Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 1 (1897).djvu/87

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
( 61 )


By J.H. Salter.

Having spent the first nine months of the year 1896 at Bonn, and made numerous notes upon the birds of that neighbourhood, it seemed that some of the facts observed might be worth recording. The chief interest lies in the few species which one does not meet with in an ordinary way in England, and it is easy to understand why they are not more numerous when one reflects that the distance from our own shores is not greater than that from London to Edinburgh. The physical features of this part of the Rhineland are too well known to need description. The river itself, though much disturbed by traffic, affords an occasional sight of Wild Duck or Teal, while Herons come to fish in it at dusk. The Gulls, a few of which may be seen at any time, though they are more numerous in severe weather, are probably of the Black-headed species. The river-plain, with its endless patches of root-crops, potatoes, and rye, yields little of interest. It is hemmed in by the vineyard slopes, above which we reach the general level of the country to find an almost limitless stretch of forest-land, principally Scotch fir, beech, oak, and birch on a gravel soil. Of this nature is the Kotten Forst, which stretches for eight or ten miles behind Bonn; also the wooded hills and dales of the Seven Mountains, and of the neighbourhood of Rolandseck and Remagen. Only in a few spots does the wood become well-grown timber. Roe are everywhere numerous. Foresting is much more of a science than with us; woodmen and keepers abound, and the larger hawks stand no better chance of survival than in this country. Thus, though the Buzzard was common, I never met with the Goshawk; there are local specimens, however, in the Schloss Museum, with eggs and young.

The town itself, with its fine avenues of elm and horse-chestnut, the large walled gardens attached to the older houses, and, above all, the Botanic Garden, offers many attractions to birds.