Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/287

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as it flutters down the hedge and flirts its tail on alighting at once show its kinship to the more familiar butcher-bird. Some years, however, there is quite an immigration of Grey Shrikes, and the chance of meeting with one, especially in the north of England, is far from remote.

October brings in larger numbers another acquaintance whose appearance was noted last month, to wit the Jack Snipe. Winter after winter the little patch of bog at the overflow of the pool never fails to harbour its jack-snipe, which, after lying like a stone while the retriever is scenting about close to it, starts up when least expected, with weak, wavering flight, and, after flying for about twenty yards, pitches again into cover.

This month sees further arrivals of the "flight" ducks which come from the north to join the mallard and teal which have passed the summer with us. By the middle of the month, the drake mallards have lost the plumage in which they so closely resemble their mates and are once more in full dress. To various parts of the coast come the diving ducks, Scaup, Golden-eye, Pochard and Scoter, which spend the winter chiefly upon the sea or upon tidal waters, obtaining their food, whether shell-fish or vegetable matter, by the method which earns for them the above appellation. The waders, from the curlew down to dunlin and stint, have received further accession to their numbers, and give to sand-bars and mud-flats an important element in