2 MARCH 1929, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—With reference to the inquiry of your correspondent M. G. D. T. in the Spectator of February 28rd, the following experiment which I made during the Great Frost "- in my garden here may be of interest.

I made a hollow square of- up-ended bricks in a sheltered corner, placed a tin tray on them, and beneath the tray a small storm-lantern. - I found that a shallow bowl of water on the tray was kept free of ice in this way for many hours. I have no doubt that a larger lantern under a higher erection of bricks would keep the water from freezing altogether.

The birds were in no way deterred from visiting the. tray by the sight of the light burning under it, and, as I always kept it plentifully supplied with bird-seed, oatmeal, and crumbs, we had a " full house" of feathered visitors from dawn till dusk. On one occasion I had the unusual experience of seeing four robins feeding and drinking together amicably.

The pitiful sight of so many dead birds by the roadside when I was driving up to town from Haslemere prompted me to stop at the next corn chandler's for a supply of bird seed and coarse oatmeal, which I scattered from the car window along the route. If all motorists, cyclists, and ramblers would do likewise in severe weather, death would not take such a heavy toll of bird am,, Sir, . .

Restharrow, Grayshott, Hants. MURIEL PASSINGHAM.