Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/230

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silently steal away, from their arrival which was heralded by the music of their voices on every side.

Migration chiefly occurs at night, and, even upon the south or east coast, we may be unaware of what is taking place, unless we notice the large flights of swifts all pointing southward, an unusual number of turtle-doves on the oat-stubble near the edge of the cliff, or find cuckoos and nightjars sheltering amongst the marram-grass and stunted tamarisks above the foreshore, where they certainly would not be met with under ordinary circumstances. They are waiting for a favourable opportunity to make the passage of the Channel. The Common Sandpiper leaves the hill pools and mountain tarns to spend the remainder of its stay beside the lowland brooks. The Curlew deserts the high sheep-walks for the coast; and the Grey Wagtail abandons the burns and trout streams, where it has spent the summer in flitting from stone to stone amongst the eddies and ripples, to reappear at the same runnel of water by the roadside where, winter after winter, we never fail to note it.

In the case of a few birds the breeding season, which practically closed in July, is prolonged until mid-August, but, as a rule, only by isolated pairs whose domestic arrangements have been thrown out of gear by mishaps earlier in the season. There is nothing unusual in finding a nest of young greenfinches or yellow-hammers when the month has half run its