Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/308

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these woodland birds. Thus the jay is known by its manner of going up a tree by taking long hops from branch to branch; a blackbird, glimpsed in fading light, can be nothing else if it gives its tail a sharp, upward jerk as it alights. Just as characteristic is the shuffling movement of the hedge-sparrow's wings as it shows itself upon the outside of the hedge. But there is a less familiar note—a plaintive "see-seese-ep," from the tops of the beeches which are still splashed with fiery yellow and ruddy gold where sheltered from the November gales. As the bird flies we know the Hawfinch by its stumpy figure and undulating flight, which almost gives the impression that its big beak makes it top-heavy. And once in a way, generally where there is a group of firs, we may chance upon a party of finch-like birds, whose call-note and general appearance at once stamp them as something out of the common. The glass shows that the plumage of some is chiefly dull crimson, while in that of others greenish-yellow predominates, also that they cling to the branches in curious parrot-like attitudes, as, with a slight wrench or twist, they detatch the seeds from between the scales of the cones. Such are the Crossbills, well called "gipsy-migrants," for they appear to wander about the country in haphazard fashion, sometimes spending a day or two in some familiar grove of firs where we have never seen them before, and where we may not see them again for