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( Originally Published 1894 )
The Captain Brown, quoting from "Selby's Ornithomigration logy", gives an interesting account of the way in which our native birds are reinforced from other countries. - "On the 24th and 25th of October, 1822," says Mr. Selby, "after a very severe gale, with thick fog, from the North East, (but veering, towards its conclusion, to the east and south of east,) thousands of these birds were seen to arrive upon the sea-shore and sand-banks of the Northumbrian coast; many of them so fatigued by the length of their flight, or perhaps by the unfavourable shift of wind, as to be unable to rise again from the ground, and great numbers were in consequence caught or destroyed. This flight must have been immensely numerous, as its extent was traced through the whole length of the coasts of Northumberland and Durham. There appears little doubt of this having been a migration from the more northern provinces of Europe (probably furnished by the pine forests of Norway, Sweden, &c.), from the circumstance of its arrival being simultaneous with that of large flights of the woodcock, fieldfare, and redwing. Although I had never before witnessed the actual arrival of the gold-crested regulus, I had long felt convinced, from the great and sudden increase of the species, during the autumnal and hyemal months that our indigenous birds must be augmented by a body of strangers making these shores their winter's resort. A more extraordinary circumstance in the economy of this bird took place during the same winter, via., the total disappearance of the whole, natives as well as strangers, throughout Scotland and the north of England. This happened towards the conclusion of the month of January 1823, and a few days previous to the longcontinued snow-storm so severely felt throughout the northern counties of England, and along the eastern parts of Scotland. The range and point of this migration are unascertained, but it must probably have been a distant one, from the fact of not a single pair having returned to breed, or pass the succeeding summer, in the situations they had been known always to frequent. Nor was one of the species to be seen till the following October, or about the usual time, as I have above stated, for our receiving an annual accession of strangers to our own indigenous birds."