Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/121

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out the season to the coppice or bushy thicket by the roadside which it selects on arrival. The first Redstart shows us a flash of colour as he goes along the hedge, pausing to sing and vibrate his ruddy tail, while a newly arrived Tree Pipit is making his restless little ascents and descents, trilling out a song which would be little noticed but for the louder, penetrating notes with which it ends. These, as we have often observed when travelling, are clearly audible above the noise of a train in motion. The Blackcap from the leafing oaks adds a voice of first-rate quality and compass to the spring choir. Many consider that no rival songster reaches the level of his rich, mellow strain. A walk along the brook-side will now show that the Common Sandpiper is back in his summer haunts, trilling out his love-song and playing about over the surface of the quiet pools with all the quick turns of the swallow tribe.

In the third week of the month often comes a change from the harsh, dry winds which have prevailed for so long. At evening the birds sing with fresh vigour for they feel the rain coming. After a night of warm showers the morning shows that the hedgerows have rushed into leaf and that the chestnut leaves begin "to spread into the perfect fan."

The change is accompanied by a rush of migrants; five or six new-comers may be noted in the course of the day. Now, spring personified, comes the call of the