5 OCTOBER 1934, Page 17

Welsh Birds

A good deal of North Wales is unexpectedly empty of birds, many of which after all have a liking for quiet scenes and rich cultivation ; but you come upon surprises. In a little, rough but most engaging wood I saw a heronry of just over thirty nests ; and throughout the district the birds are quite safe from persecution. How different in many districts of England where they are ruthlessly shot by water-wardens and keepers. I have come upon their bodies left lying where they fell both in Herefordshire and Hertfordshire and had evidence of their destruction in many other counties, including Essex and Hampshire. A yet more grateful sight was vouchsafed to some of the botanical wanderers. Several choughs swept over a Snowdonian ridge near enough to be quite certainly identified. Whether they nest there is another question ; but they still keep a pre- carious hold on the coast of South Wales. The first time I ever saw a chough was by the straits that separate Ramsey Island from the mainland and the last time I saw a nest was not very far from the same place. The enemy thereabouts is not man, even in the form of the collector, but the jackdaw, a pugnacious species that multiplies inordinately.