[headed note paper]
HERTS., ENGLAND. 1.1.1910.
Dear Dr. Wallace,
I was glad to see again your dear and distinct handwriting, which
always is a pleasure to me to see. I am sorry to hear you had a bad
eye inflammation last summer, but glad to hear that it is better
now. I had looked forward to a visit from you in the summer, but I
have been overwhelmed with work and domestic trouble. I was in
Algeria (with Mr. Rothschild) for nearly 4 months and we camped out
in the Sahara and made a fine collection of birds and Lepidoptera.
After my return (in June) my wife became ill and had to undergo a
very serious operation from which she is not yet quite satisfactory
recovered. Besides I had a great lot of work, both scientific and
with the museum. Otherwise I should have remin- ded you of your
idea to pay a visit to Tring, which I hope you will do this
1.) Since I gave you the number of Papuan Birds 10 years ago, as
900, very little has been added, I should say that not more than 3
dozen new species, and about another dozen of kinds new to the
group - migrants, etc. This excludes
the Islands East of New
2.) The number of Australian Birds, i.e. Australia with Tasmania
and the islands near the coast but not including, of course, New
Zealand, is at present 883.
This is the number (including all the subspecies or local forms, as
in Sharpe's Hand List) given is the careful Hand List of the Birds
Australia by G.M. Matthews, which appeared in 1908. Since then only
3 or 4 have been added, but I know of two or three of the admitted
forms which are doubtful, so then that 885 or 883 is the total.
3). The numbers of birds (subspecies included as above) of the
Philippines, according to the Head of the Birds at the Phi- lippine
Islands by McGregor and Worcester 1906 is 692
. Since 1906 not more than
about half a dozen have been added. So you can say 700, unless you
stick to the exact number of 1906.
[headed note paper]
You have doubtless heard of Dr. Sharpe's death. He, unfortunately,
developed diabetes, and an attack of pneumonia finished his career.
It is a great loss. Sharpe certainly knew more birds than any other
living ornithologist. He was my oldest friend in England and we
have always been good friends, though I frequently opposed his
methods of genus - splitting and his not distinguishing between
species and geographical forms (subspecies). Sclater, on the other
hand keeps wonderfully well, although he was 80 the other
With the best and sincerest wishes for the
New Year believe me
Yours very truly