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Full text of "A sketch of the natural history (vertebrates) of the British Islands. With a concise bibliography of popular works relating to the British fauna, and a list of field clubs and natural history societies in the United Kingdom"

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4 AFLALO, F. G. Natural History 
;! (Vertebrates) of the British Islands. W. 
%- frontisp. & numer. textfig. Edinburgh 
' 1898. 12mo. Cloth. $1.00 




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A SKETCH OF 

THE NATURAL HISTORY 

{VERTEBRATES) 



OP THE 



BEITISH ISLAXDS 



WITH A 

CONCISE BIBLIOGEAPHT OF POPULAE WOEKS EEI.ATIXG TO 

THE BEITISH PAOA 

AND A LIST OP 

PIELD CLIBS AND XATUEAL HISTOEY SOCIETIES 
U THE UNITED KIXGDOX 



BY 



F. G. AFLALO, FE.G.S., F.Z.S. 

AUTHOR OF 'a SKETCH OF THK NATURAL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA,' ETC 



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS 



WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS 

EDINBURGH AND LONDON 

MDGCCXCYIII 



All Hights reserved 



f 



PREFACE. 



It is a long hark from the wonders of that zoological 
backwater, Australia, to those more homely curiosi- 
ties which lie, as Childrey had it, "at your own 
doors, easily examinable with little travel, less cost, 
and very little hazard." With works on natural 
history leaving the press almost every week, it may 
be deemed worse than futile to add yet another. 
The more than kindly reception, however, accorded 
to a slight sketch of the natural history of the Aus- 
tralian colonies, that I had the temerity to publish 
last year, has encouraged me beyond the bounds 
of mere discretion ; and I am so bold as to hope that 
the same leniency may be extended to a second 
offence in the shape of a similar attempt to give in 
small space a plain sketch of the vertebrate fauna of 
our own islands. That there is up to the present 
no single volume on the subject may be seen 



VI PREFACE. 

from a perusal of the bibliography given hereafter. 
Let me endeavour to express the unambitious aim 
of this little book. It is offered as no more than 
the merest outline, an introduction to the many 
excellent handbooks to county fauna enumerated 
in the bibliography, from which I may perhaps, 
without incurring the charge of making invidious 
distinctions, be allowed to indicate as admirable 
models the series prepared by Messrs Harvie-Brown 
and Buckley. What these and other county chron- 
iclers have been able to give in detail, it has been 
my duty only to outline. The physical peculiari- 
ties of the various zoological divisions have, except 
in the introduction, been dealt with but incidentally; 
those of counties, which in no way conform to the 
natural boundaries, have been all but ignored. The 
great difficulty throughout, of course, has been 
compression ; but it is hoped that, since it has been 
found impossible to give the v:liolc truth, there has 
at any rate been included nothing but the truth. 
It will probably be noticed that slightly different 
methods of description have been adopted in the 
several cases of the mammals, birds, and fishes ; but 
these have been thought to offer the most convenient 
aid in each case to identification. In short, the 
object of the following pages is to give some clue to 
the appearance and life-history of the 700 odd verte- 



PREFACE. Vll 

brates which still, after generations of extermination, 
protection, and acclimatisation, either reside in or 
visit these islands. Their anatomy, their synony- 
mies, and their range outside the British Islands, are 
all to be found elsewhere. The bibliography and 
list of field-clubs are added in the hope of assisting 
all who may desire to supplement the information 
here given by either reading or correspondence with 
local experts. Neither is offered as in any way 
complete ; indeed, unavoidable delays in printing, 
of which this book is one of many victims, have 
conspired to prevent my including at least one field- 
club inaugurated since the list was closed, not to 
mention a number of later works, such as R. and 
C. Kearton's attractive book, 'With Xature and a 
Camera,' and Dr Laver's ' Mammals, Reptiles, and 
Fishes of Essex.' The Right Hon. Sir Herbert 
Maxwell has most kindly read the proof-sheets, and 
to both him and Mr J. E. Harting I am under obli- 
gation for a number of suggestions made while the 
book was passing through the press. To Dr Arthur 
Stradling I am also indebted for much assistance 
with the notes on reptiles, as well as for two very 
effective photographs of British snakes. 

F. G. A. 

Bournemouth, December 1897. 



CONTEXTS. 



INTRODUCTORY .... 

MAMMALS .... 

LIST OF BRITISH MAMMALS 
CHAP. 

I. THE BATS 

IL THE INSECTIVORA . 

III. THE CARNIVORA 

IV. THE RODENTS . 
V. THE DEER 

VI. THE WHALES AND POUrOISES 

BIRDS 

LIST OF BRITISH BIRDS 

I. THE PERCHING BIRDS . 
II. THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 

III. THE OWLS 

IV. THE BIRDS OF PREY 
V. THE CORMORANT, SHAG, AND GANNET 

VI. THE HERONS, BITTERNS, AND STORKS 
VII. THE FLAMINGO .... 
Vni. THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS 
IX. THE DOVES ..... 



PAGE 
1 

21 

27 

31 
37 
46 
66 
83 
86 

95 
112 
132 
189 
205 
209 
219 
223 
230 
230 
244 



CONTENTS. 



X. PALLAS S SAND-GKOUSE .... 

XI. THE GAME-BIRDS ..... 

XII. THE RAILS AND CRAKES 

XIII. THE CRANES AND BUSTARDS . 

XIV. THE ^VADERS ..... 
XV. THE TERNS, GULLS, AND SKUAS 

XVI. THE ALBATROSS, PETRELS, AND SHEARWATERS 
XVII. THE GUILLEMOTS, DIVERS, AND GREBES . 

REPTILES 

LIST OF BRITISH REPTILES .... 

I. THE LIZARDS ...... 

II. THE SNAKES ...... 

AMPHIBIANS 

LIST OF BRITISH AMPHIBIANS (aND BATRACHIANS) 
I. THE FROGS AND TOADS .... 
IL THE NEWTS . . . . 

FISHES ........ 

LIST OF BRITISH FISHES ..... 
I. THE PERCHES AND SEA-BREAMS . 
II. THE BULLHEADS AND GURNARDS . 
in. THE ANGLER-FISH .... 

IV. THE WEEVERS ..... 
V. THE MACKEREL FAMILY 
VI. THE CORYPHENES AND THEIR ALLIES 
VII. THE HORSE-MACKERELS AND THEIR ALLIES 
VIII. THE GARFISH AND FLYING-FISH . 
IX. THE GOBIES AND SUCKERS . 
X. THE BLENNIES AND BAND-FISHES . 

XI. THE ATHERINES AND GREY MULLETS 

XII. THE STICKLEBACKS .... 

XIII. THE WRASSES ..... 



246 

247 
256 

260 
260 
276 

285 
288 

297 
301 
302 
304 

309 
312 
313 
315 

317 
326 
340 
347 
352 
353 
354 
358 
359 
364 
365 
369 
372 
374 
375 



CONTENTS. 



XI 



XIV. THE COD FAMILY 

XV. THE SAND-EELS AND ALLIED FORMS 

XVI. THE FLAT-FISH . 

XVII. THE EELS . 

XVIII. THE HERRING FAMILY . 

XIX. THE CARP FAMILY 

XX. THE SALMON FAMILY , 

XXI. THE PIKE . 

XXII. THE PIPE-FISHES . 

XXin. THE FILE-FISHES . 

XXIV. THE ARCTIC CHIM^Rxl . 

XXV. THE STURGEON . 

XXVI. THE SHARKS AND RAYS 

THE LOWEST VERTEBRATES 



APPENDIX I. MATERIALS FOR A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS ON 
THE BRITISH VERTEBRATE FAUNA 

ti II. A LIST OF NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETIES AND 

F-IELD-CLUBS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, WITH 
THEIR SECRETARIES . . . . . 



377 

386 
394 
396 
400 
408 
414 
415 
417 
418 
418 
419 

435 
441 

460 



INDEX . 



469 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS. 



OTTERS OX THE BROADS 

RED GROUSE 

ADDER 

SALMON swunnxG 



Frontiapiece 

To face p. 97 

299 

319 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT. 



MAMMALS. 



HEDGEHOG 

MOLE 

COMMON SHREW 

FOX 

MARTEN 

STOAT 

BADGER 

SEAL 

SQUIRREL 

DORMOUSE 

MOUNTAIN HARE 

RED-DEER 



PAGE 

37 
40 
44 
48 
52 
54 

-^ *- 

64 

G7 
70 
79 
83 



BIRDS. 



PAGE 



MISTLE-THRUSH 


133 


NIGHTINGALE . 


141 


DIPPER 


149 


BEARDED REEDLING . 


150 


NUTHATCH 


154 


TREE-CREEPER . 


156 


WHITE WAGTAIL 


158 


GOLDEN ORIOLE 


162 


RED-BACKED SHRIKE . 


163 


CHAFl-'INCH 


173 


CROSSBILL 


176 


MAGPIE . 


. 184 



XIV 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



JAY 


186 




REPTILES 






SWIFT .... 


190 


RINGED SNAKE . . . 307 


NIGHTJAR 


192 


FISHES. 


GREEN WOODPECKER . 


196 


PERCH 


. 340 


KINGFISHER 


198 


BASS 






. 341 


CUCKOO .... 


202 


RED MULLET 






. 344 


LONG-EARED OWr. 


207 


MACKEREL 






354 


GOLDEN EAGLE . 


212 


JOHN DORY 






362 


PEREGRINE 


215 


GARFISH . 






364 


OSPREY .... 


218 


GREY MULLET 






. 373 


CORMORANT 


220 


COD . 






377 


GANNET .... 


222 


POLLACK 








. 380 


HERON .... 


224 


TURBOT 








388 


BITTERN .... 


227 


PLAICE 








390 


MALLARD .... 


236 


CARP 








401 


RED-BREASTED MERGANSER 


243 


BARBEL 








402 


CAPERCAILZIE . 


251 


ROACH 








403 


BLACK GROUSE . 


253 


CHUB 








404 


COOT .... 


259 


TENCH 








406 


LAPWING .... 


264 


TROUT 








411 


WOODCOCK 


267 


PIKE 








415 


KITTIWAKE 


283 


BLUE SHARK 






421 


GUILLEMOT 


290 


SPUR-DOG 






427 


GREAT CRESTED GREBE 


293 


THORNBAC 


K 






430 



JfAP OF THE BRITISH ISLANDS 



at page 1 



A SKETCH OF THE NATUEAL HISTORY 
OF THE BRITISH ISLANDS. 



INTPtODrCTOPvY. 

It was a fancy of Eichard Jefferies,^ and one which, with- 
out being pushed beyond certain limits, had in it many ele- 
ments of truth, that the British Islands afforded the student 
of animal distribution an epitome of the greater world with- 
out. Quite apart from the poverty of our fauna in the 
mere number of species, it is significant that of the eleven 
recognised orders of quadrupeds, five only are wanting ; of 
the twenty-three living orders of birds, our list includes, 
if we count the stragglers, examples of no fewer than 
seventeen ; of the fishes, of which science recognises five 
existing orders, our seas, streams, and lakes provide in 
greater or less abundance typical representatives of three. 
There is. however, with the exception of the restricted 
distribution of one bird (the red grouse) and about half- 
a-dozen non-migratory varieties of the trout and char, 
nothing actually peculiar about the vertebrate fauna of 
this archipelago anchored off the north-west coast of the 
European continent, a group consisting of two principal 
islands and several thousand islets, some of them mere 
rocks. Thus, in the Scilly Islands alone there must be 

1 Life of the Fields. 
A 



2 INTEODUCTORY. 

nearly one hundred and fifty such rocks, and in the 
Orkneys there are sixty-seven. 

The area of the islands under consideration is, for all 
practical purposes, about 120,000 square miles, of which 
England and Wales, with their islands, are 
reaanc roughly the one half, or rather less, while 
Scotland and Ireland, with their islands, are 
roughly the other half, or rather more. The coast-line is 
proportionately enormous — probably, if we take into con- 
sideration all the deep inlets on the west coasts of both 
Great Britain and Ireland, not far short of 10,000 miles. 
This will be better appreciated when we recollect that of 
Ireland it has been said that no inland town is more than 
fifty miles from salt water, or when we compare our coast- 
line with the 8000 miles of coast-line in Australia to 
3,000,000 square miles of area. Of these 120,000 square 
miles it should, however, be remembered that, at the lowest 
possible computation, one-third at the least is composed of 
mountain, bog, and moor — wild nature, in fact ; while of 
the 50,000,000 acres that approximately remain, little more 
than 35,000,000 are in all probability under cultivation, 
three-quarters under grass, the rest under oats and other 
crops. Market-gardening and the cultivation of orchards 
usually occupy attention on the outskirts of our larger 
towns. Space will not admit of dwelling at greater 
length on these important considerations as factors in 
the animal life of different parts of the country : it must 
suffice to leave them with this bare enumeration. 

A few words must now be said on the subject of our 
climate. It is customary to sjjeak of this in terms of de- 
rision, and without a doubt it is subject to ex- 
traordinary and unlooked-for developments of 
such a nature as to interfere seriously with private arrange- 
ments for outdoor excursions. Climate is not, however, 
measured by considerations of this kind. As a matter of 
fact, these islands enjoy, thanks to the surrounding water, 
the genial influence of the Gulf Stream, and the prevalence 



INTRODUCTORY. 3 

of south-west winds surcharged with moisture, a climate in 
many respects unique, certainly more temperate by far than 
that of any other, taking it all the year round. Of the 
great changes that have of necessity passed over these 
islands, then mainland, since the days when elephants 
crashed through vast forests long since turned to coal, 
while the hippopotamus basked in our streams, the huge 
moose browsed on the forest-trees of Ireland, and graceful 
palms and tree-ferns waved over the northern lochs, there 
is here no need to speak. It is sufficient to note that Great 
Britain is to-day the summer resort of tropical birds, the 
winter-quarters of Polar waterfowl, all repairing hither, 
year after year, those to reproduce their kind, these to 
enjoy the food denied them in their natural home. So, too, 
people who have resided in lands where the annual extremes 
of mean temperature lie 150° apart, where even day and 
night show a difference of 75°, learn with the birds to 
appreciate the much-abused British climate. As might, 
however, be expected, there are not inconsiderable varia- 
tions within the limits of these islands, the damp south- 
west of England, and, still more, the rainy west of Ireland, 
contrasting unmistakably with the drier eastern counties, 
which, hotter in summer and colder in winter, possess a 
climate far more closely approaching that of the Continent. 
In addition to the chief islands of the group — to wit. 
Great Britain and Ireland — there are a dozen other groups 
of special interest to the naturalist, the Orkneys, Shet- 
lands, Inner and Outer Hebrides, St Kilda, the Bass Kock, 
the Fame Islands, the Channel Islands, the Scillies, Eockyll, 
Lundy Island, the Isle of Wight, the Duke of Buccleuch's 
gull-preserve on Walney Island, and, lastly, the Isle of Man. 
Heligoland now lies, politically if not zoologically, outside 
the region ; but all who are interested in its capabilities as 
an observatory for the study of bird-migration will find an 
excellent account in the late Dr Gaetke's book,i a transla- 
tion of which has appeared in the English language. 
1 Heligoland as an Ornithological Observatory. 



4 INTKODUCTORY. 

As little more lias been attempted in the following pages 
than to treat the British Islands as one zoological area, it 
seems desirable to say a word in this place of the subdivi- 
sions that might, in a more pretentious contribution to 
the literature of their fauna, have been followed. 

These are two, the zoological and the political. Of the 

former, examples are found in the fens, moors, and forests ; 

the latter are of course the counties, and may 

reas, conn- -^^ easily dismissed, since they in no way corre- 
spond with the zoological divisions. With the 
great Australian colonies the case was, and is, different. 
Their boundaries are, for the most part, natural, a lofty 
range, a broad river, a deep strait ; and, as might be 
expected, corresponding differences are to be observed in 
their animal life, as, for instance, where the diamond- snake 
of New South Wales is replaced in the other colonies by 
that species, sub-species, or variety, the carpet-snake. In 
England, however, we are confronted with few such natural 
boundaries. The task of detailing the physical peculiarities 
of each and every county — its soil, its hills and valleys, its 
water-courses, moors, marshes, and forests — has devolved 
upon the authors of those handbooks to county fauna, par- 
ticulars of which will be found in the bibliography. It would, 
no doubt, have been easy to gather from my own notes, 
easier still to have compiled from the works in c^uestion, 
supplemented by the Ordnance Survey maps, some account 
of most shires in the kingdom. To take an example. 
Sussex might have been contrasted with low, sandy, pine- 
clad Hampshire on the one hand, and high, chalky, hop- 
growing Kent on the other ; and some account must have 
been taken of its three or four mentionable rivers, its 
four harbours, the 500-feet fall of Beachy Head, the low- 
lands near Pevensey and Pagham, the great oak-woods 
scattered over the western half of the county, and the 
beeches of Charlton and Goodwood. I have my own ideas, 
however, of the function of the present sketch, an introduc- 
tion or supplement, not a substitute, and I have therefore 



INTRODUCTORY. 5 

abstained from including such detail as is given else- 
where at far greater length than I could spare in these 
pages. 

Coming for a moment to the zoological divisions, which 

are of considerably greater interest and importance, the 

task of establishino; fixed rules whereby field- 

00 ogica naturalists learn to associate peculiar types of 

tlivisions 

animals with certain physical conditions opens 
up a wealth of fascinating study, and still more fascinating, 
because more daring, deduction. Let us take an example 
in the birds and fishes found to frequent rocky or sandy 
coasts. In either class we find well-marked distinctions. 
Thus, the ornithologist knows that he will find on a bold 
rocky coast, like, say, that of Cornwall, such fowl as 
puffins, guillemots, cormorants, and gannets, birds that 
find their food in deep water, the majority by diving ; 
whereas on the low sandy shore of Essex, on the other 
hand, he will look for long-legged wading dotterels and 
sandpipers, all of which seek their molluscan and insect 
food in the shallows. Nor is the contrast in the legs of 
the birds in these two groups more striking than that 
afforded by their bills, the waders being armed with long 
slender bills that they can thrust into the mud, the divers 
having short stout bills, usually hooked, to assist in the 
capture of the slippery fish on which they feed. In like 
manner, the student of fish knows well enough that along 
with the puffins and their kind he will find conger, pollack, 
and wrasse ; with the w^aders, flat fish and whiting. 

These principles admit of almost infinite extension, and 
if an occasional excejDtion to the rule should be sprung 
upon the investigator — and it must be confessed that 
Nature holds some strange surprises in store for those who 
are so bold as to pry into her secrets — he will, after the 
first shock has worn off", cheerfully accept it as the one 
thing necessary to prove the rule he has laboured so hard 
to establish. 

Thus, he will look for certain types in each district, the 



6 INTRODUCTORY. 

ruff and reedling among the least drained parts of the fens 
and the quieter retreats of the broads ; the grouse, short- 
eared owl and harrier on the bleak moors; 
ypica ^j^g mountain-hare and jjtarmigan among the 
hills and stony plateaux of the Highlands of 
Scotland ; and the woodcock, snipe, and quail on the edge 
of the peat-bogs of Ireland. The student of birds will 
recognise — nay, expect — that a certain influence should be 
exerted on their course in migration by headlands that bid 
the weary rest, and muddy estuaries that stay those that 
hunger. Indeed, one estuary or one promontory is not to 
him as another, and he wdll not deem as of slight moment 
the difference between the chalk of Shakespeare Cliff or 
Beachy Head and the shingle of Dungeness. He will 
notice, too, that the mountains of Ireland fringe the coast, 
leaving the interior, by comparison, lowland. 

All these matters appeal so differently to the casual 
reader and to him who takes an interest in them. How 

Fauna of many would find food for reflection in the pecu- 

Isle of liarities of the denizens of the Isle of Wight ? 

Wight. Yet it is surely not quite devoid of interest 
that in that little outpost of England, separated from 
the New Forest^ and the most fishful rivers in the south 
country by a mere ditch, the woods should afford shel- 
ter to but few owls and woodpeckers, the streams hold 
neither pike, nor perch, nor chub, nor gudgeon ; that the 
ring- ousel should abstain from breeding there; that the 
toad should be commoner than the frog, the viper in excess 
of the more harmless snake. 

To the few, however, the bare enumeration of such facts 
as the imi30ssibility of inducing certain birds to take kindly 
to island or even mainland districts, offering to all ajipear- 
ance the identical conditions of their not far-distant home, 

1 It must be admitted that, save for ]\Ir Witherby and others blest 
with exceptional opportunities for exploring it, this most attractive of 
our forests is not an ideal bird-resort. I recollect Mr Lascelles attrib- 
uting this to lack of suitable food. 



INTRODUCTORY. 7 

the quest of the whys and the wherefores which Nature is 
often so reluctant to answer, discloses a prospect of en- 
grossing research. As a homely example of how little such 
reasons are understood, a lady was deploring to me a short 
while ago that the stiqnd nightingales, which were in such 
abundance just then round Christchurch, not more than 
Nightingale ^^^ miles distant, would not sing of an even- 
in Hamp- ing within earshot of her house, a short way 
sliire. Q^^ q£ Bournemouth. I endeavoured to ex- 

plain that their preference for Christchurch, or, for that 
matter, for Parkstone, equally close in the opposite direc- 
tion, might lie in the presence of retreating waters and 
muddy banks that possibly furnished them, in addition 
to their staple caterpillars, with some kind of soft food, 
whereas the Bournemouth valley, lying between, was, on 
account of a deficiency in this respect, passed by. This 
explanation contented the lady, who seemed quite recon- 
ciled to the absence of nightingales as soon as she was 
able to realise that it did not arise from mere lack of judg- 
ment on their part.^ A book that should do no more than 
collect a number of such cases in the apparently capricious 
distribution of some of our resident and visiting birds 
would, I am convinced, command a large audience. 

Frankly, however, that is not among the objects of this 
book, in which, as already set forth, the British Islands are 
dealt with almost as one area. Adhere to this plan, how- 
ever, as we will, it is impossible to ignore two interesting 
pictures, a comparison and a contrast, that constantly recur 
during our studies of British vertebrates, and these are the 
strong resemblance between our fauna and that of neigh- 
bouring Continental countries, and the still more remark- 
able deficiencies in the Irish list. 

The former points unquestionably to the union, at no 

1 I think it right to mention that both Sir Herbert Maxwell and 
Mr Harting take exception to my explanation of the distribution of 
nightingales around Bournemouth, but I prefer letting the suggestion 
stand, lor want of a better. 



8 INTRODUCTOKY. 

very remote zoological date, of these islands and the north- 
west coast of Europe. The latter — examples of which 

are found in the wild cat, polecat, weasel,^ 
fauna roebuck, mole, dormouse, harvest mouse, two 

shrews, voles, and snakes — would appear to 
indicate the earlier isolation of the western island. Or, as 
A. R. Wallace puts it : " This may be accounted for by 
the smaller and less varied surface of the latter island ; 
and it may also be partly due to the great extent of low- 
land, so that a very small depression would reduce it to 
the condition of a cluster of small islands caj)able of 
supporting a very limited amount of animal life."^ 

Of the above Irish absentees, the mole, which occurs in 
abundance as far west in these islands as Holyhead, is in 
one respect the most interesting, since there are, in spite 
of its never having occurred in the island, several old 
Celtic names for it. There are also Celtic names for the 
roebuck [Earhog), but that animal, though not indigenous, 
has been introduced on private estates. Mr Harting, of 
whom I once asked an explanation of this, suggested that 
my so-called Celtic names for the mole may possibly have 
been introduced by immigrants from Scotland, who would 
have known the creature in their own country. This 
explanation, which is probably the correct one, brings me 
to the consideration of the present confusion in the local 
names of beasts and birds. 

Together with the subordination of county distribution 
above ailluded to, I have found it necessary to pay but 

little attention to such provincial vernacular, 
names ^^ regards the birds, at any rate, whole 

volumes have been devoted to the subject. 
Moreover, in these days of cheap and easy railway travel, 
great inducements are offered to young keepers to better 
their condition elsewhere, and these men carry into the 
new home the names they have used from childhood, so 

1 The weasel has been freely claimed as an Irish quadruped (see p. 55). 

2 Geographical Distribution of Animals, i. 197. 



INTRODUCTORY. 9 

that we find nowadays that such creatures at any rate as 
come within the ken of these gentry, " vermin " and the 
like, are very often called by the same name in counties 
far apart and with vastly difi'erent dialects. This, while 
it tends in course of time to simplify matters and facilitate 
intercourse, detracts vastly from the interest, philological 
or otherwise, of these same local names. 

I come for a moment to what is perhaps the most inter- 
esting aspect of the contemplation of any country's fauna, 

the comparison of its condition at the present 
Extinct 
mammals ^^^ ^^^^^ what it was five-and-twenty, fifty, or 

five hundred years ago. In the case of most 
British mammals, this comparison becomes doubly inter- 
esting in view of the impossibility, on account of their 
isolation, and leaving out of account private efi'orts towards 
reintroduction, of the reappearance of any species that has 
once become extinct. In Continental countries, whatever 
the practical probabilities and improbabilities may be, this 
impossibility has, theoretically at any rate, little force. To 
us, however, the boar and bear, the wolf, beaver, and rein- 
deer, can of their own accord never more return. To our 
islands they are as dead as are the rhytina ^ and great auk 
to all the world. Polar bears may occasionally be sighted, 
from the bridge of some transatlantic steamer, drifting on 
ice-floes far south of their natural range ; but it will require 
a miracle indeed to restore these vanished Britons. Ac- 
cording to Mr Harting,^ the last British bear died in the 
ninth century ; the last boar in the seventeenth century ; 
the last wolf in Ireland was killed as late as the middle of 
the eighteenth century ; the last beaver and reindeer had 
gone about the twelfth century. In like manner, the last 
survivor of the old native stock of bustards M'as bagged in 
1829, though this striking bird has visited these islands 

1 For the causes of extinction of the rhytina, more commonly known 
as Steller's sea-cow, see an interesting article in the ' American Natu- 
ralist ' for December 1887. 

- Extinct British Animals. 



10 INTKODUCTORY. 

on many occasions since, notably when its Continental 
haunts were shaken by the cannon of 1870-71 ; and a hen 
bustard met the usual fate, if I remember rightly, only 
two or three years ago. So too, we are told, the old stock 
of capercailzie died out in the middle of the eighteenth 
century, to be reintroduced over fifty years later by Lord 
Fyfe and Sir T. Fowell Buxton. These lost islanders, a 
fuller list of which will be found in the interesting chapter 
on paleontology in Lydekker's volume on ' British Mam- 
mals,' ^ will, there seems reason for supposing, be joined 
at no remote future by the polecat, wild cat, marten, and 
black rat, among quadrupeds, and by the ruff and bearded 
reedling, bittern and chough, among birds. 

These recent changes would seem, with the exceptions 
of the vanishing black rat and chough, to be the w^ork of 
man, the direct outcome of his improvements on the face 
of the earth. The discomfiture of the two exceptions 
seems to have been rather the work of their own kindred. 

It is the order of things that the children of man shall 
increase and supplant the wilder children of nature. The 
transformation that is being achieved under the eyes of 
the present generation in other continents more recently 
exploited has long since reached the climax in these 
islands. Gone are the vast herds of mixed game that but 
yesterday roamed the African veldt, evoking the admi- 
ration of even such hunters as Cornwallis Harris and 
Gordon-Cumming ; gone too are the great herds of bison 
that, within the memory indeed of Mr Roosevelt and other 
living American sjitortsmen, thundered over the boundless 
prairies. Populous capitals stand on land just reclaimed 
from the kangaroo and dingo; and I have occupied quarters 
on the outskirts of Buitenzoorg, in Java, where a few years 
ago tigers prowled among the affrighted villagers, but 
where nowadays one can lie at ease in the cool verandah 
and imagine oneself in the respectable security of a London 
suburb. These changes are not all matter for rejoicing, 

i Allen's Naturalist's Library. 



INTRODUCTORY. 1 1 

but they are inevitable. There is not room for the children 
of man and the children of nature ; and as the former have 
called in the rifle to help them, the latter must soon dis- 
appear, with the exception of those which man may, for 
purposes of his own, choose to domesticate and keep about 
him. The larger beasts will inevitably go first, nor will 
those that are swift of foot necessarily survive the longest, 
for difficulty is as essential to the pursuit of sport as danger, 
and the hunter is far more attracted by the flying herds of 
antelope and deer than by the sluggish hippopotamus or 
crocodile. That something of this may be due to the con- 
sideration of the trophy, it would be impossible to deny ; 
but the readiness of the beasts to escape must, as in the 
case of the fox and hare, have aroused the instinct of 
pursuit. Man is not, after all, unlike his favourite dog, 
which will invariably run after those who show the in- 
clination to run away. 

In these islands, the process has been slower than 
abroad. For one thing, the weapons were less precise 

and less far-reaching. All our larger quad- 

Extermmatiou , -n i j. r 

r • rupeds were, as will be at once seen irom a 

of species. ^ ' 

glance at the above dates, exterminated long 
before the use of firearms had become general. In the 
remote Highlands of Scotland, or in equally wild districts 
in this country and Ireland, a very few may have lingered 
to meet their death by gunpowder, but the chief work of 
destruction was achieved with the arrow and the spear. 
More recently, however, the extermination of many of our 
most interesting beasts and birds has been furthered by 
means less direct than the gun and snare. These have of 
course played their part, and the gamekeeper and farmer 
have doubtless much to answer for. It is, in any case, 
useless to bring a general indictment against gamekeepers : 
on the part of any but their employers, it is not far from 
an impertinence. The ignorance and destructiveness and 
wanton cruelty of this class are themes which, to my way 
of thinking at least, are worn threadbare. That there are 



12 INTRODUCTORY. 

offenders among them, as among any other class, is not 
improbable ; but, whether or not their attitude towards 
the beasts and birds of prey is always a judicious one, it 
is surely within the bounds of possibility that they are 
acting, according to their lights, conscien- 

> game- •^iQ^giy ^i^A ^g ^jjey think, in their masters' 
keepers. . *' ' . ^ ' 

interests. It is possible even that the conduct 

of keepers as a class may in this respect be open to some 
fair criticism ; but it is, I think, impossible that their 
prejudices, the growth of generations of close touch with 
Nature, whom they learn to know more intimately than 
any other class of men except, perhaps, the poachers, can 
be utterly without foundation. I, for one, should be re- 
luctant to pin my faith unconditionally to the teachings of 
the class-room as opj^osed to such downright assertions as 
are, for example, to be found in Speedy's 'Sport in the 
Highlands.' Nor may we hoj^e in a little while to soften 
the still more merciless creed of the farmer. Jesse told 

^ , him that he would find the rook followinsf the 

By farmers. ^ 

ploughshare and not the sower; but such an 
assurance would, even if beyond denial, appeal Avith little 
force to men whose finer perceptions of these matters are 
pardonably blunted by the bitterness of succeeding years of 
depression, and who, in their despair, are not unnaturally 
prepared to lay the mischief at any door but the right one.^ 
There are others engaged in this work of slaughter, 
some of them with less excuse. There are the bird-catcher 

and the naturalist - collector. The former 

\ !^^^ ' empties all the music of Surrey into the 
catcners. ^ ^ -^ 

jiurlieus of Little St Andrew Street — and 
small blame to him : it is his living. The latter commits 
his dej^redations in the cause of science ; and these, indeed, 
sometimes almost pass belief. They are scarcely less 
shocking than the evils perpetrated in the name of re- 

1 When ladies disagree, indeed, as they have in tlie recent sparrow 
controversy hetween Miss Ornierod and Miss Carrington, the farmers 
may well keep their own counsels. 



INTRODUCTORY. 1 3 

ligion. As an instance, the late Mr Seebohm, whose four 

volumes are the delight of all who care to read about 

our birds, owns in one place to having robbed in one day 

upwards of 450 egg.i, (not, be it remarked, in 
By collectors. , , • i i \ • i t 1 c 

these islands), including nearly 150 of one 

species and over 80 of another. In another account he 
mentions 250 eggs of the lesser tern as the gleaning of one 
week. After these confessions, it is surely intended for 
humour when he complains at yet another i^age of the 
"hard-hearted" peasants of Siberia, who habitually take 
quantities of these eggs for food. Worse than all these is 
the wanton pot-hunter, who, without any rational interest 
in game, crops, or science, loafs abroad at all times and 
blazes at any oriole, hawk, or other bird that may chance 
to cross his path. Boys are among the worst offenders, 
and it is not without regret that one finds the editor 
of an excellent school magazine delivering himself thus : 
" School arrangements may limit them, irate farmers 
and keepers may rage, and Acts of Parliament thunder, 
but eggs and bugs will still be sought and acquired 
wherever there be boys." That our four-footed animals 
have not by such means been long since reduced to the 
level of those of Xew Zealand, that our song-birds are not 
as scarce as on the great plains of Italy, ^ is owing less to 
any measures taken for their protection than to the sacred 
rights of ownership in land, against which the lover of 
nature is not likely, whatever his politics, to raise his voice. 
But the museum-men ! As Ruskin says of the birds : " One 
kills them, the other writes classifying epitaphs." 

As above remarked, however, it is by less direct means 
that our mammalian and bird fauna has become gradually 
impoverished, not alone in variety, but rather in actual num- 
bers. Here and there, i)erhaps, the keeper's gun may have 
told. We learn, for instance, that in parts of the North 

1 In the ' Times ' of July 10 of tlie present year (1897) appeared a 
letter from a lady deploring the well-known spoliation of Italian wild 
birds for the London table ! 



14 INTPtODUCTORY. 

Country he has practically exterminated the jay and 
magpie. 1 The buzzard, kite, and hen-harrier have likewise 
in many parts of these islands been driven to the verge of 
extinction. 

But it is by cultivation and draining, the latter more 
especially, that our smaller birds have been most power- 
By draining ^^^^7 affected. The reclaiming of carseland 
and cultiva- has been the death - warrant of the bittern 
tion- and ruff, of the bearded reedling and Savi's 

warbler. The Scots cut down their great forests in olden 
time to rid them of the wolf, and with it they lost the 
capercaillie. One of the most remarkable and sudden of 
recent changes in the face of a country is to be found 
in some of the Channel Islands, where, since gin took 
the place of cider as the national beverage, the orchards 
have been abandoned, and the whole country is under 
vegetables for the early London market.^ The effect of 
such a transformation on the number of the migratory 
species that formerly stayed to breed in those islands can 
scarcely be overestimated. The draining of the fens, with 
the accompanying cutting down of the dense reeds that 
had for all time afforded shelter and nesting-sites to many 
fen-birds, has perhaps been the most important factor 
of all. The actual spread of bricks and mortar, though 
doubtless a condition to be reckoned with, is not of such 
paramount importance as might at first sight appear. In 
the first place, there must always be very large tracts which, 
1 r cr ^^ ^^ ^^^^ ^^ suppose, will not, for a very long 
time at any rate, be built over. Marvellously 
as the population of these islands has increased during 
the past century, having already passed that of France, 
a country of considerably more than half again the area, it 
is to be remarked that the tendency has been to crowd 
more closely into those centres of i3opulation which were 
cities and towns at the beginning of the century, in many 

1 Muirhcad, Birds of Berwickshire, pp. 200, 202. 

2 Smith, Birds of Guernsey, vol. viii. 



INTRODUCTORY. 15 

cases within almost the old limits, rather than to start 
new townships in waste parts of the country. If a new 
town does now and again spring up, it is certain to be 
a watering-place, the mushroom rise of which is not in- 
frequently followed by sudden decay. As an instance of 
this, I may cite Southbourne-on-Sea, a new speculation 
which was, we were told a very few years ago, to rival 
Bournemouth and eclipse Boscombe ; but the venture has 
to all appearance come to nothing, and the whimbrel and 
dotterel and redshank are left in possession of the sand- 
flats below Christchurch, laying their eggs peacefully on 
the sands and shingle which should, in the fertile imagina- 
tion of investors, have been thronged ere now with chil- 
dren and nursemaids. Thus rapidly does Nature reclaim 
her own. Secondly, it is notorious that a large number of 
beasts and birds, so far from shunning his presence, follow 
man into new districts. 

But man not only exterminates, both directly and in- 
directly; he also acclimatises and protects. It is not so 
easy as might be expected, when sketching the fauna of a 
highly civilised country like ours, to draw the 

. . ^. ' ' line strictly between the indigenous and the 
tisation. , "^ ° , . 

imported. In the case of Australia, the dis- 
tinction was far simpler, the placental dingo presenting 
the only difficulty. As for the horse, cattle, sheep, and 
dog, the camels, oxen, buffaloes, poultry, and the like, all 
these had obviously no place among the rightful owners of 
that remarkable island. With us, however, it is different. 
The palpably domesticated animals are easily reckoned 
with. The horse, ass, goat, sheep, dog, cat, hog, poultry, 
guinea-pig, and foreign cage-birds — these are ignored in 
the following pages, as also the semi-domesticated remnant 
of our wild oxen. But what shall be said of our fallow- 
deer, pheasants, capercailzie, red-legged partridge, edible 
frog, and carp ? or who would have the courage to omit 
all notice of these from an account, however slight, of our 
natural history ? This tinkering of an impoverished fauna 



16 INTRODUCTORY. 

has indeed gone on for so many years, that it is hard to 
know where to begin and where to leave off. The case of 
both our rats, the black and the larger brown, misnamed 
Norway or Hanoverian, illustrates the difficulty. We have, 
by contrast with the more recent introduction of the latter, 
come to regard the weaker species as a much older resident 
of these islands, which, in point of fact, he is. But this has 
become so strong in the minds of some, that a recent writer 
on the subject of ferrets alluded to the black rat as "the 
oldest inhabitant of this country," and this too w^hen it 
was introduced from the East in all probability not earlier 
than the fourteenth century ! Thus, in addition to the 
species introduced by man, the classification is complicated 
by others that have arrived in ships or otherwise, but not 
under his auspices. This is a difficulty which it is im- 
portant to grasp, because we shall more than once be con- 
fronted by it in the following pages. 

To make this still clearer, I will give one instance. It 
will be observed that I have, contrary to the usual practice, 
omitted the turtles from the list of British vertebrates. I 
think I should scarcely have ventured, on my own respon- 
sibility, to do so, had it not been for a trivial episode that 
I shall relate as my justification. My ship was nearing 
the end of a long voyage. We had covered 15,000 miles 
of sea, and had brought successfully through every degree 
of climate, from a tropical summer to a British winter, 
two leather-back turtles, which were allotted private 
quarters in the long-boat, and played on with the hose 
under my supervision twice a -day. Thus they thrived 
exceedingly, until, not a hundred miles south-west of the 
Eddystone, one got washed overboard. The captain, to 
whom they had been tendered as an advance Christmas 
gift by one of the Company's agents, raved and stormed 
in language suitable to the occasion ; but my own regret 
at his discomfiture was largely tempered by curiosity as 
to whether the creature might perchance get washed 
ashore alive, in which case nothing would, if we may 



INTEODUCTORY. 17 

judge by the analogy of some of the British-North- Ameri- 
can birds that figure in our list, have prevented its being 
temporarily recorded as a British turtle. I do not, be 
it understood, take upon myself for one moment the re- 
sponsibility of criticising the validity of examples pre- 
viously recorded. I prefer relating what did happen, 
and suggesting what might have happened but that, 
fortunately for British zoology, the precious morsel was 
evidently carried away into the broad Atlantic by wester- 
ing currents, and thus lost to our fauna. I hope it is 
unnecessary to add that I fully intended, perhaps after 
duly enjoying the humour of the situation, to set matters 
right. This is why I have ignored the turtles ; and if I 
had only the evidence of my own eyes, my own opinion 
is that the bird-list might in like manner have been con- 
siderably curtailed, as I fancy that if the spars and sheets 
of the Atlantic liners bound for Liverpool could speak, 
they might tell strange tales of stowaway birds.^ 

Nor have the factors that have united to make our 
fauna what it is been quite exhausted in the foregoing 
remarks, for it w^ould be impossible to overestimate the 
effects of protection. Man has not only exterminated, 
or in some cases kept under, indigenous beasts 
and birds; not only has he introduced and 
acclimatised foreign species; but he has also, almost en- 
tirely for sporting purposes, extended his protection to both 
beasts and birds that would otherwise have disappeared 
long since from our countryside. Such are the fox, hare, 
otter, red- and roe-deer, and grouse, which were at any 
rate among the early inhabitants of these islands. The 
fallow-deer, as also the various breeds of pheasants, come 
under another category, for they were introduced, and not 
indigenous. It has been shown that the preservation of 

1 A turtle of very large dimensions has at various times during the 
past summer (1897) been sighted — and more than once harpooned — oft" 
tlie Cornish coast. I have reason to believe that it is still at large in 
those waters. 

B 



18 INTRODUCTORy. 

game is responsible for a deal of destruction ; but it 
should not be forgotten that it is at the same time acting 
in an ojjposite direction, and that, but for the landowner 
and preserver, our country rambles would never be en- 
livened with the sight of the passing fox or flying deer, 
our meditations never broken by the sudden whir of 
the grouse or the soft splash of the otter. For the lat- 
ter, although undoubtedly much harassed by the riparian 
owner, would perhaps have been exterminated w^ere it not 
that many an owner of a trout-stream has a soft corner 
in his heart for an occasional day with the otter-hounds. 
It would seem, indeed, as if the best chance of survival 
lies, anomalous as it may appear, in being prized for the 
chase ; and it may well be' asked. Where will the wild cat 
and marten be in another fifty years unless some kindly 
soul discovers, ere it be too late, that there is legitimate 
sport to be had out of them ? This will be a more 
laudable venture than the more ambitious, though less 
successful, efforts which are from time to time directed 
towards the reintroduction of the beaver and boar, or the 
acclimatisation of zebus and musk-rat. 

There will always be this about the study of natural 
history in these islands, though to many it will appear 
but a poor recommendation, that it may be pursued with- 
out risk, from either climate or the creatures themselves. 
Our climate, subject though it is to sudden changes, is 
neither too hot nor too cold to put a stop to field natural 
history throughout the year. In this we are singularly 
blest, for there are few other lands of which as much 
could be said. Even on those portions of the Continent 
that lie at our door there are, as more than one ill-fated 
expedition of other days learnt to its cost, great dangers 
in the seasonal changes. Those who have, as I have, gone 
in search of birds' nests in the Eoman Maremma, will 
appreciate what we have to be thankful for. Nor are the 
bea.sts of these islands any more fearsome than the climate. 
Our existing carnivora would, save on rare occasions the 



IXTPtODUCTORY. 19 

weasel, make off on the approach of a child ; our only- 
poisonous reptile, equally fond of making itself scarce, 
causes little more than temporary inconvenience by its 
bite, unless, indeed, the patient be in a bad state of health 
already ; the sharks of our seas are mostly infants ; even 
our insects are to be dreaded less than those of any other 
country I know of. 

This little volume may, perchance, prove an incentive 
and a help to such outdoor study. I hope, indeed I might 
dare expect, so much of it. For there is much to be gained, 
by both the individual and the nation, not to speak of the 
benefit accruing to the beasts and birds themselves, if only 
this taste for natural history become more general. There 
is a large and ever-increasing class of readers. These are 
well in their way, and it is not for writers of books, at any 
rate, to deny their usefulness. But this reading of natural 
history should be the prelude to observation at first hand, 
not its substitute. The book of nature is in many chap- 
ters, and most of its pages are as yet un- 
^* turned by man. The book is free to all who 
will open it. None are privileged, and the deepest secrets 
are revealed at a moment's notice to professor or plough- 
man. The interpretation is another matter ; and what 
is fraught with meaning for one, causing him, no mat- 
ter what his creed, to stand amazed, baring his head in 
presence of that which not all his poor book-learning can 
explain, another will pass by with a shrug, the even tenor 
of his thoughts not for one instant disturbed. It is the 
old story of "Eyes and no Eyes." The boy is father to 
the man ; and he who, as a truant from morning school, 
regards the hedge-sparrow as designed for no more than a 
butt for swan-shot, whose acquaintance with his country's 
beasts and birds is strictly limited to the fitness of each 
species for the table, will in riper years make no secret of 
his creed : The earth is the Anglo-Saxon's, and the fulness 
thereof ! 



MAMMALS 



MAMMAL S. 



The mammals of these islands are surpassed in poverty 
only by the reptiles. New Zealand is the only land, ex- 
Poverty of cej)ting perhaps the Polar regions, of consider- 
literaiure on able size with a poorer list of fom'-footed in- 
cur mammals, habitants ; and, compared with the doubtful 
rat and various bats of that region, our quadrupeds make 
quite a formidable list. They have failed, however, to 
arouse that interest that has ever attached to our birds, 
fishes, and insects, as witness the literature of the subject. 
There are not many more than half-a-dozen works of any 
standing, as against over two hundred treating of our 
birds. For this lack of interest in the quadruj^eds many 
reasons might be assigned, but none operates perhaps more 
powerfully than the great difficulty of observing them, 
second only to that of studying living fishes. Birds live 
under our eyes : they are, with few exceptions, creatures of 
daylight, and we can watch them obtaining their food 
and rearing their young. Our beasts are, with equally few 
exceptions, creatures of twilight and darkness, 

1 cu le.s o ^^^^ tliose that come abroad in the sriare of day 

observing. , o ./ 

are careful to keep far from the haunts of man. 

How far this love of darkness is natural, and how far it is 

the result of a proper appreciation of man's peculiarities, 

who shall say ? The fact remains ; and the discomfort, 

often impossibility, of nocturnal excursions has, I think. 



24 MAMMALS. 

much to answer for in the paucity of books on the subject. 
That there is need of a new and up-to-date account of our 
mammals no one will doubt, for the standard work on the 
subject is nearly a quarter of a century old, and some pro- 
gress has been made since its appearance, more particularly 
in our knowledge of the distribution of the smaller rodents, 
which wants collecting. Such a volume is more than half 
completed by ]\Ir Harting — as mentioned indeed in his 
valedictory remarks when resigning the editorship of the 
' Zoologist ' ; and the name of the author of ' Extinct 
British Animals ' should be a guarantee that the work 
will be all that is required. 

Meanwhile, then. Bell remains the handbook on the sub- 
ject, though some later information is to be found in the 
Bell's volume in the ' Naturalist's Library,' in which, 

' British however, Mr Lydekker's chapter on our " Ex- 

Quadrupeds.' tinct Mammals" will probably have attracted 
most readers. Examined critically in the light of an addi- 
tional quarter of a century's investigation. Bell's second 
edition (1874) has no doubt its faults, and in the Irish 
list more particularly, as also in the old error of the beech- 
marten, needed some correction ; but, for careful attention 
to detail, it stands alone. 

Of the six orders that find representatives among the 
seventy-one mammals on the British list (I exclude the 
so-called wild cattle and the domestic beasts), two only, 
the bats and cetaceans, and a sub-order, the seals, present 
much difficulty, since they alone can, like the birds, move 
freely between these islands and the neighbouring main- 
land. This does not imply that there is not yet a great 
deal to be learnt about the habits and distribution of the 
smaller land mammals ; but the older errors — as, for in- 
stance, the presence of two martens, the inclusion in the 
Irish list of the wild cat, dormouse, and others, as well as 
the long-lived fable about the alpine hare not changing 
its coat in that island — are confusions that belong to an 
age of imperfect communication. 



MAMMALS. 25 

These and other deficiencies in the Irish fauna, as well 

as their probable explanation, have been alluded to on 

a previous page; and it may be added that 

, several attempts have from time to time been 
mammals. . -■• , 

made to differentiate the Irish stoat, otter, and 
long-tailed field-mouse. These have not as yet, however, 
been generally accepted as more than varieties. Formerly 
too, before the appearance of the second edition of Bell's 
work, the Irish hare was distinguished on account of the 
above-mentioned error respecting the permanent colour of 
its coat. 

I have already enumerated the animals which have be- 
come extinct in these islands in comparatively recent times. 
Protection ^^^ wild cat and the polecat will probably be 
versus ex- next to go ; and in truth very few of those 
termination, ^yho have most right to a voice in the mat- 
ter will miss them. Extreme views are never more to 
be deprecated than in this question of protection ; and 
the keeper who shoots and traps indiscriminately without 
thought of the mischief he may be doing, is scarcely more 
to blame than are those dwellers in cities who, without 
any concern, direct or otherwise, in such matters, raise 
their voice in pious ejaculation whenever they read in the 
' Field ' or elsewhere of the death of a polecat or other 
vermin. Our noxious mammals are, though small, many 
and active. True, there is no danger to man, for our 
woods harbour no beast that could not with address be 
despatched with a spade ; but the damage done, one way 
with another, by the fox, wild cat, polecat, marten, stoat, 
weasel,^ otter, seals, and all the rodents with the excep- 
tion of the largely insectivorous dormouse, is simply in- 
Interferinf calculable. It would not, of course, answer to 
witlithe exterminate any one of these; for if the car- 
" balance." nivora were gone, the rodents would multiply 
into a plague, and even if the latter could be annihilated, 

1 Sir Herhert Maxwell informs me that he i)rcserves weasels, being 
persuaded that their staple food consists of mice, voles, and rabbits. 



26 MAMMALS. 

the larger beasts would l3e forced to turn their attention 
exclusively to the hen-house and the game-i)reserve. The 
balance has been Uf)set so often, and with such dire results, 
that the present generation should be chary about experi- 
ments of this kind, though even lately " lady-birds," as we 
call them, have been introduced into a tropical island to 
devour certain noxious native ajAides, and there is a still 
more recent movement afoot for acclimatising the nightin- 
gale in America, as a pleasant change from the mocking- 
bird. It would seem fair, however, to suppose that an 
island without either rodents or carnivora would be an 
ideal one for the agriculturist and farmer ; and New Zea- 
land, indeed, is a case in point. In the ordinary course, 
however, an island incapable of supporting so much wild 
life has little in its soil to recommend it for such purposes. 
It is, above all things, important that we should not 
harbour any false notion that there is nothing more to be 
learnt about our few mammals. From time to time we 
hear the same plaint about the birds, yet book after book 
appears ; and though it would be wide of the mark to say 
that each new contribution to our bird-lore is full of original 
matter, it is at least safe to aver that there is something 
new, some trifling addition to our knowledge of the birds, in 
almost every one. The food and reproduction of many of 
our mammals are still matters of argument; and if an 
opening for original investigation is sought, we need not 
look further than the remarkable and still unexplained 
mortality to Avhich our shrews are subject at the end of 
summer. 



LIST OF BRITISH MAMMALS. 



27 



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28 



MAMMALS. 



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LIST OF BRITISH MAMMALS. 



29 



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31 



CHAPTEE I. THE BATS. 

The list of Bats as given by the older writers on British 
zoology now requires some revision ; and we find the 

present number to be at the outside four- 
c,->A^iAc teen, while a fifteenth, the particoloured bat, 

is included on slender evidence. Their posi- 
tion, too, has undergone change, for while the older natu- 
ralists regarded them as the link between mammals and 
birds, they are now more correctly placed between the 
lemurs and insectivora. All British bats are truly insec- 
tivorous, the large fruit-eating kinds, so common in India, 
Australia, and Madagascar, being absent from this part of 
the world. ^ They are particularly fond of moths. Their 
teeth are therefore cusped, and vary in number from thirty- 
two to thirty-eight. It is also believed that they drink 
regularly. The hairless membrane that joins the tail and 
fingers is worked by powerful muscles, so that these crea- 
tures are virtually winged and fly much as birds, their 
steering, which is remarkably sharp, being achieved by 
the aid of the inter-femoral membrane that encloses most 
of the tail. 

1 Roughly speaking, the bats of temperate regions are almost ex- 
clusively insectivorous, Avhereas tropical kinds {/'/.eropus, &c.) live on 
fruit, and some of the larger species suck the blood of sleej^ing 
mammals. From some islands where winged insects are not con- 
spicuous (Iceland, Kerguelen, &c. ) there are no bats. 



32 MAM:\rALS. 

So extraordinary is the sensibility of this entire mem- 
brane that several naturalists, Spallanzani among them, 
have attributed to these animals the posses- 

A_ sixtii 

sion of a sixth sense, a hypothesis that rests 
sense. 5 j i 

for the most part on the fact that, when arti- 
ficially blinded, they have been known to fly clear of 
threads suspended in a darkened room. Other observers 
have testified to the remarkably keen sense of smell pos- 
sessed by them. 

All bats are without doubt seen to greatest advantage 
on the wing. On the ground, they shamble for the most 
part very awkw^ardly, the long-eared bat by alternately 
hookinc^ on with the curved nail of the fore-thumb and 
raising itself on its hind-legs, the rest running along with, 
bent head. Most bats can swim, though they do not take 
to the water by preference, nor can they leave it without 
some difficulty. 

Without exception, they sufi'er much from parasites, 
numbers of small ticks, not unlike those associated with 
house-martins, being found beneath the fur. They are 
also preyed on by stoats and owls, and occasionally by 
the hobby and kestrel.^ 

It is a mistake to regard bats as creatures of darkness, 
for although the majority of species do not come abroad 
until, at all events, the twilight, it is not by any means 
uncommon to find a stray one or two about, especially in 
early summer, at midday. 

They hibernate for various periods, some kinds in soli- 
tude, others in pairs, but the greater part in colonies, in 

which each sex often keeps to itself, in old 
Hibernating. . -u i, 4. 1 ii ^ 

rums, caves, church -towers, or hollow trees. 

In this winter sleep they are usually found hanging head 

downwards. Mild days will, however, tempt them forth 

1 It is a remarkable fact that a number of clogs show the greatest 
reluctance to pick up a bat, the scent apparently affecting them ; and 
Sir R. Payne-Gallwey records a similar objection in respect of dogs 
retrieving snipe and woodcock. 



THE BATS. 33 

at all seasons, and I have seen the pipistrelle abroad within 
a fortnight of Christmas. When disturbed and dragged 
forth against their will, they usually become very active for 
an hour or two, but rarely survive this unwonted energy. 

In breeding, the different species vary somewhat ; but, 
as a rule, the female brings forth one, or at most two, at 
a birth in early summer, wrapping the young in a fold of 
her membrane. 

It will now suffice to enumerate briefly the fourteen 
species referred to. 

The Great Bat, called by White the "high-flier," is 
found in hollow trees, its presence being often betrayed 
Great Bat hy its fetid odour. It is this bat that has 
or Noctule. been found hibernating in pairs. The mem- 
brane starts above the ankle. There is a line of hair 
along the forearm, in which it resembles the next species. 
It appears not to have occurred in either Wales or Scot- 
land, but has been noticed in Ireland. 

The Hairy-armed Bat, a smaller species that closely re- 
sembles the last, save for certain differences in the teeth, 
Hairy- is apparently confined to our south-western 

armed Bat. counties, and to a few districts of Ireland. 
It is at most but a rare wanderer. 

The Pipistrelle is the commonest of our bats, and is the 
more in evidence inasmuch as it rarely hibernates for more 
than three months, and is consequently seen at 
a time when most other species are in hiding. 
Though insectivorous by preference, devouring even the 
hard wing-cases of beetles, it will also, in captivity at any 
rate, feed readily on flesh. Save for a tuft of black hair 
over the eye, the face is almost naked. The fur is reddish 
brown at the surface, but much darker, almost black, at 
the roots. The ears are conspicuously lobed and notched 
on the margin. Over the mouth are large glands. The 
membrane starts below the ankle. 

The Serotine (the V. noctula of St Hilaire, whose Y. 
serotinus is our V. noctula) is a solitary bat met with in 

C 



34 MAMMALS. 

the home counties, and in the immediate neighbourhood of 
the Metropolis. Its name implies that its activity com- 
mences only in the evening, and few bats are 
less frequently seen abroad by day. Its torpor 
lasts for at least six months, as it is rarely seen before the 
early days of May, and disappears again in September or 
October. Its flight, especially when it first returns to life, 
is laboured, though at all times easily distinguished, by 
those who know both, from the more deliberate movements 
of the last species, to which it has in this respect been 
compared. In other j^articulars there is considerable re- 
semblance. This bat does not, however, give birth to 
more than one at a time, while the pipistrelle has been 
known to produce two. 

The Mouse- coloured Bat is the largest, as it is also one 
of the rarest, of British bats ; indeed its claim to a place 
Mouse- ^^ ^^^ fauna is, like that of the next, very 
coloured slight. It is described as a quarrelsome, un- 
■^^** sociable species, feeding largely on moths, as 

well as on smaller insects. The membrane, which includes 
all but the tip of the tail, is dark yellow, and partly cov- 
ered with hair. There are also conspicuous tufts over the 
eyes, and there is some hair elsewhere on the face. 

[Once recorded from the New Forest, Bechstein's bat 
Bechstein's has been admitted into our fauna, which is as 
Bat. unsatisfactory as the inclusion of a number of 

so-called " British " birds.^] 

Natterer's Bat is a smaller allied species, and lighter 
in colour. It is the most hairy of all British bats. The 
fur is long and soft ; in colour reddish grey 
grey or and white. The membrane, which has a grey 
batterer's shade, includes the ankle. Ears very long 
and pointed. This species, which is widely 
distributed throughout the British Islands, though less 

1 The Rougli-legged and Particoloured Bats are also admitted to the 
British list on the strength of the cajiture of a single example of each ! 
They do not therefore invite description in the present outline. 



THE BATS. 35 

partial to forest districts than the last, may be distin- 
guished by the conspicuous fringe on the interfemoral 
membrane. ' 

Daubenton's Bat is not infrequently seen hawking 
Dauben- over water. On the face are two prominent 
ton's Bat. swellings. The ears, nearly as long as the 
head, are oval in shape, lobed and notched on the outer 
margin. It occurs throughout these islands, though no- 
where is it very common. 

The AMiiskered Bat is a small, solitary, and swift-flying 
bat, not uncommon in Hampshire and the neighbouring 
"WTiiskered counties, but gradually rarer farther north, 
Bat. and not indeed recorded from Scotland until 

comparatively recently. In Ireland its occurrences would 
also appear to be few and far between. This species 
hibernates for a short period only in ruins, caves, or hollow 
trees. The face is thickly furred, hence the trivial name. 
There are a number of transverse bands on the membrane, 
which is devoid of lobe and starts from the base of the 
foot. The tail is long and curved. 

The Long-eared Bat is one of the commonest kinds indi- 
genous to these islands, easily distinguished by the great 
Long-eared length of its ears and tail, the former being 
B^*- flexible and semi-transparent, and almost as 

long as the body. When the animal is asleep they are 
observed to fold downwards. The voice of this bat is par- 
ticularly shrill and high-pitched — so much so, indeed, that 
many folks are quite unable to distinguish it. Bell and 
some older writers described a smaller species, in w^hich the 
ears were proportionately less and the tail longer. It is 
now, however, referred to the present species. 

The Barbastelle is a rare bat of remarkable appearance 

and restricted distribution, being found chiefly, 
Barbastelle. . 

' though nowhere in abundance, in our south- 
eastern counties, scarcer as we proceed northward, and 



36 MAMMALS. 

apparently wanting in Scotland and Ireland, More than 
one writer has noticed its absence from apparently suit- 
able districts. The expression imparted by the position 
of the nostrils in a hairless depression over the muzzle 
is grotesque in the extreme, the effect being heightened 
by the tufts of black bristles on the cheeks. The face 
and ears are black, the latter being short, broad, and 
notched on the margin. This bat undergoes long retire- 
ment. 

The group to which our two Horseshoe Bats belong is 

characterised by the presence of a hairy, leaflike hood over 

Greater ^^^^ snout, the exact purpose of which has 

Horseshoe not, so far, been satisfactorily determined. St 

^ ' Hilaire regarded it as a valve to the nostrils, 

but Bell considered it rather in the light of a highly de- 
veloped organ of smell, a view that has been more or less 
accepted by later writers. 

The Greater Horseshoe Bat is fairly common in the 
southern counties of England, becoming rarer farther 
north, and absent altogether from Scotland and Ireland. 
Its food consists largely of chafers, and it is essentially a 
forest bat. 

The nose-leaf is in three sections, that in front being in 
the form of a horseshoe, the second flat and bent at the 
sides, and the hinder one pointed. There is a conspicuous 
groove ill the lower lip. The ears are pointed and the tail 
short. 

Long regarded as a variety of the last, the Lesser Horse- 
shoe Bat is distinguished by its inferior size, the position 
Lesser ^^ ^^^ lower teeth, and the depression in the 

Horseshoe hinder portion of the nose -leaf. Like the 

^ ' larger, it is found only in the southern coun- 

ties, but, unlike it, it is recorded from Ireland, where it 
has been taken in caves. It is not so fond of forests, and 
its Hight is more powerful. 



THE INSECTIVORA. 



37 



CHAPTER II. THE INSECTIVORA. 



I. The Hedgehog. 



Food. 



The Hedgehog is among the creatures generally reck- 
oned as vermin of the farm. If any one has just cause 
of complaint against the hedgehog, it is not the farmer but 
the gamekeeper, as it has often been taken in traps baited 
with game-birds or their eggs. 

Its chief food, however, consists of worms and insects, 
and, when domesticated in the kitchen, it subsists largely 
on cockchafers. It is also known to attack 
adders, which lacerate themselves against its 
armour of spines. 
At any rate its 
diet is entirely 
animal, and White 
was in error when 
he endowed it with 
vegetarian tastes. 
Its worst offence 
is a rare raid on 
the hen-house. 

The most famil- 
iar habit of the 
hedgehog is that 

of rolling in a ball when threatened by danger, a special 
arrangement of the muscles enabling it to assume this re- 

^ . markable position. In this way it is able to 
Enemies. - . ... 

keep off most of its enemies, including even 

dogs specially trained for its pursuit, but the fox is said to 
possess the secret of making it unbend by ducking it in 
some swamp, or by a disgusting process which it is unde- 
sirable to describe in detail. The badger is also said to be 







38 MAMMALS. 

a sworn foe of this animal.^ Another advantage of the coat 
of spines is that its elasticity is sufficient to break any fall. 
This it was that formerly lent weight to the slander that 
the hedgehog was given to climbing fruit-trees and bearing 
off the fruit impaled on its spines. It has a curious habit 
of taking up its quarters in particular gardens, where, if 
unmolested, it will remain for many months. A young 
hedgehog had taken up its residence in this way in the 
garden of a house in Cornwall where I was recently stay- 
ing, and it would run about the gravel walks all night, 
lying in hiding during the day. At last the owner of the 
house bought some poultry, and it was all I could do to 
prevent his throwing the unfortunate hedgehog into a 
neighbouring stream. I managed, however, to persuade 
him to deposit it in a market -garden close by, where I 
have no doubt it did good service. 

Early naturalists were pleased to weave romance round 
the birth and nourishment of young hedgehogs, which are, 
needless to say, as those of other mammals. The hedge- 
hog pairs for life, and the young — five, six, or, according 
to Mr Harting, even seven in number — are born early in 
August in a roomy nest of dead leaves. 

When first born they are blind, the spines being, more- 
over, white and soft, but soon assuming the colour and 
hardness of maturity. Save by gipsies, who 
roast it "in its jacket," the flesh of the hedge- 
hog is not eaten in this country, though it is a favourite 
dish in the French provinces, where, according to some 
writers, two species are recognised. 

The appearance of the hedgehog is unique among British 

mammals, nor is any one likely to confuse it with any 

other beast, unless it be with the Australian 

A "n 11 p IT*?!! 1 r* p 

&c ' echidnas, to which it certainly bears some 

superficial resemblance. Rather less than a 

foot long, the arched body is covered with dull white, 

sharp spines, an inch or more in length, and having a dark 

1 See the ' Zoologist,' January 1888, j). 10. 



THE INSECTIVORA. 39 

ring at the centre, from which they taper to either end. On 
the head and belly these spines are replaced by coarse 
yellow bristles. In colour, hedgehogs show considerable 
variation, and perfectly white examples are on record. 
The ears and neck of this animal are short, as are also the 
legs, the feet having five toes armed with strong curved 
claws The weight of a live grown hedgehog now in 
possession of a friend of Mr Harting's is i^ lb. Being 
unable to find any record of the hedgehog's weight, I 
persuaded Mr Harting to have this one weighed specially. 

2. The Mole. 

Although partial to the interesting little Mole, which, 

like the Californian black ant among insects, is for its size 

about the strongest of its class, I have always 

^ ^^ been careful not to spoil its case by pretend- 
onender. - ^ . n. , , . 

mg that its offences are altogether imaginary. 

They are at any rate light. From February onward it 
may undermine the potato-bed, and later in the year it 
may even disturb the even surface of the cricket-pitch or 
tennis-court, or, worse still, chase grubs through the drills 
of young turnips. Nor can it claim to be the friend of the 
gardener by reason of its destruction of myriads of earth- 
worms, for gardeners of the present enlightened age know 
well that the erst-despised worm has its uses in nature's 
economy. At the same time, much of their work, which 
consists for the most part in turning over the clogged soil, 
is accomplished by their devourer, which also consumes 
vast quantities of such noxious creatures as the wireworm 
and larva of the "daddy long-legs," known in England as 
" leather grub," in Scotland as " pout." 

The mole also devours mice, shrews, small reptiles, and 
frogs, but is said to draw the line at the toad. It has also 
been described as laying up a store of worms 
for the winter in an underground pit, a state- 
ment which is, however, open to considerable doubt, as 



40 



MAMMALS. 



the mole Avorks throughout the year, its casts in winter 
often showing through the snow.^ This lean animal diet — 
for, like the hedgehog, the mole eats no vegetable food — 
induces continuous thirst, to quench which the mole is 
known to sink deep shafts for water. Its enormous ap- 
petite is partly attributable to its constant exertion, but I 
have once or twice had captive moles, that had no work to 
do, die overnight for want of worms. It seems indeed as 

if this animal must 
be ever feeding, 
and certainly no 
other starves more 
easily. 

Though it seems 
to do most of its 
engineering and 
hunting by night, 
the mole is not by 
any means inactive 
in the daytime, 
and it is observed to be in motion at certain fixed hours, 
which it appears to keep with great precision. It works 
near the surface, almost above it when there is snow on 
the ground ; and Mr Lydekker has happily compared its 
progress to that of a porpoise in a smooth sea, which re- 
calls the curious fact, already mentioned, that, though un- 
known, both now and formerly, in Ireland, there are sev- 
eral Irish names for this creature, and one of these denotes 
"porpoise." ^ 

The distribution of the mole is not devoid of interest. 
In many apparently suitable districts, where it would 

1 I do not intend calling in question the existence of such stores of 
worms, for these are not uncommon ; but their ultimate object, to pro- 
vide food in winter, or, as is also alleged, to feed the new-born young, 
seems at least very questionable. 

2 Sir Herbert Maxwell points out that the common Irish equivalent 
for porpoise is muc mara (sea-pig) ; but the word I have in mind, but 
cannot recall, may be a provincialism. 



-4; 




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THE INSECTIVORA. 41 

find food in abundance and soft soil to work in, it is 
wanting altogether. Very abundant throughout England 

and the Lowlands of Scotland, it becomes 

Distribution. . ,■, tt- i i i i • -l i. 

very rare m the Highlands, and is absent 

from many of the islands. 

The question is asked from time to time, "What becomes 
of the moles in flood-time ? and I fancy the solution of 
the riddle is to be sought in the instinct that prompts 
them to tunnel in sloping ground in the neighbourhood 
of rivers. This is at any rate the case in the Dover valley, 
where last February (1897) I found hundreds 
of runs in the soft soil of either cliff, but not 
a single one down on a level with the stream. 

Of the structure of the mole and its marvellous adap- 
tation to its conditions of existence, little remains to be 
said. Built essentially for progress, always 

^^/.^^.,. hungry and always tunnellino- into fresh 
peculiarities. °. *' i n 1 i 

hunting-grounds, all the strength of the 

" moudiewarp " is concentrated, as is apparent from a 
casual examination of the skeleton, in the fore -limbs, 
the others being comparatively weak. The fur, growing 
perpendicular, lies equally well in any direction, thereby 
offering little resistance to the narrow walls against which 
it brushes. The mole can run rapidly, as Le Court proved 
by placing little sticks with flags in its run and noting the 
rapidity with which it displaced them.^ It is also some- 
thing of a swimmer, though it is not known to take to the 
water unless pursued by the weasel, its worst enemy 
after man. As in the hedgehog, the senses of smell 
and hearing are acute, and it is owing to this that the 
traps of the professional mole-catchers often make large 
catches on the most windy nights. There is, for all the 
mole's keen sense of hearing, no external ear, but merely 
an orifice hidden by coarse hairs. 

1 The value of this historic experiment has been called in question, for 
a horn was inserted in the run and sounded to frighten the mole, and the 
displacement of the flags has been attributed to the sudden air-pressure. 



42 MAMMALS. 

The sense of sight is, however, practically in abeyance, 
though the eyes are not, as in its cousin of the Mediter- 
ranean countries, totally enveloped in the skin, but may 
be seen by any one who will take the trouble to blow 
aside the fur that normally conceals them. 

The elongated muzzle, which is the most sensitive part 
of the mole's anatomy (especially in the North American 
genus, on the snout of which is a starlike growth, recalling 
the nose-leaf in some bats), is thought to give assistance 
in tunnelling, though the powerful back -turned claws 
would ajDpear to need little heljD. 

The engineering works of the mole have been so often 
described that a very brief notice of its wondrous under- 
ground establishment will here suffice. What 

Molehills. , i i -n • ..i • ^.-l 

we know as a molehill is nothing more than 

the earth thrown up by the creature as it forages into 
fresh feeding-grounds, its course being along a kind of 
highroad, also clearly discernible at the surface. It is 
in this main track that the traps are set. The actual 
fortress of the mole, a circular abode reached by a number 
of passages converging from this highroad, is not thrown 
up in the exposed part of a field like the hills, but is 
generally in a natural hummock, or I have found them 
in hedges. It has a circular gallery, into which run the 
paths from the highroad. The mole works at various 
depths according to the nature of the soil and the scarcity 
of worms, and it is by this that its mischief to the farmer 
is reckoned. As already mentioned, when snow lies thick 
on the ground, it works almost at the top. When, how- 
ever, worms are scarce, as in periods of drought, it sinks 
its shafts to a much greater depth, and is at such times 
incapable of doing any damage whatever. On occasion, 
these animals will obtain their food above ground, where 
they often feed on certain larva?. This is observed most 
frequently in the early part of the year. 

The females, being in the minority, have a number of 
lords, and great fights are held in their honour, it being 



THE INSECTIVOEA. 43 

impossible for two males to pass one another in the pairing 
season without a desperate fight a Voutrance. 

The nest, distinct from the fortress, is likewise beneath 
some hillock ; and as the moles use it but once, the 
deserted dwelling is usually appropriated by 
field-mice. The number of the litter would 
seem to average five, and personally I never found more, 
though six, and even seven, are recorded. They appear to 
be born about the end of July, at least I have found them 
still blind the first week in August. 

The appearance of the mole is too familiar to need 

detailed description ; in fact, as the characters given in 

this little book are only such as may enable the reader 

to distinguish the species under notice, it is 

ppearance, g(,g^j.(.giy necessary to enumerate the features 

of one that could scarcely be confused with 
any other. In colour the mole is, as a rule, glossy black, 
but grey, yellow, and even albino examples are not rare. 
When first born, the young are pale brown or grey, their 
snout being of a delicate pink. The average weight of an 
adult mole is just under 4 ounces. 

It has attracted the attention of more than one writer 
on the subject that so interesting a creature as the mole, 

one, too, sufiiciently common in his part of 
-D ,^ , Hampshire, should have been mentioned but 

once, and that incidentally, in White's ' Sel- 
borne.' This reminds me of the drawing of a mole's hand 
with six fingers, which embellishes Buckland's (1875) 
edition of that work. 



3. The Shkews. 

In the Shrews, we come to the least of our mammals, 
smallest of all being the Lesser Shrew, which holds the 
same position in its class as the goldcrest among our birds. 
Though frequently confounded with the rodent mice, they 
have no more in connnon with them than have the so-called 



44 



MAMMALS. 



"pouched mice" of the Australian region. Indeed they 
bear, especially in the peculiarly sensitive snout, consider- 
ably more resemblance to their near ally, the mole. Being, 
however, still more exclusive in their preference for insect 
diet, though their pugnacity leads them to attack with 
zeal small birds, lizards, frogs, and the like, they are even 
less mischievous, though the AVater-Shrew makes an occa- 
sional raid on fish and their spawn. They are normally of 
dark colour, but albinos have been recorded from time to 
time in the columns of the ' Field,' both of the Common 
species in Great Britain and of the Lesser in Ireland. 

The Common Shrew is widely distributed throughout 
Great Britain and some of the Scottish isles, but is not 
Common found in Ireland. It has the fighting instincts 
Shrew. ^f j^g j-ace ; and the quantities of dead shrews 
found in country lanes in late summer might easily be 
attributed to this cause, were it not that they bear on 
them no outward signs of violence. As it is, this singular 
mortality remains without satisfactory expla- 
nation. The shrew has many enemies. By 
man, curiously enough, it is but little troubled, which may 
in part be due to its retiring habits, though formerly a 

very cruel and 
ridiculous super- 
stition that its 
touch was suf- 
ficient to lame 
cattle led to its 
persecution and 
the barbarous 
antidote of the 
" shrew ash," in Avhich the offender was buried alive, 
imparting to the wood, so it was said, marvellous healing 
qualities. It is, however, largely consumed 
by owls and moles, while cats kill but do not 
eat it, a habit tliat has been thought by some to account 
for the dead shrews aforementioned. 



Mortality, 




Enemies 



THE INSECTIVOKA. 45 

The shrew breeds in the spring, the young, which number 

from five to eight, being born in July or August in an un- 

derground nest made of dry grass and leaves.^ 

The shrews are all of more or less nocturnal 

habits, but, unlike the mole, they find their food at the 

surface, and consequently, instead of displacing the soil, 

their runs are made in the grass, much as those of fish and 

waterfowl in the reeds in Broadland. They 

become torpid in winter, their sleep being 

more perfect than that of bats, and rarely, if ever, disturbed 

by any unusual rise in temperature. 

The colour of the Common Shrew is usually reddish 

above and grey beneath. Its most distinctive 

PP^rance, fg^ture is the short, bristly, four-sided tail. 

Like all the group, it secretes an unpleasant 

odour in lateral glands concealed by long hairs. 

Of the Lesser Shrew little need be said beyond the 

interesting fact in its distribution that, while less common 

Lesser in England, it replaces the larger shrew in 

Shrew. Ireland and the Hebrides. The forearm is 

Distribution, relatively shorter than in the latter, the teeth 

being also more minute. 

The Water Shrew is a rapid swimmer and powerful 
"Water diver, the fur keeping comparatively dry when 
Shrew, immersed. It does not occur in Ireland. 
Its food consists, like that of the others, chiefly of 
insects, caddis among the rest ; but it seems admitted that 
it has occasionally been caught in the act of 
devouring the spawn and fry of game fish. 
In turn, it is much persecuted by the weasel, which over- 
takes it in the water with ease, and also by pike and, in 
Continental rivers, wels. 

The female, considerably the smaller of the two, gives 

1 The nest is usually in a depression of the ground, but Mr Harting 
tells me that it is sometimes found in a clover field, ball-shaped, like 
that of the harvest-mouse. This shrew is thought by some to rear a 
second litter (see the ' Zoologist,' November 1896, p. 432). 



46 MAMMALS. 

birth to a litter of from five to eight young in May, 
rearing them at the end of a long burrow of her own 
digging in a nest of moss and dry grass. 

This is the largest of our shrews. The body is broader, 

the snout less tapering, the tail more slender than in the 

common species, and fringed with white hairs. 

ppearance, rpj^^ teeth, of reddish hue at the tips, are 

slightly recurved. The fur is black above, 
white beneath, as also within the ears. 

[The older writers described a fourth shrew, a variety, as 
is now well known, of the present species.] 



CHAPTER III. THE CARNIVORA. 

I. The AVild Cat. 

Of the now narrow distribution of the Wild Cat, fiercest 
of our surviving carnivora, much has been written, while 
its European range is the subject of a most interesting 
volume. An additional interest formerly attached to it 
by reason of its having been long regarded as the pro- 
genitor of our domestic breeds; but this view is now 
generally rejected. Nevertheless, the wild and domesti- 
cated cats are known to interbreed. 

That the wild cat still holds its own, though in dimin- 
ishing numbers, in the wilder districts of Argyllshire, in 
Lochaber, and the extreme north-west of Scot- 
land generally, is beyond all doubt, though 
considerable caution is necessary before accept- 
ing every reported wild cat as genuine, so many examples 
having proved on investigation to be the domestic animal 
run wild. Apart from this, there has been confusion, as 



THE CARNIVOEA. 47 

Harvie-Brown ^ points out, between this creature and the 
marten. The same writer refers to its absence from the 
Hebrides. Not so many years ago the wild cat survived 
farther south. Roebuck^ gives the year 1840 as the date 
of its extinction in Yorkshire. Major Fisher -^ saw one in 
very bad condition in North Wales. I recollect Sir Her- 
bert Maxwell telling me of one said to have been caught 
less than fifty years ago in Oxfordshire, and now in a glass 
case at Middleton. He has not, however, been able to 
verify the date of its capture. From the Lake district it 
seems to have vanished half a century ago ; and as it is 
undoubtedly a very great nuisance to the farmer and 
gamekeeper, it would not be surprising if its extinction in 
these islands were to follow closely on the dawn of the 
twentieth century. Such folks have no time to devote 
much thought to the less practical consideration of the 
impoverishment of our mammalian fauna, nor, it must 
be confessed, is there much to be said on behalf of this 
fierce and voracious beast. It is almost a blessing that 
it is so easily trapped, showing very little suspicion of 
any baited fall, a little valerian root being, according to 
Speedy, sufficient to attract any game-hunting cat. The 
wild cat, it is now generally agreed, never occurred in 
Ireland. 

The young, five or six in number, are born 
BrGGtlin"'. 

°" in early summer, the lair being either in a 

hollow tree or in some deserted badger-earth. 

Seen in the museum — and few have nowadays any op- 
portunity of seeing it elsewhere — it is a striking animal, 
bearing a strong resemblance to the lynx, 
ppearance, rpj^^, body gives the impression of combined 

strength and immense activity, and is well 
balanced by the bushy tail, which is proportionately far 
shorter than in the domestic cat. In colour it seems from 
all accounts to vary considerably, the type being yellow 

1 Fauna of Argyll, p. 11. '- Yorkshire Vertebrata, p. 5. 

3 Outdoor Life in England, p. 4. 



48 



MAMMALS. 



with darker bands, and having l)lack rings on the tail and 
a black line along the back. The soles of the feet are 
black. 

2. The Fox. 

In the Fox we have a beast of peculiar interest, which is 

chiefly due to the fact that the amusement afforded by its 

pursuit has invested it in this country with an altogether 

disproportionate importance, in consequence of which it is 

strictly protected at the expense of the farmer 

ro ec ion. ^^^ game - preserver, whose birds it destroys 
wholesale. But for this artificial protection, there is every 







reason to suppose that it would have followed the wild 
cat, and survive only in the waste mountains of North 
Britain. 

As its pace and endurance endear it to the hunting-man, 
so does the naturalist find much to interest him in its 
sagacity. It is not easy, indeed, to be quite sure where 
this sagacity stops short; in literature, at 
any rate, it goes great lengths, and the fox 
is represented in the folk-lore of all nations as invariably 
getting the better cT other creatures, both weaker and 
stronger than itself. Among the many dodges by which 



Sagacity, 



THE CARNTVORA. 49 

it has been alleged to outwit its more j^owerful adversaries 
is that of feigning death (hence known as " foxing "), a 
habit commonly observed in the Australian dingo ; but 
few hunting -men appear to believe this, none to have 
seen it. 

The accomplishments of this much -hunted animal in 
making good its escape are many and varied. It is swift 
of foot, can on very rare occasions clamber up a tree out of 
reach of the hounds, and will even, when hard pressed by 
them, take to the water and swim with great ease and at 
considerable speed. It also fouls the scent, and is even 
said to roll in manure with this object. In the recent floods 
in the Fen Country (1897) foxes were, however, reduced 
to such straits, more especially on the various temporary 
islands, as to become quite tame. This shows that these 
animals are not by nature fitted for long distances in the 
water, choosing it only in preference to the more certain 
death behind. A case was, how^ever, not long since re- 
ported in which a vixen reared a litter on an islet, travers- 
ing several hundred yards of water every few hours to 
procure food for the family. A good deal of this so-called 
cunning in seeking sanctuary, some interesting examples 
of which were enumerated in a recent issue of the ' English 
Illustrated Magazine,' may in fact be attributed to the 
desperation to which the terrified beast is reduced. It 
would be too much to think that it stopped to argue to 
itself whether or not the hounds would follow it into that 
favourite and oft-quoted asylum, the old woman's apple- 
cart. 

Though known to excavate now and again the earth in 

which, curled up like all dogs, it passes the day, and in 

the hills frequenting heaps of fallen rocks, it more often 

appropriates the burrow of the badger, so foul- 
<< Earths," . . . 

ing it that the real owner has — being, for all 

the popular estimate of its offensive odour, a fastidious 

beast — no more taste for it. Were the intruder not to 

adopt some such plan, indeed, it would probably be 

D 



In Scotland. 



50 MAMMALS. 

evicted, making a very poor show against the teeth of 
the badger. 

An interesting contrast is furnished between the sleek 
red fox of the hunting counties and the finer grey race 
of the Highlands. In England, the shooting of a fox is 
regarded as an act of heresy, and excites obloquy such as 
falls on the man who in riding country in India shall dare 
to shoot a wild boar. Sport has its unwritten laws, and 
they are respected a deal more than some others enacted in 
less uncertain phrase. In Scotland, however, these sturdy 
" greyhounds " are shot and trapped without 
mercy. Attempts have from time to time 
been made to transplant them to the low countries ; but 
th-ey show to greater advantage amid their native hills, 
giving but a poor run on the flat, and showing an irre- 
pressible tendency to get back to the hills. Attention has 
also been called quite recently to the large introduction of 
German foxes into Bedfordshire, and the farmers have 
been loud in their condemnation. 

The food of the healthy fox is very varied, in fact it is 
almost omnivorous, readily accommodating itself to circum- 
stances. Where furred game is available, it 
undoubtedly prefers it ; but poultry is always 
acceptable ; and hedgehogs, rats, mice, and even beetles, are 
often made the best of. On the sea-shore, foxes are known 
to prowl, especially after a storm, for the crustaceans and 
molluscs thrown up ; and among other jetsam, ambergris is 
said to be highly appreciated. Mangy foxes, which feed 
more on poultry than on rabbits, are most harmful in a 
district, and are greatly dreaded by huntsmen on account 
of infection. The mange spreads to the badgers, and even 
to the rabbits, of the neighbourhood. 

From three to five cubs are born in the latter part of 

April ; but the most interesting question in connection 

with the breeding of this animal is its relations 

iwg- ^\\\^ domestic dogs. That crosses (known as 

" cocktails ") do occur there can be little doubt, but the 



THE CARNIYORA. 51 

subject is one that requires considerable investigation before 
the extent of their breeding can be satisfactorily estimated. 
The cubs remain blind for some days after birth. 

Little need be added as to the appearance of so familiar 
an animal. Few creatures alter their appearance more 

under different conditions. The lithe, snake- 
ppearan^e, j^^ body gives, when seen sneaking away 

along the ground, a very different impression 
from its appearance when flying before the hounds, where 
the observer can appreciate the use of the slender legs and 
the steering power of the bushy tail, which has sometimes 
a conspicuous white tip. Unlike the larger grey fox of the 
Highlands, our race is of an almost uniform reddish hue 
with variable grey markings, underparts white, as also the 
extremity of the tail, some black on the head and legs. The 
pointed muzzle, oblique eyes "\^dth elliptical pupils, and 
tapering ears, always erect, are all sufficiently familiar fea- 
tures. The characteristic scent ^ is secreted in a gland be- 
neath the tail. The white " tag " is no indication of sex. 



3. The ]\Iartex and its Allies. 

The Pine Marten, another of our rapidly diminishing 

beasts, is still known to breed in the Peak country and in 

Pine parts of Wales, and one was said to have been 

Marten, obtained in Leicestershire as recently as last 

year. It also holds its own in a few wild parts of the 

Highlands, and was seen in Argyllshire last year, though 

of late years it has sensibly diminished, and 

has disappeared altoa;ether from some of the 
range. . . 

islands where it was formerly not uncommon. 
In parts of Ireland, especially in Kilkenny, the "marten 
cat " is not scarce. 

1 Lord Coventry, in the course of his article on Fox-hunting in the 
* Encyclopaedia of Sport, ' points out an interesting fact known to 
hunting-men, and that is, that the scent is certain to be poor on days 
when gossamer is observed floating in the air. 



52 



MA]MMALS. 



Food. 




Essentially, for all its partly webbed feet, a tree-haunt- 
ing species, the marten feeds almost entirely, 
save for an occasional relapse to such humble 
fare as wild honey, on birds and squirrels, which it pur- 
sues among the 
branches. Though 
it is known to de- 
scend periodically 
to the ground to 
vary its diet with 
game and rabbits, 
there is reason to 
believe that its 
offences in this 
direction are ex- 
aggerated. 
Like all its tribe, it can get over the ground very rapidly, 
advancing with sidelong leaps. 

More than one litter is brought forth in the year, the 
first, numbering three or four, appearing some 
time in April, in an old squirrel's drey appro- 
priated for the purpose. 

The brown fur is long and glossy, the ears round and 

hairy. The underparts are of yellowish hue, and there is a 

conspicuous patch of the same on the throat. 

^^^'Tc''°''^' "^^^^ ^^^^^^ becomes deepest on the tail, which 
terminates in a brush. This species lacks the 
offensive odour of some of its relatives. 

[The Beech, or Stone, Marten never existed in these 
islands, save in books and menageries.] 



Breeding. 



The Polecat is the largest and the worst smelling of our 

weasels, the scent being secreted in an anal pouch, and at 

Polecat or o^^ce impregnating everything with which it 

Foumart, comes in contact. The foumart (foul marten), 

as it is therefore appropriately called in the North Country, 

is of somewhat restricted distribution, it having become 



THE CARNIVORA. 53 

rarer and rarer throughout these islands, until neighbour- 
hoods where it was till com23aratively recent years not 
uncommon, now know it no longer. Accord- 
ing to Messrs Harvie-Brown and Buckley, it 
never occurred in the Hebrides. To Ireland it is not 
indigenous. 

Any kind of live food seems acceptable to this voracious 
beast, among its favourite items being poultry, ducks, 
rabbits, and young game-birds, frogs, toads, 
and even eels, a picture of a polecat with a 
large eel in its jaws figuring in the " Naturalist's Library," 
in Mr Lydekker's volume on 'British Mammals.' There 
would be nothing remarkable in its taking eels, since they 
will often wriggle through the wet grass from one water to 
another, besides which the polecat is a powerful swimmer. 
Most of its hunting is done by night, but one was shot in 
broad daylight when pursuing something in a hedge on a 
private property (July 1893) in Suffolk. 

The female brings forth five or six young in early 
summer, rearing them in some rabbit-burrow. 

In colouring, this animal is of a uniform dark brown, 
some of the longer fur being almost black. White mark- 
ings are present on the sides of the head and near the 
mouth. The bushy tail is shorter than that 
Appearance, ^^ ^^^ marten. Maximum weight, about 

6 lb. 
[The Ferret is merely a domesticated variety of the j^ole- 
cat, from which it is easily distinguished by its inferior 
size and the lighter colour of the fur. Never- 
theless, escaped ferrets are continually re- 
ported as genuine polecats. The ferret, as is the case with 
most domesticated races, multiplies much more rajjidly 
than its wild relative, the litter numbering as many as 
eight or nine, and a second litter being frequently pro- 
duced.] 

The Stoat, or Ermine, is not more than two-thirds the 



54 



MAMMALS. 



Change of 
coat. 



size of the last, yet often confounded in parts of York- 
shire.^ 

The most interesting point in connection with this 
member of the tribe is its seasonal change of coat. In 
Stoat or summer-time, when it is known in the Fen 
Ermine. Country as " lobster," its coat is reddish- 
brown ; in winter, however, this is replaced (whether by 
fresh growth or by actual colour-change in the fur itself 
was long a disputed point) by almost uniform 
white, only the extreme tip of the tail retain- 
ing its blackness. It is now generally ad- 
mitted that this protective colouring is brought about by 
the growth of new fur, and not, as formerly averred, by 

the effect of the 
fall in temperature 
on the colour of its 
summer coat. The 
change is observed 
to be less complete 
in the milder win- 
ters of our south- 
ern counties, there 
being permanent 
dark patches about the head and back. In autumn, there 
is an intermediate pied stage. 

Unfortunately for the beast, the mingled black-and-white 
fur has long been in special demand for the linings of State 
robes ; and though the fur, even in Highland 
examples, of our ermines is not of sufficient 
beauty for the market, in Northern Europe and Asia the 
little animals are persecuted wholesale, their pursuit having 
led to the opening up of a deal of the interior of Siberia. 
The stoat is an unmitigated nuisance in the hen-house 
and game-preserve. It is an accomplished 
swimmer, and its movements on land, includ- 
ing the sideling leaps so characteristic of the family to which 

1 Eagle-Clarke and Roebuck, Yorkshire Vertebrata, p. 7. 




Fur. 



As vermin. 



THE CAENIVORA. 55 

it belongs, are exceedingly rapid, so that it can run down 

a rabbit, as I have more than once seen it do, without 

difficulty. It is said to leap on its victim's back ; but I 

never saw this, my experience being rather that the rabbit, 

half stupefied by fear, was easily dragged down 

by the ear after a very short chase. The 
prey. *' "^ . 

squeals of the unfortunate rabbit on such oc- 
casions are piercing, and seem different from its ordinary 
voice. The stoat is also known to ascend trees after birds 
and their eggs. In the fall of the year, stoats wander in 
packs, and are then said to attack even man, but I do not 
remember ever coming across an authenticated instance of 
this. 

Five or six young (as many as eight have been recorded) 
are born in spring. 

The stoat is widely distributed in these islands, its 
range extending to the Hebrides. Some naturalists pre- 
fer to distinguish the smaller Irish stoat, 
° ' which is said to exhibit some slight varia- 
tion in colouring. 

In appearance it is not unlike its larger relative, the 
polecat, though its length is, with the tail, fully one-fourth 
less. In connection with the aforementioned winter change 
of coat, it is of interest to note that stoats have been 
found in the southern counties in their winter 
ppearance, ^^^^ ^^ mid-summer. At considerable alti- 
tudes they retain, as might be expected, the 
white coat throughout the year. 

The Weasel is the smallest British member of the group. 

Of wide distribution throughout the mainland of Great 
Britain, it is apparently unknown in Ireland 
and the smaller isles. The so-called " weasel " 

of Ireland is the stoat. ^ In the Xorth, the weasel is known 

1 The absence of the true weasel from Irehand has been denied by 
many gentlemen in the ' Field ' and ' Zoologist ' ; but, as the tJien 
editor (Mr Harting) of the last-named magazine once had occasion to 
remark, the promised skins of Irish weasels were never forthcoming. 



56 MAMMALS. 

as the "Whittret" ( = Whitethroat). The food of this 
species consists chiefly of the brains of rats, mice, and moles, 
all of which are seized by the head, the brains 
sucked, and the body left. The alleged habit 
of blood - sucking is discredited by many. AVhen hard 
pressed, these animals will eat carrion, and are at times 
partial to eggs, though these belong for the most part to 
wild birds that nest in trees and not to game-birds. They 
are also known to swim in pursuit of water-voles. 

These animals, though mostly feeding at night, are 
frequently met with in daylight ; and I came across two 
in the same week a few miles out of Winchester. 

The greatest enemies of the weasel are the larger birds 
of prey ; and it is said to get the better of even the larg- 
est occasionally, clinging to their throat and 
bringing them back to earth faint from loss 
of blood. I have seen one carried up by a partridge, but 
the ascent was brief, the descent rapid, and the death of 
the stoat, brought about by a keeper who had no respect 
for the fact that "nature is one with rapine," the immedi- 
ate sequel. 

The weasel nests in some bank or hollow tree, and is 

prolific, the litter numbering from four to six. The 

alleged rearing of a second, or even third, 

litter appears to rest on scanty evidence. 

The weasel is less striking in appearance than its British 

relatives. The tail, more particularly, is inconspicuous, 

head small, neck long and muscular, body 

ppearance, j^igQ^j^^j. ^y^^ arched. In colour, it is usually 

reddish above, white below. A winter change 
of coat is occasionally observed, but the 2>henomenon is of 
irregular occurrence. 

[Bell and other early writers alluded to a smaller species, 
an error apparently arising from the great variation in size 
to which the female is especially liable.] 

If appearance went for much in zoological classification, 



THE CAKNIVORA. 



57 



we might well be tempted with the older naturalists to 
press the relationship of the Badger with the extinct 
British bear. The heavy gait, short legs, and 
^^^" hairy body, all lend it at least as much resem- 
blance to the true bears as that possessed by the so-called 
bear of Australia. Appearances, however, go for very 




J- 









^•Ot- 



little, and more reliable characters link the badger with 
the weasels and otter, though the resemblance be exter- 
nally slight. 

The "brock," or "grey," as it is called in the provinces, 
where the former survives in a number of place-names, is 
often spoken of as on the verge of extinction, a notion 

partly due to its nocturnal and retiring habits, 
scarcity ^^ ere it in the habit of seeking its food by 

day, so large a beast — an old dog-badger may 
weigh anything up to 40 lb. — could not long escape obser- 
vation and the persecution that invariably accompanies it. 
As it is, it suffers a good deal of unnecessary cruelty. 

Not many years ago, the sport of baiting the 

badger, otherwise exjjosing it in a greased 
barrel to the onslaught of rough terriers and mongrels, 
which eventually, and after undergoing much punishment 



Persecution. 



58 MAMMALS. 

from its terrible jaws, worried it to death, was a recognised 
diversion. This pastime is believed by some to be obso- 
lete. Others are curious to know what becomes of the 
large number of badgers openly caught on moonlight nights 
by bolting with the help of trained dogs into a sack placed 
in the entrance to its earth. The great care exercised in 
taking it alive may well arouse suspicion as to the unhappy 
beast's ultimate destination. 

Another modern method of taking the badger is that 
of digging it out with the aid of small dogs sent into its 

earth, and gripping it, as soon as it appears 
capture ^^ ^^® entrance, in a pair of blunt tongs made 

for the purpose. Here, again, the extreme 
solicitude with which I have observed it on these occasions 
to be transferred to a roomy sack has suggested ultimate 
possibilities. There has been at least one badger club 
engaged in its pursuit. 

The food of this burrowing and undoubtedly carnivorous 
beast is exceedingly varied, and includes roots of bracken, 

nuts, fruit, more especially blackberries, small 

mammals (especially hedgehogs), and reptiles, 
grasshoppers and other insects, eggs and honey, wasps' 
nests being also a favourite dish. With the exception of 
an occasional leveret, its damage in the game-preserve may 
be generally dismissed as imaginary. Thus, Sir Herbert 
Maxwell has with no unsatisfactory results re-established 
it in Wigtownshire, where it had become extinct. Speedy,-^ 
however, in his interesting book, declares it to be "the 
most formidable and difficult of ground vermin to deal 
with," but very sensibly advocates, instead of its wholesale 
destruction, its being caught alive and conveyed to those 
parts of the country where game-preserving is not the 
paramount consideration. It is, however, too often killed 
at sight. Only this spring (1897) a Yorkshire farmer 
killed with a blow from his stick a fine vixen weigh- 
ins 20 lb. 



'O 



Sport ill the Highlands, p, 320. 



THE CAENIVOKA. 59 

The strong scent of the badger is secreted in a large 
glandular pouch beneath the tail. 

For so heavily built an animal, it is singularly swift of 

foot, though it has not, as some aver, legs of unequal 

length to enable it to run uphill. When escape from the 

dogs is out of the question, its strongly articulated lower 

jaw and sharp teeth encourage it to stand 

disposition ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^^^ good account of itself. 
It is nevertheless extremely gentle by nature, 
and is, when taken young, capable of great affection for 
the hand that feeds it. A friend and myself kept one for 
nearly a year, which preferred young rats to any other 
food. At the end of that time it died, and I remember 
we thought at the time that its decease was due to the 
absence from its diet of some necessary corrective root of 
which we unfortunately did not know the secret. The 
badger is as a rule a silent beast, but it will occasionally 
utter piercing cries without apparent cause. 

The distribution of the badger in these islands is some- 
what local. As already remarked, its burrowing and 
nocturnal habits have caused it to be regarded as rarer 
than it really is. In the Lake district, however, it cer- 
tainly does appear to have diminished of late 
Present range. "^ ^ ^ t , 

years, though correspondingly extending its 

range in other directions. According to Roebuck,^ it is also 
dwindling in Yorkshire. By no means rare in the High- 
lands, where it hibernates, it is apparently unknown on most 
of the islands, though introduced into Jura.^ It is com- 
mon in parts of Ireland, where the peasantry cure its flesh. 
It breeds in the spring, four young being born in March 
Breedino- ^^ April as a rule, though litters are recorded 
hiberna- in the summer. The period of gestation is 
tion, and said to vary. Its hibernation is no more 
appearance. ^^^^^ ^ broken sleep, for, although it stores 
a quantity of moss and grass in its so-called winter 

1 Yorkshire Vertebrata, p. 7. 

2 Ilarvie- Brown and Buckley, Fauna of Argyll, p. 18. 



60 MAMMALS. 

quarters, yet at no season is it torpid, in this country at 
least, in the true sense of the word. The prevailing colour 
of the badger is reddish -brown, with white streaks and 
white stripes on the face. Unless, however, the observer 
is close, the animal looks uniform grey. 

We have in the Otter another much persecuted member 
of the family, for which, although perhaps the most beau- 
tiful of our surviving quadrupeds, even its 
admirers cannot in lairness claim innocence 
of the charges brought against it. In the fox we had 
a beast preserved, notwithstanding the hatred of the 
farmer, for the sake of sport. In the otter we find a 
curious contradiction, for whereas it affords sj^ort to a 
limited number of enthusiasts, it equally spoils the pros- 
pects of many a good salmon-stream. In consequence, it 
is mercilessly slaughtered, and the most one can hope for 
is, that it shall be killed in a manner worthy such a sport- 
ing beast, and not trapped or j)oisoned. To those who 
have no such direct interest in the stock of the rivers, few 
creatures lend more enchantment to the scene ; and there is 
that in the otter's fiute-like whistle that makes the angler, 
if he be not the veriest pot-hunter, pause and listen. 

The distribution of the otter throughout these islands is 

universal. Pollution has driven it from some rivers where 

it was formerly plentiful, and the draining of the fens has 

sent it to the Broads ; but it still flourishes in most parts 

of Great Britain and Ireland, on the wilder coasts of 

which, especially down in the west, otters remain alto- 

^. , ., , . erether, seldom revertinsf to the inland waters. 
Distribution. 2,, c ^ c i • i 

These must not, of course, be confused with 

the larger (and generically distinct) sea-otter of the North 

Pacific. Otters are particularly abundant in the lochs and 

streams of the Scotch isles, in writing of which Harvie- 

Brown and Buckley ^ give a spirited account of the 

animal's " holt," as its lair in the bank is called. 

1 Fauna ol' Argyll, p. 17. 



THE CAKXIVORA. 61 

Though a fish-eater by preference, most of its poaching 

being done at night, it is occasionally driven by the scarcity 

_ , of its favourite food to levy toll on rabbits 
Food. ^ , 1 j^ 1 . 1 . , 

and poultry ; but such raids are comparatively 

rare, and it is in its character as fish-poacher that the 
otter is detested. Among the other creatures on which 
it feeds with avidity are moorhens, which it captures by 
ambush, frogs and crayfish. Of all these it is particularly 
fond ; and when its native stream ceases to furnish it with 
any of these in sufficient quantity, it migrates elsewhere, 
even finding its way down to the sea-coast, where, much 
like the fox, it picks up a living on crabs and other 
jetsam. I know of several caves down near the Lizard 
where these animals have made a temporary home. In 
one instance, several years ago, I recollect a prolonged 
storm causing the death of one of these refugees; but 
whether it was starved to death, or whether an unusually 
high wave dashed it against a sharp rock, I never dis- 
covered. At any rate, my boatman picked its emaciated 
body up on a little beach just within the entrance, and its 
remains were respectfully lowered in a crab-pot, where they 
did good service for many days. 

Like so many of our wild creatures which in earlier days 
found their proffered confidence sorely abused, the otter, 
having grown shy, is regarded as much rarer 
*. ^ than is really the case. Few people, compara- 
tively speaking, unless they live beside some 
stream, have watched this singularly beautiful creature 
catching or devouring its prey, or, better still, gambol- 
ling with its young. The crown of its head disappearing 
at the apex of diverging ripples, as the w^ary creature 
swims rapidly away to the other bank, is the utmost that 
is vouchsafed to many a patient watcher. Nor are the 
In captivity. opi)ortunities for studying it in captivity 
very much better, for it is, in most zoological 
gardens, kept in a half-starved condition, its slender dole 
of fish being seized and devoured in hasty and unnat- 



62 MAMMALS. 

ural fashion, so that the impression that the visitor 
carries away with him is that of a restless, cat-like, some- 
what noisome creature, with even less claim to beauty 
than a skunk. In reality, however, whether reclining on 
its unsavoury lair with a half-devoured fish between its 
forepaws, ever on the alert for danger, or hunting up 
the fish beneath the surface, the air-bubbles imparting a 
beautiful silvery appearance to its fur, not unlike their 
effect on the plumage of diving-birds, the otter presents 

a most fascinating picture. The lithe form, 
In nature. . . 

smooth fur, rudder-like tail, short legs, and 

large webbed feet, all have their part to i^lay. Though 
seen to greatest advantage in the water, the otter is by no 
means an ungraceful animal on land, and the pace at which 
it can run over the earth, be it hard or swampy, is marvel- 
lous. It is not many years since a large otter was run 
over by a passing train near Market Drayton. 

The worst habit of this creature, and one w^hich has 
doubtless gained more enemies for it than 

rue ive- ^ other, is its mischievous practice of kill- 
ness, . . 

ing more than it can eat, a wanton spirit of 

destructiveness that recalls the Australian dingo in its 
palmy days. The otter has not many natural enemies, 
though a recent Continental writer^ gives a graphic ac- 
count of a combat between two otters and a sea-eagle. 

The " holt " of the otter is in some convenient hole in 
the bank, and the young, four or five in number, are born in 

_ ,. the summer, not, as frequently stated, in early 

Breeding. . , . •, ^ -, ^ 

spring, at which season the dam has not even 

thought about making ready the bed for the coming family. 
The otter is a larger beast than would seem to be com- 
monly supposed. In weight the dog, or male, 
ppearance, commonly turns the scale at from 20 to 25 
lb. ; 28 lb. is scarcely an exceptional weight, 
while one of 40 lb. has been recorded. The body of the 

1 Von Mosjvar, Das Thierleben Jer osterr-ungar Tiefebeuen (1897), 
p. 228. 



THE CAEXIYORA. 63 

otter is elongated and sinuous, the head flattened, as is 
also the tail, the latter being thickest at the root, and 
having beneath it two fetid glands. The eyes are small 
and exceedingly bright, the ears short and rounded, the 
muzzle broad and ornamented with sensitive whiskers, the 
latter typical of the carnivora. Further, the nostrils are 
narrow, and close hermetically under water. The snout is 
so sensitive that a smart tap on it will kill or stun the 
animal. In colour the soft under-fur is pale grey, shading at 
the tip to brown ; the longer, coarser fur is of darker hue. 
The narrowness of the gullet has also attracted notice, and 
is thought to aid the otter in keeping under water without 
too frequently rising to breathe. 

4. The Seals. 

Our coasts are visited by five seals and the walrus, the 
latter differing in the position of the hind-limbs and the 
possession of tusks, overgrown canines without root. The 
horrors of the Behring Sea butchery, still fresh in the 
public mind, roused considerable interest in these fur- 
bearing, fin -footed amphibians. The com- 
mercially useless seals of British estuaries are 
slain whenever occasion offers, out of regard for their 
destruction of salmon. For the greater part of the year 
they subsist on flounders. 

Though separated from the true carnivora, there are 
many points of outward resemblance between these crea- 
tures and the otter, the chief difference lying in the limbs, 
which in the seals are modified as flippers to suit the 
requirements of an aquatic existence. Of the breeding 
season of this group, writers and travellers give various 
^ accounts, some species apparently bringing 
forth their young in the early spring, others 
in late autumn. One point there seems, however, to be 
in common between the young of all seals, and that is the 
whiteness of their fur in the early days or weeks of their 



64 MAMMALS. 

existence, and the curious reluctance with which many of 
them take to the water until driven to it by their parents. 
~No British seal has either external ears or under-fur, and 
it is in consequence of the latter deficiency that none has 
any commercial value whatever. 

The Common Seal is nowadays confined for the most part 

to the northern estuaries, though I have twice come across 

Common solitary examples on the Cornish coast. Not 

Seal. jj^ ^-^Q ordinary course a strictly migratory 

species, it nevertheless occasionally finds its way up the 

river Thames, where it is promptly shot by some riverside 




loafer, and reappears a few weeks later grinning against 

an unnatural background from the farther side of a glass 

case. A similar fate befell one a year or two ago .above 

Conway Bridge in Wales. Harvie-Brown and Buckley ^ 

mention the occurrence of this seal in Loch Awe, and 

quote a case in Loch Suinart in which one took a small 

coal-fish off a hook.^ 

The common seal breeds on our northern coast in the 

_ -,. summer ; one, or at most two, would seem to 

Breeding. ^ ' . ' 

be produced at a birth, and some females are 
said to breed only in alternate years. This species is of 
gregarious habits. 

1 Fauna of Argyll, p. 21. 2 Hjja., p. 24. 



THE CAENIVORA. 65 

The head and face are small, the molar teeth growing 
Appearance, obliquely for want of room. In colour brown- 
^^- ish grey with dark-brown spots ; belly lighter 

and without spots. 

The Einged Seal is a rare visitor on our coasts, though 
sufficiently common among the Norwegian fjords, where 

Kinged its blowhole is often seen in the young ice. 

Seal. rpj-^-g species is said to have occurred on our 

east coast within the last ten years. It does not breed on 
our coasts. The teeth do not lie obliquely as in the last. 

The Harp Seal, a large, migratory, and gregarious 
species, is one of the worst destroyers of salmon. It oc- 
Harp casionally enters our rivers, having been taken 
Seal. jjj ^]je Thames and the Severn, and has been 
once at least recorded from the Irish coast. In colour it is 
of a dark grey, having on the back a curious black mark, 
to the supposed form of which it owes its trivial name. 

The Hooded Seal is named from the bladder-like process 

over the snout of the male, which, when inflated by the 

Hooded animal, in either anger or fear, assumes the 

Seal. form of a hood. This species, which is said to 

be of polygamous habits, finds its way but rarely to our 

coasts. 

The Grey Seal is easily distinguished froin the foregoing 
by its flat skull, and is fairly common on the less fre- 
quented tracts of the north-British and south-Irish coasts, 
being well known to breed at the present day among the 
Hebrides, but not on the mainland.^ I have seen one or 
Grey two of these seals in the Baltic (Christmas 
Seal. 1890), but they kept at a safe distance from 
the boat from which we were shooting wildfowl. 

The Grey Seal is considered to lack the intelligence that 

1 Harvie-Brown and Buckley, Fauna of Argyll, p. 27. 

E 



66 MAMMALS. 

characterises the rest of the family, a deficiency that 

is chiefly interesting by reason of its association with 

the flat skull and expressionless face. The 

• 'Tit ffrindinej teeth are without tubercles, 

intelligence. . . 

In colour this seal is grey, with numerous 
small black markings. 

The Walrus, Morse, or Sea-Cow, has only been recorded 

in British waters on two or three occasions, yet, like a 

number of our birds, it is freely claimed as a 
"Walrus. . . . . 

British subject. Its food consists largely of 

crustaceans. Its fierce disposition, the theme of so many 

travellers' tales, must be subject to moods, for Nansen 

tells of walruses so gentle that he had to strike them 

on the snout with his stick before they would move. 

Doubtless Nansen's walruses had not yet benefited by the 

educating influence of contact with man. The appearance 

of the walrus is certainly suggestive of ferocity, especially 

the long tusks and bristling moustache. 



CHAPTER IV. THE RODEXTS. 

This large and important group, of which four families 

are represented in our fauna, is easily distinguished from 

any other by the presence of a pair of curved 

enamelled incisors in either jaw. These teeth 

are ever growing and ever wearing down by friction. 

Cases are recorded in which, owing to either accident or 

malformation, one pair has grown unchecked into the 

opposite jaw, soon causing the death of the animal from 

starvation. These creatures are, from the 
As vermin. n i - n i ^ 

nature of their food, among the worst enemies 

of the agriculturist and planter, the squirrel ring-barking 



THE KODENTS. 



67 



the young trees, ^ the rats and voles devastating the crops. 
Plagues of the latter occur periodically, when the rejjrisals 
are enormous, tens of thousands paying the penalty. 



I. The Squikrel. 

The Scjuirrel is certainly the most 2)leasing of our 
rodents, its antics in the higher branches of beech or fir 
tree being extremely fascinating. It apjDcars 
to be widely distributed over the greater part 
of these islands, and is extending its range in Scotland, 



Range. 




from parts of which it had temporarily disappeared. In 
the New Forest it is particularly plentiful, and I have 
more than once seen it in gardens and on bypaths in the 
very heart of Bournemouth. 

Unlike its distant connection, the dormouse, the squirrel 
never falls into a state of torpor, though it is compara- 

1 The damage done to trees by squirrels was discussed at some length 
in the ' Times ' this year (1897), some correspondents giving evidence 
of their girdling the trunk several feet from the top, while others stated 
that their gravest offence was eating out the Luds, letting the twigs fall 
to the ground. 



G8 MAMMALS. 

tively inactive in very severe cold. The food of this 

animal is, more especially in the warm months, exceed- 

„ , inorly varied, includincr cherries and other stone 
Food. p . T 1 

fruits, nuts, beech-mast, certain toadstools, and, 

according to one authority, daffodils, though I never came 

across an instance of this. True, I once succeeded in 

inducing a captive squirrel to eat one of these flowers, 

having read of this strange preference ; but the success of 

this experiment goes for little, as the animal would in all 

j^robability have accepted with equal readiness a blossom 

of the Australian lily, such as neither it nor its forebears 

had ever in the natural course had the chance of tasting. 

Like all the rodents, the squirrel masticates its food with 

a peculiarly free movement of the jaws. During the 

winter, at which season its appetite is less active, the 

squirrel subsists on nuts which it has stored in holes in 

trees. In addition to these, its favourite articles of food, 

the squirrel will also feed on birds and their eggs. This 

is one of our most active quadrupeds, and, indeed, exercise 

seems to be essential to its wellbeing. Without, therefore, 

. . advocatinor the casrinsj of so free a creature. 
In captivity. . . ^ , ., , ^ ^ , , , , ' 

it IS permissible to remark that the much- 
condemned revolving cages are not in themselves cruel, 
since without some such arrangement the animals would 
in all probability get seriously out of condition. It is, 
however, essential that there should be a stationary dark 
box, for there are times when, like all beasts and birds in 
captivity, the squirrel finds the glare of daylight unbearable. 
The breeding of the squirrel has been the subject of 
some errors. In point of fact, it presents no great diffi- 
^ ,. culty. Its "drey" or " casre " is built in a 

hole, or in a fork, in some beech or fir, and 
a number of these bulky structures are found in an 
unoccupied, half - finished condition. The young, three 
or four in number, are brought forth in summer, and 
in a comparatively short time they appear to mate and 
breed in their turn. 



THE RODENTS. 69 

The external features of this little animal are suffici- 
ently familiar to render any description unnecessary. The 

arched body, bushy tail, rounded head, and 
ppearauce, prominent eyes, the ears surmounted by tufts 

of hair, the long, curved claws in which the 
animal grasps the refractory nut, — all these are unmis- 
takably the squirrel's. In colour, which is subject to 
considerable variation according to season, it is usually 
reddish above and white on the underparts. In winter 
there is a good deal of grey in the coat. The tail has 
in some cases been observed to be of a creamy yellow at 
all seasons, and not, as Bell had it, in late summer only. 
During the breeding season the ear -tufts are shed, and 
are not renewed until the late autumn. The Squirrel is 
a rai^id swimmer, and Mr J. G. Millais has in his latest 
work ^ given a striking picture of its action in the water. 

2. The Dormouse. 

The dormouse is widely distributed over the south of 
England, though apparently unknown in the Highlands 
and in Ireland. Though physically far nearer the mice, this 
little animal bears in its general mode of existence, in its 
choice of food and methods of eating and storing it, a 
marked resemblance to the squirrel, the chief differences 
in habit being found in the nocturnal activity of the dor- 
mouse and in its regular hibernation. For, 
Hibernatiou. ^^^ .^ • i • i i • • i 

unlike the squirrel, it slumbers intermittently 

for almost six months out of the twelve, though the first 
mild day suffices to awaken it, when it promptly feeds on 
its stored nuts, and slumbers again. Though October is the 
season at which most dormice fall asleep, it is observed 
that those of the year go into retirement somewhat later. 
When awakened artificially from its slumber, the dormouse 
becomes very active for a short period, then relapses into 
slumber, nor does such interference usually have fatal 
1 British. Deer and their Horns, p. 44. 



70 



MAMMALS. 




results, as in the case of bats. The two degrees of torpor 
are in fact quite different. 

Physically, save in colour, the dormouse bears but slight 
resemblance to the squirrel, the most striking difference 
being in the poverty of its tail. It is, however, in more 

reliable characters 
that the student 
has to seek the dis- 
tinction between 
them and the affin- 
ity which the mem- 
bers of the present 
family have with 
the mice. 

The food of the 
dormouse resem- 
bles, as already stated, that of the squirrel, but Mr Hart- 
ing has noted an interesting difference in the fact that it 
is in addition insectivorous. Although it com 
sumes, as implied by its specific name, large 
quantities of hazel-nuts, other nuts of various kinds seem 
to be equally acceptable. 

The nest is made in a hole in the ground or in some 
tree; and dormice are known to have approj^riated the 
nests of jays and like birds, and to rear their 
young in them, using the nest at a later date 
for the winter slumber, in which, however, the 
animal is thickly enveloped in a covering of dry grasses. 
The young, three or four in number, are born in spring, 
and some writers are of opinion that a second litter is pro- 
duced in the autumn, at which season the dormice are very 
fat previous to their retirement. 

In colouring, the dormouse is not unlike the squirrel, 

being reddish above and white on the under- 

Appearance, pg^j.^g ^\^q q^j.^^ proportionally smaller than 

in the squirrel, are never tufted. 



Food. 



Nest and 
breeding. 



THE KODENTS. 71 

3. The Rats, Mice, and Voles. 

The Black Rat is frequently spoken of as the "British " 
rat, implying that it occurred in these islands from the 
Black Rat earliest times. Such, however, is far from 
or Ratton. the truth, as this species was undoubtedly, as 
geologists are able to tell us, of comparatively late intro- 
duction. It would appear to have come, like its more 
Introduction powerful antagonist, from the East, travelling 
into these via the Continent, the period of its arrival 
islands. \^ these islands being in all probability about 

the end of the fourteenth century. Its stay has been 
short, indeed, for within little more than five hundred 
years of the date commonly assigned for its introduction 
it was already becoming scarce, disappearing before the 
superior strength of its brown relative. Now- 
rresent adays, it Only lingers in a comparatively few 
^ ' towns, and, so at least it is said, in some 
London cellars in the neighbourhood of St Paul's, where 
one was taken, I believe, as recently as 1895. It is also 
said to hold its own in Sark and others of the Channel 
Islands; Stockton-on-Tees is, according to Roebuck, one 
of its last strongholds in Yorkshire; and Sir Herbert 
Maxwell has caught it in Galloway farmyards. 

Though associated, like all vermin, in the popular mind 

with all that is dirty and offensive, few animals 

are of cleanlier habits, for, like other rats, the 

present species is always combing its fur and keeping itself 

sweet. 

The black rat is prolific like the rest of its family, the 
female producing during the year an aggregate of from 
thirty to fifty young, each litter numbering 
reec mg. g^y^j^ qj, eight. The roomy nest of leaves and 
debris is used as the nursery of successive families, the first 
of which are themselves parents ere their younger brothers 
of the same year have seen the light. 



72 MAMMALS. 

The food of the black rat is varied, though its preference 
is unquestionably for vegetable matter. 

The rats need little descrijDtion, their typical appearance 
being too familiar. In colour the present species has a good 
deal of grey in its fur, though its common name 
Appearance, ggj^^gg ^^ distinguish it from the other species. 
The short lower jaw of the black rat gives the 
face a shrew-like expression. The ears are large and naked. 
The tail, longer than the head and body, is nearly naked 
and ringed with scales. The feet are plantigrade, the hind- 
feet with five well-developed toes, the forefeet with four 
toes and a rudimentary clawed thumb. 

The Brown Rat, easily distinguished by its superior size, 
is the rat commonly met with in this country, where it has 
all but ousted its smaller black relative, just 
as, in the Antipodes, it has driven to extinc- 
tion the possibly apocryphal Maori rat of New Zealand. 
It is wrongly called the Hanoverian or Norway rat, and 
would a23]3ear to have been introduced at the end of the 
seventeenth century. 

Its food is still more varied than that of the last species, 

as it is not only carnivorous at certain seasons, but is also 

known to relapse on very slight provocation 

into cannibalism. Game, fish, young birds, 

eggs, frogs, snails, truffles, and grain, are among the 

articles on which it commonly feeds ; and it is also known 

to gnaw hard substances from which it could not possibly 

derive any nourishment, in the endeavour, possibly, to keep 

its teeth worn to the proper level. It is a i^owerful 

swimmer, and I remember seeing one night in Sydney 

Harbour a large number of these rats leaving a ship, 

having in all i)robability exhausted the food suj^ply. 

If anything, this species is even more prolific than the 

. last, as many as twelve having often been 

recorded in one litter, though the number of 



THE RODENTS. 73 

litters in the year has not, so far as I know, been satis- 
factorily determined. 

This rat is widely distributed in these islands, there 

being a black race from the east coast of Ireland. It is 

this race (J/, hihernicus) that occurs, according to Harvie- 

Brown and Buckley,^ in the Hebrides, where the true 

black rat is unknown. This race has a con- 

'^ ' spicuous white patch on the chest. 

Besides its superior size, this rat is easily distinguished 

from the last by its lighter fur, broader 

ppearance, jjj^2zle, shorter ears, and shorter, more hairy 

tail. 

The Common Mouse needs but a brief mention, since 
it is still more familiar than the brown rat. Easily tamed, 

Common like the white variety kept as " pets " by boys. 

Mouse. i\^Q mouse will grow bold with very little en- 
couragement ; and I well recollect how, ten years ago at 
Bexley, a tiny mouse used to sit on my foot night after 
night as I sat reading late in an outhouse. So bold is 
this animal, indeed, as to attack, even in the daytime, large 
cage -birds, which it has been known to overcome and 
devour. It is prolific, like most noxious creatures, and 
probably increasing in spite of owls, cats, traps, and poison. 
In former times the Welsh used to roast mice alive over a 
slow fire, but this pastime is no longer in favour. 

In colour, the mouse is subject to considerable variation, 

for all that its tyj)ical shade has passed into a household 

word, and ladies would probably be able to 

ppearance, (;[gg(.j.^]3g^ qp ^.t any rate distinguish, mouse- 
colour to their own satisfaction. The typical 
colour is between a grey and a brown. The tail is long 
and curling; the muzzle is tapered; the ears large and 
sensitive, and fringed with long hairs; the feet furred 
and of a delicate pink tint. 

1 Fauna of the Outer Hebrides, p. 36a. 



Breeclinsr 



74 MAMMALS. 

The Harvest-Mouse, the smallest of the family, is widely 
distributed over the southern counties of England, but 

Harvest- rarer in the Midlands, and practically absent 

Mouse. from the Lake Country. In Scotland it is very 
rare, and in Ireland is all but unknown, though it has from 
time to time been reported. 

Like the squirrel and dormouse, it burrows, usually 
underground or in hay-ricks, sometimes breeding in the 
latter. Its diminutive nest is, however, more 
often hung among the wheat or thistles, the 
long dry grasses of which it is composed being plaited in a 
very neat manner round the corn-stalks. Several litters, 
each numbering from five to eight, are produced during 
the year, the young being blind and less red in colour 
than their parents. 

The harvest - mouse feeds on grain and insects, and 

lays up stores of the former for the winter 
Food. -^ ,, ^ 

months. 

It is one of our smallest mammals, only the lesser shrew 

being inferior. In colour, reddish brown, with white under- 

parts. The tail, rather less than the body, is 

ppearance, prehensile, and the little creature continually 

winds it around any convenient object in order 

to steady itself, as may be observed by taking it in the 

hands. It is a curious fact that, like snakes, mice and rats 

are, if held by the tip of the tail, head downwards, unable 

to recover the upright position, or bite the captor's hand. 

[The Yellow - necked Mouse was added to the British 
Y 11 fauna by De Winton in 1894. This variety 

necked is distinguished by the yellow band on the 
Mouse. chest ; is reddish above and white beneath.] 

The Wood-Mouse is a large species, of wide distribution 
in these islands, where attempts have been made to distin- 
guish more than one variety, notably the small dark race 



THE PtODENTS. 75 

from Ireland, and another from the Outer Hebrides. 
The name wood -mouse is not entirely satisfactory, for 
Wood- the species is more commonly met with in 

Mouse or corn -fields and among the ricks, and has 
Field- even been recorded in dwellings. Like the 

Mouse. squirrel, this animal becomes inactive, but 

not actually torpid, during the cold weather. 

The wood-mouse feeds principally on grain, and is one 
of the farmer's worst enemies. It also lays up vast stores 
of grain in underground granaries. Humble- 
bees are said indeed to form a favourite article 
of food, but it is improbable that this animal is to any 
extent anything but a vegetable-feeder. It has, however, 
been known, in common with others of the family, to 
eat considerable quantities of putty without apparently 
suffering any ill effects. On occasion, too, it has been 
known to develop cannibal tastes and to devour its own 
offspring — a tendency oftenest observed in the buck shortly 
after the young are born. 

The wood-mouse is prolific above most of its prolific 
race. Some years ago Mr Barrington made a calculation 
in the 'Zoologist,' by which he showed that 
^' a doe could produce from fifteen to twenty 
young in the course of four or five months. Were it not 
that this mouse is a favourite article of food wdth ow^ls, 
weasels, and foxes, its increase w^ould be an alarming prob- 
lem for the farmer. As it is, its numbers are kept well under, 
and it rarely makes its presence felt as do the voles. It nests 
for the most part, like its fellows, in the ground, but is also 
known to rear its young in deserted nests in high trees. 

The hind-feet are slender and w^hite, as are all the lower 
parts, including the under- surface of the tail, the last 
named being about the same length as the 
^^ " ' body, or a trifle less. Ears, with a projecting 
lobe, not much shorter than the head. In col- 
our, reddish above, with a dark patch on the white breast. 



76 MAMMALS. 

In the voles we have a group distinct from the rats 

and mice, and outwardly distinguished by their clumsier 

build and shorter ears and tail. Being almost 
Water-Vole. , . , , . • , i • p t , i 

entirely vegetarian m their leeding, they are 

even worse enemies of the farmer. 

The Water- Vole is often misnamed " water-rat," though, 
as I had occasion to point out in a previous work, water- 
rats, so common in Australia, have no place 
"w't t" ^^^ ^-^^ British fauna. This false analogy has 
possibly been heightened by the fact that the 
black race of this vole, common in our eastern counties 
and in jjarts of Scotland, is often reported as a genuine 
black rat. Like the other voles, this animal is unknown 
in Ireland and on some of the Scottish isles. 

For all that its toes (of which the fore-feet have four, 
the hind-feet five) are not webbed, this vole is a remark- 
ably good swimmer, striking out with its hind-legs after the 
fashion of a frog. It is also a diver, and will, as I have often 
timed it, remain below the surface for more than a minute. 

It makes its nest usually in the neighbourhood of 

water, but sometimes far from it : and the 
IBrBBcIiiif. . . . 

°' female appears to bring forth a litter of six 

or seven in early summer. A nest of seven dead voles 
was found by me this summer on the banks of the little 
stream at Felpham in Sussex. 

The food of this vole consists almost exclusively of 
aquatic plants and insects, principally the former. It 
is accused of destroying fish-spawn and water- 
fowl, but this is untrue. I watched one quite 
recently through my glasses rooting up the gravel in the 
bed of the Hampshire Stour, and it was easy to see from 
its rapid movements beneath the surface that it was jDur- 
suing water-larva3 of some description, as it turned and 
doubled in a manner totally unnecessary had it been 
merely picking up spawn. As for an animal of such 
comparatively sluggish habits catching water -fowl, it 
seems difficult to credit. 



THE RODENTS. 77 

In colour, this vole is dark brown or black above, grey 

beneath. A pied vole of this species was recorded in the 

* Field' for June 5, 1897. The head is short, 

&c^^^*^' *^® ®y®^ small, the ears almost hidden in the 

fur. The tail is tapering and of moderate 

length only. The toes are not webbed ; the soles are 

pink, and the claws have a reddish tinge. The teeth 

are yellowish. 

The Field- Vole, otherwise the Short-tailed Field-Mouse, 
is the most destructive of all, as in the famous "vole- 
plagues," the subject of parliamentary in- 
quiries (of which Lydekker gave a useful 
summary in his ' British jMammals ' in the " Naturalist's 
Library"); and the 1892-93 Commission, of which Sir 
Herbert Maxw^ell was chairman, brought home most of 
the mischief to one species only. Though also found 
near water, it is particularly partial to damp localities 
at some little distance from any river. It is a great 
burrower, and the mischief done by it is almost incal- 
culable, though, being a most prolific creature, it is by 
no means easy to get rid of. Its best friend is the keeper 
who traps weasels and shoots owls, as these natural 
enemies are far more efficacious in the long-run than 
any device of man. Although a powerful and rapid 
burrower, the field-vole does not hesitate to aj^propriate 
the deserted run of the mole, though the latter, should 
they meet, is known to attack, rout, and even devour the 
intruder. 

This vole hibernates much in the same way as the 

dormouse, any mild day rousing it for a meal 
Hibernation. ^y •< • i 1 c, i • t •, i 

oil its Winter stores, atter which it relapses 

into its long slumber. 

It nests underground, several litters, each numbering 

four or five, beino; produced during the warm 
Breeding. .1 

months. 

A considerably smaller sj^ecies than the last, the field- 



78 MAMMALS. 

vole is distinguished by its shorter tail and by the posses- 
sion of six 2)ads on the sole of the hind-foot 
ppearauce, .^ j^^^ ^£ ^^ ^^ .^ ^-^^ water -vole. The 

oCC 

colouring is very similar. 

The Bank-Vole, or Red Field- Vole, as it is often called, 
is another destructive product of our fields and forests. 
It seems exceedingly rare in our northern counties, and 
is absent from Ireland and probably from 
the extreme north of Scotland. It is distin- 
guished by the tail being nearly black above and white 
beneath, and covered with hair. The rudimentary thumb 

of the fore-foot is also more conspicuous. In 

Appearance, i. c 2.^ j. xi,- • • 

^^. ' many parts or the country this species is 

scarcely distinguished from the field - vole. 

In colour reddish above, white beneath. 

4. The Hares and Rabbits. 

The chances of the Hare increasing beyond bounds are 
slight. For although it is exceedingly prolific, although it 
is swift of foot, quick to scent danger, gifted 
with eyes so placed as almost to see behind 
as well as before, and, more important than all, j^ro- 
tected to some extent, though all too little, for purposes 
of legitimate sport, yet its natural enemies are so many 
and so voracious that its numbers are always certain to 
be kept under. At the same time, the foregoing influ- 
ences cannot but work powerfully in its favour ; and 
when all is said and done, no beast, after the fox, has 
a better chance of survival, though the numbers are by 
no means what they were. 

Yet its distribution is interesting by reason of the almost 
unaccountable rate at which its numbers are, 
in some districts like the New Forest, steadily 
decreasing. 

Except for their general form and affinities, few animals 



THE RODENTS. 



79 



SO closely allied could well present more jioints of differ- 
ence than the hare and rabbit, from their birth and life 
Contrasted habits to the time when they figure at length 
Avith the on the table, and the flesh is so different in 

rabbit. colour and otherwise as to suggest two animals 

of totally distinct orders. 

In the first place, the young of the hare, or "leveret," 
as it is called, is born in a comparatively advanced state. 




its eyes being open and its body sparsely furred, whereas 
that of the rabbit is born blind and naked. Again, the 
hare is a larger beast, and its ears have cons]:)icuous black 
tips rarely found in those of the rabbit. Lastly, while the 
weaker, slower rabbit is forced to pass the greater part of 
its life underground in burrows of its own digging, the hare 
crouches close on a " form " or shallow depression in the 
ground, in which position it may, with some little practice, 
be closely approached. 



80 MAMMALS. 

The hare has also several peculiar habits which are not 

observed in its smaller relative. For instance, it has a 

Curious foolish trick of doubling back to its form, 

habits when or starting - place, when pursued, which does 

pursued. -^q^ avail it in the least when two greyhounds 

are after it, the one driving it into the jaws of its rival. 

Another instinct observed in the hare is that of escaping 
uphill, a performance in which, especially for very short 
distances, it is aided by the fact of the fore-legs being con- 
siderably shorter than the others. This discrepancy may 
possibly account for the curious sideling leaps, so familiar 
to all who have watched the beast closely, yet so unlike 
any other mode of progression except perhaps that of the 
hare's enemy, the stoat. 

Although a good swimmer when put to it, this animal 
rarely takes to the water save when no other way of escape 
is possible, though Mr J. G. Millais records an instance.^ 

Its food consists of all manner of vegetables and grain, 

^ , and it is said to be partial to the bark of 
Food. ^ 

young trees. 
It is generally held that the common hare will not inter- 
breed with either the Alpine species, which replaces it in 

^ ,. Ireland, as well as in some of the higher por- 
xJreetlino'. ox 

tions and islands of Scotland, or the rabbit. 
So far, however, as the former is concerned, this view is 
rejected by a correspondent of Harvie-Brown.^ More than 
one litter, each numbering four or five, is produced during 
the summer. The advanced state in which the leverets are 
born has already been alluded to. 

In addition to the characters incidentally given above, 
the following may be noted : The ears are longer than the 

head ; the upper lip is cloven ; the claws are 
ppearance, j^^^^ ^^^ curved ; there are long bristles over 

the eyes and mouth. In colour, greyish-brown 
or reddish, with some black on the back and ears, white 
beneath. Black hares have been recorded, also uniformly 
1 British Deer and their Horns, p. 44. - Fauna of Argyll, p. 42. 



THE RODENTS. 81 

white examples, some of the latter having the eyes of the 
normal brown, not pink as in albinos. The hare is covered 
with hair all over, even to the soles of its feet. Mr Harting 
fixes the average weight at 8 lbs. 

The Blue Hare (otherwise, Varying, Alpine, or Irish 
hare) is found chiefly in Ireland (where it replaces the 
preceding species), in the Highlands and isles of Scot- 
land, and in the Lake Country, though it is not uncom- 
mon in Yorkshire and Cheshire and a few 
Blue Hare. , , 

other counties. 

The interest chiefly attaching to this rather smaller 
species is in its winter change of coat, a metamorphosis 

which, like the stoat, it undergoes in greater 

or lesser degree throughout its range, although 
older wa-iters denied, for some reason or other, that this 
change took place in Ireland. The process is now held 
to be similar to that observed in the stoat, and not, as 
was also alleged in the case of the latter, through any 
actual change in the colour of the old fur. The common 
hare is said to undergo a similar change in the colder 
portions of its range. The black tips of the ears never 
change colour. The food of this species consists largely 
of pine-seeds and hill-grasses. It has no " form " like the 
common hare, but it has the same habit of lying close. 
Like the hill-fox, its pace is far inferior to that of the 
hare of the plains. 

This hare is said to produce but two litters during the 

year : and if this is indeed the case, then it 
^* is the least prolific of the British members of 
the family. 

The chief differences, in addition to the winter whiten- 
incr of the coat, between this and the common hare, 

are as follow : The hind - legs are shorter. 
Appearance, approaching the others in length; the ears 

are also shorter, and the fur is softer. In 
colour greyish, the tips of the ears black. 



82 :NrAM:\rALS. 

Something has been incidentally said above of the 
apj)earance and habits of the Rabbit, and a very short 
account will here suffice. It is widely dis- 
tributed throughout these islands, though, 
owing doubtless to the presence of natural enemies 
unknown in the Southern Hemisphere, it has never be- 
come so serious a trouble here as in Australia, where 
the problem of dealing effectually with this imported 
plague costs the colonial Governments millions sterling. 
Even in these islands, however, farmers have periodically 
suffered from its increase, particularly from the plant- 
death caused by its bite. 

As an article of food it is, save with Jews and Shet- 
landers, in almost general use. 

Like the hare, this animal multiplies with alarming 

rapidity, breeding at the age of six months, and pro- 

^ ,. ducing in her underm-ound warrens several 

Breeuuig. .... . i • c 

litters m the year, each numbermg from five 

to twice that number. The naked, blind condition of the 

new-born young has been alluded to above. Colonies of 

rabbits are in some parts known to inhabit hedges in lieu 

of the underground burrow. 

Like the hare, the rabbit, though an excellent 

swimmer, takes to the water only as a last 

resource ; indeed, it takes quite as readily 
swimmer. ' , \ ^ ^ •^ 

to a tree, in which, when pursued, it can 
climb with ease. 

The ears of the rabbit lack the black tip that dis- 
tinguishes those of the hare. The white 

Appearance, ■, r. r j.i j. ^ m • 

^^ o under-suriace oi the erect tail is very con- 

sjiicuous. 



THE DEER. 



83 



CHAPTER Y. THE DEEE. 



The Red - Deer only occurs wild in the Highlands of 

Scotland, in at least a few wild districts in Ireland, in 

one wood in the Lake Country, at two spots 

in Devon and Somerset, in parts of Mull 

and the Hebrides. In addition to these, there are still 




a few head in the New Forest ; and tame herds are 
^ ^ kept in some eighty parks, an account of 

which is to be found in Whitaker's ' Descrip- 
tive List of the Deer Parks and Paddocks of England ' 
(1892). 

The male, otherwise stag or hart, is, as in other deer, 



84 MAMMALS. 

distinguislied by the possession of solid branched antlers, 

which are shed each year after the breeding season, and 

occasionally eaten by the hinds. These antlers, 

which in the young stag are intersected by the 

circulating blood, are, at a later stage, without blood and 

not sensitive to pain, and the skin gradually peels off, 

leaving the horn bare. 

It is unnecessary to go into the technical terms which 

have, as in most sports, sprung up around stag-hunting. 

Suffice it to say that the new-born fawn is termed a 

"calf"; on the first appearance of the velvety horns it 

' becomes a " knobber " ; in its second year 

„ ^"^^ ' . ' the male is a "brocket"; in the third a 
ferent stages. 55. 

" spayad ; m the fourth a "staggard"; in 

the fifth a "stag"; in the sixth a hart. 

The food of the red-deer consists of grasses, heather, 

^ , „ toadstools, acorns, and like fare. It drinks 
Food, &c. . , ' ' . -, . , 

with great regularity, and is known to take 

a certain amount of salt with its food. ExcejDt when in 
search of hinds in the autumn, at which season they are 
exceedingly quarrelsome, the stags keep apart, feeding on 
the higher ground, the hinds and young keeping to the 
lowlands. All deer are subject to epidemics of great 
virulence. 

A single fawn, spotted at first, is produced in early 
summer, the period of gestation being rather 
over eight months. Instances are known of 
two at a birth, but one is the rule. 

The red-deer has the typical appearance of its family. 

That is to say, arched back, long neck and legs, taper 

naked muzzle, large expressive eyes with a 

ppearauce, ^^^^ gland or furrow beneath them. The tail, 

the lower surface of which is white, is short. 
In colour, reddish along the back and sides, l^ecoming 
lighter, with more grey, in winter. A light patch on the 
rump. A yellowish -white race is also known. Weight 
between 15 and 30 stone. 



Breeding. 



THE DEEK. 85 

The Fallow-Deer is not, like our two other deer, in- 
digenous to these islands, though the date of its introduc- 
Fallow- tion is uncertain. From the last it is dis- 
Deer. tinguished by its inferior size and palmated 
horns. It is this deer that is said to supply the finest 
venison. 

Fallow-deer are kept in a number of parks; and there 

are large herds in the New Forest, differing, according 

to Mr Lascelles, in the narrow palmation of 

p^ . the antlers and in the spring and autumn 

change of coat. 

Where they occur, as in the New Forest, together with 

the larger species, it is remarkable how hounds, laid on to 

the red-deer, are nowise diverted by the scent of the 

smaller animal.^ When alarmed, these deer bunch together, 

and when escaping, the bucks bring up the rear.^ 

The doe gives birth to one or two (very rarely, if ever, 

^ ,. three) in early summer, the middle of June 

being the usual time. When the horns first 

appear in the second year, the young male is known as a 

"pricket." 

Fallow-deer suffer intensely in cold weather, and during 
one severe winter some hundreds were found dead in one 
part of the New Forest. 

The fallow-deer crops the grass, and is par- 
ticularly fond of acorns and chestnuts. 

In addition to its smaller size, it is easily distinguished 
by the palmate antlers and longer tail. In 
ppearance, ^^Jq^j. ^^ ^g light brown with white spots. 

There are two races of this deer, a lighter 
and a darker. 

The Roe-Deer, smallest of our deer, though formerly 
widely distributed in these islands, is, with 
the exception of a number of reintroductions, 

1 De Crespigny and Hutchinson, The New Forest, p. 158. 

2 Millais, British Deer and their Horns, pp. 145, 149. 



86 MAMMALS. 

now restricted to tlie northern counties and Scotland. It 

is, like the chamois, an alpine species. From Ireland it 
appears to have been always absent. In the 
New Forest it is scarce, and the few that 

are there fomid are said to be of comparatively recent 

introduction. 

Two, in very rare cases three, spotted fawns are born in 

^, ,. May or June : and a remarkable phenomenon, 
Breeding, *^ ' , ^ ' 

known as suspended gestation, is observed in 
the reproduction of this species. 

The food of the roe-deer is much the same as that of 
the rest, though it has a special weakness for fungi. 

The antlers of the adult show three points, each the 
growth of a year. The tail is very short, 
ppearauce, j^^ colour, the roe-buck is brown, lighter in 
wdnter ; rump and under-side of tail white. 
The buck utters a loud bark in presence of danger. Roe- 
deer are fond of running in circles, and Mr Millais ^ gives a 
most interesting account of their so-called " playing-rings." 



CHAPTEH VI. THE WHALES AND PORPOISES. 

"When the unscientific world regarded the bat, after its 

kind, as a bird, it also considered the cetaceans in the 

Formerly light of fislies, — a view confirmed by their 

regarded w^atery surroundings, their mode of getting 

as fishes. about, their generally fish -like outline, and 

the nature of their food. It needed the research of 

Linnaeus and others to assign them to their true class 

as warm-blooded creatures, breathing by lungs and bearing 

and nourishing their young in true mammal fashion. 

The food of these cetaceans is very varied, and presents 

1 Millais, British Deer aud their Horus, p. 188. 



THE WHALES AND POKPOISES. 87 

one singular anomaly in the fact that the largest of the 
order, the right or whalebone whales, are toothless, and 
„ consequently manage to support their huge 

bulk on a diet consisting exclusively of mi- 
nute crustaceans, tiny organisms known to the crews of 
whalers as "whale-feed," and often encountered in mid- 
ocean covering several acres of the water's surface. I have 
noticed that it possesses a peculiar aroma, and I recollect 
our ship passing, off the coast of Sumatra, through a con- 
siderable tract of it, which gave forth a most unpleasant 
stench. The method of feeding adopted by these tooth- 
less whales is well kno\vn. They engulf a mouthful of 
this feed, then expel the water, and leave the foreign 
matter stranded on the plates of baleen, or " whalebone," 
as we call it, which thus forms a convenient sieve. It lies 
in plates in the upper jaw, and the term " bone," as applied 
to it, must not be taken too literally, as in jDoint of fact it 
is not exactly bone. 

The great toothed whales, on the other hand, consume 
vast quantities of squid and cuttlefish, which they swallow 
whole, a greedy habit to which we are indebted for that 
exceedingly valuable product ambergris. 

The external characters of whales do not need to be very 
closely studied before they show how superficial is the 

supposed resemblance to fishes. The X-rays 

External j i.i t i.- i -r r, i.i, 

, , and the dissectmsr - knite soon show the so- 

characters. • ° 

called "fins" to be more of the nature of 
gloved hands. The whales — most of them at any rate — 
have five fingers like ourselves, only, needing their hands 
for swimming purposes, and having no use for the sejDarate 
action of the fingers, they have been permitted to grow 
flesh gloves, thus transforming the useless hand into the 
useful flipper. The tail, again, though forked somewhat 
after the manner of that organ in some fishes, is attached 
horizontally, not vertically, a few strokes of this powerful 
propeller being sufficient to bring the whale ujj from the 
great depths at which it passes its life, whenever it wants 



88 MAMMALS. 

to breathe. The skin is not scaly like that of fishes, but 
perfectly smooth, having, moreover, beneath it an elastic 
cushion of fibrous blubber, — a wonderful provision against 
the heavy pressure under which, for the most part, these 
animals live. Again, the whales have no gills, but in 
their place are endowed, like ourselves, with lungs, by the 
aid of which they breathe the air direct; and, in order 
that they may remain for considerable periods beneath the 
surface, they are further provided with a marvellous means 
of aerating the blood. The blowhole, through which they 
breathe or " spout," closes hermetically with a powerful 
valve whenever they dive. In short, it would be difficult 
to find another order of living creatures better adapted to 
the peculiar conditions under which they have elected to 
live. Their mental standard cannot be very easily judged, 
but it is probably low. Indeed, as their brain does not 
amount to much more than three per cent of their total 
bulk, some of the larger whales should be more stupid 
than most creatures. 

Their reproduction is slow, indeed cynical folks have 
some cause for remarking that this is the case with most 

„ ■ . valuable creatures, only the rats, sharks, and 

other vermin multij^lying with rapidity. The 
possible explanation of this discrepancy is that nature did 
not plan everything beforehand for the comfort of man. 
At any rate, the whale only produces a single " calf " at a 
birth, carrying it for over a year, and, after its appearance, 
tending it with a devotion almost rare in some higher 
mammals. She never hesitates, for instance, to jjlace her- 
self between it and any danger that may threaten. 

Of the three most valuable products yielded by these 

creatures — the fourth is the oil run down from their 

blubber — it will be well to say a few words. Of these, 

,,^, , , the first is the so-called ivhalehone, to which 

WnniGDOiifi 

passing allusion has already been made. This 
is put to a variety of uses, the chief being in the manufac- 
ture of corsets, while a less important function is in the 



THE WHALES AND PORPOISES. 89 

rings of landing-nets. I have used a landing-net with the 

ring of whalebone for upwards of eight years of sea-fishing, 

the sport that above all others tries the angler's tackle, 

and it is still as good as new ; indeed, as the market price 

has, after many fluctuations, risen above that at which I 

bought it, its value has increased. The value of this 

product varies considerably, and was at one time over 

^2000 per ton. At the time of writing I believe it standi 

at rather more than half this figure. 

Spermaceti comes from the cachalot, being contained in 

fluid form in the " box " within the forehead. This fluid 

,. hardens on coolinsj, and, after a simple treat- 
Spermaceti. 4. -^1 n r • f ' • i. 4. 
ment with alkalis, is ot use m ointments. 

The spermaceti from a large whale will fill over a dozen 
barrels. Sperm-oil is better than the commoner train-oil. 

The third of these commodities is unquestionably the 
most interesting of all. It also has its origin in the cach- 
alot, and a passing strange origin it is. In the court- 

. , . mg season, that husre cetacean repairs with 
Ambergris. . ° . 

its mate, or maybe m search of her, to the 
warmer waters of the Gulf Stream, where together they 
gorge on the cuttlefish that swarm in those waters. In its 
great haste, the whale swallows these cephalopods whole, 
an indecent greed that is punished by the accumulation of 
the beaks, the least digestible portion of the cuttlefish, in 
the creature's inside. Here they presently set up so severe 
an irritation as to give rise to the secretion of ambergris 
in great masses, which are usually vomited in mid-ocean 
and subsequently carried ashore, largely in the Bahamas, 
by the tides. Less frequently the whale retains the 
ambergris, which then accumulates by the time of its 
death to an enormous bulk weighing many hundreds of 
pounds — a very acceptable addition to the marketable 
value, when it is remembered that the price of this in- 
significant, greyish, half -greasy substance is something 
like ;^5 per ounce. Some curious finds of this secre- 
tion are on record. On one occasion an old negress 



90 MAMMALS. 

found an enormous mass on the foreshore of one of our 
West Indian possessions, broke off a moiety weighing 
about 500 ounces, and thrust the remainder under a bush. 
A fellow-countryman subsequently advised her to throw 
the evil-smelling "rubbish" away, which she did. As a 
result the fragment fell into the hands of a more sophisti- 
cated European, wdio disposed of it in London for close 

on ^3000 • 

The use of ambergris is for the most part confined to 
the manufacture of perfumes. Ground up with sand and 
treated with alcohol, in which it slowly dissolves, it is 
effectual in intensifying and fixing certain essential per- 
fumes. In the East, and notably by the jMoors, it is also 
drunk in tea, on which, greasy as it is, it floats. Its 
flavour, taken in this way, is peculiar, but not unpleasant, 
and Orientals value it chiefly as a stimulant. According 
to I\Iilton, it was formerly used in English cookery. It is 
desirable to point out that, save as part of the ocean's 
flotsam, this substance has nothing in common with amber. 
The latter is a vegetable, not an animal, product ; it comes 
largely from the Baltic, not from the warmer Southern 
seas; and its value is 5s. an ounce instead of ^5. 

It will now be necessary to enumerate very briefly the 
score of whales and allied dolphins and porpoises which 
wander, rarely for the most part, to the coasts of these 
islands, though, as their collective points of interest have 
been given above, the notice may in each case be restricted 
to a few words only. 

The Eight or Whalebone Whale is a great toothless 
species. The head is large and flat, the baleen, or whale- 
Southern bone, lying within the upper jaw in some six 
'Whale. hundred jilates. This species, which has been 
recorded from the east coast and Orkneys, was confused 
by the older writers with the allied Greenland w^hale. In 
colour it is black above, lighter beneath. Head large 
and flat. 



THE WHALES AND PORPOISES. 91 

Of the four Rorquals, or Finners, recorded from Brit- 
ish waters, only two, the common and lesser, visit these 
islands with any regularity. I have seen the 
latter, which rarely exceeds a length of 30 
feet, rounding up the pilchards oif the Dodman near Meva- 
gissey. The Common Rorqual is said to attain to a length 
of 70 feet, and the rarer Sibbald's Rorqual, the largest of 
them all, grows to 90. It has, however, occurred on our 
coasts less than a dozen times. The fourth, Rudolfi's Ror- 
qual, which rarely exceeds 50 feet in length, has also not 
strayed to our waters more than half-a-dozen times, having 
occurred mostly on the east coast of England. 

The Humpback Whale is found in summer on the 
northern coasts. It is distinguished by the 
hump on its back and by the fold of skin 
along; the throat. In colour this whale is black. 



'& 



The Cachalot is the toothed whale. It has no baleen ; 
indeed, as already mentioned, it feeds chiefly on squid and 
Cachalot cuttlefish. It is but a rare straggler to these 
or Sperm islands. The head and body are of almost 
"WTiale. equal length. In the lower jaw are some 
twenty pairs of well - developed teeth, and some rudi- 
mentary teeth are discernible in the upper. This whale 
is recognisable by the swelling over the snout. It has a 
rudimentary back-fin. 

Sowerby's Whale is easily distinguished by its long beak, 
Sowerby's dorsal fin, and the two short teeth in the lower 
"Whale. jaw. It has been recorded a score of times in 
the waters around these islands. 

The Bottlenose is not uncommon, especially on the 
north coast, and may be recognised by the 
truncated forehead and beak-like snout. It 

1 The " Bottlenose " of our south-coast watering-places is neither this 
nor the true bottleuosed dolphin, but the common Z>. delphis. 



92 MAMMALS. 

has, like the last, two teeth in the lower jaw. The dorsal 
fin lies back near the tail. 

Cuvier's A rare beaked whale allied to the last. 
Whale. 

The PorjDoise, or Sea-Hog, is a familiar object on our 
coasts, where its appearance in numbers is locally, and 
with some reason, regarded as the prelude to 
a spell of east wind. It feeds entirely on fish, 
herrings more especially, and when the shoals of the latter 
break up, it ascends rivers after the salmon. Its fate is 
usually a rifle-ball, and it has always seemed to me matter 
for regret that it should not be more systematically hunted 
for its superb oil, which is worth at the least half-a- 
sovereign the gallon, as also for its hide, excellent material 
for shooting boots. The female bears one calf only at a 
time. This cetacean is too common to need description ; 
its triangular back fin is often seen cleaving the water, and 
the arched backs have, when several proceed in single file, 
given the impression of a sea-serpent. The blowhole is 
crescent -shaped. In colour our porpoise is black above, 
white beneath. 

The Kound-headed Porpoise, " Black fish," or " Pilot- 
whale," rarely encountered in English waters, is seen in 
Round- herds, often driving along at high speed, 
headed among the northern isles. It is the "ca'ing 
Porpoise, ^^i^j^ig ,^ yf ^Yie Shetlanders, who kill it for its 

oil. Its food is said to consist largely of cod, flounders, 
and cuttlefish. 

This cetacean has a short dorsal fin, the flippers be- 
ing short and narrow. On the forehead is a conspicuous 
swelling. Some twenty conical teeth lie in either jaw. In 
colour it is black above, white beneath ; a heart-shaped 
white patch is situate below the head. 

The Grampus, or " Killer," is the most voracious of the 



THE WHALES AND PORPOISES. 93 

sub-order, and feeds on large fish and cetaceans, the por- 
poise being a favourite meal. The dorsal fin is long and 

high. There are sharp teeth in either jaw. 

The grampus is not uncommon in the Channel. 
In colour it is, like the rest, black above, white beneath ; 
a white patch is conspicuous over the eye. 

Generically distinct from the last, Eisso's Grampus has 
Bisso's no teeth in the upper jaw. It has not been 
Grampus, recorded in these waters more than a dozen 

times. In colour this grampus is black above, lighter 

beneath, with irregular spots. 

The " Beluga," or White Whale, is, like so many of our 

"White whales, met with only in our more northern 

"Whale, waters. It has no dorsal fin, and the flij^pers 

are short. The head is also short, and there are small blunt 

teeth in either jaw. In colour the beluga is almost pure 

white, streaked in some cases with yellow. 

The Xarwhal is the most singular in appearance of all 
the sub-order, and has occurred but three times ofi" the 
coasts of these islands. It is unmistakable by 
reason of the single enormous tooth, or tusk, 
that protrudes from the left corner of the upper jaw to a 
length of as much as 8 feet. There is in the right corner 
a second tooth, which, however, save in very rare cases, 
remains undeveloped. This strange twisted tusk is de- 
veloped in the male only. In place of a dorsal fin, this 
genus has a ridge along the back. In colour this species is 
greyish white with darker spots. 

The Dolphin, next to the porpoise the commonest ceta- 
cean in the Channel, is in that sea known, on account of 
its beak -like snout, as the " bottlenose," a 
name that should more properly be given to 
the far rarer species that follows. It is not known to 
ascend rivers, like the porpoise. (On the other hand, 



94 MAMMALS. 

there are dolphins in the Ganges that never go down to 
the sea.) There are numerous teeth in either jaw. The 
dorsal fin is high. In colour, the dolphin is black with 
yellowish stains. 

Bottle- The Bottlenosed Dolphin is a member of a 

nosed 

-r, T I,- rarer 2;enus. 

Dolphin. ^ 

The rare White-beaked Dolphin has occurred about a 

dozen times in our waters, chiefly on the east coast, 

Trri.-^ hut also in both Scotch and Irish in- 

W^hite- 

beaked shore waters. The white beak and lips 
Dolphin, contrast strangely with the black of the 
back and sides. 
White- ^^^ allied White - sided Dolphin has the 

sided sides yellowish white. It occurs at long 

o phm. intervals among the Orkneys. 



BIRDS 




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BIRDS. 



Since the days of Aristophanes, at any rate, man has been 
the recognised foe of the birds, but his affection for them 
Persecu- is a tender plant of modern growth, rearing its 
tion and head only in a few highly civilised lands, and 
protection, gyen there in constant danger of being killed. 
For the tendency of the present day trends dangerously 
on that exaggeration that is certain to provoke the charge 
of maudlin sentimentalism. It is perfectly right to en- 
deavour, even, as in Massachusetts, by legislation, to re- 
strain the senseless fashions that have resulted in feathered 
women. It is equally laudable to attempt to bring home 
to the farmer, ay, and game-preserver, the wholesome fact 
that nature's balance was established before the dawn of 
farming or preservation ; that limits had already been put 
to the untoward increase of bird - life, the egg - eating 
mammals and reptiles, the terrific winds to thin the ranks 
of migrants, and the late frosts to kill the early broods. 
Man's arrival on the scene was a bad day, indeed, for the 
birds, and a bright one for the insects on which they fed. 
Bird-protecting societies have plenty of excellent work to 
do if they can only stamp out the catapult ; if they can but 
persuade the agriculturist that a single wagtail, or swal- 
low, or nightjar may be worth a ton of vermifuge. They 
need not go beyond their strength and jDrotest against the 
shooting of game-birds reared, even imported, for the pur- 

G 



98 BIRDS. 

pose. It may, or may not, be cruel, but it has simply 
nothing to do with the case. The business of bird-pro- 
tection societies in this country is with our wild birds ; 
and, but for the people who shoot them, the pheasant and 
capercaillie would not be here. Even the partridge and 
red-grouse, though indigenous, would, it is fair to assume, 
have disappeared long since but for the preserver. 

One outcome of the modern movement in favour of 
wild-bird protection has unquestionably been an enormous 
Increase increase of late years in the literature of the 
of books subject. It is difficult, indeed, to distinguish 
on birds, j-j^g precise extent to which the movement has 
evoked the literature, and that to w^hich the literature 
has furthered the movement. It is, in fact, one of those 
cases of continuous action and reaction. At any rate, the 
books are a reality. The old errors began to lose ground. 
Doubts arose as to the cuckoo sucking eggs in summer 
to clear his voice, and changing in winter into a merlin ; 
soon folks came to ridicule the notion of the wren hiber- 
nating, the nightjar sucking cows' milk, the siskin build- 
ing an invisible nest, the heron hatching her eggs, like 
the flamingo of books, astraddle, and catching eels with 
the aid of an attractive oil exuded from her foot. Com- 
mon-sense began to ask how the race of nightingales 
could be perpetuated if, as averred, the mother reared 
only those (males) that gave promise of good voice. 
The swallow was no longer believed to jjass the winter 
at the bottom of frozen lakes, to know the healing pro- 
perties of celandine, to have in its crop a magic stone 
like the equally apocryphal jewel of the toad. Folks 
were told that the skin of a dead kingfisher was an in- 
fallible protection in a thunderstorm, but they grew so 
matter-of-fact as to prefer the ordinary lightning-conductor. 
One naturalist revealed the truth about the halcyon's 
noisome nest ; another ridiculed the simple old faith in 
its suspended body foretelling the quarter of the wind, 
and suggested that any live bird j^erching in a tree-top 



BIRDS. 99 

was a far better guide, since it would at least arrange 
itself head to the wind, so that its feathers might not 
be unduly ruffled, just as waterfowl can only rise 
from the water head to wind. The greed for know- 
ledge so characteristic of the nineteenth century has 
made itself felt in no direction more than that of 
natural history. If the old beliefs had to go, the sooner 
they were replaced with the bare truth the better for 
all concerned. And so, as knowledge grew from more to 
more, the natural history of their fathers went piecemeal. 

Hence the books. Elaborate monographs, illustrated by 
what were then costly processes, of the various orders and 
families ; minute county records ; popular life-histories of 
sea-birds, moor-birds, forest-birds, London birds, and the 
rest ; volumes on their eggs and nests, their migrations, 
their voice ; treatises on the birds of the classics, of the 
Bible, of Shakespeare, of heraldry : in short, the changes 
have been rung on the bird theme until any original addi- 
tion to the shelf would seem impossible. Yet, for all the 
fifty works on British birds, many of them running into 
several volumes, that have, as may be seen from the bibli- 
ography appended hereto, been either completed or com- 
menced during the past ten years, students of the subject 
are looking forward with the greatest interest to the ap- 
pearance of the new edition of Mr Howard Saunders' 
'^Manual,' or, more locally perhaps, to the long-expected 
volume on Hampshire birds from the pen of Mr Hart of 
Christchurch. The summary of British birds given in the 
following pages has of necessity been compressed until it is 
little more than a list. But little has there been said on 
the subject of the external features of birds, and on one or 
two other points of interest, upon which I therefore venture 
to preface a few notes. 

Some of the reasons why these islands should, under 
certain conditions, prove j^eculiarly attractive to birds of 
passage have already been indicated on a previous page. 
At any rate, of the birds known to science, probably not 



100 BIRDS. 

short of ten thousand, quite four hundred are alleged, and 
seven - eighths of them probably with justice, either to 

reside in or to visit the British Islands. 
^^1 1 IS 1 These are found on analysis to fall, roughly 

speaking, under five categories : (i) The resi- 
dents (which may or may not perform certain consider- 
able migrations within these islands) ; (ii) the regular 
summer (breeding) visitors ; (iii) the regular winter vis- 
itors (from the Northern seas) ; (iv) those which are 
with us for a short time only on passage to and from 
remote breeding-grounds (in spring or autumn, or both) ; 
and (v) the casual migrants, including rare stragglers. 
(These various categories are indicated by types and signs 
in the following pages.) It is found convenient for some 
purposes to subdivide these still further, but the above 
will suffice for the purpose of this book. It will be noticed 
that the line is not drawn very rigidly in the case of the 
so-called "residents." This lenient interj^retation is, in 
fact, necessary in each case. Thus, not alone are our 
residents continually recruited from the Continent, but 
many so-called summer visitors have stayed through mild 
winters, just as winter visitors, and even more commonly 
spring visitors on migration, have stayed the summer. 
jVIany of our seafowl which breed in the northernmost 
lochs are really and to all practical purposes winter visitors 
to the rest of these islands. A word is said on the subject 
of migration on a subsequent page. 

Ornithologists are by no means quite agreed as to what 
exactly constitutes a title to rank as a British bird, some 
among them being more cautious than others in dealing 
with evidence. The candidates for this honour that excite 
the keenest controversy are, as might be expected, those 
American stragglers which, it is very properly objected, 
are likely to have travelled a considerable part of the 
journey in the rigging of some swift liner. Those of us 
who have made the passage of that mournful cemetery the 
Tied Sea know well how the hawks, finches, and wagtails 



BIRDS. 101 

cling about the sheets during that trying and dangerous 
run. Of the thirty or more " doubtful " birds given at the 
end of the section — they might easily have been doubled, 
had I included many that Mr Saunders and others have 
shown to be too preposterous — it will be observed that over 
half hail from the other side of the Atlantic. As it is, one 
occurrence, properly authenticated, suffices to add a bird 
to the British list. Only last autumn, Mr Keulemanns 
showed me the skin of "a new British warbler," which he 
had just drawn for the British Museum. 

Of the external features of the bird it lies not within the 

scope of a small and unscientific book like this 

n\. , , to give any detailed account, the subject being 

but little less foreign to its purpose than its 

anatomy. A few remarks of an elementary nature may 

not, however, be out of place. 

Feathers, of which there are several categories, including 
the so-called " down," are the distinctive character of the 
class. No other living creature has a cover- 
ing of this sort ; no bird is without it. The 
colouring of this plumage is, as a rule, the first aid to 
identification. It is of importance to bear in mind the 
seasonal changes, most noticeable in the male, which, save 
in the dotterel and phalaropes, is always more gaily clad 
than his mate. If it were possible to lay down a general 
rule, it would be that the male puts on brighter garments 
during the breeding season, resuming in winter a duller 
plumage closely resembling, if not identical with, that of 
his mate. To this, the ducks ofi'er a striking exception. 
This seasonal change of plumage reaches its climax in the 
well-known instance of the ptarmigan, which has three 
moults in the course of the year, turning, all but the black 
eye-stripe, completely white in winter. In some birds, as 
the ruff and grebes, this breeding dress includes not only 
brighter colours, but also the development of some extra 
collar or tippet of feathers, which are dropped again as 
soon as the courting-time is over. Of the relation between 



102 BIRDS. 

the plumage of the parents and that of the young bird, as 
well as the broader questions of the origin, development, 
and shedding of feathers, there is no space to treat, further 
than to point out that the young of birds in which the 
two sexes differ little in plumage themselves resemble the 
parents; the rest follow, broadly speaking, the colouring 
of the adult female. The brief hints given in the follow- 
ing pages for identification have reference to the adult 
male, in either breeding or winter plumage, according to 
the season at which he is most conspicuous in these islands. 
For the transitional plumage, as for that of the female and 
young, I had no space. Before quitting the subject, how- 
ever, there is another point of interest about these feathers 
which cannot fail to strike the most casual observer of 
bird-life, and that is the marvellous way in which they 
resist water or shot, the former more especially. The 
smallest bird shields with thatch -like back her precious 
eggs from the rains or snows of April without danger to 
herself; and still more remarkable is the imperviousness 
of waterfowl. Though birds unquestionably preen their 
feathers with their own oil, yet wildfowlers know well that 
the great secret of this waterjjroofing lies not wholly in 
the action of the oil, but rather in some muscular action 
of the bird itself, in proof of which they can show that 
dead or badly wounded fowl are in a very few moments 
damaged by the water, and even one wing which is broken 
will take in water to the detriment of the feathers, while 
the rest of the bird is yet healthy and dry. 

Evidence of nature's wonderful workmanship is nowhere 
more apparent than in the bill of birds, whether we con- 
sider the curved bill of the creepers, the chisel 
of the woodpeckers, the scissors of the cross- 
bill, the serrated mandibles of the fish-eating goosander, 
the sensitive sucker of the woodcock, the bristles on the 
bill of the moth-hunting nightjar, or the absence of open 
nostrils on that of the plunging gannet. 

The foot has four toes, normally, instead of our live. 



BIRDS. 103 

There are never more, and in many birds the fourth, or 
hind-toe, is either so small as to be obsolete or else want- 
ing altogether. It will be found, I have noted, 
that the swiftest runners {e.g., the ostrich and 
emu) have fewest toes, a rule that, with few exceptions, 
holds true of the mammals as well. The adaptations of 
birds' feet are not less striking than those of their bills. 
There is the grasping foot of the perching birds, slightly- 
modified in the case of owls and woodpeckers ; the webbed 
toes of waterfowl, supplemented in the rapacious skuas 
by powerful claws ; the curious lobed membrane on the 
toes of the grebe and coot; the comb -like claw of the 
night-jar and heron. 

Since birds dropped the lizard-like tail of their early 
days they have little left ; indeed, what we call the tail is 
in reality the feathers that cover it, and they 
are undoubtedly of more practical use than 
the real article. In all birds, they serve to some extent as 
rudders, and to the woodpecker and tree-creeper they 
are climbing- spurs. Few indigenous British birds have 
brilliant feathers beneath the tail, which must be a con- 
sideration when flying silently before a keen-sighted enemy. 
When I lived in the country, I knew the note of most 
birds ; but I cannot, try how I will, convey what appears 
to me a satisfactory equivalent on paper. 
Many there are who have made a study of 
the subject, who write learnedly on the cuckoo's "minor 
third," and who are content to express the note of each 
bird by something like "zick-zack," "fink-fink," "churr- 
wit," &c. Of the nightingale one gives the note as 
"jug -jug," another as "wit-wit," while Tennyson, who 
gave us nature with as little editing as possible, rightly 
caught the spirit of one portion at any rate of its carol 
as "bubbling." Another word eminently suggestive of 
bird-song is "shivering." 

I must confess, however, that these attempted inter- 
pretations of bird-song appear to me scarcely more satis- 



104 BIRDS. 

factory than the " little bit o' bread and no cheese " attrib- 
uted to the yellow-hammer, or the still worse " in another 
week will come a wheatear," which is said at a certain 
season to constitute the daily remark of the chaffinch. 
(The German chaffinch, by the way, says "Fritz, Fritz.") 
A few birds, such as the skulking corncrake, the night- 
ingale, the cuckoo, and the lapwing, are as unmistakable 
in their voice as in their appearance; but in the great 
number of cases, identifying a bird by its note, as by its 
flight, requires much practice and long residence in the 
country. To add to the difficulty, many of our birds, 
like the small woodpeckers, which warble quite agreeably 
in the breeding season, are devoid of voice, other than a 
harsh grunt, in winter; and, worse still, many others, 
as the starling, thrush, sedge-warbler, jay, and magpie, 
are such accomplished mimics as to make the confusion 
worse than ever. In some cases, the study of bird-voice 
is of course both interesting and profitable. Thus, one 
ornithologist is said to have recognised in the crow over a 
score of distinct notes, each conveying a different meaning, 
which I believe he also translated ; while it is notorious 
that old wildfowlers learn from the voice of the birds uj) 
to which they are punting whether they are in suspicious 
mood. 

It seems to me, however, that this subject is one rather 
for close study than careless handling ; therefore I have 
made but few references to it in the following pages. I 
leave the subject, at any rate, in many zealous hands ; and 
there will always be observers to tell of the whitethroat's 
confession of "I did it, I did it"; of the "tzac, tzac" 
of the shrike; or the "glock, glock" (see Crockett's 
'Raiders') of the raven. 

A ready means of identifying many of our commoner 

birds, though one requiring observation at 

first hand, is by their flight. Country folk 

know at a glance the dash of the i^eregrine, the gliding 

of the kite, the hovering of the kestrel, the soaring of the 



BIEDS. 105 

skylark ; and gunners recognise the curved neck of the 
flying heron, and the drooping head of the woodcock. 

One episode in bird-life has, their breeding excepted, 
attracted more attention than any other, and has formed 
the subject of voluminous works by Gaetke, 
■ Dixon, and other writers. Much has yet to 
be learnt with reference to their wondrous organised move- 
ments, and the obstacles that lie in the way of systematic 
observation are scarcely less formidable than those which 
beset the investigator of marine life. So much is hidden, 
for the wandering birds move often at great altitudes, 
mostly at night. This preference for travelling at a 
great height means, in all probability, that the birds find 
the higher atmosphere clearer and less disturbed by cur- 
rents. Their movements by night are, as may be imagined, 
much influenced by lighthouses, and, to a lesser extent, by 
the bright lights, mostly electric nowadays, of our harbour 
and other seaside towns. The lighthouses cause the de- 
struction of thousands that dash themselves against the 
glass, sometimes right through it. 

Regular migrants, as the swallow, must be guided to 
a great extent by transmitted instinct, for they "\^dll fly 
straight north and south, and are known to follow the 
shortest route over the sea, the track maybe of a former 
isthmus. The swallows, type of birds of passage, will 
cover over one hundred miles in the hour, will return 
year after year to the same eaves, and, strangest of all, 
will, on the wane of summer, and when the insect food 
is giving out, feel the returning instinct so strong within 
them as to leave a third brood to perish of starvation. 
Of these summer visitors these islands are the native 
land ; many of them remain for more than half the year. 
Of the waterfowl, however, those wondrous hordes that 
rear their young in the glow of the midnight sun, far 
from the disturbing i^resence of man, they are but a 
winter feeding-ground. 

With the casual migrants and stragglers, again, the case 



106 BIRDS. 

is different. They must have a hard time of it, and 
very many must perish by the way. As a sort of com- 
promise between the two classes, we have the case, in 
many ways unique among animal migrations, of Pallas's 
sand-grouse, that remarkable little Asiatic wanderer, of 
which live irruptions have found their way to these islands, 
the last (1888-89) extending to their westernmost limits. 
Intervals of from five to twelve years elapsed between 
these invasions, whole generations in fact of sand-grouse 
that never straggled to the Western continent. Here, 
then, was clearly no case of transmitted instinct, but the 
thousands that came so far from their native tundras 
were evidently the children of circumstance, driven forth 
by some sudden and unlooked-for alteration in the con- 
ditions of life in those parts, some lack of food or maybe 
some fall in temperature. The difficulty of drawing a 
hard-and-fast line between the residents and the visitors 
has already been indicated. It is only possible to lay 
down certain jjrinciples, leaving room for numerous ex- 
ceptions. Summer visitors are occasionally tempted to 
stay the winter ; winter birds will bide with us in spring. 
The divers and the fulmar and many others, residents 
in the north of Scotland, are winter visitors only to the 
coasts of England ; the whinchat breeds freely in the 
north of Ireland, but is a winter visitor to the south. 
And, before quitting the subject of migration, it is of 
importance to mention the wanderings of many birds 
within these islands. The robin is a case in point. Other 
kinds, too, which in winter are found only on the sea-shore, 
resort in the breeding season to inland moors and bogs. 
Of such are the curlew and dunlin. 

Under normal conditions, the various grou2)s of birds 
affect a certain class of food. So much it is safe to say, 
and the anatomist can, as a rule, make a 
close guess from the form of the bill. Open- 
air observation soon leads us, however, to supplement the 
creed of the text-book, the ethics of the hard-billed and 



BIRDS. 107 

soft-billed birds, with a broader belief in the almost un- 
limited capacity shown by birds in adapting themselves 
to any diet that offers. They are, in fact, like many 
mammals, omnivorous ; though this does not of course 
preclude them from having special fancies. Nor is there 
any need to seek such far-away instances as the much- 
quoted carnivorous kea of New Zealand. It is only 
necessary to suspend a lump of suet or half a cocoa-nut 
from a tree and watch how in a little every titmouse 
within call will soon be clinging to it and pecking eagerly 
at what can scarcely be its natural food.^ So, too, the 
so-called insectivorous birds devour at certain seasons 
great quantities of grain and fruit; and gulls, that live 
normally on fish and flotsam, are seen hawking after 
mice and insects, and will, if kept inland, kill and devour 
every small bird that comes within reach. Some birds 
swallow certain substances, grit usually, to assist digestion. 
The habit of swallowing its own feathers, noticed, among 
others, in the grebe, is probably a case in point. 

Birdnesting has at all times been a favourite recreation 
with schoolboys, and not a few of their elders have, from 

more scientific motives, also amassed consid- 
Nest . 

erable collections of eggs. In these days of 

decrease of wild birds, it is just as well that laws should 
be enacted and enforced against the practice ; but, for the 
benefit of those who may find themselves in newer lands 
with no such restrictions, it may be as well to point out 
that there is birdnesting and birdnesting ; and in earlier 
days I got together a collection of over three hundred 
representative British eggs without, I am perfectly certain, 
causing a single bird to desert, and without disturbing a 
single open nest. The collection was the result of several 
years' work in very different localities — in Kent, Hamp- 
shire, Cornwall, North Germany, and Tuscany. One egg 

1 White pointed out a parallel case in the fondness of the cat for 
fish, which it could not catch for itself. This gave his numerous 
editors an opening for anecdotes. 



108 BIRDS. 

was taken from each nest, rarely two, and 1 always took 
every care not to frighten the sitting bird. There are 
critics of this kind of pastime who admit of no distinc- 
tion in the matter of degree, and to them I prefer not 
to excuse myself. It is possible, however, that they 
may extend their mercy in consideration of my never 
having shot a single song-bird, all my stalking in that 
direction having been done with binoculars. The study of 
nests is an interesting one, but unfortunately it is among 
those that cannot be pursued in the armchair ; and the 
existing regulations preclude the necessity of my entering 
into the subject as fully as I might otherwise have been 
inclined to do. What will at once strike the observer, 
however, is that this architecture is surely the result of 
instinct, and not of memory or imitation. One ^\Titer has 
objected to what he is pleased to call the "loose " employ- 
ment of the word " skill " in connection with this perform- 
ance. Skill, he says, is the result of education. But skill 
is, in my humble opinion, too old a word for any gentle- 
man to begin playing tricks with now ; and it is almost 
as applicable to the nest-building bird as to the human 
mechanic and engineer. The great difference in merit 
shoAvn by various nests is another fact which soon makes 
itself felt. Not alone do we note the difference between 
the beautiful dwelling of the goldfinch and the mere plat- 
form of the dove or bullfinch, but even in birds that nest 
in different situations there is a perceptible difference in 
the amount of care lavished by the same bird. Thus, it is 
generally conceded that the nests of birds that rear their 
young in darkness build a very careless nest ; and in the 
common instance of the house-sparrow, it is notorious that 
the nest when built in open tree-tops is a more elaborate 
domed structure than the mass of grass, paper, and rubbish 
that suffices it in our roofs. There are certain orthodox 
sites for the nests of each group of birds, but these are 
open, like everything else in the ordering of their lives, to 
exceptions. Thus the wood-pigeon nests, as a rule, amid 
the topmost branches of firs and beeches, but I have seen 



BIRDS. 109 

many a nest in low bushes within a couple of feet of the 
ground, more especially on well-wooded slopes. On the 
other hand, game-birds deposit their eggs on the ground ; 
but Mr J. G. Millais ^ gives instances of the nests of both 
pheasant and capercaillie high in trees. The doubtful 
point is how the parents convey the young in safety to the 
ground. Perhaps the most remarkable instance, however, 
of deviation in this respect is to be found in one of the 
sandpipers (^Helodromas och7'02Jus), w^hich is known on its 
Continental breeding-grounds (it does not breed in these 
islands) to lay its eggs in the deserted nest of thrush or 
magpie, instead of building a primitive nest, like the rest 
of the group, on or near the ground. From the elaborate 
nest of the goldfinch or oriole, we find every grade of work- 
manship, good, bad, and indifferent, down to the work of 
the waders and game-birds, whose nests are often mere 
depressions in the earth, and the seafowl that simply 
deposit their eggs on a ledge, the nightjar that rears her 
young on the bare earth, the cuckoo who billets her 
eggs on other nests and leaves the duty of incubation, 
and subsequently of rearing the chicks, to the owners. 

Of eggs, their shape and colouring, their size as com- 
pared with that of the bird, their resemblance to their 
surroundings, much has been written. Their 
' protective colouring more particularly has been 
the subject of some learned treatises, and in no case more 
than that of the cuckoo. One has it that the bird can 
colour the coming egg to suit certain surroundings ; another 
claims, with more probability, that, having laid the egg, 
she flies along with the same in her bill until she comes 
to some clutch to which it bears some sort of resemblance. 
Personally, I have had the misfortune to take so many 
dark-brown eggs of this bird from among the azure eggs 
of the hedge-sparrow that these rival theories have lost 
much interest for me. 

Another striking feature of the cuckoo's egg is its small 
size compared with that of the bird, in which it furnishes 

1 Game-Birds, p. 17. 



110 BIRDS. 

a marked contrast with that of the guillemot. The egg 
of the latter recalls yet another consideration, that the 
pyriforni shape of the eggs of certain seafowl minimises 
the danger of their rolling off the narrow ledge on which 
they are deposited, although a great many undoubtedly 
get destroyed in this manner, some even finding their way 
into the trawl. Mention of the colour of eggs reminds me 
of the " light " egg found in most clutches of the tree- 
sparrow and in some of the house-sparrow. This egg is 
generally unfertile. I have given only general descrip- 
tions of the various eggs, their average number, length, 
and markings, relying for the commoner kinds on speci- 
mens in my own collection, on standard text-books for the 
rest. Not the least interesting aspect of the study of the 
nests and eggs of birds is the discovery of new and strange 
sites, some amusing examples of which were cited in a 
recent article in the ' Pall Mall Magazine,' including 
sparrows nesting in a cannon -box (the cannon being 
fired twice daily) and in a growing fungus ; titmice 
rearing their young in a lamp-post and a letter-box; 
Avrens nesting in an old bonnet that had been converted 
into a scarecrow ; and thrushes apj^ropriating a garden- 
roller. 

The identification of a living bird that crosses our vision 
one moment and is gone the next is not always an easy 

matter; and I fear that I have succeeded but 

Identification. • !•«• .i • i ^i, i. j -t. 

indinerently m my endeavour throughout the 

descriptions which follow to give the character, whether 
it be a patch on the wing-coverts, a line over the eye, 
a crest or a collar, most likely to be arrested in a snaj)- 
shot with the binoculars. No bird is difficult to identify in 
the museum, where there is leisure to take account of the 
exact number of feathers in the tail, the number of toes, 
or the shape and nature of the nostrils. Identifying the 
specimen is, however, a very difierent matter from recog- 
nising the living bird ; and I have purposely omitted the 
details given in every text-book in order to lay stress 
on what to look for at the short notice usually available. 



BIRDS. Ill 

A. longer acquaintance with the birds will put us in a 
position to identify them in a number of indirect ways, 
by their nest and egg, their flight or voice. At first, 
however, it is essential to note at a glance some such 
slight peculiarity as those enumerated above. The im- 
pressionist instinctively notes the yellow bill of the 
blackbird, the bald forehead of the coot, the grey 
collar of the jackdaw, the coloured proboscis of the 
puffin ; nor, trifling as may appear these often ephemeral 
characters, is the practice of taking note of them with, 
or still better without, the binoculars, an unimportant 
factor in the training of the eye to that rapid, unpre- 
meditated, and accurate observation which, whether inborn 
or acquired, is a part and parcel of the field naturalist. 

In all ways, then, birds are perhaps the wild creatures 
that most repay study, nor is it a small matter that they 
are the easiest of observation. Those who take the 
trouble to observe them in nature are always finding 
some new and hitherto unsuspected feature of their 
lives. At one time, they note with interest the limits 
to their instinct, which seems to have no inkling of 
those late snows that, year after year, make AjDril fools 
of the old birds and corpses of the young. The sports- 
man learns to distinguish between the solitary and the 
gregarious ; and the mutual advantages derived from 
this sociability soon occur to him when he finds how 
much harder are the latter to stalk, whether they mount 
sentinels, as is sometimes their practice, or not. The 
book-student, it is true, brackets the exquisite kingfisher 
and the hideous lizard. The quadrate bone between 
lower jaw and skull, the single condyle in the neck, 
the oval blood - corpuscles, as well as the origin and 
development of the two, all stamp them the " sauropsidan " 
progeny of a common reptilian ancestor. And if the 
bird-lover should recoil from thinking of his favourites 
as feathered reptiles, let him give the library and dissect- 
ing-room a wide berth, and wander in blissful ignorance 
alono; the forest ridings or beside the stream. 



112 



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117 






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122 



BIPvDS. 



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A LIST OF BRITISH BIRDS. 123 







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124 



BIRDS. 



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A LIST OF BRITISH BIRDS. 



125 











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BIRDS. 



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A LIST OF BRITISH BIRDS. 



127 



-* 



QO ?0 



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5 =0 c 






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128 



BIRDS. 



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S 

o 
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-M ^ 53 ^ S 



Tz _11 "*— ' 






Wpq 



go 

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DCS 



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0-72 1^ 





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A LIST OF BEITISH BIRDS. 129 



-+M 



a5co«o coo ^ ':^o 

(Mr- C<1 CO i-l (M (M 



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f3 


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1— 1 




1 >y« 
















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CQ 












r-" " 


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o 

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M 

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n; OS 




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J.1 
O 


1 


O 
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1— ( 


-.—1 


!3 

a 

o 




bo 

o 


1 




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X^"^ 




CkJ 


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h^m- 


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CO 


W 


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s 








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2 




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8 


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HO 


CO 


orhinu. 
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CO 


CO 




O 


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rgent 
idibu 
lelam 




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uscus 
















Co 


1 

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CO 


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c* 


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8 






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Co 
S 
O 


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1 


1 


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1 












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fl 
































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130 



BIRDS. 






OS »o 



oo 



CO 



CO 



iM 






s 

6 



X/1 

I— I 



M 
O 

< 



o 
S 

Q 

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o 


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rt 



p; ^ 



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«« :3 S d 
§ ^ -? '^ 

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o 



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3 G VI 






se 










o 









no 



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05 



fiS S <» o 
■ '" f S 









•<s> 

■^ r V 

10 rCs JTi 



o 

•♦o 

5v 



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g 

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CO 


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t*i 



5S. 



e 
o 






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s 


s 


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^ 


K 


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4?^ 




e 


<, 


r-~ 



< 



u 

« 
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1 

1 

M 




PS 




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■^ 


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A LIST OF BRITISH BIRDS. 



131 





H-5 




HTl 


O CO 


(N ?o 




Oi 


CO (M 


(M l-H 






t-> 








■ ^-1 ^ — »■ 








fi 


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Great 
White 
Black- 
j Red- 


Great 
Red-n 


Eared 
Little 


CO 








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3 








-o 








s 


s 




•2 00 


ialis 
msi 
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entri 


tatus 
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CO 




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CO to 
5~ ^ 




■§^§ 


^« !3 CO 


t: C::> 


S 


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1 


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Oi 



132 BIRDS. 



CHAPTER I. THE PERCHING BIRDS. 

[Tliroiighout the following pages on birds, the summer, winter, and 
niigrational visitors are denoted respectively by *, f, §. Rare stragglers 
are in italics. The rest are residents. ] 

I. The Thrushes and their Allies. 

[A glance at the Turdinae sub-family (p. 112) will show 
that it includes not alone such outwardly similar birds as 
the thrush, fieldfare, and ring-ousel, but also distinct forms 
like the redbreast and nightingale. Five residents ; eight 
regular visitors; ten irregular visitors.] 

The ]\Iistle-thrush, largest of the group, is common in 

all the wooded districts of Great Britain and Ireland, 

its range extending to the Hebrides. Larger 

tliru8h"or than the common thrush, this sj^ecies is dis- 

Storm- tinguished by the streaks of white on the 

^^^ * wings and the lighter hue of the breast. Its 

favourite food consists of berries and snails ; and, although 

no migratory bird, it will nevertheless wander far in search 

of these. The trivial names of this bird are not entirely 

satisfactory, since, although fond of them with the rest, it 

does not at any season make a special feature of eating 

the berries of the mistletoe.^ Nor has it any connection 

with storms, though it is true that, like many other birds, 

it will raise its voice in rivalry during a gale. 
v^oicG 

How any one living in the country could 

question the fact of this bird singing it would be hard 

to say, yet not only did a lively correspondence on the 

subject fill many columns of a north - country paper as 

recently as last February (1897), but a similar controversy 

evidently engaged the attention of the naturalists of a 

1 Tn the south-western counties it is known as the "holm thrush" 
(holm = holly). 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 



133 



bygone generation, since Brown has a note on the subject 
in his (1833) edition of White's ' vSelborne.' It all depends, 
I siipi)Ose, on the exact distinction between song and noise, 
which would seem to be more or less a matter of taste. 

The mistle-thrush nests early in the year, the nest, which 
is usually placed in the fork of an oak, being in most years 
finished by the third w^eek in February, if not sooner. At 




this season the bird becomes shy and silent. Lined with 
grass and mud, and placed, as a rule, 10 or 12 (I have 
found them at only 4) feet from the ground, few nests 
of the size are more easily overlooked. Eggs, 4, rather 
over I inch; greenish, with red spots and lines. Two 
broods are reared in exceptionally fine seasons— rarely, 
however, in Scotland. 



134 BIRDS. 

By no means a very timid bird, and allowing close 
observation, the Common Thrush is familiar to most, and, 
though of inconspicuous plumage, save for the speckled 

Song- breast, is easily distinguished on the lawn by 

thrush, its curious hopping gait when after worms, and 
the long low flight for covert when flushed. Only the 
blackbird, distinct by reason of his black back and yellow 
bill, has such antics, indeed he runs more like a starling, 
and has in addition a peculiar way of cocking his tail. 
The song-thrush is of darker hue, with less grey in its 
j)lumage, than the preceding species. 

Its food consists of w^orms, snails, seeds, wild berries, 
and, for a very short period, ripe fruit, I watched a 
thrush break snails on a particular stone near its nest 
beneath my window almost every evening for nearly a 
fortnight last May (1897). 

The familiar nest is cup-shaped, lined or plastered with 
mud and rotten wood, and is placed at varying heights 
in a hedge. The bird has also been known, when the 
original nest is disturbed, to lay in a depression in the 
earth. Eggs, 4 or 5, about i inch ; bright blue, with 
small spots of black or dark brown. Two or three broods 
are reared each year, the first being hatched by the end of 
March. When disturbed, the female glides away from the 
nest without a sound. 

Both the Fieldfare and Redwing arrive early in October, 
and leave again late in March or early in Ajjril, the fleld- 
t Fieldfare ^^^'^'^ being last to go. They come from the 
and north of Europe. The redwing feeds almost 

t e wing, exclusively on insects ; the fieldfare varies its 
insect diet with juniper, rowan, and other berries and 
grain. The redwing is easily distinguished by the pale 
streak over the eye ; the fieldfare by the conspicuous white 
of the belly. Neither bird has ever been known to breed 
in this country. 

Black -throated 'T/iriiiih. — A rare visitor from Siberia, 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 135 

recorded twice (1868, 1889) only. The belly is of a 
spotless white. 

White's Thruxh. — Another rare stra£i;2;ler from northern 
Asia to most of our southern and eastern counties. 

American Robin. — This is the migratory thrush of North 
America. Its occurrence in these islands is considered by 
many to rest on insufficient evidence. 

Siberian Thrush. — Another doubtful visitor. 

The Blackbird is one of the handsomest and sweetest of 

our song-birds. The body and legs of the male are of 

orrevish black, his bill bri2;ht oran2;e, I 

Blackbird. ''•',, ' . °i /I ^ V T. 

recently saw a cinnamon - coloured i^ritisn 

blackbird at the Zoological Gardens, and believe this to 
be a not very rare variety. The female is dark brown, 
bill and all. The note varies in quality, being most 
mellow in the spring. Of wide distribution throughout 
these islands, in several districts of which it is yearly ex- 
tending its range, the bird, although resident, undertakes 
considerable inland migrations, like those of the mistle- 
thrush. It feeds on worms, snails, seeds, fruit, and haw- 
thorn berries ; and it drinks regularly. This spring, I 
observed a blackbird constantly drinking from the gutter 
beneath the eaves of a house, a trick which I believe it 
caught from a pair of jackdaws that had their nest there. 
The shallow nest is ready by the end of March. It is lined 
with grass, and almost invariably placed in a hedge 3 or 4 
feet from the ground. Eggs, 5 or 6, about i inch ; pale 
green, with reddish spots, either at the larger end only or 
over the whole surface. This bird rears a third, or even a 
fourth, brood. It is also known to interbreed with the 
thrush ; and I took two blue, unspotted eggs from a nest 
at Bexley (1886) that were, I believe, the product of this 
union, though I only saw the hen, a blackbird. These 
birds sit very close, and, when the intruder is upon them, 
fly silently from the nest. 

A bird of the moors, the Rini;-Ousel arrives from the 



136 BIRDS. 

Continent in March or early in April. It rears, as a rule, 
but one brood, then leaves these islands in October, though 
*Bing- a few remain the winter both in the Midlands 
Ousel. and in Ireland. It is easily distinguished by 
its conspicuous white collar. It feeds on worms and 
snails, also on fruits and berries. Its voice is inferior to 
that of the thrush or blackbird. The ring-ousel breeds in 
the higher districts of Great Britain and Ireland, not much 
south of the Thames, save in the south-western counties. 
The nest, placed on or near the ground, is not unlike that 
of the blackbird, and the same resemblance applies to the 
eggs, which are 4 or 5 in number. 

Roch-thrush. — A very rare visitor from Asia. Has been 
recorded but once (1843). 

The Wheatear arrives from the Continent in ]\Iarch, and 
leaves again in September or October. Only a portion of 
the vast flocks that visit these islands on 
migration remain to breed, the majority, a 
larger race, jDassing on to more distant breeding-grounds. 
The wheatear is easily distinguished from the other small 
migratory species with which it congregates by the black 
ear-coverts and lores. It feeds exclusively on insects, and, 
like the wagtail, has a habit of continually jerking its tail 
to the accompaniment of a short sharp utterance. The nest, 
lined with finer grass or fur, is of coarse grass, and is usually 
placed in rabbit-burrows or under similar cover. Eggs, 5 or 
6, nearly i inch ; pale blue, with or without a few specks. 

Isabelline Wheatear. — An African straggler. Recorded 
once (1887) only. 

Black-throated Wheatear. — A straggler from the Conti- 
nent. Occurred but once (1875). 

Desert Wheatear. — A straggler from Africa, Has oc- 
curred three times (1880, 1885, 1887). 

The Whinchat, one of our latest visitors, arrives from 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 137 

the Continent late in April, and leaves again early in 
October. It is easily distinguished from the stonechat 
and sundry other small birds, with which on 
* occasion it foregathers,- by the white spot on 
each wing and the white line over the eye. This bird is 
very partial to the noxious wireworm. The nest, built of 
fine grasses and moss, is placed at the foot of a furze-bush, 
on or near the ground. Eggs, 5 or 6, considerably under 
I inch ; greenish blue, with a zone of reddish spots. The 
first brood is reared in May, and there is usually a second 
early in July. This bird does not appear to breed in 
Cornwall, but is widely distributed over the rest of these 
islands. 

Not unlike the last, the Stonechat is distinguished by its 
uniformly black head and the white bars on its wings. A 
common resident in parts of Great Britain and 
Ireland, its range extends to the Hebrides 
and Orkneys : in the latter, rare. In some districts it is 
migratory, uncertain and capricious in its comings and 
goings. Its food consists almost entirely of insects, which 
it captures on the wing. Its nest is not unlike that of the 
last, only somewhat more carefully lined. It is usually 
on the ground. It used to nest abundantly on Dartford 
Heath and round Chiselhurst (1886-87). Eggs, 5, about 
yz inch ; two types in my collection both greenish blue, 
one with a narrow belt of spots, the other with the larger 
end thickly spotted with red. A second brood is some- 
times, but not invariably, reared. 

« 

Arriving from Eastern Europe in March, leaving again 
in September, the Redstart, an insectivorous bird, is far 
more common in Great Britain than in Ire- 
land, where, save in a few districts on the 
north and east, it is extremely rare. It is also rare in 
Cornwall. The redstart is easily recognised by its white 
forehead and black throat. It nests, at no great height 



138 BIRDS. 

from the ground, in holes in trees or walls, and, like 
almost all builders in holes, constructs a bulky nest of 
grass lined with feathers. Eggs, 6, ^ inch ; very pale 
blue and usually without spots. 

The Black Kedstart, a regular, but never common, visitor 
to the southern counties of England and Ireland, rarely 
t Black reaches Scotland. It is said to have bred in 

Redstart. Qj-^g qj. ^^q counties, Essex among them; but 
this appears by no means certain. I have taken its nest 
in old walls in Mecklenburg, the eggs being pure white. 
The bird is distinguished from the last by its black fore- 
head and the white patch on the wdng. 

The Ked- spotted Bluethroat wanders from Northern 
tRed- Europe and Asia, as a rule, to only our east 

spotted coast, but a few are recorded from Scotland. 

Bluethroat. rpj^^ ^^^^^^ -^ ^^^^^ ^^.^j^ ^ ^^jj ^^^ ^^^^^^ .^^ 

the centre. 

[t White-spotted Bluethroat, possibly a race only of the 
last. The throat-patch is Avliite.] 

The Robin is one of the most familiar of our resident 
birds. I found an almost identical bird (Fetro'ica) in Aus- 
tralia, its voice as pleasing, its ways as pert. 
The redbreast is at all times, save perhaps in 
the autumn moult, a bold bird, and one easily observed. 
The precise extent of its migrations, as well as the question 
of its pairing for life, seem still undecided. I believe per- 
sonally that it does mate for life, as, having taken from 
a robin's nest near Crayford (April 1886) a remarkably 
beautiful type of egg, of coffee colour and without spots or 
markings of any kind, I tried the experiment of abstract- 
ing two eggs, the rest of the clutch being of the commoner 
type with red spots, to induce the female to make up the 
proper number before sitting, a habit noticed so far only 
in the life-pairing birds. ]My attempt was so far success- 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 139 

fill that the hen dei^osited some ten or eleven eggs, I 
forget which ; but here my success ended, as the new- 
comers were none of the coveted type. At last I gave up 
the attempt, and left her the normal half-dozen to sit on. 

As regards the migrations of this bird, they are, it is 
generally believed, confined for the most part to season- 
able journeyings for favourite food from one part of the 

country to another. It is also known, however. 
Migrations. , . , i -n i • i ^i 

that intense cold will drive a number across the 

Channel. Human brutality has for some reason or other — 
a relic maybe of earlier suj^erstitions — stayed its hand at 
the robin, the result being that the bird is trustful and 
slow to take alarm. There is every reason to suppose 
that the other birds might have given us their friendship) 
in exchange for kind treatment in lieu of small-shot and 
bird-lime. 

The food of the redbreast varies with the season, and 
few birds adapt themselves more readily to w^hatever is 
handy. AVorms and flies, fruits, wild or cul- 
tivated, seeds and grain, each have their turn. 
Then at length, when the ground is snowbound, the bird 
reaps the benefit of its familiarity with man, and gets 
crumbs from the table. As it is quite the most quarrel- 
some and pugnacious of our smaller birds, not even the 
bully sparrow cares about crossing it. Its conspicuous 
red breast, as well as the low undulating flight, render 
it impossible to confuse this with any other British bird. 
The young, which the parents soon drive oft" to cater for 
themselves, are speckled like thrushes. 

The nest of the redbreast is usually in the ground, pref- 
erably half-way up the side of a grassy bank. I have 
also found it in another very common jDOsition 

, . ' ., — namely, the thickest part of fac!:got-heaps : 
nestmg-sites. . . . . ^ 

and it is a curious fact that it generally selects 
those most recently stacked. The eccentric choice of situa- 
tion often shown by this bird is so well known, and has 
been the theme of so many writers, that it needs but 



140 BIRDS. 

passing mention. As an instance, I found one nesting 
in a disused rat-trap whicli the gardener had pitched over 
the hedge ; and in this dungeon, still occupied by a large 
piece of dried bacon, a pair of robins reared four young 
ones. A similar instance, in which a pair nested in an 
old tin can, is quoted by Mr Barrett-Hamilton.^ The nest 
is also found in holes of trees and old walls. In form 
it varies little, the outside being of dead leaves, sometimes 
wdth moss, the lining of hair or feathers. Eggs, 6 to 7, 
I inch ; usually white or greyish, with numerous red spots. 
I had three pure white. As a rule, the texture of the 
shell is coarse and rough, but the creamy ^gg alluded to 
above was highly polished. Two or three broods are 
reared. 

Writers who must at any cost show that singing-birds 
are invariably dressed in sober hues, are fond of describ- 
*]srightin- ing both the Nightingale and the linnet as ex- 
gale, tremely plain creatures. As a matter of fact, 
the cock-linnet is, in the breeding season at any rate, a 
handsome bird ; and it can hardly be denied that the 
nightingale has a pleasing appearance, the brown and red 
of the tail and upper parts contrasting sharply with the 
dull white beneath. The distribution of this migratory 
bird, which is with us, as a rule, from the 
* " middle of April until the middle of September, 
the males being the first to arrive, is regulated by suitable 
conditions of climate and food, which are not easy to assign. 
Thus, it has not yet occurred in either Scotland or Ireland, 
and is extremely rare in Wales. Yorkshire is one of the 
most northerly counties included in its range in these 
islands, and it is unknown in West Devon and Cornwall. 
Within a short radius, too, it may be capricious in its 
fancies. Thus, taking the west of Hants, I have heard 
numbers this year behind Poole, and again near Eingwood, 
whereas in the apparently suitable (and strictly enclosed) 

1 Harrow Birds, p. 4. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 



141 



woods and coppices in and around Boiirnemoiitli, immedi- 
ately between these two districts, I heard or saw never 

a one. From its habit of singing loudly on 
opu ar moonlight nights, many people seem to imagine 

that the bird is silent throughout the day, 
whereas in reality it sings the spring through from soon 
after daybreak until about an hour before noon ; then, after 
a silence during the hottest hours, again through the after- 




noon into the darkness. Another fancy is that this is the 
only bird that sings after darkness has set in, whereas the 
song-thrush, and in some parts the sedge- warbler, also 
sing, and the wood-pigeons coo, during the w^arm summer 
nights. The song of the nightingale, the curious sustained 
gurgling and shivering of which is unlike that of most 
birds, the nearest being the blackcap's, is admirably 
described in Hudson's 'British Birds.' 

The food of the nightingale consists almost entirely of 
insects and worms, largely of caterpillars and elderberries, 
rarely of soft orchard fruit. 



142 BIRDS. 

The nest, made of leaves and lined Avitli liorse-hair and 
rootlets, is placed close to the ground at the foot of a 
clump in the thickest and most tangled part of a hedge. 
J^ggs, 5, about | inch; resemble small olives, being un- 
spotted greenish brown. 

2. The Warblers, 

[With the excejDtion of the foregoing, most of our song- 
birds are included in this group, though they vary greatly 
in the equality of their voice. Two residents; twelve 
regular visitors; eight irregular visitors and stragglers.] 

The Whitethroat is widely distributed from Ai)ril to 
September, save in parts of the Highlands. The note 

* "White- i^ sweet, but neither loud nor sustained. The 
throat, bird feeds on insects and grubs, with an oc- 
casional meal of fruit. The nest, built early in May, is of 
dry grasses and bents, lined with hair, and is j^laced, not 
far from the ground, in bushes. Egg?^, 5, about ^ inch ; 
there are several types; and in the summer of 1886 I took 
eleven distinct varieties from the furze-bushes of Dartford 
Heath and the neighbouring park. They go through every 
shade from palest yellow to deep green, some spotless, but 
the majority profusely speckled with pale brown. 

Also with us in the southern counties from Ajn-il to 
September, the Lesser Whitethroat is rarely found in 

* Lesser ^^^^l^s or Scotland, never reaches the High- 
AAThite- lands, and is unknown in Ireland. It bears 
throat, considerable resemblance to its larger relative 

in appearance, being distinguished by the absence of red 
from the wings. In habits and food there is little diifer- 
ence. The nest, similar but smaller, is found in the same 
situations. The egg, also smaller, is of lighter hue with 
similar markings. A second brood is usually reared. 
Orjjhean Warbler. — A rare straggler from the South. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 143 

Has occurred only twice, once in Yorks, the other time in 
Middlesex. 

Yearly with us from April to Sej^tember, the Blackcap 
has often been shot in the southern counties in winter ; 
so that some, at all events, remain through 
the year. Excej^t in the extreme north of 
Scotland, and to those islands w^hich it passes only on 
its autumn wanderings, the bird breeds throughout the 
United Kingdom. Easily distinguished by the contrast 
of the black head with the uniform grey of the rest of the 
plumage, this warbler has a song w^hich, though not the 
theme of many poets, is at its best little inferior to that 
of the nightingale. It feeds on insects, fruits, mostly 
wild, and berries. A most interesting habit has been 
noticed in connection with its capture of insects, which 
it is said to effect with the aid of the intoxicating juice 
of the hibiscus, pricking the flower with its bill and 
returning anon to feed on the helpless insects that lie 
around. The nest, of dried grasses lined with fine 
bents, is placed in thick bushes 3 or 4 feet from the 
ground. Eggs, 5, ^ inch ; stained white, with dark 
brow^n or reddish spots and blotches at the larger end. 
Two broods are usually reared. It is curious how densely, 
given suitable conditions, these birds will nest, almost in 
colonies. In May 1886 I took, in one morning, an o^gg 
from each of five nests in a hedge not 500 yards long 
on the banks of the Cray in Kent. T have generally 
found the nest of this warbler in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of running water. 

The rarer, duller brown-and-white Garden Warbler is 

with us for five months only, not arriving until the second 

week in May. Though not uncommon in our 

"Warbler south-eastern counties, it is rare in most parts 

of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and Cornwall 

is almost beyond its usual range. Like the last, it feeds on 



144 BIRDS. 

insects and fruit. Its nest, a large edition of the black- 
cap's, is found in similar i)laces, more often in gardens. 
The eggs, also a, trifle larger, are otherwise nearly identical. 
Barred Warbler. — A rare autumn straggler, distin- 
guished by the white bars on the wings and tail and 
the dark bars on the chest. Only about half-a-dozen 
occurrences are recorded — one in Ireland, a second in 
Skye, the rest in our eastern counties. 

The collector of eggs finds a solemn interest in the 
Dartford Warbler akin to that which the entomologist 

might experience after a week's hunt for the 
art or d chimerical and coveted " skipper " in and 

around the sleepy little cove at Lulworth. 
Judging from my own experience of three summers spent 
right on Dartford Heath, I should think that the tyj^e 
from which in 1773 the species was named must have 
been the first and last ever seen in the neighbourhood. I 
have taken the eggs in Richmond Park and in the Isle of 
Wight, but not within ten miles of Dartford. Though 
comjDaratively scarce north of the Thames, it has been 
found breeding in Yorkshire. It is a much darker bird than 
the other warblers. It feeds on insects and berries. The 
nest is usually found in furze-bushes (hence called " Furze- 
chat "), and is a slightly more compact structure than that 
of the whitethroat. £^c/gs, 5, rather smaller than those of 
the blackcap ; brownish white, with many brown spots. 
Two broods are reared. 

The Goldcrest, smallest of British birds, is, owing to its 
wanderings from one part of the country to another, 
known in some parts, notably at the coast, 
as the " Woodcock- pilot," presumably from 
its arriving just before the Woodcock. It has a black-and- 
yellow crest, and the wings are barred with black and 
white. With the exception of the Outer Hebrides and 
some other of the isles, it breeds throughout the kingdom. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 145 

It feeds entirely on insects. Its nest, perhaps the most 
beautiful of British nests, is of moss, lined with wool 
and feathers and hair, and is often hung beneath the 
horizontal branch of a yew. Eggs, 8 or lo, yi inch; dull 
white, with red spots. 

Distinguished by the deeper orange of the crest, the 

Firecrest is an irregular winter visitor to the 

Channel counties, and has been recorded from 

Yorkshire. Some reported firecrests have turned out to 

be old male goldcrests. It has occurred in Scotland, but 

is not yet recorded from Ireland. 

AVith us from March to October, the Chiffchaflf has also 
been shot in winter. Except in the Highlands, its dis- 
tribution is wide throughout these islands. 
There is a good deal of yellow in the plumage. 
It feeds on insects. The nest, dome-shaped, is of moss and 
grasses, lined with feathers, and placed near the ground. 
Eggs, 5, rather over y^, inch ; dull white, with red spots. 

Yelloiv-browed Warbler. — A rare autumn straggler from 
Asia. Has occurred on the east coast four times, and 
once in Ireland. 

Pallas' s Willoiv-warhler has been once recorded (1896).^ 

The Willow- wren is with us from April to September. 

There is much yellow in the plumage, especially a line 

over the eye and along the edges of the 

♦Willow- ^yings. The song is pleasing, but of no very 

high order. Its food consists almost entirely 

of insects. The nest, domed and placed on or near the 

ground, is of grass and lined with feathers. Eggs, 4 to 8, 

f inch ; dirty white, with pale red spots. 

Distinguished from the last by the white feathers in 
the tail, which is proportionately shorter, the Wood-wren 

1 See Mr Southwell's notes in the ' Zoologist ' for January 1897. 

K 



146 BIRDS. 

also seeks these islands from Aj^ril to SeiDtember, though 

considerably more local in its occurrence and very rare in 

Ireland. It feeds on insects ; occasionally on 

^Wood- fi.^^i|;_ "pj^e j-^ggt jg domed and placed on or 
wren. , . . ^ 

near the ground. It is lined with fine grasses. 

]'^ggsj 6 to 7, about ^ inch; white, with brown spots. 

The wood -wren used to nest in great abundance near 

Doberan, ^Mecklenburg, iij May 1890. 

Rufous Warbler. — A rare straggler from the South. 
Only three have been obtained — in Sussex and Devon. 

Icterine Warbler. — A rare straggler from the Continent. 
Five have been obtained — one in Ireland, the rest on 
our east coast. 

The Reed-warbler is with us from A})ril to September, 
chiefly in the southern counties ; rare in Scotland and 

* Keed- Ireland. Song, loud rather than sweet. There 
■warbler, jg g^ conspicuous yellow streak above the eye. 

The underparts are wdiite. This is among the birds that 
sing during the summer nights, a j^erfoi'niance credited 
by some to the nightingale only. It feeds entirely on 
insects. The deep nest, hung in the reeds, or, more rarely, 
in trees, is of grass lined with feathers or wool. Eggs, 5, 
nearly ^ inch ; bluish white, with dark sjjots. 

A very short stay is made by the Marsh-warbler, since 
it does. not arrive till late in May and leaves again in 

* Marsh- August. This bird clpsely resembles the last, 
warbler, ^^nd its song is pleasant. Its food, like that of 

the rest, consists almost entirely of insects. Its distribu- 
tion is local. It has nested near Taunton, Banbury, and 
Bath. The nest is of grass lined with hair, and placed in 
low bushes in the neighbourhood of water. Eggs, 5 to 7, 
about ^ inch ; white, with brown spots. 

Great Reed-warhler. — A rare straggler from the Conti- 
nent. May have bred. 

Aquatic Wa7'bler. — A rare straggler. Three occurrences, 



THE PEKCHING BIEDS. 147 

two of which were on the south coast, the third in 
Leicestershire. 

Kare in northern Scotland and the isles, the Sedge- 
warbler is found in most parts of these islands from April 

* Sedge- to the end of September. It has a yellowish 
-warbler, streak over the eye, the crown is buff and the 

throat white. It feeds on aquatic and other insects. The 
nest, of moss lined with hair, is perhaps less often hung 
among the sedges than among bushes close to the water's 
edge, though I have taken eggs from both situations, early 
in June, not far from Ringwood. Eggs^ 5 or 6, Yz inch ; 
yellow, with black spots and streaks. 

Fairly common in Great Britain, save in the extreme 
north of Scotland, from April to September, the Grass- 

* Grass- hopper Warbler is very local in Ireland. The 
hopper underparts are very pale brown. The name 

has reference to the curiously vibrating song, 
which, like that of the reed -warbler, is often heard in 
the stillness of a summer night. Its food consists of 
insects. The nest is of grass lined with finer grasses, and 
placed near the ground. Eggs, 5, nearly y^ inch; pinky 
white, with brown spots. A second brood is reared. 

\_Savi's Warbler, which formerly bred in the eastern 
counties, has, singularly enough, not been seen in this 
country for the last forty years.] 

3. The Hedge-Sparrow. 

The Hedge-Sparrow is one of the commonest of our 
country birds. In order to emphasise its distinction from 
the true sparrows, most naturalists have j^referred to give 
it the somewhat cumbersome name of Hedge-Accentor, 
• which seems hardly necessary so long as the distinction is 
borne in mind. Another of its many aliases is " Shuffle- 
wing," by which it is widely known. The song, which is 



148 BIRDS. 

exceedingly sweet, is heard in some parts of the country 
throughout the year. I have repeatedly found this bird 
abroad in the late evening, after other small birds are 
gone to roost, though at such times it is silent. It feeds 
in summer on worms and winged insects ; in hard weather 
on seeds. The neat moss nest, a favourite with the cuckoo, 
is ready by the middle of March, if not sooner. It is 
lined with hair or feathers. Eggs, 5, 3^ inch ; spotless 
blue. Several broods are reared. 

Alpine Accentor. — A rare allied straggler from the 
South, distinguished by the white bars on the Avings. It 
has not been obtained more than about a dozen times. 

4. The Dipper or Water-Ousel. 

The attractive little Dipper, which follows every bend of 
the mountain-stream and carols forth its wild song beneath 
the very waterfall, is a familiar sight on the river-bank, 
less timid too and easier of observation than the more 
showy kingfisher, whose name it borrows in the north. 
It has been associated with the poaching of trout-eggs, but. 
Alleged apart from the fact that its feeding-grounds 
damage are often far from the "redds," where the ova 
to ova. 1 -g jj-^ -j^ their shingle hummocks, the bird 

feeds very largely on caddis and other water-insects. Let 
us therefore spare the dipper and confine our attention to 
that wholesale culprit, the swan. The dipj^er is not easily 
mistaken for any other bird, for no other, save perhaj^s the 
wagtail, is seen standing on the slippery stepping-stones, 
flirting its tail and nodding its wren-like head. Its white 
breast, too, is conspicuous at some distance, as are also the 
short round wings. The dipj^er's plunge is all but noise- 
less ; and it walks, so we are told, over the bottom with 
or against the current, and, like the water-vole, chasing 
the larva? and water-beetles. I give these particulars from 
other accounts, for, though I have watched the bird through 
glasses by the hour, I was never yet so fortunate as to 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 



149 



take up a position whence I could examine its movements 
below the surface ; nor, though we are gravely assured that 
it is so, have I ever heard its song from that submerged 
region. The dipper is a favourite with travellers and 
naturalists, and there are many charming accounts of its 
interesting ways, among the brightest of 
which are perhaps the tribute paid it by 
the author of ' Autumns on the Spey,' and the chapter 
in Muir's ' Mountains of California,' the gem of a delight- 
ful book, for my introduction to which I was indebted 
to Dr A. R. Wallace. 

The nest of the dipper, a domed structure of moss lined 



In literature. 




with dead leaves, is usually placed in some hole in the 
rocky bank near its feeding-grounds, occasionally in trees. 
^90^1 5) I inch ; pure white. Two or three broods are 
reared. 

\ Black-hellied Dipper. — A rare visitor to the eastern 
counties. It is held by many to be a race only of the 
last, and not specifically distinct. 



150 



BIRDS. 



5. The Beaeded IvEedling. 

The Bearded Eeedling, more generally known perhaps 
as the Bearded Tit, aiKl erroneously classed by many with 
the next family, is rare nowadays, confined, so far as its 
range in these islands is concerned, to the south of Eng- 
land, while its breeding is restricted to the district of 

the ISTorfolk Broads. 
There the marsh- 
men know it as the 
" reed-pheasant," in 
allusion to its great 
length of tail. The 
bird is easily distin- 
guished by its prom- 
inent whiskers, or 
"beard," which are 
black-and-white in 
the male, brown in 
the female. Its 
food consists chief- 
ly of molluscs and 
the seeds of water- 
plants. In April, 
it w^eaves its cuj)- 
shaped nest among the decayed reeds. Eggs, 5 to 7, ^ 
inch; cream-coloured, with brown lines. Though this is 
one of our resident birds, a number are suspected to cross 
and recross the Channel each year. 




6. The Tits or Titmice. 

[These active little birds are, in their movements, aptly 
compared with mice, and have no song worth the name. 
They are easily attracted to the garden in the winter 
months by a lump of suet or half a cocoa-nut suspended 
from a tree. Six residents ] two rare visitors.] 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 151 

The Long-tailed Tit, often confused with a closely allied 
Continental species that is but a rare wanderer to these 
Long-tailed islands, has the smallest body and proportion- 
"^i*- ately longest tail of the group. It is further 

distinguished through the glasses by the white on its 
crown, together with the broad white margin (and outer 
tips) of the tail. The bird occurs throughout these islands, 
and its food consists of insects and seeds. The flask-shaped 
nest, from the appearance of which the bird is widely 
knowTi by the name of "Bottle-tit," is finished, as a rule, 
by the first week in April. They had eggs in them in 
the ]^ew Forest this year (1897) on the 12th of that month. 
It is of moss, lined with feathers, and is placed in high 
bushes or in the lower forks of trees ; it is also large for 
the size of its occupant, and has but one opening. Eggs, 
7 to 12, ^2 inch; white, w^ith or (more rarely) without 
reddish spots and lines. The bird will sit close, her tail 
projecting from the opening, until the intruder is right 
upon her, when she flies off without a sound. 

Continental Long-tailed Tit. — A rare straggler from 
Northern Europe, distinguished by the absence of black 
from the head. 

The Great Tit may be distinguished from the rest by its 
superior size, the white cheeks, and the black stripe down 
the breast ; and the species is common in 
most parts of these islands. Though, like 
most of the rest, resident, strictly speaking, there is never- 
theless a large autumn arrival from the Continent, and 
probably, though less accurately recorded, a counter-de- 
parture. The note of this bird is piercing. Though its 
food consists for the most part of nuts, seeds, and insects, 
which last it digs out of the tree after the manner of 
woodpeckers, the great tit is known to attack small birds, 
and bats too for that matter, for the sake of their brains. 
In hard winters it will, with the rest of the family, ap- 
proach our dwellings for such scraps as are available. 



152 BIRDS. 

The nest, ready by the end of March, is placed in any 
convenient hole in trees or walls, or even in squirrels' 
"cages" or old crows' nests. It is of moss, lined with 
hair and feathers. Eggs, 5 to 9, ^ inch; white, with 
red spots. A second brood is reared. 

Often confused, as the long-tailed tit, with the closely 
allied grey variety from the Continent, the white cheeks 
and nape and the white bars on the wings 
serve to distinguish the Coal Tit from the 
rest. Common in parts of England and Ireland, it be- 
comes less so in northern Scotland, and exceedingly rare 
in most of the isles. A shy bird, it is mostly met with 
in the wooded margins of moors and commons. It feeds 
on seeds and insects. The nest, also in holes of trees and 
walls, or in the ground, is, though smaller, like that of 
the last. Eggs, 5 to 10, finch; white, with a few spots 
of red. 

Continental Coal Tit. — A rare visitor to the eastern 
counties. 

The best way of recognising the Marsh Tit is to know 
the rest, for in truth, beyond having their general ap- 
pearance and antics, it has very little about 
' it that calls for description. As in the long- 
tailed and coal tits, there is a distinct Continental race. 
The resident flocks, local in distribution, are augmented 
by autumn migrants, and their wanderings inland are con- 
siderable. This bird is quite unknown in many English 
districts, and is rare in Scotland and Ireland. It feeds on 
insects ; also, to a lesser extent, on seeds and fruits. Al- 
though it occasionally selects a hole ready made to its 
purpose, this bird more often excavates a hole in some 
alder in damp situations, being, unlike the woodpeckers, 
careful to remove most of the tell-tale chips from the 
ground, near which the nesting -hole is usually made. 
The nest, a careless structure, like those of most birds 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 153 

that rear their young in darkness, is ready early in ]\Iay. 
Eggs, 5 to 8, f inch ; white, with pale red spots. 

The Blue Tit is easily known by its bright blue crown, 

the feathers of which are sometimes raised, and by the 

white line on its forehead. Like the rest, 
Blue Tit. 11 .1 -^ • 

and perhaps even more than some, it is seen 

to greater advantage balancing, often head downwards, 
on some slender branch than on the wing. It appears to 
be found throughout the British Islands. Although nom- 
inally insectivorous, the blue tit will, like the rest, eat 
almost anything. The nest, a loose structure of moss and 
hair, is found early in April in holes in trees or old walls, 
more rarely in the earth. Both sexes incubate. Eggs, 6 
to 12, about ^2 inch; white, with red spots. 

Confined to the Highlands, or at any rate rarely met 
with in England, the Crested Tit has a prominent crest of 
black and white, the throat and breast also 
being of deep black. It excavates a hole in 
Scots firs near the ground or in decayed stumps, the 
nest being warmly lined with fur. Eggs, 5 to 8, § inch ; 
white, with deep red spots. 

7. The Xuthatch. 

That remarkable and interesting bird, the Nuthatch, 
fairly common in the woods of the southern counties, where 
it appears to be extending its range westward, is very rare 
in Scotland, and unknown in Ireland. It cannot easily 
be mistaken for any other bird, for when running uj) and 
down and around the trunk of some beech in search of 
food, it looks rather like a large brown mouse, while the 
reddish sides of the underparts and the white bars on the 
tail are enough to distinguish it from other birds — the 
w^oodpeckers, for instance, or the tree-creeper — likely to be 
found in such situations. It is one of the most pugnacious 
of forest birds. 



154 



BIRDS. 



The- food of tlie iiiitliatch is varied, consisting of grubs, 
beecli-niast, nuts, and the like. The nuts are Avedged in 
(i fork and hammered witli the bill until the 
feediuo- ^^^^^ breaks, a proceeding I have witnessed 
many a time in the Xew Forest and else- 
where ; and the bird throws its whole force into each blow. 

Now and attain an 
unusually refractory 
nut is seized in the 
bill and dashed re- 
peatedly against the 
trunk. 

Perhaps, however, 
the most interesting 
habit of this bird 
is to be found in 
its notions of archi- 
tecture. It is, Jin 
fact, a compromise 
between the wood- 
pecker that excavates its own nesting-hole and the lazier 
starling that appropriates one ready made. For the nut- 
hatch, though not taking the trouble to hew 
the w^ood, casts about until it lights on a hole 
that will serve its purpose, and then proceeds 
to effect improvements in the front-door, which it plasters 
with mud and stones until only just wide enough to admit 
its body. The object of this has not been, so far as I 
know, ascertained ; if it be done with the idea of making 
the smaller hole less conspicuous, Ave have here one of the 
instances in Avliich bird-instinct is at fault. The " nest " 
consists for the most part of such bark and rubbish as 
may be within the hole. Br/r/s, 5 to 8, 3^ inch ; Avhite, 
with brown blotches. 




Nesting- 
hole. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 155 



8. The Wrex. 



The Wren is commonly distributed over these islands. 
The name of this little bird is, in most European languages, 
significant of royalty, and tradition has linked its name 
with that equally quarrelsome bird the robin, like which it 
utters its somewhat monotonous note throughout the year. 
Though more thickset, it is of about the same size as the 
goldcrest, from which it is at once distinguished by the 
white line over the eye and the absence of crest. It also 
carries its square tail erect, while that of the other bird usu- 
ally droops. The food of the wren consists of insects when 
available, of autumn fruits and seeds in winter. The nest, 
built in April, is a bulky domed structure of moss and dead 
leaves lined with feathers. Few birds desert 
their nest more readily, though some of the 
tales of wrens doing this whenever the nest is 
touched recjuire confirmation. In consequence, a number 
of finished nests, some without the final lining of feathers, 
are found throughout the summer, for which various rea- 
sons have been offered, among others that they serve as 
domiciles for the male birds. These are, however, mere 
suppositions. Similar spare nests, it may be noted, are 
recorded of the squirrel and swan. In the ordinary course 
the wren shows some aptitude for suiting the colour and 
material of its home to its surroundings ; but I found 
(1886) in Baldwyn's Park, Dartford Heath, a number of 
exceptions to this in the shape of nests of dead yellow 
fern reposing in low green bushes. E[igSj 5 to 9, f inch ; 
glossy white, with red spots at the larger end. A second 
brood is reared. 

St Kilda A species, sub-species, or race, found only 
Wren. on the island of that name. It is slightly 
larger than the common type. 



156 



BIRDS. 



9. The Creepers. 

The little Tree-Creeper is usually seen running zigzag 
up the trunks of trees, against which press the twelve 
Tree- stiff tail-feathers. By these, as well as by the 

Creeper, white spots and bars on the back and wings, 
it may easily be recognised. It never descends trees like 
the nuthatch, but having reached the top of the bare 
trunk, flies off to the base of a neighbouring tree. The 
long curved bill assists it in its search for grubs, of which 

its entire food con- 
sists. The only 
pretence to song 
is a twitter. The 
nest, laced be- 
tween the trunk 
and some loose 
portion of the 
bark, is ready ear- 
ly in May. Curi- 
ously enough, it is 
attached, as a rule, 
to the loose bark, 
though I have 
more than once 
found it fast to 
the trunk. It con- 
sists of straw and bark lined with feathers. Eggs, 6 or 8, 
I inch ; white, with reddish spots at the larger end. The 
distribution of this bird varies in successive years. In 
1886, for instance, I found seven nests within a mile of 
Dartford Heath ; but T do not know of one taken in that 
immediate neighbourhood in either 1887 or 1888. 

Wall-Creeper. — A rare straggler from Southern Europe. 
I knew of eggs in three nests in a crumbled wall outside 
Pisa (1891), and the old birds used to feed on the large 




K 







'^ v^Ji- 



'\. ' ''X^^-^*^ 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 157 

spiders that abound in every ruin in Tuscany. The wings 
are conspicuously marked with crimson. 

lo. The Wagtails and Pipits. 

[These birds nest on the ground, often near water, and 
feed on insects. It is hard, in dealing with this group, 
to distinguish the residents and migrants. Three (par- 
tially migratory) residents ; three regular visitors, six 
irregular visitors.] 

Though many stay throughout the year, it is more satis- 
factory to regard the Pied Wagtail as a summer migrant. 
*Pied Known in many parts as the " water- w^agtail," 

"Wagtail, this bird is widely distributed over these 
islands, where it is often seen in much the same situations 
as those affected by the dipper, though commonly found in 
gardens far from water. Its call-note is loud and sharp. 
It does not plunge, but trips among the shallows, seizing 
aquatic insects from the water. By no means an excep- 
tionally shy bird, this wagtail is easily stalked with bin- 
oculars so long as the observer keeps moving, but a 
moment's halt is sufficient to rouse its suspicions, and 
aw^ay it goes, its undulating flight clearing the crests of 
imaginary waves. It is a black-and-white bird, with white 
face. 

Besides aquatic insects and molluscs, it is said to feed 
on glowworms. 

The nest, large for a bird of its size but withal neat, is 
built in April in the bank of its favourite water or in a 
stump hard by. It is of moss or soft grasses, lined wdth 
hair and feathers. In suitable localities many nest in close 
proximity, and I knew of five nests, all with young birds, 
within 50 yards of a bend in the little stream that runs 
through Buckland, behind Dover. A nest of the pied 
wagtail was found this summer (1897) in a truck of coal 
that had just arrived at Poole from the north country. It 



158 



BIRDS. 



contained four eggs, three of Avliicli were broken. E(j(js, 
4 or 5, I incli ; dirty Avhite, Avitli faint grey spots. 

The AVhite Wagtail, a rare visitor from Northern 

*"WTiite Europe, is scarce in Scotland, still more so 

"Wagtail, jj^ Ireland. But for the white shoulders of 

the present species, it might easily be confused with the 




T J 



last. It has bred in several counties near the Thames. 
The tyi^ical nest and eggs closely resemble those of the 
last. 



The Grey Wagtail is essentially the wagtail of Devon 
and Cornwall, and, though it has bred in almost every 
Grey county in these islands, its occurrences in the 

"Wagtail. «outh-east are comparatively rare, as also in 
many parts of Scotland and Ireland. Its habits and food 
are those of the rest, save that it is more often seen seeking 
its insect food in trees. It is recognised by the white lines 
round the eyes, by the pale shade of the legs and feet, 
which in other wagtails are black, by the pale blue of the 
back, black throat, and yellow breast. The nest, built in 



THE PERCHING BIEDS. 159 

April in the steep banks of swift streams, is of grass and 
roots lined with hair. Eggs, 5, ^ inch ; dirty white, with 
pale-brown spots and sometimes a few black lines. 

A spring and summer visitor to our east coast, the Blue- 
headed "Wagtail is distinguished by the blue tint of the 
* Blue- head and a white streak over the eye. Besides 

headed this, there is a race, of far rarer occurrence, 
lacking the characteristic eye - streak. This 
bird ajjpears to find the immediate presence of water less 
indispensable, as its nest is not seldom found in corn-fields 
at some distance from any river. The nest, not ready 
until the middle of May, and placed on the ground, is of 
fine grasses lined mth hair or feathers, or both. Eggs, 5, 
3^ inch ; yellowish, with pale spots and black lines, the 
latter often absent. 

Mostly \sAi\\ us from April to September, not a few 
Yellow Wagtails remain through mild Avinters. In the 
"^YeHow Highlands and Ireland this species is rare. 
^Wagtail. The eye-streak is yellow, and there is a good 
deal of yellow in the under-plumage generally, while the 
prevalent shade of the back is green. Its food consisting 
chiefly of molluscs and insects, there seems little reason 
for the name "Seed-bird," by which it is widely known, 
unless it is that the bird, which often chases insects near 
the droppings of cattle, is supposed to be feeding on the 
undigested seed. The nest, commenced almost immedi- 
ately on arrival in April, is placed on the ground, and is 
of fine grasses lined with feathers and hair. Eggs, like 
those of the preceding in number and size, and differing 
little in appearance. 

The Tree-Pipit arrives from the Continent in April, and 
leaves these islands about the end of September. It breeds 
in most English counties, but is very scarce in Wales and 



160 BIRDS. 

the Highlands, and quite unknown in Ireland. On Octo- 
ber 2, 1892, I saw flocks of these birds, with other small 

* Tree- birds, on the cliffs east of Dover. Like many 
Pipit. migrants, the tree-pipit is exceedingly caprici- 
ous in its change of breeding-area. Thus I did not find 
a single nest near Dartford Heath in either 1886 or 1888, 
whereas in the intervening summer I took no fewer than 
seven. The meadow-pipit, on the other hand, was plenti- 
ful in 1888, but I found one nest only, and that deserted, 
in 1886. These details seem almost too trivial to insert 
without apology ; but I cannot help thinking that the 
laws of migration might, for the summer visitors at any 
rate, be worked out more satisfactorily by carefully com- 
piled records of the nests in each season than by the more 
rough-and-ready method of powder and shot. 

The tree-pipit is, even after its partial spring moult, no 
striking bird, the long tail suggesting, especially when the 
bird is on the wing, the appearance of a lark, an impression 
strengthened by the habit of trilling while in the air. It 
feeds on insects and seeds, and, according to Dixon, on 
wheat. The nest, built on arrival, is placed on the ground. 
It is of grass lined with fine grass and hair. Sometimes 
it is in a shallow depression smoothed by the birds. Er/gs, 
6, about 4 inch ; dull blue or grey, spotted all over with 
brown. I found one year two clutches with a zone of 
spots round the larger end only, and two cloudy blotches 
near the centre. 

A partly resident, partly migratory pipit, the ]\Ieadov>'- 
Pipit is often spoken of as restricted and local in its dis- 
Meadow- tribution, though I have taken its eggs near 
Pipit. Bexley, Dover, Richmond, and Bournemouth. 

It is widely known as the "Titlark," and is characterised 
by a peculiar smell. Its distinguishing marks are a white 
line over the eye and some light spots or patches on the 
tail. Its food consists of insects, snails, and seeds. The 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 161 

nest, found on the ground early in April, is usually not far 
from water of some kind, if only a pond, and is large and 
deep, of grass lined with bents and roots. Eggs, 5, 4 inch ; 
grey, "wdth brown spots and lines. I took in one year seven 
eggs of the cuckoo out of the nests of these birds, and 
indeed the vagrant must find it j)laced more conveniently 
than most. 

Med-throated Pipit. — A rare straggler from Northern 
Europe, which has occurred twice in Sussex and Kent. 

Taivny Fipit. — A rare straggler, mostly to the Sussex 
coast, on autumn migration. 

Richard's Pipit. — An irregular autumn straggler to this 
country and Scotland, distinguished by the great length of 
its hind-claw. 

Water-Pipit. — A rare straggler to the Sussex coast, on 
which four examples have been taken. 

Resident on all our rocky coasts, the little Eock-Pipit 
may be seen, especially down in Cornwall, tripping over 
Kock- the decayed seaw^eed in search of insects 
Pipit. a^jj(j molluscs. It is a sober-coloured creature, 
lightest on the breast. The hind-claw is long and curved. 
Two races are known, of which the lighter-hued northern 
form is by many authorities regarded as sj)ecifically dis- 
tinct. On the flat east coast the bird does not breed, and 
is rare even on winter migration. The nest, of seaweed 
or cliff grasses, and lined with soft bents or feathers, is 
placed among the rocks Two broods are, as a rule, 
produced. Eggs, 5, i inch ; greyish white, with red- 
brown spots. 



162 



BIRDS. 



II. The Golden Oriole. 

The male of the rare and beautiful Golden Oriole that 
visits us from the Continent is conspicuous by reason of 
his bright yellow plumage and black wings and tail. The 
oriole's food consists of insects, and it makes occasional 
taids on the orchard. It has bred in Surrey, Kent, and 




the Fen Country, and occurs annually in the south-west, 
but appears not to breed there. It might j^robably do so 
if less molested by the collector and his emissaries. The 
deep cup-shaped nest, cunningly made of fine grass and 
strips of bark, is suspended in trees, ^i/i/s, 4 or 5, rather 
over I inch ; white, with reddish blotches. 



12. The Shrikes. 

[Carnivorous and insectivorous birds. Two regular and 
two irregular visitors.] 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 



163 



. With us every winter, a few Great Grey Shrikes have 
stayed the summer, but not to breed. In Ireland the 
t Great Grey species is very rare, and it aj^pears not to 
Shrike. have reached the Hebrides. The shrikes are, 
as a group, easily distinguished by the hooked bill, their 
neighbourhood being betrayed by the small birds, frogs, 
lizards, and chafers spiked on the thorns near their 
favourite feeding - perch. The present species has an 
inconspicuous white line over the eye and two white 
bars on the wings, besides which the white of the under- 
parts is purer than in the rest. 

tPaUas's ^ race, distinguished by having but one 
Shrike. ^^^ ^^ t^® wings. 

Lesser Grey Shrike. — A rare straggler from Central 
Europe, which has reached these islands but four times. 

The Red-backed Shrike is common from May to August 

south of the Thames, but increasingly rare farther north 

__ , and in Ireland. A smaller bird than the rest, 

*Ilea- ...... ' 

backed it IS distinguished, apart from the fact that 
Shrike. \^ ^g ^j^g Q^^\y gi^rike known to breed in these 
islands, by its 
red-and-grey plum- 
age. A nearly 
white variety from 
Essex was recent- 
ly recorded in 
the 'Field.' It 
has the family hab- 
it of impaling its 
victims on thorns ; 
but, singularly 
enough, though I 
have watched them 
by the hour in my garden at Bexley, where they used to 
arrive late in May, and through strong glasses, I never 




164 BIRDS. 

once saw this done, the birds merely leaving their perch, 
after the fashion of the flycatchers, darting after some 
large winged insect and returning to the j^erch, upon 
which the genial couple would, so far as I could see, fight 
vigorously over the prize. Sir H. Maxwell tells me, how- 
ever, that in 1895 he watched a pair in a chalk-pit near 
Winchester impale a young mouse. The harsh chatter of 
these "butcher-birds," varied by an occasional note of 
purer quality from the male, was heard continually to 
the middle of July, after which, up to their departure, 
they were com^jaratively silent. The nest, a large and 
clumsy structure of moss, hairs, and feathers, is placed, 
7 or 8 feet from the ground, in a thorn -hedge. Eggs, 
6, I inch ; greenish grey, with brown and purple spots 
at the larger end. 

Woodchat. — A rare visitor from the South to most Eng- 
lish counties, but not to Scotland or Ireland. Under 
forty occurrences have been recorded, but there appears to 
have been some slight evidence of the bird having bred 
in the Isle of Wight. The breast is yellowish, the crown 
reddish-brown, and there is a conspicuous white line before 
the eye. The woodchat has the hooked bill of all the 
shrikes. 

13. tTHE Waxwing. 

Of that gay visitor from the North, the Waxwing, 
occurrences are recorded — alas ! through the medium of 
the gun — almost every winter ; so that, in spite of one or 
two blank seasons, it seems fair to regard it as a regular 
visitor, especially to the north-east portion of Great Britain. 
In Ireland it rarely occurs, nor has it, curiously enough, 
been recorded from the Hebrides. Its distinguishing points 
are the brown crest ' and the black round the eyes. The 
general colour is reddish brown, and the wings (hence the 
name) are curiously tipped with bright red the colour, of 
sealing-wax. The end of the tail is yellow. It feeds on 
insects. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 165 



14. The Flycatchers. 

The Spotted Flycatcher is an inconspicuous bird with 
spotted white breast and the characteristic bristles at the 
* Spotted base of the bill. From May to September, its 
Flycatcher, range seems to extend throughout these islands. 
It has been known to breed, according to Mr Harting and 
others, in London parks. The insects on which it feeds 
are captured on the wing and, after the style of the shrikes, 
devoured on the perch. The nest, a compact structure of 
moss, grass, and hair, sometimes lined with feathers, is 
placed in holes in trees, or in more exposed situations, as, 
for instance, in wall plum-trees or on beams ; and the bird 
is known to return, like the nightingale and swallow, to its 
old nesting-haunts, and also to avail itself of the old nests 
of other birds. Eggs, 5, ^ inch; greenish white, with red 
and purple spots. 

With us from April to September, the Pied Flycatcher 

breeds mostly in the northern counties, less in Scotland, and 

* Pied Fly- ^^^^ ^'^^^J occasionally found its way to Ireland. 

catcher. The back and legs are black, breast and fore- 
head white. This bird feeds almost entirely on winged 
insects, but it captures them by preference on the ground 
or amid the branches. It has a more powerful and pleasing 
song than the last. The nest, similar though less comi3act, 
is found in holes in trees. Eggs, 5 to 9, over f inch ; pale 
blue, sometimes speckled with brown. 

Redhreasted Flycatcher. — A small and rare winter 
straggler that has occurred but nine times, chiefly in the 
south-west. 

15. *The Swallow and Martins. 

[The three birds that come under this group (the swift, 
popularly associated with them, is not even remotely con- 
nected, belonging, indeed, to a different order) are all 



166 BIRDS. 

summer visitors from the South, whither they duly return 
at the end of summer, often, in their fear of being left 
behind, leaving a late brood to die of starvation. They 
have no very sustained song, though a low sweet twittering 
is heard in the breeding season.] 

Common throughout England and Wales from April to 
October, the Swallow is rare in the northern Highlands 
and west of Ireland. A notion was formerly 
current to the effect that these birds, instead 
of migrating, passed the winter at the bottom of lakes and 
j)onds, reappearing in early spring. In the present year 
(1897) a gentleman wrote to the papers announcing an 
early swallow (March 26), and hinting at the possibility of 
the bird having wintered in the neighbourhood, though it 
is fair to add that no allusion was made to the local pond. 
The swallow is easily distinguished from the swift and 
martins, in whose company it flies, by its reddish throat 
and deeply forked green tail. There are also metallic 
reflections in the plumage that differ from those in the 
house-martin. Its food consists largely of gnats, which 
it chases early and late, catching them, eating them, and 
digesting them during its rapid flight. Few birds take less 
rest, and when the swallow does alight on the ground, which 
it does rather more often than some imaginative chroniclers 
would have us believe, it must be admitted that its move- 
ments sadly lack that grace that it exhibits on the wing. 
One cannot have everything ; and these birds, so symbolic 
of the poetry of motion in the air, are little better than 
geese on the ground. The flight, however, is unique ; and 
it has been known to cover over 120 miles in an hour. Its 
favourite perch seems to be the telegraph wire; indeed 
one wonders what swallows did before the introduction of 
this useful but unsightly feature in the landscape. The 
fact is, that on a perch of that kind the short legs and 
long wings do not jilace the bird at so great a disadvantage 
as elsewhere. The deeply forked tail must, to judge from 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 167 

the marvellous turns, be a wonderfully efficient steering 
gear. The swallow commences building its remarkable 
nest under the eaves of houses on arrival. Mud, its prin- 
cipal ingredient, is incorporated with hair and grass, and 
the familiar nest is lined with soft grasses or feathers, 
and has a single opening above. When black clay is used, 
such a nest will last for years. The bird has also, though 
rarely, been known to nest in trees and on the sea-cliffs ; 
and it has been shown, by the simple expedient of mark- 
ing them, that these birds will return year after year to 
the same nest. Eggs, 5 or 6, i inch ; white, speckled and 
spotted with brown. A second — some say even a third — 
brood is reared. 

The Martin is another of the birds spared by schoolboys, 
not wholly, let us hope, because its rapid flight renders it 

^ . particularly difficult to shoot. It arrives soon 

after the first swallows, leaving again early in 
October, and is a sociable bird. Its food consists entirely 
of insects, which it chases, with flight somewhat inferior 
to that of the swallow, high and low. The notion that 
these birds act as barometers, forecasting fine weather 
when they hawk at a height, and vice versa, is no fanciful 
one, the explanation being that their insect prey flies close 
to the ground Avhen the glass is low. In Euro^^e this bird 
is little persecuted by man, but Michelet gives an instance 
in which its virtual extermination in the Isle de Bourbon 
brought down on the farmers a plague of grasshoppers 
that went near to ruin them. I do not, of course, vouch 
for the truth of his statement. 

The martin nests in the eaves of houses and in steeples, 
its nest differing from that of the swallow in its rougher 
surface and in the position of the opening, which is here 
at the side. The bird itself is distinguished from the 
swallow by the slighter forking of the tail, the white 
throat, and the white feathers on the legs and feet. Eggs, 
5, I inch ; pure white. Like the swallow, this bird rears 



168 BIRDS. 

at least two broods, and returns to its old quarters year 
after year. 

So called from its habit of nesting in colonies in sand- 
stone cliffs, the Sand-martin differs from the larger species 
* Sand- in having a smaller patch of feathers on the 
martin, legs and none on its feet. The back is much 
lighter in hue than in the swallow or martin. Like the 
rest, it feeds entirely on insects, in catching which it is 
said to receive assistance from a thick secretion within the 
mouth. Its nest, a careless mass of grass and feathers, 
is placed at the widened end of a tunnel which the birds 
excavate, claws and bill uniting in the work, to a depth 
of a couple of feet in the face of some sandstone or other 
cliff. The burrow slopes upwards, so that the overhead 
drainage has no chance of damaging the eggs or young, 
and is invariably swarming with small vermin. Eggs, 5 
or 6, ^ inch; pure white. 

16. The Finches. 

[This large and important group of hard-billed birds has 
several subdivisions (given more accurately on p. 11 6), the 
chief being the Finches proper and the Buntings. The 
former include, besides the common sparrow, a number of 
favourite cage-birds. At the same time, it would be unfair 
to weaken the case of a few more deserving birds of other 
groups by denying that the greater number of them would 
have some difficulty, during a part of the year at any 
rate, in posing as friends of the farmer. Fifteen resi- 
dents ; four regular, and ten irregular and rare, visitors.] 

The Greenfinch (extending its range in Scotland, but 

not in the isles) is known by the yellow stripe over the 

eye and the yellow on the wings and tail, 

the extremities of which are almost black. 

From its prevailing colour it is also known as the " Green 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 169 

Linnet." Its food consists of grain and seeds. The song 
is tuneful, but not of any great power. It has a habit, 
not generally noted, of roosting in ivy. The nest, built 
about the second week of April, is placed in high hedges, 
and is of twigs and wool lined with hair. Eggs, 5 or 6, 
4 inch ; w^th reddish spots. Two broods are reared. 



A larger bird than the last, the Hawfinch is recognised 
by its powerful short bill, as well as by the black markings 
on the face and throat, the reddish feathers 
on the crown, and the white in the tail. It 
breeds in the counties round London, less frequently 
farther north, and never in Wales, Scotland, or Ireland, 
in all of which it occurs in winter only. Besides seeds 
and berries, particularly those of the yew and hornbeam, 
it is partial to the stones of fruits, which it easily cracks 
with its sturdy bill. The nest, not of any great depth, 
is of twigs and roots, lined sparingly with hair. Eggs, 
5, I inch ; greenish, with black spots and lines. 

The beautiful Goldfinch, unmistakable by reason of the 
bright red on its face and throat, the yellow on the wings, 

and the black on the crown, is, as the result 
Goldfinch. « ,. , . tj. r i 

of persecution, becoming rarer. Its lood con- 
sists largely of thistle-seeds and groundsel, and its song 
is very pure. The slight nest, of moss lined with wool 
and feathers, is found in May, orchards being a favourite 
situation. Eggs, 4 or 5, rather over ?- inch; bluish white, 
with red spots. There is a second brood. 

Breeding regularly amid the dense plantations of Scots 
firs, as well as in Cumberland and sparingly in the eastern 
counties of Ireland, the Siskin nests but rarely 
in the southern half of this country, where it 
is seen mostly in winter. It may be recognised by the 
black chin and crown, and the yellow stripe behind the 
eye. Its white breast is streaked with black. The nest 



170 BIRDS. 

is not unlike that of the last, and the eggs, somewhat 
smaller, are of a more pronounced blue. 

Serin. — A rare straggler from the South. It has occurred 
about a dozen times in England and once in Ireland. 

The House- Sparrow resides in most countries of the 

civilised world, and where nature had mercifully omitted 

it from the programme, as, for instance, in 

parro . ^^g|-j,^jjg^ g^j-^(j New Zealand, man had the 

good sense to introduce it and temper the pleasures of 
colonising to an extent which the present generation 
has no difficulty in recognising, and for which it duly 
respects the judgment of the pioneers. Nature is often 
best left alone, and this introduction of the 
Artificial sparrow into continents in which nature had 

introduction. ^ . , , r^ • , ^ ^ 

provided no emcient check, was even more 
culpable than the other extreme of exterminating it in 
others where it may have had its sphere of usefulness in 
the scheme. Not only is it a scavenger which some teem- 
ing cities could ill spare, but it may at times be of use even 
in ao-ricultural districts where the conditions would, with- 
out it, be favourable for the undesirable multiplication of 
insect life. At the same time, it may possibly keep away 
other preferable fowl. It is an old story, but an instruc- 
tive one, how Frederick the Great once offered a reward of 

one halfpenny a head for dead sparrows, a bait 
.* to be considered in so poor a country as his ; 
but the orchards were ere long overrun with grubs, and 
the great one had to own his error, and to take the bird 
under his own royal protection. On another occasion, 
the Hungarians exterminated the bird, which their Gov- 
ernment had to restore at a cost of thousands of pounds. 
And it is within the memory of the present generation 
in Ireland how the sparrow mercifully came on the scene 
thirty years ago and put an end to the plague of cock- 
chafers. 

Without, however, going to either extreme, a moderate 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 171 

policy should be found productive of good results, the 
birds being neither unduly encouraged nor ruthlessly 
exterminated, but judiciously kept under. It must not 
be forgotten that, although the grown bird has little 
fancy for anything but grain and fruit, the food of the 
young consists entirely of caterpillars and all manner of 
noxious grubs ; so that, without perhaps making up for 
the very considerable damage they do during the rest of 
the year, there are yet several months of parenthood in 
which the sparrows render not unimportant services by 
way of reparation. The means of keeping them under are 
various, much work being done in this direction by the 
organisations known as " sparrow-clubs " ; and if these 
crusaders confined their attentions to the heads of the 
infidel only, they would be less to blame than is the case, 
for they also destroy numbers of other interesting and 
harmless birds. These notes will have gone to press 
before the appearance of Miss Carrington's promised pam- 
phlet, but we have heard much said on both sides of the 
question. The domestic cat is another valuable agent in 
the sparrow death-rate, preferring its oily flesh to that 
of any other wild bird. The sparrow is, as already men- 
tioned, essentially the companion of man and the bird of 
cultivation ; and the only portions of these islands in which 
it does not occur are a few wilds as yet untouched by 
the ploughshare. Description of so familiar a bird seems 
superfluous, although the smoke of cities often obscures 
the distinctive bluish crown, black chin, and light brown 
chest. Its favourite nesting-place is in the roofs of our 
dwellings, and too often in some drain -pipe, which its 
nest chokes, with unpleasant consequences. It also nests, 
usually in solitary pairs, in holes in trees, and I have 
found its nest in the hen-house, close to the sitting hens. 
Swallows' nests under the eaves are also approjDriated for 
the later broods. I have also taken the nest in trees, 
but never in company with the tree-sparrow, though the 
latter was breeding in neighbouring trees. The nest 



172 BIRDS. 

when in trees is far more elaborate and better finished 
than the heap of noisome rubbish that contents the birds 
that nest in house-tops. On one occasion in Hampshire, I 
found a nest with four young in the deserted " cage " of 
a squirrel. 

^99^1 5 or 6, nearly i inch ; very variable, but generally 
greyish white, with few or many brown spots, though I 
had some in my collection without spots. The shape is 
also subject to variation, and I have taken them of elon- 
gated form like those of the swallow, or perfectly round 
like some of the robin's. Two or three broods are reared. 

The sparrow is an interesting bird in spite of, perhaps 
by reason of, its power for evil. Not the least difficulty 
in the way of its repression is its remarkable indifi'er- 
ence to extremes of temperature, and I have found it 
equally impudent and pugnacious in the midday heat of 
a Queensland October and the short grey dawn of a Baltic 
Christmas. 

Common in the south of England, less so as we go 
north, and unknown in the Orkneys and, according to 
Tree- report, over the greater part of Ireland, the 

sparrow. Tree-Sparrow is distinguished from the more 
familiar bird by the bars on the wings, the black patch on 
the cheek, and the lighter hue of the legs and feet. The 
nest of this bird is by no means found only in trees, for 
it is also known to nest in the roof of thatched cottages, 
and I have myself taken the eggs from nests in old 
barns. It is more compact than that of the other, but 
also consists of grass and feathers. Egys, 4 to 6, ^ 
inch ; white, with brown sj^ots, and, in most clutches, 
one with fewer spots than the rest, known as the " odd " 
egg, and often infertile. Several broods are reared. 

The Chaffinch, considerable numbers of which cross 
and recross the Channel, appears to breed throughout 
these islands, save in the Shetlands. It is a most attrac- 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 



173 



tive type, easily distinguished by the white tail-feathers, 

the yellow in the wings, and the reddish breast ; and the 

somewhat harsh call-note of the male is occa- 
Chaffinch, . ,, • i i • i ,i , 

sionally varied by a more musical outburst. 

The food of the 
chaffinch consists 
largely of grubs 
and winged insects, 
though it certainly 
does some damage 
among imj)erfect- 
ly protected newly 
sown seed. The 
nest, one of the 
most compact and 
beautiful of those 
found in this coun- 
try, is of moss 
lined with hair and down, and is usually placed in orchard- 
trees at a height of 4 or 5 feet. Eggs^ 5, | inch ; greenish, 
with purple spots and smears. An unspotted variety of 
the Qgg is also known, but I never found one. A second 
brood is reared in June. 




tBrambling. 



Now a regular winter visitor to parts of Scotland, and 
an occasional wanderer to almost every county in England 
and Ireland, the Brambling was once found 
breeding in Perthshire. It is also known 
as the Mountain Finch. The breast is of reddish hue, 
and there is some yellow about the Mdngs. 

The Linnet, or " Untie," is a common resident in these 
islands, except in the north of Scotland, where it is rare, 
and the Shetlands, where it seems to be un- 
known. As the sparrow is a bird of cultiva- 
tion, so is this a bird of waste ground. Not a very 
handsome species, the male has just sufficient red in his 



174 BIRDS. 

crown to make him, especially wlieii the tail grows its 
white edges, at least attractive, while the song is superior 
to that of any other member of the group. For this 
reason the linnet is a favourite cage-bird, and it must 
be admitted that few take more kindly to captivity, only 
it would be well if folks who keep these little prisoners 
could only bear in mind that they have the greatest 
objection to being exposed the livelong day to the full 
glare of the sun. At best, the surroundings of captive 
birds are the most hopeless parody of natural conditions, 
but a very slight attention to detail of this nature may 
ffo far to minimise their discomfort. The food of the 
linnet consists largely of oily seeds, also charlock, with 
some berries in autumn. Its nest of twigs and moss, 
lined with wool and hair, sometimes feathers, is found 
by the middle of April in trees and bushes surrounding 
commons and other open land. Eggs, 4 to 6, ^ inch; dirty 
white, mth a belt of brown sj^ots around the larger end. 

The Mealy Kedpoll is a winter visitor to Scotland, less 
often met with in England, and only twice recorded from 
t Mealy Ireland. The breast is reddish, striped with 
Kedpoll. l^rown, the forehead is crimson, the throat 
black, and there is some white in the wings. A larger 
race, regarded by Dr Sharpe as a sub-species, has been 
taken twice in Norfolk. 

The Lesser Redpoll, the smallest British member of the 
family, is a resident in most parts, but becomes local in 
Lesser the breeding-season, absenting itself from the 
Kedpoll. south-west and from parts of Scotland. In 
the home counties it breeds regularly. It is a smaller 
and darker bird than the last, and lacks the white mark- 
ings on the wings. Dr Sharpe recognises a sub-species 
in the larger Greenland straggler, one occurrence of which 
was recorded many years ago in Northumberland. It feeds 
on seeds. The nest, placed at no great height in bushes and 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 175 

small trees, is of twigs and grass, with a soft downy lining. 
Eggs^ 4 to 6, I" inch ; bluish grey, with brown sj)ots. 

Living in the hills and mountains of the north, and 
more especially in Scotland and Ireland, visiting the 

lowlands and southern counties in winter, the 
Twite. . . . . 

Tmte is a duller bird than the foregoing, hav- 
ing little or no red about its plumage, save on the rumjD. 
The food of the " Mountain Linnet," as it is also called, con- 
sists largely of seeds, as does indeed that of all the group. 
It nests in May in low bushes, or close to the ground in 
tufts, often near the sea-shore, and the nest is of grass, 
with a soft lining. Eggs, 3 to 6, 3^ inch ; greenish, with 
red spots and lines. 

The Bullfinch is widely distributed over the British 
Islands, and is continually extending its range in Scotland 
and Ireland, in parts of which, especially on 
the islands, it was, up to a lew years ago, 
almost unknown. The bird is a favourite both on account 
of its handsome plumage and for those imitative faculties 
that atone for any weakness in its tuneful song. The 
bullfinch has a glossy black head, red throat and breast, 
while the rump, as well as some feathers in the tail and 
wings, are white. The female is, both in voice and ajjpear- 
ance, an improvement upon most of her sex in the bird 
world. The food of the bird consists of insects in the 
warm months, supplemented by fruit and buds, as well 
as by the seeds of various weeds. The nest, a shallow 
platform of twigs, which, but for its spare lining of hair 
and roots, would be a miniature of that of the ring- 
dove, is j)laced about 5 feet or more from the ground 
in bushes in the midst of woods. Eggs, 4 to 6, ^ inch ; 
pale blue, with a belt of reddish spots at the larger end. 
A larger race, or sub - species, a rare wanderer from 
Scandinavia, has been obtained in Yorkshire. 

Scarlet Grosbeak, the " Rosy Bullfinch " of some author- 



176 



BIEDS. 



ities, is a rare straggler from the Xortli, and has occurred 
bilt twice in England — in Sussex and Middlesex. 

Pine Grosheak. — An exceedingly rare straggler from the 
far North, the validity of even the few that have reached 
these islands being questioned. 

A local resident, though more commonly seen in winter, 
the Crossbill is distinguished from every other British 




Crossbill. 



bird, excei:)t its rare congener, by the scissors-like bill, the 
mandibles of which cross at the tip. Its j^lumage is dull 
crimson. It breeds regularly in some Scottish 
l)ine - forests, but its breeding in England 
and Ireland is exceedingly irregular. Crossbills were 
unusually plentiful in Shropshire during the winter 
1894-95.^ The food of. this bird consists of the seeds 
of the fir, spruce," larch, and kindred trees, its bill being 

A Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Clulj ' Record,' 1895. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 177 

admirably adapted for extracting them from their hard 
covering. The " Parrot Crossbill," a larger race A\ith 
stouter bill, has wandered to Great Britain and Ireland at 
long intervals. The nest, ready by the end of February, is 
of twigs lined with grass, and is placed among the boughs 
of fir-trees. Eggs^ 4, nearly i inch ; grey, T\ith red S23ots. 
Two-barred Crossbill. — A rare straggler from the north 
of Europe, a slightly different American race having also 
occurred 'but a few times. In the winter of 1894-95, one 
was killed in Somersetshire and another near Enuiskillen. 
There are two white bands on the mngs. 

Blaclc-lieaded Bunting. — A rare straggler from Southern 
Europe, which has occurred three times. 

The Corn-Bunting, or " Bunting Lark," as it is often 
called, is widely distributed throughout the British Islands, 

Corn- though little known in many districts, especially 

bunting. \^ Ireland. The breast of this bird is yellowish 
white, with brown spots, and there is a not very distinct 
whitish line over the eye. The food of the corn-bunting 
consists of insects and grain, chiefly, it is to be feared, the 
latter ; though there is compensation in the fact that when 
fattened on this diet it is, like its still better relative the 
ortolan, excellent eating. The nest, placed on the ground, 
is of grass and straw lined with hair. It is built late in 
May. Eggs.^ 4 or 5, -i inch ; greenish white, with purple 
and brown spots and streaks. 

The Yellow-" Hammer " nests throughout these islands, 
save in the Shetlands. This bird is the handsomest of the 
Yellow- buntings, and may be at once recognised by 
Hammer, ^-j^g bright yellow of its head and breast. The 
crown is spotted. It feeds on insects, berries, and seeds. 
The nest is usually on or near the ground, but I have 
taken it in bushes quite 2 feet above it. It is of grass 
lined with hair. Eggs^ 4 or 5, -i inch ; brownish white, wdth 
curious violet or purple scribblings (hence "Writing Lark "). 



178 BIRDS. 

The Cirl Bunting, distinguislied by the yellow collar, 
black throat, and yellow lines round the eye, breeds south 
Cirl of the Thames, but is a straggler only to Scot- 

Bunting, lo^n^ and Wales, and is unknown in Ireland. 
It feeds on grain. The nest is not unlike that of the last, 
but is placed a trifle higher. BgffSj 4 or 5, i inch ; greyish, 
with very dark markings. 

Ortolan. — An irregular visitor on migration to the south 
of England, twice recorded from Scotland, and once from 
Ireland. 

Hustle Bunting. — A rare straggler from Northern 
Europe, which has been recorded only three times. 

Little Bunting. — A rare straggler from Northern 
Europe, recorded once. 

A common resident, breeding everyw^here in the British 
Islands except in the Shetlands, the Reed-bunting is dis- 
tinguished by its black head and throat and 
bunting white breast and collar. It is also known as 
the "reed -sparrow"; while in some parts it 
goes by the name of "Black-headed bunting," which is to 
be regretted on account of the confusion risked with the 
straggler properly so called. It feeds on aquatic larvae 
and molluscs ; in winter, on seeds. The nest, placed low 
down in the reeds, is of dry reeds lined with hair and 
down. Eggs^ 4 or 5, ^ inch; grey, with deep brown 
spots. Two or more broods are reared. 

Lapland Bunting. — An irregular wanderer from the 
Arctic regions to the south of England. It has occurred 
twice in Scotland and once in Ireland. 

The Snow-bunting must be regarded as a winter visitor 

to the northern portions of the British Islands, although 

it has long been known to breed in the Shet- 

tSnow- lands and on the mainland in Sutherland and 
bunting. 

Banffshire. Large flocks visited Highgate in 
February 1895. It is a handsome black-and-white bird 



THE PEKCHING BIRDS. 179 

with strikingly long wings, and feeds on insects and corn. 
It breeds only on the sides of the higher mountains, the 
nest being of grass lined with hair and feathers. Eggs^ 
4 to 7, -i inch ; grey, with brown and purple markings. 



17. The Starling. 

The Starling is one of the comparatively few birds that 
have been, and are still, steadily increasing their range in 
these islands, especially in Scotland. It is at all seasons 
a familiar bird, whether on the chimney-stack, raised to 
its full height, flapping its ^^dngs and shrieking at high 
pitch ; or, again, running (not hopping like the thrush) 
over the lawn, tugging at the retreating worm, or, in 
harder weather, sharing the crumbs with the sparrows. 
Viewed casually, the starling is no striking bird, but the 
glasses reveal much beauty in the steely sheen of the 
brown-tipped green plumage, the bright yellow bill, and 
reddish-brown legs and feet. The female is spotted, and is 
generally seen running in the wake of her lord. The voice 
of the starling, though not out of keejDing with the grey 
dawn, cannot be described as more than a shriek, followed 
by a spell of chattering in a half whisper. Always a wary 
bird, for which reason the bird-catchers call it "Jacob," 
the starling is particularly difficult of approach when in 
company with its fellows, and the flocks which feed to- 
gether in cold weather move off simultaneously on the 
least sign of intrusion. This is even noticeable in summer, 
when they find agreeable insect food on the back of each 
grazing cow, and even draw leeches from its nostrils. If 
any one approaches that part of the field, the birds at once 
leave their feeding-grounds and fly shrieking to the nearest 
tree, from which, when all is quiet again, they descend to 
resume their favourite occupation. Though its food con- 

^ , sists for the most part of insects, there seems 
Food. ^ 

little doubt that the starlmg does at one 

season commit much havoc among the fruit-trees, though 

the notion of its sucking game-birds' eggs, a charge pre- 



180 BIRDS. 

ferred with more reason against the magpie and jay, is 
probably fanciful. At times, especially towards the end 
of summer, these birds are observed to fly at a great 
altitude, and we are told on respectable authority that 
their object is to course certain high-flying insects. I 
have no means of denying this, though it would be of 
interest to learn how the information, unless acquired 
from a balloon, was arrived at ; but I have repeatedly 
watched these lofty starlings through powerful glasses 
without observing any of the somersaults and other antics 
that usually accompany the capture of winged insects. It 
seems therefore more reasonable to assume, in the absence 
at any rate of stronger evidence, that the birds prefer 
performing their considerable journeys in the purer, lighter 
medium above. The starling is a hardy and not unpopular 
cage-bird, its imitative faculty and occasional soft notes 
compensating for the more usual shrillness of its voice; 
and it is also used, by those who have a fancy for so 
remarkable a form of sport, as a substitute for the more 
costly trap-pigeon. The nest, which is often stowed away 
in eaves or in the top of a drain-pipe, but is also found in 
holes in the earth or in trees, less frequently open to the 
sky, is not, as a rule, an elegant structure, being loosely 
put together with grasses, paper, string, w^ool, and any 
other debris that is available. I never found one with an 
elaborate lining, though such are recorded. Fjgr/i^, 5 or 6, 
I inch ; pale blue, glossy, and elongated. 

Rose-coloured Starling. — A rare autumn visitor from 
the South. It is a gaily-coloured bird with a large black 
crest; and is also known as the "Hose-coloured Pastor." 

18. The Crow Tribe. 

[Somewhat large birds, mostly of gregarious hal)its, and 
almost omnivorous. Eight residents ; one straggler.] 

The liook, already widely distril)uted in Great Britain 
and Ireland, is extending its range in Scotland, where it 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 181 

was by no means common a few years ago, and breeds, 
save in the Shetlands and Outer Hebrides, everywhere. 
On account, perhaps, of the readiness with 
which the rook dwells in the midst of cities, it 
is the best known of the family. There have been rooks at 
Haverstock Hill and in Kensington Gardens and elsewhere 
in London for many generations ; and there is a consider- 
able colony in the centre of Dover town, where I saw the 
elders repairing their old nests on February 12th of the 
present year (1897). I understand, from Mr W. N. Wilson, 
honorary secretary of the " Rugby School Natural History 
Society," that the members of the Zoological section alw^ays 
made a feature of annually recording the number of rooks' 
nests in the Close. Unfortunately the great storm of 
March 1895 destroyed twenty of the old elms, so it has 
been useless to continue the record. The adult rook is 
at once distinguished from the rest of the tribe by the 
featherless patch of Avhite skin at the base of the bill. 
This has been attributed to the action of the earth into 
which the latter is plunged in search of grubs ; but this 
method of seeking food is also employed by other mem- 
bers of the family in which the face remains thickly 
feathered. The young bird retains the face-feathers or 
bristles until the second moult. The rook is a fowl of 
sociable habits, both in the nesting-time and during the 
winter migrations in search of grain. Its morals are those 
of all the crows, and any falling off in the supply of wire- 
worm and other noxious grubs, of w^hich (being for the 
greater part of the year the farmer's friend, as it is un- 
questionably his enemy for a month or so) it destroys vast 
quantities, is promptly made up for by a raid on the near- 
est grain, while even the game -preserver has learnt to 
dread the bird's taste for eggs and young birds. Dr 
Sharpe includes walnuts among its favourite food. The 
nest is, as a rule, completed early in March, but I have 
noticed that the birds settle down to their duties some- 
what earlier where the old nest is refurnished. Occa- 



182 BIEDS. 

sionally, where there are no trees, the rook is known to 
breed near the ground. -AV/r/s, 3 to 5, i^ inch; brownish- 
green, with dark spots. 

The Eaven, the largest of the family, is diminishing 

yearly owing to persecution on the part of keepers, to 

whom, it must be admitted, the bird is an 

"R, fii "XT' ^ n 

unwelcome neighbour. It is only in the hilly 
parts of Scotland and the isles that the raven is nowadays 
at all plentiful, though it breeds in isolated districts of 
England and Ireland. It is a pugnacious bird, not hesitat- 
ing, in defence of its young, to attack those of tmce its size, 
and even men have to proceed warily after the eggs. The 
raven is a destroyer of young lambs and weakly ewes, but 
it also destroys large numbers of rats. It is easily recog- 
nised by the long throat-feathers. It nests in cliffs or trees, 
preferably on or near the coast. The nest, always large, 
becomes huge in time unless destroyed, as the bird adds to 
it year after year. It is of tw^gs and heather lined with 
lamb's-w^ool. Eggs, 3 to 5, near 2 inches ; much as those 
of the rook save for their greater size. 

Like many of its tribe, the Jackdaw has a liking for the 
sea-coast, where it may always be seen to advantage by 
those who walk along the top of the cliffs in 
which it nests. The dull grey collar dis- 
tinguishes it from the rest of the family. Those who 
have visited the quieter glades of Sherwood Forest will 
not soon forget the large colony of jackdaws which are, 
or were, one of the sights of the place. There was a 
large colony, too, in the white cliffs not far out of Rams- 
gate ; but the cliffs are continually crumbling in those 
parts, and the birds consequently desert freely. This 
small member of the crow family is an insect-destroyer 
on a large scale, one of its favourite feeding - grounds 
being the backs of sheep and cattle. It is, however, a 
poacher as well, for in addition to its taste for fish it has 
a fancy, not altogether rare, for eggs. The long wings 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 183 

of this bird enable it to wheel with rapidity. The nest, a 
careless mass of sticks and feathers, is placed in some hole 
in the cliflfs, or in steeples, hollow trees, or chimney-stacks. 
It has, though rarely, been recorded in the open. J^ggs, 
3 to 6, i^ inch or less; greenish, with grey spots. I 
had two or three in which the spots were all but invisible. 

The Hooded, or " Eoyston," Crow breeds commonly in 
Scotland and Ireland, but to the greater part of England 
Hooded and Wales it is only a winter visitor, though 
Crow. a few are known to breed. It is distinguished 
from its closely allied relative the carrion-crow by the 
grey mantle and breast, though the birds breed so freely, 
the hybrids being to some extent fertile, that the number 
of intermediate forms makes identification no easy matter 
in every case. The name given to the other crow, by the 
way, does not point to any gentler tastes on the part of 
the present species, for it will eat carrion with any of 
them, and is among the worst ofi'enders of the whole 
robber gang, being very partial to the eggs of grouse. It 
also eats molluscs. The hooded crow is perhaps less 
j^artial, on the whole, to the sea -shore than the rest. It 
nests mostly some way inland ; the nest is of sticks, with 
a lining of wool. It is placed indifferently in high trees 
or rocks, or on the ground. Eggs, 3 to 5, i^ inch; 
green, mottled with brown. 

Unlike the last, the Carrion Crow is commoner in Eng- 
land than in either Scotland or Ireland. It lacks the lighter 
Carrion plumage of the last bird, and the long bristles 
Crow. at the base of the bill are always conspicuous. 
In addition to its love for carrion, jDreferably in an ad- 
vanced stage of decay, the bird is a great poacher of game 
and poultry, and will even attack lambing ewes. It nests 
late in spring, not, like the rook, in colonies, but singly. 
The nest is softly lined, otherwise resembling that of the 
rook. Eggs, 3 to 5, i^ inch ; jmle green, with dark spots. 



184 



BIEDS. 



Xutcracl-er. — An irregular visitor from the North. It 
is easily recognised by the brownish white spots with which 
the plumage is thickly covered. Its food is not, like that 
of the nuthatch, even chiefly nuts, as it poaches game and 
eggs like the rest of the group. The seeds of pine and fir 
trees are also largely eaten. 



Though lacking the brighter colouring of the jay, the 
Magpie is, perhaps by reason of the sharp contrasts afforded 




by the black and white of the plumage, the most attrac- 
tive, as well as the most conspicuous, of our Corvidte. 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 185 

Unfortunately, it is also an abandoned poacher, and be- 
sides its fondness for young birds and eggs, it delights 
in a meal of carrion, knowing well when the 
^^^* deer is getting near the end of its wind. It 
has also been observed to feed on a dead donkey, and the 
observer of this spectacle, no other than the late Lord 
Lilford, was doubly privileged, for it has been said that 
few men have ever seen a dead donkey. The voice of 
our magpie is, except for an occasional but very brief 
improvement during the courting weeks, the reverse of 
pleasing ; but in Australia the so-called magpie, an even 
greater cage -favourite than the genuine bird at home, 
has a beautiful voice. The long tail of the magpie is 
much in evidence, especially when the bird is on the wing, 
its flight being laboured. The magpie, though all but 
exterminated by its enemy the keeper in some parts of 
these islands, is, in those districts at any rate where game- 
preserving is not the one end and aim of life, extending 
its range. This is particularly noticeable in Ireland. 
Although, as already mentioned, a robber in the game- 
j)reserve, it is on the whole more correct, as well as 
certainly more charitable, to regard worms, slugs, and 
snails as its staple food. The nest, 23laced according to 
circumstances in high trees, in bushes, or on the ground, 
is of sticks and clay lined with grass. Eggs^ 6, i^ inch; 
pale green, speckled with brown. 

Like the magpie, the beautiful Jay with the blue- 
barred wings and black-and-white crest, black moustaches 
and pale -brown legs, has been very sternly 
^^' dealt with by the gamekeeper ; and it would 
be mere folly to deny that those whose interest or duty it is 
to preserve have few worse enemies. Though energetically 
kept under so far as actual numbers go, it seems to be 
spread over a much larger range in Scotland^ than was the 

^ Sir H. Maxwell informs me tliat lie has reintroduced it in the 
south-west. 



186 



BIRDS. 



case a few years ago, while in Ireland the reverse is taking 
place, and it is diminishing in range as well as in numbers. 
In Northern Germany the jay is exceedingly common, 
and in the Eostocker Heide, in Mecklenburg- Schwerin, I 
frequently had opportunities in the sj)ring of 1890 of 
witnessing the remarkable assemblies of courting birds, 
which are rarely to be seen nowadays in this country. 




The birds would chase one another, almost oblivious of 
intrusion and with some of the abandonment noticed in 
the love-sick black grouse, hopping, too, unlike the rest 
of the group. There was also a sweeter note than is 
usually uttered by the bird — an effort, doubtless, of the 
suitor. During the actual breeding- season the jays were 
comparatively silent, being once more at their noisiest in 
July. The bird will, true to its scientific name, take 



THE PERCHING BIRDS. 187 

acorns whenever they can be had in sufficient quantity 
and with little labour, but eggs are almost equally rel- 
ished, and it will kill and eat young birds. The nest, 
of twigs lined with grass, is placed in the forks of trees 
from lo to 20 feet from the ground, or even in bushes. 
I took several nests in Germany not 3 feet from the 
ground. Eggs, 4 to 6, li inch ; grey or greenish, speckled 
with black. 

Recognised by the red of its legs and curved bill, as 
also by its remarkable antics and cries in the air, the 
Chough is not only not confined, as is some- 
times alleged, to the duchy after which it is 
often called, but is even less common there than in many 
other parts of these islands. It is popularly supposed that 
the tourist has no sooner crossed the Brunei bridge west 
of Plymouth than he will see this handsome bird on every 
rock and tree. Nothing of the kind happens. I know 
something of Cornwall, both of its coast and its interior, 
and I have only seen four of these birds there in the course 
of my wanderings. On the other hand, it is not uncommon 
in parts of Devon, on Lundy Island, throughout the coast 
districts of Wales and the Scottish isles, the west coast 
of Ireland, and several places in the Channel Islands 
whence the pugnacious jackdaws have not expelled it. 
It breeds regularly on the Galloway coast. Indeed its 
own tribe are its worst enemies, for, being the only one of 
them not classed by the willing keeper under the head of 
vermin, it is little troubled by any one save the collector 
and his familiars. It is rarely found at any great dis- 
tance from the coast, and it feeds chiefly on insects, less 
on grain. Its nest, placed in cavities and holes in the 
cliffs, is of twigs and heather lined with wool. Eggs, 3 
to 5, i^ inch; greyish white, with brown spots. 

[The single Alpine Chough, a species from Central Eu- 
rope, in which the bill is yellow, taken in Oxfordshire in 
1 88 1, is commonly regarded as escaped from confinement.] 



188 BIRDS. 



19. The Larks. 

[Two residents (partially migratory) ; one regular, three 
irregular visitors.] 

The Skylark, or " Laverock," is, though partially migra- 
tory in cold weather, a strictly resident bird. Different 
races are recognised by ornithologists, but the 
^ ^^ ' amount of red in the speckled plumage seems 
the only mark of distinction. The white tail-feathers and 
the great length of the hind-claw distinguish it from the 
smaller woodlark, the only bird with which it is likely 
to be confused. Already widely distributed, it is even 
extending its range and increasing in numbers wherever 
its enemies the hawks are kept under. This lark is most 
familiar as, in spring, it soars up into the blue, voice 
vibrating, wings beating, tail stretched out like a fan, 
the bird ascending rapidly, not straight but obliquely. 
At last it is a mere speck ; then, after a motionless pause, 
slowly descends the singer, with jerky progress, a last 
halt, and, with wings folded and voice stilled, down like 
an arrow into the long grass. Not straight into the nest 
either, but some little distance away, reaching its treasures 
by rapid running. It has been observed to perch ; and it 
occasionally sings on the ground. It feeds on insects 
and seeds, and is said to do some damage among the 
clover and corn. The nest, a simple affair of grass lined 
with finer grass or hair, is placed on the ground, usually 
beneath some tuft in open fields. I have also found 
many on the sea -shore only a few yards above high- 
water mark. Eggs^ 3 to 5 (second brood only 3), nearly 
I inch ; dark brown or grey, with numerous spots and 
mottlings. 

The smaller Woodlark is easily distinguished by the more 
conspicuous white stripe over the eye and the shorter tail. 
It is more local in its distribution than the last, being 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 189 

exceedingly rare in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and 
most numerous in the south of England. It perches more 
commonly, and its sweet song, little inferior to 
that of the last, is heard both from its perch 
and on the ground. The nest is a more elaborate estab- 
lishment than that of the skylark, being usually made of 
twigs and bents lined with grasses and hair. It is found 
in similar situations. Eggs, 5, 4 inch ; greenish, with 
reddish and violet spots. 

Crested Larh. — A rare straggler from the Continent, of 
which seven examples only are authenticated — two in 
Sussex, the rest in Cornwall. 

Short - toed LarJc. — A rare straggler from Southern 
Europe, of which about eight have been taken in the 
south of England and one in Ireland. 

White-ivinged Larh. — A rare straggler from Asia, one 
example of which was taken many years ago near 
* Brighton. 

The Shore-lark is a spring and autumn visitor on migra- 
tion to and from the North. It is distinguished by its 

yellow throat, black crown and collar, and 
§ Shore-lark. , , , . n • 1 n ,^ 

black crest, and is rarely seen away irom the 

sea-shore, where it sings as it trips among the pools, look- 
ing for molluscs. It has not yet been noticed in Ireland. 



CHAPTER 11. THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKEHS, 

ETC. 

[In this, the next order after the Passerine birds, we 
have a somewhat motley group, their feet being the com- 
mon point wherein most of them differ from the foregoing. 
In some we find all four toes directed forward, enabling 



190 



BIRDS. 



the birds to cling to perpendicular surfaces ; in others two 
toes point forward and two behind — thus we find some of 
these birds perching lengthwise. AVith the exception of 
the cuckoo (whose song is hallowed by association) they 
lack tune.] 



I. The Sw^ifts. 



[O, 



Swift. 



)ne regular visitor ; one irregular visitor ; one rare 
straggler.] 

Popularly associated with the swallow and martins, the 
Swift is in reality allied to the group under notice. Apj^ar- 
ently larger, the swift, uniform black, save for 
the grey chin, is easily distinguished from these 
other birds, with which it hawks. Last to arrive, it is also 

the first to leave 
us for its African 
winter quarters, 
and ^lay and Au- 
gust are the peri- 
ods of its migra- 
tions. The shrill 
note of the swift 
as it dashes over- 
head is not easily 
mistaken for that 
of any other bird. 
It is not often 
seen to alight, 
though I have 
caught a few, a very few, in the act of dusting themselves 
in Kentish lanes, from which, in spite of the length of 
their wings, they can rise without quite so much difficulty 
as some chroniclers would have us imas-ine. The lencrth 
of wing does not hamper them much in getting clear of 
the side of a cliff, to which, thanks to the distribution of 
their toes, they are able to cling firmly, even in a high 




THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 191 

wind. The food of the swift consists entirely of insects. 
The height at which it flies varies considerably : in com- 
pany, they are observed to move at a great altitude, but 
when hunting alone the bird seems to prefer dashing along 
within a few feet of the earth. The nest, a loose, flat bed 
of grasses, is placed in any convenient hole in cliff or 
church tower, and, like those of the swallow and martins, 
is infested, as is the swift itself, with parasites. Eggs, 2, 
I inch ; spotless white. 

AljMue Swift. — A larger, white-bellied bird that has 
wandered on about four - and - twenty occasions from 
Southern Europe, thrice to Ireland, but not yet recorded 
from Scotland. 

Needle-tailed Swift, — A very rare straggler from Siberia. 
It has occurred once in Essex and once in Hampshire. 

2. The Nightjars. 
[One regular visitor ; two stragglers.] 

A straggler only to Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, 

the Nightjar is from May to September widely distributed 

over the rest of these islands. A bird of 

ig jar. j^gg^^j^g ^^^ commons, it is, like the British 

cuckoo, a nestless bird ; but it lays its eggs on the bare 
earth. The unfortunate creature is the victim of un- 
founded suspicions, in consequence of which it suffers the 
same persecution at the hands of the rustic as does its ally 
the morepork at the hands of the Australian stockowner. 
Most of its Australian cousins, by the way, build a nest, 
as do some Australian cuckoos. Its supposed offence is 
sucking the milk of goats and cows, hence the name goat- 
sucker, which has descended on it from olden time. j\Iost 
often seen on the wing or on the ground, it is nevertheless 
no very uncommon sight to see the bird perching on some 
old fence, and it does so, not as most birds, but lengthwise. 
The nightjar, not being abroad much before sundown. 



192 



BIRDS. 



though not exclusively a bird of the half light, is among 
the least familiar of our summer visitors. During three 
years, in a part of Kent much afFected by these birds, I 
met but one in broad daylight, and it seemed to be chasing 
small winged insects round a quantity of dead bracken. 
Indeed only on one other occasion have I ever seen the 
bird abroad by day, and that was in the Bournemouth 
Gardens, not a hundred yards from a busy street, about 
four o'clock on a September afternoon. A singular fact 
which I have noticed on many occasions is the frequency 
with which one comes across a single egg of this bird (the 
full clutch is two) in the ridings of small unfrequented 




woods. Twice in 1886, once in 1887, and once again in 
the following year, I all but trod ujjon an egg in this 
manner not a hundred yards from the house near Dart- 
ford Heath in which I was then living, and in each case 
the egg was right in the path, its strong resemblance to 
the earth making recognition difficult until I was almost 
upon it. Eyewitnesses describe the bird as 
o/^^ "th ^y^^fe' open-mouthed among the moths of the 
gloaming and catching the yellow underwings 
in its bristled gape. This may be so ; 1 )ut I have 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 193 

watched many of these birds with great care, by no 
means a difficult business once the eye grows accustomed 
to the half light in which they conduct their operations, 
and, as their slow flight hid no movement from me, 
I could be certain the bill was closed. I certainly never 
witnessed the actual capture of a moth ; so that, for all I 
know to the contrary, the bristles at the base of the bill 
may assist in delaying the moth for a moment until the 
bird swallows it. The note of the nightjar is a low vibrat- 
ing "churr," and the bird has some slight power of ven- 
triloquism. There is also a louder, harsher note that sets 
the hearer's teeth on edge. It seems hardly necessary to 
devote any space to the description of a bird that could 
not by any possibility be mistaken for any other ; but the 
nightjar may always be recognised by the white sjDots on 
the reddish wings and tail, and the remarkable head. The 
bird has a jagged claw, the precise use of which, like the 
spur of the beaver and platypus, has not been satisfactorily 
determined. The food of this bird consists of insects, 
chiefly moths ; and it is in the habit, like the owls, king- 
fishers, swifts, and cuckoo, of ejecting the hard and un- 
digested portions in the form of pellets. As already said, 
the nightjar makes no nest, but lays its eggs in a slight 
depression in the earth, usually near a clumjj of fern or 
heather. Eggs, 2, i^^ inch; yellowish white, with brown 
spots. 

Red-necked Nightjar. — Has straggled once to Newcastle 
from Southern Europe. 

Egyptian Nightjar. — Has straggled once from Africa to 
Notts. 

3. The Woodpeckees. 
[Three residents ; one summer visitor.] 

The Great Spotted Woodpecker, a rare bird nowadays, 
is but a winter visitor to the greater part of Scotland and 
to Ireland; indeed it is not known to breed in the latter 

N 



194 BIRDS. 

country, and its breeding in Scotland is extremely uncer- 
tain. In this species the crown is black, the tail being 

conspicuously marked with white. It feeds 
Great . 

Spotted ^11 insects, berries, and acorns ; and is wonder- 
Wood- fully armed, like the rest of its tribe, for hunt- 
pec er. .^_^^ ^^^ grubs out of their retreat in trees. 
They all have the low-keeled breast-bone, enabling them 
to hug the trunk closely ; the stiff, pointed tail-feathers 
to support them, although the claws are already specially 
modified to that end ; the powerful wedge-shaped bill for 
exploring ; and, lastly, the wonderful extensile tongue, that 
w^orks, as it were, on a powerful spring from the back of 
the skull, and that is further connected with a salivary 
gland and armed at the tip wdth recurved hooks. Of a 
truth the insects have but a poor chance against such 
odds, and the woodpecker is not likely to go short of a 
meal wherever there are trees. These remarkable features 
are common to all three woodpeckers, so that it will be 
unnecessary to allude to them again. This woodpecker 
usually hew^s the hole for its nest in some half-rotten 
trunk, but occasionally spares itself some of the labour 
by adapting to its rec|uirements a hole already in existence. 
Unlike the marsh-tit, it rarely takes the trouble to remove 
the telltale chips from the foot of the tree, ^f/f/s, 5 to 7, 
I inch ; creamy white, without spots of any kind. 

The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is a much smaller 
species than the last, which it otherwise greatly resembles 
in both appearance and habits. Though by 
Spotted rio means uncommon in the south of England, 
Wood- in the home counties more especially, and 
scarcely rare in the Midlands, it is rare in 
Scotland and a strasirler to Ireland, there beins; at most 
half-a-dozen authenticated records of its occurrence in the 
latter country. It has the undula,ting flight of all the 
woodpeckers, and, like them, is to be seen by the ex- 
perienced stalker who, guided by the tapping on the bark 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 195 

rather than by the low monotonous note, makes his way 
noiselessly to the foot of a neighbouring tree, whence he 
can watch the little black-and-white bird dodging round 
the trunk, over which it appears to glide, often with head 
downwards. It is then that a strong field-glass reveals to 
perfection the marvellous equipment of these birds alluded 
to above. Like the rest, it feeds on the larvae of wood- 
boring insects, as well as on the perfect insects themselves. 
Any one who has watched this bird clinging to a tree and 
the swift clinging to a cliff, w411 be at no loss to understand 
why the latter bird is no longer placed among the passerine 
birds next the swallows. The lesser woodpecker excavates 
a hole for its nest similar to that of the last species, but 
oftener near the ground ; and I have taken the eggs not 
more than 3 feet from the root. Eggs, 5 to 7, ^ inch ; 
creamy white. 

The Green Woodpecker or "Yaffle," the largest and 

perhaps least shy of all, is common in most wooded 

„ districts south of Durham, very rare in Scot- 

Green . "^ . . 

"Wood- land and Ireland. It is most capricious in its 
pecker, movements, suddenly taking a violent fancy 
to a neighbourhood apparently unsuitable hitherto, as 
instances of which there was, not many years since, 
a great influx into West Cornwall and a still more 
recent immigration into Ireland, where, previous to the 
appearance of the last edition of Mr Saunders's admir- 
able Manual, but two examples had been recorded. This 
bird, which is about a foot in length, is one of the hand- 
somest of our feathered carpenters, the bright green-and- 
yellow plumage, with the crimson crown and moustache 
(the latter black in the female), making its identifica- 
tion a simple matter. Like its smaller fellows, it feeds 
chiefly on wood - insects, but I have often come across 
it digging insects, presumably ants, out of the ground ; 
and acorns are included among its makeshifts for insect 
food. 



196 



BIRDS. 



Woodpeckers have often proved a nuisance to telegraph- 
poles, into which they peck, deceived by the humming of 
the wires into the belief that insects lurk within ; and 
there is even an American species that uses these poles for 
its winter stores of nuts. 

The nesting-hole, larger than those of the others and 
somewhat more perfectly circular, is made by the bird, 



I 




,^S^fy'>^-j^ 



and, after running straight into the tree, turns abruptly 
downwards to a wider cavity, Avherein the eggs repose on 
the sawdust and chips that have accumulated there. J'^gffs, 
5 to 7, I ^ inch ; creamy white. 

[Several other woodpeckers — Americans for the most 
part — have been included in the British list, but all on 
unsatisfactory evidence.] 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 197 

• Associated in some parts witli the cuckoo,^ presumably 
because they come and go about the same season of the 
year, the Wryneck is not uncommon in j^arts 
of Kent and Surrey, but is rare in the north 
and west, and but an occasional straggler to Scotland and 
Ireland. Its habits are not unlike those of the wood- 
peckers, only, being in some respects less perfectly equipped 
for tree-climbing, as, for instance, in the absence of stiff 
tail-feathers, it feeds more on the ground, its worm-like 
sticky tongue making short work of the ants. It also eats 
fallen berries at times when ants are scarce. I have also 
seen it feeding on trees, though never with head downwards. 
Both birds take part in incubating the eggs, and a loud 
hissing is at once set up if they are disturbed, so suggestive 
of snakes that the intruding hand is, as a rule, rapidly 
withdrawn by the tyro unaccustomed to the ways of this 
dweller in darkness. The wryneck is no true carpenter, 
for it makes the best of any hole deserted by woodpecker 
or tomtit or sand-martin. In appearance it differs from 
the woodpeckers in the erectile crest and in its curi- 
ous habit of t^\dsting its neck. It is also an adept at 
feigning death, a trick known to few of our birds. The 
glass reveals black bars on the tail and throat, and a black 
patch in the centre of the back. £^ffgs, 6 to lo, f inch; 
pure white, with thin shell. 



4. The Kingfisher. 

The kingfisher, loveliest of British birds in plumage, one 
of the meanest of voice, and certainly one of the dirtiest 
in its dwelling-place, is to be found along most of our 
inland waters, where it gives plenty of occupation to those 
whose business it is to look after the young trout, on 

1 The " impressionist " has strange flights of fancy. Quite recently 
a writer spoilt an otherwise excellent picture by pressing the compari- 
son between the cuckoo and corncrake, because, forsooth, each has a 
double note ! 



198 



BIRDS. 



wliicli, it were maudlin sentimentality to deny, the bird 
levies terrible toll. Even those who are bound to keep it 
under cannot but admire the great beauty of its plumage, 
the blue-and-green body, the white throat, and the reddish 
l)atch at the side of the head; but even admiration cannot, 
or should not, blind us to faults, and water-bailiffs have a 
perfect right in their masters' interests to shoot or trap 
the kingfisher. The only hope is that the gun may miss 




fire as often as possible, and that the traps may at least be 
humane and constructed with due regard to the fact that, 
whereas four-footed vermin are usually caught by the head 
or body and crushed outright, birds are as often as not 
caught by the leg, and may thus linger through hours of 
horril)le pain. The trapper should also be at least merciful 
enough to do the round of his traps every few hours, so as 
to put his victims out of their pain as soon as possible. If 
writers in general would only have the goodness to regard 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 199 

keepers as a very intelligent and often high-minded class 
of men, instead of assuming them to be bloodthirsty ogres, 
their diatribes against cruelty to the children of nature 
might bear more fruit than it can be said to do at present. 
The keepers are in possession, that is certain ; and it is for 
the advocates of the furred and feathered delinquents to 
make of those in j^ossession allies and not enemies. 

To return to the kingfisher, the cause of this unpardon- 
able digression. Fairly common, as already said, in this 
country, it is scarce in the north of Scotland, and, though 
resident in many counties, but a straggler to some 
parts of Ireland. It is, however, a bird of such rapid 
flight and such retiring habits, as to be comparatively 
unknown in many districts where it is in reality not 
scarce. The wings beat rapidly like those of the star- 
ling. Indeed, the dense foliage of the river -bank con- 
ceals it from our gaze during the warmer weather when 
we are most likely to pass near its haunts; and from 
the fact of the kingfisher being for this reason so much 
more in evidence during the winter months, they call it 
,. ,„ in Mecklenburoj the "Ice -bird." It must 
not, however, be forgotten that it is by no 
means a hardy winter-bird, for numbers are found dead 
in the Thames valley every hard winter. A greater 
recluse, save perhaps the owls, does not exist among 
birds ; and it is observed to beat its own particular 
stretch, where no other appears to intrude. It is, how- 
ever, undeniable that, in spite of an occasional meal, 
for want of better, of water-insects and molluscs, small 
fish, preferably troutlets, form its principal food. The 
kingfisher also feeds on the foreshore near estuaries, and 
there is generally one throughout the summer perched of 
early mornings on the west works of the Arun estuary 
at Littlehampton. Its nest, which takes remarkable forms 
in poetry -books, is in reality no more than some hole, 
bored or borrowed, in the bank, or in some wall near the 
water.* Here, at the end of an up -sloping tunnel some 



200 BIRDS. 

2 or 3 feet in length, its eggs are laid and its young 
reared on a dirty bed of fish-bones and excrement. The 
bird rears two broods, and it has been said, though I 
never found them so myself, that the second clutch is 
laid before the first brood of young are fledged. Eggs, 
6 to 8, I inch ; glossy white, and globular in shape. 

[The Belted Kingfisher, a North-American bird, is said 
to have occurred twice in Ireland, but few authorities 
seem satisfied with the admission of this species to the 
British list.] 

5. The Rollee. 

The Holler is a rare and irregular visitor to these islands. 
Its home is in Africa. It is a beautiful bird, the prevail- 
ing colours of its plumage being light and dark blue. 
[Two Abyssinian Rollers were said to have been obtained 
in Scotland many years ago, but their claim to rank as 
British birds is rejected.] 



6. § The Bee-eater. 

The Bee- eater is but an occasional wanderer on migration 
to the British Islands, chiefly to the southern counties of 
England and Wales. Quite recently it was rejDorted in 
the 'Field,' as far north as Caithness, in the month of 
May. I have taken its white eggs from holes in the 
hills round Florence. It is easily known by its long 
green tail with black tips, and the yellow throat with 
black cravat. 

7. ^The Hoopoe. 

The HoojDoe, a remarkable-looking bird, with reddish, 
black-tipi^ed crest and conspicuous white bars on the wings 
and tail, breeds sparingly where it is not immediately shot 
on its arrival in our southern counties in spring. ^lore 
often, alas I its beauty rouses the greed of the local 2)ot- 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKEES, ETC. 201 

hunter ; and the papers even reported, let it be hoped in 
error, that one of the last examples noted in this country- 
was shot only last February (1897) by a Yorkshire parson, 
who might have been better employed in ministering to 
his flock. Besides the small numbers that arrive in the 
Channel counties in spring, there is often a larger influx 
in autumn. The bird is, however, only a rare straggler 
to Scotland and the north of Ireland. Its flight is grace- 
ful, as are also its stately movements on the ground, at 
least where I have seen it on the Continent. The nest, 
more off'ensive than even that of the kingfisher, is in some 
hollow tree, the hole being found, not made. The bird 
feeds entirely on insects, and is therefore quite harmless. 
Eggs, 4 to 7, i inch ; pale green. 

8. The Cuckoo. 

The Cuckoo, that reaches us in spring, — the spring 
is only a make - believe until the familiar note has 
echoed through the woods, — is always on the move. In 
March you may see it among the grey hills of Morocco : 
northward it flies, however, for its remarkable breeding 
operations ; and even when it has reached its goal in these 
islands, there is no time for building a nest like other fowl, 
but it must needs wander on from county to county, laying 
an egg, now here, now there, in the nests of smaller birds, 
the eggs of which bear in some cases a resemblance to its 
own. That this protective instinct does not, however. 
Protective carry it very far, may be gathered from the 
colouriug fact that the brown egg is commonly found 
of egg- reposing among the blue eggs of the hedge- 

sparrow, — I have, at one time or another, seen over thirty 
eggs of the cuckoo in the nest of this bird, — to which it 
can bear but the slightest resemblance. The egg has also 
been taken from the nests of the blackbird and swallow. 
Those who have no opj^ortunity of making the compari- 
son out of doors may see the approximate effect in the 



202 BIRDS. 

frontispiece to Dixon's 'Eural Bird Life.' I liave often 
wondered — and I ask no credit for the originality of a 
fancy that must have struck hundreds of others — what on 
earth the cuckoo would have done if her egg had been large 
in proportion to herself. She would have built a nest, un- 
questionably, like some of her relatives in distant contin- 
ents, for, not being by any means a fighting bird — you may 
see even the male driven out of the neighbourhood by a 




few small finches that mob him, probably under the im- 
pression that he is a hawk ^ — she w^ould never dare to in- 
trude her unwelcome eggs and young on foster-parents 
strong enough to warn her ofi" the premises. As it is, the 
young stowaway grows so rapidly that it is able in three 
or four days to edge the other young out of the nest and 

^ The cuckoo bears, on the wing at anj' rate, a slight resemblance to 
a hawk, which is thought by some, added to the fact of its leaving 
these shores at the season when birds of prey are much in evidence, 
to account for the rustic notion that the cuckoo turns into a hawk 
in winter. 



THE SWIFTS, WOODPECKERS, ETC. 203 

monopolise the attention of their bereaved parents. It is 
aided in this nefarious murder, so strangely does nature 
sometimes work out her own ends, by a cavity between the 
shoulders ; nor can there be any doubt as to the purpose 
for which this deformity was intended, since it disappears 
soon after the deed is done. Truly, " Nature is one with 
rapine " ! The remarkable fascination exercised by the 
young interloper over its foster-parents is the subject of 
endless speculation. They need only leave the ungainly 
little brute to die of hunger, and the shrivelled corpses of 
their callow chicks that lie beneath would be avenged. But 
they tend the ogre with unflagging care, feeding it every 
hour, until, able to go out worming on its own account, it 
deserts them without a pang, and flies over the narrow sea 
to the fair Southern lands whither its parents journeyed 
many days since. A case was recently recorded in the 
' Field ' of a young cuckoo being found dead in the nest of 
a sedge- warbler, together with a chick of the latter species. 
The parent warblers had evidently deserted both. The note 
of the cuckoo has been the subject of considerable dis- 
cussion ; and even musical authorities have 
discoursed in erudite fashion on its mmor 
third, and so forth. What is, however, worth noting is, 
that the male has, in addition to the more familiar and, 
to my mind at any rate, singularly wearisome note 
uttered both on the wing and from some hidden perch, a 
low hissing or grating noise, which I heard in the New 
Forest not more than three days previous to the time of 
writing. The orthodox note has also been strangely dis- 
torted by those whose fancy is to know nature better than 
she knows herself. In the first place, it surely requires 
a lively imagination to supply the consonants commonly 
supposed to have part in it ; and again, it is scarcely 
correct to describe it as a bird of two notes, for I have 
more than once heard semitones in its cry, especially 
when, towards the days of its silence, it reiterates its 
cry as much as six times in close succession, often 



204 BIRDS. 

when fighting with another of its kind, for, like most 
cowards, it is pugnacious on occasion. 

The food of the cuckoo consists almost entirely of insects, 

more especially in the caterj^illar stage, hairy caterpillars 

being preferred. It is also stated on good 

authority to be fond of sucking the eggs of 

thrushes and similar birds, but I have never got any 

evidence of this at first hand. 

Its habit of deputing to other birds the hatching of its 
eggs and the rearing of its young has already received 
mention. It only remains to add that the egg is first laid 
on the ground, and then carried in the bill to some suitable 
nest close by. I have seen it stated somewhere that the 
mouth of the female is provided with a membraneous 
pouch for the safer transport of the egg, but this would 
appear to be superfluous, as the egg is so small and the 
mouth so large. It is in these contrasts, as between the 
disproportionate egg of the cuckoo and those, equally 
disproportionate, of the apteryx and guillemot, that 
nature's forethought is ever apparent. About an inch 
or less in length, the egg is of varying pattern, and my 
own collection included a series ranging through many 
shades of grey and brown, always deeply spotted and 
mottled. 

Much that is marvellous has been recorded of this bird, 
which I have, for reasons that are obvious, omitted. A 
Frenchman asserted that there was that in the bird's 
breast-bone that precluded the possibility of her incubat- 
ing her eggs ; but White proved the error, and more 
recently the cuckoo has been reported as sitting on her 
own eggs. A German declared that she possessed the 
secret of colouring each coming egg to match that of the 
intended foster-parent. This theory bears such a stamp 
of reality as to invite no criticism. After all, we may 
hear worse folly than that of the little girl who defined 
the cuckoo as a bird that does not lay its own egg ! 

Great S2)otted Cuckoo. — A rare straggler from the South, 



THE OWLS. 205 

that has occurred twice — once in Northumberland, once in 
Ireland. 

Blach-hilled Cuckoo. — An American straggler, reported 
to have occurred once. 

Yelloiv -billed Cuckoo. — An American bird that has 
been shot on five occasions on the western shores of these 
islands. 



CHAPTEK III. THE OWLS. 

[The owls commonly admitted to the British list include 
three residents, two regular and six irregular visitors. 
They were formerly reckoned as a group among the birds 
of prey, but their distinctiveness is now generally recog- 
nised. Another ornithologist placed them next to the 
parrots. iVll are birds of the gloaming, remaining through- 
out the day in a half-sleepy condition, and being ill at ease 
in the glare of the sun. The female is always the larger 
of the two, though the difference is not great in the 
majority of cases. Their food consists entirely of small 
mammals, birds, and reptiles, and they ought therefore 
to be encouraged instead of, as is too commonly the case, 
persecuted by the keeper and farmer. Three residents ; 
two regular, four irregular visitors, and one doubtful.] 

The Barn-Owl, smallest of our resident owls, is com- 
mon throughout these islands, except in the Orkneys and 
Barn- Shetlands, where it is rare. Its disappearance 
Owl. from neighbourhoods where it once was plenti- 
ful is doubtless due to the short-sighted policy of persecu- 
tion meted out to the unoffending bird by gamekeepers. 
As rats, shrews, and voles are among its favourite articles 
of food, a few of these voracious birds on an estate should 
be worth a ton of poison. Besides these, it devours bats 



206 BIRDS. 

and fish. There is more white about this little screecher 
than in most of our owls, and even the bill is almost 
white, in which it resembles only that of the tawny 
owl, easily distinguished by the absence of orange from 
its plumage and the thicker feathers on its feet. 

Like all the owls, this bird perches with two toes 
on each side of the branch, and not, as in most birds, 
three before and one behind. This fact is not, however, 
invariably borne in mind by the taxidermist, w^ho is 
frequently pleased to edit nature gratuitously. It is a 
remarkable fact that even in some recent manuals on birds 
the illustrations deliberately give the taxidermist's version 
in preference to the true one. The silent flight of the owls 
has been much written about and not a little exaggerated. 
Between flying more silently than other birds and making 
absolutely no noise whatever, there is a gap, though, to 
the casual rambler in the country, the flight of all birds is 
practically noiseless. This owl roams about our dwellings, 
and is especially common in parts of Kent. I well re- 
member some fifteen or twenty years ago staying in a 
little cottage opposite the Walmer barracks, where these 
"screech-owls" would fly in of a night at the open 
windows. At first they earned a cheap rejoutation as 
ghosts, until one sultry night a sudden chance swoop with 
a fishing-rod brought one to book and set the matter at 
rest. The way in which gardener, farmer, and game- 
preserver unite in persecuting this owl has been men- 
tioned, and it is to be doubted whether they would achieve 
a far difi'erent result were they actually to breed and turn 
down rats and voles, of which this bird must annually 
destroy hundreds of bushels. What prompts the small 
birds of the neighbourhood to turn out in force and mob 
any belated owl who may not have regained the security 
of its dark retreat ere the sun is high, it would be difficult 
to say. The professional bird-catcher is at any rate con- 
tent to use the blinking bird, dead or alive, as a decoy. 

The nest of this owl, if nest it can be called, is in some 



THE OWLS. 



207 



hole in a tree or ruin. I have found it less than 3 feet from 
the ground. The eggs in a clutch number but two, but 
the clutches follow so closely where the bird is not subject 
to interruption, that it is not uncommon to find on the 
uncleanly bed of vomited pellets two or three clutches of 
eggs and a brace or two of young birds. Eggs, 2 to 6, laid 
in pairs, i ^ to i ^ inch ; round and white, and not very 
glossy. Owls' eggs are found almost throughout eight 
months of the year. 

The larger Long-eared Owl is common, though rarely 
much in evidence, all over these islands. It is easily 
Long- distinguished by its prominent ear-tufts with 

eared Owl. (jg^j.]^- centres, and the fawn-tinted feathers on 
its feet and toes. 
The food of this 
species is as that of 
the last, with per- 
haps more insects. 
It is one of the 
most silent of our 
owls, neither hoot- 
ing nor shrieking 
with any regular- 
ity. This is the 
only owl that nests 
exclusively in the 
deserted nests of 
magpies and other 
birds, or in empty 
squirrel - dreys. 
Sometimes the interior is relined, sometimes not ; I have 
come across instances of both. Eggs, almost identical in 
size and whiteness with those of the last, like which, too, 
they are found during the greater part of the year. 




The Short-eared, or " Woodcock," Owl is for the most 



208 BIRDS. 

part, and at any rate to the southern counties, a winter 
visitor. A comparatively few pairs breed in the Fen 
t Short- Country, and a few more farther north, especi- 

eared Owl. Q\\y i^ Scotland, where there is a supply of 
voles. The ear-tufts in this species measure only half 
those of the last, being less than ^ inch. Often seen 
abroad by day, the bird, which, as already indicated, 
breeds with us only in the fens or on the moors, lays 
her eggs in a clump of sedge or heather on or near the 
ground. ^[/[/s, 4 to 6, ij4 inch ; creamy white, and 
smoother than those of most owls. 

Kesident over the major part of Great Britain, the 
Tawny Owl is extending its range northward, but has 

Tawny not yet been recorded from Ireland. Its toes 

^^^- are feathered to the claws, the tail, white at 

the tip, is barred with brown, and there are white spots on 
the wings. The bird has no ear-tufts like the last. There 
are two phases, a red and a grey, the latter being the more 
common in our southern counties. This is the hooting owl 
of our woodlands, and Wordsworth's famous line about 
the wandering voice never seen (though scarcely, perhaps, 
" longed for " !) would apply to it with greater force than 
to the cuckoo, in honour of which it was penned, for few 
birds shun intrusion or hate the light of day more than 
this owl. Though no offender in the ordinary course, an 
instance is quoted by Mr Witherby (in ' Knowledge,' June 
1897) in which one of these birds killed a full-grown 
rabbit. It nests, as a rule, in hollow trees ; but occasion- 
ally its eggs are found in the deserted nests of crows and 
other birds, in squirrels' dreys, or even in rabbit-burrows. 
J^[/[/s, 4, 1 4 inch; white, round and smooth. 

Tengmalm^ s Owl. — A very rare winter visitor from the 
North. Has occurred sixteen times in England and twice 
in Scotland. 

[Little Owl has occurred in most English counties, and 
has bred in some, but has not yet been recorded from 



THE BIRDS OF PKEY. 209 

either Scotland or Ireland. As so many are yearly brought 
over from the Continent, many being turned loose, it is 
unusual to treat it seriously as a British bird. The late 
Lord Lilford established it in Northamptonshire.] 

The large and handsome Snowy Owl, which comes from 
the Xorth, is a regular winter visitor to the north of Scot- 

+ Snowy land, though of its visits to England less than 
Owl. a score have been reported, and to Ireland 
eight only. The plumage is white, with black spots. This 
owl is not perhaps a very welcome visitor to the game- 
preserve, though even there its choice will fall most readily 
on the sick or wounded birds. It also fishes, much after 
the fashion of the osprey. 

Hawk- Owl. — A rare straggler, of which there are two 
recognised forms — the American, which has occurred some 
half -dozen times, mostly in Scotland. The other, or 
European, form has been recorded (by Dr Sharpe) but 
once. 

*S'co/is Owl. — A rare straggler from the South, which has 
been recorded many times in England, once in Scotland, 
and five times in Ireland. 

Eagle-Owl. — A handsome eared owl from the Continent 
that visits the Orkneys and Shetlands, where it once 
probably bred at long intervals, but rarely occurs farther 
south, never in Ireland. 



CHAPTER IV. THE BIRDS OF PREY. 

[The group under notice embraces birds of very various 
habits and aj3pearance, some being pronounced carrion- 
eaters, others, the smaller more usually, disdaining all food 
that they have not killed themselves. As in the owls, the 





210 BIRDS. 

female is the larger bird. The enmity of keepers bids fair 
to remove the greater number from the British list. They 
all have the distinguishing "cere," a membrane over the 
nostrils and upper mandible. Eleven residents (mostly 
rare) ; five regular, eleven irregular, visitors.] 

Griffon Vulture. — One only has occurred — in Ireland. 

Egi/ptian Yult^ire has been obtained twice only — in 
Essex and Somerset. 

Though to all intents and purposes an indigenous bird, 
the Marsh-harrier is so rare nowadays as to call for pass- 
Marsh- ing mention only. It is thought that a few 
harrier, breed in undisturbed parts of Norfolk, but 
this seems to require confirmation. It still straggles to 
Scotland, but is no longer to be found breeding freely in 
Ireland, as it did comparatively recently, though it may 
still do so in one or two counties. According to ]\Ir 
Saunders, it uses the nest of the coot. 

Distinguished by its grey -and -white plumage, and now 
knowm to breed only in comparatively few districts in 
Hen- Great Britain (chiefly in the Scottish isles and 

harrier. Highlands) and Ireland, the Hen-harrier is 
the enemy of the game -preserver rather than the farmer, 
its food consisting of small mammals and birds, for which 
it quarters the open moors like its congeners. The nest, 
placed among the heather, is on or near the ground, and 
is composed of twigs and grass. Eggs, 4 to 6, i ^ inch ; 
bluish white, rarely spotted. Like most British birds of 
prey, the bird lays early in May. 

Also far less common than formerly, Montagu's Harrier 
is still known to breed sparingly in the Channel counties, 
* Montagu's still more rarely as far north as Yorkshire. 
Harrier. To Scotland, save in the extreme south, it is 
a very rare straggler, as also to Ireland. It is far less 
destructive than most birds of prey, for its food consists 



THE BIRDS OF PREY. 211 

largely of reptiles and large insects, as grasshoppers. 
It is also known to devour the eggs of Avild birds. A 
smaller and darker bird than the last, it has the wings 
proportionately longer, the tail being also barred. The 
nest is on the ground among the heather or sedges. E[fg>^, 
somewhat smaller and paler than those of the last. 

Earer every year, the large and handsome Buzzard still 
breeds in a few western districts of Great Britain and 
Ireland. The district of the Broads was once 
its favourite haunt in these islands, but it 
has been sacrificed to the preservation of game. As, how- 
ever, it is by no means one of the most active, and 
as it is certainly among the least courageous, of our 
raptorial birds, there is some reason to doubt whether 
it does much damage among the pheasants. This buzzard 
is of large size, some examples being dark, others much 
lighter, all having bars on the tail. Nests of this bird are 
found in lofty trees or cliffs, and consist of twigs and 
leaves. They are very bulky. Er/gs, 3 or 4, 2 ]^ inches ; 
dull white, with reddish spots and blotches. Both sexes 
incubate. 

The Kough- legged Buzzard, in which the legs are 

feathered to the toe, occurs every winter, its visits being 

tRouffh- measured by the number shot, for it is of 

legged those visitors never recorded as observed. 

Buzzard. Q^^^^g recently (March 1897) one was shot 
in Yorkshire by one of Lord Feversham's keepers. Not 
more than half-a-dozen have been recorded from Ireland, 
and the various reports that have at one time or other 
been credited are disposed of by Mr Saunders and others 
as impositions. 

Spotted Ear/le. — A rare straggler from Southern Europe, 
four examples of which have occurred in England and two 
in Ireland. The smaller Continental form is not known 
to visit these islands. 



212 



BIRDS. 



The Golden Eagle is perhaps the only one of our birds 
of prey of which it can be said that protection, tardy 
Golden yet not too late, is causing it to extend its 
Eagle. breeding-range in the Scottish Highlands and 
isles, where it is known as the "Black Eagle." It is 
almost certain that this splendid bird, the largest of our 
eagles, is more numerous to-day in parts of North Britain 
than it was ten years ago ; and this is the work of the 




landowner. It also breeds in a few isolated localities in 
Ireland. The bird feeds on mountain -hares and grouse; 
but it also snatches an occasional lamb from the fold, and 
will even eat carrion. The legs are thickly feathered to 
the toes. Examples have been shot of a length of 3 feet. 
The nest, in some high tree or inaccessible rock, is a large 
platform of sticks with some softer lining. To this the 
bird adds every year, so that, as do those of the raven, 
old nests grow to unwieldy dimensions. E(i<j.% 2 or 3, 
nearly 3 inches ; greyish, with red spots. 



THE BIRDS OF PREY. 213 

The White-tailed Eagle, distinguished by the absence 
of feathers from the lower half of the leg, and by the 

"White- ^road scales on the toes, is commonly (im- 
taiied mature visitors to the South more particu- 
^^^^®' larly) reported as the Golden Eagle. It is 
also known as the " erne," and breeds nowadays only on 
the more northerly coasts of Scotland, among the Shet- 
lands, and here and there on the wild west coast of Ire- 
land. The bird feeds on fish and any carrion. Its nest, 
sometimes found inland, is like that of the last, as are also 
the eggs, though rather smaller, and without spots. 

Goshaivh. — A rare straggler nowadays that has not bred 
in these islands since the beginning of the century. It 
may be recognised by the short wings and the white line 
over the eye. 

American Goshaivh. — A closely allied species, said to 
have occurred once in Scotland and twice in Ireland, but 
whether it arrived unaided as a genuine visitor seems 
uncertain. 

The small SjmrroAv - Hawk is fairly common in all 
wooded districts, and recognised by its short wings, the 
Sparrow- flciTk reddish bars on the breast, and the great 
Hawk. length of the legs. Though the smaller wild 
birds and mammals form its principal food, there is no 
doubt but the sparrow-hawk can, especially when there 
are young to feed, be a great trouble in the farmyard, and 
also among partridges. It feeds on the ground, and one 
may often come upon small heajos of blood-stained feathers 
in the clearings of w^oods, showing plainly where the 
bird has had a recent meal. The female is much larger 
than the male, and Mr J. Steele-Elliott ^ points out that 
this is the origin of the common error of regarding them 
as birds of different species. As a rule, the sparrow-hawk 
builds a large nest of sticks and twigs, which is placed 
near the top of high trees ; but it is also known to adapt 
1 The Vertebrate Fauua of Beclfordsliire, p. 11. 



214 BIRDS. 

to its requirements the deserted nests of crows and other 
birds. Egfii<j 4, 5, or 6, i=i inch; pale blue, with red 
blotches. 

The Kite is very rare nowadays, and only known to 
breed in a few spots in Wales and Scotland, the precise 
locality of which those who are in the secret 
wisely conceal. In Ireland it is still rarer. 
Its long forked tail and exceedingly graceful gliding flight 
distinguish it from others of its size. Its destructiveness 
is probably on a j^ar with that of the last, the damage 
being confined for the most part to the time when there- 
are young in the nest. The nest, found in lofty trees, is 
not unlike that of the last, but a considerable quantity of 
rags and other rubbish is usually found in its lining. Egffs, 
3,23^ inches ; bluish white, with red spots and blotches. 

Black Kite. — A rare straggler from the South, which has 
been recorded once only — in Northumberland. 

Sivallow-tailed Kite. — An American bird, said to have 
visited these islands (Harting) on five occasions. Mr 
Saunders, however, discredits all but one, and regards even 
that as a bird escaped from confinement. 

It is doubtful whether the Honey-buzzard, known by 
the three dark bars on the tail and the white, brown- 
* Honey- spotted breast, breeds any longer in these 
buzzard, inhospitable islands, where collectors are as 
thick as thieves. It visits us, however, every May, and it 
is possible that a few, a very few, remain to nest under 
the protection of those for whom the high prices ofi'ered 
have no charm. Let us hope so. To Ireland it finds its 
way but rarely, though it has been recorded from there 
on several occasions of late years. Wild bees and honey 
are the staple food of this inoffensive bird during the warm 
weather, after which it eats small mammals, reptiles, birds, 
and even worms. Colonel Butler recently reported one in 
the 'Field,' which was shot in Suffolk as late as July 1, 



THE BIIIDS OF PKEY. 



215 



1897. Eggs^ 2, 3, or 4, 2 inches; cream, with brown 
blotches. 

Gyr Falcon, Iceland Falcon, and Greenland Falcon, three 
closely allied species, rare stragglers from northern regions. 

The Peregrine, boldest and perhaps handsomest of our 
smaller birds of prey, is the species chiefly used in the 
Peregrine sport of falconry ; and those who have seen 
Falcon. it lift a rabbit or a partridge in its dashing- 
course are not likely to forget the suddenness of the action. 



ij^^** 





A^ 



By no means very superior in size to the kestrel and 
sparrow-hawk, though a somewhat heavier bird, it does 
not hesitate to attack them, and invariably comes off victor ; 



216 BIRDS. 

indeed it is said to eat the vanquished now and again. 
The resident peregrines of these islands are temporarily 
augmented by immature birds on autumn migration. The 
peregrine still breeds in the cliffs of our south and south- 
west coasts, and in the Xorth, though many reported cases 
are partly apocryphal. The bird is easily distinguished 
from others of the same size by the conspicuous black- 
ness of the head, as well as by the black line on either 
side the throat ; and its " kek, kek," is a somewhat more 
distinctive cry than that of most of its kind. It nests 
on the ground among the cliffs, or in the deserted nest of 
a crow or other large bird. It never builds a nest in any 
case, but it will return year after year to a suitable site. 
Eggs, 2 to 4, 2 inches ; yellowish, with red spots. 

The Hobby is with us, though in no great numbers, from 
May to October, breeding in Hampshire and other south- 
ern counties, not, however, farther north than 
Yorkshire. It has been taken in almost every 
part of Scotland, to which country it can, however, be re- 
garded as only a straggler ; while from Ireland not more 
than eight examples have been recorded. Its food consists 
for the most part of large insects, also of small birds. In 
many respects, as, for example, the long pointed wings and 
the black head and throat-stripe, it bears considerable re- 
semblance to its larger ally the peregrine. Like the latter, 
too, it breeds in the nests of other birds ; and a curious 
habit has been noticed in the female bird — namely, that 
of brooding, before her own eggs are laid, on those of the 
kestrel, a freak which has given rise to some curious 
mistakes. Eggs, 3, 4, or 5, over i)4 inch; yellowish, 
speckled with red. 

§ Red-footed Falcon. — Practically an annual spring and 

autumn visitor, though never in numbers. It comes chiefly 

to the southern counties of England, though in Yorkshire, 

where it was first added to the British list,^ as many as a 

1 Clarke aucl Roebuck, Vertebrate Fauna of Yorkshire, p. 47. 



THE BIKDS OF PREY. 217 

dozen have been recorded. In Scotland, it lias been 
obtained but three times ; in Ireland, but once. 

The Merlin is our smallest falcon. Its tail has a broad 

black band just above the white tip ; and it breeds in the 

northern moors of Eno-land, as well as in the 
Merlin. . . o ' 

higher districts of Scotland and Ireland. In 

winter, it may be seen at the coast chasing the smaller 

waders ; but during the breeding season it is noticed, as a 

rule, perched motionless on some rocky boulder. It is not 

a rapid flier, so that there may possibly be some foundation 

for the charge, often preferred against it, of robbing nests 

of the newly hatched young. Egffs (laid in a depression 

in the earth), 4 to 6, i^ inch; deep red. The bird has 

been known, though rarely, to lay in deserted nests. 

The Kestrel, distinguished from the smaller merlin 
by the reddish hue of the back, which is covered with 
Kestrel or ^^^^k spots, is our commonest bird of prey, 
" Wind- and its peculiar motionless hovering is as well 
hover.' known on the country-side as is the far-reach- 

ing, not unpleasing, cry. Its food consists almost entirely 
of mice, so that its persecution is wanton folly. It lays its 
eggs in old nests of crows or other like birds, or occasion- 
ally on the bare earth. Eggs, 4 to 6, if inch ; yellowish, 
with deep red spots and blotches. 

Lesser Kestrel. — A straggler from Southern Europe, 
which has been recorded but three times — in York, in 
Kent, and near Dublin. 

The Osprey is practically a winter visitor to the greater 
portion of these islands, though it still breeds in a few 
Highland lochs. In the winter months it 
occurs almost annually on the Broads and 
other inland waters ; and it has been recorded recently 
hawking over the joint estuary of the Hampshire Stour 
and Avon, below Christchurch. The breast is white, with 
a brown band. It feeds almost entirely on mullet, salmon, 



218 



BIRDS. 



and trout, upon which it pounces with great dash, bearing 
its victim off lengthwise in its long pointed claws, which 
are admirably adapted for the purpose. Its nest is an 




I 





4^ 



A 



enormous structure of twigs and sticks, Avith a soft-lined 
receptacle for the eggs. -Er/r/s, 2 or 3, 2 ){> inches ; white, 
v/ith deep red blotches. 



THE COKMOllANT, SHAG, A^D GANNET. 219 



CHAPTER V. THE CORMOKANT, ^HAG, 
AND GANNET. 

[These three birds, British allies of the pelican, are of 
great interest on the coast, where their fishing operations, 
the diving of the first two, and the wonderful oblique 
plunge of the last, can be watched wherever there are 
high cliffs overlooking the shallow bays where they seek 
their favourite food. Though pleasing on the wing, how- 
ever, they are all grotesque on land, for, the feet lying far 
back, they walk with diflSculty, and their movements are 
devoid of grace.] 

The Cormorant, or " Diver," is a common bird at most 
Channel ports, where it is seen either flying rapidly over 
the water, neck and legs stretched out fore and aft, or 
else perched on some rock, its burnished wings 
spread to dry in the sun. From its smaller 
relative the shag it is distinguished by the white feathers 
on the neck, a large white patch on the thigh, and some 
yellow skin at the throat. As in the rest of the order, the 
nostrils are covered by a membrane. The bill is sharply 
hooked on the lower mandible, the value of which may 
be seen where, as at Regent's Park, the bird is fed in 
captivity. In many countries, and by a few amateurs in 
these islands, among them Mr Salvin, the cormorant has 
been successfully trained to catch fish, which it is pre- 
vented from swallowing by a tightly fitting collar. This 
practice comes from the East. When seen flying rapidly 
over the water, the cormorant is usually bound for some 
fixed destination. For several years now there has been 
a single old male cormorant in Bournemouth Bay, and I 
have watched it from my boat, when about three miles 
from shore, day, after day and at all seasons, fly every 
hour or so from Swanage across to Hengistbury Head and 
back. It is always alone, so I should be inclined to put 
it down as an old bachelor, as it is well known that a 



220 



BIRDS. 



number of these birds remain solitary during the breeding 
season.^ When fishing, the cormorant is seen paddling 
quietly about some sheltered bay, often under the shadow 
of a pier, well knowing that the small fry congregate in 
such shelter, and every now and then suddenly diving 




head first and swimming some distance under water. It 
roosts in the ledges of the cliffs. The large nest is of 
sticks and seaweed ; but it also nests inland, particularly 
in Ireland. Eggs (laid in May), 3, 2^ inches; pale blue, 
incrusted with a chalky coating. 

The Shag is a green bird, smaller than the last, but often, 
though quite unnecessarily, confused with it. In addition 

1 A parallel case of a single old cornioraut is to be found at Little- 
liaiiipton, where a fine inale luis haunted the west works for some 
years. 



THE CORMORANT, SHAG, AND GANNET. 221 

to the points of distinction already enumerated, we may 
note the presence of yellow spots on the gape. Like the 
last, this is a denizen chiefly of rocky coasts, 
and it is more numerous on the wilder cliffs of 
western Scotland and Ireland. In the former it is known 
as the "scart." In diving after fish it first lifts itself 
clear of the water, making more of a splash than the cor- 
morant. The nest, seldom at any distance from the coast, 
is not unlike that of the cormorant, but much more dirty. 
Eggs, 3 to 5, under 2^ inches; otherwise similar to those 
of the last. 

The Gannet, or " Solan Goose," is a beautiful white bird 
of large size and striking appearance, which breeds only 
on the Bass Rock, on Lundy Island, on an 
island off Pembrokeshire, on Ailsa Craig, at 
three spots in the Scottish isles, and in the south-west of 
Ireland at two stations. The bird is entirely white, except 
some conspicuous black feathers on the long pointed wings. 
The tip of the lower mandible lacks the strong hook 
noticed in the cormorant and shag, though there is a 
slight depression. There was a fine gannet in the 
Brighton Aquarium this August (1897), but it looked to 
me strangely out of condition. The spectacle of a number 
of gannets fishing in some Cornish bay is one not easily 
forgotten. On the hottest days, the shoals of smaller 
pilchards will wander right inshore ; and at such times 
these magnificent "geese" will sail overhead, and, each 
one soaring to a great height, will fall headlong, wings 
folded, on the fishes, harried from below by pollack and 
other scaly allies of the greedy birds above. For greedy 
the gannet undoubtedly is. I have watched half-a-dozen 
of them fish in this way for over an hour, killing fish at 
every plunge, and even then they were on the look out 
for more. Sometimes they dash obliquely on the fish 
from a low elevation. A very wonderful provision is 
observed on examining the bill of this bird, for, as in the 



99 9 



BIRDS. 



cormorant, the nostrils are found to lie beneath the 
membrane, or, roughly speaking, the gannet has no nos- 



'€■' 





trils, which must comfort it considerably in its high diving. 
Booth, ^ who gives a most interesting series of plates of the 

1 Rough Notes, vol. iii. 



THE HERONS, BITTERNS, AND STORKS. 223 

gannet in various stages of plumage, expresses the doubt 
of this bird being able to rise from fiat ground unless 
assisted by a high wind. I have also noticed something 
of the kind ; but I came upon three of these birds, or 
rather of the closely allied Australian species, feeding one 
still evening in Middle Harbour, Port Jackson, and flying 
with ease from one fiat " beach " to another. Like all 
waterfowl, the- gannets and cormorants cannot rise from 
the water except head to wind. The nest is of grass and 
seaweed. Erig, i, 31^ inches; bluish, with a whitish 
coating of chalky matter, which soon soils. 



CHAPTEE YL THE HEEOXS, BITTEENS, 

AXD STOEKS. 

[The characters of the present order are long bill, neck, 
and legs, and the curious comb-like edge of the middle toe. 
The herons have twelve feathers, the bitterns only ten. 
All of these birds feed on fish, also on small mammals, 
reptiles, and even crustaceans, molluscs, and insects. They 
are for the most part but rare stragglers to these islands, 
though the bittern has only become so of late years, thanks 
to the reclaiming of marshland, as it bred and " boomed " 
among the fens and broads up to within a c^uarter of a 
century ago. One resident ; thirteen irregular visitors.] 



I. Herons. 

Though the water-bailiff and collector are doing their 

best to thin the ranks of the grand and stately Heron, it 

is still, especially far from the haunts of man, 

a familiar figure to fellow - anglers ; and it 

requires no more than ordinary caution to watch the 



224 



BIRDS. 



ragged-looking sentinel gazing down unmoved at liis own 
retiection in the shallows, more often on some ditch or 
tributary than beside the larger rivers. The least false 
step is, however, enough to break the spell, — down comes 
the other leg with a snap, and in a trice the graceful form 




yC^.' 



> 



is cleaving the air under the slow and regular beat of long 
wings, the legs stretched rudder-like behind, the neck in a 
fold between the shoulders, and the black-crested head 
held well back after the fashion of a deadly snake about 
to strike. It is a curious fact, and one which I have 
noticed all the world over, that those birds which cus- 



THE HERONS, BITTERNS, AND STORKS. 225 

tomarily rest on one leg, with the other tucked away 
in the line of the body, cannot to all appearance take 
wing without first putting the other foot to the ground. 
The food of the heron is by no means confined to fish, 
but includes a variety of small mammals, as moles and 
w^ater-voles, young birds — especially those of the moor- 
hen — frogs, lizards, and various shell-fish and insects. I 
know a spot in west Hampshire whither to this day one 
or more herons will resort of a July evening to sup off 
young moorhens. As it is not improbable — though the 
verdict so far is "not proven" — that the moorhen is at 
times a greedy consumer of trout-ova, it may be conceded 
in ali charity that the heron thus atones in part for his 
misdemeanours. 

I never to my knowledge witnessed a heron on the 
water, though there is no reason why it should not swim 
after a fashion, as recorded by some observers from time to 
time. Herons, although often solitary when on the prowl, 
are sociable during the breeding-time, which is very early 
in the year ; and they nest in colonies, known as heronries, 
which are nowadays more or less protected, if only through 
the fact that their love of seclusion leads them to select 
spots near private waters. Thus laws framed with a very 
different object have operated most beneficially for these 
birds. There are few large heronries in either Scotland ^ 
or Ireland, but the number in England is very consider- 
able, some, as the small colony in Richmond Park near the 
Penn pond, quite near the metropolis ; and it is doubtless 
from these that those occasional herons hail whose bright 
white figures, sailing high over the chimney-stacks, cause 
the citizens to stare upward open-mouthed and the evening 
papers to publish accounts of so unwonted an apparition. 
Yet, considering the number of colonies within a very few 
miles of the city boundaries, it is more than probable that 
a very large number pass unrecorded over the greater colony 

1 Muirhead (Birds of Berwickshire, ii. 43) enumerates eight in Ber- 
wickshire. 



226 BIRDS. 

beneath, the members of which are, as a rule, far too busy 
with the affairs of earth to trouble about what is transpir- 
ing up above. During a high wind, herons may be seen 
grasping the swaying boughs with their bills in most 
grotesque attitudes. The nest, often used and enlarged 
year after year, is at first a mere platform of sticks with 
some kind of grassy lining, and is placed in the top of 
high trees. Eggs, 3 to 5, 2^/2 inches; pale green. 

Purple Heron. — A rare straggler to the east coast, of 
which only two or three have been obtained in Scotland, 
and but one in Ireland. 

Great White Heron. — A very rare straggler from the 
South, less than ten having been taken in Great Britain 
and none in Ireland. 

Little Egret. — A still rarer wanderer from the South. 
Almost all of the supposed occurrences are rejected by 
Mr Saunders and others. 

Buff -hacked Heron. — One example only exists, and it 
was taken in Devon. It is a southern bird. 

Squacco Heron. — An occasional straggler from the South 
to our southern counties. Has also occurred twice in 
Scotland and half-a-dozen times in Ireland. 

§ Night Heron might, so far as the south-western counties 
go, be regarded as an almost regular sj^ring and autumn 
visitor, but wanders rarely farther north than Yorkshire, 
where it occurs only at long intervals. It has been taken 
half-a-dozen times in Scotland and about a dozen in Ire- 
land. It is only about two-thirds the size of the heron ; 
the plumage is metallic black, the wings and neck grey, 
the crest white. 

2. Bitterns. 

Almost a regular summer visitor to the eastern counties, 
this bird has also straggled to Scotland and Ireland. It 
* Little is supposed to have bred comparatively re- 
Bittern, cently in the Broad district, but the nest has 
never been seen. It is a small bird, about half the size of 



THE HERONS, BITTERNS, AND STORKS. 



227 



the last, the crown and tail conspicuously black, the face 
and neck reddish. 



Having a liking for the inoffensive bittern, I stretch 
a point and treat it as a regular spring visitor, though 
it is to be feared that the wish is father to 
the thought, and that in the greater part of 
these islands, if not throughout, its visits are nowadays 



* Bittern. 




somewhat irregular, and the hope of its once more estab- 
lishing itself as a resident is a vain one indeed. So 
large a bird is such a pleasant mark for the indifferent 
shot who could not hope to bag smaller fowl. Its long 
green legs would alone distinguish it from all our other 
birds, and it has further a conspicuous ruff on the 
neck. The general plumage is brownish, but the crown 
is black, and there is a black bar on the wing. The ex- 



228 BIKDS. 

istence of the bird in these islands has been shortened 
not alone by the pot-hunter, but also by the reclaiming of 
the marshes. I was only once, to my knowledge, within 
reach of a bittern in this country, and even then I did not 
see it, for the occasion was an eeling expedition not far 
from Lowestoft, and the hour was not far short of mid- 
night. Something large rose from out the reeds close to 
our boat, flew, as we could plainly hear, about a dozen 
yards only, then dropped to earth, after which we heard 
it running rapidly away. I had only the word of my 
attendant (an ex -poacher) for its being a bittern, and 
such evidence would, in the opinion of the cautious 
naturalist, " require confirmation." Still, I never knew 
him pervert the truth when there was nothing to be 
gained; and at any rate I like to fancy that I did 
actually put up a bittern so near a large town. It was 
by far the most pleasant incident of the night's outing. 
In Australia, however, I have many a time seen an 
almost identical bittern, and have even heard its extra- 
ordinary booming note, uttered, not in the hushed stillness 
of the night, but in the broad light of day. The last 
bitterns I saw were running about a deserted estuary in 
Central Queensland, picking up a living on small snakes 
and frogs. This food they swallow whole and alive. In 
uttering the note, which struck me as rather like the 
howling of a dog, the birds would throw their head back. 
I shall possibly be disbelieved if I say that on one 
occasion, when walking near that same estuary after a 
chance wallaby, with a double-barrelled shot-gun loaded 
in my hand, I put up two bitterns, not of the common 
species but almost as large, within half-a-dozen yards, 
one of which, if not the brace, I could have bagged 
with ease. But they flapped their way in peace, and it 
will be a consolation to me, if I should live to see the 
day when many of Australia's birds, now common, shall 
have joined the things that were, to reflect that my gun 
was at any rate used for the most part against creatures 



THE HERONS, BITTERNS, AND STORKS. 229 

that, however interesting to the naturalist, mean ruin to 
the stockowner. When threatened by an eagle or other 
danger, the bittern does not, like the heron, rely solely on 
the sharpness of its bill, but throws itself, so eye-witnesses 
relate, on its back, and strikes out desperately with its 
claws as well. The bill is not less powerful than that 
of the heron, though the latter bird is, when winged, by 
no means to be approached without caution. 

t American Bitteryi. — A winter straggler to these islands. 
It is a slighter bird than the last, and lacks the black bars 
on the wings. 

3. Storks. 

White Stork. — An irregular spring visitor to the eastern 
counties, which has never stayed to breed. Has also 
been recorded rarely in Scotland and Ireland. 

Black Stork. — A still rarer visitor to the southern and 
eastern counties, not up to the present recorded from 
Scotland or Ireland. 

4. The Ibis. 

Glossy Ibis. — A rare autumn visitor to the south of 
England, with long curved bill and glossy plumage. It 
has also occurred in most other parts of the country, and, 
very rarely, in Scotland and Ireland. It was formerly 
known as the "black curlew." 

5. Spoonbill. 

The Spoonbill, formerly breeding (seventeenth century) 
in this country, is now only a straggler to the eastern and 
southern counties, Norfolk and Cornwall being favourite 
haunts. It has found its way to the Scottish isles, but 
only a few have been seen in Ireland, chiefly in the 
extreme south. It was also known as the "shoveller." 
The plumage is white and yellow, and the bird is said to 
have a remarkable mode of feeding, by immersing its bill 
in the mud under water and walking round and round. 



230 BIRDS. 



CHAPTER YIL THE FLAMIXGO. 

A short chapter, truly; but, following my plan of 
enumerating the British rej^resentatives of each order in 
a chapter, I have no option but to devote this one to 
that rare and handsome straggler, the Flamingo. The 
home of this tall bird, vrith the pink-and-scarlet plumage 
and remarkable curved, pink, black-tipped bill, is in Africa 
and Southern Europe. It breeds among the salt marshes, 
and sits on its mud nest, which resembles a small ant- 
hill (I have in memory countries where anthills of ten 
feet high are common), with folded legs, and not, as 
formerly represented, astraddle. It is known to eat a 
certain quantity of frogs, but its food is for the most 
part of a vegetable nature. Its occurrences in these 
islands have up to the present been but four, one of 
which Mr Saunders regards as possibly escaped from 
captivity. Another of the four was, I am happy to say, 
observed only, not shot. It is scarcely to be supposed 
that so large and conspicuous a bird could have visited 
us unnoticed. 



CHAPTER YIII. THE GEESE, SWANS, 
AND DUCKS. 

[A large and important order of waterfowl, varying 
in size from the swans down to the teal, a little bird 
less than a third of their length. Some of them have 
been totally domesticated, others resort to inland waters 
under a kind of tacit protection. The decoys used for 
taking many of these birds, elaborate accounts of which 
have been given by Mr Cordeaux, Mr Harting, Sir R. 
Payne - Gallwey, Mr Southwell, and others, are found 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 231 

chiefly in our eastern counties, though there are a few 
still working in Ireland. The order is represented in 
these islands by no less than forty -two birds, which 
analyse as follows : four actual residents ; twenty - two 
regular visitors (many staying to breed); sixteen irregu- 
lar visitors.] 

I. The Geese. 

The Grey Lag Goose is a winter visitor to the greater 
part of these islands, though still breeding in Sutherland 
t G-rey Lag and among the Outer Hebrides. In Ireland 
Goose. [I breeds only in a semi-domesticated state. 

It is the largest of our geese, being usually regarded as 
the progenitor of our tame birds, and has the general 
plumage brown and grey, the under parts white, and 
the terminal nail of the bill also white. As in all 
geese, there is no difference in plumage between the 
two sexes. I recollect on one occasion seeing three 
flocks, numbering in all not far short of a thousand, as 
I computed them roughly, flying south over the Baltic 
in the dawn of a September morning. As I had no gun 
with me, they were well wdthin shot. The nest, ready 
by the end of March, is placed on the ground ; and it is 
of interest to note that the lining of her own down is 
not added by the female bird until she is about to sit 
on the full clutch of eggs. .Eff^s, 5 or 6, 3^ inches ; 
creamy yellow. 

The Bean Goose is not known to breed in these islands, 
but is a tolerably common visitor to the west and south- 

tBean west, comparatively rare on the east coast and 

Goose, jjj Scotland,^ but visiting the greater part of 

Ireland. It is a somewhat darker bird than the last, and 

the nail at the tip of the bill is black. Like most geese, 

it is a strict vegetarian. 

1 Muirhead (Birds of Berwickshire, ii. 72) enumerates nearly one 
hundred farms in Berwickshire visited of late years by these birds. 



232 BIRDS. 

Like the rest of the family, the Pink-footed Goose has 
its true home in arctic regions, but it visits our east 

.p. , coast in large numbers each winter; to the 

footed southern and western counties it is but a 
Goose. j.j^j.g straggler only; in Scotland^ its appear- 
ances vary considerably in different years ; while in Ireland 
it has been obtained but once. It is a smaller bird than 
the last, the nail on the beak is black, while the legs 
and feet, though subject to variation, are pink. There 
are conspicuous white markings on the tail. 

The White - fronted or " Laughing Goose " visits the 

western portions of these islands every winter in large 

fWhite- flocks. It is not unlike the somewhat larger 

fronted grey-lag goose, having the nail on the bill 

Goose. white ; but it may be distinguished by the 

white on the forehead and the black bars on the breast. 

There is also a smaller race, w^hich has more white 

about the face. This lias been obtained but once — on 

Holy Island. 

Snoiu Goose. — The Snow Goose is a rare \vanderer from 
arctic America, wdiich has been obtained about half-a-dozen 
times, mostly in Ireland, and which has more recently 
been rej^orted as wintering in flocks in the northern coun- 
ties of England. It has not occurred farther south than 
Yorkshire. There is a larger race from arctic Asia, which 
has not, however, straggled to these islands. 

Red-hreasted Goose. — A very rare straggler from Eastern 
Siberia, which has been obtained seven or eight times, 
mostly on the east coast. 

The Brent Goose visits the east coast every winter in 

t Brent large numbers, though its haunts are much 

Goose, disturbed by shore-shooters. It is easily known 

by its black head and breast and the white patch on either 

1 Muirhead (Birds of Berwickshire, ii. 72) enumerates nearly one 
hundred farms in Berwickshire visited of late years by these birds. 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 233 

side the neck. In one race the lower portion of the 
breast is much darker, and there is less white on the 
neck; and both forms, or sub-species, or w^hatever they 
are, visit the British Islands. We used to stalk this bird 
with rifle on the large brackish lagoons that lie close to 
the Baltic, although the cold was often intense and the 
birds were usually too shy to afford a shot. 

The Bernicle Goose from Greenland visits our western 
counties with regularity and in considerable flocks. Along 
t Bernicle the eastern seaboard, however, it is rarer. To 
Qoose. Ireland it is a regular visitor. It differs from 
the last in the white face, broken only by a black line 
before the eye. In its food it is more omnivorous than 
most geese, digging with its short bill in the mud for 
molluscs and the like. Its note is louder than that of 
most of our geese; and, like them, it loses its quills 
so completely in its moult as to be unable to fly, and 
at that trying period it has to escape by running. It 
breeds freely in captivity, but its natural resting-place is 
unknown. 

2. The Sw\4ns. 

Practically a domesticated bird, the Mute Swan is every 
now and again shot in the wild state, to which it easily 
reverts. Its most remarkable feature is the 
shield or " berry " betw^een the eyes, not found 
in other swans. The name " mute " is unsatisfactory, as 
the bird has a loud trumpeting note, and will always hiss 
loudly when provoked. It lacks, however, the call-note of 
the next species. The swan will undoubtedly pick up a 
living off water-plants and insects, but there can be little 
doubt either of its helping itself freely to spawTi and 
young fish wherever these delicacies are available, hence 
the complaints of London anglers of the misdeeds of the 
Thames swans, many of which are the property of the 
liveried companies, others belonging to Eton College. 



234 BIRDS. 

One of the largest swanneries, where the birds are regu- 
larly farmed and plucked of their down, is not far from 
Weymouth, and the birds there are a very beautiful sight. 
Some ornithologists distinguish the so - called " Polish 
swan," which seems to differ only in the whiteness of the 
young or cygnet, which in the ordinary swan is grey. As, 
however, Mr Saunders failed to find the alleged differences 
(colour of legs, &c.) in the adult, it seems unnecessary to 
manufacture even a race out of these abnormal youths and 
maidens — there are so many races and forms and sub-species 
as it is. Swans are said to be exceedingly long-lived. 

The Whooper, or "Whistling Swan," which nested in 
the Orkneys at the end of last century, is now but a 
winter visitor, staying on in secluded spots 
until w^ell into the spring. In his 'Manual,' 
Mr Saunders mentions Poole Harbour as one of its 
favourite resorts ; but unfortunately Bournemouth has in- 
creased during the eight years that have elapsed since the 
publication of that unique work, and loafers, of which 
there must always be a large number during the " slack " 
months of a watering-j^lace, have not been idle, so that 
the gunner would have to sjDend a good deal of time now- 
adays in watching for a wild swan in Poole Harbour. In 
this swan, nearly two -thirds of the bill is yellow, the 
lowest third being black. The note of this species is but 
indifferently described as "whistling," — a fresh proof of 
the difficulty of adequately rendering the various notes 
of wild birds, to which allusion has already been made. 
It is more like a toy trumpet, — a vulgar comparison, I 
fear, but at any rate as near the mark as the other. 

Bewick's Swan is a rarer visitor, though more common 

in Ireland. It is a much smaller bird than the last, and 

t Bewick's is further distinguished by the smaller patch 

Swan. of yellow (only one-third) on the bill. The 

note, equally indescribable, is softer. 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 235 

3. The Ducks. 

[These are conveniently divided into two groups, the 
non-diving, and the sea- or diving, ducks — the former in- 
cluding such familiar species as the Widgeon. Mallard, and 
teal, while to the latter belong the less known Pochard, 
Smew, Scoter, and Eider. It is interesting to note that in 
captivity almost all ducks will interbreed; and they all 
have a curious habit of adding down to the nest only when 
the eggs are laid and incubation is about to start.] 

(a) The Non-Diving Ducks. 

Although not included in the so-called " sea-ducks," the 
Sheld-Duck is never met with far from the coast, and I 
Sheld- have often observed it in Hampshire on little- 
Duck, frequented j)arts of the sandy foreshore. It is 
a bird of extremely shy habits, and it flies at no great 
height and at only moderate speed. The female is a very 
noisy bird. It would be difficult to mistake this hand- 
some bird for any other, with its glossy green head and 
throat, its deep-red knobbed bill, the white band beneath 
the green throat, the dark patch on the white belly, and 
the black tip to the white tail. If only every bird were 
as conspicuously marked, binoculars would be almost 
superfluous. The plumage is alike in both sexes. The 
sheld-duck feeds for the most part on marine plants and 
small molluscs, also on sandhoppers. It breeds in May 
in some hole, usually a rabbit-burrow, but also in round 
tunnels of its own excavating, or, very rarely, in natural 
fissures in the rocks. The nest, at some considerable dis- 
tance from the light, is of grasses lined with down. Eggs, 
8 or 10, 2^ inches; creamy white. 

Ruddy Sheld-Duch. — A wanderer from the South, which 
has been obtained on several occasions in Ireland, and of 
which a number were obtained as recently as 1892. In 
summer the adult male is unmistakable by reason of the 



236 BIRDS. 

narrow l3lack ring which he then wears round his neck. 
Otherwise he is a bird of sober jjhimage, in size about the 
same as the last. 

The Mallard is the "wild duck" of the British Islands, 

the largest of our commoner ducks, and the ^^rogenitor of 

the domesticated bird. In his full dress, the 
Mallard. . ... 

drake is a very handsome bird, with his green 

head and neck, narrow wdiite collar, and the four blue 




curled feathers in his tail ; but during the summer months 
he moults to a far quieter looking being, more like his 
mate. There are two races, — the smaller birds that visit 
us from the Continent, and the larger home-bred residents. 
It is interesting to note that, like other domesticated 
birds, this duck is polygamous only in the tame state, 
being by nature content with one mate. It is also a much 
cleaner feeder than its degenerate relatives. The quacking 
cannot, by the ordinary ear at any rate, be distinguished. 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 237 

It nests on the ground, usually near inland waters, but 
also in hedgerows, and even in the deserted nests of other 
birds. The nest is of grass lined with down. Eggs, 8 
to 12, 2]^ inches; greenish white. 

Breeding in a semi-protected state in parts of Norfolk, 
the Gadwall must be more correctly regarded as a winter 
visitor, and by no means a common one. The 
^ * plumage of this bird is not striking at any 
distance, and indeed its most distinctive feature is to be 
found in the laminae of the upper mandible of the bill, 
which project sideways. The white outer webs of the 
wing are also somewhat conspicuous. 

Like the last, the Widgeon, though, strictly speaking, 
a winter visitor, breeds in a few places in the northern 
counties of Scotland and in most of the islands 
except the Outer Hebrides. Its nesting in 
Ireland seems a matter of some uncertainty. It feeds 
entirely on vegetable matter, and only at night. It may 
always be remembered that all these drakes assume the 
plumage of the female during the late summer months. 
In his brighter dress, the widgeon has a creamy- white 
forehead, the face and neck reddish brown, spotted with 
green, and the shoulder white. The nest, of grasses lined 
with down, is placed on the ground among the rushes. 
Eggs, 7 to lo, 2^ inches; creamy white. 

The American Widgeon has been recorded but once on 
sufficient evidence. It is distinguished by a green stripe 
behind the eye. 

Another winter visitor, the Pintail breeds in a very few 

districts, as in the Hebrides. The head and neck of the 

male are of a reddish brown, the neck being 

bordered with a white stripe ; but the bird is 

chiefly distinguishable by the two very long tail-feathers, 

from which it takes its familiar name, as also that of " Sea- 



238 BIRDS. 

Pheasant," by which it is often known. It is frequently 
found in company with widgeon. Its food consists largely 
of water-insects and shell-fish. It is known to breed some- 
what freely wdth the mallard. The nest, rather deeper 
than that of most ducks, is otherwise similar. Eggs, 7 to 
10, 2 inches; pale green, and of elongated form. 

The Shoveller, or "Spoonbill," may, in both sexes, be 
distinguished by the spoon-like bill. It breeds in several 
parts of Ireland, also locally in Scotland as far 
as the Inner Hebrides. Its breeding-places in 
England are few, and are confined to the eastern sea-board. 
This duck consumes more insect food than most. The nest 
is on dry ground near water. Eggs, 8 to 12, 2 inches; 
pale green. 

The Teal, smallest of our ducks, breeds in many parts of 
the British Islands, chiefly in the northern counties and 

Scotland, but also as far south as the Thames 
Teal . . 

valley. It is easily recognised by the con- 
spicuous green patch behind the eye, the brown stripe 
down the centre of the forehead, and the numerous black 
spots on the breast. The food of the teal consists largely 
of vegetable matter, but insects are also consumed. It 
is remarkable for a devotion to its young that is by 
no means characteristic of all ducks. The nest, in the 
immediate neighbourhood of water, is like those of the 
rest. EggSy 8 to 12, i^ inch; brownish white. 

American Green-ivinged Teal. — A very rare straggler, 
which has occurred but thrice — in Devon, Hampshire, and 
Yorkshire, though the bird is omitted, whether intention- 
ally I do not know, from Clarke's list in his and Roebuck's 
' Yorkshire Vertebrata.' 

Blue-ivinged Teal. — Another American straggler, which 
has occurred once only — in Scotland. 

1 Not to l)e confuscti with the true Spoonhill, also known as 
"shoveller." 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 239 

The Garganey is a rare spring visitor, a few also reach- 
ing these islands in autumn. A somewhat larger bird than 
the allied teal, the garganey is distinguished 
ney. ^^ ^^^ white line that runs behind the eye and 
down the side of the neck, as well as by the conspicuous 
black crescent-shaped marks before the rump. The curious 
grating note of the male has gained for this bird in East 
Anglia, where it is least rare, the name of " Cricket-teal." 
It has found its way at irregular intervals to nearly every 
part of Scotland and the isles, except the Outer Hebrides. 
Nest, among the sedges. Bf/gs, 8 to 12, nearly 3 inches; 
like those of the teal, but lacking the greenish tinge. 

(b) The Diving Ducks. 

[Although a number of the foregoing are observed to 
feed with their head submerged and the legs and tail 
waving in the air, yet they cannot be said to get their 
food by diving, as do for the most part the following nine- 
teen, which have, moreover, a distinct preference for the 
neighbourhood of salt water.] 

The Pochard, or Dunbird, is one of the winter visitors 

of which, on the slightest encouragement, numbers remain 

to breed, chiefly in the eastern counties. I 
t Pochard. , /« • i • i t 

knew a case 01 a single pair breeding on a 

small private water not far from Poole. The hind -toe 

of this, as of all the grouj), is prominently lobed. The 

bird is at once recognised by the black collar and apron, 

and by the band of greyish blue across the centre of the 

otherwise black bill. The pochard feeds, largely at night, 

on water-plants, also on crustaceans. From its curious cry 

when flushed, the pochard is also known as "Curre." 

The nest, not a very elaborate structure, is found on the 

ground among sedges. I came upon a nest of this bird 

on one occasion with two out of the three greenish eggs 

badly broken, the third intact. Eggs of ground-nesting 



240 BIRDS. 

birds are not unfrequently found cracked in deserted nests, 
and it has been suggested that the departing hen does this 
in despair ; but in the case mentioned, where the third egg 
was unhurt, some other explanation is wanting. Eggs^ 7 
to 10, 2^3 inches; greenish grey. 

Red-crested Pochard. — A rare straggler from the South, 
which has occurred over a dozen times in England, and 
once each in Scotland and Ireland. 

§ Ferrugmous DucJc. — An irregular spring and winter 
visitor to the east coast. It is also known as the " White- 
eyed " duck, from the white iris, and is further distin- 
guished by a white spot on the chin. 

The Tufted Duck is a winter visitor in numbers, though 
a great many remain to breed, especially in Notts, and in 

t Tufted other counties, also in parts of Scotland and 
Duck. Ireland. This bird may be recognised by its 
glossy black crest and pale blue bill. Like many ducks, 
it is most active after sunset, and its food consists largely 
of water-plants. As food, this duck is worthless. The 
nest is placed among the sedges. Eggs, 8 to 12, 2^ 
inches; greenish. 

The Scaup, a common winter visitor, is said to have 
bred in Scotland. It lacks the crest of the last, but 
otherwise resembles it much in colourins;, 
save for the lighter hue of the upper parts. 
In uttering the harsh note from which it takes its trivial 
name, the bird is said to twist its head in a peculiar way, 
but I do not remember having seen this. It is one of 
the ducks least esteemed for the table. 

The Golden-eye has likewise been said to breed in Scot- 
land, but authorities, Mr Saunders among them, regard the 

t Golden- statement with extreme suspicion. This hand- 

®y®' some duck may be recognised by the white 

patch beneath the eye, black back, white uiiderparts, and 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 241 

a sort of rudimentary crest on its green head. Like most 
of these sea-ducks, the golden-eye is excellent gun practice, 
for it is exceedingly shy, either diving at the flash or 
rising at once from the water and flying rapidly away, 
with audible whistling of the wings. 

Buffet-headed Duck. — A very rare straggler from North 
America, so called from the white patch behind the eye, 
which has found its way to these islands (not to Ireland) 
on five occasions. 

Harleqidn Duck. — A rare straggler from arctic regions, 
which appears to have been obtained, always in the North, 
on less than half-a-dozen occasions. Its prevailing colours 
are black and white, distributed in striking patterns. 

The Long-tailed Duck, for the most part a scarce winter 

visitor, is thought to breed in the Shetlands. It is chiefly 

t Long- ^^^* y^\\h in Scotland and Ireland, though it 

tailed has been obtained in nearly every county of 

Duck. England. The male is easily recognised by 

the brown patch on its white neck and the two very 

long black tail-feathers; and, unlike most ducks, he has 

a distinct summer dress. 

The Eider Duck, a winter visitor to England, breeds 
in the Fame Islands, also in the Orkneys, Shetland, and 

t Eider Hebrides. It is a somewhat striking bird, with 
Duck. white back and breast, black crown and tail, 
and a black line of feathers on the bill. I have seen it 
occasionally bagged on the Baltic shores in mid- winter; 
and I noticed that it flew even closer to the water than 
most ducks, and that it was remarkably silent. It is a 
valuable bird on account of its soft down. The nest, 
placed on the ground on the shore, is of sea-weed and 
grasses, lined with this down as the young are expected. 
^99^^ 5 or 8, 3 inches ; green. 

King Eider. — A rare straggler from arctic regions, which 
has been obtained on but few occasions in England, and 

Q 



242 BIRDS. 

no farther south than Norfolk, half-a-dozen times only in 
Ireland, and rather more frequently in Scotland and the 
isles. It is distinguished from the other by the presence 
of a large red tubercle at the base of the bill. 

Steller^s Eider. — A smaller species which has wandered 
from arctic regions on two occasions only, both to our 
east coast. 

The " common " Scoter, a winter visitor to our east and 
south coasts, breeds in Caithness, Ross, and elsewhere in 
t Black the Highlands. It is uniformly black, about 
Scoter, i^g Qjjiy touch of colouring being the orange 
line along the top of the bill. Like most ducks, this bird 
does not breed until late in May. Nest near inland water. 
Eggs, 6 to 8, 2 J^ inches ; brownish white. 

The Velvet Scoter, a winter visitor from the North, oc- 
curring in small numbers on our east coasts, is believed to 
+ Velvet breed in certain spots in the North of Scot- 
Scoter, land, but on slight evidence. It has also been 
observed in the west of Ireland in summer and in breed- 
ing plumage. It differs from the last in having a white 
patch behind the eye, and a more conspicuous white bar 
on the wings. It has been captured in the salmon-nets. 

Surf-scoter. — A North American bird, which has strayed 
to the Scottish isles on several occasions, and, more rarely, 
to the English and Irish coasts. There is no white about 
its plumage, which is deep black, save two patches, one on 
the forehead, the other on the back of the neck. 

The Smew, or " Nun," is a not uncommon visitor to 
the unfrequented waters near the sea on our south coast, 
though, as a rule, it is more likely to be met 
with at some little distance out at sea; and 
I have steamed near it, forgathering with pochards, in 
November, about three miles south-west of Plymouth. In 
his full plumage, the male is a handsome black-and-white 



THE GEESE, SWANS, AND DUCKS. 243 

bird with a green patch on the crown and a white crest. 
Like the rest of the group to which it and the next three 
belong, the mandibles are serrated, which must give the 
fish and frogs and the like, in pursuit of which it dives, 
a very poor chance of escape. 

The Goosander, a very much larger bird than the last, 
and distinguished by its dark-green head and crest, pink 

tGoos- breast and bright -red bill, is not only a 
ander. winter visitor to Great Britain and, in smaller 
numbers, to Ireland, but breeds in parts of Sutherland, 
Argyll, and the neighbouring counties. The nest is in a 
hollow trunk, or, less frecpently, on a ledge. Eggs^ 8 to 
13, 2^ inches; brownish white. 

The Eed-breasted Merganser is a winter visitor to most 
of our coasts, estuaries, and tidal rivers, breeding in many 
tRed- loughs in Ireland (known as " Sheld-duck "), 

breasted as well as in most of the Scottish isles and 
Merganser, ^^^^^r gpots on the mainland. It is a smaller, 




but more striking, bird than the last, having a green crest, 
white collar, reddish breast, and white belly. Like the 
Goosander, it is an unmitigated nuisance on the Highland 



244 BIRDS. 

trout- and salmon-streams, and its protection has been the 
subject of a deal of discontent. The nest is either under- 
ground or else in the heather or long grass, and is lined, 
as are those of almost all ducks, with a profusion of down. 
Eggs, 8 to lo, 2^ inches; greenish drab. 

Hooded Merganser. — A rare straggler from North 
American waters, which has occurred half-a-dozen times, 
mostly in Ireland. 



CHAPTER IX. THE DOVES. 

Three residents ; one summer visitor. 

The Wood-Pigeon, Ring-Dove, or Cushat is the largest of 
our doves, and is familiar, more especially to the farmer 
"Wood- whose crops it raids, in most parts of these 
Pigeon, islands. It is one of those birds that have 
increased and extended their range in our islands, and is 
common in agricultural districts where but half a century 
ago it was not known. Being the most abundant of our 
doves, it is not easily mistaken for any other ; besides, 
it is sufficiently distinguished by the green patch on the 
neck, below which are the white feathers which, after 
the second year, form a kind of incomplete collar. The 
straight flight of this bird, as also its great speed, is 
appreciated by those who have waited in the woods at 
sunset for an overhead shot as the birds fly home to roost. 
They move like arrows, and are as easy to miss as most 
birds. The note of this pigeon, the low vibrating " cooing," 
cannot be mistaken for that of any other bird, or, for that 
matter, any other dove. Like all the family, it is a great 
drinker, and, in Australia at any rate, it is generally easy 
to reckon on a bag of the indigenous pigeons, of which 
that continent has such a variety, by repairing at sun- 
down to the neighbourhood of some water-hole. Its food 



THE DOVES. 245 

is unfortunately composed for the most part of grain, peas, 
clover, and various seeds, all of which man has planted 
for his own use, so that the bird is no favourite. The 
nest, a j^latform of sticks, is placed at almost any height, 
commonly in the tops of the fir-trees ; but I have also 
taken the eggs, especially on wooded hillsides, less than 
4 feet from the ground. It is likewise known to lay in the 
deserted dreys of squirrels or nests of hawks or magpies. 
Two or three broods are reared, the first eggs being found 
in the early days of April. Eggs, 2, if inch ; glossy white. 

The Stock-Dove is a smaller and more silent bird, and 

may be distinguished by the absence of the white collaret. 

In the Highlands this dove has extended its 
Stock-Dove. . , , , <• i , ,i 1 .^ 

range considerably 01 late years, though it was 

till comparatively recently found no farther north than the 
Forth. In Ireland, it appears still confined to parts of the 
east coast ; but along the south and west coasts of Eng- 
land it seems to be extending as rai3idly as in Scotland. 
Its flight is still more rapid than that of the ring-dove. Its 
food consists largely of charlock and other seeds. The bird 
makes no nest, but lays its eggs in rabbit-burrows, holes in 
trees and clififs, deserted nests of magpies and other birds, 
squirrels' cages, &c. Eggs, 2, i^ inch; yellowish white. 

The Rock-Dove, the wild form of our domestic pigeons, 
is distinguished best by its white rump and black bars on 
the wing. It is a bird essentially of the ground, 
of the cliffs and foreshore ; and its distribution 
amons: the coast caves of Scotland and Ireland seems to 
be general, though in England it is exceedingly local, and 
absent from apparently suitable districts. It is a well- 
known resident on the Isle of Man, and Flamborough 
Head is a favourite breeding-station. The bird feeds, like 
the rest, on grain and seeds, and it also drinks much and 
regularly. It nests on ledges in caves, the nest being a 
very slight structure. Eggs, 2, ij4 inch ; pure white. 



246 BIRDS. 

The Turtle -Dove lias bred in some of tlie northern 
counties, and has recently extended as far north as 

* Turtle- Caithness. A bird of more twisting flight 
Dove. than the rest, it is distinguished by the 
somewhat longer tail, which is edged with white, and by 
the black-and-white patches on the neck. It is the 
smallest of our doves, and in food and habits closely re- 
sembles the wood - pigeon, only the nest is generally 
placed nearer the ground. I have taken the nests, how- 
ever, in adjoining plantations, and at the same height. 
Eggs J 2, li- inch; white. 



CHAPTER X. § PALLAS'S SAND -GROUSE. 

Pallas's Sand-Grouse, which must stand by itself, is a 
capricious migrant from the steppes of Asia, spring and 
autumn irruptions passing over Europe to these islands 
at long and irregular intervals. These arrivals of this 
curious bird, known by its long tail - feathers, short 
feathered legs, and the possession of three toes only, 
united by a membrane, have occasioned a great deal of 
discussion and learned correspondence, and have even 
been the subject of more than one monograph. Here 
it suffices to say that the chief arrivals have been in 
1859, in the winter 1863-64, in 1872, 1876, and 1888-89, 
the last being also the greatest and in many ways the 
most interesting, as a large number were kept in confine- 
ment,^ and many more remained, probably to breed, as 
esfcrs were taken in several counties. Moreover, this in- 
flux extended over a greater range than its predecessors, 
reaching even to the extreme west of Scotland and Ire- 
land. The bird feeds entirely on seeds, and its flight has 
been likened to that of the golden plover. It builds no 
1 Macplierson, Visitation of Pallas's Saiul-Grouse, p. 31. 



THE GAME-BIRDS. 247 

nest, but scratches a depression in the earth for the re- 
ception of the eggs. Eggs, 3, ij^ inch; buflf, with brown 
or purple blotches ; elliptical in form. 



CHAPTER XL THE GAME-BIRDS. 

[Our game-birds include eight species, of which perhaps 
the most interesting to the naturalist is the red grouse, 
which occurs nowhere else in the world ; while still 
more interesting in its history is the splendid capercailzie, 
reintroduced from Scandinavia sixty years ago, after it 
had become extinct for nearly a century. Several of the 
rest were artificially introduced. The term " Game-birds " 
is applied somewhat loosely to this order, for, legally 
speaking, the snipe and woodcock, though they may be 
trapped without licence, rank as " game " for the gun. 
Seven residents; one summer visitor.] 

The Pheasant, introduced from Asia at some remote 
date, — as some say, by the Romans, — now crossed with 
more recently introduced breeds, is met with 
throughout these islands, even to the Outer 
Hebrides, though it would have had a poor chance of sur- 
vival were it not for the protection extended to it during 
half the year that it may be better shot during the 
other half. It is on many estates practically a tame bird 
for six months, a wild one for the other six. A remark- 
able bird too in many of its arrangements and instincts, 
for not only is it said to be common for three or four hens 
to incubate the same clutch of eggs, but the male is also 
alleged on rare occasions (not like those birds in which 
such duties regularly devolve upon his sex) to take his 
share of incubating the eggs and of looking after the 
young birds. The natural food of the pheasant consists 
of berries, grain, and worms, but it has of course learnt 



248 BIRDS. 

to look for the food placed in certain spots by the keepers. 
It is remarkable how oblivious these birds have grown of 
the passing train. Even in the height of the shooting 
season, when they might be expected to be shy, both 
sexes will feed placidly within 20 yards of the track; 
indeed so little fear does the steaming engine inspire in 
them, that a cock-pheasant is said to have flown (March 
1897) into a first-class compartment, closely pursued by a 
hawk, the latter withdrawing, and its victim soon dying 
of its injuries. The way in which these birds will, w^hen 
disturbed, run swiftly under cover, then, rising in a curve, 
top the nearest hedge and alight in some sheltered place 
beyond, is well known. The hen bird, whose sober 
colours certainly bear a close resemblance to those of 
earth, especially in a ploughed field, is said on good 
authority to rely somewhat on this protective colouring, 
crouching where she stands, and only rising reluctantly 
and at the last moment. Although I have commonly ob- 
served this crouching in the partridge, I must confess to 
having missed it in the larger bird, my idea having been 
that she behaves very like her lord, but escapes, if possible, 
by running under cover. 

Like most birds of this group, the pheasant passes most 
of its time on the ground, the shelter of dense undergrowth 
suiting it better than high trees, though it usually roosts 
in them, and has been known to lay its eggs in deserted 
nests at a great height from the ground, — a departure from 
the normal state of things that recalls the nests of the 
cushat which I have more than once found on the ground. 
The cock bird fights gallantly for his establishment of 
hens, and is, as a rule, prompt to desert them as soon 
as the young appear. Like all grain -eating birds, the 
pheasant is a great drinker. The cock-pheasant is too 
familiar to need description, but it is desirable to draw 
attention in passing to the remarkable spur at the back 
of the leg — a spur tliat recalls that in the beaver, platypus, 
and clianticleer. Old hen pheasants that no longer busy 



THE GAME-BIEDS. 249 

themselves with family affairs assume a plumage not un- 
like that of the male. 

The nest, when on the ground, is a slight structure, 
usually placed under cover. Eggs, lo to i8, if inch; 
glossy greenish-bro\\Ti and spotless. When the hen, de- 
serted by her mate, has to leave the nest, usually for water, 
she is mindful to cover the eggs with leaves or bracken. 

The Partridge is a familiar bird in all the more cul- 
tivated portions of these islands. It is indeed essentially 
_ . , a bird of cultivation, and there are therefore 

untilled districts in Scotland (particularly in 
the isles) and Ireland where its distribution is local. It 
was more abundant in Ireland ten years ago than to-day. 

Like the other game-birds, the partridge is swift of foot, 
and to this, as well as to its protective colouring, the bird 
prefers to trust. When flushed, however, the short wings 
beat rapidly until the bird considers itself at a safe dis- 
tance, when it glides for perhaps a hundred yards, alights 
and runs a very little way, then looks back to see what its 
disturber is about. But this procedure is perhaps too well 
known to need mention, since partridges can be observed 
any day in the fields, though, in the hurry of shooting, many 
of their most interesting habits go unnoticed. The most 
distinctive mark on the old partridge is the horseshoe on 
the breast. These birds roost on the ground, a habit much 
approved by stoats and foxes. They consume more insects 
than the pheasant, and snails are a favourite article of food. 
The partridge appears to have but one mate. The nest, not 
unlike that of the pheasant, though smaller, is built in April. 
Eggs, 12 to i8, nearly i^ inch; olive brown and spotless. 

The French Partridge, introduced towards the end of 
the last century, is most abundant in East Anglia, but 
Red-legged occurs in many other southern counties, though, 
Partridge. fQj. gome reason or other, it will not thrive in 
Scotland or Ireland. It is a wretched bird to shoot unless 



250 BIRDS. 

well driven, for it possesses in an exaggerated degree the 
family objection to rising from the ground, and will run 
before the dogs. The notion that it is in any way in- 
jurious to the indigenous bird is probably an error. They 
preserve a kind of armed neutrality, rarely interfering, still 
more rarely interbreeding, though instances of the latter are 
on record. At the same time, it seems advisable to mention 
that more than one authority on the subject of game-birds 
has stated the existence of a sort of blood-feud, much as 
that existing between the black and brown rats, and with 
much the same result, the victory of the new-comer. 

Unlike the common partridge, this bird frequently 
perches on stumps and even at a considerable height ; and 
it will even nest at some little distance from the ground, 
notably in stacks. It is easily distinguished from the other 
bird, not alone by its red legs and bill and the presence of 
a blunt spur, not unlike that in the pheasant, only less, 
but also in the very easily recognised black patch under 
the throat, and the black and red bars on its sides. The 
nest is as slight as those of most of the family. Egr/s, lo to 
i8, i| inch; creamy white, with numerous reddish spots. 

With us from May to October, the migratory Quail is a 

small edition of our common partridge, except for the 

black patch on the throat. It is a southern 
* Quail. . 

bird, and the flocks on migration are immense. 

A number remain with us through the winter ; and this 
was also the case in Ireland, where, however, the bird has, 
both as a visitor and as a resident, gradually diminished 
in numbers of late years. In Scotland its distribution is 
extremely limited. This is another bird difficult to get off 
the ground, and even on the wing it rarely rises to any 
height. Its note is peculiar, but I, at any rate, find it in- 
describable. Its food consists mostly of seeds, chickweed 
for preference. The nest is placed in an open field, and is 
no more than a hollow in the ground sjiarsely lined with 
grass. Eggs^ 7 to 12, i inch ; creamy, with brown blotches. 



THE GAME-BIRDS. 



251 



The Capercailzie, handsomest of our game-birds, if not 

indeed of British birds irrespective of order, has, as already 

mentioned, been successfully reintroduced 

Capercailzie.^^^^^^ the pine-forests of Scandinavia to those 

of Scotland, after an absence of nearly a hundred years. 




The precise meaning of the name is "horse of the woods." 
A great deal of interesting information on this and every 
other point in connection with the bird's distribution and 
history is to be found in Harvie-Brown's ' Capercaillie 



252 BIRDS. 

in Scotland.' In Ireland, where it apparently became 
extinct about the same time as in Scotland, it has not 
been reintroduced ; in England it may never have occurred, 
or, if it did, it became extinct at some early period of which 
there remains no record. The legs of the capercailzie 
are feathered, but the foot, unlike those of the red grouse 
and ptarmigan, is bare. The tail is long and rounded, 
therein differing from the striking lyre-like extremity of 
the next species. The male, the larger of the two, is a 
fighting bird ; and Sir Henry Pottinger and others who 
have made a study of it give most interesting accounts of 
his spring "sj^el," wherein he performs all manner of 
antics to engage the attention of the hens. He is a con- 
firmed polygamist, and fights, or makes a great pretence of 
doing so, for his wives. These birds feed largely on berries 
and fir-shoots, the latter imparting to their flesh a flavour 
of turpentine, and the Scandinavian peasantry call it by a 
name that has reference to this peculiarity. The eggs are 
laid in a depression scraped in the earth. Eggs, 7 to 10, 
2 ^ inches ; brownish or pale orange, with brown blotches. 

The Black Grouse (the male being known as the " Black 
Cock," the female as the "Grey Hen") is a smaller bird 
Black than the last, which it nevertheless somewhat 
Grouse, resembles in habits. The adult male is at 
once distinguished by the lyre-shaped feathers in the tail, 
the underpart of which is white. There is also a conspic- 
uous bar on the wing. The distribution of this bird is 
somewhat local and subject to unaccountable changes. It 
seems pretty generally at home throughout Scotland, includ- 
ing the Inner Hebrides, though said to be on the decrease 
in the Loch Lomond district ; in Ireland, it appears to be 
wanting ; in England, it occurs in many suitable districts,^ 
wherever there is secluded forest, but generally in small 
numbers. Thus, I have learnt to look on those said to 

1 Sir Herbert Maxwell informs me that the bird has almost, if not 
quite, disappeared from Surrey. 



THE GAME-BIRDS. 



253 



inhabit the New Forest as apocryphal, though they are 
doubtless to be found by those enjoying greater oppor- 
tunities of visiting the more secluded shades of that en- 
chanting waste. As already said, this bird agrees closely 
in habits with its larger congener, and notably in the 
curious spring tournaments and "spels," being also, like 
the capercailzie, both pugnacious and polygamous. Con- 




tinental sportsmen take advantage of the love ecstasies 
of both these birds to shoot them from ambush ; and 
in the case of the capercailzie a good deal of manoeuvring 
seems to be necessary, as the love-song lasts only for a 
few seconds, and unless engaged in singing or otherwise 
showing off to the hens, the bird is very alive to danger. 
Buds, seeds, and grain are the chief food of this bird. 
The black grouse breeds with almost all our other game- 
birds, and some remarkable fertile hybrids are the result. 



254 BIRDS. 

The nest is merely scratched in the earth. Eygs, 6 to lo, 
2 inches ; yellowish white, with reddish-brown spots. 

The subject of the full-page plate, the Red Grouse (p. 69), 
is, as already mentioned, peculiar to these islands, where it is 
Bed practically restricted to the northern portions, 

Grouse, being commonest on the Scottish and York- 
shire moors, and even extending to the Midlands, but not 
as far south as the Thames. It seems widely distributed 
in Ireland, but it does not thrive in the Shetlands. It is 
closely allied to the Scandinavian Willow-grouse; indeed 
the points of difference are somewhat slight. Another 
bird not distantly related is the delicious little " Hazel- 
hen," to eat which to perfection one must visit a restaur- 
ant in its native country or in ISTorthern Germany in 
autumn. It is one of the most delicate birds for the 
table in Europe. In the grouse and its congener the 
ptarmigan, the leg and foot are thickly feathered, and 
the hind-toe is so short as to be almost obsolete. This 
national bird passes its whole existence on the soft bleak 
moors, nesting there and only going on short migrations 
in very severe weather. It feeds on the sprouts of heather 
and on corn, berries, and seeds. The dire disease to which 
the grouse is liable has been the subject of public in- 
quiries and of several books, but the mystery seems to 
remain unsolved. Besides this remarkable ailment, this 
bird is the host of a number of parasites, which have also 
been specially studied by veterinary authorities. The red 
grouse has all the little peculiarities of its tribe, the 
vanities when in presence of the hens, and the singular 
habit of burying itself in snow, also observed in the caper- 
cailzie and ptarmigan. The nest is no more pretentious 
than that of most game-birds. Eggs^ 7 to 10, 1 3^ inch; 
pale coffee, with red blotches. 

The white Ptarmigan, sometimes seen in English^ poul- 
terers' shops in early spring, is confined, so far as these 



THE GAME-BIRDS. 255 

islands are concerned, to the stony plateaux of the High- 
lands. It seems, though once found, according to some, 
in Cumberland, to have never occurred in 
the south of England or anywhere in Ire- 
land ; and even in Scotland it steadily refuses to thrive 
in many apparently suitable spots, both on the mainland 
and among the islands, into which sportsmen and landed 
proprietors have repeatedly endeavoured to introduce it. 
The interesting part of this bird is its habit, like that 
of the mountain hare and stoat, of changing its brown 
summer coat to white when the snow is on the ground. 
Even the conspicuous red swelling over the eye of the 
male disappears in winter. He, however, retains black 
stripes before the eyes, which serve to distinguish him at 
once from the female and from the almost identical 
willow-grouse in its winter garb.^ It is interesting to 
notice that, while the stripe on the face never loses its 
blackness, so, on the other hand, the feathers of the tail 
are white winter and summer alike. The legs and feet of 
this bird are very thickly feathered, and the hind-toe is 
exceedingly short. Mr J. G. Millais relates in one of his 
interesting books ^ a most ingenious and simple method 
employed in poaching this bird during snowy weather. 
The poacher merely presses into the soft snow an inverted 
champagne-bottle, and fills half the pit thus formed with 
grain, scattering a little more of the latter around by way 
of attracting the birds and whetting their appetites. They 
approach the pits, and, in trying to get at the contents, 
overbalance and tumble in. Then the frost comes to the 
aid of the iniquitous, and the hapless bird soon struggles 
to death in its prison. The ptarmigan has much the same 
food and habits and disease as the grouse. The nest and 
eggs are also much the same. Eggs, 8 to lo, nearly i^ 
inch ; pale brown, with reddish markings. 

1 Most of the white birds sold as "ptarmigan " are in reality willow- 
grouse in winter clothing. 

2 Game Birds, p. 71. 



256 BIRDS. 



CHAPTER XII. THE RAILS AND CRAKES. 

[These include seven small and mostly familiar, thougli 
not conspicuous, birds. The landrail, indeed, is seen less 
often than heard. They are all insect-eaters, though 
not exclusively so. Three residents ; two regular and two 
irregular visitors.] 

The Landrail, or " Corncrake," is a bird to which the 
poet's complaint in respect of the cuckoo might far better 
apply, for it is often exceedingly difficult to 
get a glimpse of the owner of the harsh note 
that sounds at dusk from out of the long grass close by. 
Any summer evening, often indeed far on into the night, 
the strange rasping sound may be heard. Swift, how- 
ever, as it is on foot, it is but a poor performer on the 
wing, its legs dangling in careless fashion. It is said by 
most observers to feign death — a trick common to many 
beasts and birds ; but I never had the good fortune to 
witness this, though I have handled many live birds of 
this species, and, so far from "foxing," they one and all 
pecked vigorously. 

The landrail is a timid skulking bird, and knows full 
well how poor it is in the air, for it quits the earth with 
the greatest reluctance, and it is often only by very patient 
and careful observation that one is enabled to see the long 
neck craning over the top of the waving corn, among 
which the bird finds the insects and seeds on which for 
the most part it feeds. It is, according to Mr Saunders, 
also known, when put up by dogs, to climb into bushes. 
There seems to be some slight uncertainty as to whether 
the female also utters the " crek-crek." This much I 
know, that the bird, whatever its sex, almost invariably 
stands still during the moment of utterance ; but I never 
got more than a passing glimpse of the owner of the voice, 
and the sexes present no striking differences in plumage. 



THE EAILS AND CRAKES. 257 

They nest soon after arrival, late in May. The nest is of 
grass lined with softer grasses, and is placed on the ground 
in the corn or long grass. Eggs, 7 to lo, i^ inch; dull 
brownish white, with red spots. 

Not uncommon in the marshy tracts of these islands, 

but rarer than formerly, the "Water-rail is as shy as the last, 

even noisier, and still more reluctant to rise on 
"Water-rail. , . * i ^ x-l • -x • ^^ 

the wing. About the same size, it is easily 

distinguished by the conspicuous white bars on the wing, 

as also by its red bill. It passes its life among the sedges, 

feeding on aquatic insects and molluscs, and nesting in 

March, two broods being reared. The bird is by no means 

so close a sitter as the last, the nest being of reeds, and 

therefore admirably concealed among the same material. 

Eggs, 7 to 10, under i^ inch; creamy white, with red 

and grey spots. 

The Spotted Crake breeds during its visit in the east and 

south of England, in parts of Wales and Scotland, rarely 

* Spotted ill Ireland. The return migration takes place 

Crake. in October, but a few birds are thought to 
remain through the winter. The small white spots with 
which the bird is thickly covered distinguish it at once 
from the rest, which it closely resembles in food and 
habits. Its nest, placed among the reeds, is a far more 
artistic structure than those of its relations, consisting of 
flags, with a soft-lined receptacle for the eggs. Eggs, 7 to 
10, I ^ inch; greenish brown, with red spots. 

§ Little Crake. — A rare visitor from the south, chiefly to 
the eastern counties, where it has occurred over a dozen 
times. The bill and legs are green. 

§ Baillo7i''s Crake. — A very rare straggler, chiefly to the 
eastern counties. Its home is in Africa. It is said to 
have nested in this country. 

The Moorhen, or Water-hen, is familiar on many of our 
inland waters, and may be recognised by its red-and-yellow 

R 



258 BIRDS. 

bill and the red mark on the leg, which is otherwise green- 
ish. These birds frequent certain waters in numbers, and 

on a short stretch of the Cray in North Kent 
Moorhen. ^ , , . • i , l • j. 

I took SIX or eight nests m two successive years. 

The birds were by no means shy, being little persecuted, 
though they were made less welcome at the trout-hatchery 
close by. It is a good deal molested on account of its 
supposed destruction of young trout and game-birds. I 
do not, from what I have been able to observe, believe 
in the damage done in this respect, though I have more 
than once detected it, on a certain private water that shall 
be nameless, feeding, as I believe, on trout-ova. I could 
plainly see it with the aid of my glasses feeding on some- 
thing very like spawn ; and I admit in all contrition that, 
having been refused permission to fish the water not long 
before, I did not feel called upon to warn the owner of the 
presence of poachers. The swimming and diving of this 
bird are, considering that the feet are not webbed — differ- 
ing from those of the landrails only in their narrow mar- 
ginal membrane — marvellous, nor is it by any means so 
poor on the wing as some writers make out. It dives at 
the flash of the gun, and, like some other waterfowl, has 
a knack of remaining submerged all but the bill. The 
moorhen is very susceptible to cold, and in the severe 
winter of 1886 I picked up several birds that had 
obviously died of the cold. 

In addition to the aforementioned trout-ova, which are 
available for a short space only, the bird consumes 
quantities of insects and grain. The nest is of flags and 
sedges, and is placed low down by the water, sometimes 
floating, at others partly submerged, and the bird is said 
to resort to ingenious methods of keeping both nest and 
contents dry in flood-time. It is also known to nest in 
trees at some height above the water, and I have found its 
nest in the dry bracken a couple of hundred yards from the 
water's edge. Eggs^ 6 to 9, if inch ; brownish white, 
speckled with red. 



THE KAILS AND CRAKES. 



259 



Coot. 



The Coot, a fairly common pond-bird, may be easily dis- 
tinguished by the bald white patch on its forehead. Its 
habits are much those of the last, as it dives 
when shot at, reappearing several yards away. 
The feet of the coot have a remarkable lobed membrane 
along each toe, which may partly assist the bird in its 
rapid progress over the water-lilies. Each toe has a free 
flap. To appreciate this palmated foot, as also the slighter 
membrane of the moorhen, it is absolutely necessary to 
examine the bird alive if possible, or at any rate im- 




mediately after its death. The museum specimen, no 
matter how skilful the taxidermist through whose hands 
it has passed, gives a very inadequate idea of its func- 
tions. The coot is a sociable, not over-timid bird. Like 
the last, it is rarely seen off the water, even roosting on 
its surface. It feeds on water weeds, snails, insects, and 
seeds, and perhaps a few small fish. The nest, placed 
among the reeds, is very large for the size of the bird, being 
a compact structure of flags and reeds. E<j(/s^, 6 to lo, 
2 inches; greyish, speckled with very dark brown. 



260 BIEDS. 



CHAPTEE XIII. THE CRANES AND BUSTARDS. 

The Crane. — Nowadays a rare straggler only, though at 
the end of the sixteenth century it bred in East Anglia. 
The old male has a red patch on the crown, and is a bird 
of about 4 feet in length. 

\Tlie Demoiselle Crane, another southern bird, is included 
by some in the British list, but many regard it as doubt- 
ful. It has been recorded in Somerset.^] 

The Great Bustard, familiar in the old engraving with 
the appropriate Stonehenge in the background, is another 
straggler in the islands where once it reared its young. 
The white bristles on the neck distinguish the male. 
The extinction of the bustard as an indigenous British 
bird took place in the first third of the present century. 

The Little Bustard. — A straggler from Africa, now as 
always. It is worth noting that the bustards have but 
three toes. This bird, which is less than half the size of 
the last, is further distinguished by the bands of white on 
the throat and neck. 

MacqueerCs Bustard, a large and handsome bird with a 
conspicuous black-and-white crest and rufi", has wandered 
hither from its home in Central Asia on, so far as is known, 
two occasions only. 



CHAPTER XIV. THE WADERS. 

[These include the curlews, plovers, snipes, and sand- 
pipers, a large and important group, most in evidence on 
our foreshores in winter. They are birds of very similar 

' Proceedings Wincanton Field Club (1893). 



THE WADERS. 261 

habits, wading among the channels left by the receding 
tide and picking up a living on crustaceans and molluscs. 
The bill is long and slender ; in some it is soft and adapted 
to sucking. They are mostly visitors on spring and autumn 
migration. The hind-toe is often wanting. They build no 
nest, laying the eggs in a depression in the earth. Eight 
residents, twenty-five regular, nineteen irregular, visitors.] 

Also known as "Norfolk Plover" or "Thick-knee," the 
Stone-curlew breeds freely in the south and east of Eng- 
* Stone- land, and a few remain in the warmer portions 
curlew, of the south-west through the winter, though 
the majority dejDart for the south in October. To Scotland 
and Ireland the bird is a rare straggler only. The under- 
parts are dull white with brown streaks ; the bill is black 
towards the tip, the base yellow. There is no hind-toe. 
It is a bird of nocturnal habits, feeding, chiefly on small 
mammals, reptiles, and beetles, after dusk, and not until 
the moon is up is its singular cry heard to any great 
extent. Heaths and rabbit-warrens are the favourite re- 
sort of the stone-curlew. Like the rest of the group, it 
lays its eggs in a depression among the stones, which 
they closely resemble. Eggs, 2, over 2 inches; pale 
brown, with grey spots. 

^Pratincole. — An irregular visitor in spring and autumn, 
chiefly to the southern counties, though it has occurred as 
far north as the Shetlands. Its home is in Africa. One 
occurrence only is recorded from Ireland. 

Cream-coloured Courser. — An African straggler to the 
south of England. One has occurred in Scotland, but 
none in Ireland. 

Otherwise " Einged Dotterel" or "Sand -Lark," the 
Ringed Plover is a familiar shore -bird on the east and 
south coasts, where it breeds in April. There are two 



262 BIRDS. 

races, a larger and a smaller, the latter being for the most 
part visitors on migration only. I know of a number of 
Kinged patches on the coasts of Sussex and Hampshire 
Plover, where the birds' eggs are to be found regularly 
every spring, and, curiously enough, they seem to know 
instinctively how hard the eggs are to pick out from among 
the surrounding stones, for, unlike many other ground- 
breeding birds, I have noticed them show but little anxiety 
when I was close upon the eggs. The latter lie with their 
points to the centre. The black collar and breastplate 
scarcely distinguish the bird from some of its relatives, 
which also affect these ornaments, but there is a conspicu- 
ous white stripe hehind the eye, which should serve the 
purjDOse. The note of the bird is as shrill as that of 
most of the group, but a softer note is heard from the 
male during his courtship. The bird feeds on crustaceans 
(being very partial to sand-hoppers) and molluscs. Eggs, 4 
(pear-shaped), if inch ; grey, with black spots. 

The Little Ringed Plover, distinct from the smaller 
race of the last-named bird, is a very rare straggler from 
the south, having occurred not more than half-a-dozen 
times. 

The Kentish Plover is a regular visitor to England and a 
rare one to Ireland, nor does it occur so far north as Scot- 
* Kentish land. The black band on the chest is distinc- 
Plover. |;jv3 jjj ^jjQ case of this bird, as its continuity 
is broken in the centre, and it therefore resolves itself 
into a patch on either side. The behaviour of this plover 
is very different from that recorded above of the ringed 
plover. It manifests the greatest anxiety when any one 
approaches the eggs or young, performing all the more 
commonly recorded tricks of the male lapwing, though 
much of this distress is unnecessary, for its treasures are 
fully as difficult to find. Nevertheless, collectors have 
played the mischief with the eggs of this once plentiful 
bird. They are often, though not invariably, placed with 



THE WADERS. 263 

the pointed end in the earth, but not to the centre as 
those of most plovers. They are laid either on the 
shingle, or, occasionally, in the deserted nest of a tern. 
Eggs^ 3, i}i inch; grey, with black spots and lines. 

KiUdeer Plover. — A very rare American straggler, which 
has been obtained twice only — in Hampshire and the 
Scilly Islands. 

The Golden Plover, which retires to the inland moors to 
breed, is known by its black j^lumage, profusely spotted 

Golden with bright yellow. It is found breeding in 

Plover, tjjg Hebrides, also in the Orkneys and Shet- 
lands, the breeding-stations being on the moors and on high 
land. The note of this bird, often heard at nights, is shrill 
like that of the rest, though there is a more liquid sound 
about it. Eggs — laid in a dej^ression slightly lined — 4, 
2 inches; greyish yellow, with clark-brown blotches. 

Lesser Golden Plover, of which there are two forms, the 
American and the Asiatic. Each has occurred not more 
than twice. 

The Grey Plover, a common winter visitor to the coasts 
of these islands, chiefly on the east side, may be known 
t Grey by the white line over the eye, and may be 
Plover, further distinguished from the golden plover, 
a bird of much the same size, by the absence of yellow 
from the plumage and the presence of a hind-toe. I give 
its general appearance in the winter plumage in which it 
visits these islands, for in its Siberian breeding-stations 
its breast is conspicuously black, the knowledge of which, 
however, will not greatly assist in its identification while 
with us. 

The Dotterel should more properly perhaps be regarded 
^ as a passing visitor on spring and autumn pas- 

sage, but a number breed in the Lake District. 
According to Mr Saunders, its decrease in this country is 



264 



BIllDS. 



due to the employment of its feathers in the manufacture 
of artificial flies. The crown of this bird is very dark, and 
there is a white curved line behind the eye, as well as a 
white band, somewhat indistinct, on the chest. It has the 
reputation of being a very stupid bird. Its food consists 
of insects. In Ireland its occurrence is exceedingly rare. 
It breeds up in the mountains, the eggs being laid in a 
depression in the grass. Eggs^ 3, i ^ inch ; yellowish, 
with brown blotches. 



The Peewit, or Green Plover, is easily distinguished by 

its black crest and breast, the underparts being 

white. It is found almost throughout these 

islands, and its curious flight and shrill cry are familiar. 




more particularly on the mud flats near the sea, in April 
after it has i)aircd. Perfectly white lapwings have been re- 
corded. This bird is commonly included among the food of 
the peregrine, but I was recently witness of the interesting 



THE WADEES. 265 

sight of one of these fine birds flying rapidly over a large 
flock of peewits near Christchurch in Hampshire without 
showing any inclination to molest them. What, however, 
was even more significant than this — for the bird may of 
course have been gorged — was that the peewits showed 
not the least fear in presence of the falcon, as they might 
surely have been expected to do in the presence of a 
natural enemy. On the other hand, the wheeling bird 
seemed to have a business eye on the movements of a 
number of little white tails that were bobbing among the 
sandhills close by, — in short, it appeared to be bent on 
a meal of fur rather than feather, for which its prefer- 
ence is universally admitted. The male lapwing's tricks 
for diverting attention from his eggs or young have been 
alluded to ; but, even before the breeding season, the 
evolutions in the air of both sexes are somewhat remark- 
able, and I have seen in the low land within a mile or 
two of the Baltic a flock of probably some hundreds of 
these birds behaving like tumbler pigeons. Mere wanton 
gambolling evidently, since they would not, even were it 
the practice of this bird to feed in the air, have been 
chasing any insects in a temperature several degrees below 
zero. In that country I have eaten the bird, and very fair 
it was, though I always believed it w^as not much eaten 
in these islands. Sir Herbert Maxwell, however, protests 
strongly against our w^asteful consumption of both the bird 
and its eggs. The food of the lapwing consists of insects. 
The so-called " false " nests, which are so common in the 
vicinity of the breeding-grounds, are said to be caused by 
the males dancing to the females. The eggs are laid in a 
shallow depression, often lined with a few grasses. Eggs^ 
4, if inch ; greenish brown, with black blotches. These 
are the "Plovers' eggs" of trade, and so important is the 
industry that special dogs are trained to find them. 

Sociable Lai^wing. — A rare straggler from the Continent, 
which has occurred once only — in Lancashire. It has no 
crest, and there is a white line over the eye. 



2G6 BIRDS. 

The attractive black-and-white Turnstone is with us only 
on its way to and from its northern breeding -grounds, 

§ Turn- though a few are said to stay the winter. It 
stone. jQQ^y \yQ gggjj in sj^ring running among the sea- 
weed just above the high- water line of late winter storms, 
and also turning over the shingle (though I have seen this 
far less commonly) for the little sand-hoppers beneath. It 
utters a loud twitter during its short flights to new feeding- 
grounds. 

The Oyster-catcher, or " Bea-pie," is a conspicuous black- 
and-white bird, nearly twice the size of the last, and easily 
Oyster- distinguished by the absence of hind-toe, the 
catcher, greater length of the bright yellow bill, the 
upper mandible of which is also distinctly grooved, and 
the pink feet. It is seen seeking its crustaceans and 
molluscs on the flat weed -covered rocks, where also it 
lays its eggs. Like the turnstone, though rather more 
frequently, it is sometimes observed on the water, but 
only in still weather. Its double note is even shriller 
than that of most of the other w^aders. ^f/</s, 3 or 4, 
2j^ inches; yellowish, with dark spots and lines. 

§Avocet. — A rare spring and autumn visitor from the 
south, which formerly bred in our southern counties. To 
Scotland and Ireland its visits are few and far between. 
The most striking feature of this bird is the black, up- 
curved bill, with w^iich it scoops crustaceans from the 
sand. It is an expert swimmer. 

Black - ivinged Stilt. — A rare spring visitor to these 
islands, chiefly to the south of England. 

The Grey Phalarope is an almost regular but usually 

scarce wdnter visitor, chiefly to the south of England. 

I Grey Some winters it arrives in great numbers. 

Phalarope. j^g fggj; ^re yellow, and the toes are lobed. 

The underparts are dull red. 



THE AVADERS. 



267 



To the greater part of these islands the Eecl- necked 
Phalarope is only a spring or autumn visitor on migra- 
j, , tion, and in Ireland it has occurred only once, 

necked A few still breed in the Scottish isles. Like 
Phalarope. ^]^g last bird, than which it is rather 
smaller, it has curiously lobed toes, and, like it also, 
the female is the handsomer bird. The bill is pro- 
portionately longer and more slender. Eggs^ 4, i inch ; 
greenish, with black blotches. 



In sf)ite of the fact of the Woodcock breeding, more than 
ever of late years, in almost every part of these 
islands, it seems more desirable to regard it 
as a winter visitor, so familiar, to all at any rate who 



tWoodcock. 




'•y 



j 



have resided on the north-east coast in autumn, are the 
return " flights." The birds leave again for Scandinavia in 
early spring, though, as above mentioned, a large number 
remain to breed. A number nest annually in Hampshire, 



268 BIRDS. 

and their tracks in the New Forest often arrest the atten- 
tion of picnic-parties who have not the least idea of their 
meaning. There are many points of interest in connection 
with this bird, among those most often disputed being the 
method in which the mother carries her young (between 
the legs, and pressed with the bill, is, I believe, the actual 
manner), the j^recise extent of the bird's migrations, and 
the exact manner in which it produces the curious sound 
known in some parts as " roding," which is quite distinct 
from the " drumming " of the snipe. With regard to its 
migrations, ornithologists seem on the whole to regard 
these as very capricious, and Mr ^Saunders attributes much 
of the scarcity of the woodcock at certain times to the 
bird's secretiveness after moulting. In its external feat- 
ures the woodcock is also among the most interesting of 
our birds, the eye being placed far back, obviously by reason 
of the way in which the bird obtains the soft worms 
by thrusting its bill into the mud, the latter organ being, 
moreover, most sensitive towards the tip, which is curved 
and wrapped in a membrane. AVhen on the foreshore, 
the woodcock also devours c[uantities of small shrimps 
and sand-hopjDers, most of its food being obtained after 
sundown. It bears some resemblance to the snipes, but 
may be readily distinguished by the presence of feathers 
down to the tarsus, which gives it the appearance of 
being much shorter-legged than the latter. On the mng, 
the woodcock hangs its head in a fashion unicj[ue among 
birds. The bird lays in April in a depression in the earth 
lined with dead leaves. It breeds in all the southern 
counties. Eggs, 4, i3^ inch ; yellowish, with brown 
blotches. 

The Great Snipe, a winter, or, more i)roperly, autumn, 
visitor to the east and south of England, is rarer in the 

t Great west; while in Scotland and Ireland its re- 

Smpe. corded occurrences have been little more than 

a dozen. It is also known as the " Double " or " Solitary " 



THE WADERS. 269 

snipe, and is the largest of the three found in these 
islands, having .a good deal of white in the tail; the 
latter, moreover, has sixteen feathers, being two more 
than in that of the common snipe, and four more than 
in that of the Jack-snipe. 

The Snipe is one of those j^artly resident birds, the 
numbers of which are, after breeding, replaced by autumn 
Common visitors. There is a black variety, practically 
Snipe. confined to these islands, and formerly dis- 
tinguished as a species under the name of " Sabine's snipe." 
The bird breeds near bogs, and is perhaps more generally 
distributed in Ireland than in any other part of these 
islands. It is a shy bird, and is often surprised tripi^ing 
about the mud in search of worms and other soft food, 
but is rarely hard to jDut up. It squats low, and is occa- 
sionally successful in baffling a dog in this manner. The 
" drumming " of the snipe in the breeding season, as he 
drops into cover, is among the most extraordinary of bird 
sounds, and there seems reason to suppose that it is caused 
by the action of the air rushing through the feathers of 
the wings. Sir E. Payne-Gallwey gives a very interesting 
account of this in his 'Letters to Young Shooters' (1896, 
pp. 348-352). It makes a slight nest. Eggs^ 4, if inch ; 
yellowish, with brown blotches. 

The " Half -snipe" is found on our foreshores and among 
the swamps in the vicinity from October until April. In 

t Jack- spite of a few having been, on what appears 

Snipe. loose evidence, known to stay the summer 

year after year, there seems no reason to suppose that 

it has ever bred in these islands. This is the smallest of 

our snipes. 

Red -breasted Snij^e. — A straggler, mostly in autumn, 
from North America, which has occurred about a dozen 
times in England, twice in Scotland, and once in Ireland. 



270 BIRDS. 

[There is a larger species, sub-species, or variety, which 
has occurred once — in Ireland.] 

Broad-hilled Saridpiper. — A straggler from Scandinavia, 
which has occurred five times in the south and east of 
England, and once in Ireland. 

Pectoral Sand^nper. — A straggler from North America. 
It has been obtained over twenty times in England, mostly 
on the east side, and twice each in Scotland and Ireland. 

Bonajmrte's Sand])i2:)er. — Another American straggler, 
of which about a dozen, or rather more, have been ob- 
tained in England, most in the west, and one in Ireland. 

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. — A Siberian bird that has been 
obtained once — in Norfolk. 

The Dunlin, or " Ox-bird," is common throughout these 
islands in winter, at which season flocks are seen on all our 
low shores; but in the spring, the breeding 
season being about May, these birds become 
more local, especially in Ireland, where its breeding-stations 
are very few. In England it breeds chiefly on the higher 
moors. In the breeding j^lumage the breast of the male 
is conspicuously black, and the great length of the bill is 
certain to attract attention. The food and habits are the 
same as those of the rest of the group. It builds a slight 
nest in the grass or heather. Eggs^ 4? i /^ inch ; greenish, 
with brown spots. 

The Little Stint, a small and noisy bird, bears some 
resemblance to "the dunlin. I have seen numbers on 

§ Little the Sussex and Hampshire coasts in former 
Stint. years, though they seem less plentiful of late ; 
and they are often found in the company of larger waders, 
which has always suggested to me the parallel of the herds 
of mixed game that in the old hunting days were, we are 
told, to be seen browsing together in peace in the South 



THE \YADEES. 271 

African veldt. Its trivial name is unsatisfactory, as it is 
slightly larger than Temminck's Stint. 

American Stint. — A very rare straggler, which has been 
obtained on three occasions — in the south-west. 

A spring and autumn visitor, reported to have wintered 
§Tem- ^^ Ireland, from arctic regions. There is 

minck's more white in its plumage than in that of 
S*i^*- the other stints. 

This small visitor on migration, chiefly to the eastern 
seaboard, may be distinguished by the reddish tinge in the 
§ Curlew underparts and the white on the back. Its 
Sandpiper, chief resemblance to the curlew, a bird three 
times its size, lies in the long curved bill. Its flight is 
rapid; and its egg and breeding - place were, until the 
present year (1897), unknown. 

An idea prevails among ornithologists that the Purple 

Sandpiper may breed sparingly in the Shetlands. It is 

t Purple seen on our shores in winter, seeking its food 

Sandpiper. ^^ q^, ^q^^ ^^j^q water. The short leers are 

yellow in colour. 

The Knot is a common winter visitor to all our coasts. 
I have observed that this wader is far less shy when 
alone, a not uncommon way of finding it, than 
when in company; and this is characteristic 
of all gregarious birds, which probably flock for the double 
object of finding food and being on the alert for enemies. 
A hundred pairs of eyes and ears can recognise danger, as 
a hundred bills can find worms, so much sooner than the 
number allotted to the individual. The antics of the knot 
at the edge of the receding tide, where it thrusts its long 
straight bill after the retreating solen, are often very strik- 
ing, and when it takes flight the mottled under23arts are 
most conspicuous. The back is black, barred with pale 



272 BIRDS. 

brown. The bird's breeding-grounds and egg are a mys- 
tery, though the young have been taken but a few days 
old. The knot is a great traveller, being found as far 
south as Australia, whither it journeys from a presumably 
arctic birthplace in incredibly short time. 

The northern Sanderling, which is found in numbers on 
most of our coasts in early autumn (the old and young 
§ Sander- birds arriving together), and again in spring, 
img. jg easily known by the conspicuously black 

back and white underparts, the absence of a hind-toe, and 
the straight black bill, slightly swollen at the tip. I have 
shot the bird on the mud-flats north of Leghorn, and I 
noticed that, unlike a number of waders, it invariably flew 
straight out to sea when disturbed. They were the small- 
est waders on that coast, and were always very fat. 

The Piuff (the female is called "Eeeve " ^)must be regarded 
as an autumn visitor nowadays, though a few may still 
breed in East Anglia, where formerly the birds 
nested in hundreds. Thus the bird is seldom 
seen with us in the full glory of his many-coloured ruff, 
which he only wears for a short time during the breeding 
season, and when flocks pass us in spring the sides of the 
face are patchy, wearing a half-ragged appearance. The 
spring "hilling," or sparring, of the males consists for the 
most part of show, not unlike the similar mock-tourna- 
ments observed in some of the game-birds. The ruff 
feeds on worms and seeds. The nest is in the grass. 
^</[/s, 4, if inch; greyish, with brown spots. 

Biif- breasted Sandpiiier. — A straggler from arctic 
America, which has been obtained about a dozen times 
in England, chiefly in the south, three in Ireland, but not 
once, it is thought, in Scotland. 

1 In the same way (among fish) the dull female of the Gemmeous 
Dragonet goes by the name of Dusky Skulpin. 



THE WADERS. 273 

. Bartram''s Sandpiper. — Another Xortli American strag- 
gler that has occurred less than a dozen times, of which 
three were in Ireland. Xot recorded from Scotland. 

The " Summer Snipe " is found in these islands between 
April and September, though it breeds chiefly in the west, 
* Common also in most parts of Scotland and Ireland, 
Sandpiper, ^gg^j. aH ^j^e great inland waters. The white 
in the tail-feathers and the indistinct white line over the 
eye are not so useful in distinguishing this bird from the 
others as its restless manner. The bird is never still, and 
will even fly to some low perch and back, if watched. It 
is also seen on the water. The nest, always in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of water, is a less elementary structure 
than that of most of the group. Eggs^ A-) ^Y^ inch ; red- 
dish, with brown sj^ots. 

The Wood-Sandpiper is a scarce, though regular, visitor 

on migration, rarer in Scotland, and reported once only 

§"Wood- from Ireland. It has conspicuous white spots 

Sandpiper. ^^ ^]^g wings and back, and white bars on the 

tail It formerly bred in Northumberland. 

Formerly confused with the last, and chiefly distinguished 

by the broader black bars on the tail and the shorter legs, 

§ Green the Green Sandpiper is also a slightly larger 

Sandpiper. ]3ij.(^^ ^^^ \^ ^^^^ \^ ^f ^ more decided green. 

Although it probably never breeds in these islands, it is 
interesting to note that, unlike the rest of the group, it 
is known on the Continent to make use of the deserted 
nests of thrushes and magpies, — a very remarkable diff'er- 
ence from the nesting habits of its fellow-waders. It is 
the largest of our sandpipers. 

Solitary Sandpiper. — An American straggler which has 
been obtained on three occasions. 

The Redshank is found on the coast in winter, going to 

S 



274 BIRDS. 

its inland breeding-places early in March. It is one of 

the noisiest of a noisy family. Its distinctive points are 

the brio;ht red leojs and black-tipi^ed yellow bill. 
Kedshank. ^^ ° . ° , . \ j. t 

It can swim well, and is even known to dive 

when wounded. Like the lapwing, it is said to throw itself 

into the most remarkable contortions to tempt the intruder 

away from its eggs, which are concealed in a tuft of grass. 

Bggs, 4, I ^ inch ; yellowish-grey, with brown blotches. 

The Spotted Redshank is a spring and autumn visitor to 
the eastern counties ; rare north of Yorkshire and across 
§ Spotted the Border, and has occurred in Ireland only 
Bedshank. about half-a-dozen times. The legs are darker 
red than in the last, and the plumage is more mottled. It 
is also a slightly larger bird. 

Yelloivshanh. — An American straggler that has occurred 
only once or twice. The legs and feet are bright yellow. 

The Greenshank is a visitor on migration to our inland 
waters, a very few remaining the winter, especially in Ire- 

§ Green- land, and others breeding, according to Harvie- 
shank. Brown, in the Outer Hebrides and some other 
of the isles, and also on the mainland in the far north. It 
is a larger bird than the redshank, the legs and feet are 
green, and the black bill has a slight upward curve. Water 
seems somewhat less essential to its comfort than is the 
case with the rest of the group, for it seeks much of its 
food in u})land fields, and the primitive nest is also found 
at some distance from water. J^ggs, 4, 2 inches ; grey, with 
purple blotches. 

The Bar-tailed Godwit is a visitor on migration to every 

part of the British coasts, but never breeds in these 

§ Bar- islands. The white bars on the tail, from 

tailed which it takes its name, are most conspicuous 

in the summer plumage, though discernible 

even in the duller tints of winter. The bill is slightly 



THE WADERS. 275 

ujj-curved, and the toes are partly united by a membrane, 
the centre one having a comb-like edge. The double note 
is soft. 

Though now only a visitor on migration to the east side 

of England, rarer in Scotland and Ireland, the Black- 

§ Black- tailed God wit formerly bred in the fens. A 

tailed slightly larger bird than the preceding, it is 

distinguished by the black tail and white 

bars on the wing. 

The Curlew is a resident in these islands, but it should 
be borne in mind that its migrations within their limits 
are considerable, and it is not to be found 
in the same district all the year round. Like 
the next bird, the curlew is consj^icuous by reason of its 
long down-curved bill ; the rump is also white, and the 
underparts are profusely streaked with dark brown. This 
bird is a great trouble in winter to the shore-shooter, for 
it is easily alarmed, and its shrill note is enough to alarm 
everything else within range. So rapid is the flight of 
this bird with the wind behind it, that one has been 
known to go through a J^-inch plate-glass window. The 
curlew breeds in almost every part of these islands, except 
in the south-east of England and the Outer Hebrides. It 
visits the latter, however, in winter. Eggs, 4, 2 ^ inches ; 
greenish-brown, with dark blotches. 

The Whimbrel, "May bird," or "Titterel," is a visitor 
on migration to the mainland of these islands, breeding 

§"Whim- only in some of the Scottish isles, as in the 
brel. Orkneys and Shetlands, and one or two spots 
in the Outer Hebrides. It is a much smaller bird than 
the curlew, to which it, however, bears strong resemblance, 
differing chiefly in the presence of a whitish stripe over 
the eye. As in the case of the curlew, the female is the 
larger bird. I have also fancied that I observed less order 



276 BIRDS. 

in the passing ranks of wliimbrels moving in flocks. It is 
said to be very bold in defence of its eggs, and is also said 
to be partial to land berries. Eggs, 4, 2}4 inclies ; greenish, 
"with brown blotches. 

Eshimo Cw'leiv. — A rare straggler from North America 
to the British Islands, to which it has found its way about 
half-a-dozen times. 



CHAPTER XV. THE TERNS, GULLS, 
AND SKUAS. 

[An important group, including the majority of our sea- 
birds, most of which are resident, others being mere 
stragglers. These birds are web-footed, and rapid on the 
wing. The terns have been termed not inaptly the 
swallows of the sea, and their swallow-like flight as they 
skim the waves recalls the little migrants, as does also 
their awkwardness on land. They lay their eggs on the 
earth without any approach to a nest. They are, in some 
localities, great enemies of the gulls, destroying their 
eggs and young. Nine residents ; twelve regular, eleven 
irregular, visitors.] 

I. The Terns. 

The Common Tern, with us from May to September, is 

a grey bird with black crown and white underparts. The 

' Common tail, as in all this group, is deeply forked. 

Tern. 'pj^g \y[\\ r^^([ ^q^j} c^^q orange-coloured. This 

tern feeds, as do the rest, on small surface fish, and, 
though no diver, may be seen plunging on the shoals 
and generally securing a prize. Eggx, 3,1^ inch ; grey, 
with dark blotches. 



THE TERNS, GULLS, AND SKUAS. 277 

Apparently resident on the east side of Scotland (where 
it breeds on the islands), also on the west in the Hebrides, 
Arctic and off the English coast on the Fame group, 
Tern. -j^j^g Arctic Tern is a somew^hat darker bird 
than the last, and the bill and legs are of a more pro- 
nounced red. In food and habits, it resembles the last. 
Egg 8^ 2 or 3, i ^ inch ; greenish, with red spots. 

The Little Tern, with us from May to September, and 
breeding, somewhat locally, on almost all our coasts, ap- 

* Little pears to be absent from most of the Scottish 
Tern, isles. The bill is bright yellow, tipped with 
black, while the crown and a line from the eye to the 
bill are also black. Like the other terns, the bird is 
bold when near its eggs. It makes no nest. Eggs, 2 or 
3, i^ inch ; grey, with brown spots. 

Sooty Tern. — A straggler from the tropics, obtained 
three times. I have seen large numbers on the islets in 
the Red Sea. 

ScopoU's Sooty Tern. — A very rare straggler from the 
tropics ; has been obtained but once — at the mouth of the 
Thames. 

G%dl-hilled Tern. — A rare straggler from the south. 
About a score have been obtained in England, chiefly in 
the east and south ; none in Scotland or Ireland. 

The Caspian Tern, the largest of British terns, is a 
rare visitor to the east and south of England, but has 
not reached Scotland or Ireland. 

Though the Sandwich Tern is a regular visitor to 

these islands, and, while far less plentiful than formerly, 

*Sand- ^^i^l found breeding on the Fame Islands 

•wich. and in other spots on the English, Scottish, 

and Irish coasts, the breeding - stations of 

this bird are at the present day few and far between. 

The male has a black crow^n, and the long, forked tail, 

with the rump, is conspicuously white. The bird feeds 



278 BIRDS. 

largely on sand-eels, and I once saw a pair of them lifting 
these little lish from the surface of a sheltered bay in 
Cornwall early in July, and visiting a ledge of rock not 
much above high- water mark. I had my suspicions that 
they were feeding their young, but as the bird is said to 
have forsaken the Cornish coast and Scillies as breeding- 
stations, this was 2:)robably fancy on my part. At any 
rate, my object w^as fishing, and not molesting sea-birds, 
so that I gladly left the matter in uncertainty. Eggs, 
2, 2 inches; yellowish, with reddish-brown spots. 

The Roseate Tern formerly bred among the Scilly Islands, 
but now nests only in a semi-protected state on the Fame 
* Roseate Islands. The ]}ii\k. tinge on the underparts, 
Tern. from which the bird derives its name, is not 
lasting ; the legs and feet are red ; crown black ; and 
general plumage on the back silver grey. This tern is 
rarely if ever seen away from the immediate vicinity of 
the coast. After the last two, this is about the largest of 
our terns. Eggs, 2 or 3, i ^ inch j pale brown, with deep 
brown blotches. 

A scarce visitor on migration, the Black Tern formerly 
bred in East Anglia and in the Solway district. Its occur- 

§ Black rence north of the Border seems more frequent 
Tern. on the west side, which is the reverse of what 
obtains farther south. The tail in this (and in the follow- 
ing) species is much less forked than in the preceding terns 
— the same difference, in fact, as between the tails of the 
martins and swallows. It is chiefly an insect-eater, dragon- 
flies being among its favourite articles of food. 

The White -winged Black Tern is a scarce visitor on 

migration, chiefly in spring. It appears not 

''winged ^0 have reached Scotland, and has been 

Black reported about half - a - dozen times from 

Tern. ^ i ^ 

Ireland. 



THE TERNS, GULLS, AND SKUAS. 279 

Whiskered Tern. — A rare straggler from the south. It 
has been obtained half-a-dozen times only. 

Noddy. — A rare visitor from the troj)ics, which has 
been reported twice — from Ireland. There were several 
species of noddy in Australia, handsome birds with uni- 
form dark plumage. They feed on fish, which are picked 
off the shallows. 



2. The Gulls. 

The trivial name of the Common Gu:ll is an instance of 
the loose employment of the prefix "common," since the 
Common commonest of our gulls, especially during the 
^^11* summer, when people visit the Channel towns, 

is the Herring-gull, the so-called common species having 
flown north to breed. In Ireland, again, as Mr Saunders 
points out, the commonest gull is the black-headed species, 
also abundant all the year round on our south coast. In 
company with both of these, this gull will follow the 
plough, especially in rough weather, and feed on the 
worms that it turns up ; and it will also wander up tidal 
estuaries, though those which venture up the Thames 
regularly as far as Battersea are, so far as I have ever 
seen, of the black-headed species. I once saw in France, 
near the coast, several of these gulls following the plough 
in company with a pair of choughs, and there was a 
good deal of fighting, though it did not appear that family 
ties entered very much into the matter, as the gulls 
were punishing each other severely, as well as shrieking 
at the red-legged birds. The latter were, however, sworn 
allies, and this gave them the better chance. At any rate, 
the gulls presently flew to another part of the field, leaving 
the choughs to worm in peace. This gull will, when there 
is nothing more to its taste, eat grain and turnips, but it 
cannot of course be treated seriously as an offender in this 
respect ; while, on the other hand, its undoubted fondness 



280 BIRDS. 

for that curse the wireworm constitutes it undoubtedly a 
friend and ally of the farmer. In summer the head and 
neck of this gull are white, but in winter they are spotted 
or streaked. The bill is yellow at the tip, darker at its 
base. It makes a large nest of grass and seaweed on some 
islet, and close to the water. Eggs, 3, 2^ inches; light 
brown, mth black blotches. 

The Herring-Gull, a larger bird than the last, is found 
breeding on all our coasts. I have seen its eggs, sometimes 
Herring- from above and in anything but pleasant places, 
Gull. near Dover, Hastings, and Torquay, and have 

found the nest mth young just outside Lul worth Cove, 
in Dorset, and west of Polruan, in Cornwall. The name 
is not a very happy one, for most other gulls will follow 
and harry the herring and pilchard shoals, besides wdiich 
this bird feeds a good deal on sloping fields on the downs, 
and is a great egg- lifter. It is easily recognised by the 
sharp contrast of the black of the folded wings, the tips 
having some bright white spots, and by the yellow-and-red 
bill. The head and neck, pure white in summer, are, as in 
the last, streaked in winter. Like the other gulls, this 
bird is no diver. I have had them round my lugger when 
fishing the whole day eight or ten miles from the Cornish 
coast. The seafowl in those parts seem to be but little 
molested by the fishermen, if one can judge at least by the 
absence of fear. I have had herring- gulls and black- 
headed gulls and guillemots (or " murrs '') all feeding on 
whatever I threw them. To the gulls the most suitable 
offering was a dry fish that had been caught some time, 
and that would consequently float while they tore pieces 
from it. Otherwise they liked best a fresh wrasse, which, 
from the buoyancy of its distended air-bladder, would also 
float. As soon as I threw a piece of wet fish, however, 
which immediately sank, the gulls would merely hover 
over it, seemingly unable to snatch it from even an inch 
or two beneath the surface. Then came the turn of the 



THE TERNS, GULLS, AND SKUAS. 281 

guillemots, which would disappear on business and return 
at a safe distance from the larger fowl that might have 
resented the intrusion. I tried this many days, and 
always with the same results, for the question of gulls 
being able or not able to dive has an interest in con- 
nection with the harm they are alleged to do the fisheries, 
a matter to which I may have to allude on a later page. 
The nest is sometimes near the ground. Those who have 
seen only casual breeding -sites associate the birthplace of 
these birds with inaccessible clifi"s and crannies ; but some 
of our most famous guUeries — for instance, the Lincoln 
colonies at Scotton and Twigmore — are in low flat situ- 
ations in the immediate neighbourhood of ponds. Eggs^ 
3, nearly 3 inches ; pale brown, with dark blotches. 

The Black-headed, or "Laughing," Gull is another of 
our common species, and is familiar nowadays even to 
Black- Londoners, as some are generally to be seen 
headed in the winter months above Waterloo Bridge. 
It breeds on several parts of our coasts, more 
particularly in Scotland and Ireland. I recollect one arm 
of the Baltic, not far from a large wood inhabited by wild 
swine, where these birds bred in hundreds, and the eggs 
were easily obtained, being, in fact, on the ground. The 
name of this gull is not much nearer the mark than that 
of the last, for in the first i:)lace the head is white in 
winter, and even in summer it is dark-brown, not black. 
Xor can its voice be considered more like laughter than 
that of several other members of the genus. Like many 
of the rest, it is partial to wireworms, and I saw these 
gulls on more than one occasion catching mice in some 
fields east of Bognor. Eggs, 3? 2 1 inches; light brown, 
with dark blotches. 

Mediterra7iean G\dl has been obtained once or twice — 
in the eastern counties. 

Great Black-headed Gidl. — A southern straggler that has 
been obtained once. 



282 BIEDS. 

In the Lesser Black -backed Gull the back is almost 

black, the head and neck white (streaked in winter), and 

the bill yellow with red tip. It breeds on our 
Lesser "^ ^ 

Black- northern coasts wherever there are elms and 

backed rocks, also in Cornwall. In the north it does 

damage to the eggs of moor -breeding birds, 

and is on that account kept under. In winter it occurs 

all round these islands. Eggs, 3, 24 inches ; light brown, 

with blotches. 

The Great Black-backed Gull, the largest of the gulls 

that breed in these islands, is not unlike the preceding, 

though a considerably larger bird. I have 

Black- seen its eggs through glasses down near the 

backed Land's End, but they were always in places 

that did not tempt me farther. It is, like 

the last, a pest, only much worse on account of its greater 

size ; and is even known to attack lambing ewes. It does 

not breed on the east coast, but has a number of stations 

among the Scottish and Irish cliflfs. Eggs, 2 (sometimes i), 

3 inches ; brownish-grey, with dark blotches. 

The Glaucous Gull, a winter visitor only, is a splendid 

bird with yellow bill and pink legs, the wings white, 

t Glaucous the back silvery grey. Its visits are chiefly 

^^11- to the coast of Norfolk and the east of 

Scotland. 

The Iceland Gull is a scarce winter visitor, smaller 
t Iceland than the last, and having proportionately 

Gull. longer wings, 
Bonaparte^s Gull. — A rare arctic straggler, which has 
occurred half-a-dozen times only. 

The Little Gull is an irregular visitor from Northern 
t Little Kussia. The head, black on the breeding. 
Gull. grounds, is almost white while the bird is 
with us. Legs bright red. Wings dark below. 



THE TERNS, GULLS, AND SKUAS. 283 

^o.ss's Gull. — A wedge-tailed bird, that has wandered 
from the Polar regions on one occasion only, many years ago. 

Sabine's Gull is a rare visitor on autumn migration. 

The tail is forked. The head and neck are grey while 

§ Sabine's the bird is with us, though in summer quite 

^^^^* black. It is not a regular visitor, and only 
about a dozen specimens are recorded from Ireland. 

Ivory Gull. — A scarce winter visitor from the north. 
Of the thirty odd examples that have been obtained, most 
were recorded from Scotland. 

The common Kittiwake breeds in Devon and Cornwall, 

also on the north-east coast, and in most of the 

Scottish isles. It also has several colonies on 

the more precipitous coasts of Ireland. Like the last, it 




is a short-legged bird, and the hind-toe is absent. The 
tail is white, the wings long and pointed and tipped with 
black. It is essentially a sea-bird. I have met with it 



284 BIEDS. 

hundreds of miles from land, and its flight is rapid and 
sustained. I have also observed that its swooping on the 
fry embraces a nearer approach to diving than is ventured 
on by most gulls, the bird's head and wings being often 
completely immersed. The name has of course reference 
to its grating note, and is about as descriptive as most 
other bird-names bestowed for similar reasons. The nest 
is on rocky ledges. Eggs^ 2 or 3, 2 inches ; greenish-grey, 
with dark blotches. 

3. The Skuas. 

The Great Skua is a large, dark bird, with powerful bill 
and hooked claws, the name originating in its supposed 
Common cry. I have watched, day after day, the " Jack- 
Skua. Hurry " out on the Cornish fishing-grounds, 
as it swooped on the gulls and made them disgorge their 
food. The fishermen told me that when it attempted to 
levy toll in this way on a shag, that wily bird would dive, 
at which the skua was no match for it. There prevails on 
parts of the coast a notion to the effect that the skua feeds 
on the excreta of gulls, and the name of " Dung-bird " is 
in consequence bestowed on it. There must be a large 
number of non-breeding birds; for, in spite of the fact 
that it breeds nowhere in these islands save in a semi- 
protected state in the Shetlands, it is to be found every 
summer off Cornwall, and I have met it off the Needles 
in June. Besides making the gulls disgorge their food, it 
feeds largely on the smaller birds themselves, notably on 
the young of the kittiwake. The bird nests on the ground 
on the high waste lands in the Shetlands. Eggs^ 2, 
2i inches; greenish-brown, with very dark markings. 

The Pomatorhine Skua is an autumn and winter visitor 
tPomator- to our east coast, less frequently to Ireland, 
hme Skua, f^j^e lower parts are white, and the long tail- 
feathers are twisted vertically. 



THE ALBATROSS, PETRELS, AND SHEARWATERS. 285 

Of Richardson's Skua two forms occur on our coast — a 
light-chested one, known more properly as the Arctic Skua, 
Richard- and a darker. Both breed in most of the 
son's Skua, gcottish isles, and intermediate forms are 
found, which bridge over the differences. The tail is long 
and tapering. This skua obtains most of its food by vio- 
lence, but it also feeds on shore crustaceans. Eggs, 2, 
2^ inches; green, with brown blotches. 

The Long-tailed Skua is so called from the long brown 
tail-feathers. It visits our coasts, more particularly on the 
ILong- east side, in autumn, and less frequently in 

tailed Skua, spring. Save for the longer tail and some 
yellow on the neck, this bird is not unlike the somewhat 
stouter light form of the last. 



CHAPTER XVI. THE ALBATROSS, PETRELS, 
AND SHEARWATERS. 

[A group of sea-birds, mostly of small size, distinguished 
by their tubular nostrils. They spend most of their time 
on, or over, the water, and feed entirely on fish. They 
comprise three residents ; two regular visitors ; five irregu- 
lar visitors.] 

I. The Black-broaved Albatross. 

A specimen of the Black-browed Albatross was taken 
this summer (July 1897) near Linton, in Cambridgeshire. 
The legs and feet are greyish-blue, the tail blackish, head 
and underparts white. The occurrence inland of this 
southern bird, which has more than once been seen hover- 
ing in the neighbourhood of the outlying Faroe Islands, 
created something of a sensation in the press and 
elsewhere. 



286 BIRDS. 

2. The Petkels. 

Those who know the great albatrosses of the southern 
hemisphere find its flight wonderfully rej^roduced in that of 
Storm- its tiny black-and-white relative, the " Mother 
Petrel. Carey's chicken," or Storm-Petrel, of northern 
seas. The foolish notion that connects this bird with 
storms has just so much truth in it as that, knowing 
instinctively when a storm is nearing, it seeks the com- 
pany of ships. The albatross does, as a matter of fact, 
often fly better in a gale than in still weather, and I 
have seen these birds following the ship for days of very 
dirty weather heedless of the storm. Not only does the 
flight of the petrel recall the larger bird, but its features 
are those of the other in miniature — the tubular nostrils 
and hooked bill; and, to complete the resemblance, there 
is the same unpleasant oily smell about the plumage. 
When a j)etrel is brought aboard, it is visibly distressed, 
like its larger relatives, keej^ing its footing with difficulty 
and hanging its head, while oil drops from its bill as if 
it were sea-sick. Like all its kind, the storm-petrel is a 
true sea-bird, feeding on the floating squid and other 
surface food, and even roosting on the water. It breeds 
in the Scilly Islands and on Lundy. The single egg is laid 
at the farther end of a burrow that smells yet worse than 
the bird. E[/c/, IyV i^^ch ; white, slightly sj^otted. 

Leach's, or the "Fork -tailed," Petrel, is an irregular 
visitor to the east coast of England, but breeds on St 

Leach's Kilda, as well as in parts of the Hebrides and 

Petrel. elsewhere on the Scottish and Irish coasts. 
I recollect one of these birds being picked up dead after 
a three days' gale one November off Ecclesbourne, near 
Hastings. The bird is somewhat less sombre than the 
storm-petrel, and the white -barred black tail is forked. 
Br/r/^ I yi inch ; white, with tiny spots. 

[An example of an allied species was found on the Sussex 



THE ALBATROSS, PETRELS, AND SHEARWATERS. 287 

coast in 1895, another in Colonsay on Xew Year's Day 
1897.] 

Wilson's Petrel. — A rare straggler from the southern 
seas, of which under a dozen have been taken in England, 
a couple in Ireland, but none in Scotland. 

Bulwer's Petrel. ■ — An Atlantic straggler, which has 
occurred once only — in Yorkshire. 

Capped Petrel. — A southern straggler, which was ob- 
tained once — in Norfolk. 

The Fulmar is known on the English coasts only in 
rough winter weather, but breeds in the Shetlands, Outer 

t Fulmar Hebrides, and St Kilda. It is the largest of 
PetreL our petrels, and has all the family characters. 
There are two forms, one with darker grey underparts, 
but it is the whiter race that breeds in the above islands. 
This bird is closely allied to the great "Mollies" of the 
South Australian coasts, and, like them, and in fact all the 
petrels, feeds on the water. I have seen several flying 
slowly about the herring-boats at the mouth of the Elbe. 
The egg is laid on a ledge. Pog-, 3 inches; white. It 
has a rough surface and, when first taken, a strong smell. 

3, The Shearavaters. 

Tolerably common — the non-breeding birds at any rate 
— on most parts of our coasts throughout the year, the 
Manx Manx Shearwater breeds off the Cornish coast, 

Shearwater, perhaps on Lundy, and, I am told, among some 
islets not far from Weymouth. It also nests among the 
Scottish isles and at several points on the Irish coast. The 
shearwaters differ from the petrels in the much longer 
curved bill. The flight is rapid, and is performed just 
clear of the water ; and I have seen the bird riding on 



288 BIRDS. 

the water on calm days, but I think it never dives unless 
it first gets up plenty of way on the wing. Then it will 
go right through the waves and come up a little way 
ofi". Its food consists, however, for the most part of 
squid and other creatures that it can get without diving. 
Egg^ 2f inches ; white. 

DusTcy Skeartvater, — An Atlantic bird, which has 
occurred twice only. 

Sooti/ Shearivater. — An irregular visitor in the cold 
months, formerly confused with the young of the next. 

The Great Shearwater is a scarce visitor on migration, 
§ Great chiefly in autumn. Its food consists of squid 

Shearwater, and cuttle. The fishermen use it for bait. 



CHAPTER XVII. THE GUILLEMOTS, DIVERS, 

AND GREBES. 

[The three groups of which the order is composed differ 
widely, for the first have stout short bills for the most part ; 
the divers are all marked by curious bands on the throat ; 
and the tailless grebes have singular palmated feet, recall- 
ing those of the coot. In all, the underparts are white. 
They all dive, however, for their food, but in their nesting 
habits they bear little resemblance, one group construct- 
ing large floating nests, another making no nest whatever. 
There are, in all, eight residents, five regular visitors and 
one irregular visitor.] 

The Razorbill is a common bird on our coasts all the year 

round, breeding in most of our cliffs. Down near Lul- 

worth Cove there are inaccessible ledges cov- 

Razorbill. ^ ^^^ .^ • 1 1 T- 1 

erecl with their eggs and young ; and I have 
noticed that the gulls and other seafowl that breed there 



THE GUILLEMOTS, DIVERS, AXD GREBES. 289 

take up different levels. The bird must occasionally seek 
congenial food at some distance from its nesting -place, 
for this summer there was a pair right through June and 
July every morning under Bournemouth pier just after 
sunrise. I used to go down at daybreak almost without 
fail to get smelts and sand-eels for baiting with later in 
the day, and there were these two diving birds, which had 
also apparently learned that the small fish congregate in 
the shelter of the weed-covered greenheart piles when 
they were not to be found elsewhere in the bay. There 
are, however, no cliffs in which these birds would care to 
nest nearer than St Alban's Head on the one hand and 
Hengistbury Cliff on the other, the latter fully three or four 
miles away, the former indeed considerably more. It is 
therefore to be presumed that the birds had some means 
of conveying food to their young, but where they stowed 
it, unless in their mouth, I do not know. The only other 
assumption was that there were no young to feed, though, 
as the birds were of different size, therefore presumably of 
opposite sex, there seemed, considering the time of year, 
slight ground for such a sup230sition. This bird is about 
the same size as the equally familiar guillemot, but the 
bill is conspicuously humped at the end, and the back is of 
a deeper black. It also floats at the surface with its tail 
cocked, like most of our ducks. In taking wing from their 
nesting-ledges, all these birds drop sheer from a great height, 
then suddenly sweej) up in a curve just when they seem 
about to fall into the water. Like the guillemot, this bird 
lays a single large egg, which it also incubates lengthwise. 
Egg, 24 inches ; brownish-white, with dark blotches. 



The Guillemot is an equally familiar bird, with long 

straight bill and brown plumage. There is a "ringed" 

^ .„ variety having conspicuous white lines round 

Guillemot. .. ^ -r.\ ^ i i i j t 

the eye. It breeds on rocky ledges, and I 

have had eggs from every county between Hampshire 

and the Land's End (including the Isle of Wight), but 

T 



290 



BIEDS. 



its chief stations are, I believe, in the north-east. In the 
spring of 1894 I was witness of a somewhat interesting 
sight, which enabled me to record in the ' Field ' a new 
article of food for this bird, notably large barnacles. I 
was steaming near the Wight when I saw something on 
the water, which developed under strong binoculars into 




a small plank, evidently a fragment of wreckage, covered 
with those crustaceans, which two guillemots were busily 
tearing off and eating — such portions at least as they could 
manage, for a barnacle is not all eatable. There could be 
no doubt about their occupation, for I could plainly see 
them first worrying the creatures off the wood, then throw- 
ing up their heads, evidently swallowing some portions. 



THE GUILLEMOTS, DIVERS, AND GREBES. 291 

This is interesting, as I never knew of any bird before, 
either north or south of the equator, that tackled a full- 
grown barnacle and came off alive. On the Cornish coast, 
where the guillemot, or "murr," is found in abundance, it 
will seek the comj^any of fishing-boats for the sake of the 
scrajDs of ground-bait (vernacular, " guffin ") thrown over- 
board ; and I have known one paddle round my boat in 
this way for hours together. It is often caught in the 
stake-nets, and so many were recently destroyed in this 
way off the Fowlsheugh, near Stonehaven, that the Gov- 
ernment was petitioned to cancel the lease of the nets, 
and did so. Egg, 31^ inches (the female is only about 
16 inches !) ; pear-shaped and green, white, or stone-colour, 
with black or brown blotches and lines. 

Brilnnicl^s Guillemot. — A rare straggler from Polar 
regions. 

The Black Guillemot, with the conspicuous white patch 
on the back of the wings, is found breeding on the Isle of 
Black Man, also among the Orkneys, Shetlands, and 

Guillemot. Hebrides (where it is known as the " Turtle- 
dove"), and on rocky parts of the northern portion of 
Ireland. In other i3arts of these islands it is seen only 
very rarely, in winter. Unlike the other guillemots, this 
bird lays two eggs. Eggs, 2, 2^ inches; bluish- white, 
with brown blotches. 

t Little The Little Auk, an uncommon winter visitor 

•^^^- to our north and east coasts, is a small black- 
and-white bird, with stout bill and a white spot over the 
eye. 

The Puffin, " Sea -parrot," or "Culterneb," is a little 

black-and-white bird, the most remarkable feature of 

which is unquestionably the bill, for, instead 

of putting on smarter courtmg plumage, it 

grows a larger bill at breeding-time, and that protuber- 



292 BIRDS. 

ance becomes, moreover, brightly streaked with red and 
gold. In autumn this attraction is shed piecemeal. It is 
after this bird, which has burrowed there from time 
immemorial, that Lundy Island is named. It also breeds 
in the Scilly Islands, among the Hebrides, and in fact 
among all the wilder cliffs of the Scottish and Irish coasts. 
Egg, 2 y^ inches ; dirty white (in collections), with small 
brownish spots. It is said to be pure white at first, but I 
have not taken it myself. 



2. The Divers. 

The Great Northern Diver, a large and handsome bird, 

must be regarded as a winter visitor to these islands, 

t Great though it is said to breed in the Shetlands. 

Northern The black plumage is spotted with white ; 

Diver. ^jjg underparts are white ; and there are two 
white streaked bands on the throat. It seeks food at con- 
siderable depths. This bird is not uncommon off the 
Cornish coast in early winter. Like the rest, it is awk- 
ward on land, and is seen to best advantage in the water. 
White- (or Yellow-) hilled Northern Diver. — A Polar bird 
which has been obtained on four occasions only, all on the 
east coast. It is a slightly larger bird. 

The Black-throated Diver, a rare visitor to England in 

the winter months, breeding in the north of Scotland 

Black- ^^^ among the isles, has the throat conspicu- 

throated ously black, with a narrow white streaked 

^^^^' band. Eggs, 2, 3 inches ; greenish-brown, with 

black spots. 



j^g^. The lied-throated Diver, or " Eain-Goose," 

throated as it is often called, has the throat conspicu- 
^^^^* ously red in the spring and summer. Eggs, 
2, 2^ inches; marked as those of the last. 



THE GUILLEMOTS, DIVERS, AND GHEBES. 293 

3. The Grebes. 

The Great Crested Grebe, largest of our grebes, is found 

on our inland waters throughout the year. These grebes 

Great ^^®5 ^^ outward appearance, tailless ; but their 

Crested most distinctive and interesting feature is the 

^^ ^* remarkably lobed membrane of the toes. The 

present species is distinguished in summer by the presence 

of a brown crest and some long black feathers on the 

throat. It is no very unusual sight in the neighbourhood 




of the Broads to see several of these birds flying at a con- 
siderable height. The food consists of fish and frogs, and 
even aquatic larvse ; and the birds are known, for some 
reason connected with their digestion, to swallow feathers, 
a habit noted in several other groups. These feathers 
are found in the castings. This grebe does not breed in 
the north of Scotland. The floating nest of sedges is 
continually added to. J^ggs, 4, over 2 inches ; dirty 
white. 

The Red-necked Grebe is a smaller bird, with a grey 



294 BIKDS. 

patch on the side of the face, a black crest, and the front 
of the neck red; is a winter visitor only to the east of 
+ Red- these islands, very rarely to Ireland. I have 

necked seen its nests in some small See or other in 
Grebe. Xorth Mecklenburg, I forget exactly where. 
It constructs a floating nest like that of the last, but in- 
variably makes it fast near a clump of tall reeds. Such 
at least was the case on the lake in question. Eggs^ like 
those of the last, but slightly smaller. 

The Slavonian Grebe is a winter visitor from the north, 
which is supposed on some evidence to breed in the north 
t Slavonian of Scotland. The bird in its summer dress 
Grebe. has conspicuous tufts of reddish feathers on 
the side of the head, but in winter these are gone. The 
black bill has a white tip. Eggs, 2 to 4, i^ inch; bluish 
white. 

The Eared, or " Black," Grebe is a rare spring and 

§ Eared autumn visitor. There seems even some idea 

Grebe. ^hat it has bred recently in Norfolk. In the 

summer plumage there is a bright reddish patch on the 

side of the head. 

The Little Grebe, or "Dabchick," is the smallest and 
most familiar of the group, and has all the antics of its 
Little fellows, among them the habit of diving with 
Grebe, the young beneath its wing or on its back. 
In addition, the female covers the eggs with weeds when- 
ever she leaves them. The bird is considerably darker 
in its breeding-plumage than in winter. It spends a good 
deal of the colder season at the coast, feeding on small 
fishes and crustaceans, but it goes inland to breed, when it 
consumes much insect and vegetable food. The dabchick 
may in spring-time be seen paddling under water with its 
wings in search of submerged weed wherewith to build its 
nest. The bird has been held up to ridicule for troubling 



ALLEGED BRITISH VISITORS. 295 

to drag every weed from the bed of the river when there is 
so iiiuch floating around ; but I have always preferred to 
believe that these sunken weeds are so softened and 
seasoned by immersion as to be particularly suited to 
the architect's requirements. Its feet are green. The 
nest, large for the bird, is much like that of the rest. 
EggSy 4 to 6, i^ inch; dirty white. 



ALLEGED (POSSIBLY GEXUIXE) BRITISH VISITORS 
(Mostly North American). 

Bee-eater, Blue-tailed (Merops philippinus). 
Buzzard, African (Buteo desertorum). 
Cape Pigeon {Daption capcnsis). 
Caspian Plover {^(juditis asiatica). 
Crake, Carolina (Porzana Carolina). 
Crane, Crowned {Balearica pavonina). 
Flycatcher, Red-eyed ( Vireo olivaceus). 
Gallinule, Martinique {Porphyrio martinicus). 
Grackle, Rustic {Scolepthagus ferrugineus). 
Grebe, Pied-billed {Podilymhus piodiccps). 
Hemipode, Andalusian {Thirnix sylvatica). 
Kite, Black- winged {Elanus cceruleus). 
Lark, Calandra {Alauda calandra). 
Martin, Purple {Progne purpurea). 
Myna {Gracula religiosa). 
Owl, Saw-whet {Nyctnla acadica). 
Phalarope, American {PhaJaropiis wihoni). 
Pigeon, Passenger {Ectopistes iniigratorius). 
Sandpiper, Marsh {Totanus stagnatilis). 

It Spotted (T. macidarius). 

Scops asio. 
Serinus icterus. 

Sparrow, AVhite-throated {Zonotrichia alhicollis). 
Starling, Meadow {SturneUa inagna). 

II Red- winged {Agelceus phccniceus). 



296 BIEDS. 

Swallow, Tree {Tachycincta hicolor). 
Thrush, Gold-vented {Pycnonotus capensis). 
Woodpecker, Black {Picus martius). 

II Downy {Dendrocopus puhesccns). 

II Golden-winged {Colaptes auratus). 

II Hairy {Dendrocopus villosxis). 

Wren, Ruby-crowned {Rcgidus ccdendida). 



EEPTILES 




ADDER. 
IVoni a jihotograph in the Collection of Dr Arthur Stradling. 



REPTILES. 



The i:)overty of the British Islands in this class is not 
likely to cause profound regret to any one who has lived 
Scarcity of i^i tropical parts. Although the fear of snakes 
British is much exaggerated in the Colonies, it is 
reptiles. nevertheless a relief to be able to ramble in 
the New Forest without the hindrance of heavy top-boots 
or leggings ; and it is pleasant to contrast the six British 
reptiles, only one of which can ever be mischievous, with 
the hundred snakes, two-thirds of them poisonous, and 
the two hundred lizards of the Australian continent. In 
addition to its slight power for evil, the adder of our 
woodlands is so easily distinguished from the harmless 
species that there is no excuse for an accident, nor is it 
necessary to slay every snake encountered on the chance 
of its being dangerous. Unfortunately, however, the same 
policy prevails both north and south of the Line : the 
snake is killed first, identified afterwards. In the Colonies, 
where the differences are as often as not internal, and 
where a fatal bite might be the result of a moment's delay, 
there is much to commend this destructive policy ; but in 
this country the habit of persecuting these harmless and 
beautiful creatures should be condemned, though few 
indeed who cry so loudly against the slaughter of their 
cousins, the birds, would offer the slightest objection to 
the murder of ringed snakes. 

It is not difficult to define the class of reptiles, par- 
ticularly for the present purpose, where it is 
not necessary to include alligators and tor- 
toises. Suffice it to say that the animals composing this 



300 REPTILES. 

class are scaly and cold-blooded ; and that they reproduce 
their species in one of two ways, either laying eggs much 
like birds, or else hatching the egg within their own 
bodies, and bringing forth the young in the perfect state, 
— a birth which must, however, be regarded as distinct 
from that of the mammal. 

One of the most remarkable functions in reptiles is the 
periodic casting of the loose skin or slough, which comes 
away entire, — a performance which, in some 



cases, involves considerable rubbing against 
any convenient stone or other hard substance. In birds, 
which may be considered as modified reptiles, w^e call the 
process "moulting." After this change the new undercoat 
is very bright ; and the reptile, more especially a snake, is 
at this time particularly susceptible to cold. I never went 
so near to losing a 6-foot constrictor that I was bringing 
home from Australia as after it had cast its slough piece- 
meal (which is by some considered a sign of bad condition) 
while we were crossing the Timor Sea. It pulled through, 
however, and died recently at the Zoo. Dr Stradling, 
who kindly read this portion of my proof, tells me that 
young snakes usually cast the slough entire, wdiereas old 
snakes rarely do so, quite independent of the condition 
they are in at the time. Lizards are generally credited 
with the power of reproducing any limb which they lose, 

more particularly the tail, which frequently 
fT'^^"^ ^°^ comes away when a lizard is roughly handled. 

Miss Hopley^ criticises this, however, and is 
of opinion that the reproduction of the tip of the tail is 
a very imperfect performance. It is commonly stated 
that there are no reptiles in Ireland. This is a mistake, 
as although there are no snakes there, — it is interesting 
that zoologists should have failed hitherto in finding a 
creditable explanation of their absence from a soil and 
climate apparently suited to their requirements, — lizards 
are abundant. 

1 British Reptiles, p. 83. 



LIST OF BRITISH REPTILES. 



301 



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302 REPTILES. 



CHAPTER I. THE LIZARDS. 

We have three lizards, including the slow-worm, which 
is popularly, but erroneously, regarded as a snake. 

The small and handsome Common Lizard is greenish- 
brown in colour, having black or dark-brown longitudinal 
Common bands, the belly being of a bright orange- 
Lizard, yellow with black spots. The head of this 
species is flattened. This, our smallest lizard, is, like the 
rest, perfectly innocuous, feeding almost entirely on insects. 
It takes readily to the water, and is a rapid and powerful 
swimmer ; and it is also observed to show a preference for 
high ground. It is viviparous, the young, three or four 
(occasionally as many as six) in number, being nearly 
black, and remaining, so some authorities assert, with the 
parents until able to shift for themselves. Others C[ues- 
tion the existence of the parental relations in reptiles. 

[The Continental Green Lizard^ many examples of which 
have been recovered in these islands from confinement, is 
not indigenous, though some of the evidence formerly 
given for its admission to the British list may have been 
based on the green colour often assumed by the male of 
the next species.] 

An inhabitant of the plains, the Sand -Lizard difiers 
from the cmaller and commoner kind internally by the 
Sand- presence of teeth in the palate, externally by 
Lizard. ^}^g presence of granules over the eyes, as well 
as by the smaller scales, which are more numerous round 
the middle of the body. In colour this lizard varies con- 
siderably, being some shade of brown with green reflec- 
tions, the belly white and covered with small black spots. 
There are a varying number of white spots along the back 
and sides, usually in three rows. The sand-lizard passes 
the winter in a torpid condition, and I have dug it up in 
this state near Bournemouth, where it is very common. 



THE LIZARDS. 303 

It is oviparous, the female depositing about a dozen eggs in 
the sand, where they are left to hatch out by themselves. 

In the Slow-Worm, or " Blind-Worm," as it is often mis- 
called, we have a type outwardly resembling the snakes. 
Slow- but in reality — as proved by the traces of 
'Worm, rudimentary feet beneath the skin, as well as 
by the movable eyelids (which it closes when hibernating 
or asleep), the shoulder-girdle, pelvis, and solid lower jaw — 
a lizard. This harmless creature is, like the snakes, absent 
from Ireland. It grows to a length of over 15 inches, but 
the average measurements are considerably under this, and 
a more common length is 10 inches. In colour, it is of a 
metallic red or grey along the back, dirty w^hite or darker 
along the belly. The tail, which is about the length of the 
body, is covered with minute scales; the head and eyes 
are small; the tongue notched, but not forked, as in snakes. 
There is a rudimentary third eye, not functional, in this 
reptile. I have observed as many as a dozen large slow- 
worms on the Downs beyond Clifton, all within a hundred 
yards ; and in the low land bordering on the Avon beyond, 
both it and the viper were common in summer, the latter 
showing the more decided preference for w^et spots. The 
period of hibernation is shorter with the slow- worm than 
wdth any other reptile. It casts its slough in the same way 
as snakes. Its food consists largely of snails and worms. 
It is viviparous, producing ten or twelve young in July, 
often in the vicinity of a manure-heap. True to its name, 
this reptile shows less anxiety than any other I know to 
get out of the way when disturbed. It lies stiff and 
motionless in your path, and, if seized roughly, will some- 
times, though not invariably, leave the tail in its captor's 
hand, a habit characteristic of many lizards. The brittle- 
ness of this creature, however, to which it owes its specific 
name, has been grossly exaggerated. Though its teeth are 
too insignificant to penetrate the skin, the slow-worm is 
very savage, and bites furiously. 



304 llEPTILES. 



CHAPTER II. THE SNAKES. 

There are in Great Britain three snakes, one noxious. 
No snake occurs in Ireland. 

As already incidentally mentioned, our only poisonous 
snake, the Adder, is easily distinguished from the rest. 
Adder or Equally unmistakable are the dark zigzag line 
Viper. along its back and the Y-shaped black patch 
on the crown of its blunt head. On closer inspection, too, 
the plates on the head are observed to be smaller and more 
numerous than in the others. In colour, it is true, this 
snake exhibits considerable variety, examples showing every 
shade of brown to black. In 1881 I remember catching 
in Fairlight Glen, near Hastings, a small red kind, which 
was locally described as particularly venomous. Dr Strad- 
ling tells me that the red phase, there regarded as a valid 
species, is also credited in Herts, Somerset, Devon, and 
parts of Scotland, with special virulence. The adder, like 
all snakes, casts its slough regularly, wriggling out of it in 
such manner that the skin, even to the transj^arent eye- 
covers, is turned inside-out. The bite of this snake is 
instantaneous. The venom lies in a gland above the 
upper jaw, and when the two fangs strike, it is driven 
down a canal in the fang into the wound. The fangs are 
at once withdrawn, and the adder strikes a second time 
with lightning rapidity. When not in use, the fangs lie 
back, not unlike a similar arrangement in some sharks ; 
and there is a series behind which are probably ready to 
take the place of those in active service should the latter 
get broken, as not infrequently happens, though the second 
series are often not perforated. The venom is of greenish 
hue. I knew a herpetologist in Sydney who had dessi- 
cated the venom of almost every known j^oisonous snake 
of that continent, and who kept the powders in sealed 
bottles, — poison enough to have rid the capital of the 
Colonies of its larrikins and Chinamen. 



THE SXAKES. 305 

Wonderful tales are related of Australian snakes jump- 
ing backwards to bite, and our own adder has been 
credited with a similar trick. This, like most zoological 
fiction, is not without its grain of truth ; and the fact is 
that the adder, like the common snake, does coil and un- 
coil with such rapidity, its belly touching the ground the 
whole time, as to give the impression of a spring. But 
for any snake to leap several times its own length is a 
sheer impossibility. The average length of the adder may 
be given at 18 inches, but I have found examples of 24 
inches, and have read of others much longer. It is more 
common in our southern counties, becoming rarer in the 
north of Scotland, though met with on Jura, Mull, and 
some other of the isles, especially in the deer-forests.^ 
The forked tongue of the adder, a sensitive organ that 
aids it in finding its food, has absolutely nothing to do 
with its bite, which is, by the way, often described as 
a "sting." Like our other snakes, the adder hibernates, 
unless disturbed, until the end of spring, though its sleep 
is lighter than that of the smooth snake. I have found 
adders lively in the New Forest in the middle of April, 
rarely before ; but Sir Herbert Maxwell tells me that he 
has seen them in Scotland as early as March. The thin- 
shelled egg is hatched out in the body of the j^arent, the 
young varying in number, according to Dr Stradling, from 
fourteen to forty. On the vexed, question of whether the 
adder swallows her young for safety, I shall not enter. 
I have never, in spite of much patient watching, seen 
anything myself that could be construed into such a 
performance, but, on the other hand, I have met many 
who, with nothing to gain by lying, declared that they 
have witnessed it on many occasions. Always prepared 
for the marvellous in nature, however, a frame of mind 
induced by even a nodding acquaintance with her, I cannot 
find sufficient reason to disbelieve the fact, though ocular 
testimony would of course be welcome. 

1 Harvie-Brown and Buckley, Fauna of Argyll, p. 216. 

U 



306 REPTILES. 

When feeding, the adder moves its jaws over the surface 
of its prey, the fangs working independently; and ahhougli 
its bite is rarely fatal, or even productive of serious results, 
save when the reptile is in unusually good condition and 
the patient the reverse, it is always best to avoid it. Sheep 
have been known to die at once from its bite. It is thoucjht 
that, on the whole, men and monkeys succumb more fre- 
quently to snake-bite than other animals. Dr Stradling 
has record of five fatal cases in this country. The food of 
the adder consists of mice and various lizards, small birds 
and their eggs, and insects. It has been denied that snakes 
eat insects, but Dr Stradling recently watched a green whip- 
snake in Ceylon taking quantities of ants from an ant-hill. 

The Common, or Kinged, Snake, an absolutely harm- 
less creature, is distinguished from the adder by the ab- 
Common sence of the V-patch ; besides which, it has a 
or Ringed, yellow patch on either side the head, form- 
Snake, jjjg g^ kind of collar, as well as some dark 
blotches on the sides of the body, the general shade of 
which is greenish. This is the largest of our snakes, 
growing to a length of nearly 6 feet, though I never 
managed to obtain one more than about 2,3 inches. Lord 
Londesborough had one of 5 feet 8 inches' from the New 
Forest. It feeds on frogs, which are seized by the hind- 
leg and swallowed alive, having been known to survive 
the passage down the throat, toads, rejected by almost 
every other living creature, birds and their eggs, mice 
and newts — the last-named being often captured in the 
water, but invariably consumed on the bank. Both toads 
and newts are highly deleterious food. This snake is ap- 
parently rare in Scotland. It is ovi23arous, depositing 
between two and four dozen leathery-shelled eggs in any 
convenient manure-heap ; and these eggs have been known 
to remain unhatched through the winter and hatch out the 
following spring. They absorb moisture, and grow to 
twice the original size. The young are very dark at first, 
the collar only being light. 



THE SNAKES. 



307 



The Smooth Snake is the rarest of all, especially in the 
north of Scotland. In colour it is reddish-brown, with a 
Smooth double row of black spots. From the last- 
Snake, named it is easily distinguished by the absence 
of keel from the scales, and the consequent smoothness of 
the latter. Its favourite food consists of lizards. Though 
quick to resent a liberty, its bite is perfectly harmless, and, 
when excited, this snake also, like the last, emits a strong 
secretion. It is viviparous. 




RINGED SNAKE. 
From a photograph in the collection of Dr Arthur Stradling. 



AMPHIBIANS 



AMPHIBIANS. 



OuK amphibians are, like our reptiles, few and small, 
numbering only seven. From reptiles, the members of 

this class may readily be distinguished by the 

Definition oi , x. l^ ^ i t • 

. , ., . metamorphoses they undergo, resembling, m- 

deed, fishes in their earlier stage; and these 
changes are undergone, not in a torpid state like that 
of insects, but in continuous activity. These animals are 
oviparous, spawning like fish. Like the reptiles, they cast 
the slough periodically, usually making a meal of it. It 
is interesting to note that the newts assume during the 
breeding season, the only time at which they take to the 
water, certain ornamental crests, often • serrated or fes- 
tooned, as well as additional webbing on the toes to enable 
them to hold their own in their temporary abode. All 
these amphibians are able to breathe through the skin. Of 
tailless amphibians we have four : the common and edible 

frogs (the latter an introduction from the Con- 
form? tinent), the toad, and the natterjack. Of tailed 

forms we have but three : the common, palmate, 
and great water newts, Bell's fourth species having been 
rejected by later authorities. 



312 



AMPHIBIANS. 





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THE FROGS AND TOADS. 313 



CHAPTER I. THE FROGS AND TOADS. 

The frogs are in their habit more or less aquatic, while 
the toads, on the other hand, are more or less terrestrial. 

TJie common British Frog was introduced into Ireland 
a couple of centuries ago. The early metamorphoses of 
Common this species are those of all the group. The 
Frog. spawn is deposited in ponds in early spring, 
floating at the surface in irregular masses. In three or 
four weeks the tadpoles are hatched out. These remark- 
able little creatures breathe by gills enclosed in a fold of 
skin. The mouth is beak-like, the food consisting in all 
probability of small organisms and water-plants. The 
tail is long. Gradually this tail is absorbed, the limbs 
develop, the mouth loses its beak form, and step by step 
the tadpole emerges into the perfect frog, a being of very 
different characters, breathing by lungs, and feeding on 
land- and water-insects. Some tropical frogs are expert 
climbers, the discs on the toes enabling them to scale per- 
pendicular surfaces, even of glass. The eye, the pupil of 
which is horizontal, is furnished with a nictitating mem- 
brane and two other lids. The frog is able to glance side- 
ways. The characters of the common frog need scarcely 
be given in detail. In colour it is brownish, with or 
without spots. The female is larger than the male. The 
hind-leg is long, and the toes webbed ; the forefoot of the 
male develops a swelling in the breeding season. The frog 
captures most of its insect food with the aid of its tongue, 
which is protruded, being tipped with a viscid secretion. 

[There has always been some doubt as to the exact 

claim of this Continental form to a place in the British 

Edible list, but it appears to me, since it was intro- 

Frog. duced at an indefinite date and is now general 

among the fens, that this claim is at any rate as strong as 



314 AMPHIBIANS. 

that of some game-birds that found their way into our 
fauna under like auspices. There are many points of dis- 
tinction about this frog, chief among them being the black 
markings on the back, the fold of skin at the throat, the 
complete webbing of the hind-toes, and the presence of 
vocal sacs on the sides of the head, which are connected 
with its croaking and are most in evidence in the breeding 
season. This frog has a greenish hue, and there are black 
marblings and white lines on the back.] 

A more innocuous creature than the insect-eating Toad 
would be hard to imagine, yet it has always been re- 
garded with disgust in every age and land. 
The spitting of the toad is pure fiction, though 
there is of course a dirty white sticky secretion in the 
pores of the skin, which is used only in self-defence, and 
which, with its poisonous, or at any rate irritant, pro- 
perties, is able to procure the toad immunity from many 
beasts and birds that do not thus spare frogs. When ex- 
cited, the toad is observed to pufF itself out and exude beads 
of this secretion. From the frog this animal is easily dis- 
tinguished by its warty skin, the swellings over its eyes, 
its clumsier build, and the shortness of its hind-legs. The 
mouth has no teeth, the tongue, free behind though at- 
tached in front, being but slightly cleft at the tip. With 
this organ, tipped like that of the frog with a gummy 
secretion, the toad catches insects with lightning rapidity, 
much after the fashion adopted by the chameleon, the 
sight of which on the feed is among the most interesting 
reminiscences of a visit to Regent's Park. Othermse, it 
is a sluggish creature. On the stories current about dis- 
interred toads, however, that have survived ages imprisoned 
in sandstone, the gravest suspicion is usually permitted to 
rest. In colour, the toad is brown above, with black 
markings ; below, white, with black spots. There are 
double tubercles beneath the hind-toes. It spawns, like 
frogs, in the water, the spawn floating in a double row. 



THE NEWTS. 315 

The tadpoles are darker in hue than those of the frog. 
Save for the purpose of spawning, however, the toad lives 
little by the water, hiding rather among the stones in 
damp situations. It hibernates, like frogs, in the ground, 
and often in companies. Lastly, it casts its transparent 
slough more than once in the year, often swallowing it. 

Somewhat rarer, a-nd apparently altogether wanting in 
the Highlands, the Natterjack is distinguished from the 
larger toad by the light line down the centre 
of the back, in allusion to which it is known 
in some parts as " Golden Back." The hind-toes of this 
toad, which is of far more active habits than the last, and 
even indulges in something approaching a run, are not 
deeply webbed; the hind-leg is short, and has a gland. 
There are also the same small glands over the eye, which 
is prominent, being plainly visible within the mouth, and 
has three lids like those of the frog and toad. The warts 
on the back are porous in both species. Like the fore- 
going, this toad feeds on insects, and occasionally on 
small mice. It is not of aquatic habits excej^t during 
the breeding season. The tadpoles are small, but develop 
with remarkable rapidity. For some reason this has been 
called the "Cornish toad." 



CHAPTER IT. THE NEWTS. 

Our three newts are of terrestrial habits excepting in 
the breeding-season, when they deposit their spawn in the 
crumpled leaves of water-j^lants, and the young soon start 
life as tadpoles. During the breeding season, too, as 
already mentioned, the adults, the male more particularly, 
put on extra ornaments in the shape of a crest, usually 



316 AMPHIBIANS. 

serrated, along the back and tail. As in the frogs, the 
skin is a supplemental breathing apparatus. 

The handsome Smooth Xewt is of green or brown hue, 

profusely spotted ; below, yellow, with black spots. The 

Common ^ower surface of the flattened tail is red in the 

or Smooth male, with bluish lines and markings ; in the 

®^^' female it is yellow, w^ithout markings. In the 

breeding season the male develops a festooned frill along 

the back, the female growing a smaller frill. This species 

seeks the neighbourhood of water in the warm months only, 

at which time too it sheds the sloui^h. 



o 



The Palmated Newt, smallest of the three, has dark 

spots on the body, and lines along the head, which is 

Palmated sj)eckled with black. The crest, which is not 

Newt. festooned as in the last, is black-edged. In 

the breeding season the male has the toes webbed, and 

grows a curious filament on the tail. 

Larger than either of the foregoing, the Great Water- 
Newt is in colour black above, yellow beneath, with 
Great black spots ; and the male has during the 

"Water- breeding season, in addition to his high ser- 
^®^*- rated crest, a light band on the tail. This 

newt seems to be more common in our southern counties 
than in the north. Its distinguishing character lies in 
the warts that stud the skin, and there are curious pores 
along the head and body. Teeth are present in the palate 
and jaws. The great water-newt lays its ova in the leaves 
of water-plants, and the tadpoles hatch out in the course 
of a month. All the newts feed much on frog-tadpoles. 



FISHES 



vm^^'^^i^ 




SALMON SWIMMING. 



FISHES. 



This class, lowest but one of the vertebrates, is of great 
interest and importance. Our British fishes are about two 
hundred in number, of which, roughly speak- 
ing, rather over three-fourths are either marine 
species. °' 

or anadromous forms, the former passing their 
whole existence in salt water, the latter entering rivers for 
the purpose of spawning. A few, like the eel and flounder, 
go down to the sea to spawn, passing most of their ex- 
istence in fresh water, and these are termed " catadromous." 
Of our fifty or more fresh-water fishes, a few, non-migratory 
members of the salmon family for the most part, have 
from time to time been introduced. As in the case of 
birds, several divisions of the subject might have been 
permissible in a small work of this kind, such as the sep- 
aration of sea- and fresh-water forms, the commercial and 
non-commercial fish, or like arbitrary groups. It has been 
thought best, however, to follow the systematic classifica- 
tion in general use, though an attempt has been made to 
give some indication, by means of two familiar signs, of the 
division between the purely fresh-water and purely marine 
forms, as well as of the third group, embracing members 
of widely different orders, that are able to exist in both 
fresh and salt, some entering one or the other at regular 
intervals and with a fixed purpose, others rather frequent- 
ing brackish estuaries at all seasons indifferently. 

The definition of a fish, which it is here necessary 



320 FISHES. 

plainly to enunciate, may be given as follows : A verte- 
brate animal that lives in water, breathes the dissolved air 

by means of srills, and swims by the aid of fins, 
uennmon j^ ^-^^ majority of cases, the body is covered 

with scales; in some, however, as the tench 
and eel, these are minute and embedded ; in others, as the 
conger, they are absent. It will now^ be desirable to con- 
sider briefly some of the chief external characters of fishes. 
Though not sufficient in themselves to distinguish them 
from the class of reptiles, among the most characteristic of 

these are the scales, which are, as above men- 

tioned, sometimes small and embedded in the 
skin, sometimes absent and replaced by an arrangement of 
calcified processes like teeth, as in sharks, in which order w^e 
find the skin similar within the mouth. In the sturgeons 
we find rows of plates along the body. These scales have 
been denominated according to their form, as ctenoid, those 
with serrated edges ; cycloid, in which the edge is smooth. 
(See figures in Taylor's ' Half-Hours in the Green Lanes,' 
cap. ii.) 

The shape of fishes is subject to considerable variation, 

for in addition to the typical tapering, torpedo 
ape o fQj.jjj^ -yyg ^^^ i]^Q i3ody flattened, laterally, as 

in the flat-fish ; vertically, as in the rays and 
skates ; elongated, as in eels ; spherical, as in sunfish. 

The organs of locomotion, or fins, are vertical (lying 
along the back and belly) and unpaired, or horizontal 
(lying on the sides) and paired. The vertical 
fins are called, according to their position, 
dorsal (along the back), anal (on the belly, just before the 
tail), or caudal (the tail-fin) ; the paired fins are the 
pectoral (behind the gill-covers) and ventral (or x>elvic^ 
beneath the last), the latter being either ahdoininal (im- 
mediately beneath the pectorals), thoracic (behind and be- 
neath the pectorals), or jii(/idar (before and beneath the 
pectorals). The dorsal fins are either soft or spinous, in- 
termittent or continuous, the salmon and its kind havin* 



rt> 



FISHES. 321 

in addition to the front rayed dorsal, an adipose or fatty- 
second dorsal without rays. The caudal, or tail-fin, is 
usually in two distinct lobes, often, as in the sharks, of 
unequal length, and usually either forked or fan-shaped, 
convex or concave. In some of our forms, however, as the 
rays and chimsera, there is no terminal fin, the tail ending 
in a whip-like lash. (See fig. of Perch, p. 340.) 

The mouth of fishes is subject to more variation, both 

in position and form, than the same organ in any of the 

foregoing classes. Its position is normally in 

tleth^ ^'''^ ^^^^^* ^^ *^® ^^^^' ^^® ^^®^* opening towards 
the tail, as in the salmon. In sharks and rays, 

however, we find it beneath the head ; in the weevers it 

is directed, like the eyes, upwards. Its shape is various. 

In the flat-fish it becomes distorted in the adult, though 

symmetrical in the larval form. In the sea-horse it is a 

tube ; in the garfish, a toothed beak. In the wrasses, the 

mouth has thick lips ; in the cods, loaches, red mullet, and 

some of the carp family, it is supplemented by a varying 

number of feelers or barbels. In the pike, hake, pollack, 

and some other predatory forms, the lower jaw protrudes. 

The tongue, which is sometimes absent, is never protruded 

as in the other classes of animals. The teeth are usually 

solid, and are continually being shed and renewed. In 

size and shape they vary much, the two leading types being 

those which are sharp and adapted to cutting and tearing, 

and those which are flat and suitable for crushing. The 

former belong to fishes that feed on other fish, the latter 

to those which feed chiefly on molluscs and crustaceans. 

In some sharks, there are hinged teeth, which are capable 

of lying back and preventing the escape of prey ; and there 

are, as in snakes, latent series ready to take the place of 

those in use when the latter sustain injury. In some 

rays, too, the teeth slant, with the inner margins cutting. 

As in other classes, the eye is, so far at least as shape 

goes, less subject to variation than any of the foregoing 

characters. In size, it is true, the eyes show some differ- 

X 



322 FISHES. 

ence, and we learn to associate fishes having very large 
eyes with residence at considerable depths, at which light 
is scarce and must be economised ; those, on the 
^ * other hand, with strikingly small eyes, often 
embedded in the skin, with still greater depths, beyond 
the range of light altogether. It is in their position, how- 
ever, in which we find the greatest amount of variation in 
the eyes of fishes. Normally they are situate on either 
side of the snout ; in the adult flat-fish they are on the 
same side, both on the upper, or coloured, surface of the 
fish, the right or left eye travelling round to the opposite 
side as mentioned under the division in question. In the 
hammerhead, again, we find the eyes, of large size, at 
either extremity of the "hammer." In the weevers the 
eyes are, w^th the mouth, directed upwards, or, as the 
inventors of trivial and scientific names have it, towards 
the stars. In some sharks we find a loose nictitating 
membrane ; and in mackerels and mullets there is present 
a fatty eyelid. 

Without extending the province of this little book to the 
consideration of internal anatomy, two characters of great 
interest in the class before us must at any rate 
be mentioned, — the lateral line and the air- 
bladder. The lateral line, which is to be traced in the 
majority of fishes as a curved black or white line along the 
middle of the sides, but which is in many fishes absent 
altogether, in others interrupted about half-way from the 
head, is in reality a row of perforated scales through which 
exudes the secretion from the mucous canal, so important 
a factor in the free passage of fishes through the water. 
Their bodies being lubricated with this matter to a still 
greater degree than the much-discussed similar operation 
in wildfowl, move through the water with a minimum of 
friction, and almost, as it were, without (in our sense of 
the word) getting wet. 

In the air-bladder, or, as it is often called, the swim- 
ming-bladder, we have nothing more or less than an 



FISHES. 323 

internal gas-bag inflated with a preponderance of nitrogen, 

its function being to assist fishes in rising or sinking by 

alteration of their specific gravity. Sharks and 
Air-bladder. , . „ , » , ^ , 

chimaeras, as well as a number or bony nsnes, 

are without air-bladders, and it is interesting to note that 
these include both slow ground -loving forms and rapid 
surface - swimmers. 

We must now consider certain of the more important 
functions of fishes. 

Our British fishes breathe, without exception, the dis- 
solved air by means of gills, in passing over which the 
. . blood is aerated. These gills are, in adult 
fishes at any rate, covered with flaps of flesh 
or gristle, though embryonic sharks show bunches of ex- 
ternal gills. In some fish, like herrings and some sharks 
of great size, we find appendages called gill-rakers, the 
function of which is, like the baleen of whales, to filter 
the water and retain the minute floating organisms on 
which these forms feed. In the sharks, moreover, the 
gills open as so many external slits, usually five in num- 
ber, but in one British form six. 

Like the higher vertebrates, fish may be classified, with 
considerable reservation, according to their chief food, 
as carnivorous, herbivorous, or insectivorous, 
though the line of demarcation is perhaps 
even less exact. They vary, as every angler knows, in 
their degree of fastidiousness — some, as the conger, habitu- 
ally rejecting all but the freshest of food; while others, 
like the bass, show a constant preference for stale offal. 
The crabbers find this distinction between crabs and lob- 
sters, the latter not objecting to bait a few days old. 
The sharks are, with the exception of the very large 
basking forms, exclusively carnivorous, some preferring 
living prey, others, fewer in number, being content with 
carrion. Bays subsist, as may be gathered from their 
flat crushing teeth, largely on crustaceans. It is not neces- 
sary to enter in detail into the various foods of the dif- 



324 FISHES. 

ferent orders of fishes, for these have been mentioned in 
the proper place in the following pages. As examples, 
however, of widely different tastes, I may mention, in ad- 
dition to the foregoing, that the grey mullets are, like 
Girella of Australian waters, partly herbivorous; that fiat- 
fish consume sand-worms and other soft food, the sole feed- 
ing almost entirely by night ; hake, pollack, mackerel, and 
others pursue living fishes, chiefly sand-eels and mackerel- 
midge (young rocklings), at or near the surface. Some 
fish, as the torpedo, swallow their prey whole, and salmon 
have been recovered from the interior of the ray without 
bearing any marks of violence. 

Fish are either oviparous, as the majority of our fishes, 
spawning at fixed seasons ; or viviparous, as one of 

our blennies, one or more of our sharks, and 
tion *^® t)ergylt, bringing forth the young alive, 

also at a regular season. Some of the sharks 

and rays deposit the Qgg in a remarkable receptacle known 

as a " purse," those of the sharks being furnished with 

tendrils or filaments, with which they attach themselves 

firmly to weeds or rocks. 

As in the case of birds, much remains to be learnt of 

the periodic concerted movements among the great fish 

families, which, also like the birds, perform 
Migrations. . i • i • i 

these journeys at a great altitude — in other 

w^ords, near the surface of the water. The general tendency 
of the present day, on the strength of the careful obser- 
vations recorded by Cunningham (whose admirable book, 
recently published, I have had such frequent occasion to 
quote in the following pages) and others, is to reject many 
of the more extensive movements, as those of the Arctic 
lierrings, recorded by the older wTiters with great minute- 
ness, and to regard the migrations of fishes chiefly as move- 
ments of more moderate extent to and from deep water 
for purposes of spawning or in search of food. Even the 
so-called "stationary" fish, as an examjDle of which we 
may take the plaice, move about in some degree — one of 



FISHES. 325 

the most important factors in their arrangements being 
doubtless those sudden changes in temperature to which, 
though in a less degree than the atmosphere, the sea is 
subject. 

Lastly, a word must be said of the habitat of our com- 
moner fishes — of the forms that inhabit sandy, and those 
others that frequent rocky, coasts. In the 
ordinary course it is found that the two divi- 
sions rarely overlap. Thus, the flat-fish and silver whiting 
keep to the sand, while the conger, wrasses, and pouting 
are found among the rocks. ]\Iost fishes within twenty 
miles of the coast dwell near the bottom, in the lowest 
third, at any rate, of the total depth, though the garfishes, 
mackerel, herrings, pollack, mullet, bass, and some others, 
even some of the flat-fish and eels, are found, more par- 
ticularly of an evening, feeding or gambolling at the 
surface. As a rule, however, the flat-fish lie in the sand, 
only the eyes, which have an extraordinary range of vision, 
projecting above it. 

It will now be necessary to enumerate the orders, 
families, genera, and species of our British fishes, with 
some remarks on their characters and life-history ; but it 
must be prefaced in apology for the meagreness of some 
of the accounts that the scheme of the present little 
work excluded sternly anything in the shape of anecdote, 
and the whole has necessarily been drawn up in the spirit 
of condensation. 



326 



FISHES. 







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?-< 


^ 


Oi 


"" 




rt 


-*J 








*w^ 






O 




7-K 


-j: 


^ 






^ 


• p— 1 








o 












s^ 


CG 






<o 




o 




D 








^ 




O 


be 
bD 


*— * 

5 


A 

OJ 

"m 




CO 






pa 




o 

o 


O 

• I-I 


S 


P5 

'A 






C 


Si 


(— • 


;-• 


0) 




r— < 


^ 


-^ 


o 


'3 


CD 


ci 


r- 




^ 


<^ 


< 


O 


h^ 


^X 


1— ( 


^<: 


M 


pq 


^ 




O 




to 
































^^ 






























o: 


o- 


r*- 




























j^ 


•*o 


>o 


^ 




























« 


^O 




























B 


!S 


J5 


•s 


























02 


HO 


t 


o 


o 

8 










Co 
5ri 




«0 


1 




••SI 


e 
g 




e 


53 


•rO 


^ 


O 




p 


•^ 


'a 


■^ 


« 


S 


g 


s 




« 


o 


s^ 


?> 


05 


5 


c* 


io 


!5i 


an 


Co 


c* 


C^ 


►-0 






*o 






























CO 




2 


8 




^ 






00 






Co 


•2 


1 


.2 


1 


O 










s 

o 






1 




0« 

►5J 




<** 


1 


1 


"^ 


-^ 


^ 


^ 




^ 




^ 


o 




^ 


a. 


f^ 


(^ 


•^ 




»— ( 


























§ 




1 t^ 


o 
- -i. 






t5 
























i :^ 






< 
i-i 


i-i 




C5 
















ti 




< 


e- 




a 




n 
















Pk 




^ 


<5 




o 




S 
















H 






E- 




O 


-«! 




o 
















s 






<: 




w 


C5 




o 
















o 






Q 




Oh 


H 




m 
















o 








•¥»* 
































■w 
































<^ 
































"^ 




























ci 


1 






























O 


Kg 


•*o 
O 




























n 


H>^ 






























k^ 


^05 






























iC 


< 


































LIST OF BRITISH FISHES. 329 



o (M <r> CO o CO 

(M C^ CO i-< T-H 























Oi 








r\ 


,c 






■s 






>. 

^ 


03 














o - 
O 


1 

o 

a 


O 


1 

-(J 


o 

1— « 


o 

• »-( 

'ill 

0) 

ft 


en 

1 

^- 

ci 
o 

pq 


o 
ft 

1=1 

O 


1 

o 

cZ2 




'5 


o 






>> 


Black 

Spotted 



.«? 






-o 


J~ 


►< 


o 


o 

fs 


o 

•o 


K 


>>;> 






"Si 


^ 

■^ 


r 

o 

•>> 
<>- 


-1 




.s 




§H 




** 


CSi 


<s 


t^^ 


o 


C^ 



«0 

1 I I .§ I 1 I- S ;§^ I I §^ I § J '§ 







€0 


6s 




« 


eo 






1 




Co 


C 


!^ 


•S 


<a 


e^ 






.1 

ft 


"<s> 




s 



^ 






^ 


K 


Q 


H 


hH 


<1 


o 


krt 


)r, 


O 
H 


< 

< 


a: 


O 



p 



p 



o 

^ o 

§ § S 5 « § 

*= ^ s w • s e 



g W a o a 

Q ki ^ Eh j» O 



330 



FISHES. 



Si 



m 
I— I 

m 



W 

c 

m 



- 2 S' 

3 ° a* 

W — i 

-fi - o 

5-3 s 



o 



•A 

C5 






tf 
U 



D 
OS 






C-7 






CO(M CO 



s 


^ 


-<! 


o = 


;5 


O 


1? 


■^ 


o 


M OJ 






o 


*> p-i^ 


o 


S T- "^ 




rt ^ cS 






PliHAh 



o 



0) 








O 


_ 


bn 




rt 




^H 




fl 




V3 






■Jl 


o 


rt 


0) 


o 

CO 


s 


03 


l-i 



u 
05 



o 



^ g 



<1> c^ 







-+j 


0) 


^< 




-M 


<D •— 1 


a; 




cj O 


-2 W 


r^ 


v; 




.::; ^ 


o 


•-^ •-' 


rt A 


bC>i''ri 


a 


Sea-siiai 
Montagi 


-5 £ >> 

o o o 


Shauny 
Gattoru 
ButtertI 
Montag 



=0 






e § g S-^ 
Si^'^ 3^ A, ?5H 



pi 






•I 



o 
o 






CO 



to 



CO 






Q 
I— ( 

M 
O 



CO 






«0 

o 

6 



Q 

o 
Q 



Co 

a. 



Co S 

55 S: 



o 



^^ 






50 

.CO V ^ -ci 

-< e ^ e 



Si^ 5!5 O 






<o 



C5 ^ 



o 
« 
o 

O 



■so 

CO 

a, 



o 

o 
o 

CO 

m 
o 



«0 

•I 
i 



Q 

M 
l-l 

iz; 



"^ 
^ 






LIST OF BRITISH FISHES. 331 



1-H (M 





HIMCI 


-Jii 


CO 


COCMt>. 


to 


CO 




I— ( 



o 



c3 



e5 






- 


M 




■^ 


r. 


!» 




« 


1 


P! 


^^ 




w 


O 




ce 


^ 


Ji 




-(J 


C5 




^ 


1 


ffi 


> 


O 




-:; 




^ 


^ 









1— • 


-(J 




00 


O 


a> 


n! 




^ 


rt 
^ 




9 


s - - 


-r. 

■ 


^ 


M 




«-— ^ 


3c i 


^Jl 


rr-* 


X 




1 '-^ 


1 r-< 


!S 


OJ ^ 


r^ 


2 s 


.5 Is 


O 1 Qi 


o 

t— ( 


;^ rt 


j^ 


*J o 






i> 




^^ 


<1PQ 


HH 


HE^^ 


p; 


tA r— 1 



J^ 



5 ^ ;£. 



CO 



s - § *= ^ S^ .§ S^: 

C3 s; "^i S S '^ ** S ■>• " •^■s —-. c^ _ ^ 



1; 




§§:! 


H 




•to 


o 






to 


CO <^ 






S o 


«►< 


S s; s^ 


■o 


T* 


.^fCi 


« o 


e Si^oT 


C3 


sC 





























to 


CO 

•*o 


1 


CO 

1: 






1 


«0 

1 




% 


no 

1 


1 


S2 
J 




rod 


B 
^ 








2^ 






CO 


















Q 




^ 




H-l 


^ 




















n 

i-i 


Q 


O 

P5 


o 

(-1 

o 

l-H 














J 


w 




P; 


J 


^ 


K 


HH 












c 


< 








g 


&H 

^ 


« 












^ 


2i 




H 


< 


K 


<; 












o 


H 




< 


o 


o 


^ 



332 



FISHES. 



^ 




c 














tt} 




c 


























rr 




i; 






















». 


^ 


c 


"^ 


c 








'w 


^ 


o 



CD Ttl t-H 



o ro 

C^ CO 



oo 






oo 






I— I 



o 







<]} 
























i» 
























ai 
























eS 




o 




















(H 




» 


















0) 

c 


cS 
f— < 


O 

o 

1 

o 


O 

• 1— < 


'rt 


o 

o 


-(J 


rway Pout 

or Cod 

ver Whiting 

Hack 

al-tish 

utassou 


o 

-^ 


be 


O 


o 


S 


o 
02 


o 


^- 


o 


W ci^ ;^; Oh CC Ph Q f^ 


a 

hi 
H-i 


3 


cq 



^3 






















^ 














«^ «o ^ 








Speci 




CO 


O 


=0 

HO 

O 


•2 


morrhua 

ceglefinus 
luscus 


s « § 2 § 

•g So. 3 S 




•5 

5 


•1 

5 

















































s** 


eo 












. 


2 


«o 


lO 








•^ 


























2; 


5» 


»0 















a 
O 






►5; 

"-1 




«0 


•1 


<>• 


e 
?> 
f-^ 

^ 





< 



O 

M 

pa 



Q 

M 
P 











'« 


1— 1 






^ 


a 


• I ~ 


H 


p 




g 





ffips 


5z; 


n 


En'r^ 


^ 


"-1 


^D5 





02 


-^S 


<< 




OH 


^ 




< 


< 



LIST OF BEITISH FISHES. 333 



r-i SOS^ OO 



.- O 

o 



y 



a> 






o 








^ 


= 




r-f 






<x> 


-S 






<u 








o 






^ 


_ 


_ 


r-* 


^ 






ci 




^ 


c4 


fi 












..-^^ 


e> 


^ 










O ^ -►^ 


-M 


a> 




O) 


^ 


1 


;:i a; O 




-r. 


M 


!l> 


o 


;2 »5 o 


Q 


w 


^ 


J-l 




> 


P :/: -< 


^ 


<o 


o 




o 


• .— t 


rt u s 


o 


I-; 


r-i 


rH^ 


^ 


t-^i-^-C 



H 



O s 



Tr CD « 










o 


















r^ = 






J^ 






o 






H 






r--> 






ta S 




rC 


1^ ^ 






j^ -i^.^ 


o 

J2— 1 


•S5 

s- '-i 


2 2 5? 


Tur 
Bril 


Si 


o so 



pq ft em Sco rno;^ ffl 



5 « V, e «0 



«0 








"•>.* 












«0 




8 

ess 


S 2 S 


<0 




•2 


=0 


"■-»» 


^^ 


o 








^ 


r>d 




5i 


tricirr 
cimhri 
mustel 


lanceo 
tohian 
cicerel 


>0 

'I 


"to 


■10 

CO 


ii 



o* 


o 


CO 


O 


•?*>> 


'<?* 


« 


fe^ 


5~ 


s 







to 



eo 











^ 










'^ 














C."j 








•2 


Si. 




^ 




o 


^ 




•^ 




s^ 


t>. 




•♦o 


<7» 


£ 




5^ 


^ 


'1 



CO 

|- £^ CO Jo S -O 



'^ 



a. S 



O" fe^ C 2^ 



^ Lr ^^ ^^ 



CO 


60 




s 


?> 


^ 


CO 


s 


o 


■*^ 


5^ 


^ 


O 


s^ 


^ 


<43 


'1 


N! 



^ -S -2 "^ S^ o* 



5^ 



<i> K ~i L ~ .rrt 



P 

S 2 « 

9 S ^ 



< 



I-] 



O S Ah 



334 



FISHES. 



-ta •*? T^ 



,S— * 



rt C S 



O.Z 



CO I— I r— I 






O 






00 



^ 
^ 



I 

m 

(02 



c 

C/2 



o 

O 

o 



^ 








rf 








« 








'to 

o 

fcC 


.2 o 5 2 oj 


iX> 


ud-sole 

ickback 

lenette 


o 


--^ i?--- =» o 


o 


rf r= O 


hJ 


PnGi^K^hlH 


wz/:ib^z/i 






fcC 

o 

O 



be "^^ 

g W X £ <; H 



> 

o 






0. 
02 



P 



«0 






CO -:; 



CO 

o 

o 



&a 












A(^o ^^ ^ 












«0 



S S 'w 















<^ 

O 
CO 
«0 
O 

O 



to 

o 



^ 



'^ 



a 






<4i 



^ s 











H S 


• 


o S 


>• 


- Efl -ro 


-i 


^ g 


s 


O O 


< 


PS « 


u. 


^ 1 




w ' 




•J 




fu 



Q 
P 



fi5 

Q 

Qli 
P 

O 



i-i'« 



a: 
A 
O 

32 



o 



o 

O 

CQ 

w 

PL, 



LIST OF BRITISH FISHES. 335 



CO CO CI I— 1 (7^ »0 -* 



> 





-u 






ci 






0=; 






,_^ JLi 










o 


cS oS 


-;« 




<0 (U 


O) 


<o 


^ ^ 


1— « 


H 


ffiPQ 


w 



o 

o 



o 
o 














-4-> 








f3 








O 








;^ 








+i 


~ 


' 


" 


OS 








41 








^ 


> 






s: 


^ 


«— « 


>. 


-5 


o 
o 


r:4 

^ 


0^ 


O 


-1 


O 











« 








-< 














«0 


"< eo 


o 


«0 






<S3 










•o 


o 


?> 


"S 


j» <a o ?5 s^ 



«c 



■""S .■=? T-i'^' 



•~ s ■* s o -cs § "li § s •^' 

^ ^ .^^ C? ?^ ^ >»> ?^ ^^ >2 r<i lil ^ ^ ^ 



<!0 






."* 



lis S O !ii .5 1-0 l-^ 



s 






^i» 









«0 




« 







■*o 




«; 


""T^ 




S 


rJS 


■^ 





!^ 


<i 





•^ 



O fi^ Cb S 



O M 

Q 02 



336 



FISHES. 



^z i 

c = ^ 



-5 i o 
rt S s 



0-i3 



CO 



o 















P(3 
W 

O 



1^ 

•< 


1=1 
2 = 




-M 


S5 


© 


O 


ri4 


7% 




O 


reat 

lar 

orgo 






CS rK -i- C_. 



a> 



02 



CO 

rj rt --^ O 

^ •-■,—, S-, 
0^3^0 












<v 






0. 

as 



CO 



.«o 



^ I — 1«0 

Si— 1 2 S 

O j:5 ^^ 05 r— I .,,^ 5; ^ 

•♦■J O t3 '^*i ^ <>^'".J s> 

S ,^ ~-i '^ o ^ "ii -S 



J CO u 





Og 






^ 




CO 


§2 -^ 


«0 




•i -S ^ 




0. 


S 2 s >^ 


o» 








J^ 




^ 


■ij 






•^ « S ^ 


s 


?» S5^o 


Ji 



Co' 



.^ 












iw 
















• i-H 


t: 


-M 


D 


, fl 


i5 


° 




I '^ 









^ 



^ 





■ Q 


>-l 


t-H 


g 


'/^ 


<i 





(i< 


S 




hJ 




<1 




CO 



o 



«0 



«0 



«o 



>5 





f*^ 


"^ 






<>. 




cc 












ID 



f^ 


"O 




50 




<s:t 






>!■> 














^ 






^ 

^ 


1 


'l 




:^ 




■ 





















tH 










H 










CLi 






f3 











Q 




'A 


W 




HH 






Q 








H 






t« 




CC 






'^ 



Q 

« 

o 

I 

m 



O 

o 

w 

pL. 



LIST OF BEITISH FISHES. 



337 



,a 








09 








5C 








O) 


- 


_ - - 




P^ 








• r^ 








CM 












09 
O 




en 




^ 




o 




1 


<i) 


f3 




-|J 


en 


u 


rH , 


;h 


-^ 






O 


o 


<v 


g rt o 


n1 


pq 


S-i 




02 



l3 



Co 
O 



I 



I 

o 



P^ o 



m 



02 bo 

^ o 

020 






«0 



~* 2 "^ 



CO 



o ;s 






&2 CO 



Q 

a 



o 



«0 



o 



Co 

=0 






« 

n 
o 

o 

02 



o 

o 






^ 



CO 

H 

:?; 

o 

Q 

O 

S 



CO 

CO 

Co 
o 






o 
bjO 

02 



52 


CO 


« 


Co 




^ 


§ 


•< 


^ 




-to 




1 

o 


runcat 


O 
so 


■o 


f-O 


•S to 


CO 



CO 



Q 
I— ( 

Ph 

<5 



EH 

o 

o 

M 



M 
Hi 
< 

O 
O 

o 



QQ 
OQ 

03 
I— I 
o 

I 

02 



Greatest length 

(in inclies) of the 

commoner species. 




w 
< 

O 

o 
Q 


(— ' 
• 1— ( 

-a 

O 

o 

o 

< 


Species. 


monstrosa 


O 


Chimcera 




Q 

>— 1 

X 



338 



FISHES. 





H 




w 




o 




<i 




Hi 




w 


^ 


QQ 

1 


'^i 






^ 


s: 


(D 




'd 


s 


^ 


6 


O 


xn. 




W 




W 




rjl 


H 


1— 1 


M 


P^ 


w 




o 
1^ 


(— 1 


<5 


H 

1— 1 


P^ 


« 


w 


r,^ 


o 


P^ 


g 


o 


C/J 

<1 


H 


y\ 




1 


h^l 


1 




OQ 




00 




d 




f— 1 




o 




1 




rQ 




pi 




02 



w 




-* 

^ 



00 






O 

oo 



o 

oo 



<X5 Tji 



CO 



OS 





ci 


I—" 




<u 


o 




,^5 


ffi 










a> 


^-4 












-t-^ 


D 




o 


P^ 


^ 


o 


o 


ci 


s 


H 


M 


02 



O 






X 
O 









bC 

I 



o 



09 

O 
ft 

<v 

3 
O 



o 

s 



«c 


•;:^ 


«0 


««* 


c^ 


S 


o 


e 


■a 


^> 


,^ 




« 


*o 


« 


^ 


?5 


S 



«0 



5^ 



CO 
J5^ 






<4> 

to 



^CJ O 



to 



^ 



8 



CO 









«0 



^ 









>* 


^ 


.^ 


Q 


< 






W 




o 




tf 




''J 




O 



1!^ 

o 

M 
Hi 



Q 

l-H 

H 
O 



Q 

iJ 

o 

w 



bci 
o 



OQ 



^ 




3 




g 




o 




CO 


•!^ 


O 


s 


s 


« 


."^^ 


» 


^ 


^-^ 


(^ 


« 






e -S 



6 






a 

(-1 

Q 

HI 



LIST OF BRITISH FISHES. 



339 



«3 t^ 

OS oo 



O <M 



ri4 

m 






1) 



03 

5CI 



fl ^ 






G O 



O) 








-l-> 








ci 












c3 




<^ 




Ph 


*" 


ii 


^ 






O 


" 








1 


a; 


1—1 


fc'jD 


JT 




a; 


^ 


rt 


ci 


o 


O 


^ 


^ 









02 -5h OHl-^SSffla2pMa2 



o 






02 






o 



Co 



■to 
o 



«0 



1^ 



Co" 



8 
g 



to 












i-O O 






8 



^ 

e 






o 



o 
« 














09 






























s 






<£ 












&. 




00 












eo 


<» 
























t 













^ 




<» 





e 




"^^ 


S 


to 


^i^ 




« 


g 




^ 








iS 










•(Si 




1^ 


*"o 

1 


t 





^ 




P 


"^ 


1— 1 


Q 






w 


< 


Ph 


P^ 






O 





^ 


^ 


l-H 





H 


1—1 


< 


« 


pq 











M 


M 


1-3 


m 


>< 


H 


e^ 



340 



FISHES. 



[* Fresh-water fishes ; +Fishes foimd in both fresh and salt ; rare 

fishes iu square braclcets.] 



CHAPTER I. THE PERCHES AND SEA- 
BREAMS. 

I. The Perches. 



One of the most familiar of our fresh-water fishes, the 
Perch is easily recognised by the prominent front dorsal 
fin, which has usually fourteen rays, and the 
five or more black bands on its sides. In 
colour, it is bronze or green on the back and sides, white 
below ; fins red. The perch is widely distributed through- 
out these islands, being met with as far north at any rate 
as the waters of Ross-shire,^ though it does not occur in 




a. Anal fin. 



c, Caudal fin. 



d d. Dorsal (intermittent ; ist dorsal, spinous) 

/, Pectoral. v v, Ventral (jugular). See p. 321. 

the Isle of Wight. It is not affected by brackish water ; 
and I have caught large perch in the Baltic three or four 
miles out at sea. The dorsal fin is so sharp that it is 

1 Harvie-Brown and Buckloy, Fauna of the Outer Hebrides, p. 1S4. 



THE PERCHES AND SEA-BREAMS. 



341 



customary to remove it before using the fish as bait for 
pike, but the young fish are greedily devoured by both 
trout and pike. It is a voracious fish, of catholic appetite, 
feeding greedily on minnows, small roach and dace, young 
water-hens, water-voles, also reptiles and insects, and it 
pays the penalty of its want of discrimination by suffering 
the attacks of a variety of parasites. It is of gregarious 
habits, and those of similar size are usually found together 
in the neighbourhood of sluices, weirs, and dams. In the 
cold jnonths perch appear to grow sluggish. Anglers are 
at all times careful not to prick and lose a perch, as the 
rest of the shoal are easily frightened away. Its maximum 
weight is about 7 or 8 lbs. ; but a fish of half this weight 
is considered a fine specimen. Perch spawn among the 
reeds in the month of May. 



The Bass, a marine form of perch, also found in 
brackish, even in fresh, water, is a fish in great repute 
with the sea-angler, chiefly on account of its 
exceeding wariness and capricious movements, 
but in little demand for the table. The bass is taken, 



tBass. 




mostly in trammels and crab-pots, in our waters weighing 
as much as 20 lbs., but a fish of half the weight must be 
regarded as above the average nowadays. Not unlike a 
chub in general appearance, especially about the head, the 
bass has the distinguishing percoid dorsal fins ; in colour, 
it is dark green along the back, shading off to silver 



342 FISHES. 

beneath, young fish being much spotted. The bass, 
though, as aforementioned, uncertain in its goings and 
comings, may, so far as our seas go, be regarded as a 
Channel fish; but it is not uncommon off the Scottish 
coasts, occurring (Buckley) in Loch Carron, in Ross-shire. 
It is also met with on most parts of the Irish coast. Bass 
of small size are abundant in summer in such enclosed 
waters as Southampton docks, and greedily unbait every 
hook in the vicinity ; but the heavier fish are usually 
driven inshore by a spell of south-west wind, after which 
they are found feeding for a day or two just behind the 
break of the weaves. They then disappear as suddenly as 
they came. Though often shy of the hook, the bass is a 
very foul feeder, and I have taken many from lobster-pots 
when the latter were baited with stale fish, often too at 
places where, as at Lulworth, they are not seldom baited 
w^ith rabbit, or even dead horse, which soon becomes par- 
ticularly offensive in the water. In addition to its taste 
for offal, the bass pursues sand-eels and various fry at the 
surface, hence its popularity with the angler, who judges 
its whereabouts by the movements of the gulls overhead. 
Though not regularly anadromous for spawning jDurposes, 
the bass, always an estuarine fish by preference, is fre- 
quently taken in fresh water, and I have caught one or 
two above Arundel, while the tide was running out and 
the water was, for the time being, merely brackish. In 
like manner bass are, or were when I was there, taken in 
the Tiber as far up as Rome. Small bass move in large 
shoals, and even the larger fish are rarely solitary. The 
bass spawns in July. 

Not unlike a small perch, the Pope is characterised 
by the possession of but one dorsal fin instead of two ; 

*Pope or and in place of the bands that mark the 

Buff. perch, the body of this fish is spotted, the 

spots generally extending to the fins. Of somewhat local 

distribution even in England — the Thames and Severn are 



THE PERCHES AND SEA-BREAMS. 343 

both among its native rivers — it is not found in either 
Scotland or Ireland. I have taken it in the Baltic in com- 
pany with the perch. A fish of sluggish habits, the pope 
prefers a muddy bottom. A cruel practice, which I have 
also observed followed with unfortunate sea - bullheads, 
obtains in some parts, particularly on midland rivers, 
which is known as "plugging" the fish, corks being fixed 
on the dorsal spines and the pope being then cast adrift 
to die of starvation. This fish spawns in early spring. 

The Smooth Serranus is an unfamiliar, thick-set sea- 
perch, which is practically confined, so far as our waters 
Smooth 8^5 ^^ ^^® coasts of Devon and Cornwall, 
Serranus where it is taken for the most part in the 
or aper. ^rab-pots. In colour it is yellow, having 
dark longitudinal bands. The lower jaw projects con- 
siderably, and there is but one dorsal fin. The food of 
this fish consists of small fishes and crustaceans. It 
spawns in the month of August, 

The Dusky Serranus is a larger species, taken in the 

same waters. It grows to a weight of 60 lbs. (Day), 

Dusky is darker in colour than the last, and lacks 

Serranus. j^g longitudinal bands. It is said to spawn 

in spring. 

One of our largest as well as least familiar fish, the 
Stone Basse is caught off our south-west coast, and off 
Stone the south of Ireland, to a weight of 60 lbs. 
Basse. (Day). One examj^le was taken years ago 
in the mouth of the Clyde, but that is regarded as north 
of its natural region. A deep-water fish by preference, it 
is known to follow barnacle-covered planks at the surface, 
hence called "Wreck-fish." Its capture is irregular, and 
is usually accomplished with some kind of grains, or spear. 

I have caught the Dentex in the Mediterranean weighing 



344 



FISHES. 



Dentex. 



as much as 12 lbs., but in our seas it is rare, confined prac- 
tically to the south-west coast, where, however, the nets 
take examples of over 50 lbs. On the Italian 
coast, we used to fish for it at night, a torch 
being hung out over the bow, and a hook, dressed with two 
white feathers and baited with 3 or 4 inches of the tentacle 
of an octopus, being " dapped " at the surface. In colour, 
it is bluish, with silver reflections. It has but one dorsal 
fin ; and the mouth is armed with long curved teeth. 



[According to a correspondent of Harvie - Brown, an 
example of Holocanthus tricolor, allied to the Australian 
coral-fishes, was taken off Stornoway some years ago.] 



2. The Red Mullet. 

The Eed Mullet has no connection whatever with the grey 

mullet, from which it is easily distinguished by its smaller 

size, brighter colouring, and stiff "feelers." 

^ ' At first sight it might be taken for a small 

red gurnard. There are two forms of this fish — the striped, 







^\v 



or surmullet, the larger and commoner, and the smaller 
plain form. Cunningham^ has not found the smaller form 
at Plymouth. This fish — it suffices for i3resent purposes to 

1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 307. 



THE PERCHES AND SEA- BREAMS. 345 

treat both forms as one — is of a bright red hue, the colour 
being fixed, and intensified, to render it more attractive 
when offered for sale, by the cruel process of scaling the 
fish before life is extinct. The scales are large and thin, 
and the commoner surmullet is banded with bright yellow. 
This fish is usually taken in the trammel, but a number 
of instances, three of them at Bournemouth, have come 
under my notice in which it has taken a hook baited with 
mussel. It grows to a weight of 2 lbs., though the majority 
weigh nearer }^ lb. It spawns late in the summer, and is 
rarely caught in the colder months. Eed mullet are very 
rare in north Scottish waters.^ 



3. The Sea-Breams. 

The Sea-Bream is a gregarious rock-haunting fish which 
approaches the coast in the warm months, breeding in late 
Common autumn. Though in greatest abundance in 
Sea-Bream, ^j^g Channel, it is found on every part of the 
British coasts, where it grows to a weight of 5 or 6 lbs. I 
have caught many of 3 lbs. off the Lizard, on a favourite 
ground of mine. In colour bright red, the adult having a 
conspicuous black spot on the shoulder ; the young are 
known as "chad," the intermediate size, of half a pound 
or so, being denominated "ballard."- Sea -bream are 
caught in the neighbourhood of reefs ; and it is a fact that 
where chad of the smallest type are on the feed, there is 
little hope of finding larger fish, which would favour the 
theory of fish of an age keeping to themselves. Sea- 
breams are known on various parts of the Scottish coast 
as "Bulgarian (or Barbarian) Haddies." 

1 Harvie-Brown and Buckley, Fauna of Sutherland, p. 259. 

2 Just as the sea-bream is among our only common fishes with differ- 
ent names according to size, so Australians know three stages of the 
same fish, to wit, the " red brim," the " squire," and the famous, justly 
famous, " schnapper." 



346 FISHES. 

The Axillary Bream is a somewhat similar fish, having 
the fins and belly of paler hue, and lacking the black spot 
Axillary on the shoulder. Little appears to be known 
Bream. ^f [^^ habits, though from the fact of its having 
been taken on the coasts of Scotland and Cornwall, its dis- 
tribution in British waters should not be very limited. 

The Spanish Bream is smaller, its greatest length (Couch) 

Spanish being about lo inches, and is also taken mostly 

Bream, q^ the south-west coast in the autumn months. 

It is conspicuously spotted with blue. I caught one this 

(1897) August at Mevagissey; weight about 2 lbs. 

[An allied form, Pagellus acarne, is also taken on rare 
occasions.] 

The Pandora is a red bream with blue spots. Of 
Pandora or Diigratory habits, it is taken off the south 
King of the and south-west coasts of Great Britain and 
Breams. Ireland, but never in any numbers, though 
not uncommon. 

The Old Wife, to all intents and purposes the popular 
"Black brim" of Australian fishermen, is not uncommon 
Old AVife ^^ ^^^ south coast, where it grows to similar 
or Black dimensions as those of the common sea-bream, 
ea-Bream. though examples of 20 inches are recorded. 
Farther north, and on the Irish coast, it becomes rarer. 
Like all the breams, it is taken on the rocks, where it finds 
crustacean food to its taste. In colour, it is silvery grey 
rather than black, and has longitudinal yellow bands on 
the body and rows of dark spots on the fins. 

The Bogue, which is of a bronze hue with yellow longi- 
tudinal lines and a brown spot on the pectoral fin, is not 
common in our waters, but in parts of the 
Mediterranean there is a regular fishery for 
it, and I have taken numbers on the rod off Leghorn. 



THE BULLHEADS AND GURNARDS. 347 

[Couch's Sea-Bream and the Gilthead are stragglers only 
to our seas. One of the former, which grows to a weight 
of lo lbs., was taken off the Cornish coast. The latter is 
cauo-ht in the same waters. It is named after the crescent- 
shaped yellow mark between the eyes.] 

4. The Bergylt. 

The red Bergylt, which grows to a weight of at least 30 

lbs., is chiefly interesting because, like one of our blennies, 

Berevltor ^* brings forth its young alive, the breeding 

Norway season being in summer. More properly a 

Haddock, northern fish, it finds its way to Scottish and 

Irish waters occasionally, where it is taken on long lines 

set for cod in deep water. Cunningham gives in the 

appendix to his recent work an interesting comparison 

between this fish and that other European marine species, 

the aforesaid blenny, which bears its young in the same 

fashion ; and he points out their differences, — the blenny 

being a littoral fish, lurking under stones, the bergylt 

living out in deep water, where it pursues its food boldly. 



CHAPTER II. THE BULLHEADS AND 

GURNARDS. 

I. The Bullheads. 

As the first representative of this group, we have in the 

Miller's Thumb a prickly little fish, familiar in most of our 

* Miller's clear running streams, where it lurks beneath 

Thumb, ^jjg stoiies, a favourite method of dislodging it 
being to strike the stone sharply, which has the effect of 
stunning the recluse beneath. In colour this fish is greenish 
above, lighter on the sides and belly, and marked with 



348 FISHES. 

vertical black bands. The body is practically without scales, 
and the lateral line is distinct throughout. This bullhead 
can survive some time out of water. The spines that arm 
the head have been the death of grebes and kingfishers, 
as the fish instinctively inflates its head whenever a bird 
attempts the difticult task of swallowing it. Buckland 
mentions, indeed, a case in which one of the next species 
choked a fisherman. Of little account in this country, 
I have tasted it frequently in German towns, where they 
convert it into a soup, and it is also in some demand for 
bait. The miller's thumb is said to be injurious to trout 
spawn and fry, but its food consists for the most part of 
larvae. The male is alleged to defend the eggs and young 
with great valour, but evidence of this appears to be want- 
ing. In parts of Ireland this fish is exceedingly rare. 

The Sea -scorpion is a shore bullhead, and is found 
more particularly in the vicinity of estuaries and some 

tSea-scor- ^^^^^^ ^^^^Y ^P rivers. It is very common in 
pion or the Baltic ; and there were days when, spin- 
Stmg-fish. jjjjjg jjg^if ^ hiHq above Rostock (or some ten 

miles from the sea), nothing else could have a chance 
with the bait, so many sea-scorpions were round it. This 
fish, which is dark grey, the underparts white with yellow 
spots and streaks, and often having some white and red 
markings on the fins, does not in our waters exceed a 
length of 15 inches, but there is on the coast of Green- 
land a form, practically identical, which grows to a length 
of 6 feet. Our fish appears to spawn about December, 
the spawn adhering to stones and weeds ; and the father 
is, as in the last species, credited with strong parental 
instincts. 

A smaller and more abundant fish than the last, found 
t Father in the rock pools between the tides, and feed- 
Lasher, ing on small fishes and crustaceans, the Father 
Lasher recalls in general appearance the flatheads that give 



THE BULLHEADS AND GURNAEDS. 349 

such excellent sport in Australian waters. Our species is 
especially common in the fall of the year in the mouth of 
the Thames. In colour it is usually brown with black and 
white streaks, occasionally deep red. Cunningham ^ attrib- 
utes the colour of the carmine examples to the influence 
of the red seaweed in the midst of which they lurk. 

I .have also taken in the Baltic the greyer Four-horned 

Cottus with the red and yellow markings. It resembles 

t Four- *^® ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ sluggish movements, occasional 

horned activity in rushing at a spoon-bait, and capac- 
° ^^* ity for surviving several hours out of water. 
Its name alludes to the four rough tubercles upon the 
head. 

[The Norway Bullhead^ a straggler only to our waters, 
has been added to the British list comparatively recently, 
a single specimen having been taken off" the Mull of 
Kintyre.] 

2. The Gurnards. 

The gurnards differ from the foregoing outwardly in the 
development of a bony armour on the head, inwardly in 
the presence of an air-bladder. The square head with its 
fleshy feelers imparts anything but a pleasing appearance ; 
nor is the impression made more favourable by the curious 
grunts which fresh-caught gurnards are capable of emitting 
from the air-bladder, a peculiarity to which they owe their 
trivial name in many tongues (cf. Gournecm^ Croonan, 
Knurrhahn, &c.) Like the bullheads, they are creatures 
of sluggish habits, feeding for the most part on or near 
the bottom, over which they crawl with the aid of their 
sensitive feelers, but occasionally in warm weather gambol- 
ling at the surface. They greedily take any bait that 
lingers within reach; and I have even caught a fair 
number on spinning baits when pollack -fishing, usually 
when, for some reason or other, the bait has been allowed 
1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 326. 



350 FISHES. 

to sink for a moment among the weeds. The flesh, though 
much eaten, is not remarkable. 

The Eed Gurnard, commonest, and with one exception 
smallest, of our gurnards, is a red fish with silvery belly, 

Hed or ^^^ lateral line crossed by plate -like scales. 

Cuckoo In the Channel it is particularly common, 
urnar . ^g-j-^g found in all rocky localities, where it 
preys on crustaceans. It spawns in May, the spawn 
floating at the surface. 

The Grey Gurnard, another familiar British fish, lacks 
the ridge of spines found in the rest of the group, and is 
Grey grey in colour, having white spots over the 

Gurnard, "back and sides. It is more abundant on the 
east coast than the last. The females, the j^roportion of 
which is, according to Dr Fulton, about 4-1, are slightly 
larger than the males. ^ Day ^ considers this a gregarious 
fish, but my own experience in the Channel has invariably 
been to catch at most two or three with as many dozen red 
gurnards. This, however, has always been in September, 
and it is quite possible that they are more sociable at the 
spawning season, about May. On the Galloway coast, I 
understand, the reverse obtains, and September anglers 
take a dozen grey gurnards for every red one. 

The Streaked Gurnard has raised red bands down the 
sides, hence the trivial name. In colour it is deep red on 
Streaked the back and sides, white beneath, and with 
Gurnard, blotches on the fins. It is an exceedingly 
rough fish to handle, owing to the spines along the back 
and lateral line. By no means one of our commoner fish, 
it is taken in the trammels on the south coast, rarely, if 
ever, on the hook. 

The Sapphirine Gurnard is a larger fish. It is easily 
recognised by the large blue pectoral fins, the lower 
1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 330. - British Fishes, i. 63. 



THE BULLHEADS AND GURNARDS. 351 

surface of which is bright blue with rows of black spots. 
Like the rest, it lives at the bottom, and feeds on crus- 
Sapphirine taceans and small fishes. Cunningham^ 
Gurnard alludes to a curious habit which this fish has 
u - s . ^£ spreading the pectoral fins when alarmed. 

A still larger fish is the Piper, so called from the vocal 
performances to which, like the rest, it is addicted. It is 
taken principally in the Channel, though not 
uncommon farther north. The largest of our 
gurnards, it grows to a weight of 5 lbs. or more. In colour 
this gurnard is bright red above, white beneath. It is a 
more slender fish than the last, lacks the distinguishing 
blue pectoral fins, and has the edges of the bony plates on 
the snout strongly serrated. 

The Lanthorn Gurnard, smallest of our true gurnards, 

is recognised by its elongated dorsal fin, after which it 

Lanthorn is called in some parts the " long - finned 

G-urnard. gurnard." It is red in colour, and has a 

bright silver band along the sides. It is said not to 

take a bait. 

In the little Pogge we have a kind of sea -armadillo, 

clad in a suit of impregnable armour. Like the true 

Pogge or bullheads, it is destitute of air-bladder. It 

Armed is regarded as commonest on our east coast, 

^ ^^ ' especially in the neighbourhood of estuaries. 

In colour yellowish grey, with black bands. 

The Beaked Gurnard is another armed fish, scarlet in 
colour. It is but a straggler in our seas, and may at 
Beaked once be recognised by the pointed bony pro- 
G-urnard. jections before the head, beneath which there 
are filaments, and the large plates of bone with which 
the body is covered. Like the true gurnards, it has an 
air-bladder. 

J Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 333. 



352 FISHES. 



CHAPTER III. THE ANGLER -FISH. 

The remarkable-looking Angler- Fish, disposed on the 
fishmonger's slab to greatest advantage, its huge gape 
Angler or distended with a lobster or other attractive 
Fishing- mouthful, is very frequently the cause of ob- 
^°^' structions on London pavements. Of voracious 

appetite but sluggish habits, it lies in ambush for the 
small fish on which it preys, and is said to attract them 
within reach of its jaws with the aid of the filaments 
that grow from the dorsal fin — a popular estimate which 
Cunningham^ criticises, more particularly as regards the 
alleged phosphorescence of the forked extremity of the 
filament, quoting an interesting fact observed by Mr Lane, 
that the fish always contrived, by snapping rapidly, to 
catch that portion of a stick which just touched the fila- 
ment. This is very different from the old notion of the 
" rod " catching the young fish and conveying them to the 
mouth. The most striking character of this fish is perhaps 
to be found in the huge bulk of its flattened spinous head 
as contrasted with the attenuated hind - quarters, a van 
concentration of strength similar to that in the mole. In 
colour it is dark-brown above, white beneath. Though a 
slow swimmer, save in the, larval stage, the angler is able, 
with the aid of its arm-like pectoral fins, to walk on the 
sand after the fashion of gurnards. It spawns in summer, 
the eggs floating at the surface in great sheets of 20 feet 
or more in length. 

1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 338. 



THE WEEVEES. 353 



CHAPTER IV. THE WEEYERS. 

These venomous little fishes are a plague on every coast, 
save that of the United States, where, on the eastern side 
at any rate, they are unknown. There is in Australian 
waters a so-called "whiting" which is closely related to 
these weevers, but it lacks the poisonous spines, gives good 
sport, and is excellent for the table. 

The Greater Weever is the less formidable, if only that 
it is not so given to lurking in the sand with its back- 
Greater fill protruding. It is most abundant on the 
Weever. southern coasts of these islands, much rarer 
in the north. Its colour is dark yellow, with lighter lines 
on the sides, the head streaked or spotted with blue. Of 
sluggish habits, it feeds at the bottom on cephalopods and 
small crustaceans. The dorsal spines can inflict a festering 
wound, but the contact is a chance one ; those on the gill- 
covers, however, are, in both this and the next species, 
used intentionally, the fish bending head and tail together 
and suddenly uncoiling, striking the offending object with 
wonderful precision. 

The Lesser Weever is not more than half the size of the 
last; in colour, too, it is somewhat paler, and there is a 
Lesser conspicuous light band on the tail-fin. This 
"Weever. little fish is a source of constant danger to 
the netsmen and of annoyance to the amateur; and I 
have noticed for years that a number are almost invariably 
hooked from piers in the summer months during the pre- 
valence of an east wind. Without being exactly dangerous, 
a wound from the gill-spines of this fish may cause many 
days of intense pain. In the Hebrides this fish is regarded 
as the male of the sand-eel.^ 

1 Harvie-Brown and Buckley, Fauna of the Outer Hebrides, p. 189. 

Z 



354 FISHES. 



CHAPTER y. THE MACKEREL FAMILY. 

Of somewhat less importance in this country than with 
some Continental nations, the present family furnishes at 
any rate one important food -fish. All the members of 
this group are rapid swimmers, seeking their food at, 
or near, the surface. This has been connected by some 
authorities with the well-known difficulty of keeping their 
flesh from rapid deterioration. Nor, with the important 
exception of the tunny, can their flesh be regarded as 
particularly suitable for purposes of canning. 

The type of this family, the beautiful blue-and-silvery 

Mackerel, is one of the most abundant and familiar fishes 

of our seas, in which, however, its sroins^s and 
Mackerel. . ' o o ^ 

comings appear almost the result of caprice, 

and still occasion a considerable amount of confusion. 




The most familiar form of this fish has the belly silvery, 
with purple reflections, and deep bands down the sides ; 
but there is a not uncommon form having numerous spots 
on the back. For the rest, the mackerel is an elegant 
tapering fish, the tail -fin large and deeply forked, and 
having small keels above it. There are also a number of 
finlets above and beneath the tail end of the body. 
Besides undertaking migrations of considerable extent, 
which, yet unexplained, are believed to depend largely on 
temperature, tlie mackerel performs two regular seasonal 



THE MACKEREL FAMILY. 355 

movements, from deep to shallow water, and vice versa, 
the deeper water being affected in winter ; but as the fish 
is found in any quantity on parts of the east coast at cer- 
tain seasons only, there is still good reason, for all that has 
been said to the contrary, to suspect an extensive migra- 
tional movement along shore. In Bournemouth Bay, for 
instance, where the fishery is somewhat irregular, mackerel 
are taken only between the middle of June and the end of 
October. The spawning-time appears to be late in June ; 
anyhow, I have found the males with milt early in that 
month, but they were sj)ent by the beginning of August. 
The mackerel which are caught during June and the first 
days of July are rarely over a pound in weight, but the 
larger " hook " mackerel of August weigh three times as 
much. They are very powerful swimmers, and their first 
instinct on being hooked is to sheer wildly to right and 
left in the endeavour to shake out the hook. I have often 
known them, indeed, to fray the gut against the keel of 
the boat. The food of the mackerel consists largely of the 
fry of herring and other fishes, also of medusae, small crus- 
taceans, and the like. In the early summer it pursues the 
fry in large shoals close to the surface, at which time the 
fishermen catch it in drift-nets or on baits trailed at the 
surface ; but later in the year, about August as a rule, the 
shoals break up and the mackerel go to the bottom, when 
they are caught in the trawl and on ground-lines. The 
fishermen have an idea that these fish are blind towards 
the end of winter, being in fact unable to perceive the bait ; 
but Cunningham^ offers an explanation of this in their 
probable absence at that season from the inshore grounds 
where such hand -lining is practised. The blindness is 
supposed to be the result of sickness, a fatty film covering 
the eye. 

The darker, heavier Coly Mackerel can only be regarded 
as a wanderer from the Mediterranean to our southern 
1 Murket;il)le Marine Fishes, p. 316. 



356 FISHES. 

shores. In it we find the beginnings of the breastplate 

of large scales more characteristic of the bonitoes. In 

Spanisli colour, it resembles the common species, being, 

or Coly however, distinguished by the blotches on the 

Mackerel, ^nderparts. As its appearances on our shores 

are irregular, and its flesh deteriorates even more rapidly 

than that of the other, it is of no commercial importance. 

[The Plain Bonito is another straggler to our seas. It 
has the scaly breastplate more conspicuous than in the 
last.] 

The most important fish in the Mediterranean, the Tunny 
is of irregular occurrence on our coasts, though not uncom- 
mon as far north as the western lochs of Scot- 
^^^^* land,^ where it is known as the "Mackrelsture." 
Tunnies of 9 feet in length and 900 lbs. in weight have 
been captured in British waters; but the fish grows to 
twice the size in the Mediterranean. I have seen them 
in the market at Naples weighing probably 1000 lbs. 
Tunny is a favourite article of food with the Italians; 
and I was regaled with it in one form or another every 
day without fail for over three months, the least disagree- 
able way of serving it being as a roast with green peas, the 
least agreeable being when soused in olive oil and sent to 
table in a dish that has been first rubbed with a head of 
garlic. In colour, the tunny is very deep blue, lighter on 
the scaly breastplate. The tail is well keeled. 

In the Albicorc, otherwise Long-finned Tunny, we have 
a smaller fish, distinguished by the great length of the 
pointed pectoral fins, which, in examples of 
large size, may exceed one-third the length of 
the fish. It is this fish that ocean travellers observe over 
the bow of steamers or in the wake of sailing ships, gener- 
ally harassing the flying-fish. I have watched them (some 

1 Harvie-Browu and Buckley, Fauna of tlie Outer Hebrides, p. 188. 



THE MACKEREL FAMILY. 357 

fully 4 feet in length, so far as it was possible to judge) 
at this work in the Indian Ocean, mostly about three 
hundred miles south-east of Aden. The largest recorded 
from British waters was less than 3 feet ; and the occur- 
rence of this fish, mostly on the south-west coast, is very 
irregular. 

Another wanderer to our waters is the ocean-going 

Bonito, which does not in these parts exceed a length of 

3 feet and a weight of 10 lbs. The pectoral 

fin is short, the breastplate embraces a con- 

siderable portion of the back and sides, and there are a 

number of curved blue bands along the sides. 

The Belted Bonito is an allied form which has, at irreg- 
ular intervals,* been taken on our south-west coast of a 
B It d length of 2 feet and a weight of 6 lbs. It is 
Bonito or distinguished by a number of broad vertical 
Pelamid. bands, crossed by other bands, curved and 
lateral. The habits of all these fishes so resemble those 
of the mackerel that it is a saving of space to omit any 
individual account. 

As the boon companion of sharks, it is only natural that 

a good deal, both true and untrue, should have been written 

T, at all times about the remarkable little Eemora. 

Bemora . . 

or Sucking- It has only been taken m British waters at 
fish. jQjjg intervals, and as it was always in the 

company of sharks, indebted to them, moreover, for its 
introduction to British waters, its admission to the present 
list is at least open to criticism. It is included, however, 
for the sake of the interesting evidence it afi'ords of 
Nature's ways to different ends. In no sense of the word 
is it to be regarded as a parasite, the name bestowed on it 
by the ancients, as it never preys on the great fish whose 
company it keeps for various reasons — among them being, 
if we may so presume on its secrets, the advantages of free 



358 FISHES. 

and easy locomotion, protection from the above-mentioned 
ravenous bonito and albicore that scour the surface of the 
waters day and night, and possibly some crumbs that fall 
from the host's jaws. The shark's part of the profit has not 
hitherto been explained, but I am inclined to think, from 
the examination of a number of small sharks which I caught 
in a Queensland river, some with one or more remoras 
attached, others without, that the fish may rid its host of 
the parasites that bore into its hide. The sucker mth 
which this fish attaches itself to sharks or ships is a 
modified fin, and is situated on the back of the head. 
Contrary to rule, the back of this fish (which passes most 
of its life with its belly to the light) is of lighter hue than 
the lower surface. The largest remora I ever handled 
weighed just over 3 lbs., but one or two out of the ten 
existing species run much larger. The power of suction 
even in small examples is very great, and, even after death, 
it is difficult to remove one without injury, the best way 
being to seize it by the head, gently but firmly, and push 
it forward. It will then slide to the edge. 



CHAPTER VI. THE CORYPHENES AND 
THEIR ALLIES. 

The five fishes belonging to this group are of slight 
importance, and need only be mentioned. Ray's Bream is 
Ray's a flattened blue fish, not unlike a bream in 
Bream, appearance, with a continuous dorsal fin and 
a curious oblique cleft in the mouth. It is rare in our 
waters, where, however, it has been taken to a weight of 
over 4 lbs. In Irish waters it is known as the " Hen- 
fish." 



THE HORSE-MACKERELS AND THEIR ALLIES. 359 

■ Another occasional wanderer to our waters is the many 
coloured Opah (otherwise " Sunfish " or " King-fish "), a 
handsome green-and-red fish, with silvery spots. 
The lateral line takes a remarkable upward 
curve above the pectoral, and the head ends in a kind 
of beak. The skin is exceedingly thick. A specimen of 
190 lbs. weight was recently taken from the North Sea. 

[The Black-fish, as Couch calls it, and the allied Cen- 
trolophus hritannicus, are small and rare fish on our coasts, 
of which little seems to be known. Another rarity in 
British waters is Ltivarus imperialis, one of which, weigh- 
ing 120 lbs., is recorded from Cornish waters. It has a 
bright red band along the side, the back being dark, the 
belly white, fins bright red. Both dorsal and anal fins 
extend only a short way from the tail, the foreparts of 
either margin being finless.] 



CHAPTER VIL THE HOESE-MACKEKELS 
AND THEIR ALLIES. 

[It is convenient to include in this group not alone the 
horse-mackerels proper, but also members of a number of 
families that fall naturally in this place — such aj^parently 
distinct types as the dory, sword-fish, and hairtails.] 

The only fish of the family that occurs in our seas in 
any numbers is the typical Scad or Horse-mackerel, shoals 
Scad or ^^ which visit our south-west coast in summer- 
Horse- time, though I have more often found it in 
mackerel, company with the mackerel, joining in keen 
pursuit of the "mackerel -midge" and other fry. I have 
taken as many as a dozen in a morning when drift -lining 



360 FISHES. 

for mackerel, but never when sailing under canvas, though 
there is of course no reason why fish of habits so closely 
resemblino- those of the mackerel should not be taken in 
this fashion. The scad is known to the Italians as 
cantatore (the singer), owing to a peculiar grunting which, 
like the gurnards, it is said to utter when removed from 
the water. I must confess never to have noticed this 
myself, but it seems a matter of common observation. 
This fish may be distinguished by its long, low, dorsal fin, 
as well as by the bony plates along the lateral line. In 
colour, it is bluish grey above, white beneath. As food 
it is not to be recommended. It is still more capricious 
in its wanderings than the mackerel. During the early 
days of July in the present year (1897), tens of thou- 
sands were netted off Bournemouth (locally confused with 
pilchards), where they are often not seen for years to- 
gether. My boatman took one this August (1897) off 
Mevagissey, weighing close on 3 lbs. 

With the exception perhaps of the wonderful remora, 
few fish have been the theme of more downright nonsense 
than that other friend and ally of the shark, 
the Pilot-fish. As in the former case, we find 
all, or apparently all, the advantage on the side of the 
weaker, though, as these arrangements are generally mutual 
throughout vertebrate and invertebrate nature, man not 
excepted, it is probable that the shark derives some 
advantage that has so far escaped our notice. The well- 
seasoned story about the pilot warning the shark against 
the snare of the baited hook is as incredible as its 
fondness, alleged of old, for sailors in danger of running 
aground. I have myself seen a 20 -foot shark hooked the 
moment after one of its two attendant pilots had swum 
round the hook. This was in about 17° S., and the bait 
was the half of a smaller shark that I had caught a few 
moments before. The pilot made a leisurely survey of the 
bait, found it apparently not to its own taste, and the 



THE HORSE-MACKERELS AND THEIR ALLIES. 361 

minute afterwards the monster rolled lazily towards it 
and engulfed bait, chain, and all, but the hook came 
away. When such a shark is caught and hauled aboard, 
both pilots and remoras soon attach themselves, doubtless 
for the sake of protection, to the ship. The pilot-fish 
is in colour of a steely blue, having a number of dark 
bands down the sides, and occasionally one on the tail. 

[The Black Pilot and Derbio have been recorded once 
each in our waters. The former, also known as the Snij)- 
nosed mullet or "Rudder-fish," is of American origin, and 
the solitary British example was found ofi" the Cornish 
coast in a broken wooden case (!). The Derbio, or 
Glaucus, is a small green fish.] 

In the Boar-fish we have a remarkable form, rarely ex- 
ceeding a length of 7 inches, and being laterally flattened 
Boar-fislior like the more familiar dory. It is very rough- 
Cuckoo, skinned, to which, as well as to the prominent 
snout, may be due the trivial name. It is also, I believe, 
said to grunt on being ca23tured and removed from 
the water; but here again, as in the case of the scad, I 
have not been favoured with a ^performance, as we used to 
net dozens in the little estuary north of Leghorn, and I 
never heard a sound from them. It is a bright-red fish, 
the fins being long and spinous, the mouth small and 
tubular. It occurs chiefly on the south-west coast. 

The John Dory, one of the ugliest and most delicate of 
British table fishes, is too familiar on the fishmonger's 

slab to need much by way of description. 

The body is flattened, the skin smooth, the 
dorsal fin tipped with long filaments. The colour is a 
deep brown, there being also a number of lighter bands 
and a single black spot with a light rim on either side. 
These spots are associated by tradition w^ith the finger and 
thumb of St Peter; hence, according to some etymologists. 



362 



FISHES. 



the name is a corruption of the Italian word gianitore 
(gatekeej3er). Cunningham ^ gives an interesting picture 
of how the Dory, which is so depressed laterally as to 
foreshorten to the merest line, stalks small fishes ; and I 
have repeatedly had the opportunity of observing this in 
the clear water beneath Bournemouth pier, where several 
dories take up their quarters each summer. The tragedy 
was continuous. First, the sand-eels harassed the " mack- 




erel-midge"; then a pollack would dash out from the 
piles, miss the agile launce, and have to content itself 
with a small sand -smelt; lastly, a more leisurely dory 
would rise slowly from the depths, and, approaching end 
on, would quickly catch several sand-eels in its tube-like, 
mobile mouth. The dory is to some extent, and within 
limits not satisfactorily fixed, a migratory fish. It appears 
to spawn at the end of summer, and occurs as far north 

1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 322. 



THE HOPtSE-MACKERELS AND THEIR ALLIES. 363 

at any rate as the Moray Firtli.^ Its greatest weight 
is about 1 8 lbs., but the average would be nearer 5 lbs. 

Easily recognised from all other living fishes by the 
curious sword -like growth on the snout, from which it 
derives its name, the Sword-fish, which grows 
to a length of at least 10 feet, is occasionally 
entangled in the mackerel nets on our south-west coast, 
and, more rarely, farther north. Another conspicuous 
feature of this fish is the high dorsal fin, particularly 
noticeable when, as not seldom happens, the sword-fish is 
observed basking at the surface. It is endowed with great 
strength and activity, and is known to attack with its only 
weapon both whales and ships. 

The Maigre, practically the Jew - fish of Australian 
waters, is a large and handsome fish, growing to a weight 
Maigre or of near 400 lbs. We used to fish for its an- 
Sciaena. tarctic equivalent with a live bait weighing 

as much as a pound. In British seas, it is taken only 
casually in the mackerel-nets. In colour, dark grey, with 
metallic reflections, above, white beneath. 

The Hairtail that occasionally visits our coasts hails 
from the West Indies. Examples, the largest of which 
Hairtail or bad a length of 2^ feet, have from time 
Blade-fish, to time been taken on the south-west coast. 
The tail, lacking the usual fin, tapers to a point. 

The Scabbard-fish is the famous " Frost-fish," for which 
such prices are paid in New Zealand, on the shores of 
Scabbard- which it is cast up in winter-time. It has 
^^^- also occurred in our seas about a dozen times. 

It is a band-like fish with a long dorsal fin and a small 
fin at the end of the tail. (The " scabbard-fish," figured on 
p. 261 of the ' Eoyal Natural History,' would apj)ear to 
1 Harvie-Browu and Buckley, Fauna of Siitlierland, p. 262. 



364 FISHES. 

be a Hairtail of some kind.) These occurrences have been 
confined to the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, and there 
seems to be some probability of a single Irish example. 
The length of specimens taken in British waters has been 
under 6 feet, nor does it anywhere appear to exceed this. 



CHAPTER VIII. THE GARFISH AND 
FLYING-FISH. 

This group finds a different place in every succeeding 
scheme. For the purposes of the present elementary work, 
however, it may be introduced here. 

The well-known silvery-and-green eel-like Garfish, though 
excellent eating, is the object of a ridiculous prejudice, the 
Garfish or outcome of the green colour of its bones. The 
Guardfish. j-Qof of the mouth is, as I have often had occa- 
sion to know, extremely hard. When hooked, this fish has 
a curious habit, also observed in sharks, of making straight 




for the surface, even leaping into the air in its attempts 
to shake out the hook. Its food consists of small fish, 
which are pursued with long leaps at the surface. It is 
also characterised by a strong, unpleasant odour, peculiarly 
its own. From the great length of its beak it is known 
as the "Long Nose," while its arrival and departure with 
the mackerel has obtained for it the local title of " Mack- 
erel guide." The migrations of this fish are as yet im- 
perfectly understood, all we know being that it is absent 
from our coast in winter. 



THE GOBIES AND SUCKERS. 365 

Not unlike the last, the Saury Pike is a much smaller 
species. It is distinguished from small garfish of its own 
Sa\iry Pike size by the presence of finlets behind the 
or Skipper, dorsal and anal fins, its smaller teeth, and its 
bluer colour. As in the garfish, the young skipper has the 
lower jaw much longer than in the adult ; and, also like 
the garfish, its eggs are attached one to the other by long 
filaments. 

The beautiful blue-and-silver Flying-fish, in which the 
pectoral fins are developed into wings, finds its way into 
„, our waters, if ever, at long; intervals only ; in- 

deed some caution is necessary m accepting its 
recorded occurrences. In the first place, its action at the 
surface is, especially when seen at some little distance, 
not unlike that of the last, and might easily deceive those 
who had never seen the real flying-fish. As regards the 
examjDles cast up on the beach, it must be borne in mind 
that few South Sea curios are brought over in greater num- 
bers, and dried specimens, being easily blown about, might, 
and doubtless do, get lost over the side in the confusion of 
packing as the ship is getting near the British coast. At 
the same time, there seems to be little doubt of the occur- 
rence of living examples on our south-west coast. 



CHAPTER IX. THE GOBIES AND SUCKERS. 

I. The Gobies. 

There appears to be some confusion as to the precise 
nomenclature of these little fishes, and the following is 
offered as an approximate list of British species. The 
male guards the eggs, which are deposited in shells fixed 



366 FISHES. 

in the sand. The gobies are credited with the power of 
changing colour when pursued — a phenomenon, however, 
that I have not witnessed. 

The Black Goby, largest of our gobies (and also known 
as the " Eock-Goby "), is common in rock -pools on most 

t Black parts of our coasts, clinging with its fins in 
Goby. Qne typical position to the rock. It also fre- 
quents brackish, even fresh, water, and its food consists 
of small fishes and vegetable matter. In colour it is dull 
brown, having white blotches on the sides. The tail is 
not forked. This goby breeds in June. 

The " Polewig," as the Spotted Goby is often called, is 
abundant in the estuary of the Thames, in fact all round 
Spotted our coasts. A very small fish, it is quick 
G-oby. iQ escape when disturbed. It feeds on crus- 
taceans. In colour it is dark brown, with numerous 
spots. 

The small Paganellus is very dark in hue, with some 
reddish shades on the dorsal and anal fins. It is said 
by Day to occur in both rocky and sandy 
localities, and to breed in May or June. 

One of our smallest gobies, the Two-spotted Goby, has 
a conspicuous black spot above the pectoral fin, and a 
Two-spot- second on the tail. According to Harvie- 
ted Goby. Brown and Buckley,^ this species is found 
breeding in the neighbourhood of mussel-beds, its eggs 
being deposited in the shell of that mollusc. 

There is, however, a still smaller species in the shape of 

White the White Goby, the length of which is i}^ 

Goby. inch. Tliis little fish is thought to sjiawn 

once and die ; and if this is correct, its life lasts but a 

1 Fauna of the Outer Hebrides, p, 194. 



THE GOBIES AXD SUCKEES. 367 

year, and it is one of the only European cases of what is 
termed an "annual vertebrate." 



tThe Four- X small species occurring in brackish 
spotted , 

Goby. water. 

Nilsson's A small and rare semi - transjmrent deep- 
G-oby. water goby, having dark spots on the jaw 
and fins. 



Parnell's This goby has light bands on the dorsal 
Goby. £jj^ jg^j,]^. Qjj ^^Q caudal. 

The Gemmeous Dragonet is a beautiful smooth-skinned 
species, the male being orange and blue in colour, with red 
Gemmeous and lilac markings, and having the dorsal fin 
Dragonet. yellow with lilac bands, with a long ray. The 
duller female, known as the "Dusky Skulpin," is brown, 
with various spots and blotches, and lacking the long 
dorsal ray. The mouth is pointed, its opening being of 
small size; and the food consists chiefly of molluscs. 

[The SjMttecl Dragonet^ a deejD-water species, has been 
once dredged near the Hebrides. There are black spots 
on the fins, sometimes on the body.] 



2. The Suckees. 

Among the ugly fish of the sea none can perhaps bid 

against the Lumpsucker for sheer repulsiveness of exterior, 

with its slimy skin and rows of tubercles, the 

sucker or ^^i^ almost enveloping the front dorsal fin. It 

Cock- grows to a weight of 20 lbs., the colour of the 

■^^^ ^* male being normally red, that of the female 

blue. The young, which are of a bright green, are often 

taken in the salmon-nets. The eggs, also reddish, are de- 

230sited among the rocks, and are jealously guarded by the 



368 FISHES. 

male, thougli, according to jM'Intosli/ they are often un- 
covered at low tide and devoured by rats and crows. The 
ventral fins form in this fish an adhesive disc, by the aid 
of which it attaches itself to rocks. It preys on smaller 
fishes, and is said in its turn to be much eaten by seals. 

The little Sea-snail, which does not exceed a length of 

6 inches, has the same modification of the ventral fins, 

but is without scales or tubercles. It is lio-ht 

brown, with darker bands. Cunningham^ says 

that the spawn has frequently been mistaken for that of 

the herring. 

A smaller and more active fish than the last, Montagu's 
Sucker is of similar habits and aj^pearance, only more 
Montagu's yellow, and marked with dark spots. As in 
Sucker. all these fish, the normal colouring is subject 
to much variation. This species is common in the 
Hebrides (Harvie-Brown and Buckley). 

We now come to a small group of three fishes having 
the sucker hetiveen the ventral fins, not to any extent 

Cornish formed by them. They also lack the spinous 

Sucker, dorsal fin. These, of which the Cornish 
Sucker is typical, are thus distinct from the foregoing, and 
are included in the present chapter only conditionally and 
for convenience. The oval sucking-disc is divided into two 
portions, the hinder part having a free edge of thick skin. 
In colour this species is red above, lighter beneath, but 
subject to much variety. This little fish, which rarely 
exceeds a length of 4 inches, is common on all our rocky 
coasts. It feeds on crustaceans and breeds in spring, 
depositing the eggs in empty shells. 

The Connemara and Doubly-spotted suckers are similar 
in habits. The first, which has a shorter dorsal fin, is red 

1 Life-Histories of British Food-FisliL's, p. 15. 

2 MarketaLlc Marine Fishes, p. 351. 



THE BLEXNIES AND BAND-FISHES. 369 

with light oval spots. The second, which does not exceed 
a length of 2 inches, is red above, pink below, and marked 
with a few light vertical bands. The male guards the 
eggs. 



CHAPTER X. THE BLENNIES AND BAND- 

FISHES. 

I. The Blennies. 

From the absence of scales the Shanny is also known 

as the "Smooth Blenny." In colour, it is yellowish, with 

black spots. Its food apparently consists of 

small crustaceans and vegetable matter. The 

shanny spawns on the bottom in the summer. 

We have in the Gattorugine a far larger species, easily 

recognised by the fringed tentacle over the eye, the pro- 

Gatto- portionate length of this appendage being ap- 

rugine. parently subject to variation. In colour, the 

gattorugine is greyish brown with vertical bands, the fins 

edged with yellow or white. 

The Butterfly Blenny, also known as the " Eyed " 
Blenny, may be recognised by the large black white- 
Butterfly rimmed spot on the first dorsal fin. In 
Blenny. colour it is grey, having half-a-dozen dark 
vertical bands. Like the last, it has a tentacle over the 
eye. It seems almost confined to the south-west coast. 

Montagu's Blenny, smallest of all those of British 
Montagu's habitat, rarely exceeds the length of 3 inches, 
Blenny. ^nd is covered with conspicuous white spots. 
Between the eyes is a fold of skin with a fringe of 

2 A 



370 FISHES. 



tentacles, which the fish appears able to erect at will. 
Like the rest of the group, it is a most active fish, making 
endless attempts to leap over the side of any vessel in 
which it may be confined. 

The somewhat larger Yarrell's Blenny, which has been 
recorded to a length of 7 inches, is distinguished from the 
Yarrell's foregoing by the presence of small scales. In 
Blenny. colour it is brown, with dark bands, the latter 
being sometimes absent. On the head are four tentacles. 
This species appears common on every part of the coast, 
and is either dredged or taken in the crab-jDots. 

The elongated Butterfish grows to a length of near 12 
inches, the dorsal fin being continuous with the tail and 
Gunnel or ventral, its base marked by black, white-edged 
Butterfish. gpots. There are no tentacles on the head 
of this blenny. According to Cunningham,^ these fish 
were seen by Mr Holt to be spawning at the St Andrews 
aquarium m February, the parents taking turns in rolling 
the eggs into a ball, coiling their bodies round the mass. 
This blenny is found on every part of the coast, and the 
male is known to mount guard over the eggs. 

The most interesting, however, of the group is unques- 
tionably the Viviparous Blenny. The young, as many as 
Viviparous 300 in number and ij^ inch in length,^ are 
Blenny. born early in the year, and there appears to 
be some evidence in favour of a second brood. This 
blenny, which seems, unlike the rest, least in evidence on 
our south-west coast, grows to a length of 24 inches. It 
is of an olive-brown colour, the body being marked with 
arched bands. The dorsal fin, which has a deep notch 
just before the tail, is continuous. 

1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 344. 

2 M'Intosh and Mastennan (Life-Histories, p. 13) gives the length as 
2 imlu's, imd points out that it is proportionately great. 



THE BLENNIES AND BAND-FISHES. 371 

The Wolf-fish, largest of our blennies, is the much- 
maligned " Stone-biter " of the Baltic fishermen, who de- 
Wolf- clare that it is of fierce disposition. It is 
fish. certainly not a very attractive creature, but, 

as in the case of the dory, appearance does not go for 
much, and the " Cat-fish," another of its names, is good 
eating. It grows to a length of at least 6 feet, and is 
grey, with a row of black bands and small black spots. 
A fish of cold seas, it is rarest on our southern coast, 
being chiefly known among the isles of Scotland ; only 
a few examples are mentioned from Irish waters. There 
are no throat-fins ; the tail-fin is small but distinct. The 
teeth of this blenny, which are, I suspect, more formidable 
than its character, are long and curved, and it feeds on all 
manner of shell-fish, whelks more particularly. 

[The SharjJ-tailecl Lum'penu&^ was once trawled (1884) 
off the Carr Lightship.] 

2. The Band-Fishes. 

[The three species of this group which have wandered 
occasionally to British waters are the Red Band-fish, the 
Deal fish, and BanJcs's Oar fish. The first of these, a small 
deep-water fish that rarely exceeds a length of 2 feet, is 
occasionally hooked, more often thrown ashore in gales. 
It is compressed in form ; red, with yellow markings. The 
eyes and teeth are conspicuously large. The tail -fin is 
absent. 

The Deal-fish, which grows to a length of 9 or 10 feet, 
the largest British example having measured rather over 
7 feet, is taken at long intervals in the stake-nets on the 
northern coasts. It is silvery in colour ; and the tail-fin, 
raised above the line of the body, has several long rays. 
There is no ventral fin. 

1 I include this on the authority of M'lntosh and Masterman (Life- 
Histories, p. 223). 



372 FISHES. 

[Banks's Oar-fish, an elongated silvery form, the longest 
British example of which measured 15^ feet, has a re- 
markable process of the dorsal fin, which gives the impres- 
sion of a crest. The pelvic fins are mere filaments. When 
this deep-sea form is thrown ashore, the long flattened 
body breaks at the least touch. One at least of the dozen 
odd British examples has been referred to an allied form, 
R. grillii.^ 



CHAPTER XI. THE ATHERINES AND GREY 

MULLETS. 

I. The Atherines. 

The Atherine, the so-called "Sand-smelt," is common 

along just those parts of our south coast where the true 

salmonoid smelt is wanting;. Hence, no doubt, 

t Atherine. o 5 » 

the confusion ; for when seen side by side the 

two are distinct enough, the latter being at once recognised 

by its soft dorsal and adipose fins, as well as by the numer- 

erous sharp teeth with which the mouth is lined. On the 

Hampshire coast the little atherine, which rarely measures 

more than 6 inches, is particularly abundant. It spawns in 

summer, and I have hooked dozens full of roe in June. 

These fish are attracted by a bait in motion, and few better 

baits can be found than a fragment of atherine ! This 

fish is an excellent bait for turbot. In colour the atherine 

is brown or green along the back, and has a broad silver 

band, with purple reflections, on the sides, the fish being 

semi-transparent. The above length is generally supposed 

to be slightly exceeded by atherines from the Irish coast. 

[+ Boier^s Atherine, a smaller fish with relatively larger 

eye, is by many regarded as a variety, by others as the 

young, of the common form.] 



THE ATHERINES AND GREY MULLETS. 



373 



2. The Gkey Mullets, 

This is one of the handsomest and wariest of our sea- 
fish, wandering up some of our rivers, notably up the 

^ Sussex Arun. In colour it is silvery, with 

Urey or p t 

Thin-lipped dark bands, the metallic lustre fading very 

Mullet. rapidly after death. Having no teeth, a de- 

fect in its digestive arrangements which is in part compen- 
sated by the presence of a gizzard-like arrangement in the 




stomach, this fish feeds entirely on small soft substances, 
among which are various weeds. To varieties of this fish 
are now ascribed more than one of the so-called British 
species. According to some authorities, the grey mullet 
spawns twice in the year, but this appears very doubtful. 



The other distinct British form is more gregarious than 
the last, and also attains to a greater weight. I have taken 

this species in the Mediterranean weighing 
or Thick- close on 9 lbs. At Dover and elsewhere in 
lipped the Channel I have seen the two species 

swimming together. This would appear to 
be the commoner species on the Devonshire coast ; indeed 
it is the only species that Cunningham has ever observed 
at Plymouth. 



374 FISHES. 



CHAPTER XII. THE STICKLEBACKS. 

The little grey and golden Stickleback, with the three 

(sometimes four) spines in the dorsal fin, is familiar in 

most of our streams. In place of scales, it is 

ommon^ clad in bony plates, and the variations to which 

spined it is subject in the number of these plates, as 

Stickle- 'j-^ |.j^g^^ q£ ^]^g spines, has been the basis for 

a number of species, which might be more 
properly regarded as varieties. All the sticklebacks are 
capable of living in either fresh or salt water ; and they 
have been, wrongly, thought to live for one year only. 
Like the rest of the group, this stickleback constructs a 
nest towards the middle of spring, the male, which assumes 
at this important season patches of red, subsequently guard- 
ing the eggs and young from intruders. 



Regarded as a sore trouble in the trout-stream, the Ten- 
spined Stickleback, or "Tinker," is widely, though locally, 
distributed throughout these islands, frequent- 
spine d i^g brackish as well as fresh waters. There 
Stickle- are no bony plates on the sides, and the nor- 
mal colour, which is subject to considerable 
variation, is greenish-brown, with black spots, belly and 
sides silvery. In the breeding season the male, at any 
rate, changes to a deep black. 

The larger Fifteen-spined Stickleback, or " Bottlenose," 
normally olive-colour with white j^atches, is said to change 
hue when excited. In these islands this sjjecies 
spined ^^ described by most writers as exclusively 
Stickle- marine, but it has been observed to enter 
some streams in northern Continental coun- 
tries. It is therefore probable that it has similar tastes 
with us, but has chanced to escape observation in our 
rivers. This sj^ecies has a long attenuated body and 



THE WKASSES. 375 

pointed snout. It is pugnacious and greedy as the rest, 
feeding on similar small worms and larvj3e, and building a 
nest of seaweeds, in which the polygamous male presently 
mounts guard over the eggs. 

[We may here conveniently consider that small and 
remarkable form the Belloivs- or Trimipet-fish^ w^hich 
has been taken in our waters about half-a-dozen times. 
Viewed from above, it has the compressed appearance of 
the dory ; from below, the bony plates and spinous edge 
give the impression of a knife-blade. This fish, which does 
not exceed 6 or 7 inches in length, is of a pink hue ; belly 
silver. The bellows-fish has a beak like the last, the mouth 
being small and toothless. The body is covered with small 
spinous scales, and there is no lateral line. One spine of 
the first dorsal fin is long and serrated.] 



CHAPTER XIII. THE WRASSES. 

The fishes comprised in this group are all characterised 
by thick lips, mostly having brilliant colouring and strong 
teeth adapted to crushing. They frequent weed-covered 
rocks, take almost any bait, and are, for all the ancients 
accorded them high praise, the poorest of eating. I have 
observed all our species, I believe, and several more on the 
Italian coast ; and the largest members of the group I ever 
saw were the blue gropers of Australia, which are hooked 
weighing as much as 100 lbs. 

One of the commonest of our wrasses, which I have caught 

„, . ^ off Dartmouth weicrhinoj over 2 lbs., is the 
Striped *^ *^ ' 

Wrasse or Striped Wrasse, or " Cook " (locally, " Carp "), 

Cook. g^ red-and-yellow fish with blue bands in the 

male, the female being distinguished by black marks near 



376 FISHES. 

the tail. It is more abundant in the Channel than farther 
north, and seems to grow to a length of 13 inches (Day). 

Like the last, the greenish Ballan, with blue spots on 
the body and red lines on the face, is subject to several 
Ballan or varieties. I have taken this wrasse on the 
Comber. Comish coast weighing near 5 lbs., and it is 
said to grow to a weight of 8 lbs. Like all the wra-sses, it 
frequents weed-covered rocks, and feeds largely on hermit- 
and other crabs. 

More gregarious than the foregoing, the small Connor, 
also known as Baillon's Wrasse, has bright red or yellow 
Connor or bands on the face, white rings on the tail-fin, 
Goldsinny. and black spots on the anal fin. Its greatest 
length would appear not to exceed 9 inches, and it occurs 
on all parts of the coast. 

Equally common on the coasts of England and Ireland, 
though somewhat less so ofi" that of Scotland, the small 
p. , Brame -^^^^ Brame, which does not exceed a length of 
or Jago's 6 inches, is the least esteemed of a worthless 
Goldsinny. family. It has a distinguishing black blotch 
on the red dorsal fin. 

One of our largest wrasses, the Scale-rayed Wrasse, is 
easily distinguished by the rows of scales on the dorsal 
Scale-rayed fin, to which it owes its trivial name. In 
Wrasse. colour it is of a reddish orange, with or 
without blue spots on the sides. 

The Rock-Cook is a small and uncommon 

Rock-Cook . c 1 1 -ii n 1 T 

or Small- species, 01 a brown hue, with yellow shadmg, 

mouthed having yellow lines and blue bands on the 
"Wrasse. , , 

head. 

The llainbow Wrasse, another small species, is even 



THE COD FAMILY. 



377 



more brilliantly coloured than the rest, in which particular 
it is subject to considerable sexual and other variation. 
Rainbow It is difficult to say whether red, purple, green, 
"Wrasse. qj. yellow predominates; and there is usually 
a large dark spot on the dorsal fin, sometimes a second on 
the pectoral. Like most wrasses, it has a peculiarity of the 
air-bladder that causes it to float if flung in the water as 
soon as it is taken ofi" the hook. I have in this way 
thrown back many wrasses, ranging in weight from 3 
ounces to as many pounds, and they invariably floundered 
helpless at the surface. 



CHAPTER XIV. THE COD FAMILY 



Of this important group of food-fishes we have a number 
of representatives — one only, the burbot or eel-pout, in- 
habiting fresh waters. They are cold-water fish, distin- 
guished for the most part by soft fins, smooth skin, and 
a " beard " or fleshy barbel, not always present, on the 
lower jaw. The eyes and mouth are large. 

The Cod, type of the family, is too well known to need 



^:-\n 




minute description, being a large-headed, tapering, greenish 
brown fish with distinct white lateral line, 
upper jaw longer than the lower, and the 

family barbel. Codlings, as the young are called, are 



Cod. 



378 MSHES. 

more yellow in hue, and often spotted with brick -red. 
This fish occurs on all our coasts, and seems to approach 
the land early in the year for spawning purposes. It feeds 
on the ground, the barbel, like the tongue of snakes, help- 
ing; it to find and investis-ate the crustaceans on which it 
preys. Cunningham gives an interesting account of the 
observations recorded by Sars. The cod grows to a weight 
of 80 lbs. 

This almost equally familiar fish has the lateral line 
black instead of white, the barbel shorter, and a conspicu- 
ous black blotch on either side, which shares 
with that on the dory the honour of associa- 
tion with the apostle Peter. In our waters, at any rate, 
the haddock is a smaller fish than the last, rarely exceed- 
ing a weight of 20 lbs., averaging nearer 5 lbs. On the 
coast of Iceland, however, I understand that haddock are 
caught of such enormous weight as to be useless for 
curing purposes. Like the cod, this species feeds mostly 
on shell-fish, though Cunningham^ mentions a case of 
haddocks gorged with herring - spawn. The haddock 
seems to hug the land throughout the winter months, 
and spawns in spring. 

One of the commonest fish in the Channel, and almost 

equally abundant on other parts of the British coast, is 

p + the Pout, a fish with many names, among 

"Whiting- which may be mentioned " Bib," " Blain," and 

pout. « Pouting." It grows in our waters to a 

weight of 4 lbs., though it is more often caught weighing 

as many ounces, few fish taking the hook at so early a 

stage. The body is deep ; in colour, brown, with vertical 

bands ; white below. The barbel is jDresent on the lower 

jaw, and there is usually a black spot on the pectoral 

fin. Fond of rocks, sunken wrecks, and like "marks," 

these fish wander but little from place to place, and I have 

1 Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 152. 



THE COD FAMILY. 379 

often found it possible in the course of a couple of tides to 
empty a spot of its large pout. 

[The Norway Pout has apparently been added to the 
British fauna recently. It is distinguished by the pointed 
snout, large eye, and projecting lower jaw. According 
to Harvie-Brown and Buckley,^ it is not uncommon in 
Kilbrannan Sound.] 

In the smaller Poor Cod we find the body narrower, 

the eye larger, and the lateral line less curved. There 

Poor Cod are no vertical bands. It has the family 

or Power, barbel. This fish occurs all round these 

islands. 

Most familiar after the cod, the Silver Whiting is re- 
markable for the delicate flavour that makes it invaluable 
Silver to convalescents, though it deteriorates almost 
'Whiting, ^yj^jj the rapidity of mackerel. More elongated 
than the foregoing, this species lacks the barbel. In colour, 
it is silvery, having the lateral line black, as also a spot on 
the pectoral fin. The mouth is large, the teeth small and 
numerous, and very sharp; the food consisting of sand-eels, 
worms, crustaceans, and the like. Essentially a sand-fish, 
it moves from place to place much more than the pout, and 
seems to undertake movements of considerable extent to 
and from the deep water. It is recorded to the weight of 
4 lbs., but the average is very much below this. The 
whiting spawns about May. With reference to its migra- 
tions, it occurs to me as of interest to mention that I have 
noticed for years at Bournemouth a spring inshoring of 
small silver whiting, measuring about 3 inches, early in 
May, after which there are few or no whiting in the bay 
until the larger fish put in an appearance late in July. 

Rarely seen at the fishmonger's, owing to the little esteem 
in which it is held as food and the rapidity with which its 
1 Fauna of the Outer Hebrides, p. 203. 



380 FISHES. 

flesh deteriorates, the Pollack is a handsome green fish, with 
protruding lower jaw and no barbel. This fish — which is 
Pollack or taken in the Channel, as on the Scottish and 
Lythe. Irish coasts, to a weight of 25 lbs. — lurks dur- 

ing the day in the darker pools among the rocks; but 
after sunset, and for an hour either side of sunrise, it comes 
to the surface, where it either chases the sand-eels, or, as I 
have repeatedly watched it, gambols in a manner that, 
unless its object be the riddance of its body from some 








unwelcome parasite, can only be regarded as wanton sport. 
When hooked, this fish at once heads for the bottom, and 
the angler tries, at any cost, to keep it from the rocks. It 
is often taken coiled up in a crab-pot; and its fondness 
for the neighbourhood of these baited pots is so well 
known that pollack-fishers ask no better moorings than 
the corks on the line of the pot. Pollack taken on the 
sand are not only lighter in colour, but usually exhibit 
light patches soon after death. 

Why the Coal-fish should ever have been confused with 
the pollack, seeing their many points of difference, is not 
Coal-fish, easy to understand ; but the fact remains that 
or Saith. -tj^ey have been confused. This fish, which 
grows to, if anything, a heavier weight than the pollack, 
may be readily distinguished by the presence of a small 
barbel, and the more abrupt division between the greenish 
grey of the back and the silvery white of the belly. The 



THE COD FAMILY. 381 

lower jaw also protrudes less. The habits and food 
seem, indeed, to bear considerable resemblance to those of 
the pollack, but the present species is said to spawn some- 
what later. It is also known as the "green cod," and the 
young go by the name of "podleys.' 



jj 1 



Another species without the barbel is the little Poutassou, 
which is known as Couch's whiting. The general colour 
^ is brown, and there is a yellow band on either 

side the nearly straight lateral line. Nowhere 
very common, this fish occurs seasonally on every part of 
the British coast. 

As an example of the more voracious gadoids, a greater 
offender by far than the pollack, we may take the formid- 
able Hake, which is caught in the pilchard-nets 
weighing over 20 lbs. It differs from the fore- 
going mainly in the presence of but two dorsal fins ; it 
has no barbel, and the teeth are large. Of elongated 
form, its scales are large and rough ; and its colour is 
dark grey above, silvery beneath. It chases the pilchards 
on our south-west coast, the herring and mackerel farther 
east, causing irreparable damage among the nets, most of 
its raids being perpetrated at night. 

Another very large member of the group, which reaches 
a weight of upwards of 100 lbs., the Ling is dark grey on 
the back, lighter on the head and belly. It 
is yet more elongate than the last, the skin 
being much smoother, fins soft and narrow, upper jaw 
protruding beyond the lower. Essentially a ground-fish, 
wherein it differs from the hake, it feeds almost exclu- 
sively on the small fish that inhabit those depths. It 
spawns in summer. 

The Burbot, our only fresh-water form of cod, is much 
1 M'Intosli and Masterman, Life-Histories, p. 209. 



382 FISHES. 

like the ling in appearance, but the scales are rougher and 
the teeth smaller. The burbot rarely exceeds, in our rivers 
Burbot or at least, a weight of 3 lbs., and its colour is 
Eel-pout. yellowish, with dark spots and blotches. Its 
distribution in these islands is confined, singularly enough, 
to the east side of England, being absent, or apparently 
so, from both Scotland and Ireland. It is even locally 
distributed in the limited area mentioned, occurring only 
in the Ouse, Cam, and Trent, as well as in a few smaller 
streams in Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Durham. A fish 
of somewhat singular habits, it lurks during the greater 
part of the day among the stones (hence " Eabbit-fish "), 
feeding chiefly at night on small fishes and insects. It is 
accounted a great trouble in a trout- or salmon-river, and 
seems to thrive equally well in river, stream, lake, or pond, 
evincing a preference for clear deep water, where, accord- 
ing to Seeley,^ its colour is usually paler. It spawns in 
the spring. 

In the Fork -beard, we find the ventral fin modified 
Fork- into a long forked ray. The barbel is present, 
beard. q^^^ ^j^q ^^[j^ jg extremely smooth. This fish 

rarely exceeds a length of 2 feet, and is of a dark colour, 
with black margins to the yellow fins. 

In the "Tadpole-fish," as the Lesser Fork-beard is some- 
times called, the barbel and first dorsal fin are both small. 
Lesser The fish, which has a strong unpleasant smell. 
Fork- attains a maximum length of i foot, and is 
uniformly brown, with purple reflections. Its 
food consists of small fishes, and it spawns in summer. 

In the northern Torsk, known locally as " Cat-fish," we 

_ observe, amons; other characters, a rounded 

Torsk. . . 

body, thick smooth skin, and one dorsal fin 

only ; in colour, it is of a deep grey, with yellow on the fins. 
1 Fresh -water Fishes of Europe, p. 85. 



THE COD FAMILY. 383 

It is taken in more northern waters of a length of at least 
3 feet and a weight of 50 lbs., but examples taken off our 
north coasts — it does not occur in the south — average 
nearer 1 5 lbs. It seems uncertain whether this fish should 
find a place in the Irish list. 

In the three rocklings we have shore-fishes that feed, 

mostly at night, on small fish and crustaceans, lurking 

Three- during the day among the stones, and fre- 

bearded quently getting left behind in shallow rock- 

oc mg. pQQJg ^y. ^-^Q receding tide. The largest of 

them, the Three-bearded Rockling, is a light-brown fish 
with black spots, and has two barbels on the upper and 
one on the lower lip. It a^Dpears to attain a length of 20 
inches, but the largest I ever hooked, off Hastings pier, 
measured just 9 inches. This fish, locally known as the 
" Three - bearded Gade," spawns in summer. It is its 
young that are known as " Mackerel - midge " ; they are 
silvery and without spots, and a favourite food of herring, 
mackerel, and other surface-feeding fish. 

The Four-bearded Rockling has one barbel more than 

the last, the upper jaw carrying three of these appendages. 

Four- *^® lower one. It is brown, and has no spots 

bearded of any kind. The small dorsal fin of this fish 

oc mg. .g observed to vibrate rapidly, not unlike that 

of the j)ipe- fishes. Like the other rocklings, it is a 

favourite in the marine aquarium. It spawns in summer. 

Yet one more "beard," five in all, has the Five-bearded 
Rockling, four on the upper and the usual single one on 
Five- ^^^® lower jaw. The body, which is of a uni- 

bearded form brown or stone colour, is unspotted. This 
oc mg. ^gj^ ^g known down in Cornwall as the " Brown 
Whistler," the reason of which sobriquet 1 was never able 
to learn. It frequents shallow water, feeds on small crus- 
taceans, mostly at night, and in summer deposits its eggs 



384 FISHES. 

in a nest of seaweed. Conger-fishers know from experience 
that there are few better baits for the eel than a rockling 
of any species and about 5 inches in length. This might 
at first give rise to surprise at the rockling choosing the 
same time as the larger fish to be abroad ; but it is to be 
remembered that, as pike-fishers have known all time, pre- 
datory fish have a special weakness for sickly or wounded 
fishes, and it does not by any means follow that the rock- 
lings, acceptable though they be when impaled on the 
hook, form the conger's natural food. 



CHAPTER XV. THE SAND-EELS AND 
ALLIED FORMS. 

The five fishes that compose this group are, for all the 
external dissimilarity, somewhat closely allied to the 
cod family. With the true eels they have nothing in 
common ; both their appearance and their action in the 
water are quite distinct. 

The most familiar at many of our watering-places is 
the small silvery Launce, which attains a length of over i 
foot, but is more commonly found measuring 
less than half. In colour it is bright green, 
with a silvery band on the sides and a black spot on the 
head ; and it may be further distinguished by the pro- 
jecting, horny-tipped lower jaw and the two sharp teeth 
in the upper. Throughout the summer months these 
little fish forgather at the surface, often in company with 
the next and with sand -smelts, feeding on floating fry 
and other organisms. They are bold and pugnacious, 
and when they are minded to take every baited hook, 
the atherines seem to know that they stand no chance, 



THE SAND-EELS AND ALLIED FORMS. 385 

and, as I have often observed on Bournemouth pier, hold 
aloof, or pick up what they may lower down. There 
seems to be some doubt as to the exact spawning-time. 
According to Cunningham, the next species is known 
to deposit its spawn in the month of July ; and this, 
taken in conjunction with the fact that the larvae of the 
present species were got at St Andrews in March of a 
size corresponding with that of other larvae, less closely 
identified, taken in August, leaves room for two hypoth- 
eses — either that the present species spawns in winter, 
or that one or both may spawn twice in the year. 

The Lesser Launce, known as the "Wriggle," differs 
but slightly from small examples of the last, the lower 

Lesser jaw being relatively shorter and the two upper 

Launce. teeth being absent. In colour it closely re- 
sembles the last, though somewhat lighter. The food 
and habits are also similar, both species being fond of 
burrowing in the wet sand above low-water mark, from 
which they are often " scraped " by moonlight, a favourite 
diversion in the Channel Islands. Bearing in mind the 
limitation mentioned under the head of rocklings, it is 
worth mentioning that the sand-eels are the best bait 
for almost every fish in our seas, so that it is quite pos- 
sible that they have a brisk time of it; 

[Day^ only admitted the third sand-eel to our fauna 
conditionally, as it is a deep-water form and very rare 
in our waters. The Smooth Sand-latmce, as it is called, 
is a very small species, toothless, and practically without 
scales.] 

[The Bearded Opliidium^ or Snake-fish, which has only 
been recorded once in our seas, is said to reach a length 
of lo inches, has two barbels on the lower jaw, and is 
brown, the fins having a black margin.] 

1 British Fishes, vol. i. p. 334. 
2 B 



386 FISHES. 

[DrummoncV s Echiodon, which has been taken in our 
seas on one or two occasions, is one of a group of small 
semi - parasitic fishes that shelter in the folds of large 
medusse and holothurians. It appears not to exceed a 
length of 12 inches; and is light brown in colour, hav- 
ing a tapering tail, a continuous fringe of fins, and no 
scales.] 

\Coryph(tnoides ruj^estris, which may be placed after the 
sand-eels, is a small and spinous silvery fish, the body 
tapering to a pointed tail, the head disproportionately 
large. Some allied species, all of which inhabit great 
depths, exceed a length of 2 feet, but the limits of our 
form are not known.] 



CHAPTER XVI. THE FLAT-FISH. 

These are the most interesting anatomically, and, with 
the single exception perhaps of the herring family, the 
most important commercially, of all our sea- fish, differing 
from the rest in their compressed form, the different 
colouring of either side, and the twisted head, in which 
the eyes are on the same side. Hence the fishermen 
distinguish the rest as "round-fish," though it must be 
confessed that their classification is lenient, since, in many 
parts at any rate, the skates and rays, cartilaginous fishes 
with no resemblance to the present group, are included 
under the category of " flat-fish." These fish dwell in the 
sand, burying themselves in it, especially in cold weather, 
all but the eyes ; but on warm evenings they will rise to 
the surface, and I have known several instances of their 
taking a spinning bait a few feet only from the top. 
With the exception of a single sharp spine over the 



THE FLAT-FISH. 387 

ventral fin (not always present), these fish are soft to 
handle, though this spine sometimes gets in the way 
when they are being taken from the hook. Most of them 
are smooth, though the dab is rough -skinned, and the 
turbot and flounder are covered with tubercles. In speak- 
ing of *' right-sided " or "left-sided" flat-fish, it must be 
remembered that few families in the fish world are subject 
to a greater number of aberrant forms. What is meant 
is that, normally, a right-sided flat-fish, as the plaice, has 
the eyes and colour on the right side, the fish being held 
with its tail to the observer and the ventral fin to the 
ground. A comparison with any round -fish will show 
that what appears as the back of these fish is. in reality 
one of its sides, while the edges of the flat-fish are really 
their back and belly. As already said, exceptions are 
numerous, and we constantly come across examples with 
both sides coloured, known as " double " examples ; others 
that should be coloured on the right side are found to 
be coloured on the left, and vice versd. These latter 
are called "reversed" examples. The mouth of flat-fish 
is, as a rule, exceedingly small, and they mostly feed on 
worms and other soft food, which they suck from the 
sand. The females are larger and more numerous than 
the males. 

The turbot and brill, with three or four more of less 
importance, have the eyes and colour on the left side, and 
their mouth is lara;e. 



C5^ 



The first of these, the Turbot, is a familiar fish, in which 

tubercles take the place of scales. These tubercles are 

confined to the coloured side, the colour beino- 
Turbot. 

brown or stone-grey. This fish, which has been 

recorded to a weight of over 20 lbs., feeds on small fishes, 
among them being sand-eels and atherines, and crusta- 
ceans. Though a ground-fish, taken on the long line or 
in the trawl, I have observed small examples clinging 
to the piles of Bournemouth pier within a couple of feet 



388 



FISHES. 



of the surface. The turbot spawns in summer, and ap- 
pears to hug the coast at that season. 




In the Brill or " Kite," the tubercles of the turbot give 
place to the usual scales, which are small in size. This is 
a much smaller fish, rarely exceeding a weight 
of lo lbs. Its food and spawning-time corre- 
spond with those of the turbot. 



Brill. 



The smaller Megrim, which grows to a length of 20 
inches, is lighter in colour than the foregoing, and there 
Megrim or are sometimes dark spots on the white side, 
■Whiff. though these are the exception. The skin 

is very rough to the touch. This species appears to 
spawn in spring. 

The most remarkable feature about the Scald - fish, 
described by Couch under the name of " Megrim," is 
the exceedingly delicate skin, which with its 
large scales peels off at the least touch. It 
is to the singular appearance of these fish when removed 
from the trawl that the name, sometimes rendered " Scald 



Scald-fish, 



THE FLAT-FISH. 389 

back," has reference. In colour, this fish is of a pale 
brown ; white on the right side, or beneath, as it would 
be called ; and its greatest length is given as 8 inches. 
It spawns in spring. 

The Topknot, commonly known as " Browny," is a 

rough-scaled fish, smooth on the uncoloured side. It 

api^ears to be common on all our sandy 
TcDknot. 

coasts. All three topknots ap^^ear to spawn 

in early spring. 

Another unimportant member of the group, the One- 
spotted Topknot, which is not known to exceed a length 
One-spotted of 5 inches, is of reddish hue, having a single 
Topknot. dark spot on the back and sometimes several 
fainter spots. The right, or under, side is rough. This 
fish is further characterised by the long dorsal ray. 

The third and smallest of the topknots, the Norwegian 
Topknot, of which a mature example has been taken meas- 
Norwegian uring little over 3 inches, is smoother both 
Topknot. above and below than the last, and has not 
the elongated dorsal ray. It is said to spawn about 
April. 

All the remaining flat-fishes of our seas have the eyes 
and colour on the right side. The halibut and long rough 
dab present certain points in common. 

In the Halibut, largest of our flat-fishes, which is 
taken in our seas weighing as much as 100 lbs., we find 
the skin smooth and the right side dark brown 
in colour. The mouth is large and the teeth 
are pointed, the food of this species consisting largely of 
ground-fish, crustaceans, and molluscs. Though this is to 
be regarded as a marketable fish, the flesh is coarse when 
compared, at any rate, with that of the sole or turbot. 
According to Cunningham, the halibut spawns in the 



390 



FISHES. 



summer months, "from April to August." It should be 
remembered that in some parts of Scotland this fish is 
known as the "Turbot." 



The Long Rough Dab is common on the more northern 

coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. As in the preceding, 

Lone ^^® mouth is large and armed with pointed 

Kough teeth, the food of this species consisting chiefly 

Dab. q£ crustaceans and small fishes. This fish, 

the colour of which is usually uniform greyish brown, 

is rougher to the touch than the halibut. It spawns in 

March and April. 

In the same group with the Plaice are comprised most 
of the familiar flat-fishes, all having the eyes on the right 
side. The scales of the body are small and em- 
bedded, so that the plaice is smooth to handle, 
the only spine being that ' before the ventral fin, which 



^jiim^. 



t Plaice. 




lliis fish has in common with the next. The coloured side 
is deep brown, covered with orange spots ; the lateral line 
is straight, and there is a bony ridge on the head. Such 



THE FLAT-FISH. 391 

are the main characters of this common and important 
fish, which grows to a weight of over lo lbs., though the 
fish trawled nowadays in the home waters average nearer 
2 lbs. The teeth are fiat, enabling the plaice to crush the 
shellfish on which it feeds ; these teeth are more developed 
on the left, or "blind," side, and the mouth is of small 
size and situated at the end of the snout. The plaice is 
found in brackish waters. I have caught large numbers 
in the estuaries of rivers running into the Baltic, a sea 
that is itself little more than brackish ; and Seeley ^ men- 
tions its occurrence in some rivers in the south of Spain. 
The plaice spawns between January and March ; its eggs 
are large, and float at the surface. The young, as those of 
all the flat-fish, swim in their earliest stage like those of 
" round " fish, the eyes being on either side of the head, 
until, in the course of a few weeks, the left eye works 
round or through the margin of the head, taking its place 
beside the other, and leaving only a minute black dot 
to indicate its former position. By this time the little 
fish has taken to the bottom, and swims on its side, the 
twist in the head, which brings the dorsal fin along the 
line of the face, being simultaneous. 

In the smaller Dab we have a rough-skinned fish of 
light-brown hue with dark spots. It is found, often 
Dab or in brackish estuaries, on every part of our 

Smear Dab. coasts, where it spawns 'in April or May. Its 
food seems to be almost confined to small crustaceans. 

The Flounder may be regarded as a sea-fish that has made 
its way up rivers or taken to a partially fresh- water habitat. 
Flounder According to Cunningham,^ it does not shed 
or Fluke. j^g spawn in fresh water, invariably returning 
to the sea to breed. He alludes to a curious belief current 
among the fishermen, to the effect that the flounder carries 

1 Fresh-water Fishes of Europe, p. 88. 
- Marketable Marine Fishes, p. 229. • 



392 FISHES. 

its eggs on its back, the so-called eggs being in reality 
tumours. The colour of the flounder, which is observed 
to vary according to locality, is usually of a dark brown, 
with darker mottlings ; and the fish has tubercles, mostly 
along the lateral line. The eyes are close together, some- 
what above the level of the head, though left-eyed flounders 
are not uncommon. The teeth of the flounder are conical, 
most developed on the left side, and its food appears to 
consist largely of worms and molluscs. It spawns in 
March or AjDril. 

The Lemon-Sole is occasionally sold by the fishmonger as 
"Sole," but the difi'erence between it and the true sole is 
Lemon- SO striking that it is fair to suppose that his 
Sole. customer makes the purchase with her eyes 

open. It is also known as the " Mary Sole," and Cunning- 
ham suggests a better name in "Lemon-Dab." Oval in 
shape, this fish is so smooth to the touch as to seem slimy, 
and in colour it is yellow with dark markings. The eyes 
are normally on the right side. The spawning-time of the 
lemon-sole appears to vary on different parts of the coast, 
April being the month on the south-west coast, June and 
July in the North Sea. This fish is widely distributed in 
British seas, though its movements in Scottish waters would 
seem to be somewhat uncertain. It feeds on crustaceans. 

The last of the plaice group, the Witch, is a less familiar 
form, pale brown in colour, with some dusky marks on the 
Pole Dab left side, longer in body than the plaice, and 
or "Witch, having a rough skin. Like the preceding, it 
lacks the spine found before the anal fin of the plaice and 
dab. The lateral line is almost straight. The food con- 
sists of worms, spawn, and other soft matter, and it 
appears to spawn in summer. It is also known as the 
Pole-flounder. 

In the concluding group of flat-fishes we have the most 



THE FLAT-FISH. 393 

important of all, tlie Common Sole. The mouth of the 
sole is more distorted than that of any of the foregoing ; 
the eyes, on the right side, are minute; the 
lower side of the head is without scales, and 
there are filaments at the edge of the snout. All the 
teeth are on the left side of the small twisted mouth. 
In colour the fish is very deep brown, white on the left 
side. The maximum weight of this fish may be placed 
approximately at 9 lbs. ; Cunningham, whose monograph 
on tliis fish is one of our most important works on 
ichthyology, gives the average length as between 12 and 
18 inches. There would appear to be a falling off of 
late years in the supply of soles from British seas, the 
fishermen being compelled to reap the harvest, which 
soon spoils, farther and farther from home. This fish 
prefers a muddy bottom, and seeks its soft food chiefly 
at night. According to Seeley,^ it is capable of develop- 
ing marked characters in some rivers. 

The greatest length to which the Sand Sole, also known 
from its colour as the " Lemon-sole " (a title to which it 
S nd r ^^^ certainly a better right than the " Mary 
French. Sole" aforementioned), is known to attain is 
Sole. j^Q^ above 14 inches, its colour being lemon- 

yellow, with or without dark blotches, and usually a black 
spot on the pectoral fin. There are filaments on the snout 
and round the dilated eds-e of the nostril on the blind side. 



"■o" 



The "Bastard Sole," as the Thickback is sometimes 

called, is taken in deep water, where it grows to a length 

of 8^ inches. The colour is reddish brown, 

with vertical dark bands. The pectoral fins 

are very small. 

The smallest member of the family, the Solenette, that 
never exceeds a length of 5 inches, has so often been 

1 Fresli-water Fishes of Europe, p. 88. 



394 FISHES. 

regarded by the trawling men — so, at least, they aver — 
as the young of the common sole, as to have gained 
thereby some fame which would not otherwise 
o ene e. j^^^^ belonged to it. In colour this fish is of 
a yellowish grey, having numerous small dark spots, as 
well as black lines at intervals on the fins. 



CHAPTER XVII. THE EELS. 

Of eels we have, besides the murry (a straggler), tw^o, the 
fresh-water eel and the conger. The eel-pout and sand-eel 
are of course distinct. The female of both our eels is 
always the larger, and the so-called species of river eel are 
only the different sexes. Considerable mystery surrounded 
the breeding of both eel and conger, and only lately has 
the difficulty been solved by Italian biologists. 

The Common Eel, its small scales embedded so as to 

give the impression of a scaleless fish, is one of our most 

familiar fishes. In colour it is screen or brown 
Eel 

above, yellow or white beneath ; the upper jaw 

protrudes ; the eyes and teeth are of small size. The female 
— the so called "Sharp-nosed" eel — exceeds a length of 
3 feet ; the male — the " Broad-nosed " eel of some authors 
— has not been recorded as measuring quite 20 inches. 
Like the flounder, this fish descends in autumn to spawn 
in the sea, and it seems certain that it dies after spawn- 
ing, as the adult fish are not seen reascending the rivers 
like the elvers at the end of winter. I have taken 
numbers of females in August off" the east breakwater 
at Hastings, which are known to work westward along 
the rocky foreshore from Ilye Harbour. Elvers, as the 
young are called, are also known to cross fields of damp 



THE EELS. 395 

grass, and are capable of climbing almost perpendicular 
stone banks. The so-called "Silver" Eels appear to be 
merely those which are observed just before the breeding 
season. According to Cunningham, the growth of the eel 
in fresh water is not rapid, several years, apparently the 
normal span of eel-life, having to elapse ere the elvers 
will be ready in their turn to descend to the sea and spawn. 
The larvae of both eel and conger have been identified, the 
latter (known as " Morris ") in British waters, the former 
hitherto only on the north coast of Sicily, where Professor 
Grassi has found the larvae of the eel to be abysmal-dwelling 
Leptocephali. The eel is capable of surviving extremes 
of temperature, and there are instances on record in which 
they have been thawed back to activity, though in very hard 
weather these fish are known to lie torpid in the mud. 
Besides the spawning journey, eels living in tidal waters 
go down to the salt each tide and feed on garbage. One 
of the most recent and most lucid summaries of eel- 
development will be found in M'Intosh and Masterman 
on the ' Life - Histories of British Marine Food -Fishes' 
(PP- 434-460). 

The large marine Conger, a fish of almost cosmopolitan 
range, is found in our seas to a weight of more than 
100 lbs. In colour it is dark brown to black 
above, white beneath, and having white spots 
along the lateral line. There have been attempts to dis- 
tinguish two species of conger in our seas, and the 
fishermen speak vaguely of the black and white " kinds," 
which are merely colour races from deep or shallow water. 
The conger has relatively large head and eyes, the upper 
jaw is long, the dorsal fin is continuous and has a black 
margin, and the body is devoid of scales. Widely dis- 
tributed in our seas, the conger is, owing to the rocky 
nature of its habitat, found in greater numbers on the 
west than on the east side of these islands. It feeds chiefly 
at night, only the smaller examples weighing 6 or 8 lbs., 



396 FISHES. 

taking the hook in the daytime. The food of the larger 
fish seems to consist mainly of lobsters and cuttlefish, and 
they are also partial to a medium- sized rockling. The 
breeding of the conger has been much studied of late 
years. The eggs are apparently deposited in summer, and 
I recollect Mr Dunn of Mevagissey telling me some years 
ago that in his opinion a number of ripe females would 
gather in a bunch, while a small male would swim round, 
impregnating the ova as they fell. This was, however, 
mere theory. It seems in any case probable that both 
sexes die after the first spawning. Upwards of eight 
millions of eggs have been counted in a fish measuring 
about 5 feet. Besides her greater length, the female may 
be distinguished by her more pointed snout and by the 
more complete absence of colour from the belly. 

[The Murry, or Muraena, of the Mediterranean seems to 
have wandered to our seas on one or two occasions, as Day 
mentions an example of over 4 feet. The body is without 
scales ; the nostrils are tubular, and there are pores on the 
jaws. In colour it is brown, with or without yellow spots.] 



CHAPTER XVIII. THE HERRING FAMILY. 

This is, commercially at any rate, the most important 
group of food-fishes. They are all surface-feeders, and are 
therefore taken for the most part in drift-nets, that float 
like walls near the top of the water. All our herrings are 
small fish, as we have none of the giant members of the 
family, such as the tarpon of Mexico, or other giant 
herrings of the Queensland coast. The members of this 
family are silvery fishes with large thin scales ; and they 
lack the lateral line. 



THE HEBEING FAMILY. 397 

Most familiar of them all is the Herring, which has been 
cured in a variety of ways for centuries, involving a traffic 
of such magnitude that more than one Con- 
tinental city derived its revenues in the Middle 
Ages from no other source. The herring reaches a length 
of about 1 7 inches in the north, 1 2 ^^ inches in the southern 
waters (Cunningham). In the Baltic I noticed that all the 
herrings were invariably small. Our best herrings come 
from the east coast of Scotland. Unlike the eels, the males 
are said to have slightly the advantage both in size and 
numbers. The chief characters of the herring are the large 
thin scales, absence of lateral line, and keeled belly. The 
teeth of this fish are minute, and its food consists of small 
floating organisms. The water is filtered through gill-rakers, 
the function of which is not unlike that of the baleen in 
whales ; and this mode of feeding is characteristic of the 
family. The migrations of the herring are even now im- 
perfectly understood. It was formerly thought to per- 
form journeys of great duration, and the older writers went 
to the trouble of describing those pilgrimages to and from 
the arctic seas with an attention to detail that did credit 
to their imagination. The later theory, however, is that 
they simply move to and from the deeper water in search 
of warmth or food. The spawning-time appears to extend 
over the greater portion of the year according to locality, 
but it is not probable that the same fish spawns twice in 
the year. The eggs, unlike those of our other food-fishes, 
sink to the bottom, where they adhere to stones and are 
devoured wholesale by cod, haddock, and other ground- 
fish.^ Cunningham^ gives a most interesting account 
of the spawning of the various races of herring and the 
development of the larvas. The so-called "Whitebait," 
formerly regarded as a distinct species, is now known to 
consist of the fry of herrings and sprats, the herrings pre- 

1 M'Intosh and Masterman, Life -Histories of the British Marine 
Food-Fishes, p. 15. 

- Marketable Marine Fishes, pp. 151-163. 



398 ' FISHES. 

ponderating in summer, the sprats in winter. Other fry 
are usually found in the dish, especially those of flat-fish, 
gurnards, and sand-eels. As already mentioned, these fish 
are mostly taken for the market in the drift-net, as they 
comparatively seldom find their way into the trawl. In 
some parts there is a regular spring hook-fishery for her- 
ring, when they will take bare hooks jigged among the 
shoal. 

The smaller Sprat differs from the herring in several im- 
portant particulars, as, for example, in the serrated edge 
of the belly, the origin of the dorsal fin lying 
nearer the tail, and absence of teeth. In 
colour, the sprat is grey and silver. It spawns on our 
south-west coast between January and April; on the 
Scottish coast from April to July (Cunningham). The 
egg, unlike that of the herring, floats. The young fish 
enter largely, as already pointed out, into the composition 
of "Whitebait," especially in winter. At a still earlier 
stage they are the "Brit," much harassed by gulls and 
mackerel. 

Another important fish, characterised by a rounded 
body, keel-edged belly, large scales, dorsal fin farther for- 
Pilchard ward than in either of the foregoing, and the 
or Sardine, presence of small teeth in the jaws, is the 
Pilchard. In colour, this fish is deep green above, shading 
to silver below. When one considers the vexed question 
of the identity of the pilchard and sardine, memory recalls 
the school exercises in elementary logic : " All pilchards 
are sardines, but all sardines are not pilchards " ; the fact 
being that, for the inferior brands at all events, young 
herrings and sprats are also pressed into the service. 
The true sardine is, however, a young pilchard. Although 
the British pilchard-fishery is practically confined to the 
south-west coast, it is not to be supposed that this fish 
does not occur farther east. I have myself met Avith it 



THE HERRING FAMILY. 399 

at Bournemouth ^ and Ventnor ; and I believe it occurs 
at irregular intervals in the herring-nets of the North Sea. 
It spawns in July and August. 

Connected by many honest fishmongers with the salmon, 

a parallel case with those of the atherine and lemon-dab, 

the Shad certainly resembles that fish in its 
tAllis Shad. , . -, . ... . , , 

anadromous tendencies, as it invariably enters 

some rivers, the Thames and Severn among them, to 
spawn. It grows to a weight of at least 8 lbs.; and its 
colour is pale-green, shading to silver on the belly, and 
having a dark-green spot at the shoulder, as w^ell as some 
smaller dark spots on the sides. The edge of the belly 
is serrated like that of the sprat. There is a transparent 
eyelid ; the teeth are small and the gill-rakers very numer- 
ous. The shad feeds on small fishes, crustaceans (Cunning- 
ham), and vegetable substances (Seeley), and is occasion- 
ally hooked off Deal. It spawns in May and June. 

The Twaite Shad is a smaller fish of similar habits. Its 

tTwaite weight has not been known to exceed 2 lbs. 

Shad. This species has the gill -rakers shorter and 

fewer than in the last. The spots on the body are also as 

a rule more numerous. 

Chiefly known in this country in the preserved state, 
the delicate little Anchovy is thought to occur in autumn, 
sometimes in considerable numbers, on most 
parts of our coast, particularly down in the 
west. Whether its abundance is at any time sufficient to 
warrant a regular fishery has not yet been determined. 
Custom rules strong in these matters, and it is not prob- 
able that the fishermen would turn their attention to a 
hitherto neglected fish without very good reasons. This 
is the smallest member of the family, and in colour it is, 

1 The fish coiinnouly known at Bournemouth as the pilchard is the 
scad ! 



400 FISHES. 

like the rest, green and silver. The projecting snout, 
giving the impression of a miniature shark, is sufficient to 
distinguish it from the rest, and the deep cleft of the 
mouth is also characteristic. The edge of the belly is 
smooth. The anchovy is not known to spawn on our 
coasts, but in the Mediterranean it deposits its floating 
eggs in the summer months. 



CHAPTER XIX. THE CARP FAMILY. 

Of greatest importance to the angler, to whom they 
are collectively known as "Coarse fish," the fishes comi3os- 
ing the present group are but little eaten in these islands, 
though in general use on the Continent. They are all in- 
habitants of fresh water, several thriving best in lakes 
without outlet. In most, we find the scales of large size, 
the mouth without teeth ; in some, the jaws are furnished 
with barbels, differing slightly in appearance, probably in 
function as well, from those of the cods. These fish spawn 
in the summer months, the close-time in this country last- 
ing, with local variations, from March 15 th to June i5tli. 
Several of the commoner species are known to interbreed. 

That typical pond-fish, the Carp, was introduced from the 
Continent, it would appear, a couple of centuries ago, and 
is now widely distributed in our rivers and 
lakes, though it appears to be exceedingly 
rare (if indeed present) in Scotland, and of local occur- 
rence only in Ireland. In colour, the carp is generally 
between green and bronze, the scales having a black 
margin, and the fins having yellow and violet reflec- 
tions ; but the colours are subject to some variation. Tlie 
growth of this fish is, according to Seeley,^ rai)id, as a carp 

J Fresli-water Fishes of Europe, p. 97. 



THE CARP FAMILY. 401 

of six years may weigh anything between 4 lbs. and 10 lbs. ; 
and the largest carp ever recorded in England (Petersfield) 
weighed 24 lbs., and had scales the size of florins. The carp 
has four barbels, two on either jaw, those on the lower being 
longer than the others. It is for the most part a vegetable- 
feeder, but also consumes large quantities of the larvje, 
which it routs uj) from the muddy bottom. Though a 
long-lived fish, and also capable of surviving some time 
out of water, the carp is somewhat susceptible to sudden 




changes of temperature ; and in very cold weather num- 
bers of these fish are known to burrow in company, not 
unlike, though under opposite conditions, the mud-fish of 
the East. The breeding-time is in summer, and as many 
as 750,000 (Seeley) of the small green eggs have been 
taken from a lo-lbs. fish. The carp breeds freely with the 
two species that follow. It is said to utter sounds not un- 
like a grunt. The large size of the scales in our carp is 
nothing to what is observed in a Continental variety, 
which has enormous scales arranged in rows. 

The Continental Crucian Carp is, together with the 

goldfish, without barbels on the jaws. A small fish, 

* Crucian rarely exceeding a weight of i^ lb., it has 

Carp. (jQj^g ^,gjj JQ ^jjg Thames and others of our 

rivers. It is somewhat deeper for its length than the 
common carp ; in colour, it is greenish above, bronze on 
the sides. 

2 C 



402 FISHES. 

['' Golden Caiy or " Goldfish," which came originally 
from China and Japan, are known chiefly in the strictly 
domesticated state in glass bowls, though they also 
thrive, under somew^hat more natural conditions, in the 
heated waters of mill-dams.] 

Absent from both Scotland and Ireland, the Barbel, 

which reaches a weight of at least 15 lbs. in the vicinity 

of Thames weirs, is more in evidence in the 
* Barbel. 

streams of the east side of Enojland. It has 

four strongly developed barbels, two on either jaw ; the 

snout is long and fleshy, and the upper lip is very thick. 

Its colour, which varies somewhat in the breeding-season, 



is normally green above, white beneath ; the lower fins 
red. It is not fastidious in the choice of food, living 
largely on vegetable substances, but also devouring small 
fishes, molluscs, and animal droppings. It spawns in May 
and June, and is not one of the most fertile of the group. 
Like the carp, it is hardy, and stands removal from the 
water well. It is little esteemed as food in this country, 
and the roe is actually regarded as poisonous. 

The Gudgeon, one of the smallest of the family, rarely 
exceeds a weight of }^ lb., though, according to Day,i 
Pennant mentions one of ^ lb., " which some modern 

1 British Fishes, ii. 174. 



THE CARP FAMILY. 403 

authors have doubled " ! (Unless this be a misprint for 

doid)ted, one is inclined to envy the said " modern authors " 

their inventive power.) In colour the 2;udo-eon 
* Gudgeon. . . o & 

is some shade of grey, having dark blotches 

along the lateral line. It has only two barbels. Thriving 
equally in still or running water, with a preference perhaps 
for the latter, this is the fish of the Seine. In England it 
is widely distributed ; but its occurrence in Scotland seems 
doubtful, and in Ireland it is extremely local. Its food 
consists chiefly of insects and their larv^, but it is also 
suspected, not wholly without reason, of consuming fish- 
spawn. It spawns in the month of June. 

One of the angler's favourite fishes, the Roach is found 

in most suitable waters, still or running, in Great Britain, 

but is absent from Ireland, its place being; 
* Roach. . . 

supplied, so far as sport goes, by its near ally 

the rudd. In colour, this fish is dark blue, or green, above, 

lighter on the sides, and silver beneath ; lower fins, red. 



According to Seeley, the scales become rough in the 
spawning-season. The roach grows to a weight of at least 
3 lbs., but one of half that weight is nowadays considered 
a trophy from most waters. Its food consists of insects 
and molluscs, possibly also of some weedy matter ; and it 
is generally accounted by anglers in this country an ex- 
ceptionally wary fish. This, however, must be the result 



404 FISHES. 

of over-fishing, for few fishes were, as I remember them, 
easier to capture in the Baltic rivers. Though traditionally 
free from disease, the roach is subject to the attacks of a 
number of parasites. 

From the last the somewhat similar Rudd, which replaces 
it in Ireland, may be readily distinguished by its deeper 
*lludclor body, position of the dorsal fin (nearer the 
Bed-eye. tail), and the presence of more red about the 
eye and fins. Easiest of recollection, however, is the fact 
that the uj^per lip of this fish is horny and rigid, whereas 
that of the roach can be pulled forward. The rudd, which 
grows to a weight in these islands of 3 lbs., rises freely to 
the fly in parts of Norfolk, at Slapton Ley in Devon, and 
in many Irish waters, but does not occur in many of the 
largest rivers of the south of England. It is a very " bony " 
fish, and not much esteemed as food. It feeds on insects, 
and, in captivity at all events, will take, so Alderman 
Newlyn of Bournemouth tells me, small minnows. 

[The Ide is included by some writers in the British list ; 
and the Golden Orfe has been introduced from Germany 
within the last five-and-twenty years.] 

Save perhaps in the extreme west, the Chub is widely 




distributed in England, in the southern two-thirds of Scot- 
land, and in the whole of Ireland. Its most 
* Chub 

characteristic feature is the great breadth of 

the head, which has a pink shade, the general colour of the 



THE CARP FAMILY. 405 

fish being dark green on the back, with some red at the 
base of the fins, and white beneath. Its greatest weight 
is about 7 lbs. The chub feeds on small fishes, crayfish 
(Seeley), frogs, and water-voles. It spawns in May. 

Like some others of the coarse fish, the Dace is absent 
from Scotland and Ireland, though widely distributed in 

* Dace or England. It is a fish of running waters, and 
Graining, grows m this country to a weight of i lb. A 

more tapering fish than the foregoing, it is silvery blue 
throughout, .and has little or no red on the fins. The 
"graining" is, more properly, to be regarded as a variety, 
in which the head is smaller and the fins longer. The 
food of the dace consists of insects and vegetable matter, 
and it spawns in May or June. 

Rarely, if ever, exceeding a length of 7 inches, and more 

commonly measuring less than 4 inches, the Minnow is 

found in every part of England, in all but the 

* Minnow. . r n ^ f -, • 

extreme north or bcotland, and m most coun- 
ties in Ireland, into which country, however, it was intro- 
duced within the present century. In colour, this little 
fish is dark green, with black patches along the lateral 
line, which is interrupted about half-way, the breast-fins 
being tinged with red. The colours of this fish change 
rapidly according to circumstances, owing to two layers of 
superimposed pigment-cells that lie just beneath the skin 
(Seeley). The minnows are gregarious by habit, and 
catholic in their feeding. They are also endowed with a 
fatal curiosity that prompts them to congregate over a net 
in which are tied fragments of red wool, a habit I have 
also found in sand- smelts. The spawning-time is in May 
and June. 

The mud-loving Tench, in which the small scales are so 
embedded as to make it as slippery to the touch as an eel, 
thrives well in stagnant waters, but to appreciate the beauty 



406 FISHES. 

of a large example in good condition it should be placed 
for forty -eight hours in running water, after which it 
looks a different fish. There are small barbels 
* Tench. ^^ ^^^ corner of the mouth. The dorsal-fin 
is without spines, the lips are fleshy, and the tail- fin is 
large and not forked. The colour of the tench is usually 
a dark shade of green, white beneath. Its greatest weight 
in these islands is rather over 5 lbs. It is more tenacious 




of life than any of the foregoing, surviving many hours 
out of water. Every writer on the subject has noticed, 
and most have criticised, the reputed healing powers of 
this fish. These remain not proven. The tench feeds on 
insects, aquatic plants, and mud, and the spawning-season 
lasts through the summer. Fond of stagnant water, but 
thriving equally in rivers, the tench is widely distributed 
in England, more locally in Scotland and Ireland, in which 
latter country many regard it as not indigenous. 

One of the most familiar of our coarse fish, the Bream is 

captured in our rivers and lakes to a weight of nearly 12 

lbs., and bream of 7 lbs. are by no means un- 
* Bream. . 

common in the Broads. These large Norfolk 

bream are much used as bait for the crab-pots on the 

coast. Deep for its length, the bream is of silvery hue 

throughout, save for a tinge of red on the fins. The 

lower lobe of the tail is slightly longer than the upper, 

the reverse of that in sharks. The bream thrives equally 

in still or running waters, preferring the latter with a 



THE CAKP FAMILY. 407 

muddy bottom. It feeds on worms and insects, and 
spawns in May or June. It is poor as an article of 
food. 

Distinguished from the preceding by the greater amount 

of red on the body and fins, as well as by the shorter anal 

fin, lonsrer scales, and equal tail -lobes, the 
* Bream.- ' o ' ^l ' 

flat or small and solitary Bream -flat, which rarely 
White exceeds a weight of i lb., is found more 
particularly in the eastern rivers of England, 
and is common in many parts of Ireland. 

The small Bleak, the greatest length of which is not 
much more than 7 inches, is common in the Thames and 
Lea, as well as many other waters, both still 
and running, of England, but is absent from 
Scotland and Ireland. In colour, it is blue on the back 
and sides, silver below ; and the scales have, like those of 
the mackerel-midge, long been used in the manufacture of 
artificial pearls. This fish is infested with a tapeworm, 
often longer than the fish itself. It feeds, near the surface 
in warm weather, on insects, and spawns in May and 
June. 

That small mud-fish, the Loach, which does not often 
exceed a length of 4 inches, has no fewer than six barbels, 
all on the upper jaw. In colour, the loach is 
dark green along the back, yellow on the sides, 
and grey below, spotted and streaked with dark brown. 
During the day this little fish hides at the bottom, lurking 
beneath the stones, from which it may be dislodged in a 
half -stunned condition by a smart blow on the stone. 
Unlike the foregoing coarse fish, it dies almost immedi- 
ately on removal from the water. It feeds on insects, 
worms, and spawn, sometimes on vegetable matter, and 
spawns in March and April. It appears to be widely 
distributed throughout these islands. 



408 FISHES. 

The Spinous Loach is a still smaller species, its greatest 

length in these islands being no more than 3 inches. Like 

* Spinous the last, it has six barbels, all on the upper 

Loach, jaw; but it is easily distinguished by the 
erectile bifid spine beneath each eye. In colour the spin- 
ous loach is yellow, having rows of black spots along the 
back and sides. It seems to be far rarer in England than 
the last, and its occurrence in either Scotland or Ireland 
apjjears open to doubt. In habits it is said to resemble 
the last. 



CHAPTER XX. THE SALMON FAMILY. 



The salmonoid fishes are now, as ever, a bone of con- 
tention among ichthyologists, some of w^hom recognise as 
many as sixty European species, while others refer all 
under less than half-a-dozen typical groups, as the salmon, 
trout, char, grayling, and the rest. For the purposes of a 
small introductory work like the present, in which economy 
of space is an ever-present necessity, it will be sufiicient 
to glance briefly at the typical species, mentioning such 
varieties as are of importance. 

Though termed in angling lore the "king of fishes," the 
Salmon, with his kind, comes undeniably low in the scale. 
Of this well-known fish, the features easiest to 
identify are the hooked jaws, the small adipose 
fin on the back not far from the tail, the X-shaped black 
spots — red after the fish has passed some time in fresh 
water — and the 2:>ink colour of the flesh. The remarkable 
hook that develojDS in old breeding males on the lower jaw 
is regarded by Smitt as no more than the result of irrita- 
tion from frequent blows. ^ The salmon is caught in our 
1 A History of Scandinavian Fishes, p. 855 fn. 



THE SALMON FAMILY. 409 

waters to a weight of at least 60 lbs., tlioiigli fish of be- 
tween 20 lbs. and 40 lbs. are far more common. An ana- 
dromous fish, the salmon repairs regularly to fresh water 
for spawning purposes ; and of so-called salmon-rivers 
there are several that have become justly famous, as the 
Hampshire Avon, the Severn, the Tay, Shannon, and 
others. It is even said that the fish will return by 
preference to their native river, the females first, the 
old males next, the young fish last ; ^ and this view is 
at all events borne out, so far at least as the order of 
arrival is concerned, by the experience of the nets-men of 
the Hampshire Stour and Avon. I have visited the 
fishery at Mudeford on many occasions during the past 
few years, and have invariably found the catches during 
February and March to be few, but most of them picked fish 
of over 20 lbs. in weight, whereas at the end of April they 
would look for larger numbers of small fish. The present 
year (1897) has been one of the worst for a long time, the 
fish having been both later and fewer than for ten years at 
least. There is a variety of names, diff'ering according 
to locality, for salmon at various stages, the chief being 
" parr " or " smolt," the name for the young fish ; " peal " 
or "grilse," those that enter fresh water for the first time 
since they left it; and "slat," "kelt," "baggit" (female), 
or " kipper " (male), the spent fish. The salmon spawns 
in the majority of our rivers rather before Christmas, 
the fertilised eggs being deposited in a heap of gravel. 
Salmon-roe is a deadly and illegal bait for the fish them- 
selves. The males fight desperately before and during the 
spawning-time. This fish is said to leap perpendicularly 
almost a dozen feet ^ out of the water ; and it is assisted 
over waterfalls of considerable height with ladders specially 

1 Seeley, Fresh-water Fishes of Europe, p. 275. 

2 Day (British and Irish SalmonidK, p. 73) quotes a number of con- 
flicting authorities on the record leap of salmon, according to whom 
the perpendicular distance ranges from 16 feet (Landmark) to no more 
than 6 or 7 (Scrope). 



410 FISHES. 

made for the purpose. As already mentioned, reddish spots 
and lines make their appearance after the fish has been 
some time in fresh water, and it is also noticed that the 
steel blue of the fresh-run fish becomes much dulled under 
the same influence. Although these fish spend a consider- 
able portion of the year in salt water, being in fact re- 
garded by many as sea-fish, it is interesting to learn that 
fish-culturists have succeeded in hatching the spawn of 
land-locked salmon, the product being fertile. Of the 
food of the salmon, either in fresh or salt water, little 
seems to have been satisfactorily ascertained. It is thought 
by some not to feed very much during its stay in rivers ; 
but this view is not easily reconciled with the greediness 
with which the fish will seize a mass of fur and feather 
that bears no resemblance to any living creature. Besides 
the attacks of a grey fungus, saprolegnia, which breaks 
out in patches on the adipose fin and body, there is a 
high rate of mortality among the kelts after the first 
spa^vning. 

Salmon - fishing, with both net and rod, is subject to 
rigorous legislation, there being a close -time on most 
rivers of at least three months in the year, and of forty- 
eight hours each week during the fishing. The Tweed 
closes for only two months and a-half. 

The common brown Trout of our rivers, which is re- 
garded by many as no more than a variety of the salmon, 

- is a familiar form, its colour being silvery 
* Trout . ' 

green or brown with spots, some X-shaped, 

l^ut mostly circular, of black or red. In colour, as in 

size, however, the trout is subject to greater variety 

than perhaps any other fish. The famous Thames trout 

grows to a weight of nearly 20 lbs., but the average from 

most rivers may be placed at about i^ lb., a fish of 5 lbs. 

being excei^tional. The trout is a long-lived fish. Its 

food consists of small fishes and different stages of insect 

life; it roots up the larvae, and rises at the fly. It spawns 



THE SALMON FAMILY. 411 

some time between the end of October and January, in 
consequence of which want of uniformity local boards, 
vested with the necessary f)Owers, exercise considerable 




ingenuity in modifying the fence-months to suit the re- 
quirements of each river, with more or less success. 

The following varieties probably connect >S'. salar and 
S. fario : — 

^Gillaroo of many Irish loughs and the Shannon, recog- 
nised by the muscular thickness of the stomach. 

\S. argenteus. — One of the rarest sea-trouts of our coast, 
having an extra ray in the dorsal and ventral fins. 

^S. nigripinnis. — A small lake-trout, found in parts of 
Wales and Ireland (Lough Melvin). 
, t/S'. gallivensis. — A Gal way sea-trout. 

^ Lochlevai Trout. — Occurring in several Scottish lochs, 
also in Windermere and other English lakes. 

\Orhiey Trout, of which there are two races, 

\Grey Trout. — A migratory species of the Forth, Trent, 
and Ouse. 

Great Lake -Trout of Derwentwater and some other 
British and Irish lakes. 

The Sea-Trout is found in various 23arts of the coast, 

mostly perhaps in the north. It grows to a length of 3 

feet, and bears a stronsj resemblance to the 
t Sea-Trout. ' s- ^ • , , p , 

salmon, save tor the occasional absence of the 

X-spots. In habits it is also similar, only it feeds more 



412 FISHES. 

regularly when in I'resli water. It is generally accepted 
as a constant species. 

The Peal, Sewin, or Bull-trout is also regarded by most 
writers as a species, though not admitted by Smitt as 
more than a variety. The last-named author- 
ity admits, in fact, but two British species, a 
salmon (S. salar, S. fario, &c.) and a char (S. salveliniis, 
S. alpinus, tfec), and a mass of information and evidence 
is to be found in his recent great work (' A History of 
Scandinavian Fishes,' pp. 827-919). 

Of our Chars there are also half-a-dozen local races, 
varieties, all of them delicate fish of nocturnal habits, 
requiring still deep water, and not sufficiently 
hardy to bear much transplanting. The Char 
of Windermere never exceeds a length of 12 inches. In 
colour it is deep green above, the belly and ventral fins 
being red. The so-called Torgoch, S. coliij S. killinensisy 
kc, are nowadays no longer seriously regarded as more 
than races or variations. 

Already mentioned incidentally in connection wdth the 
atherine, the Smelt has the distinguishing adipose fin of the 
t Smelt or tribe, and is of a light-green colour, silvery 
Sparling, "beneath, with a silver band on the sides. In 
length it. rarely exceeds 1 2 inches. Its characteristic smell 
has been compared by different waiters with that of 
violets, cucumber, and other substances less fragrant. 
Like the salmon, it ascends the tidal reaches of rivers 
for spawning purposes. It appears to be absent from the 
Irish coast. This fish has a large mouth armed with 
sharp teeth, and its food consists of small fishes, insects, 
and crustaceans. It spawns in spring and early summer, 
having a preference for shedding its spawn in stormy 
weather. 



THE SALMON FAMILY. 413 

Another fish inhabiting British lakes, Ullswater, Bala, 

and Loch Lomond among them, the Powan grows to a 

*Powanor weight of 4 lbs. In colour it is dark blue 

Gwiniad. above, silvery beneath. Large shoals of this 

fish approach the shores of the lakes in summer. 

The Yendace occurs in at least one Scottish loch. Far 

smaller than the last, it rarely exceeds a 
*'V6ii(ia.c6. 

length of 9 inches. It spawns in November, 

the female being the larger fish. 

The Pollan, on the other hand, is found in certain Irish 

loughs (Neagh, Corrib, etc.) and the Shannon, and grows 

to an average length of 6 inches. Unlike the 
* Pollan. .... 

preceding, it is occasionally taken with the fly, 

though the greater number are netted. It feeds on small 

fishes and molluscs; and spawns in winter among the 

rocks. 

[Coregomis oxyrliynchus, the " Houting " of Dutchmen, 
is supposed to occur in some of our eastern and southern 
estuaries along with the smelts. It has a long fleshy 
snout, and grows to a length of at least 20 inches. It can 
only be regarded as a wanderer to our waters.] 

The Grayling is an elegant fish, on the sjDorting qualities 
of which there is much difference of opinion, and may 
be distinguished from the rest of the family 
by the many-rayed first dorsal fin. Like the 
smelt, it has a peculiar odour. This solitary fish, fond 
of clear running water, is particularly rapid in its move- 
ments. In colour it is usually of a pale brown, silvery 
below, with black spots on the head and body and light 
on the fins, the latter exhibiting red bands in the spawn- 
ing-time. The colours are subject to variation according 
to season. The food of the grayling is generally supposed 
to consist largely of small fishes and molluscs, as it is said 



414 FISHES. 

not to rise very freely to the fly until the early autumn. 
The grayling grows to a weight of at least 4 lbs., among 
our more celebrated grayling - rivers being the Trent, 
Severn, Wye, Teme, and Yorkshire Ouse. It is not 
indigenous to Scotland, but has been introduced into 
that country ; nor does it occur in Ireland. It spawns 
early in the year, April or May being the usual time. 

[The Argentine is a scarce and unimportant little fish, 
of which not much appears to be known. It occurs in 
our northern waters, where it is occasionally hooked close 
inshore. In length it rarely exceeds 10 inches.] 

[Argyropelecus hemigymnus and Maurolicus pennantii 
are two small and insignificant deep-water forms which are 
usually placed either immediately before or after the salmon 
group. Their chief interest lies in the presence along the 
body of round spots, sometimes raised, the object of which 
has been supposed to be luminosity — a theory based on the 
great depth at which these little creatures pass their lives, 
as well as on the identification of light-giving pores in a 
similar Atlantic form. The former is the merest straggler 
to the deeper waters round these islands, but the latter is 
not uncommon.] 



CHAPTER XXI. THE PIKE. 

Angling writers have had a great deal to say about the 

Pike, which they are pleased to term the "Fresh-water 

' Pike, or Shark" ; and it is familiar in most of our rivers 

Jack. jj^j^j lakes, thriving equally well, so live food 

be abundant, in still or running water. There appear to 

be no pike in Sutherland. Many tales have been told of 



THE PIPE-FISHES. 415 

monster pike, but it is safe to say that it grows to a weight 
of 60 lbs., though one of half that weight is, so far as the 
British Islands of to-day go, a fine fish indeed. In colour 
the pike is dark brown to green above, lighter on the 
sides, and white beneath, marbled all over with yellow 
spots and bands. It is a voracious fish, consuming great 



quantities of its own kind and other fish, as well as of 
voles, waterfowl, and frogs. Although a very active fish 
when on the feed, it is fond of basking at the surface. 
It is easily recognised by the projecting lower jaw, and 
the position of the dorsal fin back near the tail, the latter 
being forked. The pike spawns in March or April. 



CHAPTER XXIT. THE PIPE-FISHES. 

In this order we find the gill-openings exceedingly small, 
the British family having but one dorsal fin, which, rotated 
with a peculiar and rapid action, appears to be the chief 
organ of locomotion, their swimming being for the most 
part performed in a vertical j^osition. The male has, as a 
rule, a j30uch for the reception of the eggs, which he carries 
until hatched. 

The Broad-nosed Pipe-fish is an eel-like species, the body 
having raised ridges, the tail, with a fan-shaped fin, being 
a continuation of the lateral line, the snout tapering to 



416 FISHES. 

a point. In colour this fish, which grows to a length of at 

least 12 inches, is dark brown with lighter spots. It is 

^ ^ found on most parts of our coasts, being 

Broad- . ^ •.-, ^i 

nosed confused m some localities with the young 

Pipe-fish. Qf tijg garfish. 

Greater PijDe-fish. — A striped, deep-water species. 

The green, white-lined Straight-nosed Pipe-fish of about 

the same size is also found round our coasts, though in 

„, . ^. somewhat deeper water than the last. The 
Straiglit- ^ . . . , 

nosed tail of this species is pointed, and the male 

Pipe-fish. lacks the egg-pouch found in the last. 

The largest of British Pipe-fishes, the Sea-adder, grows 

to a length of over 2 feet, and is common in the 

maioritv of our estuaries, where it is accused 
Snake- o j > 

Pipe-fish of "stinging." Certainly, those who have 

or Sea- never seen a real snake might possibly mistake 

this for one — hence, no doubt, the supersti- 
tion. In colour this harmless fish is dark brown with 
bluish-white bands and a purplish stripe on the face. The 
male has no pouch, but retains the eggs in a fold of skin. 

In the smallest of all, the Worm Pipe-fish, we have a 
species not exceeding a length of 9 inches, and in colour 
^^Torm of a dark green or brown, with white lines 

Pipe-fish. and spots. Like the rest, it appears generally 
distributed on our coasts. According to Couch, this species 
keeps almost entirely to the ground. 

A familiar object in the aquarium, the remarkable Sea- 
horse occurs sparingly on all our coasts. It has a mailed 
body, with lateral ridges, also a tubular snout 
and the family egg-pouch. The pointed tail 
is prehensile, and the sea-horse is fond of winding it round 
stems of weed or other support. The body, which is 
covered with spines, is black, with white dots and bands ; 
and the greatest length of the species is about 4 inches. 



THE FILE-FISHES. 417 



CHAPTER XXIII. THE FILE-FISHES. 

In this order, the bones of the body are not completely 
hardened. The gill-openings are small, and in one family 
the jaws terminate in a kind of beak. 

The name of the curious and unprepossessing File-fish 

has reference to the serrated edge of the dorsal spine, as 

-ci-7^ -R -u well as to the manner in which the fish can 
File-nsn or 

Trigger- elevate it at will. It is by no means common 
^ ' in British seas, where it has been taken 

measuring i6 inches. Its colour is yellowish. 

[An allied species is thought to have been taken at 
Polperro.] 

Not unlike the hideous and poisonous Australian " Toad- 
fish," our Globe-fish, which is taken at irregular intervals 
in these waters, has the same unpleasant habit 
of distending its body when irritated, as well 
as the same reputation for tenacity of life. The blue of 
the back presents a sharp contrast with the white of the 
sides and belly, the latter being covered with star-shaped 
spines. The jaws terminate in a beak. 

The huge basking Short Sunfish is not uncommon in our 
seas, where it has been taken weighing as much as 5 cwt. 
Short and measuring fully 5 feet. I have seen the 
Sunfish. dorsal fin of this fish cruising about off the 
Lizard. It is known at times to display great activity, 
and even to leap out of the water. It feeds on small 
crustaceans. 

The rarer Oblong Sunfish has smoother skin and is less 
Oblong deep in the body. The dorsal and anal fins 
Sunfish. i[q farther back than in the last. It does 
not bask. 

2 D 



418 FISHES. 



CHAPTER XXIV. THE AECTIC CHIMERA. 

For a group quite distinct, and placed in some classifi- 
cations at a considerable distance from them, the chimcT- 
Arctic roids certainly bear extraordinary superficial 
Chimeera. resemblance to the sharks, having the same 
cartilaginous skeleton, the same " claspers " ; and, like 
them, lacking the air-bladder, and depositing the egg in 
a "purse." The Arctic Chimaera is found in our northern 
waters to a length of 4 feet, which is almost the maximum 
length attained by any existing member of the group. The 
fishermen know it as the " Rabbit-fish " or " King of the 
Herrings." The body of this fish is long, and, in the adult, 
smooth ; the snout soft and slightly upturned ; the tail 
tapering to a whip-like extremity ; the dorsal fin long, and 
having a sharp spine. The head is furnished with pores 
and a spine -like crest ; the four gill -slits have but one 
external opening. The internal resemblances to the sharks 
are also remarkable, but these lie without the province of 
the present account. The chimiera is a carnivorous fish, 
herrings being its favourite food. 



CHAPTER XXV. THE STURGEON. 

It seems that, in spite of some inclination on the part of 
writers to include a second, but one member of this family 
wanders to our estuaries. The Sturgeon is a 
ganoid fish, having quadrate scales of true 
bone capped with enamel. Bony plates are also disjiosed 
in rows along the body. The distinguishing features of 
the sturgeon are the longer upper lobe of the heterocercal 
tail, the elongated snout with four barbels, and the small 



THE SHARKS AND RAYS. 419 

toothless mouth beneath the snout, the single gill-opening, 
bony plates or shields on the head, and cartilaginous 
skeleton. The breathing-spiracle is present, as in sharks. 
The sturgeon is only a wanderer to British rivers, the 
Thames and Severn among them, which it doubtless enters 
for the purpose of depositing its spawn. Examples of over 
lo feet in length and 500 lbs. weight have been taken in 
British waters. In colour, this fish is reddish or bluish 
grey along the back and sides, white beneath. It spawns 
early in the year. The food of our Sturgeon consists of 
mud and of the worms and molluscs contained in it. The 
flesh has a faint pink tinge, and there is a good deal of 
fat. It is not bad eating, but rather coarse, and rarely 
fetches anything more than a very low price in the 
market. Enormous shoals of sturgeon make their way 
up Russian rivers from the Caspian, their most valuable 
products being the roe, which is made into caviare, and 
the air-bladder, which makes isinglass of the first quality. 
In this country it is a royal fish, belonging to the Crown. 



CHAPTER XXYI. THE SHARKS AND RAYS. 

British seas contain representatives of five out of the 
nine existing families of sharks, some of formidable dimen- 
sions, others of mischievous habits, the latter being in our 
waters of small size and comparatively harmless. It seems 
probable, indeed, that the vermin will increase in these 
parts, a result contributed to by the cutting of the Suez 
Canal and the rapid growth of our seaport towns; for 
nothing is so likely to attract sharks in from the ocean as 
the presence of more off'al and sewage in the shallower 
water, as an example of which we have the enormous 
increase of sharks in Sydney Harbour during the past 



420 FISHES. 

twenty years. The Suez Canal has already admitted two 
new sharks to European waters, though they have not as 
yet been observed west of Gibraltar. 

I. The Sharks. 

These cartilaginous fishes have the body tapering, the 
tail with the upper lobe the larger, the snout pointed or 
shovel-shaped, breathing-spiracles on the head behind the 
eyes, the mouth, usually crescentic, beneath the head. The 
eyes have a movable, nictitating membrane. The teeth, the 
formation of which difi"ers from that in teleostean fishes in 
a manner that need not be particularised here, lie in rows, 
the hinder ready to take the place of those in front. The 
skin within the mouth is rough like that without, which 
lacks scales. The lateral gill-0i3enings are usually five, 
sometimes six or seven, in number. The eye has, in some, 
a closing membrane not found in other fishes. By these 
features, as well as by the presence of claspers at the vent, 
and several internal peculiarities (as the absence of air- 
bladder, a spiral valve in the intestine, and the nature of 
the optic nerves, which last are not transverse or decus- 
sate, as in bony fishes), sharks are not difficult to distin- 
guish. They are all of carnivorous tastes, though several, 
as our Basking Shark and the Port Jackson Shark, are 
quite inofiensive. In reproduction, they are mostly ovi- 
parous, many depositing their eggs in oblong receptacles 
of a horny substance, known as "purses." The hammer- 
head, the i^orbeagle, the tope, and the smooth hound bring 
forth their young alive. 

One of the handsomest of British sharks, the Blue Shark, 

is plentiful on the Cornish coast every summer, where nets 

Blue are ruined and long lines torn to shreds. I 

Shark. have hooked small examj^les of 20 or 30 lbs. on 

the rod, but sharks of this species have been taken in the 

nets of twice the weight and at least 6 feet in length. 



THE SHARKS AND RAYS. 421 

When hooked, this shark not infrequently comes to the 
surface to shake out the hook, failing which, it revolves in 
the wat^r with great rapidity, the line scoring into the 
roughly granulated skin and tying the fish in a knot. 
This shark is deep blue above, lighter on the pointed 






snout, white beneath. The upper lobe of the tail is 
notched ; the eye has the usual nictitant membrane ; but 
the spiracle, so characteristic of many members of the 
family, is absent. It feeds on mackerel, pilchards, and 
ground -fish. This shark is supposed to deposit its egg- 
cases in winter when absent from our shores. 

The Tope, more familiar on our coasts, and known 
locally as the " Silver Dog " or " Rig "—the " School " 
Shark of Australian seas — occurs along the 
south and east coasts. I have caught them 
at Bournemouth over 4 feet in length, as they feed at mid- 
water, and are fond of following up the hook and seizing 
a whiting already hooked. This shark, which is grey 
above and white beneath, grows to a length of over 6 
feet, and is slender in form. The eye has a nictitating 
membrane, and a small spiracle is present. The teeth, 
in three rows, are triangular and serrated. When fresh 
caught, this shark has, like the porbeagle, a rank smell. 
It is viviparous, extruding one or two score of young 
at midsummer. One of 5 feet 4 inches, and weighing 
nearly 50 lbs., was taken this summer in the mackerel- 
nets off Deal. 



422 FISHES. 

From the true sharks we come to the Hammerhead, one 
of the most remarkable of living fishes, a rare visitor to 
Hammer- British waters, but exceedingly numerous on 
head. i]^q other side of the world, where it is re- 

garded as one of the most dangerous ; and I know of 
one man at least whose small boat was chased by one of 
these brutes for over a mile up the Brisbane river until 
in despair he ran her ashore. The most characteristic 
part of this shark is the hammer-shaped head, the large 
eye lying at either end and having a nictitating mem- 
brane. Sjjiracles are absent. This fish grows to a length 
of over 12 feet, and its colour is dark grey above, white 
below. The upper lobe of the tail is twice as long as 
the lower. This shark is viviparous, the young being 
born in autumn. It is also known as the "Balance- fish." 

Another group of small ground-sharks is chiefly interest- 
ing for the distinction existing before birth between the 
Smooth two species that compose it. As some doubt 
Hound, exists, indeed, as to whether the second of 
these, Mtistela Iwvis, is to be regarded as a British fish, it 
is convenient to consider the two under the same trivial 
name of Smooth Hound. The difference alluded to is that 
in this doubtful British subject — which is, like its com- 
moner congener, viviparous — there is a placental connec- 
tion between the unborn young and its parent, this con- 
nection being absent in the other. The latter, which 
is also known as the "' Hay-mouthed Dog," is of frequent 
occurrence on our coasts, examples of 4 feet being taken 
on the ground-lines. In colour it is grey, Avith indistinct 
white spots. The food of this species is said to consist 
of crustaceans. 



The For! )eagle, the type of another group, belongs to a 
genus of which our seas contain no other 
member. The fins are spineless as in the fore- 
going, but the eye has no nictitating membrane, and the 



THE SHAKES AND KAYS. 423 

Spiracle is either minute or wanting altogether. This fish 
may be further recognised by the deep body and wide gill- 
openings, the pores on the snout, and the pit on the 
tail-fin. In colour, it is deep grey or brown above, white 
beneath. It has been taken on every part of our coasts, 
mostly, however, in the south-west, and of a length of over 
lo feet. I never knew it seize a hooked fish like the blue 
shark, but it will often take a large bait intended for 
pollack; and I have caught several in this way, one of 
them weighing 23 lbs., on the rod. It is viviparous, ac- 
cording to authorities on the subject, though there seems 
some little uncertainty as to the breeding season. 

In that remarkable form, the Thresher, known even at 
some distance by the disprojjortionate length of the 
Fox-Shark notched upper tail -lobe, which may exceed 
or Thresher, ^j-^g^^ ^f ^^q jjead and body together, we have 

one of the commonest of British sharks, which has outside 
of these seas a distribution that is practically cosmopolitan. 
With the tail, this shark grows to a length of 15 feet, and 
its colour is bluish grey above, white beneath. The eyes 
are small and round, and there is no nictitant membrane. 
Spiracle, if present at all, very minute. The teeth of this 
species are small and triangular, and their size has caused 
stay-at-home naturalists to denounce the stories of this 
shark attacking whales. Those who prefer gathering their 
natural history at home are always free to do so, and 
are also free to disbelieve others who, not necessarily 
in the mantle of Munchausen, travel abroad with their 
eyes open. At any rate I certainly saw on one occasion 
on the coast of Queensland two of these sharks attacking 
a whale of some kind, for we steamed so near that the 
resounding blows with which the assailants fell on the 
whale were distinctly heard by those on board, while the 
captain's glasses left no doubt as to the identity of the 
long-tailed fishes that leapt in the air to fall again and 
again on the whale's back. The conjectured ^Ji'esenco 



424 FISHES. 

of tlie saw -fish below the surface rests on somewhat 
circumstantial evidence, the theory being, that but for 
some forbidding presence of that nature the whale would 
have the sense to sink to a depth where the attacks of the 
small threshers would be of slight account. In our seas 
this shark feeds largely on the mackerel and pilchards. 
It occurs there all the year round, but is most in evi- 
dence in the summer months. It is ovij)arous, depositing 
"purses." The leaping power of this fish is extraordinary; 
and I had on one occasion this summer two or three (one 
caught in the nets the same evening measured 8 feet 5 
inches from tip to tip) jumping quite their own length out 
of the water close to my boat and not half a mile from the 
end of Bournemouth pier. 

The largest, as well as the most innocuous, of our sharks, 
however, is the Basking Shark, or " Sail-fish," also known 
Basking as the " Sunfish," which occurs with us chiefly 
Shark. on the Irish coast, growing to a length of be- 
tween 30 and 40 feet, yet so gentle and unsuspecting as to 
allow a noose to be slipped over its tail. In colour, this 
huge fish is dark green to black above, white or yellow 
beneath; above the snout is a stain of reddish brown. 
The first dorsal fin is large, and when the fish is basking 
at the surface is held erect like a sail. The gill-oj^enings 
are wide and furnished with gill-rakers, the function being, 
as in the baleen of whales, to filter the water, retaining the 
minute organisms on which this, one of the largest of living 
fishes, contrives to nourish itself, parallel to the largest of 
living mammals. The eye is small and without nictitant 
membrane ; and the spiracles are also minute. The tail, 
the sides of which are keeled, has both lobes distinct, and 
there is a pit at its base Attempts have been made to 
distinguish as species more than one aberrant form of this 
shark. 

The normal number of gill -openings in the sharks is, 



THE SHARKS AND EAYS. 425 

as has already been mentioned, five; but in the present 
comb-toothed species, which has no near ally in our seas, 
Six-giHed we find the number of gill - openings to be 
Shark. gj^ — indeed there are two allied species in the 

Mediterranean with seven. The large and fierce Six-gilled 
Shark has been taken on our coasts to the length of nearly 
30 feet. The single dorsal fin, situate far back over the 
anal, is without spines. The eye is large, and devoid of 
nictitant membrane. The spiracles are small, and lie low 
down on the neck. The mouth is without labial fold, and 
the teeth are not equally developed in either jaw, several 
series being in use together. In colour this shark is 
uniform grey. 

In the dog-fishes we have an important group of ground- 
sharks, mostly of small size, and feeding on crustaceans 
and carrion. 

One of the most familiar of these, a fish that grows to 
a length of at least 4 feet, possibly more, is the spotted 
Nurse, also known as " Bounce " or " Cat-fish." 
In colour this dog-fish is reddish brown on the 
back and sides, and covered with large dark spots, lower 
surface white. The eye is without nictitant membrane; 
the spiracles are of moderate size. I have taken this 
fish of a length of nearly 3 feet on the rod, and have 
invariably found it show a tendency to wind itself round 
my arm, by no means a pleasant sensation, as the skin is 
very rough, so much so that it is an efficient substitute 
for emery-paper. This is more eaten than most of our 
sharks and dog-fish. It feeds, chiefly at night, on crus- 
taceans. It is oviparous, the "purses" being deposited in 
the autumn. I have observed on the nostrils of this fish 
folds similar to those alluded to by Mr Dunn in the black- 
mouthed dog-fish, and denoting in all probability smelling 
powers of a high order. 

The most remarkable property in the allied Kow Hound, 



426 FISHES. 

"Hiiss," or "Lesser Spotted Dog-fish," and one mentioned 

by Day and since verified by myself on many occasions, is 

that when first caught and placed in the basket 

Hound "^vith pollack and other fish, its touch dis- 

or Row colours the latter, the points of contact being 

indicated by white patches. It is somewhat 

commoner on our coasts than the last, preferring deeper 

water. A smaller species, it rarely exceeds a length of 

3^ feet. In colour and markings, however, it strongly 

resembles the last, the spots being smaller, less blurred, 

and more numerous. It is oviparous, depositing its 

" purses " in autumn. 

The Black-mouthed Dog-fish is not common in British 
seas, where it grows to a length of 3 or 4 feet. In colour 
-g, ^_ it is greyish, having three rows of black 

mouthed white-edged spots along the sides. The snout 
Dog-fish, ^g pointed, and secretes a viscid matter ; the 
tail has serrated processes ; the skin is very rough through- 
out. The inside of the mouth, which has a fold of skin, 
is black. The eye is large, and there are spiracles. This 
shark deposits " purses " devoid of the usual filaments. 
Mr Dunn of Mevagissey, a most accurate observer of sea- 
fish, has remarked on the presence of curious reticulated 
organs above and below the snout of this species. 

[Centrina salviani, a Mediterranean form, has been 
trawled on one occasion at least off the Cornish coast. It 
grows to a length of nearly 6 feet. The eye is large and 
without nictitant membrane, and over it is a distinct 
ridge. The spiracle is large, the gill - openings narrow, 
and the mouth small. In colour this dog-fish is uniform 
dark brown.] 

One of the commonest of our smaller members of the 
shark tribe is the >Spur-dog or Picked Dog, a gregarious, 
fish-eating species, found on every part of the British and 



THE SHAPvKS AND EAYS. 427 

Irish coasts. It grows, according to Day, to a length of 4 
feet, and is easily recognised by the sharp spine before 
Spur-dog or each dorsal fin. The teeth of this dog-fish are 
Picked Dog. somewhat peculiar, being small and having 
the inner edge the sharpest. The eyes are large, as also 
are the spiracles behind them ; and there is no nictitating 




,Jf^ 



-a4ii. 



membrane. In colouring this fish is grey above, white on 
the belly, occasionally dashed with faint yellow, and in 
young examples having some white spots. In certain 
internal characters, this and the following sharks agree 
somewhat closely with the rays. This fish is viviparous, 
and seems to breed at various seasons. 

A large allied species, growing to a length of 15 feet at 
least, the Greenland Shark is another of the whale's most 
Greenland formidable enemies. As its name implies, it 
Shark. is an inhabitant of the colder northern seas, 

only visiting the Scottish, and still more rarely the Eng- 
lish, coast at irregular intervals. The colour of this fish is 
grey, lighter beneath ; and its chief peculiarities are that 
the body is covered with small tubercles, and the fins are 
very small, the dorsal fins having no spines. The teeth in 
the lower jaw show the peculiarity noticed in those of the 
last, and they lie in six rows. This shark is viviparous, 
and is said to produce three or four young only at a birth. 

The entire body of the large Spinous Shark, which 
grows to a length of over 8 feet, is covered with round 
tubercles. Like the last, it has all the fins of small size. 



428 FISHES. 

and the dorsal is spineless. In colour it is dark grey, 
with touches of red on the sides and belly, and the lateral 
Spinous ^^^® distinctly white. The lower lobe of the 
Shark. tail-fin is very insignificant. The eye is large, 
and has no nictitating membrane; the spiracle is small. 
The teeth lie in several rows, only one of which is func- 
tional. In habits, this shark is a ground-species, rarely 
coming to the surface, though the existence of a distinct 
swimming race has been suggested; and its food would 
appear to consist largely of crustaceans. The majority of 
recorded British examples were captured west of Plymouth. 

In the Monk Fish we find so strange a combination of 
the external characters of the foregoing and following 
Angel or groups, that it may be regarded in a measure 
Monk Fish, ^s the connecting link between the two, 
thougli its place is, strictly speaking, with the sharks. It 
is common on all our sandy coasts, particularly in the 
northern waters, though the Channel furnishes a large 
number to the trawlers ; and I recollect measuring one of 
a few inches over 4 feet and weighing nearly 50 lbs., which 
was trawled off West Bournemouth in the month of Au- 
gust 1896. It is rarely taken in the winter months, stray 
examples being, however, thrown ashore at that season in 
heavy gales, which makes it probable that the monk retires 
during the cold weather a few miles only from land. In 
colour this shark is usually dark brown or grey, with 
numerous blotches, lighter beneath. The dorsal fins, 
which lie back near the tail, are without spines, and there 
is no anal fin, the pectorals being very large, but not join- 
ing the head, as in the rays. There are a number of 
tubercles over the skin, but their distribution difi'ers. 
Before the nostrils, next the mouth, is a loose process of 
skin. The lateral gill -openings are large, as also the 
crescent - shaped spiracles. The eyes lie far apart and 
somewhat beneath the surface of the head, being in fact 
included in the skin. This fish grows to a length of over 



THE SHARKS AND RAYS. 429 

7 feet. Its food consists largely of flat-fish. In repro- 
duction it is viviparous, producing a score of young at a 
birth, it is said, in July (Couch). Among the many other 
names by which it is known are " vShark - Ray " and 
"Mongrel Skate,"" having allusion to its affinities to both 
groups, "Fiddle-fish," in reference to its shaj^e ; and 
"Kingston," a Sussex name the meaning of which I, 
was never able to trace. 

2. The Rays. 

In this, the second subdivision of the sub-order, we find 
a number of characters distinct from those of sharks. 
In the first f)lace, the body is flattened; the tail is 
slender and whip-like, with or without a notched spine ; 
the pectoral fins are enormously developed, the dorsal 
fins, if present, lie on the tail, the anal fin is absent. 
The mouth is beneath the fish, but farther back than in 
sharks ; the teeth flat and adapted for crushing ; the gill- 
openings, five in number, lie, with the mouth, on the under 
surface. Large spiracles are present behind the eyes, 
which are without nictitating membrane, but have in most 
cases a fringed eyelid. As already mentioned, the spiny 
dog-fishes have strong affinities with the present group, 
and should indeed be considered with theiU: With this 
reservation, however, it is convenient in an introductory 
work to adhere to the older division of sharks and rays. 
They deposit their eggs in the same kind of " purses " as 
some of the sharks, but these have no filaments, as, for ex- 
ample, those of the nurse. Mr Dunn of Mevagissey tells 
me that they have, in place of these, an adhesive matter 
that keeps them fast to weeds and stones. 

The typical family and genus embrace nearly a dozen 

Common British species. One of the most familiar 

Skate. g^j^(^ largest is the Common Skate, otherwise 

"Grey Skate," "Blue Skate," or "Tinker," in which the 



430 FISHES. 

sexual differences extend to tlie teeth, in addition to the 
usual smoothness of skin observed in the females ; and 
the male is further distinguished by a patch of tubercles 
on the i^ectoral fins. In colour, this skate is pale grey 
with black spots, the under surface nearly white, also 
speckled with black. On the tail are two spineless dorsal 
fins and three rows of tubercles. This skate grows to a 
length of over 6 feet, a breadth of over 5 feet, and a 
weight of between 150 and 200 lbs. It feeds largely on 
whitings and crustaceans, and deposits its "purses," de- 
void of tendrils, in early summer. 

Another skate of similar habits is the common Thornback 

or " Maid," which grows in our waters to a length of over 

-? feet, and is trawled or hooked in moderately 

Thornback. '-' ' ^ ^ J 

deep water. In colour it is brown, sometimes 

mottled, above, white beneath. The sexes differ in the 



same particulars as those of the skate, the teeth of the 
male being pointed, those of the female flat. The upper 
surface of the thornl^ack is, as the name implies, covered 
at intervals with curved spines that point towards the tail. 



THE SHAETvS AND RAYS. 431 

This fish is said to feed not only on flat-fish and crusta- 
ceans, but also on such surface or mid-water forms as shad 
and herrings. The "purses" of this species are deposited 
in summer. 

The deeper water furnishes the rarer Long-nosed Skate, 
which has a long shovel-shaped snout with which to dig up 

Long- ^^^ flat-fish, its favourite food. It is grey on 

nosed both surfaces, with or without spots and streaks. 

^ ^' On the lower surface of the tail there is a 

series of spines. The skin of this species is granulated 

and rough to the touch, but lacks the larger tubercles. 

Like the rest, the long-nosed skate is oviparous. 

[The Flap2^e7' Sl'ate of Day is regarded by many natur- 
alists, Couch among them, as a variety only. Giinther 
considers it a hybrid between the common skate and some 
other species.] 

The largest of our rays, the Sharp-nosed Ray, also known 
variously as the "Burton Skate," "White Skate," or "Mavis 
Sharp- Skate," is taken to a weight of 500 lbs., its 

nosed Bay. greatest length being given at between 7 and 
8 feet. As in all rays, distinguished from the skates proper, 
the lower surface is spotless white, the edge of the pectoral 
fin being sometimes, though not invariably, shaded with 
black. On the tail and pectoral fin, also behind the eyes, 
are rows of spines. The edge of the snout is undulated 
as far as the pectoral fin. 

A deep-water species, caught chiefly in the summer 
months, the Shagreen Ray, "Dun Cow," or "French 
Shagreen Ray" grows to a length of 3 feet, and is 
Ray. more common on the east coast than in the 

Channel. The skin of this species is roughly granulated, 
and there are two rows of large siDines along the disc 
and round the eyes. In colour this ray is light brown 
above, pure white below, the edge of the disc being often 
of darker hue than the rest. 



432 FISHES. 

Found in shallow water, the Homelyn, "Spotted Eay,'^ 
or " Tally " attains a length of 4 feet. The upper surface 
is rough, and there are rows of compressed 
spines along the back, and in males upon the 
head. The tail is somewhat flattened, and has three rows 
of spines. The spiracles are very large. The colour of 
this ray is brown with black spots. The lower surface 
is smooth and white. It feeds like the rest on fish and 
crustaceans, and extrudes its "purses" towards the end 
of summer. 

The Starry Ray is taken chiefly in Scotch waters, the 

name having reference to the star-like radiating spines 

with which the body is thickly covered. In 
Starry Ray. 1 • .r,- ^ i ^^ 

colouring, this ray bears much resemblance 

to the thornback, though the spots are often absent. 

It is trawled chiefly in the late summer and autumn. 

The " Small-eyed Ray," as the Painted Ray is often 
called, is a moderately large species, inhabiting shallow 
Painted water, and abundant in the Channel. It is 
Ray. more eaten jDerhaps than most other rays. 

The colouring is varied, as implied in the trivial name, 
but is usually some shade of marbled grey above with 
dashes of white and yellow ; the lower surface, in accord- 
ance with the unvarying rule in true rays, spotless white. 
The teeth of this species are flatter than in the last. 

The Cornish trawls generally bring up in summer-time 
a large sprinkling of Sand Rays, or " Owls," which seem in 
Sandy or winter to retire to the deeper untrawled water 
Cuckoo outside. This species attains an average length 

^^* of 3 feet, large examples weighing 20 lbs. In 

colour the upper surface is brown, spotted and marbled 
with yellow. The mouth is arched, and the teeth, which 
lie in sixty or seventy rows, are curved and pointed. 

[In some systems the Cuckoo Ray is separated as a 



THE SHAEKS AND P. AYS. 433 

smaller species, having a large black spot with yellow 
centre at the shoulder, other yellow spots occasionally 
surrounding it.] 

In the Torpedo, otherwise " Cramp-fish " or " iSTmnb- 
fish," which is not uncommon in our deej^er waters, we come 
to another type, the distinguishing feature of 
which is the presence of electric organs in the 
sides of the head, these organs taking the form of between 
four and five hundred hexagonal prisms of cells containing 
a gelatinous substance. This power of giving electric 
shocks ceases with life. The British species grows to a 
length of 5 feet, with an accompanying breadth of upwards 
of a yard. The body is plump and without tubercles. 
The dorsal fins, the first of which is about twice the size of 
the second, are spineless, and situate on the tail. The 
eyes, behind which lie oval spiracles devoid of fringe, are 
small and embedded. The crescent-shaped mouth is not 
very large, the teeth being curved, pointed, and movable 
in their sockets. The colour of this species varies from 
dull red or brown to black. It feeds on fishes of con- 
siderable size, exanii^les of which have been recovered 
intact from its inside. 

[The Marbled T(yrpedo, a Mediterranean species having 
a fringe of tentacles round the spiracle, is included by 
some writers in the British list.] 

One of the most formidable and indeed commonest of 
our rays is the Sting-Eay, or "Firefiaire," which has an 
almost cosmopolitan range, and is taken in 
British seas to a weight of 80 lbs. This 
mud-loving fish is recognised by the serrated spine (6 
or 8 inches long in large examples) with which the whip- 
like tail is armed. This weapon, which is liable to injury, 
can be replaced after accident, if not indeed periodically. 
The tail has a fold on the lower surface and a ridge above. 
The body is either smooth or sparsely covered with 

2 E 



434 FISHES. 

tubercles. In colour, the sting-ray is generally of a uni- 
form reddish brown, rarely marbled or spotted. The tail- 
spine is capable of inflicting serious wounds, but it seems 
uncertain whether their severity is due merely to lacera- 
tion, or whether there is in addition any active poison at 
work. 

The Eagle-Ray and Ox-Ray are among the largest of liv- 
ing fishes, growing, in tropical seas at any rate, to the 
enormous weight of upwards of looo lbs. In 
ag e- ay. ^^^^ ^q^^^ however, only comparatively small ex- 
amples, between 2 and 3 feet in length, have been captured. 
The tail of the eagle-ray is, like that of the sting-ray, 
armed with a serrated spine as a rule ; but this spine is 
sometimes wanting, and in some examples, on the other 
hand, there is a second. The tail itself is whip-like, and 
bears a small fin before the spine. This ray is exceedingly 
broad, the wing-like appearance of the pectoral fins having 
doubtless suggested the trivial name. Its colour is greenish 
brown above, white beneath, the tail being in many ex- 
amples almost black. The teeth are broad, and lie in 
seven rows. This fish is generally described as viviparous, 
but Couch gives an account of its " purse," which he de- 
scribed as of large size and marked with lines and spots. 

[The Ox-Ray, likewise a wanderer only to our seas, is 
the " Devil-fish " of the West Indies, which is distinguished 
by the " horns " before the eyes, fleshy pro- 
^" ' cesses which the fish can coil and unfurl at 
will. The long and tapering tail, which is three times the 
length of the body, is covered with tubercles and armed 
with a serrated spine. The gape of the mouth is enor- 
mous, and the teeth lie in 150 rows. It has been sug- 
gested that the retractile " horns " may be of service in 
setting up a current and bringing food to the mouth. 
But one example (Irish) is recorded from our seas.] 



THE LOWEST VERTEBRATES 



THE LOWEST VERTEBEATES. 



LAMPREYS AXD HAG-FISHES. 

The great sub-kingdom of the Vertebrates, to the consider- 
ation of which the present volume is restricted, draws its 
lowest subjects from the ranks of these small and remark- 
able creatures, which, presumably from a consideration of 
their watery habitat, it was formerly the custom to include 
among fishes — a habit that has taken such deep root that 
one group still retains the title of hag-fishes. The dis- 
tinctive features of this class are the absence of jaws, the 
single opening of the nostrils, and the curious pouch-like 
character of the gills, which are without arches. The 
skeleton is cartilaginous, and the skull is closely joined 
to the vertebral column. 

I. The Lampreys. 

Of the true lampreys we have three forms. The largest 
of these, the Sea-Lamprey, is an inhabitant of salt water, 
tsea- but enters many of our rivers, the Severn 

Lamprey, among them, for breeding purposes. It grows 
to a length of about 3 feet and a weight of 5 lbs., and its 
colour is usually some shade of grey or green, spotted with 
black. The young, which remain for some years in fresh 
water, their growth being very gradual, are toothless and 



438 THE LOWEST VERTEBKATES. 

practically blind. The members of this group have seven 
gill-slits ; and the mouth, a mere slit when closed, opens 
as a circular orifice, having suctorial lips and a flexible 
disc. This lamprey is much esteemed as food, and is 
caught in wicker baskets specially constructed and placed 
in the mud. Like the rest, it is carnivorous, rasping the 
sides of living fishes, to which it adheres for the purpose, 
with its hard teeth. It enters English rivers to spawn in 
the spring. 

The commoner Lampern was till recently regarded as a 
fresh -water form, but later investigations have estab- 
tLam ern Wished its presence in the sea, and it is now 
or River- regarded, like the last, as an anadromous 
Lamprey. fQj,^^^ j^ difi'ers in its smaller size, rarely 
exceeding a length of 15 inches, as well as in the bluish 
colour and absence of spots. It spawns in rivers hav- 
ing a stony bed, the eggs being deposited in furrows 
excavated by the lamj^erns themselves ; and it is thought 
to die after spawning. Its food consists of the flesh of 
living and dead fish, worms, and insects. Its chief use is 
as bait in the cod-fishery. 

The smallest of the three, the Mud-Lamprey, familiarly 
known as the "Pride," does not exceed a length of 10 
t Mud- inches. Like the last, it is, chiefly on account 

Lamprey, ^f [^^ toughness, an excellent bait for some 
sea-fish. Beyond its supposed residence in salt water and 
invariable ascent of rivers for spawning, after which or- 
deal it is supposed to die, little has been recorded of the 
life-history of this form, the most interesting discovery 
being that of its larva, which was long regarded as a 
distinct species. 

2. The Hag-Fish. 

In the singular Hag-fish we have a true parasite, for the 
"Borer," as it is called, is most commonly taken from the 



LAMPREYS AND HAG-FISHES. 439 

bodies of cod into which it has eaten its way. A more 
repulsive animal could not be easily imagined, for it is 
Hae-fish blind, the mouth without lips and having four 
or aiutin- barbels ; the abdomen with rows of sacs that 
ous Hag. secrete a quantity of slime. There is but one 
opening to the internal gill-pouches. This form inhabits 
our deeper northern waters. 



APPENDIX I. 

MATEKIALS FOR A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS 
ON THE BRITISH VERTEBRATE FAUNA. 



[This list has for the mostj'xo't undergone revision by the xmUishcrs. 
In the case of works out of print (o.p. ) the price is usually 
omitted. ] 



INDEX TO COUNTIES AND DISTRICTS. 



(g = general, h = birds, m = mammals.) 


Argyll, fj . 


Harvie-Brown and Buckley. 


Banbury, h 


.• Aplin. 


Bedford, b 


. Steele-Elliott. 


Belfast Lough, g 


. Patterson. 


Berks, b . 


Clark-Kennedy. 


Berwick, b 


. Muirhead. 


Blackheath, b . 


. Collingwood. 


Borders, b 


. Chapman. 


Braemar, g 


. Macgillivray. 


Breckonshire, b 


. Phillips. 


Brighton, g 


. Merrifield. 


Bucks, b . 


. Clark-Kennedy. 


Channel Islands, </ 


. Ansted and Latham. 


b 


- Smith. 


Cornwall, g 


. Bullmore, Couch. 


b . 


. Harting. 


Cromarty, g 


. Harvie-Brown and Buckley. 


Cumberland, b. 


. Macpherson and Duckworth 


Derby, b . . 


. Whitlock and Hutchinson. 



442 



APPENDIX I. 



Devon, (J . 

II b . 

II b . 
Dorset, b . 
Dublin,^ . 
East Aiiglia, g 
Edinburgh, m 
Epping Forest, </ 
Essex, b . 
Fenland, g 
Gloucester, y 
Guernsey, b 
Harrow, b 
Hebrides, g 
Heligoland, b 
Hereford, b 
Highlands, g 

Huddersfield, g 
Humber district, 
Ireland, g 

.1 b 
Isle of Man, g 
Isle of Wight, g 
Lakeland, g 
Lancashire, b 
Leicestershire, g 
Liverpool, g 
Loch Lomond, g 
Lofthouse, g 
London, b 
Mailing, g 
Marlborough, b 
Middlesex, b 
Moidart, b 
Moray Basin, g 
New Forest, g 
'b 
Norfolk, g 

b - 
Northampton, b 
Northumberland, b 
Norwood, b 
Notts, b . 
Orkney (and Shetland), g 

II II b 

Oxford, b 
Pembroke, b 
llej)ton, b 
Rutland, g 
tScilly Islands, b 
Scotland, b 



Bellamy. 

D' Urban and Mathew. 

Pidsley. 

Mansel-Pleydell. 

Rutty. 

Emerson, Lubbock, Miller. 

Evans. 

Buxton. 

Christy. 

Miller and Skertchley. 

Witchell and Strugnell. 

Smith. 

Barrett- Hamilton . 

Harvie-Brown and Buckley. 

Gaetke. 

Bull, Home. 

Harvie-Brown and Buckley, St John, 

Speedy. 
Hobkirk. 
Cordeaux. 

Baily, Patterson, Rutty, Thompson. 
Benson, More, Payne- Gall wey, Watters. 
Woods. 
More. 

Macphersou. 
Mitchell. 
Browne. 
Byerley. 

Lumsden and Brown. 
Roberts. 

Harting, Pigott, Swann. 
Fielding. 
Imthurn. 
Harting. 
Blackburn. 

Harvie-Brown and Buckley, St John. 
De Crespigny and Hutchinson. 
Wise, Witherby. 
Emerson, Lubbock. 
Gurney, Stevenson. 
Lilford. 
Hancock. 
Aldridge. 

Whitaker and Sterland. 
Harvie-Brown and Buckley. 
Dunn. 
Aplin. 
Mathew. 
Garneys. 
Browne. 
Harting. 
Harvie-Brown, Macpherson. 



BIBLIOGKAPHY. 



443 



Selborne, g 
Sherwood Forest, h 
Shetland, h 
Somerset, h 
Staffordshire, g 
h 
Stockton-on-Tees, g 
Suffolk, h 
Sussex, h . 
Sutherland, g 
I. h 

Swansea, g 
Tutbury, g 
Westmorland, h 
Wilts, h . 
Wirral, b . 
Worcestershire, 
Yarmouth, g 
Yorkshire, g 
b 



White. 

Sterland. 

Saxby. 

Smith. 

Dickenson, Garner. 

M'Aldowie. 

Hogg. 

Babington. 

Borrer, Knox. 

Harvie-Brown and Buckley, St John. 

Buckley. 

Dillwyn. 

Mosley and Brown. 

Macpherson and Duckworth. 

Smith. 

Atkinson. 

Bund. 

Paget. 

Eagle-Clarke and Roebuck. 

Cordeaux. 



Books are in one volume and Svo, unless otherwise stated. 

* = illustrated. 



1. GENERAL. 



Ansted, D. T., and Latham, R. G. The Channel Islands. (Vert,, 
pp. 188-196.) W. H. Allen, 3rd ed., 1893. 

Atkinson, Rev. J. C. — 

* Sketches in Js"atural History, with an Essay on Reason and 

Instinct. Pp. 338. Routledge, 1865. 

* Forty Years in a Moorland Parish. Pp. 465. Macmillan, 

1892. 5s. 

Baily, W. H. Rambles on the Irish Coast. (Vert., jjp. 58-69.) 
Dublin, 1886. 

Bellamy, J. C. *The Natural History of South Devon. Pp. 441. 
Plymouth, 1839. 

Browne, Montagu. * The Vertebrate Animals of Leicestershire and 
Rutland. 1889. £1, Is. 

Bullmore, W. K. Cornish Fauna. Pp. 64. Truro, 1867. 

Buxton, E. N. *Epping Forest. (Vert., pp. 71-101.) Stanford, 
1897. Is. 

Byerley, I. The Fauna of Liverpool. (Vert., pp. 34.) 1856. 

Collingwood, Cuthbert. The Fauna of Blackheath and its Vicin- 
ity. (Pt. IjVert., pp. 46.) Clowes, 1859. 



444 APPENDIX I. 

Cornish, C. J. *Wild England of To-day and the Wild Life in it. 
P. 310. Seeley, 1895. [Seafowl, salmon, deer, osprey, &c.] 
12s. 6d. 

Couch, Jonathan. A Cornish Fauna. (Vert., Pt. 1, pp. 63.) 
Truro, 1838. 

Crawford, J. H. *The Wild Life of Scotland. Pp. 280. Mac- 
queen, 1896. 8s. 6d. net. 

*Summer Days for Winter Evenings. Pp. 274. Macqueen, 
1897. 8s. 6d. net. 

De Crespigny, R. C, and Hutchinson, H. *The New Forest. 
(Vert., pp. 151-165, 204-265.) Murray, 1895. 

Dickenson, J. H. Sketch of the Zoology of Staffordshire. 1798. 

Dillwyn, L. W. Materials for the Fauna and Flora of Swansea. 
(Vert., pp. 17.) /Swansea, privately printed, 1848. 

Eagle - Clarke, W., and Roebuck, W. D. A Handbook of the 
Vertebrate Fauna of Yorkshire. Pp. 149. Reeve, 1849. 

Emerson, R. H. — 

*Wild Life on a Tidal Water. Nutt. £3, 3s. 

* Pictures from Life in Field and Fen. Nutt. Fol. , £5, 5s. 

and £1, 2s. 
*0n English Lagoons. £1, Is. and 7s. 6d. 

* Birds, Beasts, and Fishes of the Norfolk Broadland. Pp. 

396. Nutt, 1895. 

Fielding, Rev. C. H. Memories of Mailing and its Valley (with 
lists of Kent Vertebrates). West Mailing, 1893. 

Eraser, Rev. R. W. *Seaside Divinity. (Vert., pp. 317-377.) 
Hogg, 1861. 

Garner, R. *The Natural History of the County of Stafford. 
(Vert., pp. 241-298.) Van Voorst, 1844. 

Graham, P. Anderson. All the Year with Nature. Pp. 237. 
Smith, Elder, 1893. 5s. 

Green, Rev. G. C. * Collections and Recollections of Natural 
History and Sport. Pp. 221. Reeve, 1886. 7s. 6d. 

Harvie-Brown, J. A., and Buckley, T. E. — 

*A Vertebrate Fauna of Sutherland, Caithness, and West 

Cromarty. Pp. 354, 2 vols. Douglas, 1887. O.p. 
A Vertebrate Fauna of the Outer Hebrides. Pp. 387, 2 vols. 

Douglas, 1889. O.p. 
*A Vertebrate Fauna of the Orkney Islands. Pp. 338. 

Douglas, 1891. 30s. 
*A Fauna of Argyll and the Inner Hebrides. Pp. 262. 

Douglas, 1892. 30s. 
*A Fauna of the Moray Basin. Pp. 615, 2 vols. Douglas, 

1896. 60s. [In vol. ii. Extinct Vert., pp. 50, by Dr 

Traquair.] 

Hobkirk, C. C. P. Huddersfield : its History and Natural His- 
tory. (List of mammals and birds, pp. 138-145.) Ward 
Lock, 1859. 



BIBLIOGEAPHY. 445 

Hogg, John. On the Natural History of the Vicinity of Stockton- 
on-Tees. (Vei't., pp. IS.) StocTcton, 1S27. 

Idle, C. Hints on Shooting and Fishing. Pp. 293. Longmans, 
1855. O.p. 

JefFeries, Richard — 

Wild Life in a Southern County. Pp. 316. Smith, Elder, 

1879, 7s. 6d. 1897, 6s. 
Nature near London. Pp. 242. Chatto & Windus, 1883. 

6s. and 2s. 6d. 
The Life of the Fields. Pp. 262. Chatto & Windus, 1884. 

6s. and 2s. 6d. 
The Open Air. Pp. 270. Chatto & Windus, 1885. 6s. and 

2s. 6d. 
Round About a Great Estate. Pp. 204. Smith, Elder (latest 

ed.), 1894. 5s. 
The Amateur Poacher. Pp. 240. Smith, Elder, 1896. 5s. 

Jesse, Ed. Gleanings in Natural History. (Vert, ixissim.) Pp. 
945 (3 series). Murray, 1835-36. 

Knight, F. A. — 

* By Leafy Ways. 

The Rambles of a Dominie. Wells Gardner, 1891. 5s. 

*By Moorland and Sea. Stock, 1893. 5s. 

Knox, A. E. *Autumns on the Spey. Pp. 171. Van Voorst, 
1872. [Deer, eagles, owls, &c.] 6s. 

Lubbock, Rev. R. Observations on the Fauna of Norfolk, and 
more particularly on the District of the Broads. Pp. 156. 
Jarrold, 1845. 

2nded. [ed. T. Southwell], pp. 239. 1879. 

Lumsden, J., and Brown, A. A Guide to the Natural History of 
Loch Lomond and Neighbourhood. Pp. 103. Glasgow, 1895. 

Macgillivray, W. The Natural History of Deeside and Braemar. 
Pp. 507. [Ed. E. Lankester.] 1855. 

Macpherson, Rev. H. A. *A Vertebrate Fauna of Lakeland. Pp. 
552. Douglas, 1892. 30s. [Preface by R. S. Ferguson : ex- 
cellent chapters on extinct mammals, bird-fowling, &c.] 

Maxwell, Right Hon. Sir Herbert, Bart., M.P. Memories of the 
Mouths. {\evt. jpassim.) Pp.300. Arnold, 1897. 6s. 

Merrifield, Mrs. A Sketch of the Natural History of Brighton 
and its Vicinity. (Vert., pp. 161-180.) Brighton, 18Q0. 

Miller, S. H., and Skertchley, S. B. T. The Fenland, Past and 
Present. (Vert., pp. 354-400.) Longmans. O.jj. 

More, A. G. Outlines of the Natural History of the Isle of Wight. 
(Vert., pp. 1-36.) Spottiswoode, 1860. 

Mosley, Sir 0., and Brown, E. The Natural History of Tutbury. 
(Vert., pp. 102.) Van Voorst, 1863. 

Mudie, Robert. The British Naturalist. 
1st ed., pp. 380. Whittaker, 1830. 
2nd ed., pp. 763 (2 vols.) Orr, 1835. 



446 APPENDIX I. 

Paget, C. J. and J. Sketch of the Natural History of Yarmouth 

and its Neighbourhood. (Vert., pp. 1-18.) Yarmouth, 1834. 
Patterson, R. Lloyd. The Birds, Fishes, and Cetaeea commonly 

frequenting Belfast Lough. Pp. 267. Bogue, 1880. 
Pennant, Thomas. British Zoology. 

lsted.,fol. 1766. 

2nd ed. (2 vols.) Pp.754. 1768. [Mammals and birds.] 

3rd ed. (4 vols. Vert., pp. 1565, vols, i.-iii.) 1812. 
Roberts, G. Topography and Natural History of Lofthouse and 

its Neighbourhood. (2 vols.) (Vert, passim, i. 111-388; ii. 

87-170.) Leeds, 1882. 
■Rutty, John. An Essay towards the Natural History of the 

County of Dublin. (Vert., i. 263-370.) (2 vols.) Dublin, 

1772. 

St John, Charles — 

A Tour in Sutherlandshire. 

2nd ed. *(2 vols.), pp. 706. Douglas, 1884. 21s. [Ap- 
pendix by Harvie-Brown and Buckley. ] 
*Wild Sports and Natural History of the Highlands. 1st ed. 
Natural History and Sport in Moray. 

Shand, A. Innes. ^Mountain, Stream, and Covert. Pp. 334. 

Seeley, 1897. 
" Son of the Marshes "— 

Forest Tithes. Pp. 208. Smith, Elder, 1893. 5s. 

Nature Studies. Smith, Elder, 1893. 5s. 

Forest, Field, and Fell. Lawrence & Bullen, 1893. 3s. 6d. 

Woodland, Moor, and Stream. Pp. 224. Smith, Elder, 
1896. 5s. 

Speedy, T. Sport in the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland 

with Rod and Gun. Pp. 444. Blackwood, 1884. los. 
Thomas, E. The Woodland Life. Pp.234. Blackwood, 1897. 6s. 
Thompson, W. The Natural History of Ireland. (4 vols.) 

(Vert., pp. 1543.) Reeve, 1849-56. £3, 3s. 
Turton, W. British Fauna (containing a compendium of the 

Zoology of the British Isles). (Vert., pp. 1-117.) r2mo. 

Sviansca, 1807. 
Tutt, J. W. *Woodside, Burnside, Hillside, and Marsh. Pp. 

241. iy^rt. passim.) Sonnenschein, 1894. 
Walsingham, Lord, Sir R. Payne-Gallwey, and others. * Shooting. 

Longmans ["Badminton Library"]. (2 vols.) (Nat. Hist. 

passim.) £1, Is. 

White, Gilbert. Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. 

* White, 1789. 4to, pp. 468 [3 illust.] 

* White, 1802. Large 8vo, pp. 692 [2 vols, in one]. 

* White, 1813. 4to [2 vols.], pp. 888. 

*Arch., Longman, &c., 1822. [2 vols.] pp. 715 [orig. text]. 
*Rivington, &c., 1825. Large 8vo, pp. 714 [orig. text]. 
Constable, 1829. 12mo, pp. 343. [Ed. Jardine in "Con- 
stable's Miscellany."] 



BIBLIOGEAPHY 447 



White, Gilbert— 

'■Hailes, 1833. 12mo, pp. 316. fArranged for young persons 
by Lady Dover.] 

* Chambers, 1833. Small 8vo, pp. 356. [Notes by Capt. 

T. Brown. ] 
*Orr & Smith, 1836. Small 8vo, pp. 418. [Ed. Ed. Blyth : 

chap, by Mudie.] 
*Arch., Longman, &c., 1837. Pp. 640. [Ed. E. T. Bennett: 

*S.P.C.K., 1842. 8vo, pp. 328. [This is Lady Dover's 1833 
ed. with extra notes and illust.] 

* Harper, 1843. 12mo, pp. 335. 

*Van Voorst, 1843. Pp. 398. [Ed. L. Jenyns.] 7s. 6d. 
*Bohn, 1851. Pp. 416. [Jardine's ed., with notes by Edward 

^Routledge, 1854. 8vo, pp. 428. [Ed. J. G. Wood.] 

*Bell & Daldy, 1862. 12mo, pp. 426. [Notes embodied in 

the letters.] 
*Macmillan, 1875. Royal 8vo, pp.- 591. [Ed. Frank Buck- 
land.] O.p. 

[Ditto, 1876. In 2 vols. 4to, pp. 601, £4, 4s. ; and a 
cheaper 1 vol. ed. in 1880, 6s.] 
Van Voorst, 1877. 2 vols. 4to, pp. 917. [Ed. Thomas Bell.] 

£1, lis. 6d. 
*Chatto& Windus, 1878. Pp.348. [Ed. Brown.] 2s. 
*Routledge, 1880. 8vo, pp. 475. [The Jardiue ed.] 
Scott, 1887. Pp. 366. ['' Camelot Series": pref. by Richard 
Jefferies, who speaks of "the little Surrey parish of 
Selborne."] 
Routledge, 1886. Pp. 160. ["World Library": ed. H. R. 

Haweis.] 6d. 
*Sonnenschein, 1890. Pp. 583. [Ed. J. E. Harting : ad- 
ditional letters.] 
Routledge, 1891. Pp. 475. ["Su- John Lubbock's Hundred 
Books : the Jardine text and notes, with short intro. by 
Lubbock.] 
Blackie, 1895. Pp. 252. 
*Macmillan, 1895. 2 vols., pp. 422. [The Buckland text, 

with 17 pp. in trod, by John Burroughs.] 10s. 6d. 
The following undated on title : — 

*Warne, pp. 470. [" Chandos Library": ed. Christopher 

Davies. ] 
Cassell. 2 vols. 120, pp. 334. ["National Library": ed. 
H. Morley.] 3d. 

"While I was making a list of editions of this classic a complete 
bibliography was anuounced in book form. I intended to give the 
various editions somewhat in exteiiso, because, in spite of the modern 
habit of "smart" naturalists, who sneer at the "slipshod work of 
poor old Gilbert "White," much interest must always attach to the 
reappearances of a book that has already been issued in something 
over flve-and-twenty diflerent editions, hj almost all the leading pub- 
lishers, and with at least three naturalists of repute tiguring in the list 
of editors. I abandoned the attempt, however, and the above is the 
unfinished result. 



448 APPENDIX I. 



Wilson, Dr Andrew. Leaves from a IS^aturalist's Notebook. Pp. 
255. Chatto & Windu.s, 1882. 2s. 6d. 



Witchell, C. A., and Strugnell, W. B. [and other contributors]. 
*The Fauna and Flora of Gloucestershire. (Vert., pp. 166.) 
Stroud Press, 1892. 

Wood, Theodore. * The Farmer's Friends and Foes : a Popular 
Treatise on the various Animals which affect British Agricul- 
ture beneficially or injuriously. Sonnenschein. 3s. 6d. 

Woods, G. An Account . . . of the Isle of Man. ["On Manx 
Zoology," pp. 24-29.] Blackwood, 1811. 



2. MAMMALS. 

Bell, Thomas. * British Quadrupeds (and Cetacea). Van Voorst. 
24s. O.p. 
1st ed., 1837. 
2nd ed., 1874. Pp. 476 (with other authors). £1, 6s. 

Evans, W. * Mammalian Fauna of the Edinburgh District. Fol., 
1892. 

Everitt, N. * Ferrets. Pp. 209. A. & C. Black, 1897. 3s. 6d. 

Harting, J. E. * Extinct British Animals. Pp. 258. Triibner, 
1880. 

Jefferies, Richard. Red-Deer. Pp. 207. Longmans, 1884. 
*2nd ed., pp. 248. Longmans, 1892. 3s. 6d. 

Lydekker, R. *A Handbook to the British Mammalia. Pp. 339. 
W. H. Allen, 1895. [Excellent chapter on Ancient Mammals.] 

Macgillivray, W. * A History of British Quadrupeds. [Naturalist's 
Library.] 1843. O.jj. 

Macpherson, Rev. H. A., and others — 

*Red Deer. Pp. 330. Longmans ["Fur and Feather 

Series " : ed. Alfred Watson], 1896. 5s. 
*The Hare. Pp. 274. Longmans ["Fur and Feather 

Series": ed. Alfred Watson], 1896. 5s. 

Millais, J. G. ^British Deer and their Horns. Pp. 224. Sotheran, 
1897. -£4, 4s. 

Southwell, T. *The Seals and Whales of the British Seas. Pp. 128. 
Jarrold, 1881. 

Storer, Rev. J. *The Wild White Cattle of Great Britain. Pp. 384. 
[Ed. J. Storer.] Cassell, 1879. 21s. 

Whitaker, Joseph. A Descriptive T^ist of the Deer Parks and Pad- 
docks of England. Pp. 190. Ballantyne, 1892. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY. 449 



3. BIRDS. 

Adams, H. G. — 

*Our Feathered Families. Hogg. 

1. The Birds of Prey. Pp. 320. 

2. Game and Water Birds. Pp. 845. 

* Favourite Song-Birds. Pp.192. Groombridge, 1881. 3s. 6d. 

Adamson, C. M. — 

Sunday Natural History Scraps. Pp. 98. Neivcastle, 1879. 
[More especially about birds.] 

* Studies of Birds. 1881. [40 sketches, 1 autotype, chiefly 

waders and waterfowl : no letterpress.] 
*Some more Scraps about Birds. Pp. 273. 1880-81.- 
^Another Book of Scraps. 1882. [Letterpress pp. 56 ; 36 

f.p. sketches.] 

* Some more Illustrations of Wild Birds. Gurney & Jackson, 

1887. [24 tinted drawings : no letterpress : mostly water- 
fowl. ] O.p. 

Aitkinson, W. Wirral Notes. Bolton, 1897. Is. 
Albiu, E. — 

*A Natural History of English Song-Birds. Pp. 110.. 

Lowndes, 1779. 
*A Natural History of Birds. Pp. 290. (3 vols. 4to.) Innys, 
1838. [Includes the " Batt or Fluttermouse."] 

Aldridge, W. *A Gossip on the Wild Birds of Norwood and 
Crystal Palace District. Pp. 109. Norivood, 1885. 

Aplin, F. C., B. d'O., and 0. V. A List of the Birds of the Ban- 
bury District. Pp. 29. Banbury, 1882. 

Aplin, 0. V. The Birds of Oxfordshire. Pp. 217. Clarendon 
Press, 1889. 

Arnold, E. L. Bird Life in England. Pp. 325. Chatto & Windus, 
1887. 6s. [Grouse-moors, sea-fowl, crows, ducks, &c.] 

Atkinson, J. A Compendium of the Ornithology of Great Britain 
(with a reference to the Anatomy and Physiology of Birds). 
(2 vols.) Hurst, 1820. 

Babington, Churchill. * Catalogue of the Birds of Suffolk. Pp. 
281. Van Voorst, 1884-86. 10s. 6d. 

Barrett-Hamilton, G. E. H. Harrow Birds. Pp. 50. Harrow 
School, 1892. 

Benson, Rev. C. W. *Our Irish Song-Birds. Pp. 189. Hodges, 
1886. 

Bewick, T. * A History of British Birds. Pp. 781 (2 vols.) Netv- 
castle, 1821. 

Blackburn, Mrs H. — 

* Birds drawn from Nature. Glasgoiv, 1868. [45 col. plates.] 

* Birds from Moidart and elsewhere. Pp. 200. Douglas, 

1895. 15s. 

2 F 



450 APPENDIX I. 

Bladen, W. W. Stray Notes on Birds. 1884. 

Bolton. * British Song-Birds. (2 vols.) 1824. 

Booth, E. T.— 

Catalogue of the Cases of Birds in the Dyke Road Museum 
(Brighton). Pp. 219. Brighton, 1876. 

* Rough Notes on the Birds observed during Twenty Years' 

Shooting in the British Islands. (3 vols, fol.) Porter, 

1881-87. 
Borrer, W. *The Birds of Sussex. Pp. 385. Porter, 1891. 

15s. net. 
Buckley, T. E. Birds of East Sutherland. Pp. 152. Glasgow 
Natural Hist. Soc, 1882. 

Bull, H. G. Notes on the Birds of Herefordshire. Pp. 274. 
Hereford, 1888. 

Bund, J. W. Willis. A List of the Birds of Worcestershire and 
the adjoining Counties. Pp. 53. Worcester, 1891. [Tables 
faced by notes of occurrences of rare visitors. ] 

Butler, A. G.— 

* British Birds' Eggs. 1886. £1, 10s. 

* British Birds with their Nests and Eggs. (4to.) Brumby 

& Clarke, 1896, &c. (In progress.) Weekly, 6d. 

Chapman, Abel — 

* Bird-Life of the Borders. Pp. 300. Cox. 12s. 6d. 

* First Lessons in the Art of Wildfowling. Pp. 270. Cox, 

1896. 
Christy, Miller — 

*The Birds of Essex. Pp. 302. Chelmsford, 1890. 

A Catalogue of Local Lists of British Birds. Pp. 42. [Under 
Counties.] Porter, 1891. 2s. net. 
Clark-Kennedy, A. W. M. *The Birds of Berkshire and Bucking- 
hamshire. Pp. 226. Eton, 1868. 
Clement, Lewis (" Wildfowler "). * Modern Wildfowling. Cox, 

1895. 10s. 6d. 
Cordeaux, John. Birds of the Humber District. Pp. 231. Van 

Voorst, 1872. 
Cornish, C. J. *Nights with an Old Gunner (chiefly birds). Pp. 

307. -Seeley, 1897. 6s. 
Crichton, A. W. A Naturalist's Ramble to the Orcades. Pp. 

132. Van Voorst, 1872. O.ji. 

Dixon, Charles — 

Rural Bird Life. Pp. 374. Longmans, 1880. O.p. • 
*Our Rarer Birds. Pp.373. Bentley, 1888. 

* Stray Feathers from many Birds. Pp. 231. W. H. Allen, 

1890. 

* Annals of Bird Life. Pp. 352. Chapman & Hall, 1890. 

7s. 6d. 
Idle Hours with Nature. Pp. 278. Chapman & Hall, 1891. 6s. 
The Birds of our Rambles. Pp. 249. Chapman & Hall, 

1891. 7s. 6d. [Field, Avood, coast, &c.] 



BIBLIOGEAPHY. 451 

Dixon, Charles — 

The Migration of Birds. Pp. 300. Chapman & Hall, 1892. 

6s. 
*The Nests and Eggs of British Birds. Pp. 371. Chapman 

& Hall, 1893. 6s. 
*Game Birds and Wild Fowl of the British Isles. Pp. 468. 

Chapman k Hall, 1893. 18s. 
*The Nests and Eggs of Non- Indigenous British Birds. Pp. 

368. Chapman & Hall, 1894. 6s. 
The Migration of British Birds. Pp. 320. Chapman & Hall, 

1895. 7s. 6d. 
* British Sea-Birds. Pp. 295. Bliss, Sands, 1896. 10s. 6d. 
The Migration of Birds. Pp. 426. Horace Cox, 1897. 
*Our Favourite Song-Birds. Pp. 287. Lawrence (fe Bullen, 

1897. 7s. 6d. 
Doubleday, Henry. A Nomenclature of British Birds. Wesley, 

1836. 
Dunn, R. The Ornithologist's Guide to the Islands of Orkney 

and Shetland. Pp. 128. Hull, 1837. 
D 'Urban and Mathew. *The Birds of Devon. Pp. 546. Porter, 
1892. 18s. 6d. net. 

Eyton, T. C. *A History of the Rarer British Birds. Pp. 168. 
Longmans, 1836. O.p. 

Fowler, W. "Warde — 

*A Year with the Birds. Pp. 266. Macmillan, 1889. (3rd 

ed. ) [The 1st and 2nd eds. contain a list of birds of 

Oxfordshire.] 3s. 6d. 
*Tales of the Birds. Pp. 210. Macmillan, 1889. (2nd ed.) 

3s. 6d. 
The Marsh Warbler {A. palustris) in Oxfordshire, &c. Pp. 

29. Oxford, 1893. 
Summer Studies of Birds and Books. Pp. 288. Macmillan, 

1895. [Marsh-warbler, wagtails, song of birds, &c.] 6s. 

Fulcher, F. A. *The Birds of Our Islands. Melrose, 1897. 

Gaetke, H. Heligoland as an Ornithological Observatory. Pp. 
600. Douglas, 1895. 30s, 

[A detailed account of nearly 400 species observed by the author 
during fifty years of residence on the island. Prefaced by chapters on 
the causes, direction, altitude, and velocity of bird-migration.] 

Garneys, W. Birds of Repton. 1881. 

Gordon, W. J. *Our Country's Birds, and How to Know Them. 
Pp. 152. Day, 1892. 6s. [Col. illust. of every species.] 

Gosse, P. H. * Popular British Ornithology. Pp. 320. Reeve, 
1853. 

Gould, John — 

*The Birds of Great Britain (5 vols, fol.) Sotheran, 1873. 

£75. 
An Introduction to the Birds of Great Britain. Pp. 135. 
Taylor & Francis. 5s. 6d. 



452 APPENDIX T. 

Graham, H. D. * Birds of lona and Mull. Pp. 296. Douglas, 
1890. £1, Is. 

Gurney, J. H. A Catalogue of the Birds of Norfolk. Pp. 47. 
Wertheimer, 1884. [285 species.] 

Gurney, J. H. , & Son. A Catalogue of a Collection of British Birds. 
Porter, 1892. Is. 3d. 

Hancock, J. Catalogue of Birds of Northumberland and Durham. 
Williams, 18/4. 15s. 

Harting, J. E. — 

The Birds of Middlesex. Pp. 279. Van Voorst, 1866. O.p. 

* Essays on Sport and Natural History. Pp. 463. Cox. 

10s. 6d. 
Hints on Shore-Shooting. Pp. 88. Van Voorst, 1871. [With 

a chapter on skinning.] 3s. 6d. 
A Handbook of British Birds. Pp. 196. Van Voorst, 1879. 

7s. 6d. 
Our Summer Migrants. Pp. 343. Sonnenscheiu, 1889. [An 

account of the migratory birds which pass the summer in 

the British Islands.] 
*Sketches of Bird Life. Pp. 292. W. H. Allen, 1883. 

Harvie-Brown, J. A. *The Capercaillie in Scotland. V]). 173. 
Douglas, 1879. 8s. 6d. 

Harvie-Brown, J. A., and Cordeaux, J., &c. Report on the 
Migration of Birds. Edinburgh, 1880-81. [Maps, &c.] 

Hayes, C. * Portraits of British Birds. Pp.120. 1808. 

Headley, F. W. *The Structure and Life of Birds. Pp. 406. 
Macmillan, 1895. 7s. 6d. 

Hewitson, W. C. * Coloured Illustrations of Eggs of British Birds. 
(2 vols.) Van Voorst, 1856. £3, 3s. 

Home, George. An Authenticated List of the Birds of Hereford- 
shire. Pp. 24. Hereford, 1889. 

Hubbard, Hon. Rose. Ornamental Waterfowl. (A practical man- 
ual on the acclimatisation of the swimming birds.) Pp. 208. 
Simpkin, 1888. 

Hudson, W. H.— • • 

*Lost British Birds. Pp. 32. (Soc. Prot. Birds.) [Crane, 

capercaillie, avocet, bittern, &c.] 
Birds in a Village (and other papers). Pp. 232. Chapman k 

Hall, 1893. 7s. 6d. . 

* British Birds. Pp.382. Longmans, 1896. 7s. 6d. [A chapter 

on anatomy and classification by F. Beddard.] 

Hunt, J. * British Ornithology. (3 vols.) iVonaic/i, 1815. (Con- 
taining portraits of all the British Birds.) 

Imthurn, E. F. Birds of Marlborough. Pp. 117. Marlborough, 
1870. 

Irby, Tjt.-Col. L. H. British Birds : Key List. Porter. 
1st ed., pp. .58. 1888. 2s.net. 
2nd ed., pp. 69. 1892. [With an index.] 2s. net. 



BIBLIOGKAPHY. 453 

Jefferies, Richard — 

*The Gamekeeper at Home. Pp. 221. Smith, Elder, 1879. 

10s. 6d. Later edition, 1896. 5s. 
*Field and Hedgerow. Longmans [" Silver Library "]. 3s. 6d. 

Johns, Rev. C. A. * British Birds and their Haunts. Pp. 626. 

S.P.C.K., 1867. 7s. 6d. 
Johnson, T. B. The Gamekeeper's Directory. Pp. 194. Piper, 

1851. [Instructions for the preservation of game.] 
Jones, T. Rymer. *The Natural History of Birds, a Popular 

Introduction to Ornithology. Pp. 576. S.P. C.K., 1867. 

[British passim.2 
Kearton, R. — 

* Birds' Nests, Eggs, and Egg- Collecting. Pp. 96. Cassell, 

1896. Is. 

* British Birds' Nests : how, where, and when to find and 

identify them (introd. by R. B. Sharpe). Pp. 368. Cassell, 
1895. 
Klein, E. *The Etiology and Pathology of Grouse Disease. 
Pp. 130. Macmillan, 1892. 7s. net. 

Knox, A. E. — 

Ornithological Rambles in Sussex. Pp. 250. Van Voorst, 

1849. 7s. 6d. [Letters and systematic catalogue.] 0.]). 
*Game Birds and Wild Fowl : their Friends and their Foes. 
Pp. 264. Van Voorst, 1850. [A chapter on four-footed 
vermin.] O.p. 
Lee, Oswin A. J. * Among British Birds and their Nesting Haunts. 
Illustrated by the Camera. In parts. Douglas, 1896, &c. 
10s. 6d. per part. 
Lewin, W. *The Birds of Great Britain. (8 vols.) 1795. [In 
English and French.] 

Lilford, Lord — 

* Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands. (4 

vols.) Porter, 1885. £7, 12s. O.p. 

* Birds of Northamptonshire. Pp. 706. Porter, 1895. (2 

vols.) £2, 2s. net. 
M'Aldowie, A. M. The Birds of Staffordshire. Pp. 151. Stoke, 

1893. 
Macgillivray, W. — 

* Descriptions of the Rapacious Birds of Great Britain. Pp. 

482. Edinburgh, 1836. 

* A History of British Birds (indigenous and migratory). Scott. 

1st ed., 1837. (5 vols.) Pp.3290. 
2nd ed., 1846. Pp. 548. 

Macpherson, Rev. H. A., and Duckworth, W. The Birds of Cum- 
berland. Pp. 206. Carlisle, 1886. [Critically studied, in- 
cluding some notes on the Birds of Westmorland.] 

Macpherson, Rev. H. A. — 

The Visitation of Pallas's Sand-Grouse to Scotland in 1888. 
Pp. 38. [A map.] Porter, 1889. 



454 APPENDIX I. 



Macpherson, Rev. H. A. — 

An Introduction to the Study of British Birds. Pp. 120. 
1890. 

Macpherson, Rev, H. A., and others — 

*The Partridge. Pp. 284. Longmans ["Fur and Feather 

Series" : ed. Alfred Watson], 1893. 5s. 
*The Grouse. Pp. 302. Longmans ["Fur and Feather 

Series " : ed. Alfred Watson], 1894. 5s. 
*Tlie Pheasant. Pp. 276. Longmans [" Fur and Feather 

Series": ed. Alfred Watson], 1895. 5s. 

Mansell-Pleydell, J. C. The Birds of Dorsetshire, a Contribution 

to the Natural History of the County. Pp.179. Porter, 1888. 

7s. 6d. net. 
Masefield, J. R. B. *Wild Bird Protection and Nesting Boxes. 

Pp. 130. Leeds, 1897. 6s. 
Mathe w. Rev. M. A. * The Birds of Pembrokeshu'e and its Islands. 

Pp. 131. Porter. £1, Is. and 10s. 6d. 

Meyer, H. L. * Coloured Illustrations of British Birds and their 
Eggs. (7 vols.) Pp.1501. Willis & Sotheran, 1857. 

Millais, J. G. *Game Birds and Shooting Sketches. Pp. 72 (fol.) 
Sotheran, 1892. 

Mitchell, F. S. The Birds of Lancashire. Gurney & Jackson. 
1st ed. 1885. Oqi. 
2nded. (Ed. Howard Saunders. ) Pp.271. 1892. 10s. 6d. 

Montagu, G. Dictionary of British Birds (ed. Newman). Son- 
nenschein, 1889. 7s. 6d. 

Moore, Capt. G. P. British Birds, systematically arranged in five 
tables, showing the comparative distribution and periodical 
migrations, and giving an outline of the geographical range of 
376 species. 

More, A. G. A List of Irish Birds. Pp. 32. Dublin, 1885. 

Morris, B. R. * British Game Birds and Wild Fowl. Pp. 252 
(4to). Groombridge, 1855. 

Morris, Rev. F. 0.— 

*A History of British Birds. (6 vols.) Pp. 2050. Groom- 
bridge, 1866. £6, 6s. 
*A Natural History of the Nests and Eggs of British Birds 
(4th ed. Tegetmeier). 3 vols. Nimmo, 189§. 
]Mosley, S. L. *A History of British Birds, their Nests and Eggs. 
llnddersficld, 1881, &c. (in progress). Vols. 1 and 2, £2, 16s. 6d. 
[ Plumage of male, female, immature, varieties of eggs, &c. ] 

Mossop, Rev. J. A Synopsis of British Land Birds in Verse and 
Prose. Pp. 259. Jackson, 1841. 

Mudie, R. — 

*The Feathered Tribes of the British Islands. Pp. 770 (2 

vols.) Bohn, 3rd ed., 1841. 
*The Natural History of Birds. Pp. 408 (12mo). Orr & 

Smith, 1834. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY. 455 

Muirhead, G. *The Birds of Berwickshire. Pp. 1002 (2 vols.) 
Douglas, 1889-95. 30s. [Game birds, hei-on, bittern, folklore, 
&c.] 

Napier, C. 0. G. The Food, Use, and Beauty of British Birds. 
Pp. 88. Groombridge, 1865. [An essay accompanied by a 
catalogue of all the British Birds, &c.] 

Payne- Gall wey, Sir R. — 

*The Fowler in Ireland. Pp.503. Van Voorst, 1882. £1, Is. 
* Letters to Young Shooters (3rd series). Pp. 630. Long- 
mans, 1896. 

Phillips, E. C. The Birds of Breconshire. Pp. 45. West, 1882. 

Pidsley, W. E. H. The Birds of Devonshire. Pp. 194. Gibbings, 
1891. 

Pigott, T. D. London Birds and London Insects. (Birds, pp. 
121.) Porter, 1892. [Fames, Shetlands, &c.] 6s. 6d. 

Poynting, F. * Eggs of British Birds ; with an Account of their 
Breeding Habits : Limicolce. Pp. 253. Porter, 1897. £5. 

Robinson, Phil. * Birds of the Wave and Woodland. Pp. 224. 
Isbister, 1894. 

Rodd, E. H.— 

A List of British Birds, as a Guide to the Ornithology of 
Cornwall. Penzance. 
1st ed. 1864. 
2nd ed. Pp. 51. 1869. 
[Ed. J. E. Harting.] The Birds of Cornwall and the Scilly 
Isles. Pp. 320. Triibner, 1886. 

Salvin, F. H., and Brodrick, W. Falconry in the British Isles. 
Pp. 171. Van Voorst. £3 ; 2nd ed. 1870, £2, 2s. 

Saunders, Howard. * Manual of British Birds. Pp.754. Gurney 
& Jackson, 1889. £1, Is. 

Saxby, H. L. * Birds of Shetland. 1874. £1, Is. 

Seebohm, Henry — 

*A History of British Birds. Pp. 1898. (4 vols.) (With 

col. illust. of their eggs.) Porter, 1883-85. £6, 6s. 
Geographical Distribution of British Birds. Porter, 1893. 
7s. 6d. 

Sharpe, R. Bowdler. * British Birds. (4 vols.) Allen's Natural- 
ist's Library, 1895-97. 

Slaney, Rev. R. A. *An Outline of the Smaller British Birds. 
Pp. 143. Longman, 1832. O.p. 

Smith, Rev. A. C. The Birds of Wiltshire. Pp. 558. Porter, 
1887. 10s. net. 

Smith, Cecil — 

The Birds of Somersetshire. Pp. 643. Van Voorst, 1869. 

7s. 6d. 
The Birds of Guernsey and the Neighbouring Islands. Pp. 

223. Porter, 1879. 3s. 6d. 



456 APPENDIX I. 

"Son of the Marshes." * The Wild- Fowl and Sea-Fowl of Great 
Britain. Pp. 326. Chapman k Hall, 1895. 14s. 

Sowerby, J. G. * Rooks and their Neighbours. Pp. 169. Gay & 
Bird, 2nd ed., 1895. 

Stanley, Eev. E. Familiar History of British Birds, their Nature, 
Habits, and Instincts. Parker. 

3rd ed.. 1840, 2 vols., pp. 564. 7s. 
*4th ed., 1848, pp. 480. 7s. 
*5th ed. Longmans, 1880. Pp. 420. 6s. 
*New ed. Pp. 420. 1896. 3s. 6d. 

Steele-Elliott, J. The Vertebrate Fauna of Bedfordshire. Pp. 24. 
1897. Private. 

Sterland, W. J. * Birds of Sherwood Forest. Reeve, 1881. 7s. 
6d. 

Stevenson, H. The Birds of Norfolk. Pp. 1326. Van Voorst. 
31s. 6d. 
Vols. i. and ii., 1866-70. O.p. 

Gurney & Jackson. Vol. iii. (cont. T. Southwell), 1890. 
Pp. 432. 

Stewart, H. E. *The Birds of Our Country. Pp. 397. Digby, 
Long, 1897. 

Swainson, Rev. C. Provincial Names and Folklore of British 
Birds. Pp. 243. 

Swann, H. Kirke — 

A Concise Handbook of British Birds. Pp. 210. Wheldon, 

1896. 3s. 6d. 
T^he Birds of London. Sonnenschein. 2s. 
Nature in Acadie. 

Swaysland, W. * Familiar Wild Birds. Pp. 160. Cassell, 1883. 
12s. 6d. [A chapter on eggs and egg - collecting by R. 
Kearton. ] 

Tegetmeier, W. B. *Pallas's Sand Grouse: its history, habits, 
food, and migrations, &c. Pp. 23. Cox, 1888. 

Watson, John (and others). Ornithology in its relation to 
Agriculture and Horticulture. Pp. 220. W. H. Allen, 
1893. ' 

Watters, J. J. The Natural History of the Birds of Ireland. Pp. 
299. Dublin, 1853. 

Whitlock, F. B., and Hutchinson, A. S. * Birds of Derbyshire. 
Pp. 239. Bemrose, 1893. 10s. 6d. 

Whitaker, J., and Sterland, W. J. Descriptive List of the Birds 
of Nottinghamshire. (Vert., pp. 71.) 1879. 

Witherby, H. F, * Forest Birds, their Haunts and Habits. Pp. 
98. Kegan Paul. [Green woodpecker, tree-creeper, nut- 
hatch, &c.] 



BIBLIOGKAPHY. 457 

Willughljy, Franci.s. Ornithology. (In 3 books.) Marty n. [Ed. 
John liay.] 

Lat. ed., 1676, pp. 311. 

Eng. ed., 1678, pp. 447. [Chaps, on trappmg, falconry, &c.] 

Wise, J. R. The New Forest. (Birds, pp. 258-276, 307-318.) 
Gibbings, 5th ed., 1895. 

Wood, C. T. The Ornithological Guide. Pp. 240. Whittaker, 
1835. 

Wood, Neville — 

British Song-Birds, being Popular Descriptions and Anecdotes 

of the Choristers of the Groves. Pp. 441. Parker, 1836. 
The Ornithologist's Text - Book. Pp. 232. Parker, 1836. 
[Extracts and reviews. ] 

Wright, M. 0. *Bird Craft. Pp. 305. Macmillan, 1895. 

12s. 6d. net. 
Wright, M. 0., and Elliot Coues. * Citizen Bird. Pp. 428. 

Macmillan, 1897. 6s. 

Wyatt, C. W. * British Birds, being Coloured Illustrations of all 
the Species of Passerine Birds resident in the British Isles 
(with some notes in reference to their plumage). Ff. 25. 
(4to.) Wesley, 1894. 

Yarrell, W. * British Birds. (3 vols.) 

1st ed., 1843, pp. 1722 and a supp. O.p. 
2nd ed., 1845, pp. 1893. O.jy. 
3rd ed., 1856, pp. 1995. O.p. 

4th ed., 1884-85, pp. 2355. [Vols. i. ii., ed. Newton ; vols. iii. iv., 
ed. Saunders.] 



4. REPTILES. 

Bateiiian, Rev. G. C. *The Vivarium. Pp. 424. Uijcott Gill, 
1897. 7s. 6d. 

Bell, T. *A History of British Reptiles. Van Voorst. 
1st ed., pp. 142, 1839. O.^j. 
2nded., pp. 159, 1849. 12s. 

Cooke, M. C. "Our Reptiles. 

1st ed. (Hardwicke), pp. 199, 1865. 6s. 
2nd ed. (W. H. Allen), pp. 200. 

Hopley, Catherine, C. * British Reptiles and Batrachians. Pp. 
94. Sonnenschein, 1893. Is. 



458 APPENDIX I. 



5. FISHES. 

Aflalo, F. G. * Sea-Fish. Pp. 258 (Nat. Hist., chap. ii. and 
passim). Lawrence & Bullen [" The Angler's Library "], 
1897. 5s. 

**Bickerdyke, John." *Wild Sports in Ireland. Pp. 234 {jxissivi). 
Gill, 1897. 6s. 

** Bickerdyke, John," and others. * Sea-fishing. Pp. 513. Long- 
mans [" Badminton Library "], 1895. 10s. 6d. 

Brabazon, Wallop. *The Deep-Sea and Coast Fisheries of Ireland. 
Pp. 111. DiiUiji, 1848. 

Brown, W. *The Natural History of the Salmon. Pp. 136. 
Glasgoio, 1862. 

Buckland, F. T.— 

* Fish-Hatching. Pp. 268. Tinsley, 1863. 5s. 

* Natural History of British Fishes. Pp.407. S.P.C.K. 

Cholmondeley-Pennell, H., and others — 

* Fishing. Longmans [" Badminton Library "]. (2 vols.) 1893. 

(6th ed.) £1, Is. 
*The Angler-Naturalist. Routledge, 1884. 3s. 6d. 

Couch, Jonathan. *A History of the Fishes of the British 
Islands. (4 vols.) Bell, 1878. £4, 4s. 

Cunningham, J. *The Edible Marine Fishes of Great Britain. 
Pp. 368. Macmillan, 1896. 7s. 6d. net. 

Davies, Rev. E. W. L. Our Sea- Fish and Sea-Food. Pp. 128. 
Leadenhall Press, 1887. 

Day, Francis — 

*The Fishes of Great Britain and Ireland. (2 vols.) Pp. 724. 

Horace Cox, 1880-84. £2, 2s. 
^British and Irish Salmonidai. Pp.298. Cox, 1887. £1, Is. 

Dean, Bashford. * Fishes, Living and Fossil. Pp. 283. Mac- 
millan, 1895. 10s. 6d. 

Eraser, Alexander. Natural History of the Salmon, Herrings, 
Cod, &c. 

2nd ed., pp. 132. Inverness, 1833. 

Hamilton, R. *British Fishes. (2 vols.) W. H. Allen, 1876. 
9s. 

Holdsworth, E. W. H. Sea-Fisheries. Pp. 202. Stanford, 1877. 
3s. 6d. 

Houghton, Rev. W. * British Fresh-water Fishes. (2 vols.) Pp. 
202 (fol.) Mackenzie, 1879. £3, 3s. 

Jardine, Alfred. *Pike and Perch. Pp. 200. Lawrence & Bullen 
[" The Angler's Library "], 1897. 5s. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY. 459 

M'Intosh, W. a — 

*The Marine Invertebrates and Fishes of St Andrews. (Fishes, 
pp. 168-186.) Black, 1875. 

M'Intosh, W. C, and Masterman, A. T. *The Life- Histories of 
the British Marine Food-Fishes. Pp. 516. Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press, 1897. £1, Is. 

Maitland, Sir J. R. *The History of Howietoun [Fish- Culture]. 
Pp. 278 (4to). Hotoictoim., 1887. 

Mitchell, J. M. *The Herring: its Natural History and National 
Importance. Pp. 372. Longmans, 1864. 

Wheeley, C. H. * Coarse Fish. Pp. 268 (Nat. Hist, passim). 

Lawrence & Bullen [" The Angler's Library "], 1897. 5s. ' 
Wilcocks, J. C. *The Sea Fisherman. Pp. 298 (Nat. Hist, passim). 

Longmans (4th ed.), 1884. 6s. 
Yarrell, W.— 

*A History of British Fishes. Van Voorst. 

1st ed. (2 vols, and 2 suppls.) Pp. 1000. 1836. £2, 15s. 6d. 

2nd ed. (2 vols, and 1 suppl.) Pp. 1122. 1841. 

3rd ed. (By Sir J. Richardson.) 2 vols., pp. 1345. 1859. 
£3, 3s. 

* On the Growth of Salmon in Fresh Water (fol.) ]839. O.p. 

Young, A. Salmon-Fisheries. Pp. 98. Stanford, 1877. 2s. 6d. 



460 



APPENDIX 11. 

A LIST OF NATUEAL HISTORY SOCIETIES AND 
FIELD-CLUBS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, 

With their Secretaries. 



[In the hope of making this account of some interest, I addressed 
a letter to the secretary of every society in the following list. 
Either many of the letters miscarried, or the gentlemen ad- 
dressed were too occupied for outside correspondence. A second 
whip brought the number of answers up to a considerable propor- 
tion of the whole, and there I was constrained to stop. I offer the 
complete list at my disposal, with some of the information, vary- 
ing in detail, against each, that my letters evoked. Naturalists 
wishing detailed information on the fauna of certain districts will, 
it is hoped, find some secretary in the under-m-entioned able and 
willing to assist them. The date of foundation and present 
strength are given for those interested in the history and develop- 
ment of the Field-Club movement. As changes in the constitution 
and secretaryship of these Field Clubs are constantly happening, I 
think it desii-able to refer the reader to two annual publications in 
which such information is brought up to date, the ' Year- Book of 
Scientific Societies' (Griffin) and the 'Naturalist's Directory' 
(Upcott Gill). 

The following abbreviations have been used below : A. — 
Antiquarian ; Ar. = Arclueological ; F.C. = Field Club ; M. = 
Microscopical (or Microscopists') ; N,H. = Natural History; Ns'. = 
Naturalists' ; P. — Philosophical ; Publications in italic and annual 
unless marked otherwise ; S. = Society ; Sc. = Scientific] 

Date of foundation in round brackets ; number of members in 
square brackets. 

Aberdeen "Working Men's N.H. and Sc.S. 
Accrington Ns'.S. 



NATUEAL HISTORY SOCIETIES AND FIELD-CLUBS. 461 

Andersonian Ns'.S,, Glasgow. (1885.) [180.] Library. Aniuds. 

Field ornithology, botany, marine biology, &c. A. I). 

Brownlie, 20 Jardine Street, and C. Cunningham, 110 Garth- 
land Drive, Dennistoun. 
Anstruther : East Fife Ns'.S. 
Armagh N.H. and P.S. (1850.) [260.] Library. H. A. Gray, 

The Mall. 
Ayr N.H. S. 
Barnsley Ns'. and Sc.S. (1867.) [103.] Publications occasional 

only. H. Wade, 10 Pitt Street. 
Bath N.H. and A.S. (1855.) Proceedings. Rev. W. W. Martin, 

49 Pulteney Street. 
Bedford N.H.S. (1889.) [25.] Chiefly microscopical work. 

Library. H. Darrington, St Loyes. 

Belfast Ns'.F.C. 

Berwickshire Ns'.C. 

■D- ■ 1 _ / TIT- n J T-r • \ f M. and Ns'. Union. 
Birmmgham (see Midland L nion) i -v- tt fi p q 

Birmingham M. and Ns'. Union. (1880.) [50.] Ornithology and 
conchology. John Collins, Temperance Institute. 

Bradford Ns'. and M.S. (1875.) [50.] Diary of N.R. Observa- 
tions (irregularly). B. Spencer, 33 Carlisle Terrace, Man- 
ningham. 

Bridgend District Ns'.S., Glamorgan. (1897.) H. J. Randall, 
jun,, 3 Molton Street. 

Brighouse and Rastrick N.H.S. 

Brighton and Sussex N.H. and P.S. (1853.) [182.] Library. E. A. 
Pankhurst, 12 Clifton Road, and J. C. Clark, 64 Middle Street. 

Bristol Ns'.S. (1862.) [160.] Biological, entomological, and 
other sections. Proceedings (the vol. for 1896 included papers 
on " Summer Visitors to the Neighbourhood," &c.) Theodore 
Fisher, M.D., 25 Pembroke Road, Clifton. 

British F.C. Huddersfield. (1896.) [260, and 200 Assoc] The 
Naturalists' Journal (monthly). W. E. L. Watton, 54 Town- 
gate, Newsome. 

British Ornithologists' Union. (1858.) [337, with honorary and 
foreign members.] The Ibis (ed. P. L. Sclater and Howard 
Saunders). Osbert Salvin, 10 Chandos Street, Cavendish 
Square. 

Buchan F.C, Peterhead. (1887.) [180.] Transactions. (Papers 
published : Muirhead's Birds of Methlich and Tarves ; 
Arbuthnot's Fishes of the Peterhead Coast ; Serle's Avifauna 
of Buchan, &c.) J. F. Tocher. 

Burton-on-Trent N.H.S. 

Cambridge Practical Ns'.S. (1883.) [707.] Objects : the study 
of practical N.H. as bearing on agriculture, &c. ; the promo- 
tion of correspondence among the members ; and the publica- 
tion of local faunas. The Ns\ Chronicle and Practical 
Naturalist (2s. 6d. per ann.) Albert H. Waters, 48 Devon- 
shire Road. 

Canterbury. See East Kent. 

Caradoc and Severn Valley F.C, Shrewsbury. (1893.) [185.] 



4G2 APPENDIX II. 

Transactions (an iudex of the first four vols, in preparation) 
and Record of Bare Facts. Rev. J. H. Painter, St George's, 
Wellington. 

CardifiFXs'.S. Transactions. (A paper by Professor "\V. N. 
Parker on the Objects of the Biological and Geological Section.) 
Walter Cook, 98 St Mary Street. 

Carlisle Sc. and Literary S. and F.Ns'.C. (1876.) [120.] For- 
merly affiliated to the Cumberland and Westmoreland Assoc, 
for the Advancement of Literature and Science, which ceased 
to exist two years ago. Maintained the museum until taken 
over by the Corporation in 1893, J. Percival Wheatley, 27 
Aglionby Street. 

Channel Islands. See Guernsey. 

Chester S. of N. Science and Literature. (1871, by Charles 
Kingsley.) [560.] Zoological, microscopical, and other sec- 
tions. Museum and library. G. R. Griffith, 30 Hough Green, 
and G. P. Miln, Miluholme, Brook Lane. 

Chichester and West Sussex N.H.S. (Dormant.) 

Cirencester: Leaholme College Nature S. (1896.) [54.] E. J. 
E. Creese. 

Clifton College Sc.S. (1869.) [70.] A section takes charge of 
each branch, the ornithological section recording arrivals and 
departures of migratory birds. Transactions (irregularly). 
Museum. J. T. Stephen, 34 College Road, Clifton. 

Cork Xs'.F.C. (1892.) [70.] The Irish Naturalist (6d. monthly). 
E. Brooke -Hughes, 3 Frankfield Terrace. 

CotteswoldNs'.F.C, Gloucester. (1846.) [100.] Proceedings {a. 
part annually ; 3 parts to the vol.) A History of the Origin 
of the Cluh and an Epitome of forty -one years' Proceedings, by 
W. C. Lucy. 

Coventry : Cow Lane Young Men's F.C. 

Croydon M. and N.H.C. (1870.) [230.] Transactions. Zoolo- 
gical, microscopical, and other sub-committees. R. F. Grundy, 
112 Lower Addiscombe Road. 

Darlington and Teesdale Ns'. F.C. (1891.) [60.] Objects: to 
compile correct lists for the district, and to discourage the 
extermination of rare plants and animals. G. Best. 

Denshaw Parish Botanical and F.Ns'.S. (1893.) [30.] Mainly 
botany. Isaac Gartside. 

Derby N.H.S. 

Devizes. See Wiltshire. 

Dorset N.H. and A.F.C., Dorchester. (1875.) [350.] Proceed- 
ings. Nelson M. Richardson, Montevideo, Chickerell, nr. 
Weymouth. 

Douglas : Insular N.H.S. 

Dover F.C. and N.H.S. 

Dublin Ks'. F.C. [200.] (Transactions pub. in the Irish Natur- 
alist.) Professor T. Johnston, Science and Art Museum. 

Dudley and Midland Geol. S. Museum. W. Madeley, Coalbourn- 
brook, Stourbridge, and H. Johnson, Trindle Street, Dudley. 

Dulwich College N.H.S. 

Dumfriesshire and Gallowav X.H.S. 



NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETIES AND FIELD-CLUBS. 463 

^ , f Dundee's Ns'.S. 

Uunclee | -^^^^ ^^ Scotland Union of Ns'. Societies. 

Ealing N. Science and M.S. (1877.) [160.] Report and Proceed- 
ings (in last vol. a catalogue, with observations of Birds of 
the Brent Valley). Anthony Belt, The Cedars, Uxbridge Road. 

Eastbourne N.H.S. 

East Kent N.H.S., Canterbury. (1857.) [83.] South Eastern 
Naturalist (monthly). Stephen Horsley, St Peter's House. 

Edinburgh. See also Scottish N.H.S. Pentland F.C. and 
F.Ns'.S. (1869.) [180.] Transactions (since 1882). A 
committee of experts has undertaken to work up the fauna 
and flora of the county, and it is proposed later to work up 
those of the Lothians. A. B. Steele, 5 Brighton Terrace, 
Joppa. 

Elland Ns'.S. 

Epsom College N.H.S. [80.] Ornithological, entomological, and 
other sections. T. L. Drapes. 

Essex F.C. (1880.) [350.] The Essex Naturalist (qusirterlj). Hon. 
Sec. and Curator, W. Cole, Buckhurst Hill, Essex. 

Felstead School Sc.S. (Essex.) (1877.) [51, with honorary.] 
Library and museum. Zoological, photographic, and other 
sections. Report (biennial). Rev. E. Jepp. 

Folkestone N.H.S. 

Glasgow (see also Andersonian) : N.H.S. of Glasgow. (1850.) 
[300, with Assoc] Proceedings and Transactions. Library. 
Research, microscopic, and other committees. S. M. Well- 
wood, 128 St Vincent Street, and R. D. "Wilkie, 302 Langside 
Road. 

Gloucester. See Cotteswold. 

Greenock N.H.S. (1878.) G. W. Niven, 23 Newton Street. 

Grimsby and District Ns'.S. (1897.) [40.] Members note the 
rarer fish {Chinuera, &c.) lauded at the market. Arthur 
Smith, 75 Newmarket Street. 

Guernsey S. of N. Science and Local Research. (1882.) [100.] 
Transactions. (Papers chiefly entomological and botanical.) 
W. Sharpe, The Corne. 

Halifax Sc.S. and Geological F.C. [130.] The Halifax Naturalist 
(bi-monthly). C. E. Fox, Burnley Road, and Arthur Crab- 
tree, "West Hill. 

Hampshire F.C, Southampton. [250.] (Rule 20: "That the 
Club discourage the practice of removing and rooting up rare 
plants from characteristic localities, and the extermination of 
rare birds.") W. Dale, 5 Sussex Place, Southampton. 

Harrogate F. Ns'. and Camera C. (1884.) [60.] A museum of 
strictly local interest is contemplated. Among publications 
by members are : Birds of Harrogate and DistHct by Riley 
Fortune, and Flo7'a by J. Farrah. Riley Fortune, Leamd 
House. 

Haslemere N.H.S. 

Hastings and St Leonards N.H.S. (1893.) Meetings at the 
Museum, Brassey Inst. Microscopes, &c., for use of members. 
Lending library. E. Connold, 1 Cambridge Gardens. 



464 APPENDIX IL 

Hereford. See Woolhope. 

HertfordslureN.H.S. and F.C., Watford. (1875.) [230.] Trans- 
actions (in parts ; one vol. to two years : papers have appeared 
in these on the fauna of the county by the late H. Seebohm, 
J. E. Harting, and other well-known naturalists). J. Hop- 
kinson, The Grange, St Albans, and W. R. Carter, Amesbury, 
"Watford. 

Holmesdale N.H.C. Reigate. (1857.) [87.] Chief work, record- 
ing local fauna and flora. Proceedings (triennial : papers have 
appeared on The Nesting of the Kentish Plover ; Birds that 
nest arowid Reigate ; A Summer Holiday in Cornwall and the 
Scilly Islands ; Nesting of the Norfolk Plover ; &c. ) A. J. 
Crosfield, Carr End, Reigate. 

Huddersfield. See British F.C. 

Hull Sc. and F.Ns'.C. (1875.) [120.] Recorders for Zoology, &c. 
Library. F. W. Fierke and T. Sheppard, 78 Sherburn 
Street. 

Isle of Man N.H. and A.S. [150.] Zoological, microscopic, and 
other sections. Sends one delegate to the annual meeting of 
the British Association. H. Shortridge Clarke. 

Kingston: Tiffins Boys' School N.H.S. (1892.) [40.] B. G. 
Cooper. 

Kirkcaldy Ns'.S. 

Lambeth F.C. and Sc.S., Newington Butts, S.E. (1872.) [44.] 
Library. H. Wilson, 14 Melbourne Square, Brixton. 

Lancaster F.N.S. 

Leedsl^^'-^' 

\ Yorkshire Ns'. Union. 

Lewes and East Sussex N.H.S. 

Limerick F.C. (1892.) [110.] Journal (vol. 1, 1897: chiefly 
historical). F. Neale, Laurel Hill Avenue. 

Lincolnshire Ns'. Union. Objects : to investigate the fauna and 
flora of the county. Sections of vertebrate zoology, entom- 
ology, &c. Museum. Rev. E. A. Woodruffe-Peacock, Cadney, 
Brigg. 

Linnrean S., Burlington House, Piccadilly. (1788.) J. E. Harting. 

London. See also British Ornithologists' Union, Battersea, Croy- 
don, Ealing, Lambeth, Linniean S., North Middlesex, St 
Dunstan's, Selborne S., S. for Protection of Birds, West Kent 
and Zoological S. 
City of London N.H.S. 

North London N.H.S., Dalston Lane. (1885.) [59.] Founded 
by the "Grocers' Co. School Sc.S." Objects: to popularise 
natural history and encourage young members. During 1897 
papers were read on " Over-collecting," "British Corvidcc" &c. 
Lawrence Tremayne, 51 Buckley Road, Brondesbury. 
South London N.H.S. 

Ludlow N. Science S. 

Maidstone and Mid-Kent N.H.S. 

Manchester / ^' ^^'^^^ 

(Grammar School N.H.S. 

Marlborough College N.H.S. (18G4.) [.'MO.] Objects : catalogu- 



NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETIES AND FIELD-CLUBS. 465 

ing the fauna of the district, and recording habits and dates of 
appearance of birds. Report. President : E. Meyrick, Elms- 
wood. 

Midland Union of N.H.S., Birmingham (Mason's College), formerly 
published the now defunct Midland Naturalist. A. Henham. 

Newbury District F.C. (1870.) [75.] Transactions (4 vols., 
1870-95, have appeared). G. J. Watts, Donnington. 

Newcastle-on-Tyne N.H.S. 

Northamptonshire N.H.S., Northampton. Transactions (quar- 
terly : papers have appeared : Notes on the Birds of North- 
amptonshire ; The Mammals of Northamptonshire, &c.) H. N. 
Dixon, Wickham House, and G. S. Emson, East Park. 

North Kent. See Woolwich. 

North Middlesex F.C. (1896.) [15.] A fauna of the district is 
being collected. Journal (monthly, Id.) H. R. Creighton, 
28 Ferme Park Road, N. 

Norwich and Norfolk Ns'.S. 

Nottingham Ns'.S. 

Old Kilpatrick Ns'. and A.S. (1887.) [31.] David Andrew, 
Gavinburn Schoolhouse. 

Oxfordshire N.H.S. and F.C. [202.] Mrs V. H. Veley, 22 
Nor ham Road. 

Paisley Ns'.S. 

Perthshire S. of N. Science, Perth. (1867.) [320.] Has estab- 
lished and maintains the Natural History Museum (free to the 
public), one hall of which is devoted to a general type collec- 
tion, the rest to collections representing the natural history of 
Perthshire and the basin of the Tay. Transactions and Pro- 
ceedings. S. T. Ellison, 56 South Methven Street. 

Peterborough N.H. and Ar.S. (1871.) [175.] Museum and 
library. J. W. Bodger, 18 Cowgate Park. 

Peterhead. See Buchan. 

p, ,, J Devon and Cornwall N.H.S. 

^ (Marine Biological Association. 

Portsmouth and Gosport N. Science S. 

Reading N.H.S. (1881.) [40.] Chiefly entomology. Library. 
Report (irregularly). F. W. Leslie, Haydn Villa. 

Reigate. See Holmesdale. 

Richmond (Yorks) Ns'.F.C. 

Ripon Ns'.C. (1882.) [100.] Museum and library. B. M. 
Smith, The Museum. 

Rochester Ns'.F.C. 

Rugby School N.H.S. (1867.) [300, a limited number active.] 
Report, with lists of observations of the seven sections : 
zoological section chiefly interested in the vivarium managed 
by Mr H. L. Highton. W. N. Wilson. 

St Dunstan's F.C. and N.H.S. (1896.) [24.] Publishes Notes 
and Records in the Parochial Magazine. Basil W. Martin, 16 
Hampstead Hill Gardens. 

St Helens and District Ns'.S. (1897.) [50.] W. Webster, 35 
Church Street. 

2 G 



466 APPENDIX II. 

Scarborough F.Ns'.S. (1889.) [70.] List of local fauna in pre- 
paration. Museum and library. E. J. Fryer, 3 Ramshill 
Road, and E. R. Cross, 96 Westborough. 

Scottish N.H.S., Edinburgh. (1881.) [170, besides hon. fellows, 
&c.] Each branch has a referee to identify specimens, &c. 
(Zoolog. section, J. Arthur Thomson.) Heber H. Brown, 50 
Dick Place, Grange. 

Selborne S. , 20 Hanover Square. [3000.] Objects: to protect 
wild birds, animals, &c., and promote the study of natural 
history. Nature Notes (monthly). A. J. Western. 

Sheffield Ns'.C. (1871.) [100.] Report. C. Bradshaw, Weston 
Park Museum. 

Shrewsbury. See Caradoc and Severn Valley. 

Society for the Protection of Birds. (1889.) [15,000 members ; 
2500 associates; over 150 branches, at home and abroad.] 
Object : to protect by precept and example against the indis- 
criminate destruction of birds. RejJort and Leaflets. Mrs F. 
E. Lemon, Hillcrest, Redhill. 

South - Eastern Union of Sc. Societies, Tunbridge Wells. G. 
Abbott, 2 Owen's Road. 

Southampton. See Hampshire. 

Southport S. of N. Science. (1890.) [109.] D. E. Benson, 
Queenwood, Lansdowne Road. 

Stirling N.H. and Ar.S. (1879.) [90.] The birds of the district 
have been worked, the collection being shown at the Smith 
Inst. D. B. Morris, 3 Snowdon Place. 

Teign Ns'.F.C. (1859.) [120, limited to this number.] Report 
of Proceedings. P. F. S. Amery, Druid, Ashburton. 

Thirsk N.H.S. 

Torquay N.H.S. (1844.) [220.] Museum and circulating and 
reference library. Alex. Somervail. 

Tunbridge Wells N.H. and P.S. (1855.) [82, and 65 associates.] 
Report. E. G. Gilbert, 32 The Pantiles. 

W^akefield Ns'.S. W. Rushforth, Horbury. 

Warrington F.C. (1884.) [54.] In close association with the 
museum. Objects : to compile a Warrington flora and pre- 
vent the eradication of rare plants ; to collect information 
relative to local drift-boulders ; to form a collection repre- 
senting the natural history of the district. A. J. Jolley, 
Froghall Lane. 

Warwickshire N.H. and Ar.S. (1836.) [30.] The society issued 
reports annually for fifty years, but its income is now devoted 
to keeping up the museum, in which the avi-fauna is repre- 
sented by over 3000 specimens. S. S. Stanley, 3 Regent 
Grove, Leamington, and J. Galloway, Jury Street, War- 
wick. 

Warwickshire Ns'. and Ar. F.C. (1854.) [94.] Report of Proceed- 
infjs. S. S. Stanley. 

WeardaleNs'.F.C. 

West Kent N.H.M. and Photographic S. (1857.) [80.] Stanley 
Edwards, Kidbrooke I^odge, Blackheath, and H. F. Witherby, 
1 Eliot Place, Blackheath. 



NATUEAL HISTORY SOCIETIES AND FIELD- CLUBS. 467 

"Wiltshire Ar. and N.H.S., Devizes. (1853.) [350.] Magazine 

(29 vols, published). David Owen, Devizes. 
Wincanton F.C. (1889.) [36.] Report and Supplements. G. 

Sweet man. 
Winchester College N.H.S. 
Wolverhampton Ns'.F.C. (1894.) [24.] Lists of local fauna, 

&c., in preparation. J. Darby, Stonely House. 
Woolhope Ns'.F.C, Hereford. (1851.) [200.] Transactions 

(biennial). Librarj" (with Transactions since 1866 and pamph- 
lets published previously). T. Hutchinson, Aylstone Hill. 
Woolwich Polytechnic N.H.S. (late North Kent). (1884.) [50.] 

Chiefly entomology and mollusca. H. J. Webb, 3 Gunning 

Street, Plumstead. 
York and District F.Ns'.S. (1886.) [42.] Chiefly entomology 

and zoology. R. Dutton, Phoenix House, Fishergate. 
Zoological Society, 3 Hanover Square. Library. Gardens at 

Regent's Park. Over 3000 Fellows, Corresponding Members, 

&c. P. L. Sclater. 



INDEX. 



(i''?i. = footnote.) 



Abramis, 335. 
acadica, 295. 
Acanthias, 338. 
Acantholahr^is, 332. 
A canthopterygii, 326. 
Acanthyllis, 118. 
acarne, 327, 346. 
Accentor, Alpine, 114, 148. 

M Hedge, 147- 
Accentor, 114. 
Accentormce, 114. 
Accipiter, 120. 
Accipitres, 120, 
accipitrinus , 119. 
Acclimatisation, 15. 
Acerina, 326. 
Acipenser, 337. 
Acipenserida?, 337. 
Acredula, 114. 
Acrocephalus, 113. 
Actinopterygii, 326. 
acideatus, 331. 
acuminata, 127. 
ac?<s, 337. 
aciita, 123. 
acutus, 30. 
adamsi, 131. 
Adder, 37, 301, 304. 
Aden, 357. 
-4ec?07i, 113. 
jEgialites, 126, 295. 
ceglefiniis, 332. 
cegyptus, 118. 
cequoreus, 337. 



o&ruginosus, 120. 
cesalon, 121. 
Agelajus, 295. 
agilis, 301. 
Agonus, 328. 
agrestis, 29. 
Ailsa Craig, 221. 
Air-bladder, 322. 
Alauda, 118, 295. 
Alaiulidm, 118. 
a^&a (^4r(Ze«), 121. 

II (Ciconia), 122. 

M {Motacilla), 115. 

„ (/^am), 339. 
Albatross, Black - browed, 129, 

285. 
cdbellus, 124. 
albeola, 123. 
albicilla, 120. 
albicollis, 295. 
Albicore, 328, 356. 
albifrons, 122. 
albirostris, 30. 
Alhurnas, 335. 
.4^ca, 130. 
Alcedinidce, 119. 
Alcedo, 119. 
Alcidce, 130. 
Alectorides, 125. 
«^fe, 130. 
'Allen's Naturalist's Library,' 10, 

24, 53, 77. 
Allis Shad, 334, 399. 
Alopias, 338. 



470 



INDEX. 



alosa, 334. 

alpestris, 118. 

olpina, 127. 

Alpine Accentor, 114, 148. 

t. Chough, 187. 

,. Hare, 24, 81. 

„ Swift, 118, 191. 
alpinus, 336, 412. 
aluco, 119. 
Amber, 90. 
Ambergris, 50, 89. 
America, North, 17, 42, 97, 295. 
'American Naturalist ' (quoted), 9. 
americana, 123. 
americmms, 119. 
Ammodytes, 333. 
Ampelidcc, 115. 
Ampelis, 115. 
Amphibians, 311-316. 
amphibius, 29. 
Anacanthini, 332. 
Anadromous fishes, 319. 
ancestheta,, 128. 
Anarrhicas, 331. 
Anas, 123. 
Anatidcc, 122. 
Anchovy, 334, 399. 
Angel Fish, 339, 428. 
Angler-fish, 328, 352. 
anglica, 128. 
anglorum, 130. 
Anguidcf, 301. 
Angiiilla, 334. 
Angm's, 301. 
Anous, 129. 
^l?iser, 122. 
ylwser^s, 122. 
Anthi's, 115. 
antiquorum, 337. 
a^^er, 329. 
J7>A/V/, 330. 
apiaster, 119. 
apivorus, 121. 
Apteryx, 204. 
«;>Ms, 118. 
aquaticus {Ac7'ocepha/us), 114. 

II (Cindus), 114. 

n (Jiaiius), 125. 
Aqwila, 120. 
aquila {Myliobatis), 339. 

II {Sciwna), 329. 
(trhorea, 118. 

Arctic Chimaera, 337, 418. 
arctica, 130. 
arcticus (Colymhus), 131. 

It {Trachypterus), 331. 
yln^ca, 121. 



Ardeidcc, 121. 
Ardetta, 121. 

Area of tlie British Islands, 2. 
arenaria, 127. 
argentatus, 129. 
argenteus, 335, 411. 
Argentina, 336. 
Argentine, 336, 414. 
Argyllshire, 46, 51, 243. 
Argyropelecus, 336, 414. 
Armed Bullhead, 351. 
II Gurnard, 328. 
Arnoglossus, 333. 
arquata, 128. 
Arun, 199, 373. 
Arundel, 342. 
arve7isis, 118. 
ascami, 331. 
asiatica, 295. 
Ylsio, 119. 
ttMo, 295. 
Ass, 15. 
^5^r«-, 120. 
«^er, 114. 
Athene, 119. 
Atherina, 331. 
Atherine, 331, 372. 

Boier's, 331, 372. 
Atherinid(r, 331. 
Atlantic, 17, 101. 
«<r«, 125. 
atricapilla {Muscica2)a), 115. 

II {Sylvia), 113. 

atrigxdaris, 112. 
Auk, Great, 9. 

,1 Little, 130, 291. 
auratibs {Colaptes), 296. 
It {Pagrus), 327. 
auritus (Plecotus), 27. 

II (Podicipes), 131. 
Australia, 2, 4, 15, 31, 44, 49, 57 

62, 76, 82, 138, 170, 185, 191 

223, 228, 244, 272, 279, 287 

299, 300, 305, 324, 344, 345 fn. 

346, 349, 353, 363, 375, 417 

421. 
aiistralis, 29. 
'Autumns on the Si)ey ' ((luoted) 

149. 
Auxis, 328. 
avellanarius, 28. 
Avocet, 126, 266. 
avocetta, 126. 
Avon (Gloucester), 303. 

II (Hants), 217, 409. 
Awe, Locli, 64. 
Axillary Bream, 327, 346. 



INDEX. 



471 



Badger, 28, 37, 49, 57-60. 

bailloni, 125. 

Baillon's Crake, 125, 257. 

It Wrasse, 376. 
Bala, 413. 
Balccna, 29. 
Balcenidce, 29. 
Bakenoptera, 29. 
"Balance Fish," 422. 
Balearica, 295. 
Baleen, 87. 
Batistes, 337. 
Ballan, 331, 376. 
"Ballard," 345. 
Baltic, 65, 90, 172, 231, 233, 241, 

265, 281, 340, 343, 348, 349, 

371, 391, 397, 404. 
Banbury, 146. 
"Band-fish, Red, 331, 371. 
Banffshire, 178. 
hanksii, 331. 

Banks's Oar-tish, 331, 372. 
"Barbarian Haddies," 345. 
Barbastelle, 27, 35. 
harhastellus, 27. 
barhatuhcs, 335. 
harbatum, 333. 
barbatus, 327. 
Barbel, 335, 402. 
Barbus, 335. 
Barnacles, 290. 
Barrett -Hamilton, Mr (quoted), 

140. 
Barrington, Mr (quoted), 75. 
Bartraviia, 127. 
Bartram's Sandpiper, 127, 273. 
Basking Shark, 338, 424. 
Bass, 326, 341. 
Bass Rock, 3, 221. 
bassana, 121. 
Basse, Stone, 326, 343. 
Bastard Sole, 393. 
Bat, Bechstein's, 27. 34. 

II Daubenton's, 27, 35. 

11 Great, 33. 

II Greater Horseshoe, 27, 36. 

II Hairy-armed, 27, 33. 

11 Lesser Horseshoe, 27, 36. 

II Long-eared, 27, 35. 

II Moiise-coloured, 27, 34. 

.1 Natterer's, 27, 34. 

II Particoloured, 27, 34 fn. 

n Rough-legged, 27, 34 fn. 

II Whiskered, 27, 35. 
Bath, 146. 
batis, 339. 
Bats, 24, 31-36. 



Beachy Head, 4, 6. 

Bear, 9. 

Bearded Ophidium, 333, 385. 

Reedling, 6, 10, 14, 114, 

150. 
Tit, 150. 
Beaver, 9, 18. 
bechsteini, 27. 
Bechstein's Bat, 27, 34. 
Bedfordshire, 50. 
Beech-Marten, 24, 52. 
Bee-eater, 119, 200. 

,, Blue-tailed, 295. 
Behring Sea, 63. 
belgica, 128. 
Bell (quoted), 24, 25, 35, 36, 56, 

69, 311. 
Bellows-fish, 331, 375. 
Belone, 329. 
Beluga, 93. 
Bergylt, 327, 347. 
Bernicla, 122. 
berus, 301. 
Berwickshire, 225 fn., 231 fn., 

232 fn. 
bevjicki, 122. 

Bexley, 73, 135, 160, 163. 
bianniciis, 114. 
"Bib," 378. 
Bibliography, 441. 
bicolor, 296. 
bidens, 30. 
bifasciata, 117. 
Bill of birds, 102, 106. 
bimaculatus, 330. 
Bird-catchers, 12. 
Birds, 95-296. 

M books on, 98. 

II of prey, 209. 

„ Perching, 132-189. 
'Birds of Berwickshire' (quoted), 

14 fn., 225 fn., 231 fn., 232 fn. 
'Birds of Guernsey' (quoted), 14 

fn. 
Birdsnestiug, 107. 
Bison, 10. 
Bittern, American, 121, 229. 

„ Common, 10, 14, 121, 227. 

„ Little, 121, 226. 
bjorkna, 335. 
"Black Cock," 252. 
" Black Curlew," 229. 
"Black Eagle," 212. 
" Black Fish " (Cetacean), 92. 

(Fish), 329, 359. 
"Black Grebe," 294. 
"Black Pilot," 329, 361., 



472 



INDEX. 



Black Redstart, 113, 138. 

II Sea-Bream, 346. 
Blackbird, 111, 112, 135. 
"Black-brim," 346. 
Black-browed Albatross, 129, 285. 
Blackcap, 113, 143. 
' ' Black-headed Bunting," 11 7, 178. 
Black-mouthed Dog-fish, 338, 426. 
Black-throated Thrush, 112, 134. 
Black-winged Stilt, 126, 266. 
Blade-fish, 363. 
Blain, 378. 
Bleak, 335, 407. 
Blenniidce, 330. 
Blennius, 330. 
Uennoides, 333. 
Blenny, Butterfly, 330, 369. 

II "Eyed," 369. 

II Montagu's, 330, 369. 

„ Smooth, 369. 

11 Viviparous, 331, 370. 

„ Yarrell's, 331, 370. 
Blind Worm, 303. 
Blubber, 88. 
Blue Hare, 29, 81. 

„ Shark, 338, 420. 
" Blue Skate," 429. 
Blue-tailed Bee-eater, 295. 
Bluethroat, Red-spotted, 113, 138. 
It White - spotted, 113, 

138 
Boar, 9, 18, 50. 
Boar-fish, 329, 361. 
horjaraveo, 327. 
Bognor, 281. 
Bogue, 327, 346. 
Boier's Atherine, 331, 372. 
Bonito, 328, 357. 

„ Belted, 328, 357. 

„ Plain, 328, 356. 
Books on birds, 98. 
hQiips, 29. 

Booth, Mr (quoted), 222. 
horealis {Bal(Jcnopter(C), 29. 

II [Xiimenius), 128. 
"Borer," 438. 
hoscas, 123. 
Boscombe, 15. 
Jjotmirus, 121. 
Bottlenose, 30, 91, 93. 
" Bottlenose," 374. 
Boulenger, Mr (quoted), 326. 
"Bounce," 425. 

Bournemouth 7, 15, 67, 141, 160, 
192, 219, 234, 289, '302, 345. 
355, 360, 362, 379, 385, 387, 
399, 404, 421, 424, 428. 



II 

II 
II 



Box, 327. 
boyeri, 331. 
hrachy dactyl a, 118. 
hrachyrhynchus, 122. 
Brama, 328. 
brama, 335. 
Brambling, 116, 173. 
Brame, Pink, 332, 376. 
Bream, 335, 406. 
„ -flat, 335, 407. 
II Axillary, 327, 346. 
,1 Black Sea, 346. 
II Couch's (Couch's Sea 

Bream), 327, 347. 
II Pandora, 346. 
,1 Ray's, 328, 358. 
Sea, 327, 345. 
Spanish, 327, 346. 
White, 407. 
brenta, 122. 
Brighton, 189, 221. 
Brill, 333, 388. 
Brisbane River, 422. 
"Brit," 398. 
britannicus, 359. 
* British and Irish Salmonidoe,' 

(quoted), 409 fn. 
'British Birds ' (quoted), 141. 
"British " birds, 17, 34, 100. 
' British Deer and their Horns ' 

(quoted), 69, 80, 85, 86. 
'British Fishes' (quoted), 350, 

385, 402. 
British Islands, area of, 2. 

climate of, 2, 18. 
coast-line of, 2. 
' British Mammals ' (quoted), 10, 

53, 77. 
'British Reptiles' (quoted), 300. 
Broad-nosed Pipe-fish, 337, 415. 
Broads, Norfolk, 6, 45, 60, 150, 

211, 217, 223, 226, 293, 406. 
" Brock," 57. 
"Brocket," 84. 
brosme, 333. 
Brosmius, 333, 
" Bro\\ni Whistler," 383. 
"Browny,"389. 
bruennichi, 130. 
bubalis, 327. 
Bubo, 120. 
bubulcus, 121. 
Backland, 157. 
Buckland, Frank, (quoted), 43, 

348. 
Buckley, T. E. (quoted), 53, 59, 
60, 64, 65, 73, 305. 340. 342, 



II 

II 



INDEX. 



473 



II 



345, 353 fn., 356 fn., 363 fn., 
■ 366, 368, 379. 
Buffaloes, 15. 
Biifo, 312. 
Bvfonidce, 312. 
Biiilding, eftects of, 14. 
Buitenzoorg, 10. 
"Bulgarian Haddies," 345. 
Bullfiiicli, 108, 116, 175. 
Bullhead, Armed, 351. 

ti Norway, 327, 349. 

Bull-trout, 412. 
Bulweria, 130. 
Buhver's Petrel, 130, 287. 
Bunting, Black-headed, 117, 178. 

Cirl, 117, 178. 

Corn, 117, 177. 
II Lapland, 117, 178. 
II Little, 117, 178. 
II Ortolan, 117, 178. 

Reed, 117, 178. 

Rustic, 117, 178. 

Snow, 117, 178. 
II Yellow, 117, 177. 
"Bunting Lark," 177. 
Burbot, 332, 381. 
" Burton Skate," 431. 
Bustard, Great, 9, 125, 260. 

Little, 125, 260. 

Macqueen's, 125, 260. 
"Butcher-birds," 164. 
Buteo, 120, 295. 
Butler, Colonel (quoted), 214. 
Butterfish, 370. 
Butterfly Blennv, 330, 369. 
Buxton, SirT. F., 10. 
Buzzard, African, 295. 

Common, 14, 120, 211. 

Honey, 121, 214. 

Rough-legged, 120, 211. 

cahrilla, 326. 
Caccabis, 124. 
Cachalot, 30, 89, 91. 
cccruleus, 114, 295. 
cccsia, 114. 
Cage -birds, 15. 
"Ca'ing Whale," 92. 
Caithness, 200, 242, 246. 
calamita, 312. 
calandra, 295. 
calendula, 296. 
Calcarius, 117. 
Calidris, 127. 
calidris, 128. 
CaUionymida:' , 330. 
Callionymus, 330. 



Cam, 382. 
cambricus, 335. 
Cambridgeshire, 285. 
Camels, 15. 
campestris, 115. 
candicans, 121. 
candidus, 126. 
canescens, 128. 
canicida, 338. 
Canido'., 28. 
Canis, 28. 
CannaMna, 116. 
cannabina, 116. 
canorus, 119. 
Cantharus, 327. 
cantiaca, 128. 
cantiana, 126. 
canus, 129. 
canutus, 127. 
Cape Pigeon, 295. 
cajjensis (Daption), 295. 

II {Pycnonotus), 296. 
' Capercaillie in Scotland' (quoted), 

251. 
Capercailzie, 10, 14, 15, 98, 104, 

125, 251. 
capito, 331. 
caprea, 29. 
Capreolus, 29. 
Caprimulgidm, 118. 
Caprimidgus, 118. 
capriscus, 337. 
Capros, 329. 
Caradoc and Severn Valley, ' F. C. 

Record ' (quoted), 176. 
Carangida;, 329. 
Caranx, 329. 
carbo, 121. 
Carcharia.s, 338. 
CarcJuiriidcc, 338. 
Co/rduelis, 116. 
Careloplius, 331. 
Carnivora, 28, 46-66. 
Carolina, 295. 
carolinensis, 123. 
Carp, 15, 335, 400. 

11 Crucian, 401. 

II Golden, 402. 
"Carp," 375. 
carpio, 335. 

Carrington, Miss, 12 fn., 171. 
Carron, Loch, 342. 
caryocatactes, 117. 
casarca, 122. 
caspia, 128. 
Caspian Plover, 295. 
Caspian, The, 419. 



474 



INDEX. 



Cat, 15. 

Cat, Wild, 8, 16, 18, 24, 25, 28, 

46-48. 
Catadromous fishes, 319. 
Cataphracti, 328. 
cataphracium, 328. 
cata^jJiractus, 328. 
catarrhactes, 129. 
"Cat-fish," 371, 382, 425. 
Cattle, 15. 
catulus, 338. 
cattcs, 28. 
caudacuta, 118. 
Caiulata, 312. 
caudata, 114. 
caudahcs, 329. 
cavirostris, 30. 
Celtic names, 8. 
cenchris, 121. « 
Centrina, 338, 426. 
Centriscidce, 331. 
Centriscus, 331. 
centrodontiis, 327. 
Centrolahrus, 332. 
Centrolophus, 329, 359. 
Centronotus, 331. 
Cephaloptera, 339. 
cephalus, 335. 
Cepo^a, 331. 
CepoUdce, 331. 
cernium, 326. 
cermia, 326. 
Certhia, 115. 
Certhiidce, 115. 
Cervidce, 29. 
cervinus, 115. 
Cervus, 29. 
Cetacea, 29. 
Cetaceans, 24, 86. 
Ceylon, 306. 
Chad, 345. 
CJwitodontidce, 326. 
Chaffinch, 104, 116, 172. 
Chameleon, 314. 
Channel, English, 93, 145, 150, 

172, 201, 210, 219, 279, 342, 

345, 350, 351, 373, 376, 378, 

380, 428, 431, 432. 
Channel Islands, 3, 14, 71, 187, 

385. 
Char, 1, 336, 412. 
Charadriidcc, 126. 
Gharadrius, 126. 
Charlton, 4. 
c/ic^o, 331. 
CAm, 122. 
Cheshire, 81. 



Chiffchaff; 113, 145.^ 
Chimjera, Arctic, 337, 418. 
Chimccra, 337. 
Chimceridce, 337. 
China, 402. 
Chiroptera, 27. 
Chiselhurst, 137. 
chloris, 116. 
ehloropus, 125. 
Chondrostei, 337. 
Chough, 10, 118, 187, 279. 

It Alpine, 187. 
Christchurch, 7, 15, 99, 217, 265. 
chryscetus, 120. 
C'hrysomitris, 116. 
Chub, 6, 335, 404. 
cicerellus, 333. 
Ciconia, 122. 
Ciconiidce, 122. 
cimbria, 333. 
Cinclidce, 114. 
Cinclus, 114. 
cinclus, 114. 
cineraceus, 120. 
cinerea (Ardea), 121. 
,1 (Perdix), 124. 
u (Sylvia), 113. 
cinereus, 122. 
circia, 123. 
circularis, 339. 
Circus, 120. 
Cirl Bunting, 117, 178. 
cirhcs, 117. 
citrinella, 117. 
Clarke, Mr Eagle- (quoted), 54, 

216, 238. 
clavata, 339. 
Clifton, 303. 
Climate of the British Islands, 2, 

18. 
CZii^m, 334. 
Chipeidcc, 334. 
clupeoides, 336. 
Clyde, 343. 
clypeata, 123. 
Coal-fish, 64, 332, 380. 
" Coarse Fish," 400. 
CoJi7?:5, 335. 
Coccothraustes, 116. 
Coccystes, 119. 
Coccyzus, 119. 
Cock-paidle, 367. 
Cod, 91, 332, 377. 

„ Poor, 332, 379. 

„ Power, 332, 379. 
Codling. 377. 
ccclebs, 116. 



INDEX. 



475 



ccelestis, 127. 

colchicus, 124. 

colias, 328. 

coin, 336, 412. 

collaris, 114. 

Collectors, 12. 

collurio, 115. 

Colonsay, 287. 

Colubridcv, 301. 

Colubriformes, 301. 

Columha, 124. 

Golumbce, 124. 

Columhidw, 124. 

cohimhina, 130. 

Coly Mackerel, 355. 

Colymhidcv, 131. 

Colymbus, 131. 

Comber, 376. 

communis {Coturnix), 124. 
u ((?rMs), 125. 
II {Phoccvna), 30. 
„ (Turtur), 124. 

Conger, 5, 334, 395. 

Conger, 334. 

Connor, 332, 376. 

Conway Bridge, 64. 

"Cook," 375. 

Coot, 103, 111, 125, 259. 

Coracias, 119. 

Coraciidcc, 119. 

Coral-fishes, 344. 

cor ax, 117. 

Cordeaux, Mr, 230. 

Coregonus, 336, 413. 

Coregouus, 336. 

Com, 332. 

Cormorant, 5, 121, 219. 

Corn-hunting, 117, 177. 

Corncrake, 104, 197 fn., 256. 

comix, 117. 

cornuhica, 338. 

cornuta, 122. 

Cornwall, 5, 17 fn., 38, 64, 107 
1.37, 140, 143, 158, 161, 187, 189 
195, 221, 229, 278, 280, 282, 283 
284, 287, 291, 292, 343, 346, 347 
3.59, 361, 364, 376, 383, 420. 426 
432. 

cor one, 117. 

Coronella, 301. 

Corrib, 413. 

Corvidoi, 117, 184. 

Corvus, 117. 

CoryphmnidcB, 328. 

Coryphcenoides, 333, 386. 

Coryphenes, 358. 

Cosmonetta, 123. 



Cottidce, 327. 

Coitus, 327. 

Cottus, Four-horned, 327, 349. 

Coturnix, 124. 

Couch, Mr (quoted), 346, 359, 388, 

416, 429, 431, 434. 
Conch's Sea-Bream, 327, 347. 

„ Whiting, 381. 
Courser, Cream-coloured, 126, 261. 
Coventry, Earl of (quoted), 51 fn. 
Crake, Baillon's, 125, 257. 
11 Carolina, 295. 
„ Corn, 104, 197 fn., 256. 
„ Little, 125, 257. 
„ Spotted, 125, 257. 
Cramp-fish, 433. 
Crane, 125, 260. 
11 Crowned, 295. 
„ Demoiselle, 125, 260. 
Cray, 143, 258. 
Crayfish, 61. 
Crayford, 138. 
crecca, 123. 
Creeper, Tree, 103, 115, 153, 156. 

Wall, 115, 156. 
Crenilahrus, 332. 
crepidatus, 129 
Crex, 125. 

''Cricket-teal," 2.39. 
cristata (Alauda), 118. 
tf (Cystophora) , 28. 
II {Fuligula), 123. 
„ {Molge), 312. 
cristatus {Par us), 114. 
u {Podicipes), 131. 
II (Regidits), 113. 
Croonan, 349. 
Crossbill, 102, 117, 176. 

It Parrot, 117 fn., 177. 
u Two-barred, 117, 177. 
Crossopus, 27. 
Crow, Carrion, 117, 183. 
„ Hooded, 117, 183. 
ti Eoyston, 183. 
Crystallogohius, 330. 
Ctenolabrus, 332. 
" Cuckoo," 361. 
Cuckoo, 98, 103, 104, 109, 119, 

197 fn., 201. 
Cuckoo, Black-billed, 205. 

II Great Spotted, 119, 204. 
II Gurnard, 350. 
It Ray, 432. 

Yellow-billed, 119, 205. 
Cuculidce, 119. 
cncullatu^, 124. 
Cucidus, 119. 



476 



INDEX. 



cumdus, 327. 

" Culterneb," 291. 

Cultivation, eftects of, 14. 

Cumberland, 169, 255. 

cnniculus, 29. 

Cunningham, Mr (quoted), 324, 
344, 347, 349, 351, 352, 355, 362, 
368, 370, 373, 378, 385, 389, 391, 
392, 393, 395, 397, 398, 399. 

Curlew, 106, 128, 275. 
II Black, 229, 
II Eskimo, 128, 276. 
„ Stone, 125, 261. 

curonica, 126. 

"Curre,"239. 

curriica, 113. 

Cursorius, 126. 

curvirostra, 117. 

Cushat, 244. 

Cuttle, 87. 

Cuvier's Whale, 30, 92. 

Gyanecula, 113. 

cyaneus, 120. 

Cyclopterus, 330. 

Cygnus, 122. 

cynoglossus, 334. 

Cyprinidcc, 335. 

Cyprimis, 335. 

Cypselidce, 118. 

Cypselus, 118. 

Cystophora, 28. 

Cyttidce, 329. 

Dab, 334, 391. 

M Lemon, 392. 

„ Long Rough, 334, 390. 

u Pole, 334, 392. 

II Smear, 391. 
Dabchick, 294. 
Dace, 335, 405. 
"Daddy long-legs," 39. 
Dafila, 123. 
dama, 29. 
Daption, 295. - 
Dartford Heath, 137, 142, 144, 

155, 156, 160, 192. 
Dartmouth, 375. 
' Das Thierleben der osterr-ungar 

Tiefebenen' (quoted), 62. 
dasycneme, 27. 
dauhentoni, 27. 
Daubenton's Bat, 27, 35. 
Daulias, 113. 
Day, Dr (quoted). 343, 350, 366, 

376, 385, 396, 402, 409 fn., 426, 

427 431. 
Deal, 399, 421. 



Deal-fish, 331, 371. 

decandolii, 330. 

De Crespiguy and Hutchinson 
(quoted), 85. 

dec2cmamcs, 29. 

Deer, Fallow, 15, 17, 29, 85. 
II Red, 17, 29, 83. 
II Roe, 8, 17, 29, 85. 

Delphinapterus, 30. 

Delphinidce, 30. 

Delphinus, 30. 

delphis, 30, 91 fn. 

Dendrocopus, 118, 296. 

dentatus, 333. 

Dentex, 326, 343. 

Dentex, 326. 

Derbio, 329, 361. 

Derwentwater, 411. 

' Descriptive List of the Deer 
Parks and Paddocks of Eng- 
land ' (quoted), 83. 

deserti, 112. 

desertoruvi, 295. 

*' Devil-tish," 434. 

Devon, 83, 140, 146, 158, 187, 226, 
238, 283, 304, 343, 364, 373, 404. 

De Winton (quoted), 74. 

Dingo, 10, 15, 49, 62. 

Dimyiedea, 129. 

Dipper, 114, 148. 

Black-bellied, 114, 149. 

Discoboli, 330. 

discolor, 27. 

discors, 123. 

''Diver," 219. 

Diver, Black-throated, 131, 292. 
u Great Northern, 131, 292. 
u Red-throated, 131, 292. 
„ White-billed, 131, 292. 
M Yellow-billed, 292. 

Diving Ducks, 239-244. 

Dixon, Mr (quoted), 105, 202. 

Doberan, 146. 

Dodman, the, 91. 

Dog-fish, Black-mouthed, 338, 426. 
II Lesser Spotted, 426. 

Dogs, 11, U), 32 fn., 57. 

Dolphin, 30, 93. 

II Bottle-nosed, 30, 94. 
White-beaked, 30, 94. 
White-sided, 30, 94. 

domesticus, 116. 

Dormouse, 8, 24, 25, 28, 69. 

Dorset, 280. 

Dory, John, 329, 361. 

Dotterel, 5, 15, 101, 126, 263. 
ti Ringed, 261. 



INDEX. 



477 



dougalli, 128. 

Dove, Rmg, 108, 175, 244. 

n Rock, 124, 245. 

„ Stock, 124, 245. 

„ Turtle, 124, 246. 
Dover, 41. 157, 160, 181, 280, 373. 
draco, 328. 

Dragonet, Gemmeous, 272 fn., 
330, 367. 
„ Spotted, 330, 367. 

Drainiug, effects of, 14. 
" Drumming" of Snipe, 268. 
Drummond's Echiodon, 333, 386. 
Dublin. 217. 
Duck, Buffel-headed, 123, 241. 

„ Eider, 123, 241. 

„ King, 123. 241. 
„ Stelier's,- 123, 242. 

„ Ferruginous, 123. 240. 

„ Harlequin, 123, 241. 

II Long-tailed, 123, 241. 

I, Ruddy Sheld, 235. 

,1 Sheld, 235. 

„ Tufted, 123, 240. 

u " White-eyed," 240. 

„ Wild, 123. 236. 
ductor, 329. 
" Dunbird," 239. ■ 
"Dun cow," 431. 
"Dung-bird," 284. 
Dungeness, 6. 
Dunlin, 106, 127, 270. 
Dunn, Mr Matthias (quoted), 396, 

425, 426, 429. 
Durham, 195, 382. 
Dusky Serranus, 326, 343. 

II Skulpin, 272fn., 367. 

Eagle, Black, 212. 

„ Golden, 120, 212. 
„ Spotted, 120, 211. 
M White-tailed, 120, 213. 
Earhug, 8. 

East Anglia, 249, 260, 272, 278. 
ehurnea, 129. 
Ecaitdata, 312. 
Ecclesbourne. 286. 
Kcheneis, 328. 
Echidnas, 38. 
Kchinorldnus, 339. 
Echiodon, Drummond's, 333, 386. 
Ectopistes, 295. 
Eddy stone, the, 16. 
Eel, 53, 98, 319, 334, 394. 

II Broad-nosed, 394. 

,1 Conger. 5, 334, 395. 

I, Pout, 382. 



Eel, Sharp-nosed, 394. 

,1 Silver, 395. 
Eggs of birds, 109. 

II of reptiles, 300. 
Egret, Little, 121, 226. 
Eider, 241. 

II King, 241. 

II Stelier's, 242. 
Elanus, 295. 
elaphus, 29. 
Elasmohranchii, 338. 
Elbe, 287. 
elegans, 116. 
Elvers, 394. 
Emheriza, 117. 
Einberizince, 117. 
Emu, 103. 
encrascicholus, 334. 
' EncyclopaBdia of Sport ' (quoted), 

51 fn. 
Engraidis, 334. 
Enniskillen, 177. 
enudeator, 116. 
eperlanus, 336. 
epops, 119. 
Erinacmdce, 27. 
Erinaceus, 27. 
Erithacus, 113. 
Ermine, 53. 
erminea, 28. 
" Erne," 213. 
erythrina, 117. 
erythrinus, 327. 
erythrophthahmis, 335. 
escidenta, 312. 
Esocidce, 336. 
Esox, 336. 

Essex, 5, 138, 163, 191, 210. 
Eton College, 233. 
Eudromias, 126. 
europcea {PyrrJnda), 116 

I, {Tcdpa), 27. 
etiropceus (Caprwiulgus), 118. 
M {Erinaceus), 27. 
11 {Lepiis), 29. 
excuhitor, 115. 
ExocQitus, 329. 
exoletus, 332. 

Extermination of species, 11, 25. 
' Extinct British Animals ' (quoted). 

9,24. 
Extinct mammals, 9. 
Eye in fish, 322. 

faher, 329. 
Fairlight Glen, -304. 
falcinelhcSy 122. 



478 



INDEX. 



Falco, 121. 

Falcon, Greenland, 121, 215. 
Gyr, 215. 
„ Iceland, 121, 215. 
II Peregrine, 121, 215. 
Eed-footed, 121, 216. 
Falconidce, 120. 
Fallow-deer, 15, 17, 29, 85. 
familiaris, 115. 
fario, 335, 411, 412. 
Farmers, 12, 47, 48, 50, 75, 97, 

210. 
Fame Islands, 3, 241, 277, 278. 
Faroe Islands, 285. 
Father- Lasher, 327, 348. 
'Fauna of Argyle' (quoted), 47, 

59, 60, 64, 65, 80, 305. 
'Fauna of Sutherland' (quoted), 

345, 363. 
' Fauna of the Outer Hebrides ' 

(quoted), 73, 340, 353, 356, 366, 

379. 
Feathers, 101. 
Felidce, 28. 
Felis, 28. 
Felpham, 76. 
Fen Country, 6, 14, 49, 54, 60, 162, 

208, 223, 275. 
ferina, 123. 
ferox, 336. 
Ferrets, 16, 53. 
ferrugineus, 295. 
feirrum-equimim, 27. 
■"Fiddle-fish," 429. 
'Field,' the (quoted), 25, 44, .55 fn., 

77, 163, 200, 203, 214, 290. 
Fieldfare, 112, 132, 134. 
Field-mouse, Long-tailed, 25, 75. 

II II Short-tailed, 77. 

M Vole, 29, 77. 
Field-work, need for, 19. 
Fierasfer, 333. 
Fifteen -spined Stickleback, 331, 

374. 
File-fish, 337, 417. 
Finches, 116, 168-175. 
Finners, 91. 
Fins, 320. 
Mda, 334. 
Firecrest, 113, 145. 
"Firertare, 433. 
Fish, definition of a, 320. 
Fisher, Major (quoted), 47. 
Fishes, 317-434. 
Fishing-frog, 352. 
Flaiiiborougii Head, 245. 
Flamingo, 98, 122, 230. 



flammea, 119. 
"Flapper Skate," 430. 
Flat fish, 5, 322, 386. 
Jktva, 115. 
jiavescens, 330. 
Jlavicollis, 29. 
Jktvipes, 128. 
Jkivirostris, 116. 
Jlesus, 334. 
Flight of birds, 104. 
Floods, Foxes in, 49. 
II Mole in, 41. 
Florence, 200. 
Flounder, 92, 319, 334, 391. 

Pole, 392. 
Fluke, 391. 

Jluviatilis (Gobio), 335. 
(Perca), 326. 
II (Podicipes), 131. 

M {Sterna), 128. 

Flycatcher, Pied, 115, 165. 

II Eed-breasted, 115,165. 

II Ked-eyed, 295. 

Spotted, 115, 165. 
Flying-fish, 329, 365. 
fodiens, 27. 
Food of birds, 106. 

„ of fishes, 323. 
Foot in birds, 103. 
Fork-beard, Greater, 333, 382. 

I. II Lesser, 333, 382. 

Fork -tailed Petrel, 286. 
Forth, 245, 411. 
Foumart, 52. 
Fowlsheugh, 291. 
Fox, 11, 17, 18, 25, 28, 37, 48-51, 

60, 78. 
Fox-Shark, 338, 423. 
fragilis (Anguis), 301. 
Fraterc2ikc, 130. 
" French Ray," 431. 
'Fresh-water Fishes of Europe,' 

(quoted), 382, 391, 393, 400, 409. 
Fresh-water Shark, 414. 
Fringilla, 116. 
Fringillidce, 116. 
Fringillince, 116. 
Frog, Common, 6, 312, 313. 

,1 Edible, 15, 312, 313. 
Frogs, 61. 
"Frost-fish," 363. 
friigilegus, 117. 
Fidica, 125. 
Fidicaricn, 125. 
fidicarms, 126. 
fuliginosa, 128. 
Fuligula, 123. 



INDEX. 



479 



fuUonica, 339. 

Fulmar Petrel, 106, 130, 287. 

Fulmarus, 130. 

Fulton, Dr (quoted), 350. 
fulvus{Charadrius), 126. 

„ {Gyps), 120. 
funerea, 119. 

"Furze-chat," 144. 
fusca, 124. 
fuscicoUis, 127. 
fuscus (Larus), 129. 

„ (Totanus), 128. 
Fyfe, Lord, 10. 

Gade, Tliree-bearded, 383. 

Gadidce, 332. 

Gadiis, 332. 

Gadwall, 123, 237. 

Gaetke, Dr, 3, 105. 

gcdactodes, 113. 

galhula, 115. 

galerita, 330. 

Galeus, 338. 

galliciis, 126. 

Gallince, 124. 

GaUinago, 127. 

GaUinula, 125. 

gallinuJa, 127. 

Gallinule, Martinique, 295. 

gallivensis, 335, 411. 

Galloway, 71, 187, 350. 

Galway Sea-trout, 335, 411. 

Game Birds, 37, 97, 109, 247-255. 

'Game Birds' (quoted), 109 fn., 

255. 
Gamekeepers, 11, 12. 
Ganges, 94. 

Gannet, 5, 102, 121, 221. 
Gaper, 343. 
Garfish, 329, 364. 
Garganey, 123, 239. 
Garrxdus^ 118. 
gamdus {Ainpelis), 115. 
II {Coracias), 119. 
garzetta, 121. 
Gasterosteidce, 331. 
Gasterostexis, 331. 
qattorv.gine, 330. 
Gattorugine, 330, 369. 
Gavice, 128. 
Gexinus, 118. 
Gemmeous Dragonet, 272 fn., 330, 

367. 
* Geographical Distribution of 

Animals ' (quoted), 8. 
Germany, North, 107, 186, 187. 
germo, 328. 



Gibraltar, 420. 
gigas, 326. 
Gillaroo, 335, 411. 
Gilthead, 327, 347. 
giornce, 339. 
Girella, 324. 
giu, 120. 

glacialis {Colymhus), 131. 
M [Falmarus), 130. 
{Harelda), 123. 
gladiator, 30. 
gladins, 329. 

glandarius {Coccystes), 119. 
II {Gamdus), 118. 
glareola, 127. 
Glareolidce, 125. 
Glareolns, 125. 
glareolus, 29. 
glauca, 329. 
glaucion, 123. 
Glaucus, 361. 
glaiicus (Carcharias), 338. 

„ (Za/v^-s), 129. 
Globe-fish, 337, 417. 
GlohicejjhaJus, 30. 
Glutinous Hag, 439. 
Goat, 15. 

" Goat-sucker," 191. 
Gohiesocidce, 330. 
GoUidte, 329. 
6^o6«o, 335. 
groJw, 327. 
G^o6i»5, 329. 
Goby, Black, 329, 366. 

,1 Four-spotted, 330, 367. 

,1 Nilsson's, 330, 367. 

II Parnell's, 330, 367. 

11 Rock, 366. 

II Spotted, 329, 366. 

M Two-spotted, 330, 366. 

" White, 330, 366. 
Godwit, Bar-tailed, 128, 274. 

Black-tailed, 128, 275. 
Goldcrest, 113, 144. 
''Golden Back," 315. 
Golden Eye, 123, 240. 
Golden Orfe, 404. 
Golden Oriole, 13, 109, 115, 162. 
Goldfinch, 108, 109, 116, 169. 
Goldfish, 402. 
Goldsinny, 376. 

II Jago's, 376. 

Goodwood, 4. 
Goosander, 102, 124, 243. 
Goose, Bean, 122, 231. 
,1 Bernicle, 122, 233. 
„ Brent, 122, 232. 



480 



INDEX. 



Goose, Grey lag, 122, 231. 

II Laughing, 232. 

II Eed-breasted, 122, 232. 

„ Pink-footed, 122, 232. 

„ Snow, 122, 232. 

„ Wliite-fronted, 122. 232. 
Gordon-Cumming, 10. 
Goshawk, 120, 213. 

M American, 213. 
gouanii, 330. 
Gourneaii, 349. 
Grackle, Rustic, 295. 
Graada, 295. 
graculus [Phalacrocorax), 121. 

II (Pyrrhocorax), 118. 
Graining, 405. 
Grampus, 30, 92. 

It Risso's, 30, 93, 
Grampus, 30. 
Grassi, Professor, 395. 
(jrayi, 336. 
Grayling, 336, 413. 
Great Auk, 9. 
Great Bat, 33. 

Great Grey Shrike, 104, 115, 163. 
Great Lake Trout, 336, 411. 
Greater Horseshoe Bat, 27, 36. 
Greater Pipe-fish, 337, 416. 
Grebe, Black, 294. 

I, Eared, 131, 294. 

„ Great Crested, 101, 103, 
131 293. 

„ Little,' 101,' 131, 294. 

II Pied-billed, 295. 

„ Red-necked, 131, 293. 

I, Slavonian. 131, 294. 
"Green Cod," 381. 
"Green Linnet," 169. 
Greenfinch, 116, 168. 
Greenland, 174, 233, 348. 

„ Falcon, 121, 215. 

„ Shark, 339, 427. 

Whale, 90. 
Greenshank, 128, 274. 
grcqarius, 126. 
"Grey," 57. 
"GrevHen,"252. 
Grey Shrike, 115. 
"Grey Skate," 429. 
"Grey Trout," 335, 411. 
gHllii, 331, 372. 
griseigtma, 131. 
griseus {Grampus), 30. 

II (Macrorhamphus), 127. 

II {Notidanus), 338. 

II (Nyciicorax), 121. 

M [Paffinus), 130. 



grisola, 115. 
grcenlandica, 28. 
Grosbeak, Pine, 116, 176. 

-I Scarlet, 117. 175. 

Grouse, Black, 125, 252. 

Red, 1, 6, 17, 18, 98, 125, 
254. 
,i_ Willow, 254. 
Gruidoe, 125. . 
Grus, 125. 
grylle, 130. 
grypus, 28. 
Guardfish, 364. 
Gudgeon, 6, 335, 402. 
Guillemot, 5, 110, 130, 204, 289. 
II Black, 130, 291. 

,1 Brlinnich's, 130, 291. 

Ringed, 289. 
Guinea Pig, 15. 
Gulf Stream, 2, 89. 
Gull, Black-headed, 129, 281. 
II Bonaparte's, 129, 282. 
II Common, 129, 279. 
„ Glaucous, 129, 282. 
M Great Black-backed, 129, 282. 
I, „ „ -headed, 129,281. 

I, Herring, 129, 280. 
„ Iceland, 129. 282. 
„ Ivory, 129, 283. 
II Laughing, 281. 

II Lesser Black -backed, 129, 

009 

,1 Little', 129, 282. 
II Mediterranean Black- 
headed, 129, 281. 
,1 Ross's 129, 283. 
„ Sabine's, 129, 283. 
Gulls, 279-284. 
Gunnel, 331, 370. 
gunnel! us, 331. 
Giinther, Dr (quoted), 431. 
Gurnard, Armed, 328. 
II Beaked, 351. 
It Cuckoo, 350. 
„ Grey, 327, 350. 
II Lantliorn, 327, 351. 
II Long-finned, 351. 
„ Red, 327, 350.^ 
V Sajjphirine, 327, 350. 
„ Streaked, 327, 350. 
gurnardus, 327. 
Gwiniad, 413. 
Gymnodontes, 337. 
Gyps, 120. 
Gyr Falcon, 215. 



Habitat of Fishes, 325. 







INDEX. 



481 



Haddock, 332, 378. 
Namatojjus, 126. 
hcesitata, 130. 
Hag-fish, 438. 
Hairtail, 329, 363. 
Hairy-armed Bat, 27, 33. 
Hake, 332, 381. 
Haliaetus, 120. 
halia'etus, 121. 
Halibut, 333, 389. 
Halichcerus, 28. 
Hammerhead, 338, 420, 422. 
Hampshire, 4, 35, 43, 76, 99, 107, 

140, 172, 191, 216, 217, 225, 235, 

238, 262, 263, 265, 267, 270, 289, 

372, 409. 
Hanoverian Eat, 16, 72. 
Hare, Alpine, 24, 81. 

M Blue, 29, 81. 

„ Common, 11, 17, 29, 78. 

,t Irish, 25, 81. 

,1 Varying, 81. 
Harelda, 123. 
harengus, 334. 
Harrier, Hen, 14, 120. 210. 
„ Marsh, 120, 210. 
„ Montagu's, 120, 210. 
Harris, Cornwallis, 10. 
'Harrow Birds' (quoted), 140. 
Hart, Mr, 99. 
Harting, Mr J. E. (quoted), 7 fn., 

8, 9, 24, 38, 39, 45 fn., 55 fn., 

70, 81, 165, 214, 230. 
Harvest-Mouse, 8. 
Harvie-Brown, Mr J. A. (quoted), 

47, 53, 59, 60, 64, 65, 73, 80, 

251, 274, 305, 340, 344, 345, 353, 

356, 363, 366, 368, 379. 
Hastings, 280, 286, 304, 394. 
Hawfinch, 116, 169. 
Hazel-Hen, 254. 
Hebrides, 3, 45, 47, 53, 55, 65, 73, 

75, 83, 132, 137, 144, 163, 164, 

181, 191, 231, 237, 238, 239, 241, 

247, 252, 263, 274, 275, 277, 286, 

287, 291, 292, 353, 367, 368. 
"Hedge-Accentor," 147. 
Hedgehog, 27, 37-39, 41, 50, 58. 
Hedge-Sparrow, 19, 109, 114, 147. 
helena, 334. 
Heligoland, 3. 
'Heligoland as an Ornithological 

Observatory,' 3. 
Helodromas, 109. 
helvetica, 126. 
hemiriyvinus, 336, 414. 
Hemipode, Andalusian, 265. 

2 



" Hen-fish," 358. 
Hengistbury Head, 219, 289. 
Herodiones, 121. 
Heron, 98, 103, 105, 121, 223. 

„ BuflMjacked, 121, 226. 

M Great White, 121, 226. 

M Night, 1-21, 226. 

M Purple, 121, 226. 

II Squacco, 121, 226. 
Herring, 334, 397. 

Gull, 129, 280. 
Hertfordshire, 304. 
hiaticida, 126. 
Hibernating, 32. 
hihernicus, 73. 
Highgate, 178. 

Highlands, 6, 11, 41, 50, 51, 54, 59, 
69, 81, 83, 142, 145, 153, 159, 
160, 166, 210, 212, 217, 242, 243, 
245, 255, 315. 
" Hilling " of Ruffs, 272. 
Himantopus, 126. 
Hippocampus, 337. 
Hippoglossoides, 334. 
Hippoglossus, 333. 
hipposiderus, 27. 
hirtensis, 114. 
Hirundin idee, 116. 
Hiru7ido, 116. 
hirundo, 327. 
hispida, 28. 
' History of Scandinavian Fishes, 

A '(quoted), 408, 412. 
histrionica, 123. 
Hobby, 32, 121, 216. 
Hog, 15. 

Holocanthus, 326, 344. 
Holocephcdi, 337. 
Holt, Mr (quoted), 370. 
Holyhead, 8. 
Holy Island, 232. 
Homelyn, 432. 
Honey Buzzard, 121. 
Hoopoe, 119, 200. 
Hopley, Miss (quoted), 300. 
Horses, 15. 
hortensis, 113. 
hortidana, 117. 
horhdanus, 116. 
Hound, Fox, 48-50. 
Otter, 18. 

,1 Row, 338, 426. 

Smooth, 338, 420, 422. 
"Houting,"413. 

Hudson, Mr W. H. (quoted), 141. 
Humpback Whale, 29, 91. 
"Huss,"426. 

H 



482 



INDEX. 



hyhrida, 128. 
Hydrochelidon, 128. 
liyperhoreus {Chen), 122. 

It {Phalaropus), 120. 

Hyperoijdon, 30. 
Hypolais, 113. 
hypoleuais, 127. 

Ihididcp, 122. 

Ibis, Glossy, 122, 229. 

" Ice-Bird,'" 199. 

Iceland, 31 fii., 378. 

ichthyaetus, 129. 

icterina, 113. 

icterus, 295. 

ictinus, 120. 

Me, 404. 

Identification of Birds, 110. 

ignavus, 120. 

ignicapillis, 113. 

iliacics, 112. 

imperialis, 329, 3o9. 

India, 31, 50. 

Indian Ocean, 357. 

Insectivora, 27, 37-46. 

interpres, 126. 

Irish Fauna, 8, 24, 25, 55 fn. 

„ Hare, 25, 81. 

II Names, 8, 40. 
isahelliaa, 112. 
islandus, 121. 
Lsle de Bourbon, 167. 
Isle of Man, 3, 245, 291. 
Isle of Wight, 3, 6, 144, 164, 289, 

290, 340. 
ispida, 119. 
Italy, 13, 344, 375. 
Tyngincr, 119. 
lynx, 119. 

Jack, 414. 

Jackdaw, 111, 117. 182. 

"Jack-Hurry," 284. 

Jack-Snipe, 127, 269. 

Jago's Goldsinny, 376. 

Japan, 402. 

Java, 10. 

Jay, 14, 104, 118, 185. 

Jetferies, Richard (quoted), 1. 

Jesse, Mr (quoted), 12. 

Jew-lish, 363. 

juUs, 332. 

Jura, 59, 305. 

Kea, 107. 

Kent. 4, 107. 143. 161. 162, 190, 
192, 197, 206, 217, 258. 



Kerguelen, 31 fn. 
Kestrel, 32. 104. 121, 217. 
I, Lesser, 121, 217. 
Keulemanns. Mr (quoted), 101. 
Kilbraunan Sound, 379. 
Kilkenny, 51. 
" Killer," the, 92. 
killinensis, 336, 412. 
"Kingfish,"359. 
Kingfisher, 98. Ill, 119, 197. 

„ Belted, 200. 

" King of the Breams," 346. 
" King of the Herrings," 418. 
"Kingston," 429. 
"Kite," 388. 
Kite, 14, 104, 120, 214. 

M Black, 120, 214. 

II Black- winged. 295. 

,, Swallow-tailed, 214. 
Kittiwake, 129, 283. 
"Knobber,"83. 
Knot, 127, 271. 
'Knowle<lge' (quoted), 208. 
Knurrhahn, 349. 

Labrax, 326. 
Lahridce, 331, 332. 
Labrus, 331. 
Lacerta, 301. 
Lacertidce, 301. 
Lacertilia, 301. 
Ladybird, 26. 
Lcemargics, 339. 
Icevis (CoroneUa), 301. 

,1 (Mustela), 422. 

„ (Rhombus), 333. 
Lagenorhynchus, 30. 
lagocephahis, 337. 
Lagoptis, 125. 
lagojjus, 120. 
Lake Country, 47, 59, 74, 81, 83, 

263. 
Lamna, 338. 
Lamnidce, 338. 
Lampern, 438. 
lampetrifonnis, 331. 
Lamprey, Mud, 438. 
,1 ' River, 438. 
It Sea, 437. 
Lamiyris, 328. 
Lancashire, 265. 
lanceolatus, 333. 

Landmark, Herr (quoted), 409 fn. 
Landrail, 125, 256. 
Land's End, ^282, 289. 
Laniidce, 115. 
Lanius, 115. 



INDEX. 



483 



Lautliorn Gurnard, 327, 351. 
Lapland Bunting, 117, 178. 
lappoyiica, 128. 
lapponkus, 117. 
Lapwing, 104, 126, 264. 

„ Sociable, 126, 265. 
Laridce, 128. 
Lariiice, 129. 
Lark, Calandra, 295. 

„ Crested, 118, 189. 

.. Sand, 261. 

., Shore, 118, 189. 

„ Short-toed, 118, 189. 

M Sky, 103, 118, 188. 

„ White-wins^ed, 118, 189. 

„ Wood, 118, 188. 
Larus, 129. 
lascaris, 334. 
Lascelles, Hon. Gerald (quoted), 

6fn.,85. 
Lateral Line in Fish, 322. 
laterna, 338. 
" Laughing Goose," 232. 
"Laughing Gull," 281. 
Launce, 333, 384. 

„ Lesser, 333, 385. 
Smooth, 333, 3S5. 
"Laverock," 188. 
Lea, 407. 

"Leather grub," 39. 
Le Court, 41. 
Leghorn, 272, 346, 361. 
Leicestershire, 51, 147. 
leisleri, 27. 
Lemon Dab, 392. 

M Sole, 334, 392. 
lentiginosxis, 121. 
Leixuiogaster, 330. 
Lepidopus, 329. 
Leporidce, 29. 
Leptocephali, 395. 
lepturus, 329. 
Lepus, 29. 

Lesser Horseshoe Bat, 27, 36. 
Lesser Redpoll, 116, 174. 
* Letters to Young Shooters ' 

(quoted), 269. 
lexicas, 30. 
Leuciscus, 335. 
leucopsis, 122. 
leucoptera, 128. 
leiicopteras, 129. 
leucorodia, 122. 
leucorrhoa, 130. 
levenensis, 335. 
Lichia, 329. 
' Life - Histories of British Food- 



Fishes ' (quoted), 368, 370, 371 
fu., 381, 395, 397. 
' Life of the Fields ' (quoted), 1. 
Ligunnus, 116. 
Lilford, Lord, 185, 209. 
linucnda, 334. 
limandoides, 334. 
Limicola, 127. 
Limicolce, 125-128. 
Limosa, 128. 
lincma, 116. 
Lincolnshire, 281. 
lineata, 327. 
lineatus, 327. 
Ling, 332, 381. 
Linnaeus, 86, 
Linnet, 116, 140, 173. 
''Lintie,"173. 
Linton, 285. 
Liparis, 330. 
Little Auk, 130, 291. 
Littlehampton, 199, 220 fn. 
Liverpool, 17. 
livia, 124. 
Lizard, the, 61, 345, 417. 

„ Common, 301, 302. 

„ Green, 302. 

„ Sand, 301, 302. 
Lizards, 111, 302, 303. 
Loach, 335, 407. 

„ Spinous, 335, 408. 
"Lobster," 54. 
Local names, 8. 
Lochaber, 46. 

Lochleven Trout, 335, 411. 
Locustella, 114. 
Lomond, Loch, 252, 413. 
London, 165, 169, 181, 281. 
"Long Nose." 364. 
Long-eared Bat, 27, 35. 
longicauda, 127. 
Lophius, 328. 
Lophohranchii, 3o7. 
Lord Londesborough's Snake, 306. 
Lota, 332. 
Lowestoft, 228. 
Lowlands, 41. 
Loxia, 117. 
lucidus, 335. 
Lucius, 336. 
lugubris, 115. 

Lulworth, 144, 280, 288, 342. 
lumhriciformis, 337. 
Lumpenus, Sharp-tailed, 331, 371. 
Lnmpenus, 331. 
Lumpsucker, 330, 367. 
lumpus, 330. 



■484 



INDEX. 



luna, 328. 

Lundy Island, 3, 187, 221, 286, 

287, 292. 
liqms (Anarrhicas), 331. 

„ {Labrax), 326. 
luscinia, 113. 
luscinioides, 114. 
luscris, 332. 
lutea, 334. 
Liitra, 28. 
Luvariis, 329, 359. 
Lydekker, Mr (quoted), 10, 24, 40, 

53, 77. 
lyra {Callionyvms), 330. 

M {Triqla), 327. 
Lythe, 380. 

]!^Ictch6t6s 127 

M'intosh' Prof, (quoted), 368, 370, 

371 fn., 381, 395, 397. 
Mackerel, 322, 328, 354. 
II Coly, 355. 

"Guide," 364. 
II Horse, 359. 
Midge, 383. 
I, Spanish, 328, 356. 
"Mackrelsture,"356. 
Macpliersou, Rev. H. A. (quoted), 

246. 
vuicqueeni, 125. 
Macqueen's Bustard, 125, 260. 
macrocephalus, 30. 
Macrorhami^hus, 127. 
macrura, 128. 
Macruridce, 333. 
mactilaritis, 295. 
maculata (Raia), 339. 

II {Tringa), 127. 
maculatus {Callionyrmis), 330. 

II [Lahrus), 331. 
Madagascar, 31. 
magna, 295. 
Magpie, 14, 104, 109. 112, 117, 

184. 
"Maid," 430. 
Maigre, 329, 363. 
mojor (Bendrocopus), 118. 
II {Gallinago), 127. 
II (Lanuis), 115. 
It (Farus), 114. 
„ (Priffinus), 130. 
Mallard, 236. 
tiudleus, 338. 
Mammals, 25-94. 

It Bell on our, 24. 
11 DilJiculties of observing 
our, 23. 



Mammals, Extinct, 9. 

It Lydekker on our, 24. 
II Scant literature on our, 

23. 
Man. See Isle of Man. 
Maori Rat, 72. 
Mareca, 123. 
marila, 123. 
marinus, 129. 
Market Drayton, 62. 
'Marketable Marine Fishes' 

(quoted), 344, 349, 350, 352, 355, 

362, 368, 370, 378, 391, 397. 
Marten, Beech, 52. 

„ Pine, 10, 18, 25, 28, 51. 
II Stone, 52. 
"Marten Cat," 51. 
Martes, 28. 
Martin, 116, 167. 
I, Purple, 295. 
II Sand, 116, 168. 
martinicus, 295. 
martins, 296. 
maruetta, 125. 
Mary Sole, 392. 
Massachusetts, 97. 
Masterman, Mr (quoted), 370 fn., 

371 fn, 381, 395, 397. 
Maurolicus, 336, 414. 
"Mavis Skate," 431. 
maxima, 338. 
maximus {Rhomhus), 333. 
Maxwell, Sir Herbert (quoted), 7 

fn., 25 fn., 40 fn., 47, 58, 71, 77, 

164, 185 fn., 252 fn., 265, 305. 
"Mav-bird,"275. 
Mealy Redpoll, 116, 174. 
Mecklenburg, 138, 146, 186, 199, 

294. 
Mediterranean, 42, 343, 346, 355, 

356, 373, 396, 400, 425, 426, 4-33. 
Megaptera, 29. 
megastoma, 333. 
Megrim, 333, 388. 
melanocejjhala, 117. 
melanocephalus, 129. 
melanope, 115. 
melanophrjfs, 129. 
melanostomus, 338. 
melas, 30. 
vielha, 118. 
Mehs, 28. 
melops, 332. 
Melvin, Lough, 411. 
Merganser, Hooded, 124, 244. 

II Red-breasted, 124, 243. 

merganser, 124. 



INDEX. 



485 



Mergulus, 130. 
■Mergiis, 124. 
merlangus, 332. 
Merlin, 98, 121, 217. 
Merluccius, 332. 
Meroindce-, 119. 
Merojis, 119, 295. 
merula, 112. 
Mesoplodon, 30. 
Mevagissey, 91, 346, 360, 396, 426, 

429. 
Mexico, 396. 
Michelet (quoted), 167. 
microcellata, 339. 
microcephalus {Lcemargus), 339. 

It (Pleuronedes), 334. 

MicroUis, 29. 
Middlesex, 143, 176. 
Middletou, 47. 
migrans, 120. 
Migration of birds, 105. 

It fishes, 324 

It the Redbreast, 139. 

migratorius, 295. 

Millais, Mr J. G. (quoted), 69, 80, 

85, 86, 109, 255. 
Miller's Thumb, 327, 347. 
Milvus, 120. 
Minnow, 335, 405. 
minor [Dendrocojncs], 118. 

ti {Lanius), 115. 
minuta [Ardetta], 121. 

I, {Sterna), 128. 

It {Tringa), 127. 
miiiutilla, 127. 
minutus {Gadus), 332. 
[Gohius], 329. 

n {Larus), 129. 
{Mus), 29. 

II [Sorex], 27. 
mixUts, 331. 
Mocking Bird, 26. 
modularis, 114. 
wioto, 337. 
Mole, 8, 27, 39-43. 
Molge, 312. 
mollissima, 123. 
Molva, 332. 
t)wnedida, 117. 
" Mongrel Skate," 429. 
Monk Fish, 428. 
monoceros, 30. 
Monodon, 30. 
monstrosa, 337. 
vwntagui, 330. 
Montagu's Blenny, 330, 369. 



Montagu's Harrier, 120, 210. 
It Sucker, 330, 368. 
montoMUs, 116. 
Monticola, 112. 
inontifringilla, 116. 
Moorhen, 61, 125, 225, 257. 
Moray Firth, 363. 
morinellus, 126. 
Morocco, 201. 
viorrhua, 332. 
'^ Morris," 395. 
Morse, 66. 
Motacilla, 115. 
Motacillida:, 115. 
Motella, 333. 

" Mother Carey's Chickens," 286. 
" Moudiewarp," 41. 
Moulting, 101, 300. 
"Mountain Finch," 173. 
Mountain Hare, 6. 
"Mountain Linnet," 175. 
' Mountains of California, The ' 

(quoted), 149. 
Mouse, Common, 29, 73. 

„ Harvest, 29, 74. 

II Long-tailed Field, 25, 75. 
Short-tailed Field, 77. 

I, Wood, 29, 75. 

I, Yellow-necked, 29, 74. 
Mouse-coloured Bat, 27, 34. 
Mouth and Teeth of Fish, 321. 
Mudeford, 409. 
Mugil, 331. 
Mugilidce, 331. 
Muir, Mr (quoted), 149. 
Muirhead, Mr (quoted), 14, 225 

fn., 231 fn. 232 fn. 
Mull, 83, 305. 
Mull of Kintyre, 349. 
Mullet, Grey, 322, 373. 

„ Red, 327, 344. 

It Thick-lipped, 331, 373. 

„ Thin-lipped, 331, 373. 
Mullida:, 327. 
Mvllus, 327. 
Murmna, 334, 396. 
Muranida', 334. 
muraria, 115. 
Muridce, 29. 
murinus, 27. 
"Murr,"280. 
:Murry, 334, 396. 
Mus, 29. 
Muscardinus, 28. 
Muscicajm, 115. 
Muscicapida , 115. 
mu^culus {Bakvnoptera), 29. 



486 



INDEX. 



masculus (Mus), 29. 
music us {(Jygnus), 122. 
I, {Turdus), 112. 
Musk Eat, 18. 
Mustela, 28, 422. 
mustela, 333. 
Mustelidcc, 28. 
Mustelics, 338. 
mntus, 125. 
Myliohatidce, 339. 
Myliohatis, 339. 
Myna, 295. 
Myoxidce, 28. 
viystacinus, 27. 

noivia (Aquila), 120. 

ti {Locustella), 114. 
Nauseu, 66. 
Naples, 356. 
Narwhal, 30, 93. 
natrix, 301. 
nattereri, 27. 
Natterer's Bat, 27, 34. 
Natterjack, 312, 315. 
Naucrates, 329. 
Neagh, Lough, 413. 
Needles, The, 284. 
Nemachilus, 335. 
Neophroii, 120. 
Nerophis, 337. 
Nests, 107. 
Newcastle, 193. 
New Forest, 6, 34, 67, 78, 83, 85 

86, 151, 154, 203, 253, 268, 299 

305, 306. 
« New Forest, The ' (quoted), 85. 
New South Wales, 4. 
Newlyn, Alderman (quoted), 404. 
Newt" Common, 312, 316. 

„ Great Water, 312, 316. 

M Palmated, 312, 316. 

It Smooth, 316. 
Newts, 315, 316. 
New Zealand-, 13, 23, 26, 72, 107 

170, 363. 
nifjer, 329. 
Nightingale, 7, 26, 98, 103, 104 

113, 140. 
Nightjar, 97, 98, 102, 103, 109 
118, 191. 
M Egyptian, 118, 193. 
„ Red-necked, 118, 193. 
nigra {Ciconia), 122. 

II (Ilydrochelidon), 128. 

„ (O^Jdemia), 124. 
niyricollis, 131. 
nigripinnis, 335, 411. 



nilssuni, 330. 

nisoria, 113. 

nisus, 120. 

nivalis, 117. 

nobiliana, 339. 

noctua, 119. 

noctida, 27, 33. 

Noctule, 27, 33. 

Noddy, 129, 279. 

Norfolk, 174, 210, 229, 237, 242, 

270, 282, 287, 294, 404, 406. 
Norfolk Broads, 6, 45, 60, 150, 211. 

217, 223, 226, 293, 406. 
North Sea, 359, 392, 399. 
Northamptonshire, 209. 
Northumberland, 174, 205, 214, 

273. 
norvegicus {Sebastes), 327. 

II {Zeugopterus), 333. 

Norway Bullhead, 327, 349. 
II Haddock, 347. 
Pout, 332, 379. 
II Rat, 16, 72. 
Norwegian fjords, 65. 

,1 Topknot, 333, 389. 
Notidanidcv, 338. 
Notidanus, 338. 
Notts, 193, 240. 
Nucifraga, 117. 
*' Numb-fish, "433. 
Numenius, 128. 
''Nun," 242. 
Nurse, 338, 425. 
Nutcracker, 117, 184. 
Nuthatch, 114, 153. 
Nyctala, 119, 295. 
Nyctea, 119. 
Nycticorax, 121. 
nyroca, 123. 

Oar-Fish, Banks's, 331, 372. 
Oljlong Suntish, 337, 417. 
obscura, 327. 
obscurus ( .1 nthus), 1 1 5. 

11 (Puffinus), 130. 
oceanicus, 130. 
Oceanites, 130. 
Oceanodroma, 130. 
ocellaris, 330. 
ochropus [llclodrovias), 109. 

It {Totanus) 127. 
Odontoglossa', 122. 
CEdemia, 124. 
(Edicnemidaj, 125. 
CEdicnemus, 125. 
(X,nanthe, 112. 
cenaSf 124. 



INDEX. 



487 



(Estrelata, 130. 

Old Wife, 327, 346. 

olivaceus, 29o. 

olor, 122. 

Opali, 328, 359. 

Ophidia, 301. 

Ophidiidcc, 333. 

ophidion, 337. 

Ophidiiim, Bearded, 333, 385. 

OpMdium, 333. 

Orca, 30. 

orcadensis, 335. 

Orcynus, 328. 

Orfe, 404. 

Oriole, Golden, 13, 109, 115, 162. 

Oriolidce, 115. 

Oriolus, 115. 

Orkney Trout, 335, 411. 

Orkneys, 2, 3, 90, 94, 137, 172, 205, 

209,* 234, 241, 263, 275, 291. 
Ormerod, Miss, 12 In. 
orphea, 113. 

Orphean Warbler, 113, 142. 
Orthagoriscus, 337. 
Ortolan Bunting, 117, 178. 
Osmerus, 336. 
Osprey, 121, 217. 
ostralegus, 126. 
Ostrich, 103. 
Ot id idee, 125. 
Otis, 125. 
Otocorys, 118. 

Otter, 17, 18, 25, 28, 57, 60-63. 
Otus, 119. 

Ouse, 382, 411, 414. 
Ousel, King, 6, 112, 132, 135. 

,. Water, 148. 
' Outdoor Life in England ' 

(quoted), 47. 
owenii, 327. 
Owl, Barn, 119, 205. 

II Eagle, 120, 209. 

I, Hawk, 119, 209. 

„ Little, 119, 208. 

11 Long-eared, 119, 207. 

11 Saw- whet, 295. 

„ Scops, 120, 209. 

II Short-eared, 6, 119, 207. 

n Snowy, 119, 209. 

„ Tawny, 119, 208. 

M Tengmalm's, 1 19, 208. 
Owls, 6, 32, 103, 119, 205-209. 
"Owls," 432. 
"Ox-bird," 270. 
Oxen, 15. 

„ Wild, 15, 24. 
Oxfordshire, 47, 187. 



oxyrkynchics ( Curajonus) , 
413. 
{Raia), 339. 
Oyster-catcher, 126, 266. 



336, 



Paganellus, 330, 366. 
paganellus, 330. 
Pagellus, 327, 346. 
Pagham, 4, 
Pagophila, 129. 
Pagrus, 327. 

PaUas's Grey Shrike, 115, 163. 
II Sand-grouse, 106, 124, 
246. 
palloni, 332. 
palmata, 312. 
pcditvibarius, 120. 
pahunhus, 124. 
pcdustris {Acrocephcdiis), 114. 

M [Panes), 114. 
Pammelas, 329, 
Pandion, 121. 
Pandora, 327, 346. 
Panuridce, 114. 
Pamtrus, 114. 
paradoxus, 124. 
parasiticus, 129. 
Paridce, 114. 
Parkstone, 7. 
parnelli, 330, 

Particoloured Bat, 27, 34 fn. 
Partridge, 56, 98, 124, 249, 
I, French, 249, 

„ Red-legged, 15, 124, 249. 
Parus, 114. 
parva (Muscicapa), 115. 

II (Porzana), 125. 
parvulus, 114. 
Passer, 116. 
Passeres, 112-118, 
pastinaca, 339. 
Pastor, 117. 

"Pastor, Rose-coloured," 180. 
pavoniua, 295. 
Payne -Gallwey, Sir R, (quoted), 

32 fn., 230, 269. 
Peak Country, 51. 
Peal, 412. 
Pedicidati, 328, 
Peewit, 264. 
pelagica, 130. 
Pelamid, 357. 
Pelamys, 328. 
pelamys, 328. 
Pelecanidoi, 121. 
Pelias, 301, 
Pelican, 219. 



488 



INDEX. 



pellucida, 330. 

Pembrokeshire, 221. 

penclope, 123. 

Penn pond, 225. 

Pennant (quoted), 402. 

pennantii, 336, 414. 

Perca, 326. 

Perch, 6, 326, 340. 

Perches and Sea-Breams, 340-347. 

Perching Birds, 132-189. 

PercidcB, 326. 

percif minis, 329. 

percnopterus, 120. 

Perdix 124. 

Peregrine, 104, 121, 215, 264. 

peregrinus, 121, 

pierisii, 336. 

Peristethus, 328. 

Pernis, 121. 

perspicillata, 124. 

Perthshire, 173. 

Petersfield, 401. 

Petrel, Bulwer's, 130, 287. 

„ Capped, 130, 287. 

„ Fork-taHed, 286. 

„ Fulmar, 106, 130, 287. 

M Leach's, 130, 286. 

„ Storm, 130, 286. 

„ Wilson's, 130, 287. 
Petro'ica, 138. 
Pevensey, 4. 
phceopus, 128. 
Phalacrocorax, 121. 
Phalarope, American, 295. 

Grev, 101, 126, 266. 
„ Ked-necked, 101, 126, 
267. 
Phalaropus, 126, 295. 
Phasianidui, 124. 
Phasianus, 124. 

Pheasant, 15, 17, 98, 109, 124, 247. 
philadeljjhia, 129. 
philippinus, 295 
Phoca, 28. 
Phoccena, 30. 
Phoculce, 28. 
phoeniceus, 295. 
Phcenicopteridce, V22. 
Phmnicopterus, 122. 
pluenicurus, 113. 
2)holis, 330. 
phoxinus, 335. 
2)hraginitis, 114. 
/%cw, 333. 
Phylloscopus, 113. 
Physeter, 30. 
Physeteridoe, 30. 



Physostomi, 334. 
Ptcrt, 117. 
Picaricv, 118. 
Picidce, 118. 
Picince, 118. 
Picked Dog, 426. 
pictus, 330. 
Pi^5, 296. 
Pigeon, Cape, 295. 
II Passenger, 295. 

Wood, 124, 128, 244. 
Pike, 6, 336, 414. 

M Saury, 329, 365. 
2nlaris, 112. 
Pilchard, 334, 398. 
pilchardus, 334. 
Pilot, Black, 329, 361. 
Pilot-fish, 329, 360. 

II -whale, 92. 
Pine Grosbeak, 116. 

„ Marten, 10, 18,^25, 28, 51. 
Pink Brame, 332, 376. 
Pintail, 123, 237. 
Pipe-fish, Broad-nosed, 337, 415. 
u Greater, 337, 416. 
t. Snake, 337, 416. 
II Straight-nosed, 337, 416. 
„ Worm, 337, 416. 
"Piper," 327, 351. 
Pipistrelle, 27. 33. 
pipistrellus, 27. 
Pipit, Meadow, 115, 160. 

II Red-throated, 115, 161. 

„ Richard's, 115, 161. 

u Rock, 115, 161. 

„ Tawny, 115, 161. 

M Tree, 115, 159. 

„ Water, 115, 161. 
Pipits, 159-161. 
Pisa, 156. 
piscatorius, 328. 
Pisces, 326. 
Plaice, 334, 390. 
Plain Bonito, 328, 356. 
Platalea, 122. 
Plataleidce, 122. 
Platessa, 334. 
platyrhynchus, 127. 
Plecotus, 27. 
Plectognathi, 337. 
Plectrophenax, 117. 
Plegadis, 122. 
Pleuronectes, 334. 
Pleuronecticlcr , 333. 
Plover, Caspian, 295. 
II Golden, 126, 263. 
II Green, 264. 



INDEX. 



489 



Plover, Grey, 126, 263. 

M Kentish, 126, 262. 

II Killdeer, 126, 263. 

II Lesser Golden, 126, 263. 

M Little Ringed, 126, 262. 

„ "Norfolk," 261. 

I, Ringed, 126, 261. 
pliwialis, 126. 

Plymouth, 187, 242, 344, 373, 428. 
Pochard, 123, 239. 

Red-crested, 123, 240. 
podiceps, 295. 
Podicipjedidcv, 131. 
Podicipes, 131. 
Podilymhus, 295. 
"Podleys."381. 
Pogge, 328, 351. 
Polar fowl, 3, 283, 291, 292. 
Pole Dab, 334, 392. 
u Flounder, 392. 
Polecat, 8, 10, 25, 28, 52, 53, 55. 
Polewig, 366. 
Polish Swan, 234. 
pollachius, 332. 
Pollack, 5, 332, 380. 
Pollan, 336, 413. 
pollan, 336. 
Polperro, 417. 
Polruan, 280. 
Polyprion, 326. 
pomatorhinus, 129. 
pomeranus, 115. ♦ 

pompilus, 329. 
Poole, 140, 157, 234, 239. 
Poor Cod, 332, 379. 
Pope, 326, 342. 
Porbeagle, 338, 420, 422. 
Porphyrio, 295. 
Porpoise, 30, 92, 93. 

II Round-headed, 30, 92. 
Port Jackson Shark, 223, 420. 
Porzana, 125, 295. 
Pottinger, Sir H. (quoted), 252. 
Poultry, 15, 50. 
Pout, 332, 378. 

,1 Norway, 332, 379. 
"Pout," 39. 
Poutassou, 332, 381. 
poutassou, 332. 
Pouting, 378. 
Powan, 336, 413. 
Power Cod, 332, 379. 
pratensis (Anthus), 115. 

{Crex), 125. 
Pratincola, 112. 
2iratincola, 125. 
Pratincole, 125, 261. 



presbyter, 331. 

Preservation of Game, 17, 47, 97. 

"Pride," 438. 

Pristiurus, 338. 

Procellaria, 130. 

Procellariidm, 130. 

Progne, 295. 

proregulus, 113. 

Protection of fauna, 17, 25, 97. 

Ptarmigan, 6, 101, 125, 255. 

Pterochtes, 124. 

Pteroclidce, 124. 

Pteropus^ 31 fn. 

pubescens, 296. 

Puffin, 5, 111, 130, 291. 

Puffinus, 130. 

piignax, 127. 

punctatus (Zeugopterus), 333. 

pimgitus, 331. 

Purple Heron, 121, 226. 

11 Sandpiper, 127, 271. 
purpurea (Ardea), 121. 
u {Progne), 295. 
pusilla, 117. 
putorius, 28. 
Pycnonotus, 296. 
Pygopodes, 130. 
Pyrrhocorax, 118. 
Pyrrhula, 116. 

quadricornis, 327. 
quadrimaculatus, 330. 
Quail, 6, 124, 250. 
Queensland, 172, 228, 358, 396, 

423. 
Querquedida, 123. 

Rabbit, 25 fn., 29, 50, 52, 55, 61, 

82 
"Rabbit-Fish," 382, 418. 
raxliata, 339. 
B.aAa, 339. 
raii {Brama), 328. 

II {Motacilla), 115. 
Raiidce, 339. 
Rail, Land, 125, 256. 

u Water, 125, 257. 
Rails and Crakes, 256-259. 
Rainbow Wrasse, 332, 377. 
"Rain-Goose," 292. 
Rallidce, 125. 
ralloides, 121. 
Rallus, 125. 
Ramsgate, 182. 
Rana, 312. 
Raniceps, 333. 
Ranidce, 312. 



490 



INDEX. 



raniniia, 333. 

Rat, Black, 10, 16, 29, 71. 

„ Browu, 16, 29, 72. 

II Hanover, 16, 72. 

,1 Musk, 18. 

II Norway, 16, 72. 
Rats, 56, 67, 71-73. 
Ratton, 71, 
rattus, 29. 

Raven, 104, 117, 182. 
Ray, Eagle, 339, 434. 

II French, 431. 

„ Homelyn, 339, 432. 

II Ox, 339, 434. 

,1 Painted, 339, 432. 

„ Sandy, 339, 432. 

,1 Shagreen, 339, 431. 

II Sharp-nosed, 431. 

„ Starry, 339, 432. 

„ Sting, 339, 433. 
" Ray-mouthed Dog," 422. 
Ray's Bream, 328, 358. 
Razorbill, 130, 288. 
Recurvirostra, 126. 
Red Band-fish, 331, 371. 

I, Deer, 17, 29, 83. 

II Gurnard. 327, 350. 

M Mullet, 327, 344. 

,1 Sea, 100, 277. 
Redbreast, 106, 113, 138. 
Redpoll, Lesser, 116, 174. 
xMealy, 116, 174. 
Redshank, 15, 128, 274. 

Spotted, 128, 274. 
Redstart, 113, 137. 

Black, 113, 138. 
Redwing, 112, 134. 
"Red Eve," 404. 
"Reed Pheasant," 150. 
"Reed Sparrow," 178. 
Reedling, Bearded, 6, 10, 14, 114, 

150. 
Reeve, 272. 
Rcgalecus, 3-31. 
Regulus, 113, 296. 
Reindeer, 9. 
religiosa, 295. 
Remora, 328, 357. 
remora, 328. 

Reproduction of fishes, 324. 
Reptile, definition of, 299. 
Respiration in fishes, 323. 
Rhina, 339. 
Rhinidw, 339. 
Rhinolophidce, 27. 
Rhino] ophus, 27. 
Rhodostethia, 129. 



Rhombus, 333. 

Rhytina, 9. 

richardif 115. 

Richmond Park, 144, 160, 225. 

ridibundus, 129. 



" Rig." 421. 



Ring Dove, 108, 175, 244. 

,1 Ousel. 6, 112, 132, 135. 
Ringed Dotterel, 261. 

II Guillemot, 289. 

,1 Plover, 126, 261. 

II Snake, 301, 306. 
Ringwood, 140, 147. 
riparict, 116, 
Rissa, 129. 

Risso's Grampus, 30, 93. 
Roach, 335, 403. 
Robin, 106. 

II American, 135. 
rochei, 328. 
Rock-cook, 332, 376. 

II Gobv, 366. 
Rockling, three-bearded, 333, 383. 
II Five-bearded, 333, 383. 
Four-bearded, 333, 383. 
Rockyll, 3. 
Rodentia, 28. 
Rodents, 25, 66-82. 
Roebuck, Mr (quoted), 47, 54, 59, 

71, 238. 
Roedeer, 8, 17, 29, 85. 
Roller, 119, 200. 

II Abyssinian, 200. 
Rome, 342. 
Rook, 12, 117, 180. 
Roosevelt, Mr, 10, 
Rorqual, Common, 29, 91. 
II Lesser, 29, 91. 
,1 Rudolphi's, 29, 91. 
Sibbald's, 29, 91. 
rosea, 129. 
ruscHs {Pastor), 117. 

II {Phfenicopterus), 122. 
rosmarus, 28. 
Ross, 242, 340, 342. 
Rostock, 348. 
Rostocker Heide, 186. 
rostrata, 29. 
rostratus, 30. 
"Rosy Bullfinch," 175. 
Rough-leirged Bat, 27, 34 fn. 
' Rough Notes ' (quoted), 222. 
Round-hi-aded Porpoise, 30, 92. 
Row Hound, 426. 
•Royal Natural History,' The 

(quoted), 363. 
riLbecula, 113. 



INDEX. 



491 



rvbescens, 331. 

rubetra, 112. 

rubicola, 112. 

Rudd, 335, 404. 

"Rudder-tisli;'361. 

rv/a, 124. 

ru/escens (Cannabinn), 116. 

ti {Tryngites), 127. 
Ptuff, 6, 10, 14, 101/127, 272. 

„ (Fish), 342. 
rujicollis (Bernicla), 122. 

II {Caprimulgus), 118. 
'nifina, 123. 
rufus, 113. 
Rugby School N.H.S. (Secretary 

quoted), 181. 
riipestris [Coryphceuoides), 333, 
386. 
II {Ctenolahriis), 332. 

'Rural Bird Life' (quoted), 202. 
Ruskin, Mr (quoted), 13. 
Russia, 282. 
rustica {Emberiza^, 117. 
II (Hirundo), 116. 
,1 {Pica), 117. 
rusticida, 127. 
Ruticilla, 113. 
rutilus, 335. 
Rye Harbour, 394. 

Sabine's Gull, 129, 283. 

Suipe, 269. 
sabinii, 129. 
"Sail-fish," 424. 
St Alban's Head, 289. 
St Andrews, 370, 385. 
St Hilaire, 33, 36. 
St Kilda, 3, 286, 287. 

Wren, 114, 155 
Saith, 380. 
Scdamandridcc, 312. 
sa^ar, 335j^ 411, 412. 
Scdmo, 335. 

Salmon, 64, 90, 335, 408. 
Salmon Trout, 336. 
Salmonidoj, 335. 
salvelinus, 336, 412. 
salviani, 338, 426. 
Salvin, Mr (quoted), 219. 
Sand-eel, 353. 
Sanderling, 127, 272. 
Sandpiper, Bartrani's, 127, 273. 

II Bonaparte's, 127, 270. 

Broad-bnied, 127, 270. 

„ Buff-V)reasted, 127, 272. 

11 Common, 127, 273. 

II Curlew, 127, 271. 



Sandpiper, Green, 127, 273. 

II Marsh, 295. 

,1 Pectoral, 127, 270. 

II Purple, 127, 271. 

II Sharp-tailed, 127, 270. 

„ Solitary, 128, 273. 

I, Spotted, 295. 

II Wood, 127, 273. 

Sand-smelt, 372. 
Sapphirine Gurnard, 327, 350. 
sarda, 328. 
Sardine, 398. 
Sark, 71. 

Sars, Prof, (quoted), 378. 
Saunders, Mr Howard (quoted), 
99, 101, 195, 210, 211, 214, 226, 
230, 234, 240, 256, 263, 268, 279. 
saurus, 329. 
Saury Pike, 329, 365. 
Sawfish, 424. 
saxatilis, 112. 
Saxicola, 112. 
Scabbard-fish, 329, 363. 
Scad, 329, 359. 
"Scaldback,"388. 
Scald-fish, 333, 388. 
Scale-rayed Wrasse, 332, 376. 
Scales of Fish, 320. 
scandiaca, 119. 
Scandinavia, 175, 247, 251, 254, 

267, 270. 
Scarlet Grosbeak, 117, 175. 
"Scart,"221. 
Scaup, 123,, 240. 
Scent, 51 fn. 
schobiiichis, 117. 
School Shark, 421. 
Scisena, 363. 
Sciasna, 329. 
Scicenidce, 329. 
Scilly Islands, 1, 3, 263, 278, 286, 

292. 
Sciuridce, 28. 
Sci lints, 28. 
Sderodenni, 337. 
Scolephayus, 295. 
Scolopacidce, 126. 
Scolopax, 127. 
scolopax {Centriscas), 331. 

II {(Edicnemits) , 125. 
Scomber, 328. 
scuviber, 328. 
Scomberidce, 328. 
Scombresocidce, 329. 
Scombresox, 329. 
Sco2Js, 120, 295. 
Sco/pcenidce, 327. 



492 



INDEX. 



scorpius, 327. 
Scoter, Black, 124, 242. 
1, Surf, 124, 242. 
„ Velvet, 124, 242. 
scoticus, 125. 
Scottou, 281. 
Scrope (quoted), 409. 
Scylliidce, 338. 
ScijUium, 338. 
Sea-Adder, 416. 

„ Bream, 327, 345. 

II Cow, QQ. 

II It Steller's, 9. 

II Hog, 92. 

,1 Horse, 337, 416. 

ti Lamprey, 437. 

., Otter, 60. 

,1 Parrot, 291. 

„ Pie, 266. 

,1 Scorpion, 327, 348. 

II Snail, 330, 368. 

M Trout, 411. 
"Sea-Pheasant," 238. 
Seafowl, 100, 109, 110. 
Seal, Common, 28, 64. 
„ Grey, 28, 65. 
u Harp, 28, 65. 

M Hooded, 28, 65. 
„ Ringed, 28, 65. 
Seals, 24, 25, 63-66. 
Scbastes, 327. 

Seebohm, Mr (quoted), 13. 
"Seed-bird," 159. 
Seeley, Mr (quoted), 382, 391, 393, 

399, 400, 401, 403, 405, 409. 
segetum, 122. 
Seine, 403. 
Selache, 338. 
Selachii, 338. 
'Selborne,' White's (quoted), 43, 

133. 
fiej^tentrioncdis, 131. 
Serin, 116, 170. 
Serinus, 116, 295. 
Serotine, 27, 33. 
serotinus, 27, 33. 
Serranus, Dusky, 326, 343. 
I, Smooth, 326, 343. 
Serranus, 326. 
scrrator, 124. 
Severn, 65, 342, 399, 409, 414, 419, 

437. 
Sewin, 412. 
Shad, Allis, 334, 399. 

I, Twaite, 334, 399. 
Slia-, 121, 220. 
Shakespeare Cliff, 6. 



Shannon, 409, 411, 413. 
Shanny, 330, 369. 
Shark, Basking, 338, 424. 

I, Blue, 338, 420. 

„ Fox, 338, 423. 

„ Greenland, 339, 427. 

„ Porbeagle, 338, 420-422. 

II Six-gilled, 338, 425. 

M Spinous, 339, 427. 
" Shark-ray," 429. 
Sharpe, Dr Bowdler (quoted), 174, 

181, 209. 
Sharp-tailed Lumpenus, 331, 371. 
Shearwater, Dusky, 130, 288. 
,1 Great, 130, 288. 

„ Manx, 130, 287. 

u Sooty, 130, 288. 

Shee}), 15. 
Sheld-duck, 122, 235, 243. 

„ Ruddy, 122, 235. 

Sherwood Forest, 182. 
Shetlands, 3, 172, 173, 177, 178, 

181, 191, 205, 209, 213, 241, 254, 

261, 263, 271, 275, 284, 287, 291, 

292. 
Short 'Sunfish, 337, 417. 
Short-eared Owl, 6, 119, 207. 
Shoveller, 123, 229, 238. 
Shrew, Common, 27, 44. 

II Lesser, 27, 43, 45. 
Water, 27, 45. 
Shrews, 8, 26, 43-46. 
Shrike, Great Grey, 104, 115, 163. 

It Lesser Grey, 115, 163. 

II Pallas's Grey, 115, 163. 

II Red-backed, 115, 163. 

t, Woodchat, 115, 164. 
Shropshire, 176. 
"_Shufflewing,"147. 
sihbaldi, 29. 
Siberian birds, 13, 134, 191, 263, 

270. 
sibilatrix, 113. 
sibirica, 118. 
sibiricus, 112. 
Sicily, 395. 
Silver Dog. 421. 

M_ Whiting, 379. 
Siphonostoma, 337. 
Siskin, 98, 116, 169. 
SUta, 114. 
Sittidie, 114. 

Six-gilled Shark, 338, 425. 
Skate, Common, 339, 429. 

It Flapi)er, 430. 

It Long-nosed, 339, 431. 

It Sharp-nosed, 339, 431. 



INDEX. 



493 



Skipper, 365. 
Skua, Arctic, 285. 

„ Common, 103, 129, 284 

„ Loug-tailed, 129, 285. 

II Pomatorhine, 129, 284. 

II Richardson's, 129, 285. 

„ Skye, 144. 
Skylark, 105, 118, 188. 
Skapton Ley, 404. 
Sloughing of Rej^tiles, 300. 
Slow-worm, 301, 303. 
" Small-eyed Ray," 432. 
Small-mouthed Wrasse, 376. 
Smear-dab, 391. 
Smelt, Sand, 372. 

„ True, 336, 412. 
Smew, 124, 242. 
Smith, Mr C. (quoted), 14. 
Smitt, Herr (quoted), 408, 412. 
Smooth Hound, 338, 420, 422. 

II Serranus, 326, 343. 
Snake, 301, 307. 
Snake, Common, 306. 

M Fish, 385. 

,1 Pipe-fish, 337, 416. 
Ringed, 301, 306. 

u Smooth, 301, 307. 
Snakes, 6, 8, 304-307. 
Snipe, Common, 6, 32 fn., 127, 
247, 269. 

„ Double, 268. 

„ Great, 127, 268. 

„ Half, 269. 

„ Jack, 127, 269. 

II Red-breasted, 127, 269. 

11 Sabine's, 269. 

,1 Solitary, 268. 

II Summer, 273. 
"Snip-nosed Mullet," 361. 
Societies for protecting Birds, 97. 
Solan Goose, 221. 
Sole, 334, 393. 
II "Bastard," 393. 
II French, 393. 
„ Lemon, 334, 392. 
„ Mary, 392. 
„ Sand, 334, 393. 
Solea, 334. 
solitaruis, 128. 
Solenette, 334, 394. 
Solway, 278. 
Smnateria, 123. 

Somerset, 83, 177, 210, 260, 304. 
Sorex, 27. 
Soricickc, 27. 
Southampton, 342. 
Southbourne-on-Sea, 15. 



Southwell, Mr (quoted), 145 fn., 

230. 
Spain, 391. 
Spallanzani, 32. 
Spanish Bream, 327, 346. 

M Mackerel, 328, 356. 
Simridce, 327. 

Sparling, 412. i 

Sparrow, Hedge, 19, 109, 114, 147. 

,1 House, 108, 110, 116, 
170. 
Tree, 110, 116, 172. 

„ White-throated, 295. 
Sparrow-Hawk, 120, 213. 
Spatula, 123. 
"Spayad,"84. 
spectahilis, 123. 

Speedy, Mr T. (quoted), 12, 47. 58. 
Spermaceti, 89. 
Sphyrmna, 336. 
spinachia, 331. 
Spinacidce, 338. 
spinosus, 339. 
Spinous Loach, 335, 408. 
n Shark, 339, 427. 
spiniis, 116. 
spipoletta, 115. 
Spoonbill, 122, 229, 238. 
Sport, Animals preserved for, 17, 

18, 48, 50. 
' Sport in the Highlands ' (quoted), 

12, 58. 
" Spotted Rav," 432. 
Sprat, 334, 398. 
sprattus, 334, 
Spur Dog, 338, 426. 
Squatarola, 126. 
squatina, 339. 
Squirrel, 28, 52, 67-69. 
Staffordshire, 382. 
stagnatilis, 295. 
stapazina, 112. 
Starling, 104, 117, 134, 179. 

II Meadow, 295. 

M Red-winged, 295. 

II Rose-coloured, 117, 180. 
Steele-Elliott, Mr J. (quoted), 213. 
Steganopodes, 121. 
stellaris, 121. 
stellen, 123. 
Stercorariinw, 129. 
Stercorarms, 129. 
Sterna, 128. 
Sternince, 128. 
SternoptychidiV, 336 . 
Stickleback, Fifteen-spiued, 331, 
374. 



494 



INDEX. 



Stickleback, Teu-spined, 331, 374. 
II Three - spined, 331, 

374. 
Stilt, Black-winged, 126, 26(J. 
Stiug-tish, 348. 
Stiug-Ray, 339, 433. 
Stint, American, 127, 271. 

,1 Little, 127, 270. 

II Temminek"s, 127, 271. 
Stoat, 25, 28, 32,53, 81. 
Stockton-on-Tees, 71. 
stolichis, 129. 
stomachichus, 335. 
Stone Basse, 326, 343. 

It Curlew, 125, l61. 

II Marten, 52. 
"Stone-biter," 371. 
Stonechat, 112, 137. 
Stonehaven, 291. 
Stonehenije, 260. 
Stork, Black, 122, 229. 
„ White, 122, 229. 
Stornoway, 344. 

Stour (Hampshire), 76, 217, 409. 
Stradling, Dr A. (quoted), 300, 

304, 305, 306. 
strepera, 123. 
streperus, 113. 
Strepsilas, 126. 
striata, 127. 
Striges, 119. 
StrUjidm. 119. 
Striped Wrasse, 331, 375. 
Strix, 119. 
StroiiuUeido', 329. 
Sturgeon, 337, 418. 
stuHo, 337. 
Sturnella, 295. 
Stuniidce, 117. 
Stioiius, 117. 
subarqiucta, 127. 
suhhiUeo, 121. 

Sucker, Connemara, 330, 3C8. 
,1 Coruisli, 330, 3H8. 
„ Double-spotted, 330, 368. 
Montagu's, 330, 368. 
Sucking-fish, 357. 
suecica, 113. 
Suez Canal, 419, 420. 
Suffolk, 53, 214. 
Suinart, Loch, 64. 
>SWa, 121. 
Sumatra, 87. 
Suniish, Oblong, 337, 417. 

M Short, 337, 417. 
"Sunfish," .3.59, 424. 

SU^XTCilioSUS, 113. 



surmidetus, 327. 

Surmullet, 327. 

Siirnia, 119. 

Surrey, 162, 197, 252 fn. 

Sussex, 4, 76, 146, 161, 176, 189, 

262, 270, 286, 373, 429. 
Sutherland, 178, 231, 243, 414. 
Swallow, 97, 98, 105, 112, 116, 

165, 166. 
Swallow, Tree, 296. 
Swan, Bewick's, 122, 234. 

.1 Mute, 122, 233. 

„ Polish, 234. 

I, Whistling, 234. 

,1 Whooper, 122, 234. 
Swanage, 219. 
Swift, 112, 118, 165, 190. 

I, Alpine, 118, 191. 

„ Needle-tailed, 118, 191. 
Sword-fish, 329, 363. 
Sydney, 72, 304, 419. 
sylvatica, 28, 295. 
si/lvaticus, 29. 
Sijlvia, 113. 
Si/tviince, 113. 
Syngnathidfe, 337. 
Syngnathus, 337. 
Synottcs, 27. 
Syrnium, 119. 
Syrrhaptes, 124. 

Tachycineta, 296. 

Tadorna, 122. 

"Tadpole-Fish," 382. 

Tail of birds, 103. 

"Tally," 432. 

Talpa, 27. 

Talpidce, 27. 

tarda, 125. 

Tarpon, 396. 

Taunton, 146. 

taxus, 28. 

Tay, 409. 

Taylor's ' Half-Hours in the Green 

Lanes ' (quoted), 320. 
Teal, 123, 238. 

,t American Green-winged, 123, 
238 

„ Blue-winged, 123, 238. 
Teleostomi, 326. 
Teme, 414. 
temmincki, 127. 
temporaria, 312. 
tencea, 335. 
Tench, 335, 405. 
tengmahni, 119. 
Tern, Arctic, 128, 277. 



INDEX. 



495 



Tern, Black, 128, 278. 
■ II Caspian, 128, 277. 
M Coraiuon, 128, 276. 
,1 Gull-billed, 128, 277. 
I, Little, 13, 128, 277. 
„ Roseate, 128, 278. 
u Sandwich, 128, 277. 
I, Scopoli's Sooty, 128, 277. 
I, Sooty, 128. 277. 
„ Whiskered, 128, 279. 
„ Wliite- winged Black, 128, 
278 
Terns, 276-2*79. 
Tetrao, 125. 
Tetraonidce, 125. 
tetrax, 125. 
tetrix, 125. 
Tetrodon, 337. 

Thames, The, 64, 65, 136, 144, 
158, 163, 178, 199, 233, 2-38, 
254, 277, 279, 342, 349, 366, 
399, 401, 402, 407, 410, 419. 
Thickback, 334, 393. 
"Thick-knee," 261. 
Thornback, 339, 430. 
"Three-bearded Gade," 383. 
Thresher Shark, 423. 
Thrush, Black-throated, 112, 134. 
Gold-vented, 296. 
„ Holm, 132 fn. 
„ Mistle, 112. 132. 
„ Rock, 112, 136. 
II Siberian, 112, 135. 

Song, 104, 112, 132, 134. 
11 Storm, 132. 
„ White's, 112, 135. 
Thrushes, 132-142. 
ThyviaUus, 336. 
Thynmts, 328. 
thynnus, 328. 
Tiber, The, 342. 
Tichodroma, 115. 
'Times,' the (quoted), 13 fn., 67 

fn. 
timidus, 29. 
Timor Sea, 300. 
Tinea, 335. 
"Tinker," 374, 429. 
tinnunculus, 121. 
Tit, Bearded, 150. 
I, Blue, 114, 153. 
,1 Bottle, 151. 
., Coal, 114, 152. 
11 Continental Coal, 152. 
II II Long-tailed, 151. 

II Crested, 114, 153. 
M Great, 114, 151. 



Tit, Long-tailed, 114, 151. 

„ Marsh, 114, 152. 
tithys, 113. 
"Titlark," 160. 
Titmice, 150-153. 
" Titterel " 275. 
Toad, Coimnon," 6, 89, 312, 314. 

I, " Cornish," 315. 
Toad-fish, 417. 
tobiamis, 333. 
Tope, 338, 420, 421. 
Topknot, 333, 389. 

II Norwegian, 333, 389. 
One-spotted, 333, 389. 
tor da, 130. 
Torgoch, 336, 412. 
Toripedinidm, 339. 
Torpedo, 339. 
Torpedo, 339, 433. 

I, Marbled, 433. 
torquata, 112. 
Torquay, 280. 
torqidlla, 119. 
Torsk, 333, 382. 
Totanus,^ 127, 295. 
Trachinidce, 328. 
Trachinus, 328. 
trachuriis, 329. 
Trachypteridce, 331. 
Trachypterus, 331. 
Tree-Creeper, 103, 115, 153, 156. 

„ Pipit, 115, 159. 

I, Sparrow, 110. 116, 172. 
Trent, 382, 411, 414. 
Trichechida;, 28. 
Trichechics, 28. 
Trichiuridoj, 329. 
Tnchiurus, 329. 
tricirrata, 333. 
tricolor, 326, 344. 
tridactyla, 129. 
Trigger-fish, 417. 
Trigia, 327. 
Trinya, 127. 
trivialis, 115. 
trochilus, 113. 
Troglodytes, 114. 
Troglodytidce, 114. 
troile, 130. 
Tropidonotus, 301. 
Trout, 1, 335, 410. 
Trumpet-fish, 375. 
truncatus, 337. 
trutta, 336. 
Trygon, 3-39. 
Trygonida', 339. 
Tryngites, 127. 



496 



INDEX. 



Tub-fish, 351. 
Tubinares, 130. 
Tunny, 328, 356. 

tt Long-finned, 356. 
Turbot, 333. 387. 
"Turbot,"390. 
Turdiclce, 112-114. 
Turdince, 112, 132. 
turdoides, 113. 
Turdus, 112. 
Turnix, 295. 
Turnstone, 126, 266. 
Tiirsio, 30. 

Turtle Dove, 124, 246. 
''Turtle Dove," 291. 
Turtles, 16, 17 fn. 
Turtur, 124. 
Tuscany, 107, 157. 
Twaite Shad, 334, 399. 
Tweed, 410. 
Twigmore, 281. 
Twite, 116, 175. 
typhle, 337. 

Ullswater, 413. 
undata, 113. 
Ungidata, 29. 
unimaadatus, 333. 
United States, 353. 
Upupa, 119. 
Upupidm, 119. 
urbica, 116. 
Uriel, 130. 
nrogallus, 125. 

vandesius, 336. 
Vanellus, 126. 
variegata, 334. 
varius, 112. 
Vendace, 336, 413. 
Ventnor, 399. 

Vermin, 9, 37, 39, 58, 66, 71. 
'Vertebrate Fauna of Bedford- 
shire ' (quoted), 215. 
Vertebrates, the lowest, 437-439. 
Vespertilio, 27. 
Vespertilionidce, 27. 
vespertinus, 121. 
Vesper ugo, 27. 
villosus, 296. 
Viper, 6, 304. 
vipera, 328. 
Viperidce, 301. 
Viperiformes, 301. 
virens, 332. 
Vireo, 295. 
virgo, 125. 



viridis, 118. 
viscivorus, 112. 

'Visitation of Pallas's Sand- 
Grouse ' (quoted), 246. 
vitulirut, 28. 
vimpara {Lacerta), 301. 
viviparus, 331. 
vocifera, 126. 
Voice of birds, 103. 
Vole, Bank, 29, 78. 
„ Field, 29, 77. 
„ Bed Field, 78. 
„ Water, 29, 56, 76. 
Voles, 8, 25 fn., 55, 66, 76-78. 
volitans, 329. 
Von Mosjvar (quoted), 62. 
vidgaris {Acanthias), 338. 

II {Anguilla), 334. 
{Barbus), 335. 

,1 {Belone), 329. 
{Box), 327. 

„ {Bufo), 312. 

,1 {Buteo), 120. 

II (Coccothraustes), 116. 

II {Conger), 334. 

II {Dentex), 326. 

II {Galeus), 338. 

II {Hip)pogloss%is), 333. 

II {Leuciscus), 335. 

It {Liparis), 330. 
(Zoto), 332. 

II {Lutra), 28. 

II {Merluccius), 332. 
(i/o/ge), 312. 
(il/o/m), 332. 

I, {Mustela), 28. 

,1 (J/?<s^e/its), 338. 

„ (P«,r//'Ms), 327. 

II {Sciurus), 28. 

„ (>SoZm), 334. 

,1 (.Sorea;), 27. 

II {Sturmis), 117. 

II {ThijmaUus), 336. 

•' {Tinea), 335. 

II {Vanellus), 126. 
vulpes {Alopias), 338. 

It [Canis), 28. 
Vulture, Egyptian, 120, 210. 

„ Griffon, 120, 210. 
VuUuridcr, 120. 

Waders, 5, 109, 260-276. 
Wagtail, 97. 

It Blue-headed, ll.''), 159. 
Grey, 115, 1.58. 

,t Pied, 115, 157. 

II Water, 157. 



INDEX. 



497 



Wagtail, White, 115, 158. 
M Yellow, 115, 159. 
Wagtails, the, 157-159. 
Wallace, Dr A. R. (quoted), 8, 149. 
Wall-creeper, 115, 156. 
Walmer, 206. 
Waliiey Island, 3. 
Walrus, 28, 63, 6Q. 
Warbler, Aquatic, 114, 146. 
Barred, 113, 144. 
II Blackcap, 113. 

Dartford, 113, 144. 
It Garden, 113, 143. 
II Grasshopper, 114, 147. 
Great Reed, 113, 146. 
II Icterine, 113, 146. 
II Marsh, 114, 146. 
„ Orphean, 113, 142. 

Pallas's Willow, 118, 145. 
„ Reed, 113, 146. 
Rufous, 113, 146. 
Savi's, 14, 114, 147. 
„ Sedge, 104, 114, 147. 
II Yellow-hrowed, 113, 145. 
Warblers, 142-147. 
Waterfowl, 99, 102, 103, 105. 
Water-hen, 257. 
II ousel, 148. 
II pipit, 115, 161. 
,1 rail, 125, 257. 
II rat, 76. 
II shrew, 27, 45. 
„ vole, 29, 56, 76. 
II Avagtail, 157. 
Waxwing, 115, 164. 
Weasel, 8, 19, 25 fn., 28, 41, 55-.56. 
Weever, Greater, 328, 353. 

„ Lesser, 328, 353. 
West Indies, 363, 434. 
Weymouth, 234, 287. 
Whale, Cuvier's, 30, 92. 
II Greenland, 90. 
„ Humpback, 29, 91. 

Right, 90. 
M Southern, 29, 90. 
M Sowerby's, 3U, 91. 
II Sperm, 91. 
II Whalebone, 90. 
White, 30, 93. 
"Whale-feed," 87. 
Whalebone, 87, 88. 
Whales, 86-92. 
Wheatear, 112, 136. 

II Black - throated, 112, 

136. 
M Desert, 112, 136. 
., Isabelliue, 112, 136. 



Whiff, 388. 

Whimbrel, 15, 128, 275. 
Whinchat, 106, 112, 137. 
Whiskered Bat, 27, 35. 
"Whistling Swan," 234. 
Whitaker, Mr (quoted), 83. 
White, Gilbert (quoted), 33, 37, 

43, 107. 
"Whitebait," 397, 398. 
White Bream, 407. 
,1 Goby, 330, 366. 
II Whale, 30, 93. 
"White Skate," 431. 
Wliitethroat, 56, 104, 113, 142. 
Lesser, 113, 142. 
Whiting, 5, 332, 379. 
I, Couch's, 381. 
It Pout, 378. 
" Whittret," 56. 
Whooper, 122. 
Wigeon, 123, 237. 

II American, 123, 237. 
Wight. See Isle of Wight. 
Wigtownshire, 58. 
Wild Cat, 8, 16, 18, 24, 25, 28, 

46-48. 
Wild Cattle, 15, 24. 
Willow Grouse, 254. 

„ Wren, 113, 145. 
Wilson, Mr W. N. (quoted), 181. 
wilsoni, 295. 
Wincanton Field Club Proceedings 

(quoted), 260. 
Winchester, 56, 1 64. 
Windermere, 411. 
"Windhover," 217. 
Witch 392. 

Witherby, Mr (quoted), 6 fn., 208. 
Wolf, 9, 14. 
Wolf-fish, 331, 371. 
wolfi, 113. 
Wood Sandpiper, 127, 273. 

„ Wren, 113, 145. 
Woodchat, 115, 164. 
Woodcock, 6, 32 fn., 102, 105, 127, 

144, 247, 267. 
" Woodcock Owl," 207. 
"Woodcock Pilot," 144. 
Woodlark, 118, 188. 
Wood-mouse, 29, 75. 
Woodpecker, Black, 296. 
„ Downy, 296. 

It Golden- winged, 296 

I, Great Spotted, 102, 

103, 118, 193. 
Green, 103, 118, 195. 
11 Hairy, 296. 



2 I 



498 



INDEX. 



Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted, 118, 

194. 
Wood-pigeon, 108, 124, 244. 
Worm Pipe-tish, 337, 416. 
Wrasse, Baillon's, 376. 

„ Rainbow, 332,-377. 

ti Scale-rayed, 332, 376. 

11 Small -mouthed, 376. 
Striped, 331, 375. 
"Wreck-fish," 343. 
Wren, 98, 114, 155. 

II Ruby-crowned, 296. 

M St Kilda, 114, 155. 

I, Willow, 113, 145. 

„ Wood, 113, 145. 
"Wriggle," 385. 
" Writing Lark," 177. 
Wryneck, 119, 197. 
Wye, 414. 

Xema, 129. 
Xiphias, 329. 
Xiphiidce, 329. 



" Yaffle " 195. 
Yarrell's Blenny, 331, 370. 
Yellow Ammer or Hammer, 104, 
117, 177. 
II -necked Mouse, 29, 74. 
Yellowshank, 128, 274. 
Yorkshire, 47, 54, 59, 71, 81, 140, 

143, 144, 145, 175, 201, 210, 211, 

216, 217, 226, 232, 238, 254, 274, 

287, 382, 414. 
* Yorkshire Vertebrata ' (quoted), 

47, 64, 59, 216, 238. 

Zebus, 18. 
Zeugopterus, 333. 
Zeus, 329. 
Ziphius, 30. 
Zoarces, 331. 
Zonotrichia, 295. 

'Zoologist, The' (quoted), 24, 38 
fn., 45 fu., 55 In., 75, 145 fn. 
Zygcena 338. 



THE END. 



PRINTUn BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS. 



w^^e^^mmai. 




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