18 MAY 1929, Page 15

Blackbirds certainly proved much less susceptible than thrushes, though it

is difficult to say why. Wren and robin quite defied a zero temperature, which was too much for the long-tailed tit. It was quite a relief, in regard to this lovely, most vulnerable bird, to hear of one nest with a full clutch. All the three species of woodpecker appear to have been diminished, but the greater-spotted perhaps less than the others. Since the frosts were general over Europe and Wrought their damage even in southern Italy, one would expect the summer migrants to be fewer than usual. The fear is not justified in regard to the common species. Chiff- chaffs were never more numerous, and willow warblers are heard everywhere. Nightingales are in splendid song even in places where they are regarded as rare in normal seasons, and the nightingale is probably one of the more delicate. At any rate, it is a weak flier. Since the last of the migrants —swifts, turtledove and flycatcher—are due this week, we should soon know whether the rarer and later species have fared as well as the commoner and earlier.

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