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"The best site for watching the departure of the vernal migration is at Tangier, where just outside the town the well-known plain called the Marshan, a high piece of ground that in England would be called a common, seems to be the starting-point of half the small birds that visit Europe.

"Both the vernal and autumnal migrations are generally executed during an easterly wind, or Levanter. At one time I thought that this was essential to the passage; but it appears not to be the case, as whether it be an east or west wind, if it be the time for migration, birds will pass, though they linger longer on the African coast before starting if the wind be westerly; and all the very large flights of Raptores (Kites, Neophrons, Honey-Buzzards, &c), which I have seen, passed with a Levanter. After observing the passage for five springs, I am unable to come to any decided opinion; the truth being, that as an east wind is the prevalent one, the idea has been started that migration always takes place during that wind. Nevertheless, it is an undoubted fact, that during the autumnal or southern migration of the Quail in September, they collect in vast numbers on the European side, if there be a west wind, and seem not to be able to pass until it changes to the east; this is so much the case that, if the wind keeps in that quarter during the migration, none hardly are to be seen.

"On some occasions the passage of the larger birds of prey is a most wonderful sight; but of all the remarkable flights of any single species, that of the common Crane has been the most noteworthy that has come under my own observation.

"On the Andalusian side the number of birds seen even by the ordinary traveller appears strikingly large; this being, no doubt, in a great measure caused by the quantity which are, for ten months, at least, out of the year, more or less on migration; that is to say, with the exception of June and July, there is no month in which the passage of birds is not noticeable, June being the only one in which there may be said to be absolutely no migration, as during the month of July Cuckoos and some Beeeaters return to the south."


A S the Swallows are amongst the first to .*. *• arrive, so they are amongst the last to depart. Long before chill winds and falling leaves have ushered in the month of October, the Warblers, Pipits, and Flycatchers have. left the woods and fields, and hurried down to the coast on their southward route. But the Swallows, loth to leave us, linger on far into the autumn, and only bid us adieu when they miss the genial influence of the sun's rays, and can no longer find a sufficient supply of food. The sportsman who crosses the country with dog and gun in October cannot fail to remark the absence of the numerous small birds which were so conspicuous throughout the summer. The Wheatear has deserted the rabbit warren; the Stonechat and Whinchat have left the furzy common, to make way for the Linnet and the Brambling. In the turnip fields, Thrushes and Meadow Pipits have usurped the place of Whitethroats and Yellow Wagtails; while in the thick hedgerows and coverts noisy Tits now occupy the boughs which were so lately tenanted by the less attractive but more tuneful Willow Wrens.

To the reflecting naturalist, this curious change of bird life furnishes a subject for meditation in many a day's walk, and is a source of much pleasant occupation. Whether we study the birds themselves in their proper haunts, ascertain the nature of their food and their consequent value to man as a cultivator of the soil; or inquire into the cause of their migration, and their distribution in other parts of the world, we have at all times an interesting theme to dwell upon.

From a perusal of the foregoing chaplcrH it will be seen that "our summer migrantH" muy

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be classified into certain well-defined groups, according to their structure and habits, and the haunts which they frequent. Upon the wild open wastes and commons we find the Chats, to which family belong the Whinchat, the Stonechat, and the well-known Wheatear. In the hedgerows and copses are to be seen the three species of Willow Warblers—the Wood Wren, Willow Wren, and Chiff-chaff. Wooded gardens and fruit trees attract the Garden Warbler, Blackcap, and Whitethroats; and the thick sedge and waving flags by the waterside shelter the various species of River Warblers. In the open meadows and moist places by the river bank or sea coast we need not search long to find the Pipits and Wagtails; and while the Flycatchers perch familiarly on our garden walls, or pick the aphis off the fruit trees, the Swallows build under our very eaves, and claim our protection for their young. High above all, the noisy Swift holds his rapid, wondrous flight, wheeling and screaming to his heart's content.

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