NOTES AND QUERIES.
recollection heard it in autumn or winter, the exceptional sound of which has evoked a remark from Mr. New. If the sound was caused by tapping, would it not be heard at all seasons? Again, it can be heard a considerable distance; but, if a tap, would it not be lost at thirty or forty yards? — Stanley Lewis (Wells, Somerset).
[Seebohm, on the Petchora, relates a different appreciation of this sound. He writes of the " Three-toed Woodpecker" (Picoides tridactylus): "On another occasion we heard the tapping sound of the Woodpecker's beak; a tap, then a slight pause, followed by a rapid succession of taps, and, after a second slight pause, a final tap. I imitated the sound as well as I could with a cartridge on the stock of my gun. The bird immediately flew to a dead larch-trunk close to where we were standing, and perched, its head thrown back, listening, some fifty feet from the ground. In this position it fell to my companion's gun. It was a female" ('The Birds of Siberia,' p. 110).— Ed.]
Glossy Ibis in Durham.—An example of the Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) was shot by a farm-servant at Billingham Bottoms, near Stockton-on-Tees, on the 25th of November last. I am informed by a naturalist friend, who has seen the specimen, that it is "apparently an adult, with the beautiful shot-green reflections on the back; unfortunately the sex was not noted." Of other records in the north-eastern counties, I have three for Yorkshire, and one is mentioned by Hancock in Northumberland, on the river Coquet ('Birds of Northumberland and Durham,' p. 130). — T.H. Nelson (The Cliffe, Redcar).
Early Breeding of Wood-Pigeon and Snipe.—Two instances of early breeding of birds in West Suffolk in an unusually cold and backward season seem worth recording. On April 3rd a fully-fledged young Wood-Pigeon fluttered down from a nest in an ivy-covered tree in our grounds; and on April 16th my son found a clutch of four newly-hatched Snipe. The eggs in this nest must have been laid in March.—Julian G. Tuck (Tostock Rectory, Bury St. Edmunds).
Varieties of the Dunlin (Tringa alpina).—The remarks of Mr. Backhouse under the above heading (ante, p. 91) caused me to measure carefully the birds in my collection, as well as some kindly lent me by Mr. N.F. Ticehurst. Although these measurements, to a certain extent, bear out Mr. Backhouse's remarks—viz. that the short-billed form is rather different in its habits to the large-billed form, and is found in different situations, or, if the same locality, under different conditions of weather, &c.—yet, on the other hand, one can hardly take the view that there should be two distinct species so closely allied, having—for, at all events, a great portion of their range—a similar distribution. As far as one can judge, the