THE OILING OF BIRDS [To the Editor of the Scncr.vroa.]
SIR,—May I be allowed to take advantage of the interest in the animal creation and sympathy towards its sufferings for which the Spectator is renowned to draw the attention of bird-lovers to the sad recurrence of oiling of birds on these coasts this year ?
During the past ten days I have seen several guillemots on the beaches and near shore persistently and ineffectually trying to rid themselves of the oil with which their_ feathers were clogged. Yesterday, in a cove two miles from Land's End, I counted seven bodies of dead birds (as far as I could see all guillemot) floating on the tide. Since the fixing of the 50-mile off shore limit in 1927, no single case of an oiled bird has come to my notice hitherto—and I am a regular and careful observer of the local beaches. This year the trouble has recurred. Could it be due to bad luck in the case of a particular party of migrating guillemots whose route lay beyond the fifty-mile line, or does it mean that this boundary line is no longer being observed, and that we are reverting to the distressing conditions which prevailed previous