25 NOVEMBER 1932, Page 13

Country Life


Quail used to be common birds in England, and especially In Wales. I have often made enquiry why they have virtually vanished ; and at last a full—and melancholy—explanation has reached me. It is feared that the bird, for all its multi- tude, may be extinguished ; and the, details of its destruction are grim. It must be confessed that the English gourmet is to some extent responsible for the cruelty as well as the slaughter, for he is in an unholy alliance with the Egyptian and North African trapper. The general subject of the quitirs migration and life history is of peculiar interest to students of birds because of the mystery surrounding its winter dwelling. They vanish into the desert over which they appear again as mysteriously as manna ; but before touching on this problem let me emphasize the abominable trade.