The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, March 9, 1806
Clark, March 9, 1806
Sunday Mach 9th 1806
This morning the men Set out at day light to go in quest of the Elk which Collins had killed, they returned at 11 A.M. Bratten complains of his backs being very painfull to him to day. we Still apply the linnement & flannel; in the evening he was much better. Jos. Field & Drewyer returned not haveing found any Elk. Sergt. Pryor and the fishing party not yet returned, Suppose they are detained by the winds. we are visited by 3 Clatsop men who brought a Dog, Some fish and a Sea otter Skin for Sale. we Suffered them to remain all night. we Set Shields at work to make Some Sacks of Elk Skin to contain my papers, and various articles which we wish kept Dry.
The large Swan is precisely the Same Common to the Missouri, Mississippi and the Atlantic States &c. The Small Swan differ only from the large one in Size and it's note. it is about 1/4th less, and its notes entirely different. the latter cannot be justly immetated by the Sound of letters nor do I know any Sound with which a comparison would be perti-nent. it begins with a kind of whistling Sound and terminates in a round full note which is reather louder than the whistling, or former part; this note is as loud as that of the large Swan. from the peculiar whistling of the note of this bird I have Called it the Whistleing Swan. it's habits colour and contour appear to be precisely those of the large swan. we first saw them below the great narrows of the Columbia near the Chilluckkittequaw Nation. they are very abundant in this neighbourhood and have remained with us all winter. in number they are fully five for one of the large Species of the Swan's.
The Duckinmallard are the Same here with those of the U, States. they are abundant and are found on every part of the river below the mountains. they remain here all winter, but I believe they do not remain all winter above tide water.- a butifull Duck and one of the most delicious in the world is found in Considerable quantities in this neighbourhood dureing the Autumn and winter. this is the Same as that known in the Dilliwar, Susquehannah and Potomac by the name of the Canvisback and James River by that of Shell-Drake; in the latter river I am informed that they have latterly almost entirely disapeared. the epicures of those parts of the Union where those Ducks abound nothing need be added in prais of the exquisit flavor of this duck. I have eaten of them in Several parts of the Union and I think those of the Columbia equally as delicious. this duck is never found above tide water; we did not meat with them untill after we reached the marshey Islands; and I believe that they have already left this neighbourhood; but whether they are gorn Northerly or Southerly, I am unable to deturmine; nor do I know in what part of the Country they rais their young
The red headed fishing duck is common to every part of the river and are found as well in the Rocky Mountains as elsewhere; in short this was the only duck we Saw within the Mountain on the Columbian waters. they feed principally on Crawfish; and are the Same in every respects as those on the Ohio and rivers in the mountains of the atlantic Ocian.
The black and white Duck are Small about the Size of the blue-winged teal, or reather larger. the mail is butifully varigated with black and white. the white occupies the Side of the head, breast and back. black the tail, large feathers of the wing, two tufts of feathers which cover the upper part of the wings when folded, the neck and head. the female is darker or has much less white about her. I take this to be the Same Species of duck common to the ohio, as also the atlantic Coast, and Sometimes called the butter box. the back is wide and Short, and as well as the legs of a dark Colour. the flesh of this duck is verry well flavored I think Superior to the Duckinmallard.