Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/214

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of varied coloration and marking than those of the guillemot.

Further down are the Kittiwakes' nests—real nests of seaweed properly rounded and hollowed—seemingly glued to the face of the cliff and standing out from it like brackets. It is a busy scene and a novel one; the razorbills and guillemots darting down to the waves in a constant stream, some tossing on the waves light and buoyant as corks, others arriving at the ledges and struggling for foothold, uttering meanwhile a hoarse guttural note, which, mingling with the "kitty-wauk," "kitty-wauk" of the dove-like kittiwakes on the ledges and the cackling and barking of the larger gulls above, forms a strange and weird chorus. A pair of Great Black-backed Gulls laughs gruffly overhead.

Every outcrop of rock and, here and there, the edge of the cliff itself, is tenanted by Puffins, all standing upright, all with spotlessly white breasts and gorgeous bills. The eye wearies of regiments of puffins in endless perspective. Some are constantly arriving from the sea and alighting with a plump on the rocks, giving a little flutter with their wings to steady themselves. The Razorbills, in their black dress-coats the picture of prim respectability, are, if anything, more ridiculously tame than the puffins. Their eggs are in holes or under overhanging boulders, but never far back or in regular burrows like those of the puffin.