Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/405

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

Gut of Canseau, so named by the Spanish on account of the innumerable Wild Geese which, in years long past and forgotten, resorted to this famed passage. The land rises on each side in the form of an amphitheatre, and on the Nova Scotia side, to a considerable height. Many appearances of dwellings exist, but the country is too poor for comfort; the timber is small, and the land, very stony. Here and there a small patch of ploughed land, planted, or to be planted, with potatoes, was all we could see evincing cultivation. Near one house we saw a few apple-trees, yet without leaves. The general appearance of this passage reminded me of some parts of the Hudson River, and accompanied as we were by thirty smaller vessels, the time passed agreeably. Vegetation about as forward as at Eastport; saw a Chimney Swallow, heard some Blue Jays, saw some Indians in a bark canoe, passed Cape Porcupine, a high, rounding hill, and Cape George, after which we entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. From this place, on the 20th of May last year, the sea was a complete sheet of ice as far as a spy-glass could inform. As we advanced, running parallel with the western coast of Cape Breton Island, the country looked well, at the distance we were from it; the large, undulating hills were scattered with many hamlets, and here and there a bit of cultivated land was seen. It being calm when we reached Jestico Island, distant from Cape Breton about three miles, we left the vessel and made for it. On landing we found it covered with well grown grass sprinkled everywhere with the blossoms of the wild strawberry; the sun shone bright, and the weather was quite pleasant. Robins, Savannah Finches, Song Sparrows, Tawny Thrushes, and the American Redstart were found. The Spotted Sand-piper, Totanus macularius, was breeding in the grass, and flew slowly with the common tremor of their wings, uttering their "wheet-wheet-wheet" note, to invite me to follow them. A Raven had a nest and three young in it, one standing near it, the old birds