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one country to another. Our author, Mr. White, saw what he deemed the actual migration of these birds, and which he has described at p. 63 of his History of Selborne ; and of their congregating together on the roofs of churches and other buildings, and on trees, previous to their departure, many instances occur ; particularly I once observed a large stock of house-martins on the roof of the church here at Catsfield, which acted exactly in the manner here described by Mr. White, sometimes preening their feathers and spreading their wings to the sun, and then flying off all together, but soon returning to their former situation. The greatest part of these birds seemed to be young ones. - MARKWICK.
While the cows are feeding in the moist low pastures, broods of wagtails, white and grey, run round them, close up to their noses, and under their very bellies, availing themselves of the fies that settle on their legs, and probably finding worms and larvce that are roused by the trampling of their feet. Nature is such an economist, that the most incongruous animals can avail themselves of each other!
Interest makes strange friendships.—WHITE.
Birds continually avail themselves of particular and unusual circumstances to procure their food : thus wagtails keep playing about the noses and legs of cattle as they feed, in quest of flies and other insects which abound near those animals; and great numbers of them will follow close to the plough to devour the worms, etc., that are turned up by that instrument. The redbreast attends the gardener when digging his borders; and will, with great familiarity and tameness, pick out the worms, almost close to his spade, as I have frequently seen. Starlings and magpies very often sit on the backs of sheep and deer to pick out their ticks.--MARKWICK.
These birds appear on the grass plots and walks; they walk a little as well as hop, and thrust their bills into the turf, in quest, I conclude, of ants, which are their food. While they hold their bills in the grass, they draw out their prey with their tongues, which are so long as to be coiled round their heads.- WHITE.
Mr. B. shot a cock grosbeak which he had observed to haunt his garden for more than a fortnight. I began to accuse this bird of making sad havoc among the buds of the cherries, gooseberries, and wall-fruit of all the neighbouring orchards. Upon opening its crop or craw, no buds were to be seen; but a mass of kernels of the stones of fruits. Mr B. observed that this bird frequented the spot where plumtrees grow, and that he had seen it with somewhat hard in its mouth, which it broke with difficulty ; these were the stones of damsons. The Latin ornithologists call this bird Coccothraustes—i.e., berry-breaker-because with its large horny beak it cracks and breaks the shells of stone-fruits for the sake of the seed or kernel. Birds of this sort are rarely seen in England, and only in winter.-WHITE.
I have never seen this rare bird but during the severest cold of the hardest winter; at which season of the year
I have had in my possession two or three that were killed in this neighbourhood in different years.—MARKWICK.
OBSERVATIONS ON QUADRUPEDS.
The sheep on the downs this winter (1769) are very ragged, and their coats much torn; the shepherds say they tear their fleeces with their own mouths and horns, and they are always that way in mild, wet winters, being teased and tickled with a kind of lice.
After ewes and lambs are shorn, there is great confusion and bleating, neither the dams nor the young being able to distinguish one another as before. This embarrassment seems not so much to arise from the loss of the fleece, which
occasion an alteration in their appearance, as from the defect of that notus ordo, discriminating each individual personally; which also is confounded by the strong scent of pitch and tar wherewith they are newly marked; for the brute creation recognise each other more from the smell than the sight; and in matters of indentity and diversity appeal much more to their noses than their eyes. After sheep have been washed there is the same confusion, from the reason given above.—WHITE.
Rabbits make incomparably the finest turf, for they not only bite closer than larger quadrupeds, but they allow no bents to rise ; hence warrens produce much the most delicate turf for gardens. Sheep never touch the stalks of grasses. — WHITE.
CATS AND SQUIRRELS.
A boy has taken three young squirrels in their nest, or drey as it is called in these parts. These small creatures he put under the care of a cat who had lately lost her kittens, and finds that she nurses and suckles them with the same assiduity and affection as if they were her own offspring. This circumstance corroborates my suspicion, that the mention of exposed and deserted children being nurtured by female beasts of prey who had lost their young may not be so improbable an incident as many have supposed ; and therefore may be a justification of those authors who have gravely mentioned what some have deemed to be a wild and improbable story.
So many people went to see the little squirrels suckled by a cat, that the foster mother became jealous of her charge, and in pain for their safety; and therefore hid them over the ceiling, where one died. This circumstance shows her affection for these fondlings, and that she supposes the squirrels to be her own young. Thus hens, when they have hatched ducklings, are equally attached to them as if they were their own chickens.—WHITE.
HORSE. An old hunting mare, which ran on the common, being taken very ill, ran down into the village, as it were, to implore the help of men, and died the night following in the street. -WHITE.
The king's stag-hounds came down to Alton, attended by a huntsman and six yeomen prickers, with horns, to try for the stag that has haunted Hartley Wood for so long a time. Many hundreds of people, horse and foot, attended the dogs to see the dcer unharboured; but though the huntsmen drew Hartley Wood, and Long Coppice, and Shrubwood, and Temple Hangers, and in their way back Hartley and Ward-le-ham Hangers, yet no stag could be found.
The royal pack, accustomed to have the deer turned out before them, never drew the coverts with any address and spirit, as many people that were present observed; and this remark the event has proved to be a true one.
For as a person was lately pursuing a pheasant that was wingbroken in Hartley Wood, he stumbled upon the stag by accident, and ran in upon him as he lay concealed amidst a thick brake of brambles and bushes.— WHITE.
OBSERVATIONS ON INSECTS AND
INSECTS IN GENERAL.
The day and night insects occupy the annuals alternately; the papilios, muscæ, and apes are succeeded at the close of day by phalænæ, earwigs, woodlice, etc. In the dusk of the evening, when beetles begin to buz, partridges begin to call; these two circumstances are exactly coincident.
Ivy is the last flower that supports the hymenopterous and dipterous insects. On sunny days quite on to