10 SEPTEMBER 1921, Page 16



SIR,—The letter in your issue of August 27th as to the tameness of the common tern brings to my mind the even greater boldness of the Arctic tern, especially on the nesting grounds. When fishing in Iceland some years ago I went out with ponies to some river islands which Arctic terns used as a nesting site. The birds one after another with loud cries swooped down on my head, striking it with considerable force. As I was only wearing a cap, the position became unbearable. Not only so, but the ponies were attacked in like manner until they became very restless, and Icelandic ponies will stand a good deal. We had temporarily to leave the island. When visiting the nesting grounds of our common tern they have frequently threatened to attack my head, but always stopped short a few yards above the head without actually striking.—I am, Sir, &c.,

AthoU Palace, Pitlochry. C. BARNBT Stunt.