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logists, generally, mention one fish only as borne by the puffin at a time.
Other species are seen as we proceed, though some which nidify at particular parts of the rocks and in caves, do not come in view from the summit of the range of cliffs. The common guillemot (Uria troile) breeds in profusion; the black guillemot (Uria grylle), in its usual comparative numbers to the former; the lesser and greater black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus and L. marinus), both of which came under our notice, are said to build here. The common gull (L. canus), too, probably nidifies, from the circumstance of adult birds (with bright yellow legs) being now here, of which we shot two or three, to make sure of the species, as they flew up from the face of the cliffs. The shag, or green cormorant (Phalacrocorax graculus), is stated by the gainekeeper to breed, perhaps to the number of three hundred, and, different from the common species,* to build out of sight, within the clefts of rocks.t
* Two gentlemen, who went round the base of the rocks about the 10th of June, stated, that they saw both species of cormorant sitting on their nests within the caves.
+ The following information, which is generally, if not critically correct, was supplied by the gamekeeper and another person well acquainted with the birds here. The razorbill, puttin, and common guillemot arrive at the same time (in March) and depart about "lammas” (12th August);- the first-named breeds about the 12th of May. Each species lays one egg, which, as to size, colour, &c., was correctly described ; the razorbill's is laid in crevices as well as on the open shelves of rock; the putlin's is deposited on dried sea-weeds under stones or in rabbit-holes, always out of sight, and sometimes beyond reach ; the guillemot's is laid in clefts or on open flags. The eggs of the black guillemot are laid under stones out of sight and reach ; the bird itself remains during the year. The greater and lesser black-backed gulls breed here, make large nests, and, like the herring-gull and kittiwake, lay three eggs each ;--the common gull had not been satisfactorily distinguished from the others by the persons questioned. The eggs of all the gulls were described of a “ brownish-green colour with black ticks," differing in size according to the relative dimensions of the birds. Common cormorants breed in company on open flags in May, laying three eggs; the shag lays in the same month in clefts of rock out of sight. Of the following four species, the common guillemot is said to breed nearest to the water, the razorbill next, kittiwake third, and putlin fourth. This may be generally correct, but it does not accord with my own limited observation at the locality, which was unfortunately confined to what could be seen from the summit of the clitl's. Although the weather during the week I spent there was remarkably fine, the circumstance of the little wind that there was, blowing upon the laud, rendered it imprudent, according to the boatmen, to attempt going
Among the land-birds frequenting and building in the cliffs that rise direct from ocean, are the innocent and handsome housemartin, which, from its diminutive size compared with that of the other feathered inhabitants of the place, almost appears, while silently floating on the air about the summit of the stupendous precipices, as some graceful form of the insect world. The chattering jackdaw and the chough, with the kestrel, peregrine falcon, and sea-eagle, are to be seen here. Of the last-named noble species, five old birds—all now on the Horn—came under my notice to-day, and for a long time I had an excellent and near view of three of them, both on the ground and on wing. The cominon buzzard, the raven, and the grey crow (C. cornix), seen by us on the Horn, doubtless all build amid the marine cliffs ;of the last-named we saw a dense flock of about forty on the 27th of June. The starling nidifies on some of the lower rocks of the Horn, and the rock-dove in great numbers within the oceanwashed caverns.
Oyster-catchers are said to breed in some places on the rocky flattened summits of lofty cliffs, perhaps 350 feet in height, on which numbers of them appeared.
On referring to the descriptions of similar haunts of rockbirds on the coasts of England and Scotland, visited by Mr. Waterton and Mr. St. John, we learn, as follows. In the vicinity of Flamborough Head, the former author (himself characteristically lowered down the cliffs) met with razorbills, guillemots, puffins, kittiwakes, cormorants, and shags; and the land-birds breeding there were peregrine falcons, ravens, jackdaws, starlings, and rockdoves.*
At the island of Handa, off the western coast of Sutherland, Mr. St. John noticed all the preceding species, with the exception of the shag, jackdaw, and raven ; starlings, though building in great numbers amid the deserted tenements of man on the island, are not nained as frequenting the cliffs for that purpose. The birds seen here, and not at Flamborough Head, were the greater and lesser black-backed gulls and the sea-eagle !* Although it is possible that all the birds frequenting those localities may not have come under the notice of the respective authors, yet it is a striking and interesting circumstance that, at Horn Head, and the adjacent range of cliffs, every species named as breeding about the Yorkshire and Sutherlandshire haunts is found, and in addition to them nine others, nainely, the black guillemot, the herring and common gull—the oyster-catcher—the house-martin, grey crow, chough, buzzard, and kestrel.
round the base of the rocks. The kittiwake breeds so low down, that, after a great storm, the gamekeeper has seen as many of these birds washed ashore dead as would fill several carts ;- from what I myself saw of their breeding-places, and the vast number of birds, this would doubtless occur.
* Notes on the Haunts of the Guillemot, &c.,' in 'Essays Nat. llist.' vol. i.
The birds now snared, or “dulled," as it is called at Horn Head, for the sake of their feathers, are puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and kittiwakes ;-all the other species of Larus are too wary to be thus gulled. In less than two hours my informant has snared seventeen dozen, or above two hundred birds, and thirty-six dozen were known by a gentleman of my acquaintance to be taken within a similar time by two men : many years ago these feathers produced 13d. per lb., but now (1832) they bring only 6 d. Birds breeding in caves here are sometimes caught in nets drawn across their entrances. They are alarmed on their nests or roosting-places by loud shouting or the firing of guns within the cave, and, when endeavouring to make their exit, are captured. On particular inquiry of bird-catchers who are natives of the Horn, I was told that from four to six persons have lost their lives by this dangerous occupation within the preceding twenty years. When, in June 1834, at a breeding station of rock-birds on the largest of the South Islands of Arran, off Galway Bay, similar to the Horn, we learned that birds are in like manner snared for the sake of their feathers, and that a man assisted by a boy had thus taken three hundred razorbills in one night. Willughby, nearly two centuries ago, with reference to the Isle of Man, remarked—the Manks
* « Tour in Sutherland,' vol. i. p. 100.
men “take the birds (razorbills, guillemots, and puffins] themselves when they are sitting upon their eggs, with snares fastened to the top of long poles, and so put about their necks” (p. 324). Mr. John M‘Gillivray, in an excellent paper on the Birds, &c. of St. Kilda, published in the ' Edinburgh Philosophical Journal' for January 1842, mentions the puffin, by far the most abundant species of bird there, being captured in a similar manner, and that by such means “ as many as three hundred may be taken in the course of the day by an expert bird-catcher” (p. 67). IIe visited the island in July 1840. Mr. James Wilson, who did so in August 1841, gives a very full and interesting account of the island in his "Voyage Round the Coast of Scotland and the Isles, and mentions a more ingenious device for capturing puffins. He says—" These birds are caught by stretching a piece of cord along the stony places where they chiefly congregate. To this cord are fastened, at intervals of a few inches, numerous hair nooses, and from time to time, when the countless puffins are paddling upon the surface, in go their little web feet, they get noosed round the ankle, and no sooner begin to flap and flutter than down rushes a ruthless widow woman, and twists their necks. Her dog had acted a useful part, not only in driving more distant, or otherwise inaccessible birds, from their roosting-places towards the nooses, but by catching them dexterously in its mouth.” The widow here alluded to lived chiefly on the puffin in its season here.
The statement of the gamekeeper and others at Horn Head respecting the puffins' departure about the 12th of August, is, doubtless, correct in general terms. Only about half-a-dozen birds were observed on the sea between that headland and Tory Island on the 8th of August, 1845 ;* and on the 1st of that month in 1850, a few only came under the notice of a gentleman walking along the summit of the whole range of cliffs.t Many specimens of the razorbill have been procured in that
neighbourhood at different periods during winter.* Willughby (p. 326), Pennant (p. 433), and Montagu (Orn. Dict.), under the head Puffin, describe it, the guillemot, and razorbill, as summer visitants only; but later writers mention the occasional occurrence of the two latter species on the coasts of Great Britain in winter :-on the Irish coasts they are both then met with. Mr. Selby considers such birds to have been bred in higher latitudes, and that all produced on the British coasts retire farther southward.
At Horn Head, I was told by the gamekeeper, who had visited Tory Island, that puffins, as well as razorbills and guillemots, with kittiwakes and herring-gulls, build there. Lieut. Reynolds, R. N., informed us, when at Achil in June 1834, that puffins nidify in immense numbers on Bills Rock, near that island; -the greatest breeding-haunt of rock-birds known to him off the coast of Mayo. It presents, from the coast, a very similar appearance to Tory Island. The late Mr. John Nimmo, of Roundstone, county Galway, mentioned a similar fact with regard to a locality of the same name, about twenty miles off the coast; but I understood him to mean a different islet from that just alluded to. He stated that the puffin was there called Bill—a name to which the dimensions of that organ, and its peculiar construction, eminently entitle it. The bird is seen there only in summer.
The Kerry islets, frequented by the puffin for building, are Tearaght Rock, off the Blaskets, the large Skellig, where a few, and the small island of the same name where immense numbers, nidify $ :—but at the Bull Rock, off the coast of Cork, they are said to be still more numerous. || They come annually to the coast of Waterford at Ardmore, according to Mr. R. Ball, who, about the year 1821, found a great many washed ashore dead at
* Mr. J. V. Stewart.
+ Razorbills, common and black guillemots, cormorants, kittiwakes, and herringgulls also breed here. Mr. W. Andrews.
$ Mr. R. Chute. || Mr. J. F. Townsend.