Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/152

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of millstone-grit stand out from their setting of bilberry and heather, or, perched on the old wheel of the deserted lead-mine, pipes monotonously between the drizzling showers. Higher still is the summit of the moor, a dreary desolation of peat-bog, scantily covered with coarse grass and rushes, amongst which the white heads of the cotton-grass wave, and worn into a thousand bare, black furrows by the action of storm and rain. Here grows the crowberry, whose small black berries furnish the grouse with a favourite food. Here, too, is the home of the Golden Plover, now showing the black under-parts characteristic of its breeding plumage. Its low, piping call is deceptive, often causing us to look far afield while the bird is standing upon a tump amongst the bog mosses close at hand. The golden-plover seems to have caught the very spirit of the moors, so well does its cry harmonize with the dreary desolation of the scene, where no other sound is heard but the startled sniff of the active hill-sheep bounding off at our approach.

Here, welling up amongst the mosses, the sundews and bog asphodel, the streamlets take their rise. Let us follow one of them in its downward course as it cuts deeply into the flanks of the moor. It falls from pool to pool, trout-haunted, at times almost hidden from sight by the deep fringe of heather or the uncurling fronds of sweet-scented fern, then between rocks where the fresh green bilberry shrubs with their