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VOYAGE TO GREENLAND.

twenty specimens of the little Auk. These birds fly with great swiftness against the wind, and waver from side to side in their flight, like snipes. I was much amused at the pleasure expressed by the boat's crew, on seeing me kill twelve of these swift-winged birds, without missing. They have a short, black, convex and thick bill, its upper part black; cheeks, and lower part, white; legs, dirty greenish white; webs, black; head and neck, black; weight, five ounces; length, nine inches; extent of wing, fifteen inches. They dive wonderfully quick, frequently putting their beak to the water, as if to drink. They live on shrimps, many of which I took from the stomach: their voice is singular, resembling the forced laugh of punch in a puppet-show.


Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821, page 0038.png



May 16. 
This morning I came on deck at four o'clock, and was much gratified by a remarkable bright land blink, and by the sight of our destined northern object, Spitsbergen, which was