Oologists' Record

March 1, 1923

Kenneth L. Skinner

ca. 8,59
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Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / Biologie


Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. Beyond the upper brow of the spur by which we had mounted was an apparently limitless stretch, flat, bare, and lifeless - tussocky in places, with innumerable patches of small gravelly-white stones - a desolate region of gray moss and harsh short grass.<br><br>Here we stopped for a little - took our bearings, separated, then decided it was hopeless. And at the very moment of our decision a Dotterel fluttered at my feet! Immediately I stood quite still and looked round me. The little creature was behaving in the most piteous fashion, running backwards and forwards, all round me and sometimes actually between my feet, her wings, drenched with the mist, trailing on the ground and her beautiful white-tipped tail spread out like a fan. All the time she cried distressingly - a plaintive, querulous squeak of utter abandonment and misery.<br><br>Presently I caught sight of the eggs a yard so from where I stood - but even before I reached them the Dotterel had settled herself quite comfortably on them, so that I had literally to lift her off.<br><br>At this point I should like to observe that, although I have throughout referred to this Dotterel as the female, I have no other reason for doing so than a purely sentimental one. The plumage was certainly very bright and the chestnut tints especially showy and definite - but I afterwards met with so many birds in which every intermediate shade occurred that I should be loth to pronounce an opinion as to sex of a member of the species, even at close quarters, without actual dissection.<br><br>The nest was a small and very shallow depression on a flat hummock of soil almost bare of vegetation, and beyond a scrap or two of moss and a few blades of grass, which had probably drifted there accidentally, had no lining or other preparation of any kind. The flat hummock lay between two patches of the white stones before referred to, and all round it the ground seemed to have been worn or wa

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