158 THE CONDOR VoL. XII the nest had been carefully placed in cotton in a box which we had brought for the purpose we spent some further time in photographing the adjacent chasm, cliffs and otherS bleak tho scenic surroundings. Besides the bird previously described, but two other Leucostictes were seen and both were flusht from the rocks; but an examination of the spots proved futile. It is certainly remarkable, that, altho we traverst the identical territory where we had but eleven days previously noted close to two dozen birds, now such a small fraction of that number were to be seen. If as seems probable most of the birds were sitting, where in the world were their mates? This scarcity, however, seems to be the usual condition of affairs on Pyramid, as Barlow on his trip (June 10, 1900) noted but two pairs, while I only found in all about five birds on my visit on July 5, '1902; and'other writers record about the same number. As a high wind had now begun to blow and as it was growing late (4 p. m.) we headed for camp. Tempted by a great saving in distance we foolishly decided Fig. 52. GRAY-CROWNED LEUCOSTICTE IN ANOTHER POSE. ITS CON- TINUAL ACTIVITY PREVENTED SHARPNESS IN THE PHOTO on descending the north side of the peak. While in late summer, perhaps, this may not be such a difficult mattel we soon found that to descend the almost per- pendicular banks of snow was perilous in the extreme. More than once we fer- vently wisht for the opportunity of returning by the route by which we had come; but, as itwas impossible to go up again, we were compelled to continue. Oncewe reacht the great snow beds which lie at the foot of the peak and stretch out over to the edge of Desolation Valley progress became easier. Goi'ng down the steep cliffs into Desolation required considerable time as the terrace must be workt back and forth in descending. A wearisome number of rocky walls, snow beds and banks, and brawling streams had yet to be negotiated, and it was after seven when our camp at Lake of the Woods was reacht. The eggs and nest were found intact, but our rifle and camera-tripod, which we had used to slacken speed in going down the snow banks, were indeed in a demoralized condition.
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