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observed the species in East Fiord again; one in Loinme Bay; a few more between Cape Torell and Low Land; and another off Hakluyt's Headland. They did not appear to have bred in any of these places, nor did we see any young of the year, though the adults were in pair?.
Procellaria glacialis (Fulmar Petrel). — The molly is such a well-known bird that there is no occasion to say much about it. They appeared to be breeding at Cape Fanshawe and in Wiide Bay; but we got no eggs.
Bernicla Brenta, Steph. (Brent Goose).—This bird goes by the name of "rein-goose" in Spitsbergen, not without good reason apparently, as I will presently show. The Swedes told us at Mossel Bay that rein-geese breed on the uplands early in the season, where they fly about in couples; and observed that the nests are not easily found. As soon as they see that their better halves have become hopelessly involved in the cares of the nest, the ganders pretend that they are called away on business, and go to the lakes, where they have a fine time of it. But the eggs are hatched before very long, and then they have the goslings to look after. They cannot get out of their responsibility, for their whole family comes down to the water, and, moulting supervening, they are for some time incapable of flight. When they are tired of one lake they walk over land to another without incurring much risk on the passage; for though they are unable to fly, cannot they run! Lieut. Chermside found an egg, which he ate, at Bear Hole, in Verlegen Hook (misspelt " Vertegen" in the Admiralty charts), on the 3rd of July, and some of the men killed two goslings with stones in Wiide Bay on the 19th. At Green Harbour, in Ice Fiord, on the 8th of September, we saw several large flocks of brent geese at considerable heights in the air, flying towards the sea. One morning, when we were in Mossel Bay, we were roused by the watch at an unusually early hour, who announced that there were twenty or thirty deer by the shore washing themselves in the sea. Field-glasses and telescopes were brought to bear upon the dark moving objects, and two boats were lowered immediately to take ashore the three eager sportsmen and the captain, all anxious to secure some of these, the first reindeer we had met with. Ascending to the crow's-nest soon after they had left the ship, I saw through the ship's glass what was taking place, and anticipated the results of the drive. It was evidently nothing but a wild-goose chase; so 1 made my way down and announced that there would be no venison for breakfast that morning. After they had rowed some miles, the hungry sportsmen returned empty-handed; but they had seen the geese. This was not the only time that they were imposed upon by rein-geese, though never again to an equal extent. So it seems not improbable that it may be owing to mistakes of this kind occurring now and then that the brent goose in Spitsbergen is distinguished as the rein-goose.
Bernicla leucopsis, Bechst. (Bernicle Goose).—Prof. Nordenskjold shot a specimen of this goose in Bell Sound in 1858. It was eaten up by the Expedition. We started on the evening of the 22nd of July (James Kidd and I) to visit a lakelet on the hills opposite Diana Island. Mr. Potter had reported the previous night that there were some queer-looking birds upon it, such as he had never seen before; and Mr. Leigh Smith said that in 1872 some of the same kind were found there by him; but they had not shot any. On our first arrival at the edge of the lake we could see nothing but a pair of redthroated divers swimming, and we therefore concluded that either these were the birds we had come so far to see or that the strangers had departed. In a minute or two, however, we found that they had not gone, for there they were putting off from the shore at the other end of the water—a dozen or more of bernicle geese. Our plans were formed at once. Kidd took up a good position half way down one side of the lake; I manoeuvred with a very ugly dog on the other. After much shouting, stone-throwing, and violent gesticulation on my part, and a good deal of running about on the part of the frightful cur, the whole line of the geese was driven within range of Kidd's gun. He gave them a warm salute. Six birds and a half were placed hors de combat at his first discharge; another barrel completed the slaughter of the seventh. The astonished survivors betook themselves with all haste to a remote corner of the lake, and did not once take their eyes off Kidd while we were waiting for the dead to be floated ashore. As soon as they had seen us to a distance in one direction, they ran off as fast as their legs would carry them the other way, without stopping until they reached the sea. I saw them there, through a telescope, the next day but one. Directly they saw me approaching within a mile of them they paddled out to sea at full speed, looking round as they went to make quite sure that they were not being pursued. If they could have flown they would; but moulting put flight out of the question completely. We placed the dead en cache out of the reach of foxes under a heap of heavy stones, and then continued our walk in the direction of the mountains, expecting to find some good plants near the glaciers. How Kidd fired at a longtailed skua, and we watched a black fox pursuing a ptarmigan, has already been related,—so I need not repeat it here. Beyond a stiff climb up some cliffs, in which Kidd after reaching the top by one route had to descend again and follow mine on account of his progress being brought to a full stop by an impending cornice of ice, we had little further adventure. These cliffs were the resort of rotches, although they were a long way from the sea, and high above it.
Harelda glacialis (Longtailed Duck).—This duck occurred in King's, Wiide, Treurenberg and Lomme Bays. In the first of these localities a duck and drake were shot right and left by Lieut. Chermside, but only the duck was secured.
Somateria mollissima (Eider Duck).—Most of the eiders breed on islands which for the time being have no ice-communication with the mainland capable of being traversed by foxes. I am inclined to doubt the statement sometimes made by writers that the drake is in the habit of supplying down for another nest, should the first nest, upon which the duck's down is expended, be robbed. If it is really the rule, it is one which does not always obtain. For amongst the many examples brought on board I did not find one drake with its breast denuded. On the other hand, we noticed many second nests, none of which had the appearance of having the whole down of a drake in them: they all looked very shabby, as if the duck had been obliged to put up with anything that she could get. Such as had any down in their composition had much less than the standard amount, and that was largely adulterated with an admixture of foreign matters. If it was on the beach, the down was eked out with sea-weed; if elsewhere, with moss. Sometimes ducks were reduced to laying their eggs on the bare ground without any sort of packing whatever round them. In addition to these facts, it should be considered that the eider drake seems to take no share in the work of incubation. We saw none but ducks on any of the nests found by us. The drakes, whilst the ducks are sitting, flock together like rein-ganders on the water—only on the sea, and not on lakes as they do. And in the absence of any abnormal condition of the subcutaneous circulation, such as predisposes birds to incubation, and the down to become easily detached from the breast, why should the drake's down come out? At Green Harbour, on the 8th of September, Kidd and I saw families of eiders on the water, which were all, both old and young alike, in the condition of flappers incapable of flying.*
Somaleria spectabilis (King Duck).—None were shot; but Lieut. Chermside said he saw some at South Gat, Wiide Bay and Lomme Bay.
Colymbus septentrionalis (Redthroated Diver).—This species is ot not infrequent occurrence in Wiide Bay, where we found it breeding in lagoons and freshwater lakes. It occurred also in Treurenberg Bay. The nest is usually placed in quite a shallow place about a yard from the water's edge. It consists of a large heap of moss fished up from the bottom, with a slight hollow on the top, and no lining. In one nest I found a few leafy shoots of cotton-grass (Eriophorum capitatum). Both of the nests taken by me contained a couple of eggs; from a third a pair of young ones swam away at my approach.
Cephus Mandti, Licht. (Mandt's Dovekie).—This dovekie is a bird which is regardless of time and distance. No niche is too high up in the cliffs, no cliffs too far from the shore, for a nest, in its opinion. Provided it can get a comfortable crevice somewhere for its eggs, it is contented. The situation may be two yards or two miles from the waves, it makes no material difference to the bird. He cannot well miss the way to it, for there is perpetual light; he has only to fly long enough and far enough, and he is sure to get there sooner or later. Some of their old breast-feathers are now and then inhabited by colonies of a minute mite, which give them the appearance of being blood-stained, with the dried blood nearly rubbed out.
Uria Brunnicki, Sabine (Brunnich's Guillemot).— No wild bird can well be more indifferent than the loom to the presence of man. You have only to shout at them when they are fishing, and make as much noise as you can, if you wish to bring them within reach of the oars. Captain Fairweather shot numbers of them from a boat at this distance while 1 was with him. He was much
* Professor Newton tells me that the Swedes have distinguished the Spitsbergen from the Scandinavian eider; and that this last has been separated from the North American. He does not know whether the American differs from the Spitsbergen form.—A. E. E.
surprised, when his gun went off, to find that it had only about as much effect as his ride upon them, there being a current tradition on board that on a former voyage Mr. Smith had killed forty at once by firing right and left into the crowd which had collected round the boat to hear him shout. That, however, was a mere nothing, though quite true. At Alk Range, in Hinlopen Straits, there were so many of them in the cliffs that we could have filled a whale-boat with them if we had pleased without firing a single shot. The range is about three-quarters of a mile in length, three or four hundred feet in height, and is a series of sheer precipices full of ledges full of birds. A man had only to climb up to a ledge, and he could catch as many looms as he wished with his hands, taking hold of them one after another by the neck. A few perhaps might fly away whilst he was occupied with their neighbours next door; but if he only sat down a minute or two they would come back and alight within his reach. We in the boat would be below picking them up as fast as he could throw them down to us, sometimes varying our occupation by making raids with poles and boathooks, as we stood in the boat, upon such ledgesful of birds as were within eight or ten feet of the water. They did not take much notice of us. It was astonishing to see how many pokes and raps upon the head a loom would bear before it would s6 much as condescend to look at us, or make an attempt to fly. Some would not stir an inch, do what we would, while poles were rattling against the rocks within an inch of their faces. Others now and then took headers into the boat, where they soon became very quiet, or shooting just clear of it fell into the midst of seal-clubs and sticks that were guarding the approaches to the sea. Seldom was a diving bird secured; the only chance of making sure of them was to prevent their reaching the water. To cut matters short, in the course of an hour or two we sailed from the cliffs with five or six dozen of the looms, and about as many of their eggs in the boat. They were wanted for food; that was our object in killing so many: for if the skin be removed before they are cooked their flavour is excellent. From Alk Range these birds were in the habit of flying to Lomme Bay (which is doubtless named after them), and even farther up the Straits, to fish, travelling together in flocks of from forty to two hundred or more. These flights passed over us in rapid succession. Outside the southern entrance to the Straits we saw upon another occasion an immense concourse of looms fishing.