Page:Sea and River-side Rambles in Victoria.djvu/40

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Triglochin decipiens, (Arrow-grass,) the blue Mimulus or Monkey flower, and other plants which choose such moist situations; nor can we resist the pleasant shrill chirp which issues ever and again from the dense cover of the rushes; it is that of an old friend, which from its habit of flitting through the reeds and low grasses is only imperfectly known, and it cost us, we remember, some years since, many hours of patience before we could ascertain from what source the Grasshopper-like chirp emanated. With us it is an especial favorite, like the Blackcap, more frequently heard than seen, so retiring indeed that it seldom emerges from the concealment afforded by the plants common to low lying wet lands, but occasionally may be seen clinging gracefully to the heads of the rushes, where probably it obtains its food. Its wings are remarkably short and ill adapted for flight, still it appears to flit from place to place with marvellous rapidity; the beak is nearly black, with strong bristles at its base; crown of the head ferruginous; back and wings of dark olive with black markings; a streak of very pale blue extends from the base of the bill over the eye on each side. Throat, pale blue in the male, but rufous in the female; the tail, which is three inches in length, nearly as long again as the whole body, consists of six feathers with slender black shafts webbed on each side with minute hairy filaments at equal distances; and so like are these feathers to those of the Emu, that this bird has received the name of the Emu Wren. Its nest is of grass lined with feathers, and is in fact a perfect ball concealed in tufts at the trunks of trees