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They seemed to be diving far beneath the floe, coming up obliquely like rockets from under the ice with unusual velocity on their return to the surface, as if they could not have held their breath another moment. Fortunately we had no Good Templars on board, for they would have displayed more than their usual acerbity at seeing the looms; for they are birds to which Artemus Ward's definition of babies is strictly applicable,—beings completely destitute of all moral and religious feeling, strongly addicted to drink. Their powers of imbibing are enormous; they are always sipping; and the water they sip is not plain water, but water with something in it—fermented liquor, no doubt, for it is obtained from " the yeasty waves." And yet they are never the worse for it. This last consideration, together with the fact of the liquor costing nothing, would fairly drive the teetotaller wild, for his favourite pleas for abstinence would be taken out of his moiuh, and he would not have a word to say against the besotted creatures. It speaks much for the morality of the British sailor, that his indulgence in drink comes far short of the habitual excess of the looms and dovekies. Even so long ago as Lord Mulgrave's Expedition, he seems to have made no complaints about the meagieness of the allowance of liquor served out to him; and yet such was the parsimony of the Naval Administration at that time that they only allowed each man one bottle of brandy and a gallon of beer per diem on board His Majesty's ships in Greenland (». e. Spitsbergen).
Mergulus alle (Little Auk).—The rotche when it flies has always the appearance of being rather behind its time; it seems in such a tremendous hurry, and starts off with its mouth crammed full of food, as if it had been suddenly called away in the middle of dinner. You may see a party of them on the water—six or seven birds— take wing together to return to their nests. You think they are all gone, but you are wrong; for without pausing for an instant to see whereabouts they are, Nos. 8, 9 and 10 come flying up from under water one after the other, and take after the others at full speed. People in former days suspected them of being subject to goitre during the breeding time; but a little observation showed them that the birds kept small aquaria in their mouths rather overstocked with shrimps to be exactly healthy for the shrimps.
Fratercula arctica (Puffin).—The following are places where we found the Greenland Parrot familiarly designated "Tommy Noddy":—the Western Ice; Table and Walden Islands; Lomme, Treurenberg, Wiide, and Foul Bays; Norway Islands (commonly); Dane's Gat, Magdalena Bay, off the Seven Glaciers (Ice Mountains in the chart; in old charts, Icebergs), Green Harbour and off South Cape.
From most of the Spitsbergen species of birds I obtained Anoplura. These will be included in a list of the Articulata collected by me in the course of the voyage.
Addition to the Fauna:—Raia radiata.
Salmo alpinus.—This char is abundant in deep clear fresh-watcr lakes in Spitsbergen. The waters inhabited by it are usually coated with ice until quite late in the season; and when the ice thaws round their edges the young salmon may be seen here and there basking amongst the rocks in the shallow water. At the first alarm away they dart under the ice, or hide themselves between the stones; for the bottom is rugged and stony, not silted up with glacier-mud, in the lakes they live in.
Gadus carbonarim.—Found in cod at Green Harbour by Capt. Walker. Cod were so plentiful there that he caught, by jigging, upwards of four tons of them, at the rate of a ton a week.
Boreogadus Fabricii.—This is the Merlangus polaris of arctic literature. It is common in Magdalena Bay, and in the ice of the Arctic Seas, where looms and kittiwakes prey upon it largely. As summer advances the floes become more and more rotten, until at length their structure under water resembles, on a very exaggerated scale, masses of gruykre cheese, the cavities being often large enough to admit a man's leg. Boreogadi may be seen occasionally swimming near the surface in the crevices and open lanes of water between the floe-pieces. Whenever danger threateus they hurry into the nearest ice-grotto, and take shelter in its deepest recesses. We saw a good many of them underneath the young ice in walking across the floe to Phipps's Island in September, and secured a few by breaking in upon them with an alpenstock. But most of our specimens were obtained a few days before when we were some miles to the eastward of the Seven Islands. We were beset there a short time, and eventually had to force a passage through the ice on the first favourable opportunity: this was presented one morniug by a movement which set in amongst the ice, and caused the floe-pieces closely joined together to part slightly asunder. A suitable opening being selected, the ship, which had been lying under steam during the whole of our besetment, was immediately got under weigh and forced into it to make it wider. When she could proceed no farther for the time being, she would be backed astern for some hundreds of yards, and then be brought up again at full speed right on to the ice, breaking it up along the crack for several yards ahead of her, and making on all sides a great commotion among the floe-pieces, whilst all hands kept "overing" to make her roll, in order that the passage might be widened to the utmost. Two or three of us, in the mean time, would get out upon the ice with poles and boat-hooks, ready to clear the loose ice away so soon as she might retire for another ram. It was surprising to discover what extensive pieces of heavy ice, many feet in thickness, one man unaided could shove through the water. When the ship had got far enough back, and was now returning to the charge, we had to look out for ourselves, withdrawing half a dozen yards or so from the edge to await her onset. Onwards she would come, bumping a few loose pieces out of her way, grating along the sides of the narrowing crevice plump upon the ice. Large masses slowly rearing up on end pressed down by her keel; pieces thrust forwards by her bows over-riding one another; cracks opening under our feet in all directions everywhere resounding; and the grinding of the pieces one against the other as she gradually forced them aside, frightened the wretched Boreogadi out of their lurkingplaces; and the surging waters cast them helpless on the ice.
Cyclopterus spinosus.—This lump-fish was trawled up in Magdalena and Lomme Bays by Captain Walker.
Liparis Fabricii, Kroyer.—Two from Magdalena Bay by Capt. Walker.
Icelus hamatus.— One taken in Magdalena Bay by Captain Walker.
Cottus tricuspis, Reinh.—Common in Magdalena Bay.
Cottus scorpius.—One specimen was obtained at Green Harbour. Dr. Giinther, who identified all the fish for me, noticed that it had sixteen soft rays in the dorsal fin.
Raia radiata.—A specimen taken in Capt. Mack's (of Tromso) white whale nets was picked up by us on the shore in Lomme Bay.
Dialatias microcephalus.—In 1872 sharks in Wiide Bay came up after some bear and deer skins which were being towed astern of the ' Samson.' A few of them were caught by her crew.
SECOND SEMES—VOL. IX. D
In continuation of these "Notes on the Spitsbergen Fauna," lists of the Articulata, Mollusca, Coelenterata and other animals will be published elsewhere. The Flora will be dealt with in a similar manner. The plants are being determined at Kew and in Sweden. Whatever has to be said about the Geology may as well be disposed of here. The only original observation of any interest made by me was that the strata of the north-easterly extremity of Hope Island are identical with the shales containing fragments of plants, of Green Harbour. We observed nothing else whatever, but what Prof. Nordenskjold and his colleagues had already made out. The extensive mineralogical collection which some of the daily papers stated we had formed, unhappily existed only in the reporter's imagination. Before we sailed from England I was asked at Cambridge to leave the mineralogy of the mainland of Spitsbergen alone, and to devote my time to plants and animals. After they have been determined, the specimens will be deposited at the Kew, British, Cambridge and other Museums, so far as series of duplicates admit of several sets of them being made up.
A. E. Eaton.
Croydon, October 13,1873.
Ornithological Notes from West Sussex.
Glaucous Gull.—January, 1873. As noticed on other parts of the coast, the glaucous gull paid us a visit: on the 15th I saw an immature bird in the flesh at Chichester, which was killed at Selsey. Two specimens had been obtained for the Chichester Museum a few days before: these 1 saw after they had been stuffed. I also heard of a fourth specimen obtained, and of others seen, but not killed. These appear all to have been in immature plumage. An adult female, now in my collection, was killed at Selsey on the 15th of January, 1870.
Hawfinch.—During the month of February hawfinches were met with in considerable numbers in many parts, where they appear to have been almost unknown before.
Oyster catcher.—I think the oystercatcher would have been better named " cockle-catcher," or rather " opener." I have before found cockles in the stomach of this bird, and on the 22nd of February the stomach of one, on dissection, proved to contain as many as ten; and as proof that they obtain their food naturally, by opening the shells of these and other bivalves, we find the bill so lengthening by growth at the points of the mandibles as to be inconvenient to the bird, when kept in confinement. (See Zool. S. S. 335.)
Common Sandpiper.—August 2nd. Seen on the muds of our harbours in parties of five or six.
Sanderling.—August 2nd. Seen in flock; some appear to have remained the whole summer with us. They frequent either the sand-banks which are covered at high tide, or the shingle on the shore washed by the tide.
Temminck's Slint.—I had the good fortune to obtain a pair of these diminutive sandpipers, in a marsh adjoining Pagham Harbour, on the 25th of August. I had scarcely a view of them when they first rose; but as the "native" who went with us said they were only "wagtails" (the name given to the common sandpiper there), I did not follow them; for the sake of a shot at something, my companion did; he killed one, and I saw at once that it was a Temminck's stint, and on going back obtained the other without much difficulty. They seem to have similar habits to those of the so-called "wagtail" (Totanus hypoleucus).
Little Bittern.—In August or September a little bittern was killed at Nuthourne and sent to Chichester for preservation. I did not see it, but have good authority for the statement.
Snow Bunting.—October 29th. Had a snow bunting, in the flesh, given me, which was killed at or near Sidlesham; several others were obtained about the same time.
Goldcrest.—This species seems to have been met with in unusual numbers south of Chichester about the end of October. This is a district not much frequented by them; several were, I hear, knocked down with sticks and stones, and sent to Chichester for stuffing. I noticed about this time several little parties of goldcrests passing through my garden.
Richardson's Skua.—On the 5th of November I saw a bird of this species, in the flesh, at Chichester. The length of wing, from carpus to tip, was fourteen inches. The neck had the hair-like yellow streaks described by Yarrell appearing on the sides, and one of the central pair of tail-feathers extending about three inches beyond those on either side; the other was missing.
Bufforis Skua.—About the beginning of October I saw a skua, also in the flesh, which had been killed at Donnington, near