29 OCTOBER 1937, Page 17

French Coveys _ I listened this week to an almost

angry controversy among sportsmen on the subject of the partridge that we call French, though the common partridge of France is the English or Hungarian species. One of the company—and much the most widely experienced—asserted that he had never seen a covey of Frenchmen after September 1st. Others thought they had. Personally I feel sure that I have seen coveys of French partridges. On these more or less recent occasions I have seen an apparently coherent covey fly over and lose two birds, both French. Doubtless it is the habit of this bird to break up the family connexion early ; and it is the commonest experience to see single birds ; but that an October covey is unknown seems to me to be both unlikely and against experience.