Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/206

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shriek their anxious fears as to the security of hidden young or dart up with shrill vituperation at a passing gull. Graceful in shape and spotless in plumage is the Little Tern which shares the same haunt, laying its eggs upon the foreshore, so little above the highest tide-mark as to leave but a narrow margin of safety. We have known all three, plover, oyster-catcher and tern, to have nests within a couple of yards of each other. The handsome Sheld-ducks leave the sandbars and oozy channels in which they love to paddle, to lay their eggs in deserted rabbit-burrows in the midst of the warren. Their beautifully contrasted plumage of white, chestnut and green renders them an ornament to the parts of the coast where they are found.

Not less strange is the choice of the Stock Dove, which will often nest in a similar burrow at a depth of two or three feet, having as neighbour the Wheatear, which flicks its white tail and "chacks" noisily in every little hollow of the dunes. The plants of the sand-waste—sea-holly, houndstongue, sea bind-weed—are not less characteristic than its birds; even its insects and land-shells will be found to be peculiar to itself. In spite of the wealth of beauty which it brings, July marks one of the turning points of the year, for towards the end of the month one has a feeling that summer, if not exactly upon the wane, has at least passed its meridian. Daylight lingers less long and