4 JANUARY 1930, Page 20


Some curiosities of bird life in England have to be recorded. A large eagle has been making its appearance in Essex. A bird lover who was told of the locality went down from London to the neighbourhood and almost at once came upon the eagle peacefully perched on a tree like any crow. But even he could not be sure whether it was a golden eagle or a

white-tailed. A storm petrel has been seen in Sussex. A for- tunate naturalist was invited the other day to come (to a secret place in Surrey) and spy on the Dartford warbler. He not only found this rare bird but found it in song—in winter ! The same naturalist tells me that there is one particular bush in Epping Forest where one specimen of that very rare bird; the grey shrike, appears year after year at much about the same date and abides for some six weeks. A little band of pilgrims pays annual visits to the bush. Particular informa- tion is desired about an inunense migration of gulls on December 16th last. One of the sights of London in the West is the daily migration of gulls towards Staines about the sunset hour ; but on this December day round the hour of 4.0 p.m. they came over in untold numbers, in separate waves, generally in arcs or V-shaped wedges. Some attempt was made to count the groups and estimate the numbers of each. The conclusion was that at least 50,000 gulls flew over within three-quarters of an hour. Did other residents in the neighbourhood of Twickenham notice the multitude ?