Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/54

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THE ZOOLOGIST.

having been in captivity. The beak was flesh-coloured at the base and black at the point; eyes brownish yellow, legs and feet bright pink. After being skinned the carcase was examined by Mr. Cordeaux, who tells me that it was excessively fat. The stomach contained nothing but fine gravel; the bird was, however, shot very early in the morning.—C.H. Caton Haigh (Aber-iâ, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, North Wales).

 

Scoters in South Hants(?).—Every Hampshire naturalist must have read with astonishment the statement made by Mr. Percival-Westell ('Zoologist,' 1898, p. 505) as regards Scoters (Œdemia nigra) being common in Hayling Island and the Isle of Wight "all the year round, so doubtless breed there." Indeed a "record" for Hampshire. But, alas! the writer gave away his case when he said they were called "Isle of Wight Parsons," for, as it is well known, that is the local name for the Common Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Moreover, the Scoter is a very rapid flying bird, and never "lazily wings" its way. We have the best authority for saying that the Scoter is very rarely—if ever—in the south of Hants in the summer, and we are doubtful whether there is any record of its breeding here.—Alec Goldney Headley (Portchester, Hants).

 

Nesting Habits of the Moorhen.— In the last number of 'The Zoologist' (1898, p. 506) there appears a note asking for the results of observations by other ornithologists of the nesting habits of Gallinula chloropus. In my own experience as a collector I never found the eggs of this species covered during the absence of the parent birds—in fact, in every case the eggs could be seen as soon as the nest was discovered. I remember a nest which I found in a small pit near here on April 29th, 1898, containing a full clutch of eggs. Although the eggs were boldly marked, and both nest and eggs perfectly visible from the bank, there was not the slightest attempt at concealment by covering them up. A few weeks later I came suddenly upon a pair of Moorhens in a small pit at Ashley, Cheshire. The birds, one of which I saw quite distinctly before it saw me, flew away, and I at once searched for the nest, which I found quite exposed on the opposite side of the pit to which I had seen the parent birds. As there were only two eggs in it, and not a full clutch, perhaps this latter instance does not furnish sufficient data on which to found an opinion; but I think other ornithologists will agree with me that at any rate in many cases the eggs of the Moorhen are left uncovered.—Graham Renshaw (Sale Bridge House, Sale, Manchester).

I notice in the last issue of 'The Zoologist,' 1898, p. 506, a note by Mr. Hewitt on the nidification of the Moorhen, and an invitation to field naturalists to confirm or otherwise whether the sitting bird covers the eggs on leaving the nest. At a small lake in a thickly wooded district near