Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/37

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Amongst the crowd of weak, crippled, or half-starved birds which throng wherever food is provided for them, skylarks, even rooks and lapwings, find a place. Many suffer from frost-bitten feet; several starlings still come although unable to stand, and a great-tit afflicted with club-foot is a never failing pensioner. The hardy finches and buntings, which burrow into the sides of the stacks to find shelter from the bitter weather, suffer comparatively little, but insect-eating birds, such as the few pipits and wagtails which remain, are reduced to sore straits. The plucky little Stonechats, snowed out of the cliff-slopes, flit tame and robin-like about the sands. The Grey Wagtail seeks factory-pools or spring heads, which remain unfrozen, and Wrens come indoors seeking shelter. As inland waters become completely ice-bound, the wild-fowl desert them entirely and make their way to the coast. In great frosts they do not linger there, but go much farther south, perhaps to the marismas of Andalusia, or the wide, shallow lakes on the northern borders of the Sahara. Thus it was noticed that in the great frost of 1895 there were few brent-geese or other wild-fowl on the Essex coast.

But, on the other hand, many seabirds which ordinarily winter in the Spitzbergen seas, such as the Iceland and Ivory Gulls, the Little Auk, and the Northern or Brünnich's Guillemot, are recorded upon the East coast, showing how wide is the area affected