Page:The new British province of South Australia.djvu/72

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 53

examined by us was judged to be much superior to any before seen, either upon the south coast of the continent, or upon the islands near it; with the exception of some portions behind the harbours of King George's Sound. The depth of the soil was not particularly ascertained; but from the thickness of the wood it cannot be very shallow. Some sand is mixed with the vegetable earth, but not in any great proportion; and I thought the soil superior to some of the land cultivated at Port Jackson, and to much of that in our stony counties in England."

Page 183. — "The entrance of a piece of water at the head of Nepean Bay is less than half a mile in width and mostly shallow; but there is a channel sufficiently deep for all boats near the western shore. After turning two low islets near the east point, the water opens out, becomes deeper, and divides into two branches, each of two or three miles long. Boats can go to the head of the southern branch only at high water; the east branch appeared to be accessible at all times; but as a lead and line were neglected to be put into the boat, I had no opportunity of sounding. There are four small islands in the eastern branch; one of them is moderately high and woody, the others are grassy and lower, and upon two of these we found many young pelicans unable to fly. Flocks of the old birds were sitting upon the beaches of the lagoon, and it appeared that the islands were their breeding places; not only so, but from the number of skeletons and bones there scattered, it should seem that they had for ages been selected for the closing scene of their existence."

Page 184. — "I named this piece of water Pelican Lagoon. It is also frequented by flocks of the pied shag, and by some ducks and gulls, and the shoals supplied us with a few oysters. The surrounding country is almost everywhere thickly covered with brushwood; and the soil appeared to be generally of a good quality, though not