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Devon (which dislikes the word Devonshire) joins in one society the privilege of bird watching and rural preser- vation, though the birds receive the greater attention. Since the foundation of the Society ten years or so ago an annual report has been published which competes in interest with that of the Norfolk Sanctuaries. This year it contained proof of a particularity that Devon may well be proud of. It is possible, though, I fancy, not so clearly proven, that Hampshire, Dorset and Cornwall may share the distinction. The county is so attractive that it retains birds whose instinct is to fly much farther South in winter. A blackcap was watched during nineteen consecutive months. A chiffchaff was reported in midwinter and, more surprisingly a reed warbler was a winter visitor to Dartmoor, of all places. The report, which is full of details of interest to ornithologists, is prefaced by a beautiful photograph of that magnificent harpy, the greater black backed gull. The very last time I was in Devon I saw this savage bird fly out from the rocks at Baggy Point and strike one of a pair of herons that were flying parallel to the coast. So far as we could see the heron was thrown into the sea. Such a sudden, savage and meaningless assault was entirely new to my experience. The county which has done marvels (thanks largely to the great generosity of Miss Chichester) in preservation, still needs more sanctuaries. Both Braunton Burrows and Saunton Sands are unique, in the true sense of that 11-used word, and cry aloud for preservation.
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