3 MAY 1940, Page 18

A . Friendly Bird

It has been argued, not altogether without some justification, that the hard winter of x881 taught the black-headed gulls the desirability of life in London. I may give a small example of a quaint change of habit in a bird resulting from the late frosts. The moorhen which had been living on a pond and small stream some two or three hundred yards away took to the habit of spending the night under a laurel bush close to the house ; and from that base discovered the bird-table where they fed daily. One bird grew so tame that it followed the mistress of the house almost like a dog, an act of friendliness that I have never seen except in one instance. A partridge in a South country farm would trot happily behind the farmer, and if absent from its usual

beat run full tilt to answer his call. W. BEACH THOMAS.