard willow. Saw some fifty little 
tits {Acredula caudatd) new to my Neuenahr list. This was 
apparently a collection of several families out for a lark together. 

June 22nd. Saw common sandpiper (Totanus hypokuius), new 
to my Neuenahr list. 

June 2ird. Saw grey wagtail {Motacilla sulphurea), new to 
Neuenahr list. Heard golden oriole, quail, and woodlark. Letter 
from G. Hunt announcing the finding of hobby's nest with three 
eggs in Geddington Chase, and the fact that the gamekeeper who 
found this one destroyed eggs and shot the old birds from another 
nest last year in Boughton AVood. 

June 2\th. Heard from Bartlelt that he had a hobby for me 
in good plumage, and from Paul MoUen that the hawks from 
Castang — viz., lanner [Fako feldeggi), hobby {F. subbuteo), and 
supposed saker (which is not what it is supposed to be) had 
arrived at Lilford, and that one of the African buzzards {Buteo 
deseriorum) was dead. 



302 APPENDIX II 

Saw dipper {Cindus Mjuaticus) and heard many common green 
woodpeckers {Gecimis viridis), both new to my Neuenahr list. 

Jutie 25///. Letter from T. telling me of various casualties 
amongst birds at Lilford, which Paul MoUen had ignored. Notice 
in field from W. Tomalin of teal {Anas crecca) breeding at Ecton, 
Northamptonsh ire. 

June 21th. Letter from J. H. Gurney telling me that falcon 
brought by Leo from Nile is a puzzling specimen, more particularly 
so as it is not sexed, but he is inclined to consider it F. punicus. 

June iZth. Saw a large white-looking bird on wing far away 
in the direction of Apollinaris, which must, I think, have been a 
stork (Ciconia alba) or a large gull, either of which are new to my 
Neuenahr list. 

June 2()th. Letter from W. Tomalin, dated 28th, with more 
particulars of teal at Ecton {vide 25th inst. and for details to 
Book of Northamptonshire, vol. ii., under this date). 

Letters from G. Hunt telling me that the hobby's nest before 
mentioned in Geddington Chase "is in a straight grown oak, an 
old crow's nest about thirty feet from the ground and some two 
hundred yards from nearest track or riding " {vide June 23rd). 

June ■^oth. Letters from Paul Mollen telling me that the 
two gulls {Larus domiiiicanus and L. argentatus) in courtyard at 
Lilford had paired again this spring, nested, laid, and hatched out 
three young ones, two of which he has lost. He also says that he 
thinks that the supposed saker {F. sacer) from Castang is a Barbary 
falcon {vide June 24th). 

Two very young falcons brouglit to me alive from the 
Landskrone, so small that I cannot tell what they are. 



INDEX 



Accentor, Alpine, 276 

Accentor collaris, 276 

Accipitcr nisus, 133 

Address, Presidential (Northants Field 

Club), 39 
Aigialitis hiaticula, 284 
Alboran Island, Observations around, 

203, 223 
Albufera, Observations around, 207 
A mpelis garni his, 273 
Amydrus tristrami, 49, 272-3 
Anas aitgustirostris, 274 

„ caryophyllacca, 282 

„ nrcca, 302 
Andalucia, Crossbills in, 14 

„ Observations in, 219 
Andalucian hemipode, 15 
Aftscr aliifrons, 75 (note) 

,, brachyrhynchiis, 75 (note) 

„ fcrits, 214 (note) 

„ scgetian, 75 (note) 
Antelopes, Beatrix, 294 
Aptcryx, 37, 38, 83 
Aquila adalberli, 195 (note), 278 
Ardea, 283 

„ cinerea, 274 

„ goliath, 273 
Ardetia minuta, 286 
Astur palnmbarius, 133, 283 
Athene noctua, 16, 85 
Auk, Great, Egg of, 58-9, 298 

,, Little, 18 
Avocets, 50, 286 

Badgers, 5i 
Barbel, 5 



Barcelona, Observations around, 211 
Barclay, Col. H., Letters to, 33, 264 
Bat, Fruit-, 41 
Bats, 149, 153, 162 
Bear, Spanish, 147, 293 

„ Story of a, 40 
Bee-eater, 241 (note). 
Bernicula jubata, 284 
Bittern, 71, 72, 86, 279, 286 

Tiger, 293-5 
Blackbird, " Golden-winged," 49. 
Blackbirds, 19 
Blackcap, Madeira, 14, 48 

,, Azores, 193 
Bladderwort, 6 
Blue bird, 276 
Botaurus stellaris, 279 
" Brails " (and note), 63 
Bramblings, 17 
Brazo del Este (Guadalquivir), Sport 

on, 218 
Bubo ascalaphus, 285 

„ cincrasceus, 274 

,, maculosus, 272 

,, maximus, 59 
Buckley, T. Esq., Letters to, 112, 141 
Bucks Otter-hounds, 1 1 1 
Buffon's Skua, 14 
Bulbul, 274 
Bullfinch, 71 

Black, 268 
Bunting, Cirl, 20 
„ Little, 149 
,, Yellow-breasted, 282 
Bustard, Great, 30, 57, 146, 199 (note), 
200, 279, 284-6 



304 



INDEX 



Bustard, Hoiibara, 67, 68, 71 

Little, 275, 286 
Bustard-quails, 169 (note) 
Bustards, Killing of, 29 
Butcher-bird, 122 
Buteo vulgaris, 60 (note) 
Buzzard, Common, 60 

,, Honey-, 266 (note), 285 

„ Rough-legged, 80 

Caccabis group (note), 1 50 
,, riifa, 29 
,, sexaiilis, 152 
Cadiz, Observations around, 195, 213 
Cagliari, Observations around, 170-73 
Caliera, Observations around, 184 
Carcaras, 285 
Cat, Archangelic, 78 (and note) 

„ Wild, 214 
Catania, Observations around, 1 57 
Cereopsis tiovcc-kollanditB, 275 
Chaffinch, Canarian, 68 

,, "Teydean," 49, 71 
Chaffinches, 17 

Charadriiis pliivialis. Note on, 22 
Cheiroptera, 149 
Chclidoit, 223 
Chettiisia gregaria, 2 1 1 
Chiffchaffs, 12 
Choughs, Alpine, 52, 60 

,, Cornish, 52, 293 
Circai'tus galliais, 180 (note), 286 
Circus, 160 (note) 

,, cineraccus, 60, 160 (note), 285 
„ cyancus, 274-5 
Cirl Bunting, 20 
Cockatoo, Great Blue-eyed, 267 
Collection, Ornithological, etc. — 
At Brighton, 297 

,, Genoa, 149 

„ Lilford, 36-38, 287-92 

„ Lisbon, 193 

„ Malaga, 203 

,, Malta, 167 

„ Naples, 153 

„ Nice, 244 

,, Palermo, 168 



Collection, Ornithological, etc. — 
At Pisa, 226 
„ Valencia, 206 
" Coloured Figures of the British 

Birds," ix, 90 
Coluinba bollii, 66, 67, 80 
„ laurivora, 70 (note) 
,, <enas, 151 
,, palumbus, 279 
„ irocaz, 28, 50, 281 
Colymbus arctiais, 294 
Coney, The, of Scripture, 86 
Coracias garrulus, 65 (note) 
CoRDEAUX, John, Esq., Letters to, 13, 

19 
Corsica, West Coast of, Observations 

around, 244 
Corvus cor ax, 82 

„ frugilegus, 151 
CosGRAVE, Richard, Note on, 44 
Courser, 68, 95 

„ Cream-coloured, 203 (note), 
261-2 
Crakes, 94 
Crane, Hooded, 58, 70 

„ Manchurian, 58, 274 

„ Siberian, 284 

,, White-necked, 170, 275 
Cranes, 58 
Crex parva, 94 

Crichton, Hon. Mrs., Letters to, 112 
Crossbills, 14, 17, 34 
Crow, Grey, 13, 32 
Crvplorhina afra, 280 
Curlew, 9, 282, 295 

„ Australian, 54 
CwTuca heinckeni, 69 
Cursorius gallicus, 203 (note) 
Curvirostra, 17 
Cyanocorax luxuosus, 270 
„ pikatus, 285 

Cygnet, White, 275 
Cygnus bewicki, 276 

,, ferus, 19, 276 

,, olor,2T^ 

Dafila spinicauda, 280 



INDEX 



305 



Danube, The, for Naturalists, 33 

Darter, 294 

Dehesa, Observations in the, 186 

Diuca diuca, 286 

Diver, Black-throated, 24, 294 

,, Great Northern, ig, 31 

,, Red-throated, 31 
"Don Quixote," 245, 269 
DoRiA, The Marchese Giacomo, 

148 
Dormouse, 42 
Dove, Crested, 50 

,, Laurel, 70 

,, Rock, 22S 

,, Stock, 28 
Drake, 18 

„ Pink-headed, 282 
Dresser, Henry, Esq., Letter from, 253 
„ ,, ,, on Lord Lil- 

ford's "finds," 253 
Drewitt, Hon. Mrs., Letters to, 248, 

2501 253. 255 
Duck, Bimaculated, 18 

,, Pink-headed, 53 

,, Tufted, g, ig, 165 
Ducks, 15, 214-5 

,, Hawk, 281 

,, Hybrid, 281 

,, Marbled, 54, 274, 286 
Dunlins, 191 

Eagle, Bonelli's, 201 (note), 285 
,, Booted, 93, 201 (note) 
„ Chilian, 8. 283 
,, Golden, 32, 33, 43, 284 
„ Sea-, White-bellied, 46, 88, 281 
,, Sea-, White-tailed, 26 (note), 

42, 43, 92, 94 
„ Snake, i, 180 (note) 
,, Spanish Imperial, 147, 212 
,, Spotted, 95, 149 
,, Tawny, 284 

„ White - shouldered, 93, 195 
(note), 278 

Eagles, 21, 33 

Editor, The, Letters to, 73, 74, 75, 76, 
77, 78, 85, 86, loi, 270, 271 



Editor, The, voyage to Kolguev Is., 270 
Egg Act, Lord Lilford on, 257 
,, Protection, Lord Lilford on, 257, 

261 
,, Swindle, An, 263 
Egrets, 54, 273 
Elba, Observations around, 227-9 

„ Rocks of, 228 
Ernbcriza aureola, 282 
Epirus, Flighting in, 142 

,, Observations in, 9-10 
Ernes, 25 

Eryth?-ospiza githaginea, 7 1 
" Eyesses," 118, 119 

Falco asalon, 129 
,, anatum, 281 
,, barbanis, 178 (note), 276 
,, ce?ichns, 165 (note), 280 
,, elconorce, 274 
,, feldeggi, 196 (note), 286 
,, norvegkus, 86 
,, pcregrinaior, 79 
,, pcregrimis, 118 
,, suhbutco, note on 25, 78, 132 
,, tinniinculus, i-j 
Falcon, 40, 114-5, 124 

,, Eleonora, 149, 175-6, 179 
,, La Marmora's, 149, 274 
,, Nile, 301-2 
,, Story of a, 32 
Falconry, Antiquity of, 115 
,, in Morocco, 81 

Mania, 117 
,, Practice of, 117 
Fame Is., Protection of birds on, 258, 

260 
Felts, 13 

Ferrets, Polecat, 61 
Fieldfares, 9, 13, 15, 19 
Fishes jumping ashore, 15 
Flamingoes, 53, 297 
Flighting in Epirus and Tunis, 142 
Fox, Hill-, 22 

Fraiicolinus ikakaralus, 81, 277, 281 
„ infitscatiis, 286 

,, vulgaris, 149, 156 (note) 

20 



3o6 



INDEX 



Freeman, The Rev. Gage Earle, vii. 

Pref., 1 14 (note), 115, 144 
Fregilus graculus, 293 
Fringilla tintillon, 68 
Fuerteveiitura Is., 61, 262 
Fuligula crislata, 165 (note) 

Gadwall, Habit of, g 
Galago demidojfi, 8l 
Gallinula angiilata, 278 
Gallinule, 277, 282 
Gannet, 187 (note) 
Gecinns canus, 277 

,, viridis, i8, 76 
Geese, Australian maned, 284 
Genncea sacer or lananus, i6g (note) 
Genoa, Lord Lilford at, 148-9 
Gcranoactus mclanoleucus, 283 
Germany, Observations in, 299, 300- 

1-2. 
Giannutri, Observations around, 232 
Gibraltar, ,, ,, 201 

Giglio, „ „ 234 

" Glowworm," The s.s., 271 
Godwit, 219 (note), 286 
Goldfinches, 17 
Goosander, 22, 23 
Goose, Bean, 75, 279-81 

,, Cereopsis, 275-6 

,, Grey Lag, 214 and note 

,, Hybrid, 279 

,, N. American, 54 

,, Pinkfooted, ig, 75 

,, Solan, 187 (note) 

,, Wliite-fronted, 75, 91, 279-8 

„ Wild, 215 
Gosliawk, 114, 283 
Gracula intermedia, 275 
Grakle, Chestnut-winged, 49, 372 
Grebe, Great Crested, 13 
Grebes, 97. 
Grey-hen, 20 
Grouse, 286 

„ "Hawking," 124, 126 
Griis, australasiana, 280 

„ leucaucheii, 70, 275 

,, leiicogeraniis, 284 



G/us, monachiis, 58 70 

,, viridirostris, Tji, 
Guadalquivir, Sport on, 213-9 
Guillemot, Black, 93 
Guillemots, 187 
Gull, Audouin's, 149, 177, 2i,\-i. 

,, Black-headed, 152 (note), 153 
,, backed, 272 

,, Brown-headed, 85 (note), 150, 
152 (note), 153 

,, Common, 78, 178, 187, 240 

,, Herring, 150, 286 

,, Laughing, 21 1 

„ " Robber," 14 
GOnther, Dr. Albert, Letters from, 

to Hon. Mrs. Drewitt, 250 
Gunther, Dr. Albert, Letters to, 5, 

34 
Gypadtiis barbatus, Note on, 32, 75, 278 

" Hack," Flying at. Note on, 26 
" Hacking," 118-21 
Haggards, 1 18, 121 (and note) 

,, Method of Capture, 12 

Haliaetus albicilla, 26 (note) 

,, leucogasicr, 88, 281 
Hare, Story of a, 142-3 
Harrier, Montagu's, 60, 96, 285 
Harriers, 166 (note) 
Hawfinch, 7, 16, 17, iS, 25 
Hawk, 

" Duck," 281 
,, Gos-, 114, 132-3, 136, 293 
,, ,, in " Yarak,' 135 

,, Sparrow-, 132, 136-7 
Hawking, Grouse, 124-6 
,, Heron, 128 
,, Magpie, 129 
„ Partridge, 126 
Rabbit, 135 
Rook, 128 
„ Snipe, 126 
Hawks, 14, 118 

„ Diseases and Medicines, 138-9 
"Eyess," 1 23 
Imping, 138 
„ Long-winged, 118, 132-3 



INDEX 



307 



Hawks, Moulting of, 138 

,, " Passage,'' 121 
Red, 121 

,, Short-winged, 132-6 
Training of, 134 
Wild-caiight, 126 
Hen-harrier, 274-5 
Heron, 23, 108, 126, 155, 274 

„ Goliath, 273-4, 279 

,, -Hawking, 128 

„ Night, 85, 278 
Hierro Is., 35 

Hobby Falcon, 9, 78, 13 1, 301-2 
"Holts" of Otters, 103 
Hoopoe, 14, 65 

Hope, G., Esq., Letters to, 258-60 
Hybrid, Mallard 4- Teal, 31 
Hybrids, Interesting, 292, 294, 296 
Hypocolijts ampeliniis, 279 
Hyrax capensis, 86 

Ibex, 149 

Ibis, 51, 54, 283 

„ Glossy, 212, 286, 295, 297 
" Ibis, " The, Lord Lilford's Contri- 
butions to, ix, X 
Isla del Ayre, Observations around, 

183-4 
Italy, Sport in, 151-2 
Iviza, Observations around, 185, 210 

„ Zoology of, 210 

Jay, Mexican, 278 
„ Pileated, 285 
Jays, 50 

Kestrel, 25, 26. 27, 286 

,, Lesser, 165, 280 
Kite, 16 (note), 20, 21 

,, in Spain, 21 
Kiwi, 83 (note) 
Knot, 283 
Kolguev Is., 270 

Lacerta simont, Note on, 35 
,, viridis, 269 



La Corta, Observations around, 214, 

216-7, 219 
La Corta, Shooting around, 215 
Lammergeiers, 45, 75, 278 
Landrails, 12 

Lanner, ig6 (note), 286, 29S 
Lapwing, Black -bellied, 21 1 (note) 

,, Cayenne, 275 
Lark, Algerian Horned, 66 

„ Thick-billed, 66 
Lotus audouini, 149 (note), 177, 181, 

253 
,, cachtnnans, 1 50 (note) 
,, leiicopJueiis, 150 (note), 224 
,, tnclanocephalus, 152 (note), 155 
,, ridibimdiis, 152 (note), 211 
Leghorn, Observations near, 151, 226 
Lemon, Mrs., Letter to, 266 
Lemur, Ruffed, 11 
Leverkuun, Dr. Paul, xiii. 
Li 1 ford, 4, 36 

,, Arrival of Migrants at, 13, 23 
,, Aviaries at, 37-8, 287 
,, Birds at, Jan. 31, 1895, 268 
,, Birds at, July 16 and 31, l888, 

12 
,, Collection at, 287-92 
,, Neighbourhood, Botany of, 5 
„ Park, 6 
Lilford, Lord (4th Baron), i (Introd.), 
II 
„ ,, and "Birds of Europe," 

254 
,, ,, and Bucks Otter- 

hounds, 1 1 1 
,, ,, and correspondence, 

12, 252 
,, ,, and Rev. Canon Tris- 

tram, 248 
,, ,, and the Egg Act, 257 

,, ,, and the feather fashion, 

264-6 
„ ,, and the Soc. for Pro- 

tection of Birds, 
265 
,, ,, as a Naturalist, 249 

„ ,, as an observer, 251 



3o8 



INDEX 



LiLFORD, Lord, in conversation, 252 
,, ,, in Parliament, 255 

,, ,, in Spain, 146-7 

„ ,, Kindness of, 249, 

254-5 
,, ,, on foxhunting, 100 

,, ,, on liimself, 3 (Iiitrod.) 

„ ,, on Sport, 98 

Lilford's, Lord, Attachment to Spain, 

245 
,, ,, Work, Appreciation 

of, 247 
,, ,, "Finds," 253 

Linnets, 17 

Lisbon, Observations around, 193 
Littleton, Thomas, 4th Baron Lil- 

FORD, I (Introd.) 
Lizard, Green, 269 

„ Simony's, 35 
Loddigesia, mirabilis, 295 
Longicornes, 164 (note) 

Machetes pHgtiax, 28 1 

Maddalena, Observations around, 236- 

9. 243 
Magpie-hawking, 129 
Malaga, Observations around, 226 
Mallard, 9, 19 

Malta, Observations around, 167 
Marten, 30 
Matthew, The Rev, Murray, Letters 

to, 34, 85, 86, 143, 144, 214 
Matthew, The Rev. Murray, Letters 

to, from Hon. Mrs. Drewitf, 145, 

255 

Meade-Waldo, E. G. B., Esq., Letters 
to, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 24, 25, 
26, 27, 28, 35, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 
67. 69, 70. 71. 73. 78, 79. 80, 81, 
82, III, 257, 262 

Melizophilus sardus, 243, 253 

Merganser, 22, 23 

Mergus merganser, note on, 22 
,, serraior, 22 

Merlins, 80, 129, 137 

Merops apiaster, 241 (note) 

Messina, Observations around, 155 



Migrants, Arrival of, at Lilford, 13, 15, 

17, 21 
Milvus ictinits, 20 
Minorca, Observations around, 124 
Monte Cristo and Giglio, Observations 

around, 230 
Motacilla alba, 1 5 1 
fava, 34 
Mouse, Barbary, 42, 75 

„ Harvest, 73, 74 
Mygale pyrenaicum, 74 
Mynah, Hill-, 275 

Naples, Observations around, 151 
" Native Companion," Australian, 280 
Nene, River, around Lilford, 4, 5, 9 
,, ,, Perch in, 5 

,, ,, Uncommon Wildfowl on, 9 
Neophron, 202 
Neuenahr, Observations around, 299, 

300-1-2 
Ninox boobook, 281 
Nisaetus fasciaius, 201 (note) 
„ pennatus, 201 (note) 
Northamptonshire Birds, 267 
Northamptonshire, Description of, 

around Lilford, 5 
" Notes on the Birds of Northants and 

Neighbourhood," ix., 7, 8, 9 
Numc7iius arquatus, 282 

,, hudsotiwus, 253 

Nutcrackers, 52, 81, 149, 274 
Nuthatch, White-bellied, 277 
Nyctkorax griseus, 278 

Observations around — 
Alboran Is., 204 
Albufera, 207 
Barcelona, 211 
Cadiz, 195 
Cagliari, 170 
Cahera, 184 
Catania, 157-8-g 
Catania, Pantani di, 159 
Elba, 227 
Genoa, 150 
Giannutri, 232 



INDEX 



309 



Observations around — 

Gibraltar, 201, 221 

Giglio, 234 

Isla del Ayre, 183 

Iviza, 185, 210-11 

La Corta, 214 

Leghorn and Pisa, 151, 326 

Lisbon, 193-4 

Maddalena, 236, 243 

Malaga, 221 

Malta, 167 

Messina, 155 

Minorca, 224 

Monte Cristo and Giglio, 230 

Naples, 152 

Neuenahr, 299-301 

other Places in Sicily, 159-60 

Palermo, 169 

Palmas, Bay of, i8o 

Pauillac, 188 

Port Ercole, 231 

Port Mahon, 182-3, 224 

San Luca de Barrameda, 195, 213, 
220 

San Stefano, 235, 240 

Santander, 189 

Seville, 196, 212 

Spargi and Spargiotto, 241 

Spezia, 150, 225 

Straits of Bonifacio, 236 

Syracuse, 162 

Taormina, 156 

Toro, 176 

Torre del Annunziata, 1 54 

Vacca, 174 

Valencia, 206, 223 

Vigo, 192 

West Coast of Corsica, Sagona, 
244 
Observations at Sea, 187-8, 222, 225 
„ between Flushing and 

Cologne, 299 
„ between Windsor and 

Sunningdale, 298 
„ in the Dehesa, 186 

(Edemia nigra, 190 (note) 
CEdicnemus crepitans, 295 



Osprey, 25, 95, 201 

Otis macqueeni. Note on, 67 

,, tarda. Note on, 29, 199, 279, 284 

,, tetrax, 275 

,, luidulata, 67 (note) 
Otocorys bilopha, 66 
Otter-hounds, 103 
Otter hunting — 

Country for, 107 
" hunting a drag," 105 
in South Devon, 112 
" running heel," 105 
the "holf or "hover," 106 
Otter Hunts, " Red Letter," 105 
Otters, 15, 41, loi, 112 
Owl, Barn, 16, 24, 277 

,, Boobook, 281 

,, Burrowing, 88 

,, Eagle, 59-60, 274, 285 

,, Great Grey, 76 (note) 

,, Hawk, 63 

,, Horned, 272 

,, Lapp, 62 (note), 63, 65 

,, Little, 16, 26, 46-7, 84, 85 

,, Long-eared, 16, 282 

,, Marsh, 16 

,, Scandinavian, 64 

,, Tawny, 16, 20, 24, 85 

,, Ural, 86, 281 
Owls, 59, 60, 62-3, 85 

,, Usefulness of, 47-8 
Oyster-catchers, 50, 90 

Palermo, Observations around, 169 
Palmas, Bay of. Observations around, 

180 
Pantani di Catania, Observations 

around, 159-60 
Park at Lilford, 6 

,, ,, ,, Trees in, 6 
Partridge, Common, 1 50 
„ Hawking, 126 

Grey, 28 
,, ,, in N. Spain, 29 

Red-leg, 150 
Partridges, 12, 27, 286 
,, at Genoa, 150 



3'o 



INDEX 



Partis Cypriotes, 253 

,, palmensis, 67 (note), 6g 
Passage of small birds on the backs of 

large ones, 34 
Fauillac, Observations around, 188 
Peewits, 17, 23 
Pelican, 153 

,, African, 223 
Percli, dusky, 243 
Perdix barbafus, 297 
Peregrines, 30, n8, iig, 281 
Pernis apivorus, 285 
Petrel, 221 (note), 296 

,, Storm, 96, 97 
Phalacrocorax graculus, 278 
Phaps chalcoptera, 281 
Pheasant, Reeves's, 72-3, 80 

,, Shooting, 144 
Pheasants, 23 

„ Hybrids, 153 
„ in Albania, 28, 79, 144 
Phillips, E. Cambridge, Esq., Letters 

to, 21, 26, 29, 257, 261 
Phillips, IVIrs., Letter to, 266 
Phylloscopus sibilatrix. Note on, 24 
Picoides major, 76 

„ tridactylus, 65 (note), 76 
Piais cissa, 272 

,, martius, 77 
Pigeon, Bolle's, 66 (note) 
,, Bronze-winged, 281 
Hybridisation of, 28 
,, Wood-, 15, 17, 24, 25, 50, 71, 
279-81 
Pigeons, and Falconry, 122 

,, " Antwerp carriers," 28 
Pinetum, The, Description of, 37, 57 
Pintail, 19 

„ Chilian, 280 
Pipits, 17 

Plegadis faldndlus, 212, 286, 295-7 
P lotus, levaillanti, 294-5 
Plover, 22, 284 

,, Bartram's, 96 
,, Gold Nicobar, 51 
,, Golden, 22 
„ Norfolk, 85 



Pochard, 9, 19 

Pointer, Description of a, 143 

,, A, used in Falconry, 124 
Polecat, 30 

Polybonis brasiliensis, 285 
Porphyria melanotus, 280 
Porphyrios, 51, 159 (note), 280, 286 
Porpoises, 188 

Port Ercole, Observations around, 231 
,, Mahon, „ „ 182, 

224 
Portugal, Crossbills in, 14 
Pratincola dacoiia, 61 (note) 
Puffin, 91 
Puffinus, 151, 154 

Quail, Madagascar Bush-, 81 
Quails, 14, 66 

Rabbit-shooting, 144 
Ravens, Hierro, 35 

„ " Sankey " and " Grip," 39, 82, 
83, 147, 272 
Redshanks, 22, 286 
Redstarts, 296 
Redwings, 9, 17, 27 
Retriever, Story of a, 139-41 
Rhampiiocorys clot-bey, 66 
Robin, Blue, 50 
Robins, 19 

Rock-Thrush, Blue, 48, 87, 202 
Rodents, 64-5 
Rollers, 65 
Rook-hawking, 128 
Rooks, 15 
Ruffs, 50, 90, 281 

St. Quintin, W. H., Esq., Letters to, 

30. 72 
Saker, 169 
San Lucar de Barrameda, Observations 

around, 195, 213, 220 
San Stefano, Obser\-ations, around, 

235, 240 
Sand-grouse in the Spurn District, 13 
Sand-piper, Green, 12 
Sand-pipers, 9, 151 



INDEX 



311 



Santander, Observations around, i8g 
Saxicola, 162 

Scilly Is., Protection of Birds on, 259 
Scomber, 231, 235 
Scoters, 190 
Seal, 149 

" Seal," The, of Otters, 102 
Sea-pies, 50 
Sea-swallows, 155 
Senegal pies, 280 

Seville, Observations around, 196-201, 
212 
„ Shooting around, 197-201 
Shags, 174-5, 278 
Shahin, Black, 79 
Shama, 48 
Shearwaters, 154 (note), 175, 179, 221 

(note) 
Shovellers, 10 
Shrew, Spanish Trumpet, 74 

,, Water-, 73 
Shrike, Great Grey, 61 
Grey Coly, 279 
„ Red-backed, 286 
Shrikes, 122, 298 
SiaHa stalls, 276 
Sicily, Observations in, 1 59 

„ Wild life in, 168 
Siskins, 23 
Siita albiventris, 277 
Skylark-hawking, 130 
Skylarks, 17 
Skua, Buffon's, 14 

.. Egg of, 55 

„ Great, 55, 56 

,, Richardson's, 222 
Smews, 19 
Snipe, 16, 77, 96, 190, 218, 294 

„ Hawking, 125 
Spain, Birds of, 91 

,, Kites in, 21 

,, Lord Lilford in, 146-7 

„ Lord Lilford's attachment to, 

245 
„ Vultures of, 171 (note) 
Spargi and Spargiotto, Observations 
on, 241 



Sparrovvhawk, 23, 87 

Sparrows, 164 

Spezia, Observations at, 150, 225 

Sport in Italy, 1 5 1-2 

" Spraint," The, of Otters, 102 

Starling, Rose-coloured, 149 

,, Sardinian, 280-2 

Starlings, 17, 19, 279, 286 
Siercorarius catarrhactcs, 55 

,, parasiticus, 14 

Stoats, Pied, 31 
Stone-chat, 61 
Stopford, Walter M., Esq., Letters 

to, 22, 23, 82, 113 
Storks, 34 
Straits of Bonifacio, Observations 

around, 236 
S/rix capcnsis, 277 
Stnrnus unicolor, 280 
Sula hassa?ia, 187 (note) 
Swan, Bewick's, 9, 91, 276 

„ Whooper, Note on, 19, 91, 276 
Swifts, 12, 20, 222 
Sylvia melanopogon, 223 
,, jnelanothorax, 253 
Syracuse, Observations around, 162-6 
Syrnium atricapilla, 69 

,, cijtercum, 76 

,, lapponicujn, 62, 79 

,, newarensc, 63 

„ perspicillatiim, 63 

,, ttralensc, 281 

TaorminS, Observations near, 1 56 
Teal, 15, ig, 302 

.. Japanese, 54 
Tern, 172 
„ Black, 12 

,, Protection of, on East Coast, 
258-9 
"Thick-knee," 54, 85 (note) 
Thorburx, a., Esq., Letters to, 72, 83, 

90-97 
Thrush, Blue Rock, 48, 87 

,, Chinese La\ighing, 280 
,, Missel, 27 
Song, 19 



312 



INDEX 



Thrushes, 15, 25 

Tigrisoma tigrinum, tjt, 

Titmouse, 67, 253 

Tits, Blue, 69 

Toro, Observations around, 176, 181 

Torre del Annunziata, Observations 

near, 154 
Tortoise, 180 

„ Giant, 79 
Totanus stagtiatilis, 298 
Tribute to Lord Lilford, 248 
Tristram, The Rev. Canon, Letters 

from Hon. Mrs. Drewitt, 248 
Tristram, The Rev. Canon, Letters 

to, 4, 87, 88, 89 
Troupial, 50 
" Trumpeters," 71, 82 
Tunis, Fligliting in, 142 
Turdi, 27 
Turnix; 14, i6g 

„ tUgricollis, 81 



Vacca, Observations around, 174, 181 

Valencia „ „ 206, 223 

Valkensvvaard, 14 

Vanellus cayennensis, 275 

Vespertilio sclircibcri, 153 

Vigo, Observations around, 192-3 

Visger, Mrs. Owen, Letters to, 3, 

267-8, 270 
Vulture, Bearded, 26, 32, 33, 45, 92, 
273, 284 
„ Black, 44-5, 171 (note) 
,, Cinereous, 278 

Egyptian, 171 
,, Griffon, 44-5, 171 (note), 
216 
Vultures, The, of Spain, 171 (note) 



Waders, 12 

Wagtails, Blue-headed, 34 
Warbler, La Marmora's, 253 
,, Sedge and Reed, 12 
„ Wood, 24 
Water-hens, 51 
Water-rail, 94, 108 
Waxwing, 19, 273 
Wheatears, 162 
Wliitethroat, Lesser, 12 
Whoopers, 19, 276 
Wigeon, 19, 217 

Wildfowl, Behaviour on the wing of, 9 
WiLLiMOTT, The Rev. W., 15, 30, 31 
WiLLiMOTT, The Rev. W., and Lord 

Lilford, 31 (note) 
Willow-wren, 12 
Wiud-hover, Note on, 27 
Woodcock, 13 

Woodpecker, Black, 72, 75, 76, 147 
283 
„ Golden-winged, 76 

„ Green, 7, note on 18, 

272 
„ Grey-headed, 65 

,, Lesser Spotted, 8 

Little, 1 6 
,, Pied, 272, 275, 283 

,, Three-toed, 65 

Woodpigeon, 15, 17, 24, 25, 279, 281-2 

298 
Wood-warblers, 24 

Zoological Club Dinner, 295 

" Zoologist," The, Lord Lilford'sCou- 
tributions on Mammalia 
in, xii, xiii 
,, Lord Lilford's Contri- 
butions to, X, xi, xii 



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