Page:Bird Life Throughout the Year (Salter, 1913).djvu/84

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March; abroad such colonies seem to be fewer and their occupants comparatively quiet and subdued.

Meanwhile another early breeder, the Long-eared Owl, deposits its eggs in an old squirrels' "drey" or a deserted nest of some crow or magpie, while the Tawny Owl (the owl which hoots par excellence) seeks a hollow tree, to brood in semi-darkness upon her round white treasures.

By the end of the month Lapwings are shaping their nest-hollows on moor and fallow, and a few eggs have been deposited. The hardy Water Ouzel is nesting, as we might expect of a bird which dives and dabbles in cold mountain streams all through the winter, cheerful as a Serpentine bather on Christmas morning. In the latter half of the month the Woodlark may regularly be found nesting upon the warm bracken-covered slopes which it loves. Amongst dead leaves in a bramble-thicket near the margin of the lake, the Wild Duck hides her eggs in a hollow lined with down from her own breast, and in parts of the country where the Woodcock breeds its eggs may sometimes be found, completing our list of birds whose breeding season falls thus early.

The numbers of several of our familiar birds which do not entirely leave us in winter are now augmented by the return of many of their kindred from the south. How seldom one saw a Pied Wagtail in January, but now, in their dainty spring livery, they swarm upon the