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Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 4 (1900).djvu/298

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270
THE ZOOLOGIST.
 

AN OBSERVATIONAL DIARY OF THE HABITS OF
THE GREAT PLOVER(ŒDICNEMUS CREPI-
TANS
) DURING SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER.

By Edmund Selous.

(Continued from p. 185.)

 

September 19th.—Arrived between 11.30 a.m. and 12 o'clock. The place seemed deserted. I could discover no birds after searching it well with the glasses. On rising to go, however, after remaining about half an hour, I put up one bird quite near on the edge of the bracken, and, later, three or four others from right amongst the bracken where it was a little thin and open. At about 4 p.m. a flight of some thirty or forty Great Plovers flew down on the scant (I think, burnt) heather bounding one portion of the amphitheatre, there having been none there before. Soon after I left.

September 20th.—Rose early, and, after some hours spent elsewhere, walked across the moor to the road that runs through it. Some little time after reaching it—it being now perhaps seven or between seven and eight—a large flock of Great Plovers flew over the moorland, and came down amongst the heather. They were followed by other flocks, all flying in a long, thin, irregular line. This made them less difficult to count, and I counted upwards of seventy in the largest flock. There must have been, I should say, near two hundred in all. A broad bank of earth runs near here, through both heather and bracken, clothed either with the one or the other, and behind the heathery part of this, and near to where a broad gap divides the two, the birds went down. Crawling up to this bank, and looking over it, I had a near and plain view of them. They were just standing and sitting about in the heather, and did not appear occupied with anything in particular. Whilst watching them another small party flew up, and, my attention being drawn by a note