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Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/548

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THE ZOOLOGIST.

about the same hour, viz. 6 a.m. I again heard the song on the 18th, but in this case it was about 8 a.m., and I also heard it some seven miles from my home on the 20th, also about 8 a.m.; so that this occurrence has not been confined to one bird or to one place. The weather was very mild, and this may have occasioned the song. I do not recollect hearing the Lark sing at the same time of year before. In the last instance there were several Larks in a flock, but only one was singing. In the other cases there were also several in the vicinity, but one only sang. The songs were of fair duration; but I have not again heard more up to the time of writing (Oct. 27th).—Wm. Wilson (Alford, Aberdeen, N.B.)

 

Green Woodpecker near London.—I have had brought to me a male Green Woodpecker (Gecinus viridis), which had been shot here on the 19th October. It was only about half through its moult, and had been seen about for some time, evidently coming from Dulwich Wood. I am sorry it could not have been spared, as this bird is rarely seen so near London.—Frank Slade (Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, S.E.)

 

Birds of Cheshire.—We have for some years been engaged in preparing a book on the 'Birds of Cheshire,' which will be published early in the ensuing year; and we shall be grateful for assistance in the shape of notes of the occurrence or capture of rare species, lists of local bird names, or other matters relating to the avifauna of the county.—T.A. Coward (Tryfan, Peel Causeway, Bowdon); Chas. Oldham (Alderley Edge).

 

REPTILIA.

A Viper feeding in Confinement.— During a holiday spent in the Land's End district of Cornwall, in August of last year, I obtained several Vipers (Vipera verus), two of which I kept alive in a large case—a fine male and small female—the latter giving birth to seven young about a fortnight later. Up to this period she had refused to eat (I might mention that the male refused all food during the three months it lived), but, on putting a live Mouse into the case, I was fortunate enough to observe the perfectly natural action of both animals. The Viper, on seeing the Mouse, followed it cautiously, striking a hind limb, which appeared to cause very little inconvenience to the Mouse; the Viper, however, still following up, struck again, this time fairly across the loins, and then retired to the further part of the case, seemingly to await results. In less than two minutes the Mouse was dead. Soon the Viper came slowly towards the body, with head lowered, prodding the earth as if smelling the track of its prey, and, although the body was completely hidden by grassy turf, went straight to it. After several unsuccessful attempts to swallow it by means of the legs, the head was seized, and the body disappeared in