Saturday 3 July 1915, New Romney


A chaffinch’s nest, lined with the hair of a red cow, contained four young about five days old. These were tolerably well covered with a very soft down of a pale greyish-buff colour, slightly tinged with yellowish on the occipital tract. The insides of the mouth were purplish-red.


I was surprised to note that in a brood of four nestling skylarks (about three days) there was distinct variation in the tongue spots. I always had an idea that these marks were more or less constant in a species, but two years ago I found a brood with the distal spots entirely wanting.


Tree sparrows are common in some parts of the marsh and are often found in localities in which one would hardly expect to find suitable breeding quarters.


Last night I visited my patrols between one and two. There was a cold vapour hanging over the marshes and the moon staring blindly down upon the landscape. Reed warblers frequently broke upon the silence although one does not hear them very often now by day. A nightjar’s ‘churring note’ was heard near the village of Newchurch.



The sketch of the young skylark was pasted into the journal, but was drawn 1904. Ingram added at the bottom

of the page, ‘Young skylarks are thickly covered with a loose down, which is comparatively speaking of a somewhat coarse texture. This is of a neutral buff tint with more yellowish, straw-coloured tips. The whole produces an effect that matches remarkably well the weathered stems of short, sun-dried grass.

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