and quail may be shot, as also snipe. By the water, that living jewel the kingfisher can be observed watching for his prey, and about every farm the blue tit, called locally the hicky maul or hicka noddy, is abundant. The sand martin breeds in a few places. The heron has a place where she builds at Archerton.
The snow bunting and cirl bunting are met with occasionally.
The cuckoo is heard on the moor before he visits the lowlands. "March, he sits on his perch; April, he tunes his bill; May, he sings all day; June, he alters his tune, and July, away he do fly." So say the people.
One of the freshest and most delicious of Devonshire folk-melodies is that connected with a song about the cuckoo.
"The cuckoo is a pretty bird,
She sings as she flies;
She bringeth good tidings,
She telleth no lies.
She sucketh sweet flowers
To keep her voice clear,
And when she sings 'Cuckoo'
The summer draweth near."
There is a saying among the country folk:—
"Kill a robin or a wren,
Never prosper, boy or man."
The wren is said to be the king of all birds. The story told to account for this is that the birds once assembled to elect a sovereign, and agreed that that
- Given in A Garland of Country Song. Methuen, 1895.