BIRD LIFE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
skylark's rapturous trill, usually as it flies to and fro overhead, but sometimes from the ground or from the branch of a tree. Other songs which are less familiar attract our notice from time to time. Sometimes from the tops of the ash-poles in the copse by the low watermeadows, comes a monotonous piping, "trui, trui, trui," like a poor imitation of the thrush's notes. It is the Redwing's song, little heard or noticed in England but said to be a tuneful and much appreciated accompaniment of the Northern summer. And one bright February day, genial as April, we heard proceeding from the alders by the brook, a merry, rippling string of notes ending With a long drawn out "tze-e-e." The glass showed the gold-banded wing and green back of a cock Siskin. There was quite a party of them, some hanging from the twigs extracting the seed from the alder-cones. From one, then from another, sometimes from three at once, would come the brisk linnet-like song with, as finish, the squeal which attested its authorship. It was the only occasion upon which we have heard the siskin singing in a state of freedom; as a cage-bird its song is familiar enough.
In February, the spring notes of the various tits resound through the woods, most persistent of bird voices. Heard at intervals in the late autumn, then silenced by the frost, they now break out into a hundred variations of the same refrain, with all the spirit and energy inspired by the milder weather and