The natural history of Ireland, Volume 3

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Page 351 - Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew ! And, gentle ladye, deign to stay ! Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch, Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day. " The blackening wave is edged with white : To inch* and rock the sea-mews fly; The fishers have heard the Water-Sprite, Whose screams forebode that wreck is nigh.
Page 9 - Beautiful bird ! thou voyagest to thine home, Where thy sweet mate will twine her downy neck With thine, and welcome thy return with eyes Bright in the lustre of their own fond joy.
Page 198 - ... inches from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail when spread as far as possible flat.
Page 221 - They are so numerous that we have frequently seen an uninterrupted line of them extending full half way over the bay, or to a distance of more than three miles, and so close together that thirty have fallen at one shot. This living column, on an average, might have been about six yards broad, and as many deep ; so that, allowing sixteen birds to a cubic yard, there must have been nearly four millions of birds on the wing at one time.
Page 234 - I observed with concern the extraordinary affection manifested by these birds towards each other ; for, whenever one fell dead or wounded on the water, its mate or a stranger immediately alighted by its side, swam round it, pushed it with its bill as if to urge it to fly or dive, and seldom would leave it until an oar was raised to knock it on the head, when at last, aware of the danger, it would plunge below in an instant.
Page 220 - Hill, from the myriads of small birds of that name which frequent its base, and appear to prefer its environs to every other part of the harbour. " They are so numerous that we have frequently seen an uninterrupted line of them extending full half way over the bay, or to a distance of more than three miles, and so close together that thirty have fallen at one shot.
Page 351 - The search after food, as we agreed on a former occasion, is the principal cause why animals change their places. The different tribes of the wading birds always migrate when rain is about to take place...
Page 234 - July, the old ones show vast affection towards them, and seem totally insensible of danger in the breeding season. If a parent is taken at that time, and suspended by the wings, it will, in a sort of despair, treat itself most cruelly, by biting every part it can reach ; and the moment it is loosed, will never offer to escape, but instantly resort to its unfledged young...
Page 261 - Here the ganet soares high into the sky to espy his prey in the sea under him, at which he casts himself headlong into the sea, and swallows up whole herrings in a morsell. This bird flys through the ship's sailes, piercing them with his beak.
Page 370 - ... by night, and with a candle light kill abundance of them. Here are severall wells and pooles, yet in extraordinary dry weather, people must turn their cattell out of the islands, and the corn failes.

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