Page:Condor8(1).djvu/13

This page needs to be proofread.


Jan., I9o6 I PAPERS ON PHILIPPINE BIRDS I. I3 was taken by Hugh Cuming. None of tile recent collectors seem to have taken the bird. At San Fernando deUnion an individual of tile common swamp kingfisher, /?alcyon ch/oris, came aboard the ship and remained fora short time. From San Fernand. we proceeded up tile coast, making several small ports but nothing of importance in the bird line was observed until we reached Aparri. Aparri, August 8.--In the bay were numerous small terns, dark-colored and white herous, and n few snake birds (AnM?(ga mela?togaster). At night a small owl (Nittow) came aboard and was added to our collection. As the captain de- clined to land us on any of the Babuyanes I took myself, two native assistants, and outfit ashore, trusting to luck to find other means of transportation to the islands. Aparri is n fair-sized town at the mouth of the Cagayan River and is the shipping port for the finest tobacco of the Philippines. Tobacco in small quanti- ties can be purchased very cheaply at Aparri; I found an excellent cigar put up in bundles of ten each at 5 cents American money per bundle. "Aparri is a desolate place; the country about is flat, sandy and barren. The wide sand beach, an un- usual sight in the Philippines, exteuds for miles to Cabo Engafio and nothing is found here but a few broken elam shells, crabs, flies and tiger beetles. The sun beats down heavily." (From my note .book.) Birds were seame and of common species. In the scanty growth of dry grass back of the beach were a few grass warblers (A4'egalurus palustris) and the common bulbul (Pyct?onotus .goiavier). In the dry rice fields, the little warbler (Cislicola exilis) was uttering his grasshopper notes and the rnfous lark (d?zt?us rttfulus) was feeding in the stubble. The Jagor rice bird (Munia jagori) and the Philippine crow (Cotone p?ihfpina) were noted in small num- bers. The bee bird (A4'erops sp.) was especially abundant feeding over the river and I was told that it nested in banks a few miles up stream. A rufous fly- catcher (Zeocep/tus rufus) flying about a bush ill the .yard adjoining our house seemed strangely out of place as my experience indicates that it prefers woods or brushy localities at some distance from houses. The rufous flycatcher is a very lovely species of about six inches length; the entire plumage is rich reddish brown and tile legs, bill, nnd eyelids are deep blue; the nriddle pair of tail feathers are greatly elongated in the adult male making his totnl length five or six inches greater than that of the female. Amzust 25, after many delays and fruitless searell for boatsto Fugaor other island we got away ill a "viray?' a flat-bottomed sail boat some twenty feet in length. It was not decked over but had nipa palm thatch fore and aft for the pro- tectiou of cargo. Our boat was such aone as the moreveuturesome natives of any country might use to reach distant islands and by such means no doubt, many snmll animals have been introdnced into isolated localities where their presence is otherwise difficult to account for. Our viray actually carried the following animals from Aparri to Calayan Island: herluit crabs, beach crabs, a small wood- boring beetle, a mouse, three species of spiders, three species of ants, a lizard, and a frog. The natives of south sea islands still visit the Hawaiian Islands in sail boats and may have carried in former tintes many of the lizards, plants and in- sects that are uow well established there. Our crew was a hard-looking set. It consisted of a "pilot," a young native with a long tongue and no brains, three native sailors, and a helmsman, an old q2agayau man who said nothing, looked and drank like a pirate and proved to be the best sailor and most reliable man of the lot. The morning of the 26th found us within a few miles of Camiguin, a high