27 MARCH 1942, Page 14

Disobeying Spring

Even the presence of spring, the nesting of the thrushes, blackbirds and robins, the arrival of the migrants from overseas, have not yet persuaded our sea-birds- and some other unusual visitors to leave the inland farms where they have collected in unprecedented numbers. On one Midland farm, close to the edge of a manufacturing ton, a fair number of golden plover have just arrived, and were to be seen in the same fields as even herring and black-backed gulls. It has been ingeniously suggested that the garbage, on which the gulls largely feed, in coastal waters has been made inedible by oil, and therefore the gulls have had to seek food on the land. Was it not facetiously. and perhaps truly, said by an American essayist that there were no gulls in some Chinese harbours, because the inhabitants went out In boats to collect the garbage thrown out by the ships? As to the flocks of plover, they are composed of immature birds, and the fact that gulls mature even less quickly will account in some measure for their refusal to pay attention to the call of spring. - These youn.g golden plover, according to previous experience, will probably remain in the South till after midsummer.