Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/176

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move at night, when apparently they fly from pond to pond.

One weird sound will only be heard by dwellers upon the coast. This is the voice of the Manx Shearwater, a sort of ghostly "cuck-cuckōō-," and the writer has only heard it about midnight on hot, sultry nights of June. When the full moon falls in the last ten days of the month there is of course no darkness, and we are reminded of the bright summer nights of the far north. Such of our birds as do go to rest have at midsummer a scant six hours for repose. We have heard the blackbird singing at 9.30 and again at 3.5 the following morning. A robin is singing at 3.15, sparrows chirping half an hour later. By four, swallows are on the wing, wood-pigeons cooing and birds in general are awake and active.


In a backward year plenty of ash-trees and some elms are not half in leaf by the first of June. But though "the lingering ash delays while all the woods are green," the popular fancy is right in characterizing the month as that of full and perfect leafage. All the delicate winter tracery of branch and twig is now lost in those shapely masses of foliage which give charm and dignity to our English timber-trees, especially when massed in grove or copse or disposed in stately