Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/346

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The Grey Seal on the Coast of Sussex.—Hearing, on June 5th, that a Seal had been shot at Littlehampton, I proceeded to make enquiries, and; if possible, identify the species. I was informed that it had been skinned, that it was between five and six feet in length, and weighed ninety-five pounds. The large size pointed to the conclusion that it might be the Grey Seal (Halichærus gryphus), a very rare visitor to the south coast, and, so far as I am aware, the first instance of its occurrence in these parts. Being, therefore, desirous of obtaining the skull as a means of identification, I asked what had become of it, and was informed that it had been "thrown into the river." Offering a reward, I left word that in the event of its being recovered, as I suggested it possibly might be at low tide, it should be brought to me. This was done, and I find that it corresponds in all essential particulars, as regards dentition, flattened head, &c, with the illustrations of the skull of the Grey Seal in the second edition of Prof. Bell's 'British Quadrupeds'; also teeth in the upper jaw, plain, smooth, and slightly curved, and not serrated, or placed obliquely and close together, as is the case in the Common Seal. I would also observe that in the specimen I have imperfectly endeavoured to describe, the two oblique orifices in the palate are placed near the canine teeth (see Bell, p. 268); whereas in the Common Seal (Phoca vitulina) they occur much farther back, and are longer in form (see Bell, p. 246). In 'The Zoologist' for 1897, I reported the appearance of the Common Seal in the Arun for the first time; I have now the pleasure of recording the capture in this district of the much rarer animal.—Percy E. Coombe (Surrey House, Arundel).


Thrush's Nest piled up with Ivy-berries.—By some accident the April number of 'The Zoologist' never reached me, and I have only lately seen Mr. Stanley Lewis's note in that issue (ante, p. 181). In May I received from Pembrokeshire a nest of the Song-Thrush, the sides of which were thickly piled up with berries which had originally (i.e. at the end of February) been of a beautiful ruddy colour; some of them still show faint