Clouds of sand grouse whirled through the air

TCD MS 10515 folio 64r

TCD MS 10515 folio 64r

[April 30th 1916]

half a battalion on either flank. The Natural History of the march was not uninteresting. Life was becoming more abundant. Clouds of sand grouse whirled through the air, occasional bee-eaters alighted on the sand, but, of all creatures, I was most surprised to see a dove in the treeless wilderness. Two (a) ants (Messor ad Myrmecreyptus), a locust and innumerable dung-beetles (b) represented the insect world, while a small snake (c) and two lizards harmonized with the brown surface of the desert. (Specimens (a). (b). (c) preserved) A hedgehog was the sole mammal seen. The Gurkhas amused themselves by flooding the animal with water to make it unfold. Every day I regretted that my very limited space prevented my accumulating a collection from the desert.