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Last March surgeons operated on the arm of famed Spanish Matador El Cordobés, and after painful exercises he recovered well enough to appear in bullrings this summer. But two weeks ago El Cordobés fell while water skiing in Mexico, seriously damaging his right arm again. This week he will have to undergo a second operation. "I am extremely concerned," said the most popular bullfighter in the world. "The arm was never right after the last operation. This time may be once too many."

"They were obviously very much in love," said Prince Philip of two hawks he photographed (below) while on a trip to the Galàpagos Islands. The picture was one of 70 taken by the royal cameraman which were exhibited in a Piccadilly art gallery for the benefit of the World Wildlife Fund. Photographs (most of them studies of seldom-seen birds like boobies and noddies) signed "Philip" were sold for $60, while unsigned prints went for $20. In the exhibition brochure, Philip wrote: "May I say that, like a jumble sale, the only merit in this show is the cause and not the pictures on display." But the London Sun published a critique of the pictures anyhow. It was entitled "Why the Prince might well be advised to leave it to his brother-in-law." Proceeds from the three-week exhibit ion are expected to total $4,500. Not bad for an amateur.

Tecumseh Deerfoot Cook, chief of the Pamunkey Indians of Virginia, drove up to the State House in Richmond last week and dragged a nine-point buck from the trunk of the 1967 Chevy. He was delivering his tribe's Thanksgiving tribute in lieu of taxes to Governor Mills E. Godwin Jr. When Deerfoot thumped out a formal Pamunkey hello on a tom-tom, Governor Godwin asked him to perform a tribal dance. Deerfoot declined. He explained that he had a sore foot.

The Baltimore Colts' 275-pound All-Star Lineman Jim Parker didn't come up with the key tackle a few nights ago. But he pursued. When he saw a youth knock down a woman pedestrian and grab her tote bag and purse, Parker jumped out of his car and gave chase. He was quickly outdistanced by the scatback thug (about 5 feet 7 and 165 pounds, according to witnesses), but he forced a fumble, and at least the lady got her purse back.

Most mornings this autumn Brigitte Bardot has been driven by her chauffeur the mile from her home in Passy to the Bois de Boulogne. There she takes a mini-bicycle from the trunk of her silver Rolls-Royce and pedals (right) through the woods for an hour's exercise. The car idles along behind her, and when Brigitte has had enough, she packs away her bike and Rolls home.

Meanwhile another famous cycle enthusiast, 80-year-old Boston Heart Specialist Paul Dudley White, has recommended that an exercise bicycle be installed as standard equipment on transcontinental flights. The pilot, crew and passengers would take turns using it while airborne. Dr. White, who has been trying for years to get the nation to follow his example and exercise regularly, says that long periods of sitting can cause blood clots to form.

On his recent tour of New Zealand, Arnold Palmer stopped a night at Dunedin's Wains Hotel, where a onetime Rumanian national soccer player, Jimmy Nicolau, triples as porter, valet and wine steward. Palmer became fascinated with the many trades of Jimmy and learned he has a brother who is assistant comptroller for a macaroni company in Buffalo. When Palmer was leaving Dunedin, Nicolau produced two color photographs of his family and asked Arnold if he would please deliver the pictures to his brother personally. Arnold said sure. The other day, as good as his word, the millionaire messenger boy landed at Buffalo International Airport in his $750,000 twin jet and chatted with Arghir Nicolau for an hour. They talked mostly about Jimmy, not golf, a game Arghir has never played. Palmer handed over the pictures and was given a box of Gioia macaroni by the grateful Arghir.

The newest recruit on Naples' Azzuri soccer team is Sophia Loren, who has been appointed the club's "godmother." When Sophia showed up to root for her boys at a match in Marino, Italy, she was decorated by the Neapolitans with their team medal. Then, with a helicopter flying support for Sophia's side by showering the field with pro-divorce leaflets, Azzuri defeated Castelli Romani 3-2. Sophia celebrated by having the team home for dinner at her villa.

So confident was Franz Josef Strauss, head of Germany's Christian Socialists, of his party's victory in last week's Bavarian elections that he went off to shoot hares in the woods near Eggenfelden and voted by absentee ballot. He bagged his quarry and 110 seats, enough to give him a majority in the Landtag. Says Strauss of his frequent hunting expeditions, "They get the alcohol and nicotine and political foolishness out of your system."