2 JULY 1948, Page 20

Garden Deserters •

A very local migration has been conspicuous round my house. It is repeated each year. When spring comes the linnets, which have flocked elsewhere, come to the garden in pairs, the cocks with very red breasts. They build in the hedges, the shining honeysuckle, or yew, or Thuja, presently giving the young particular instructions, rather clumsily carried out, how to keep the nest sanitary. Then they frequent daily a flourishing crop of weeds on a deserted court. Tomorrow they will be off and probably not be seen in the garden till next spring. The congregational habit returns with such emphasis that they will on occasion join up with various finches. A certain number of our garden birds, unlike thrifsh and blackbird and wagtail, like to remove the family from the immediate neighbourhood of the nest—for what reason I do not know. Goldfinches, in my experience, usually make such migrations.