TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS
Jungle-fowl are found everywhere, more especially near good cover, in the neighbourhood of cultivated land. They are particularly fond of bamboo jungle. Only the red jungle-fowl (Gallus ferrnginens), a taw-kyet,a is met with in Burma. They are very shy and wary, yet, strange to say, they often venture quite close to the gates of villages ; so close indeed that they have frequently escaped being shot, owing to the sportsmen mistaking them for the village birds. Driven jungle-fowl afford as fine sport as any one would wish for, and they are splendid to eat.
There are some twenty-seven species of pheasant, and among them some very beautiful birds, such as the lovely argus pheasant, Andersonas silver pheasant, the grey peacock pheasant, the fireback horned pheasants, and others. Nearly all of them are found at some considerable elevation, and in order to obtain sport, dogs are almost essential. The common Burmese silver pheasant, a yit a (Gennceus lineatus), may be shot not very far from Rangoon.
There are some eight or nine varieties of partridges ; they are all hill birds and peculiar to certain areas, except the Chinese francolin (Francolinus chinetisis), a kah,a which is to be met with in all parts. The Chinese francolin is a pretty bird. He is a demon to run, unless dogs are about. In a few places where they can be driven they afford good sport. In the mornings and evenings their call, a Have a drink, papa,a may frequently be heard. Partridges in Burma, however, are very dry, and, as table birds, they cannot be compared with those in England.
There are several varieties of quail, but nowhere in Burma is quail-shooting anything like as good as it is in parts of India. The rain or black-breasted quail (Oturnix corainandelica) is the only one worth going after. Bustards and sand-grouse are not found in the province.
Some eight varieties of green pigeon and two kinds of imperial pigeon are met with ; they all live on fruit, and during certain seasons good sport may be had when they are flying to and from various favoured fruit trees. They are strong and fast on the wing, and also are very good to eat. Other pigeons which thrive in the country are the blue rock and the purple wood-pigeon ; the beautiful bronze-winged dove is also found.
The greater number of the species of water-fowl and waders are migratory, and known here as a winter visitors.a Though the end of August cannot be called cool or anything approaching it, most Europeans look forward to it quite as much as sportsmen at home do the 12th, for it is at this time the first of our visitorsasnipeaput in their appearance. Dealers in ammunition have quite a busy time. In Rangoon on Saturday afternoons during September and October a regular flotilla of launches leave for different creeks to take sportsmen to their favourite grounds. Snipe-shooting in Lower Burma is dreadfully hard work. One has to walk knee-deep in mud and water, and there is generally a fierce sun over head. However, the shooting is good, birds are plentiful ; so that a very moderate shot can enjoy himself and often make a good bag. Something over a hundred couple to a single gun is the record for a dayas shooting not far from Rangoon. It is a pity the season is so short, as the sport is a pleasant and healthy pastime, taking men clear of the city, giving them plenty of exercise and fresh air.
While out shooting one sees a variety of birds, among others, pelicans, the pelican ibis, the black-necked stork, darters, shags,
cormorants, the white, also black, ibis, whimbrel, stints, plovers, egrets, herons, and an occasional crane. So that those with a taste for natural history can, in addition to shooting, spend a pleasant and profitable day. The pintail (Gallinago stenura) is plentiful everywhere, the common or fantail (G. ccelcstis), though quite common in Upper Burma, is much less so in Lower Burma. Jack-snipe are quite uncommon. The large woodsnipe is found in certain localities, as is also the woodcock (Scolopax rusticula).
authority. The two commoner kinds of geese are the barred-headed goose (Anser indicus) and the grey-lag (A. ferns), but one or two other varieties have been recorded. During some seasons immense flocks of geese may be seen, but they are by no means easy to approach. Perhaps the best chance of getting near them is in the very early morning when there is usually a mist. I have never seen geese in Lower Burma below Thayetmyo. The best shooting is obtained up the Chindwin and above Man-
Woodcock, however, are more common in the hilly parts ; in the low country rarely ever more than a brace can be obtained. Water-fowl are more plentiful in Upper than in Lower Burma. As far as I am aware only one swan has been observed in the provinceaat Bhamo, by a well-known
dalay. Some twenty-three species of duck and teal and one goosander (Merganser castor) have been identified in Burma, but with one or two exceptions they are all visitors. The pink-headed duck (Rhodonessa caryophyllacea) is quite rare, as also is the mallard (Anas boseas). The line wood-duck
BARKING DEER. HOG DEER. HOG DEER.
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