The 4th day of Christmas
On this day, my true love sent to me four colly birds. The page for this day, in our book of museum related interpretations of the verses of The 12 Days of Christmas, features various links to birds.
The title page of John Legg’s Discourse on the Emigration of British Birds contains ‘A curious, particular and circumstantial account of the respective retreats of all these birds of passage.’The birds that come to Britain ‘at the commencement of Spring and depart at the approach of winter’ include the cuckow (sic), stork, crane, goat sucker, willow wren and flycatcher. Our local naturalist also describes ‘A copious, entertaining and satisfactory relation of winter birds of passage, among which are the woodcock, snipe, fieldfare, redwing, royston crow, dotterel etc.’
For more information on this early ornithologist see John Legg – a Market Lavington Naturalist