Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/86

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spring. A few Sand Martins, skimming over lake or river in the closing days of the month, give rise to the "early swallow" paragraphs in the newspapers. The Ring Ouzel, the white-breasted "moor blackbird," sometimes reaches the fells thus early, and in the south of England the hawk-like call of the Wryneck may be heard, but the great wave of migration is still to come and will spread itself over the coming six weeks.


The March sunshine, which sees such a stir in the bird world, serves to revivify much of the small populace of field and wood. True, it is an inconstant month which does not know its mind, and, after harking back to winter pure and simple, may end in relenting mood by borrowing two or three days from April and giving us a few sunlit hours with the temperature in the neighbourhood of 65°. Then, indeed, there is a magic awakening, not only of the furred and scaled, but of insect hosts which hum and creep and fly. Our native animals present few instances of hibernation in the sense of a deep and unbroken winter sleep. The squirrel is abroad from time to time all through the winter, and often in severe weather. But the hedgehog has certainly been in retirement, and now unrolls, drowsy and rather unsteady at first, to root for grubs in the garden paths at dusk. A rustle in the hedge-