13 APRIL 1929, Page 14


Further details reach me of the amazing number and variety of duck that enjoyed London this winter and spring. On March 28rd one observer saw on a London reservoir about 74 male and 84 female mallard, 2 pairs of teal, 1 pair of pochard, 31 male and 48 female tufted duck, 1 male scaup, 1 female golden eye, 5 goosander, 5 smew, 3 great crested grebe, 1 Slavonian grebe, 1 little grebe, about 100 black- headed gull, 800 common gull, and 1 British lesser black- backed gull. The pintail, which are very rare, are also a mystery. I heard of some on the Thames, but the evidence is vague On the other hand, the observer who gave me the above list has evidence of three pintail that appeared at various dates this winter on the Serpentine, and a solitary wild pintail is a regular visitor to the Penn ponds at Richmond. It is not improbable that the Serpentine birds have migrated from St. James's. In any case, London has become a .great, and

famous sanctuary. Birds like it. * * *