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IceLAND, as a country for game, is well worthy of the attention of the English sportsman. The game consists of reindeer, wild-fowl, and the white and blue fox, the skins of the latter fetching, in the Russian market, from 50 skillings to 80 skillings a piece. The reindeer are tolerably numerous on some parts of the island, as at Myvatn, the north-eastern corner, and near the Vatna Yokul. There is a considerable amount of difficulty attendant on the pursuit of them during the summer, owing to their occupying the high ground, where they find food adapted for them, but on which your horses are sure to starve. Swans are found in large quantities during the months of June, July, August, and September. During the first two mentioned months they arrive there from all parts to breed ; after which process is finished, they spend the remaining two in moulting, during which season grand sport is to be had in hunting them on horseback, as they are then unable to fly. The next aquatic bird in size that I saw is the Anser torquatus, or brent goose. It appears to be a very rare visitant of the island. I had the fortune to see three one morning, seemingly bound for a more southern clime. After the Anser come the two species of diver, Colymbus glacialis and Colymbus septentrionalis. They are met with all over the island. They are very difficult of approach, and have a most wonderful power of diving. I had an opportunity, on one occasion, of testing the speed with which they can propel themselves through the water when diving, and I should estimate it at not less than eight miles per hour. They can traverse a distance of upwards of three hundred yards without ever appearing on the surface. I found the red-throated diver in large quantities. They are very easily approached, and will very frequently take to the wing. They possess a wonderful tenacity of life; as, on one occasion, I tried to kill a bird which my dog had caught in a small pool of water, by puncturing his brain, but all to no purpose, as it had only the effect of stupefying him for a short time. I am sure his brains must have had nearly as much stirring about as the porridge that my friend Mr. Baring-Gould attempted to make for the first time with us. Wild ducks abound in large quantities, and of many species. In some districts you may easily bag from fifteen to twenty brace in an afternoon's shooting. I killed a very small duck, about the size of a golden plover, with a plumage exactly similar to that of the Anas boschas, or wild duck, whose species I have never been able to find out. I think I met with two species of grebe, of which one is Podiceps auritus. The above-named aquatic birds, I think, will sum up all the water-fowl that any sportsman will care to shoot in Iceland. My next division is game, or such as are preserved in this country. The first that I shall name is the Tetrao islandorum, or ptarmigan. These birds are very numerous throughout the island. At Myvatn, you may bag from fifty to sixty brace in a day's shooting with perfect ease. They are very tame indeed; in fact, too much so, as you find considerable difficulty in causing them to rise. The Scolopax rusticola, or woodcock, is altogether a stranger to that part of the globe. However, it has its representative in the S. gallinago, or common snipe, which is literally plentiful. The Numenius phaeopus, or whimbrel, are very numerous, especially near Thingvalla; the Charadrius pluvialis, or golden plover, together with Totanus calidris, or red shank, are pretty numerous, and may finish off the second class of birds. The shot that I would recommend any sportsman to take are Nos. 1 and 5. He will very seldom have to use No. 1, except when in a district where swan abound. The fishing in Iceland is free to any one who cares to pursue the gentle craft. The fishing there is of no ordinary kind; for you may go out on many of the lakes, and, in the space of a couple of hours, bring in your twenty pounds weight of trout and char. I never fished much; but I remember on one occasion, on a small lake near the Hopvatn, myself and Mr. H killing nineteen fish in three hours, weighing thirty-nine pounds. Nearly all the trout that we caught were, on an average, a little more than one pound, whether it might be in a lake or river. The salmon-fishing last year in Iceland was very bad indeed, owing to a want of rain, from which cause we only killed three, and a few sea trout. The flies to use in almost all the rivers for trout are grilse flies, as the trout won't look at our ordinary loch flies. Minnow, on the whole, I found fully the most successful. The minnow which I used was a protean minnow, with ten fins to make it spin with rapidity. I found it, with that addition, beat the phantom at the rate of five to three and a half. The char of Iceland are very large indeed, weighing as heavy as four Pounds. There is another fresh-water fish, the English name of which I have been unable to ascertain, but which the natives call “suburtingur.” Its habits are similar to those of the salmon—passing one part of the year in salt, and the other in fresh, water. It takes the minnow with great avidity. It grows to the weight of twenty pounds, and has a pink-coloured flesh.
Arabis alpina (L.) Hjaltadal, below Hólar.
Drosera rotundifolia (L.) Round-headed sun-dew. Arnarvatn.
CARYOPHYLLACEE:— Silene acaulis (L.) Moss campion. Lamba-gras. On every moor and heithi in Iceland. inflata (Sm.) Bladder campion. Holurt, Hjarta-gras-Skjal
fanda. maritima (With.) Sea campion.—Mithsjord. rupestris (L.) Lychnis flos-cuculi (L.) Ragged robin. Muka-hetta. Much dwarfed.— Thingvellir.
viscaria (L.) Red German catchfly.
alpina (L.) Red Alpine catchfly. Kreisu-gras. Sagina procumbens (L.) Procumbent pearl-wort.
saxatilis (Wimm.) Alpine pearl-wort.
Sagina subuluta (Wimm.) Awl-shaped pearl-wort.
Anthyllis vulneraria (L.) Our Lady's fingers.
Trifolium repens (L.) Dutch or white clover. Smári.-Uxahver.
Lotus corniculatus (L.) Bird's-foot trefoil.
Vicia cracca (L.) Tufted vetch. Umsethmings-gras, floekja.
Lathyrus pratensis (L.) Meadow vetch.