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Full text of "Stray feathers. Journal of ornithology for India and its dependencies"

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CALCUTTA : 

PKINTED AND PUBLISHED BY A. ACTON, AT THE CALCUTTA CENTE1L FKESS, 

6, COUNCIL HOUSE BTEEET. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. IV. 

1876. 

Nos. 1, 2, & 3. — January. 



Page. 
Notes on the Avi-fauna of Mount Aboo and Northern 
Guzerat, by Captain E. A. Butler, H. M.'s 83rd Regi- 
ment (Continued from Yol. III., page 500) ... 1 
A Contribution to the Ornithology of Eastern Tur- 
kestan, by J. Scully, Surgeon, Bengal Army ... 41 
On the Geographical Distribution of the genus 

Pericrocotus, by B. Bowdler Sharpe, f.l.s., f.z S,&c. ... 205 

Anastomus Oscitans, by C. T. Bingham, Lieut., 33rd N.I. 212 
Novelties ? — 

Criniger theiodes ... ... ... 214 

Recently described Species, Republications. — 

Suthora munipurensis, G.-Aust. and Wald. ... 216 

Sphenocicbla Roberti „ „ ... 217 

Acridotheres albocinctus „ „ ... ib. 

Pnoepyga Roberti „ „ ... 218 

„ cbocolatina „ „ ... ib. 

Actinura daflaensis, Godwin- Austen ... 219 

Mr. Sharpe's Catalogue of the Striges, or Nocturnal 

Birds of Prey ... ... ... ... 220 

A third List of the Birds of Tenasserim ... 223 

Notes — 

Additions to tbe Avi-fauna of Sindh ... ... 225 

Querquedula falcata, in Upper India ... ib. 

Letters to the Editor — 

Remarks on Mr. Brooks' Paper on tbe Birds of 

tbe Bhagiruttee ; Mountaineer 
Drymoipus terricolor and Drymoipus longicau 

datus. — W. E. Brooks 
Pterocles coronatus and Licbtensteini. — Capt 

"Wise 
Plumage of Hiinantopus candidus. — J. H. Gurnet, 

Jun. ... ... ... ... ib. 



Nos, 4, 5, & 6. — December. 



ib. 
229 
230 



Notes on some Birds collected in Sambalpoor and 

Orissa, by V. Ball, Geological Survey ... ... 231 

Note on the Synonymy of Spizalauda, by W. T. Blanford 237 



11 

Page. 
Notes on and Additions to Cetlonese Avi-fattna, with 
a Notice of some appabently new Species, by Capt. 
W. V. Legge ... ... ... ... 242 

List of Bieds collected in the vicinity of Khandalla, 
Mahableshwab, and Belgaw along the Sahyadbi 
Mountains, and neae Ahmednagae in the Dakhan, by 
the Kev. S. B. Fairbank, M.A. ... ... ... 250 

Oenithological Notes and Cobbections, by "W". Edwin 

Brooks ... ... ... ... ... 268 

Additional Notes on the Avi-fauna of the Andaman 
Islands ... ... ... ... 279 

Notes on Bieds collected in the Rangoon District of 
the Ieeawaddy Delta, by Dr. J. Armstrong, Marine 
Survey ... ... ... ... ... 295 

A first List of the Bieds of the Teavancoee Hills ... 351 
A Note on Pelloeneum minoe, Hume, and P. Tickelli, 

Blyth, by Eugene W. Oates, O.E. .., ... 406 

On the Identity of Dbymoipus tebbicolob and D. longi- 
caudatus ... ... ••• ... 407 

A new Indian Ioea, by Capt. G-. F. L. Marshall, E.E. ... 410 

The Laccadives and the West Coast ... ... 413 

Novelties ? — 

Estrelda burmanica ... ... ... 484 

Alcippe Bourdilloni ... ... ... 485 

Montifringilla Blanfordi ... ... ... 487 

Montifringilla Mandelli ... ... ... 488 

Recently desceibed Species, Republications— 

Suthora daflaensis, God-Aust. ... ... 489 

Minla Mandelli, God-Aust. ... ... 490 

Accentor Jerdoni, Brooks ... ... 491 

Troglodytes neglectus, Brooks ... ... 492 

Anorhinus Austeni, Jerdon ... ... 493 

Prionochilus Vincens, Sclater ... ... ib. 

Reguloides sub-viridis, Brooks ... ... 494 

Notes— 

Additional species from Kutch and Kattiawar ... 496 
Dromas ardeola and Mergus castor from the 

Persian Gulf and the Mekran Coast ... ib. 

A supercilium in Prinia Stewarti and socialis ... 497 
Euticilla nigrogularis doubtfully distinct from R. 

schisticeps ... ... ... ib. 

Horeites brunnescens, Horornis fulviventris, &c. ib. 
Dicseum olivaceum from the Bhootan Doar3 ... 498 
Ixos annectens, "Walden, identical with I. Davisoni ib. 
Harpactes fasciatus in the Forests of Central 

Provinces ... ... ... ... ib. 

Dusky type of Passer montanus from Thibet ... 499 
The first plumage of Anser indicus ... ... ib. 

Daulias Goltzii, Cabanis, from the Oudh Terai ... 500 



Ill 

Page. 
Stachyrbis rufifrons from the Bhootan Doars ... 501 
Capriniulgus Unwiui, a pale Eace of C. Europseus ib. 
Garrulax albosuperciliaris, Godwin-Austen, identi- 
cal with G. sannio, Swinhoe ... ... 502 

Occurrence of Larus fuscus within our limits, 

doubtful ... ... ... ... ib. 

Propasser Murrayi ... ... ... 504 

Pyctorhis altirostris of Jerdon ... ... ib. 

Identity of Abrornis cbloronotus, Hodgs. and A. 

maculipennis, Blyth ... ... ... 505 

Motacilla dukhunensis, Sykes, the type ... 50(5 

Official Ornithology .. ... ... ib. 

Sturnus nitens, Hume, renamed, S. ambiguus ••• 512 
Lettebs to the Editoe — 

Glareola pratincola and Cotyle riparia in Sindh. — 

W. T. Blanfobd ... ... ... 507 

Goat-sucker feigning crippleness to entice from the 

neighbourhood of her nest. — J. E. Ceipps ... 508 
Pterocles senegallus 70 miles north-west of Jodh- 

poor. — Capt. E. A. Butleb ... ... ib. 

Cissa speciosa on the borders of the Dhoon. — G. 

Gbeig ... ... ... ... 509 

Totanus fuscus, in summer plumage. — T. Cockbuen. ib. 
Micropternus phaioceps, nesting in Ants' nests. — 

T. Gammie... ... ... ... 511 

Index — 

Species described or discriminated i 

Species noticed ... ... ... iii 



PREFACE. 

It is always gratifying to find the opinions one has indepen- 
dently formed, and steadfastly adhered to, in the face of the 
nearly general dissent of our contemporaries, gradually accepted 
and adopted as established truths by all those best qualified 
to judge. 

It is particularly gratifying to the Editor (who was not a 
little abused for starting Stray Feathers,) to find now ere 
the completion of the 4th Vol. an almost universal concurrence 
as to the necessity of a special ornithological journal for 
India, and a pretty general admission that despite his own 
shortcomings, his journal has, thanks to the kind and cordial 
support of brother ornithologists, rendered important services 
to Indian Ornithology. 

As regards his own shortcomings, the Editor feels that on 
the present occasion, he has more cause even than in former 
years to deprecate harsh judgments. 

From circumstances entirely beyond his own control, the 
Editor has been this year compelled to bring out the whole 
volume in only two numbers, the first of which appeared in 
January, and the 2nd of which will appear in December. 

This he feels is, in truth, a very irregular manner of doinor 
business ; all he can plead in mitigation of sentence is that as a 
fully occupied Government servant, liable to be sent here, there, 
and everywhere as the exigencies of the public service may de- 
mand, and often unable for whole months at a time to look at, or 
give a thought to, birds, he does his best and can do no more. 

No one else can at present be found able and willing to under- 
take the task; the mere preparation of contributions for the 
press, correction of proofs, and compilation of indices, involves, 
in India, an amount of personal labour, of w T hich European Editors 
have no conception, and when this is coupled with the facts 
that the press is at Calcutta, that the Editor may, as has hap- 
pened this year, send a manuscript from Simla, receive a first 
proof there, a second proof at Jeypoor, and pass the final proof 
for press at Bombay, and that, again, as has happened this year, 
large packets of manuscript and proofs disappear altogether in 
the Post Office, never turning up at the stations where the 
Editor expected to meet them, indulgent readers will, it is 
hoped, make allowances for the irregularity with which the journal 
appears, — an irregularity, be it noted, which was foretold in the 
opening notice on the cover of the very first number. 

Au reste the Editor has onlv to urge once more the great 
importance of carefully prepared local Avi-faunas and to ex- 
press a hope that he may soon be favoured with some at least 
of those which have been now long promised. 

ALLAN HUME. 

November 2hlh, 1876. 



STRAY FEATHERS. 



Vol. IV.] JANUARY, 1876. [Nos. 1, 2 & 3. 

Iteflit ije gfcitara of Utomtt f boo anb Uortjrent #B$emt 



By Captain E. A. Butler, H. M.'s 83rd Regiment. 
( Continued from page 500, No. 6.) 

765 bis.— Spizalauda simillima, Hume. J. A. S. B., 
1870, p. 120. 

The Northern Crown-crest Lark is not very common, but 
occurs sparingly in most localities, affecting grass land and 
cultivated ground. 

[This species is more or less common throughout the entire 
region, except Sindh, where it has not yet been procured. 
Altho' it possibly occurs there I have seen no specimen yet 
from Aboo itself. 

This is the smaller of the two very distinct species of this 
genus, characterized by the pointed crest and comparatively short 
hind claw, which we have in India. The larger form common 
about Ahmednugger and other places in the Dekhan, on the Nil- 
ghiris and the Malabar coast, is clearly, I think, Scopoli's Alauda 
■malabarica, and as it is the lark of this species in the region 
worked by Col. Sykes, I believe it to be his S. deva, but this must 
be tested by an examination of his types. The smaller species I 
named S. simillima. 

When first discriminating this species I had not a sufficient 
number of specimens at hand to do full justice to the difference 
in the dimensions of the two species. In S. malabarica the 
wing varies from 3*6 to 4, in adults. The bird, of which I 
am made in the J. A. S. B. to record the wing as 3'57, has 
really the wing 3*7, 1 cannot tell whether the mistake is mine 
or the printers. In S. simillima, the wing varies in adults from 
3 to 3*3, in only one out of eighteen now before me does it 
reach 3'4. There is a nearly equally conspicuous difference in 
the size of the bill, and besides the usually paler and less 
rufous character of the upper plumage of simillima, I may 
note that whereas the breast spots of malabarica are large and 
conspicuous, those of simillima are small, and less conspicuous, 
and in some birds are almost entirely wanting. — A. 0. H.] 



2 NOTES ON THK AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

767.— Alauda gulgula, Frankl. 

The Indian Sky Lark is not particularly common. I found 
a nest near Deesa on the 8th July containing two eggs 
amongst some tussocks of coarse grass in the sandy bed of a 
river. The nest consisted of a well- woven pad of fine dry 
grass placed in a hollow at the root of a small tuft of grass 
growing on bare shingle. The eggs, which were hard set, were 
somewhat elongated ovals of a greyish white colour, thickly 
covered with yellowish brown specks with occasional lavender 
grey markings. The two colours forming an ill-defined con- 
fluent zone at the large end. 

[I have not yet seen this, tho' it surely must there occui', from 
Mount Aboo. Occurs throughout the entire region, but 
seems rare in Sindh. All the specimens that I have examined 
from this region were typical gulgulas. — A. 0. H.] 

769.— Galerida cristata, Lin. 

The Crested Lark is not uncommon in the plains during the 
cold weather, but as I cannot remember meeting with it in 
the hot weather, I am inclined to think it leaves this part of 
the country before the breeding season. It frequents open 
ground, ploughed fields, &c, and is often in company with 
Calandrella bracJiydactyla. 

[Common throughout the entire region, but in many places 
only during the cold season ; not as yet noted from Aboo. — 
A. 0. H.] 

[772. — Crocopus phcenicopterus Lath. 

Dr. King obtained this species at Aboo ; but not in Jodhpoor, 
though Mr. Adam has sent it from the extreme eastern limits of 
that state, at Sambhur. I have not received or seen it from 
Sindh, Cutch or Kattiawar, but Captain Hayes Lloyd records it 
from the latter, but he does not record the next species which 
I have from Kattiawar, and there may be some mistake. — 
A. 0. H.] 

773.— Crocopus chlorigaster, Blyth. 

The Southern Green Pigeon occurs throughout the plains in 
all well-wooded districts. It breeds in April and May, but I 
have never seen a nest myself, although two or three have been 
described to me by shikarees, which undoubtedly belonged to 
this species. I did not observe this bird at Aboo, but I am 
inclined to think it is to be found there, as it occurs in the 
jungles at the foot of the hill. The berries of Ficus indica 
appear to be its favorite food. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region except in Sindh. — A. 
G. H.] 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 3 

788 — Columba intermedia, Strict 

The Blue Rock Pigeon abounds all over the country, congre- 
gating often in countless flocks in wells, sacred edifices, old 
buildings, &c. 

[Obtained at Aboo also. Common throughout the entire 
region. — A. 0. H.] 

792 — Turtur pulchrata, Hodgs. 

The Indian Turtle Dove, distinguished from T. meena, Sykes, 
by the white under tail-coverts, is not common. I met with 
one or two examples at Aboo, but have not observed it else- 
where. 

[Occurs nowhere else, so far as I yet know, throughout the 
entire region, except on its extreme eastern limits near Sam- 
bhur, where Mr. Adam obtained one or two stragglers duriuo- 
the course of several yeai's. — A. 0. H ] 

794. — Turtur cambayensis, Gmel. 

The Little Brown Dove is very common both on the hills 
and in the plains. 

[Very common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

795.— Turtur suratensis, Gmel. 

The Spotted Dove, though not quite so plentiful as the last, 
is common on the hills and in many parts of the plains. In 
the immediate neighbourhood of Deesa it is not common. 

[Occurs throughout the region, but except in the better wood- 
ed tracts, almost exclusively during the rainy season. — 
A. 0. H.] 

796.— Turtur risorius, Lin. 

The Common Ring Dove abounds all over the plains, but 
does not occur in any numbers on the hills, in fact I only 
met with one or two specimens at Mount Aboo. It is parti- 
cularly partial to clumps of babool trees, Zizyplms bushes 
and Euphorbia hedges, and breeds in great quantities at the 
end of the rains, commencing to lay about the second week 
in August. 

[Very common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

797. — Turtur humilis, Temm. 

The Ruddy Ring Dove is common in most parts of the 
plains and on the hills, but in some localities it is seldom or 
never met with. I took a nest containing one fresh egg on the 
8th July near Deesa, and saw several other nests later in the 
same mouth and in August and September. 



4 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

[Occurs throughout the whole region, but nowhere in the 
same numerical abundance as risorius. — A. 0. .HJ 

799 —Pterocles arenarius, Pall. 

The Large Sand Grouse, which is so abundant in the north 
of Rajpootana during the cold weather, is seldom met with 
in this part of the country. I have never shot it myself, but 
have been informed by shikarees to whom I have shown 
skins that they have occasionally killed specimens and just 
recently they brought me a fine male killed six miles from 
Deesa, when in company with 4 others. Measured in the flesh 
it far exceeds Jerdon's dimensions, viz. : — Length, 14*5 ; wing, 
9-5 ; tarsus, .5-12 ; bill at front, 0*5 ; bill at gape, 075. 

[Does not of course occur on Aboo. Very common in Jodh- 
poor, not uncommon (of course during the cold season only) in 
most parts of Sindh. Fairly plentiful in the eastern portions of 
Cutch, all along the eastern shores of the Runn, and in the north- 
eastern portions of Kattiawar bordering on this latter. It has not 
yet been received or recorded from the western portions of either 
Cutch or Kattiawar.— A. 0. H.] 

800.— Pterocles fasciatus, Scop. 

The Painted Sand Grouse is tolerably common in many parts 
of the country, breeding in the cold weather as well as in the 
hot. 

[Very common throughout the entire region, except in Sindh, 
where a distinct but nearly allied species P. Lichtensteinii 
Tem., replaces it. I c does not ascends Mount Aboo to any eleva- 
tion.— A. O .H.] 

[801 Us.— Pterocles senegallus, Lin. (S. F. I. p. 221.) 

Occurs in Northern Guzerat, along the shores of the Runn. I 
obtained it near Soeegam (about 50 miles due west of Deesa) and 
Mr. James has recently met with it near Patree. Through- 
out Sindh it is very common in suitable localities ; it has been 
sent from Cutch and Northern Kattiawar, but only as yet from 
the neighbourhood of the Runn. I have never seen or heard 
of it from Jodhpoor, or from any part of Guzerat inland from 
the Runn.— A. O. H.] 

802. — Pterocles exustus, Temm. 

The Common Sand Grouse occurs in moderate numbers 
throughout the country. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. O. H.] 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 5 

803.— Pavo cristatus, Lin. 

The Common Peacock is very plentiful in most parts of 
the country, abounding in the jungles at the foot of Aboo. 
In the neighbourhood of villages it becomes quite domestic in 
its habits, but in the jungle it is one of the wariest and shyest 
birds we have. 

[Unknown in Sindh, so far as I am at present informed. 
Throughout the rest of the region more or less sacred in the 
estimation of the people and consequently very common where- 
ever there is the least cover. — A. 0. H.] 

813.— Gallus Sonneratii, Temm. 

The Grey Jungle Fowl, one of the finest game birds in India, 
is common all along the Aravalli range, even in the jungles at 
the foot of Aboo, where it is so much persecuted. It is not 
as common at Aboo, that is, actually on the hill, as it ought 
to be, owing to the merciless way it has been destroyed of late 
years both by European and Native shikarees, however its fine 
wild crow may still be heard of a morning and evening in 
the breeding season in many parts of the hill, and now that 
game laws, or rather I should say a close season, has been 
introduced in the Serohi State making the destruction of jungle 
fowl, spur fowl, partridges, and hares between the 1st May and 
the 1st September a penal offence, we may expect them to 
increase again shortly. 

[Quite an outlier at Aboo ; unknown throughout the rest 
of the region. Captain Butler says it is " common all along the 
Aravalli range, " but I have never met with it northwards or 
eastwards of Erinpoora, and I have explored the Aravallis 
pretty exhaustively. — A. 0. H.] 

814.— Galloperdix spadiceus, Gmel 

The Red Spur Fowl is also common all along the Aravallis. 
It is usually found singly or in pairs and breeds like the last 
species during the hot weather. I have never seen the nest, 
but have often seen the chicks with the old birds shortly after 
they have been hatched in May and June. 

[The same remarks apply to this species as to the last. I 
think it is a mistake to say that this species is common all 
along the Aravallis. I have never seen or heard of this east- 
wards or northwards of Erinpoorah, but the main portion 
of the Aravallis lies north and east of this latter place. A. 0. H.] 

818.— Francolinus vulgaris, Steph. 

The Black Partridge is rare. I had one, sent to me last year 
for inspection, that was shot within two miles of Deesa, and 



6 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

have heard of its occurrence in the same neighbourhood on one 
or two occasions since. Further north in many parts of Raj- 
pootana it is more abundant than the next species, but I do not 
think it often occurs further south than Deesa, which is very 
near the imaginary line which is supposed by Mr. Hume 
(Nests and Eg^s, Rough Draft, p. 537) to mark the southern 
boundary of its distribution, viz., from the Runn of Cutcli to 
Gwalior and from Gwalior to Ganjam. 

[Common in Sindh, and not uncommon in Cutch. Deesa is 
about on the line of junction of the two species. I have never 
myself seen a Black Partridge from any part of Jodhpoor, which 
is too arid as a rule for these partridges, but Dr. Eddowes 
shot one at a Marwar village only 6 miles N. W. of 
Erinpoora. In Kattiawar it is of course the next species that 
occurs. I have never been able to obtain an}' further in- 
formation of the supposed third species from Cutch, and I 
now believe it must have been an African bird brought over 
in a cage, but as I have failed to recover the skin it is im- 
possible now to ascertain. — A. 0. H.] 

819.— Francolinus pictus, Jerd. and Selby. 

The Painted Partridge is common in the plains, but does 
not ascend the hills. It usually affects grass Beerhs, or preserves, 
and low bush jungle, and breeds from the middle or end of July 
to the end of September, the greater number laying in August. 

[Common in Kattiawar. The whole of the rest of the region 
lies outside the northern limits of this species which I have 
however seen from Anadra, Sirohi and Erinpoora. — A. 0. H.] 

822.— Ortygornis pondiceriana, Gmel. 

The Grey Partridge is very common all over the plains 
and occurs sparingly on the hills as well. It breeds in the hot 
weather, laying principally in March, April aud May. A few 
lay again later in the year, as I have seen fresh eggs in August ; 
these are likely to be birds whose first nest has been destroyed. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. EL] 

826.— Perdicula cambayensis, Lath. 

The Jungle Bush Quail ( I adhere to Jerdon's nomenclature, but 
see Nests and Eggs, Rough Draft, p. 545), supplies the place of 
the next species on the hills and in thick jungles. It is very 
common at Mount Aboo, but never occurs out of the jungles, id 
est, it does not affect bare open ground like P. asiatica. It is 
exclusively, I believe, a hill resident ; I have never met with 
it anywhere excepting in hilly jungles and, so far as my ex- 
perience goes, where this species occurs the next does not. I 
never had any difficulty in distinguishing it from P. asiatica 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 7 

owing to its coloring being so mnch brighter, especially about, 
the head. It breeds at Aboo after the rains, but I have never 
succeeded in finding a nest. 

[I have numerous specimens from Aboo obtained by Dr. 
King, but I have never seen or heard of it from any other 
part of the entire region, though it might turn up in the Gir 
jungles. — A. O. H.] 

827.— Perdicula asiatica, Lath. 

The Rock Bush Quail is very common in the plains, but does 
not ascend the hills. Unlike the last species it frequents open, 
rocky, cultivated and uncultivated ground with low bushes for it to 
take refuge in when disturbed. It begins to lay about the middle 
of August, at which time of year they are always found in pairs 
and lie very close. I have never met with it in thick jungles 
like the last species. 

[Common throughout the entire region, except in Sindh, 
to which it does not, I believe, extend. — A. 0. H.] 

829.— Coturnix communis, Bonaterre. 

The Large Grey Quail is veiy abundant all over the plains 
of Guzerat in the cold weather,* and occurs though sparingly 
on the hills as well. In the neighbourhood of Deesa and 
Ahmedabad two guns or even one good gun might without diffi- 
culty shoot 100 brace in the day. 

[Common throughout the entire region during the cold 
season; Dr. King procured it at Aboo. — A. 0. H.] 

830. — Coturnix coromandelica, Gmel. 

The Black-breasted or Rain Quail is also common in the plaius, 
but I do not fancy it ascends the hills. It breeds in August 
and September, and the young broods appear on the wing in 
October. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, but apparently in West- 
ern Jodhpoor, Cutch, Kattiawar and Sindh only during the rains. 
—A. 0. H.] 

832.— Turnix taigoor, Syhes ; T. pugnax, Tern. 

The Black-breasted Bustard Quail is not common and does not 
ascend the hills. I found a nest containing four fresh eggs 
near Deesa on the 9th August. I laid a horse hair noose on 
each side of the tuft of grass it was placed under, and on re- 
turning to the spot about a quarter of an hour later I found the 
cock bird snared and sitting upon the eggs, probably not knowing 

* The first I saw this year (1875) I shot near Deesa on the 27th August, but they 
do not begin to get plentiful until the middle of September, after which they swarm 
all over the country. I have not heard of any remaining here to breed. 



8 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

that he was caught as he did not move off the eggs until I 
frightened him. The nest consisted of a small saucer-shaped 
hole scratched under a low tuft of grass growing in an 
open field with scarcely another blade of grass near it. It 
was lined -with a thin loose pad of short pieces of dry grass 
and thin bits of stick and fell to pieces in my hand. The eggs 
are perfect miniature pegtops, being almost round at the large 
end and very pointed at the small. They are remarkably 
large for the size of the bird, of a dirty stone color densely 
covered with brown and yellow specks having good sized blackish 
spots and blotches sparingly scattered over the shell as well 
principally towards the large end. A few inky purple mark- 
ings, as if below the outer surface of the shell, are also visible. 
An equal mixture of mustard, salt and pepper would give one 
a good idea of the general color of the egg. They have 
scarcely any gloss. 

[Stoliczka obtained this in Cutch. I have neither seen nor 
heard of it from Sindh or Jodhpooi*, or even Kattiawar, though it 
is probable that it occurs in the eastern portions at any rate 
of this latter.— A. 0. H.] 

834. — Turnix joudera, Hodgs. T. Dussumierii, apud 
Jerd nee Tern. 

The large Button Quail occurs all over the plains wherever 
there is long grass and scrub jungle intermixed. It is parti- 
cularly plentiful in the neighbourhood of Deesa where I had 
every opportunity of watching it closely and observing its 
habits. It is almost always found singly except in the breed- 
ing season, when it may often be seen in pairs. I found a 
nest near Deesa on the 15th July 1875, containing four 
slightly incubated eggs. It was composed of soft blades of 
dry grass, reminding one of the nest of a field mouse and 
many half-covered nests which I have seen of Mirafra can- 
tillans — the entrance hole being on one side and extending 
nearly to the top of the nest. It was placed at the foot of a 
tussock of coarse grass in a preserve, and the old bird allowed 
me to put my foot within a few inches of her before she 
flew off. After leaving the nest she fluttered along the ground 
for four or five yards, and then feigned lameness, broken 
wings, &c, like other members of the family. 

I snared her at the nest when she retui'ned shortly after- 
wards. The eggs are very handsome and considerably smaller 
than those of the preceding species. They are of a dirty 
yellowish white color thickly speckled, spotted and blotched 
all over with brownish black with occasional spots and mark- 
ings of inky purple and palish or dingy yellow, the whole 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 9 

combining in forming quite a dark confluent cap at the large 
end. The eggs are almost the same shape as the last, being 
very broad and almost round at the large end, very small and 
pointed at the other, and the shell is highly glossed. 

[Occurs, but very sparingly and locally, throughout the entire 
region, and all the specimens that I hare seen, from Sindh, 
Cutch, Kattiawar, and Jodhpoor, were obtained towards the close 
of the rains, in August or September. — A. 0. H.] 

835.— Turnix Dussumierii, Tern. T.Sykesii, A. Smith. 

The small Button Quail is common in the plains, but like the 
last does not ascend the hills. I caught a young one near 
Deesa on the 27th July in some long grass. It was only about 
half grown, and I took it home and reared it in a cage on white 
ants. The eggs must have been laid about the second week in 
June. The note of this species is remarkable, being a mixture of 
a purr and a coo, and when uttering it the bird raises its feathers 
and turns and twists about much in the same way, as an old cock 
pigeon. I have often watched them in the act of cooing within 
a few yards of me. If an old bird gets separated from one of 
its young ones it is sure to commence making this peculiar 
noise. 

[Also occurs throughout the entire region, and is not, I believe, 
rare in suitable spots, though from its small size and indisposi- 
tion to rise it is usually overlooked. — A. 0. H.] 

836.— Eupodotis Edwardsii, Gray. 

The Indian Bustard occurs occasionally in this part of the 
country, but it is not at all common. Further north in Raj- 
pootana in many places it is tolerably plentiful. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, but is very rare in the 
greater part of Sindh (least so in the Thurr and Pakhurj uncom- 
mon in Jodhpoor and Cutch, but very common in Kattiawar.— 
A. 0. H.] 

837.— Houbara Macqueenii, Gray. 

The Houbara Bustard, like the last species, is a rare bird. I 
shot a pair in the cold weather of 1871 at Langrage about 30 
miles from Ahmedabad on the Deesa road, and I have heard of 
one or two instances of its occurrence since. 

[Common in Sindh, Cutch and Jodhpoor, occurring as far east 
even as Sambhur. Rare in Kattiawar, and only found there 
I believe, as Captain Hayes Lloyd remarks, in the northern and 
north-western portions. It is of course merely a cold weather 
visitant.— A. 0. H.] 



10 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

839— Sypheotides aurita, Lath. 

The Lesser Florican is not uncommon during the rains. It 
arrives about the beginning of July and lays in August. In 
the neighbourhood of Deesa although sometimes as many as 
seven or eight are killed by one party in a day, still four 
or five is considered a good bag. When they first arrive 
on account of the scarcity of covert, they are very wild and 
difficult to approach if you advance direct towards them, but 
by walking away from them, when you find them out in the 
open, first of all and then gradually circling in towards them, 
especially if there are two guns and each goes a different way, 
you can almost always net within shot of them as they squat, 
even on a bare fallow, when they see that they are surrounded, 
and allow you often to walk up to within a few yards of them 
before they rise. This plan answers equally well with Hou- 
bara, Grey Partridges, Sandgrouse, Plovers and many other 
species of birds that are difficult to approach. If you are 
shooting alone it is best to send your shikari one way and to 
go the other yourself, the shikari taking care when circling in 
not to approach too near the spot where the bird is lying 
(*. e., within 50 or 60 yards), otherwise it may get up before 
you are within gun shot. As soon as you find that you are 
within shot, you should incline quickly towards the bird so as 
to flush him, and you will almost invariably get a fair shot, as 
the bird, seeing the shikari upon one side and you upon the 
other, trusts rather to escaping by concealment than by flight. 
I have often made a good bag of Grey Partridges in a day 
by circumventing them in this way, when, from the open 
nature of the country, it would have been useless to have 
attempted walking them up in line. 

[Common throughout the entire region during the rainy 
season. They migrate hither from the central table-lands of 
the peninsular, where they spend the cold and dry season. — 
A.O.H.] 

840.— Cursorius coromandelicus, Gmel. 

The Indian Courier Plover is common all over the plains in 
the cold weather. It frequents open sandy plains and bare 
cultivated or uncultivated ground. 

I believe it migrates, as I have not observed it in this 
part of the country, during the hot weather, but after about 
the 20th September it appears all over the country plentifully. 

[Occurs in all the sub-divisions of the region, but in the 
northern parts of Sindh and the greater portion of Jodhpoor is 
entirely replaced by the next species. In Cutch it is rare, but 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 11 

though Stoliczka preserved none I have received specimens 
thence.— A. 0. H.J 

840 bis.— Cursorius gallicus, Gmel. 

The European Courier Plover or Cream-colored Courser is 
also common all over the plains during" the cold weather, asso- 
ciating" in small flocks of from five to twenty or thirty. It is 
an interesting bird to watch when on the ground, and in its 
actions much resembles Chettusia gregaria. When feeding 
they run rapidly for a few yards and then stop standing for a 
second or two very erect ; again they dart off in another direc- 
tion, pick up an insect, and again stand still watching for the 
next victim. They are easily approached if you walk round 
them as recommended for Florican, with the exception that it 
is better to approach these birds alone than to send another 
person round them, as they don't often squat, and therefore are 
likely to take wing if you attempt to surround them. On the 
wing they much resemble Pterocles exustus, for which species, 
I have no doubt, they are often mistaken, as they utter a low 
clucking note very similar to that bird, and fly in much the 
same style and at much the same altitude. The flesh is excellent 
eating. They arrive about the 28th September and often asso- 
ciate with the preceding species. 

[Occurs, and I think far more abundantly than the preceding 
species, throughout the entire region, except in Kattiawar, 
whence I have seen no specimens, and where if it occurs at all 
it must, as Captain Hayes Lloyd suggests, occur on the northern 
shores or the eastern neck of the peninsular. But Kattiawar 
is outside the southern limits of this species, which I believe may 
be pretty accurately represented by a line drawn from the south- 
eastern corner of the Runn to a point on the Jumna a few 
miles south of Delhi.] 

[844— Squatarola helvetica, Lin. 

I obtained this in Northern Guzerat on the shores of the 
Runn, found it very abundant about the Kurrachee Harbour, 
and have seen it from other places along the coasts of Sindh, 
Cutch and Kattiawar. Inland and in Jodhpoor I do not know 
of its occurring except when migrating in autumn and spring, 
when stragglers are met with at many large pieces of water. 
Mr. Adam obtained one in full breeding plumage at the Sam- 
bhur Lake on the 25th September. — A. 0. H.] 

845.— Charadrius fulvus, Gmel. 

The G-olden Plover is rare, and those I have seen have invari- 
ably been single birds or small parties in company with the 
next species. It arrives about the beginning of October. 



12 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

[This species does occur in each sub-division of the entire 
region, but except in Kattiawar, whence numerous specimens 
have been received, and where Captain Hayes Lloyd says that it 
is not uncommon, is everywhere apparently so rare that it can 
oulv be looked on as a straggler or through migrant. At the 
Sambhur Lake Mr. Adam has never once met with it. From 
Jodhpoor I have seen only one specimen from Palee ; one from 
near Erinpoorah ; two from Cutch. From Sindh, though we 
know that it occurs there, I have never yet seen a specimen. — 
A. 0. H.] 

[846.— Cirrepidesmus Geoffroyi, Wagler. 

I procured this in Northern Guzerat on the borders of the 
Runn. It is very common during the cold season along the 
coasts of Sindh, Cutch and Kattiawar. But neither in Sindh 
nor in Jodhpoor do I know of its occurring inland, except at 
the time of its migration from the 15th August to 15th 
September or during April-May, when, as in the case of ogua- 
tarola helvetica, (which leaves earlier and returns later) it is 
often met with at large pieces of water inland. — A. 0. H.] 

[847.— Cirrepidesmus mongolicus, Pall. 

The same remarks precisely as in the case of the preceding. — 
A. 0. H.] 

[848.— iEgialophilus cantianus, Lath. 

Procured and observed in many places in Northern Guzerat, 
common alike on the shores and inland on banks of rivers, lakes 
and tanks throughout the entire region. — A. 0. JEL] 

849.— iEgialitis curonicus, Gmel. 

The Common Small Ringed Plover is common in the plains 
in the rains and during the cold weather, and I am inclined to 
think that this was one of the species of yEgialitis I saw at Aboo 
which I have previously alluded to. It frequents the edges of 
tanks and river beds, and runs along the sand at a great pace. 
It occurs singly some times and at other times in small parties, 
varying in number from three or four to twenty and upwards. 

[Common throughout the entire region, during the cold 
season ; more common inland I think than on the shore. — 
A. 0. H.] 

852.— Chettusia gregaria, Pallas. 

The Black-sided Lapwing is very common during the cold 
weather in the neighbourhood of Deesa (further south it is not so 
plentiful,) congregating in flocks, varying in numbers from four 
or five to fifty or sixty. Like the last two species it frequents open 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 13 

sandy and grass maidans and bare cultivated or uncultivated 
ground, and does not assume the handsome black and chestnut 
plumage of the head, neck and abdomen much before February. 

I am doubtful whether the adults of this species retain the 
black crown and abdomen all the year round or not, but am in- 
clined to think that they do not, (Vide Vol. I., p. 232), as all of 
the birds when they first arrive, which is about the 3rd October, 
appear in what is described by Dr. Jerdon and Dr. Bree as the 
plumage of the young bird, remaining in that garb, a description 
of which I give below, until February, in which month they 
begin to assume the gay plumage of the adult birds. Surely all 
of the birds that visit this part of the country in the cold 
weather cannot be young birds ? 

Description.— Forehead, chin and throat, whole of lower parts 
(excepting breast) including abdomen, flanks and lower tail- 
coverts, under wing-coverts, axillaries, upper tail coverts, tail and 
secondaries, white ; upper plumage, including wing-coverts, terti- 
ary feathers nearest the body, scapulars and upper back olivaceous 
brown slightly glossed with green, most of the feathers being 
edged with pale buff ; ci*own brownish, with dark centres and 
pale edgings to the feathers ; superciliary stripe, extending to the 
occiput and meeting at the back of the head, bufly white ; a 
dusky line below the white supercilium from the corner of the 
eye to the occiput ; hind neck greyish brown, each feather 
edged pale ; sides of neck and breast greyish white with dark 
greyish brown central stripes to the feathers, forming a broad 
pectoral band ; first ten quills black, the inner web white 
at the base of 'the first eight, and on nearly the whole of the 
inner web of the ninth and tenth. 

A broad black subterminal band on all of the tail feathers, 
except the two laterals on each side, broadest in the centre and 
narrowing gradually towards the sides ; central tail feathers 
tipped rufescent or fawn ; primary coverts black. A female 
measured in the flesh : — Length, 12*62 ; wing, 8 ; tail, 4 ; bill at 
front, 1*44; bill at gape, 1*19. Bill black and irides blackish or 
very dark brown, legs and feet black very faintly tinged with 
lake in many specimens, though the lake is scarcely observable. 
It feeds principally upon coleopterous insects, grasshoppers, small 
caterpillars, worms, &c, all of which I have myself taken from 
its stomach. 

[Common throughout the entire region during the cold season 
only. See also Stoliczka, J.A.S.B., 1872, p. 251.— A. 0. H.] 

853. — Chettusia flavipes, Savign. C. leucura, Licht. 

The White-tailed Lapwing occurs in small parties round the 
edges of many of the tanks between Ahmedabad and Deesa. 
It is not very common. 



14 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

[Occurs in suitable localities, throughout the entire region, 
but is absent in the more arid tracts. It is a pity to find 
Sharpe and Dresser perpetuating in their great work, Jerdon's 
mistake about this being a rare species in India. — A. 0. H.] 

855.— Lobivanellus indicus, Bodd. 

The Red Wattled Lapwing, " Pity to do it," or " Did-he-do-it" 
as it is perhaps more generally called, is common both on the 
hills and in the plains, but I fancy that a great number of them 
migrate, as they are somewhat scarce in the hot weather, 
whereas in the cold they are abundant everywhere. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

856. — Lobipluvia malabarica, Bodd. Sarciophorus 
bilobus, Gmel. 

The Yellow Wattled Lapwing is not very common in the 
plains, and does not, that I am aware of, ascend the hills. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, but is very rare in 
Jodhpoor, (neither Mr. Adam at Sambhur, nor Dr. King in 
any part of Jodhpoor, procured it) and in the northern portion 
of Sindh it is virtually unknown. — A. 0. H.] 

858.— Esacus recurvirostris, Cuv. 

The Large Stone Plover is rare. I shot a pair on a gravelly 
island in the bed of a river between Ahmedabad and Deesa in 
1871, and I have met with it once or twice since. 

[Occurs in each sub-division of the region, but only in beds of 
rivers or streams, specially where rocky or stony banks or islands 
crop up in these. — A. 0. H.] 

859.— (Edicnemus crepitans, Tern. 

The Stone Plover, or Norfolk Plover, as it is often called, is 
tolerably common. It is quite nocturnal in its habits, lying 
as a rule all day under cover of some low thick tree. It seems 
to be somewhat partial to low babool jungle and low thick 
bushes in the sandy beds of dry rivers. 

[Common enough wherever there is low scrub jungle of 
any kind on sandy plains, or groves with grass, throughout the 
entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

863.— Grus antigone, Lin. 

The Sarus is common all over the country in the plains 
wherever there is water, and breeds towards the end of the 
rains. 

[Common in Jodhpoor, Cutch, Kattiawar, but very rare in 
Sindh, indeed does not occur at all, I believe, in Northern Sindh 
or in the Trans-Indus portion of the province. — A. 0. H.] 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 15 

865.— Grus cinerea, Bechst. 

The Common Crane is plentiful in the plains wherever there 
are large tanks in the cold weather. 

[More or less common during the cold season throughout the 
entire region. — A. 0. H.J 

866.— Anthropoides virgo, Lin. 

The Demoiselle Crane occurs in immense flocks all over the 
plains in the cold weather, arriving about the first week in 
October. Dr. Jerdon remarks that " it never betakes itself 
to tanks or jheels during the day ;" this is an erroneous 
impression, as I have seen tanks fringed with a blue margin of 
these birds at least sixty yards wide, and extending over several 
acres of ground over and over again. I never could bring my- 
self to appreciate the flesh of this bird, which is generally con- 
sidered such a delicacy. 

[As in the case of Wild Geese all depends on season, and the 
fare they have been enjoying during the previous 6 weeks — 
common, during the cold season, throughout the entire re- 
gion.— A. 0. H.] 

871.— Gallinago scolopacinus, Bonap. 

The Common Snipe is very plentiful in the plains during the 
cold weather. I observed a few also on a small patch of marshy 
ground at Mount Aboo, but it is not common on the hills as 
a rule. 

I shot a couple of full Snipe in excellent condition, and saw 
two or three others in a marsh near Deesa, on the 12th Septem- 
ber 1875. I mention the fact as I have never met with them in 
this country so early in the season before, although I am aware 
they do occur even in August. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

872.— Gallinago gallinula, Lin. 

The Jack Snipe is also common throughout the plains in 
the cold weather. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.J 

873.— Rhynchaea bengalensis, Lin. 

The Painted Snipe is common in the cold weather, and it is 
not an uncommon thing at that time of year to find the males 
and the females congregated in separate flocks. As an illus- 
tration of this I may mention that upon one occasion I shot 
nineteen males in one strip of grass by the side of a tank near 
Ahmedabad without flushing a single female, and upon several 
other occasions I have shot a large number of females without 
flushing a male. They do not arrive in this part of the country 



16 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

before the end of August or beginning of September, and I have 
heard of nests being found both in the latter month and in 
October in the neighbourhood of Ahmedabad and in the neigh- 
bourhood of Erinpoora. 

I may mention that since writing the above 1 shot a Painted 
Snipe, (?) near Deesa on the 16th September with the ovaries 
containing eggs in an advanced stage, showing that it would 
have laid in a few days if it had lived. 

[Occurs, though sparingly during the cold season, in all suit- 
able localities throughout the entire region, but is everywhere 
here more common during the rains. — A. 0. H.] 

875. — Limosa segocephala, Lin. 

The Black-tailed Godwit is common in the plains in the cold 
weather, frequenting tanks and marshy ground in considerable 
flocks. The flesh-is excellent. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

876. — Terekia cinerea, Gmel. 

The Avoset Sandpiper is very common in most of the large 
tanks between Deesa and Ahmedabad, associating in flocks 
ranging in numbers usually from about ten to twenty. 

[A coast species common along and for 20 or 30 miles inland 
from, the coasts of Sindh, Cutch and Kattiawar, but never 
occurring (except possibly at passage) in Jodhpoor or far in the 
interior of Sindh.— A. 0. H.] 

877 —Numenius -I lineatus > Cuv ' 
8 ( (.—n umenms j arquata> Lin , 

The Curlew arrives quite as early as July, as I have shot 
them near Deesa in the middle of that month at the very 
commencement of the rains. 

It is common in the tank country (though rare elsewhere,) fre- 
quenting the edges of the jheels in immense flocks often num- 
bering as many as two or three hundred. On the ground they 
pack very closely together, and with a heavy charge of shot 
well laid on you may often kill as many as ten or a dozen with 
a single barrel. Like most of the other of these marsh birds 
they generally take a long flight over the marshes about dusk 
and another at daybreak in the opposite direction ; ( I suppose to 
and from their feeding grounds). 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, though rare in Jodh- 
poor, where the localities suited to it are few. — A. 0. H.] 

878.— Numenius phseopus, Lin. 

The Whimbrel is rare. Dr. Jerdon says : " Always found in 
flocks in marshy ground." I have frequently seen it and shot it 
alone. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 17 

[The Whimbrel also is a good deal of a coast bird according to 
my experience, and is comparatively rare in India at any great 
distance from the sea. Mr. Adam never procured it at Sambhur, 
nor did I see it there or any where in Jodhpoor, or in the inte- 
rior of Sindh, nor has any of my correspondents sent or recorded 
it from that entourage. Along the coasts of Sindh, it occurs ; 
is common on those of Cutch and Kattiawar, and thence round 
the entire coast line to Mergui, and again at the Laccadives, 
Andamans and Nicobars. — A. 0. H.] 

880.— Philomachus pugnax, Lin. 

The Ruff occurs plentifully in the marshes between Ahmedabad 
and Deesa, and is one of the first of our cold-weather visitants to 
arrive, appearing about the end of July or beginning of August. 
Like most of the other members of this family it is gregarious 
associating often in considerable sized flocks. The male is 
much larger than the female, measuring about 12^ inches with 
a 7^-inch wing, whereas the female measures about 10£ inches 
with a 6-inch wing. It is an excellent bird for table. 

[Very common during autumn, winter and spring throughout 
the greater part of the region, but is less common in Sindh in 
the two latter seasons than elsewhere. — A. 0. H.J 

[884.— Tringa minuta, Leisl. 

I procured several specimens of the Common Stint, in the 
neighbourhood of Deesa. It is common throughout the entire 
region. — A. 0. EL] 

885.— Tringa Temminckii, Leisl. 

The White-tailed Stint occurs in small flocks in most of the 
tanks between Deesa and Ahmedabad during the cold 
weather. 

[Common, though less so than the preceding, throughout the 
entire region. I cannot understand Mr. Adam's never observing 
it at Sambhur. — A. 0. H.] 

891. — Actitis glareola, Gmel. 

The Spotted Sandpiper is common in the plains during the 
cold weather, frequenting the edges of tanks and marshy ground. 
I shot a pair of females in the summer plumage by the side of 
the Lake at Mount Aboo on the 8th May. 

[Dr. King also obtained this at Aboo. Common throughout 
the greater part of the region, but rare in Siudh and in portions 
of Jodhpoor. At Sambhur Mr. Adam failed during several 
years to procure it. — A. 0. H.] 



18 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

892.— Actitis ochropus, Lin. 

The Green Sandpiper is common on the hills and in the 
plains during the rains and in the cold weather. It begins to 
arrive about the end of July. 

893.— Actitis hypoleucos, Lin. 

The Common Sandpiper occurs round the edges of most of 
the tanks between Deesa and Ahmedabad in the cold weather 
and in all of the rivers. 

894.— Totanus glottis, Lin. 

The Greens hanks is sparingly scattered over the tanks in 
the cold w r eather. 

[This, as well as the two preceding, occurs throughout the 
entire region, but the Greenshanks is in many localities far from 
common. — A. 0. H.] 

895.— Totanus stagnatilis, Becks. 

The Lesser Greenshanks, like the last species, is not very 
common, but occurs sparingly throughout the tank country. 

[Not uncommon in suitable localities in Jodhpoor, but not yet 
received or reported from Sindh, Cutch or Kattiawar. — A. 
0. H.] 

896.— Totanus fuscus, Lin. 

The Spotted Redshanks is not uncommon, occurring along 
the edges of most of the tanks in the cold weather. 

[Occurs sparingly, except in Sindh where it is pretty common, 
throughout the entire region. — A. O. H.] 

897.— Totanus calidris, Lin. 

The Redshanks is not uncommon in the cold weather, but 
I have never observed it in large flocks as stated by Dr. 
Jerdon ; on the contrary I have almost invariably met with it 
either singly or in pairs. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

898.— Himant opus intermedius, Blyilu 

The Stilt or Longlegs is very common in the plains in the 
cold weather, arriving about the end of July. It occurs also 
occasionally round the edges of the Lake at Mount Aboo. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

899.— Recurvirostra avocetta, Linn. 

The Avoset is not common, but may be met with singly 
and in small parties along the edges of many of the tanks be- 
tween Deesa and Ahmedabad in the cold weather. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 19 

[Occurs throughout the whole region, but is comparatively- 
rare in Jodhpoor, Thurr, aud Pakur and Cutch. I once, 
towards the end of April, saw a flock of fully one hundred 
in a small village pond, a mere puddle, below one of the bun- 
galows between Deesa and Ahmedabad, and shot ten or twelve 
with a single barrel. They were perfectly tame. In Upper 
India they are very much rarer than in this part of the 
country, very wild, and only seen on the banks of rivers or 
large pieces of water. — A. 0. H.] 

900.— Metopodius indicus, Lath. 

The Bronze-winged Jacana is not common as a rule, but I 
found it plentiful in one or two of the tanks N. E. of Langraij 
between Ahmedabad and Deesa. It only occurs in tanks 
overgrown with dense rushes, lotus leaves, weeds, &c. It is 
not an easy bird to procure, as it runs out upon the top of the 
masses of floating weeds into the middle of the tank when 
pursued until out of gunshot, and then either dives or hides 
amongst the rushes, from which it is not easily flushed. 

I tried driving them, but unless you can creep into a 
" guggur" unobserved, and unless you are completely hidden 
behind a good screen, this method of getting a shot is of no 
use as they have a very quick eye and stop when running 
towards you at about every yard to look and listen, and if 
once they catch sight of you they invariably take wing and 
fly back towards the beaters, or dive to re-appear no more 
until you and 3 our beaters have left the tank. Even when you 
do knock one over, unless it falls stone dead, it will dive the mo- 
ment it touches the water, and you will not see it again, so that 
when a chance does occur you cannot be too careful in 
taking a steady shot if you want to recover your bird. Out 
of five I knocked down in one afternoon, four dived the 
instant they reached the water, • and consequently I only 
procured one. 

In habits and actions it closely resembles the Rails, and when 
on the wing flies like a Coot with its long legs stretched out 
behind it. 

[This species does not belong at all to the region with which 
we are dealing. Jerdon indeed says that it is found throughout 
India, but this is a mistake. It does not occur, to the best of 
my belief, in Sindh, Cutch, Kattiawar or Jodhpoor, or indeed 
in any part of Rajpootana, or iu the Punjaub, or in the greater 
portion of the N. W. Provinces. In these latter I only know 
of it, about Jhansi and Lullutpoor, and other places south of 
the Jumna, in districts east of the confluence of this river and 
the Ganges, and in the Sub-Himalayan Terais. — A. 0. H.] 



20 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

901.— Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Scop. 

The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is common, being found on most 
of the tanks throughout the plains during 1 the cold weather. 
I saw a specimen that was shot in the bed of a river near 
Deesa in the hot weather in the summer plumage, however 
this was au exceptional case, as they nearly all leave this part 
of the country at the end of the cold weather. 

[Not uncommon in suitable localities throughout the entire 
region. — A. 0. H.] 

902.— Porphyrio poiiocephalus, Lath. 

The Purple Coot, though uncommon in most parts, is very 
plentiful on some of the tanks overgrown with weeds, lotus 
leaves and dense beds of bulrushes. 

In such localities I found the bird tolerably tame, and saw 
them in dozens sitting on the top of the bulrushes, allowing one 
often to pass within easy shot of them without flying down. 
When walking, they have a habit of jerking their tails like the 
Common Waterhen (G. chloropus, L), and from the row they 
make in the rushes cackling and chasing each other through 
the water I fancy they are very pugnacious. 

I remember seeing one once take refuge in a babool tree after 
being driven out of a thick bed of rushes. No sooner had he 
settled than an eagle {Aquila vindhiana) descended into the tree 
and seized him. The poor Coot cried out piteously making a 
noise very like the cries of a domestic fowl when caught to be 
killed. After waiting a few seconds I approached the tree and the 
eagle flew off dropping the Coot on the ground as it left the tree. 
The Coot was in a dying state when I picked it up with a deep 
wound in the breast inflicted by the eagle's claws. I fancy 
that the Tawny Eagle seldom attacks a living bird of this size 
unless wounded ? Perhaps on account of its heavy laboured 
flight it thought the Coot was wounded. 

[Common in Sindh and Kattiawar, less so in Cutch where 
there are not many localities suited to it, and very rare in 
Jodhpoor. Adam never got it near Sambhur, and I know only 
one tank in Jodhpoor where it occurs. — A. 0. H.] 

903— Fulica atra, Lin. 

The Bald Coot abounds on every tank of any size throughout 
the country in the cold weather. 

[Has been once seen on the lake at Aboo. Common through- 
out the entire region. — A. O. H.J 

905.— Gallinula chloropus, Lin. 

The Water Hen is not common. I have met with it occa- 
sionally in the tanks between Deesa and Ahmedabad. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 21 

[Also obtained on one occasion at Aboo. Occurs in suitable 
localities throughout the entire region, but is more common in 
Sindh than in any other sub-division. — A. 0. H.] 

907.— Gallinula phaenicura, Perm. 

The White-breasted Water Hen is rare in this part of the 
country. I shot a fine specimen in a rocky nullah at Mount Aboo 
on the 21st June. 

[I have seen many specimens from Aboo, none from Northern 
Guzerat or Jodhpoor ; Mr. Adam never once saw it near Sam- 
bliur. It occurs in Sindh, but only along the courses of some 
of the canals. In Cutch aud Kattiawar it occurs, as I have 
specimeus from both, but it is certainly not common in the for- 
mer.— A. 0. H. ] 

908.— Porzana akool, Syhes. 

The Brown Rail occurs on the hills and in the plains, fre- 
quenting rocky nullahs, beds of rivers, and marshy grounds. 
It is seldom seen as it prefers hiding in the long grass or rushes 
or in a thick bush to taking wing, when disturbed. It runs 
with great speed, and I have often seen them go to ground 
under a large stone or in a hole in the bank and remain there 
for upwards of 15 or 20 minutes before emerging again so as 
to escape observation. They swim well and closely resemble 
the common Water Hen in their habits, jerking the tail constantly 
when walking in exactly the same manner as that species. I 
have found them in hedgerows, occasionally at considerable 
distances from the water. It is by no means common, and I 
do not fancy it migrates, as I shot a specimen at Mount Aboo in 
the middle of May. Of course it moves from those parts of 
the country where the rivers and marshes are dry during the 
hot weather. 

[Mr. Adam found it not uncommon about Sambhur, but 1 
have never yet seen or heard of it from Jodhpoor, Sindh, Cutch 
or Kattiawar ; at the same time it is such a skulk that it very 
likely does occur in all these sub-divisions, although not yet no- 
ticed from any one of them. Dr. Eddowes I may note, sent it 
to me from Erinpoorah. — A. O. H.] 

915.— Leptoptilos argala, Lin. 

The Gigantic Stork or Adjutant is a rare bird in this part of 
the country. I saw three in company with a quantity of vultures 
{Otogyps calvus and Gyps indicus,) feeding on the carcase of 
a dead camel near Deesa on the 20th August. And subsequently 
later on in the year I frequently observed them in small parties 
of six or eight fishing the bed of the Burnath River. 



22 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

Again I saw one Adjutant during a recent trip, and that was 
sitting upon a low stack of corn in company with a quantity of 
vultures near a village I passed through on the road to my 
shooting ground, 28th November. 

[Occurs, somewhat sparingly, throughout the entire region, 
but in the more arid tracts, the greater parts of Jodhpoor and 
Sindh, is scarcely ever seen except during the rains. — A. O. H.] 

917. — Mycteria asiatica, Lath. 

The Black-necked Stork occurs in the plains in most of the 
rivers and marshes. It is not however very common. 

[Occurs in suitable localities throughout the entire region, but 
is rare as a whole in Sindh, Cutch and Jodhpoor ; in Kattiawar 
Capt. Hayes Lloyd says it is common. — A. O. H.] 

918.— Ciconia nigra, Lin. 

The Black Stork is rare, and hitherto I have only met with 
one specimen, and that was standing alone on an island in the 
middle of one of the tanks between Deesa and Ahmedabad. 
I examined it very closely with my field glasses, so that there 
can be no doubt of its identity. 

[Very common in Sindh along the course of the Indus, and 
has been obtained in Kattiawar, Cutch and Jodhpoor, but is in 
the latter certainly, (Mr. Adam never saw it near Sambhur) and 
in the two former probably, a rare straggler.] 

919— Ciconia alba, Belon. 

The White Stork occurs all over the plains in the cold 
weather, frequenting marshy ground, tanks, &c. It is not how- 
ever very plentiful. 

[Occurs in each sub-division of the whole region, and though 
Mr. Adam failed to obtain it at Sambhur, I do not think it is 
very rare in other parts of Jodhpoor more suited to its habits 
or in any of the sub-divisions. — A. 0. H.] 

920. — Ciconia leucocephala, Gmel. 

The White-necked Stork is tolerably common in the plains 
in all of the rivers and marshes. I observed it also at Mount 
Aboo feeding by the side of the Lake. 

[Dr. King also obtained it at Mount Aboo. Mr. Adam 
notes this as a regular visitant during the rains to the 
Sambhur Lake. I myself never saw it in any other part of 
Jodhpoor that I can remember, and I have neither seen nor 
heard of it thence or from Sindh, Cutch or Kattiawar. I cannot 
believe that it occurs in none of these, but it is not yet on 
record thence. — A. O. H.] 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 23 

923.— Ardea cinerea, Lin. 

The Blue Heron is common all over the plains. 
[And in suitable localities throughout the entire region. — A. 
O. H.] 

924. — Ardea purpurea, Lin. 

The Purple Heron, though not so common as the last, is 
met with in most of the marshes in the plains. 

The Purple Heron occurs in every tank where there are thick 
beds of rushes in which, like the Bittern, it always lies excepting 
when disturbed, when it flies into the open and settles generally 
upon some low tree until the covert is quiet again. 

[Not uncommon, throughout the entire region, where rushy 
tanks and streams occur ; but not found as a rule elsewhere, 
hence Mr. Adam never obtained it about Sambhur. — A. 0. H.j 

925.— Herodias alba, Linn. 

The Large Egret occurs in all of the rivers and marshes. 
[Occurs (commonly in Sindh, more sparingly elsewhere) 
throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

[926.— Herodias intermedia, V. Hasselq. 

The Little White Heron is not uncommon in Northern Guze- 
rat. Has been once shot at the lake at Aboo, and is pretty 
common in every sub-division of the region. — A. 0. H.] 

927.— Herodias garzetta, Lin. 

The Little Egret is very common in most parts of the 
plains associating in considerable flocks. It is particularly 
common in the neighbourhood of Deesa. 

[Obtained also at Aboo. Common everywhere throughout the 
entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

[928.— Demiegretta gularis, JBosc. Ardea asha, 
Sykes. 

Occurs in Northern Guzerat, near the Runn. I have a spe- 
cimen from Patri, killed in August ; is common along the coasts 
of Sindh, Cutch and Kattiawar. Unknown inland in Sindh, 
and equally so in Jodhpoor. — A. 0. H.] 

929.— Buphus coromandus, Bodd. 

The Cattle Egret is also common throughout the plains. 

930.— Ardeola Grrayii, Sykes. 

The Pond Heron is very common everywhere, being found 
at the edge of every pool of water in the country. I did not 
observe it at Mount Aboo. 



24 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

931.— Butorides javanica, Horsf. 

The Little Green Heron occurs sparingly in all of the 
rivers, tanks and marshes. It sits most of the day upon the 
lower boughs of some thick tree or bush overhanging the water 
apparently at rest and seldom moving unless disturbed. It 
feeds principally, I fancy, in the early morning and in the even- 
ing. I have seen it on a few occasions at Mount Aboo. 

[929 and 930 are common, and 931 occurs, throughout the 
entire region— the crepuscular habits of the latter possibly 
making it appear less common than it really is. — A. 0. H.] 

936.— Botaurus stellaris, Lin. 

The Bittern is not common, but occurs occasionally in some 
of the tanks during the cold weather. I had, until recently, only 
met with the bird once or twice myself, but had heard from re- 
liable sources of the occurrence of others. 

During a recent trip however I shot two and saw one other, 
so that it is not so rare a bird in this part of India as I once 
thou edit. It is usually found in beds of long green rush or in 
liio-h bulrushes, growing in the water and generally rises within 
easy shot, -flapping lazily along for a short distance, and then 
dropping down into the rushes again. 

A few are killed every year in an immense bed of rushes 
at a place called "Milana" about 18 miles N. E. from Deesa. 

[Very common in Sindh, but I have never seen or heard of 
it from Jodhpoor, Cutch or Kattiawar, though it is pretty cer- 
tain to occur in the latter. — A. 0. H.] 

937.— Nycticorax griseus, Lin. 

The Night Heron is common. It spends the day at rest 
in some thick clump of trees, often in considerable flocks, and 
sallies forth at dusk making straight for its feeding ground. 
It has a peculiar and very unmistakeable croaking call, which 
it utters constantly when on the wing. 

[Has been obtained on Aboo. Common throughout the 
entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

938.— Tantalus leucocephalus, Gmel. 

The Pelican Ibis is common in all the marshes throughout 
the plains. 

[Common in Jodhpoor, Cutch and Kattiawar, but not yet 
obtained or reported from Sindh. — A. 0. H.] 

939.— Platalea leucorodia, Lin. 

The Spoonbill is common, associating in flocks in all of the 
marshes and rivers. It is an excellent bird for table. (?) 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 25 

[Deguitibns! — More or less common throughout the entire 
region. — A. 0. H.] 

940.— Anastomus oscitans, Bodd. 

The Shell Ibis is not common, but occurs, singly and in 
small parties, sparingly in most of the tanks and rivers. 

[Not uncommon in Jodhpoor, though Mr. Adam did not ob- 
tain it about the lake, but I have not as yet seen or heard of it 
from either Sindh, Cutch or Kattiawar ! — A. 0. H.] 

941. — Threskiornis melanocephalus, Lin. 

The White Ibis is not very common, but occurs sparingly 
like the last species throughout the country. 

[Not uncommon in any sub-division of the whole region. — 
A. 0. H.] 

942 — Geronticus papillosus, Tern. 

The Warty-headed or Black Ibis is common throughout the 
country. 

[Very common throughout the whole region, except of course 
in the very desert tracts. —A. 0. H.] 

943. — Fallcinelus igneus, Gmel. 

The Grlossy Ibis is the most uncommon of the three species 
that occur in this part of the country, but it is by no 
means rare. 

[Very common at all the larger lakes in Sindh and Kattia- 
war, less common in Cutch, and very rare in Jodhpoor. Mr. 
Adam has never yet seen it near Sambhur. — A. 0. H.] 

944. — Phaenicopterus roseus, Pallas. 

The Flamingo occurs in considerable flocks on all of the 
large tanks in the cold weather. 

[It is excessively common in Sindh and Kattiawar, less so 
in Cutch and Jodhpoor, (where however Dr. King procured it 
at Pallee in October) except at the Sambhur Salt lake, where it 
is very abundant. — A. 0. H.] 

[9Wns. — Phcenicopterus minor, Geoff r. St. Hill. (S. 
F., I., pp. 31, 258, 400, and II., 339.) 

I received one specimen of this beautiful species killed in July 
in Northern Guzerat on some large swamp, between Deesa and 
Ahtnedabad. We know but little as yet of this species. I ascer- 
tained that it occurred in Sindh in the early part of the hot wea- 
ther. Capt. Fielden shot it in July in Secunderabad. It has 
been seen in the great Najjufgurh Jheel, 20 miles south of 



26 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

Delhi, during the cold season, and Mr. Adam has given us full 
accounts of its occurrence in great numbers, but irregularly, at 
the Sambhur Lake. We have no record of its occurrence in any 
other part of Jodhpoor, or in Cutch or Kattiawar. They have 
now been observed at Sambhur in every month from October to 
the commencement of July. Do they breed in India? Or do 
they migrate to us yearly from Africa ? It would be most in- 
teresting to work out the life history of this species. — A. 0. H.] 

945.— Anser cinereus, Meyer. 

The Grey Goose is rare, and I have only twice been fortu- 
nate enough to get within shot of a flock. I was waiting on 
the first occasion for ducks in the centre of a narrow strip of mar- 
shy ground connecting two good-sized tanks, and soon after the 
coolies entered the tank in front of me to beat I heard the fine 
trumpet-like call of this species. Shortly afterwards, I saw a 
flock, consisting of about 30 birds, approaching my screen. 
To my great delight as they advanced they gradually 
descended until the leader of the "V," a fine old gander, 
was within 25 yards of me. I took steady aim of him and 
fired, and down he came within a few paces of mo like 
a sack of turnips. I wounded another one badly with the left 
barrel, and recovered it later in the afternoon in some thick 
rushes about half a mile from the spot. The remainder of the 
flock, after sailing about in the greatest confusion for some time 
over the tank behind me, returned eventually, flying over my 
head at an immense height in the air. Again I fired at the leader, 
aiming about 1 ^ feet in front of his head and using an S. S. Gr. 
cartridge, apparently this time without effect, however I kept 
my eye on them, and after proceeding about 300 yards the 
bird I had shot at commenced a series of such unusual 
evolutions in the air that I began to suspect that he was 
wounded. At last he directed his flight upwards, and 
after rising several hundred feet, closed his wings sud- 
denly and fell to the ground stone dead. On examination 
it proved to be another fine old gander with one shot hole in 
the neck just below the chin. I have seen a great number of 
birds tower, especially Partridges and occasionally Pheasants, 
but a wild goose under such circumstances is one of those novel 
and unusual sights that few men ever have a chance of 
witnessing. On the second occasion during a recent trip, 
I only saw one flock of Grey Geese numbering seven, of which 
I bagged two (right and left) as they passed over my head 
about 35 yards high. 

[Very common in Sindh, and has been obtained both in 
Cutch and Kattiawar, but has not yet been obtained in Jodh- 
poor ; it has not even been observed at the Sambhur Lake, 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 27 

but A. indicus has been shot there by Mr. Adam, and near 
Jodhpoorby Dr. King, and is tolerably common in Sindh. Dr. 
Stoliczka saw it, he thought, in Cutch, and it probably occurs 
there and in Kattiawar, but I have not received it from either 
locality, nor has it been recorded from any place in Northern 
Guzerat. — A. 0. H.] 

950.— Sarkidiornis melanonotus, Tern. 

The Black-backed Goose or Nuktah is not uncommon, but I 
have never seen more than ten or twelve together in one flock in 
this part of the country ; on the contrary I have generally met 
with it singly or in small parties of twos and threes. 

[Common in Kattiawar and Jodhpoor ; less so in Cutch, and 
does not, so far as is yet known, extend to Sindh. — A. 0. H.] 

951.— Nettapus coromandelianus, Gmel. 

The White-bodied Goose Teal or Cotton Teal is not common, 
and I have only met with it on one or two tanks surrounded 
with rushes and overgrown with long grass and weeds. I 
saw several flocks varying in numbers from four or five to 
twenty, and shot many specimens as they do not like to leave 
the tank when flushed but continue flying round and round 
presenting a quick shot every time they pass you. It is a 
perfect little goose in miniature and readily distinguished on 
the wing from other ducks — 1st, by its small size ; 2nd, by its 
conspicuous shining dark green wings broadly banded towards 
the tip of the primaries with white ; 3rd, by its low clucking 
or cackling note which it keeps on uttering as long as it is on 
the wing. It frequents the rushes and long grass in preference 
to the open water. 

[Although this occurs in Kattiawar it does not pertain 
properly to the region of which we are treating, and has 
never yet been obtained at the Sambhur Lake, or in any part 
of Jodhpoor or in Cutch or Sindh. — A. 0. H.] 

952 — Dendrocygna arcuata, Cuv. 

The Whistling Teal is not very common. I have met with 
it on comparatively few occasions, and have shot but few 
specimens. 

On a recent excursion to the better watered country south 
of Deesa I saw two or three flocks varying in numbers from 
15 to 30 birds (always on tanks overgrown Avith weeds and 
rushes; ; they generally rise as soon as the beaters commence to 
beat, and keep on flying round and round the tank at a consi- 
derable height in the air, constantly uttering their well-known 
" sibilant call " as Jerdon appropriately describes it until the 
drive is over. It is readily distinguished on the wing — 1st, by 



28 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

its heavy goose-like flight ; 2nd, by its very dark color ; 3rd, by 
its peculiar shrill note. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, but is very rare, I 
think, in Sindh and Jodhpoor. Mr. Adam never obtained it 
at Sambhur. 

Although we have no record of its occurrence except on the 
Eastern Narra and some of the larger lakes in Sindh, I feel 
sure that 953 Dendrocyna major, Jerd., must occur during the 
monsoon in Guzerat, Cutch and Kattiawar. — A. 0. H.] 

954.— Casarca rutila, Pall. 

The Ruddy Shieldrake or Brahminy Duck is tolerably 
common, but one of the wariest ducks that visits our marshes. 

[Occurs during the cold season throughout the entire region. 
—A. 0. H.] 

957.— Spatula ciypeata, Linn. 

The Shoveller and the Gadwall are the two commonest 
species of ducks in this part of the country, and no one 
but those who have visited the tanks in the cold weather can 
form an idea of the abundance of these birds. I remember 
upon one occasion making an extraordinarily good bag upon a 
tank about 35 miles north of Ahmedabad. There were two of 
us out, and we took up our stands at about 2-3^ p.m. At 5-30 
p. m. we discontinued shooting, and sent coolies into the water 
to collect the dead and wounded. I laid my birds in rows 
as they were brought out of the water, arranging them accor- 
ding to species, and a more imposing sight I never saw. 

There were eighty birds in all, representing fifteen different 
varieties, and every one of them was shot separately and on 
the wing, that is to say, there was no firing into the brown of 
big flocks closely packed on the water or mud banks, result- 
ing in the death of half a dozen or so at one shot; the birds of 
which there were thousands were kept constantly on the wing 
by coolies beating at both ends of the tank, and as they 
passed our screens, which were erected upon islands in the 
middle of the tank, we selected single birds to shoot at. 
We lost a great many wounded birds that dived immedi- 
ately ; they fell on the water and were seen no more. My 
friend shot 47, which added to mine made a total of 127 
ducks in three hours shooting, a bag, which I imagine, few 
sportsmen have beaten. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

958.— Anas boschas, Lin. 

The Milliard or Common European Wilduck is one of the most 
uncommon species we have, and only occurs in small numbers 
on a few of the tanks. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 29 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, but (except in Sindh 
where, especially in Upper Sindh, they are very common) every 
where sparingly. I have only seen one killed in Jodhpore near 
Pallee, and Mr. Adam has never yet obtained one near 
Sambhur.— A. 0. H.] 

959.— Anas pcekilorhyncha, Pen. 

The Spotted Billed or Grey Duck, which is the largest variety 
we have except the Brahminy, is tolerably common. It flies as 
a rule in pairs, but may also often be seen in small parties. I 
always select this species in a drive to fire at in preference 
to most of the others, on account of its size and of its beino- 
such an excellent bird for table. I believe that they breed 
in this part of the country, as it is here all through the rains, 
and I came upon a brood of "flappers" of this species in one 
of the tanks on the 26th December. They were nearly full 
grown, but could not fly. One I shot, one I knocked on the 
head with a stick, two were caught by the beaters and one 
escaped by diving. The Grey Duck is one of the most 
difficult of any of the ducks to catch when wounded, if it 
once reaches the water, as it dives very freely and when 
it rises seldom shows more than its beak above the water 
which is by no means an easy object to see amongst weeds or 
in the rushes. One of the flappers we caught after diving for a 
considerable distance took refuge in a thick mass of weeds at 
the bottom of the tank (3 feet deep) from which moist re- 
treat he was extracted by one of the beaters who accidentally 
trod on him when walking through the water in search of one 
of the others. 

[Common throughout the entire region. It was of course 
of this species that Stoliczka (J. A. S. B., 1872, p. 255) shot 
an immature specimen in Cutch (from which I have seen many 
of this species), and not of either the Gadwall, which does not 
breed at all anywhere within Indian limits, or of the Mallard, 
which within these latter only breeds in the Himalayas. — 
A. 0. H.] 

961.— Chaulelasmus streperus, Lin. 

The Gadwall, as I have already mentioned, is one of the com- 
monest ducks in the country. 

962. — Dafila acuta, Lin. 

The Pintail Duck, although common, is never numerously 
represented in the bag, owing to its shy nature. It is one of 
the first birds to take wing when a drive commences, and as 
it flies very high it is by no means easy to get hold of. I have 
several times in the cold weather observed immense flocks of 



30 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

male birds numbering, I should say, at a i*ough guess two or 
three hundred without a female amongst them. 

[This and the preceding are common throughout the'entire 
region.— A. O. H.] 

963.— Mareca penelope, Lin. 

The "Widgeon is not common, but occurs in many of the 
tanks. 

[Not uncommon in Sindh, common in Kattiawar, rare 
apparently in Cutch, and never yet sent from Jodhpoor. Mr. 
Adam never obtained it at the Sambhur Lake, but I have no 
doubt that it will pi*ove to occur there, in seasons when the 
lake is full. Most of our other ducks may be met Math on 
any river, stream, or little pond an acre or two in extent ; but 
the Widgeon is rarely found except on good large pieces of 
water, and there are few such in Jodhpoor, except the Sambhur 
Lake, in seasons when the rainfall has been plentiful. — A. O. H.] 

961— Querquedula crecca, Lin. 

The Teal is very common. 

965.— Querquedula circia, Lin. 

The Blue-winged Teal, though not as plentiful as the last, 
is also common. 

It arrives at the beginning of September. 

[Both the common and Garganey Teal are pretty common 
during the cold season throughout the entire region. — A. O. H.] 

966 bis.— Querquedula angustirostris, Menetries. 

The Marbled Duck, though far from common, occurs in may 
of the tanks. 

[Not uncommon in Sindh, bat not yet recorded from Jodh- 
poor, Cutch or Kattiawar, though I should expect it to occur 
in the latter.— A. 0. H.j 

967.— Branta rufina, Pall. 

The Red-crested Pochard is another of those wary birds 
that severely tries the sportsman's patience, taking wing on the 
slightest indication of danger, and flying up and down the 
tanks invariably out of gunshot. It is not veiy common, but 
occurs on most of the large tanks. 

968.— Aythya ferina, Lin. 

The Red-headed Pochard is tolerably common. 

969.— Aythya nyroca, Guld. 

The White-eyed Pochard is not very common, but like Branta 
rufina occurs on most of the large tanks. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 31 

971.— Fuligula cristata, Ray. 

The Tufted Duck is not particularly common, but occurs in 
most of the large tanks. 

[All these four Pochards occur throughout the entire region, 
the last only being somewhat rare. Mr. Adam never even ob- 
served it at Sambhur, though the first year that I was there I 
saw several. — A. O. H.] 

973.— Mergellus albellus, Lin. 

The Smew is very uncommon. I have occasionally seen it on 
some of the tanks I have shot over, but never procured a speci- 
men. It is a very handsome bird and its showy black and 
white plumage causes it to be easily recognized. It is exceed- 
ingly shy and consequently very difficult to get within gun-shot 
of. 

[I obtained this species in Sindh, but have no record of its 
occurrence in Cutch, Kattiawar, or Jodhpoor. The Smew essen- 
tially pertains to large pieces of water, such as the Najuff- 
gurh Jheel, (where, before this latter had been so largely drained 
as it now is, hundreds were always to be seen,) the Manchur 
Lake, &c Mr. Adam has never noticed it at Sambhur, but I 
have no doubt that it would be found there in seasons when un- 
usual rains have filled the Lake. — A. 0. H.] 

[974. — Podiceps cristatns, Lin. 

I obtained a specimen of the Crested Grebe, in a large tank 
a few miles off the road from Deesa to Ahmedabad. I have 
received specimens of this from Kutch, and obtained it in Sindh 
and also on the western coast of Kattiawar, at Beyt and again 
in the lagoon at Poorbunder. I have no record of its occur- 
rence in Jodhpoor or arid Rajpootana generally, and it has not 
occurred as yet in the neighbourhood of the Sambhur Lake. — 
A. 0. H.] 

975.— Podiceps Philippensis, Gmel. 

The Dabchick or Little Grebe is common on every tank both 
on the hills and in the plains. 

[Common throughout the entire region. — A. O. H.] 

980. — Larus brunneicephalus, Jerdon. 

The Brown-headed Gull is tolerably plentiful in the cold 
weather. 

983.— Sterna nilotica, Hasselq. 

The Gull-billed Tern is common in all of the marshes, tanks 
and rivers during the cold weather. 



32 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

984.— Hydrochelidon indica, Steph. 

The Whiskered or Small Marsh Tern is also common in the 
same localities as the last during- the cold weather. 

985.— Sterna seena, Sykes. 

The Large "River Tern is not uncommon, occurring in most of 
the marshes in the rains and during" the cold weather. In the 
change from summer to winter plumage the bill becomes dusky 
brown at the tip for about half an inch. 

[All these four species, 980, 983, 984, and 985, are more or 
less common, the former 3 during the cold season^ only, in suit- 
table localities throughout the entire region. It is curious that 
the last has never yet been obtained near Sambhur. — A. 0. H.] 

965— Rhynchops albicollis, Swains. 

The Indian Skimmer is rare. I have not 'met with it myself, 
but as Dr. Newman shot three or four specimens on the lake 
at Mount Aboo a year or two ago, I consider that 1 am justified 
in including the species in my list. 

[The occurrence of this species at the little Lake at Aboo, is 
so utterly abnormal that I suspect some mistake. The Skim- 
mer is a river bird pur et simple. Never in 25 years experi- 
ence of Indian Lakes and Swamps, have I seen a specimen on 
any of these and it never ascends rivers to any considerable 
elevation above the sea. In Sindh it is tolerably common in 
the Indus. It is not recorded nor have I seen it from any part 
of Jodhpoor, Cutch, or Kattiawar. — A. O. H.] 

1001.— Pelecanus onocrotatus, Lin. 

The European Pelican occurs in immense flocks on some of 
the tanks during the cold weather and the amount of fish they 
consume is almost incredible. Upon several occasions I have 
seen a flock form line' on the bank of a small piece of water 
and swim across in this formation about a yard apart with their 
heads under water, fishing in the most regular and systematic 
style. On reaching the opposite bank they would waddle out 
of the water and either remain to plume themselves and digest 
their meal or take wing and fly to another tank. I have never 
seen them fishing in very deep water, they usually select a 
piece sufficiently deep to swim in, and so that they can touch 
the bottom with their bills when fishing with their heads under 
water. 

[I obtained this species in Sindh, (where however P. crispus 
Bruch, is much commoner) and Mr. Adam captured a specimen 
at the Lake, but I have not yet seen or heard of it (though it 
probably occurs in all of them) from any other part of Jodhpoor, 
from Cutch, or Kattiawar. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 3.3 

I take this opportunity of noticing that the Swans, which 
Stoliczka (who was very short sighted) thought he saw (J.A.S.B. 
1872. p. 229) on the Runu between Cutch and Pacham, were 
pretty certainly P. crispus which I have seen from this very 
locality, and which I saw on the Sindh coast, and again on the 
western coast of Kattiawar. There is not the slightest reason 
to believe that Swans occur anywhere within Indian limits out- 
side the Himalayas except in the extreme North- West Puniaub. 
—A. 0. H.] 

1004.— Pelecanus philippensis, Gmel. 

The Grey Pelican is about as common as the last, and occurs 
on the same ground. 

[Is found throughout the entire region. I myself saw it at 
the Sambhur Lake, though Mr. Adam has failed as yet to 
secure any specimen there. — A. 0. H.] 

1005.— Graculus carbo, Lin. 

The Large Cormorant occurs on all of the large tanks, special- 
ly preferring those with wooded islands, upon the trees of which, 
selecting as a rule those which are either dead or leafless, it 
delights to sit and bask in the sun with its tail spread and 
its wings half open. I observed it on the lake at Mount Aboo. 

[Common in suitable localities throughout the entire re- 
gion.— A. O. H.] 

1006.— Graculus sinensis, Shaiv. 

The Lesser Cormorant is a bird that I am not quite sure 
about, but as a bird intermediate in size and somewhat differ- 
ent in plumage to either the last or the next species does occur 
both on the lake at Mount Aboo and in the plains below, I have 
entered it in my list under that head, and given a full descrip- 
tion of it in the hope that some one may point out my 
mistake if it belongs to any other species. Measurements taken 
in the flesh as follows: — Length, 24; wing, 975, tail, 5-5; 
bill at front, 2 - 25; bill at gape, 8 inches. Upper mandible green- 
ish black ; lower mandible fleshy ; gular skin yellow ; le^s 
and feet black ; irides green. 

Description : — Upper parts brownish black, slightly glossed 
with green ; scapulars and lower hind neck silvery earth 
browm, having many of the feathers, especially of the scapulars, 
bordered conspicuously with brownish black and finely edo-ed 
with pale brown. 

Wings and tail dark ; wing-coverts brown, glossed with 
green ; chin and upper throat white ; neck mottled brown 
and white; from neck to vent brownish black with a good deal 
of white on the breast and abdomen, the latter almost all white 



34 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

in the reo-ion of the belly ; thigh-coverts, like the back, black, 
olossed with green ; lower tail-coverts dark brownish black ; 
under wing-coverts and flanks brownish black. 

The specimen I have described was shot at Mount Aboo 
in May. 

[It is uncertain under what name this species should stand. 
It is probably fuscicollis of Stephens. Dr. King notes it from 
Jodhpoor, but I have seen no specimen thence, nor have I seen 
or heard of it from Sindh, Cutch, or Kattiawar. — A. .H.J 

1 007 — Grarnlns $ javanicus, Horsf. 
llW.-b-raculus, { me i a nognathus, Brandt. 

The Little Cormorant is not uncommon in the plains, but I 
did not observe it at Mount Aboo. 

[Dr. King shot (and preserved) a specimen on the Lake at 
Aboo. This species is common in suitable localities throughout 
the entire region. — A. 0. H.] 

1008.— Plotus melanogaster, Gmel. 

The Indian Snake bird is common both on the hills and in 
the plains. Like Graculus carbo, with which species it 
often associates, it delights to sit upon some old dead or 
leafless tree on an island in the middle of a tank, or on a rock 
rising out of the water, with its tail spread and wings half 
open basking in the sun. 

[Occurs throughout the entire region, but very sparingly in 
the more arid tracts. — A. 0. H.] 



[To obtain now a clear conception of the distinctive characters 
of the Avifauna of Aboo, we must deduct from the 175 species 
that have so far been shewn to occur there, the following 78 
which, elsewhere widely distributed throughout the Indian 
region, occur alike at Aboo, in northern Guzerat, Sindh, Cutch, 
Kattiawar and Jodhpoor : — > 



6. — Neophron ginginianus, Daud. 

17. — Tinrumculus alaudarius, Brisson. 

23. — Micronisus badius, Gmel. 

24. — Accipiter nisus, Lin. 

29. — Aquila vindhiana, Frankl. 

33. — Pseudaetus Bonellii, Tern. 

48. — Poliornis teesa, Frankl. 

51. — Circus Swainsoni, A. Smith. 

54. — Circus aeruginosas, Lin. 

50 — Milvus govinda, ISi/kes. 
101). — Cypselus affinis. Gray. 
117. — Merops viridis, Lin. 
1'23. — Coracias indieus, Lin. 
lSd. — Halcyon smyrnensis, Lin. 
134. — Alcedo bengalensis, Gmel. 
130. — Oryle rudis, Lin. 
148. — Pakeornis torquatus, Bodd. 



180. — Bracbypternus aurantius, Lin. 

188. — Yunx torquilla, Lin. 

212. — Coccysfces jacobinus, Bodd. 

214. — Eudynamys honorata, Lin. 

217. — Centropus rufipenms. LUiqer. 

234. — Aracbneehthra asiatica, Lath. 

254. — Upupa epops, Lin. 

257. — Lanius erytbronotus, Vigors. 

200. — Lanius vittatus, Dum. 

205. — Tephrodornis pondiceriana, Gmel. 

270. — Pericrocotus peregrinus, Lin. 

278. — Buebanga albirietus, Hodff. 

292. — Leucoeerca albofrontata. Frankl. 

323 his. — Erythrosteraa parva, Bechst. 

351. — Cyanocincla cyana, Lin. 

385. — Pyetorhis sinensis, Gmel. 

432. — Malacocircus terricolor, Hodg. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 



35 



480. — Tkamnobia canibaiensis, Lath. 

483. — Pratincola indica, Blyth. 

497 — Rutieilla rufiventris, Vieill. 

614. — Cyanecula suecica, Lin. 

530. — Orthotomus longicaudatus, Gmel. 

539. — Cisticola schcenicola, Bonap. 

654. — Phylloscopus tristis, Blyth. 

681. — Sylvia orphea, Temm. 

582.— Sylvia affinis, Blyth. 

683. — Sylvia curruca, Gmel. 

691 bis — Motacilla dukhunensis, Sykes. 

592. — Calobatcs sulphurea, Bechst. 

693 bis. — Budytes rnelanocepbala, Licht. 

697. — Pipastes arboreus, Bechst. 

684. — Acridotheres tristis, Lin. 

690. — Pastor roseus, Lin. 

703. — Munia malabarica, Lin. 

706. — Passer indicus, Jard and Selby. 

711. — Passer flavicollis, FranJcl. 

721. — Euspiza melanocephala, Gmel, 

788. — Columba intermedia, Stride. 

794. — Turtur cambayensis, Gmel. 



795. — Turtur suratensis, Gmel. 

796. — Turtur risorius, Lin. 

797. — Turtur humilis, Temm. 

822. — Ortygornis pondiceriana, Gmel. 

829. — Coturnix communis, Bonaterre. 

849. — iEgialitis curonicus, Gmel. 

855. — Lobivanellus indicus, Bodd. 

871. — Gallinago scolopacinus, Bonap. 

891. — Actitis glareola, Gmel. 

892. — Actitis ochropus, Lin. 

898. — Himantopus intermedius, Blyth. 

903. — Fulica atra, Lin. 

905. — Gallinula chloropus, Lin. 

926. — Herodias intermedia, V. Easselq. 

927. — Herodias garzetta, Lin. 

930. — Ardeola Grayii, Sykes. 

931. — Butorides javaniea, Horsf. 

937. — Nycticorax griseus, Lin. 

975. — Podiceps philippensis, Gmel. 
1005. — Graeulus carbo, Lin. 
1007. — Graeulus melanognathus, Brandt. 
1008. — Plotus melanogaster, Gmel. 



462. — Molpasles pusillus, Blyth. 
467. — Iora zeylonica, Gmel. 
589. — Motacilla maderaspatana, Briss. 
687. — Temenucbus pagodaruin. Gmel. 
716. — Emberiza Huttoni, Blyth. 
738. — Carpodacus erythrinus, Ball. 
800. — Pterocles fasciatus, Scop. 
8U3. — Pavo cristatus, Lin. 



Also two species equally distributed through the whole re- 
gion with which Ave are now dealing, though unlike the pre- 
ceding-, not characteristic of the Indian region generally, viz : — 

489. — Saxicola picata, Blyth. | 716 Bis. — Emberiza striolata, Licht. 

Then we may also deduct 17 species common to Aboo, 
Northern Guzerat, Jodhpoor, Cutch, and Kattiawar, but not 
so far as is yet known extending to Sindh. 

4 bis. — Gyps pallescens, Hume. 
5. — Gyps bengalensis, Gmel. 
85. — Hirundo erythropygia, Sykes. 
90. — Cotile concolor, Sykes. 
149. — Palasornis purpureus, Mull. 
160. — Picus mabrattensis, Lath. 
197. — Xanthelasma hasmacepbala, Mull. 
205. — Heirococcyx varius, Vahl. 
436. — Malacocircus Malcolmi, Sykes. 

(It should perhaps be here noticed, that out of the species 
included in the above lists, foui', viz., 432, 467, 721, 937, though 
occurring in other parts of Jodhpoor, have not yet occurred in 
its eastern-most portions, in the immediate neighbourhood of 
the Sambhur Lake). 

We may also exclude two species, which, although occurring 
throughout the whole region, have not yet occurred near Sam- 
bhur or been recorded from any other part of Jodhpoor, viz : 

65. — Haliastur indus, Bodd. | 907. — Porzana pkcenicura, Penn. 

and one 

674. — Dendrocitta rufa, Scop. 

which although there can be little doubt that it occurs in both, 
has not yet been recorded from western Jodhpoor or Cutch. 

There remain therefore 75 species only, which can in any 
sense be considered characteristic of Mt. Aboo : the other hundred 
belong to the entire country round about and indicate nothing 
special as regards Aboo. 



30 



NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 



Now as regards these 75 species, no less than 31 belong 
exclusively, so far as the region with which we are dealing is 
concerned, to Mount Aboo, and do not, so Jar as is yet known, 
extend to either Jodhpoor, Cutch, Kattiawar, Sindh or even 
Northern Guzerat. I say " so far as is yet known," advisedly, 
because, as I shall have to notice further on, Jodhpoor, in the 
Koochawan and Marot hills and jungles, and Kattiawar, in the 
Girnar and Gir, present us with exact miniatures of Mount 
Aboo in which several Aboo species, not found elsewhere in the 
entire region, are already known to occur, and where we may 
well expect hereafter to meet with some at least of the following 
species which at present are only known (within the region 
with which we are dealing) to appear at Aboo. 
I\ 9. — Falco peregrinator, j S. 293. — Leucocirca pectora- 



H. 



sub- 



Sancl. 
1 3. — Hy potriorchis 

buteo, Lin. 
S. 35. — Spizaetus cirrhatus, 

Gmel. 
W. 57. — Pernis ptilorhynchus 

Tern. 
W. 75 ter. — Ephialtes ba- 

khamuna Forst. 
F. 77. — Athene radiata, Tichell. 
H. 91. — Cotile rupestris, Scop. 
W. 107. — Caprimulgus indi- 

cus Lath., 
W. 118. — Merops philippinus, 

Lin. 
W. 147. — Palaaornis eupatria, 

Lin. 
W. 164. — Yungipicus Hard- 



lis, Jerd. 



ruficauda, 



wickii, Jerd. 



F. 171.— Gecinus 

Blyth. 
S. 193 bis. — Megalaima 

nata, Wald. 
W. 208.— Ololygon 

nus, Vahl. 
S. 219.— Taccocua 

naultii, Less. 

ful.) 
W. 261.— Lanius 

Lin. 



striolatue 



mor- 

passeri- 

Lesche* 
(doubt- 

cristatus, 



W. 307.— Cyornis 

Swain. 
S. 342. — Myiophoneus Hors- 

fieldi, Vigors. 
S. 359. — Merula nigropileus, 

Lafr. 
S. 398. — Duraetia albogula- 

ris, Blyth. 
S. 404 ter. — Pomatorhinus ob- 

scurus, Hume. 
S. 460 bis. — Otocompsa fusci- 

caudata, Gould. 
S. 534. — Prinia socialis SyJces. 
592 bis. — Budytes Rayi, Bo- 
nap, (doubtful.) 
S, 648.— Machlolophus Jer- 

doni, Blyth. 
W. 688. — Ternenuchus mala- 

baricus, Gmel. 
W. 705- — Estrelda formosa, 

Lath. 
S. 813. — Gallus Sonneratii, 

Tern. 
S. 814.— Galloperdix 

ceus, Gmel. 
W. 826.— Perdicula 
ensis, Lath. 
Bush-quail) 



spadi- 

cambay- 
(Jungle 



These specialities alone would give a very distinct character 
to the Avifauna of Aboo, as contrasted with that of the entire 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 37 

region north and west of it, but we must also take into consi- 
deration 17 species which, except at Aboo, occur within the 
region under consideration only, in Kattiawar in connection 
with the Girnar and Gir, and near Sambhur, in connection with 
the Koochawun and Marot hills. 

Aboo and the Gir, &c, W. 306.— Cyornis Tickellia3, Blyth. 
F. 472. — Oriolus melanocephalus, Lin. 



Aboo and Koocba- ") -q, -,£ 7 ni , „ ,. _ 77 

wan (Jodbpoor) j F ^--Chrysocolaptes festivus, Bodd. 

F. 246. — Salpornis spilonota, Frankl. 
S. 268. — Volvocivora Sykesii, Stride. 
H. 301. — Stoparola melauops, Vigors. 
H. 353. — Orocetes cinclorhynchus, 

Vigors. 
H. 356. — Geocichla unicolor, Tickell 
W. 538.— Prinia Hodgsoni, Blyth. 
W. 562. — Phylloscopus indicus, Jerd. 
W. 724* — Melophus melanicterus, Gmel 
H. 792.— Turtur pulchrata, Hodg. 



Aboo, the Gir, &c.A W. 114. — Caprimulgus monticolus, 
(Kattiawar) f Frankl. 

and n ,?T h r an iW.345.--Pitta coronata, Mull 
(Jodbpoor) J ' 

631. — Zosterops palpebrosus, Tern. 

W. 645. — Parus cassius, Tick. 

W. 772" — Crocopus phcenicopterns, Lath. 

And also 15 other species which occurring also in Guzerat 

either in connection with Aboo, or with the better wooded and 

watered central tracts nearer to Ahmedabad, extend in many 

cases to Kattiawar and Koochawan and its neighbourhood in 

the same manner as the preceding. 

Aboo and Guzerat. H. 98. — Cypselus melba, Lin. 

W. 102. — Cypselus palmarum, Gray. 

,i ' p , a >¥. 144. — Meniceros bicornis, Scop. 

(Kattiawar) W. 281. — Dicrurus ccerulescens, Lin, 

W. 660. — Corvus culmenatus, Sykes. 



Aboo Guzerat &)w inn n i r • 

Koochawun. / W * ^--Cuculus canorus, Lin. 



38 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

H. 273. — Pericrocotus brevirostris, Vigors. 

596. — Pipastes maculatus, Ilodgs. 

600. — Corydalla rufula, Vieill. 
W. 699. — Lonchura puuctulata, Lin. 
W. 908. — Porzana akool, Syhes. 
W. 920. — Ciconia leucocephala, Gmel. 
W. 475. — Copsychus saularis, Lin. 



Aboo, Guzerat, 

Rattiawar and VW. 516. — Acrocepbalus dumetorum, Blyih, 



Koocbawun 



■ 



W. 288. — Tchitrea paradisi, Lin. 

Tbere remains 12 species which extend more or less into the 
desert country and occur some in Jodhpoor, some in Cutch, some 
in Sindh and some in 2 or move of these, as well as at Aboo. 

Now of the 63 species, that may be said broadly to charac- 
terize Aboo as distinct from Northern Guzerat, and the rest of 
the region with wbich we are dealing, nearly half appear to be 
solely absent from the latter, because, pertaining essentially to 
well-wooded and watered tracts, tbey find no suitable haunts 
in these arid Western Provinces. To these I have prefixed the 
letter W. A good many, and to these I have prefixed the letter 
S., are essentially southern birds ; birds of the Peninsula which 
for the most part find at Aboo the extreme northern limit of 
the area of their distribution. A few, (marked F,) are more 
essentially forest and jungle species, and a few more (marked H,) 
may be said to be hill birds, for the most part wanderers from 
the Himalayas to the lower hills of the Continent of India 
during the cold season. 

In fact when Ave come to analyse it, the Avifauna of Aboo 
has nothing to surprise us, and looking to the physical condi- 
tions of the problem we might almost independently, from our 
knowledge of the haunts and habits of the species elsewhere, 
have predicted a distribution such as we now find actually to 
exist. Only 2 species, Pipastes maculatus and Corydalla rufula, 
ought certainly, it would seem from what we know of them, 
to extend to Jodhpoor generally, Cutch, Kattiawar and Sindh, 
and though hitherto overlooked in all of these, it is my firm, 
conviction that they will nevertheless prove to occur there. 

It is, I think, rather in the forms absent from Mount Aboo, 
and that we might reasonably have expected to meet with there, 
that the Avifauna is at all abnormal. 

Doubtless our list is not yet quite complete, but still several 
of us have collected there, and Dr. King and Captain Butler 
during lengthened periods, so that we know now tolerably 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 39 

well what species do habitually occur there, and though a few 
of the following may eventually be found to visit Aboo as 
stragglers, the great majority are, I think, certainly absent, 
though found almost throughout the region we have been con- 
sidering. 



2. — Otogyps calvus, Scop. 

3 bis. — Gyps fulvescens, Hume,(? repre- 
sented by pallescens.) 

8. — Falco peregrinus, Lin (? represented 
by pereqrinator.) 

11. — Falco jugger, Gray. 

16. — Hypotriorcbis cbicquera, Daud. (re- 
presented by subbuteo.) 

45. — Buteo i'erox, Gmel. 

59. — Elanus rnelanopterus, Daud. 

76. — Athene brama, Tern, (represented 
by radiata.) 

82. — Hirundo rustica, Lin. 

84. — Hirundo filit'era, Stephen^ 

255. — Upupa nigripennis, Goxild. (? re- 
presented by epnps.) 

256. — Lanius lahtora, Sykes. 

262. — Lanius arenarius, Biyth (? repre- 
sented by cristattts.) 



438. — Chatarrhtea caudata, Dumeril. 
459. — Otocompsa leucotis, Gould (repre« 

sented by fuscicaudata.) 
481.; — Pratineola caprata, Lin. 
491. — Saxicola isabellina Riipp. 
492. — Saxicola deserti, Riipp. 
544. — Dryinoipus longicaudatus. Tlckell. 
551. — Franklima Buchanani, Biyth. 
594. — Budytes citreoloides, Hodgs. 
602. — Agrodroina campestris, Lin. 
694.— Ploceus baya, Biyth. 
756. — Mirafra ery throptera, Jerdon. 
758. — Arnmomanes phoenicura, FranM. 
760. — Pyi-rhulauda grisea. Scop. 
761. — Calandrella brachydactyla, Tent. 
765 bis — Spizalauda simillima, Hume. 
767. — Alauda gulgula, Frankl, 
769. — Galerida cristata, Lin. 
830. — Coturnix eoroiuacdeliea, Gmel. 



I do' not include the Grallatores and Natatores, because the 
lake at Aboo is very small, and there is too little water about 
the rest of the hill to attract these, but most of the species 
included in the above list ought, one would suppose> to occur on 
a comparatively low table mountain like Aboo, and that they 
do not (and I think this is a fact) is very noteworthy. 

It is to be hoped that this avowedly imperfect sketch of the 
leading features of the Aboo Ornis will lead to its being still 
more thoroughly investigated by those on the spot. 

Turning* now to Northern Guzerat there is but little in its 
Avifauna to separate it from the rest of the generally arid 
region comprised within our limits. A few species already 
alluded to, such as Cypselus melba, Pericrocotus l/recirostris, &c., 
and I may add perhaps Graucalus Macei, appear to occur in it 
in connection with, and originally attracted thither by Aboo. 
Further south in the better watered and wooded regions several 
species like Menicevos hicornis, Locustella Hendersoni, Melopoclius 
indicus, &c, occur, which are of course unknown in the desert 
region. 

It is the only locality in which as yet the western Lanius 
collurio has occurred, the only one, assuming Capt. Butler to be 
correct, in which the true Gyps fulvus of Europe has been 
obtained. In it also occur, other purely western forms, such as 
Butaiis grisola, Sylvia cinerea, (Edon familiaris, Anthus spino- 
lelta, Pterocle? senegalus, and Querquedula angustirostris, and a 
few species, such as Ploceus manyar, and Estrelda amandava, 
which tho' reappearing in Sindh, are met with nowhere else, 
within the regions we are discussing but as a whole there is 



40 NOTES ON THE AVIFAUNA OF MOUNT ABOO 

little to distinguish the Avifauna of Northern Guzerat from 
that of Jodhpore, Cutch and Kattiawar. 

The only birds that I have seen from Jodhpore, not yet in- 
cluded in the Guzerat or Aboo lists, are Aquila heliaca, Bulaca 
oceUata, Taccocua sirkee, Budytes flava, Tringa subarquata, Anser 
indicus and Sterna melanog aster. 

The only ditch birds are Falco larbarus, Ohis vulgaris, Cottle 
obsoleta, (which also occurs in Siiulh) Planesticus atrogularis 
(do.) Stoliczba's Pratincola macrorhynclia (of which I confess 
I am doubtful, but append the original description*) Certliilauda 
desertorum (which also occurs in Sindh) and Pelecanus crispus, 
which also occurs in Kattiawar, Sindh, and even as far eastward 
as the Ganges Doab, where I have shot it near Etawa. 

I know of no species from Kattiawar that has not been 
included in Capt. Butler's list, or already like Pterocles 
seneg alius mentioned in this list, except JEgialitis minutus, 
recorded by Capt. Hayes Lloyd (non vidi) Strepsilas interpres, 
Tringa cinclus, Calidris arenaria, Larus leucophaus, Pelecanopus 
Berg'ii and Thalasseus bengalensis ; all coast birds. 

In Sindh, on the other hand, a good number of species occur, 
which have not yet been reported from any other part of the 
whole region, though doubtless many of the sea-birds will yet be 
found to occur on the coasts of Cutch and Kattiawar. 



* "4835*s. Pratincola macrorhynclia, n. sp. 

"I shot at the beginning of 1872 two specimens of a Pratincola, (probably female 
" the sex was unfortunately not determined), which appears to be distinct from any 
" other yet known. General plumage, above dull brown, all the feathers margined with pale 
*' isabellineor fulvescent whitish, most broadly on scapulars and tertials, narrowly on the 
" quills ; upper tail-coverts nearly entirely uniform pale fulvescent or sandy only 
" along the centre of a darker hue. Central tail feathers brown, the succeeding also 
" brown and very pale rufescent fulvous about the basal half of both webs, (not along 
" the shafts), the rufescent colour gradually, not abruptly, passing into the brown : outer 
" web of last tail feather wholly sandy or pale fulvescent white, and all have pale tips 
"which however easily wear off. Lores and supercilium sandy white; ears dusky. 
" Lower plumage fulvescent white throughout, with a slight shade of cream colour ; all the 
" feathers on their basal halves are dark slaty, which is also the case on the upper plumage 
" Bill and feet nearly quite black. Total length about 5'2 to 5"5 ; wing, 2'85 to 
"2-9; first primary nearly 1 and 1-2 shorter than the second, which is very nearly 
" equal to the 6th and 24 shorter than the fourth, this being the longest ; the 3rd 
" and 5th are sub-equal and very little shorter than the fourth ; tail 2 - l to 2.25 
" tarsus, 095 to 0"97 ; bill at front, 0-48 to - 5 ; from gape 0-72 ; hind toe and claw 057 ; 
" hind claw alone - 3 ; mid toe with claw - 72 to 073 inch. The size of the bill which is 
" rather narrow and saxicoline, and the length of the legs readily distinguish this appar- 
" ently new species ; it is not the female of P.rubetra, this having the basal half of the tail 
" white, and the bill shorter and broad at the base. It is also not a female or young of 
" P. caprata, moreover the length and slenderness of the hind claw does not agree 
'•' with any Pratincola, nor even with Saxicola, but strange enough with Oreicola 
" (Rhodophrla.) 

" One of the two specimens was shot in Jannary near Eaipur iu the TVagur district, and 

'' the other in February near Bhuj, in both cases in an open desert country with scanty low 

" bushes. These were the only two specimens which I saw, but possibly the bird may not 

" be so very rare, for I could never pay undivided attention to any ornithological subject." 

F. Stoliczka, J. A. S. B., 1872, p. 238. 



AND NORTHERN GUZERAT. 



41 



These birds are :— < 

Lithofalco asalon, P. 
Aquila chryscetos, P. 
Pandion ha Hiatus, E. 
Salicetus albiciUa, E. 
JUilvus major, E. 
Cypselus apus, P. 
Coracias garrula, P. 
Alcedo ispida, S. 
2'icus scindianus, P. 
Hypocolius ampelinns, S. 
Chatarrheea Earlii, E. 
Laticilla Bumesi, E. 
Oriohis galbula, S. 
Pratincola leucura, E. 
Saxicola alboniger, S. 
Saxicola monacha, S. 
Acrocephalus agricolus, E. 
Calamodyta melanopogon, E. 
Cettia cetti, S. 
Blanj'ordius striatulus, S. 
Phylloscopus neglectus, P. 
Peguloides occipitalis, E. 
Sylvia delicatula, P. 
Scotocerca inquieta, P. 
Budytes citreola, E. 
Ploceus bengalensis, E. 
Bucanetes githaginexis, S. 
Ammomanes lusitania, P. 
Pyrrhvlavda melanauchen, E. 
Alaudula Adamsi, P. 



Pahtmb<ena Eversmanni, P. 
Columba livia, P. 
Pt erodes Lichtensteinii, S. 
Pterocles alchata, P. 
PterocJes coronatus, S. 
Caccubis chukor, P. 
Ammoperdix Bonhami, P. 
Vanelhts cristatus, E. 
Dromas ardeola, E. 
Grtis leucogeranus, E. 
Gallinago Sorsfieldi. E. 
Tringa crassirostris, E. 
Tringa platyrhyncha, E. 
P/ialai-opus fulicarius, E. 
Lobipes Ziyperboreus, E. 
Porzana maruetta, E. 
Porzana minuta, S. 
Ardetta minuta, P. 
Anser erythropus, E. 
Dendrocygna major, E. 
Podiceps nigricollis, S. 
Pvffinus persicus, S. 
Stercorarius parasiticus, E. 
Larus occidentalis, S. 
Larus Lambruschini, S. 
Larus ichthyatus, P. 
Larus ridibundus, E. 
Larus Hemprichii, E. 
Sterna caspia, E. 
Sterna cantlaca, E. 



Of this long list, however, a considerable number, though not 
yet recorded from any other part of the region with which we 
have been dealing, might well be met with there as they occur 
elsewhere in India. To these I have affixed the letter E. Many 
others again belong equally to Sindh, and the North- West 
Punjab and the Western Himalayahs or Cashmere; these I have 
marked with the letter P. The rest, (distinguished by the 
letter S.) occur, so far as we know at present, nowhere else 
within Indian limits. — A. 0. H.] 



g Contribution to t\c iniitlolooj of €astcnt fafetau. 

By J. Scully, Surgeon, Bengal Army. 

The origin of the following imperfect paper on the Birds of 
Kashgharia is as follows : — 

In May 1874, while officiating as Garrison Surgeon at Fort 
William, and when I was deep in Arabic studies, I had the 
honor of being appointed Medical Officer to the Kashghar 
Political Agency, with orders to start off, at very short notice, 
to Eastern Turkestan. Although I was not instructed to make 
any collection of objects of Natural History, I naturally did a 
little in that direction, for my own satisfaction, during the 
twelve months I passed in the territory of the Amir of Kash- 
ghar. On my return to Calcutta, towards the end of last year, 

F 



42 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

I found that I had, among other things, a collection of six 
hundred and fifty specimens of birds, a hundred or so of their 
eggs, sundry nests, and a note-book full of very rough notes 
which I had made about the Avifauna. On hearing of this, 
Mr. Hume advised me to write out a paper on the subject ; and 
to enable me to do so, very kindly looked over all my birds and 
identified them for me. This contribution is the result. 

In this account I have given only my own notes and have 
not referred to authorities. No one can be more conscious 
than I am that this attempt is not complete ; but, at all events, 
it is " mine own." For the two maps which illustrate this 
paper, I am greatly indebted to ray friend Captain Water- 
house. The larger map of the two illustrates very well the 
natural features of the country with which I have to deal ; 
while the smaller sketch map shows the position of various 
distant places which I have to refer to- such as the Lake 
region of Lob, Kulja, Badakhshan and Khokand, &c. 

The first part of my paper consists of either extracts from my 
diary, or condensations of portions of it ; and is intended to give 
some idea of the country I visited and of the birds as they came 
before my view. While in the second part a systematic list of 
the birds is given, which of course quite disarranges their 
seasonal, horizontal, and vertical distribution. I begin Part I 
from the day we left Leh (Ladak) en route for Yarkand. 

I owe every apology to the readers of " Stray Feathers" for 
this crude paper, the shortcomings of which (both as to matter 
and manner) will be evident to every one who may take the 
trouble to read any part of it. But in mitigation I may plead 
two things : First, I am the veriest beginner in Ornithology, 
and, consequently, unable to go into those critical remarks 
about the distinctions of species, and their distribution, which 
are so interesting to ornithologists : while as to the habits of 
birds, I fear my remarks will prove, as Professor Newton 
would say, that I have been trying to find out facts for my- 
self which have been long known to my predecessors. Second, 
that having had but little previous experience in literary work, 
I have been called upon to get this paper ready in a very short 
space of time. If after this, the reader says, " Then why pub- 
lish at all? ; ' I can only reply, ,l All complaints to be levelled 
at the Editor of ' Stray Feathers/ at whose instance I prepared 
this paper."* 

* Not expecting that Dr. Scully (who had never previously done any thing in this 
lino) would go at all deeply into the ornithology of the countries he visited, I had 
intended to embody the results of any work of this nature which he might find time 
to do in the general work which I have in hand on the Ornithology of Zashgharia and 
Central Asia, based upon Stoliczka's, Henderson's and other collections. But it 
appeared to me when I saw how much attention he had bestowed on the subject, that 
this would not be fair to Dr. Scully and that he ought to publish the results of hi» 
observations in the first instance in his own name, — Ev., S. F. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 43 

I. 

1st September 1874. — Camp Ganles, 13,357 feet. — At last 
fairly started on our journey to Yarkand. This morning" all our 
tents and luggage were loaded on Yaks and sent off to the camp 
here, which is only about six miles from Leh ; we did not leave 
until the afternoon, and as we rode through the town the usual 
salute was fired and the troops presented arms, &c. Half the 
inhabitants of Leh must have turned out to see us make our exit, 
the women holding platters full of flour and butter towards us, 
and some of them burning incense in a kind of brazier. All 
the people kept repeating the words, ' Lam juk,' which is, I 
believe, the Tibetan for ban voyage ; and the women made pro- 
found bows, clashing their thick earthenware bracelets together 
the while, in a very curious fashion. 

Soon after leaving the cultivated land near Leh we entered an 
enormous sort of amphitheatre, the sides of which were formed 
by two huge, nearly semi-circular, moraines ; then ascending this 
narrow valley we reached our camp here, which I make out by 
the barometer to be 1,825 feet higher than Leh. Some of the 
soldiers of the escort told me that they saw an Ibex near this 
place when they arrived, and that they got within shooting 
distance of it. To-morrow morning we have to cross the 
Kardong Pass (18,000 ft.), and I rather fear I shall have a 
mauvais quart d'heure at the top from " height sickness" or 
dam as our followers call it ; so a moderate dinner and early 
to bed. 

2nd, — This morning at 8 A.M., I found a fine black Yak 
( Bos grunniens) ready to carry me over the Pass and saddled 
with one of my ordinary English saddles. The beast had a 
wooden ring through his nose, and to this a rope was attached 
by which he was led along by a Bhot (native of Ladak). My 
strange steed rather objected to be mounted, but as soon as I 
got on he trudged along very well — grunting horribly nearly 
the whole way. The Yaks are wonderfully sure-footed and 
easy going animals, but they appear to feel the effects of a 
climb at these great elevations considerably : as we weut 
up the mountain to the pass my animal would often stop, give 
an extra deep grunt, and then pant vigorously for a few 
minutes with its tongue hanging out like a dog. Near our camp 
I observed some ravens (O. tibetatms) walking about, a few 
Hoopoes (U. epops) and small flocks of Montifringilla hcema- 
topygia. The road at first lay along a long tongue of debris 
running down the centre of the valley, and afterwards up a 
narrow, steep, zigzag path to the top of the Pass, which I 
reached at 12-30. As we ascended great quantities of a strong 
scented Artemisia were noticed growing among the rocks, and 
here and there a solanaceous plant (Scopolia prealta ?) which 



44 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

was said to be a deadly poison to horses ; numbers of Alpine 
Choughs (P. alpinus) and higher up flocks of Red-billed Choughs 
(F. graculus) were seen, and perched on a rock not far from 
the Pass, a solitary Lammergeyer (G, barbatus.) 

The pass 1 found to be a narrow ridge ; with a glacier sloping 
down its north side, across which a narrow path had been 
roughened for our descent. I remained at the top for about 
an hour; read the mercurial barometer, took the temperature 
of the air and the boiling point of water (180 w "8 F.) and vic- 
timised as many of our followers as possible to find out the 
state of their pulse, respiration, and bodily temperature. At 
the end of that time I began to experience a decided feeling of 
nausea which reminded me at once of what I had felt about a 
week ago at an elevation of about 19,000 feet ; so I decided to 
get to a lower level as quickly as possible. I walked over 
the glacier and mounting ray Yak soon descended, over very 
rough stony ground, to a small lake near which our breakfast 
was prepared. Although I had no headache whatever, I could 
only manage a cup of tea ; so discarding the Yak I mounted 
my horse and following the valley along the course of a small 
stream running from the Kardong glacier, rode on for about 
twelve miles to the village of Kardong here. On my way I 
noticed numbers of Redstarts (R. erythrogastra and R. rufwen- 
tris) near the stream, and a large flock of Pigeons, all Columba 
rupicola apparently. 

The little Tibetan village of Kardong looks very picturesque ; 
it is situated at the mouth of a side valley and has numerous 
Chortens * dotted about it as usual. I reached camp after 
six o'clock in the evening and found that many of our 
followers were suffering from the effects of the elevation of 
the march, but as we are now camping at a little less than 
13,000 feet they will soon get over their troubles. 

3rd. — A short march to-day from Kardong to the village of 
Tsatti, where we are encamped ; elevation 10,589 feet. From 
Kardong the valley bends to the right and becomes a narrow 
gorge, exhibiting in places a high bed of conglomerate which 
has been deeply cut through by the small Kardong stream. The 
gorge debouches into the valley of the Shayok, nearly at right 
angles to the latter, and the small stream from the Kardong gla- 
cier there enters the Shayok River which at that point runs" from 
south-east to north-west. The birds noticed near Kardono- 
were flocks of Choughs, a few Ravens and Hoopoes, and a good 
number of Montif ring ilia hcematopygia ; in the steep descent 
through the gorge among the willow and tamarisk jungle were 
numerous Tree Warblers (Phyllo&copas viridanus and P*tristis). 



* A Chorten is a monument erected over the ashea of Lainas, or Buddhist monks. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 45 

We crossed the river in boats and our baggage was conveyed 
in the same way, but all the horses and ponies had to swim 
over. Hares abound in the thick scrubby jungle about here 
and Chieore (Caccabis pallescens) can be heard calling near the 
hill. The blue Hill Pigeon, tolerably numerous; Sparrows 
(P. indicus), numerous ; a few Carpodacus erythrimis ; and 
many White-rumped Magpies {Pica bactriana) , dotted about. 
Near the river, Wagtails (Motacilla personata) and some Crag 
Martins {Cotyle rupestris) flying over head. 

4th. — Tsatti to Tagliar, Nubra Valley. — Got some hare shoot- 
ing to-day along the road, and the Chikore very plentiful. 
All the birds noted yesterday were again seen, (with 
the exception of the Mountain Finch, (M. hcematopygia) 
and in addition a Redstart (R. mjiventris) and a Yellow Wag- 
tail (Budgtes citreola). Along the first part of the road the 
evidences of the great cataclysm of the Shayok in 1841 were 
well marked ; the space between the two hill sides being one 
great expanse of sand and transported debris, without a trace of 
vegetation. The Nubra Valley seems to be a fine place for the 
study of what Mr. Drew calls " alluvial fans ;" I noticed one to 
our right, as we rode along, whose base must be over half a 
mile long. Before reaching our camp here we passed some 
remarkable sand ridges, looking like long waves at sea, 
which run across the valley ; their leeward surfaces were mi- 
nutely rippled, I suppose by a cross current of wind which 
blows down a side valley. Very pleasant weather ; tempera- 
ture in the shade, this morning at eight o'clock, 56 w . 

I interrupt my diary to explain that at this stage we had got 
into the Nubra valley in which we remained four days. Its bed 
is a gravelly plain of river alluvium from one to three miles in 
width along which the Nubra river runs down from the north to 
its junction with the Shayok at Tsatti. The elevation of the 
different villages in this valley, taking them in the order we 
reached them (i. e. proceeding northwards) is as follows : — 
Tsatti, 10,589 ; Taghar, 10,333 ; Panamick, 10,611 ; and Chang- 
lung (whei-e we quitted the valley) 10,911. The district is very 
pretty and unusually fertile for Ladak. For nearly its whole 
length there is a dense thicket of Buckthorn (Hippopkae) scrub, 
and little swampy grass plains are abundant. The villages are 
large and thriving, and there is a good deal of cultivation ; many 
•willow and poplar trees grow about the villages and a few ele- 
agnus, walnut and other fruit trees. The sacred Avails or Manes, 
Chortens and Gonpas* — are plentiful and seem to be kept in 
better repair than in any other part of Ladak which I saw. 
One prominent feature in Nubra 1 specially noted, viz., the 

* A Gonpa is a Buddhist monastery. 



46 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

innumerable hedges one meets at every step, which tear one's 
clothes dreadfully when out shooting. 

hth. — Taghar to Panamick. — More hare shooting this morning. 
Breakfasted on the road at a village called Yulkam, after leaviug 
which we had to cross a small hill apparently rising in the valley. 
Passed many large alluvial fans, some of them extending about 
half way across the valley. Panamick is the largest village in 
this valley, and is surrounded by extensive cultivation, deci- 
dedly picturesque. The following birds were noticed to-day : 
Raven, Hill Pigeon, Hoopoe, Teal (Q. crecca), Actitis hypoleucus, 
1-tedshank ( T. calidris), Magpie, Chicore, Sparrow, Crag Martin, 
several species of Phylloscopi, a Wheatear ( Saxicola atrogularis), 
Sylvia curruca in the Tamarisk jungle, and Ruticilla ruftventris 
near the little streams. 

Qth. — Halted to-day at Panamick. In the afternoon 1 went 
out shooting and had capital sport : bagged five hares and two 
chicores. There is a hot spring near our camp here, to which a 
great number of our followers went to bathe ; temperature of 
the water 134°F. 

7th. — Panamick to Changlung — about 12 miles. — We got 
some capital hare shooting this morning after leaving 
Panamick. About thirty Bliots were collected to beat for 
us, and we placed two of our men as Jemadars over these 
Tibetans to make them do their work properly. The coolies 
formed a long line and Avere made to walk along steadily 
through the jungle, beating the bushes with sticks as they went 
along and making a hideous shouting. We each took one end 
of the line and walked about thirty yards ahead of the beaters. 
The hares were numerous and wonderfuly lively, shooting past 
like arrows, among the bushes and stones, and generally making 
towards the hill to our right when started. I took the left of 
the line, near the sti'eam, and managed to bag five hares and a 
chicore before we reached our breakfast place. Before reaching- 
Changlung we crossed the Sasser stream — a tributary torrent 
running out through a deep gor^e to our right into the Nubra 
river. Changlung is a very small place — only about a couple 
of families live here — and the vegetation about it is very scant. 
It is the last inhabited place we shall see for the next twenty 
days' march at le? st. From this not only all the food we shall 
require for the next fortnight or so has to be carried on for us, 
but even fuel, and grass for the horses. The only thing we 
can be sure of finding in the utterly barren region we shall 
have to cross is — water ! From our camp here very lofty 
snow-capped mountains are visible at no great distance, appa- 
rently closing up the north end of the Nubra Valley. 

8th. — As soon as we left Changlung this morning we began 
to ascend the hill to our right, i. e., the range bounding the 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 47 

Nubra Valley to the east. The mountain was very steep and 
the ascent, by means of a narrow zigzag path, over bare granite 
sort of rock, very laborious. After ascending about 3,400 feet 
we reached a small level plateau, probably an old tank bed, and 
there we breakfasted. From this halting place we ascended 
for about 900 feet to the top of the Pass, where I remained 
for some time making observations : the temperature of the 
air at 12 o'clock was 5l 0- 2 F., and the height, by the mercurial 
barometer, 15,237 feet. Looked at from the top of the ridge, 
the country through which our northward route lay appeared 
very rugged indeed : in front a high range of mountains, an 
extremely rocky valley below, and away to the left numerous 
glaciers ; certainly the prospect from the Karawal Dewan Pass 
did not appear inviting for travel. The descent from the Pass 
was extremely steep, over loose gravel and sand, to the valley 
below, where we crossed to the right bank of the Sasser stream — 
the one we saw yesterday running into the Nubra Valley through 
a gorge. Our road along the Sasser Valley was extremely 
rough and stony, and many carcases of dead horses were seen 
near the path. The plant I mentioned before as being poisonous 
to horses, was met with in considerable amount near the Pass ; 
it is said to have been planted by the Bhots in the hopes of des- 
troying the horses of some past invaders from the north. No 
one suffered from height sickness to-day, and the Yarkandis 
who are with us say that this circumstance is very remarkable. 
Judging only by the steep climb up to the top of the ridge they 
conclude that it must be higher than the Kardong, and 
they explain the non-occurrence of 'dam' by saying that 
a merciful Providence, taking into account the difficulty of 
crossing the Karawal Dewan, has decreed that no height sick- 
ness should be felt there ; for if it were otherwise the mountain 
would be impassable ! 

The elevation of our camp' here (Toti Yailak) is 14,352 feet. 
Choughs, Montifringilla hcematopygia and Guldenstadt's Redstart 
common on this side of the Pass. 

9th. — A short march of about six miles to-day, to our camp 
here at Sarthang — 16,625 feet above sea level. About half a 
mile above Toti Yailak a large glacier entered the valley 
through a gorge to the left ; it bore an enormous amount of 
stones and debris, and its terminating cliff was of a slaty black 
color — looking like some dark kind of rock. In many places 
on the road to-day there was hardly even a path, and the ground 
we traversed was very rough and rocky ; in one part a num- 
ber of large stones were very evenly arranged in a pavement 
sort of fashion — probably the bed of some ancient glacier 
torrent. To-day we seem to have got into the region of glaciers, 
for here we are simply surrounded by them. Some of the 



48 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

glaciers have their surfaces much waved and broken up : this 
is, I believe, due to their beds being very uneven, and thus pro- 
ducing a sort of ice cascade. To the left of our camp is a large 
ice-bed whose vertical section shows a number of differently 
colored strata ; something like the appearance presented by some 
sand banks. This evening we actually heard the formation of 
moraines going on : the sounds of falling stones, which reached us 
every now and then, indicating that the glaciers were shedding 
their debris. There is hardly any vegetation in this region, with 
the exception of a few patches of grass and some small plants 
growing in the clefts of rocks ; the only birds noticed to-day, 
besides those mentioned yesterday, were some Hill Pigeons 
(C. rupicola) and of course, the friendly Tibetan Raven. 

A good many of our followers have suffered to-day from the 
rarefaction of the air, and some have had bleeding from the nose ; 
every one in camp feels very breathless after comparatively 
slight exertion. The minimum temperature last night at Toti 
Yailak was 38°"5 and here to-day at four o'clock in the afternoon 
the temperature in the shade was 40 o, 6. Very unsettled wea- 
ther today — occasional sunshine alternating with slight falls 
of snow — and very cold ; steady fall of snow in the evening. 

\0t/j. — A considerable amount of snow fell last night, but 
to-day the weather has been clear and fine. Our task, after 
leaving Sarthang this morning, was to cross the Sasser — a pass 
totally unlike any of the others which I have beeu over. In- 
stead of being the lowest part of a ridge of mountains, the Sasser 
Pass seemed to me to be made up of a rather confused knot of 
glaciers and their moraines which had met at one point and 
jammed up against each other. The ascent was long and gra- 
dual over very rough ground ; we skirted two glaciers, whose 
terminal cliffs looked like blue marble and each presented the 
curious appearance of a huge perpendicular face of ice dipping 
into a small deep lake. 

Thus far we had ridden on horseback, but beyond the 
second glacier we halted td breakfast, while the saddles were 
changed on to Yaks. Mounting the latter animals we then 
proceeded over some very rough ground to a huge glacier 
which stretched across our path. Over this glacier we had 
to cross, and we found that the snow which had fallen last 
night made this — the most difficult part of the Pass — much 
less slippery than it otherwise would have been. A moraine on 
one side of the glacier was the highest point of the Pass and 
there I stopped to make the usual observations. The temper- 
ature at twelve o'clock was 31 0, 2 (minimum last night at 
Sarthang, 22°'5), and the height of the Pass 17,724 feet; 
notwithstanding the elevation I did not suffer in the least from 
the rarefaction of the air. 



OF EASTERN TURKISTAN. 49 

The descent was very gradual, along an old moraine, 
and we soon entered a wide valley through which the Shayok 
River ran from left to right. Our camp here (Sasser) is 15,224 
feet high, on a gravelly terrace about 400 feet above the level of 
the Shayok River. In front of us there is a range of high and 
barren rocky mountains, forming the eastern side of the valley ; 
to the left the course of the river can only be seen for a short 
distance where the Shayok valley seems to be blocked up by an 
enormous glacier called Kumdan ; to the right the Shayok River 
can be seen flowing along for a distance of about eight or ten 
miles in a wide shingly plain with high mountains on each side. 

A herd of Burrel ( Ovisnahuraj was seen feeding on some stunted 
grass, on the opposite side of the valley, near the river. 
Although it seemed a hopeless place for a stalk I started off to 
try and get a shot at the sheep. I forded the river (ridino-), 
which opposite our camp runs in half a dozen channels, and 
then had a long climb up and along the hill side, trying to 
approach the Burrel unobserved. It Avas no use, however, 
and I had to take a running shot at one, at a distance of about 
four hundred yards, while I was utterly breathless from exer- 
tion. Of course I missed, and the herd ^13) quietly trotted up 
the hill side; thev stopped every now and'theu to fret a o-ood 
look at me, in a most tantalising manner. 

11M. — Sasskr to Murghu. — Last night it blew rather hard, and 
the barometer in my tent was nearly knocked over by a 
falling table. One of our horses died too (the first that has yet 
succumbed), from the combined effects of fatigue and the eleva- 
tion of the march. We commenced our march this morning 
by crossing the Shayok River, nearly at the point where I 
forded it yesterday, and then entered a narrow gorge through 
which a small stream ran down into the Shayok. The ravine 
was bounded on each side by precipices of dark slaty lookiuo- 
rock, and wound about considerably ; at about every fifty 
yards we had to wade through the small clear stream, whose 
bed was composed of various beautifullj r colored pebbles, as it 
crossed the gorge at every bend, flowing close to the rocky 
walls. We breakfasted at a place where the gorge windened a 
little, and then ascended to a wide plain, bounded on each side 
by high mountains, on which large isolated boulders of rock 
were lying here and there. The small stream I have mentioned 
evidently drained this plain to the south. The plain sloped 
down gently to our camping ground here — a grassy valle} 7 , quite 
boggy in places from the presence of springs, and having high 
platforms of conglomerate on each side of it. 

The birds observed were the Raven, the Red-billed Chough, 
Montifriugilla hcematopygia, Sa.vicola deserti and Gruldenstadt's 



50 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Kedstavt. Near our encampment I found large numbers of 
Hill Pigeons (Columba rupicola), of which I shot six in about 
half an hour. — About sunset I ascended the terrace to our right 
and bagged a fine blue-rumped hare, among the stones, 
and another pigeon. 

A good many of our people complain of "dam," although the 
elevation of this place is only 14,870 feet ; poor Dr. Stoliczka 
died here a short time ago on his return journey from Yarkand 
12th. — Murghu to Burtsd. — I woke up once last night feeling 
a most urgent besoin de respirer, aud had to sit up for a little 
while before I recovered from my breathlessness. On waking up 
this morning I found that it was snowing steadily — a condition 
of affairs which has gone on all day long, almost without inter- 
mission — but the snow not lying much on the ground. We began 
the march by ascending the platform of conglomerate to the left of 
Murghu, and after riding a short distance came upon a warm 
spring gushing up from the ground. The water was collected in 
a sort of tank which gave off two small streams, and a great 
quantity of light-green slimy looking weed was growing in 
it. A little further on we descended into a ravine through 
which a stream was running down from the north, to find its 
way ultimately into the Shayok River. We crossed the stream 
and pursued our way to the right of it, alternately ascending and 
descending along the face of some very steep slopes composed 
usually of loose shingle. At last we got down to the stream 
again and followed its course, walking over huge blocks of 
stones — the roughest ground I have yet seen. A slight ascent 
then brought us suddenly into a wide gravelly plain, bounded on 
each side by very high limestone mountains with sharp peaks 
and caves here and there in the hill sides, down which a small 
stream was flowing towards us in several branches. We con- 
tinued along this plain to our camp here which is 15,690 feet 
high. Our tents are pitched on a small bank a few feet higher 
than the gravel plain, and near us there is some " Burtse " 
(Eurotia) plant growing — almost the only trace of vegetation 
we have seen during to-day's march. The halting place has 
been called after this plant. 

On the road to-day I got a couple of curious round balls 
looking like stone, but which are said to be corals. 

13//i. — Burtse to Kizil Ungur. — Rather a heavy fall of snow 
last night, and a minimum temperature of 21°. A short march to- 
day as our tents are wet aud very heavy for the horses to carry ; 
another of the poor beasts died last night. Our road was along 
the gravel plain all the way, precisely like the last part of yester- 
day's march, aud hardly a trace of vegetation anywhere. On the 
way I saw several blue Hill Pigeons and a single solitary Snipe 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 51 

{Gallinago solitarla). Elevation of our camp at Kizil Un<nir 
16,371 feet. 

lith. — Several inches of snow fell during the night and the 
minimum thermometer registered 17° F. Our road after 
leaving Kizi! Ungur lay at first along the usual gravel plain, 
and then through a gorge composed of coarse red breccia, where 
we found the little stream frozen on its surface. We emerged 
from this gorge into a wider stony ravine up which we went 
by an easy ascent, which however seemed to make the horse9 
pant very much and laid a couple of our followers low with 
'dam.' 

At the top of the ascent a strange sight met our view, 
for we found ourselves on an immense undulating plain — the 
Depsang — which looked like the top of the world. The plain 
was gravelly and seemed to slope gently eastwards towards 
some low hills in that direction ; northwards in front of us we 
saw a few irregular, flat topped — hillocks, they looked like 
— scattered about ; to the left, the clear blue sky appeared to 
be the only boundary of our plain ; and to the south-west 
the distant tops of some fine snowy peaks peeped up above our 
level. I waited for my barometer at the highest part of the 
plain and while doing so had occasion to look back in the 
direction of the route by which we had come. A fine snowy 
range of mountains met my view, and looked quite continuous ; 
but, of course, this was a deceptive appearance, as we had 
passed through this apparent chain without crossing any pass, 
and without rising to a greater elevation than about 16,300 feet. 
These limestone mountains and peaks are probably, as Mr. 
Shaw says, the continuation of the Mustagh Range, but where 
is the Karakoram Range ? The only thing, seen from the 
vantage ground of Depsang, that looked like a range, we had 
passed through and left behind us, while the Karakoram Pass 
was distant about twenty-five miles from the Kizil Ungur 
edge of the plain. The altitude of the Depsang at the point 
where I read the barometer was 17,817 feet ! From there the 
road lay across the plain, northwards ; the path being marked 
out by many carcases of dead horses lying on each side. 

The ride over the Depsang was a long one, and a bitterly cold 
wind blowing across made my nose feel very much like a lump of 
ice. There was no vegetation whatever on the plain, but I noticed 
some Ravens, a Hoopoe ( Upupa epops) Montif ring ilia hcemato- 
pygia, and, near a little streamlet running eastwards, a Wag- 
tail (Motacilla perso?iata). From the Depsang we descended 
into a wide sort of valley covered with bare gravel, and en- 
camped near a shallow stream running westwards, which is, 
in fact, the upper part of the Shayok River. Our camp here, 



52 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Daulat Beg Uldi, i. e. " (the place where) Daulat Beg died/' is 
16,652 feet high. 

\' th. — Very cold last night, the minimum thermometer re- 
gistering a temperature of 4° F. To-day the weather has been 
bright and clear, the only clouds noticed being a few cumuli 
early in the morning. Crossed the stream, which had a thin 
coating of ice on its surface, and after riding over open shingly 
ground with low rounded hills dotted about, passed three small 
shelter huts, built of stones against a hill side — the only evi- 
dence of man's handwork I had seen in these regions during the 
last eio-ht days. Near those huts, bones of horses were scat- 
tered in unusual profusion. We then entered a long shingly valley 
through which a small stream flowed down southwards ; the val- 
ley widened out gradually as we went along and the ascent up it 
was very gentle. At about eleven miles from Daulat Beg, 
we began to ascend slightly along; the right side of the valley, 
then turning sharply to the right, we ascended for a few hundred 
yards to a small commissure of loose detritus connecting two 
low hills, and found ourselves on the Karakoram Pass. A 
howling cold wind was blowing there when I stopped to take 
some readings : the mercurial barometer stood at 15*334 inches 
(resulting height of pass, 18,172 feet) ; water boiled at 179 0, 6 
F. and the temperature of the air at 4 p. M. was 33°5. The 
descent, on the north side, was even less than the ascent had been, 
and altogether the Karakoram Pass reminded one much more of 
a short embankment, 300 feet or so above the level of the sur- 
rounding country, than of what one understands by a " mountain 
pass." I did not reach our camp here (Balti Brangsa, 16,792 
feet,) until after sunset. The road from the pass lay through 
wide shallow valleys with low hills on each side, but I certainly 
could not see anything like a range. After crossing the 
pass the streams were found to be running with us, 
northwards and eastwards, so we have to-day crosed the water 
shed of the river-system which runs into the Indian Ocean 
and that which flows into the Pacific through China. 

The rarefaction of the air to-day made exertion very difficult, but 
I had no headache or other unpleasant experiences even on the 
pass ; height-sickness, like sea-sickness, seems to be subduable 
by practice. The only birds observed to-day were Ravens 
and Mountain Finches {Montifringilla hcematopygia). 

l<oth. — Minimum temperature last night, 2 0- 5 ; the water- 
in a tumbler by my bedside completely frozen. Clear frosty 
morning, without a vestige of cloud in the sky. Road at 
first along gravel valleys, with low hills on each side ; a stream, 
(one of the sources of the Yarkand river) running northwards 
Sides of hills having a northern exposure covered with 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 53 

snow, but nowhere else. Emerging from the valley we got 
on to a high tableland where we are encamped at an elevation 
of 15,822 feet. This place is called Darwaza Sarighot, and 
there is a scanty crop of yellowish grass growing about here 
on which our wretched horses are having a feast. From here 
we can see a long low looking range of mountains (the Kuen 
Lun) to the north of us, running from about N.W. to S.E. 
Birds to-day : Corvus tibetanus, Montif ring ilia hcematopygia, 
Otocoris penicillaia, and a solitary Hoopoe ( U. epops). 

11th. — Camp Chibra, 16,920 feet. I started from Darwaza 
Sarighot early this morning to try and get a shot at Antelope 
which had been seen not far from our camp yesterday evenino- ; 
a fine bright morning, but very cold (minimum last nio-ht, 
O 0, F.). I followed the course of the stream for about a mile 
and then turned up to right where I got into a succession of 
rolling downs covered with short yellow grass. Saw four 
white looking Antelopes with lyre-shaped horns {Kemas 
Hodgsonii), but could not get within shot. A loner ride after- 
wards over fairly level ground, skirting banks of shale to the 
left, to our camp here on a small plateau at the base of the 
Kuen Lun. 

On arriving here I found the pony which had carried my 
tent, rolling on the ground, apparently suffering from gripes. 
Its owner had slit its nostrils and cut out pieces of the 
nasal cartilages to cure the beast ! When a horse is 
suffering in this way its breathing is much distressed, and 
hence the nasal cartilages show out prominently at each 
respiration : the wise horse owner at once jumps to the con- 
clusion that the cartilage is the cause of the horse's distress and 
at once proceeds to free the animal of the supposed offendino- 
body — I need scarcely say without benefiting his patient. I 
gave the pony some brandy and chlorodyne, but it died in a 
few hours. 

18th. — On leaving Chibra this morning we entered a lono- 
valley, witli high hills on each side, which led us by a very 
gentle ascent to the Suget Pass (17,872 feet), marked by the 
usual heap of stones. The descent was steep and abrupt, over 
stony ground covered with snow, into a ravine down which a 
stream was flowing northwards. I followed the course of this 
Suget stream, often wading through it, and finding its rocky 
bed very difficult to travel over, until the valley widened oiit 
and began to show signs of vegetation. I soon found myself 
riding through a stunted willow and Hololachne juno-le, with 
lots of grass growing about : a most welcome sight after the 
arid region we have been going through for the last ten days. 
Our encampment here, Suget, is amongst the willows (Suget — 



54 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

a willow) growing along the course of the stream ; the elevation 
being only 13,307 feet. 

A letter arrived this afternoon from the Dad Khwah of Yar- 
kand (the Governor of that city) welcoming us into Eastern 
Turkestan. A Yuzbashi, or native Captain, is waiting to meet 
us, a march ahead of this place. 

19/A. — Shahid-ullah. Pleasant march this morning, at first 
down the Suget valley, which debouches at right angles into the 
valley of the Karakash ; then along the latter to this place, 
which is the political boundary between the possessions of the 
Maharaja of Kashmir and the territory of the Amir of Kash- 
ghar. The Karakash River looked very pretty with its green 
waters and fringe of Tamarisk and Hololachne jungle ; after 
crossing the river once we saw the frontier fort of Shahid-ullah 
in a shingly valley to the right, our camp being prepared at a 
little distance to the left of it. A group of horsemen came 
galloping forward from the latter place, across the sandy plain, 
and forded the river just as I got to the bank of a second bend 
in the stream. The chief of the party, Yuzbashi Mohammed 
Baba, advanced and shook my hand very warmly, making a 
little speech in Turki, of which I did not understand one word. 
Fortunately a Hajji, who had come up with us from Kashmir, 
was close by and he told me in Arabic, that the Yuzbashi had 
expressed himself delighted at the meeting, and had conveyed 
some complimentary messages sent by the Dad Khwah. I 
made a suitable reply in Arabic which was translated to the 
Yuzbashi {Yuz, a hundred and bas/ii, head or chief — leader of a 
hundred men or centurion), and then rode on to camp. In the 
evening I went out shooting; the hares were very scarce, but 
I bagged several Chicore (Caccabis pallidus.) 

20th. — Halt at Shahid-ulla. The elevation of this place is, 
I find, 11,732 feet ; the weather here is very delightful, 63 0, 7 in 
the shade at noon ; the minimum temperature last night 24 0, 2. 
The journey in the mountains has, I find, touched up the skin 
of our faces, so that most of us are now peeling freely — as to 
our noses — much as if were just recovering from scarlet fever; 
and we have all developed a decided penchant for sugar and 
sweetmeats. Great quantities of Hololachne Shawiana grow 
about Shahid-ullah, in bushes sometimes about four feet high ; 
but the plant does not seem to be now in flower. 

Yesterday and to-day we have been introduced to a regular 
institution of this country — the Dastarkhwan. The ceremony- 
has been described before, but as I shall have to put some 
account of it into all my letters home, I may as well write a 
few words about the business now : Kashgharia without a 
mention of the Dastarkhwan would be like Egypt without the 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 55 

Pyramids, or India without its palms. We are seated on a 
carpet in the tent Avheu a servant announces that the Yuzbashi 
wishes to offer a Dastarkhwan ; permission being accorded, our 
entertainer appears, followed by a train of about twenty atten- 
dants, all carrying trays. The Yuzbashi is requested to be 
seated, and then the foremost attendant advances and spreads 
a gaudily colored silk or print cloth on the ground before us ; 
and on this the trays are placed. The trays are passed on 
from servant to servant (after the manner of buckets of water 
at a fire) until the last one reaches the head attendant who is 
depositing the good things before us ; then all the servants retire 
and we have a moment to glance at what has been brought. 
Loaves of fine bread, biscuits, melons, pistachio nuts, Trebizond 
dates, currants, sugarcandy, dried apricots, loaves of sugar, 
almonds, bonbons and sweatnieats of many sorts, a kind of white 
custard called nishalla, — but we must begin to eat some of these 
things. We break a loaf of bread (first saying Bism-illah — in 
the name of God) and inviting the Yuzbashi to join, proceed to 
taste anything before us that we have a fancy to. Then tea is 
brought in and handed round, and in a few minutes we give a sign 
for the dastarkhwan to be removed ; the things being now carried 
away by our servants. Any stray crumb of bread is carefullv 
replaced on the cloth, and as the table (?) cloth is being 
gathered up we bring our hands up to our faces and strok- 
ing our beards, say solemnly and in concert, Allahu Akbar 
(God is most great). The Yuzbashi retires hurriedly. 

2\st. — Cimp Toghrasu\ elevation, 11,255 feet. — We started 
from Shahid-ullah about noon, and after cresting the low hill 
in front of our camp there, descended into the main Karakash 
Valley, following the course of the river to this place. Rather 
a cold afternoon ; and just as we reached camp, it began 
to snow pretty smartly ; so we have now got our tents very 
wet. Saw several Hill Pigeons (Columba rupicola) on the 
way ; and near the camp here one of our followers captured 
a Spotted Land-Rail (Porzana maruetta). 

22nd. — Kurgan All Nazar. — Soon after leaving last night's 
camp we forded the Toghrasu, a small stream which came 
down from the left and entered the Karakash at right angles. 
Near Toghrasu one of the horses carrying a load slipped dowu 
a khud and was killed ; another horse died during the night. 
Still following the Karakash River which we had to ford twice 
to-day ; pretty deep at one place. Passed a small fort at the 
junction of the Kilian route with ours; a Yarkaudi lives in 
the Fort, — to take care of the roads (!) one of my Yarkandi 
servants says. We met a Kafila, or merchant's party, on the 
way to India ; 6ne of them told me that they had started from 



56 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Yarkand only ten days ago. Saw a good many Pigeons (C. 
rupicola) on the road; and here they are very numerous, perch- 
ino- on the sides of the cliffs. Wheatears ( Saxicola deserti) 
common about, and I noticed several flocks of Choughs. 

23rd — Tarbughoz, 14,057 /ee^. — After leaving Kurgan Ali 
Nazar we forded the Karakash River, and then our road lay 
northwards up a narrow gorge, through which a small rivulet ran 
to join the Karakash. In this gorge I noticed some blocks looking 
like marble, here and there many pieces of a coarse kind of jade, 
and abundance of debris of mica schist. As we proceeded the 
gorge became narrower and very winding, and we had to go 
over the very worst ground we have met since leaving India : 
small steep ascents, over huge boulders and all kinds of loose 
stone, at ' every step ; on either side tremendous vertical cliffs. 
Our camping ground here, near the top of the gorge is so very 
tight, that only a few of the tents can be pitched, and we are all 
perforce huddled up together. Of course there is neither pasture 
nor fuel on the spot. Monti (ring ilia hcematopygia seems to be 
quite at home here, and the Raven (C. tibetanus) is pretty nu- 
merous. 

24iA. — Tarbughoz over Sanju Pass to Kichik Yailak. — Clear 
bright moruing on starting from Tarbughoz ; the horses 
could neither carry men nor loads across the Sanju Pass, so 
we had to indent on the Kirghiz for yaks. There was a diffi- 
culty about getting a sufficient number of the yaks to take all 
our party across the pass, so some of our followers and things 
had to be left at Tarbughoz ; they will rejoin us to-morrow, 
however. Very few Kirghiz about, to lead the yaks we got, 
so I had to trust very much to the tender mercies of the beast 
I rode to take me wherever he chose. On leaving Tarbughoz 
we turned sharp to the left up a very narrow rocky gorge, 
covered with shingle, and whose small streamlet had a sheet of 
ice on its surface. This gorge soon widened out, becomiug 
steeper and steeper and disclosing to our view splendid snow- 
covered mountains ahead and on each side of us. A great 
many carcases of dead horses were lying about, near which the 
Ravens (C. tibetanus) were assembled in parties ; flocks of 
Red-billed Choughs {Fregilus graculus) were flying about, 
uttering their desolate sounding cry ; and the Mountain Finches 
( Montifringilla hcematopygia) were running about on the 
ground. 

As we proceeded the gorge seemed to vanish and we began 
to ascend the mountain side towards the ridge ahead of us, whose 
top was covered with snow. I heard many Snow Pheasants 
(Tetraog alius tibetanus) calling, aud so dismounted to try and 
find them ; I soon saw a party of four of these birds, one of 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 57 

which I knocked over with a charge of "BB shot. It is a fine 
bird and our servants call it a big Chicore ; it is certainly much 
more like a Chicore than a true Pheasant. The ascent to the top 
of the ridge was very steep along a narrow path in the snow. 
Here and there we passed over bits of ice which were very 
slippery ; even the }<aks came down on their knees several 
times, but were up again in a moment. Near the Pass we 
passed two horses which had been abandoned ; the poor beasts 
stood knee-deep in the snow, facing the abyss down which they 
were soon to fall; they kept their eyes shut and their breathing 
did not seem to be in the least embarrassed. The Pass was 
very narrow, barely a path, and here I stopped to make the 
usual observations. Although not very high, the Sanju Pass 
is certainly the most difficult of all we have crossed. The 
temperature at noon was 27 , 5°, water boiled at 182 - !S F. and 
the reading of the mercurial barometer was 16 - 353 (deduced 
height 16,558 feet). The weather was too hazy to admit of 
one getting much of a view of the country to the north, but 
immediately below the ridge a succession of rolling downs 
could be seen, covered with fine green grass. Near the top of 
the Pass I saw several huge Lammergeyers [Gypatus barbatus) 
flying about, and while descending I saw some of these birds 
and a Vulture (Vultur monachusl) perched on some jutting 
rocks ; but of course just because I happened to want it, my 
rifle was a long way behind. 

The descent, although winding a good deal, was fearfullv 
steep. I rode down much against my will : I incautiously 
mounted my yak on the Pass before I could well make out 
what the road down would be like, and once started the 
beast would not stop, but scampered down as fast as he could. 
Pulling at the rope which passed through his nose was no 
use ; indeed it only made the yak go faster. As the beast 
was usually led by this string, he looked on any traction 
of it, no matter from what direction, as an intimation to 
him to increase his speed ; fortunately the yak was, as usual, 
Wonderfully sure-footed. The country below consisted of ex- 
tensive undulating ground, covered with short grass, ou' which 
herds of yaks belonging to the Kirghiz were feeding. Here 
I saw a great number of Marmots ; as one got near them they 
uttered a long melancholy howl and immediately disappeared 
into their holes. 

Our camp here (elevation 12,054 feet) is just in front of the 
summer camping ground of the Kirghiz, the name Kichik 
Yailak signifying "small encampment;" the round felt tents or 
" Akoi" of these nomads are very comfortable. The Kirghiz are 
very familiar, but as to the question of whether they are to be 

H 



58 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

looked upon as friendly and good-natured or simply cheeky, why 
I suppose that is a sort of thing which depends very much on 
the state of one's liver. The casualties among the horses have 
been heavy to-day, although the animals crossed unloaded ; five 
ponies dead or abandoned, besides a horse belonging to a 
trooper of the escort, which tumbled over the cliff and was killed. 
2hth. — We did not start from Kichik Yailak to-day until 
3 p.m., as we had to wait for the members of our party left 
yesterday at Tar-bughoz. In the morning I went up a side 
valley at Kichik Yailak, and had some good sport with the 
Snow Pheasants (Tetraogallus tibetaniis). There were hundreds 
of the birds on the grassy hill sides, and when started they seemed 
to close their wings and shoot down towards the bottom of the 
valley like lightning. I had one bird "halaled" (or made lawful 
for a Mussulman to eat, by having its throat cut), and after- 
wards presented it to the Yuzbashi. Ruticilla erythrogastra 
was common near the small streams, and 1 observed numbers of 
Choughs {Fregilus graculus), Ravens (C. tibetanus), Montifrin- 
gilla hrematopygia, and a few Pigeons ( C. rupicola). 

The road from Kichik Yailak was at first along the grassy 
downs, the hillocks having parallel paths worn on their sides ; then 
following a small stream which we had to ford several times in a 
narrowish gorge, we reached our camp here, Tarn, on the 
bank of the iSanju river. The elevation of this place is only 
8,875 feet ; there are a couple of mud huts here, and, strange 
sight to us, evidences of cultivation about. 

2b7A. — 7am to Kewis. — Rather a long march to-day and a 
most watery one, as we were constantly crossing and recrossing 
the Sanju river, which is pretty deep in places and has large 
boulders in its bed. After leaving Tarn we passed a large tree, 
the first we have seen for many a day, and the remains of a wall 
said to have been built by the Chinese for defence; the Yarkandis 
do not seem to object to talk about their late masters and in con- 
versation one hears constant references to the Khatai wakt or 
time of the Chinese. As we approached Kewis we got into flat 
country and saw some fields of corn. Behind our camp here 
are some hills of desintegrating rock up which I had a fruitless 
climb after Partridges (Caccabis pallidus) which seem to be 
plentiful. On the road to-day I saw — I may safely say — ■ 
thousands of Pigeons (C. rupicola), out of which I shot some 
for a pie. Numbers of Podoces humilis running about in the 
fields here and regularly perching on the bushes. Several 
pairs of Magpies {Pica bactriana) seen near our camp, which is 
only 7,487 feet above sea level. There are only low hills near us 
now and at last we seem to be getting rid of the mountains 
through which we have so long been struggling. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 59 

27th. — Sanju. — Our road to-day from Kewis lay along the 
course of the Sanju stream in a broad sort of valley with only 
low banks on each side. As we rode along- the view rather 
reminded one of Baramulla iu Kashmir, only I could satisfy my- 
self that at last we h;id got out of the mountains. It seems 
to me that I entered the hills, from the Indian side, at JBarakau 
on the 25th of June last ; that I reached the ' top' on the 
Depsang plains on the 14th of this month ; and that to-day 
I have emerged on the Central Asian side of the hills into the 
plains of Eastern Turkestan. I cannot believe that I have 
crossed more than one great system of mountains, whatever 
endless sub-divisions into ranges Geographers may choose 
to adopt. 

As we approached Sanju our eyes were gladdened by the 
sight of cultivated fields, neat hamlets and jolly looking Turk 

peasants. And as to Sanju itself! ti'ees, green fields, and 

human habitations ! It seemed to me, after my experience of 
the mountains, to be the most lovely and fertile place I had 
ever seen. The Beg (or Governor) of Sanju met us on the 
road and great were the hand-shakings and interchanges of 
complimentary speeches. The Beg had gone over to India 
a few years ago, and I believe got as far as Lahore : he seemed 
to be astonished that he had not met me there ! When we 
reached Sanju we found a lot of carpets spread out for us 
under a fine old walnut tree, and, of course, we had a splendid 
dastarkhwan on the spot. The birds I noticed to-day were : 
the White-rumped Magpie (Pica bactriana), near Kewis only; 
Wagtails (Motacilla alba ?) ; Galerita magna, numerous about 
Sanju; the Black Crow (Corvus culminatus) ; thousands of young 
Sparrows (Passer movtanus) flying up from the corn fields 
into the trees ; several Kestrels ( Tinnunculus alaudarius) ; aud 
the Common Hoopoe ( Upupa epops). 

2Sth. — Halt at Sanju. — Our camp here is on a grassy green, 
which slopes down to the stream behind us. There is a long 
wall in front of my tent which separates us from a cluster of 
houses all built of unburnt bricks or mud. Sanju seems to 
be a sort of district rather than a town ; the houses and hamlets 
extend along the course of the stream for six or seven miles ; 
the Beg's house here is a large building with a courtyard in 
front, and, for the place, looks quite imposing. The elevation of 
Sanju is, I find, 6,302 feet above the sea, and the weather is 
at present delightful: 61° F. at noon to-day and minimum 
last night 42 0, 5. The place abounds in trees : Poplars, Wal- 
nuts, Willows and Eleagnus, the latter being simply loaded 
with fruit (Trebizond dates). There are smiling fields in every 
direction, corn, Indian hemp, barley and Indian corn ; the 



60 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

fields being regularly fenced off from each other, sometimes 
by low mud walls. A gourd plant has been trained along the 
wall opposite to me ; the gourds being of a curious elongated 
shape. The Turks seem to make great use of these gourds for 
storing water and carrying it about. The people have a decided 
Tartar type of countenance, with expanded cheek-bones, and 
are very fair as compai'ed with natives of the Panjab; some 
of the children look just like rosy-cheeked English urchins. The 
women wear long loose robes of a coarse undyed cotton, and 
the men a similar garment, but with long sleeves rolled up at 
the wrist, fastened round the waist by a belt ; both sexes wear 
long top boots ! The head dress of the women is a villanous kind 
of hat, globular, and covered usually with blue silk. The men 
wear a cap lined with fur and turned up at the sides ; only the 
swells appearing to affect the troublesome turban. The weekly 
fair was held here to-day (Monday), a long row of stalls having 
been permanently erected in the Bazar for this purpose. The 
people strike one as being all very comfortable and well off : 
if there is no- great wealth here there is certainly no squalid 
poverty. 

29th. — Sanju to Sulik Aziz hangar. — On starting from Sanju 
we crossed the river and halted for breakfast and a dastarkhwan 
in an orchard; there we bade farewell to the Beg of Sanju, 
who promised that our mail bags to and from India should 
receive his special care and attention. We then ascended the 
sandy cliff, on the north side of the valley, for several hundred 
feet, and found ourselves on an undulating sandy desert, stretch- 
ing forward as far as the eye could see. Here and there were 
a few hillocks and in places the sand had been blown into 
ridjres : scant stunted bushes, however, were crrowino; snarino-lv 

O ' 7 CD CD I CD */ 

on this ground. After riding for but a short while on- the 
desert, I saw a sand- colored bird a little larger than a Black- 
bird, running away from the path. I dismounted, and after 
running for a little distance, so as to cut the bird off, I got a 
shot at it as it ran across my path ; it turned out to be Podo- 
ces Hendersoni. In the next twelve miles over the desert I saw 
a dozen of these birds and managed to bag altogether six of 
them. Capital fun ; something like hare-shooting as the birds 
would hardly ever fly ; but they ran most swiftly. About 
fifteen miles from Sanju we descended a steep bank for about 
a hundred feet or so to our little oasis ("precious water stage"). 
Sulik Aziz Langar is a little fertile strip of land, on the 
bank of a small stream which comes down from the dis- 
tant mountains and runs across the desert. There is a large 
tank here ; a few trees ; and some cultivated fields, as there, 
are a few families living at the place. This is a capital 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 61 

spot for birds ; 1 have, since coming in, shot three specimens 
of Monticola saxatilis, two of Saxicola Hendersoni (both these 
were found in the fields) and a Rose-colored Starling {Pastor 
roseus) which was flitting about amongst the Eleagnus trees. 

30th. — Koshtak.' — Before leaving Langar this mornino- I shot 
a specimen of Planesticus atrogularis, which was flitting about 
amongst the trees growing near the tank ; Monticola saxatitis, 
Sax/cola Hendersoni and Passer montanus were plentiful. Then 
we made a short march of eight miles op so over the same sort of 
desert ground as we passed over } T esterday ; there were a few 
burnt up stunted bushes growing about, and the sand was large- 
ly intermixed with scales of mica. I shot two Podoces Hender- 
soni on the way. 

Koshtak (elevation 6,052 feet) is another valley-oasis in 
the desert, but much larger than Sulik Aziz Langar. There 
are many houses here and a good deal of cultivation; and 
crowds of patients came to me to be treated, every sick person 
being accompanied by about four sympathising friends. The 
birds here are, Corvus ailminatus, the Crested Lark ( Galerita 
magna,) the Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus,) Monticola saxa- 
tilis, and Saxicola Hendersoni. Hazy weather to-day ; temper- 
ature in the shade at 4 p. m., 58° ; minimum last night 38° F. 

1st October. — Koshtak to Ui Toghrak. Verv hazy mornino- 
again. On leaving Koshtak we passed through a fring-e 
of reeds, and then rode for some distance over around 
covered with low bushes. Where the bushes ceased I 
shot a Podoces Hendersoni. Then we crossed the Kilian 
stream, flowing eastwards towards Guma, and fringed with a 
Tamarisk jungle ; and the rest of the road to Ui' Toghrak «vas 
over a waste of shingle and sand without a trace of vegetation 
or animal life. The desert was composed of a series of flat 
plateaux at slightly different elevations: probably an ancient 
lake bed where there has been irregular drainage, and conse- 
quent sinking in places. Shortly before reaching Ui' Toghrak — 
another oasis, sunk below the level of the desert, and much 
resembling Koshtak — we were met by Tash Khoja, a second 
Yuzbashi sent by the governor of Yarkand to welcome us. He 
is a hearty sort of fellow, fat and red cheeked, and reminds me 
very much of a friend I knew at home. Tash Khoja, who is a 
native of Khokand — not a Yarkandi — talked most volubly in 
Persian, and was accompanied by a party of soldiers carrying 
queer muskets to which were attached rests used in flrino-, in 
shape like two-pronged forks. 

Weather tolerably warm, but not unpleasantly so even in 
crossing the desert ; the temperature in the shade here, at 4 
p. m., was 63°. Birds at Ui' Toghrak : Hoopoe ; Tree Sparrow ; 



62 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Galerita magna; Corvus culminatus ; Wagtails (Motacilla 
personata?) near the streams; and some Kestrels {T. alaudarius) 
perching- on the poplars. 

2nd. — Toghrak to Bora. — A short march to-day over pretty 
much the same sort of desert as we crossed yesterday. There 
were a few stunted bushes growing about, however, and I saw 
five Podoces Hendersoni, of which I managed to bag two. The 
vallev of Bora is 5,524 feet above sea-level and is much more 
fertile than Ui' Toghrak ; there are plenty of trees here and a 
good deal of cultivation — many fine fields of Indian corn. All 
the birds noted yesterday, again observed to-day, 

3rd. — Karghalik. — We started from Bora early this morning, 
as we had a march of about twenty-five miles before us. After 
leaving the fertile valley of Bora we passed through a perfect 
nest of small hills, then over sandy ground, covered with 
pebbles, aud having small bushes growing in it. Soon after this 
our road lay through a nearly flat desert, devoid of vegetation 
and covered with small stones; while crossing this part we saw 
a perfect mirage of trees, running deer, &c. After riding for 
twenty miles, we were glad to reach the oasis of Besharik — a 
little belt of trees and cultivation along some small streams. 
After a dastarkhwan at Besharik, a five miles ride across 
another strip of desert brought us to Karghalik, the first town 
we have seen in this country. 

Karghalik seems to be a large and flourishing place ; 
all the houses are one-storied and built ot unburnt bricks, 
and the streets are clean and tidy — some of them being 
covered with lattice-work on which vines grow. We passed 
through one bazar, with long rows of stalls on each side for 
the weekly fair, and as we rode along, the inhabitants bowed 
very courteously ; the people all looked cleanly dressed, in thin 
long robes, and many of them had large goitres. We are 
installed here in a. sort of Rojal Rest-house, and, for the first 
time since leaving Kashmir (more than two months and a 
half ago), I am not living in my tent. The rooms are large 
and comfortable, have each a very neat fireplace, and the win- 
dows are closed by tasteful lattice-work, over which transparent 
country paper is pasted ; for window glass is unknown in 
Eastern Turkestan. In the middle of the building there is a 
large quadrangular court, neatly laid out in the centre with 
roses and asters. The most noticeable bird about Karghalik is 
a large Ring-dove ( Turtur Stoliczka), which is numerous and 
apparently very tame ; these Doves walk about on the house 
tops and fly off to perch on the walnut trees. 

bth. — Posgam. — Yesterday we halted at Karghalik, and we 
have had a longish march of about twenty-two miles, to-day, 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 63 

to ibis town. About Karghalik many farmsteads and orchards 
are scattered about, and the neighbourhood seems to be inter- 
sected with water-courses for irrigation. Tbe roads are lined 
with mulberry and willow trees, and there is cultivation every- 
where ; I noticed fields of Indian corn, rice and cotton (the 
plants of tbe latter seem to be stunted, not more than a foot and 
half high usually). As we rode out of Karghalik we met oreat 
numbers of people coming in for the weekly fair; they were 
all well dressed and nearly every one was mounted, on ponies 
or donkeys. Tbe road near Karghalik was well watered and 
I noticed that water-channels were carried under the roads by 
means of the sort of syphon arrangement, which I have seen 
before both in Egypt and India. Every now and then we met 
1 Fakirs,' or ' Dewanahs' who on receiving a few coppers would 
repeat the Patiha with outstretched hands, ending with Allahu 
Akbar and the usual beard-stroking. A little further on the 
cultivation became more thin, with patches of marshy ground 
overgrown with reeds in places, until we passed through Yak- 
shamba Bazar (Sunday market place) consisting of a long row 
of bouses on each side of the road. About five miles bevond 
Yaksbamba Bazar we forded the Tiznaf river, a stream 
running north-eastward over a pebbly bed between low sandy 
banks. Seven or eight miles further on we reached Posgam, 
a smaller town than Karghalik and situated in a cultivated 
plain with farmsteads and orchards dotted about. 

The elevation of our camp here is 4,249 feet, and there are a 
good patches of marshy and waste ground about. Posgam seems 
to be the head-quarters of goitre in this country, nearly every 
soul in the place seeming to have this disease to a Greater 
or less extent ; this afternoon I have been quite besieged by 
crowds of patients. On the road the Hoopoe was common, 
the Crested Lark (Galerita magna) Avas very numerous, and 
I saw hundreds of Swallows (Rirundo rustica) sailing about 
and clinging to the mud banks ; Sylvia curruca too was 
common in waste ground. We bad cloudy weather this after- 
noon, with strong gusts of wind bringing clouds of dust; at 
10 P.M. there was a slight fall of rain. The cultivated country 
we have now got into forms a striking contrast to the desert 
we traversed after leaving Sanju. 

6th, — Posgam to Yarkand. — Lovely clear morning after the 
rain last night which must have been very slight ; fine ridges 
and peaks of mountains, snow capped, were visible away to 
our left as we rode along. After going through fine lanes, 
with rich cultivation on each side, we crossed the Yarkand 
river — an operation which consisted in fording about half a 
dozen streams to which the river is at the present season 



64 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

reduced. Then our road lay over a well-cultivated plain with 
hamlets and farmsteads dotted about, and, here and there, 
bits of marshy ground. About seven miles from Yarkand we 
were met by a gorgeously dressed Yuzbashi, Mohammad 
Yakub, who gave us a dastarkhwan and afterwards rode on with 
us to our abode here. 

The first glimpse I got of Yarkand was in the shape of 
an embrasured mud wall peeping through the trees which 
seemed to screen it on the southern side; not at all the bare 
sort of ground in which I expected to find the city. We 
crossed an extensive bit of swampy ground in which the 
Lapwing ( Vanellus cristatus) was very plentiful, and then got 
into a suburb where the streets were very dirty ; pools of 
black stagnant water and all sorts of rubbish lying about. 
Riding on we entered one of the gates of the city of Yarkand 
and after passing through a number of streets crowded with 
people, we emerged at another gate, called Altun Darwaza, 
and saw the Yangi Shahr (Fort or Cantonment of Yarkand) 
divided from the city by a dusty bit of ground about 450 
yards across. 

The gate of the Fort was guarded by about twenty or 
thirty Yarkandi soldiers, not dressed with any attempt at 
uniformity ; and the streets of the Yangi Shahr were a repeti- 
tion on a small scale of those we had just seen in the city. 
We soon turned into the Residency here, which has a large 
compound, with a tank in the middle, and a couple of court- 
yards with suites of rooms round them ; and found our 
quarters very comfortable. Then, after a dastarkhwan, we 
pi-oceeded to dress in uniform for a visit to the Dadkhwah of 
Yarkand, but I must leave the description of the rest of the 
events of the day until to-morrow. 

llth October — Yarkand* — For the last five days we have 
been occupied making visits and receiving them ; giving the 
presents sent by our Government and receiving many in 
return ; regaling ourselves with innumerable dastarkhwans ; 
and altogether we have been treated most hospitably. It has 
been arranged that we shall start for Kashghar to see the 
Amir; but as His Highness intends soon to set out on a tour to 
some distant part of his dominions, we are to leave our heavy 
luggage and a number of our followers at Yarkand, to which 
we expect to return very soon. 

The weather has been uniformly fine, but every day there 
has been a haze of fine dust, which has made it impossible 
to see any hills or ranges, or indeed, objects at any con- 

* The position of Yarkand (Yangi Shahr) has been fixed by Captain Trotter at N 
Lat. 38" 25' 1", and Longitude 77 ' 15' 55" E. of Greenwich. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 65 

siderable distance. The maximum temperature in the shade 
has varied from 63° to 72 0, 4 ; the minimum from 44°5 
to 40 -o 8 ; and tlie temperature of the sun's rays from 
108° to 122°5. The mean reading of the mercurial baro- 
meter has been 26*040 (resulting height of Yarkand 4,015 
feet.) 

The City of Yarkand is of a very irregular shape, and sur- 
rounded by a thick mud wall, about thirty feet high and 
tapering towards the top, where it is from ten to fifteen feet 
wide ; the city has five gates. The houses are principally one- 
storied and built of mud and uuburnt bricks ; except the 
Colleges or Madrasas (and a large serai) which are built of 
burnt bricks and many of them look quite imposing. The 
drinking water of the city is got from numerous tanks in it, 
supplied from the canals ; these tanks are usually in a filthy 
condition, and indeed the sanitary arrangements of Yarkand 
are decidedly bad. 

The Fort is square, and is surrounded by a deep ditch ; there 
is only one entrance to it now and its mud walls are enormously 
thick. In it are the Dad Khwah's palace and the residences 
of all the soldiers of the place, with their families ; the houses, 
as usual, being built of unburnt brick. 

The soil about Yarkand is light colored and sandy, but 
seems to be wonderfully fertile when irrigated. Orchards of 
fruit trees are numerous, and there is extensive cultivation 
about with many irrigation streams and canals ; some of the 
latter very neatly bridged over. The principal trees seem to 
be poplar, willow, mulberry and eleagnus ; some old poplars 
(P. alba) in a Mazar or shrine close by, have attained a great 
height. 

The people of Yarkand are, of course, all Muhammadans 
but, as far as I can judge, not at all bigoted in their ideas ; the 
few Chinese who have remained in the country have adopted 
the religion of their conquerors. I rather think that a little 
gentle persuasion, in the shape of throat-cutting, was used to 
bring about this conversion ; but that took place some time 
ago. The women are not very particular about hiding their 
faces, but they are certainly not ' bonny ;' the}' seem to be 
mostly moulded on the Rubens type of beauty. A marked 
characteristic of the Yarkandis — men, women and even children 
— is a great aversion to walking, however short a distance ; 
but they are extremely fond of riding ponies or donkeys, 
whichever they can get. 

Then as to birds : Passer montanus is the common Sparrow 
about here ; Galerita magna is met with at every step away 
from houses ; Turtur Stoliczkce is very common — we have a 

l 



(!6 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

resident colony in our compound; the Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 
is constantly seen by the roadside ; Starlings (Slurnus vulgaris) 
in fair number; the Black Crow (Corvus culminatus) is to be 
seen wherever there is a heap of rubbish for it to peck at ; the 
Lapwing (Vanellas cristatus) abounds about marshy ground in 
common with many other waders ; and every now and then 
we see a flock of mallard {Anas boschas) flying overhead. 

12th. — Kokrabat. — Our goods and chattels, for the Kash- 
ghar trip, were started off this morning from Yarkand in three 
' arabahs/ only the more fragile things being carried along 
by four ponies. The ' arabah ' is the cart of this country : 
a covered vehicle on two wheels and drawn by four horses ; 
of which there is only one wheeler, the other three being harness- 
ed abreast in front. We did not leave the Fort until about 2 
P.M., and were accompanied at starting by the three Yuzbashis, 
Muhammad Yakub, Baba and Tash Khoja. The first left us 
very soon, the second one also disappeared after giving us a 
dastarkhtoan a few miles out, and Tash Khoja goes on with us 
to Kashghar. Our road lay westward through rich cultivation 
for about four miles or so, when we crossed the Urpa canal by 
means of a capital bridge with two spans having brick-built 
towers at each end, and entered the district of Sughucbak. 
About a couple of miles further on, we entered a tract of sand 
hills covered with reeds and coarse grass, and after traversing 
this for some time we came upon marshy ground with pools of 
water on each side of the path. In tin's swamp I shot three 
waders, two specimens of the Curlew Stint (Trivga subarquata) 
and a Sanderling (Calidris arenaria), and saw some flocks of 
Ducks (Anas bosc/uis.) After this we had a long ride over a 
stony desert plain, passing a crescent-shaped hill of drift sand 
on our right. We did not reach Kokrabat (more than twenty 
miles from Yarkand) until dark, so I have not been able to 
see much of the village. We are installed in a couple of native 
houses here, as we have left our tents at Yarkand. 

13th. Kizil. — Fine 'mackerel' sky this morning, and a cold 
north wind blowing. On leaving Kokrabat we rode across a 
flat desert stony steppe where the wind was cold and piercing, a 
sort of aggravated edition of an east wind at home. On this 
ground the Horned Lark ( Otocoris pewcillata) was very com- 
mon. After travelling for about twelve miles we reached Ak- 
rabat — a little oasis with two wells — where a Yuzbashi, sent by 
the Amir to attend us, presented us with a dastarkhwan. Then 
another ride of about thirteen miles over a desert waste, without 
a trace of vegetation, brought us to the village of Kizil ft. e., 
Red) so called from the red color of the soil which contaius a 
larcre amount of iron. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 67 

Shortly after we got into our quarters here, an Afghan 
merchant, who spoke most musical Persian, came in and after 
a few minutes' conversation said, that he had living with him a 
Darwish of our nation ! and that the said Britisher wished 
to see a doctor, but did not like to come openly to our quarters. 
As this news promised to be very interesting*, if true, I took 
up my gun and strolled out into the village as if looking for 
birds ; and having noted the house into which the Afghan 
merchant entered, I quietly returned to it when I found that 
no one was looking my way. I found that as to color and 
features the Darwish, Ghulam-ur-rasul (slave of the Prophet) 
would pass very well for an Englishman ; and, in fact, he car- 
ried on a most interesting conversation, of nearly an hour's 
duration, in somewhat broken English. I fear I rather played 
the part of a newspaper correspondent interviewing a disting- 
guished personage, as I was anxious to find out all the man's his- 
tory. It is too long a tale to go into here completely, but I may 
mention the purport of his answers to my principal questions. 

His name is John Campbell ; he was born in Cabul during the 
period our army occupied Afghanistan ; his parents were killed 
there and he was brought up by some Afghans who subse- 
quently told him the secret of his birth. He ran away from 
his home and after many wanderings found himself in Teheran 
where the British Ambassador there took charge of him and 
6ent him to India ; he was placed in a school at Bombay and 
subsequently sent to England. Returing to India he seems to 
have got tired of a settled life and wandered away as a Fakir, 
or Mussulman mendicant, to Central Asia, where he has been 
roaming about for the last seven or eight years. He showed me 
his hands, which are white, with fingers long and tapering, and 
informed me that he had been told he was " an Englishman of 
the highest caste." He spoke gratefully of the kindness shewn 
him by some persons, but seemed to think that in the civilized 
world people were too busy about their own affairs to take much 
heed of such a waif as he was. Describing a scene in some 
office he said : " The people were bustling about ; railwa} r s 
here and telegraphs there ; so no one had time to think much 
about an orphan like me." 

It appears that my friend ' Ghulam-ur-rasul ' is the hero of a 
book, published some time ago, entitled " Lost among the 
Afghans." But the most remarkable point about the man is 
this : although very grateful to me for the medicines I have 
given him, he does not seem to care about taking money. I 
pressed him to take a sufficient sum of money to supply his 
wants for some time, but 1 have only been able to induce him 
to accept jive tang as, that is to say exactly one rupee ! He 



6$ A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

says that if he is found with much money about him, the people 
of this country will take it away from him. 

li'th. — Yangi Hissar. — A long march to-day — fully thirty 
miles. On leaving Kizil we passed a large graveyard to our 
left, where the soldiers who fell in a battle with the Chinese 
about seventeen years ago were said to be buried ; most of the 
graves were simply marked by raised mounds of earth, while 
the rest were like the ordinary graves to be seen in any Muham- 
madan county. Our road lay in a N.W. direction, pai-allel 
with a distant range of mountains to our left. We passed at 
first through a fertile and well-cultivated country, where I 
noticed a ruined Chinese urtang (posting house) whose Avails 
were decorated with figures and designs. Further on we came 
on ground covered with small hillocks and long grass, and then 
to a perfectly green bit of country — reminding one of the 
description of a prairie. We passed the villages of Toblok 
and Kalpin, and finally reached a number of low sand hills, 
to our right, which we crossed slantingly. These hills were 
composed of gravel and sand, distinctly stratified, and in some 
places of a stony consistence. Then we crossed the Yangi 
Hissar River, over a bridge (the water was there dammed and 
turned off to drive a mill), and ascending the rather steep bank 
of the river found ourselves in a richly cultivated country 
with lots of trees. The sand hills cropped out every now and 
then, and at last cresting one of them bv a sort of miniature 
Pass, we saw below the fertile plain of Yangi Hissar : rich 
cultivation, farmsteads and orchards as far as we could see. 
We descended rapidly, and rode through the streets of the town 
where a most active dyeing industry appeared to be going on. 
The rest house, where Ave are quartered here, is quite detached 
from the town of Yangi Hissar and is surrounded by fine and 
extensive grounds. To-day I noticed the Hooded Crow 
(Corvus comix) Avhich I remember last seeing in Egypt. 

loth. — Sughlok. — On leaving Yangi Hissar this morning we 
passed between the toAvn and the fort or Yangi Shahr ; the 
latter is rather an imposing looking square structure, sur- 
rounded by the usual thick mud Avail, and about 700 yards 
north of Yangi Hissar. As Ave rode aloni>- to-day we could 
see dimly, away to the left, a tremendously high, snoAA'-capped 
mountain peak, apparently rising straight out of the plain 
and towering up to the sky ; this is the Tagharma peak 
over 25,000 feet above sea level. In the trees, lining 
the lanes through which Ave passed to-day, great numbers 
of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were collected ; the specimens 
I sho^ are in the purple Avhite-tipped stage of plumage. Corvus 
cuhninatus, Corvus comix, Passer montanus and Galerka magna 



Or EASTERN TURKESTAN. 69 

were all common. Sughlok is a charming little country bouse 
with capital grounds aud fine trees about it ; in tbe centre of 
the main courtyard there is a Masjid (or praying place for the 
faithful) of painted wood with inscriptions from the Koran on 
it. in several places. The Ring Dove [Turtur Stoliczkce) is flying 
about among tbe trees. 

16th. — Yepchan. — Short march again to-day, mostly over 
sandy soil overgrown with long grass; in many places, marshy 
ground with long weeds. I saw a Buzzard (Buteosp.) hunting 
over a marsh, but failed to secure it. About half way passed a 
large jkeel, where there were hundreds of Ducks (Anas boschas) 
and Teal (Q. crecca) ; the green Sandpiper (Actitis ochrophus) 
was also very numerous there and proved a great nuisance, 
warning all the other birds of one's approach by its shrill cry. 
On a sand bank near this swamp I saw a party of large birds — 
White Storks (Ciconia alba) apparently. Our house here is 
something like the one at Sughluk, but not so nice ; a couple of 
Kestrels (Tmnunculus alaudarius) seem to have taken up their 
abode here ; they fly about from the rafters of the verandah 
to the poplar trees just outside my room. 

1 1th. — Kashgliar. — At last we have reached the point towards 
which we have been so long travelling ; we are now comfortably 
installed in the Presidency quarters at Kashgliar, the capital of 
Eastern Turkestan. 

Cool fresh morning at starting from Yepchan, the Tian 
Shan Range — or celestial mountains — being clearly visible 
ahead of us, to the N.W. The length of our march to-day 
Was only about 14 miles, but as we made several long 
halts on the way, we did not get in until after sun-set. 
The country we passed through was well cultivated, but there 
were many marshy tracts in places ; and we crossed a number of 
streams and canals. About four miles from here we got a good 
view of the Yangi Shahr or Fort, which seems to be larger than 
the one at Yarkand. The road led us up to the S.E. angle of 
the Fort, and then along its east side, through a small suburb 
or Bazar, where the people all seemed to have a decidedly 
Chinese type of countenance. Then we turned the N.E. 
angle of the Fort and found the Residency— a large oblong 
building — nearly opposite the north gate of the Yangi Shahr, 
and quite detached. 

The birds observed to-day were the following : Corvus 
culminatas, the Hooded Crow ( C. comix) and the Rook ( C. 
frugilegus) often associated together, on the road-side and 
on bare fields; the Jackdaw (Colceus monedula), flying about 
in flocks; a few Starlings {Sturnus vulgaris); Passer montanus 
and Galerita magna — both Very common. 



70 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

3 1 st. October. — Kaslighar. — During the last fortnight we have 
bad two interviews with the Amir ; have taken several rides about 
the neighbourhood in various directions ; and have generally 
been making ourselves acquainted with this place and its people. 
We have been treated with every sign of hospitality, and 'dastar- 
khwans,' presents ot game, &c, come in daily. Living at 
Kashghar, I find, reminds one, in one respect, of a cantonment 
in India : nearly every morning musketry or artillery firing 
is heard, and troops, principally cavalry, are often seen moving 
about. 

The weather, even during the last fortnight, has been getting 
perceptibly colder. We have had seven days of more or 
less clear bright weather, on two of which we got good 
views of the hills north and west of us ; three days of hazy 
weather, overcast in the afternoon, with one slight dust 
storm ; and four days of very hazy weather, with sky quite 
overcast. On the forenoon of the 27th snow fell at intervals, 
but so lightly as to melt at once on reaching the ground. 
The maximum temperature in the shade has varied from 71°'8 
(on the 19th) to 44°4 (on the 27th) ; the minimum, from 47 0, 2 
to 26°'7 (on the 29th). The minimum thermometer on grass 
has registered as low as 19 0- 5 ; while owing to the hazy and 
cloudy weather the temperature of the sun's rays has, as a rule, 
been under 100° F. The extreme range of the mercurial baro- 
meter in the period under consideration has been 0*696 inches. 

Oiving to the extreme dryness of the climate and the sandy 
nature of the soil, the roads are very dusty ; but there is 
extensive cultivation everywhere around this place, with many 
gardens and orchards full of large trees. The principal trees are 
the willow and eleagnus, along the streams ; and the poplars, 
Toglirak (P. balsamifera) and Terek {P. alba), usually near 
habitations. The country is intersected by irrigation canals, 
one of which runs close to the north side of the presidency ; 
and the main streams here are the Tuman' and Kizil rivers. 
There are also numerous springs, surrounded by marshy 
ground — called Kara Su (black water). I have been collect- 
inor plants and birds, but of course have not got as many 
specimens of either as I wish. I have engaged a curious old 
Chinese bird-catcher, who promises to bring me all the birds 
of the place ; so far, however, he has only brought a rather 
ingenious cage-trap in which were a number of specimens of 
Erythrospiza obsoleta ; these birds sing very sweetly and so 
attract their fellows to the cage where they are at once caught 
by the falliug of a trap door. 

And now for an enumeration of the birds of Kashghar 
which I have obtained or seen, so far. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 7L 

Passer montanus is exceedingly numerous everywhere about 
houses. Erythrospiza obsoleta is quite common about hedges, 
&c, and often comes into our courtyard. Wagtails (Motacilla 
persona fa) also daily visit our quarters, and are to be seen 
outside near the streams. Then the Black Crows (Corvus c/il- 
minatus and C. corone), the Hooded Crow (C. comix) aud the 
Rook (C. frugilegus) are pecking about by every roadside. 
Either associated with the Crows near some rubbish heap, or 
going about the bare fields in small flocks, we are sure to 
find the Jackdaw ( Coloeus monedula). Turtur Sfoliczkce is 
quite common and seems tj keep near the houses. The White- 
rumped Magpie (Pica bactriana) keeps to the trees by the road 
side, or is found in the gardens. The Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 
is not very numerous, but is to be seen picking up its food in 
the fields and perching on the trees. The commonest bird on 
the road is the Crested Lark {Galerita magna) ; a little further 
away from the houses we come upon Alaudula pispoletta, while 
Otocoris penieillata is numerous further away in waste oround. 
The Hoopoe (U.epops) is seen every now and then near the 
road or the walls of the fort, but is not very common. The 
Kestrel (Tinnunculus alav darius ) is common, often perchino- on 
the top of a poplar tree ; the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) is 
often seen hunting over the reeds ; and I have onee or twice 
observed a Buzzard (Buteo — ? japonicus) . The Goshawk (Astur 
palumbarius) is the favourite bird used here for hawking, but 
I have not seen it about in the free state. A day or two after 
arriving at Kashghar I caught a Swallow (Hinmdo rusf.ica) ; 
the bird was evidently dead beat after a very long flight, and 

I let it go to pursue its travels ; no Swallows are now to be 
found about here. The Long-eared Owl (Otus vulgaris) is 
common in long grass ; the Kashgharis call it Mashak Yapalak 

II The Cat Owl ." Near the streams and some of the swamps, 
the Lapwing ( Vanellus cristatus) appears to be the commonest 
wader in these parts ; Actitis ochrophus is tolerably common ; 
less so are Totanus canescens (glottis) and Tringa cinclus. The 
Coot {Fulica atra) is very common, and numbers are sent to 113 
with the dastarkhwans ; its flesh is very good eating. Among 
the Duck tribe, the Mallard (Anas boschas) is found herein treat 
numbers ; less numerous are the Shoveller (Spatula clypeata) aud 
Mergus castor. 

Kashghar, ?>rd November. — A visit to the Shrine of Hazrat 
Afak. — This morning, at 11 A. M., we started from the Residency 
to pay a visit to the mausoleum of Hazrat Afak, a celebrated 
Saint-King of this country. The weather was cool and 
pleasant, but hazy as usual, as we rode past the Fort and pro- 
ceeded in a N. W. direction to the City of Kashghar, which 



72 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

is exactly one ' tash,' or five miles, from the former place. We 
crossed several canals and marshy places, neatly bridged over, 
and soon came to a broad semi-macadamized road, suffi- 
ciently wide to drive three coaches abreast on it; this part of 
the road was regularly staked off on each side, where small 
streams of water ran. Then we crossed the Kizil River, which 
runs between the Fort and the Old City, noticing, by the way, 
some old shrines and aruiued fort, built of red brick. Numbers 
of ' arabahs,' or carts, drawn by one horse, passed us on the 
way ; these vehicles often contained a whole family of Kash- 
gharis, probably returning from a day's fairing. Near the 
roadside, at one part, we saw a curious pounding machine, 
worked by water power : a couple of long hammer-like pestles 
were rising and falling alternately, pounding saltpetre for the 
manufacture of gunpowder. As we neared the City, rows of 
trees lined the road on each hand, and among these I noticed 
a number of Magpies (Pica bactriana) flitting about. Near 
the City the ground w r as uneven and much broken up ; sudden 
depressions in the clayey soil and small nullahs reminding oue 
somewdiat of the character of the ground in some parts of the 
Punjab (Rawul Pindi and Hassan Abdal). Kashghar is sur- 
rounded by the ordinary thick mud wall, peeping above which 
we noticed a pagoda-roofed building at one part ; the forti- 
fications seem to be a good deal out of repair. Arrived at 
the north gate of the City we turned sharply to our right 
and rode for some little distance through a crowded bazar, 
a suburb outside the walls of Kashghar. 

The people of Kashghar are certainly much more healthy 
and robust than those of Yarkand ; instead of the usual pale 
aneemic appearance of the Yarkandis we here see bright looking 
faces and ruddy cheeks. But the most marked contrast be- 
tween precisely the same race of people, living only a little 
more than a hundred miles apart, is the absence of goitre. 
While in Yarkand it is rule to see the inhabitants with goitres 
of various sizes, here the disease seems to be unknown : a 
careful inquiry will prove that the few stray cases of brouchocele 
one occasionally sees at Kashghar, are referable either to natives 
of Yarkand, or to persons who have lived for some time in that 
province. In the Bazar I noticed several cradles containing 
chubby-faced infants ; and an affectionate father, carrying 
a baby in one of these cradles, on horseback in front of him. 

Passing out of the Bazar we crossed the Tuman river by a 
good bridge, and went along a road flanked on each side by 
innumerable graves. The graves seemed to be arranged in plots, 
and many of them w r ere covered with dome-roofed chambers, 
which a whole host of Fakirs had taken possession of as 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 73 

dwelling places — reo-ular " dwellers among the tombs." Along 
this road, too, were numerous mulberry trees, quite leafless 
and giving a rather weird and winter-like appearance to the 
scene. About two miles from the City of Kashghar we reached 
the shrine grounds, near which were a number of hamlets ; 
there we dismounted, a whole crowd of Kashghar boys eagerly 
offering to hold our horses. 

We passed in by a large gateway which forms the entrance 
to the extensive grounds of the ' Mazar ' or shrine, where 
numerous large trees were growing ; some fine poplars (P. alba) 
being conspicuous by their height. Turning to the right we 
walked a little way, and then passed under another gateway, 
ornamented with blue glazed tiles covered with inscriptions, 
and found ourselves in a large court with two big ponds, in 
which a number of Swans were disporting themselves. These 
Swans are called Koda//, and this species, I am told, is found 
in great numbers in the Lake district of Lob, — a region away 
in the desert to the east of Kashghar. The custodian of the 
Mazar, a quiet, pleasant mannered Hajji, met us near the second 
gate and conducted us to the sacred mausoleum — a handsome 
oblong building, covered with glazed tiles, blue and white, 
variously decorated with designs and inscriptions in Persian 
character. The doors of this building were made of metal 
lattice-work and the space in front of the doors was paved with 
stone flags. Passing the shrine to our left we turned down an 
avenue of trees to a Masjid, or place for prayers, made of 
painted wood ; here we went through another gate ornamented 
in a similar manner to the one already mentioned. Here I 
may mention what struck me as a curious decoration for a 
Muhammadan shrine : over all the gateway were stuck numer- 
ous horns of the Pamir wild sheep ( Ovis Polei) ; tails and horus 
of Yaks and sometimes white flags on sticks, singularly like those 
used in the Buddhist monasteries in Ladak. We now found 
ourselves in a large court in which there was another Masjid, the 
wooden pillars and roof of which were curiously carved. Past 
this, a number of carpenters were busy at work with their long 
adzes ; and at the south end of the court we saw a large new 
building of moderate height, the new Mosque, which, it is ex- 
pected, will be completed in a few days. This Mosque, which 
is being erected by the Amir, forms three sides of a square and 
is built of burnt bricks ; it has a large central dome, and about 
nineteen other smaller ones, which form the roofs of the cloisters 
opening into one another, of. which the interior of the building 
is made up. 

This inspection over the Hajji invited us to a dastarkhwan 
aud gave us some information about his charge. The shrine 



74 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

was built by Hazrat Afak, a King of Kashghar, one hundred 
and eighty-six years ago, over his father's grave. Hazrat Afak 
himself died eleven years after the completion of the building, 
and was buried there. Formerly there were many books in the 
place, histories of the shrine, &c. ; but the Hajji said that the 
place had been so often sacked and looted that very few re- 
mained. I suppose this referred to depredations committed by 
the ' friendly and good natured Kirghiz,' as the Chinese would 
hardly trouble themselves about such matters. The Hajji him- 
self was a descendant of Hazrat Afak and had been to Cons- 
tantinople, &c. The grounds of the shrine are all rent-free, 
and it contains orchards, vineyards, a college for the training 
of Mullahs, and a short of alms-house for poor Mullahs and 
their families. 

Our ride back to our quarters, through the country and not 
by the way we went to the Mazar, occupied an hour and a half 
very pleasantly. On the way I noticed the method adopted in 
the construction of the tire of a wheel for an arabah : a thickish 
main branch of a poplar or willow is laid on the ground, one end 
bearing against the trunk of a tree, while the other end is gradu- 
ally forced round by means of a stake driven into the ground 
and brought nearer and nearer to the tree at stated intervals. 

Kashghar, ?>()th November. — During this month the weather has 
become decidedly wintry. We have had seven days of cloudless 
sky ; fourteen days of partial cloud, and haze ; and nine days of 
gloomy weather, the sky being quite overcast. On three days a 
cold raw wind was blowing ; but the rest of the time the air has 
been generally still, so that the cold has not been felt as much as 
might have been expected. During the first half of the mouth 
the mean of the daily maximum temperature was 53 0- l ; the mean 
of the daily minimum temperature, 27 0- 6 ; and the mean grass 
minimum, 19 0- 4. During the latter half of the month, the mean 
maximum has been 41° 7 ; the mean minimum, 18°'6; and the 
mean grass minimum, 12 0- 9; but on the 25th the maximum for 
the day did not exceed 26°6 F., while on the 27th the mini- 
mum in the shade fell as low as 10° 8 and the grass minimum 
as low as 4°-9 F. On the 18th, ice, two inches thick, formed on 
the surface of a tank inside the Residency : and to-day (30th) 
numerous fields outside are covered with sheets of ice, due to the 
freezing of the layer of water which had been allowed to flow 
over them. Although vegetation cannot yet be said to be dor- 
mant, it is more or less, going to sleep. 

Here, at Kashghar,* we are in the north-west corner of 
Eastern Turkestan, at an elevation of 4,124 feet. To the north 



» Cuptuin Trotter has fixed the position of Kashghar (Yaugi Shahr) at N Lat. 
39° 24' 26", and Longitude 76° 6' *7* E. of Greenwich. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 75 

we have the Tianshan mountains; some low hills running down 
to within ten miles of us. To the west the Kizil Tagh range 
(or Pamir mountains) runs away southwards. To the north- 
east we hear of forest regions in the neighbourhood of 
Maralbashi, while towards the east the country seems to be 
principally an open sandy plain. 

As to tlie Birds this month, I may preface my enumeration 
by a few words about the celebrated Birkut — the trained Grolden 
Eagle (Aquila chrysaetus). On the 13th one of these birds 
was brought for sale, and to show that the Eagle had been 
trained, a little rehearsal took place in the large courtyard in 
front of our quarters. A cat with a fox's tail tied to it was 
to have been the Birkut' a quarry, but ' pnss' looked so nice 
that she was spared the ordeal, and a cock had the dangerous 
fox tail tied to its leg and was allowed to run about. The 
Eagle was then uuhooded and spreading out its wings it 
made at once for the fowl, swooping with horrible croakings. 
The unfortunate cock screamed with fear as soon as it saw 
the enemy, and blindly ran up against a wall where the 
Birkut at once caught it in its claws. The men immediately 
ran up and averting the Eagle's head gave it some raw meat ; 
while a couple of men, with the greatest difficulty opened its 
claws and allowed the cock to get away. The latter got up 
and shook himself, apparently little the worse of the encounter, 
except in being minus the greater portion of his feathers. 

Passer montanus, Galerita magna, Tartar Stoliczkcs, Erythros- 
piza obsoleta, Corvus corune, C. culminatus, C. comix, 0. frugile- 
gus, Coleus monedula, Pica baitr/ana, Otocoris penicillata, Alau- 
dula pispoletta, Circus cyaneus, Otus vulgaris, Tinnunculus alau- 
darius, Motacilla personata, Vanellus cristatus, Actitis ochrophus, 
Anas bosch'is, Spatula clypeata and M erg us castor are as com- 
mon as during the latter half of last month. Fulica atra seems 
to be getting scarce, while Upupa epops and Sturnus vulgaris 
are decidedly so. The additional birds obtained, or observed this 
month, and not noted in October, are the following:— 

Accipiter nisus and Falco barbarus, neither very numerous ; 
Athene bactriana, common, living in holes of mud banks ; Planes- 
ticus atrogularis, also common, feeds on the Jigda or Eleagnus 
berry, and is hence called Jigdachuk; Phasianus Shawi, numerous 
in high grass ; Squatarola helvetica, two specimens obtained ; 
Totanus calidris, tolerably common ; Arden cinerea, Ardea 
alba and Botaurus stellaris, are common ; Querquedula crecca 
not numerous ; Podiceps minor and Xema brunneicephnla are 
rarely met with. Besides the above I have also got Accentor 
Huttoni and Caccabis pallescens ; I fancy the cold must have 
driven these two species down to the low hills, which are near us. 



76 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Kashghar,9th December. — We bad a good view of the Transit 
of Venus to-day, from about nine o' clock to noon. Yuzbasbi 
Tasb Kboja took great interest in the business: at first he 
declared he could see the planet at some distance from the Sun, 
but, being told he was mistaken, he looked through the teles- 
cope very carefully and then triumphantly drew a diagram on 
the wall, showing the Sun with Venus on its surface in the 
correct position. 

I have now got a room full of live birds; let us pay 
them a visit and see how they are getting on. The first 
and most striking is a magnificent Snowy Owl {Nyctea 
nivea) which was captured a few days ago near the low hills 
to the north of Kashghar. The bird seems to prefer sitting on 
the ground, rather than on the perch which I have for it ; it looks 
very quiet as it sits there with its great bright yellow eyes 
following me about the room, and its beak almost hidden by 
the long white nareal bristles ; but if one pretends to look away 
in another direction it will stealthily seize the thongs round its 
legs by the bill, and by violent tugs endeavour to set itself free. 
This morning one of the Chicores (Caccabis pallescens) which 
I have in the room was missing, and on looking near the Owl 
I found the vestiges of the Partridge, iu the shape of a head, 
wings, feet and feathers only ! The simple Chicore had evidently 
been beguiled by the staid and innocent appearance of the 
great Owl to rashly trusting itself within reach of the latter's 
powerful claws, which by the way, are as sharp as needles. 

The next bird is a female Falco Hendersoni, called in Turki 
Italghu; it is rather wild, and quite untrained. Then, seated 
on their respective perches, we have a Lachin (Falco barbarus) 
and a Karghai (Accipiter nisus). Next to these are two very 
pretty Merlins (Lithofalco oesalon) called here, Turumtai. One 
of these, which I am having- trained, got loose the other night 
and nyiug over to that cage in the corner, in which I have 
half a dozen specimens of (Erythrospiza obsoleta) managed 
to kill one of the little birds through the bars. Those two curious 
looking little Owls {Athene bactriana) are called Chaghundak, 
and the Grey Shrike over there is Lannis Homeyeri. Then 
flying about in the room are a couple of Magpies (Pica 
bactriana), one of which is very tame and amusing; it delights 
to get a piece of meat and hide it away under the mat for 
future consumption. Walking about on the floor in company 
with the Chicore are about half a dozen Snow Pheasants of 
two species, Tetraogallus himalayensis and Tetraogallus tibe- 
tanus ; these birds are tame enough, but very stupid ; in com- 
pany with the Chicores, the cold seems to have driven them 
down to the warmer climate of the low hills at this season. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 77 

To complete the list of birds in my room, I have also one 
specimen of the Little Bustard (Otis tetrax) — probably only 
a straggler at this season in Kashghar — and one Little Grebe 
( P odiceps minor) . As 1 close the door upon my happy (?) 
family, I can hear the cry of the Golden Eaele or Hirkut 
(A quit a chrysaetus) in another room ; and a Karchighah or 
Goshawk (Astur palumbarius) has just been brought in. 

2Sth December — Kashghar. — Four days ago the Amir sent over 
a present of three heads of the Ovis Polei, and one of an Ibex ; 
the heads had just been freshly severed from the trunks of the 
respective animals. The largest Ovu Polei head weighed (with 
flesh and skin) 38 tbs ; the smallest head, which I skinned, has 
the horns very perfect ; its horns measured 38 inches along the 
greater curvature, 15 inches in circumference at the base, and 
the spread of the horns is 34 inches, measured across from point 
to point. Christmas day, as may be supposed, passed off very 
quietly, and yesterday a lot of fine presents were sent by the 
Amir, a sure sign that we should soon get our conge'. This 
morning we had a very satisfactory interview with His High- 
ness, and the rest of the day has been occupied in packing up ; 
for to-morrow we start off on the return journey to Yarkand, 
where we are to spend the rest of the winter. 

The list of birds this month comprises the following Raptores : 
— Falco Hendersoni, Falco barbarus, Lithofalco cesalon, Accipter 
nisus, Astur palumbarius (all scarce) ; Tinnunculus alaudarius, 
Circus cyaneuSj Otus vulgaris, Athene bactriana and Nyctea nivea. 

Lanius Homeyeri has not been very numerous. The Crows, 
eulminatus, corone, comix and frugilegus have been as common as 
ever ; as has also been the case with Coloeus monedula and Pica 
bactriana. Passer montanus, Turtur Sloliczka, Erythrospiza 
obsoleta and Galerita magna are permanent residents, and have 
all been plentiful. Almost daily a Wagtail ( lHotacilla per sonata,) 
Ins visited our courtyard. Caccabis pallescens, Tetraogallus 
himalayenxis and Tetraogallus tibetanus have been obtained 
from the hills quite close. Planesticus atrogularis, Alaudula 
pispoletta and Otocoris penicillata, and Phasianus Shawi have 
remained near us the same as last month. Only a few stray 
Starlings (S. vulgaris) and Hoopoes have been seen; while 
Fidica atra and Podiceps minor have been occasionally seen. 

Among waders, Herodias alba, Ardeacinerea, Botaurus stellaris 
are common, the White Heron especially so, Actitis ochro- 
phus, very common ; Vanellus cristatus less numerous than 
last month. Otis tetrax and jFgialites fluviatilis have been 
obtained, but they were both pi-obably stragglers. 

Among Ducks, the Mallard ( Anas boschas) has been very 
common, but I am not sure about the other species of this tribe. 



78 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Mergus castor is occasionally seen, and Xema brunneicephala has 
been obtained. 

2§th December — Yepchan. — We started rather late to-day 
from Yangi Shahr, Kashghar, and did not reach this place 
until dark. Near the Fort a number of carts and camels 
were collected, for some reported movements of troops, I 
believe. The camels were all of the Bactrian or two- 
humped species ; very nice looking animals, with handsome 
heads. A miserably cold day and most bleak prospect 
as we rode along. The streams and every bit of water, 
except a few springs, all frozen ; the trees leafless ; and 
altogether the scene presented the greatest contrast imaginable 
to what we had found this bit of the country two months and 
a half ago. The people now all wear thick long robes, of a 
darkish color and well padded ; huge felt stockings inside their 
long boots ; and the head dress of the women is a large sort 
of pork-pie hat, lined with fur. The Crested Lark (Galerita 
magna) running about on the road looked as if it ought to have 
warm stockings on in this weather ; its bare fleshy feet giving 
one the impression that it could be feeling at all comfortable. 
Otocoris penicillata very numerous to-day. 

30th — Sughlok. — Another cold bleak day ; the boys sliding 
about on the ice near the villages. Near the jheel on the road, 
I saw many Ducks (Anas boschas) and a solitary Gull (Xema 
brunneicephala) . As we neared Sughlok a Harrier ( Circus cya- 
neus) flew close passed me, and I observed several Kestrels (71 
alaudarius) , and a Grey Shrike (Lanius Homey eri) perched on 
a small leafless trees in bare ground. Sughlok is very much 
changed, the trees about looking very bare and ghostly ; on 
my arrival I saw three or four Starling flitting about among 
these trees. The forty days of great cold recognized by the 
Kashgharians is said to begin about this time. 

1st January 1875. — Yangi I/issar. — We are halting here 
to-day to celebrate the New Year, and to write letters, &c. 
It is very cold out of doors, and the sky is quite overcast ; but 
inside my room here, with a capital wood-fire burning in the 
fireplace, and a long fur robe on, one feels very comfortable. 
I take this opportunity of giving a sketch of the weather 
during the last month (December), which may be taken as 
the first month of real winter in this country. We had five 
days only of clear blue sky during which we could see the 
mountains north and west of Kashghar clearly ; fifteen days 
of partial cloud and haze; and ten davs of dull gloomy weather 
with the sky completely overcast. Snow fell slightly on the 
morning of the 5th, but had all melted by 10 a. m., except on 
the ice-covered bits of water : on the 9th snow fell on the 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 79 

hills. A bitterly cold wind was blowing on the 22nd, but on 
the whole the air has been still, with a moderate breeze only 
on a few days. 

During the first half of the month the mean maximum 
temperature was as low as 39°8, the highest temperature on the 
6th being 34°'2 ; the mean minimum temperature (in the shade) 
wasl7° - 7; the mean maximum temperature of the sun's ravs 
was 80 o, 8, on the 6th not rising above 47° - 7 ; and the grass mini- 
mum thermometer on two occasions registered 8°'5. In the 
latter half month the minimum on grass was 6°'6 on the 18th ; 
the minimum in the shade, 7°*5 on the 30th, at Yepchan ; 
while for the last five days of the month the maximum tem- 
perature has not risen above freezing point. 

2nd. — Toblok. — From Yangi Hissar to-day our road lay over 
the ground I have already described. Near the village of 
Kalpin, I started a Hare ( Lepus yarkandensis), called in Turki 
Toshkan, in a bit of uneven loess ground. We are putting up 
here at a farmer's house ; and as there is a good deal of iron- 
smelting going on in Toblok, we went out this afternoon to 
witness the operation. The furnace was low and round, with 
an opening in the middle for the escape of the smoke; five 
men and women were seated round the furnace, each blowing 
a pair of bellows — so that there were altogether ten bellows at 
work. 400fbs of ore with 200tbs of charcoal are said to yield 
from 100 to 120Rjs of iron if the ore be good ; if the ore is 
bad or inferior the same quantity will yield from 70 to 80lbs. 
No flux seems to be used ; and the slag always forms at the 
bottom, the iron being found above this. 

3rd. — Kizil. — The sun was shining out to-day, and the haze 
being less than usual we could distinguish the mountains on 
our right, towering up to an apparently stupendous height. ■ 
After leaving Toblok we went over a number of hillocks formed of 
yellowish clay, and on the flat steppe the ground seemed to slope 
gently down towards us from the mountains. The birds noticed 
to-day were Galerita magna and Otocoris penicillata, both nu- 
merous ; Corvus culmtnatus and C. comix; and several Grey 
Shrikes ( Lanius Homeyeri) , one of which I shot. 

ith. — Kokrobat. — A longish ride to-day : starting from Kizil 
at 9 a.m. I did not get in here until 5 p.m. ; but then there 
were two halts to be allowed for, one for breakfast at a solitary 
mosque in the desert — said to have been built by Jengiz Khan, 
— and one for a dastarkhwan at Akrabat, presented by our old 
friend Mahammad Baba,the Yuzbashi who first met us at Shahid- 
xillah. On the bare steppe I again saw numbers of the Horned 
Lark {Otocoris penicillata) ; a couple of Kestrels ( T. alandavius) ; 
and near the villages the Common Crow (C. culminatus). 



80 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

5th. — Yarkand. — A cloudy morning and rather a cold wind 
blowing as we started from Kokrobat ; during the day how- 
ever the weather got warmer than we have experienced it for 
some time. Yarkand is, no doubt, warmer than Kashghar. 
After leaving Kokrobat there were many low sand hills and 
a good of scrub-jungle on each side of the road. At a small 
hamlet on the way, where we breakfasted, I noticed a number 
of Thrushes (Planesticus atrogularis) and a few Starlings 
(Stumus vulgaris) among the trees ; and on the road I saw the 
Common Crow, the Rook {Corvus frugilegus) and the Hooded 
Crow (Corvus comix). After this we rode for along way 
among low sand hills, covered with long grass ; the Yarkand 
Pheasant (Phasianus Shawi) was common in this ground, and 
one of the party purchased a couple of male birds of this 
species, which had been captured by some peasant. A number 
of people sent bv the Dad Khwah to receive us, met us a 
short way out of Yarkand, and rode in with us; and on entering 
the Residency we found our followers, who had been left be- 
hind, all drawn up engrande tenue. It is pleasant to get back 
to our old quarters here, but the space is decidedly much more 
confined than at Kashghar. 

Qth. — Yangi SAahr, Yarkand. — To-day we paid a visit to 
the Dad Khwah, who received us with his usual cordiality ; he 
talked very learnedly about the ancient and modern systems of 
medicine, and in conversation alluded incidentally to the dis- 
agreement that had arisen between China and Japan with 
reference to Formosa, which he pronouced Pormosu. I find we 
have a Peacock and Peahen (Pavo cristatus) in our compound 
here; and some of the Hindu servants have taken an ancient 
Chinese terrier under their protection. A colony of Ringdoves 
( Turtur Stoliczkce) seems to be permanently established near 
one of the rooms. 

23rd. — To-day has been devoted to shooting birds. The 
Yuzbashi brought several trained Goshawks which he said 
would be very useful for our sport, but as this proposal did not 
smile to me, I kept steadily away from the hawking party, who 
secured about half a dozen ducks during the day. The weather 
was dull and cloudy tln-oughout, and very cold ; the maximum 
temperature during the day being below freezing point. Of 
course, the first bird noticed, on riding out of the Fort, was the 
ubiquitous Tree Sparrow (P. montanus), as lively as ever in 
this semi-arctic weather ; and the Ringdove ( T. Stoliczkai) perch- 
ing on the house tops. In the open space between the Fort 
and City, the Crested Lark (G. magna) was running about on 
the road ; and the Hoopoe ( U. epops) was common — evidently 
much more numerous here than at Kashghar. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 81 

I rode through the city of Yarkand, passing the large Serai 
where the goods of the Central Asian Trading Company were 
stored, and passed out at the South gate ; the Bazars struck me 
as being very dirty, and in the streets I noticed a number of 
Indians and Afghans who seemed to make a point of salaming 
very respectfully. 

On getting into the ground on the south side of the city 
the first familiar birds seen by the road side were the 
Black Crows {Corvus culminatus and corone), the Hooded Crow 
( C. comix) the Book ( C. frugilegus) and the Jackdaw (Colaeus 
monedula) ; all these birds were very numerous, and frequently 
associated together near the same heap of rubbish. Then 
flying about among the small bushes and leafless willow trees, 
we found Erythrospiza obsoleta and Emberiza schoeuicola, the 
latter very numerous. Herod/as alba and Ardea cinerea were 
both very conspicuous near the streams ; but with the excep- 
tion of a Bittern (Botaurus stellaiis), which we started from a 
rush grown marsh, I saw no other waders during the whole 
day. Approaching marshy ground — which is now everywhere 
frozen, the ice every now and then breaking under foot and 
letting one down into the slush — I noticed Emberiza pyrrhu- 
loides, which is called in Turki Karabash kuehkaeh or ' black- 
headed bird' ; and there too Anthus aquaticus was common, 
running about on the ice among the rushes. But the most 
striking feature of the Avifauna to-day consisted in the great 
number of Buzzards — of the three species Buteo vulgaris, 
Buteo japonicus, and Buteo ferox — which were hunting every- 
where over the rush-grown frozen marshes. These Buzzards 
were so intent on the work they had in hand, that they 
often seemed to disregard one's presence, and approached so 
close as to be easily shot. I noticed one species ( Buteo 
ferox) often plunging down among the rushes, • almost head 
foremost; perhaps it is this habit which has gained for it the 
name of Tokhmak Sd " the Mallet Buzzard," among the 
Yarkandis. 

In the lono- reeds m-owino- in waste ground, both the Long- 
eared Owl (Otus vulgaris) and the Short-eared Owl (Otus 
brachyotus) were very common ; and the Kestrel ( T. alaudarius) 
was often observed during the day, usually perching on trees. 
I saw a couple of Hen Harriers (Circus cyaneus) sailing away 
over the fields, and very difficult to get at ; only the male birds 
were noticed. Then near the loess banks we saw Athene bac- 
triana, apparently very wide-awake in the broad day-light. 
Planesticus atrogularis was found among some trees lining a 
frozen water course; and a solitary Woodpecker {Picus 
leucopterus) was seen in a clump of tall white poplars. The 

L 



82 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Mallard [Anas boschas) formed the piece de resistance to-day in 
the way of sport. The Ducks were exceedingly numerous, but 
very wild ; and the nature of the ground, which was flat and 
mostly bare, rendered it very difficult lo get at them. 

The two Yuzbashis, Muhammad Yakub and Tash Khoja, 
dined with us to-uio-ht (how shocked an Indian Mussulman 
would be at the bare thought of such a proceeding^) and made 
themselves very agreeable. The first stuck manfully to his 
knife and fork and helped himself religiously to every thing 
presented to him by the waiters ; the other was bewildered at 
the multiplicity of plates and dishes, and I fancy did not think 
much of our civilized ways of eating. Of course the Turki 
manner of eating is usually out of a common dish, and with the 
fingers only. 

31st January, Yarkand. — during this month we have had 
eleven days of ' blue sky/ never, however, quite free from 
haze; thirteen days of partial cloud and haze; and seven days 
of dull gloomy weather, with the sky quite overcast. On the 
15th snow fell very lightly, and at intervals, for several hours ; 
but there was not more than half an inch of snow lying on the 
ground at any time. 

The maximum temperature in the day has usually been below 
freezing point; on the 15th the temperature never rose above 
25*6°. The minimum temperature in the shade during the 
month has never been higher than 19 0, 7 ; and on the 20th 
it fell to 2-7°F. or 29° below freezing. For about half the 
month the minimum thermometer on grass has registered lower 
than C F. ; on the 20th of the month it fell to 8°-8, or nearly 
41° below freezing. Notwithstanding the severity of climate 
indicated by the above readings, we have felt the cold wonder- 
fully little. This is to be explained partly by the dryness of 
the air ; but is principally due to the fact that the air has been 
so remarkably still. This kind of climate is of course very 
healthy, and we all feel well and in good spirits. 

The following is my list of birds for this month : — 

Aquila clirysaetus (specimen shot near Yarkand to-day) ; 
Tinmmculus alaudarius ; Circus cyaneus ; Buteo vulgaris ; Buteo 
japonicus ; Buteo ferox ; Otus brachyotus ; Otus vulgaris ; 
Athene bactriana. With the exception of the Golden Eagle, 
which is only seen rarely, all these species of Raptores are com- 
mon here. 

Then, Passer montanus ; Erythrospiza obsoleta ; Emberiza 
schamicola ; Emberiza pyrrhdoides ; Upupa epops ; Planesticus 
atrogularis ; Corvus culminatus ; C. corone ; C. comix ; C. fru 
gilegus ; Colczus monedula; Galerita magna; Alaudxda pispo- 
letta; Otocoris penicillata ; Anihus aquaticus ; Turtur Stoliczkce ; 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 83 

Phasianus Shawi — are all common. Melanocorypha torquata has 
been obtained this month, but is not common. Lanius Homeyeri 
and Stur?ius vulgaris are rare about here. Of Picus leucopterus 
a solitary individual has been seen; and a stray Motacilla per- 
sonata has been noticed now and then. Tetraogallus himalayensis 
has been brought in alive. It will be noticed that Pica bactriana 
is not included in the above enumeration ; this Magpie has not 
been seen, in the wild state, since leaving Kashghar. 

Among waders I have only to record Ardea cinerea, Ilerodias 
alba, and Botaurus stellaris. I dare say there are others about, 
but I have not come across them. 

Then among Natatores I have Anas boschas and Querquedula 
crecca. 

Beshkant, 3r<f February. — I left Yarkand this morning on a 
three days shooting trip, accompanied by a Panjabashi (leader 
of fifty) with several Yarkandi soldiers sent by the Dad Khwab, 
and a couple of troopers of the " Guides" as an escort. We 
formed quite an imposing little cavalcade as we rode through the 
old city of Yarkand, and then cantered along in a south-easter- 
ly direction. Leafless trees, bare fields, and frozen marshes 
gave a very wintry aspect to the scene, heightened by the 
subdued reddish color of the sun. In conversation with the 
Panjabashi, he told me that he was a native of Bokhara, that 
he had taken service in Khokand about 18 years ago, and that 
he had now been in this country for 12 years. As is usual with 
his class he praised the two former countries very highly and 
seemed to sigh to revisit them. 

Riding along I noticed all the common birds I enumerated 
on the 23rd January, but in addition we came across 
the Blackbird (Merula vulgaris) in some thorny bushes ; 
curiously enough the name of this bird in Turki appears 
to be Moina. We found the Yarkand river completely 
frozen over and we easily rode across on the ice; then 
a short ride through scrub jungle and over rough fields 
brought us to the village of Igarchi or Yaugi Bazar. Here there 
were many houses ; and a long street with sheds on each side, 
which are used for the weekly fair. After leaving Igarchi we 
passed a large concourse of people who were assembled for some 
holiday or other. Seeitg a stranger passing along, the people 
trooped down to the road to have a good stare at us, but at a 
word from the Panjabashi a Yarkandi soldier rode towards the 
holiday- makers, whip in hand. At the sight of the latter, the 
people who evidently seemed to divine at once his kind intentions 
towards them, scampered away as hard as they could. 

We reached the village of Beshkant about two o'clock, and I was 
received by the Sirkar or headman, and conducted to his house. 



84 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

We passed through a large courtyard into an inner court where 
I found a Birkut, or Golden Eagle, and a Karchighah (Goshawk) 
seated on their perches. Then I entered the room which had 
been prepared for me— a capital place nicely carpeted with a 
good fire burning in the fireplace and the wells decorated with 
stag's antlers and the inevitable dastarkhwan was brought in, ce.la 
va sans dire. 

The Panjabashi now wanted me to wait for some trained 
hawks which were expected to come from Igarchi, but as 
the time of their arrival was quite uncertain and I did 
not in the least want any hawks with me, I started off shoot- 
ing outside, where nearly every bit of water was frozen. I 
foxmd hundreds of Ducks and got some fair shooting. One 
Duck that I shot expired before it could be ' halaled,' i. e., have 
its throat cut in the orthodox fashion, and the Panjabashi 
said it was a great pity as it would have to be thrown away ; 
1 consoled him by explaining that its skin would make a good 
specimen for my collection of birds. 

For to-morrow I am promised good sport, Ducks, Hares, 
Pheasants (P. Shawi) and even wild Boars being mentioned ; 
hut I dread the baneful influence of those Goshawks and 
Eagles. 

4-th. — Beshkont. — We started off this morning accompanied 
by a hawking party of five men, headed by the Sirkar, my 
host, carrying two Birkut s ( Aquila clirysaetus) and three Kar- 
chighah [Astur palumbarius). As the shooting place was re- 
ported to be some distance off, we rode out of Beshkant. 
This I afterwards found was a great mistake and marred the 
day's shooting considerably; for having our horses, we vir- 
tually degenerated into a hawking party. 

The Goshawks were carried by the hawkers on the right 
hand, which was covered by a glova ; the Birkut rested on the 
wrist, a thick gauntlet protecting the forearm from the Eagle's 
claws, and the right hand resting on a crutch fixed to the front of 
the saddle. Of course without this crutch it would be impossible 
to support the heavy Birkut even for a few minutes ; and even 
with this contrivance I wonder how the men managed to carry 
the Eagle the whole day long without feeling very tired. All 
the hawkers were mounted on strong ponies. 

At first we passed a clump of big poplars, where I got a 
Woodpecker fl'icus leucopterusj ; a little further on several 
Ringdoves (Turtur Stoliczkce) were bagged; for to-day it was a 
case of shooting anything we could find. Near the edge of 
marshy ground we got Anthus aquations and Troglodytes palli- 
das ; the latter called in Turki Bir toghram " a morsel." The 
next victims were Herodias alba and Ardea ciuerea, both of 



OF EASTERN TURKISTAN. 85 

which were common throughout the day ; as was also the 
Kestrel (T. alaudarius,) a specimen of which was shot by one 
of the sowars. Then getting on to marshy ground all frozen 
over, but the ice often giving way under the ponies, we saw a 
large flock of Ducks (Anas boschas.) The son of the Sirkar, 
carrying a Goshawk, rode up gently to within about a hundred 
yards of the flock, and then sending his horse at a gallop over 
the slippery ice, as confidently as if he had been riding on 
smooth turf, cast the hawk at the ducks as they rose. The 
Karchighah struck one of the ducks very cleverly, and imme- 
diately landed with it on the ice. The hawker then dismounted 
and having released his duck from the claws of the Goshawk, 
he cut its (the duck's, not the Goshawk's) throat, secundem artem y 
tied it by the legs to the saddle, and proceeded to look for more 
game. After shooting a i'ew ducks at that place we rode on to 
a large bit of waste ground overgrown with stunted reeds, 
where we found a fair number of hares (Lepus Yarkandensis) , 
but neither so numerous nor affording such good sport as the 
hares of Nubra in Ladak. The hawks seemed to catch these 
hares very readily, but the disappointing part of the business 
was that the party was scattered all over the place, and one 
could hardly fell was going on ; when a halt was called, hares 
and ducks would be found attached to the hawker's saddles 
without any attention having been called to the fun at the time 
the capture took place. 

After getting a few specimens of Emberiza pyrrhuloides at 
this stage, we rode across some open waste ground where we 
came across a fine Eagle-Owl (Bubo maximus.) I dismounted 
at once to try and get a shot, but I was anticipated by a 
Birkut beino- thrown off at it. The Eagle had an excellent 
chance of striking, but whether it did not fancy the game or 
was too clumsy I can't tell, for it made only one swoop, and 
failing to catch the Owl, at once squatted on the ground. I 
followed the Eagle-Owl for sometime, but could not get a shot ; 
principally because the bird was followed by a number of Crows 
( C. culminatus) who seemed to be tormenting it, and yet gave 
their enemy warning of my approach by flying up when I got 
at all near. 

The next step in the proceedings consisted in getting into 
ground covered with long reeds and rushes, which was reported 
to be a good place for Pheasants. The first bird bagged there 
was a Bittern (Botaurus siellaris) ; and then as we went 
beatino- alono- we started great numbers of both Otus vulaaris 
and Otus braehyotus. These Owls fell very easy preys to the 
Goshawks, who seized them every time they were thrown off 
for the purpose. The Pheasants (P. Shawi) did not prove 



86 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

to be so numerous as I expected. A hawk was flown at a 
cock-pheasant, but the latter took only a short flight and settled 
among the loner reeds ; whither the Goshawk followed, but of 
course did not manage to strike. A little beyond this in a small 
pitce of open ground 1 saw a fine Golden Eagle (Aq. chrysaetus) 
I could not manage to get within shot, but I have no doubt 
whatever about the identification. On the way back we came 
upon a lot of ducks again. I had a shot at one flying past me 
at a considerable distance, and thought I had missed as the bird 
seemed to go straight on, however, as the duck settled not far 
off I walked up to the spot aud found it quite dead. 

The Panjabashij who has been indefatigable to-day, says he 
is desoU that he has not been able to show me better sport to- 
day : so I assured him that I was perfectly satisfied. My host 
the Sirkar has presented me with a young Sai kik {Antilope 
gutturosa ?) ; this Antilope is said to be common about three 
days journey from here. 

5th. — Yarkand. — After leaving Beshkant this morning we had 
some more hare and duck shooting, and got, in addition to 
yesterday's birds, the common Teal (Querquedula crecca), and 
a specimen of the Smew (Mergellus albellus). Presents and 
robes were given to the Sirkar of Beshkant and his son and 
we bade them gosd shortly after crossing the Yarkand river. 
As we rode back to our quarters here, numbers of unfortunate 
Crows and Jackdaws were captured by the trained hawks ; but 
I noticed that the Karchigha did not seem to be a match for 
tame pigeons, which doubled and dodged for too quickly for 
the Goshawk. Instead of passing through the city I skirted 
its south wall and so reached the Fort. A silk robe to the Pan- 
jabashi elicits a solemn ' Allahuakbar/ and so my little expedi- 
tion is at an end. 

28tk February. — List of birds for the month. — Aquila chry- 
saetus (rare). Tinnunculus aland arius, Circus cyaneus, Buteo 
ferox, Buteo vulgaris, Buteo japonicus, Otus vulgaris, Otus bra- 
chyotus and Athene bactriana (all common). J3ubo maximus 
(not numerous) . 

Passer montanus, Galerita magna, Upupa epops, Merula 
vulgaris, Planesticus alrogularis, Anthus aquat/cus, Corvus coro?ie } 
C. culminatus, C. Comix, C. frugilegus, Colceus monedula, Tro- 
glodytes pallidas, Emberiza schwnicola, Ernberiza pyrrhul-oides, 
Erythrospiza obsoleta, Turtur Stoliczkos and Phasianus Shawi 
(all more or leis common. Sturnus vulgaris, pretty numerous 
towards the end of the month. Melanocorypha torquata, Picus 
leucopterus and Lanins Homey eri appear to be rare. Otocoris 
penicillata and Alaudula pispoletta not numerous. Coturnix 
communis has been obtained ; and Tetraogallus himalayensis and 



OF EASTERN TU RE EST AN. 87 

Caccabis pallescens have been brought in. Among waders Ardea 
cinerea, Herodias alba and Botaurus stellaris are all common. 
4nser cinereus was first seen flying over the Fort on the 
23rd of this month ; and a specimen has been obtained. Anas 
boschas, exceedingly common. Querquedula crecca and Mergel- 
lus albellus (not numerous). 

The climatic elements of the month may be briefly summa- 
rized as follows : 

During the first half of the month the mean of the maxi- 
mum daily temperatures, was 36° - 9; the mean of the daily 
minimum temperatures in the shade was 13°*4; and the mean 
of the minimum on grass was 7° - 7, the lowest temperature oc- 
curing on the 1st of the month when the grass minimum ther- 
mometer registered 3° - 5 or 28°'5 belowinjr freezing. 

During the latter half of the mouth the weather has been 
getting sensibly less cold : the mean maximum temperature 
being 46 0- 8, the thermometer registering as high as 60° in the 
shade on the 27th ; the minimum temperature was 14°*6 on the 
17th, and 31°*7 to-day, the mean for the period being 22° - 9 ; 
the mean grass minimum has been 16°"8, rising to 26° ou the 
28th; the lowest reading during the latter half of the month 
being 9° on the 21st. 

In the whole month we have had seven days of blue sky, 
eight days of partial cloud and haze, thirteen days with the sky 
completely overcast. There has been neither rain or snow, 
and, as usual, the air has been comparatively still. 

31s^ March. — Yarkaud (Yangi Hhahr). — Little of special 
interest to record for this month. The medical practice is 
going on famously : usually a daily attendance of over 250 
Yarkandi patients. An old Hindu who has been living in this 
country for many years pretends to know the exact whereabout 
of a large treasure buried by the Chinese inside this Fort before 
they mere massacred by the Tunganis ; but the pi*esent autho- 
rities do not seem inclined to institute a search. A Chinese 
convert to Islam has shown us a number of legerdemain tricks, 
some of them exactly like those cone by the il Professors" at 
home, and gave us the details of conjuring trick described in 
Yule's Marco Polo. On the 11th (market day) some of our 
followers saw the punishment of mutilation inflicted on a couple 
of thieves before the assembled multitude in the Bazar. One 
of the criminals had his hand hacked off, and the other his foot. 
In our compound we have now two young stags, called Bug ha 
a female Ibex (Kizil Kik) and a couple of young Saikik (Ant. 
gutturosa). All these animals are tame enough, but the stags 
are most perniciously inquisitive about the nature of my me- 
teorological instruments. One of the beasts walked into my 



88 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

room, one day, and smashed a mercurial barometer ; and on a 
subsequent occasion it was discovered calmly crunching the 
grass minimum thermometer. The Ibex is exceedingly amus- 
ing ; and the way it manages to jump up on the roof and run 
along narrow walls is simply wonderful. 

The advent of spring has been very noticeable this month : 
on the 19th I noticed the young leaf buds on the willows, and 
the unfolding of the leaves has since gone on so rapidly that 
the trees are now beginning to look quite green. Wheat has 
been sown this month for the summer crop ; and the autumn 
sowings of wheat and lucerne, which have been lying dormant 
during the winter, are now beginning to sprout. 

The weather during the month has been markedly different to 
what we had in February. There have been 5 days of fairly 
clear weather, with a blue sky ; 14 days of partial cloud or haze; 
and 12 days of sky completely overcast by clouds or a dense dust 
haze. The air has not been so still as in the previous month ; and 
on the afternoon of the 27th we had a dust-storm from the north- 
east. This dust-storm exactly resembled in character (though 
not in intensity) those prevalent in the Panjab at a certain 
season : that is to say, a high dark cloud of dust could be seen 
approaching for some time befere we felt the first puff of dust- 
laden wind. Since that, for the last five days, the sky has been 
obscured by a most dense haze of dust, so that sometimes ob- 
jects even 400 yards off are barely visible. 

Rain fell on the 13th and 14th, but the total amount collected 
in the rain gauge did not indicate a fall of more than 012 inch. 

In the first half of the month the mean minimum tempera- 
ture in the shade was 33 0, 4 ; the minimum being just below 
freezing point on the first five days of the month, while on the 
12th the temperature in the shade did fall below 40°-2. The 
mean on the minimum temperatures on grass was 28 0, 5 ; the 
thermometer registering 20 o, 2 on the 5th and 38°'8 on the 
12th. 

In the second half of the month the maximum temperature 
in the shade was 77 0, 5 ; the mean minimum in the shade was 
39 0, 6 (on the 31st not lower than 48°'4) ; and the mean of the 
minimum on grass was 35°*3. 

Turning now to our birds this month several important addi- 
tions have to be mentioned. 

Falco peregrinus and Falco Tscherniazevi have been obtained ; 
both these species appear to be rare. Tinnunculus alaudarius is 
as common as ever. Buteo vulgaris, Buteo ferox and Buteo 
japonicus are, I think, getting more scarce. Circus cyaneus, Otus 
vulgaris and Otus brachyotus are as common as before. Bubo 
maximus has been seen ; and Athene bactriana is still common. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 89 

Upupa epops is common. Cyanecula suecica has just arrived. 
Mot acilla per sonata is now common. Budi/tes ckreola is a fresh 
arrival. Anthus dquaticus, still common. Ampelis garrulus? has 
betn obtained, but this is quite a hill bird, and is not seen about 
the plains here. Calamophilus biarmicus has been seen among 
the reeds. Corvus corone, common. Corvus comix getting scarce 
towards the end of the month. Corvus culminatus, common. 
Corvus fruyilegus and Colceus monedula common during the greater 
part of the month. Sturnus vulgaris is very numerous. Passer 
salicicolus has been obtained ; it does not seem to be very 
common. Passer rnontamis, Emberiza schcenicola, Emheriza 
jiyrrhuloides, Erytlirospiza obsoleta, Alaudula pispoletta, Galerita 
magna, Turtur Stoliczka', Phasianus Shaivi and Coturnix com- 
munis are all common. Caccabis pallescens continues to bo 
brought in, but of course this is not a bird of the plains. 

Among waders, JEgialopliilus cantianus, JEgialites fluviatilis, 
Vanellus cristatus, Actilis ochrophus, Totanus calidris, and Iudica 
atra have all arrived. Ardea cinerea, Herodias alba and Botaurus 
stellaris are still about. 

Anser cinereus has been coming in. Casarea rutila has 
arrived. Anas boschas continues to be common, and both Dafil.a 
acuta and Aythya nyroca has been added to our list in March. 

Yarkand, 30th April. — In this month we have fairly got into 
spring. Around us many fields are green with the growing 
corn and lucerne, and the trees are all in full leaf. Wheat, 
barley, Indian corn and rice have been sown during the month, 
and also cotton and flax. 

In the first part of the month, the weather was mild and 
pleasant ; but latterly we have had a few very warm days, the 
heat however being soon tempered or dispelled by breezes usual- 
ly carrying clouds of dust. 

The maximum temperature in the shade occurred on the 22nd, 
when the thermometer registered 92°-l, but the mean maximum 
for the month has been 78°'2. The mean minimum in the 
shade has been 50 o, 5 ; and the mean grass minimum 44«°-6 — not 
a single frosty night. We have had nine days of fairly clear 
weather, with a blue sky ; nine days of partially cloudy wea- 
ther ; and twelve days of overcast sky, principally due to 
dense dust haze. The prevalent direction of the wind has 
been from the north-west; on two days a strong wind 
blew from that direction, bringing clouds of dust. A few 
drops of rain fell on two days during the month. Corres- 
ponding with the change in the climate, the movements 
among the birds have been considerable : many familiar birds 
have left us, and a good many new arrivals have to be 
mentioned. 

M 



90 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Among the birds of prey, the Kestrel remains as plentiful 
as ever : I doubt Avhether this species means to move at all. 
The Buzzards (Buteo vulgaris, B. ferox, and B. japonicus) have 
moved away northwards ; the last of this genus that I saw 
was on the 20th of the month. The Hen Harrier (C. cyaneus) 
is still common and is probably a permanent resident in these 
plains. Towards the end of the month the Kite (Milvus 
melanotis) has made its appearance ; it is not numerous. 
Both O/us vulgaris and Olus brachyotus left early ; probably 
to repair to the forest region in the north of this country. 
Of the Eagle Owl {Bubo maximus) I have obtained three 
fine specimens and an egg ; so this species lays, in this 
country, in April. The Little Owl {Athene bactriana) has not 
been so common this month as last. 

Turning to the Insessores, I have to mention the arrival 
of the Swallow {Hirundo rustica) and the Swifts {Cypselus 
acuticanda and Cypselus pekinensis) ; these birds arrived about 
the 10th of the month and now form a common feature 
in the Avifauna. The familiar Cuckoo (Cnculus canorus) 
arrived about the middle of the month. Upupa epops is 
very common, and may, I think, be set down as a permanent 
resident. The Desert Shrike {Lanius arenarius) came in iu 
the early part of the mouth, and is now common in waste, 
desolate places. Another new arrival is the Oriole (Orz- 
olus kundoo), which has just come in. Saxicola isabelUna 
arrived about the middle of the month. Cyanecula suecica 
is now common. The Reed Warbler {Acrocephalus arundina- 
ceus) has been observed for the first time this month. The 
Lesser Whitethroat {Sylvia curruca) is another fresh arrival, 
and is tolerably numerous. Motacilla personata, Budytes 
citreola, Anthus aquaticus and Calamophilus biarmicus are all 
common. The Black Crows {Corvus corone and G. culminatus) 
are as numerous as ever; but the Rook (C. frugilegus), 
the Hooded Crow (C. comix) and the Jackdaw (Colosus 
monedula) have all left us. Sturmis vulgaris is very common ; 
Passer salicicolus, tolerably common ; the perennial Passer 
montanus is as plentiful as before ; and Emberiza pyrrhuloides 
is still with us. A new arrival, Euspiza lutcola, has just come 
iu. To complete this order — Erythrospiza obsoleta, Alaudula 
pispoletta and Galerita magna show no signs of changing 
their abode. 

The Ringdove (Turtur Stoliczkce), the Yarkand Pheasant 

(P. Shawi) and the Quail {Coturmx communis) are as common 

as ever. Among the waders SEgialopfiilus can/iamts, AUgialites 

fluviatilis, Vanellus cristalus, Actitis ochrophus, Totanus calidris, 

and Fulica atra are all common. The Herons {Ardea cinerea 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 01 

and Herodias alba) seem to have moved away from our 
neighbourhood. The Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) is less com- 
mon than last month. And a new arrival is the White Stork 
(Ciconia alba). 

Of the Duck tribe Casarca rutila, Anas boschas, Qiierquedula 
circia and Aythya nyroca are all common. 

The last distinguished visitors I have to enumerate this 
month are the Terns [Sterna Jluvintilis and Sternida minuta.) 

Yarkand, 3\st May. — The weather this month has been so 
decidedly warm that I have availed myself of the pleasantest 
part of the day — the early morning — to go out for rides about 
the country. I usually leave our quarters at 5 a.m., and, 
accompanied by a single servant — also riding and carrying my 
gun — have a canter through the neighbourhood in various 
directions, generally for about a couple of hours. The aspect 
of the country about Yarkand is now very delightful, and the 
vegetation strikes one as being remarkably luxuriant; but perhaps 
this impression is, in a great measure, due to the contrast now 
afforded to the dreary prospect during the winter. All the trees 
are now radiantly green and the mulberries which line many 
of the lanes are loaded with fruit. The orchards and vine- 
yards are in full luxuriance of growth ; the great number of 
fruit trees in the former affording a dense and grateful shade 
from the heat of the sun. Smiling green fields meet the eye 
in every direction, the most noticeable crops being wheat, fine 
purple-flowered lucerne, and the growing melon plants. Among 
the garden produce one meets with fields of radishes, turnips, 
carrots and onions ; with, here and there, a plot of tobacco. 
A few days ago I was greatly astonished at receiving a present 
of some fine potatoes ; these had been brought from Aksu where 
the plant is cultivated, and we learn that the potatoe was 
commonly grown near Yarkand when the Chinese held the 
country. 

On the 13th a Russian merchant arrived in Yarkand on his 
w r ay from Kashghar to Khoten ; he remained here only a very 
short time, and we did not see anything of him. The Dad 
Khwah left for Kashghar on the 14th, on a visit to the Amir 
and for the purpose of paying the annual tribute ; for the 
Dad Khwah is not a paid servant, but holds this proviuce as a 
Satrap of the Amir of Kashgharia. During the absence of 
the Governor of Yarkand his son and brother officiate as joint 
rulers of the province. Of course on the 24th we celebrated 
the Queen's birthday as became loyal subjects. 

Among the birds I have several additions to mention this 
month ; and I now propose to go through the list seriatim, 
even at the risk of being thought tedious. 



92 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

First then, the Hobby {Hypotriorcliis subhuteo) is now a 
common bird here ; hunting over the fields and perching on 
the poplar trees. The Kestrel is as common as ever ; and 
the Sparrow Hawk (Accipiter nisus) seems to be plentiful near 
the foot of the hills south of Yarkand, in the Karchung valley. 
The Hen Harrier {Circus cyaneus) still keeps in our neighbour- 
hood ; and more numerous than it, we have this month the 
Marsh Harrier (Circus aruginosus) , called by the natives 
Akbash Sa — White-headed "Sa." The Kite (Milvus melanotis) is 
now common ; but the Eagle Owl (Bubo maximus) and Athene 
bactriana are rarely seen here. Both the latter birds are probably 
devoting themselves to family matters at some distance from 
the environs of Yarkand. 

The Swallows (EL rustica) are exceedingly numerous ; and 
the Swifts (Cypselus acuticanda and C. pekinensis) are to be 
seen, mornmg and evening, flying over the Fort and City. 

The Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is plentiful, and its well-known 
cry is heard in every lane and orchard. The Hoopoe is very 
common ; and Lanius arenarius (in great numbers) continues 
to be the only Shrike in the neighbourhood of Yarkand. The 
mellow whistle of the Oriole (0. kundoo) is heard every day 
near orchards and tanks, and I have got many specimens of 
the bird. I notice that the wing of these birds is decidedly 
longer than what I find recorded about Oriolus kundoo got 
in India ; and as 0. kundoo breeds in India why should 
the same bird visit Central Asia for that purpose ? Can our 
bird be a distinct species ? and shall I hereafter have the 
supreme felicity of writing about Oriolus Yarka?idensis y 
nobis ! ? 

Saxicola isabellina, Cyanecula suecica and Acrocephalus arun- 
dinaceus continue to be common. Suya albosuperciliaris has 
been obtained in long grass ; it is called by the natives Suram. 
Two other novelties to my list are Phyllopneuste rama and the 
Barred Warbler {Nisoria undata). Both these birds frequent 
orchards and vineyards ; P. rama sings sweetly, but the 
melodious song of JSisoria undata is far superior, and has gained 
for the bird the name of Bulbul in Eastern Turkestan. Sylvia 
curruca, Motacilla personata, Budytes citreola, Calamophilus 
biarmicus, Corvus corone, Corvus cidminatus, Sturnus vulgaris, 
Passer salicicolus, and Passer montanus I need only mention 
as common. Emberiza pyrrhuloides is now only seen at the 
edge of marshy ground overgrown with rushes. Euspiza 
luteola is very numerous near all the fields, and has a very 
pleasant note ; and Erythrospiza obsoleta now haunts the orchards 
and close clumps of trees, which it enlivens with its song. 
Alaudula pispoletta seems steadily to prefer arid sandy 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 93 

ground, away from cultivation ; and Galerita magna is 
as numerous and familiar as ever. 

Among the Pigeon order, Columba cenas has been often seen, 
but it is not numerous. The Turtledove (Turlur auritus) is a 
common bird this month, and I hear its beautiful note every 
morning in my rides. The Ringdove is always about ; its coo 
sounding quite harsh in comparison with that of the Turtle- 
dove. 

Of game birds, PJiasianus Shaivi seems to be buried away 
among the reeds and long grass ; but the Quail (C. communis) 
is heard in almost every field. 

As to waders I need only enumerate, y^Egialop7iilus ca?itianus, 
y^Egialitis Jiuviatilis, Vanellus cristatus, Actitis ochrophus, Totanns 
calidris, Fulica atra, and Ciconia alba. The additions in this 
order during the month are the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) 
and the Stilt (Himantopus intermedins.) Casarca rutila, Anas 
boschos, Querquedida circia and Aytlxya nyroca are all common, 
and I have to add this month, the Red-crested Pochard (Branta 
rnfina) which is numerous. Lastly, Sterna fluviatilis and Ster- 
inda mintita are very numerous. I believe that every one of 
the birds I have just enumerated breeds in our neighbourhood. 

The weather in May : 

1. Temperature. — Mean maximum temperature in the shade 
84°; highest temperature in the shade, 97°(3 on the 21st. 
Mean minimum temperature in the shade 55°*2 ; lowest mini- 
mum 37 0, 2 on the 16th. Mean grass minimum 4S 0- ! ; lowest 
temperature on grass 28° on the 16th. Mean maximum in sun's 
rays 137 0, 5 ; highest temperature of sun's rays 159 c, 5 on 
the 4th. 

2. Serenity. — Seven days of cloudless sky ; seven days 
of partial cloud and haze ; and seventeen days of overcast 
sky, due to clouds, or more frequently, a dense dust haze. 

3. Rain. — A few drops of rain on the 12th and 13th ; 
on the 14th it rained from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the total fall 
did not amount to more than 0*1 inch, the wind during 
the day blowing from S. E. round by north to north-west. 

4. Wind. — Winds have been a prevailing feature of this 
month's weather. On seven days we had heavy winds, 
bringing clouds of dust (once accompanied by a little thunder) 
and strewing the ground with broken branches of trees ; 
and on four days we had very heavy winds, generally from 
the N. W. The last of these (yesterday) had the effect of 
blowing over a number of trees growing round the tank in our 
compound. The two kinds of dust storms met with in this 
country have been well illustrated this month : In the first 
class the wind begins without dust, and after a short while 



94 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

brings clouds of particles of earth and sand with it ; in the 
second class the dust aud wind arrive together, as in the Punjab, 
and in the manner I have before described. The result is 
equally unpleasaut in both cases : everything in one's room 
gets covered with a layer of fine dust, owing to the very- 
clumsy misfits of the doors and windows. 

Yarkand, oOlh June. — In addition to my daily morning rides, 
I have this month devoted several entire days to shooting 
excursions in the directions of Sughuchak, Taskhama, Tokkuz 
Kubruk, &c. On these occasions, although the weather has 
been hot, I have marvelled at the slight effect pi*oduced by 
exposure to the direct rays of the sun. On two occasions 
when I was out the whole dav long, the black bulb thermo- 
meter in vacuo registered the maximum heat of the sun's 
rays at 149° ; yet, although my head was only protected by a 
thin felt cap, I experienced no inconvenience whatever ; 
and the same may be said about the servants and horses. 
Of course in India, where the heat of the sun acts very much 
more powerfully than in this country, an exposure to the sun, 
such as I have indicated, would have been fraught with danger 
to every European. The enormous number of water-fowl 
met with this month in the lakes at Sughuchak, has been 
very striking. Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Brahminy Ducks, 
Pochards, Grebes and Coots swarm in hundreds ; but as no 
boat could be obtained, I have, tor the most part, only been 
tantalized by the sight of these birds, without being able to get 
well at them. Waders too have been particularly numerous, 
especially the Redshanks and the Stilt ; the latter frequenting 
the small salt lagoons — I may safely say in thousands — 
and being, of course, very easily shot on the wing. Then 
the Terns, with their harsh cry, swarm everywhere over rice 
fields, marshes, and lakes. 

On the 6th a young Turkish Effendi from Constantinople 
paid us a visit. He did not know the Turki dialect spoken in 
Eastern Turkestan, nor yet Persian ; but as he could speak Arabic 
1 acted as interpreter, and Ave had a long conversation. He 
had left Stamboul about three months ago to travel in Central 
Asia — the aim of his life being the acquirement of learning. 
He was captured by Turkomans — who, he said, were all vile 
thieves — and liberated again, had visited Tashkend, Samarcand 
and Bokhara ; aud then passing through Khokand had arrived 
in Kashghar. He seemed to have been greatly disappointed 
in his search for learned men : u In Bokhara," he said, " there 
is little learning, none in Khokhand, and as to this miserable 
country (Kashgharia) the people are too much occupied in 
trying to escape having their heads cut off to devote any time 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 95 

to the attainment of knowledge I" " Why," he added ener- 
getically " there is not a Mullah in this country who knows 
Arabic even as well as you do/' I suppose this was intended 
as a compliment to me, but it sounded like very faint praise. 
The EfFendi amused us very much by expressing- his surprise 
at hearing that 1 had not been on a pilgrimage to Mecca, 
as I was not a Mussalman. He added that he intended to 
start at once for India, and hoped to fini many learned people 
in Kashmir ! After his departure we heard that our friend 
the Turk had ' tightened ' the Mullahs of Yarkand very con- 
siderably, i.e., had made their lives a burden to them by his 
searching enquiries about their erudition. 

The Dad Khwah returned from his trip to Kashghar on the 
18th, and a very important matter, as affecting us, was decided 
on the 21st: the Agency is to return to India, and we shall 
probably start in about a month's time. The arrangements about 
carriage and food for the journey will take some time to 
complete, but I have already begun packing up ; the birds 
especially have to be very carefully stowed away. 

An old Chinese woman, who has often come to me as a patient 
is most anxious to go to India with our party. She is a 
Christian — a convert of some of the Jesuit fathers in China — 
who was deported to this country some forty years ago. The 
old lady is very comfortably off and seems to be treated with 
respect by the Yarkandis ; she says she has made up her mind 
to die in a Christian land and so is determined to go to India 
(!) for that purpose. She is much too old to stand a journey 
across the mountains ; but when I told her so she burst into 
tears and said could ride a horse as well as any one else and 
that nothing should prevent her from accompanying us. It is 
difficult to know what is to be done about her. 

The weather during this month has been decidedly hot, but 
not oppressively so. The mean maximum in the shade has 
been 91°, the highest temperature occurred on the 7th when 
the thermometer registered 97°'8. The mean minimum tem- 
perature in the shade has been 62° ; the mean grass minimum, 
54°*4 ; and the mean maximum temperature in the sun's rays, 
145°'5. We have had five days of fairly clear weather, with 
a blue sky ; thirteen days of partial cloud and haze ; and 
twelve days with the sky completely overcast — chiefly by dense 
dust-haze. On three days a few drops only of rain fell, and on 
the 10th there was a little rain (003 inch) accompanied by 
thunder and sheet lightning towards the west. Grateful 
breezes from the north-west have usually blown every evening ; 
and on three days we have had heavy winds either bringing or 
accompanied by clouds of dust. 



96 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

With reference to the Birds this month, there has been no 
change with regard to the species enumerated in May ; and 
here I will only mention the additions to my list in June. 

I have heard a good deal about the Shunkar (Falco Hender- 
soni?) ; although I have offered to give any reasonable price for 
one of these birds, I have not succeeded in getting a specimen. 
The Giyah (Halicetus leucoryphus) I have seen on several occa- 
sions, but I have not yet been able to shoot one of these birds. 
In the marshes I have seen a Yellow Wagtail, differing from 
Budytes citreola, and very numerous. Corydalla Richardi, called 
by the natives Sairam, has been obtained in moist ground 
overgrown with short grass. A few days ago I purchased a 
caged specimen of Carpodacus mongolians ; it is a sweet songster 
and is only a winter visitant to Eastern Turkestan. Palumbana 
Eversmanni I found very numerous in a large clump of poplars 
(P. balsamiferd) at Taskhama. Among the waders I have to 
adl the following species to the list given in May, viz., Galli- 
nago scolopacinus, Gallinula cJdoropus, P or Sana pygmcea and 
Rallus aquaticus. The Grebes {Podiceps cristatus and Podiceps 
minor) in the Sughuchak lake, and the Cormorant (Graculus 
carbo) seen once near the Yarkand river, complete the list of 
novelties this month. Nestlings or quite young birds of all 
the following species have been either obtained or observed this 
month : Tinnunmlus alaudarius, Milvus melanotis, Cnculus cano- 
rus, Upupa epops, Lanius arenarius, Oriolus kundoo, Saxicola 
isabellina, Suya albosnperciliaris , Nisoria undata, Sylvia curruca, 
Motacilla personata, Budytes citreola, Calamophilus biarmicus, 
Corvus culminatus, Sturnus vulgaris, Passer montanus, Euspiza 
luteola, Galerita magna, Palumbatna Eversmanni, Turtur auritus, 
Vanellus cristatus, Gallinago scolopacinus, Totanus calidris, 
Fulica atra, Anser cxnereus, Casarca nitila, Anas boschas, and 
Aythya nyroca. 

Yarkand, 1st July. — If continuous drilling can make good 
soldiers, the garrison of Yarkand should be most efficient ; I 
see the troops hard at work every morning (except on Fridays) 
for more than three hours. This morning they had a sort of 
field day ; over a thousand men being assembled on the ground 
between the Fort and City. Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery 
(represented by two guns) went through various evolutions 
under the command of the Dad Khwah in person. 

By order of the Dad Khwah, the Yuzbashi, our Mihmandar, 
invited us to camp out for a few days in a large bagh or 
orchard, about three miles from the Fort. Our tents were sent 
out in the morning and in the afternoon I rode out to the fine 
bagh, belonging to one Hassan Jan Bai, which I had before 
visited in search of birds. Here I found the tents pitched 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 97 

under the dense shade of the fruit trees, and a party of 
musicians playing 1 and singing- away as if their lives depended 
on their performance. The musical instruments are the hanun 
— a sort of harpsichord, a violincello called Citar and fifes and 
tambourinees. We sat in a raised kind of room, reached by 
steps and having a covered balcony from which the surround- 
ing prospect could be surveyed as we reposed on the carpets. 
At dusk we had a very grand dinner and dastarkhwan com- 
bined, set before us ; the Yuzbashi and another official joining 
us in the repast. 

To-day I got a White Stork (Ciconia alba), which the people 
call Laglag ; this is evidently the same word as Laklak — the 
Arabic name for the Stork, and is probably given in imitation 
of the clattering noise which the bird often makes with its 
mandibles. 

2nd. — Delightfully cool sleeping in the verandah of my tent 
last night. The trees and flowers here grow most luxuriantly, 
but no order seems to have been thought of in planting ; a 
few walks here and there, and the rest is wildest confusion. 
The " Bulbul" (Nisoria undata), Phyllopneuste rama and Ery- 
throspiza obsoleta seem to revel in this luxurious retreat, their 
songs being often heard proceeding from the midst of the dense 
foliage. Writing of orchards reminds me of the fruits of 
Yarkand. These are, mulberries (now quite out of season), 
apples, pears, apricots, peaches (not very good), plums, walnuts, 
grapes (of several varieties), figs, "Trebizond dates," water 
melons, and sweet melons of many varieties. 

After breakfast the musicians came near us again, but they 
seem to have been going on without pause or intermission, in 
some part or other of the garden, ever since yesterday afternoon. 
In the evening the Yuzbashi sat with us a long time, and the 
conversation turned on Railways. He seemed greatly interested 
in hearing how quickly he would be able to go from Yarkand to 
Kashghar if there were a railway between the two cities; and he 
finally asked what the probable cost of such a journey would 
be, in that case. On being told that the fare would have to be 
about thirty tangas (Rs. 6), he said : tl That is capital, but now 
I can go as quickly as ever I wish to, at a cost of not more than 
four tangas !" 

3rd. — To-day we returned from our bagh to the fort again. 
In the evening the Dad Khwah sent over a couple of fur robes, 
and Tash Khoja who brought them said they would do for the 
Mm Sahib ; his version of " Mem Sahib." Now as nim in 
Persian means half, Tash Khoja must think that we call our 
ladies half sahibs — and in fact this does bring to mind our 
well-known phrase " better half." To jump from ladies titles 

N 



98 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

to the crops about Yarkand : The barley was cut a week ago; 
the wheat is now yellow, aud will be cut in about a fortnight j 
the Indian corn is about a foot and a half high ; and the flax 
(grown only for the sake of the oil expressed from its seed) is 
about nine inches high. Cucumbers are now ripe and in good 
condition ; the peas arc inferior, small and hard ; fields of 
col Ion, tobacco, and onions are plentiful about; and the melons, 
for which Yarkand is famous, are not yet quite ripe. 

\f\th f — Yesterday we came out to a bagb here N.E. of the City 
and in the evening the Naghmachi or musicians were in full 
force. We were, in addition, entertained with a regular Punch 
and Judy show — everything complete from the " call" down 
to the unfortunate policemen (called Osman Bai) who is thump- 
ed and pounded by all the marionettes available. 

This morning I started at 5 a.m. on a shooting excursion, from 
which I did not return until dusk. About six or seven miles 
from the bagb. a number of villagers came out to say that a 
wild boar had been seen last night, and so we went in for a 
hunt after the beast. The villagers mustered strong with dogs, 
sticks and montvres of sorts, but we searched vainly for our 
boar. At length, greatly to the regret of the Yarkandis — who 
appeared most anxious to get the pig killed, I decided to 
devote my attention to birds. I did not find anything very 
interesting in that line however, for, being in a region of ex- 
tensive swamps and marshes, the principal birds met with were 
Brahminy Ducks, Stilts and Waders of sorts, aud thousands 
of Coots. Whatever they ma} r be in structure, these Coots are 
certainly in habit as much water birds as any Ducks. 

In the evening we had more music, and a number of buftonery 
tricks were gone through by some Yarkandis, which reminded 
one strangely of some phases of the burlesques at home. 

%8th Jvly — Yarkand. — To-day we had our farewell interview 
with the Dad Khwah, as we leave to-morrow en route for India. 
As this is our last day in this place, I may make a i'aw remarks 
about certain points which I have noted in my diary this mouth ; 
and give a list of the birds for the same period. 

Owing to the great heat the people now go about very lightly 
clad ; and the children either dispense with clothes altogether, or 
wear a thin cotton robe, open all the way down iu front, which 
cannot be said even to save appearances. There is a curious cus- 
tom practised by these people in summer; that of indulging in 
sand baths. Men and women often repair to a place called Kara- 
kum, west of Yarkand, and there taking off all their cloths, they 
bury themselves in the sand up to the neck and remain in that 
position for some hours. The practice is supposed to be very heal- 
thy, but I cannot discover exactly in what way. A short time ago, 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 99 

being greatly in want of some spirits of wine, I managed to 
procure about a dozen bottles of a weak sort of wine (called 
musallas) from the Bazar. This liquor Avas brought to me with 
a great show of secresy, as it is supposed to be forbidden for any 
one to manufacture intoxicating beverages in Yarkand. I got 
such a very small proportion of alcohol out of the stuff, by dis- 
tillation, that I think it would take a good deal of this musallas 
to do the Yarkand is any harm. On the whole I think the people 
of this country are decidedly dirty in their habits ; the streets of 
the City and Fort are often very offensive ; and the Yarkandis see 
no harm in drinking the most horribly dirty water imaginable. 

An execution took place in the City on the 17th ; the 
criminal, who appeared to be a confirmed thief, had previously 
had his hand cut off; and being caught again stealing was 
publicly hung. Before the culprit was hauled up by the neck, 
he was hit on the head by an axe in order to draw blood, and 
was said not to have kicked or struggled afterwards. With 
such punishments as these it may be imagined that thefts, and 
serious crimes generally, are wonderfully rare in Kashgharia. 

On the 22nd a Sarbaz or foot-soldier was brought in to 
me badly burnt about the arms, chest, and neck. He had 
mislaid his powder flask and on going out to parade in the 
morning he had taken the amount of powder he was likely to 
require for the day in an old cap tucked loosely into his belt. 
A spark from a live match chanced to fall on the powder and of 
course, the result was an explosion which injured the man in 
the way I have mentioned. When this contretemps occurred, a 
bj'stander, with great presence of mind, cut off a donkey's 
ear and dabbed the burnt parts all over with blood ! 

This month I got a fine Vulture ( Vultur monachus), captured 
at Sughuchak. Hypotriorchis subbuteo, Tinnuncidus alaudarius, 
Uali&ttts lencoryphus, Circus cyaneus, Circus ceruginosis and 
Milvus melanotis have all been common. Bubo maximus ani 
Athene bactriana hav^ been rarely seen. 

Hirundo rustica has been very common ; but during the last 
week only, the Swifts (Cypselus amticauda and C. peki?iensis) 
seem to have quitted the neighbourhood of the Fort and City. 
Caprimulgus arenicolor, called by the natives Ayagh siz or 
* footless/ has been brought in from the Dolan. Cuculus canorus 
is still numerous ; but it is now quite silent. Then all the 
following birds remain as numerous as when they are last enu- 
merated, viz. : — 

Upupa epops, Lanius arenarius, Oriolus Jcundoo, Sa.vicola is- 
abellina, Cyanecula suecica, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Suya 
albosxi-perciliaris, Vhyllopneuste rama, Nisoria undata, Sylvia 
curruca, Motacilla personata, Budytes citreola, Corydalla 



100 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Bichardi, Calamophilus biarmicns, Corvus corone, Corvus cxdmrna- 
tus, Sturnus vulgaris, Passer salicicolus, Passer montanus, Em- 
beriza pyrrhuloides, Euspiza luteola, Erythvospiza obsoleta, Alau- 
dula pispoletta and Galerita magna. 

It will suffice also just to mention Palumbcena Eversmanni, 
Columba anas, Turtur auritus, Turtur Stolizka;, Phasianus Shawi 
aud Coturnix communis. 

yEgialophihis cantianus, jEgialitis fluviatilis aud Vanellus cris- 
talus have been common. Gallinago scolopacinus, uot nume- 
rous. Actitis ochrophus, Totanus calidris, Himanlopus interme- 
dins and Fulica atra — extremely numerous. Gallinula chloro- 
pus, common. Porzana pygnuea, rare, Ballus aquations, nu- 
merous. (Aconia nigra and Ciconia alba, commou. A young 
Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) has been brought in. 

Finally, Casarca rutila, Anas boschas, Querquedula circia, 
Branta rufina, Aythya nyroca, Podiceps cristatus, Sterna fluvia- 
tilis, Stemula minuta and Graculus carbo have been common 
during the month. 

Yangagblik, 29th July. — There was a great scramble this morn- 
ing to get all our things sent off from Yarkand ; my goods 
and chattels alone required twelve horses to carry them. We 
did not leave the Fort until about 5. p.m. and then rode out 
accompanied by Yuzbashi Yakub ( who, by the way has lately 
been promoted to the rank of Pansadbashi),* and another 
Yuzbashi — Zarif — who is to accompany us nearly to the 
Karakoram Pass. The Pansadbashi soon bade us goodbye, and 
we passed through the city, where a number of beggars put 
in their claims for alms. The weather was rather hot at first, 
but in a short time it became very pleasant, and we had a 
delightful ride along the winding Posgam road, with its rows 
of willow and eleagnus trees on each side. The Indian corn 
is now in ear, the cotton plants about a foot high, and the rice 
fields look beautifully green and fresh. 

Our camp here is only about seven miles from Yarkand, as it 
was thought advisable not to attempt too long a march before we 
get into marching trim again. There is an extraordinary fact 
to note as an effect of the weather to-day : two Golden Eagles, 
a Sparrow-hawk, and several Yarkand Pheasants died to-day 
from the short exposure to the sun between Yarkand and this 
place. 

30th. — Igarchi or Yangi Bazar — At 5 o'clock this morn- 
ing I saw the first real mist we have had in this 
country ; and a good deal of dew seemed to have fallen 
during the night. A ride of a few hundred yards from our 
camp at Yangaghlik brought us to the bank of the Yarkand 

* Pausadbashi— Chief of five hundred. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 101 

River, where everything had to be taken across in boats. An 
ancient bank of the river could be seen about 60 yards 
from the present border of the stream and the intermediate 
ground was terraced. The river was about 300 yards wide at 
the crossing point ; and the current very rapid — forming re- 
gular waves in mid-stream. The large flat-bottomed boats were 
poled across the river, the steering being managed by four men 
armed with paddles which they used by levering against the 
side of the boat. 

As soon as I got across I left the road and went in for 
some shooting. Sylvia curruca was common in the scrub jungle 
on the bank of the river ; and on the sandy banks the small 
Plovers (^Egialophilus cantianus and JEgialitis Jiuviatilis) were 
numerous. The country beyond consisted principally of ex- 
tensive marshes overgrown with rushes. There the Lapwing 
( V. cristatus), the Stilt (Himanfopus intermedins) , Actitis ochro- 
phus and the Terns (Sterna fluviatilis and Sternula minufa) were 
all common. At the edges of these marshes I saw Emberiza 
pyrrhidoides and Calamophilus biarmicus flitting about among 
the rushes. The Marsh Harrier (C. aeruginosus ) was plen- 
tiful during the day hunting over the swamps ; and I got 
a long pot shot with my carbine rifle at a Griyah (Ralicetus leu- 
coryphus) but unfortunately missed it. On riding on to Igarchi 
we saw both the Storks, Kara sokan ( Ciconia nigra) and Ala 
sokati or Laglag ( Ciconia alba) , but both the species were much 
too wary to allow one even to get within shot of them. 

We are putting up here for the night in a large serai, with very 
comfortable rooms. In the evening again I went out shooting, 
and found that as at Yarkand all the following species of birds 
were common : Circus cyaneus, hunting over the rice fields ; 
Upupa epops ; the Crows (C. corone and C. culminatus) ; Mota- 
cilla personata and Budytes citreola ; Hirundo rustica, flying 
about in great numbers ; the Turtledove and the Ringdove ; 
the Common Starling ; and of course our familiar friends the 
Tree Sparrow and Crested Lark (G. magna). 

After dinner, a huge big fish, which had been caught in the 
Yarkand river, was brought in : it weighed 451t>s and measured 
in length 4 feet, 3 inches. 

3lsL — Posgam. — Extensive meadow ground on the march to- 
day, in which I saw numerous specimens of Corydalla Richardi. 
The distance from Yangi Bazar to this place is about 14 miles, 
and we have got our camp pitched in a fine orchard which 
seems to be much affected by both Oriolus kundoo and Erylhros- 
piza obsoleta. In addition to the birds I have just mentioned all 
the birds enumerated yesterday have again been met with to- 
day. 



102 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

I now propose to say a few words about the weather in July— 
the hottest month of the year in this country. 

The highest temperature in the shade this month has been 
102 o- 6; on eleven days the maximum was over 1(J0°F. ; and 
the mean maximum temperature for July is 96°. The mean 
minimum in the shade has been 68°"5 ; the mean grass 
minimum, 63°; and the mean temperature of the solar 
radiation, 146 0- 8, the highest temperature registered by the 
black bulb thermometer in vacuo during the mouth being 
157°-5. 

If these figures be compared with some of those previously 
given for the winter months, when the maximum in the shade 
was often not higher than freezing point, it will be seen 
how enormous is the range of temperature met with in 
the truly continental climate of this country. 

During the mouth we have had 8 days of fairly clear weather ; 
11 days of partial cloud and haze; and 12 days with the 
sky completely overcast, by cloud and dense dust haze in 
equal proportion. 

Rain fell on the night of the 14th to the extent of 
0*2 inch. There was drizzling rain on the 16th, and on 
three subsequent days we had a few drops of rain. The total 
rainfall for the month, however, only amounts to 0*28 inch. 

The humidity of the air in July has been high for this usually 
dry climate. On several days the air has felt quite " muggy," 
and on one occasion I noticed a difference of only 2° between 
the readings of the dry and wet bulb thermometers. 

The winds during the month have been generally slight, 
and this condition has intensified the feeling of heat ; mauy 
nights, especially, being hot and close. The breezes from the 
north and north-west have been very grateful ; and we have 
had no dust storms. 

1st August. — Yak S/iamba Bazar. — A short march to-day 
over well-cultivated country ; weather very hazy and the sky 
quite overcast ; maximum temperature in the shade 98°*8. 
On riding out of Possam, the Starlings, Orioles, Ringdoves 
and Tree Sparrows were seen in considerable numbers ; and 
on the road the Swallow, Crested Lark and Black Crow 
(C. culminatus) were common. Near our present halting 
place I left the road and going off to the left, passed through 
a lot of cultivation, where I found the Blue-breast ( Cyanecula 
suecica) common in the fields of wheat and Indian corn. 
In a clump of poplars there were great numbers of Palumbcena 
Eversmanni, of which I shot a couple ; and I also observed 
Columba cenas. Then, riding over a wide stretch of soft efflores- 
cent ground, I saw Alaudula pispoletta ; and near a lagoon, 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 103 

over which numbers of Terns (S.fiuviatilis) were flying, I saw 
a party of White Storks. Circus aeruginosas was seen only 
once, hunting over a bit of marsh; but the Kite (M. melanotis) 
is common about this village. Near all the little streams, the 
Wagtail (M. personata) was plentiful to-day. 

Znd. — Karghalik. — Started at 4 o'clock this morning in order 
to get across the Tiznaf river while it was fordable. The sky was 
quite overcast in the early morning, and a few drops of rain fell, 
after leaving Yak Shamba Bazar. Extensive marshy ground 
overgrown with reeds and rushes and many loess banks on 
each side of the road before reaching the river. The Tiznaf 
river was very low where we forded it, and consisted of two 
main branches in which the current was very rapid, even at 
that early hour. The river is said to attain its greatest 
height in this season at 2 p.m., and declines during the night, 
until it reaches its lowest about daybreak. 

Shortly after crossing the river I encountered the Beg of 
Karghalik, who had come out to meet us, and excusing myself 
for not waiting to partake of a dastarkhwan at that early hour, 
I rode on towards Karghalik. On the road the Swallow and 
Galerita magna were very numerous, and about the cultivated 
fields I noticed a few Euspiza luteola. 

When within sight of Karghalik I turned off to the left of 
the road after a party of Black Stork, at which I failed to get a 
shot. Then skirting a tract of swampy ground, I saw the 
White Stork, the Lapwing, Actitis ochropJius and Sterna Jluvia- 
tilis, in fair numbers. After riding along for about three quarters 
of an hour we came to a curious place, called Tungtash. This 
consists of a long and irregularly shaped depression, sinking 
suddenly below the level of the adjoining country. The 
sides of this hollow are steep vertical cliffs of loess, in several 
places from thirty to forty feet high. In the bottom of the 
hollow there is, at first, a meandering stream, on each 
side of which are dense growths of reeds where the Reedling 
( Calamophilus biarmicus) was very numerous, and the Blue- 
breast ( Cxjanecula suecica) somewhat less so. Great numbers 
of Kites (M. melanotis) and Marsh Harriers were flying about ; 
and perched on a cliff I saw a fine Giyah or Sea Eagle 
(Halicetus leucoryphus) . I descended into this narrow valley and 
pursuing my way along it, past several hamlets whose trees gave 
shelter to the Tree Sparrow, Starling, Oriole and Turtledove, 
reached a part where there was deep standing water, in which 
were swimming about, hundreds of Coots, Brahimny Ducks and 
White-eyed Ducks (Aylliya nyroca.) Grey Herons {Ardea 
cinerea) rose every now and then from the long reeds, as we went 
along, and we started a huge Eagle Owl {Bubo maximus). The 



104 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

latter bird breeds here in the cave-like holes of the surrounding 
loess banks. Circus wruginosus was again particularly numerous 
at this spot, and one youngish bird of the species, which I shot, 
is in a beautiful stage of plumage. The weather having got de- 
cidedly hot, I left Tungtash, and rode off to Karghalik, noticing 
by the way the Crow ( G. culminatus), the Hoopoe, the llingdove 
and the Wagtail (31. personala). 

At Karghalik I found a fair going on, with crowds of people 
about the streets, and was glad to get into the cool shade of 
the old quarters we occupied on our way up last year. 

3rd, — Halted at Karghalik. — Occupied all the morning in 
writing letters, &c, and spent the afternoon at Tungtash. In 
addition to all the birds mentioned yesterday I found the Cor- 
morant ( Graculns carbo ) quite common, and bagged a couple. 
Gallinula chloropus too was numerous amongst the rushes, and 
I noticed Budytes citreola, jEgialophilus cantianus, sEgialitis 
fluviatilis and a large species of Duck called by the natives 
Palbash aurdak, of which I have no specimen. 

5th. — Besharik. — Yesterday Ave halted for a second day at 
Karghalik and to-day we have come on a short march of about 
five miles to this little oasis of " five streams." On riding out 
of Karghalik I heard Quail calling in the fields, and Saxicola 
isabellina was tolerably numerous just where the cultivation 
ceased. In a little bit of loess ground, before getting on to the 
stony desert, I found Saxicola deserti very numerous, and shot 
five of the birds there. 

Here at Besharik the Tree Sparrow, Swallow, Hoopoe, 
Turtledove, Ringdove, Crow (C culminatus) , Galerita magna 
and the two Saxicolas mentioned above — 'are common. No 
Starlings or Orioles are to be seen about. In the evening 
I went out for a walk over the gravelly steppe, which 
extends in its dreary barrenness as far as the eye can reach. 
Here I saw the Large Sand-grouse (Pterocles arenarius), but 
the birds were so wild and the country so fiat and open that I 
was not able to get a shot. On the way back to camp I saw 
a Harrier (Circus cyaneus). Maximum temperature in the shade 
to-day 94-2° ; in the sun's rays 140-5°. 

6th. — Bora. — Started at half past five this morning, to avoid 
the heat on the desert, and reached this valley-oasis at 1 1 
o'clock. First part of road over rough gravel, evidently, I 
think, a very large low angle alluvial fan. Came across 
several small streams with bushes and reeds growing along 
their banks, and saw three Sand-grouse (P. arenarius) — very 
wild. I saw one Podoces Hendersoni, but it ran so swiftly 
and dodged so in amongst the bushes that I could not get a shot 
at it. Alaudula pispoletta and Sylvia curruca, common near 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 105 

the Kugiar stream. The rest of the road was over an uneven 
sandy waste to Bora which looks very green and fresh ; several 
orchards, and numerous fields of wheat and Indian corn. The 
hills to the west and north-west of us look qnite close. 

The birds here are the Hobby, the Kestrel, Crow (cuhninafus), 
Turtledove, Crested Lark, Swallow, Tree Sparrow, Saxicola 
isabellina, Saxicola deserti and — a bird which I have lost sight of 
for some time — the Swift (Cypselus acuHcauda). 

1th. — Ui Toghrak. — On leaving Bora we ascended at once 
to the barren sand plain we had to cross on the day's march ; the 
whole way to Ui Toghrak I did not see a vestige of indigenous 
animal life. The desert was far from being an absolute level ; 
on the contrary we passed through numerous low hills composed 
of sand, conglomerate or breccia, and sometimes of a coarse 
kind of sandstone. On the road I saw a two-humped camel 
which having, I suppose, got tired of its load, proceeded to 
shake off everything it had on its back — including the saddle — 
and then trotted off to some distance and surveyed its discon- 
solate owner. 

This oasis is, of course very fertile, and it is a capital 
place for birds. On dropping down from the edge of the 
desert into the valley of Ui" Toghrak, the first bird I found 
among the long reeds which fringe the stream, was Sinja albosu- 
perciliaris ; it has a peculiar and sweet sort of note. Then all 
the following birds were common : T. alaudarius, Milvus 
melanotis, ffirundb rustica, Cuculus canorns (young bird in 
ferrugineous plumage shot), Lanius arenarius, Upupa epops, 
Oriolus kundoo, Sylvia curruca, Motacilla per sonata, Corvus cul~ 
minatus, Passer montanus, Ergihrospiza obsoleta, Galerita 
magna, Ttirtur auritus and Turtur Stoliezkce. 

8th. — Koshtak. — Last night at Ui' Toghrak a very strong 
wind blew from the West, bringing clouds of dust with it ; and 
in consequence, this morning there was a dense dust haze. 
Sarted before 5 a.m. as the march to-day was a long one. 
The road lay over very barren ground with great level stretches 
of sand and pebbles. On nearing Koshtak I saw a solitary 
Podoces Hendersoni and a Sand-grouse (Pterocles arenarius). 
The Kilian stream which we had to ford is now of considerable 
size, and the current in it is quite strong ; its bed is composed of 
very large pebbles, and these extend for a little distance on each 
side of the water. On the banks of the stream I found Actitis 
ochrophus and in some bushes near Turtur auritus. 

Koshtak is a much wider and larger oasis than the former 
ones, and there is extensive cultivation about here. My Yar- 
kandi Shikari heard some news of the Little Bustard (Otis 
ietrax) being found about here, so I strolled out with my 

o 



106 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

gun in the afternoon, but was not fortunate enough to 
come across the bird in question, [n my walk I saw the 
Kestrel, Kite, Crow {culminatus), Tree Sparrow, Crested Lark, 
Ringdove, Swallow, Swift, Wagtail {Per sonata), and Hoopoe; 
and also Cyanecula suecica, Sylvia curruca, Saxicola isnbellina, 
Saxicola deserti, and a bird which I believe to be Pratincola 
inclica, and which is called by the Yarkandis Jingsa. 

dth—.Snlik Aziz Langar. — Sky quite overcast this morning, 
with a considerable dust haze, and a northerly wind blowing. 
A few drops of rain fell in the morning and evening, and, 
during the day, great dust clouds were seen floating away 
towards the direction of Sanju. The road from Koshtak lay 
over a nattish sandy plain all the way ; and in this desert I saw 
a couple of Podoces Hendersoni, of which I managed to bag 
one. Saxicola deserti is tolerably numerous near the bushes 
fringing the stream of this oasis; and Lanius arenarius, Upupa 
epops, Cucidus canorus (young birds of the year,) Passer mon- 
tanus and Galerita magna, are common about the little cultiva- 
tion that is to be seen here. In the afternoon I also saw several 
Kites [M. melanotis), two or three Kestrels, a pair of Hypotri- 
orclds subbuteo which had a nest containing two very young 
birds, in an Eleaguus tree; and numbers of Swifts {Cypselus 
acuticauda ?) 

10^/j. — Sanju. — Last night a fair amount of water came down 
in the Sulik Aziz or " precious water" stream f which was pre- 
viously dryj to the great satisfaction of the family living at 
the oasis ; rain must have fallen on the hills during the 
night. 

On leaving our camp at Langar we ascended at once to the 
undulating sandy plateau which lies between that oasis and the 
Sanju Valley. In the early morning we had a good view of 
the hills, several fine snow-capped peaks being seen away to 
the west, and the sky was of a beautiful deep blue color, with 
large cumuli floating along, every now and then obscuring the 
sun. The first bird 1 saw on the desert was Saxicola deserti, in 
fair numbers. A little further on we came upon the Horned 
Lark {Otocoris penicillata) in considerable numbers. Many of 
the birds were quite young, and it seems probable that the 
species had bred in the locality at an elevation of 6,200 feet 
above the sea. After 8 a.m. the weather became very hot, 
and there was a great glare from the white colored sand. 
Going along I saw altogether four Podoces Hendersoni; they 
came down to the path to pick up the horse dung, in the way 
I described before, and I managed to shoot two of the 
birds, after a few exciting runs. The last four miles or so of 
the desert, the road lay through numerous saud hillocks, and 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 107 

as we reached its edge we went through little hills of breccia, 
conglomerate and fine gravel. 

At last we came to a gap, where we saw the valley of Sanju 
lying below us. It looked very fertile and pretty with its long 
green sward, through which the Sanju stream ran over a roekv 
bed, and with its orchards dotted about and fine white poplars 
towering up majestically. A steep descent to the valley, and we 
found ourselves riding along jolly green lanes leading to the Sanju 
river which we forded ; the stream runs in three channels, with a 
rapid current. Our camp is on precisely the same ground that we 
encamped on last year, and we are to halt here for three days. 

\2th. — Sanju. — Yesterday the maximum temperature in the 
shade was 86,° the minimum 55° - 3, and the temperature of the 
suns's rays 148°'5 ; to-day it has been rather cooler, and in the 
evening the sky was obscured by a dust haze coming from the 
north-. 

Passer monfamis, Corvus cvlminatus, Galerita magna, Hirundo 
rnstica and Cypselus acuticauda are all common here. Motacil- 
la personata is numerous and keeps near the streams. Amongst 
the trees and in the orchards we find Cuculus canons, Oriolus 
hmdoo, Erythrospiza obsoleta and the Scarlet Bullfinch (Car- 
podacus erythrinus). About the cultivated fields the Blue- 
throat (Cya.necula suecica) is very numerous, particularly near 
fields of Indian corn ; and Euspiza luteola is also found near 
the same places. Upupa epops is sure to be met with about 
the bare fields ; while the Desert Shrike {Lanius arew.rius) is to 
be found perched on the little bushes growing in bare places. 
Saxicola isabellina and Saxicola deserti are common near the 
borders of cultivation. Both the Kestrel and the Hobby 
(H. subbuteo) are found perching on the poplars ; the former 
often on the very top of the tree. The Kite (M. melanotis) 
is pretty common, soaring about over the settlement, and 
away from habitations. Athene bactriana is common anion a- 
the numerous mud banks which are found about Sanju. The 
Beg or Governor of this place has some Red-billed Choughs 
( Fregilus graculus) which are quite tame ; but none of these 
birds are found here in the wild state, nor have I seen any 
Magpies or Starlings. 

A specimen of the European Roller (Coracias garrula) has 
to-day been brought in to me from Sulik Aziz Langar; the 
native who captured the bird did not know of any Turki 
name for it, and said that the species was very rarely seen at 
the oasis where he lived. 

14^/i. — Sanju to Kizil Agliil. — Yesterday we halted at Sanju, 
where it rained nearly all day. This morning we did not start 
until after 10 a. m., to mve the tents a chance of setting a 



108 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

little dry, and then, instead of following the course of the 
Sanju stream to Kewis and Tam by the way we came last year, 
Ave turned off to the left by a new route which will enable us to 
avoid the Sanju river — at this season too much swollen to ford 
comfortably. On leaving Sanju we passed a number of mud 
banks, in the neighbourhood of which I saw the Kestrel and 
Athene bactriana, and then ascending to a wide sandy ridge, where 
I found one Podoces Hendersoni, got regularly into the moun- 
tains. We followed a small stream (Arpalak) upwards, along a 
narrow valley, fording at a place called Chamban, where there 
were a few cultivated fields. The Crag Martin (Ptionoprognc 
rupestris) was now observed flying about in great numbers ; and 
the Indian Redstart (Ruticilla rufiventris) was very common along 
the stream. I also saw man} 7 Chicore (Caccabis pallidus) on the 
hill-side followed about by their young. As we went along, 
flocks of Alpine Choughs {Pyrrhocorax alpinus) were seen, an 
occasional Kite (M. melanotis) would fly past, and I observed 
one Harrier (Circus Swainsoni?) At last we reached Kizil Aghil 
which consists of a patch of cultivation with some large trees and 
one resident family on the bank of the stream. Here, strange 
to say, we found that the mulberries were only just ripe ; the 
elevation is about 7,500 feet. 

In the afternoon I -went about shooting birds and found that 
the following species are now to be met with here : The 
Kestrel, Kite, and Harrier previously mentioned ; Ptionoprogne 
rvpestrisj Upupa epops, Motacilla personata, Acrocephalus mac- 
rorhynchus, Ruticilla rufiventris, Cyanecula suecica, Pyrrhocorax 
alpinus, Saxicola deserti, Passer mo?itanus, Euspiza luteola, 
Columba rupiola and Caccabis pallidus. 

\hth. — Kizil Aghil toMazar. — Fine weather to-day until 3 P.M., 
when the sky became overcast with clouds, and the day dull 
nnd chilly ; but we have escaped from the perpetual haze of 
the plains. We followed the stream up to the higher mountains 
from which it flows, often fording from side to side, but the 
road on the whole was good. The Crag Martin, Yellow-billed 
Chough, Hill-Pigeon (C. rupioola), Ruticilla rufiventris and 
the Chicore — were all common. I also noticed T. alaudarius, 
Milvus melanosis, Upupa epops, Lanius arenarius, Motacilla 
perso?iata, Corvus culminatus and Actitis hypoleucus. Partis 
cyanus was found among the Tamarisk bushes, flying about in 
small flocks; a few Acrocephalus macrorhynchus were seen, and. 
a pair of Magpies (Pica bactriana). 

16th. — On leaving Mazar this morning we ascended for six 
or seven miles through a narrowy rocky valley, whose stream 
was fringed here and there with Buckthorn bushes. In this 
valley I saw a pair of Carpodacus rubicilla, of which I shot the 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 109 

female, and a pair of Linota hrevirostris which I secured. 
Ptionoprogne rnpestris, Pyrrlwcorax alpinus and Columba rxipi- 
cola were numerous ; and Ruticilla rufiventris, common along 
the banks of the stream. Then we began an easy, but toler- 
ably steep, ascent to the Chuchu Pass. The ground was soft 
and there was a good deal of short grass growing on the hill 
sides, on which herds were feeding. On the top of the Pass, 
the mercurial barometer stood at 1 9*564 (height, about 11,600 
feet above sea level), and the temperature of the air at 10 a.m. 
was 39.° Hundred of Choughs (P. alpinus} were flying about, 
and Montifringilla Adamsi was common on the hill sides — 
looking very white-colored as it flew iu flocks from place to 
place; some Vultures {V. monachus?) were subsequently seen 
near the top of the pass. The descent was rapid and steep ; 
then along a narrow rocky gorge where the road was very bad ; 
and finally a broader valley, where I noticed several 'talus fans,' 
led at right angles into the valley of the Sauju stream. 
We forded the river, the water of which is decidedly 
greenish in color, and encamped on its bank, on a flat bit 
of ground. 

The Crag Martin, Chough {alpinus), Hill-Pigeon, Redstart 
(rnfiventris) and Wagtail (M. personata) have all been common 
on this side of the Pass ; and after getting into camp I saw the 
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucus) walking on the stones by 
the banks of this stream. The elevation of this place is about 
8,700 feet. 

\lth. — A short march to-day, crossing the Sanju stream 
repeatedly. About three miles from last night's camp we 
passed the ruined wall which had been built in olden times to 
protect the valley. Then we came to Tam, where there were 
many fields of barley, only just ripe. After leaving Tam the 
valley narrowed and a good deal of vegetation began to appear 
on the banks of the stream : thickets of Tamarisk and willows, 
and in every open spaces patches of bright green grass. Plea- 
sant weather in the morning, but during the afternoon the sky 
became overcast; and we had some rain in the eveuing. Mini- 
mum temperature last night 47° - 5. The following is a list of 
the birds met with to-day : Ptionoprogne rupestris, Upupa epops, 
Tichodroma muraria, Motacilla personata, Ridicilla riifiventris, 
Parus cyanus, Phylloscopus tristis, Phylloscopns viridanus, Regu- 
loides viridipennis, Pvatincola indica, Pyrrliocorax alpinus, 
Linota hrevirostris and Fiingilauda sordida. The only birds 
among the above, found in the plains, are the Wagtail and 
Hoopoe ; and two species which have been so very familiar for 
many months past, viz., Coi'vus culminatus and Passer montanns, 
have disappeared from the scene. 



110 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

18</i. — Tadlik to Kiclrik Yailah — Last night the stream was 
much swollen and consequently we started rather late this 
morning. Cold day with dull leaden sky, and rain began 
at 12 o'clock and continued steadily all the afternoon. In the 
first part of the road I noticed all the birds enumerated yester- 
day ; then as the valley broadened out and we began to ascend 
to Kichik Yailak I saw Columba rupicola and Montif ring ilia 
Adamsi. On the broad grassy slopes of our encampment the 
birds I have noticed this afternoon are Montif ring ilia hoemato- 
pygia, fregihis graculus and Ruticilla ergthrogastra, all of which 
are common about. The Kirghiz are encamped here, in their 
felt tents or Akois, on precisely the same ground we found them 
on last year. At 7 o'clock snow began to fall, but did not lie 
on the ground ; Kichik Yailak looks much greener than when 
we saw it before in September. 

19th. — Halted to-day at Kichik Yailak. Cold damp weather 
and very cheerless ; minimum last night, 32 0, 5. The tops of 
the grass covered hills around us are shrouded in a dense white 
mist. After breakfast I secured the services of a friendly 
Kirghiz and started up the old side valley in quest of Snow 
Pheasants ( T. tibetanus?) which I had heard calling. Near the 
camp I saw a Harrier {Circus Swainsoni) sailing about, but 
failed to secure it. Soon after getting into the valley I saw a 
number of Podoces humilis running up the hill-side and at once 
started off in pursuit. After having climbed up to a consider- 
able height and shot three of these birds, my attention was 
attracted to some of our camp ponies which had strayed up 
nearly to the top of the hill while browsing on the grass. There 
was a slight scuffle going on between them and one unfortunate 
beast got a slight kick which caused it to lose its footing on 
the steep and slippery hill, and it came tumbling down, just a 
little to. one side of us. At first the pony pitched sideways on 
the hill, but it soon began to turn somersaults lengthways — its 
head catching the hill side every time, until it reached the bed 
of the valley below. If the poor beast had had as many necks 
as hairs in its mane it must have broken them all in that terri- 
ble fall,* but strange to say it still appeared to have some life in 
it when the Kirghiz hurried up and converted it into lawful 
food by cutting its throat as promptly as possible. After this 
little incident, I lost no time in getting down to less dangerous 
sort of ground, to the great satisfaction of my Kirghiz, who 
seemed to be greatly afraid that the Yuzbashi would hold him 
responsible in some way for the pony's death. After shooting 
another Podoces humilis, a couple of Montifringilla liamatopygia 

* " Had lie as many necks as hairs, 

He had broken them all down those perilous stairs ! " Ingoldsby. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. Ill 

and three Ruticilla erythrogastra it came on to rain so hard that 
I was forced to give up my intention of looking up the Snow 
Pheasants, and returned to the shelter of my tent. A good 
deal of snow must have fallen on the Sanju Pass to-day, and 
I expect that to-morrow we shall have rather a job to get 
across. Our provisions were sent over the Pass to-day, but all 
our luggage will be carried with us, on Yaks, to-morrow. 

20th. — Started from Kichik Yailak this morning, all mounted 
on Yaks. Followed the course of a small stream trickling 
down betweeu the rolling grassy downs, noticing by the way 
Ruticilla erythrogastra, Podoces humilis, Montif ring ilia hrematopy- 
gia, the Red-billed Chough (Fregilus graculus) and the Raven 
(Corvus tibetanus) . A few Snow Pheasants (Telraog alius tibe- 
tanus?) were heard calling, and the Marmots every now and 
then uttered their melancholy sounding cry. About 1,500 
feet below the top of the pass we got on stony ground, covered 
with snow about a foot deep. The climb up by the zigzag 
path was very difficult, and made more so by the string of 
cattle, carrying the baggage, which blocked the way. To get on 
at all quickl}', we had frequently to leave the path and scramble 
up the steep hill side ; my Yak came down on his knees several 
times, and often stopped to refresh himself by taking several 
mouthfuls of snow. Near the top of the pass it was snowing 
slightly, and the mist was so thick that we quite lost sight of 
the people and animals immediately below us. At 10 a.m., 
on the Sanju pass the mercurial barometer stood at 16'456 and 
the temperature of the air was 30°. 

The descent w r as tremendously steep just at first, but after- 
wards the road was so winding that our way became compara- 
tively easy. The Tibetan Raven was collected, in considerable 
numbers, about the carcases of horses which lined the way 
down ; I asked the Yuzbashi whether the bird was called Kargha 
(Crow) in Tnrki. He replied, " Oh no, this is called Khuzghun, 
and is quite distinct from the Black Crow ; it lives for a thousand 
years !" Rested for a short while at our old camping place 
Tarbughoz, and then followed this gloomy narrow gorge to a 
rather wider part, where we are encamped at an elevation of about 
13,000 feet, with high vertical cliffs on each side of us. Ruticila 
erythrogastra, Montifringilla hcematopijgia, and Columba rupicola 
are common here near our camp. 

21s/. — Kurgan All Nazar. — Short march to-day, the first five 
miles over very bad road, through the narrow gorge which led 
into the valley of the Karakash, where we encamped on the 
bank of the river. Fine blue sky this morning, and the tem- 
perature in the shade 64>°'8 at mid-day ; but in the afternoon a 
violent wind blew from the north, and brought with it clouds 



112 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

of dust. Birds to-day : Milvus melanotis, Ptionoprogne rapes- 
tris, Ruticilla erythrogaslra, Monti/ringilla hoematopygia, Car' 
podacus rubicilla and Columba rupicola. 

22nd. — Togkrasu. — On leaving- Kurgan Ali Nazar (or Mazar 
Ababakr) we went up along- the Karakash river to a point 
where the deep stream runs close against the rocky hill-side. 
There we crawled alonjr across the rocks, the bao-o-ao-e beino- 
carried by men the same way ; but the horses had all to ford 
the stream and take up their loads further on. A ride of an 
hour and a half brought us to a place called Pilataghach, which 
is sometimes used as a camping ground. There, along the 
banks of the river there is a bush jungle of tamarisk and buck- 
thorn with a good deal of long tufty grass. In these bushes 
I first saw and obtained Leptopaicile Sophice, which was numer- 
ous ; and I also observed Parus cyanus and many Phylloscopi. 
Then going on up stream for about eight miles, we reached our 
camping ground here, where the grass called thigh is abundant 
Brushwood all the way along the banks of the river, and sides of 
valley formed by high bare hills. The birds observed to-day, in 
addition to those just mentioned, are : — The Crag Martin, Hoopoe, 
Haven [C. tibetanus,) Ruticilla erylhrogastra, Columba rupicola, 
and Carpodacus rubicilla — the latter getting quit ecommon. 

23rd. — Togkrasu to Oibuk. — On leaving camp tins morning 
we crossed the Tograsu stream, and then a short march along 
the bank of the Karakash, which winds about a good deal in 
this neighbourhood and is densely fringed with bushes all the 
way, brought us to our camp here, a little short of Shahid- 
ullah. The road to-day lay principally over a great number of 
* alluvial fans' which came down from the little side valley, 
their bases having been cut away by the stream. Weather 
fine; maximum temperature in the shade, 71°; in the sun's 
rays, 139°'5. All the following birds were common to-day : 
Ptionprogne rupestris, Ruticilla erythrogastra, Leptopcecile 
/Sophice, Phylloscopus tristis, Phylloscopus viridanus, Accentor 
Julvescens, Corvus tibetanus and Columba rupicola. A few Ac- 
titis hypoleucus were seen near the edge of the stream. While 
riding along 1 saw a Saxicola, about the size of S. deserti, but 
quite grey ; it had the rump and tail white, the latter being 
terminated by a broad velvet-black bar*. I had a good look at 
the bird which was perched on a stone quite close to me, but 
before my servant could come up with my gun, it flew away to 
the other side of the river. 

25tA. — Oibuk to Balakchi. Yesterday we halted at Oibuk, 
and to-day we came on past Shahidullah, crossed the Karakash 
river, and then instead of turning up to the right by the Suget 

* Probably S. oenauthe, Lin, in breeding plumage, — A. O. H. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 113 

valley to the pass of that name, by which we entered the 
country last year, we have kept along the Karakash valley, 
where we are now encamped at a place called Balakchi. AH 
the birds mentioned on the 23rd have continued to be common, 
except the Grey Saxicola which has not been again seen, and I 
have in addition to note the following' species as occurring in this 
locality : Tinnunculus alaudarius, Upupa epops, Saxicola 
deserti, Motacilla per sonata Carpodacus erythrinus, Calandrella 
br achy dactyl a, Caccabis pallidas, and Totanus calidris. 

26th. — Balakchi to Gulgun Shah Mazar. — Pleasant weather, 
now; maximum in the shade 755°; and minimum last night, 
50°. Road along Karakash valley — up stream — with numerous 
grassy plots and bits of bush jungle by the way. Birds : 
Kestrel, Hoopoe, Motacilla personata, Budytes citreola (a few 
only), Guldenstadt's Redstart, Phylloscopus tristis, P. viridanus, 
Leptopoecile Sophia;, Accentor fulvescens, Corvus tibetanus (a par- 
ty of these Ravens seem to have attached themselves to our camp), 
Saxicola deserti, Carpodacus erythrinus (not numerous), 
Linota brevirostris (common), Calandrella brachydactyla, 
Cacabis pallidus, Ardea cinerea (one flock), Actitis hypoleucus, 
Totanus calidris. Plenty of blue-rumped hares on the road. 
We had to cross the river to reach our camp here, which is in a 
wide side valley, on perfectly flat ground covered with fine green 
grass. We halt here for three days, in order that the horses 
may feed up well before facing the barren Karakoram region. 

30lh. — Gulgun Shah to Portash. Our three days halt had the 
usual effect of putting us out of proper marching trim : nearly 
all one's thing seem somehow to get unpacked on these occa- 
sions, and the sudden change from the hard exercise of the 
march to the complete rest of a halt, at these high elevations, 
brings on a number of dyspeptic troubles in most people. The 
birds about our camp at Gulgun Shah Mazar were the following : 
Upupa epops, Monticola saxatilis, Motacilla personata, Ruticilla 
erythrogastra, Saxicola deserti, Corvus tibetanus, Fregilus 
graculus, Linota brevirostris, Montifringilla hcematopijgia Co- 
lumba rupicola, Algialitis fluviatilis and Actitis ochrophus. 
A few Terns {Sterna fluviatilis) were seen, and a specimen of 
Coracias garrula was found lying dead and quite dessicated 
among the stones of the hill side. 

On leaving Gulgun Shah we forded the Karakash River, and 
passed by some extensive swampy ground where JEgialites 
fluviatilis, Actis ochrophus and Totanus canescens were common. 
Then a long ride up the valley, passing many of the curious 
round salt pits which abound in this locality, and we forded the 
river again and turned up a side valley to the right, at the end of 
which we are encamped — elevation about 12,600 feet. The 



114 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Chicore were very plentiful to-day, and both their nestlings and 
eggs were obtained. A nestling" of Linota brevirostris was 
captured close to our camp here ; and Phglloscopus tristis, the 
Hoopoe and Raven have all been common to-day. 

31st. — Across Portash Pass. — On leaving" camp this morning 
we began a steep climb over loose stones, and soon found ourselves 
riding over gently sloping ground, formed apparently by a series 
of moraines. Near last night's encampment I saw Columbi 
ntpicola flying about, and Linota brevirostris was common in the 
little bushes ; but on the bare shingly ground of the pnss only 
iheHaven, Montifrinffilla /losmatopggia and Ruticilla erythrogastra 
were seen — the latter bird being particularly numerous. The 
advance party of the camp saw a herd of the Kyang or wild 
ass, and the blue-rumped hare was tolerably numerous during 
the day. 

The rise along the broad flat-looking valley, with its low 
bare hills on each side, was so very gradual that it was 
difficult to determine the highest point of this very easy pass 
without several experiments by means of the barometer. When 
we did find the highest part of the Portash ("rotten stone") pass 
at 12 o'clock, the mercurial barometer stood at 16" 176 (result- 
ing height, a little over 17,000 feet above sea-level) ; the tempera- 
ture of the air was 48°: and the wind was blowing along" the 
valley, from the south-west. From that point we had a long 
ride over flattish ground, scarcely decreasing our elevation at 
all. Yuzbashi Zarif rode along with me, conversing on many 
topics ; but I could well have spared his company, as the rare- 
faction of the air affected me, and I began to suffer from head- 
ache which gradually became intense. 

At last we reached a point where a pile of stones indicated 
what the traders who have travelled this way consider to be the 
pass (but which was found to be really lower than the point I 
have previously mentioned), and from there a short but steepish 
descent, over soft sandy ground, landed us at our camp, Akin — 
elevation about 1(>,600 feet. Violent headache increased by the 
slightest movement. 

1st September. — Darivaza Sarighot 15,900 feet. — Fearful 
sufferings during the night at Akin. This morning I was so 
prostrated that I could not ride, nor even dress. Came along 
on a c/iarpai which was carried by a couple of horses attached 
fore and aft. Yuzbashi Zarif took his leave of us this morn- 
ing ; in bidding me good-bye he said very solemnly that he 
entrusted me to God's care. The only birds noticed on the road 
were the attendant Havens and Guldenstadt's Redstart. 

2nd. — Balti Brangsa, 16,800 feet. — Sufficiently recovered to be 
able to ride the march to-day, and in the evening I hardly felt 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 115 

any headache except ou moving-. At this elevation even the 
exertion of dressing- is felt to be a tremendous effort. Both 
Monti frin gill a lmmatopygia aud the Horned Lark (Otocoris 
penicillata) were common to-day. 

3rd. — Karakoram Pass. — A fine frosty morning as we rode up 
to the top of the pass. M. hamatopygia was numerous near 
the camp, and I got one quite young bird ; so it would seem 
that this species breeds in these inhospitable regions and at such 
great heights. Near the pass I saw a Hoopoe, apparently quite 
at home ; and the Tibetan Raven seems to fly about here as 
easily as if it were at an elevation of 10,000 feet instead of 
over 18,000. At 12 o'clock on the Karakoram Pass the baro- 
meter stood at 15'386, and the temperature of the air was 33-°5. 
Many of our followers suffering from the rarefaction of the air, 
but 1 felt not the slightest inconvenience. 

Here on the watershed between India and Eastern Turtestan, 
I bring this tiresome diary to an end : the birds on the other 
side do not now concern us. I may mention that from the 
day we left Yarkand to the day we reached the Karakoram 
Pass, I had, (single-handed,) shot, measured, and skinned or car- 
bolized, one hundred aud thirty birds — and that in regions and 
under conditions little favorable for such pursuits. 

II. 

In the following detailed list of Birds of Eastern Turkestan, 
the numbers prefixed to each species ai*e those used in Dr. 
Jerdon's Bh'ds of India and Mr. Hume's Catalogue. One 
hundred and fifty-six species are enumerated, the number be- 
longing to each order being as follows : — 

Raptores ... ... ... 25 species. 

Insessores ... ... ... 78 „ 

Gemitores ... ... ... 5 „ 

Rasores ... ... ... 7 „ 

Grallatores ... ... ... 24 „ 

Natatores ... ... ... 17 



Total ... 156 „ 

No birds shot south of the Karakoram watershed are here 
included. Unless the contrary is expressly stated all the mea- 
surements, aud of course the colors of soft parts, are from 
the fresh bird. Under each species I have given all the infor- 
mation about it which I was able to collect ; and I have 
endeavored to make quite clear what statements are made as 
the result of personal observation, and what on the faith of 
native accounts. I may mention that I was surprised to find the 



116 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Yarkandis knowing so much about birds and clearly discri- 
minating- between nearly allied species as they do ; with refer- 
ence to the names of birds I never accepted the unsupported 
statement of any one individual, but cross-questioned as many 
people as possible about the matter, so that I believe the names 
I have given are quite accurately applied. About migration 
I noticed that the Yarkandis spoke of birds moving towards 
Aksu and Kulja (North), Mazan Daran in Persia (West), Hin- 
doostan (South), or Lob and Bajin — China — (East). 

1. — *Vultur monachus, Lin. 

This Vulture is found, though rarely, in the hills bordering 
Eastern Turkestan and a few stragglers are occasionally seen 
in the plains. The only specimen I got was captured in July 
1875, by one of my Yarkandi servants, at Sughuchak — about 
fifteen miles from the city of Yarkand. 

The bird had somehow fallen into a lake and was secured while 
thoroughly wet and uuable to fly. On dissection it proved to 
be a young female and had evidently sustained some injury to 
its leg; for I found a mass of spongy callus, about one inch in 
diameter, attached to the head of the right tarso-metatarsal 
bone. The following measurements and particulars were noted 
at the time from the fresh bird : Length, 44f ; expanse, 1133 ; 
wing, 31*2; tail, 16'2; tarsus, 4*3; bill, from gape, 3 - 5 ; 
wings fall short of tail, 24; weight, 33fbs. 12*5 ounces. Bill 
black above — the sides and lower mandible blueish grey. Cere 
blueish plumbeous ; edges of gape pink. Irides dark brown. 
Orbital skin and bare skin of head and neck, very pale green- 
ish. Legs and feet, greenish cream colour ; claws black. The 
Turki name for this species is Sahvar. 

7.— Gypaetus barbatus, Lin. 

The Lammergeyer was often noticed on the journey through 
Ladak, but I only saw it once in Eastern Turkestan, viz., on 
the Sanju Pass, and between the Pass and Kichik Yailak, on the 
24th September 1874. The Sanju Pass though only 16,600 
feet above sea level is perhaps the most difficult on the road 
from India to Yarkand, and is strewn on both sides with the 
carcases of dead horses. Marmots abound too above Kichik 
Yailak, and the Bearded Vulture is said to prey on them be- 
sides feeding on carrion. The Turki name of this species (no 
specimen of which was obtained) is Ghiji. 

* As I am entirely responsible for the identification of tbe species included in this 
list, I desire to explain that 1 have been able to give very little time to the matter 
and have had to name the collection without other specimens for comparison and with 
very few books to consult, so that it is only too probable that some of the names here 
given may have, on fuller investigation, to' be altered. — Ed., S. F. 

f All measurements are given in English inches and decimals of inches. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 117 

8. — Falco peregrinus, Lin. 

A few stragglers of the Peregrine Falcon are occasionally 
seen near the city of Yarkand during- the winter. The Yar- 
kandi falconers say that this bird is commonly found near the 
hills north of Eastern Turkestan iu the neighbourhood of Ush- 
turfan, Aksu and Hi (Kuldja) : and that many breed near 
Maralbashi, the nest being usually placed among reeds ! They 
also add that in the wild state the Peregrine alwavs preys on 
ducks, teal and various waders. The male is considered use- 
less for sport, but the female is held in great esteem for the 
purposes of falconry ; it is trained to strike herons, geese 
ducks and bitterns. The name given to this Falcon in Turkes- 
tan is Bahri — an Arabic word meaning ' of the river' or ; of 
the sea" — thus implying that the Peregrine is a water hauntino- 
species. 

Dimensions, &c, of a male obtained at Yarkand in March 
1875: Length, 15'5 ; expanse, 38 ; wing, 122; tail, Q-Q • tar- 
sus, 2; bill, from gape, 1*2 ; wings fall short of tail, 05 ; 
weight, 18 ounces. Bill, very dark blue at tip, light slaty blue 
at base ; cere and orbital skin, yellow ; irides, dark muddy 
brown ; legs and toes, light yellow ; claws, black. 

10 bis. — Falco Hendersoni, Hume. 

Dimensions of a female purchased at Kashghar, November 
1874, skinned at Yarkand, February 1875 : 

Length, 21*5 ; wing, 15-6 ; tail, 9'5 ; tarsus, 2'25 ; bill, from 
gape, 15; tarsus feathered for, 1*0; weight, 2fbs. 7'25 oz. 
Bill light slaty blue, darker at tip. Cere light yellow. Orbital 
skin pale yellowish. Irides dark brown. Legs light yellow; 
toes yellow with a greenish tinge. Claws black. The ovari- 
rium contained three ova, the size of small peas. 

The Turki name of this bird is " Aitalgu" and all competent 
authorities in such matters in Kashgharia assert positively 
that it is the female of the famed " Shunkar." The bird is rare 
in Eastern Turkistan, but is said to be a permanent resident 
and to breed there. I heard that it was occasionally obtained 
in the Dolan forest region — in the direction of Aksu ; from 
the district of Lob ; from the hills near Sanju ; and from the 
neighbourhood of Karchung, south-west of Yarkand. The 
" Shunkar" is the most highly prized of all the falcons, and 
whenever one is caught it is at cnce taken to the Amir, the 
Dad Khwah of Yarkand, or the Governor of the district ; the 
le AitalgiC is not at all prized, and is considered hardly worth 
training. An experienced old Yarkandi bird-catcher in looking 
at the pictures in my copy of f Lahore to Yarkand' one day, 



118 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

fixed on the plate of Falco Hendersoni and said at once that 
it was a representation of the Shunkar. Perfectly white Shunkar 
(albinos) were mentioned to me. 

12 bis.— Falco barbarus, Lin. 

$. Kashghar, \Uh December. — Length, 14'8 ; wing, 11 -55 ; 
tail, 6-2 ; tarsus, 165 ; bill from gape, l'l ; closed wings exceed 

tail. 

Bill dark blue at tip, greyish at junction with cere ; irides 
brown; leo-s and feet yellow; claws brownish at bases, black 

at tips. 

?. Yarkand,2Qth February. — Length, 15*3; expanse, 33; 

wing, 11 ; tail, 6"3; tarsus, 1*7; bill, from gape, M5; weight, 
lib 4-loz. 

Bill plumbeous blue, darker at tip ; cere light yellow ; or- 
bital skin, pale waxy yellow ; irides brown ; legs very pale 
yellow; feet yellow; claws brownish horny at bases, black 

at tips. 

$. 27 th August. — Gulgun Shah. — Length, 14.8; expanse, 
34; wing, 10*7; tail, 6*2; tarsus, 1*6; bill, from gape, l'l ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, l'O; weight, 12.8oz. 

Bill dark blue at tip, greenish yellow near cere ; cere and 
orbital skin, greenish yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, 
dusky blackish. 

This Falcon is said to inhabit the hills of Kizil tagh and 
Kuo-iar, and to breed there in summer. It visits the plains of 
Kashgharia about the beginning of winter, but not in great 
numbers. It is said to prey chiefly on Pigeons {Col. rupicola), 
and " Deghitak''' (Pterocles arenarius). This species is often 
trained for hawking, for which sport it is considered to rank 
next to the Goshawk in point of excellence. 

- 9 _ C Falco babylonicus, Gurnet/. 
t Falco Tscherniaievi, Severtsov. 

$. Qlh March, Yarkand. — Length, 17"4; expanse, 41*5; 
wing, 13-75; tail, 7*3; tarsus, 1*85; bill, from gape, 1*3; 
closed wings exceed tail, 0*3 ; weight, lib 10'5oz. 

Bill light yellowish green near cere, dark blue at tip ; cere 
greenish yellow ; orbital skin, saffron yellow ; irides, dark 
brown ; legs and feet, orange yellow ; claws, black. 

The Turki name for this species is Boz Lac/iin, boz meaning 
grey and Lachin being the ordinary name applied to Falco bar- 
barus. The only specimen obtained was purchased at Yarkand. 
I have no notes about the distribution of this Falcon iu Eastern 
Turkestan and only know that it is trained for hawking. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 119 

13.— Hypotriorchis subbuteo, Lin. 

c? Yarkand, lord May. — Length, 12'0 ; expanse, 32 ; wing, 
10*8 ; tail, 5'9 ; tarsus, 1*2 ; bill, from gape, 0"85 ; closed wings 
reach to end of tail ; and weight, 7 oz. Bill dark blue — light 
grey at junction with cere ; cere, gape, aud orbital skin, yellow ; 
irides, dark brown ; legs and toes, yellow ; claws, black. 

? Sheikh-td-mazar, near the XJr-pa canal, Yarkand, Wth 
June. — Length, 13; expanse, 32*5; wing, 11*15; tail, 6'3 ; 
tarsus, 1*1 ; bill, from gape, 0'85 ; closed wings exceed tail, 0*4 ; 
weight, 9*5 oz. Bill bluish black at tip, greenish yellow horny 
at junction with cere ; cere, greenish yellow ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs and feet, light yellow ; claws, black. 

$ Sulaghz Langar, 9th August. — Length, 12*5; expanse, 
308 ; wing, 11*1; tail, 6*3; tarsus, 1"Z ; bill, from gape, 
085; closed wings exceed tail, 0"5 ; weight, 83 oz. Bill 
dark blue at tip, greyish blue at base; cere, gape, and orbital 
skin, greenish yellow ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, yellow ; 
claws, black. 

Nestling obtained at Sulaghz Langar, 9th August. — Covered 
with a perfectly white down ; allantois as large as a hen's egg ; 
Weight 2'6 oz. Bill, grey borny ; irides, black ; legs and feet, pale 
yellow ; claws, livid horny. The stomach contained the heart of 
a starling. 

$ Shot at banju, Wth August. — Length, 12; expanse, 30 8; 
wing, 10 - 7 ; tail, 5-9 ; tarsus, 1*3 ; bill, from gape, - 75 ; closed 
wiugs exceed tail 0'2 ; weight, 6'25 oz. Bill dark blue at tip, 
bluish grey at base ; cere and orbital skin, greenish yellow ; irides, 
dark brown ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, black. 

The Hobby is a seasonal visitant to the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, where it breeds. It arrives in the neighbourhood of 
Yarkand in May, but not in any considerable numbers, and 
migrates — it is supposed, towards India — in October, when the 
trees begin to loose their leaves. The nest is usually placed high 
up in poplar trees (Populus alba), generally near mazars. At 
Sulaghz Langar, on the 9th August, a nest of this bird was found 
placed in a " Jigda" tree (Eleagnus latifolia) about 20 feet above 
the ground. The nest contained two very young nestlings (one of 
which is noticed above) and the hinder part of the body of a 
young starling — a bird of the year. As there were no stai-lings 
within at least 15 miles of Sulaghz Langar, the parent bird must 
have undertaken a trip of 30 miles, over the desert and back 
again, to provide its young with a breakfast. The Hobby shot 
at Yarkand in May was holding in its claws a sparrow {P. 
montanus), which it had just captured ; and on another occasion 
I saw one hawking dragon flies over some marshy ground. 



120 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

I have also seen it swooping at a Swallow (H. rusiica) and 
sometimes hovering above fields of corn and lucerne. 

On the return journey to India in August this species was 
observed on five different occasions at our various halting stages, 
but was not seen after leaving Sanju on the 14th August. The 
Turki name for the Hobby is " Jaghalbai." 

15.— Lithofalco cesalon, Gmel. 

<$ Kashghar, 27th December. — Length, 11*6; wing, 7*9 ; tail, 
5'0; tarsus, 1'4 \ bill, from gape, 0*75. Bill plumbeous blue, 
yellowish at base ; cere, pale yellow ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, 
yellow ; claws, black. 

J Kashghar, \0th December. — Length, J 29; wing, 8*7; tail, 
5*6 ; tarsus, 1/45; bill, from gape, 0*86. Bill plumbeous blue, 
basal half of lower mandible, yellowish horny ; cere, pale yellow ; 
irides, brown ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, black. 

The Turki name for the Merlin is " Turumtai" and it is said 
to live and breed in the hills of Eastern Turkestan. It visits 
the plains about Kashghar and Yarkand, in small numbers 
only, in winter; principally during the months of November 
and December, I think. A few birds are trained to capture 
Quails and Larks, and in this sport the Turumtai is said to 
afford great 'tamasha.' 

17.— Tinnunculus alaudarius, Briss. 

S Yepchan, 16th October. — Length, 14 ; wing, 10' 25 ; tail, 
7-1; tarsus, 1*5; bill, from gape, U'87. Bill bluish black 
at tip, bluish grey about the middle, yellow horny at base; 
cere, oreenish yellow; irides, brown ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, 
black. 

$ Juv t Yarkand, 30th June. — Length, 12 6 ; expanse, 28*4 ; 
wing, 9 - i5; tail, 6*8; tarsus, 1*6; bill from gape, 085 ; 
weight, 6* oz. Bill : upper mandible white at extreme tip and 
tooth, dark blue in the middle and light grey at cere ; lower 
mandible, slaty grey ; cere, greenish yellow ; eyelid and orbi- 
tal skin, yellowish green ; hides, dark brown-; legs and feet, 
yellow ; claws, dusky blackish. 

$ Yarkand, January. — Length, 14'8 ; wing, 10*6 ; tail, 7*5; 
tarsus, 1'6; bill, from gape, - 91. Bill, dark blue at tip, 
greenish about middle, and yellowish horny at base ; cere and 
orbits, greenish yellow ; irides, browu ; legs and feet, yellow; 
claws, bluish black. 

? . Beshkant, 6th February. — Length, 13*5 ; wing, 9'9 ; tail, 
7; tarsus, 1*52; bill, from gape, U'85. Bill greyish blue, 
lower mandible yellowish horny at base ; cere, greenish yellow ; 
irides, brown ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, black. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 121 

? Yarkand, \5th July. — Length, 13; expanse, 295; wing, 
9*8 ; tail, 7*1 ; tarsus, 1*25 ; bill, from gape, 08 ; weight, 7 oz. 
Bill dark blue at tip, light bluish grey near cere and below ; 
cere and orbital space, greenish yellow ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs and feet, yellow ; claws, black. 

The Kestrel is a permanent resident in Eastern Turkestan ; 
it is common throughout the plains during the whole year 
and I have observed it in the hills of the country also, up to 
au elevation of about 12,000 feet. It feeds chiefly on mice, 
lizards and grasshoppers ; the Yarkandis add frogs, and in 
winter, sparrows. In the stomach of a Kestrel killed at 
Yepchan in October, I found, among other things, a rat's tail 
6 inches long. This species seems to breed in April, May and 
June; towards the end of the latter month great numbers 
of the young birds are captured by the Yarkand boys. In the 
hills the nest is placed in the crevices of rocks, but in the 
plains on high " terek"" (poplar} trees, near villages. The Turki 
name for the Kestrel is Kurganak ; it is considered quite worth- 
less for hawkiug and is never trained. 

21.— Astur palumbarius, Lin. 

$ Kashghar, 14th December. — Length, 21 ; wing, 13*2; tail, 
10; tarsus, 2*95; bill, from gape, T42. Bill black, lower 
mandible light horny at base ; legs and feet, pale greenish 
yellow; claws, black. 

The Goshawk is the bird most commonly used for hawking 
in Kashgharia, for which purpose it is highly esteemed ; the 
Turki name for the species is Karchighah. It is said to live 
principally near the hills in the neighbourhood of Aksu, and 
only visits Yarkand about the beginning of winter when it is 
supposed to be following the water-fowl then migrating towards 
Hindostan. The Karchighah is caught by means of a trap, 
to which a live pigeon is usually attached as a bait ; the price 
of the trained bird varies from fifty to a hundred tangas (ten 
to twenty rupees). 

I saw a good deal of hawking as practised in Kashgharia 
and may here say a few words about the subject. The hawkers 
are always mounted on the strong ponies of the country, and 
carry the Goshawk on their gloved right hand. A leather thong 
is attached round the neck of the bird, the end of which 
Lungs down over its breast. This thong is seized by the 
forefinger and thumb of the hawker's right hand, when he is 
about to throw the bird off; the object of this being to keep 
the Hawk's body well forward, and so prevent it from being 
tilted backwards, by the resistance of the air, when it is cast 
at the quarry. The Goshawk seems to have no chance of 



122 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

striking birds unless it can be thrown at them before they 
have fairly got off the ground ; and if it once misses its prey 
it commonly gives up the chase at once and perches on a 
branch of some neighbouring tree, where the hawker has to 
follow and coax the bird to return to him by repeated cries 
of Kelang, Kelatig (come, come' . I have often seen it strike 
bares (Lepus Yarkandensis) , which it seems to do rather 
cleverly; and occasionally when there is a dearth of game 
it is thrown at Crows (0. intermedius) and Owls (Otus vuJgarus) 
which fall easy victims. Pigeons escape from it readily, and 
the only occasion on which I saw this Hawk flown at a Pheasant 
{Phasianus Shawi) the quarry escaped by settling at once 
among the rushes. The method of hawking Ducks {Anas 
boschas) as practised during the winter, is as follows. When 
a flock of Ducks is seen on some frozen stream or marshy 
ground, the hawker endeavours to approach as near as he 
can under cover ; and when concealment is no longer possible 
lie gallops his horse over the frozen ground right at the flock. 
His right arm his held straight away from bis body, the Goshawk 
sitting on his gauntleted hand with its neck thong held between 
the man's fingers to keep the bird's body well forward. The 
alarmed quarry now begius to rise from the ground, and at 
this moment the Hawk is cast forward above the flock, one 
of which it generally manages to strike. The Goshawk having 
seized its prey comes to the ground and proceeds to give 
the Duck a violent wrench, by elevating one foot and depress- 
ing the other; then craning its neck, as if in exultation, it 
begins at once to tear up and eat the quivering victim. 

24.— Accipiter nisus, Lin. 

3. Koshghar, 2$th November. — Length, 12*6; wing, 8'2 ; 
tail, 6'4 ; tarsus, 2*2; bill, from gape, 8. Bill dark blue 
at tip, brownish and yellowish horny at base ; cere, green- 
ish yellow ; irides, yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, 
brownish black. 

S. Knshghar, Idtfi December. — Length, 12*8; wing, 8'5 ; 
taib 675; tarsus, 2"25 ; bill, from gape, 0"8. Bill dark 
bluish, light horny at base below; cere, greenish yellow ; irides, 
yellow; legs and feet, pale yellow; claws, brownish black. 

The Sparrow-hawk is found in great numbers in the hills 
south of Yarkand, where it breeds. It visits the plains in 
considerable numbers, in the beginning of winter. It is rather 
prized for hawking and is trained to capture Larks, Quail and 
Pigeons (G. arnas) ; in the hills it is said also to hunt Chicore. 
Two specimens were preserved at Kashghar in November 
and December, and I have seen others procured from the 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 123 

Karchung valley in May. The Turki name for the Sparrow- 
hawk is Karghai. 

26 — Aquila chrysaetus, Lin. 

(?. Yarkand, 2,7th February. — Length, 33"2 ; expanse, 
83"5 ; wing-, 25 ; tail, 15*4 ; tarsus, 475 ; bill, from gape, 
2'6 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 2 ; weight, 61bs. 6 oz. Bill 
dark blue — light slate color near cere ; cere and edge of gape, 
greenish yellow ; cartilaginous shelf above eyes, slaty grey ; 
irides, brown ; feet yellow, soles dirty whitish ; claws, slaty 
black. 

<j? . Yarkand, 29 l7i July. — Length, 38 ; expanse, 86 5 ; 
wings, 25*5; tail, ib'5 ; tarsus, 44; bill, from gape, 2'4; 
weight, 13lbs. 6 oz. Bill dark blue at tip, greyish blue near 
cere ; cere, yellow ; irides, brown ; feet, light yellowish ; claws, 
slaty black. 

This species is the celebrated " Birkut " — the name by which 
the Golden Eagle is known in Khokand and Western Tur- 
kestan generally ; in Kashgharia however it is called (i Kara- 
kush," i.e., black bird. The trained bird is very common in 
Eastern Turkestan, every governor of a district or town 
usually having several. It is said to live and breed in the 
hills south of Yarkand and near Khoten, where the young 
birds ai'e caught, to be trained for purposes of falconry. A 
few stragglers occasionally visit the plains in winter : I saw 
one a few miles from Yarkand in January and another near 
Beshkant in February. In the wild state this Eagle's prey 
is said to consist of the Stag, the u Kik " {Ant. gutturosa), the 
wild cat, the fox and the wolf. The trained Karahish is 
always kept hooded when it is in-doors, except when about 
to be fed, and the method of carrying it to the chase is the 
following : The man who is to carry the Eagle is mounted on 
a pony and has his right hand and wrist protected by a thick 
gauntlet. A crutch, consisting of a straight piece of stick 
carrying a curved cross piece of horn or wood — the concavity 
being directed upwards — is attached to the front of the saddle ; 
the man grasps the cross piece of the crutch with his gloved 
hand, and the Eagle then perches on his wrist. I have ridden 
about for four or five hours attended by men carrying Bir- 
kuts in this way, and they never complained of feeling tired. 
I never saw the Karakush do much in the way of sport in 
Kashgharia : on one occasion I saw it very fairly cast off at 
an Eagle Owl (Bubo maximus) ; but it clumsily missed its 
quarry, at once gave up the pursuit and settled on the ground. 
I bought an untrained bird at Yarkand for a tillah (Rs. 5), 
but a good Karakush would be worth considerably more. 



124 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

42 — Haliaetus leucoryphus, Pallas. 

This bird is well known in Kashgharia, where it is called 
u Git/ah" I noticed it on several occasions a few miles from the 
city of Yarkand in June and July ; aud in August at Igarchi, 
and at Tungtash, about 7 miles east of Karghalik. It was 
always seen in the neighbourhood of water, usually sitting 
motionless on the bank of a stream or on some mud cliff near 
marshy ground. On one occasion I saw it feeding on the 
carcase of a dead horse, about five miles south of Yarkand. The 
Yarkandi shikaris say that the el Giyah" feeds principally upon 
fish and carrion, but that it sometimes strikes crows and hares. 

No specimen of this species was preserved. 

44.— Buteo vulgaris, Bechstein. 

J . Yarkand, January. — Length, 21*5 ; wing, 17*73 ; tail, 
10"0 ; tarsus, 3'0 ; bill, from gape, 1*9. 

Bill bluish black, lower mandible yellowish below; cere, 
greenish yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, bluish black. 

This Buzzard was common during the winter in the neigh- 
bourhood of Yarkand, where it was frequently seen hunting 
over the long rushes growing in marshy ground. It disappear- 
ed in the beginning of spring, migrating, I was told, north- 
wards to the hills about Kuldja. The Yarkandis call it Sa. 

45— Buteo ferox, Gmel. 

S. Yarkand, January. — Length, 22*4; wing, 16*45; tail, 
9'7 ; tarsus 3 - 2 ; bill from gape, 1*8. 

Bill bluish black, lower mandible brownish below ; cere, 
greenish yellow ; legs and feet, lemon yellow ; claws, black. 

$. Yarkand, February. — Length, 23*4 ; wing, 17*7; tail, 
10*1 ; tarsus, 33 ; bill, from gape, 1*92. 

Bill bluish black ; lower mandible brownish plumbeous at 
base ; cere, fine lemon yellow ; legs and feet, greenish yellow; 
claws, black. 

This species was also very common in the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan during the winter, and in common with the other two 
species of Buzzard found in the country, disappeared in the 
spring. I kept one of these Buzzards alive for some time, and 
found its disposition anything but gentle : when I went close 
up to it, it would throw itself on its back and strike out violently 
with its claws. It got loose one night, in a room in which I 
had a number of other birds, and committed dreadful havoc ; 
killing at least half a dozen birds, among the number a Kestrel. 
The Yarkandi shikaris called this Buzzard Tokhmak Sa, the 
Mallet " Sa," but I don't believe they could really distinguish 
it from the other two species (B. vulgaris and B.japonicus.) 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 125 

45 bis.— Buteo japonicus,* Schlegel. 

Three females, shot at Yarkand in January. — ■Length, 20*5 to 
21 ; wing, 153 to 167 ; tail, 8-9 to 9*1 ; tarsus, 2*85 to barely 
3-0; bill, from gape, 1*55 to 1*75. 

Bill, plumbeous black ; cere, legs, and feet, greenish yellow ; 
claws, black. 

Common near Yarkand during the winter. A dark specimen 
was called Kara Sa, the Black " 8a j" but this species was really 
not discriminated from the preceding two. Never met with in 
the plains after the winter was fairly over. 

50.— Circus cyaneus, Lin. 

<?. Yarkand, 17 th January. — Length, 17; expanse, 39*5; 
wing, 13*4; tail, 8'76; tarsus, 25 ; bill, from gape, 1*15. 
Bill, bluish black ; cere, greenish yellow ; irides, light yellow ; 
legs and feet, bright yellow ; claws, black. 

? Yarkand, \8th March. — Length, 20; expanse, 44; wing, 
14-65 ; tail, 10'5 ; tarsus, 275 ; bill from gape, 1*35 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 2*1 ; weight, 15(3 oz. Bill, plumbeous 
black ; cere, gape, and edges of eyelids, greenish yellow ; 
irides, straw color ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, black. 

The Hen-Harrier is a permanent resident in the plains of 
Kashgharia and breeds there ; the nest is said to be placed in 
long grass jungle. I often observed this bird sailing low, over 
rush-grown marshes and bare fields, with a wonderfully long 
sustained flight. It never seems to tire and always appears 
keenly intent on looking for its prey ; every now and then 
suddenly dropping down among the reeds, as if shot, but soon 
rising again to resume its hunting. The male bird is called by 
the Yarkandis Kok Sa — the Blue " Sa," and the female, Kilati 
Sa ; the word Sa being a sort of generic name applied to all 
Buzzards, Kites and Harriers, an added second word (usually 
having reference to color or shape) marking the species. 

51. — Circus Swainsonii, A. Smith. 

A single male bird of, (I believe,) this species was seen at 
Kichik Yailak (12,054 feet) on the 19th August. It sailed slowly 
over our camp, regularly quartering the place, so I had a good 
opportunity of observing it. The bird was somewhat larger than 
Circus cyaneus, but had no bluish tinge whatever about it : it 
was greyish white below, above pale grey, with the wings a 
little darker. I watched it for some time and at last got rather 
a long shot at it, but missed. The Kirghiz called it Boz Sa — 
the Grey " Sa." 

* Mr. Sharpe considers this species identical with B. Plumijaes, Hodgs. I suspend 
my opinion of this point.— A. O. H. 



126 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

54.— Circus SBruginosus, Lin. 

% . Snghnchak, 2 t 6tk July. — Length, 22*4; expanse, 52*5 ; 
wing, 16*2 ; tail, 112 ; tarsus, 34; bill, from gape, 1*6 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 2*5 ; weight, lib 5oz. Bill, dark blue; 
edge of gape, plumbeous blue ; irides, light brown ; cere, greenish 
yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, black. 

9. Tungtask, 2nd August. — Length, 22; expanse, 55; wing, 
17 ; tail, 105 ; tarsus, 3*4; bill, from gape, 1*65 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1*3; weight, lib 975oz. Bill, dark blue ; 
lower mandible, grey at base; cere, greenish yellow; irides, 
very light yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, bluish black. 

<§. Tungtash, 2nd August. — Length, 1 95 ; expanse, 48*8 ; 
wing, 15*2 ; tail, 9'65 ; tarsus, 3'4 ; bill, from gape, 1*5 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*7 ; weight, lib l'2oz. Bill, dark blue; 
base of lower mandible and edge of gape, greenish yellow ; 
cere, yellow; irides, hazel; legs and feet, yellow; claws, blu- 
ish black. 

The Marsh Harrier is tolerably common in Eastern Turkestan 
where it is often seen during the summer, hunting over the 
long rushes and reeds which grow in marshy ground or on the 
banks of lakes. It was never seen in winter. This species is 
said to feed chiefly on frogs, rats and lizards; occasionally also 
on the Reedling {Calamophilus biarmicus). It breeds in Kash- 
gharia, where it is called by the natives Akbash Sa, the White- 
headed " Sa." 

56 bis.— Milvus melanotis, Temm. and ScJdeg. 

(1). $. Taskhama, near Yarkand, 27th June. — Length 
24*2 ; expanse, 60 ; wing, 19 9 ; tail, 13 ; tarsus, 2-2 ; bill, 
from gape, 1*8 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0'5 ; weight, lit) 
lOoz. Bill, dark slaty blue; cere, yellow; irides, yellowish 
hazel ; legs and feet, pale greenish yellow ; claws, black. 

(2). Nestling of above obtained at the same time and place. 

(3). ^ • J uv - Yarkand, 20th July. — Length, 23 ; expanse, 
60; wing, 18*75; tail, 114; tarsus, 2*2 ; bill, from gape, 1*8; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 0*2 ; weight, lib 8 - 25oz. Bill, 
bluish black ; cere and edge of gape, very pale greenish yel- 
low ; irides, hazel; legs and feet, pale greyish; claws, bluish 
black. 

(4). <-». Karghalik, 2nd August. — Length, 24; expanse, 
59'4 ; wing, 18*8; tail, 1225; tarsus, 2; bill, from gape, 
1*73; wings short of tail, 1*1 ; weight lib 12 # 5oz. Bill, bluish 
black ; cere, pale yellow ; irides, orange brown ; legs aud feet, 
pale grey ; claws, black. 

(5). $. Hills between Kigil Aghil and Mazar, \5t7i August. 
— Length, 23 ; expanse, 60 ; wing, 189 ; tail, 11*5; tarsus, 2 25; 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 127 

bill, from gape, 1*8 ; weight, lib. 13*25oz. Bill, fuliginous 
black • the base of the lower mandible, greenish yellow ; cere and 
gape, yellow ; irides, light brown • legs and feet, yellow ; claws, 
greyish black. The closed wings reach to the end of the tail. 

This* was the only species of Kite observed in Eastern Tur- 
kestan, where it is tolerably common, especially in the plains, 
although it does not occur in anything like the enormous 
swarms of allied species of Kite seen in Kashmir and the parts 
of India which I have visited. It was first noticed near Yar- 
kand in April and the last specimen seen in the country was near 
Shahid-ullah about the end of August. The natives say that it 
is a permanent resident, but I certainly never noticed any kites 
during the winter, and believe they only arrive about March or 
April. This species breeds in Kashgharia, and, in the plains at 
all events, the nest seems always to be placed on high trees. 
On the 27th April I found a nest at Kichik Taskhama (about 
ten miles or so east of Yarkand) in a clump of Toghrak or 
poplar trees {Populus balsamifera, ; it was in the form of a rude 
sort of platform, made up of sticks and twigs about 2 feet 
square, placed on three strong horizontally growing branches, 
about 30 feet above the ground. The nest contained oue young 
bird (No. 2, supra) not able to fly. The parent birds appeared 
to be much disturbed by my presence near their nest and soar- 
ed about anxiously, thus giving me an opportunity of shooting 
one of them, which proved to be a male (No. 1, above). I 
noticed that the female had the tail much less forked than her 
companion, probably because it had become much frayed while 
she was hatching. This kite is said to feed on frogs, fish, carriou 
and refuse generally, occasionally carrying off a chicken. It 
is called Achah Koyrulc Sa, 'the Fork-tailed Kite' or occasionally 
Jlfizan Sa 'the Balance Kite/ in allusion to the manner iu which 
it poises while soaring. 

67.— Otus vulgaris, Mem. 

i. Kas/ighar, 'Mst October. — Length, 14*3; wing, 11 7; 
tail, 5"b' ; tarsus, 1-35; bill, from gape, T05. Bill, black — 
light horny at tip ; irides, orange ; claws, brownish black. 

&. Yarkand, February. — Length, 149 ; wing, 11*75 ; tail, 
5*9; tarsus, 1*4; bill, from gape, 1*1. Bill, bluish black; 
irides, orange yellow ; claws, horny black. 

Two females, shot near Yarkand in February. — Length 14*8 
to 15-2 ;wing, 12-25 to 12-3 ; tail, 62 to 6'5 ; tarsus, °1 -45 to 
1*6; bill, from gape, 1* 15 to 1*25. Bill, slaty black — brown- 
ish at tip ; irides, orange ; claws, black, brownish or pale at tips. 

* These specimens, though clearly very closely allied to M. major, appear to uie all 
markedly smaller thau this latter. — A. O. i£. 



128 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

?. YarJcand, Ylth March. — Length, 14-25 ; expanse, 35*8 
wing, 12*25; tail, 6*4 ; tarsus, 1"35 . bill, from gape, 1*2 
closed wings exceed tail, 1*4 ; longest feather in ear tuft, 2*0 
weight 8 oz. Bill and claws, black ; i rides, golden orange ; soles 
of feet, yellowish white ; ends of toes, dusky. 

The Long-eared Owl was common about Kashghar and 
Yarkand during the winter; about the beginning of April it 
migrated, probably towards the forests of Maralbashi and 
Aksu, where I was told that it was known to breed. Near 
Beskant, in February, it was often flushed while beating for 
Pheasants (P: Shawi) and hares in long grass ; on these occa- 
sions, when the sport was flagging, the Yarkandis would throw 
off their Goshawks to strike the Owls, pour passer le temps. 
This species was also observed roosting on trees and frequenting 
old ruins. In Tnrki it is called Mashak Yapalak or ' Cat Owl.' 
Four of these birds were placed for a night in a large hamper; 
in the morning only one Owl was found alive, the other three 
had been killed, and two of them partially devoured by the 
survivor ! 

68.— Otus brachyotus, Gmel. 

<?. Yarkand, January. — Length, 147 ; wing, 12'3; tail, 
6 ; tarsus, 15 ; bill, from gape, l'l. Bill, slaty black, horny 
at tip ; irides, yellow; claws, black. 

Two females, Yarkand, February. — Length, 15*2 to 15 - 3; 
wing, 12-4 to 126; tail, 6'3 to 64; tarsus, 1-6 to 1-65 j bill, 
from gape, 1"05 to l'l. Bill, black, horny at tip; irides, 
yellow ; claws, brownish black. 

<$ Yarkand, 1st March. — Length, 15; expanse, 36'5 ; 
wing, 13*2; tail, 64; tarsus, 1*8; bill, from gape, 1*15 ; closed 
wings exceed tail, 0'5. Bill, bluish black ; irides, yellow ; 
toes, yellowish ; claws, black. 

The Short-eared Owl was very common near Yarkand during 
the months of January, February and March, frequenting 
long grass and rushes, where it was said to prey, principally 
on frogs and mice : this bird also was often flushed while beat- 
ing for pheasants and hares. About the end of March or the 
beginning of April it migrated northwards, to the forests near 
Maralbashi or Aksu, where it was reported to breed. The 
Turki name for this species is Yapalak. 

68 bis. — Nyctea nivea, Daudin. 

$. Kashghar, December. — Length, 26'9; tail, 107 ; tarsus, 
2"45 ; bill, from gape, 19 ; from forehead straight to point, 1*76. 

Bill, slaty black ; irides, bright yellow ; claws, bluish black, 
grey horny at their bases. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 129 

A single specimen of this splendid bird was obtained, alive, 
at Kashghar in December. It was caught by a native while 
committing- some depredations on his poultry yard, and it re- 
mained in my possession for more than a month before it died, 
and was skinned to enrich my collection. It was stated to 
live and breed in the hills north of Kashghar ; its prey, I was 
told, consisting of Chicore, hares, hedge-hogs ! &c. The Turki 
name for the Snowy Owl is Baikush, i.e., 'the noble bird.' 
While in confinement it did not seem to care about feeding on 
raw meat like the Falcons and Hawks, but preferred the carcase 
of some dead bird to devour at leisure. 

70 bis.— Bubo maximus,* Sibbald. 

(1). £. Yarkand, 3rd April. — Length, 24'5 ; expanse, 
64; wing, 19; tail, 10"4 ; tarsus, 2*6; bill, from gape, 2; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 2 - 3 ; weight, 31bs. 14*5 oz. Bill, dark 
slate color; irides, bright golden orange; soles of feet, dirty 
white; claws, dusky at their bases and below; dark blue to- 
wards the tips. 

(2). <?. Karghali/c, 18th April. — Length, 255 ; expanse 
65'5; wing, 18-8; tail, 11*2; tarsus, 2*8; bill, from gape, 2; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*8 ; weight, 31bs. 7'25oz. Bill, 
dark slaty blue ; irides, golden orange ; claws, dusky at base 
— dark blue at tips; soles of feet, dirty white. 

(3) . ? . Yarkand, 3rd April. — Length, 26*75 ; expanse, 68'75.; 
wing, 18*5; tail, 11*0 ; tarsus, 3*3 ; bill, from gape, 2*2; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 25 ; weight, 5ft>s. 8*5 oz. Bill, dark 
slate color; irides, bright golden orange ; claws, dusky at bases 
and beneath, black at tips ; soles of feet, dirty white. 

This fine Owl, called in Turki Hui kush — the ei hui" bird, was 
fii'st seen, in open waste ground, near Beshkant on the 4th 
February. It was attended by a flock of Crows (C. intermedins) 
who seemed to be tormenting it — flying after it and surround- 
ing it when it settled on the ground, but always keeping at a 
respectful distance. The bird was again met with at Tungtash 
near Karghalik in August sitting among long grass and reeds, 
overlooking water where hundreds of Coots [F. atra) and Ducks 
(Aythya nyroca and Casarca rutila) were swimming' about 
with their young ; these young birds as well as the Moorhen 
( G. chloropus) which was common about, might be expected to 
fall an easy prey to the concealed but watchful Eagle Owl. I 
noticed ou the occasions when I saw this Owl that he was 
very wary and would never allow one to get within shot of him. 

The three birds whose dimensions I have given above were 
bx-ought to me alive : they were bad tempered ; snapping their 

* These beloDg to the pale form B. sibiricus, Eversm.— A. 0. H. 

R 



130 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

mandibles quite ferociously when approached, and their food, 
raw meat, had almost to be forced down their throats. The 
males were considerably smaller than the female, but had the 
ear tufts somewhat longer : the longest feather in the tutts of 
the males measuring- respectively 3'7 and 3*5 against 3'4 in 
the female. The ovary of the latter contained two ova as large 
as nuts, the feathers of the middle of the breast and abdomen 
were wanting, a considerable collection of fat being found under 
the skin in this region, so that the bird must have been incu- 
bating about the time it was captured. 

No. 2 above (a male) was captured on its nest, which at the 
time contained one egg, whose contents I found to be quite 
fluid. I did not see the nest myself, but the place was 
pointed out to me afterwards at Tungtash. It was a small cave 
in a mud (loess) cliff about 10 feet above the ground. The 
floor was flat and the egg was said to have been found lying 
on a bed composed of hair and fur of animals. The egg is 
pure white, of a roughish texture, and has no gloss. In shape 
it is a short oval and measures 2*3 in length by 1*95 in 
breadth. 

76 A.— Athene bactriana,* Blyth ? Button. 

?. Yarkand, January. — Length, 9*3; wing, 63 ; tail, 3 - 65 ; 
tarsus, l'l; bill, from gape, - 85. Bill, pale lemon yellow; 
irideSj yellow ; claws, dusky. 

?. Yarkand, February. — Length, 9*15; wing, 633 ; tail, 
3 - 55 ; tarsus, 1*0; bill, from gape, 0'87. Bill, lemon yellow; 
irides, yellow ; claws, dusky and brownish horny. 

I first got this species at Kashghar in November, two birds 
having been brought to me alive. They were put into a room, 
loose, but escaped during the night by butting their way 
through the paper covering the window ; transparent paper 
being made to do duty for window glass in Kashgharia. This 
little owl was common near Kashghar and Yarkand during the 
whole winter and was observed at Sanju in August. It is a 
permanent resident, and breeds in the countiy, living princi- 
pally in holes in inud banks and feeding on mice, lizards and 
beetles. I have seen it flying about freely in the day time, 
but its habits were reported to be chiefly nocturnal. 

The Turki name for this species is Chaghundak, and it is said 
to be greatly in demand in Yarkand, where its flesh is mixed 
with a number of ingredients to form some nasty compound 
supposed to be a sovereign remedy for a serious disease ! I was 
told that it had been so much hunted for this purpose that it 
had taken to building its nest in high poplar trees. 

* This is doubtless A. plumipes, 6winh.— A. 0. H, 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 131 

82.— Hirundo rustica, Lin. 

Two males shot at Yarkand in April. — Length, 8*1 to 8*9 ; 
expanse, 12-85 to 129; wing, 4-7 to 4*9; tail, 4'8 to 5'23; 
tarsus, 043 to 045 ; bill, from gape, 05 to 0*6 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1*9 to 2-65; weight, 06 oz. Bill and claws, 
black ; legs and feet, brownish black and dusky brown. 

<y Juv. Yarkand, 3rd July. — Length, 5*9 ; expanse, 12; wing, 
4*35; tail, 2'65 ; tarsus, - 43; bill, from gape, 0'65; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0'45 ; weight, 0'6 oz. Bill greyish 
black, yellowish at base and gape ; irides, dark brown ; legs, 
feet and claws, black. 

Two females shot at Yarkand in April. — Length, 7 "35 to 
7-6; expanse, 125 to 132 ; wing, 4-82 to 4- 9 ; tail, 37 to 
4-0 ; tarsus, 0"4 to 0'45 ; bill, from gape, 0*6 to 0"62 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, l'O to 1*15 ; weight, 0-65 oz. Bill 
and claws, black ; legs and feet, dusky and brownish black. 

The Common Swallow is found in great numbers in the 
plains of Eastern Turkestan, from Sanju to Kashghar, for 
six months in the year. The birds arrive about the middle 
of April and migrate towards the end of October, not a single 
bird of this species being ever seen in winter. They breed 
during May and June; many young birds, just able to fly, 
being found in the eaidy part of July. The Yarkandis call 
the bird Ui Karloghach — House Swallow — and say that it 
always makes a mud nest on the roof of houses, the number 
of eggs laid being from three to five ; and that two broods 
are raised in the season. Unlike the Swift this species was 
frequently seen perching on trees, and settling on the ground 
and on sand banks. 

91.— Ptionoprogne rupestris, Scop. 

<?. Kizil Aghil, lAth August. — Length, 575 ; expanse, 13*4; 
wing, 53; tail, 2*7 ; tarsus, 0'45 ; bill, from gape, 0*6; closed 
wings exceed tail, 0*95 ; weight, 0*7 oz. Bill, black ; irides, 
dark brown; legs and feet, fleshy ; claws, black. 

? . Toghrasu, 2Znd August. — Length, 5'2 ; expanse, 129 ; 
wing, 4*9 ; tail, 2*4 ; tarsus, 0"5 ; bill, from gape, 6 ; closed 
wings exceed tail, 0'85 ; weight, 0'6 oz. Bill, black ; irides, 
brownish black ; legs and feet, fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

This Crag Martin was first observed in Eastern Turkestan, in 
August, between Sanju and Kizil Aghil. After that it was seen 
every day along the Arpalak stream and the Karakash river. 
It flew about hunting over the water and perched on the high 
rocks near the streams. At Kizil Aghil I was informed by the 
inhabitants that this bird left them when the leaves fell off the 
trees and reappeared again in spring when the trees began to 



132 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

blossom ; they said that the nests were placed in the clefts of 
rocks, near the river. The Tnrki name for this species is Tagh 
Karloghach — ' Mountain Swallow/ and I need scarcely add 
that it was never seen in the plains. 

99A. — Cypselus,? pekinensis, Swinhoe. 

<?. Yarkand, 3rd May. — Length, 65 ; expanse, 15*7 ; wing 1 , 
6*7 ; tail, 2-6 ; tarsus, 04 ; bill, from gape, 0'65 ; closed wings 
exceed tail, 1*7 ; weight, 1*2 oz. 

Bill, black ; irides, dark brown; legs and toes, dusky ; claws, 
black. Testes, large. 

? . Yarkand, 5th May. — Length, 7*0 ; expanse, 15*8 ; wing, 
6*8 ; tail, 3*1 ; tarsus, 0*4 ; closed wings exceed tail, 1*0 ; bill, 
from gape, 0*75 ; weight, 1*35 oz. 

Bill, black ; irides, dark brown ; toes, dusky ; claws, black. 
Ova, very small. 

This Swift was first noticed flying over the Fort at Yarkand 
on the 10th April ; after that it was seen daily near the Fort 
and City until the end of July when it seemed to have disap- 
peared. These birds always kept near their roosting places in 
the holes and crevices of the mud walls of the City and Fort, 
circling and flying about in the mornings and evenings, and 
repairing to their nests during the heat of the day and for the 
night. Their flight was strong and rapid, and when breeding 
they often made a shrill screaming noise. I caught one of the 
Swifts in its roosting place, and placed it on level ground to see 
how it would be able to fly off. It took an awkward tumbling 
run for a few yards, and then got on the wing pretty easily. 
On the 3lst May I found a nest of this species containing two 
eggs. The nest was in a narrow hole, so small that one's hand 
could with difficulty be introduced into it, in the thick mud 
wall on the north side of the Residency compound. The hole 
was about twenty feet above the level of the ground, and ran 
back horizontally for about a foot. The eggs were placed on a 
sort of cushion composed of feathers, hair and wool. One ecrg 
was taken, the contents of which were found to be quite fluid ; 
it was spotless white with a faint roseate tinge before it was 
blown, and had no gloss. In shape it is a long narrow oval, 
pointed at one end and measures 0*99 in length by 06 in 
breadth. The Turki name for this Swift is Kirich Karloghach 
1 the Sabre Swallow.' 

99 bis.— Cypselus acuticauda, Blyth. 

<?. Yarkand, 8th July. — Length, 6*55 ; expanse, 15*5 • wing, 
6-3 ; tail, 2*9 ; tarsus, 037 j bill, from gape, 0'78 ; closed 
wings exceed tail, l'l ; weight, 1*4 oz. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. . 133 

Bill, black ; i rides, brown ; feet, fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

c? . Sanju, 11th August. — Length, 6*4 • expanse, 15*2 ; wing, 
6*2 1 tail, 3*0 ; tarsus, 0"45 ; closed wings exceed tail, l'£- 
bill, from gape, 0*75 ; weight, 1 oz. Bill and claws, black • 
hides, brownish black ; feet, fleshy. 

This Swift was not discriminated from Cypselus pekinensis 
at. the time I obtained it, but the point which Mr. Hume 
considers distinctive, viz., the black feet of Cypselus pekinensis 
against the flesh colored feet of this species was certainly 
noted by me from the fresh birds. I can only say, about 
the Swift under consideration, that a specimen was obtained 
at Yarkand in July and another at Sanju in August, and that 
this species must have been associated with Mr. Swinhoe's 
Swift — at the former place, at all events. Curiously enough, 
the name given to the bird preserved at Sanju was Yar Kar- 
loghach, i. e., Bank Swallow and not Kirich Karloghach. 
Of course I do not mean to say that the Yarkandis were 
aware that they had two species of Swift in their country. 
I put down in my notes at the time that " the Swift is called 
Kirich — (sometimes Yar) Karloghach/' 

ll^-Caprim^ pZSEfflUo* 

$ Ijithc, Dolati District, 28th July. — Length, lO'l ; ex- 
panse, 22; wing, 7*4; tail, 5*15; tarsus, 0*63 ; bill, from 
gape, 1'33 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0*8. 

Bill, black at tip, brownish at base ; irides, darkish brown ; legs 
and feet, fleshy ; claws, brownish black. 

This Goatsucker was never met with in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Kashghar or Yarkand, and the only specimen I ob- 
tained was captured in the forest region of the Dolan about 
thirty miles from the city of Yarkand. The following is the 
account given of this species by the Yarkandi Shikaris : The 
name of this bird is Ayagh siz., (' footless' or ' without feet') ; it is 
only found in the forest of the Dolan among the Toghrak 
(poplar) trees, and it lives there permanently. It sits still on the 
branches during the day time, but at night it flies about, making 
a noise like the croaking of a frog and catches its prey (moths, 
insects) while on the wing, like a Swallow. The male bird is of 
a lighter color than the female. Breeds in May and June; the 
young birds often seen flying about towards the end of July. 

125.— Coracias garrula, Lin. 

1. £. Sulaghz Langar, 12th August. — Length, 12*5 ; expanse, 
25*4; wing, 7*4; tail, 5*4 ; tarsus, 0*8; bill, from gape, 1'73; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 2'0 ; weight, 3'5 oz. 

* I feel no certainty that I have correctly identified this spcciea.— A. O. H 



134 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Bill, blackish, extreme tip of upper mandible whitish horny ; 
lower mandible and sides of upper brownish at base ; legs and 
feet, dirty yellow. The testes were small, and the stomach con- 
tained more than one dismembered beetle. 

2. Specimen found lying dead and perfectly dessicated 
amongst stones near the Karakash river at Gulguu Shah. 

This species is said to be common in Khokaud and Western 
Turkestan, where it is called Kok Kargha, the ' Blue Crow ;' 
it only passes through Eastern Turkestan. 

The first specimen was obtained at Sulaghz Langar in August 
and appeared to be quite unknown to the natives. Later in the 
same month, a second specimen was found dead near the Kara- 
kash river ; both birds had evidently been migrating south- 
wards. 

158A— Picus leucopterus, Salv. 

?. Beskant, 6th February. — Length, 8"1 j wing, 5'05 ; tail, 
3-5 ; tarsus, 0-82 ; bill, at front, 117. Bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 

This Woodpecker was seen near Yarkand during the winter 
only and then was far from common. 

It frequented large trees growing near Mazars (shrines) and 
the only specimen I collected was shot at Beshkant in February 
In the summer it is said to move up northwards to the forest 
region in the neighbourhood of Aksu. The Turki name for this 
species is Sokochak, i. e. ' the Striker.' 

199.— Cuculus canorus, Lin. 

(1) . Four males, shot in May at Yarkand, measured and weighed. 
—Length, 12'8 to 13*85 ; expanse, 23 to 24; wing, 8*5 to 8*9 ; 
tail, 7 to 7-7 ; tarsus, 0*8 to 1*0; bill, from gape, 1*15 to 1'3 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, l'S5 to 20 ; weight, 3*2 oz. to 37 
oz. Bill, upper mandible and tip of lower, black ; base of 
lower mandible, greenish ; irides, yellow or yellow straw color ; 
edges of gape and eyelids, yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, 
yellowish horny. 

(2). P Yarkand, 25t/i April. — Length, 14; expanse, 
24-4 ; wing, 8*75 ; tail, 7-1 ; tarsus, - 95 ; bill, from gape, 
1*32 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*5 ; weight, 45 oz. Bill, 
upper mandible and tip of lower, black ; lower mandible, green- 
ish yellow at base ; interior of mouth, red ; irides and edges of 
eyelids, yellow ; legs and feet, yellow ; claws, brownish horny. 

(3). Two females, in immature ferruginous plumage, shot in 
June near Yarkand, measured and weighed. — Length, 123 to 
13-2 ; expanse, 22'8 to 23-5 ; wing, 8 to 8-5 ; tail, 6-6 to 6'9 ; 
tarsus, 0-9; bill, from gape, 115 to 1'2 ; closed wings fall 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 135 

short of tail, 1*3 to 1*6 ; weight, 2*8 oz. to 3'8 oz. Bill, upper 
mandible, horny black ; lower mandible, greenish yellow, dusky 
at tip ; irides, straw color ; eyelids, grey ; edges of gape and 
eyelids, yellow ; legs and feet, yellow or orange yellow; claws, 
yellow horny, some of them dusky. 

(4). Juv. Yarkand, 8th June. — Length, 7'8 ; expanse, 15 - 4 ', 
wing, 4'5 ; tail, 2 - 6 ; tarsus, 085 ; bill, from gape, 09 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*1 ; weight, 2*5 oz. Bill, dusky ; 
edges of gape, orange red ; legs and feet, fleshy; claws, dusky. 

(5). P Juv. Taskhama, 29th June. — Length, 8*6 ; 
expanse, 15 ; wing, 53 ; tail, 3*7 ; tarsus, 09 ; bill, from gape, 
1*1; closed wings short of tail, 1*4; weight, 1*9 oz. Bill 
dusky at tip and above ; lower mandible, livid horny ; mouth 
and edge of gape, deep orange ; irides, hazel ; legs and feet, 
light fleshy ; claws, light horn color, purplish at their bases. 

The Common Cuckoo arrives in the plains of Eastern Turkes- 
tan about the middle of April, and leaves about the beginning 
of August. In May and June their well-known cry may be 
heard in every orchard about Yarkand, but towards the end of 
July the birds seem to get scarce and are never heard calling ; 
young birds of this species were seen near Karghalik on the 
3rd August, so they are probably somewhat later in migrating 
than their parents. I often noticed at Yarkand that the Cuc- 
koo before beginning its usual note, gave a prolonged sort of 
cry, somewhat resembling that of the Toad {Bufo viridis), but 
much louder. A young bird, picked up in a clump of poplars 
at Taskhama, was very ferocious — biting at one's hand vigor- 
ously ; its head looked curiously large for its body, and when 
about to be fed it opened its mouth so very widely as to re- 
mind one at once, of one of those square-mouthed travelling 
bags. This young bird had evidently sustained some injury 
to its right wing (which was an inch and half shorter than the 
left one) probably by falling out of its nest. 

The Yarkaudis have curious accounts to give about this 
species. In the first place they are well aware of the parasitic 
habits of the bird, and of the young Cuckoo ejecting its foster- 
brothers from the nest ; they say that the eggs are deposited 
in the nests of Lanius arenarius, Euspiza luteola, Erythrospiza 
obsoleta and Cyanecula suecica, but never more than one egc 
in any nest. Then they say that all Cuckoos are of the female 
sex, and not very particular in their choice of husbands — La- 
nius arenarius, JSisoria unclata and frogs (!) even being select- 
ed indifferently ! 

The Turki name for the bird is Kakkok, which is, I think, a 
better imitation of the cry than that conveyed by our English 
name, Cuckoo. 



136 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

247— Tichodroma muraria, Lin. 

g. Tadlik, 18th September. — Length, 6'4 ; expanse, 
11*9; wing, 44; tail, 2*4; tarsus, 0'9 ; bill, from gape, 
1*2; closed wings fall short of tail, 0*35; weight, - 7 oz. 
Bill, black; irides, blackish brown; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

This species was not noticed in the plains, and was first met 
with in the hills in September. At Tadlik, below the Kirghiz 
encampment at Kichik Yailak, I saw two of these birds, one 
of which I shot. They flew from the bank of the stream to 
the hill side, up which they ran pretty nimbly. 

254.— Upupa epops, Lin. 

p . Yarkand, April. — Length, 12'25 ; expanse, 18 ; wing, 62 ; 
tail, 4"4; tarsus, 0'8 ; bill, from gape, 25; closed wings fal 
short of tail, 2*1 ; weight, 2*4 oz. Bill, dusky ; legs and feet, 
fleshy ; claws, dusky. Longest feather in crest, 2*7. 

P . Yarkand, April. — Length, 1 1 ' 7 5 ; expanse, 18; wing, 5*8 ; 
tail, 4 ; tarsus, 09 ; bill, from gape, 2*3 ; closed wings fall short 
of tail, 1*0; longest crest feather, 2*3 ; weight, 2 - 25 oz. Bill, 
dusky, black at tip ; legs and feet, dusky ; claws, black. 

The Hoopoe is a very common bird in Kashgharia, where it 
is a permanent resident. It was met with in all sorts of places : 
in the fields about Kashghar and Yarkand ; near villages ; at 
the little oases in the desert, between Karghalik and Sanju ; in 
the valley of the Karakash ; and it seemed perfectly happy in 
the barren region near the Karakoram pass at an elevation 
of over 18,000 feet. The Yarkandis call it Hilpup (a good imi- 
tation of the sound it makes), and say that it hybernates (!) 
for forty days in the depth of winter. This species breeds from 
the middle of April, until about the end of June ; I saw a 
young bird not able to fly more than a few yards, on the 10th 
July. 

On the 10th June the nest of a Hoopoe was found in a hole 
in the old wall about four feet above the ground ; it contained 
four eggs which were lying on a bed of grass, feathers, and 
some small pieces of felt. On the 15th June, I found another 
nest in a deep hollow of a willow tree ; the eggs could not be 
reached by the hand. Two eggs which I took at Yarkand 
are of a pale greyish blue color, without any spots ; they are 
rather elongated ovals, smaller at one end, and have a slight 
gloss. The eggs measure respectively l'l in length by 0*72 in 
breadth, and 1-0 by 073. 

256 A. — Lanius Homeyeri, Cabanis. 

8. Kashghar, \9th December. — Length, 9'9; wing, 4*7 ; tail 
5*1; tarsus, 1*1; bill, from gape, 1*12. Bill: upper mandible 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 137 

black, edge whitish at gape ; lower mandible black at tip, whit- 
ish horny at base ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

p. Kashghar, 2ith November. — Length, 10; wing, 4'8; tail, 
4*9; tarsus, 1'08; bill, from gape, 1'06. Bill: upper mandible 
brownish black ; lower mandible black at tip — whitish horny 
at base ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

P . Kizil, Ath January. — Length, 10'1 ; wing, 4*65 ; tail, 4'7 ; 
tarsus, 1 • 1 ; bill, from gape, 1*04. Upper mandible brownish black ; 
lower black at tip, greyish livid horny at base ; legs, feet, and 
claws, black. This specimen has numerous faint cross bars on the 
chest, aud the rump is more grey than in the other two specimens. 

This Shrike was tolerably common near Kashghar and 
Yarkand in winter ; it was never seen in spring or summer, as 
it had then migrated northwards. It chiefly affects bare places 
with a few small trees scattered about, but is occasionally seen 
near villages. Near Kizil in January I saw some of these 
Shrikes perched on small leafless trees, sitting very motionless 
and apparently not alarmed when one approached them even 
pretty closely. This Shrike is occasionally trained to capture 
small birds — such as Sparrows, &c. I had one trained while 
living at Kashghar, and the bird seemed to learn very readily ; 
it would fly from a distance of a few yards towards 
one, when a piece of raw meat was held towards it, then perch- 
ing on the hand it would begin to tear the meat very 
much after the manner of a Merlin. This species was often 
seen tamed and carried about on the hand by the people, a string 
being attached round the neck to prevent it flying away. It 
is the winter shrike of K ashgharia and Lanius arenarius is the 
summer one. The Turki name for the species is Ala ghurulai 
— the variegated Shrike. 

262.— Lanius arenarius, Blyth. 

Six males, shot near Yarkand from April to June, measured 
and weighed. — Length, 7*5 to 7'75 ; expanse, 10*5 to 11*5 ; 
wing, 3 - 5 to 3-75 ; tail, 3"0 to 3*65 ; tarsus, 0*85 to TO; bill, 
from gape, - 8 to 0"9 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1'8 to 
21; weight, 0*9 to 1*2 oz. Bill, black or bluish black; irides, 
dark brown ; legs and feet, dusky black, dusky and greyish 
or greenish dusky ; claws, black. 

Two females, .sliof in April and August. — Length, 6'8 to 7'2; 
expanse, 10*5 to 1010; wing, 3*3; tail, 3 to 3*35; tarsus, 09 
to l'O ; bill, from gape, 0*8 to - 83 ; weight, 1 oz. Bill, black, 
whitish at base ; legs and feet, dusky or grey dusky ; irides, 
brown ; claws, black. 

Three young birds obtained at Yarkand in May and June. — 
Length, 5-0 to G'7 ; expanse, 9 '3 to ll'O; wing, 2"95 to 3'2 ; 
tail, 1-9 to 2-7 ; tarsus, 0'9 to 0-93 ; bill, from gape, 0*8 to 



138 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

0'85; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*1 to 1*5 ; weight, 065 
to 1*1 oz. Bill, horn color or slaty grey; irides, dark brown; 
legs and feet, slaty grey ; claws, dusky. 

The Desqrt Shrike is very common in the plains of Kash- 
gharia, where it breeds. I obtained my first specimen of this 
species near Yavkand on the 14th April, and from that date it was 
observed continuously up to the 15th August, where I saw the 
last of this Shrike, north of the Chuchu Pass, at an elevation of 
about 10,000 feet. Its was not observed at all during the win- 
ter, and with the exception of possibly a few stray stragglers, 
the bird no doubt migrates from Eastern Turkestan about Octo- 
ber; and this agrees exactly with the native account of the 
matter. This Shrike was usually found in waste ground, 
perching on thorn bushes, and in the neighbourhood of swamps 
and small lakes ; its ciy was harsh and chattering. 

The bird breeds in May and June, great numbers of nestlings 
being captured by the Yarkand boys during the latter month. 
On the 13th June a nest containing four eggs said to belong 
to this species, was brought to me; a Shrike said to have been 
captured on the nest was brought at the same time. The nest 
was found in a thorn bush, and the contents of the eggs in it 
were found to be quite fluid. The nest is a circular shallow 
Structure, coarsely made up of rush and fibres, the egg cavity 
lined with horse-hair. It is about three inches in diameter 
and 1*7 deep; the walls one inch thick. There is a regular 
notch in one portion of the side wall, down to the level of the 
egg cavity. The eggs vary in shape from a moderate oval, 
compressed a little at one end, to a blunt broad oval, very 
slightly smaller at one end, The eggs have no gloss and the 
ground color is pale piukish creamy, sparsely sprinkled over 
w r ith reddish spots ; at the large end there are reddish spots 
and blotches, with fainter livid blotches, forming a zone round 
the egg. In length they vary from 0*85 to 0'95 and in breadth 
from 0'69 to - 7. The average of the four eggs is 0895 by 
0-697. The Turki name for the Desert Shrike is Ghnrulai. 

From the account given in ' Lahore to Yarkand' I expected to 
find Lanius cristatns and not L. arenarius, and so went on 
shooting Shrikes in the hopes of getting the former, but in vain. 
All the birds I saw were certainly of one species,, and Mr. 
Hume unhesitatingly refers all the thirteen specimens* I 
brought back to L. arenarius. The Yarkandis were positive 
.that only one kind of Shrike was to be found in their neighbour- 
hood in summer ; and it is L. arenarius which they call 

* Since writing the above Mr. Hume has informed mo that one of these is a young 
bird about which he hestitates to pronounce certainly ; but even this, he thinks, is also 
probably arenarius. — J. S. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 139 

Ghurulai, and which they often tame and carry about on their 
hands. Such being the case, it seems possible that there may 
have been some mistake* in referring the specimens obtained 
by Dr. Henderson at Yarkand to L. cristatus. 

333 A.— Troglodytes pallidus, 

$ . Beshhant, 6th February. — Length, 3*8 ; wing, 1'86 ; tarsus, 
0'7. Bill — upper mandible brown, lower yellowish horny ; legs 
and feet brownish fleshy ; claws, brown. 

This Wren was tolerably common in winter in the neighbour- 
hood of Yarkand. At Beshkant in February I saw several of 
tin's species running about on frozen marshy ground and near 
the roots of trees. The Turki name for this bird is Bir toghram, 
1 one morsel' or ' one mouthful!' 

351 ter.— Monticola saxatilis, Lin. 

Three males, shot 19th September, measured and weighed. — 
Length, 7*2 to 76; expanse, 14-3 to 147; wing, 4'75 to 4*9; 
tail, 2*2 to 2*5; tarsus, l'O to 1 05 ; bill, from gape, 1'12 to 
1*15 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 05 to 065 ; weight, 175 
oz. to 2 oz. Bill, dusky ; lower mandible and edge of upper, 
yellow at the base, — and in one specimen, lower mandible grey 
horny at base ; irides, brown ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

$ . Gulgiai Shah, 28//t September — Length, 7*1 ; expanse, 
14 ; wing, 47 ; tail, 24 ; tarsus, l - 0; bill, from gape, T05 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 0'6 ; weight, 1*7 oz. Bill, dusky ; 
lower mandible greyish at base ; gape and interior of mouth, 
greenish yellow; irides, brown; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

Eight specimens of this species were preserved : four at 
Sulaghz Langar and Koshtak on the 30th September 1874 ; 
and four at Gulgun Shah on the 28th August 1875. 

This species was first noticed about the end of September at 
Borne of the small oases in the desert ground between Sauju 
and Karghalik, elevation about 6,000 feet. The birds were 
tolerably numerous, hopping about in cultivated fields. After 
that these birds were never observed until the following year, 
when they were met with on the banks of the Karakash at an 
elevation of about 12,000 feet. They frequented grassy ground 
near the river, and when alarmed flew up and perched on the 
neighbouring rocks. 

361 bis.— Merula vulgaris, Ray. 

Two specimens of the Black bird, male and female, were ob- 
tained at Yarkand in February. It was said to be not uncom- 

* I hardly think that there can have been any such mistake as Dr. Scully suppose* ; 
Dr. Henderson's birds were certainly not arennrius, the only question at the ti 
■was, were they cristatas or some very nearly allied species. I came to the conclusion 
that they were cristatus, and I feel sure that they were not arenarius. — Ed., S. F. 



140 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

mon, during the winter, near Kashghar and Yarkand, and it 
seemed to keep principally among- Eleagnus trees and thorn 
bushes in the vicinity of unfrozen bits of water. It migrated 
northwards in spring, repairing, I was told, to the hills and to 
the country about Maralbashi. It is said to feed principally 
on berries, &c, and its Turki name is Maina. 

£. Length, 10-5 ; wing, 5 "46 ; tail, 5*15 ; tarsus, 1*3 ; bill, from 
gape, 1*28. Bill, yellow — tip of upper mandible brownish ; legs 
and feet, dark brown ; claws, black. 

$ . Length, 11*3 ; wing, 5'4 ; tail, 5*6 ; bill, from gape, T35. 
JJill, brownish black ; legs and feet, blackish brown ; claws, black. 

365. — Planesticus atrogularis, Temm. 

This species was first met with at Sulaghz Langar in Sep- 
tember, and was a common bird in the plains, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Kashghar, Yarkand, &c, during the winter. It 
was usually seen about trees liuing water-courses or growing 
near tanks. The bird disappeared entirely in spring, migra- 
ting in a north-easterly direction, towards the hills and the 
Lob district it is said, where it was reported to breed. It 
feeds chiefly on Eleagnus berries — called jigda in Turki and 
commonly known as 'Trebizond dates' — hence its name 
Jigda chuk, i.e., 'jigda-eater.' 

£>. Kashghar, 29th November. — Length, 10; wing, 5-6; tail, 
4-25 ; tarsus, 1*2 ; bill, from gape, 1. Bill, brownish black ; 
base of lower mandible, yellow ; irides, brown ; legs, ashy 
brown; feet, brown; claws, brownish black. 

$ . Sulaghz, Langar, 30th September. — Length, 9'8 ; wing, 
5*45 ; tail, 4*1; tarsus, 1*27 ; bill, from gape, Jt'l. Bill, black- 
ish brown ; base of lower mandible and gape, yellow ; irides, 
brown ; legs, yellowish brown ; feet, brown ; the soles, yellow ; 
claws, brown horn. 

Two females, shot at Kashghar, 19th November. — Length, 
9-9 to 995 ; wing, 515 ; tail, 4 to 405 ; tarsus, 12 to 1'26 ; 
bill, from gape, 1 to 1*1. Bill, brownish dusky, black at tip, 
and yellow or brownish yellow at base of lower mandible ; 
irides, brown and dark brown; legs, dark ashy or brown; feet, 
brown ; claws, brownish dusky and brown horny. 

470.— Oriolus kundoo, Sykes. 

Six males, shot at Yarkand in May and June, measured and 
weighed. — Length, 9'3 to 9'8 ; expanse, 16*7 to 17*7 ; wing, 
5-7 to 5-9; tail, 37 to 4*1 ; tarsus, 0-75 to 09; bill, fi-om 
gape, 1*2 to 1*35; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*1 to 15 ; 
weight, 19 oz. to 25 oz. Bill, brownish red ; irides, blood red; 
le«-s and feet, dark blue and slatv blue ; claws, black. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 141 

$ . Shot at, YarJcand, 8th June. — Length, 9*85 ; ex- 
panse, 17-2 ; wing, 5 - 8 ; tail, 3'8 ; tarsus, 0'9 ; bill, from gape, 
1*3 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*3; weight, 2'6 oz. Bill; 
brownish red ; irides, ruby red ; legs and feet, bluish grey • 
claws, black. 

Juv. Yarkand, 27th May. — Expanse, 17*5; winor, 5'8; 
tarsus, 0-8; bill, from gape, T25. Bill, brownish red; irides, 
blood red ; legs and toes, dark blue ; claws, black. 

It will be noticed from the above measurements that the 
wings of the Yarkand birds are decidedly longer than those of 
Indian specimens. 

Nestling. — Yarkand, 29th June. — Length, 6*2; expanse, 
12'4; wing, 34 ; tail, l'l ; tarsus, 09 ; bill, from gape, 1-05 ; 
closed wings short of tail, 0"6; weight, 1*7 oz. Bill livid 
fleshy, tip of upper mandible white ; irides, hazel ; leo-s and 
feet, bluish grey ; claws, greyish horny. 

This Oriole is .a seasonal visitant to the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, arriving about the end of April and migrating 
in September ; it is never seen in winter. It frequents trees 
growing in orchards or over tanks, and its call is a pleasant 
mellow whistle which may be imitated by pursing the lips and 
drawing in the breath — something like Su—fu—fia. This 
species breeds iu May and June, during which months I have 
Been it pluckily attack large birds and drive them away from 
its nest. On the 31st May I saw a Crow (S. intermedins) 
prying about the nest of this species, when the Orioles (male 
and female) had a great flght with the intruder flying up under 
the Crow as it beat a retreat and pecking at it furiously ; and 
on another occasion I saw a female Oriole boldly attack a large 
Kite (Milviis melanotis) which had dared to approach her nest. 
The Yarkandi name for the Oriole is Sopia- evidently o-iven 
in imitation of its call ; in Khokand the bird is called Zar- 
ghaldak. 

On the 8th of June I found a nest of this bird in a walnut 
tree, suspended about 15 feet above the ground. The nest 
was placed between a fork at the extremity of a bough, and 
the bird sitting on it was quite concealed from view The nest 
is a very neat structure, purse like, the materials of which it 
is composed being wound round the two prongs of the fork 
from which it is suspended. The nest is made up of fine twigs, 
grass and some soft wool, bound together hy strips of thin bark 
woven round and round. The egg cavity is a circular cup 
about 3'5" in diameter and 2" deep ; it is neatly lined with 
fine grass stems. The side walls of the nest are about - 7 
thick, and the base about 1 inch in thickness. This nest con- 
tained three freshly laid eggs. On the 31st May I saw a simi- 



142 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

lar nest in a walnut tree, but it did not then contain any eggs • 
and on the 12th June I found another Oriole's nest, in a poplar 
tree, about 10 feet above the ground, in which there were three 
e cf^s . 

The eggs are moderately elongated ovals, not tapering- much 
towards the small end. They are pure papery white, with 
a moderate gloss ; dull purplish black spots, from the size of 
a pin's point to that of a pin's head, being sparingly scattered 
over the surface of the egg — chiefly at the large end. The 
large spots run into each other, here and there, and are sur- 
rounded by a faint brownish halo. The eggs vary in length 
from 1*04 to 1*14 and in breadth from 0'8 to 0'82 ; the aver- 
age of the three eggs being 1"08 by 0*81. 

483.— Pratincola indica, Blyth. 

Shot between Tarn and Tadlik, 17th August. — Length, 
5*4; expanse, 9'3 ; wing, 2*95; tail, 2-2; tarsus, 1*0; bill, 
from gape, (V68 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*0; weight, 
0'6 oz. Bill, brownish dusky; tip of lower mandible, yellowish; 
irides, dark brown ; legs, feet, and claws, black ; soles of feet, 
yellow. 

Shot between Tadlik and Kichik Yailak, \8th August.— 
Expanse, 8-9; wing, 2'86; tarsus, 095; bill, from gape, 07 ; 
weight, - 6 oz. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, black- 
ish brown. 

Shot between Tadlik and Kichik Yailak, 18th August. — 
Length, 5'2; expanse, 9 ; wing, 2*9 ; tail, 2*1; tarsus, 0'95 ; 
bill, from gape, 0.7 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*1 ; weight, 
- 5 oz. Bill, black ; lower mandible, brownish at baae ; irides, 
brownish black ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

This species was met with in August, in bushes of willow and 
buckthorn fringing the Sauju stream, at elevations of from 9,000 
to 11,000 feet. It was not numerous. I believe I saw this bird 
also in the plains, at Koshtak in August. The Yarkandi name 
for the species is Jingsa. 

491— Saxicola isabellina, Rupp. 

Three males, shot in April, May and August. — Length, (3*35 
to 7-0 ; expanse, 12 to 1275 ; wing, 39 to 4-1 ; tail, 23 to 2'6 ; 
tarsus, 1*1 to 1*2 ; bill, from gape, 0*9 to 0*95 ; closed wing 
fall short of tail, 0-9 to 0'95 ; weight, 0-9 oz. to 12 oz. 

Bill black, in one specimen yellowish at base below ; irides, 
dark brown ; legs and feet, black and brownish black ; claws, 
black. 

$ Yarkand, 20th May. — Length, 6 ; expanse, 11 -4 ; wing, 
3-7 ; tail, 2; tarsus, 1 "05; bill, from gape, 082; closed wings 



I ' 



HAP or FAST or KASHHK ui EASTERN TURKESTAN. 



SiriyFtalh. 




I I 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 143 

fall short of tail, 0'8. Bill, black; irides, dark brown ; legs, 
feet, and claws, black. 

Three young birds {not seated), Yarkand, 20/h May. — Length, 
6 to 6 # 2 ; expanse, 11 '4 to 11 '9 ; wing, 3*7 to '3*85 ; tail, 2'1 ; 
tarsus, 1 - 1 to 1*2 ; bill, from gape, 0"82 to - 9; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 0*9. 

Bill dusky, horny below; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, 
dusky blackish ; claws, black. 

This species was common in the plains of Eastern Turkestan, 
at elevations of from 4,000 to 6,300 feet, from the middle of April 
to the middle of August] it was never met with durino- the 
winter, nor in the hills at any season. It probably arrives in 
the country towai'ds the end of March, and leaves certainly not 
later than October. The bird frequents waste ground, usually on 
the borders of cultivation, and at Besharik and Bora in August 
it was found associated with Saxicola deserti. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Yarkand it breeds in April and May; three quite 
young birds were obtained there during the latter month. The 
Turki name for all Wheatears is Chikit, a word having some 
reference to the black and white tail ; the present species is dis- 
tinguished as Boz chikit, i. e., ' the Grey Wheatear/ 

492— Saxicola deserti, Btipp. 

Seven males, shot in August. — Length, 6*2 to 7*05 ; expanse, 
10\S to 11-6 ; wing, 3-45 to 39 ; tail, 2'6 to 295 ; tarsus, 0-95 
to l - ; bill, from gape, 0*8 to 0'9; closed wings fall short 
of tail, 1-0 1-35 ; weight, 0*7 oz. to 0-8 oz. 

Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black; irides, brown, dark brown 
and blackish brown. 

Four females, shot in August. — Length, 5*8 to 6*32; expanse, 
11 to 11-15 ; wing, 35 to 3-85 ; tail, 2-4 to 29 ; tarsus, 091 
to 0-96; bill, from gape, 0'75 to 0'82; closed wings fall short of 
tail, 0'8 to 13 ; weight, 0'7 oz. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, 
black; irides, brown to dark brown. 

Specimen shot at Balakchi, 26th August. — Length, 6"2 ; ex- 
panse, 11*3; wing, 3*7 ; tail, 2-55; tarsus, 0*95; bill, from 
gape, 0*75 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0*95 ; weight, 0'7 oz. 

Bill, black — brownish at base below; irides, brown; legs, 
feet, and claws, black. 

The last specimen is doubtfully referred to this species by 
Mr. Hume. It differs from the others in having less black on 
the tail, and in the tail feathers being broadly tipped with fulvus. 

This species was common in the plains of Kashgharia at 
elevations of 4,500 feet and upwards, and in some portions 
of the hills up to an elevation of 12,300 feet. It was never 
observed during the winter. In the plains it was found in the 



144 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

desert ground between Sanju and Karghalik, hopping about 
among the little sand banks ; and was common between Shahi- 
dullah and Gulgun Shah in the Karakash Valley. It probably 
breeds in the localities I have mentioned during the months 
of June and July. The Turki name for this species is Ala 
chikit, * Variegated Wheatear.' 

492 Us.— Saxicola Hendersoni, Hume. 

Three females shot at Sulikaziz Langar and Koshtakonthe 29th 
and SOth September. — Length, 5*8 to 5'9; wing, 3'65 to 8'75 ; 
tail, 2*3 to 2-4; tarsus, 0'9 to 0'94 ; bill, from gape, 074 to 0-76. 

Bill, black, in one specimen brownish at the base below ; 
legs, feet, and claws, black. 

This species was found in September, in the plains of Kash- 
gharia, at an elevation of about 6,100 feet. It was met with at 
the desert oases of Sulikaziz Langar and Koshtak, running 
about in stubble fields, where it was tolerably numerous. The 
Yarkandis, who know the bird well, say that it breeds in the 
country and disappears entirely in winter. The Turki name 
for the species is Kara chiket, s Black Wheatear/* 

497. — Ruticilla rufiventris, Vieill. 

Four males measured and weighed. — Length, 5 "2 to 6*0 ; ex- 
panse, 9 - 4 to 99 ; wing, 2" 9 to 33; tail, 2*2 to 2'4 ; tarsus, 
0*85 to 1'0; bill, from gape, 065 to 0'7 ; closed wings fall short 
of tail. 0*9 to 1*4; weight, 0-4 oz. to 06 oz. Bill, black, or 
brownish dusky with base of lower mandible yellowish ; irides, 
brown and brownish black ; legs and feet, black or dusky brown; 
claws, black. 

Three females measured and weighed. — Length, 5*5 to 
5-7 ; expanse 9"85 to 10-2 ; wing, 3'25 to 3'4; tail, 2-4 to 26 ; 
tarsus, 095 ; bill, from gape, 0"68 to - 7 ; closed wings fall 
short of tail, l'O to 1-1 ; weight, 0'45 oz. to 0'5 oz. Bill, black — 
brownish at base ; irides, brown to blackish brown ; legs and 
feet, black or brownish dusky; claws, black. 

This species was observed in great numbers, in August, 
frequenting mountain streams at elevations of from 7,000 to 
10,000 feet. It was very common along the course of the 
Arpalak River, hopping about among the stones and bushes and 
moving its tail incessantly. Nearly all the specimens obtained 
were young birds, and no doubt this Redstart breeds in the low 
hills of Eastern Turkestan. 

499.— Ruticilla erythrogastra, Guld. 

Eight specimens of this species were preserved : two adult 
males, in summer and autumnal plumage ; four young males, 
in immature plumage ; and two nearly adult females. 

* WMdi it is in breeding plumage. See S. F., II, 526.— A. O. H. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 145 

Five males, shot in August, measured and weighed. — Length, 
6*3 to 6*9; expanse, 11*3 to 12-2; wing, 3'7 to 4-25; 
tail, 2*7 to 3'0 ; tarsus, 1*0 to 1*05 ; bill, from gape, 0*7 to 
0*8 ; closed wiugs fall short of tail, 0*8 to 1*45 ; weight, 075oz. 
to loz. Bill, black ; in one specimen yellow at tip, sides and 
base of lower mandible ; irides, brown, dark brown, and blackish 
brown ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

Two females, collected in August, measured and loeighed.— 
Length, 6*5 to 6*75; expanse, 11-6 to 11*7; wing, 3*95 to 4*0; 
tail, 2-9 to 3"15; tarsus, TO; bill, from gape, 0-7 to 072; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*0 to 1*2 ; weight, 0'85oz. 
Bill, black ; in one, gape and interior of mouth yellow ; irides, 
brown and dark brown ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

This Redstart was very common during the months of 
September and August, in the mountains at elevations of from 
10,000 to 18,000 feet, but was never met with in the plains of 
Eastern Turkestan. In frequents the neighbourhood of streams 
generally, hopping about on the stones, and amongst the small 
bushes. The Kirghiz at Kichik Yailak say that this bird 
breeds, during the months of June and July, in the high moun- 
tains near their encampment, and their name for it is Kizil 
kurgenak, i. e. } Red Kestrel ! 

514.— Cyanecula suecica, Linn. 

Five males*, shot at Yarkand in April and May. — Length, 5*9 
to 61; expanse, 8*5 to 9-2; wing, 28 to 2'95 ; tail, 2-2 to 
2'6; tarsus, 1*0 to 1*1 ; bill, from gape, 0*7 to 0"8; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*0 to 1*4; weight, 0'6oz., to 0'65oz. 
Bill, black ; interior of mouth, yellow ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs and feet, black and brownish black : claws, black. 

This species is a seasonal visitant to the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, arriving about the end of March and leaving in 
September. It was very common during the summer, fre- 
quenting reeds, long grass and fields of Indian corn, always 
somewhere near water. It did not seem to perch, but moved 
about pretty rapidly on the ground picking up insects, and 
every now and then spreading out its tail widely, thus showing 
its rufous color ; and in my experience hardly ever allowing 
one to get a sight of its beautifully colored breast. It breeds 
in the neighbourhood of Yarkand, laying in May, and the nest 
being generally placed in long grass. Two eggs obtained on 
the 15th May, measure 0'76 in length by 0'5(j in breadth, and 
0*75 by 0*57. In shape they are moderate ovals compressed 
at one end, and have a very slight gloss. The ground color is 
pale greyish green ; abundantly blotched and spotted, with 

* All belong to the red throat-spot race. A. O. H. 



146 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

light greyish brown ; the whole surface of the egg having 
these markings pretty evenly distributed over it. 

The Turin name for the Blue-throat is Chaghchi, an appella- 
tion given to it because it is said to make a sound resembling 
the noise of the spinning-wheels used by the women of Yarkand. 

515 ter. — Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Lin. 

<?. Yarhand, ''lord June. — Length, 8*3; expanse, 11 '2 
wing, 3*8; tail, 3*15 ; tarsus, 1*0 ; bill, from gape, 0*95 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*85 ; weight, l'loz. Eill 
upper mandible brownish black above, tip aud edge grey horny 
lower mandible, greyish horn color, dusky towards tip. Irides, 
straw brown • interior of mouth, orange ; legs and feet, greenish 
fleshy ; claws, dusky horn color. 

This species was often heard among the reeds and rushes 
growing in marshy ground, but it was so difficult to get sight 
of it, that I only succeeded in obtaining one specimen. Its 
song is most peculiar — a pleasing sort of whistle at the begin- 
ning suddenly breaking into a harsh croak, so loud as to give 
one the impression that it must proceed from a bird much 
larger than this one really is. The Yarkandi Shikaris gave 
me the following information about this Reed Warbler. " The 
Turki name of the bird is Kanaichi. It is a seasonal visitant, 
arriving about March, and leaving at the beginning of winter, 
when the water begins to freeze. It breeds in this country 
(Yarkand) making its nest in the Yekan (reeds) where it lives, 
and laying four eggs about the beginning of June. It does not 
migrate to Hindustan, but westwards — to Mazan Daran (an exten- 
sive forest region in Persia near the border of the Caspian.) " 

Four eggs, said to belong to this species, were brought to 
me on the fourteenth June ; the man who brought them had 
never been told to get me the eggs of this species, but of 
course, I cannot vouch that they are authentic ; the embryo 
was found to be formed within them. In shape they are moder- 
ately elongated ovals, compressed at one end. The ground 
color is greyish creamy ; the small end is unspotted, but over 
the rest of the surface a few brown spots are sparingly scat- 
tered about, aud at the widest part of the egg, brown spots and 
dull purplish blotches are found, forming a broadish zoue round 
the egg at that part. In length the eggs measured from 0*93 
to 0"95, and in breadth from 0*68 to 0*7. The average of the 
four eggs is 0*94 by 0692. 

517 bis. — Acrocephalus macrorhynchus, Hume. 
S. E., III., 305. 

5 . Kizil Aefhil, lith August. — ~Length, 5'8 ; expanse, 7*6; 
wing, 2 - 4; tail, 2 - 4, tarsus, 09; bill, from gape, 0*75; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*45 ; weight, 0'5 oz. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 147 

Bill : upper mandible black, lower mandible dusky at tip, 
yellow at base. Irides hazel brown ; legs and feet, yellowish 
fleshy ; claws, brown horny. 

The specimen whose dimensions, &c, I give above is very 
doubtfully referred to this species by Mr. Hume, who has not 
yet been able to compare it with the type. I found the 
bird between Kizil Agkil and Tam at elevations of from 7,000 
to 9,000 feet, in August. The bird occurred in long grass 
(called chigh) near the Arpalak and Sanju streams ; it seemed 
to be very restless, continually flitting from blade to blade, and 
only one specimen was obtained. In Turki it is called Chighchi, 
in allusion to the grass which it frequents. 

546 Ms.— Suya albosuperciliaris, *Hume. 

$ . Yarkand, 16th June. — Length, 65 ; expanse, 8'0 ; 
wing, 2*55; tail, 3 - 3 ; tarsus, 0'96 ; bill, from gape, 0*68; 
closed wing fall short of tail, 2*65; weight, 0*6 oz. Bill 
dusky greyish above, lower mandible fleshy ; irides, dark 
brown ; legs and feet, greyish fleshy ; claws, grey horny. 

$ . Yarkand, 13^/i June. — Length, &Q ; expanse, 7*8 ; 
wing, 2*4; tail, 30 ; tarsus, 0*9 ; bill from gape, 065 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 2*3; weight, 0*65 oz. Bill, brownish 
black above ; lower mandible, fleshy ; irides, dark brown ; legs 
and feet, flesh color; claws, brownish horny. 

Two young males, Yarkand, 11th June. — Length, 5*8 to 6*0; 
expanse, 8*0; wing, 25 ; tail, 2*5 to 2*85 : tarsus, 0"95 to 1*0 ; 
bill, from gape, 0*63 to 0'64 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 
1'8 to 1*9. Bill, grey horny, brownish or dusky above ; irides, 
dark brown ; legs and feet, fleshy ; claws, brownish horny. 

This species is tolerably common in the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, where it is said to be a permanent resident. It has 
a rather sweet plaintive note aud frequents long grass and 
bushes growing near rivers and streams. It breeds in May 
and June ; some young birds were obtained about the middle 
of the latter month. The Turki name for the species is 
Suram. 

553.— Phyllopneuste rama, Sykes. 

Three males shot at Yarkand hi Mag and June. — Length, 5*3 
to 5*45 ; expanse, 7*2 to 7*6; wing, 2*23 to 2*5; tail, from 
vent, 2-2 to 2-3 ; tarsus, 0'85 to 0'9 ; bill, from gape, 0-6 to 
0'65 ; weight, # 4 oz. ; closed wings fall short of tail, l'l to 
1*4. Bill : upper mandible, dusky brown or black ; lower 
mandible, yellowish horny ; irides, light brown or hazel ; legs, 
fleshy and brownish fleshy ; feet, fleshy or greenish ; claws, 
black. 

* It has been suggested that this must stand as Ehojoophilus pekinetisis, Swuih. — 
A. O. H. 



148 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

This species is a seasonal visitant to the plains of Kash- 
gharia, where it breeds ; I got the first specimen of it in May, 
and it was never observed in winter. The birds were found in 
orchards and among the vines, singing very sweetly and inces- 
santly hopping about. The Turki name for this Warbler is 
Koktalghu. 

554.— Phylloscopus tristis, Blyth. 

? . Between Toghrasu and Oibuk, 23rd August. — Length, 4*5 ; 
wing, 2*25 ; tarsus, 0"8 ; bill, from gape, 0*46 ; weight, 0"25 
oz. Bill : upper mandible, dusky ; lower mandible, dusky at 
tip, yellow at base ; irides, dark brown ; legs, feet, and claws, 
brownish dusky. 

Specimen shot between Toghrasu and Oibuk, 2ord August. — 
Length, 4*4 ; expanse, 7*0 ; wing, 2*3 ; tail, 1*85 ; tarsus, 
075 ; bill, from gape, 0*52 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 
0*85 ; weight, 0*3 oz. Bill, brownish dusky, yellow at base 
below ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, dusky brown ; claws, 
brown, yellow at tip. 

Specimen shot at Oibuk, 2ith August. — Length, 4"2 ; expanse, 
7 ; wing, 2*3 ; tail, 1*9 ; tarsus, 0*8 ; bill, from gape, 0*45 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 0'9. Bill, dusky brownish ; base 
of lower mandible and gape, yellow ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs, brownish black ; feet and claws, dusky ; soles of feet and 
under surface of claws, orange yellow. 

This species was very common in August along the Sanju 
stream and in the Karakash Valley at elevations of from 9,000 
to 14,000 feet. It frequented the tamarisk and hololachne 
bushes growing along the banks of the streams, and no doubt 
had lately been breeding in the localities in which it was 
observed, as the specimens procured were immature. The cry 
of this bird consists of a single plaintive sort of note, regularly- 
repeated. 

560.— Phylloscopus viridanus, Blyth. 

<$. Shot between Tarn and Tadlik, 17th August. — Length, 
4 - 3 ; expanse, 7*15 ; wing, 2*34 ; tail, 1*8 ; tarsus, 0*81 ; bill, 
from gape, 0*53 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0'9 ; weight, 
0*35 oz. Bill : upper mandible, dusky brown, lower mandible, 
yellowish brown ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, brownish 
grey ; claws, brown horny. 

This species was noticed among the tamarisk and willow 
bushes fringing the Sanju stream, and along the banks of 
the Karakash River. It seemed very restless, continually 
flitting from spray to spray, and its note was a weak sort of 
chirp frequently uttered. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 149 

567.— Reguloides viridipennis, Blyih. 

Specimen shotbetiveen Tarn and Tadlik, \lth August. — Expanse, 
6*9 ; wing, 2-25 ; tail, 1'6 ; tarsus, 0'8 ; closed wings fall short 
of tail, 0*65 ; weight, 0*25 oz. Bill, dusky above, edges of 
gape orange yellow ; irides, dark brown ; legs, dusky ; feet, 
greenish brown ; claws, dusky — yellow at tips. 

This species was very numerous in the small bushes near 
Tadlik ; elevation about 9,000 feet. 

581 A.— Nisoria undata, JBonap. 

7 too males shot at Yarkand in June.- —Length, 6*85 to 7*0; 
expanse, 10*8 to 10*85 ; wing, 36 ; tail, 3 to 3*15 ; tarsus, 09; 
bill, from gape, 066 to 0'73; closed wings fall short of tail, 
1*5 to 1*6 ; weight 0'8 oz. to 0*9 oz. Bill, dusky or greyish 
black ; the lower mandible, yellowish horny at base ; irides, 
golden yellow; legs and feet, light yellowish ; claws, dusky. 

Nestling preserved at Yarhand, \ 4th June. — Length, 4*4; 
expanse, 8*4 ; wing, 2*55 ; tail, 1*3 ; tarsus, 1*0 ; bill, from gape, 
0*7 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0'65 ; weight, 0*5 oz. Bill, 
black ; lower mandible grey at base ; edges of gape, yellowish ; 
legs and feet, light grey ; claws, dusky horny. 

The Barred Warbler arrives about the neighbourhood of 
Yarkand in May, and probably migrates about September ; it 
is never seen in the country during the winter. It is a very 
restless bird, and has a great knack of concealing itself, as a 
rule, only taking short flights ; it frequents orchards, vine 
" baghs/' and generally places where trees or bushes grow 
thickly together. This species has a beautiful and melodious 
song and is hence called by the Yarkand is Bulbul. 

JV. undata breeds in May and Jane, the nest being placed in 
rose or thorn bushes ; it lays four or five eggs, the latter being 
tbe more usual number and apparently the full complement. On 
the 31st May I found a nest of this species in a thick rose 
bush about two feet above the ground, and completely screened 
over by the upper leaves of the bush which was about three 
feet high ; there were numerous other nests near in the same 
sort of situations, one only about a yard from the one I re- 
moved. The nest is roughly made up of twigs and fibres, and 
measures about 4*8 by 45. The egg cavity is a neat oval cup 
three inches in length by 2*5 in breadth. It is neatly lined 
with fine fibres closely interwoven. This nest contained five 
eggs. Subsequently I got three other nests which contained — 
the first, four eggs ; the second, five ; the third, four. These nests 
are of an oval shape, about 4 inches in length by 35 in breadth ; 
the egg cavities are deepish oval cups about 3 inches in length 
by from 2 to 2*5 in breadth, and from 1*3 to 1*5 in depth. 



150 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

The nests are made up of fine twigs and fibres of plants, loosely 
put together externally. The egg cavities are lined with fine 
fibres with which horse hair and a little wool is interwoven. 

The eggs vary in shape from a broadish almost perfect oval 
to a longish oval moderately compressed at one end, and have a 
little gloss. The ground color is stone grey, and sparingly 
scattered over the surface are bluish grey spots, streaks, and 
cloudings (all rather faint) which unite to form a bluish grey 
zone or cap at the larger end of the eggs. 

In length the eggs vary from 0*8 to 0"88 and in breadth 
from 06 to 065, but the average of fifteen eggs is 083 by 
061. 

583.— Sylvia curruca, Gmelin. 

3? Shot at Koshtak, 8th August. — Length, 5 ; expanse, 7*5 ; 
wing, 2*45 ; tail, 2 4 ; tarsus, - 8 ; bill, from gape, - 53 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*3; weight, 0*4 oz. Bill, brownish 
black, greyish at base below; irides, hazel ; legs and feet, greyish 
dusky ; claws, black. 

Two nestlings captured at Sughuchak in June. — Length, 3"2 to 
3*4 ; expanse, 6*0 to 6*3 ; wing, 1*5 to 1/95 ; tail, l'l ; tarsus, 
0*75 to 0"8 ; bill, from gape, 0*45 to 0'5 ; closed wings short of 
tail, 0'7. Bill, dusky ; yellow or horny at base ; edge of gape 
yellow ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, greyish fleshy ; claws, 
dusky. 

The Lesser Whitethroat arrives in the plains of Kashgharia 
about April, and migrates southwards towards the end of Octo- 
ber. I shot a specimen on the 5th of the latter month in a 
field near Posgam. It is a very common bird and seems chiefly 
to frequent short bushes growing in waste ground, but I never 
observed it in trees. This species breeds in May and June : 
two young nestlings, unable to fly, were captured in waste 
ground near Yarkand on the 20th June. 

591.— Motacilla personata, Gould. 

Three males, Yarkand, March and April. — Length, 7*9 to 
8 ; expanse, 11*5 to 11*75 ; wing, 3'75 to 4; tail, 3'7 to 4*2 ; 
tarsus, 095 to 1*0 ; bill, from gape, 0'7 to 0*75 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 2*5 to 2*6 ; weight, 0'7 oz. to 0-8 oz. Bill, 
legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, dark brown and brown. 

Two females, Yarkand, March, Ui Toghrak, August. — 
Length, 7"6 ; expanse, ll'l to 11*4; wing, 3*6 to 37; tail, 
3*7; tarsus, 0'95 to TO; bill, from gape, 0'7 to 0'75 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 2*4. Bill, black — in the August speci- 
men brownish at base ; irides ; brown and dark brown ; legs, 
feet, and claws, black. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 151 

A nestling was preserved on the 16th June 

This species is the Common Wagtail of Eastern Turkestan, 
where it is found in great numbers throughout the plains, ge- 
nerally near habitations and streams of running water. It is 
most numerous from March to September, but some of these 
birds are certainly to be seen throughout the year. This Wag- 
tail breeds in May, and is called in Turki Kok Sunduk — Blue 
Wagtail. 

591 ter. — Motacilla alba, Lin. 

$ Sanju, 28*4 September, 1874.— Length, 7*75 ; wing, 3-66; 
tail, 3*72; tarsus, - 93. Bill, brownish black; legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 

I have only one specimen of this species : a bird I shot near 
a small stream at Sanju on first entering Eastern Turkestan. 
It was not discriminated from M. personata, which is certainly 
the common species of Wagtail found in Kashgharia. The 
Turki name for this Wagtail is Sunduk, and it is said to dis- 
appear entirely from Eastern Turkestan in winter. 

594 bis.— Budytes citreola, Pallas. 

Four males, shot near Yarkand in April and June. — Length, 
6-6 to 7-2; expanse, 10-4 to 10*5 ; wing, 333 to 3*5 j tail, 
2-95 to 3-2 ; tarsus, 0-95 to 1-0 ; bill, from gape, 0-7 to 075 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1"5 to 1*9; weight, 0"6 oz. to 
0*7 oz. Bill, black ; legs and feet, greyish dusky to black; 
claws, black. 

Three females, shot near Yarkand in April. — Length, 6*25 to 
7 ; expanse, 9-25 to 10*4 ; wing, 3-0 to 3*35 ; tail, 2-7 to 2-9 ; 
tarsus, 09 to 1*0; bill from gape, 0*7 to 0*9 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1*8 to 2-2; weight, 0*65 oz. to 075 oz. 
Bill, black and blackish brown ; irides, dark brown; legs, feet, 
and claws, black. 

$ Belackchi 26th August. — Length, 6'7 ; expanse, 10 ; wing, 
3'18; tail, 3*0; tarsus, 1*0; bill, from gape, 0-7; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1*7 ; weight, 0'6 oz. Bill, black; basal half 
of lower mandible, brown ; irides, dark greyish brown ; legs, 
feet, and claws, black. 

This species was very common in the plains from March to 
August and was met with in the valley of the Karakash at an 
elevation of about 12,000 feet near the end of the latter month ; 
it was never observed in winter. The bird was never seen 
near houses, but always in swampy ground and about marshes. 
It breeds probably about the month of May as quite a young 
nestling was obtained on the 15th June. The Turki name for 
this species is Sarik Sunduk, i. e., the Yellow Wagtail. 



152 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

599.— Corydalla Richardi, Vieill. 

P Shot near Yarkand, 25th June. — Length, 8 ; expanse, 
12*9; wing, 395 ; tail, 3*3; tarsus, 1*3; bill, from gape, 
085 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*87 ; weight, 1*1 oz. Bill, 
dusky above, light horny below ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, 
brownish fleshy ; claws, dusky horny. 

This species is a seasonal visitant to the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan where it breeds ,• it was observed on several occasions 
in June and July, but was never met with in winter. The bird 
frequents undulating damp ground covered with short grass, 
and is very shy. It runs about xery swiftly in the uneven 
ground which it affects, and its flight is strong and undulating. 
Its note, which it utters as it rises, is a sweet soft twitter. It 
probably hatches about the beginning of July, as on the 31st 
of that month some young birds of this species were seen be- 
tween Igarchi and Posgam. The Turki name for this bird is 
Sairam, which means "singing." 

605 ter.— Anthus aquaticus, Bechst. 

Three males, shot at Yarhand in March and April, measured 
and weighed. — Length, 6 - 75 to 7 - 2 ; expanse, 1 1 to 11'25 ; wing, 
3-55 to 3-8 ; tail, 2-6* to 29 ; tarsus, 0'9 to 1-0 ; bill, 'from gape, 
0*65 to 0*8 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*45 to L*7 ; 
weight, 0'7 to 0*9oz. Bill, brownish black, brown at base 
below ; irides, dark brown ; legs and toes, dusky ; claws, 
black. 

$ Yarkand, 9th March. — Length, 6*75; expanse, 10'9 ; 
wing, 33 ; tail, 2*25 ; tarsus, 0*9 ; bill, from gape, 07 ; 
weight, 0'7oz. Bill : upper mandible black ; lower yellowish, 
dusky at tip ; legs and toes, dusky ; claws black. 

In addition to the above three other specimens were preserved 
at Yarkand or Beshkant in January and February. 

This species was common in Kashgharia in winter ; I shot 
several of these birds near Beskkant, in the beginning of 
February, where they were running among the rushes in frozen 
marshy ground. In the spring the birds frequented moist 
meadow ground and the vicinity of running water, feeding 
on insects and small worms. I procured one specimen at 
Yarkand on the 7th April in, full summer plumage. The Turki 
name for the bird is Boz suuduk — the Ashy Wagtail. 

608 bis. — Ampelis garrulus, Lin. 

5 Yarkand, March. — Length, 7*52 ; expanse, 12*0 ; wing, 
4*4; tail, 2*5 ; tarsus, 09 ; bill, from gape, 0"6 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 09. 

Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, red. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 153 

Tins bird was purchased for Mr. Shaw in the bazar of 
Yarkand, where it was being carried about perched on a man's 
finger. It appeared to be very quiet in confinement, and was 
never heard to utter any sound. It soon died however, and 
I recorded the above measurements from the fresh bird before 
I skinned it ; before we left Yarkand Mr. Shaw gave me the 
skin as I had not been able to procure a specimen. When 
alive the bird had a beautiful appearance : its dense glossy 
feathers gave it rather the look of a perfect wax model 
than a living bird. I heard from several sources that this 
species was common in the hills near Aksu, and I also heard 
of its occurrence in Sarikkul ; the bird is never seen in the 
plains of Eastern Turkestan unless it be in captivity. The 
Yarkandis have an absurd legend about this bird being the 
grand sire of the common Hoopoe ! A Yarkandi bird-catcher 
told me that its name was Tagli hUpiipi ' the Mountain Hoopoe ;' 
but this designation was no doubt evolved out of his inner 
consciousness. 

633 A.— Leptopcecile sophise, Sever tsov. 

<£. Pilataghach, 2 L Znd August. — Length, 4 - 4 ; expanse, 6*2 ; 
wing, 2'05 ; tail, 2"25 ; tarsus, 0*8 ; bill, from gape, - 46 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*2 j weight, 027oz. Bill, 
black ; angle of gape, orange ; irides, straw color ; legs and 
feet, brownish dusky ; claws ; black, yellow at tips. 

<?. Balakchi, 26th August. — Length, 4*35; expanse, 6*5; 
wing, 2'1 • tail, 23; tarsus, 075; bill, from gape, 0*44; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*3 ■ weight, 0*25oz. Bill, 
black, yellowish at extreme tip ; irides, light hazel ; legs and 
feet, brownish dusky ; claws, black, yellowish at tips. 

? Pilatoghach, 22nd August. — Length, 4*25; expanse, 6'1 ; 
wing, 2'05; tail, 2*1; tarsus, 0'75 ; bill, from gape, 046; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*15; weight, 0"25oz. Bill, 
black ; angle of gape, orange ; irides, dark straw color ; legs 
and feet, brownish dusky ; claws, black, yellowish at tips. 

Juv. Pdataghach, 22nd August. — Length, 4*2 ; expanse, 6 ; 
wing, 2'05 ; tail, 2 ; tarsus, 0*75 ; bill, from gape, 0*42 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*2 ; weight, 0"25oz. Bill, 
brownish black; angle of gape, orange yellow; irides, light 
hazel ; legs and feet, brownish dusky ; claws, black, yellowish 
at tips. 

This pretty little species was met with in Kashgharia, in 
August, along the banks of the Karakash river, at Pilataghach, 
Toghrasu, Oibuk, Shahid-ullah, Balakchi and Gulgun Shah, 
at elevations of from 10,800 to 13,000 feet. The birds were 
numerous and continually hopping about or flitting from 

u 



154 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

place to place in the Tamarisk, Buckthorn and Hololachne 
bushes growing on the banks of the river ; they uttered a pretty 
loud, sweet, chirping cry. I don't know which was most 
difficult : to see these bird, to shoot them, or to find them 
when shot, in the dense bushes which they frequent. 

636 A.— Calamophilus biarmicus, Lin. 

Five males shot near Yarkand in April, June and July. — Length, 
6-3 to 675; expanse, 69 to 7-8 ; wing, 2 ; 25 to 2*4; 
tail, 3-0 to 3-55 ; tarsus, 0*75 to 0-85 ; bill, from gape, 
0-45 to 05; closed wings fall short of tail, 2'25 to 275; 
weight, O35oz. to 0'45oz. Bill, orange; irides, greyish and 
cream color ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

Two young males shot near Yarkand in June. — Length, 
6-0 to 6-3; expanse, 6'95 to 7*0; wing, 2'2 to 2-6; tail, 
2-93 to 3-15 : tarsus, 0"7 to 0'8; bill, from gape, 043 to 0-5 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 2 - 2 to *2'3 ; weight 0'35oz. to 
O4oz. Bill, orange yellow and dusky ; irides, whitish and 
jellowish white ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

Two females shot near Yarkand on the \Ztli April. — Length, 
6-25to*6-5; expanse, 71 to 7*15; wing, 2-3; tail, 2"9 to 3'0 ; 
tarsus, 0*73 to 075 ; bill, from gape, 0*42 ; closed wings fall 
short of tail, 2-25 to 2'4 ; weight, 0'38oz. to 0'4oz. Bill, 
orange, dusky above ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

The Bearded Reedling was exceedingly common in the plains 
of Eastern Turkestan, among the reeds and rushes growing in 
marshy ground and on the borders of lakes. I did not observe 
it in winter, but it was said to be a permanent resident 
in the country. These birds take short wavering flights, 
in small flocks usually, ,and as they fly make a curious sound 
which is sought to be imitated by the Turki name given 
to the species — Jingjing. Near Yarkand this bird breeds in 
-April and May. 

646 A.— Parus cyanus, Pallas. 

<?. Shot between Kizil Aghil and Mazar, 15//* August. — 
Length, 5 ; expanse, 8'45 ; wing, 27 ; tail, 243, tarsus, 075 ; 
bill, from gape, 045; closed wings fall short of tail, 13 ; 
weight, 0'4 oz. . Bill, dusky, extreme tip of upper mandible, 
whitish ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, bluish plumbeous ; 
claws, plumbeous. 

Two youvg birds, shot between Tarn and Tadlik, 17 th August, 
measured and weighed. — Length, 4*6 to 4*65 ; expanse, 7*8 ; 
wing, 2-6 to 2-65 ; tail, 215 to 2-2 ; tjarsus, 07 to 073 ; bill, 
from gape, 0*4 to 0'43 ; closed wings fall short of tail, l'O to l'l ; 
weight, 0-43oz to 0'45oz. Bill, bluish black or dusky ; yellowish 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 155 

or grey horny at tip, sides and base of lower mandible ; 
irides, blackish brown ; legs and feet, slaty blue ; claws, dusky, 
lightish at tips. 

This pretty little species was met with, in small flocks, among 
the Tamarisk bushes which grow on the banks of the Arpalak, 
and Sanju streams. It had evidently been breeding in those 
places. 

655. — Accentor Huttoni, Moore. 

<?. Kashg/iar, 28th November. — Length, 6 ; wing, 2'9 ; tail, 
2*7 ; tarsus, 074 : bill, from gape, 0'54<. Bill, black, yellowish 
at gape ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, fleshy. 

This bird was brought to me at Kashghar and was said to 
have been captured in the neighbouring hills. I kept it alive 
for a few days. 

fi^ M? (A\— Aerator I montanellus, Pallas. 
boa bis. (A). Accentor j f u i vesC ens, Severtsov. 

(?. Shahid-ullah, 25th August. — Length, 5'7 ; expanse, 93 ; 
wing, 3-0 ; tail, 2*5 ; tarsus, 8 ; bill, from gape, 0*6 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1 *4 : weight, 0'65oz. Bill, black, brown- 
ish at base below ; irides, very dark brown ; legs and feet, 
fleshy ; claws, dusky, yellowish at tips. 

cJ. Balakchi, 26th August. — Length, 6*2; expanse, 93; 
wing, 3*1 ; tail, 2*65 ; tarsus, 0'75 ; bill, from gape, 0*6 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*5 ; weight, O65oz, Bill, black; 
irides, brown ; legs, fleshy ; feet, brownish fleshy ; claws, 
blackish, yellow at tips. 

? . Oibuk, 23rd August. — Length, 5*6 ; expanse, 9'2 ; wing 
3*1 ; tail, 2'6 ; tarsus, 0*85 ; bill, from gape, 06 ; closed wings fall 
short of tail, 1*2 ; weight, - 6 oz. Bill, dusky, yellow at ex- 
treme tip ; gape, orange ; irides, greyish brown ; legs and feet, 
fleshy ; claws, dusky brown. 

This species was observed pretty frequently between Toghrasu 
and Gulgun Shah at elevations of from 1 1 J000 to 13,000 feet. 
The birds kept in pairs usually and frequented the bushes grow- 
ing near the banks of the Karakash river. This bird pro- 
bably breeds in the localities where it was seen in August. 

658.— Corvus tibetanus, Hodgson. 

S. North of Earakoram Pass, 3rd September. — Length, 27 ; 
expanse, 55*5; wing, 18 - 7 ; tail, 11*25; tarsus, 25 ; bill, from 
gape, 3*15 ; closed wings fall short of tail, TO ; weight, 2 lbs. 
11 oz. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black; irides, dark brown. 

? . Shot at the same time and place. — Length, 25 "5 ; expanse, 
54-6; wing, 181 ; tail, 10 65; tarsus, 2*5; bill, from gape, 



156 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

2*9 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 06 ; weight, 2 lbs. 6*75 oz.; 
Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, dark brown. 

On the return journey, in August, this Raven was met with 
below Kichik Yailak, and was very numerous about the Sanju 
Pass, where it was observed feeding on the carcases of dead 
horses. From the last place a number of these fine birds ac- 
companied our party all the way over tbe Karakoram Pass into 
Ladak ; they were very fearless, and made themselves quite at 
home in the camp, walking about in a very stately fashion. 
On one occasion a pony carrying some of my luggage tum- 
bled down the side of a gorge and injured itself so severly 
that it had to be killed on the spot ; our Ravens seemed to 
understand perfactly what was going on ; for they settled on 
the neighbouring rocks in anticipation of a fine feed, cawing 
in a hoarse and exulting manner. As these birds fly their 
wings make a kind of creaking noise very like the rustling of 
a satin dress ; and their caw is a deep, hoarse, clucking sort of 
sound. The Turks speak of the Raven as a fine old bird, and 
say that it lives for a thousand years ! The name given by the 
Kirghiz and Andijanis to this species is Kuzghun. 

659.— Corvus corone, Lin. 

S. Yarkand, February. — Length, 18'3 ; wing, 12*4; tail, 
7'8 ; tarsus, 2'25 ; bill, at front, 2*03; nareal bristles reach to 
within 1*05 of tip of bill. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

<j. 17th June, Yarkand. — Length, 18*8; expanse, 365 ; 
wing, 12*1 ; tail, 8*5; tarsus, 23; bill, from gape, 2*25; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 2*0 ; weight, 13oz. 

Bill, dark slaty grey ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, 
greyish black ; claws, black. 

Mr. Hume considers that the two specimens noted above must 
be referred to G. corone and not culminatus ; my own impression 
is that the second * bird whose dimensions, &c, are given 
above is the young of the latter species. If the Crow under 
consideration be really distinct, it is a permanent resident in 
the plains of Eastern Turkestau, and is associated with Corvus 
culminatus. 

659 Us. — Corvus cornix, Lin. 

Two specimens of this species were preserved at Kashghar : 
a female in October and a male in November. It was very 
common in the plains during the winter, when it was seen daily 
at Kashghar and Yarkand associating with the Rook (C.frugile- 
gus) and with the Black Crows (C. intermedins and C. corone). 
It was first observed near Yangi Hissar in October, and it 
migrated from Yarkand about the end of March, to repair, it is 

* The Bill is broken ; I am not at all sure. — A. O. H. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 157 

said, to the hills near Aksu, where it is reported to breed. The 
Turki name for this species is Ala Kargha, the Variegated Crow. 

<?. Kashghar, 1st November. — Length, 19'3 ; wing, 13*3 ; tail, 
8*4 ; tarsus, 225 ; bill, from gape, 224. Bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 

? . Kashghar, 23rd October. — Length, 182 ; wing, 11*75 ; tail, 
7*4 • tarsus, 2*1 ; bill, from gape, 20. Bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 

660. — Corvus culminatus, Sykesf C. intermedins, 
Adains. 

Tioo males, Yarkand, February. — Length, 18*8 to 1 9*9 ; wing, 
13*35 to 13*6 ; tail, 8*2 to 8*7 ; tarsus, 2*15 to 2*2 ; bill at front 
2*35 to 2*37 ; nareal bristles short of tip of bill, 1*6 to 1*12. 

Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, dark brown. 

This Crow is very common throughout the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, where it lives permanently and breeds. It is not 
nearly such a noisy and insolent bird as C. splendens is in India. 
I have seen this species pursue and torment both the Eagle 
Owl (Bubo maximus) and the Kite (M. melanotis) ; and it 
Beems to have a great predilection for the eggs of small birds. 

On the 21st April a nest of this Crow was seen placed very 
near the summit of a high poplar tree {P. alba). The nest was 
coarsely made of sticks, twigs and fibres, and had a sort of 
lining of dry grass and horse hair ; it contained four eggs. One 
of these eggs measures 1*71 in length by 1*2 in breadth ; in shape 
it is a moderately broad oval, not much pointed at the small end. 
It is of a close texture and has a considerable gloss. The ground 
color is a pale clear bluish green, abundantly covered over with 
spots, streaks and blotches of sepia brown ; the blotches are 
largest and most crowded together at the large end of the egg. 

The Turki name for this species is Kara Kargha, the Black 
Crow. 

664.— Corvus frugilegus, Lin. 

The Rook was common about Kashghar and Yarkand, and 
in the plains generally, during the winter, when it was con- 
stantly seen near the roads picking away at heaps of rubbish 
representing the dry earth system of conservancy. It was very 
commonly associated with the Black Crow and C. comix. This 
bird disappeared from the vicinity of Yarkand in the beginning 
of April, migrating to the north, where it is said to breed in the 
hills near Aksu. Its Turki name is Portumchuk kargha, i. e., 
i the Rotten-beaked Crow,' in allusion to the rough scabrous skin 
covering the base of the bill. A specimen was preserved at 
Kashghar in December and another at Yarkand in January. 



158 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

g. Kashghar, 26th December. — Length, 20 ; wing, 13 ; tail, 
8 ; tarsus, 2'1 ; bill, from gape, 2*6. 

Bill, black; its base covered with a rough whitish skin ; legs, 
feet, and claws, black. 

($. Juv. Yarkand, January. — Length, 197 ; wing 12*3 ; tail, 
7-6; tarsus, 21; bill, from gape, 2-7; at front, 2'45 ; nareal 
bristles reach to within 1*43 of tip of bill. Bill, black, rough 
and greyish at gape; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

aar, n^i^o J monedula, Lin. 
665— Coleus j daurica Pfl ^ 

Three specimens of this Jackdaw were preserved : two males 
in Jauuary and one female iu February, all at Yarkand. It is 
a winter resident only, about Kashghar and Yarkand, and 
migrates northwards, to the Aksu forests, it is said, in the begin- 
niuo- of April. I was told that it bred near Aksu. The Jackdaw 
was generally seen in the fields or by the road sides, frequently 
associated with the Rooks and Crows, picking at some heap of 
rubbish. I kept several of these birds in confinement and 
found their pranks very amusiug ; but they never equalled the 
Magpies in this respect. The Turki name for this species is 
Tukhundk kargha. 

g . Yarkand, January. — Wing, 9*1 ; tarsus, 1 "75 ; bill, from 
gape, 1*5. Irides, white ; bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

$. Yarkand, January. — Length, 132 ; wing, 8 - 96 ; tail, 5*2 ; 
tarsus, 1*7 ; bill, from gape, 145. Bill, legs, feet, aud claws, 
black. 

? . Yarkand, February. — Length, 128 ; wing, 8*8 ; tail, 5'1 ; 
tarsus, 1-63 ; bill, from gape, 1/43. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, 
black. 

668 bis.— Pica bactriana, Bonap. 

This Magpie was first observed, within the limits of Kash- 
gharia, at Kebis (elevation 7,500) on the 26th September 1874. 
After that it was not seen until we reached Kashgar in October, 
and there it was common in gardens and on road side trees 
during the months of November and December. The bird 
appears to be almost unknown at Yarkand, where only a few 
stragglers are occasionally seen in winter. On the return 
journey in August it was seen on two occasions, in pairs, near 
Kizil Aghil and the Chuchu Pass. In summer this species 
appears to inhabit all the hills round Eastern Turkestan, viz., 
north of Aksu and Kashghar, Sarikkul, and south of Yarkand 
and of Sanju, descending to the borders of the plains in winter. 
I preserved two specimens of this Magpie at Kashghar, and 
kept several alive in confinement. They were most amusing 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 159 

birds, and I bad one so tame that it would hop about my table 
while I was writing", dip its beak into the inkstand and then 
wipe the ink off on the tablecloth, and finally, as a climax of 
impudence, perch composedly on the top of my head ! 

The Turki name for this species is Saghizghdn, and the 
Andijanis call it Akkah. 

? . Kashghar, 22nd Aiovember. — Length, 183 ; wing, 8 - 32 ; 
tail, 10*4; tarsus, 1*95 ; bill, from gape, 1*55. Bill, legs, feet, 
and claws, black. 

$ . Kashghar, 13th December. — Length, 165 ; wing, 7*6 ; tail, 
9'7 ; tarsus, 1*75 ; bill, from gape, 1-6. Bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 

679— Fregilus graculus, Lin. 

The Bed-billed Chough was first met within the limits of 
Eastern Turkestan on the Sanju Pass in September 1874. The 
bill of a specimeu which I then shot measured 2 inches straight 
from forehead to tip. On the return journey in August 1875, I 
found that the Beg of Sanju had a couple of tamed birds of this 
species which were allowed perfect liberty, but showed no dis- 
position to steal away to the hills. When we got into the hills 
they were seen every day and were very numerous about Kichik 
Yailak at an elevation of 12,000 feet. Some Turks told me 
that this species had acquired a red bill by persistently drinking 
the blood of dead animals, and there seems to be a general im- 
pression among the Kirghiz that the bird often feeds on carrion. 
The Turki name is Kizil tumchuk Kargha, the Red-billed Crow. 

<?. Between the Sanju Pass and Kichik Yailak, 24^A Septem- 
ber. — Length, 146; wing, 112; tail, 6; tarsus, 1'9; bill, 
straight from forehead to point, l - 94. 

Bill, orange red, base of lower mandible, blood red; legs, 
orange ; feet, orange red ; claws, black. 

679 bis.— Podoces Hendersoni, Hume. 

<? . Shot between Koshtak and Sidikaziz Langar, 9th August. — 
Length, 1T4 ; expanse, 182; wing, 5"75 ; tail, 4'4 ; tarsus, 
1'6; bill, from gape, 1'8; closed wings fall short of tail, 2*1 ; 
weight, 49 oz. Bill, black towards tip, greyish black at base ; 
irides, dark brown ; legs, black ; feet, greyish black ; claws, 
black. The testes small. 

£. Juv. Shot in the desert ground between Sulaghiz Langar 
and Sanju, 10th August. — Length, 11 '2; expanse, 173: wing, 
5*5 ; tail, 4 - 2 ; tarsus, 1'5 ; bill from gape, 1*7 ; closed wings fall 
short of tail, 2"3; weight, 3*4 oz. Bill, legs, feet, 'and claws, 
black ; soles of feet, grey ; irides, dark brown. The testes very 
small. 



160 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

? . Shot in desert ground between Sulaghiz Langar and SanjHj 
10th August. — Length, 114; expanse, 17-35 ; wing, 5*5 ; tail, 
4*3; tarsus, 16; bill, from gape, 1*7; closed wings fall short 
of tail, 23; weight, 4*2 oz. Bill, black, greyish at base; irides, 
brown ; legs, feet, and claws, black ; soles of feet, grey. The 
ova very minute. 

Four males — three shot in desert between Sauju and Laugar, 
28th September, and one between Langar and Koshtak, 30th 
September: — Length, 11*5 to 12; expanse, 17*8 to 18*7; wing, 
5*6 to 5*85; tail, 4*3 to 4 - 5 ; tarsus, 1*65 to 1'7; bill, from gape, 
1-8 to 1-89 ; weight, 4*4 oz. to 5*2 oz. 

Five females — three shot between Sanju and Langar 29th 
September, one shot between Langar and Koshtak 30th Septem- 
ber, and one between Koshtik and Ui' Toghrak 1st October : — 

Length, 10*9 to 11*4; expanse, 17*1 to 17*5 ; wing, 5 '3 to 
5*6; tail, 39 to 4'2 ; tarsus, 155 to 1*67; bill, from gape, 
1-6 to 169; weight, 35 oz. to 4*5 oz. 

Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; irides, brown. 

This species was only met with in the desert country which 
intervenes between Sanju and Karghalik — an arm of the great 
Takla Makan Desert — which we crossed on entering and leaving 
the plains of Eastern Turkestan. It was never seen or heard 
of near Kashghar, Yarkand, or the country which lies between 
those two cities. Altogether I saw about thirty-five of these 
birds, out of which I shot and preserved fourteen. As I was 
aware that little was known about the habits of these Podoces 
I made all the notes I could at the time about them and may 
perhaps be excused for giving a rather detailed account of what 
I observed about this species. 

Podoces Hendersoni inhabits desert sandy ground, in which 
very stunted little bushes grow sparsely, and which is intersected 
by a few small streams, usually at a distance of a day's march 
from each other. The birds move about singly, seldom in pairs ; 
and even when two birds are found together and they are alarmed 
they fly away in different directions; thus showing that their 
bond of union was very slight indeed. The birds are always very 
much on the alert and run as swiftly as hares at the least sign 
of danger. They never take to the wing except when very hard 
pressed, and then they fly only for a short distance, soon settling 
on the ground again to scuttle off as hard as their legs will carry 
them. When pursued they are very fond of running for some 
distance and then hiding closely behind a bush ; and I have 
sometimes surprised them peering round the corner of a bush to 
see if the foe had been circumvented. Their flight is short 
and wavering — something like that of a Hoopoe — and as they 
fly the large white patoh on their wing shows out very 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 161 

conspicuously. The birds were usually observed coming down to 
the path along- which the horses had gone, to feed on the dung ; 
they were in such a hurry over this business that they had not 
time to pick the grain out only, but swallowed the stuff whole- 
sale with which their stomachs were found to be filled. When 
there are no horses passing their way I suppose they must sub- 
sist on insects of some sort. The shooting of these birds affords 
capital exercise, for as they generally begin to run before one 
can get within shot the only plan is to run also — not exactly 
alter them — but so as to cut them off at a point within shooting 
distance ; after that it is very much like hare shooting. 

The Yarkandis do not consider the Podoces good eating in the 
ordinary acceptation of the term, but believe that the flesh of the 
bird has wonderful tonic properties in a certain direction. 
These birds were never heard to utter any cry nor did I observe 
them laving their feathers in the sand. The Turki name for 
this Podoces is Kil yurgha, which has reference to the bird, 
running in the trail of horses ; it is also, though rarely, called 
Kum sagliizghani or ' Sand Magpie,' but Kum tokhi (i. e., sand 
fowl) is the name applied to the Little Bustard ( Otis tetra.v) and 
not to this species. Our bird is a permanent resident in Eastern 
Turkestan ; it is said to breed in May and June, making its 
nest on the ground under the shelter of the little bushes; the 
eggs are said to be a little larger than those of a starling. 

1 don't think that the plate in Lahore to Yarkand gives a good 
idea of the bird ; a characteristic picture should represent the 
Podoces running on a sandy waste, with head erect ; and I am 
sure no better trivial name could be proposed for the bird than 
tl Swiftfoot.'" Apropos of this species Mr. Shaw tells me of a 
Turki proverb which he has heard: " Run not like the Kil- 
yurgha, nor let thy tongue run like that of a woman." 

679 ter. — Podoces humilis, Hume. 

$ . Kichik Yailak, \9th August. — Length, 7*1 ; expanse, 
12-0; wing, 3*82; tail, 2-8 tarsus, 1*2; bill, from gape, 1-08; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*2 ; weight, 1"65 oz. 

Bill black, with a greyish bloom at base ; irides, dark brown; 
legs and feet, black, greyish at the joints ; soles of feet, ashy 
grey ; claws, black. 

c? . Kichik Yailak, 19th August. — Length, 6'85 ; expanse, 
119 ; wing, 3 - 85; tail, 2*8; tarsus, I'd; bill, from gape, l'O; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*15 ; weight l*5oz. 

Bill, black towards tip ; greenish brown at base, especially at 
sides, and below; irides, blackish brown ; legs and feet, black, 
with a brownish tinge ; claws, black. 

$. Juv. Kichik Yailak, 19th August. — Length, 6'55 ; expanse, 
11*2 j wing, 3'7 ; tail, 2*6; tarsus, 1*2; bill, from gape, 0*95 ; 

w 



162 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

closed wings fall short of tail, 105 ; weight, l*55oz. Bill, 
brownish black at tip ; greenish brown at base ; irides, blackish 
brown ; legs and feet, brownish black ; claw, black. 

(J. Kichik Yailak, 19th August. — Length, 6*85 ; expanse, 
11-8 ; wing, 3.73 ; tail, 275 ; tarsus, 1*25 ; bill from gape, 095 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*2 ; weight, l"6oz. Bill, black, 
with a greyish bloom at base ; irides, darkish brown ; legs and 
feet, black, with a greyish bloom in parts ; claws, black. 

This species was first observed and a specimen shot at Kewis 
(elevation 7,487 feet) on the 26th September 1874. The birds 
were running about in the fields and perching on twigs and 
bushes. At Kichik Yailak, in August 1875, they were numerous, 
and frequented the grassy hill sides which abound there; they 
would seldom fly but ran up hill very nimbly, making it rather 
difficult to bag them, considering that the elevation was about 
i 3,000 feet in the valleys. The Kirghiz say that this species, 
which they call Zungak, is a permanent resident near their 
encampment, and feeds on worms and insects, never on grain or 
seeds. They add also that the bird makes its nest in holes about 
the hill sides, bi'eediug in June or July, and that the young 
birds are able to fly about the end of September. 

680;— Pyrrhocorax alpimis, Vieill. 

The Alpine Chough is common in the hills on the south side 
of Eastern Turkestan at elevations of from 8,000 to 16,000 
feet ; often associated with the Common Chough, but descend- 
ing, I think, to lower elevations than that bird. A specimen 
was preserved at Tarn (-8,800 feet) in September 1874, and it 
was seen in great flocks near the Chuchu Pass in August 1875, 
where it struck me at the time that the name of the Pass 
might have been given in imitation of the cry of these Choughs 
which is very like ' chu chu.' The Turki name of this species 
is Tagh karghasi, the Mountain Crow. 

$. Tarn, 26th September. — Length, 15*3 ; wing, 10*2; 
tail, 6*9 ; tarsus, 1*63 ; bill, from gape, 1'5 ; bill, from forehead 
straight to point, 135. Bill, yellow; irides, brown; legs, 
bright orange ; claws, black. 

681.— Sturnus vulgaris, Lin. 

Five males, obtained at Yarkand in February, March and 
April. — Length, 8'75 to 9'2 : expanse, 15'1 to 15-5; wing, 
5-0 to 5-35; tail, 2-65 to 2-9; tarsus, 1-2 to 1-25; bill, from 
gape, 1'3 to 15 ; weight, 235oz. to 2 # 6oz. 

Bill, yellow, dusky at base ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, 
reddish brown ; claws, black. 

Two females. Yarkand, lith March. — Length, 8*75 to 8" 9 ; 
expanse, 1475 to 15-15 ; wing, 5 '05 to 5'25 ; tail, 2-7 to 2-9; 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 163 

tarsus, 1-2; bill, from gape, 1'35 to 1*4 ; closed wings fall 
short of tail, 09; weight, 2 53oz. to 2'6oz. 

Bill, yellow, dusky at tip; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, 
reddish brown ; claws, back. 

Three males and one female obtained at Kashghar in October 
are in the purple, white tipped stage of plumage. 

? Juv. {in immature, brownish dusky plumage) Yarkand, 
Qth June. — Length, 8'1 ; expanse, 14 - 4; wing, 4*65; tail, 
25 ; tarsus, 1*1 ; bill, from gape, 1"25 ; closed wings fall short 
of tail, 1*0; weight, 2/25oz. 

Bill, greyish black, yellow at extreme tip ; edge of gape, 
whitish ; irides, brownish black ; legs and feet, reddish dusky ; 
claws, black. 

The Starling is a very common bird in the plains of Kash- 
gharia. From about the end of February to the beginning 
of August the bird literally swarms in the neighbourhood of 
Yarkand, but it was never observed south of Karghalik ; in 
the depth of winter it appears to migrate south-eastwards, but 
a few Starlings were seen even in January, between K&shghar 
and Yarkand. This species was generally found near inhabited 
places, perching on trees, feeding in fields, and often following 
the plough and picking up grubs ; the stomach of oue specimen 
I shot contained a caterpillar over an inch long. The numerous 
holes and crevices in the huge mud walls of the Fort and City 
of Yarkand were favorite roosting places for these birds ; and 
during an early morning's ride many Starlings could be seen 
at the eutrance of their nests, preening their feathers and 
making their morning toilette, before starting off for their day's 
foraging. The Starling is a great favorite with the Yarkaudis 
who frequently place gourds in the trees near their houses for 
it to lay its eggs in ; great numbers of the young birds are 
caught by the boys, who tame them and carry them about 
on their hands, or in little cages. In June flocks of young 
Starlings were often seen, taken about by their parents to 
forage ; one old bird leading the way and the other one bring- 
ing up the rear. 

The Starling breeds in May and June making its nesfc in 
the holes of trees and walls and in gourds and pots, placed near 
houses by the Yarkaudis for the purpose. It seems to make 
only a simple lining for its hole, composed of grass and fibres. 
The eggs vary in shape from a broad ish oval to an elongated 
oval slightly compressed at one end ; they are glossy, but in a 
strong light the surface looks pitted. The eggs are quite 
spotless, but the color seems also to vary good deal : from a 
deep greenish blue to a very pale light sea-blue. In size they 
vary from 1*1 to 1-22 in length, and from 0*80 to 08G iu 
breadth ; but the average of nine eggs is 1*19 by - 83. 



10*4 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

The Tarki name for the Starling is Kara Kuchkach, i.e., 
* black bird/ 

690.— Pastor roseus, Lin. 

¥. Shot at Sulaghz Langar, 30th September. — Length, 9*4; 
wing, 5*1; tail, 2*9; tarsus, 12; bill, from gape, 1*15. Bill horny, 
brown on culmen and at base of lower mandible ; irides, dark 
brown ; legs and feet, flesh color. 

A single specimen of the Rose-colored Starling was obtained 
in Eastern Turkestan in September ; it was flying about, perch- 
ing on the branches of Eleagnus trees, and was the only- 
specimen ever seen in the country. It is said to be common 
in Khokand and Badakhskan where it feeds on mulberries ; and 
the Yarkandi bird catchers say it only occurs as a mere 
straggler in Kashgharia, a few birds being occasionally seen 
in the summer alter the prevalence of strong north-west or 
westerly winds. Its Turki name is Sdch. 

707.— Passer salicicolus, Vieill. 

Two males shot at Yarkand. — Length, 6*53 to Q'6.; expanse, 
10-2 to 10-4 ; wing, 8'2 to 3'3 ; tail, 2'5 to 2*6 ; tarsus, 0*8 to 
0*85 ; bill, from gape, 065 to 0*7 ; closed wings fall short of 
tail, P5 ; weight, loz. to l'loz. Bill, greyish black and dusky ; 
legs and feet, brownish or yellowish fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

?. Yarkand, \\th A/arc/i.— Length, 6'3 ; expanse, 10*0; 
wing, 3-3 • tail, 2*5 ; tarsus, 0*8 ; bill, from gape, 0'55 ; 
closed wings Ml short of tail, 1*4; weight, 0*9 oz. Bill, 
dark fleshy, dusky above and at tip; irides, dirty brown ; legs 
and toes, dark flesh color ; claws, dusky. 

This species is tolerably common in the plains, and is, I 
believe, a permanent resident in Eastern Turkestan. It fre- 
quents reeds growing near marshes, poplar trees, and I shot 
one once near a corn field Avhere it was flying about in 
the midst of a flock of the common Turkestan Sparrow — 
Passer montanus. The note of this bird is very distinct from 
that of P. montanus. It breeds in May and June, making its 
nest in trees and laying four or five eggs ; but I never heard of 
its breeding in colonies, nor did I ever see it frequenting willow 
trees. The Turki name for this species is Tarachi. 

Passer ? Propasser ? 

Nestling from Terek Langar, Zith July. — Length, 5'2 ; ex- 
panse, 8*4 ; wing 2'Q ; tail, 195 ; tarsus, 0*8 ; bill, from gape, 
0*55 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1'2 ; weight, - 7 oz. 

Bill, livid fleshy, light at the tip and yellow at gape ; irides, 
very dark brown ; legs and feet, fleshy ; claws, livid horny at 
bases, lighter in color at the points. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 165 

The species of which this specimen was said to be the young 
wns called by the Yarkandis Toghrak kuchkachi, i.e.. Poplar 
bird. It was said to be found in the Dolau forests and to have 
the head and breast of a reddish color. The young bird des- 
cribed above had a single sweet sort of note. 

Mr. Hume thinks that this bird must be a Passer or 
Propasser of some sort but cannot pronounce certainly without 
careful comparisons, which he has not here the materials for 
making". It certainly is not the young of Passer montanus. 
But Mr. Hume remarks that it is very like the young of 
Passer indicus ; the only difficulty about this is that P. indicus 
does not occur in Eastern Turkestan. 

710.— Passer montanus, Linn. 

<?. Shot at KizilAghil, IWi August. — Length, 5"6 ; expanse 
9-1 ; wing, 2 - 9; tail, 2*4 ; tarsus, 0*7; bill, from gape, 055; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1-45; weight, 0*75 oz. Bill, 
black, yellow at base below ; irides, light brown; legs and feet, 
yellow fleshy ; claws, brownish horn color. 

Nestling, Yarkand, 25th July. — Length, 4'8 ; expanse, 8*4 ; 
wing, 2-5 ; tail, 1*7 ; tarsus 0*7 ; bill, from gape, 052 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 095 ; weight, 0"6 oz. Bill — upper 
mandible, brownish ; lower, yellow horn color ; irides, dark 
brown ; legs and feet, yellow fleshy ; claws, light horn color. 

This species is the common Sparrow of Eastern Turkestan, 
where it is a permanent resident. It abounds everywhere 
near inhabited places and cultivated fields, up to an elevation 
of about 7,500 feet. It is not nearly so troublesome as the 
Indian House Sparrow (Passer indicus), seldom coming into 
one's room ; but in the depth of winter, when their food was 
scarce, flocks of these birds would assemble on the windows and 
peck away at the paste which had been used to fasten on the 
transparent paper, producing quite a deafening noise. 

The Tree Sparrow breeds from May to August, rearing, I 
think, two broods in the year; the nest is placed in the holes of 
walls, under the eaves of houses, and in trees. On the 3rd of 
June I found a nest in a hole of a wall, near my room, in the 
Residency at Yarkand. The hole was pretty deep, not wide 
enough to admit the hand and about six feet above the grouud. 
Three eggs were found, one a good deal incubated, lying on a 
confused mass of feathers, hair, straw, twigs, &c. The female 
bird was sitting and could with difficulty be induced to come 
forth from her nest. On the 18th July I noted that many birds 
were building in my verandah ; the nests were clumsy masses 
of straw, grass, leaves and wool, piled together in such a slovenly 
manner that portions of them were continually falling down and 



166 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

making a mess. On the 25th July I saw a Sparrow of this 
species collecting willow leaves for its nest : it seized the leaf 
by the stalk, close to the branch, and by a sudden bend nipped 
it off very cleverly. 

The only egg I now have by me is in shape a moderate oval, 
very little pointed at one end. It is beautifully glossy and 
measure 0*81 in length by 0'57 in breadth. The ground color 
is grey, streaked and blotched with greyish brown ; the 
blotches dense and dark in a cap at the broad end. The 
Turki name for the Tree Sparrow is Ak kuchkach, i.e., 'the 
white bird ; ' in Khokand, and by the Andijanis, it is called 
Chumchulc, but a Yarkandi would not understand what was 
meant by the latter name. 

720 bis.— Emberiza schcenicola, Lin. 

This species was common near Yarkand in winter, and four 
specimens were preserved in Jannuary and February. It 
frequented hedges and small trees and was said by the 
Yarkandis to be a permanent resident, but I never observed it 
in summer. The Turki name for this bird is Clia hichkach. 

<J. Yarkand. February. — Wing, 33; tarsus, 0"82 ; bill, from 
gape, 0'43. Bill : upper mandible, brownish black ; lower, 
horny. Legs, brown ; feet, dusky brown ; claws, black. 

Three females ; Yarkand, January. — Length 5 - 9 to 6*1 ; wing, 
3-3 to 34 ; tail, 2-8 to 3'0 ; tarsus, 0*8 to U'83 ; bill, from gape, 
0*4 to 0*44. Bill : upper mandible, brownish horny ; lower 
mandible, lighter horn color ; legs, brownish fleshy or brown ; 
feet, dusky brownish ; claws, black. 

720 bis. A. — Emberiza pyrrhuloides, Pall. 

Two males, shot at Yarkand in April, measured and weighed. 
— Length, 6-5 ; expanse, 9*8 ; wing, 3'05 to 3'3 ; tail, 2*85 to 
3*0; tarsus, 08 ; bill, from gape, 0*43 to 065; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1*8 ; weight, 0*7 oz. Bill, dusky horny ; legs, 
brownish ; toes, dusky ; claws, black. 

$ . Beshkant, 6th February. — Length, 6 - 7 ; wing, 3'2 ; tail, 
2*8 ; tarsiis, 0*8 ; bill, from gape, 05. Bill, dusky ; legs, brown- 
ish ; feet, dusky brown ; claws, brownish black. 

fj> . Yarkand, \2>th April. — Length, 6*75; expanse, 9*5; 
wing, 3'15 ; tail, 2*75; 'tarsus, 0*75; bill, from gape, 0*5 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*6 ; weight, 0*65 oz. Bill, dusky ; legs, 
brownish; claws, black. 

The first specimen of this species was shot at Beshkant, in the 
beginning of February, in waste ground overgrown with small 
bushes ; three other specimens were obtained near Yarkand in 
April. This bird frequents the edges of marshy ground and rice 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 167 

fields, breeds in Kashgharia and is probably a permanent resi- 
dent. The Turki name for this Bunting is Karabash kuchkach, 
1 the black-headed bird.' The Yarkandi Shikaris say that the 
nest of this species is always placed in ' Yekan, 3 i. e., reed beds. 

722.— Euspiza luteola, toparr. 

Five males shot at Yarkand in May and June. — Length, 6 '5 to 
6-9; expanse, 10-8 to 11; wing, 3-4 to 37 ; tail, 3"0 to 3*1 ; 
tarsus, 08 to 0*85 ; bill, from gape, 0*6 to - 65 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1-6 to 1'7; weight, 0-8 to 0-9 oz. Bill, slaty 
grey, dusky above ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, fleshy, 
yel[ow fleshy, and brownish ; claws, dusky and brown horny. 

<?. Juv. Sanju, Wth August. — Length, 6*2; expanse, 10*2; 
wing, 3"3 ; tail, 28 ; tarsus, 0*8; bill, from gape, 0*55 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*5 ; weight, 75 oz. Bill, grey horny ; 
irides, blackish brown ; legs and feet, fleshy; claws, brown horny. 

Nestling, Yarkard, 25th June. — Length, 3 - 6 ; expanse, 7 3; 
wing, 1*9 ; tail, 05 ; tarsus, - 8; bill, from gape, 0*55 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, - 75 ; weight, 05 oz. Bill, grey ; edgo 
of gape bright yellow ; legs and feet, fleshy ; claws, light horn. 

This species is a seasonal visitant to the plains, arriving about 
the end of April and leaving in September. The birds were 
numerous from the end of May to July near Yarkand, where 
they were often seen, generally in pairs, perching on small trees 
(mulberries and willows) and chirping away merrily. These birds 
were always near cultivation and appeared to prefer the vicinity 
of corn, barley and lucerne fields. This Bunting breeds in May 
and June : a nestling was obtained on the 25th of the latter 
mouth; on the 2nd July a young bird was caught (just able to 
fly) in which only the lower tail-coverts showed a tinge of yellow; 
and a young male of the year was shotatSanju on the 11th 
August. 

At least half a dozen nest of this species were seen in May 
and June. The nest is usually placed either in small bushes 
(Kara uk) about a couple of feet above the ground, or touching 
the ground at the edges of corn fields, anl sheltered over by a 
small shrub (Buyah). The nest is round, from 4*5 to 5*5 in dia- 
meter, the side wall about 1 inch thick, the bottom 1*5. Exter- 
nally it is made up of coarse fibres, leaves and twigs loosely put 
together, but the egg cavity is lined with fine fibres wound round 
and round, the egg commonly lying on a bottom lining of horse 
hair. In the fresh nest the egg cavity is circular, cup shaped, 
about 3 inches in diameter and 1*5 deep. By the time the eggs 
are nearly ready to hatch off the shape of the nest is often a 
good deal altered; the egg cavity is flattened out, and instead of 
being cup-shaped becomes saucer-like, and often quite shallow. 



168 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

The number of eggs is from three to four; and the latter seems 
to be the full complement. 

Four eggs, obtained on the 13th June, vary in length from 
082 to 0*85 and in breadth from 0*63 to 065; but the average 
of the four eggs is 0*835 by 0"b'l;2. In shape they are moderate 
or broadish ovals, slightly compressed at one end; they have a 
slight Moss. The ground color is pale greenish jrrev, with nu- 
merous spots, streaks and blotches of sepia brown. The mark- 
ings are generally more profuse at the large end ; but in some, 
the small end and lesser half of the egg show the most numer- 
ous aud crowded blotches. The Turki name of this species is 
Sarik kuchkach, 'yellow bird.' 

732 bis. A.— Erythrospiza obsoleta, Licht. 

Two males measured and weighed. — Length, 6*35 to 6*4 ; ex- 
pause, 105 to 10*8; wing, 35; tail, 2'7 to 2-8; tarsus, 0*73 
to 0*75; bill, from gape, 0*46 to 0*5; closed wings fall short of 
tail, 1*05 to 1*4 ; weight, 0*8 oz. to 85 oz. Bill, black or greyish 
dusky; irides, brown; legs and feet, brownish fleshy; claws 
dusky or black. 

?. Yarkand, 24th April. — Length, 6'3; expanse, 10*25; 
wing, 3*35 ; tail, from vent, 2*65 ; tarsus, 0*64 ; bill, from gape, 
0-5; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*3; weight, 0*8 oz. Bill, 
dark horn color ; legs and feet, dark fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

Nine specimens were preserved. 

Numerous in the plains of Kashgharia where it is a perma- 
nent resident. This species was common at Kashghar in winter 
where it frecpaented hedges, often in company with the Sparrow 
(Passer montanus). Near Yarkand in summer it was found 
about trees, in orchards and in clumps of poplars. It has a 
very sweet song and feeds entirely on seeds. The Turki name 
for the species is Tumochuk. 

It lays in May, the nest being usually placed in high trees, 
often in the poplar (P. balsamifera). A nest, obtained on 
the 13th June, contained five eggs in which the embryo was 
found to be formed. The nest is of a broad oval shape, 5*75 
in length by 4 in breadth ; thickness of side walls about 
0*5. It is made up of twigs and fibres. The egg cavity is 
oval 3*5 by 2*5, lined with fine vegetable fibres aud some 
horse hair; depth of cavity 1*25. The eggs are moderate 
ovals, smaller at one end, and are fairly glossy. The ground 
color is pale bluish grey, with fine purplish brown spots and 
streaks, sparingly scattered at the small end, but accumulating 
to form nearly a cap or zone at the large end. In size they 
vary from 0*76 to 0*78 in length, and from 0*57 to 58 in 
breadth; the average of four eggs is 0*77 by 0*575. . 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 169 

732 bis A.— Carpodacus mongolicus, Swinhoe 
(Erytkrospiza incarnata, Severtsov.) 

g . Yarkand, 29th June. — Expanse, 10'2 ; wing, 3'4; tarsus, 
06 ; 3 ; bill, from gape, 0*41 ; weight, 1 oz. 

Bill, light yellowish horn color ; irides, dark brown ; legs and 
feet, yellow fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

This species is only a winter visitant to Eastern Turkestan, 
and even then is not common ; it is said to migrate East- 
wards, towards China, in the spring. Near Yarkand it 
frequents a sort of desert bush called Kamghak on the seeds 
of which it appears to feed. It is rather a favourite cage- 
bird with the Yarkandis on accouut of its sweet song, and 
to this circumstance I am indebted for my specimen — pur- 
chased in June at Yarkand. The Turki name for the species 
is Tagh TitmochuJc, i the mountain Tumochuk' — the latter being 
the name of Erythrospiza obsoleta ; so that the Yarkandis would 
appear to be d'accord with M. Severtsov as to the genus to 
which the bird belongs. 

737.— Carpodacus rubicilla, Guld. 

Two males measured and weighed. — Length, 7 - 4 to 7*5 ; ex- 
panse, 12'6 to 137 ; wing, 435 to 4 - 5 ; tail, 3 - 4 to 35 ; tarsus, 
0'85 to 9 ; bill, from gape, 0*65 ; closed wings fall short of 
tail, 1*5 to 1*7"; weight, 1*5 oz. Bill, grey horny, with the 
upper mandible brownish above, the lower yellowish horny at 
base with a pink tinge in oue specimen ; irides, brown ; legs 
and feet, brown or dusky brown ; claws, dusky brown and dusky 
blackish. 

P. Shot between Mazar and Ghuchu Pass, IQth August. — 
Length, 7*4 ; expanse, 12*7 ; wing, 4 # 3 ; tail, 3'6 ; tarsus, 085 ; 
bill, 1'rom gape, 0*67 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1'55 ; 
weight, l"25oz. Bill grey horny, top of upper mandible slaty ; 
irides bi-own ; legs, feet, and claws, dusky brown. 

Two young males, shot at Tograsu 22nd August, measured and 
weighed. — Length, 6'0 to 6*7; expanse 11*9 to 12*4; wing, 
3-8 to 4-0 ; tail, 2"55 to 2'8 ; tarsus, 0-85 to 0'9 ; bill, from 
gape, 0*6 ; closed wings fall short of tail, l'l to 1*45 : weight 
1'4 oz. to 1*48 oz. Bill grey horny, plumbeous above and 
in the older bird yellowish at base of lower mandible ; irides, 
brownish black ; legs and feet, brownish dusky and brown 
fleshy ; claws, light brownish and brown. 

A pair of this fine species was first observed in a rocky 
gorge between Mazar and the Chuchu Pass ; they hopped from 
the buckthorn bushes growing by the side of a small moun- 
tain stream and mounted up the hill side. After that, this 
species was often seen along the banks of the Karakash from 

x 



170 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Kurgan Ali Nazar to Oibuk (elevation 10,700 to 11,700.) 
The arrival of our camps at Toghrasu on the 22nd August, 
greatly disturbed a family of this Rose Finch: the male bird 
specially was very excited, flying backwards and forwards along 
the hill side and crying shrilly to its two youngsters to follow 
it out of the reach of danger. Nearly all the birds of this 
species which I shot were found to have the bills stained a 
sort of pink color. This was probably due to the birds having 
been feeding on some kind of berry, as the color rubbed off 
on wetting. 

738.— Carpodacus erythrinus, Fall. 

<$ . Sanju, 12th August. — Length, 6 # ; wing, 3'3 ; tail, 
2"75 ; tarsus, 0*8 ; bill, from gape, 0"5 ; closed wings fall short 
of tail, 13; weight, 0*75 oz. Bill greyish horny, top of upper 
mandible dusky ; irides, hazel brown ; legs, feet, and claws; 
brownish. 

$. Shahid-ulla, 2oth August. — Length, 5*7; expanse, 10*; 
wing, 3 - 25 ; tail, 2'35 ; tarsus, 08 ; bill, from gape, 0'5 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, l - 2 ; weight, 0"75 oz. Bill, fuliginous 
horny, upper mandible dusky ; irides, dark brown ; legs and 
feet, livid fleshy ; claws, bi'own. 

This species was first observed at Sanju where it was flitting 
about among the trees ; was seen on several occasions in the 
hills among the bushes ; and was tolerably numerous in the 
Hololachne bushes on the banks of the Karakash river near Sha- 
hid-ullah. It had a tolerably loud, sweet note. 

751 Us.— Linota brevirostris, Gould. 

Two males , one shot between Mazar and Chuchu Pass, 16th 
August, the other between Balakchi and Gulgun Shah, 26th 
August. — Length, 4'9 to 5'05 ; expanse, 8 9 to 9'1 ; wing, 3*0 
to 3*1; tail, 2*35 to 2*5; tarsus, 0'63 to 64; bill, from gape, 
4 to 0'42 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*05 ; weight, 
04 oz. Bill, vellowish horny, brown on culmen; irides, brown ; 
legs and feet, brown and dusky brown ; claws, dusky, and black 
with yellowish tips. 

Three females, one shot between Mazar and Chuchu Pass, 16th 
August, the other two near Gulgun Shah on the 27th August. — 
Length, 4-95 to 5"05 ; expanse, 8*8 to 9-0 ; wing, 3-0 ; tail, 2-3 
to 25 ; tarsus, - 6 to - 65 ; bill, from gape, 04 to 0*42 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 10 to 1*15 ; weight, 0'38 oz. to 0'47 oz. 
Bill grey horny, yellowish at base ; irides, dark brown to light 
brown ; legs and feet, brown fleshy to brownish dusky ; claws, 
dusky brown. 

4 ? Juv. Shot between Balakchi and Gulgun Shah, 26th 
August. — Length, 5-65; expanse, 9 - 35; wing, 3'2; tail, 2'8 ; 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 171 

tnvsus, 063; bill, from gape, 0*43; closed wings fall short of 
tail, 1*5 ; weight, 0"5 oz. 

Bill, brownish at tip, grey on culmen, yellowish at base; irides, 
brown ; legs and feet, dusky brown ; claws, dusky yellow at tips. 

Nestling. Portash, '30th August. — Tarsus, 065 ; bill, from 
gape, 0*4 ; weight, 025 oz. Bill, greenish yellow, grey horny 
on culmen; irides, brownish black; legs and feet, brownish 
fleshy ; claws, dusky whitish at tips. 

This species was fairly numerous in the hills on the south 
side of Eastern Turkestan, at elevations of from 8,000 to 13,000 
feet. It was first observed near the Chuchu Pass, and was 
quite common near Gulgun Shah in the Karakash valley, where 
a young nestling was obtained, thus proving that the bird breeds 
in that locality — probably in July and August. The birds flew 
about in pairs or in small flocks, perpetually twittering, gener- 
ally perching on the small bushes ; but sometimes running among 
the stones and on efflorescent ground, in a very similar manner to 
Calandrella brachydactyla. Only one of the specimens 1 ob- 
tained (a male shot near the Chuchu Pass on the 16th August) 
has the pink color on the rump ; and the bird I shot between 
Balakchi and Gulgun Shah, if it be correctly referred to this 
species, seems to be abnormally large : length (in the flesh) 
5*65; tail, 2-8. 

752. Us.— Montifringilla haematopygia, Gould. 

c?. (Three birds shot in August at elevations of from 12,000 to 
14,000 feet.)— Length, 6-75 to 7'1; expanse, 13*45 to 138 ; 
wing, 4-6 to 4-75 ; tail, 3"1 to 3'4 ; tarsus 0-78 to 0'9 ; bill, 
from gape, 053 to 0'55 ; closed wings fall short of tail, - 65 
to 0*85 ; weight, 1 to PI oz. Bill, brownish dusky — yellow 
at base below ; irides, brown ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

? . Tarbughoz, 14,060 feet, 20th August.— Length, 65 ; ex- 
panse, 126 ; wing, 45; tail, 3 ; tarsus, 0*8; bill, from gape, 
0'5 ; weight, loz. ; closed wings fall short of tail, - 85. Bill, 
dusky, yellowish at base below ; irides, bnwn ; legs and feet, 
brownish dusky ; claws, black. 

A young bird shot at Balti Brangsa (16,800 feet) north of the 
Karakoram Pass on the 3rd September had the lower mandible 
of the bill entirely yellow, the upper grey horny. 

This species was observed in great numbers at Kichik Yai- 
lak (12,060 feet) picking the grain out of the horse dung lying 
about our camp. It was seen daily in August and September 
the whole way from the Sanju Pass into Ladak, and appeared 
to be quite at home at elevations of nearly 19,000 feet. The 
Kii'ghiz say that it remains near their encampments the whole 
year, and give it the name of Purbash, l rotten head.' 



172 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

752. ter— Montifringilla Adamsi, Gould. 

cj. Shot on the C/mchuPass, 16th August. — Length, 6'3 ; ex- 
pause, 123 ; wing, 425; tail, 26; tarsus, 09 ; bill, from 
gape, 0'6'Z ; closed wings fall short of tail, 06 ; weight, loz. 
Bill — the upper mandible dusky, yellowish along it on edge and 
at the sides near the base — lower mandible orange yellow, dusky 
at tip ; irides, hazel ; legs and feet, brownish dusky ; claws, 
blackish brown. 

¥ . Chuchu Pass, 16th August, 1875. — Length, 6'25 ; expanse, 
1225 ; wing, 4 - 2 ; tail, 2*5 ; tarsus, 0*9 ; bill, from gape, 0'6 ; 
closed wings fall short of tall, 0*7 ; weight, loz. Bill, orange 
yellow, dusky above and at tip ; irides, hazel ; legs, yellowish 
fleshy ; feet, brownish dusky ; claws, black. 

This Finch was met with on the return journey on the Chuchu 
Pass at an elevation of 11,700 feet. It flew about in flocks on 
the grassy hill sides feeding on small seeds. Further on in the 
hills of Eastern Turkestan it was seen in suitable localities, but 
at heights of about 14,000 and above, it seems to be entirely 
replaced by Montifringilla hcematopygia. 

753 bis.— Fringilauda sordida, Stol. 

<$. Shot at Tadlik, 18th August. — Length, 5*85; expanse, 
11*0 ; wing, 3*73 ; tail, from vent, 27 ; tarsus, 0*85 ; bill, 
from gape, 0*55 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0'95 ; weight, 
0-8oz. 

Bill, grey horny, darker at tip and above ; irides, light hazel ; 
legs and feet, brownish ; claws, dusky. 

This species was observed near the course of the Sanju stream 
between Tarn and Kichik Yailak, at elevations of from 8,900 to 
12,000 feet. The birds flew about in small flocks and were 
seen eating grain and seeds. 



o a' 



761.— Calandrella brachydactyla, Temm. 

?. Balakchi, 25th August. — Length, 5"7 ; expanse, 11*3; 
wing, 3*6; tail, 2 - 45 ; tarsus, 0*8; bill, from gape, 06 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0"9 ; weight 0"8 oz. Bill, dusky, yellow 
horny at sides and below ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, brownish 
fleshy ; claws, dusky brown. 

Two young birds, shot at Balakchi, 25th August, measured 
and weighed. — Length, 5"45 to 5'5 ; expanse 11*05 to 11-1; 
wing, 3-6 to 3-7 ; tail, 2'05 • tarsus, 0"75 to 0'8 ; bill, from 
gape, 0-58 to 06 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0'45 to 0*7 ; 
weight, - 7oz. to - 8oz. Bill, dusky, yellow homy at sides and 
base of lower mandible ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, 
brownish fleshy; claws, brown, or black with yellow tips. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 173 

This species was only observed at Balakchi and for a short 
distance along- the Karakash river (elevation 12,000 ft.) where it 
had evidently been breeding-. The birds were numerous on the 
alluvial fans between Shahid-ullah and Balakchi, and they ran 
about swiftly among the stones, flying off in flocks when alarm- 
ed. They uttered a clear twittering note and their flight 
was wavy, somewhat resembling that of a wagtail. 

761 ter.— Melanocorypha torquata, Blyth. 

?. Yarkand, 2nd March. — Length, 7"1 ; expanse, 14 # 25 ; 
wing, 4*5; tail, 2*35; tarsus, l'l ; bill, from gape, - 8 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0'5; w r eight, l"8oz. Bill, brownish 
horny ; lower mandible yellowish horny at base and gape ; 
legs and feet, fleshy yellow ; claws, dusky. 

$ . Yarkand, 2nd March. — Length, 6*9 ; expanse, 13*7 ; 
wing, 4 "25; tail, 2'2 ; tarsus, 105; bill, from gape, 0'75; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 0*6 ; weight, l'52oz. Bill, blackish 
horny above ; lower mandible greenish at tip, yellow at base ; 
irides, brown ; legs and feet, yellowish fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

Three specimens of this bird were obtained at Yarkand in 
February, but it was not seen after that, except spme cage birds. 
It is said to be very plentiful in the neighbourhood of Hi 
(Kulja) and only to visit Kashghar and Yarkand in January 
and February. This species is a very favorite cage bird with 
the Kashgharians on account of its sweet song; a specimen was 
brought to me in June which sang most beautifully and the 
owner wanted twenty taugas (Its. 4) for it. Its Turkiname is 
Hi toghai, ' the Hi lark.' 

762 bis.— Alaudula pispoletta, Pallas. 

<?. Kashghar, ?>§th October. — Length, 6*3; wing, 3"7 ; tail, 
2-8; tarsus, 0-83; bill, from gape, 0'6. Bill, grey horny — 
brownish on culmen and yellowish at base of lower mandible ; 
legs and feet, fleshy ; claws, livid, yellowish at the points. 

S. Besharik, 5th August. — Length, 6-45; expanse, 11*2 ; 
wing, 365; tail, 2'85 ; tarsus, 0*75; bill, from gape, 0'53 ; 
closed wing fall short of tail, 1*1; weight, - 75oz. Bill, grey 
horny, yellowish at tip and base of lower mandible ; irides, 
brown ; legs and feet, buff fleshy ; claws, livid at bases, yellow 
horny at the tips. Testes largely developed. 

$ . Juv. Yakshamba bazar, 1st August. — Length, 5'5; ex- 
panse, 102; wing 3 3; tail, 2"35 ; tarsus, 0'8; bill, from gape, 
0"53 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1 ; weight, - 6oz. 

Bill, greyish horny ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, yellowish 
fleshy ; claws, yellowish horny — livid at bases. 



174 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

$. Svghuchalc, 10th June. — Length, 6; expanse, 11*3 1 
wings, 355 ; tail, 25 ; tarsus, 0*75 ; bill from gape, 055 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1*2 ; weight, 0"75oz. 

Bill, fleshy — brownish on culmen ; irides, dark brown ; legs 
and feet, fleshy • claws, light horn color. 

This species is a permanent resident in the plains of Kash- 
gharia, where it breeds. It is much less common than Ga/e- 
rita magna and is rather shy. It is usually found at some dis- 
tance from habitations frequenting waste sandy tracts and 
ground covered with efflorescence. It is a very whitish, desert- 
looking sort of bird ; and a sweet songster, rising high in the 
air and remaining fixed in one spot while it utters its note. In 
June, when this species breeds, it was usually noticed about in 
pairs. The Turki name for this species is Chulan toghai; the 
word Toghai meaning Lark. 

763.— Otocoris penicillata, Gould. 

5 . Desert between Sulik Aziz Langar and Sanju, 10th 
August. — Length, 7*4 ■ expanse, 13*6 • wing, 4 - 5 • tail, 3*3; 
tarsus, - 9 ; bill, from gape, 07- closed wings fall short of 
tail, 1'3" weight, l*£oz. Bill, dusky- base of lower mandible 
greyish; irides, hazel; legs, feet, and claws, dusky. 

£ . Juv. Same place and date. — Length, 69 ; expanse, 
128 ; wing, 4 - l ; tail, 2*7; tarsus, 075 ; bill, from gape, 
0"G5 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 11 ; weight, 1*1 oz. 

Bill, upper mandible, and tip of lower, slaty brown ; rest of 
lower mandible, grey horny ; irides, brown ; legs, feet, and 
claws, dusky. 

Besides the above, seven specimens were preserved from 
Yarkand, Kashghar, and the intermediate plains country, 
during the cold weather season — from October to February. 

This species Avas common in Eastern Turkestan iu winter, 
frequenting the open bare steppes. When riding out of 
Kashghar, on the journey to Yarkand for instance, Galerita 
magna would at first be very numerous about habitations, &o. ; 
then on the borders of cultivation G. magna and the present 
species would be found together, overlapping as it were ; 
while a little further on, on the stony steppe G. magna would 
cease and be replaced entirely by Otocoris penicillata. At the 
approach of summer the species under consideration quits the 
plains for the surrounding hills whither it repairs to breed. 
On the return journey the Horned Lark was met with iu the 
desert between Sulik Aziz Langar and Sanju, at the foot 
of the hills ; and in the mountains it was observed in some 
most desolate places even at elevations of about ] 7,000 
feet. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 175 

The Turki name for this species is Kara hash toghai, i. e., 
c Black-browed Lark.' It is also sometimes called Sai toghai — ■ 
' Steppe Lark.' 

769 bis.— Galerita magna, Hume. 

<j. Yarhand, 11th April. — Length, 7*9 ; expanse, 14*5 ; 
wing, 4*75; tail, 2*95; tarsus, 0-95; bill, from gape, 09; 
closed wings fall short of tail, TO; weight, l'6oz. Bill, dus*ky 
above, fleshy below and at gape ; legs and feet, flesh color ; 
claws dusky. 

?. Yarhand, V^th March. — Length, 7 - 8 ; expanse, 14*3; 
wing, 4*6 ; tail, 3*0; tarsus, 1*0; bill, from gape, 0*86 ; bill, 
at front, 0*75; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*0; weight, 
l*65oz. Bill : upper mandible, dusky ; lower, dusky at tip, 
light horn color at base ; irides, light brown ; legs and feet, 
fleshy ; claws, dusky. 

This species is one of the commonest birds in the plains of 
Kashgharia, where it is a permanent resident. It is a very 
tame bird and frequents fields, roadways and the vicinity of 
habitations generally. It is occasionally caged on account 
of its rather sweet song. This Lark breeds in May and June, 
making its nest on the ground in cultivated fields or in low 
grass. The Turki name for the bird is Kapak toghai; some- 
times called Popochek toghai, i.e., ' Crested Lark.' 

787.— Palumbcena Eversmanni, Bo?mp. 

j. Yak Shamba Bazar, 1st August. — Length, 11*0; 
expanse, 23'4 ; wing, 8*1 ; tail, 4*2; tarsus, 1*1 ; bill, from 
gape, 0*9 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0*35 ; weight, 6"8oz. 

Bill, greenish yellow, horny at tip, grey at base ; orbital skin, 
yellow ; irides, orange yellow ; legs and feet, pale reddish 
fleshy ; claws, livid horny. (This specimen had the testes very 
large.) 

?. Yak Shamba Bazar, 1st August. — Length, 108; 
expanse, 22'5 ; wing, 7*6 ; tail, 41 ; tarsus, TO ; bill, from 
gape, 0-9; closed wings fall short of tail, 065 ; weight, 
6-7oz. 

Bill, greenish yellow, horny at tip, fuliginous at base ; orbital 
skin, yellow; irides, golden yellow ; legs and feet, pale reddish 
fleshy ; claws, brownish. 

Txco young female birds shot at Tashhama on the 27th June. — 
Length, 10-5 to 10*7 ; expanse, 21*1 to 22'4 ; wing, 6*8 to 7'45 ; 
tail, 3-8 to 4-3 ; tarsus, 0*9 ; bill, from gape, 0-83 to 0-85 ; 
weight, 6'25oz. to 6*4oz. 

Bill, grey purplish ; irides, dark brown 3 legs and feet, pale 
reddish ; claws, dusky horny. 



176 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

This Pigeon was first obtained in a large clump of poplars 
(Populus balsamifera) at Taskhama in June. There they were 
in great numbers, but so wild that it was difficult to get 
specimens ; I shot two young birds however, so that there can 
be no doubt about this species breeding in Eastern Turkestan. 
In August again, at Yak Shamba Bazar, I shot a couple of 
these birds in a clump of poplars and saw many about. The 
Yarkandis say that this species always haunts Toghrak (poplar) 
jungles, and that the nest is always placed on those trees. The 
Turki name for this Pigeon is Kilgan. P. Eversmanni is pro- 
bably only a seasonal visitant to Kashgharia, migrating in 
winter. 

788A— Columba cenas, Lin. 

$. Yarkand, 2nd June. — Length, 13*3; expanse, 26*0; 
wing, 8*9 ; tail, 5*4; tarsus, 1*2; bill, from gape, 1*0; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*5 ; weight, ll'25oz. 

Bill, pinkish horny ; tumid base of bill, purple ; irides, very 
dark brown ; legs and feet, reddish pink ; claws, blackish horny. 

This specimen had the testes very largely developed. 

This species was frequently seen in the neighbourhood of 
Yarkand during the months of May, June, and July, perching 
on high trees and feeding about on the ground near cultivation. 
It breeds in Eastern Turkestan, the nest, as I was informed, 
being usually placed in high poplars (P. alba.). The Turki 
name for the Stock Pigeon is Koshkal. 

789.— Columba rupicola, Pallas. 

$. Tarbughoz, 20th August. — Length, 12*2 ; expanse, 25 - 5 ; 
wing, 895 ; tail, 5*05 ; tarsus, l'l ; bill, from gape, 0*9 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0'6 ; weight, 9*75 oz. 

Bill, dull black ; irides, blood red — straw color at pupillary 
margin ; legs and feet, red ; claws, black. 

$ . Oibuk, 23rd August. — Length, 12*1; expanse, 26'0 ; 
wing, 8'9 ; tail, 47; tarsus, l'l ; bill, from gape, 09 j closed 
wings fall short of tail, 05 ; weight, 8"8oz. 

Bill, dull black, with an olive tinge about the middle; irides, 
reddish straw color ; legs and feet, red ; claws, black. 

? . Near Chuchu Pass, 16th August. — Length 120 ; expanse, 
25'5 ; wing, 8'63 ; tail, 4 "4 ; tarsus, l'l ; bill, from gape, 0"9 ; 
closed w r ings fall short of tail, 0*5 ; weight, 9'2oz. 

Bill, dull black; irides, brick red — dark straw color at pupil- 
lary margin ; legs and feet, pale red ; claws, black. 

This Pigeon was common in the hills on the south side of 
Eastern Turkestan, during the months of August and Septem- 
ber, at elevations of from 8,000 to 16,000 feet. The birds 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 177 

seemed to be very fond of rooky cliffs, and usually flew about 
in small flocks Or parties. The Turki name for this species is 
Ydicd Kabtar — Wild Pigeon. 

792 bis.— Turtur auritus, Ray. 

Six males, shot at Yarkand in Ma// and June. — Length, 
111 to 11*3 ; expanse, 20 to 20-9; wing, 6"9 to 705; tail, 
4-6 to 5-3; tarsus, 0"8 to 0'85 ; bill, from gape, 0*85 to 9 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1'5 to 1*8; weight, 4 - 4oz. to 
5'4-oz. 

Bill, greyish black ; irides, orange yellow; edge of gape and 
orbital skin, purple ; legs and feet, purple and purplish red ; 
claws, black, blackish horny, and dusky horny. 

$ . Yarkand, 28th May. — Length, 11 ; expanse, 19 - 7 ; Aving, 
6'8 ; tail, 4 - 7 ; tarsus, # 85 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 
16 ; weight, 4"2oz. 

Bill, greyish black ; orbital skin, purple ; irides, orange yel- 
low; legs and feet, purplish red; claws black. 

The Turtle Dove is a seasonal visitant to the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, arriving in May and migrating towards the end of 
September or the beginning of October; it was never observed 
in winter. This Dove frequents trees, and orchards; and in 
May and June its beautiful, soft, musical note could be heard 
every day about the neighbourhood of Yarkand. It lays in 
May and June ; and on the 15th of the latter month, I saw- 
two very young nestlings of this species. On the 28th of May 
I found a nest of this species. It was a loose kind of cup, 
composed of twigs, and placed in the fork of a willow tree, 
about seven feet above the ground. It contained only one ego- 
the contents of which were found to be quite fluid ; the female 
bird was sitting on the nest at the time, and only flew away, 
when 1 got close to it. On the 12th June a nest of the Turtle 
Dove, containing two eggs, was found in a thorn bush. On 
the 25th June I found another nest, containing one ecrcr — much 
incubated to judge by the color. A thick main branch of a 
willow tree had been cut off, and on the horizontal face of this 
cut stump — which was slightly concave — a few twigs were ar- 
ranged in a concentric manner forming a thin shallow cup in the 
centre of which the eg]j; rested. The twigs of this bedding were 
so loosely put together, that the wood of the tree could be seen 
through them. 

The three eggs of this Dove, which I have, are pure white 
and glossy. In shape they be may described as regular oval, 
a somewhat pointed oval, and a longish narrow oval. They 
measure 136 by 0*91 ; 1-28 by 0'9 ; and 118 by 0-89. Aver- 
age of the three eggs 127 in length by 0*9 in breadth. 



178 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Tbe Turki name of the Turtle Dove is Turulghu, evidently 
a sort of imitation of the bird's coo. 

7Qfi A — Tnrtur i Stoliczkse > Hume - 
7yb A * iurtur t ? intercedens, Brehm. 

Tivo males, shot at Yarkand in March, measured and weighed. — 
Length, 13*7 to 13 ; 75 ; expanse, 2125 to 21*5 ; wing, 7 25 ; 
tail, 6*2 to 6 6; tarsus, 09 to 1*0 ; bill, from gape, 09 to 
1*0; closed wings fall short of tail, 3 5; weight, 6'oz. to 7'25oz. 
Bill, black ; irides, dark red ; lower eyelid, slaty grey ; legs 
and feet, purplish red ; claws, dusky or black. 

<$ . Yarkand, February. — Length 13 5 / wing, 7'2 ; tail, 
6'1 ; tarsus, 0*96; bill, from gape, 092. Bill, black ; irides, 
dark red ; legs and feet, reddish purple ; claws, black. 

Two females, shot at Kashghar in October and at Yarkand in 
February.— -Length, 13-1 to 132 ; wing-, 61 to 6"9 ; tail, 5*6 
to 5-9 ; tarsus, 09 to 095 ; bill, from gape, 09 to 0-91. 

Bill, black ; irides, dark red ; legs and feet, purplish red ; 
claws, dusky, and black with brown tips. 

This Dove is one of the commonest birds in the plains of 
Easteim Turkestan ; it is at least three times more numerous than 
Turtur auritus (when the latter is in the country,) and is a per- 
manent resident throughout the year. It is always to be found 
near villages and houses ; perching on trees, or running about 
on the ground and picking up grain and seeds. The birds are 
very tame, and in winter, they would come right up to the door 
of my room at Yarkand, to be fed. A regular colony of these 
Doves lived about the compound of the Residency at Yarkand, 
so I could have easily secured any number of specimens had 
I known that the bird was supposed to be a new species. 
A favorite trick of the Yarkand boys is to capture one of 
these Doves, and smear its feathers all over with soot mixed 
up with oil. The bird is then allowed to fly away, and after a 
few days, when the feathers have shaken into their ordinary 
positions, the Ringdove presents quite a natural appearance. 
Only as it moves about with its fellows, it looks truly a dove in 
mourning. 

This species begins to lay in April, often making its nest 
on the top of walls, and laying two pure white eggs. On the 
15th June, I saw one of these birds making its nests in the 
fork of a truncated poplar tree about eight feet from the ground ; 
the nest was not well sheltered, and did not then contain any 
eggs. 

The Turki name for this Dove is Pakhtak ; c f. Fakhtah. — 
a Dove (Persian). 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 179 

799.— Pterocles arenarius, Pallas. 

While I was at Yarkand, I often heard of a bird called by 
the natives u Beghitak'''' which was said to inhabit sandy desert 
ground and often gravelly steppes. It was described as some- 
what smaller than a Chicore, of a yellowish brown color like the 
back of the Turtledove, aud having the legs feathered and the 
three toes partially joined together. The Beghitak was said to 
breed in the country, and its blood was reputed a specific for 
consumption. On the 5th August I first saw this bird near 
Besharik in open desert ground : two birds rose, a long way off 
before I saw them on the ground, aud as it was after sunset the 
only points I learnt about them on that occasion were that they 
were very wild, had long pointed wings, a powerful flight and 
made a clacking noise like tuk, tuk, fink, frequently repeated.* 

Next day I saw three of these birds in waste ground where 
a few stunted bushes were growing ; they appeared to be 
yellowish brown above, the breast dove color, abdomen dark or 
black, and lower tail-coverts white. Another of these birds 
was seen on a subsequent occasion in the desert, but this Sand 
Grouse (as I believe it to be) was always so wild aud wary that 
I could not manage to get within shot of it. 

809 A. — Phasianus Shawi, Elliott. 

<J . Kashghar, 11th November. — Length, 27*2 ; expanse, 28*5 ; 
wing, 9'63 ; tail, 14*8 ; tarsus, 2*6 ; bill, from gape, 1 32 ; spur, 
0'4 ; weight, lib 14-5 oz. 

Bill, upper mandible, grey horny ; lower mandible, whitish 
horny ; irides, straw color ; legs, grey ; feet, brownish grey ; 
claws, dusky horny; spur, dusky, whitish at extreme tip. 

S Kashghar, 17th November. — Length, 25*4 ; expanse, 
27*4; wing, 9'45 ; tail, 13 ; tarsus, 2'65; bill, from gape, 1'35; 
spur, 0*35 ; weight, 21b loz. 

Bill, grey horny ; irides, straw color ; orbital skin, crimson, 
with small dark depressions; legs and feet, brownish grey ; claws, 
dusky ; spur, blackish. 

<$ . Beshkant, 6th February. — Length, 34*2; expanse, 30*7; 
wing, 972; tail, 19*2; tarsus, 2"62; bill, from g.'ipe, 1*45; 
spur, 0'4 ; weight, 21bs. 

Bill, grey horny ; irides, yellow straw color ; orbital skin, 
crimson, with small black pits dotted over its surface; legs, 
brownish grey ; feet, somewhat darker than legs ; claws, brownish 
horny ; spurs, dusky blackish. 

£. Yarkand, 3rd March. — Length, 29; expanse, 28 # 25 ; 
wing, 9-6; tail, 15*25 ; tarsus, 26; bill, from gape, 145; spur, 
035; weight, 2tb 1*25 oz. 

* It seems possible that these were Synintytcs paradoxus. — A. O. H. 



180 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Bill, light horn color; irides, straw yellow; eyelid, bluish 
grey; orbital skin, red, with small black pits; tarsus, dusky 
grey; toes, dusky, blackish near the claws; claws, dusky; 
spurs, black. 

<J. Yarkand, 10th March. — Length, 29*5 ; expanse, 3075 ; 
wing, 9'6 ; tail, 14*6; tarsus, 2*65 ; bill, from gape, P45 ; spur, 
0*35; weight, lfb 15*5 oz. 

Bill, light horn ; irides, straw yellow ; legs, silver grey ; toes 
and claws, dusky ; spurs, blaekish. 

g. Yarkand, 25th March. — Length, 32; expanse, 31*5; 
wing, 9'75 ; tail, 18 ; tarsus, 2'75 ; bill, from grape, 1*3 ; spur, 
0-37 ; weight, 2!bs 4oz. 

Bill, light horn ; irides, light yellowish ; orbital skin, crimson 
with black depressions ; lower eyelid, grey, with black spots ; 
legs, ashy grey ; toes, darker ashy grey ; claws, dark horn color ; 
spurs, black. 

S . Yarkand, April (specimen belonging to Mr. R. B. Shaw, 
measured by me, in the flesh). — Length, 34 - 8 ; expanse, 3T0 ; 
•wing, 9*75; tail, 20*75 ; tarsus, 3"0; bill, from gape, 1*35; spur, 
0*4; weight, 21bs 5 25oz. 

(J. Yarkand, 20th May. — Length, 34 - ; tail, 18*7; tarsus, 
2"4 ; bill, from gape, 1"4; spur, 0'45 ; weight lib 13'25oz. 

Bill, horny; irides, straw color; lower eyelid, slaty grey; or- 
bital skin, dark red, with numerous fine black depressions ; legs 
and feet, silver grey ; claws and spurs, dusky. 

$ . Yarkand, February. — Length, 23*4; wing, 8"5 ; tail, 11*6 ; 
tarsus, 2'1 ; bill, from gape, 1*2 ; weight, 1Tb 4oz. 

Bill, light horny, grey on cuhnen ; irides, light yellowish ; 
tarsi, grey ; toes, a darker shade of grey ; claws, dusky. 

$ . Yarkand, 3rd March. — Length, 23*5 ; expanse, 28 ; wing, 
8 - 75; tail, 11; tarsus, 2 - 5; bill, from gape, 1*25; weight, 
1Tb 8oz. 

Bill, light horn color, the upper mandible slightly greenish ; 
irides, light yellow ; skin at outer and inner canthi, red ; 
tarsi, silver grey ; toes, a little darker than tarsi ; claws, 
dusky. 

This fine Pheasant is a permanent resident in the plains of 
Eastern Turkestan, frequenting long grass jungle and reeds 
growing in waste ground. It is said to occur most plentifully 
in the Dolan jungle; Makit and Maralbashi being mentioned 
as places where it is particularly numerous. However it is 
common enough near Kashghar and. Yarkand ; I know of two 
rather good places for this Pheasant, one between Yarkand and 
Kokrabat, and another near Beshkant. The flight of this bird 
is rather slow, and it commonly goes over the long grass only 
for a short distance and then drops down. When alarmed the 
mule bird utters a harsh shrill cry. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 181 

These Pheasants are the most untameable birds it is possible 
to conceive. In confinement they knock their tails to pieces and 
wear all the feathers off their heads in insane attempts at es- 
cape ; so that a dozen of these birds after they have been 
captives for awhile become the most ragged crew imaginable. 
Even after being kept iu a pheasant-house for months, whenever 
one approached with a dozen yards of them, they were so 
alarmed that they would almost knock themselves to pieces, 
tumble over each other and fly straight upwards with shrill 
cries, against the roof of their house. The Yarkandis said that 
even when caught young these birds could not be tamed. 

The flesh of this Pheasant is of course very good eating, but 
in my humble opinion does not come up to that of Tetraogallua 
tibetanus. 

This species is said to make its nest in long grass jungle, 
laying from twelve to fifteen eggs; the young birds are said 
to attain full size in about live months. On the 29th May 
nine ejres belonnrinof to this Pheasant were brought to me by 
a grateful patient who lived a few days journey from Yar- 
kand, in the Dolan. I tried to get some of these eggs (and others 
subsequently received) hatched, one lot by a fowl, and some 
by a hen pheasant of this species. The latter of course would 
not sit, but the domestic hen did most perseveringly and without 
result. 

The eggs I have vary iu length from 1*61 to 1*88 and in 
breadth from 1*35 to 1*47 ; but the average of twelve eggs is 
1*805 in length by 14 in breadth. The eggs are mostly a broad 
oval, slightly compressed towards one end, in fact very much 
resembling a hen's egg in shape ; but they seem to vary a 
good deal, some being much broader and shorter than others. 
The color too varies considerably : pale cafe au lait, pale buff, 
and greyish stone color ; eggs much incubated are green in 
parts. The eggs are spotless, have a considerable gloss, and in 
a good light the surface is seen to be covered with minute little 
depressions. 

816. — Tetraogallus himalayensis, Gray. 

? . Brovght into Yarkand from the hills near Kt/giar, 26th 
February. — Length, 23'5 ; expanse, 33 - 6; wing, 1 08 ; tail, 
7 - 4; tarsus, 2 5; bill, from gape, 1*4; weight, 31bs. 2oz. Bill, 
slaty above, yellowish horn color at sides and below ; nostril 
scale, dark orange; membrane covering base of bill, bright 
yellowish orange; lower eyelid, slaty blue ; irides, dark muddy 
brown ; legs and feet, dirty orange color ; claws, black. 

This species was first met with about the Sanju Pass in Sep- 
tember 1874, and numerous specimens were obtained alive at 



182 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

Kashghar in November and December, and at Yarkand durin g 
the rest of the winter. These live birds had, of course, been 
captured in the neighbouring hills. The Snow Pheasant is very 
tame and stupid in confinement, and, in common with the next 
species, is called Ular by the Kashgharians. 

816 bis, — Tetraogallus tibetanus, Gould. 

I shot my first specimen of this species on the 24th Septem- 
ber 1874 near the top of the Sauju Pass, at an elevation of 
16,000 feet. Next day I saw hundreds of the birds in a side 
valley near Kichik Yailak where they afforded me good shoot- 
ing. They associated in coveys of about ten to twenty, and 
were not very shy. When approached from below they moved 
leisurely up hill, stopping every now and then to look at one, 
but when shot at or alarmed they flew downwards very swiftly, 
uttering a pleasant musical whistle. I found their flesh most 
delicious eating. 

Numbers of these birds were brought in to us, alive, during 
the winter, at Kashghar (where a specimen was preserved) and 
at Yarkand ; they were very tame in confinement. Both this 
species and the preceding one had evidently sought the lower 
hills near the plains when winter set in. The Turki name for 
the bird is Ular, and they are said to be found in all the hills 
which bound Eastern Turkestan on the north, west and south. 

4. Kashghar, 5th December. — Length, 21-5; wing, 10*1; 
tail, 6-5 ; tarsus, 2-1 ; bill, from gape, 1'35. Bill, orange, 
dusky above at base ; legs and feet, orange red ; claws, black. 

820 bis. — Caccabis pallescens, Hume. 

j. Yarkand, 13th March.— Length, 15-1; expanse, 22'8 ; 
wing, 6-65 ; tail, 42 ; tarsus, 175 ; bill, from gape, 1*1 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 3"4 ; weight, lib. 3oz. 

Bill, crimson, brownish red on culmen; eyelid, grey, edges, 
crimson ; irides, hazel ; legs, pinkish red ; claws, brownish 
dusky. 

?. Yarkand, 21th July.— Length, 13'8; tail, 4'1; tarsus, 
1*6 ; bill, from gape, l'l ; weight, 13'6oz. 

Bill, bright red, darker on culmen ; lower eyelid, light grey ; 
edges of eyelids, red ; irides, hazel ; legs and feet, greyish red ; 
claws, dusky brownish. 

Three females preserved at Kashghar and Yarkand, Novem- 
ber and February, (measurements f/om the skins) : — 

Wing, 5'9 to 6-7; tarsus, 1-4 to 1*6 ; bill at front, 0'93 to 
0'96 ; from anterior margin of nares to point of bill, 0'5 to 
0-61. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 183 

Cliicore seem to abound in all the hills which surround the 
plains of Kashgharia on the north, west and south. In the 
winter the birds seem to come down to lower elevations than 
they frequent in summer ; numbers of Partridges are then 
caught and brought into Yarkand and Kashghar for sale. 

This species is rather prized by the Yarkandis on account of 
its fighting propensities; I have seen some battles between 
Cliicore which I kept — not for fighting I need • scarcely say — ■ 
the birds appearing to be decidedly pugnacious. The Turki 
name for the Chicore is Keklik. 

820 ter.— Caccabis pallidus,* Hume. 

? . Shot between Kizil Aghil and Mazar, 15th August. — Length, 
13*3; expanse, 21*0; wing, 62; tail, 37; tarsus, 1*75 ; bill, 
from gape, 0*95; closed wings fall short of tail, 2*9 ; weight, 
14?.5oz. 

Bill, darkish red at base and nares — lighter at tip ; irides, 
reddish brown ; legs and feet, red ; claws, brown horny. 

?. Jim. Ui Toffhrak, 7th August. — Length, 105; tail, 3'1 ; 
tarsus, 1"4 ; bill, from gape, 0*9 ; weight, 55oz. Bill, brownish 
black; irides, hazel; legs and feet, orange red; claws, dark 
horny ; lower eyelid, grey ; edge of eyelids, red. 

?. Younger than the last, Mazar, \hth August. — Length, 8*8 ; 
expanse, 16; wing, 4 - 9 ; tail, 2*7; tarsus, 1'25; bill, from 
gape, 0*8; closed wings short of tail, 1*2; weight, 4'2oz. 

Bill, black, brownish at tip ; edges of eyelids, brick red ; 
lower eyelid, grey; irides, hazel brown; legs and feet, pale 
orange red ; claws, brownish horny. 

Two nestlings obtained on the 28th and 30th August at an 
elevation of over 12,000 feet: — 

Weight, 2"4oz. Bill, black — grey or yellowish at extreme 
tip ; irides, brown ; legs and feet, pale reddish and orange red- 
dish ; claws, brown. Length, 7 ; wing, 38 ; bill, from gape, 
0-7. 

The birds noted above were obtained in the hills bounding the 
plains of Kashgharia on the south, at elevations of from 6,000 
to over 12,000 feet. There the birds were numerous near willow 
bushes and streams. On the 30th August, near Gulgun 
Shah, at an elevation of about 12,500 feet, found a nest of this 
species containing only three eggs. The nest was composed of 
a few leaves and fibres, placed in a slight depression on the 
ground, and covered over by a bush. One of the eggs is an 
elongated oval, moderately pointed towards the small end, and 
glossy. The ground color is pale greyish cafe au lait, spotted 

* It is extremely doubtful whether this and the preceding are distinct. — A. O. H. 



184 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

all over — except at point of small end — with sepia colored dots ; 
at the broad end the brown sepia spots are more distinct, and 
there are a few blotches of the same eolor here and there. It 
measures 178 in length by 1*25 in breadth. 

829— Coturnix communis, Bonaterre. 

Four males, collected at Yarkand.in May and June. — Length, 
7-1 to 74; expanse, 13-7 to 14-2; wing, 4 to 4*35; tail, 1'4 
to 1-95; tarsus, 0-9 to 1*05; bill, from gape, 06 to 065 • 
closed wings fall short of tail, 35 to 06; weight, l"75oz. to 
23oz. Bill, black or dusky ; irides, brown, light brown and 
hazel ; legs and feet, fleshy; claws, light horny and dusky horn. 

The Quail seems to be a permanent resident in the plains of 
Kashgharia : I got two birds at Yarkand in February and the 
Shikaris were positive that the bird was to be met with through- 
out on the winter. In the summer the birds were common in 
the fields about Yarkand, though not very numerous. The 
Turki name for this species is Budinah, but the common people 
generally call it Watwalah. 

839 bis.— Otis tetrax, Lin. 

?. Kashghar, Sth December — Length, 16; wing, 9'65 ; 
tail, 3 - 5 ; tarsus, 2 4 ; bill, from gape, 1*6. 

Bill, dusky, yellowish at base ; irides, light brown ; legs dirty 
yellow, — the toes, somewhat darker ; claws, dusky. 

A single specimen of the Little Bustard was obtained at 
Kashghar in December. The bird is not at all common near 
Kashghar or Yarkand, but on the road from Karghalik to 
Sanju, in August, I heard a good deal about it ; and at 
Koshtak had the characteristic footprints of this bird point- 
ed out to me on the sand. The Turki name for this species 
is Kum tohhosi, i.e., ' the Sand Fowl' ; it is said to frequent 
open plains chiefly, sometimes long grass jungle, and to be 
a vegetable feeder. 

844.— Squatarola helvetica, Gmelin. 

cJ. Kashghar, 29th November. — Length, 11 - 65 ; wing, 7 # 9 » 
tail, 335; tarsus, 2*0 ; bill, at front, 1*36. Bill, black ; irides* 
dark brown ; legs and feet, greyish black ; claws, black. 

?. Kashghar, 22nd November. — Length, 11*12 ; wing, 73 ; 
tail, 32; tarsus, L8; bill, at front, 1*25. Bill and claw,s ? 
black ; irides, blackish brown ; legs and feet, greyish black. 

Two specimens of the Grey Plover were shot near running 
water, between the Fort and City of Kashghar, in November. 
It was never noticed in the country at any other time, and 
I have no information about it. In common with several 
other Plovers it is called in Turki Chullok. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 185 

848.— iEgialophilus cantianus, Latham. 

<?. Yarkand, 26th April. — Length, 6*7 ; expanse, 13*7; 
wing, 4 - 4; tail, 2*2 ; tarsus, 1 2; bill, from gape, 0'8; closed 
wi'ng-s reach to end of tail; Aveight, l*35oz. 

Bill, black ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, greyish black ; 
claws, black. 

Three females, Sughuchak and Yarkand, April, Jane and 
July. — Length, 6*2 to 6'7 ; expanse, 13*8 to 14; wing, 4'2 
to 4 - 5 ; tail, 1*9 to 2-2; tarsus, 1 to 1*13; bill, from gape, 
0*8 to 0-85 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 02 to 0-4 ; 
weight, 1*2 oz. to 1*5 oz. Bill, black ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs, plumbeous to dull black ; feet, dull black ; claws, black. 

The Kentish Ring-Plover is a seasonal visitant to the 
plains of Eastern Turkestan, arriving about the end of March 
and disappearing entirely in winter. It frequents stony 
ground and efflorescent wastes, always in the neighbourhood of 
shallow pools of water. When disturbed it appears to take only 
short flights, but runs very nimbly over the ground. On the 
25th April my shikari found three eggs in a slight depression 
on the ground, near a little salt pool at Sughuchak ; he set a 
trap close to these eggs and captured two birds (male and 
female of this species) which he brought to me alive, with the 
three eggs. 'These eggs measure respectively l - 24 by 0'92, 
1*22 by 091 and 1*21 by - 93. In shape the eggs are broad 
ovals compressed at one end ; they have no gloss whatever. 
The ground color is buffy cafe au lait, with spots, streaks, and 
blotches of dark or blackish purple, closely gathered together 
at the large end ; the small end only sparsely marked. 

The Turki name given to this species is Chullok; it is also 
sometimes called Sai Yamglturchi, Yamghurchi, being the exact 
Turki aquivalent of Pluvialis, and Sai meaning a stony steppe. 

849. — iEgialitis fluviatilis, Bechst. 

<j. Juv. Kashghar, \kth December. — Length, 6'2; wing, 4*2; 
tail, 2'1 ; tarsus, 0'95; bill, from gape, 0*6; Bill, black; irides, 
blackish brown ; legs and feet, orange yellow ; claws, black. 

$ . Yarkand, 25th April. — Length, 6'5 ; expanse, 13*8 ; wing, 
4*5; tail, 2*4; tarsus, 1*05; bill, from gape, 0*6; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 03 ; weight, 1*15 oz. Bill, black, yellowish 
at base below ; edges of eyelids, yellow ; legs and feet, dusky 
fleshy ; claws, black. 

9. Yarkand, 2ith April. — Length, 7*0; expanse, 14 - 7; 
wing, 4*75; tail, 2'25 ; tarsus, TU5 ; bill, from gape, 0"65 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 04; weight, T7oz. 

Bill, black, reddish at gape below ; edges of eyelids, yellow ; 
legs and feet, fleshy j claws, black. 



186 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

This species, like the last, is, I believe, only a seasonal visitant 
to the plains; however I can't quite make out how the youug 
bird I got at Kashghar in December came to be there at that 
time. This Plover arrives towards the end of March and migra- 
tes about September; it was common in the neighbourhood of 
Yarkand in summer, and was found in the Karakash Valley at 
au elevation of about 12,000 feet towards the end of August. 
It was usually seen in small flocks, feeding on insects, in the 
vicinity of swampy ground. The bird breeds in May, laying, 
I was informed, three or four eggs, on the bare ground at some 
distance from water. This species is called by the Yarkandis 
Shaiaralc Chullok. 

851. — Vanellus cristatus, Meyer. 

$. Yarkand, 9th April. — Length, 12-6 ; expanse, 29*1; 
wing, 9*2 ; tail, 37 ; tarsus, 2'0; bill, from gape, 1*25 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0'2; weight, 8'4 oz. Bill and claws, 
black ; irides, dark brown; legs and feet, dull red. 

Juv. Yarkand, 2nd June. — Length, 9*2; expanse, 2*3; wing, 
6'3 ; tail, 2*6; tarsus, 1*7; bill, from gape, TO; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 05 ; weight, 3*3 oz. Bill and claws, black ; 
legs and feet, purplish black ; irides, dark brown. 

The Lapwing was exceedingly common in the plains, from 
March to December, but was not observed in January or 
February. It frequented marshy ground and the vicinity of 
streams, generally in flocks. It breeds in April and May ; 
and I noticed in the beginning of June that these birds often 
circled round and round over one piece of grass, uttering their 
plaintive cry and evidently solicitous about their young. 

Four appears to be the full complement of eggs for this spe- 
cies ; a clutch was obtained on the 22nd April and another on 
the 23rd, both in the marshy ground south of the City of Yar- 
kand : the eggs were much incubated. The eggs are in shape 
broadish ovals, compressed at one end ; they have no gloss. 
The ground color is pale greenish olive, in some buffy or cafe 
aulait; abundantly spotted, blotched and smeared, especially 
towards the large end with purplish inky or brownish black ; 
some fainter secondary blotches are seen here and there. The 
eggs vary from 1*79 to 1*87 in length, and from 1*29 to 1*36 in 
breadth; the average of eight eggs is 1"S4 in length by 1'31 
in breadth. 

The Turki name for the Peewit is Cheman (c.f. Chaman, 
Persian — walking haughtily) . 

871.— Gallinago scolopacinus, Bonap. 

$. Yarkand, 3rd July. — Length, 11 '2; expanse, 17; wing, 
5"! ; tail, 2*7 ; tarsus, 1*3; bill, from gape, 2'63; closed wings 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 187 

fall short of tail, 1*1 ; weight, 35 oz. Bill, black at tip; basal 
half of upper mandible, brown; basal quarter of lower — green- 
ish ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, yellowish green, 
dusky at joints ; claws, black. Testes large. 

$ . Yarkand, 1th July. — Length, 12 ; expanse, 17*5 ; w r ing, 
5*35; tail, 2 - 5; tarsus, 1*35; bill, from gape, 2*7; weight, 
3'8 oz. 

Bill, dull black at tip, brownish at base ; legs and feet, greenish ; 
claws, black. 

$. Yarkand, 16th July. — Length, 10*8; expanse, 17-5; 
wing, 53; tail, 25 ; tarsus, 1*3 ; bill, from gape, 2*8 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0'65 ; weight, 25 oz. Bill, black at 
tip, brownish green at base ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, 
greenish ; claws, black. 

The Common Snipe was tolerably numerous in the neigh- 
bourhood of Yarkand in summer, where it was ascertained to 
breed ; the bird was never observed in winter. It was found in 
the neighbourhood of marsh v ground and inundated fields. 
This species breeds in May and June : the eggs — a good deal 
incubated — were obtained on the 12th June, and two young 
nestlings on the 16th of the same month. 

Two eggs measured 1*58 in length by I'll in breadth, and 
1'55 by 113. In form they are like a broad oval, suddenly 
pinched and pulled out to form the small end of the egg. They 
have a slight gloss and the ground color is dirty olive green. 
The small end is unspotted, the constricted portion of the egg 
has some largest spots of brownish, and the lai'ge end is nearly 
covered with confused blotches of brown and brownish black. 

The Turki name for the Snipe is Mahramchi, " the solitary 
one." 

882. — Tringa subarquata, Gmelin. 

Two specimens of the Curlew Stint were shot, in October, in 
marshy ground west of Yarkand, where it was common. It 
breeds in Eastern Turkestan, but migrates, towards India, it is 
said, in winter. In common with so many other waders it is 
called Yamghurchi, and by natives of Khokand, Kugnak. 

<£. Sughuchak, l'lth October. — Length, 8*5; wing, 5 ; tail, 
2; tarsus, 12; bill, from gape, 1 "6. Bill, black ; irides, dark 
brown ; legs and feet, greenish black ; claws, black. 

?. Sughuchak, 12th October. — Length, 8'4 ; wing, 5; tail, 
2-1 ; tarsus, 1*15 ; bill, from gape, 1*45. Bill, dull black ; legs 
and feet, plumbeous black ; claws, black; irides, dark brown. 

883.— Tringa cinclus, Linn. 

This species was obtained at Kashghar, where it was not very 
common, in October* It is said to breed in Eastern Turkestan 



188 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

and to disappear entirely in winter, migrating, it is believed, to 
India. 

J. Kashghar, 25/7* October. — Length, 8; wing, 4*7 ; tail, 
2"15 ; tarsus, 097 ; bill, from gape, 1*3. 

Bill, black ; irides, dark brown; legs and feet, plumbeous black ; 
claws, black. 

888— Calidris arenaria, Temm. 

<j>. Sughuc/iak, 12t/i October. — Length, 7"8; wing, 473; tail, 
1*95 ; tarsus, 1*0; bill, from gape, l'l. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, 
black; irides, dark brown. 

A specimen of the Sauderliug was shot at Sughuchak, near 
Yarkand, in October ; about half a dozen of these birds were 
observed on the same day on the borders of swamps, associated 
with Tringa subarquata. 

The bird is called Yamghurchi by the Yarkandis, and is said 
to breed in Kashgharia, migrating southwards in winter. 

892.— Actitis ochrophus, Linn. 

$. Yarkand, lAth March. — Length, 9'4; expanse, 18*5; 
wing, 595; tail, 26; tarsus, 1*43; bill from gape, 17 ; closed 
wings exceed tail, 0"3 ; weight, 2 - 9 oz. 

Bill, black ; lower mandible, geenish at base ; irides, dark 
brown ; legs and toes, slaty green ; claws, black. 

$ . Yarkand, 6th July. — Length, 9'65 ; expanse, 18*0 ; wing, 
555 ; tail, 24; tarsus, 1*35 j bill, from gape, 16 ; closed wings 
reach to end of tail ; weight, 3 3 oz. Bill, dull black; irides, 
dark brown ; legs and feet, grey plumbeous ; claws, black. 

5. Gulgun Shah, 30th August. — Length, 89; expanse, 17 ; 
wing, 5 6; tail, 2 - 6; tarsus, 1'35; bill, from gape, 1'55; 
closed wings exceed tail, 04 ; weight, 22 oz Bill, distal half 
brownish black, basal portion, plumbeous ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs and feet, plumbeous ; claws, black. 

Besides the above, four specimens were preserved at Kash- 
ghar iu October, November, and December. 

This species was very common near Kashghar during the 
first half of the winter, and was often seen at Yarkand, near 
streams, pools and swamps, from March to August. During 
the latter month it was met with, in suitable localities, in the 
hills up to about 13,000 feet. In common with so many 
other waders it is called by the Kashgharians Yawghurchi, "the 
rainy one" (Pluvialis), but the professional bird-catchers ot the 
country distinguished it as Zagharak. 

893.— Actitis hypoleucus, Linn. 

?. Shot ai Otbuk, Mth August. — Length, 7'6; expanse, 
13'5; wing, 4*2; tail, 225 ; tarsus, 0'9; bill, from gape, 1-15; 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 189 

closed wings full short of tail, 075; weight, 1*4 oz. Bill, 
brownish black ; base of lower mandible, brownish yellow ; 
irides, blackish brown ; legs and feet, dull greenish ; claws, 
black. 

Young bird shot in marshy ground near Gulgun Shah, SOth 
August. — Length, 6; expanse, 12 ; wing, 3'8 ; tail, 2 - 2; tarsus, 
0"75 ; closed wings fall short of tail, - 35 ; weight, - 7 oz. 
Bill, brownish black ; base of lower mandible, greenish ; irides, 
dark brown ; legs and feet, dull greenish ; claws, black. 

The Common Sandpiper was not obtained in the plains of 
Kashgharia, but was often observed, ou the return journey in 
August, near the pebbly banks of the Arpalak and Sanju streams. 
Further up, in the mountains, it was seen daily along the banks 
of the Karakash river and on small swamps near that stream. 
The occurrence of the young bird, noted above, at Gulgun Shah, 
seems to prove that this species breeds in Eastern Turkestan. 

894. — Totanus canescens (glottis), Gmel. 

A specimen of the Greenshanks was obtained at Kashghar, in 
October ; its bill, from gape to tip, measured 2*6 inches. Another 
specimen was shot on the 30th August 1875 on swampy ground 
near the Karakash river at Gulgun Shah ; it was a solitary bird, 
and the following particulars were noted on its ticket at the time :■ 

$. Length, 13*35; expanse, 23*3; wiug, 7*65; tail, 375 ; 
tarsus, 235 ; bill, from gape, 2'45 ; weight, 4 - 85oz. 

Bill — basal half plumbeous, distal half black ; irides, brown ; 
legs and feet, slaty grey and greenish yellow in different parts ; 
claws, black ; the closed wings reach to the end of the tail. 

The Yarkandi bird-catchers give the following account of 
this species : It is always found either near running water or 
near pools and swamps ; it disappears entirely in winter, but 
breeds in Eastern Turkestan in summer ; the nest is placed in 
short grass in the midst of water and the eggs are nearly as 
large as a pigeon's. 

The Turki name for the Greenshanks is Mashak yamgurchi, 
which may be rendered in French by Chat pluvier. 

897. — Totanus calidris, Linn. 

(I.) Three males, shot at Yarkand in March and April, 
measured and weighed. — Length, 11 to 12 ; expanse, 19'5 to 21 ; 
wing, 6*45 to 6"55 ; tail, 29 to 3 ; tarsus, 1*85 to 2'05 ; bill, 
from gape, 1*83 to 2; closed wings exceed tail, - 2 to Oo ; 
weight, 3 - 85oz. to 4 5oz.; middle toe, 145 to 1*2 ; its claw, 
- 2 to 0'25. Bill, black, orange at base ; legs and feet, orange 
to orange red ; claws, black ; irides, brown. 

(2.) <?. Juv. Oibuk (11,500 feet), 2ith August.— Length, 
10"9 ; expanse, 185 ; wing, 5*9 ; tail, 2'8 ; tarsus, 1*9 ; bill, 



190 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

from gape, l - 8 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 0'9 ; weight, 
4"2oz. Bill, brownish black, base of lower mandible, deep 
orange red ; irides, dark brown ; legs aud feet, dull reddish 
orange ; claws, black. 

(3.) Two females, shot near Yarkand in April and June, 
measured and weighed. — length, 1175 to 11*9 ; expanse 2025. 
to 208 • wing, 6-35 to 6'5 ; tail, 2-7 to 3 ; tarsus, 1-9 to 2-1 ■ 
bill, from gape, 1*85 to 2*0 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 
0-2 to 0*3 ; weight, 4-75oz. 

Bill, black, red at base ; legs and feet, orange red ; claws, 
black. 

(4.) $ . Juv. YarJcand, 14th June. — Length, 10 - 8 ; expanse, 
19*4; wing, 5'9 ; tail, 25 ; tarsus, 2 ; bill, from gape, 1*65; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 0'45 ; bare portion of tibia, 
1"1 ; weight, 3'8oz. Bill, black at tip, greenish slaty at base ; 
irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, greenish yellow ; claws, 
black. 

A younger specimen than the above had the bill black at tip, 
dusky grey at base, the irides very dark brown and the legs 
and feet dull orange fleshy. 

The first specimen of the Redshank was obtained at Kashghar 
in November, where it was tolerably common. After that it 
was not met with until March ; and in May and June this 
species swarmed everywhere near water in the vicinity of 
Yarkand. The bird was also found in the valley of the 
Karakash, towards the end of August. 

This species breeds from April to June. On the 22nd April 
three of its eggs were obtained, which seem very large for the 
size of the bird : they measure 1*8 by 1*23 ; 1*78 by 1*22 ; and 
1*76 by 1*21. In shape they are moderately broad ovals, a 
good deal compressed and lengthened out at one end. They 
have a very faint gloss. The ground color is grey stone ; with 
spots, a few streaks, and numerous blotches of blackish brown 
and sepia, scattered pretty evenly over the whole surface of the 
^gg, except at the point, where the spots only occur sparingly. 

898.— Himant opus intermedius, Blyth. 

Three males measured and weighed. — Length, 14*8 to 15 "2 ; 
expanse, 28"5 to 31*6; wing, 96 to 10-2; tail, 2-9 to 3'3 ; 
tarsus, 4*8 to 5 ; bare portion of tibia, 3-3 to 3*5 ; bill, from 
gape, 2'7 to 3'0 ; closed wings exceed tail, 2*1 to 2'3 ; weight, 
4"5oz. to 6'5oz. Bill, black ; irides, blood red; legs and feet, red 
and pinkish red • claws, dusky black. 

Three females measured and weighed. — Length, 140 to 14*9 ; 
expanse, 28 to 29 • wing, 90 to 95 ; tail, 3*0 to 35 ; tarsus, 
4 to 4 - 7 • bare portion of tibia, 2'5 to 28 ; bill, from gape, 2*6 
to 2*8- wings exceed tail, 1'3 to 2*0 • weight, 5oz. to 55oz. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 191 

Bill, black ; irides, dark red and blood red ; legs and feet, 
pinkish red and red ; claws, dusky black. 

The Stilt is a seasonal visitant to the plains of Eastern 
Turkestan, -where it breeds. It arrives in May and probably 
leaves about the end of September : it was never seen in winter. 
Near Yarkand, in summer the birds were found in enormous 
numbers, frequenting' small salt pools, little lakes, and marshy 
ground. In June I noticed that when these birds were disturbed 
they used to hover over one and cm Id therefore be very easily 
shot. The cry of this bird is a kind of plaintive, but shrill 
sound, something like crek, crek; in flying about they were 
often mixed up with the Terns, Sterna fiuviatilis and Sternula 
minufa. The Turki name for this species is Kakhshal pachak, 
" Stilt (?) leg." 

903.— Fulica atra, Linn. 

Three males measured and weighed. — Length, 16'1; expanse, 
28-5; wing, 8-6 to 865; tail, 2'1 to 2-6 ; tarsus, 22 to 24; 
bill from gape, 1*8 to 1*6 ; closed wings fall short of tail, - 8 ; 
weight, ltt> to lib looz. 

Bill and frontal shield, milky white, with a pink tinge near the 
nares; irides, red or dark red ; legs, greenish plumbeous, with an 
orange and green garter below feathered portion of tibia ; toes, 
plumbeous ; the webs, dusky at their free margins ; claws, black. 

<^. Juv. Tungtash, Ath August. — Length, 115; expanse, 12; 
wing, 2'3; tail, 1*1 ; tarsus, 165 ; bill, from gape, 1-17; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 3"9 : weight, 9oz. Bill, dusky, grey at 
tip ; irides, reddish brown ; legs and feet, dusky greenish ; claws, 
dusky. 

$. Yarkand, lit /i June. — Wing, 7-9; tarsus, 1*9; bill, from 
gape, 1*4. Bill, white, tinged with rose color; frontal shield, 
pure white ; legs, greenish, with patches of orange yellow ; 
feet, grey dusky ; claws, black. 

$ . Juv. Soghucha/c, \bih July. — Length, 15*4; expanse, 265 ; 
wing, 7 - 5 ; tail, 2"2 ; tarsus, 2*2 ; bill, from gape, 1*3; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*6; weight, lib 4oz. Bill, dusky; 
frontal shield, grey ; irides, light hazel ; legs aud feet, grey 
plumbeous, dusky in parts ; claws, black. 

The Coot is exceedingly common in the plains of Kashgharia 
from March to October ; verj' few of the birds are to be seen 
during the winter It is found on all lakes and j heels ; often 
near springs and small streams. When alarmed it scuds across 
the water, seldom flying up, but flappiug the surface of the 
water until it can hide among the rushes ; it is also a wonder- 
fully good diver. This species breeds, in Turkestan, in May, 
June and July, On the 10th June, the nest of a Coot, containing 



192 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

seven eo-o-s, was found at Sughuchak. The nest consisted of 
a mass of rushes and weeds placed amongst ' Yekan' (rush) in 
water about a foot deep. The eggs are broadish oval, moderately 
compressed towards one end, and have little or no gloss. The 
ground color is dull cafe au kit ; the surface of the^egg is 
speckled over with fine purplish-black pin point spots, and in 
addition to these larger spots of purplish black, mostly- 
smaller than a pin's head, are scattered about over the egg. The 
average of three eggs is 2-07 in length by 1*39 in breadth. 
Two of the eggs taken on the 10th June were placed under a 
hen and were hatched ; but the young Coots soon died, as, I 
suppose, their foster mother did not know how to feed them 
properly. These nestlings (two days old) have a white horny 
tip to their bills. The forehead and lores are deep red, and on 
the chin, all round the neck and down the back, are long hair- 
like feathers of a beautiful orange color. The general plumage, 
beneath the orange clothing, is greyish black. 

The Turki name for this species is Kashkaldak, i <?., " Bald 
brow/' 

905.— Gallinula chloropus, Linn. 

$. {In immature plumage) Yarkand, 20tft July. — Length, 
12*3 ; expanse, 21 ; wing, 6*55; tail, 2*9; tarsus, 1*87; bill, 
from gape, 1*23 ; closed wings fall short of tail, 1*0; weight, 
6*4 oz. Bill, brownish dusky above, dusky greenish at tip and 
below ; irides, green ; legs and feet, dark shining green ; yellow- 
ish above tarsal joint, claws, black. 

<j. Juv. Yarkand, \Qlh July. — Length, 12'8; expanse, 
19*6 ; wing, 5'8 ; tail, 3'2 ; tarsus, l - 7 ; bill, from gape, 1*1 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 1"4 ; weight, 6 oz. Bill, dusky 
at base, dusk} r green at tip ; irides, greenish brown ; legs and 
feet, dusky shining green ; claws, brownish black. 

$. Juv. Yarkand, %0t/i Jidy. — Length, 10'5; expanse, 165; 
wing, 4-4 ; tail, 2"1 ; tarsus, 1*9; bill, from gape, 1*05 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*6 ; weight, 5 - 25 oz. Bill, dusky, 
greenish at tip; irides greyish brown; legs, green; feet, dusky 
green; claws, black. 

o. Yarkand, \lth July. — Length, 122 ; expanse, 21*3; 
wing, 69 ; tail, 3*2 ; tarsus, 1*8 ; bill, from gape, TU5 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 0*6 ; weight, 6'2 oz. Bill, greenish 
yellow at tip, base and frontal shield dark crimson red ; irides, 
dark red ; legs and feet, fine bright green, with an orange garter 
round bare portion of tibia ; claws, black. 

$ . Juv. Tnngtash, 4th August. — Length, 12*5 ; expanse, 
18*5; wing, 5*45 ; tail, 2*9; tarsus, 2; bill from gape, 1*1; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 2*35 ; weight, 65 oz. Bill, dusky 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 193 

black, greenish at tip and below ; irides, brownish grey ; legs 
and feet, dark green ; claws, black. 

Nestling, in deep greenish black plumage, Yarkand, 19/A 
July. — Length, 6 ; tarsus, 1*1 ; bill, from gape, 096; weight, 
1*2 oz. Bill greenish, plumbeous above and at tip ; irides, 
very dark greyish ; legs and feet, dusky brownish ; claws, brown 
horny. 

The Water-hen was tolerably common in the plains in sum- 
mer, where it breeds ; it was never met with during the winter. 
It frequented j heels and swamps, running about with great 
ease on the fallen rushes floating on the surface of the water ; 
it was often noticed flirting up its tail and thus showing the 
white feathers in it, very conspicuously. The Turki name for 
this species is Kodan, and it is sometimes also called Kharonah 
(c.f. Kharun, Persian — a restive horse.) 

909.— Porzana maruetta, Briss. 

A single specimen of the Spotted Rail was captured at 
Toghrasu on the 21st September, elevation 11,265 feet. The 
bird was probably migrating southwards.* 

910. — Porzana pygmaea, Naum. 

A single specimen of this species was obtained in marshy 
ground near the city of Yarkand, on the 29th June. The bird 
was shot by a soldier of the escort and the skin given to me 
by Mr. R. B. Shaw. This species was not at all common near 
Yarkand, but it is probable that a few birds breed there. 

Length, 7*3 ; wing, 3*6 ; tarsus, 1*1 ; bill, from gape, 085. 
Bill, dark green ; legs and feet, greenish brown ; claws, brown 
horny. 

914 bis.— Rallus aquaticus, Linn. 

Four males ( Yarkand, July) measured and weighed. — Length, 
11*7 to 12*1 ; expanse, 16*6 to 16 - 7 ; wing, 4*85 to 4'9 ; tail, 
25 to 2 - 8; tarsus, 1*55 to 1*6; bill, from gape, 1*8 to 1*9; 
closed wings fall short of tail, l - 2 to 135; weight, 31 oz. to 
4*1 oz. Bill : upper mandible brown above, greyish horny at 
tip, orange red at sides of base ; lower mandible, greyish or 
brownish horny at tip, orange red for the rest of its extent. 
Irides, brick red ; legs and feet, fleshy brown ; claws, livid horny. 
$ . Yarkand, 20th July. — Length, 11 ; expanse, 15*6 ; wing, 
4*6; tail, 2*35 ; tarsus, 1(5; bill, from gape, 1*7 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, L0 ; weight, 3 oz. Bill, dusky brown above 
and at tip, orange red below, and at sides of base; irides, brick 
red ; legs and feet, fleshy brown ; claws, brownish horny. 

* It is very remarkable that the only specimen of this Eail obtained by Dr. Hender- 
son was caught at the karatagh Lake, at an elevation of 16,000 feet, just 52 miles south 
of Toghrasu, on the 24th September. — Ed. S. F. 

Al 



] 94 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

$. Juv. Yarkand, 17th July. — Length, 10*6; expanse, 
156 ; wing,. 4*5 ; tail, 2'5 ; tarsus, 1*5 j bill, from gape, 1*65; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 085; weight, 2*3 oz. Bill, 
duskv brown, lower mandible, brownish orang-e at base; irides, 
greenish straw color ; legs and feet, greyish brown ; claws, livid. 

The Water-Rail* was tolerably common near Yarkand in 
summer; it was never observed in winter, but some of the 
Shikaris there said that the bird was a permanent resident. It 
was found in marshes, among the rushes, where it was said to 
breed. The Turki name for this species is Yekau Tvklnsi, i. e., 
the Rush Fowl. 

918— Ciconia nigra, Linn. 

5 . Tarim Langar, ZSth July. — Length, 39'5 ; expanse, 73 ; 
wing, 20 ; tail, 96 ; tarsus, 7*2; bill, from gape, 7 - 2 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 10; weight, 51bs. 138oz. 

Bill, mahogany color — lighter towards the tip ; legs and 
feet, dark red, with black scales down the front of the tarsi; 
claws, dusky brownish. 

The Black Stork is a seasonal visitant to the plains of East- 
ern Turkestan, arriving in spring and disappearing entirely in 
winter. It is said to build its nest in high poplar trees on the 
borders of the Dolan forest country. This species was often 
seen at Sughuchak, Taskhama, and near Karghalik, frequenting 
marshy ground; it was very shy aud wary. Its Turki name is 
Kara Sokan, i. e., Black Stork. 

919.— Ciconia alba, Belon. 

$ . Taskhama, ]st July. — Length, 44*75; expanse, 88*5 (7 
feet 4£ inches) ; wing, 242 ; tail, 94; tarsus, 9'2 ; bill, from 
gape, 885 ; closed wings exceed tail, 1*0; bare portion of tibia, 
5"0 ; weight, 81bs. 3*3oz. 

Bdl, fine dark red ; gular pouch vermilion opposite gape, 
black in anterior portion; legs and feet, reddnh pink ; claws, 
black. 

5 . Juv. Tugutntar, 24//i Ju 7 y. — Length, 37 ; expanse, 76'6 
(6 feet 4-<> inches); wing, 19'8; tail, 84 ; tarsus, 8-15; bill, 
from gape, 6*1 ; bare portion of tibia, 385; closed wings reach 
to end of tail; weight, 6 lbs. 0"5oz. 

Bill, dull yellowish orange, dusky in parts; gular pouch 
dusky in front, orange at gape; orbital skin, dusky; irides, 
greenish brown; legs and feet, pale yellowish, becoming orange 
in parts ; claws, yellowish horny. 

The White Stork was common in the plains, during the sum- 
mer, from April to August; on the 13th of the latter month, 

* All the specimens are true Aqitaticus, cf. Vol. III., p. 41t>. — Ed. S. F. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 195 

I saw a flock of these birds, evidently migrating, flying over 
Sanju. The birds appeared to be going rather slowly, but were 
high up and moving in a south-easterly direction ; the flock was 
flying in the form of a very wide V, with the point forwards. 
From what I saw of the young birds of the year, however, I 
should imagine that a great number of these birds could not 
leave Kashgharia before the end of September; in fact I saw 
some of these birds near Kashghar about the middle of October 
1874. In June and July the White Stork was common within 
eight or ten miles of the City of Yarkand, frequenting waste 
and marshy ground, singly, in companies of three or four, and 
sometimes as many as fifteen or twenty birds standing in line 
in front of tall grass and all facing the same way. 

On the 5th July my Shikari found a nest of this species at 
Tugutatar, about seven miles from Yarkand. The nest was 
placed in a high poplar tree (P. alba) about thirty feet, above 
the ground ; it was a sort of platform about five feet in diameter, 
made up of branches, sticks and twigs, and some portions of a 
thorny bush. This platform was covered with pieces of felt, wool, 
&c, which formed a sort of very shallow cup. In this nest five 
young birds, two of which he brought to me, secretly stowed in 
a large bag. I doubted the story of five young storks being 
found in one nest and next day a soldier of the escort went out 
with the Shikari to see the place. The soldier told me that he 
saw the nest, that there were no others about, and he certainly 
found it to contain three young birds. The Shikari wished to 
bring the latter away, but the Yarkandis living about the place 
would not hear of this, averring that it was a sin to meddle with 
the young of the Stork, as this bird was well known to go on a 
pilgrimage to Mecca every year ! 

I kept the } 7 oung birds for about a month and found that they 
grew rapidly. They were very tame, but exceedingly voracious, 
eating as much raw meat as one would give them, and never 
appearing to be satisfied. When angry at missing a piece of 
meat they would throw their heads back and clatter their man- 
dibles loudly — as if gnashing their teeth through rage; but 
occasionally they would begin a clattering match together 
apparently only for amusement. When they wanted to be led 
they made a shrill whining sort of noise. They were very weak 
on their legs at first, but about a fortnight after I g^t them 
they began to practise short flights, only managing at first to 
raise their le^s a few inches off the ground. About the end of 
July one of the birds was put on the roof of a house and 
managed to fly off for about three hundred yards. The Turki 
name for this Stork is Laglag, but its local name about Yarkand 
is Ala Sokan, i. e., Variegated Stork. 



196 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

923.— Ardea cinerea, Linn. 

Four specimens of this species were preserved at Yarkand in 
January and February. This Heron was common about 
Kashghar and Yarkand during the whole Avinter, frequenting 
swampy ground and the neighbourhood of unfrozen bits of water. 
It was not seen near Yarkand from April to August, but in the 
latter month numbers of these birds were met with at Tungtash, 
near Karghalik, among- reeds growino- near water. Again on 
the 26th August a flock of these birds (? migrating) was seen 
near the Karakash river below Gulgon Shah. 

The Yarkandis say that this bird is a permanent resident in 
the country, moving northwards in summer to the country 
about Maralbashi, where it breeds ; and that it feeds chiefly on 
frogs and fish. The Turki name for the species is Ukar or ' TJkar. 

Dimensions from skins — Tioo males, shot at Yarkand in 
January. — Wing, 18 to 18"2; tarsus, 60 to 6b; bill, from 
gape, 6-3 to 65 ; at front, 4*85 to 5*23; bare portion of tibia, 
2-8 to 3-7. 

Two females, shot at Yarkand, January and February. — 
Wing, 17*7; tarsus, 6*25 to 63 ; bill, from gape, 6*15 to 
6 "25 ; at front, 4 - 8 to 4*83; bare portion of tibia, 31 to 32. 

925.— Herodias alba. Linn. 

$. Kashghar, 26th December. — Wing, 17*6; bill, at front, 
5*05 ; from gape, 6*6; bare portion of tibia, 5*0; tarsus, 7 - 7. 

Bill, yellow; the upper mandible black at extreme tip, the 
lower mandible greenish below; orbital skin, greenish yellow; 
legs, feet, and claws, black ; the bare portion of the tibia, 
fleshy in parts. 

?. Kashghar, 6th December. — Wing, 16*4; bill, at front, 
485; from gape, 6'4 ; bare portion of tibia, 3'9 ; tarsus, 7 - 3. 

Bill yellow, upper mandible dusky at extreme tip ; orbital 
skin, yellowish green ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

(The above dimensions are taken from the skins.) 

In winter this species was more common about Kashghar 
(where four birds were shot) and Yarkand than Ardea cinerea. 
It was never seen in spring or summer, having then, it was 
reported, migrated northwards, towards Aksu, to breed. It 
frequented marshy places and the banks of small streams, 
feeding on fish. The Turki name for this species (which Mr. 
Hume informs me is the large European form, and not the 
Lesser White Heron of India) is Ale Ukar, 'White Heron.' 

936— Botaurus stellaris, Linn, 

Four specimens of the Bittern were preserved : a female at 
Kashghar in December, a male at Beshkant in February, and 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 197 

two males at Yarkand in the same month. This species was 
tolerably common near Kashghar and Yarkand during- the 
winter frequenting swampy ground covered with rushes. It was 
not noticed in spring or summer, but Mr. Shaw purchased a 
young bird of the year about the middle of July, which would 
seem to prove that this bird does not breed far from Yarkand, 
at any rate. I kept several of these birds in confinement and 
found that their favorite attitude was with the beak directed 
straight up in the air, the eyes looking very vacant and the whole 
body kept very still and unmoved ; when made to walk about 
the room they would shake out their neck feathers and look very 
fierce. The natives said that one required to be very careful in 
handling these birds, as they were very fond of making a peck 
straight at one's eye ; a wild hare, kept in the same room with 
a Bittern, died one night, and next morning one of its eyes was 
found very neatly picked out ; my servants looked on this inci- 
dent as a striking confirmation of the eye-extracting tendencies 
of the bird. 

The Yarkandis call this species Kul bughasi, the l Stag 
of the Lake' and say that it is a permanent resident in the 
country, breeds in long grass jungle, and makes a very loud 
booming noise by sticking its bill into a reed ! 

Dimensions from skins : three males. — Wing, 13*7 to 1 3'75 ; 
tarsus, 3 - 75 to 3'95 ; bill, from gape, 3*9 to 4*2 ; at front, 2-85 
to 296. 

Female. — Wing, 124; tarsus, 36 ; bill, from gape, 3 '8 ; at 
front, 2'63. 

Cygnus olor, Gmel* 

The Swan was often mentioned to me as being plentiful in 
Lob and towards Aksu; captive individuals of this species were 
seen at Kashghar in November, swimming in a pond at the Shrine 
of Hazrat Apak. The Turki name for the species is Koday. 

945. — Anser cinereus, Meyer. 

$. Yarkand, 28th February. — Length, 31; tail, 6; tarsus, 
3; bill, from gape, 27. Bill, reddish fleshy, the tip whitish ; 
irides, brown ; legs and feet, reddish fleshy. 

$ . Juv. Yarkand, 6th July. — Length, 30"5 ; expanse, 60*25; 
wing, 16'5; tail, 63; tarsus, 3; bill, from gape, 2*65 ; weight, 
51bs. 1575 oz. Bill, reddish fleshy ; irides, brown; legs and feet, 
red flesh color; claws, dusky at tips. 

The Grey Lag Goose is a seasonal visitant to Kashgharia, 
where it breeds. The first specimen of this species which I got 
was shot near Yarkand on the 28th February ; in the early part 
of March they were often seen flying over the Fort at Yarkand 
and going straight north. The bird is said to breed plentifully 

* I am not certain that I have correctly identified the species ; no specimen was 
preserved. — J. S. 



198 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

near Maralbashi, but not in the immediate vicinity of Yarkand ; 
young birds were captured about the beginning of June. 

Two eggs of Anser cinereus (laid by a captive bird with cut 
wings) were obtained on the 1st and 12th June. They are 
spotless white, with an ivory tinge; glossless or faintly glossy in 
parts; and of a compact texture. In shape they are moderate- 
ly long ovals, broadest about the centre, and measure 3-37 by 
2-33 and 3-21 by 221. 

It was curious to observe how readily birds of this species got 
tame ; even old birds, who had only had their wings broken by 
a bullet, soon became quite friendly and familiar. The Turks 
call this Goose by the Persian name Ghaz. 

954.— Casarca rutila, Pallas. 

?. Yarkand, 9th March. — Length, 24; expanse, 44 - 75 ; 
wing, 1375 ; tail, 58 ; tarsus, 225 ; bill, from gape, 2 ; weight, 
21bs. 135 oz. Bill, legs, feet, and claws, black ; hides, dark 
brown. 

<j> . Yarkand, Wth April. — Length, 23; expanse, 435 ; 
wing, 1325; tail, 5"5 ; tarsus, 2*0; bill, from gape, 2T ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 025 ; weight, 21bs. 475 oz. Bill, legs, 
feet, and claws, black; irides, very dark muddy brown. 

All the toes of the left foot were wanting in this specimen, and 
the tarsus terminated in a rounded stump, smoothly covered over 
by white cicatricial tissue. This condition was evidently the 
result of some injury sustained a long time before I got the bird. 

$. Juv. Yar/ccnd, 18th June. — Length, 19; expanse, 27 ; 
wing, 6 ; tail, 37; tarsus, 23; bill, from gape, 1*9; closed 
wings short of tail, 4; weight, lib. 3oz. Bill, greenish dusky ; 
irides, dark brown; legs, yellowish green; feet, mixed dusky and 
greenish; claws, dusky. 

The Ruddy Shieldrake was observed in the plains of Kash- 
gharia in the beginning of winter, and from March to August it 
was exceedingly plentiful in the lakes and swamps of S ugh 11- 
chak, near Yarkand. Many young birds, unable to fly, usually 
swimming about with the old female bird. In July I saw a 
party of about ten of these Ducks among some rushes ; they had 
a sentinel bird placed at some little distance from the main flock 
and on seeing me approach he gave a sort of warning cry which 
seemed to put his party on the alert; when I got a few steps 
nearer the watcher gave a loud scream and flew up, followed by 
the rest of the party. This bird seems to walk very easily ou 
dry land and always in a curiously erect manner. The Yarkandis 
say that this species migrates to India in winter, aud that the 
eggs are laid in some dry place, away from water ; as soon as 
the young bird emerges from the egg, the mother seizes it and 
puts it into the water. The Turkiuame for the Brahminy Duck 
is Hangghut, pronounced Hangat. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 199 

957.— Spatula clypeata, Linn. 

Two specimens of the Shoveller, a female and a male, were 
preserved at Kashghar in November and December. According 
to Yarkandi accounts very few of these birds remain in the 
country during 1 the winter, the vast majority of them migrating to 
India. They breed during the summer in the north of Kash- 
gharia, about the neighbourhood of Maralbashi, and are said to 
collect, for a short time, near Yarkand, when the cold sets in, 
previous to their migration southwards. The Turki name for 
the species is yiven as Kanak Aurdak. 

$. Kashghar, \§th December. — Length, 198; wing, 9 - 3 ; 
tail, 33 ; tarsus, 1*4 j bill, from gape, 2 - 85. Bill: upper man- 
dible, brownish dusky ; lower, pale yellowish orange ; legs and 
feet, orange yellow ; .claws, brownish horn. 

$. Kashghar, lit November. — Length, 17 "5 ; wing, 8'35 ; 
tail, 3'1 ; tarsus, 1*25 ; bill, from gape, 265. Bill : upper man- 
dible, brown ; lower, yellowish ; legs and feet, pale orange yel- 
low; claws, brown horny. 

958.— Anas boschas, Linn. 

$. Yarkand, 10th April. — Length, 21 5; expanse, 35; wing, 
107 ; tail, 4 - l ; tarsus, 17 ; bill, from gape, 2 5; closed wings 
reach to end of tail; weight, 2fbs 675 oz. Bill, black above, 
reddish yellow below; irides, dark brown ; legsand toes, vellowish 
red; webs, dusky; claws, black. Oviduct contained an ego- 
larger than that of a common fowl. 

$ . Juv. Yarkand, 22nd Jul//. — Length, 197; expanse, 31 ; 
wing, 8 3; tail, 4*3 ; tarsus, L6; bill, from gape, 22 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 22; weight, lib 5oz. Bill, greenish 
dusky above, orange yellow below ; irides, light brown ; leers 
and toes, dark orange; webs, dusky; claws, brownish dusky. 

g . Juv. Yarkand, 22nd Jidy. — Length, 21*5; expanse, 31 "4; 
wing, 7 - 4; tail, 45 ; tarsus, 16; bill, from e-ape, 2*5; wings 
short of tail, 3 - 2 ; weight, lib 9'2oz. Bill, greenish, dusky at 
tip and culmen, sides yellow; irides, brown ; legs and feet, dusky 
orange; claws, blackish. 

(J. In post nuptial plumage, Yarkand, 26th July. — Length, 
23 5; tail, 4 - 8 ; tarsus, 16; bill, from gape, 2 - 5 ; weight, 2 tbs 
35oz. Bill, yellowish green ; nail, black ; irides, dark brown; 
legs and feet, orange ; claws, brownish black. 

Besides the above, seven other specimens were preserved, at 
Kashghar or Yarkand, during the winter months. 

The Mallard occurs in great numbers in Kashgharia during 
the whole winter, when it is decidedly the commonest of the 
Duck tribe. In spring and summer it seemed to be less plenti- 
ful ; but this may perhaps have been because it was cast into the 



200 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

shade by the great variety of other Ducks aud Teal then breed- 
ing about Yarkand. In winter it was usually found near 
unfrozen springs and streams, and in summer in lakes and 
swamps associated with other species of Duck. The condition 
of the bird obtained in April (noted above) and the occurrence 
of the two young birds preserved in July, prove conclusively 
that this Duck breeds near Yarkand. The Yarkandis say that 
of the twenty odd species of Duck which they discriminate, 
the Mallard is the only permanent resident in the vicinity of 
Kashghar and Yarkand ; that it lays in April, the number of 
eggs varying from ten to fifteen ; and that the nest is placed 
amongst Yekan, i.e., rushes. 

A couple of Mallards, kept in confinement in a tank inside 
the Residency at Yarkand, formed a great friendship with a 
lled-crested Pochard (Branla rufina) and a Coot, who were also 
captives; but they Would never associate with tame Ducks, 
always driving the latter away when they approached. The 
Turki name of the Mallard is Aurdak, which means simply 
Duck ; and it is sometimes distinguished as Sun or Suna 
aurdak. 

962.— Dafila acuta, Linn.. 

$. Yarkand, 15/A March. — Length, 2175 ; expanse, 28*25; 
wing, 10; tail, 48; tarsus, 15; bill, from gape, 2*35 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, l - 8; weight, lib 8 - 5oz. Bill, black 
above, slate color below ; irides, dark muddy brown ; legs and 
toes, slaty green ; webs, dusky ; claws, black. 

The Pintail Duck was occasionally seen near Yarkand in 
March, but only one specimen (a female) was obtained. Two 
experienced Yarkamli bird-catchers gave me the following in- 
formation about this species : — The male bird is ala, i.e., pied, 
black and white ; it is a seasonal visitant only to Eastern 
Turkestan, arriving in spring and migrating to Hindostan at 
the beginning of winter, and it breeds in the neighbourhood of 
Maralbashi laying from ten to twelve eggs. It is called in 
Turki Cha sughsu aurdak. 

964.— Querquedula crecca, Linn. 

The Common Teal was only obtained at Kashghar in Novem- 
ber, at Sughuehak near Yarkand, by Mr. Shaw, in January, 
and at Beshkaut, in the beginning of February. I was told that 
it migrated northwards to bi-eed, and that it laid from eight to 
ten mottled eggs. The Turki name given for this species was 
Ala bash kurak aurdak, which means ' the mottle-headed patch- 
work duck V 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 201 

£. Kashghar, 29th November. — Length, 14*3; wing, 7 '25 ; 
tail, 3*25 ; tarsus, 1*2 ; bill, from gape, 1*72. Bill, black; legs 
and feet, dusky brown- claws, brownish black. 

£. Sughuchak, January. — Length, 14 ; wing, 7; tail, 29; 
tarsus, 1*17; bill, from gape, 1*7. Bill, black; legs and feet, 
dark brown ; webs, dusky ; claws, brownish black. 

965.— Querquedula circia, Linn. 

$. Yarkand, 26th April. — Length, 15*1 ; expanse, 24-75; 
wing, 7*3 ; tail, 3'4 ; tarsus, TO; bill, from gape, T7; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1'4; weight, 12'75oz. Bill, black, 
reddish brown at gape ; legs, toes, and webs, purplish slate color ; 
claws dark brown. 

<j. Yarkand, 21th April. — Length, 16; expanse, 24-8; wing, 
7*5; tail, 3 - 2 ; tarsus, l'l ; bill, from gape, 1'9; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 1*7 ; weight, 15-3oz. Bill, dull black, brownish 
below ; legs and toes, grey slate color ; webs, dusky ; claws, 
black. 

? . Yarkand, 21th April. — Length, 15*5 ; expanse, 24-75 ; 
wing, 7*25 ; tail, 3*0 ; tarsus, 1-1; bill, from gape, 1*8; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1-35 ; weight, 14'75oz. Bill, black 
above, brownish below ; legs and toes, grey slate color ; webs, 
dusky ; claws, black. 

This Teal was common near Yarkand, in summer, where it 
doubtless breeds. The Turki name given to it is Karak aurdak 
or Patchwork Duck. 

967. — Branta rufina, Pallas. 

<?. Yarkand, 2ith Jvly. — Length, 21*1; tail, 4'0 ; tarsus, 
1*6; bill, from gape, 2*4; weight, 21ds. Bill, fine vermilion 
red; nail of bill, pink — light horny at tip; irides, red; legs and 
feet, mixed buff and dusky ; webs, dusky ; claws, brownish dusky. 

?. Juv. Yarkand, 29th July. — Length, 19 "4; expanse, 33; 
wing, 8'9 ; tarsus, 1*4; bill, from gape, 2*1; weight, lib 4*75oz. 
Bill, dusky above, brownish below; legs and feet, dusky, 
yellowish green in parts. 

This handsome Duck was not observed in winter, but was 
very common near Yarkand during the summer. It is a fine 
diver and has a peculiar manner of emerging from the water 
with a sharp spring ; it carries its head well bent back over its 
shoulders and is not easily approached. The bird is only a 
seasonal visitant to Kashgharia, where it breeds ; the nest is 
said to be placed among rushes growing in marshes, and the 
eggs are reported to be of a green color. 

Its Turki name is Kizil bash aurdak — the Red-headed Duck. 

b 2 



202 A CONTRIBUTION TO THE ORNITHOLOGY 

969.— Aythya nyroca, Guld. 

$. Yarkand, 25th April. — Length, 16*8 ; expanse, 26 - 8 ; 
wing 1 , 7*3 ; tail, 2 - 6 ; tarsus, 1*15 • bill, from gape, 2*0 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*4 ; weight, lib. 3 75oz. Bill, webs, 
and claws, black • legs, dark greenish • toes, slate colored. 

<y. Juv. Sughuc/iak, 36th July. — Length, 16*1 • expanse 
21; wing, 5*1; tail, 2*4; tarsus, 1*1* bill, from gape, 175 ; 
wings fall short of tail, 3*4 ; weight, 15'5oz. Bill, dusky, livid 
below ; irides dark brown* ; legs and feet, mottled dusky ; 
claws, black. 

$ . Yarkand, 27th April.— Length, 16*5 ; expanse, 26 ; 
wing, 7*3 • tail, 2'6 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill, from gape, 2 • closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1'6 ; weight, lib. 5oz. Bill, black, 
brownish below ; legs and toes, grey slate color ; webs, dusky ; 
claws, black. 

$ . Juv. Yarkand, ISthJuly. — Length, 15'7 ; expanse, 26"2 • 
wing, 7*05; tail, 21 ; tarsus, 1*2 ; bill, from gape, 1*9 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 1*4; weight, 15'4oz. Bill, black above, 
grey slaty below ; irides, brownish grey* ; legs and toes, dusky 
plumbeous ; webs, greyish black ; claws, black. 

This species is very common during the summer, near 
Yarkand, where it arrives about March, migrating again south- 
wards at the beginning of winter. It breeds in Eastern Tur- 
kestan, laying in May or June, aud is often seen flying about 
in pairs. The Turki name for this Duck is Chiki (or ChiMt) kanat 
aurdak, the word chikit having some reference to the white 
speculum edged with black. 

972. — Mergus castor, Linn. 

A specimen of the Merganser was preserved at Kashghar 
on the 30th October, and it was tolerably common on the rivers 
near Kashghar during the months of November and December. 
The natives said it fed entirely on fish and water insects, aud 
that it migrated eastward to the lake region of Lob. 

Its Turki name is Ala ghaz urdak, i. e.,the Variegated Goose- 
duck. 

<j. Kashghar, 30th October. — Length, 25'3 ; wing, 11*5; 
tail, 5*8 ; tarsus, 1*8 • bill, from gape, 2*85. Bill, dark blood 
red — greyish dusky at tip • legs and feet, orange red • claws, 
brown horny. 

973.— Mergellus albellus, Linn, 

The Smew was occasionally seen near Yarkand in the winter, 
but only one specimen, a female, was obtained in February near 
the Yarkand river, which was then completely frozen over. 

* Observed in the fresh bird aud noted at the time. 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 203 

The Yarkandi name for the species is Boz aurdak, Grey- 
Duck. 

?. Beshkant, 5th February. — Length, 15; wing, 7*3 ; tail, 
3"3 ; tarsus, 1*2; bill, from gape, 1*5. Bill, dusky grey; tips 
of both mandibles, whitish ; legs and feet, plumbeous. 

974.— Podiceps cristatus, Linn. 

S . Sughuchak, \0th June. — Length, 23*5 ; expanse, 3i'8 ; 
wing, 7'7 ; tail, 2-2 ; tarsus, 2*8 ; bill, from gape, 2'5 ; closed 
wings fall short of tail, 3"0 ; weight, 2lbs. 6*5oz. 

Bill, dusky purplish ; irides, blood red ; tarsi, dusky exter- 
nally, pale green on inner side ; feet, greenish above, dusky 
below. 

The Crested Grebe was numerous in the lakes of Sughuchak, 
.about twelve miles west of Yarkand, in summer, where it was 
breeding. The birds were so difficult to approach, however, 
that I only managed to shoot two ; :md one of those I lost in 
the thick reeds and rushes into which it fell. The bird was 
never seen in winter. 

975.— Podiceps minor, Linn. 

The Little Grebe was observed at Kashghar in November 
and December, and a specimen was preserved in the former 
month; it was not numerous and frequented small unfrozen 
springs called Karasu. The bird was again noticed in a lake 
at Sughuchak in June. The natives assert that the bird breeds 
near Yarkand, and call it Chumighak, il the diver." 

^. Kashghar, 28th November. — Length, 8*5; wing, 3'9 ; 
tarsus, 1*2; bill, from gape, 096. Bill, brownish dusky above, 
brown horny below ; irides, reddish brown ; legs and feet, green- 
ish black. 

980. — Xema brunneicephala, Jerdon. 

c?. Juv. Kashghar, 6th December 1874. — Length, 15*8; 
wing, 11-5 ; tail, 4*45 ; tarsus, 1-7 ; bill, from gape, 1*9. 

Bill, black at tip, brownish dusky above , yellowish brown 
below ; irides, yellowish brown ; legs and feet, orange ; claws, 
black. 

A few birds of this species were observed at Kashghar in 
winter (November and December) fishing over the streams and 
ponds ; and again in January near Sughlak. The Turki 
name of this Gull is Ghorlci. 

986.— Sterna fluviatilis, Naum. 

<$. Sughuchak, 15th July. — Length, 14 ; expanse, 30 ; wing, 
10 ; tail, 5'55 ; tarsus, 0-75 ; bill, from gape, 2*0 ; closed 
wings exceed tip of tail, 0*45 ; weight, 37 oz. 



204 A CONTRIBUTION TO THF, ORNITHOLOGY 

Bill, black at tip, orange red at base below ; leg's and feet, 
orange red ; claws, black. 

Four females, shot at Yarkand or Suqhuchalc in April and 
June — Length, 13"5 to 14*1 ; expanse, 305 to 32 ; wing, 10'5 
to 10-6 ; tail, 5*4 to 5 - 9 ; tarsus, 0'75 to 0*85 ; bill, from gape, 
1*85 to 2 - ; closed wings exceed tail, 0*4 to TO ; weight, 3-6 oz. 
to 4'4 oz. 

Bill, black at tip, brownish red at base ; irides, dark brown ; 
legs and feet, brick red, orange red and dark red ; claws, black. 

This Tern arrives in the plains of Eastern Turkestan in April 
and migrates about September; it breeds in June. This spe- 
cies was exceedingly numerous about Yarkand, fishing over 
pools, marshes, rice fields, and inundated fields ; its principal 
food seems to consist of a small fish which occurs very plenti- 
fully in Kashgharia, called Tlni balik. 

Tin's bird has a harsh shrill cry and is called in Turki 
Balakchi—' The Fisher.' 

988— Sternula minuta, Linn. 

$. Yarkand, 20/A June. — Length, 9'4 ; expanse, 20*7 ; 
wing, 7'0 ; tail, 3"2 ; tarsus, 0*7 ; bill, from gape, 1*6 ; closed 
wings exceed tail, 0*7 ; weight, 2 oz. Bill, greenish yellow, 
black at tip ; irides, dark brown ; legs and feet, orange yellow ; 
claws, black. 

(?. Yarkand, 25th July. — Length, 9*9 ; expanse, 21 ; wing, 
7 - 4 ; tail, 3*4 ; tarsus, 0*7 ; bill, from gape, 1*55 ; closed wings 
exceed tail, 0'9 ; weight, 2 oz. Bill, greenish yellow throughout ; 
legs and feet orange ; claws, black. 

This Tern was frequently observed throughout the months 
of June and July, in the neighbourhood of Yarkand. It 
associated with Sterna fluviatilis, but was very much less numer- 
ous than that species. It is a seasonal visitant only to Eastern 
Turkestan, arriving about May and leaving certainly before 
the beginning of October. It breeds in Kashgharia, where it is 
known by the name of Balakcld — ci The Fisher. " 

1005.— Graculus carbo, Linn. 

$. Tarim Langar, 23rd July. 1875. — Length, 32*8; expanse, 
55 - 5 ; wing, 14 ; tail, 8'3 ; tarsus, 2*1 ; bill, from gape, 3"9 ; 
closed wings fall short of tail, 5 "8 ; weight, 4 lbs 2 '25 oz. Bill 
— upper mandible dusky above, grey horny at sides and tip — 
lower mandible, purplish horny ; gular pouch, orange yellow ; 
legs and feet, black ; claws, brownish dusky. 

$ . Tungtash, Zrd August. — Length, 33; expanse, 57 - 3 ; wing, 
13 - 7 ; tail, 7 - 8 ; tarsus, 2 - 2 ; bill, from gape, 3*8 ; closed wings 
fall short of tail, 6*5 ; weight, 4tt)s 10 oz. Bill — grey horny, 



OF EASTERN TURKESTAN. 205 

blackish above ; gular pouch, orange yellow ; irides, brownish 
grey ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

Juv. Tung tosh, 4th August. — Length, 32'75 ; expanse, 55 - 8 ; 
tail, 7*7 ; tarsus, 2*1 ; bill, from gape, 3 8 ; closed wings fall 
short of tail, 6*6 : weight, 4tbs 5 oz. Bill grey horny, top of 
upper mandible black : irides, grey ; gular pouch, orange yellow ; 
legs and feet, black ; claws, greyish black. 

This Cormorant is, I believe, a permanent resident in Kash- 
gharia — in the plains. The first specimen was obtained on the 
banks of the Yarkand river, near Tarim Langar. In the 
beginning of August I found these birds quite common at 
Tungtash, near Karghalik. They were then nearly always seen 
in parties of five, sitting on the top of a mud cliff — often 
thirty feet high — immediately overlooking the water below ; 
one of the party acting as sentinel. The favourite posts of the 
Cormorants could be easily recognised about the place : spots 
worn into a sort of dome shape by their tails, and always near 
the edge of the cliff. In sitting these birds rest on their feet and 
the stiff feathers of their tails ; the tail being spread out to form 
a sort of hollow half cone. When they fly the neck is stretched 
forward, like a goose. On one occasion I saw a Cormorant 
sitting near the water's edge apparently watching intently 
for a fish ; I shot the bird just as it rose, and it immediately 
dived into the water, reappearing again however in a few 
second? as it was mortally wounded. 

The Turki name for this Cormorant is Kara Gliaz, " the 
Black Goose." 



©it the 6cogrn»Jwal Mstributtoit of tljc pints fcricrocotus. 

By 11. Bowdler SHARPE, E.L.S.; F.E.S., &c. 

I believe that a few papers on the geographical distribution 
of Indian birds will be useful to the numerous field ornitholo- 
gists who are now working so vigorously iuthe cause of science 
in India and the adjacent countries, inasmuch as it will enable 
them to see what has been written (as far as I shall be able to 
collect the facts), and published on the subject. Here is, as it 
seems to me, a ground on which the field, and cabinet natura- 
list, cau work hand in hand, to their mutual benefit ; and I 
shall be particularly obliged to any one who will endeavour to 
supplement the information here compiled respecting the range 
of the species of Pericrocotus ; and I may add that a few spe- 
cimens would be very gratefully received by me for the British 
Museum, where the Indian skins are not in very good condi- 
tion ! 



206 ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION 

The Minivets seem to me to be divisible into two groups, viz., 
(a), species with a red or yellow tip to the tail, and (b), species 
with white-tipped tails : by far the greater number belong to 
the first division in which I recognise 11 different species, as 
follows : — 

1. — P. speciosus. 
a. P. speciosus. 
/3. P. elegans. 

2. — P. xanthogaster. 

3. — P. flammeus. 

4.— P. exul. 

5. — P. pei'egrinus. 

6. — P. igneus. 

7. — P. brevirostris. 

8. — P. miniatus. 

9. — P. roseus. 
10. — P. Solaris. 
1 1 . — P. griseigularis. 

I shall now proceed to record what I believe to be the habi- 
tats of these species as briefly as possible, although in the case 
of a few some critical remarks are necessary. 

1.— Pericrocotus speciosus. 

Hab. Himalayan Mountains. Not uncommon near Darjeel- 
ing, generally at about 3,000 to 4,000 feet of elevation (Jerdon) : 
Darjeeling (Beavan) : Sikhim (Hume): Nepal (Hodgson)): 
Kumaon (Hume): Mussoorie (Plume): below Mussoorie half way 
from Rajpur (Brooks): Khasia Hills (Godwin- Austen): Ponsee 
Kakhyen Hills (Anderson): Bhamo, Upper Burmah (Ander- 
son): Fokieu Province, South China [Svrinhoe). 

We see from the above records, all of which I consider to be 
perfectly authentic, that P. speciosus is a bird of the hills, found 
in the Himalayas, Upper Burmah, and extending even to 
Southern China ; but how far this large form may be said to be 
constant, or in what respect it is approached by examples from 
other localities, is a question for future observers to decide. 
Dr. Jerdon says that P. speciosus is found about Calcutta and 
extends to Assam, Burmah, and Mai ay ana, and it has been 
received from the Andaman islands." The bird from the 
latter locality, Mr. Hume considers to be a distinct species ; but 
as far as I can understand, there is nothing but a difference iu 
Bize, to separate the Assam bird (P. elegans), the Hainan 
(P.fraterculus), which Mr. Swiuhoe in his original description 
admits to have seen from Siam, and P. andamenensis from 
P. speciosus ; P. ardens, or, as I believe, we shall have to call it 
P. xanthogaster (Raffles): is also nothing, but a small form of 



OF THE GENUS PERICROCOTUS. 207 

the true P. speciosus type. I think, however, that we can se- 
parate it from the latter as worthy of distinction on account 
of its minute size, as, according to my experience, its wing 
never exceeds 3*25 inches in length. Mr. Ball has made some 
excellent observations on the Pericrocuti of Central India, and 
according to the measurements given by him of a series of ex- 
amples from the Chota Nagpur district, there can be little difference 
in size between these and Himalayan birds. His largest speci- 
men, a male from Sirguja, has the wing 4*15 inches in length. 

Mr. Hume (?t. F., 1875, p. 95) separates P. elegans from 
P. speciosus, and P . flammeus, and writes concerning their spe- 
cific distinctions as follows : — " First as to P. flammeus, no 
doubt it is of much the same size, and also that the colour of 
P. elegans is, to a certain extent, intermediate between that 
of P. flammeus, and P. speciosus ; but then the red extends in 
P. elegans as in P. speciosus on to the third, whilst in P. flam- 
meus it only extends on the fifth primary. As regards P. specio- 
sus, P. elegans is only about half the bulk. I do not lay very 
great stress upon the outer web of the central tail feather being 
entirely red in P. elegans; because I have specimens, both from 
the Central Provinces and Sikhim, of the true P. speciosus in 
which the outer webs of these central feathers are parti v or 
wholly red. The points I would insist on, as regards P. flam- 
meus, the difference in the amount of red on the wing, and as 
regards P. speciosus, the great difference in size : as regards 
the females, the same kind of differences exist, and moreover 
the female of P. elegans has, like that P. speciosus, a great deal 
more yellow on the front of the head than that of P.Jlammeus.'' 

Lord Walden has also noticed certain differences, for he 
remarks (Ibis, 1871, p. 174) : — 

"In all Burmese male individuals of P. speciosus (Lath.), 
which have come under my notice, the middle pair of rectrices 
have the outer webs wholly red, the inner webs only being black. 
I have never observed this peculiarity in either Himalayan or 
Central-Indian examples. The Burmese form is also smaller. 
An Assam example in Major Godwin-Austen's collection also 
exhibits this peculiarity/' 

In order to test these observations I have re-examined our 
series, not a very rich one, in the British Museum. I find in 
one specimen of P.Jlammeus, that the red colour extends on to 
the fifth primary, as noted by Mr. Hume, but in another it 
only goes on to the fourth, so that character is not constant.* 

* I believe that there must be some mistake here Our museum is very rich in 
Pericrocoti, and I wrote after a careful examination of very larg-e serifs. There 
are many points in this paper in which I do not concur and when I hare again 
access to our collections I shall furnish a separate paper on the Iudian members of 
this genus. — Ed., S. F. 



208 ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION 

P. elegans seems to be decidedly of smaller bulk than P. 
speciosus, but this is the only characteristic for the amount of 
black on the centre tail-feathers varies so much, and is so 
irregular, as to render it a character of no importance. 

Taking Himalayan birds, therefore, as the typical form of 
P. speciosus, I would give its range the Himalayas, Central- 
India and Upper Burrnah, across to Southern China, and 
I would consider it as replaced by a smaller race in the follow- 
ing countries : — 

Hainan (Swinhoe) : Siam ( Schomburgk) : Assam (McClelland, 
Godwin- Austen) : Khasia Hills (Godwin- Austen) : Lower 
Burrnah ( Walden) : Pegu (Blanford, Oates) : Andaman Islands 
(Hume, Ramsay). 

The following are the measurements of a series of male 
specimens in the British Museum: — 

Wing. Tail. Tarsus. 

a. b. P. speciosus, Nepal 3-95-4-0 4-0-4-3 (J -7 

c. d. „ Ponsee 3-85-3-9 3-95-4-2 0-7 

e. „ Bhamo 3-95 4'1 0-7 

/. P. elegans, Bassein 3*75 3-8 0-65 

g. P. andamanensis$ S. Andaman 3'55 3*6 0'65 

h. P. fraterculus, Hainan 3*65 3'6 0'7 

It will be seen that there is a gradation between the last 
three which can scarcely separate them, the one from the other, 
and I shall look anxiouslj^ for further notes and specimens to 
confirm or destroy the correctness of my conclusions. 

2.— Pericrocotus xanthogaster (P. or dens, Boie). 

Hab. Singapore ( Wallace) : Sumatra ( Wallace, Raffles) : 
Borneo (Mus. Brit.) : Sarawak (Porta, Beccari) : Marup 
(Everett): Bangermassing (Schierbrand) . 

3.— Pericrocotus flammeus. 

Hob. Confined to the jungles of South-west India and 
Ceylou ; extends from Travancore to the latitude of Bombay, 
from near the level of the sea to 5,000 feet on the jNeilgherry 
sbpes ; tolerably common through all the forests of Malabar 
(Jerdon) : Travancore (Biddulph) : Cardamum hills, Travancore 
(Elwes): Madras (Mus. Brit.) 

Birds of this species have been recorded from the north-west 
Himalayas by D. Adams, (P. Z. S., 1858, p. 494) and from the 
Khasias by Major Godwin-Austen, but both identifications are 
probably wrong, although Blyth stated that he had seen true 
examples undistinguisbable from others from Assam. (Ibis, 1866, 
p. 369). 



OF THE GENUS TERICROCOTUS. 209 

4.— Pericrocotus exul. 

Hab. Lombock ( Wallace) : East Java ( Wallace) : Banda 
{Wallace). 

The Javan specimen is rather more richly coloured than the 
typical Lombock birds. This is doubtless. 

5.— Pericrocotus peregrinus. 

Hob. Spread throughout the whole of India, extendi no- 
to the Andaman Islands, and Burmah (Jerdon) : Nepal, Behar, 
(Hodgson) : Sindh {Hume) : (said to have been procured by 
Griffith in Afghanistan (Horsf. and Moore, Cat. I., p. 140), 
but Blyth (Ibis, 1872, p. 89) thinks that an error in the loca- 
lity has probably arisen, and that Griffith really obtained it in 
the Khasia Hills ; at the same time it is allowed that he collected 
in Sindh, and the specimen may just as well have come from 
the latter locality : very common during the whole year at 
the Sambhur Lake (Adam) : Kaehh (Stoliczka) : Barrackpore, 
common at Umballah, Maunbhoom (Beavan) : tolerably 
common throughout Chota Nagpur ; in Sirgnja and Lohar- 
dugga (Ball): Kamptee (Hinde): Wardha Valley (Blanford): 
Madras (Mus. Brit) : Ceylon (Holdsworth) : South Andaman 
(Ramsay) : not uncommon near Port Blair (Davison) : Peo-u, 
Tliayet-Myo (Blanford, Oates, Feilden) : Ye-boo, Pabyouk, 
Amherst in Tenasserim (Hume): West Java (Wallace). On 
the variation in colour in specimens of P. peregrinus from 
different localities, Mr. Hume's remarks (St. P., I., p. 178) 
should be carefully studied. 

6.— Pericrocotus igneus. 

Hab. Borneo ; Sarawak, (Beccari) : Marup (Everest) : Su- 
matra (Mus, Lugd.) : Singapore ( Wallace) : Mallacca (Mus. 
Brit) : Western China (Penny, Mus Paris). 

P. jlagrans, Bp., is undoubtedly the female of this species. 

7. — Pericrocotus brevirostris. 

Hab. "The Short-billed Minivet is found throughout the 
Himalayas up to 8,000 feet of elevation during the summer, 
migrating in the cold weather to the plains of India, and visit- 
ing Lower Bengal* and Central India, not however extending 
its migrations far south. I have killed it in Goomsoor, N. Lat. 
20, and also near Saugor. It extends into Assam and Arakan. 
It is very common at Darjeeling from April to October" 
(Jerdon) : small parties of this Minivet visit Sambhur 
during the cold weather (Adam): Cashmere (Biddulph) : Siud 

* Mr. Blyth (Ibis, 1866, p. 369) writes: " I doubt if this bird ever visits Lower 
Bengal, as Dr. Jerdon, probably by a slip of the pen, asserts." 

c 2 



210 CN THE GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION 

Valley (Biddulph) : Kotegurgh iu winter, Gaora, particularly 
abundant in the hot weather of 1866 at Simla (Beavan) : 
common at all heights between Simla and Mussoorie {Tyller) : 
met with as high up as Derali, and even in the pine woods 
close to the snows (Brooks) : several times seen in the well- 
wooded districts near Nynee Tal and Almora, where it was evi- 
dently breeding (Brooks) : large flocks seen in the early part of 
winter in Kumaon {Jerdon) : Nepal {Hodgson) : Behar {Hodg- 
son) : in Mahubhoom along with P. speciosus {Beavan) : abun- 
dant in the Tista Valley, at elevations below about 6,000 feet 
(Brooks) : abundant in the forests which still partially cover the 
beautiful spurs running down from the Jella Pahar Mountains 
to the little Runjeet River (Bulger) : Khasia hills {Godwin- 
Austen) : Sawaddy, Upper Burmah (Anderson): Ponsee, 
Kakhyen hills, (Anderson) : right bank of Tapeng river {Ander- 
son) : Nampung river {Anderson) : Hotha {Anderson) : pine 
woods north of Pahpoon, Tenasserim (Hume): passes Peking in 
migration, but does not breed in the Cheelee province (David). 

8.— Pericrocotus miniatus. 

Hab. Western Java {Wallace): Java {Temminck). Lord 
Walden {Ibis, 1872, p. 372) thinks that the bird figured by 
Temminck as the female, must be another species. Mr. Wallace, 
however, collected a pair in Western Java, which agree with 
the figures in Temminck's plate ; these birds were determined 
by Mr. Wallace to be male and female of the same species. 

9.— Pericrocotus roseus. 

Hab. " Spread through the wooded parts of India ; not 
uncommon in Lower Bengal, as about Calcutta, extending into 
Arrakan. I procured it iu Groomsoor, and I obtained it from 
various parts of Malabar. Lord Hay informed me that he 
had seen it most abundant on the hills dividing Tinivelly from 
Travancore ; still it cannot be called common in the south of 
India" (Jerdon) : extends to the Lower Himalayas as far west 
as Mussoorie, and is not rare in some parts of the Dehra Doon 
(Jerdon): breeds near Murree (Cock and Marshall): Nepal 
{Hodgson) : Behar {Hodgson) : Assam (Jerdon) : Khasia Hills 
(Godwin- Austen) : Mungla, Sanda valley (Anderson) : Bassein, 
Pegu (Blanford) : Pahpoon, Tenasserim (Hume). 

10.— Pericrocotus Solaris. 

Hab. Found on the South-East Himalayas, as in Sikhim. 
I procured it at Darjeeling, and found it at heights varying 
from 2,000 to 5,000 feet" (Jerdon): Nepal (Hodgson): Assam 
(Jerdon) : Khasia Hills {Godwin- Austen) ; it also occurs as far 
west as Cashmere, where a specimen was procured by Captain 



OF THE GENUS PERICROCOTUS. 211 

Biddulph during the late Yarkand mission, and it is by no 
means certain whether the bird recorded by Dr. Adams (P. Z. S., 
1859, p. 182), under the name of P. flammeus, was this species 
or P. brevirostris. 

11.— Pericrocotus griseigularis. 

Hob. Formosa ; abundant in the hilly parts of the north- 
west of the island (Sicinhoe) : Fokien province, South China 
{Swinhoe). 

In the group (b), species with white- tipped tails, I recognize 
four, viz : — 

12. P. cinereus. 

13. P. cantonensis. 

14. P. erythropygius. 

15. P. albifrons. 

12.— Pericrocotus cinereus. 

Hab. South Amoorland ; upper half of the mouths of 
Ussuri River {Schrenh) ; common in September between Takoo 
and Peking ; in South China only seen and heard in seasons of 
migration : it passes its summer in North of China, occurring 
even in Amoorland, and in early autumn turns down the 
Coast to Amoy and Canton, whence it wings its ways across the 
sea touching the south of Formosa, to the Phillippines for its 
winter quarters" (Swinhoe) : Formosa (Sivinhoe) : Saigon, 
Cochin China, (JUus. Brit.) : Malacca {Strickland) : Tenasserim, 
{Hume) Penang (Blyth) : Sumatra {Boie) : Luzon, probably 
only a winter visitant in the Phillippines (Walderi). 

13.— Pericrocotus cantonensis. 

Bab. Pretty common near Canton (Swinhoe) ; northwards 
to Foochow, and westwards to Szechuen {Swinhoe.) 

14.— Pericrocotus erythropygius. 

" I have found this Minivet extensively spread throughout 
India, but everywhere rare. I first procured it at Ajuntch, 
near Jalna ; I afterwards saw it near Hydei'abad ; again near 
Segoor at. the foot of the Neilgherries, and since in Buudelkund. 
Latham, too, describes it as the 'Cawnpore Fly catcher, so that 
it probably extends into the North-Western Provinces through 
the jungles of Gwalior ; and since the above was written, Colonel 
Tytler informs me that it is common about Delhi (Jerdonj : 
not very rare in the open country about Nagpur. {Blanford) : 
only seen west of the Wardha in South-East Berar, and 
there not often {Blanford) : tree jungles near to Marot and 
Koochamun, but never obtained at Sambhur {Adam) ; Catch, 



212 ANASTOMUS OSCITANS. 

not common {Stoliczka) : Kattiawar, and Northern Guzerat, 
(Butler and Hume.) 

15.— Pericrocotus albifrons. 

Hab. Upper Burmah (JerdonJ : Thayet-Myo, and in Upper 
Burmah, at least as far as Pajun ; confined to the dry region of 
Burmah (Blanford) ; extremely local in Upper Pegu, and not 
common even in places which seem suitable to it ; apart from 
the immediate neighbourhood of Thayet-Myo, it occurs only at 
Palovv fifteen miles north ( Oates) . 



§nastomus oscitans. 



By C. T. Bingham, Lieut., 33rd N. I. 

Very little has been written about the breeding, changes of 
plumage, and habits of this curious bird. 

I have seen several breeding places, and watched the birds 
in their wild state closely for the last two years, besides having 
kept several, old, and young at different times in confinement. 

First as to its breeding. It nests in the Doab,* (where only 
I have seen and shot it) in July and August, generally in the 
neighbourhood of villages, frequenting the same trees, and repair- 
ing the old nests, if still extant, year after year. These latter 
are mere platforms of sticks some 4 inches thick, and 20 inches 
in diameter, with very shallow depressions in the centre, which 
I have observed to be in a few instances lined with tufts of 
grass, or a leaf or two ; the majority of nests however have no 
lining. The trees chosen for nesting in, are generally lofty 
Peepul or Neem trees, in many cases growing in the very centre 
of villages. The number of eggs varies from 2 to 5, and their 
normal color is pure white ; but as incubation proceeds, they 
get stained, so that hard set eggs are often of a deep yellowish 
brown color : they are oval in shape, and the texture is fine ; 
the average measurements of 40 eggs are — length 2*20 inches, 
breadth 1'49 inches. As far as I know, the birds breed but 
once a year and always gregariously ; at Umraha near Jusra, 
the second station, on the G. I. P. Railway, from AJJahabad, 
I counted on one tree upwards of sixty nests. 

My experience has led me to believe the Shell-eater to be 
anything but a " fierce bird/' as Layard calls it. I never but 
once saw it defend its nest, and in that one instance it was only 
a feint after all, for the birds, male and female, flew off, when 
the man whom I had sent up to get the eggs closely approached 

* In one instance only (across the Jumna, some 16 miles) have I found a breeding 
place out of the Doab. 



ANASTOMUS OSCITANS. 213 

them, notwithstanding that they had been opening their bills 
threateningly and making a clattering noise whilst he was still 
some yards below them. 

Nor do they, as their brethren of Ceylon seem to do, keep a 
tree to themselves, at least not invariably. At Mohar, about 30 
miles from Cawnpore, on an immense tamarind tree, Shell- 
eaters, and the White Ibis ( Threskiornis melanocephalus) breed 
sociably together ; the nests of the latter can however at once be 
distinguished by their smaller size. 

The changes of plumage, and the change in the bill of the 
Shell Ibis, have misled both Colonel Sykes and Dr. Jerdon, vide 
"Birds of India," Vol. III. 

To take the plumage first — that of the nestling is a light grey, 
a little darker on the head and neck, where the feathers are 
short and the webs hair-like: the upper back, winglet, prima- 
ries, secondaries, tertials, scapulars, and tail are black; shot with 
green and purple reflections ; the naked skin about the chin, 
and base of the beak and the orbits, is greenish black ; the bill, 
dark green; the legs, brown, tinged with pinky red (but generally 
covered by a whitish scurf of dirt and droppings) and the irides, 
brown. As the bird grows older, the grey assumes a lighter 
color, the black of the back disappears, and the irides get a dark- 
er brown. In May, through an actual change of color in the 
feathers themselves, the grey becomes pure white, and 
this is the breeding plumage, which lasts till the beginning of 
September, when the bird moults, and again assumes the grey 
phase of plumage. 

Secondly as to the beak — in the nestling this measurs 3' 20 
inches to 3'40 inches taken from the gape, but increases rapidly, 
as in one shot in October it measured 4'10 inches ; and in the 
adult measures sometimes as much as 7 inches. As is well- 
known the bills of old birds are characterized by a gape in the 
centre of the commissure, which, however, does not exist in the 
young, notwithstanding Colonel Sykes', and Dr. Jerdon's state- 
ments to the contrary. My belief is they were misled by 
seeing the old birds in grey plumage and taking them for 
young. It is not till the bird is four or five months old that this 
gape begins to show itself. 

I give outline sketches'* of the beaks of birds of different ages 
in my collection, which show the gradual development of the 
gape. 

That this is caused by attrition from the shell-fish they chief- 
ly feed on, I have not in my own mind the slightest doubt, but 
then Dr. Jerdon gives his opinion to the contrary founded 
chiefly on the mistaken idea of the gape existing in the young, 

* Not received.— Ed., S. F. 



214 NOVELTIES. 

and on his experience of seeing- some blinded Shell-eaters feeding, 
vide " Birds of India," Vol. III. 

All I can say is that I have watched the birds, frequently and 
carefully, feeding both in the fields, and in confinement, and 
invariably seen them proceed thus : on finding a large shell — 
some species of Ampularia, on which they chiefly feed — they 
take it to some dry spot, and there holding it firmly under one 
foot, break a hole by repeated blows from the point of the bill, 
into one of the upper convolutions of the shell, dragging out the 
fish piece-meal. The smaller shells, and this is what I believe 
causes the attrition, are crushed between the powerful mandibles 
and swallowed by repeated jerks of the head. 

I may add that the young are fed with shell-fish after extrac- 
tion from the shell, — this I had ample means of proving by 
watching the old birds. 

In their wild state the birds haunt edges of jheels, but by 
preference rice fields, and rarely banks of rivers, feeding as 
above stated almost exclusively on shell-fish, with occasionally 
a frog or a fish, for I have found the remains of these in the 
stomachs of some I have shot. In confinement I have found 
that both old and young die, if kept long on an exclusively 
fish diet. 

They are silent birds generally, but sometimes at night utter 
a curious laughing chattering noise with frequent clatterings 
of the bill. 

In the breeding season they are more gregarious than at 
other times, but even in the cold season they are seldom seen 
singly. 

C. T. B. 



lobdfe 7 



Criniger theiodes, Sp, Nov. 

Above hair brown, every feather broadly margined with dark olive green ; 
lower surface sulphur yellow, brightest on the middle of abdomen, 
vent, and loioer tail-coverts, and strongly suffused with olive on the 
breast, sides, and flanks ; wing, 325 to 3"45. 



This species, which was met with by Mr. Davison only in the 
forests of Johore, about 30 miles north of Singapore, belongs 
possibly to the same minimum sub-division as plumosus, Blyth, 
bninneus, Blyth, and pusilhts, Salvadori ; but is more brightly 
colored than any of these. It is excessively difficult, I find, 
to make certain what species are indicated by the names given 
by some of the earlier writers ; but after consulting such 



NOVELTIES. 215 

worKs ot reference, as I have available, I believe this species to 
be undescribed. 

I am uncertain whether it ought properly to be classed as a 
Criniger or Lvos, but though it approximates closely to C. icteri- 
cus, aud its'affines, it seems to me to correspond most closely with 
plumosus, which I have hitherto followed Blyth in separating" as 
an Lvos, though Salvadori, 1 see, and I am inclined to think with 
good reason, includes it as a Criniger. 

I may premise that this supposed new species is at any rate 
not any one of those included by Dr. Finsch in his mono- 
graph (J. fur!0., 1867, p. 1), or in Count Salvadori's recent 
works (Uccelli di Borneo) in which I have found so many of 
our Malayan and Tenasserim birds, nor is it amongst the 
species enumerated in Blyth's or in Horsfield's catalogue, nor 
is it, to the best of my belief, included in Mr. Gray's Hand-list. 
That the bird should be still undescribed would not be surpris- 
ing ; for it belongs to a little sub-group of bulbuls, all the species 
of which are very confusingly similar, and the special locality 
where alone this bird was met with has not previously been 
much explored. 

In color the upper surface differs scarcely perceptibly from 
what I take to be Criniger Finschii of Salvadori, but it differs 
in its stronger and more truly Criniger-\ike bill, and in the 
sharp-pointed sub-elongated coronal feathers. In this latter 
respect it resembles lole, but differs from this in its less straight 
and somewhat deeper bill with slightly more arched culmen. 
To plumosus again it bears a strong general resemblance, and 
the bills are barely separable except that that of the present 
species is slightly broader at the base and perhaps slightly more 
compressed as a whole. 

Three males were obtained. The dimensions recorded in tho 
flesh were as follows : — Length, 7*0 to 7 - 5 ; expanse, 10*0 to 
10-62 ; tail from vent, 2-82 to 325 ; wing, 3-25 to 3-37 ; 
tarsus, 0'55 to 065 ; bill, from gape, - 8 to 0*9 ; weight, from 
a little over 0*75 oz. to a little over one oz. ; upper mandible, 
black or very dark horny brown ; lower mandible, pale plum- 
beous or pale brown tinged with plumbeous ; irides, in two 
specimens sienna brown, in one litharge red legs and feet, 
pinkish brown or dark salmon fleshy. 

The ground color of the entire upper surface is a hair brown,' 
but except on the wings and tail, the feathers are so broadly 
margined with dark olive green, that this latter color altogether 
predominates. 

On the crown and occiput the brown centres of the feathers 
are faintly noticeable, giving a slightly squammated appearance 
to these parts, and here and there on the back, also, the browner 



216 RECENTLY DESCRIBED SPECIES. 

centres of the feathers are faintly perceptible ; on the rump the 
olive green is slightly yellower. The tail feathers have, I think, 
the faintest possible rufous tinge ; but it is so faint that even 
in a good light one cannot be quite certain of it. The quills 
and tail feathers are margined with dull olive. The greater 
wing coverts are similar to the quills. The lesser and median 
similar to the back and scapulars. There are no pale 
tippings to any of the tail feathers. The chin and throat are 
pure, pale, sulphur yellow ; the middle of the abdomen is a 
brighter sulphur yellow, in some specimens very bright. The 
vent and lower tail-coverts are similar, but not quite so bright, 
and the latter of a somewhat different shade verging perhaps 
towards primrose yellow. The sides of the neck, the entire 
breast and the whole of the sides and flanks seem to have a 
ground of pale dull sulphur yellow densely overlaid with dull 
olive green, with, in some, a greyish or brownish tinge. The 
edge of the wing at the carpal joint and the wing lining primrose 
yellow, brighter in some specimens ; the inner margins of the 
quills, on the lower surface, a yellowish buffy white. The lores, 
orbital region, cheeks, and ear-coverts, olive green with more or 
less of a faintly dotted appearance, owing apparently to the 
brown bases of the feathers shewing through. 

This species is essentially a forest bird, and even where it 
was obtained, it was apparently rare. Like the rest of its con- 
geners at the time it was found to be feeding greedily on a 
small berry in company with Ixidia cyaniventris, Ixus plumosus, 
brunneus, pu&illns, C. Finschiiyfyc. All of which, it has to be noted, 
except the first, exhibit a sort of general resemblance in tint 
and seem to have been specially designed to avoid notice in the 
leafy shades which they frequent. The note is that of the 
Crinigers, and it has the same habit of puffing out the feathers 
of the throat, that is so conspicuous in these. — A. 0. H. 



\mwi\i ksmbci species. 
Republications. 



Suthora munipurensis, G.-Aust. and Wald. 

Description. — Crown of head cinnamon brown, becoming more 
olivaceous or fulvous green on back ; shoulder of wing, green- 
ish umber ; primaries black, the first four edged white, the 
rest crossed with a bright fulvous bar on the outer webs ; the 
secondaries edged broadly with fulvous, and a few of the last 
tipped white on inner web; tail ruddy fulvous at base, paling 
towards the end, which is dusky and indistinctly barred, a 



RECENTLY DESCRIBED SPECIES. 217 

broad supercilium black, lores and narrow circle round the eye, 
" pure white ; ear-coverts and side of neck grey ; chin and 
throat black, merging into pearly grey and white on the breast ; 
under tail-coverts, pure white. 

Length, 4-5 ; wing 1*8; tail, 2*4; tarsus, -77 ; bill, at front, 
•28. 

Obtained by Mr. William Robert, near Karakkul, Munipur 
hills.— Ibis, 1875, p. 250. 

Sphenocichla* Wald. 

Bill longer than the head, conical, straight, and acute. Cul- 
men, from region of the nostrils to the forehead, much com- 
pressed ; from nostril to apex swollen and flattened; nostrils 
protected by a scale-like cover and shaded by dense nareal tufts ; 
commissure almost straight ; lower mandible flatsided ; gonys 
broad, more flat than rounded, but slightly curved ; tarsus 
strong, moderately long ; hallux and claw well developed ; 
outer toes equal and but slightly shorter than the middle ; 
wing short, rouuded ; first primary half as long as second ; 
second, third, and fourth about equal ; fifth longest. Outer 
pair of rectrices short, next pair shorter than remainder. 

Sphenocichla Robsrti, G.-Aust. and Wald. 

General coloration throughout dark umber brown, richer on 
the wings and tail, which are closely barred with black ; fea- 
thers of the nape and back edged with darker brown, and with 
an inconspicuous pale spot near tip ; these spots are more de- 
fined on the side of the neck. The feathers of the throat, neck, 
and breast are lanceolate, with a white edging showino- as V- 
shaped markings ; towards the abdomen these become less 
conspicuous, and only a few white spots dot the flanks ; bill 
grey, pale beneath and at tip. 

Length, about 6 - 5 ; wing, 2-8 ; tail, 3'0; tarsus, -93; bill at 
front, *87 ; depth at base, *4. 

Shot on Hemes Peak, North Cachar hills, and also in the 
Munipur hills. 

This anomalous form has the structure of a Turdinus and the 
bill of a Stachyris.'f — Ibis, 1875, p. 250. 

Acridotheres albocinctus, G.-Aust. and Wald. 

Top of head glossy black ; feathers rather elongated, and a 
white collar on back of neck ; back dull grey-black, with a 

* This may be the same genus as that named Heterorkynchtts by Mandelli, ; but if 
ao, that title cannot stand, having been previously employed by Lafresnaye, Wald. 

f This I take to be the most characteristic feature ; I had named the genus 
" Stachyrirhynchus," but Mr. Brooks persuaded Mr. Mandelli to change it to 
BLetersrhynckus. — Ed., 8. F. 

D 2 



218 RECENTLY DESCRIBED SPECIES. 

slight green tinge, and with a tendency to purple on the shoul- 
ders and wiug-coverta ; tail black with green reflections ; 
primaries black, white at base, forming a wing-band ; secon- 
daries warm sepia-brown. Beneath dull, but dark greeuish 
grey ; upper tail-coverts black, tipped white, and arranged in 
bars. All the tail feathers tipped with white, except the two 
centre ones ; bill and legs, yellow. 

Length, about 9 ; wing, 5; tail, 3*5; tarsus, 1*4; bill at 
front, -91. 

Appears numerous in Munipur Valley, where the type was 
obtained. — Ibis, 1875, p. 251. 

Pncepyga Roberti, G.-Aust. and Wald. 

Above olive brown, each feather pale-centred and fringed, or 
tipped with dark brown ; lores albescent. Between the eyes and 
the rictus black. A well-defined streak extending from above 
the eye down each side of the head, fulvous ; ear-coverts cinere- 
ous at base, brown towards the tips ; chin and throat pure white, 
each throat feather being terminated by a small black triangular 
drop ; as the tips of the feathers overlap, these drops form con- 
tinuous black lines, the two principal ones descending from the 
angles of the under mandible ; cheeks ferruginous ; each 
feather with a black terminal drop ; pectoral and abdominal 
feathers pale brown, with broad pure white or fulvous-white 
centres ; under tail-coverts bright ferruginous yellow ; plu- 
mage on the rump loose, soft, and dense, completely concealing 
the short tail, and being of an almost uniform ferruginous 
brown colour ; wings, when closed, dark chocolate-brown, 
most intense on the secondaries. Most of the wing-coverts dis- 
tinctly tipped with almost pure white, so also the inner tertiary 
quills ; rectrices, chocolate-brown ; mandibles, dark brown ; 
legs, pale horn-brown. 

Bill, from nostril, *37 ; wing, 2*15 ; tarsus, "75 ; tail, 1'15. 
Described from specimens obtained at Chakha, in the Munipur 
hills, and also at Asalu. 

In general appearance this bird closely resembles Turdinus 
brevicaudatus. The upper plumage of the two is almost identi- 
cal. By its much smaller dimensions and diminutive tail, 
however, it can be readily distinguished. It is the Pnoepyga 
caudata, Blyth, apud Godwin-Austen, (J. A. S. B., 1870, p. 101. 
No. 331).— Ibis 1875, p. 252. 

Pnoepyga chocolatina, G.-Amt. and Wald, 

Above olive-brown, each feather fringed with a somewhat 
fainter tint, thus imparting a subdued scaly aspect to the back ; 
wings and tail, chocolate brown ; upper and under tail-coverts, 
ferruginous brown, brightest on the under coverts; lower 



RECENTLY DESCRIBED SPECIES. 219 

surface generally ferruginous brown, many of the abdominal 
feathers being largely centred with white or fulvous white ; 
pectoral feathers with minute terminal white drops, or some 
with narrow white or fulvous white centres. A few almost 
pure white feathers on the middle of the breast ; chin, white ; 
gular feathers, white, with pale fulvous or ferruginous ed^es • 
bill, dark brown ; legs, pale flesh-colour. 

Bill, from nostrils, '25 ; wing, 1*87 ; tarsus, '7b ; tail, 1*75. 

Described from a specimen obtained at Kedimai, in the 
Munipur hills. 

This species and P. longicaudatus constitute a section of the 
genus Pnoepyga, in which the tail is fully developed. — Ibis. 
1S75, p. 252. 



Actinura daflaensis, Godwin- Austen. 

Among the birds collected by me on the Expedition into the 
Dafla hills, Assam, last winter, one of the most interesting 
forms is the Actinura I now describe. As might be expected, 
its nearest ally is A. nipalensis, Hodgs., the coloration above 
being very similar on the back and tail, but with less rufous 
barring. The crest, however, is quite different ; and in this res- 
pect the species approaches A. IFakleni from the Naga hills, 
on the south of the Brahmaputra valley, only that the crest 
is far fuller. The genei-al blotchy streakiness of the throat 
and breast is also a mark of connexion with A. Waldeni. On 
comparison, it is seen that Actinura daflaensis bears the same 
relation to nipalensis that Waldeni does to Egertoni. 

The genus is a very well-marked one ; and we can now 
record from the Indian region five species (including A. Ram- 
sayi from Tonghoo, in Burmah, described bv Viscount Waldeu 
in 'Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist.' for June " 1875), viz. :— 1. A. 
Egertoni, Gould; 2. A. nipalensis, Hodgson; 3. A. Waldeni* 
Godwin- Austen ; 4. A. daflaensis, Godwin-Austen ; 5. A. 
Ramsayi,] Walden. The last is a very distinct and interesting 
bird, a departure from the East-Himalayan type, but yet in 
every point a true Actinura. 

Male. Above — head, ash-brown ; feathers in front spatulate, 
behind elongated into a full crest, narrowly pale-edged ; the 
ash tint pales on back of neck, and merges into the strong 
rusty brown of the back and upper tail-coverts ; base of tail- 
feathers of same colour, followed by four or five black bars, 
and the terminal half all black, the three outer tipped white, 
with a slight tendency to barring on the extreme outer web ; 

* S. F., III., 396. 
t S. F., III., 401. 



220 CATALOGUE OF THE STRIGES, OR NOCTURNAL BIRDS, &C. 

side of head ash-grey, the ear-coverts with light silky reflec- 
tions ; shoulder of wing rusty brown ; first primary coverts 
tipped with grey, forming a distinct narrow band, the last 
(covering the first* seven primaries) black, forming a patch ; 
the primaries are sienna-brown, outermost edged with hoary 
grey, black on inner Avebs and extremities, and narrowly barred 
with black on the terminal outer web ; secondaries evenly and 
narrowly barred black and pale olivaceous umber. Beneath — 
the chin and throat pale dingy white, becoming a dirty ochry 
ash on the breast, with a blurry striation particularly on the 
throat ; flanks and under tail-coverts rusty brown ; tail beneath 
ashy black, the outermost feathers distinctly barred. Bill dark 
horny, legs the same ; irides ? 

Length 7*5 inches ; wing, 3*5; tail, 32 ; tarsus, 1*3; bill at 
front, 0-68. 

Nab. In high forest at 7,000 feet, Dafla hills, and first shot 
on Shengorh Peak in February. — Godwin-i^usten, A. & M. N. 
H v November 1875. 



ttfatalope uf tljc strips, ov Uoctwnml §trbs oi j)n:g t 



We have now to acknowledge, with many thanks, this, the 
second instalment of Mr. Sharpens great contemplated work, 
which is nothing less than an elaborate, systematic, and 
descriptive catalogue of all known birds. 

The present volume comprises the whole of the Nocturnal, 
just as the former one, (see S. F., Vol. II., p. 501) included all 
the Diurnal, birds of prey, and has been worked out with the 
same ability and conscientious industry that characterized its 
predecessor. 

Nearly 200 species are fully, in most cases it might be said, 
exhaustively described, and the identification of species is greatly 
facilitated by carefully designed diagnostical keys to genera and 
species. The labour involved in the production of this volume, 
must have been enormous, and though there are many minor 
points in which we are unable to concur with Mr. Sharpe, no 
impartial critic can deny that the result is fully commensurate 
with the pains bestowed upon it. Last, but hardly least, 21 

* ? " last"— Ed., S. F. 
f Printed by order of the Trustees of the British Museum. Sold by B. Quaritch, 
15, Piccadilly, W., London. 



CATALOGUE OF THE STRIGES, OR NOCTURNAL BIRDS, &C. 221 

species are figured, and produced as these figures have beeu 
under Mr. Sharpens own skilled supervision, they are probably 
amongst the most satisfactory yet given to the world ; certainly 
we have never seen any plates that pleased us more than those 
of Scops magicus and guatemalce. 

To the majority of our Indian readers, who have to work 
far away from museums or libraries, this work of Mr. 
Sharpe's will be simply invaluable. Doubtless even these 
volumes are still far from complete, and despite all conceivable 
care still probably embody many errors, but this in the present 
state of the science of ornithology was unavoidable, and we 
have no doubt, that they are, on the whole, as perfect as they 
could possibly have been made without inordinately delaying 
their publication. 

I would lay particular stress upon this latter point, because 
some ornithologists writing to us from Europe have expressed 
a regret that Mr. Sharpe is " in such a hurry to issue his 
catalogue." To those ornithologists, comparatively few in 
number, who already possess for the elucidation of their diffi- 
culties, all those facilities which the world's capitals afford, this 
may be a natural view, but by the great majority — the workers 
by flood and fell, the men who are gathering bricks for the 
temple of science far a field — Mr. Sharpe's courageous resolve 
to get out his work with the least possible delay even at the 
risk of leaving some few blemishes in it, will be accounted 
one of his most especial merits. 

Thirsty workers iu a desert, they want water, and water at 
once. It is all very well for those who " live at home at ease" 
to spy out a speck or two here and there, and blame the water 
carrier for not having delayed to filter it again and again, 
but those who really lack the draught, care little for this, and 
too thankful for the boon conferred to carp at petty defects, 
feel unalloyed gratitude to him who has succoured their need, 
and succoured it so promptly. 

An eminent ornithologist writes to us that in his " opinion 
Mr. Sharpe would have better consulted his own reputation 
had he kept back these catalogues some few years/' and per- 
haps in a certain very limited sense of (e reputation," this may, 
as regards the immediate present, be to a certain extent true. 
No one however is better aware of this fact than our author 
himself, but he deliberately prefers the interests of his favourite 
science to any temporary reputation of his own. Let who 
will find fault, he is quite content so long as he satisfies, as 
quickly and as thoroughly as possible, the urgent want for 
information (of the very nature supplied by these volumes) 
which is harassing every working ornithologist, out of Europe 
and the United States. 



222 CATALOGUE OF THE STRIGES, OR NOCTURNAL BIRDS ; &C. 

How urgent this want was and is, as regards the great 
majority of families and genera, can scarcely be appreciated 
by those at home, but Ave have only to compare this new cata- 
logue with Bonaparte's Conspectus, or Schlegel's Museum (use- 
ful and admirable as botli were in their way and time) to see 
how great an advance has been effected. 

Ornithology had just reached a stage when some such 
comprehensive catalogue was a necessity. When some gather- 
ing up and arrangement of the vast confused mass of materials 
collected by hundreds of workers was indispensable as a stand- 
point for further progress, and at the right time, and as we 
think in the right manner, Mr. Sharpe has come forward to 
supply that need. 

Already the publication of the " Acc/pUres" has borne 
fruit in a series of valuable articles by Mr. Grurney, em- 
bracing information which, but for Mr. Sharpens labours, he 
might never have put on record, and this is probably one only 
of innumerable similar increments to our knowledge that will 
be heaped upon the platform that our author has so boldly and 
quickly raised. 

We have secured now a definite nucleus, around which facts 
will crystalize rapidly, and when some years hence Mr. Sharpe 
republishes in a more complete form his present work, it will, 
Ave belieA'e, be found that a most material proportion of the 
progress effected in the interim has been rendered possible 
mainly by the present issue of this first edition. 

To us there seems to be no doubt, that this is eminently a 
case of bis dat qui cito dat, and so far from urging our author 
to delay for purposes of greater elaboration the issue of future 
volumes, Ave Avould, on the contrary, exhort him to push on the 
work with the utmost possible rapidity, so that he may secure 
at the earliest moment, for the further l'evision, of each famil3 r , 
the co-operation of the great body of Avorking ornithologists, — a 
co-operation which these volumes renders possible and probable, 
but Avhich Avithout them, could only in rare cases have been 
obtained. 

By all means let us have criticism ; the keener and closer 
the better, and for this, Ave are quite sure, Mr. Sharpe himself 
Avill be the Avarmest ad\ r ocate, for, though the ornithological public 
do not yet perhaps quite realize it, he is very quietly and cleverly 
killing tAVO birds with one stone, and Avhile ministering to the 
immediate Avants of multitudes, especially of those avIjo labour in 
little trodden fields, and thus rendering rapid progress possible, 
he is also securing the unpaid co-operation of u nil the talents" 
for many years in the correction of these first proofs (for that 
is what they really are) of one important section of the future 
work on which his real reputation with posterity will rest. 



A THIRD LIST OF THE BIRDS, &C. 223 

If only Fate spares him for another 30 years, and he is so 
young that this may reasonably be hoped for, we entertain no 
fears that Mr. Sharpe will ever see cause for regretting the 
generous enthusiasm, with which, regardless of possible adverse 
criticism, he has unselfishly plunged into the gigantic preliminary 
toil of supplying to those whose opportunities are greatest for 
contributing to the progress of ornithology, just what they 
most stand in need of, and just what is most likely to direct 
their labours into reproductive channels. 

But even should he never live to accomplish all that he mani- 
festly aims at, to do good work, is the noblest object any man 
can set before him. Whether the world at the time, or indeed 
ever, rightly recognizes the worker, is a minor consideration, 
so long as the work, which must bear due fruit in its appointed 
season, is really done ; 

" Worth is the ocean, 

Fame is but the bruit that roars along the shallows." 
and for the matter of worth, of honest \Aork, Mr. Sharpe's career, 
brief though it has as yet been, furnishes, in our opinion, a 
noteworthy example of what one man can deserve and do ; 

" A soul of fire, 

No critics fright hi in and no labours tire," 
and still in the early morning of his manhood he can fairly 
claim to have already left 

" Footprints in the sands of time" 
destined to brave for many a long year yet, the abrading in- 
fluences of Time and Progress. 

A. 0. H. 



% \\\\V list of the girfcs of the faasscrim f rouutces. 

A vast amount of hard work has added but very few species 

to our list ; altogether we have only secured 2 1 species, not 

entered in either of our former lists. These 21 are as follow : — 

llbis. — Bubo orientalis, Horsf. Rare. Hankachin, Tenasse- 
rim River. 

87. — Cotyle riparia, Lin. Theinzeik, Thatone, Kyheto. Not rare 
here. 

86. — Chsetura indica, Hume. Banhasoon. Not uncommon ; 
identical with those from Southern India and the Andamans. 

966/s. — Chsetura gigantea, V. Ilass. Malewoon. Single speci- 
men identical with those from Java and the Straits. 

lOoguint. — Collocalia maxima, Hume. Mergui, Bankasoon. 

2Q8ter. — Volvocivora fimbriata, Tern. Malewoon. Rare. 

808. — Cyornis magnirostris, Blyth. Bankasoon, &c. 

514. — Cyanecula suecica, Lin. Kyheto. Not common. 

» See Vol. II., p. 467, and III., p. 317. 



224 A THIRD LIST OF THE BIRDS, &C. 

695. — Ploceus manyar, Horsf. Kyketo, Beelinq. 

719. — Emberiza fucata, Pallas. Beeling. Only one speci- 
men seen. 

724. — Melophus melanicterus, Gmel., Beeling. Rare. 

767. — Alauda gulgula, Frankl. T/iato?ie, Kyketo, &c. Very 
common. 

776 bis. — Osmotreron fulvicollis, Wagler. Bankasoon, Malewoon. 
Very common in December. 

880. — Pliilomachns pugnax, Lin. Mouth of Sitang. Rare. 

896. — Totanus fuscus, Lin. Banks of Sitang. 

984. — Hydrochelidon indica, Steph. Thatone, Wan chaun, mouths 
of Sitang and Sahveen. Common. 

QSbbis. — Sterna paradisea, Briin. Off mouth of Lynah creek. 

987. — Sterna melanogaster, Tern. Thatone, Sitang and Salween 
Rivers Common. 

995. — Rhynchops albicollis, Swains. Lower portions of Sitang 
and Salween River. 

1004. — Pelecanus philippensis, Gmel. Kyketo. 

1006. — Graculus fuscicollis, Steph. Kyketo. 

Tbese would make tbe total number of species from Tenas- 

serim 531, but we must reduce tbis number by one; because 

since I last drew attention to the subject, (III., p. 348n.) I 

have succeeded in identifying one of Beavan's supposed new 

species, viz., Gelochelidon innotata. 

Mr. Davison bad been collecting Gulls and Terns for me 

very largely in tbe very same locality in wbicb Captain 

Beavan's bird was obtained, and at tbe same season. Amongst 

tbe birds sent by Mr. Davison, were about a dozen that he had 

at once identified from the original description as innotata. 

Some of them corresponded exactly both as to measurements, 

plumage and color of the soft parts. Unquestionably the 

identification was correct, but the instant I saw them 1 saw that 

they were only the young of Hydrochelidon indica. 

Besides the above novelties, we have succeeded in securing, 

for the first time, specimens of the following eight species, 

which were entered (but printed in italics) in our first list 

(II. 467.)— 

Siter. — Spizaetus albouiger, Blyth. 

6bbis. — Syrnium seloputo, Horsf. 

lOObis. — Cypselus subfurcatus, Blyth. 

Iboter. — Psittinus incertus, Shaw. 

AQ^ter. — ^githina scapularis, Horsf. 

941. — Thresciornis melanocephalus, Lin. 

991. — Onychoprion melanauchen, Tern. 

1005. — Graculus carbo, Lin. 

Out of the 5:30 species that I now include, there remain still 

no less than 70 of which we have not as yet preserved 



NOTES. 225 

specimens. Of these, nearly half have been seen, a considerable 
number pertain to the high hills about Mooleyit, which we 
have not yet worked, and the occurrence of the remainder, a 
very few, is more or less doubtful. 

It is hoped that by the close of this new year we may be in 
a position to furnish a fair account of the Ornis of the Tenas- 
serim Provinces. 

sa=H======H5 A. 0. H. 

Wfitez. 



I have to add — 

2996^.— Butalis grisola, Lin., to the Avifauna of Sindh, 
having recently received a specimen, obtained near Kotree, at 
the end of August. — (cf. III., p. 467) Also 

834.— Tumix jOUdera, Hodgs., obtained near Kurrachee, 
by Major A. Le Messurier, in August. This raises the Sindh 
list (see I., 148, 419, III. 378-382,417) to 295 species. 

To Captain C. H. T. Marshall is due the credit of being the 
first to notice the occurrence of Querquedula falcata, Grorgi., 
in India. He has recently sent us a young male, obtained at 
the Bazida jheel in the Kurnal district. He at once recog- 
nized the species and notified its occurrence to us, and to him 
belongs the credit of causing its appearance in India to be 
recorded. 

At the same time it is due to Dr. Bonavia to state that years 
ago, before Stray Feathers came into existence, he very kindly 
presented us with specimens of this Duck and of Clangula 
fflaucion, which he had procured in Oudh, as examples of species 
not included in Dr. Jerdon's work, and with which he was un- 
acquainted. It was owing partly to pressure of other work and 
partly to the absence of any vehicle, such as Stray Feathers 
for giving publicity to such isolated scraps of news, that the 
birds after being catalogued were put away in the Museum, and 
the fact that the occurrence of this species in Upper India had 
never been published, overlooked. 



frtto to % €Mtor. 

Sir, 

Permit me to make a few remarks on a paper by Mr. Edwin 
Brooks, c.e., " Notes upon a collection of Birds made between 
Mussoorie and Gangaotrie in May 1874/-' which appeared in 
"Stray Feathers" for 1875. Mr. Brooks may be a close 
observer, but his paper only seems to shew how even a close 

e 2 



226 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 

observer may be deceived and led astray when only a casual 
visitor to a place. It makes one inclined to log it down as an 
axiom that no one ought to write about a place till he has 
been in it years, or mouths at least. 

As a beginning, Mr. Brooks laments the destruction of 
the forests, and attributes to it his ill-success in getting birds. 
Then he calls the destruction, wanton and wholesale. But I 
will transcribe a few paragraphs. " Many of these latter (short 
logs which stud the river bed from eud to end) appear to be 
stranded beyond the reach of ordinary floods, and there they 
remain rotting away until an extraordinary flood comes which 
will remove them. Such wanton and wholesale destruction 
of the timber of a fine valley is not to be met with anywhere 
else upon the face of the earth I believe. As a natural result 
birds have become scarce ****** High up on 
a hill side a huge pine will be found cut down and rotting 
away, for which there are no existing means whatsoever of 
transport to the river. I found numbers of such trees in 
various stages of decomposition, and some too rotten even for 
removal as firewood." * * 

First about the logs. If Mr. Brooks had met with an 
Ostrich, or even a Moa, on the sands, it would not have been 
a more remarkable thing than the fact that it did not strike 
him, an Engineer, that these logs would not remain " rotting 
away till an extraordinary flood came," but would be removed 
by human agency. Had he been a month or two later, he 
would have seen the sands swarming with men rolling the 
logs into the water and floating them off. Unfortunately for 
my purse, most of the logs put into the river, strand and 
have to be rolled in again several times, on this long stretch 
of sand, ere they get fairly off on their journey. What 
Mr. Brooks saw was a mere nothing. In May 1874 there 
were about 3,000 logs on the sands, I have seen nearly 
20,000. It will be a satisfaction to Mr. Brooks to know that 
all the logs he saw have long ago been made into railway 
sleepers, and should he travel on the Rajpootana or Hattrass 
State Railway, he may have them under his feet. 

Next for the el huge pines high up on the hill side cut 
down and rotting away for which there are no existing means 
whatsoever of transport to the river/' Mr. Brooks is a Civil (?) 
Engineer, and it is, I believe, a portion of his work to contrive 
means of transport in such cases. Here is another remarkable 
thing ; a whale, or the great sea-serpent, in the river, or a mam- 
moth or mastodon, in the forest, would hardly have been more 
remarkable ; for though Mr. Brooks, a Civil Engineer, could not 
see it, there were means of transport in every case, and without 
the aid of genii or fairies these huge pines have long ago been 



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 227 

transported to the river and floated off, and with the logs are 
now on the abovenamed railways as sleepers, or in their stores. 

I regret, as much as Mr. Brooks, the sad necessity of destroy- 
ing these grand old forests. So do I regret the sad fact that we 
"can't keep our cake and eat it;" and it seems we can't have 
railways and leave the forests undisturbed. There is satisfac- 
tion no doubt in gazing on, or wandering through, a primeval 
forest. So also there is satisfaction in starting from Calcutta 
with the knowledge that next day you will be in the North- 
West, instead of the weeks or months of travelling which the 
journey would have taken not so very many years ago. Let 
us hope this will be some consolation to Mr. Brooks also. 

The truth of the matter about the logs and trees and forest, 
or rather the explanation of it, is, that Mr. Brooks got to the 
place just before work recommenced for the season ; and he 
seems to have come to the strange conclusion that everything 
was to be left for ever just as he saw it. I got to Hursil, 
which is three miles below Derallee, the very day he passed 
it on his return, and a week later he would probably have con- 
cluded the shouting of the men, and other noises connected 
with the work, had frightened all the birds away. He certainly 
would never have entertained the idea that any of the felled 
timber would be left to rot. 

His thinking the destruction of the forest has caused a dimi- 
nution in the number of birds, is quite as great a mistake, for 
the proportion of felled forest is very small, indeed compared 
to the whole. Birds never were very numerous, and if Mr. 
Brooks saw the place in midwinter he would not wonder at it. 
The Derallee side of the valley is quite buried in snow for two 
or three months, and most of the birds are only summer visitors. 
The only ones which have really decreased in numbers are Ibido- 
rhynchus Struthersii, and a few others which breed on the sands. 
The lee of a stranded log is a convenient place for a nest, and 
when the logs are rolled away in the breeding season, which in 
most years they are, most of the nests are doubtless destroyed. 

As to Loplwphorus Impeyanus, which, Mr. Brooks says, will 
soon be extinct in this part of the world, I have very little 
doubt that in May 1874, they were just as numerous at, and 
above, Derallee as they were before either he or I Avas born. 
The truth is, they never were, and never will be, numerous here, 
the winter being too severe for them. In the 40 years I have 
been in this part of the country, I do not think that as many 
Moonalls have been shot above Derallee, by myself, my men, the 
villagers, and visitors, altogether. Moonalls are numerous only 
south of the snowy ranges, and Derallee is due north of the first 
one. Not a dozen have in all these years been brought for sale 
u to the godown below Derallee, where the price is Its. 2-8. " 



228 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 

The nearest one to which they are brought in any number being 
at Betwaree, twenty miles lower down the valley. 

Mr. Brooks complains also that large game shooting up the 
Bhageruttee is a profound mistake, and that no European sports- 
man going up the valley should dream of even a chance shot. 
So no doubt it is for those who won't take the trouble to hunt 
after it, and believe all that an interested villager may tell 
them. I should have been glad to prove to Mr. Brooks that his 
thinking so was a far greater mistake. That large game is now 
much scarcer than it was, is certainly true, but that it is not a 
"thing of the past," is shewu by the fact that, a very few days 
after Mr. Brooks passed Hursil, my sou went out up the Nela 
valley, and within ten or twelve miles of our house, shot in three 
days, eleven male Ovis Burhel and a Snow Bear. The skull of 
one of these Burhel was sent to you, Mr. Editor, in 1875, and was 
said by you to be one of the finest you had ever seen.* Mr. 
Brooks says, nothing will tempt him to come again, but if you, 
Mr. Editor, ever favour our out-of-the-way place with a visit, I 
certainly would not recommend you to leave your rifle behind 
you as " an useless encumbrance." 

Another complaint is about the price of grain. This 
is regulated by what it costs to collect it in, (for the locality,) 
large quantities from the surrounding districts, and this is found 
to be about a rupee for eight seers. Mr. Brooks must have 
been imposed upon if he got four or five only. It is supplied to 
travellers by the villagers, and they are generally loth to part 
with any even at that rate. Where Mr. Brooks' bunuiahs come 
from I cannot imagine. There is not one within forty miles of 
the place. 

I can sympathize with Mr. Brooks on being deprived of 
milk for his tea or coffee for the week he was above Derallee. 
But surely he did not expect to find the valley flowing, not 
metaphorically, but actually, with milk and honey ? Yet how 
else could he expect to get milk in a totally uninhabited place 
unless he took some milch animal with him ? 

There, I also have said quite enough about our charming 
valley and its so-called " misfortunes/' Enough at least I 
hope to set Mr. Brooks' mind at rest about them, and shew 
him how advisable it is, when in a strange place, to enquire 
a little about things before jumping to conclusions. 

Mountaineer. 

Hurdwar, February \0th, 1876. 



* I think it is the finest on record, each horn measures 31 inches in length, and 
oyer 13 inches in girth at the base.— Ed., S. F, 



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 229 

Drymoipus terricolor and Drymoipus longicaudatus. 

Sir, 

In reference to Messrs. Butler's and Hume's remarks, 
Stray Feathers, 1875, p. 483, 1 wish to make one or two further 
observations. 

1. The bill, as in Drymoipus rufescens, is very variable as 
regards size, and I certainly do not find in my series that one 
has a larger bill than the other. In the cold weather the bulk 
of the examples procured will be young birds of the year, and 
short bills will predominate. They are then all in the rufous 
longicaudatus plumage. 

2. The procuring of a July example in longicaudatus plumage 
is not conclusive. The bird may have missed the usual sprino- 
change, or perhaps the autumnal young birds don't put on the 
summer terricolor plumage the first spring. We know that 
lanthia rufilata and Siphia leucomelanura, also Erythrosterna 
parva do not put on full male plumage during their first spring. 
I have shot males of the two former breeding in the female 
plumage. Perhaps then the young birds of Drymoipus terricolor ; 
which must moult later than the parent birds, do not moult again 
in the spring ; and thus in a northern pare of the country, where 
plumage fades less than in the damp hot southern portions, we 
might have a fairly preserved specimen in typical longicaudatus 
plumage. This question can be worked out by some one who 
has the time and the opportunity. 

3. The two forms have very different tails. This is a strong 
point, but is in favour of identity. I have seen many chang- 
ing birds, and have seen the feathers of the new terricolor tail 
growing alongside of the rufous, and very much longer longi- 
caudatus tail. The new secondaries and tertials, when either 
change is taking place, contract strongly with the old plumage 
of the other form. This is best observed at the autumn 
change, when the new feathers are edged with deep rufous. 

As far as my observation goes, the question of identity is 
established, and we have facts to deal with which cannot be 
disposed of. 

I do not know whether it has been observed that Prinia 
Stewarti undergoes a similar change; acquiring a shorter spring 
tail, and a darker grey head, losing also the faint supercilium 
observable in some autumnal birds ; which supercilium, I be- 
lieve, is always present in the young bird. 

CURRUCA AFFINIS AND CURRUCA GARRULA. 

I have examined a great number of the former since I last 
wrote on the subject. The strong point of difference is the 
different form of the two wings : the 2nd quill being propor- 
tionally longer in the European bird. Its plumage is softer 



230 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 

and the dark cheek does not contrast so strongly as in the 
Indian species. — W. E. Brooks. 
Cawnpore. 



Sir, 

I have been the usual round of the Kurrachee Districts 
this year and I have got some more of the Crowned Sandgrouse 
(P. coronatus), but I spoilt the skins very much I am sorry 
to say ; however I am sending you one male and one female 
which I hope may be of some use. The latter is a very 
dark plumaged bird. I also send one male and two females 
of what I take to be Pterocles Lichtensteini, which you 
mention in Stray Feathers as having shot in Sind near Mehur. 
I see Jerdon mentions that " Lichtensteini" is not unlike fascia- 
tus, but differs in being larger." Now I have shot great numbers 
offasciatus" in Khandesh and am certain it is a larger* 
and heavier bird than the ones I send you for " LichtensteinV 

These birds I killed under the bare sandy Ibex hills and got 
them at the water after dusk. I have watched for them 
three or four times and they never come until it is just dark 
and are therefore difficult to get. They come in flocks of 
five or six, but I only succeeded in shooting the three I 
now send you, and they are the smallest kind of Sandgrouse 
I have killed, and I have shot the following : — arenarius, fascia- 
tus, exustus, coronatus, and seneg alius. Last cold weather 
not a single one of arenarius was to be found in the Kurrachee 
District. I made every inquiry for them as I had never 
seen one, but without success. This year they were in large 
numbers to the north of the Munchur, and I killed one bird 
out of five I saw as far south as Kotree and I cannot hear 
of their ever having been seen so low down before. — Frank 
Wise. 

Kurrachee District. 



Sir, 

During a recent visit to Egypt, I shot several Stilts 
(Himantopus candidus, Bonn.) the plumage of whose heads 
is to me a mystery, but perhaps you who live in India 
may be able to explain whether the white head is the 
distinguishing mark of the summer plumage. Two adults, 
apparently shot in the spring, have the one a dark brown 
head and neck, the other those parts white. — J. H. Gurney, 
Junior. 

Northrepps Hall, Norwich. 

* For exact dimensions see. Vol. I., p. 219. 



STRAY FEATHERS. 



Vol. IV.] DECEMBER 1876. [Nos. 4, 5, & 6. 

Uotes on som* §tvbs roUccteb in Sambalpr anb $ rto. 



By V. Ball, M.A., F.G.S. 

Geological Survey of India. 

In the present paper I only purpose to enumerate species 
which are either not included in my account of the avi-fauna 
of Chota Nagpur,* or which, if included, are noted as being rare 
in that part of the country. 

Already in my paper of Addenda^ I have mentioned the 
occurrence of a few birds in Sambalpur which come under one 
or other of these heads. The species so indicated were re- 
spectively — 

1. Otus brachyotus, Gmel.; Bulacca ocellata, Less.; and 
Cheetornis striatus, Jerd. 2 Acant/iylis sylvatica, Tick. ; Peri- 
crocotus erythropygius, Jerd. ; Chibia hottentota, Linn. ; 3£usci- 
capula superciliaris, Jerd. ; and Esaeus recurvirostris, Cuv. 

To avoid confusion the birds from Sambalpur are kept distinct 
from those of Orissa ; for, while the two faunas have much 
in common 3 there are also many important differences. In 
Orissa, at least in those parts influenced by the sea-air, the 
vegetation is wholly different from that of the jungles of 
Sambalpur ; and with the change in vegetation appear certain 
species of birds which do not occur in the more inland district ; 
moreover the long coast face of Orissa yields many marine 
species which never leave the immediate vicinity of the sea. 

Sambalpur. 
I15.—Harpactes fasciatus, Gmel. 

For several years I have kept steadily in view the desirability 
of obtaining some confirmatory evidence of the occurrence of 
the Malabar Trogon in the jungles of the south-west frontier 
of Bengal aud adjoining portions of the Central Provinces. 
Tickell's single specimen (a female) from Dampura in 



* S. F., Vol. II., pp. 355—440. 
t S. F., Vol. III., pp. 288—294. 



F 2 



2.32 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED 

Dholbhum having been the only recorded example from these 
jungles. 

In January of the present year, when encamped at the 
village of Nakrideol in Rehrakole (a native state belonging to 
Sambalpur) I saw and shot my first specimen. The locality 
was an ancient mango-grove, with a copious undergrowth in 
which I also obtained several other interesting and rare birds. 

The bird in question suddenly rose from the ground in front 
of me and perched on a low branch. Seeing it was not a 
Taccocua, as I at the first glance supposed it to be, I was fairly 
puzzled as to its identity until I shot it, when I was rejoiced to 
find that it was a female Trogon. Nearly three months later, when 
returning through the same part of the country, I saw another 
female in the fine forest jungle to the west of Rampur (the 
chief town of Rehrakole). This I did not shoot, as it kept 
flitting from tree to tree in front of me, out of range, finally 
disappearing. 

My specimen contained a caterpillar, besides insects in its 
stomach, so that the species probably does not exclusively feed 
on the wing as is generally stated to be the case. 

The measurements taken in the flesh are : — 

Length, 11 /A 5 ; expanse, 13"*25 ; wing, 5"' ; tail, 7"' ; tarsus, 
0' A 6 ; bill from gape, 1"-. 

246.— Salpornis spilonota, Frankl. 

I saw and shot only two specimens of the Spotted Grey 
Creeper in Sambalpur. It is probably quite as rare there as 
it is in Chota Nagpur. 

I shot them early in March on the south bank of the Maha- 
nadi, close to the village of Kurumkel, 22 miles north-west of 
Sambalpur town. 

273.— Pericrocotus brevirostris, Vigors. 

Together with a good series of P. speciosus which I recently 
collected in Sambalpur and the Tributary States of Orissa, I 
have three males of P. brevirostris from the former locality. 
They were all shot in February within six days of one another, 
and therefore in the same tract of country — the valley of the 
Ebe, about twenty miles north of the station of Sambalpur. 
Though I continued to meet with P. speciosus up till May, I did 
not see P. brevirostris again after the above given date. It is 
therefore most probable that it is only a cold-weather visitant 
to Sambalpur. In going to and fro it may very possibly pass 
through Lower Bengal, and the statement by Dr. Jerdon that 
it is a visitor there, though attributed by Mr. Blyth to a slip of 
the pen, is not improbably correct. 



IN SAMBALPUR AND OIUSSA. 233 

Although stated by Captain Beavan to occur in Manbhum, I 
did not insert it in my list of Chota Nagpur birds, as I might 
doubtless have done with perfect safety. 

284.— Dissemurus malabaroides, Hodgs. 

The large Racket-tailed Drongo or Bhimraj occurs very 
abundantly in Sambalpur and Western Orissa, though it is so 
rare further north in Chota Nagpur. 

As much interest attaches to the subject of the distribution 



of the different races of th 


s bird, I give a 


series of 


measure- 


ments from some of 


my specimens : — 








Length. 


Wing. 


Tail. Bill from gape. 


Tarse. Frontal crest 


Eehrakole $ ... 22"- 


7"* 


7"- +9"- l"-5 




1"2 


2"1 


Sambalpur £ ... 19""5 


6"-25 


6"- + 6"-5 1"75 




1"1 


2"-l 


Ungul $ ... 18"-4 


6"- 25 


6"- +6"-4 1''5 




1"1 


i"-5 


Talchir $ ... 18"-2 


6"-5 


6"-8 +6"- 1"7 




1"1 


l"-7 


Ungul ? ... 20"'2 


6"25 


6"1 +7"9 \"G 




1"1 


2"-0 


Rekrakole ? ... 20"- 15 


6"5 


6"-6 +7"55 l"-5 




1"1 


l"-5 


? ... 16"3 


&'■ 


6"- +4"-6 l"-5 




1"- 


l"-3 


? ... 16""8 


&'■ 


6"-25 + 4"-8 1"5 




!"• 


l"-6 



In the two last, the shaft of the outer tail feathers is narrowly 
barbed throughout the portion which is usually bare. They were 
shot in January, and are probably birds of the previous 
season. 

It will be observed that the dimensions, though variable 
between individuals, do not appear to be influenced in any 
marked degree by sex. 

440.— Megalurus palustris, Eorsf. 

Within the limits of the Sambalpur district, the Striated 
Marsh-bubbler is by no means uncommon ; but it is, so far as 
my observation has gone, exclusively confined to the Tamarix- 
clad islets in the bed of the Mahanadi river. Towards 
evening numbers may, in some places, be seen hovering over 
the bushes, or seated on the exposed sprays and twigs. 
The vigorous chattering note of this bird can scarcely fail 
to attract notice. 

The feet and claws are, for the size of the bird, singularly 
powerful and raptorial-like. A wounded bird used his sharp 
claws with considerable effect and much in the same way 
that a Kestrel would have done under the same circumstances. 

512.— Calliope kamtschatkensis, Gmel. 

I shot one specimen, a female, of the common ruby throat, 
in the Ebe river in Sambalpur. Cy anemia suecica, though rare 
in Chota Nagpur, is common in Sambalpur. I obtained it both 
in the beds of the rivers and in paddy-fields. 



234 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED 

538— Prinia Hodgsoni, Blyth. 

A specimen of Prinia agrees perfectly with examples from 
Darjiling, these latter are I believe admitted to be identical 
with Hodgsoni, Blyth. In order to make sure, however, I 
have examined Blyth's type. This, like so many other 
specimens of the old A. S. collection, has plumage of the 
regular museum hue, and the specimen being otherwise 
damaged (bill broken), is of but little use for purposes of 
comparison. However I believe that the above identification 
is correct. 

539.— Cisticola schsenicola, Bonap. 

The Rufous Grass Warbler occurs occasionally in suitable 
localities in Sambalpur. I never shot it in, nor is it recorded 
from, Chota Nagpur.* One measured in tbe flesh : — 

<J length, 4"-6 ; extent, 5"'5 ; wing, l"-8 ; tail, 1"'4 ; tarse, 7"*5. 

836 — Eupodotis Edwardsii, Gray. 

To Captain Bowie, Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur, 
I am indebted for a specimen of the Indian Bustard. It was 
one of a pair which he came across near Burga in the Sam- 
balpur district. So far as I could ascertain, this is the only 
instance of the bird being seen in Sambalpur, but in the 
adjoining district of Raipur, it is said to be occasionally met with. 

On the authority of Captain Bowie I add that the Florican, 
which was only once met with by me in Chota Nagpur, 
occasionally occurs in Sambalpur where several have been 
shot. 

Two birds — which are included in my Addenda, but which 
are decidedly rare in Chota Nagpur, I have since frequently 
met with in Sambalpur and the western parts of Orissa. They 
are Hoplopterus ventralis and Esacus recurvirostris. The latter 
is particularly abundant in the Brahmini river in Orissa. 

910.— Porzana pygmaea, Naum. 

I shot one specimen of the pigmy Rail in Sambalpur. So 
far as I can remember, I have never seen the bird but once 
before, that being in a jheel at the north-east corner of the 
Rajmehal hills. 

988.— Sternula minuta, Linn. 

The little Tern occurs in the Mahanadi river, not only in the 
vicinity of Cuttack, but also some distance up beyond Sam- 
balpur. The furthest point at which I shot it was near 
Padampur — about 200 miles, in a direct line from the sea. 

* Since the above was written, I have received a specimen from Chota Nagpur. 



IN SAMBALPUR AND ORISSA. 235 

The following birds were met with only in Orissa, and so far 
as my observation has gone, do not extend into Sambalpur : — 

Orissa. 

208.— Ololygon passerinus, Vahl. 

The Indian Plaintive Cuckoo not improbably extends into 
Sambalpur,* as I have found it in Chota Nagpur, where, how- 
ever, it is excessively rare. 

I got one specimen not far from Cuttack. The bird was in 
full adult plumage, and I was struck with the general resem- 
blance it presents to Volvocivora melaschistos — just as Surniculus 
dicruroides resembles, so far as plumage goes, Buchanga albi- 
rictus. From Mr. Hume's Nests and Eggs it would appear 
that there are no recorded cases of the eggs of either species 
being found in the nests of the species they respectively 
resemble ; but what can be more likely, than that this imita- 
tion subserves the purpose of fascilitating the birds in their 
endeavours to lay their eggs in the nests of the species they 
so resemble. 

452.— Ixos luteolus; Less. 

The White-browed Bulbul is very abundant in Orissa through- 
out a broad zone in which the vegetation is characterized by 
certain species of plants which are not met with further west. 
These are for the most part thorny shrubs, which often form an 
absolutely impenetrable thicket. These thickets abound in the 
above species, together with Otocompsa emeria. Zanclostomus 
sp. (?) is occasionally seen, and of course many other birds. 
Jungle, Pea, and Spurfowl are common in this cover, where 
it is extremely difficult to shoot them. 

The zone extends westwards as far as Ungul and so far is the 
White-browed Bulbul to be found, but not beyond. So defined 
is its limit here that I think it probable that I was in error in 
inserting it in the Chota Nagpur list, since Colonel Tickell's 
specimen was obtained in Miduapur, and it is possible that the 
species does not extend so far west as Manbhum. 

695.— Ploceus manyar, Eorsf. 

The Striated Weaver bird was very common in the vicinity 
of the Mahanadi above Cuttack during last April. Whether 
it is a permanent resident or not I cannot say. Flocks num- 
bering several thousands were several times seen. 

Carpophaga aenea, Linn. 

The Imperial Pigeon is excessively common throughout 
the hilly jungles of the western states of Orissa. I shot it in 

* It is very common in the adjoining district of Raipur, but I do not seem to have 
received it as yet from Sambalpur. — Ed., S. F. 



236 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED 

Ungul, Atmalik, Atgurh, Talchir, and Denkenal; but I have 
never seen it in Sambalpur. This year, when marching from 
Sambalpur to Cuttack, I met it first in Atmalik in precisely 
the same spot where I had seen it last year. 

I have already mentioned its occurrence in Manbhum and 
the Rajmehal hills.* It would appear that in so far as Bengal 
is concerned, the limits of extension of the species towards the 
west are very clearly defined. The boundary runs west of the 
Rajmehal hills through Manbhum, and then along the Orissa — 
Sambalpur frontier. It must I think be south of this line that it 
penetrates into the southern central jungles of the peninsula. 
Mr. Blanford does not agreef with Dr. Jerdon's account of the 
distribution of this bird, and expresses a disbelief in its occur- 
rence in Central or Western India. He thinks it probable that 
it ranges with Gallus ferrugineus and Rucervus duvaucelii. He 
did not obtain it either in the Nerbudda or Taptee valleys, nor 
did he observe it near Chanda. The most northern point at 
which he did meet with it was Sironcha, and thence it occurred 
down the Godavery. It has, however, since Mr. Blanford wrote, 
been obtained in the Chanda district by Mr. Hughes of the 
Geological Survey to whom I am indebted for a specimen. 

834— Turnix joudera, Eodgs. 

I obtained one specimen of this Button Quail in the jungle 
near the coast at the mouth of the Chandballi river. It was not 
uncommon there, but nobler game being in the neighbourhood, 
the Quails were not interfered with. In this specimen the wing 
measures 3"*4. The coloration is as given in the figure in 
Gray's Genera. 

846.— Cirrepidesmus Greoffroyi, Wag., & 847.— C 
mongolicus, Pall. 

I shot both these species of Sand Plover on the sea-coast at 
the mouth of the Chandballi river. 

848 — iEgialophilus cantianus, Lath. 

This species occurred in the same locality as the last. ~/E. 
fluviatilis was common inland, both in Sambalpur and Orissa. 

876.— Terekia cinerea, Gmel. 

I shot one specimen of the Avoset Sandpiper also on the sea- 
coast at the same place. It occurred in small flocks. Unfortu- 
nately I did not examine the specimen closely at the time and 
omitted to obtain other examples. 

Measurements of skin : — 

<? wing, 4"'9 ; tail, 2"- 2 ; tarse, l"'l ; bill at front, 2". 

* S. F., Vol II., p. 424. 
t J. A. S. B., 1869, Pt. II., p. 188. 



IN SAMBALPUR AND ORISSA. 237 

Though shot in May, the plumage of this specimen shews no 
approach to the described summer plumage. 

939 — Platalea leucorodia, Linn. 

I saw a small party of Spoonbills in the Mahanadi close to 
Cuttack. One of these which I shot has the outer webs of the 
first two primaries mottled with greyish-black, and all the pri- 
maries tipped with the same color. 

983.— Gelochelidon anglicus, Mont. 

At Chandballi I shot a specimen of the Gull-billed Tern in 
May. It has a peculiarly lazy flight. Dr. Jerdon speaks of 
the species as being exceedingly abundant over all India. Such 
is not my experience, as I have never met it in any of the 
inland districts with which I am familiar.* 

995.— Rhyncops albicollis, Swains. 

I came across a large flock consisting of Skimmers and Terns 
{Seena aurantia) in the Mahanadi near Cuttack. I managed to 
obtain half a dozen specimens of the former, but was struck 
with the difference in the actions of the two species. While the 
Terns attracted rather than frightened by my shots, flew in 
swarms over and close to my head, the Skimmers, for the most 
part, kept out of range. However, by waiting patiently for 
chances, and leaving the Terns to their diversions, I got the 
number I wanted. I previously met this species in the Ganges 
near Rajmehal. 



Itote orc tk J&pongmg of j&j^alaitk. 

By W. T. Blanford. 

Owing to the length of time during which the types of 
the species of birds described in 1832 by Colonel Sykes have 
remained inaccessible, doubts have arisen as to which of the 
two kinds of Lark referred by different naturalists to Alanda 
deva was correctly identified. As was indicated by Dr. 
Jerdon, but first, so far as I know, clearly pointed out by Mr. 
Hume, these two forms, which have long been referred to 
different genera, are in reality closely allied : they resemble 
each other in plumage, in the form of the wing and of the 
crest, and in having the hind claw only moderately lengthened, 
whilst they are distinguished by difference in size, and slightly 
in coloration. The larger of these is the bird ultimately 
identified by Jerdon and Blyth with Alauda malabarica of 

* It is certainly common about all large jheels wherever I have been in the 
plains country. It is of course rare in dry upland hilly tracts. — Ed., S. F. 



238 NOTE ON THE SYNONYMY OF SPIZALAUDA. 

Scopoli, the smaller is the Spizalauda deva of Jerdon's Birds 
of India, previously described by him as Mirafra Hayi. 

The name Alauda malabarica of Scopoli was given to the 
Crested Lark of the Malabar Coast (alouette huppee de la cote 
de Malabar) , figured and described by Sonnerat in his " Voyage 
aux Indes Orientates et a la Chine." The same figure and de- 
scription were the origin of Latham's Malabar Lark and Gmelin's 
Alauda malabarica. Sonnerat describes his bird as five 
inches nine lines (French) long, and with a wing measuring 
three inches and four lines (the corresponding English measures 
being 6 and 3*55 inches), and gives the following account of 
the plumage : — (i The feathers on the top of the head are long 
and form a crest which the bird can raise at will ; they are 
brown, terminated by a white band; the feathers of the neck 
light rufous, marked with a longitudinal black band which is 
broader below; the throat and abdomen are of a rufous white ; 
the feathers of the back and the small wing feathers (i.e. the 
coverts) brown, terminated by a very light rufous border ; at 
the extremity of each feather is a white spot ; the large wing 
feathers (quills) and those of the tail earthy brown, terminated 
by a rufous edge ; beak black; feet reddish." 

The white edges to the crest feathers, and the white spots on 
the mantle, are probably signs of immaturity, and the figure 
represents, I think, a young bird. With these exceptions it 
agrees in every respect with Spizalauda : it has the characteris- 
tic pointed crest, and a short hind claw. The dimensions would 
correspond with either form ; for, as will be seen, the male of the 
smaller kind is sometimes as large as the female of the larger. 
I believe, however, that the larger form is that found on the 
Malabar Coast, and consequently that Sonnerat's figure and de- 
scription must have been taken from it. 

Mr. Blyth appears originally* to have identified with Son- 
nerat's Lark the rufous variety of the Indian Sky Lark, which 
is so common on the Nilgiri hills, and which, after passing 
through the hands of half the ornithologists who have lived in 
India, has at last found one in the person of Mr. Brooks suffi- 
ciently bold to name it, although it is much to be regretted that 
the appellation selected is not very appropriate. This form also 
appears, to judge by the synonymy in Jerdon's Birds of India, 
to be the A. malabarica of Blytb/s catalogue, with which A. 
deva, Sykes, is identified. Subsequently in 1860, J. A. S. B., 
XXIX., p. 96, Mr Blyth mentions having recently seen the 
true A. malabarica, and it is to be presumed that the specimens 
to which he refers are those now preserved under that name 



* In his Synopsis of Indian Fringillidoe, J. A. S. B., XIII., p, 



962. 



NOTE ON THE SYNONYMY OF SPIZALAUDA. 239 

in the Asiatic Society's collection. The identification agrees 
with that finally adopted by Jerdon, who, in his first catalogue 
of the Birds of Southern India, omitted Alauda malabarica 
altogether, though in his second supplement to the same cata- 
logue (Madras Journal, 1844, XIII., p. 136), he identified with 
it his Mirafra affinis, a very different species. Iu his Birds of 
India, he gives a rather imperfect account of the Malabar Lark, 
without measurements, but states that it is closely allied to 
Spizalauda deva. 

In 1867 I procured at Khandalla, the spot where the railway 
from Bombay to Poona reaches the top of the Western Ghats, 
several specimens of a Lark which I failed in identifying satis- 
factorily until I shewed it to Dr. Jerdon, who immediately re- 
cognised it as his Alauda malabarica, and I gave a full descrip- 
tion of it under that name in the Journal of the Asiatic Society 
for 1869. At the same time I doubted its being the same as 
Sonnerat's species. Further consideration and comparison has 
induced me to coincide in Dr. Jerdou's opinion, which has 
been generally accepted. 

The history of the smaller form of Spizalauda, described by 
Sykes as Alauda deva, is equally confusing. Jerdon in his 
catalogue identified with it a form of Galerita cristata, and 
Blyth, as we have seen, considered Sykes' bird the same as his 
(wrongly identified) Alauda malabarica. But subsequently 
Jerdon obtained a small Lark which he named Mirafra Hayi, 
and which was described by Blyth in his Synopsis of Indian 
Fringillidce (J. A. S. B., XIII., p. 959), and included in the se- 
cond supplement to Jerdon's catalogue. The types originally 
described by Blyth are in the Asiatic Society's collection, now 
made over to the Indiau Museum, and I have compared them 
with the smaller Spizalauda. Jerdon, in his Birds of India, 
correctly identified his Mirafra Hayi with Sykes' species. Blyth 
in 1855 (J. A. S. B., XXIV., p. 258, note) founded the genus 
Spizalauda on Mirafra Bayi. 

In 1870 Mr. Hume, in his notes upon my paper in the Jour- 
nal of the Asiatic Society, expressed his opinion that the bird 
identified by Jerdon, and described by myself as Alauda mala- 
barica, was the true Alauda deva of Sykes, although he ac- 
knowledged that the measurements given by Jerdon were too 
small. He referred (as Blyth once did) the Xilgiri form of A. 
gulgula to A. malabarica* and proposed the new name of Spi- 
zalauda simillima for the smaller form of Spizalauda. This name 
could not stand in any case even if the true Alauda deva had 
proved to be the larger species, because the types of Mirafra 
Hayi, preserved in Calcutta, shew that Jerdon had previously 
named the same form. 

* Apud Jerdon. 

G 2 



240 NOTE ON THE SYNONYMY OF SPIZALAUDA. 

I adopted Mr. Hume's view of the identity of A. deva witfo 
the larger Spizalauda in some notes published in the Ibis for 
1873. I was in Englaud at the time, but owing to the ex- 
treme care which was then takeu of the natural history collec- 
tions belonging- to the old East India Company by the India 
Office officials, all the types of Sykes were packed away in a 
warehouse and preserved from the outer world. However, I 
looked forward to an opportunity for a direct comparison. Last 
year, as all the world knows, the big bazar at South Kensing- 
ton having come to the end of its resources, and being very 
hard up for specimens of some kind to fill its empty galleries, 
took compassion on the imprisoned Indian Museum collections. 
At the same time I received from Mr. Fairbank specimens of both 
forms of Spizalauda, the larger from Mahableshwar, the smaller 
from near Ahmednagar. I sent skins of both to Mr. Dresser, 
and Indian ornithologists are indebted to this gentleman for 
settling this vexed question by comparing the birds with 
Sykes' types. Mr. Dresser writes to me that the smaller form 
is unmistakably Sykes' species, thus confirming Jerdon's 
nomenclature. 

I give the corrected synonymy of the two birds below. 
I must say that I much doubt whether the section to which 
they belong really deserves generic separation from Alauda. 
Its seems to me that these birds scarcely differ sufficiently 
from the Skylarks either in structure or habits to justify more 
than sub-generic distinction. I have never had an opportunity 
of observing either species in the breeding season, but Mr. 
Fairbank writes to me that the smaller form, the true Alauda 
deva, rises into the air singing precisely like a Skylark, and 
although we are assured on equally good authority (Nests and 
Eggs, p. 483) that A. malabarica does not sing when flying, 
it is impossible to place two birds so closely allied in different 
genera, and it is the smaller form, A. deva, which is the type of 
/Spizalauda. 

1. Alauda (Spizalauda) deva. 

Alauda deva, Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 92. 

Mirafra Bayi, Jerdon, Blyth, J. A. S. B., XIII, 1844, 
p. 959 ; Jerdon; 2nd Supp. Cat. No. 188 bis, Mad. Jour., XIII, 
p. 136. 

Spizalauda Hayi, Blyth, J. A. S. B., XXIV,* 1855, p. 258, 
note. 

Spizalauda deva, Jerdon, Birds of India, II, p. 432. 

Alauda {Spizalauda) deva, Gray, Hand List, II, p. 118, 
No. 7761. 



* Misquoted XIV in Jerdon's birds, a misquotation which cost me more than an 
hour's work to rectiiy. 



NOTE ON THE SYNONYMY OF SPIZALAUDA. 241 

Spizalauda simillima, Hume, J. A. S. B., 1870, XXXIX, pt. 
2, p. 120; Stray Feathers, 1, p. 389; Nests and Eggs, p. 484. 

This species appeal's to have a wide range in India, being 
found according to Hume, Jerdou, and other observers, in the 
Punjab, N. W. Provinces, Oudh, Behar, parts of the Central 
Provinces, and throughout the greater portion of the peninsula, 
keeping mainly to the drier parts, and being more common on 
the plateau than near the coast. It is not known to occur in 
Lower Bengal, or in the dry desert parts of Western India. It 
ranges, however, to the extreme south of India, and should not 
therefore I think be called the " northern crown-crest.''' The 
term " crown-crest" is a very good one. 

As compared with the next species this bird is smaller, rather 
paler and greyer in colour above, and in general, I think, much 
less spotted on the breast, whilst the crest is longer. A male mea- 
sures :— Wing, 3"-52; tail, 2"-l; tarsus, 0" : 8 ; hind toe and 
claw, 0'-67 ; culmen, 0"-67 ; bill at front, 0"-48, and the length is 
recorded by Mr. Fairbank as 6 inches.* A female has : — Win«-, 
3 ,r -2 ; tail, l"-9 ; tarsus, ,A S; hind toe and claw. 0'*7 ; culmen, 
0"'65; bill at front, 0"-48; length (recorded) 5" '6. The mea- 
surement of the female agrees well with the dimensions (all 
of females) given by Mr. Hume for S. simillima. 

2. A. (Spizalauda) malabarica. 

U Alouette liuppee de la cote de Malabar, Sonnerat, Vovage 
aux Indes Orientales, IV, p. 266, pi. Ill, fig. 1 (edition of 
1806.)t 

Alauda malabarica, Scopoli, Deliciae faunas et florae insu- 
bricae.J 

Malabar lark, Latham, Gen Syn. II. pt. 2, p. 379. 

Alauda malabarica, Gmel. Syst. Nat. I, pt. 2, p. 795 ; Blvth, 
J. A. S. B., XXIX, 1860, p. 96 ; Jerdon, Birds of India, 
No. 768, II, p. 436; W. Blanf., J. A. S. B., 1869, 
XXXVIII, pt. 2, p. 183; Gray, Hand List, II, p. 117, 
No. 7748 ; Brooks, Stray Feathers, I, p. 486. 

Spizalauda deva, Hume, J. A. S. B., 1870, XXXIX, pt. 2, 
p. 119. 

Spizalauda malabarica, Hume, S. F., I., p. 389 note, and 
486 note; W. Blanf., Ibis, 1873, p. 222 ;? Hayes Lloyd, ib., p. 
414 ; Hume, Nests aud Eggs, p. 483. 

Found in many parts of Southern India, especially near the 
western coast, on the range of the Western Ghats, keeping 

* This appears to be a rather large specimen. In another male in the Indian 
Museum the wing is 3" 15. 

f There was an earlier edition of this book, which was that quoted by Latham 
and Gmelin. Possibly in that edition the plate is 113, as quoted by most authors. 
The later edition is alone available in Calcutta. 

J I have not access to this work at present. To the best of my recollection 
Alauda malabarica is stated in it to have been brought from China! 



242 NOTES ON AND ADDITIONS TO CEYLONESE AVI-FAUNA, 

chiefly to the damper parts of the country. If the species 
recorded, by Hayes Lloyd is the same and not S. deva, this 
bird is also found in Kathiawar. 

It is darker in plumage, more rufous above, and whiter 
beneath, and has larger and more numerous breast spots than 
A. deva. The crest is rather shorter, whilst all the dimensions 
are larger. A male measures : — Wing, S''8 ; tail, 2"-15 ; tarsus, 
0"95 ; hind toe and claw, 0"-8 ; culmen, 0"-72 ; bill at front, 0"-6. 
Wing iu a female, according to Mr. Hume, measures 3"*6. 



Uotcs onanb gbMitons to Cenlonese gbUfattmt, fottlja: Sotice 
ol some n$jar.cntljj ncfo Species. 



By Captain W. V. Legge. 

78.— Glaucidium malabaricum, Blyth. 

An Owl, which I conclude is this species, has for many years 
baffled my pursuit, although he constantly put me on his 
track by his extraordinary shouts uttered always in broad 
day light and at all times of the day. I contrived, however, 
to secure him some months ago in the Eastern Province. This 
makes an interesting addition to our list of Raptors. It 
inhabits the hill forests of all the south-west, the jungles of the 
south-east, and eastern districts and those of the Uva and 
Central Ranges. 

181.— Brachypternus intermedius, N. Sp* 

Dimensions, male and female: — Length, 10" \5 to 10"'75; 
wing, 5**2 to 5"*4 ; tail, 3"'5; outer anterior toe, 0"*75 ; its claw 
straight, 0"'45 ; versatile toe, 0"65 ; its claw straight, 0" - 34; 
bill to gape, I" -5 to 1"*6. 

Soft parts, male. — Iris crimson ; bill blackish slaty, pale at 
the base ; legs and feet dusky greenish or pale olivaceous. 

The head and the white facial-and-neck-stripes as in 
puncticoUis, with the ear coverts blacker or less marked with 
white than in that species ; the hind neck, rump, tail, anterior 
part of wing, and the same part of the scapulars, similarly 
colored black; back and scapulars orange, overlaid or 
washed with crimson ; the basal and central parts of the feathers 
being brownish orange, changing into crimson at the tips ; 
wing coverts and outer webs of secondaries and tertials 
reddish orange, the edges being brightest ; the margins of 

* I cannot see how this supposed new species differs from many specimens of 
puncticoUis ( chrysonotus apud Jerd.), which is very variable in the points on which 
Captain Legge dwells. — Ed., 8. F. 



WITH A NOTICE OF SOME APPARENTLY NEW SPECIES. 243 

tlie greater wing coverts are crimson like the scapulars, and 
the outer secondary wing coverts are spotted with reddish 
white and whitish as in puncticollis ; primaries as in that 
species ; throat spotted or barred with white, the black portions 
of the feathers limited, in old specimens, to marginal spots ; 
chest and lower part of throat black, striated with white, very 
boldly on the chest, the whole of the centres being white 
with parallel black margins to the feathers ; these diminish 
on the breast, leaving the lower parts merely dark-edged, and 
as white in appearance as aurantius. Under-tail coverts barred 
or centred and edged with black. 

Female. — Iris red or duller than that of the male. The crim- 
son of the occipital crest is not so brilliant, and the back and 
scapulars are orange, slightly washed with crimson ; the outer 
webs of secondai'ies and tertials and the wing coverts brownish 
orange. Some specimens (and I think this is the normal 
phase of the female plumage) have no crimson whatever, on 
the back, this and the wings being pure orange. An imma- 
ture example (having, as is the case with nonage in all Brachyp- 
terni, the markings of the chest oval) corresponds in this 
respect exactly with an old or striated-chested female. 

Habitat. — Inhabits the forests of the whole northern part of 
the island, commencing in the region north of Kurnegalla, and 
found throughout the great jungle tract as far as Trincomalie 
and the Ibanni. 

In Coll. National Museum, Ceylon, and coll. W. V. Legge. 

257.— Lanius erythronotus, Vigors. 

Differs from its Indian relative, in its smaller size and almost 
complete absence of rufous on the scapulars, only the terminal 
portions of the longer, underlying, feathers being thus color- 
ed. The rufous of the rump is almost confined to that region, 
and does not extend up to the centre of the back as in Indian 
examples. Should this diagnosis be correct, I would propose the 
name of L. affmis for our bird as a sub-species,* The matter of 
diminutive size, however, is not of any value whatever accord- 
ing to my view, as this feature holds good of almost all 
Indian forms in Ceylon, and is the result of the warm climate 
only. 

265.— Tephrodornis ponticeriana, Gmelin. 

Some Ceylon specimens have very large supercillia. This bird 
was at one time thought to migrate from the Western Province 
during the S. W. monsoon. This is erroneous ; it merely 
retires from the unsheltered coast region to the interior. 

* This is apparently nothing but L. caniceps, Blyth. — Ed., 6. F. 



244 NOTES ON AND ADDITIONS TO CEYLONESE AVI-FAUNA, 

Oreocincla pectoralis, N. Sp.* 

Dimensions.— Length, 8"-35; wing, 4"-7; tail, 3"-0; tarsus, 
1"-1; mid toe and claw, 11"5 ; hind toe, 0"-5 ; claw straight, 
0"-35 ; hill to gape, 1"-15. The bill is long and turdulus-Yike, but 
not so massive in its conformation as that of 0. nilgherriensis. 

boft parts. — Iris brown (?) ; bill dusky; gape and base of 
lower mandible yellowish ; legs and feet dusky yellowish ; claws 
yellowish, with dusky tips. These are the soft parts as taken 
from the dry skin. 

Description. — Above deep olivaceous brown, slightly greenish 
on the rump and upper tail coverts, the lower feathers of which 
latter are tipped white ; on the head and hind neck the feathers 
are dark shafted, and the brownish olivaceous of the sides of 
the neck spreads over the chest and lower throat ; wings dark 
brown, the greater coverts and secondaries with their outer 
webs olivaceous brown, and the coverts with an angular terminal 

* I cannot at all make out this species ; it might possibly I thought be 
O. Gregoriana, Nevil, but the bill in that is decidedly more massive, though shorter 
than in that of O. nilgherriensis, which latter in its bill at any rate shows a strong 
affinity to Zoothem. I have referred to O. Gregoriana before Vol. I, p. 437, but I 
do not know that any full description of it has yet been published, and I therefore 
subjoin one : — Length, 9"; wing, 5"; tail, 2-"3 ; tarsus, 1"1 ; bill from forehead to point, 
0-"9o; from gape, 1 "35. 

The whole top and back of the head, back of the neck, back rump, and upper tail 
coverts a very rich olive brown, with a distinct rufescent tinge, feeblest on the 
rump and upper tail coverts, all the feathers pale shafted, and each of them with 
a conspicuous black tipping or terminal bar, the bars being so close together on the 
head that the black there predominates. 

The lores, cheeks, ear coverts, chin, throat, sides of the neck fulvous, the feathers 
of the cheeks, ear coverts, and side of the neck with black terminal spots, and a few 
faint traces of similar spots on the throat ; a narrow conspicuous black collar divides 
off the chin and throat from the breast ; breast and entire lower parts a very rich 
warm buff, all the feathers except those of the lower tail coverts, with a conspicuous 
black margin; those of the sides of the breast somewhat shaded with olive. 

The wings a V6ry deep brown ; the quills tinged with rusty olive on their 
outer webs, the primary greater coverts tipped with blackish brown and with a broad 
sub-terminal rufous buff band; the rest of the greater and the median coverts 
tipped with this very same rufous buff, which in the case of the median coverts run 
somewhat ui> the shafts. The lesser coverts suffused at the tips with reddish 
olivaceous and with rufous buff shafts. 

The four central tail feathers, and the exterior pair on either side plain olive 
brown ; the rest of the feathers blackish brown, more or less tipped paler. 

All over the back the bases of the feathers, where they show through, are less 
rufescent than the tips immediately preceding the black tipping, so as to produce the 
effect of a second rufescent band inside the black tipping. 

This is a very distinct species sent to me by Mr. Nevil as O. Gregoriana, Nevil, of 
Ceylon, but! see from the ticket that it was obtained from Messrs White & Co., of 
Kandy, and there is therefore I tear no guarantee any more than in the case of Balrachos- 
tomus punctatus that the specimen ever really was procured in Ceylon. To me the bird 
seems' like a small very rufescent edition of Oreocincla malayanus, Sand, (par ins 
apud Horsf). I note especially in the axilla the brush of silky white feathers, broadly 
tipped with black, which is noticed by Horsfield as a characteristic of the 
Javan bird. 

I have to add that I have now strong doubts whether the Phodilus badius, also 
sent me by Mr. Nevil as killed in Ceylon, but which likewise was procured from 
Messrs. White & Co., was ever killed there at all. I must leave it to Captain Legge 
to try and get the truth about these skins out of Messrs. White & Co. — Ed., S. F. 



WITH A NOTICE OF SOME APPARENTLY NEW SPECIES. 245 

whitish spot, above Avhich the inner webs are blackish ; first 3 
primaries with a pale fulvous edge, the remainder with rusty- 
brown margins ; uropygials rusty brown, the remaining 
rectrices dark brown, with white tips to the three outer pairs 
running up the inner webs considerably ; lores blackish, sur- 
mounted by a conspicuous fulvescent super ci Ilium ; chin and 
throat fulvescent white, with two mandibular stripes joining the 
dark line of the chest ; feathers of the chest and lower part of 
fore-neck, with broad white centres, surrounded by blackish 
margins ; breast, belly, and lower tail coverts crossed, except 
down the centre, with blackish terminal bars ; upper flanks 
banded with the same on a duskier ground ; lower flanks 
washed with olivaceous and barred with paler marks than the 
upper ; lower tail coverts margined with brownish. 

Described from a single specimen shot by Mr. Thwaites, 
the curator of the cinchona gardens at Hakgalla. This is at 
an elevation of 6,000 feet, and forms part of the great central 
forest-clad mountain range of the hill zone. The specimen is 
carbolised, and the sex, therefore, undetermined. In Col. 
W. W. Legge. 

404 Us.— Pomatorhinus melanurus, Bhjth. 

The rufous hue of the back of low country specimens con- 
trasted with the olivaceous tint of hill birds is I think due to 
the operation of climate. It is common to Western Province, 
Southern District, and Northern birds. Examples from the 
neighbourhood of Trincomalie are counterparts of Galle speci- 
mens. Mr. Holdsworth was of opinion that the difference was 
marked enough to warrant specific separation of the hill and 
low country birds. I hope to get a series of intermediate 
altitude specimens, and then the question may perhaps be 
decided. 

454.— Kelaartia pencillata, Blyth. 

Have any more examples of this species come to hand in 
South India ?* It is unsatisfactory to assign it a place in the 
continental list merely on the supposition of its occurrence in 
Mysore by the late Dr. Jerdon. 

844. — Squatarola helvetica, Gmelin. 

This Plover must now be added to the Ceylon lists, a specimen 
having been procured by me in March near Manaar. I saw them 
on two occasions, and am informed by a gentleman who has 

* I have as yet no record of its occurrence there. — Ed., S. F. 



246 NOTES ON AND ADDITIONS TO CEYLONESE AVI-FAUNA, 

collected in the Jaffna district that they are not uncommon 
there. 

861. — Dromas ardeola, PayL 

Literally hundreds of these usually rare species crowded the 
great tidal flats to the north of Manaar, but, having to hurry 
my canoe on to save the tide, I could do no more than have a 
passing stalk, at some little groups, which of course failed. 

862.— Haematopus ostrealegus, Linn. 

I met with this rare and wary bird on several oceasious 
during my late trip to Jaffna, and succeeded in knocking over 
a fine immature bird, with white throat at the small span 
of 90 yards ! I know of no other example actually procured in 
the island. 

985 bis.— Sterna Dougalli, Montague. 

The Terns noticed in "Stray Feathers," Vol. III., p. 376, were 
correctly identified as belonging to the above, and not to Sterna 
paradisea, Bonn,* which is the Arctic Tern. Mr. Saunders has 
since determined that the birds procured at the Andamans be- 
longed to the latter species. It is a mystery where all the 
flocks, I saw, departed to, they began to pair rapidly at the 
beginning of June, and disappeared altogether in about a fort- 
night after that. 

988 ter.— Sternula sinensis, Gmelin. (S. placens, 
Gould) 

This is the common little Tern of Ceylon and ranges I believe 
by Java and Sumatra to the seas of the north coast of Australia. 

* Some confusion exists here. In the first place S. paradisea, Briin. not Bonn 
is probably intended. In the second place our Andaman Terns are by no means 
the Arctic Tern. 

I think the explanation is this ; Sterna paradisea, Briinn, Orn. Bor. 42 
(1746,) is by some ornithologists still considered to refer to the same species as 
Montague's S. Dougalli. Orn. Diet, suppl. (1813). Others and probably the majority 
of modern ornithologists hold that Briinnich's name is applicable to the Arctic Tern, 
now usually accepted as S. Mr undo, Lin, with macrura, Naum, and arctica, 
Tern, as Synonymes. When Lord Walden reported, Ibis, 1874, p. 149, that Mr. 
Howard Saunders had identified the Andaman Terns with S. paradisea, Briinn, he 
unquestionably used the name as I did (S. F., II. p. 601) as equivalent to S. Dou- 
galli, and not in its more modern acceptation of the Arctic Tern. Lord Walden's re- 
marks " lower surface deeply suffused with a rosy salmon tint" sufficiently dispose of this 
question. Perhaps Lord Walden does not concur in the more modern acceptation ; 
very likely at the the time he wrote, Mr. Saunders had not yet made up his mind 
on the subject; but be this as it may, the fact remains that the Andaman speci-. 
mens referred to by both Lord Walden and myself (loc. cit) were (if not gracilis 
Gould, and for this Mr. Saunders is responsible) the Roseate and not the Arctic 
Tern, i.e. the eame species as occurs in Ceylon. — Ei>., S. F. 



"WITH A NOTICE OF SOME APPARENTLY NEW SPECIES. 247 

It is a larger* bird than minuta, has the bill bright yellow, and 
generally with a sharply defined black tip, at the breeding 
season. It breeds at Hambantotta (P. L. Z., 1875, p. 377) 
and at Kandelay and Minery Tanks in the northern half of the 
island. 

993.— Anous stolidus, Linn. 

An example, apparently, of this noddy was procured out of 
three at the Galle face beach in June. Wing, lO"^ ; bill at front, 
2"*l.f The forehead and front of vertex were white passing into 
greyish on the crown, throat slightly pervaded with grey. 
The above measurements correspond with those of Pacific birds, 
although they do not equal those given by Jerdon. 

A most interesting addition to the avi-faunaof Ceylon — a fine 
number of the genus Baza has of late been procured in the 
island. As it has been passed over all these years, it is doubtless 
a rare species, and its capture now is probably owing to the 
increased interest taken in bird collecting by the planters in 
Central Province. To this cause is also due the shooting 
during the last two years, of a number of examples of the 
magnificent Spizaetus nipalensis, as also the capture of a fine 
specimen of Nimetus pennatus. Our new Baza of which I have 
two specimens, as far as I can judge from the material at hand, 
comes between B. magnirostris from the Phillipines and B. 
sumatrensis from Sumatra, approaching the former in size, 
but differing in the, crest and closely resembling (in what 
is stated to be the young plumage) the latter species, from which, 
however, it differs in its smaller dimensions. The following 
are measurements and description of my bird : — 

Baza ceylonensis, N. Sp. { 

Dimensions. — Length to front of cere (from skin) 16" # 5 ; cul- 
men 10"= total length, 17"-5 ; wing, ll"-7 ; tail, 7"-5 ; tarsus, 
l" - 5 ; mid toe, 1"*35; its claw straight, 0"*65 ; inner toe, 1"'0 ; 
claws straight, 1" # 6 ■ bill to gape 1""2. 

* Captain Legge has kindly sent me a specimen. I cannot separate it from 
European specimens. See further my remarks on this species in my Laccadive 
paper.— Ed., S. F. 

f This must I think certainly be Anous leucocapillus, Gould. The bill in no 
specimen of stolidus that I have examined exceeds 1"8 at front. In Indian spe- 
cimens of leucocapillus it is 2" to 2"'2. But the wing, 10"9 seems large lor this 
latter species of which, however, unlike stolidus, I have examined but few specimen*. 
See further my note on this species in my Laccadive paper. — Ed., S. F. 

J If this species is really new, it is one of the most remarkable discoveries of 
recent times here. A Baza, rather a wandering genus, restricted to a small island 
like Ceylon, and even there of excessive rarity. In very many respects it seema 
to agree with the Baza from Sikhim and Tenasserim, that I was inclined to identify 
with sumatrensis, and that 1 provisionally distinguished (III, p. 314) as B incognita, 
but it seems too small for this, if the primaries are fully developed in the specimen 
measured by Captain Legge. — Ed., S. F. 

h2 



248 NOTES ON AND ADDITIONS To CEYLONESE AVI-FAUNA, 

Iris, yellow ; bill, blackish leaden ; lower mandible, palish at 
base ; cere, dusky plumbeous (?) ; tarsi and feet, yellow ; claws, 
plumbeous. 

Lores, blackish ; head, brownish tawny ; over the centre of the 
forehead and crown the feathers are black, the rufous colour 
being confined to the edges; occipital crest (If inches in length) 
black, conspicuously tipped with white ; the feathers of the 
hind neck deeply edged with rufous tawny, the centre parts 
being black, which overcomes the pale edges on the lower 
portion ; back, scapulars, rump, upper tail coverts, primary and 
lesser wing coverts, blackish brown ; the latter the deepest and with 
a cinerious tinge ; upper tail coverts, paler than the back ; median 
and greater wing coverts, pale or fulvous brown; quills, black; 
the outer webs curved by smoking grey bars; the correspond- 
ing band on the inner web being brown ; tertials and second- 
aries, tipped with white ; tail, dark smoky grey, with greyish 
white tip, and four blackish bars, the terminal one about 1^ 
inches in depth ; cheeks and ear coverts, slaty grey with dark 
shafts, the dark feathers of the occiput passing round to meet 
the latter region ; chin and throat buff, with a broad mesial 
black streak ; sides and lower part of fore-neck with the upper 
edge of pectoral region tawny cinerious, the feathers with 
brownish shafts ; below this the under-surface, under-tail, 
and under-wing coverts, are white with broad rufeseent brown, 
dark margined brown the chest, flanks, and outer surface of 
thighs ; the under-tail coverts and under-wing, are spotted with 
pale rufeseent ; the light portions of quills and tail are white 
beneath. 

A second specimen, probably a female, has the wing 12". 
It is not fully mature having some of the scapulars edged 
white, while the tertials are more deeply tipped than the 
above. 

Some months ago an immature example of a Falcon, which 
had all the characteristics of this genus came under my notice; 
the second or anterior tooth was wanting, but notwithstanding 
it was evidently a Baza and I suggested in epist. to Mr. Sharpe, 
that it might be Baza sumatrensis. I now am of opinion that 
it was nothing more than the young of the present species, 
and probably a female, judging from its length of wing. Its 
length from the skin was about 17 inches; wing, 12"-25 ; tail, 
8" ; tarsus, 1" - 15 ; mid toe and claw, 1"'15 ; longest-crest 
feathers, VS. 

The crest was very deeply tipped with white and the entire up- 
per surface dark brown, the feathers edged with whitish through- 
out the tertials and greater wing coverts most conspicuously 
so ; quills, blackish brown, with smoke brown bars, paling 



WITH A NOTICE OF SOME APPARENTLY NEW SPECIES. 249 

towards the bases of the feathers and whitish at the inner 
edge ; tail, smoke brown, tipped white and with fine blackish 
bars as in the adult ; under-surface, white, the chest with broad 
mesial stripes, and the breast and flanks widely barred with 
sienna brown ; under-wing coverts with bar-shaped spots of the 
same. 

This specimen has been senb to England by the gentleman 
with whom I examined it, and will doubtless prove on comparison 
with my specimens, to belong to the same species. It was shot 
near Nilambe in the Kandy district last year, and my specimens 
were both procured at the same time near Matab last 
month. 

31.— Nisaetus pennatus, Gmelin. 

Two examples of this, hitherto, in Ceylon, almost unknown 
Eagle have been procured this year. The first specimen no- 
ticed in the island was shot by Edgar Layard many years ago 
near St. Pedro and is recorded in his notes, Am. Nat. His, 
1855, p. 98 ; our birds have now turned up in widely different 
localities. The first was shot near Colombo in January last ; 
a fine female in immature plumage and was the first bird, 
mounted in the new museum. My specimen is an adult male 
and was killed in the upland of Doombara near Kandy. It has a 
wing of 15" ; the under-surface is almost pure white, the striae 
are confined to the chest and sides of the breast and the lower 
flank feathers are slightly barred with sienna brown. 

351.— Petrocossyphus cyaneus, Lin. 

I omitted above to record the occurrence of two examples 
of this interesting Thrush in the island. They were shot by 
the same gentleman, Mr. Thos. Fan, in the Central Province ; 
the first in November 1872, the latter in March 1875, both 
frequenting boulders and rocks beneath precipices. 

The second example is now in my collection, and is in the 
plumage of a young male or in transition from the dress oC 
the female to that of the other sex. The chest is overcast 
with brownish, and the feathers there tipped with rufous grey, 
the primary wing coverts and tertials are pale tipped ; the 
breast and under-tail coverts are edged with whitish ; becoming 
somewhat rufescent on the planks ; the head and hind neck are 
brown with bluish bases to the feathers. 

This Rock Thrush is most probably an annual visitant to 
Ceylon but has, in common with other migrants, been passed 
over until lately. 



250 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

fpjji of gtribs tollccteb tit fyt Mmty of fljanbala, Staljafca* 
kshinx, anb §clgafo t along % Sajgabri Hlountains ; 
anb near g(jme&nagav tit tfte fafejan. 



By Rev. S. B. Fairbank, M.A., 
Missionary of the A.b.C.F.M. 

Reference has often been made in " Stray Feathers" to 
Khandala and Mahabaleshwar, but no general account has 
appeared of the birds found at these places or at any other place in 
the same region. The list now given is necessarily incomplete, 
because I have not had the opportunity of collecting at any 
place on the hills, throughout the year. With the exception 
of a visit to Mahabaleshwar in the cold season, my opportu- 
nities have been confined to the hot months of March, April, 
and May. The avi-fauna varies greatly, from the coming and 
o-oing of birds, during these three months, and doubtless the 
same process goes on in other parts of the year. At least, 
many species of birds may be found in the autumn and winter 
that have disappeared before the begiuning of March. How- 
ever, an authentic list, though incomplete, is better than none. 

My collections have been made principally at Mahaba- 
leshwar ; but this year some birds were collected at Khandala, 
and last year for a few weeks in the Eastern frontier of the 
Goa and Sawant Wade Territories. These localities are similar 
to each other, in that they are all on the crest of the Sahyadri 
mountains, and some forty or fifty miles east from the sea-coast. 
Khandala is in about 18° 40' North Latitude. It is somewhat 
south of east from Bombay, and about forty miles distant, as 
the crow flies. The village and railway station are 1,970 feet 
above sea-level. 

The adjacent hills are several hundred feet higher. On the 
Goa frontier there are fewer hills rising above the level of the 
Dakhan than at Khandala. There the Dakhan plains seem 
suddenly broken off, and there is a precipitous descent into 
the Konkan. The hills rise to 4,700 feet at Mahabaleshwar, 
hio-her than at any other habitable place north or south of it 
for two or three hundred miles. The trees are preserved for 
ten miles around the sanitarium. So the plateau, which 
may contain ten square miles, is thickly wooded, as are also 
parts of the adjacent hills and valleys. Other parts are kept 
mostly bare of trees by the fires that are sure to overrun them 
every year when the grass is dry. The villagers are full of 
complaints because the trees are preserved. They would like 
to pollard the trees yearly and burn the leafy branches on their 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 251 

fields for rice aiid naclini (Elemine coracana). The ground in 
most places is rocky, and the soil thin. So that the trees are 
mostly small and dwarfed. But as a large space is wooded, 
the fruits, seeds, insects, <fec, on w T hich certain kinds of birds 
feed, are produced abundantly. Of these birds we may men- 
tion the Spurfowl (Galloperdix npadiceus), the Bulbul (Oto- 
compsa ficscicaudata), the Black Bird (Merula nigropileus), the 
Ground Thrush (Geocichla cyanotus), the Whistler {Myiop'honus 
Horsfieldii) , aud the Merry Wrenbabblers (Alcippe poiocephala 
aud Pellorneum niftceps). These birds have greatly increased 
in numbers within a few years. The preservation of the trees 
on this tract has not however increased the number of kinds 
of birds on the Mahabaleshwar plateau so much as might have 
been expected. The birds that affect the groves and wooded 
ravines of the western declivities, aud the western base of the 
hills, are mostly, if not all, found also in similar situations near 
Khandala, although Khandala is a degree farther north, and 
seems to have been regarded by Dr. Jerdon as fairly outside 
of the Malabar region. 

The western face of the Sahyadris is very precipitous, and 
there are belts of bare rock running along almost continuously 
for hundreds of miles. In some places these are crossed by 
ravines that are wooded fairly up to the crest of the hills. 
Other strata of the trap rock, of which these hills are composed, 
are friable, and in them some trees find congenial soil. So belts 
of small trees run along the hill sides horizontally at different 
heights, and both beautify and utilize them. Barbets, Orioles, 
Woodpeckers, Babblers, Thrushes, Bush-quails, Spurfowls, Green- 
pigeons, Shrikes, Honeysuckers, Bulbuls, Cuckoos, &c, frequent 
these belts of trees. Some of them come down from the 
higher woods, and some come up from the valleys. The birds 
that belong distinctively to the Malabar region, seem more at 
home in the wooded valleys which are but little higher than 
the rest of the Konkan. They sometimes ascend the hill sides 
for food, but the crest of the hills is a boundary they seldom 
pass. Some of the Babblers as (Alcippe poiocephala, Pyc- 
torhis sinensis, and Dtimetia albogularis,) one of the Barbets, 
(Megalaema viridis,) our Hill Lark (Alauda malabarica) , and the 
Ghat Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes ganeesa) live mostly on or near 
the top of the hills. They are seldom found far down the 
western slopes and do not often wander into the dry open plains 
of the Dakhan. There are limited localities however on and 
among the spurs which extend from the Sahyadri mountains 
far into the Dakhan, that are congenial to the birds which 
frequent the slopes of the Sahyadris, and I have found Mag- 
pies (Dendrocitta rufa). Sirkeers (Taccocua affinis), and Thrushes 



252 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

(Oroccetes cinclorhynchus, Geocichla cyanotus, and Pitta coro- 
nata) more than a hundred miles east of their usual haunts. 

The list of Konkan birds would doubtless be increased by- 
collecting at Bombay and along the coast. Even in the vicinity 
of Ahmednagar where I have collected for many years, a bird 
turns up now and then that had not been obtained before. 

It seems best to still adhere to Jerdon's classification and 
numbers also when the bird is described in his Birds of India, 
although the time has doubtless come for adopting a more 
natural classification. It is to be hoped that the next complete 
work on Indian Ornithology, will give us a classification 
improved up to the present state of the science. 

2. — Otogyps calvus. — Throughout the region. 

4. — Gyps indicus. — Throughout. 

5. — Gyps bengalensis — Throughout. 

6. — Neophron gingianus. — Everywhere. 

11. — Falco jugger. — Common in the Dakhan. Not one seen 
at Khandala. Obtained one at Parr, six miles west of 
Mahabaleshwar. 

16. — Chicquera typns. — More common in the Dakhan, but 
obtained also at both Khandala and Mahabaleshwar. 

17. — Tinnunculus alaudarius. — Everywhere in the cold 
season. 

18. — Erythropus cenchris. — I obtained a pair in January 
1861, near Ahmednagar, out of a flock of perhaps two dozen. 
They were resting on a small babhul (Acacia arabica) tree. 
The skins were sent to America, and I know not where they 
may be at present. I have been unable to find them since, 
and so caunot tell whether the birds were true E. cenchris, 
but they answered well to Jerdon's description. 

23. — Microfdsus badius. — Common. The iris of the adult male 
is brilliant vermillion red ; but that of the female is yellow. 

24. — Accipiter nisus. — Two specimens that I referred to 
this species, were obtained on the road between Poona and 
Mahabaleshwar, but were sent away, and for two years I have 
not found an individual for more careful examination. 

25. — Accipiter virgatus. — I obtained by Parr, near Mah'r, 
birds that I unhesitatingly called besra, and distributed to 
correspondents as such. Afterwai'ds I seut a bird shot in the 
same locality, but put up, without special examination, to Mr. 
Hume. He wrote me that it was doubtless a shikra. I did not 
find the besra at Khandala, the season for them having past, so 
I am not able to prove that the birds I obtained at Parr were 
of this species, or rather that the besra inhabits the Bombay 
region ; it is, however, known to inhabit Canara. 

29. — Aquila vindhiana. — Common throughout our region. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 253 

31. — Hieratus pennatus. — Not uncommon in the Dakhan. 
It consorts with Milvus govinda. 

32. — Neopus malayensis. — One shot at Mahabaleshwar. 
They are rare there. 

33. — Nis&tvs fasciatus (Bonellii). — Mahabaleshwar, rare. 

34. — Spizatus limnatus. — One obtained near Ahmednagar. 

35. — bpizcetus cirrhatus. — Obtained one and observed others 
on the western slope from Mahabaleshwar. 

38. — Circcetus g alliens. — Often seen on the plains of the 
Dakhan. 

39. — Spilornis cheela* — At Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, &c. 
It attracts attention by its "plaintive wild cry that is heard 
for two miles and more.'" It is the most common Eagle along 
the Sahyadris. 

45. — Buteo ferox. — Not uncommon in the Dakhan. 

48. — Poliornis teesa may be found any day in the Dakhan, 
sitting on the earth heaps that mark boundaries, or skimming 
along just above the ground from one heap to another. 

51. — Circus Swainsoni.— Found along the hills, and common 
in the Dakhan. 

52. — Circus cineraceus. — Found along the hills, and common 
in the Dakhan. 

54. — Circus aruginosus. — Mahabaleshwar and along the 
hills. Rare in the Dakhan. 

55. — Haliastur indus. — Found everywhere, but not so 
plentiful in the Dakhan, as in other parts of India. 

56. — Milvus govinda. — Very common everywhere. 

56 bis. — Milvus major. — Khandala. Mr. Blanford informed 
me that he had been assured one of Colonel Sykes' types of 
Milvus govinda is a M. major. 

57. — Pernis ptilorhi/nchus. — Everywhere. Common in the 
Dakhan. The coloring of the head and body seems very variable, 
but when flying all are easily recognized by the two black 
bands across the tail. 

59. — Elanus melanopterus. — Rare in the vicinity of Ahmed- 
nagar, and not observed on the hills. 

60. — Strix javanica. — Common in the Dakhan. It nests 
frequently in holes in the mud walls of the Dakhan villages. 

61. — Strix Candida. — As I have not collected, this Owl perhaps 
it has no business in this list. But I have more than once 
flushed a Grass Owl that I believe to be this. 

63. — Syrnium indrani. — Mahabaleshwar. 

65. — Bidaca ocellata. — Found on its nest in the fork of a 
mango tree a few miles from Poona. 

* ? The smaller Southern race melanotis. Jerd., S. minor, nobis ; ? albidus, Cuv.— 
Ep., S. F. 



254 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

68. — Brachyotus accipitrinus. — Ahmednagar. 
69. — Ascalaphia bengalensis. — Common in the Dakhan. 
7 2. — Ketupa ceylonensis. — Khandala. 

74. — Ephialtes pemiatus, or a nearly allied species, once 
obtained at Mahabaleshwar. 

74 bis. — Ephialtes brucei. — Ralmri, in the vicinity of Ahmed- 
nagar. Only three specimens are known. * A fourth Scops Owl 
in the rufous stage of plumage, that probably belonged to this 
species, was obtained in a neighbouring village, but it is not 
known where the specimen is now. 

76. — Athene brama. — Common everywhere. 
81. — Ninox hirsutus. — Several have been obtained in the 
district of Ahmednagar. 

82 — Hirundo rustica. — Common. 
84. — Hirundo filifera. — Common in the Dakhan. 
85 . — Cecropis erythropygia. — Com mon. 
86. — Lagenoplastes fiuvicola. — Near Satara. 
89. — Cotyle sinensis. — Near Satara. 
90. — Ptyonoprogne concolor. — Common. 

91. — Ptyonoprogne rupestris. — Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, &c. 
100. — Cypselus affinis. — Abundant in and about Ahmednagar. 
Found at Khandala, &c. 

102. — Cypselus palmarum. — Vicinity of Ahmednagar. 
104. — Maeropteryx coronatus. — Khandala and along the hills. 
107. — Caprimulgus indicus. — Ahmednagar, Khandala, &c. 
112. — Caprimulgus asialicus. — Common in the Dakhan. 
113. — Caprimxdgus mahrattensis. — Rahuri. It is rare. 
114. — Caprimulgus monticolus. — Goa frontier. 
115. — Harpactes fasciatus. — Woods of Sawant Wade, in 
the Konkan. 

117. — Merops viridis. — Common. 

118. — Merops philippinus. — Found once at Ahmednagar, 
and once at Khandala. 

119. — Merops Swinhoei. — Sides and base of Goa and Sawant 
Wade hills. 

123. — Coracias indica. — Everywhere in the cold season. 
127. — Palargopsis gurial. — Once found near Mahabaleshwar. 
129. — Halcyon smyrnensis. — Everywhere. 
134. — Alcedo bengalensis. — Still more common. 
136. — Ceryle rudis. — Common. 

140. — Dichoceros cavatas, Shaw. — Konkan and western slopes 
near Mahabaleshwar. Goa frontier. 

141. — Hydrocissa coronata. — Ratnagiri, on the coast south of 
Bombay. 

* Other specimens have been procured elsewhere. Mr. Blanford recently obtained 
it in Sindh. I should say it never became rufous. — Ed., S. F. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 255 

145. — Tockus griseus. — Khandala by the reversing station. 

1 48. — Palceornis torquatus. — Common. 

149. — Palceornis purpureus. — Common along the hills. 
Vists the Dakhan at some seasons in flocks. 

151. — Palceornis columboides. — Western slopes of the Sahya- 
dris, at least as far north as Khandala. 

153. — Loriculus vernalis. — Western slopes of the Sahyadris, 
at least as far north as Khandala. 

160. — Picus mahrattensis. — Evei'y where, but not abundant. 

164. — Yungpicus Hardwickii. — Goa forests. Mr. Bruce 
obtained one at Mahabaleshwar. 

166. — Chrysocolaptes gutticristatus. — All along the Sahyadris. 

179. — Micropternus gularis. — Khandala and Mahabaleshwar 
on western declivities. 

181. — Brachypternus chrysonotus. — Western slopes from Khan- 
dala to Goa frontier. 

188. — Yunx torquilla. — Sparingly about Ahmednagar. 

193 bis. — Megalcema inomata. — Western base of the Sahj'a- 
dris. Not usually found far up the hill sides. 

194. — Megalczma viridis. — Khandala, &c. on the top and 
along the sides of the hills. 

1 97. — Megalczma hcemacephala. — Common. 

198. — Megalcema malabarica. — Sawant Wade forests. 

201. — Cuculus polioceplialus. — Ahmednagar. 

202.— Cuculus sonneratii. — Khandala. 

203. — Cuculus micropterus. — Ahmednagar. 

205. — Hierococcyx varius. — Common. 

208. — Ololygon passerinus. — Ahmednagar and Goa frontier, 
but seldom obtained. 

212. — Coccystes Jacobinus. — Ahmednagar, Mahabaleshwar. 

214. — Endynamys honorata. — Everywhere. Abundant at 
Bel gaum. 

217. — Centropus rvfipennis. — Common. 

222. — Taccocua affinis. — Throughout this region, but rare. 

226. — yEthopyga Vigor&i. — Mahabaleshwar and Khandala. 
They began to appear in the valleys and on the western slopes 
of the hills in April. At that time none had finished moulting. 
By the middle of May they were abundant in certain localities 
where Loranthus obtusatus is (common). It is at tbat time in 
full flower. The f ne dress of these birds is then in perfection. 
Jerdon describes them as having " a stripe, from the chin to 
the breast, shining violet." He should have said, a stripe on 
each side. The scarlet of the breast of the mature male is 
always mingled with yellow strias, caused by some of the tips 
of the scarlet feathers being yellow. In some birds the yellow 
rump patch is washed with vermillion. The iris is red brown. I 

i 2 



256 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

have searched carefully for young males that had not donned 
the adult plumage, and succeeded in obtaining two or three in- 
different specimens. The colors were similar to those of the 
adult female, except that the cap was brown with a rufescent 
tinge, like that of the wings and tail, and there were some 
dull brick red feathers on the throat and breast. There were 
no violet ear coverts or moustachial stripes, and no yellow 
striae on the breast. I obtained a full plumaged male once at 
Khandala in August, but have not traced this bird through the 
fall and winter. 

232. — Leptocoma zeylonica. — Bombay, Poona, and other 
places a few miles east of the Sahyadri range. Not found at 
Khandala or Mahabaleshwar. The iris is bright ruby red. 

233. — Leptocoma minima. — On the western slopes at Khan- 
dala, Mahabaleshwar, and Goa frontier. It moults earlier than 
either 226 or 232, and is in perfection in March. Hardly one 
in bright plumage is to be found after the middle of May. 
Iris, light hazel. 

234. — Arachnechthra asiatica. — Common. 

238. — Dicamm minimum. — Common on the western slopes of 
the Sahyadris. 

239. — Dicaum concolor. — In the same localities, but rare. 

240. — Piprisoma agile. — In the same localities, but rare. 

253 . — Dendrophila frontalis. — Goa frontier. 

254. — Upupa epops. — Common. 

255. — Upupa nigripennis. — -Common. 

256. — Lanius lahtora. — Common in the Dakhan throughout 
the year. They live as far from human habitations as they can. 

257. — Lanius erythronotus. — This is the common shrike along 
the hills, and is also found more sparingly on the Dakhan 
plains till April or even May. 

260. — Lanius Hardwickii. — Common in the Dakhan till March, 
common at Khandala till the middle of May. 

261. — Lanius crislatus. — Rare in the district of Ahmednagar. 

265. — Tephrodornis pondiceriana. — Ahmednagar, but more 
common along the Sahyadris. 

267. — Eemipus picatus. — Ahmednagar, but more common 
along the Sahyadris. 

268. — Volvocivora SyJcesii. — Khandala. Rare about Ahmedna- 
gar. Common in the woods by the Gatprabha river, in the 
Belgaum district. 

270. — Graucalus Macei. — Everywhere, but not abundant. 

272. — Pericrocotus fiammeus. — Khandala and all along the 
western slopes of the hills, but most abundant on the Goa 
frontier. 

276. — Pericrocotus perigrinus. — Common. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 257 

277. — Pericrocotits erythopygius. — Ahmednagar, rare. 

278. — Buchanga albirictus.— Common. 

280. — Buchanga longicaudata. — Khandala and all along the 
hills. Rarely found in the Ahmednagar district. 

281. — Dicrurus ccerulescens. — Everywhere, hut not abundant. 

282. — Chaptia amea. — Khandala low valleys. 

285. — Dissemurus malabaricus. — Khandala, Goa frontier, and 
rarely all along the base of the hills. 

288. — Tchitrea paradisi. — Everywhere at some season, but 
most common along the hills. 

290. — Myiagra azurea. — Mahabaleshwar, and more rarely in 
the Ahmednagar districts. 

292. — Leucocerca albofrontata. — Common in the Dakhan. 

293. — Leucocerca leucogaster. — Rare at Mahabaleshwar, 
common at Satara, Poona, &c, but do not seem to come as far 
from the hills as to Ahmednagar. 

295. — Culicicapa cinereocapilla. — Ahmednagar districts. 

297. — Alseonax latirostris. — Everywhere, but not abundant. 

301. — Eumyias melanops. — Mahabaleshwar, &c, and some- 
times found in the Ahmednagar district. 

305. — Cyornis Tichellii. — Everywhere in suitable localities, 
but sparse. 

307. — Cyornis ruficauda. — Ahmednagar, rare. 

309. — Cyornis pallipes. — Two specimens procured in deep 
dark ravines near Parwar on the Goa frontier. 

310. — Muscicapula supercillaris. — Ahmednagar. One spe- 
cimen. 

323. — Erytlirostema parva. — Found both at Ahmednagar and 
Mahabaleshwar in the cold season. 

342. — Myioiplionus Horsfieldii. — Along the Sahyadris on both 
sides. It has become more abundant at Mahabaleshwar with- 
in a few years. 

345. — Pitta coronata. — I have seen three in the city of 
Ahmednagar. There were none at Khandala in April, but 
before the end of May they were in plenty in the valley west of 
the " Duke's Nose." 

351. — Petrocossyphus cyaneus. — In the Dakhan till March. 
At Khandala till the end of April. 

353. — Orocetes cinclorkynckus. — At Mahabaleshwar till into 
April. A pair was shot near Ahmednagar in October. 

354. — Geocichla cyanotics. — Common along the hills on both 
sides. 

356. — Geocichla unicolor. — Shot by Mr. Blanford at Khan- 
dala in November. 

359. — Merula nigropileus. — Along the top of the Sab} r adris. 
They have become abundant at Mahabaleshwar. 



258 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

385. — Pyctorhis sinensis. — Eastern slopes at Mahabaleshwar, 
Khandala, &c. 

389. — Alcippe poiocephala. — Abundant at Khandala, Maha- 
baleshwar, &c, but not found at Ahmednagar. 

398. — Dumetia albogularis. — In same localities, but rarer 
tban Alcippe. 

399. — Pellorneum ruficeps. — Shy, but abundant along the 
hills. Its laughing notes and the babbling of Alcippe, are 
to be heard every morning and evening in Mahabaleshwar. 

404. — Pomatorhinus Horsfieldii. — Makes all the ravines of 
the Sahyadris ring with its bell-like notes. 

433. — Malacocircus griseus met me when ou the way to Belgaw 
on the south bank of the Gatprabha river, and seemed to make 
that river the boundary between its territory and that of M. 
Malcolmi. I did not see the latter again till after we had 
passed the Gatprabha on our return to Satara. 

435. — Malacocircus Sommervillei is the Babbler found on the 
Goa frontier as well as at Mahabaleshwar and Khandala. 

436. — Malacocircus Malcolmi is one of the commonest birds 
around Ahmednagar, Pooua, and Satara. It is not, however, 
found at either Khandala or Mahabaleshwar. 

437. — Layardia subrufa. — I obtained a single specimen at 
Talmet, near Mahabaleshwar. 

438. — Crateropus caudatus- — Common around Ahmednagar. 

446. — Hypsiptes ganeesa. — Rarely found on the Mahaba- 
leshwar plateau. Abundant on the Goa frontier. 

450. — Criniger ictericus. — Rarely found on the Mahabalesh- 
war plateau. Abundant on the Goa frontier. 

452. — lxos luteolus. — In thickets by the Gatprabha river 
in the Belgaw district, but not found on the Goa frontier. 

460 bis. — Otocompsa fuscicaudata. — Abundant along the 
hills from Khandala to Goa. Does not stray far into the 
Dakhan. 

462. — Pycnonotus pusillus. — Eastern slopes of the hills 
and the Dakhan. 

463. — Phyllomis Jerdoni. — Along the hills from Khandala 
to Goa, usually found near the western base. 

464. — Phyllomis malabaricus . — Along the hills from Khan- 
dala to Goa, usually found near the western base. 

468. — jEyUhina typhia. — Throughout our province. The 
mature birds in the zej/lonica plumage are respectively more 
common at Khandala than at Ahmednagar. 

469. — Irena puella. — Found in the Sawant Wade woods. 

470. — Oriolus kundoo. — All over our region. 

471. — Oriolus iudicus. — Obtained one in the Sawant Wade 
woods. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 259 

473. — Oriolus ceylonensis. — Konkan and on western decli- 
vities of the Sakyadris, from Kbandala to Goa. 

475. — Lopsychus saularis. — Rare in the Dakhan. Common 
along the hills. 

476. — Kittocincla macroura. — In thick woods along the hills. 
More plentifully in the wooded valley between the reversing 
station and the " Duke's Nose," at Khaudala than in any other 
locality I have visited. 

479. — Thamnobia fulicata. — In villages in the Dakhan, as 
well as on the sides of all hills. 

481. — Pratincola caprata. — Throughout. 

483. — Pratincola indica. — Throughout the Dakhan. 

488. — Saxicola opistholeuca is probably the name of a 
black and white Stonechat I have twice observed, but failed to 
secure. At Ahmed uagar. 

491. — Saxicola isabellina. — Rare among bushes in the 
Ahmednagar district. 

492. — Saxicola deserti. — Rare among bushes in the Ahmed- 
nagar district. 

497. — Ruticilla rufiventris. — Dakhan in the cold season. 

507. — Larvivora super ciliaris* — Mahabaleshwar and Goa 
frontier. In damp deep shade. 

514. — Cyanecula suecica. — Ahmednagar district. By hedges 
and in bushes and rushes on the banks of streams. 

515. — Acrocephalus stentorius ( = A. brunnescens) . — Ahmed- 
nagar. Among rushes. 

516. — Acrocephalus dumetorum. — In every tree in the cold 
season. 

530. — Orthotonus sulorms(=0. longicauda.) — Throughout 
our province. 

534. — Prinia socialis. — Nearly as common. 

538. — Prinia Hodgsoni.—r At western base of the hills by 
Kbandala and Mahabaleshwar. 

543. — Brymoipus inornata, and 544 D. longicaudatus, 
which is the same in winter plumage, are common in the 
Dakhan. 

551. — Franhliuia Buchanani. — Ahmednagar district. Has 
the habits of Chatarrhcea. 

553. — Hypolais rama. — Kbandala. 

554. — Phyllopneuste tristis. — Ahmednagar. 

558. — Phyllopneuste lugubris. — Ahmednacrar. 

559. — Phyllopneuste nitidus. — Ahmednagar. 

560. — Phyllopneuste viridanus. — Kbandala. 

561. — Phyllopneuste affinis. — Karti, near Kbandala. 

* Equala cyano et cyanea, Hodgs., nee cyane, Pall. — Ed., S. F. 



260 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

562. — Phi/llopneuste indicus. — Ahmednagar, Kbandala. 

563. — Reguloides occipitalis. — Ahmednagar. 

565. — Reguloides superciliosus. — Common. 

581. — Sylvia orphea. — Common in Dakban. 

5S2. — Sylvia affinis. — Common in Dakhan. 

583. — Sylvia curruca. — Common in Dakhan. 

589. — Motacilla maderaspatana. — Along all our rivers. 

591 bis. — Motacilla dakhanensis.— Common in the cold season 
in the Dakhan. 

592. — Calobates melanope. — Associates with 591, and is 
common by mountain streams where 591 is rare. 

593. — Budytes viridis* — Ahmednagar district, following 
cattle and sheep. 

594. — Budytes calcaratus. — Ahmednagar and Kbandala. 
In beds of streams and other damp places. Rather rare. 

595. — Nemoricola indica. — Mahabaleshwar and Goa frontier, 
in woods. Rare. 

596. — Pipast°s agilis. — Common. 

600. — Corydalla rufula. — Common in the Dakhan, and found 
on the hills. 

601. — Corydalla striolata. — Dakhan. Less common than 
600 and 602. 

602. — Agrodroma campestris. — Dakhan. Common. 

603. — Agrodroma similis. — One obtained on the Mainpur 
ghat, near Ahmednagar. 

63 1 . — Zosterops palpebrosus. — Common everywhere. 

645. — Pants cinereus. — Common in Dakhan. 

648. — Machlolophus Jerdoni. — Along the hills. 

660. — Corvus Levaillantii. — Everywhere. 

663. — Corvus splendens. — Everywhere, except on the higher 
mountains. Not often found on the Mahabaleshwar plateau. 

674. — Dendrocitta rufa. — All along the Sahyadris and in 
some restricted places in the Ahmednagar district. 

684. — Acridotheres tristis. — Dakhan and on the eastern 
shopes of the Sahyadris. 

686. — Acridotheres fuscus. — Top and western slopes of the 
Sahyadris. 

687. — Temenuchus pagodarum. — Everywhere, though numeri- 
cally less abundant than Acridotheres. 

690. — Pastor roseus. — Comes into the Dakhan in vast 
flocks in November and stays till April. 

694. — Ploceus baya. Everywhere. 

699. — Munia punctulata. — Rare in the Ahmednagar district. 

701. — Munia striata. — Kbandala to Goa along the Ghat hills. 



* Probably cinereocapilla is meant. — Ed., S. F. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 261 

703. — Munia malabarica. — Common. Especially abundant 
in the Ahmednagar district. 

704. — Estrilda amandava. — Near Mahabaleshwar, rare. 

705. — Estrilda for mosa. — Near Mahabaleshwar, rare. 

706. — Passer indicus. — Everywhere. 

711. — Passer flavicollis. — Found everywhere, but in small 
numbers. 

716. — Emberiza Huttoni. — Everywhere and abundant on 
some Ghats. 

721. — Euspiza melanocephala. — Ahmednagar district. Comes 
in flocks and is very destructive to the gi - ain crops. 

722. — Euspiza luteola. — An individual is now and then found 
in the Ahmednagar district, particularly in the eastern part of it. 

724. — Melop/ms melanicterus. — Sparsely scattered on the 
sides of the Sahyadris, and also of the spurs that extend 
into the Dakhan. 

738. — Carpodacus erytlirinus. — On both our hills and plains 
in the cold season, but it leaves us just as the plumage acquires 
its roseate flush, in the end of March. 

756. — Mirafra erythroptera. — Ahmednagar district. Among 
bushes and particularly on hill sides. 

758. — Ammomanes phcenicura. — In every field in the Dakhan. 

760. — Pyrrhulauda grisea. — In every field in the Dakhan. 

761. — Calandrella brochydactyla. — Abundant in the Ahmed- 
nagar district in the cold season. It lives in large flocks. 

765. — Spizalauda deva. — The doubts about this species have 
been removed by a comparison of specimens with Colonel Sykes' 
types. Everywhere in the Dakhan. 

768. — Spizalauda malabarica. — Khandala to Goa, along the 
hills. It is similar to 765 in appearance and habits, but is 
larger, darker in plumage, and has a much longer bill. 

773. — Crocopus chlorigaster. — Everywhere, but not very 
abundant. 

775. — Osmotreron malabarica. — Khandala, in the valley 
west of the " Duke's Nose/' Jerdon's description needs to be 
corrected. The wing feathers are edged with white. The tail 
appears all green above when closed, but shows the ashy tips of 
the side feathers when opened. The six middle under-tail 
coverts of the male are cinnamon colored. The rest of them are of 
the same green, ashy, and white mixture as in the female. 
The soft basal part of the bill is glaucous green, but the tips 
of both mandibles are ashy. The iris is blue with an outer ring 
of pink or lake-red. Jerdon has made the same mistake, doubt- 
less clerical, in describing the irides of Crocopus phcenicopterus. 
The irides of Crocopus chlorigaster at least are smalt blue, 
with an outer circle of carmine. 



262 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

786. — Palumbus Elphinstonei. — Mababaleshwar and along 
the hills, but rare. 

788. — C'olumba intermedia. — Everywhere. 

792. — Turtur rupicola. — All along the Sahyadris, especially 
on the western slopes, rarely found in the Ahmednagar district. 

793. — Turtur meena. — At Mababaleshwar in the cold season. 

794. — Turtur cambayensis. — Everywhere. 

795. — Turtur suratensis. — Abundant along the hills, espe- 
cially on the western slopes. Rare in the Ahmednagar district. 

796. — Turtur risoria. — Everywhere. Very abundant in the 
Dakhan. 

797. — Turtur humilis. — Ahmednagar district, in small flocks 
in the cold season. 

800. — Pterocles fasciatus. — Ahmednagar district. In pairs 
among bushes at the base of hills. 

802. — Pterocles exustus. — Frequents the open fields around 
Ahmednagar, often collecting into large flocks. 

803. — Pavo cristatus. — In wooded hills and ravines, but not 
abundant in our region. 

813. — Gallus Sonneratii. — Khandala to Goa along the hills, 
but nowhere allowed to become abundant. 

814. — Galloperdix spadiceus. — Abundant at Khandala, 
Mababaleshwar, and all along the Ghat range. 

819. — Francolinus pictus. — Dakhan in bushy places. 

822. — Ortygornis pontic eriana. — Throughout the Dakhan. 

826. — Perdicida cambayensis. — Khandala, Mababaleshwar, &c. 

827. — Perdicula asiatica. — Ahmednagar and the Dakhan 
generally. 

828. — Microperdix erythrorhyncha. — Khandala, Mababalesh- 
war, &c. 

829. — Coturnix communis. — Dakhan, in the cold season. 

830. — Coturnix coromandelica — Dakhan, at all seasons. 

832. — Turnix taigoor. — Common. 

835. — Turnix Dussumieri. — Dakhan. Not abundant. 

836. — Eupodotis Edwardsii. — Ahmednagar district. It is be- 
coming scarce. 

839. — Sypheotides aurita. — Dakhan. 

840. — Cursorius coromandelicus. — Dakhan. Common in the 
cold season, and I have seen them in July. 

844. — Squatarola helvetica. — Dakhan, in flocks in the cold 
season. 

845. — Charadrius fidvus. — I have not seen it, but Mr. Blanford 
told me he had received specimens from Bombay. 

849. — JEgialhis philippensis. — Dakhan, Khandala. 

855. — Lobivanellus indicus. — By every stream in our region. 

856. — Sarciophorus malabaricus. — Dakhan fields. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 263 

859. — (Edicnemus indiciiSL — Dakhan fields. 

865. — Grus cinerea. — Rarely visits the Ahmednagar district 
in the cold season. 

866. — Anthropoides virgo. — Dakhan, in large flocks. 

871. — Gallinago scolopacina. — In all marshy places, though 
in small numbers in the cold season. 

872. — Gallinago gallinula. — In all marshy places, though 
in small numbers in the cold season. 

873. — Rhynchcea bengalensis. — Permanent resident in the 
Dakhan. 

885. — 1 ring a Temminckii. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

891. — Actitis glareola. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

892. — Actitis ochropus. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

893. — Actitis lujpoleucos. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

894. — Totanus canescens. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

895. — Totani/s stagnatilis. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

898. — Himantopus candidus. — Ahmednagar, &c. 

900. — Metopodias indicus. — Dakhan, but rare. 

901. — Hydrophasiamis cliirurgus. — Dakhan, but rare. 

902. — Porphyrio poliocephalus. — Mr. Blanford tells me he 
once saw a specimen of this species freshly killed at Poona. 

903. — Fulica. atra. — Not rare in the Ahmednagar district. 

907. — Gallinula phcenicura. — By the Koina river, near 
Mahabaleshwar. 

909. — Porzana maruetta. — Ahmednagar. 

910. — Porzana pygnuea. — Ahmednagar. 

915. — Leptoptilus argala. — Dakhan, but is rare. 

918. — Giconia nigra. — Dakhan, but is rare. 

919. — Ciconia alba. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

920. — Ciconia episcopus. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

923. — Ardea cinerea. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

924. — Ardea purpurea. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

925. — Herodias alba. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

926. — Herodias egrettoides. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

927 .—Herodias garzetta. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

928. — Demiegretta gularis. — Dakhan, more plentiful. 

929. — Buplms coromandus. — Dakhan, &c, abundant. 

930. — Ardeola Grayii. — Dakhan, &c, abundant. 

931. — Butorides javanicus. — By streams along the hills, and 
sometimes in the Dakhan. 

933. — Ardetta cinnamomea. — Mahabaleshwar, rare. 

937. — Nycticorax griseus. — Not uncommon in the Ahmed- 
nagar districts. 

938. — Tantalus leucoceplialus. — They breed in the Ahmedna- 
gar district, gathering in large numbers in certain villages, and 
nesting on banyan trees, of which they use every available branch. 

k2 



264 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN TOE 

939. — Plalalea leucorodia. — Dakhan. 

940. — Anastomus oscitans. — Dakhan. 

941. — Threskiornis melanocephalus. — Dakhan. 

942. — Geronticus papillosus. — Dakhan. 

944. — Phamicopterus roseus. — Sometimes visits the larger 
collections of water in the Dakhan and the salt pans in Bombay. 

952. — Dendrocygna arcuata. — Observed at Mahabaleshwar. 

953. — Dendrocygna major.- — Obtained a pair once near 
Ahmednagar, but I have seen them on no other occasion. 

954. — Casarca rutila. — Dakhan through the cold season, in 
pairs along on larger rivers. 

957. — Spatula clypeata. — Dakhan. 

959 . — A nas jiaecilorJiyncha. — Dakhan. 

960. — Anas caryoplxyllacea. — One rose from a tank close by 
me, so that I am sure of its identity, though I did not bag it. 

961. — Anas streperus. — Dakhan. 

964.— Anas crecca. — Dakhan. 

965. — Anas circia. — Dakhan. 

967. — Branta ru/ina. — Dakhan. 

975. — Podiceps philippensis. — In all lakes and large tanks. 

985. — Sterna seena. — Along Dakhan rivers. 
1U07. — Gracidus pygmaus. — Along Dakhan rivers. 
1008. — Plotus melanog aster. — Along Dakhan rivers. 

I have omitted some names of birds that I think I have ob- 
tained, because they were not carefully examined at the time, 
and their not having been found for several years, casts some 
doubt on the old identification. 

There are 313 species in this list. Of these some. reside in 
all parts of the district under examination. Some reside in 
restricted localities, and so deserve particular enumeration. 

The following 28 species belong to the Malabar region. The 
title is used in a wide sense, to include the whole strip of land 
between the Sahyadri mountains and the Arabian sea. Really 
the Malabar Coast does not extend half way from Cape Comorin 
to Bombay. But the conditions of climate and food are so 
similar from Cape Comorin to Surat, that the region had better 
be regarded as one and in fact many of the following birds are 
likely to be found throughout the strip, and to some extent up 
the similar Coromandel Coast, and are not found elsewhere in 
the Peninsula : — 

32. — Neopvs malayensis. 

1 15. — Harpactes fasciatus. 

119. — Merops Sivinhoei. 

140. — Dichoceros cavatus. 

141. — Hydroeissa coronata. 

145. — Tockus griseus. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 265 

151. — Palceornis columboides. 

153. — Loriculus vernalis. 

179. — Microptermis gularis. 

181. — Brachypternus c/irysonotus. 

194. — Megalcema viridis. 

198. — Megalcema malabarica. 

202. — Cuculus Sonneratii. 

226. — JEthopyga Vigor six. 

233. — Leptocoma minima. 

272. — Pericrocotus flammeus. 

285. — Dissemurus malabaricus. 

309. — Cyomis pallipes. 

389. — A leippe poiocepha la . 

435 — Malacocircus Sommervillei ? 

437. — Layardia subrufa. 

446. — Hypsipetes ganeesa. 

450. — Criniger ictericus. 

464. — Pliyllornis malabaricus. 

469. — Irena puella. 

775. — Osmotreron malabarica. 

786. — Palumbus Elphinstonei. 

828. — Perdicula erythrorliyncha. 

In addition to the above, the following- 32 species belong to 
the Sahyadri mountains, as distinguished from the Dakhan, 
so that 60 species found along the hills, have not been seen by 
me in the plains of the Dakhan : — 
72. — Ketupa ceylonensis. 
91 . — Ptyonoprogne rupestris. 

164.— Yungpicus Hardwickii. 

166. — Chrysocolaptes gulticristatus (C. Delesserti.) 

193. — Megalama inornata. 

238. — Picaeum minimum. 

239. — PiccBum concolor. 

240. — Piprisoma agile. 

253 . — Dendrophila frontalis. 

282. — Chaptia cenea. 

359. — Menda nigropileus. 

385. — Pyctorhis sinensis. 

398. — Dumetia albogidaris. 

399. — Pellorneum ruficeps. 

404. — Pomatorhinus Horsjieldii. 

460. — Otocompsa fuscicaudata. 

463. — Pliyllornis Jerdoni. 

476. — Cittocincla macroura, 

507. — Larvivora super ciliaris. 

5 38. — Prinia Hodgsoni. 



266 LIST OF BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE 

595. — JSemoricola indica. 
648. — Macldolophus Jerdoni. 
to&6.-~Acridotheres Juscus. 
701. — Munia striata. 
704. — Estrilda amandava. 
705. — Estrilda formosa. 
768. — Alauda malabarica. 
793. — Turtur meena. 
813. — Gallus Sonneratii. 
8 1 4. — Galloperdix spadiceus. 
826. — Perdicula cambayensis. 
933. — Ardetta cinnamomea. 

The following 30 species, as well as several of the Gralla- 
tores and Natatores which would probably be found along the 
lulls at the proper season, have not been observed out of the 
Dakhan : — 

68. — Brachyotus accipitrinus. 

69. — Ascalapia bengulensis. 

74 bis. — Ephialtes Brucei. 

81. — Ninox hirsutus. 
232. — Leptocoma zeylonica. 
256. — Lanius lahtora. 
261. — Lanius cristatus. 
277. — Pericrocotus erythropygius. 
436. — Malacocircus Malcolmi. 
438. — Crater opus caudatus. 
488. — Saxicola opistholeuca. 
491. — Saxicola isabellina. 
492. — Saxicola deserti. 
514. — Cyanecula suecica. 
5 15. — Acrocephalus steniorius. 
543. — Drymoipus inornatus. 
551. — Franklinia Buchanani. 
601. — Corydalla striolata. 
603. — Agrodroma similis. 
645. — Parus cinereus. 
699. — Munia punchdata. 
722. — Euspiza luteola. 
7 58. — Ammomanes p/ioenicnra . 
761. — Calandrella brachydactyla. 
800. — Pterocles fasciatus. 
802. — Pterocles exustus. 
827. — Perdicida asiatica. 
835. — Turnix Dussumieri. 
836. — Eupodotis Edwardsii. 
839 . — SypJieotides aurita. 



VICINITY OF KHANDALA, &C. 267 

840. — Cursorius coromandelicus. 

856 . — Sarciophorus malabaricus. 

I have been interested in comparing this list with Captain 
Butler's list of the avi-fauna of Mount Aboo and Northern 
Guzerat. (" Stray Feathers," Volume III, pp. 437 — 50, and 
Volume IV, pp. 1 — 41.) In the notes appended by the Editor 
of " Stray Feathers," we find on page 36 of Volume IV, 
a list of 31 species that belong "exclusively, so far as the 
region with which we are dealing is concerned, to Mount 
Aboo." By examining this list of the birds we have found at 
Khandala, &c, it will be seen that we have no less than 23 
(or perhaps 25) of these specialties of Mount Aboo within our 
borders.* Those we have not found are the following : — 
9. — Falco peregrinator. 
13. — Hypotriorchis subbuteo. 
75 ter. — Ephialtes bakhamuna. 
77. — Athene radiata. 

147. — Palceornis eupatria. 

171. — Gecinus striolatns. 

219. — Taccocua Leschenaulti. 

404 ter. — Pomatorhimis obscurus. 

But 219 may be the same bird that we have identified as 
222 Taccocua affi?iis, and 404 ter may be the same bird as the 
one we call 404 Pomatorhimis HorsfieldiL 

As to Captain Butler's entire list, it contains 102 species 



that we h 


ave not found in the 


region we 


have under review. 


They are 


numbers 










1 


180 


539 


767 


876 


958 


3 


199 


544 bis 


769 


877 


962 


3 bis 


219 


545 bis 


772 


878 


963 


4 bis 


246 


550 


799 


880 


966 bis 


8 


260 ter 


582 bis 


801 bis 


884 


968 


9 


262 


592 bis 


818 


896 


969 


13 


273 


597 


834 


897 


971 


28 


404 ter 


605 


837 


899 


973 


42 


432 


645 ter 


840 bis 


905 


974 


70 


459 


646 


846 


908 


980 


75 ter 


480 


681 


847 


917 


983 


11 


489 


6S5 


848 


936 


984 


98 


491 bis 


688 


852 


943 


965 


120 


492 ter 


695 


853 


944 bis 


1001 


147 


494 


7 1 6 bis 


858 


945 


1004 


167 


520 


757 


863 


950 


1005 


171 


536 


765 bis 


875 


951 


1006 



* This is what might have been expected, one great characteristic of the avi- 
fauna of Aboo being, as I pointed out, Loa cit, the strong admixture of Southern 
forms, which here find their northernmost limit, and are nowhere found in the 
plains country round about. — Ed., S. F. 



268 ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 



On the < 


Dtber hand our 


list contains 84 species 


that are not 


recorded as found in Guzei 


•at by Captaic 


i Butler. 


Their uum- 


bers are as 


follows : — 








31 


145 


253 


437 


601 


32 


151 


267 


446 


603 


34 


153 


272 


450 


68Q 


39 


166 


280 


452 


701 


52 


LSI 


282 


463 


765 


61 


194 


285 


464 


768 


63 


198 


290 


471 


775 


65 


201 


295 


476 


786 


72 


202 


297 


479 


793 


74 


203 


309 


507 


828 


74 bis 


222 


310 


558 


909 


104 


226 


354 


559 


910 


115 


232 


389 


560 


933 


119 


233 


399 


561 


952 


127 


238 


404 


563 


953 


140 


239 


433 


565 


960 


141 


240 


435 


595 





The excess in favor of the Guzerat avi-faima is due princi- 
pally to the large number of water birds found there that do 
not visit us. We doubt not that a collection made in the 
vicinity of Bombay in the cold season would so largely increase 
our list that the excess would be in our favor. 



irnitljo logical ftotcs mi& Currecttons- 



By W. Edwin Brooks. 



28. — Aquila maculata, Gmelin (Aquila clanga, 
Pallas,!, the Spotted Eagle. 

There appears to be so much uncertainty as to what 
species Aquila navia of Gmelin, Brisson, and the old authors 
really is, that it appears to me desirable to use instead Gmelin's 
term maculata, which is founded upon Latham's description 
of the (i Spotted Eagle." 

This latter description is very clearly defined, and together 
with his observations upon the names and geographical dis- 
tribution of the species, fixes the bird beyond all doubt as 
the greater Spotted Eagle. 

Aquila ncevia of Schwenckfeld (the original describer of 
ncevia) is, Mr. Dresser informs me, the common Buzzard, 
this being the case, it is not desirable to continue the use of 
the term for the Spotted Eagle. 



ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 269 

It should be remembered that both Brisson's and Gmelin's 
descriptions are not original, but taken from older authors. 

Aquila rufonuchalis, n. s., the Lesser Spotted 
Eagle of Europe. 

As far as I can see, there is not any existing term which 
is clearly applicable to this Eagle, and I therefore give it a 
name for convenience sake, and having reference to its first 
plumage. 

Continental as well as English naturalists have been in the 
habit of applying to it the term of Aquila ncevia, but this terra 
is, as Mr. Dresser has shewn (Annals and Magazine of Nat. 
Hist., May 1874) wholly inapplicable ; and with him I protest 
against its use for the species in question. 

A new name for so well known a bird will surprise many ; 
but who can prove to a demonstration that any previously 
existing term clearly belongs to it ? Neither of Brehm's terms 
u pomarina" and " subnavia''' relate to this Eagle, although they 
are given as synonyms by Mr. Sharpe. 

I shall describe this Eagle as follows. — Of nearly the same 
size as Aquila hastata, but slightly more robust ; general tone 
of body plumage very similar, but more inclined to rufous, 
especiall} 7 about the head ; the eye of the adult is said to be 
yellow, and I have seen a note to this effect upon the labels 
of skins collected by Mr. Robson at Belgrade ; in the first plumage 
it has a large fulvous or buff triangular nuchal patch, the point 
of the triangle being downwards ; the size of this patch is 
about two inches wide by one and a half inches in depth ; the 
spots on the wings are similar to those of Aquila has fata, but the 
markings on the head and neck differ, being more like very 
narrow short stripes, instead of simple light tips ; there are 
spots on the lower back, sometimes triangular, and sometimes 
plain roundish spots at the end of the feather ; the lower tail 
coverts are, as a rule, of a darker tone than in Aquila hastata, 
and are striped or spotted as the case may be, with dull whitish ; 
in adult plumage it is of course entirely spotless, being then 
a plain hair brown bird like Aquila hastata f in this stage the 
head and carpal region of the wing are generally lighter in 
tone than the rest of the upper surface. The tone of the bird 
in this stage, especially about the head, is more rufous than 
that of Aquila hastata. 

I have examined three examples in first plumage, and they 
all correspond as regards the remarkable nuchal patch. There 
is a fourth in the Norwich museum with, I am told, a similar 
patch, but this one I have not seen ; anyhow, a concord between 
three examples, and the first three young birds I have seen, 



270 ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTKS AND CORRECTIONS. 

is conclusive as to specific distinctness. I have seen several in 
other stages of plumage, up to the entirely spotless one, but 
it would take up too much time now to copy the detailed de- 
scriptions out of my note-book. 

It will be well to note here the points of difference between 
this Eagle and Aquila hastata, with which it may be very 
easily confounded: — 

1. The nuchal patch in first plumage; and it is strange 
that this Eagle has a nuchal patch in first plumage, while the 
much larger Aquila nipale?isis gets the nuchal patch in the Anal 
stage. 

2. More rufous in general tone of plumage. 

3. Inclined to have a paler and more sandy-colored 
head. 

4. Frequently the upper part of the wing or carpal region, 
and immediately below the scapulars when the wing is closed, 
is of a very light brown, contrasting strongly with the darker 
brown of the back. I have seen many examples of Aquila 
hastata, but in only one in the museum of Mr Hume, is this 
peculiarity marked. It is conspicuous in most examples of the 
common Indian Kite, Milvus afii?iis. 

5. The nostril as a rule is larger, but of the same shape 

6. The outline of the top of skull, seen in elevation, 
has the occipital portion raised higher above the line of top 
of bill than in hastata. Tliis is generally the case, but a 
few have the skull-shaped as in hastata. 

7. The darker lower tail coverts of the immature bird and 
which are sometimes tipped, and sometimes striped with dull 
yellowish white. 

8. The spots in the lower back, and which I have only 
seen in one example of hastata from Darjeeling collected by 
Major Sharp, and now in the collection of skins in the British 
museum. 

9. The fine narrow stripes of fulvous on the feathers of 
the back of head, which feathers in hastata are merely tipped 
with this color. 

10. The yellow eye. This I only have evidence for, and 
cannot confirm from my own observation. ^^, 

Of the above points the nuchal patch, the spots in lower 
back, and the more rufous tone of the bird, especially about 
the head, are the most important. 

I once united this Eagle with Aquila hastata from a comparison 
of mature birds only ; but I was mistaken, for in immature 
plumage, there is considerable difference. 

Mr. Dresser (in Annals and Magazine of Nat. Hist., 
May 1874) has applied Gmeliu's term of Aquila maculata to 



ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 271 

this species, which in my opinion is wrong for the following 
reasons : — 

1. Latham's description (on which Gmelin's is founded) is 
very accurate, noting even the small spots on the tibia ; it 
is clear from the amount of spots to which he refers, and 
from the striated lower parts, that the bird was in first plu- 
mage; and taking the minuteness of the description into 
account, it is not likely that he would omit all notice of the one 
large spot the bird possesses, viz. that on the nape of the neck. 

2. He speaks of the wing spots* as "giving the wing a most 
beautiful appearance." The wing spots of the lesser bird are 
not very conspicuous, and at the distance of a few yards it 
would hardly shew its spots at all ; but take a young example 
of the larger bird, and its big shower of large oval white spots 
at once command attention, for they really present " a most 
beautiful appearance." 

3. Latham says, the inner secondaries are white at their 
ends " for more than an inch, which is decidedly not the case 
with Aquila rufonuclialis, which has these white tips consider- 
ably shorter/' most examples of the larger bird, however, fully 
come up to the requirement. 

4. The back is said to be spotted with buff, and speaking 
of the large oval white wing spots, he says : — u The feathers on 
the middle of the back are likewise spotted, but of a pale buff 
color.'" The larger bird is noted for large oval buff spots on 
the back, which are often so numerous and large, that they 
coalesce. Let me here remark that I cannot say at what stage 
these large oval spots are exchanged for smaller triangular 
ones ; perhaps after the first moult. 

5. In his later description of the bird (1821), in which he 
adopts Gmelin's Latin term, Latham gives further particulars 
and says, the bird " is found everywhere in Russia and Siberia, 
and even in Kamtschatcka," that " it has a plaintive cry, hence 
called Planga and Clanga." Latham's synonomy also connects 
his bird with the larger and well-known Spotted Eagle. 

In the face of the above evidence it is impossible to correct- 
ly apply Latham's term to the small German Eagle, which 
neither answers to the description, nor to the geographical dis- 
tribution indicated. Falco maculatus, Gmelin, is therefore 
a term clearly applicable only to the larger and well-known bird. 

Aquila naevioides, Cuv. 

1 have seen a third South African example in the collection 
of Canon Tristram, and it corresponds very closelv with the 
first one that I described (Pro*. A. S. B. 1873, pp. 173, 174). 

I have seen two or three of the dark Abyssinian species 
usually referred to A. navioidesj but 1 consider them quite 

l2 



272 ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 

distinct, and probably referable to Aquila albicans, Ruppell. 
There is no disposition to rufous in the Abyssinian bird, while 
naevioides is pre-eminently rufous, the most rufous of Eagles. 
I have seen an old very pale-faded example of the South 
African bird which was in the moult, and the new feathers, 
which were just coming, were of a full rich red. The dark 
Abyssinian species is in every way as distinct as possible, 
and is closely affined to the Indian A. vindhiana; but it is 
larger, more robust, and possessed of more uniform coloration. 

41 bis.— Polisetus plumbeus, Eodgs. 

I examined specimens of P. humilis, Schl. and Mull, 
which are distinct from the Indian bird, and very much smaller. 

49. — Archebutio strophiatus, Hodgs. 

I saw one of Hodgson's examples in the British museum. 
It agrees very closely with his drawing, and this leads me to 
adhere to my conclusion that A. cryptogenys, Hodgs, is a 
good and entirely distinct species. Hodgson's minute details of 
the latter shew a much feebler bird of distinct coloration. The 
type is not to be found now, so we have a rarer bird than what 
the great Auk was to search after. Aquila hastata that myth 
of an Eagle has been brought thoroughly to light, so let us hope 
that some determined ornithologist will succeed in making 
A. cryptogenys well known.* 

56— Milvus govinda, Syhes. 

I examined the type in the Kensington museum. There are 
two examples there labelled " Milvus govinda,'''' but one, which 
is a small example of Milvus a finis, Gould, does not in any 
way agree with Sykes' original description, aud it must there- 
fore be discarded. 

t The type bird is in almost juvenile plumage, having the 
lower parts striated. The wing is 19 "5 inch, and the tail 11*5 

* Personally I have little doubts that cryptogenys, hemiptilopus, and strophiatus 
are all one and the same. Coloration goes absolutely for nothing in these birds, and 
the males are markedly feebler than the females. See my remarks on Buzzards in the 
Travancore paper. — Ed., S. F. 

f Is not this rather begging the question ? In the first place there is nothing to 
show that either of these was the type. Colonel Sykes by no means gave all his collec- 
tions to the Indian Museum. I remember that as late as 1862, the last time I was in 
his house, he had a number of mounted birds there — as far as I remember all moder- 
ate-sized ones ; but he may have had larger ones elsewhere. 

In the next place Mr. Brooks ignores what I conceive to be a fundamental fact, viz., 
that we have 3 distinct Kites in India the small affinis identical, as I years ago showed, 
with Australian specimens. A larger Kite with mottled bases to the primaries which 
I hold to be govinda, and a much larger Kite, with pure white bases to the primaries, 
■which is my major. Either of these latter may be melanotis, T aud S, but both can- 
not be, and from what Mr. Gurney writes to me of the basal portions of the pri- 
maries in melanotis, I believe that this belongs to govinda if it belongs to either of 
our Indian species. — Ed., S. F. 



ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 273 

inches long". As mounted, the bird with its head bent, measures 
24 inches ; and iu the flesh, measured with head and body 
in one line, would have fully reached the dimension of the 
original description or 26 inches. There is no original label 
on either bird. The primaries of the type are largely mot- 
tled with white on the basal portion when the wing is opened 
and looked at from below. There are a few very rufous new 
feathers appearing in the upper plumage. 

It is a decided example of Milvus melanotis, T. and S., which 
term, together with Milvus major, Hume, become synonyms of 
Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

Milvus ajinisy Gould ; I examined some Australian examples 
and found them identical with our common Indian Kite. 

243 bis.— Certhia Hodgsoni, Brooks. 

My distinction of four plain outer primaries holds good. In 
all the European ones I have examined, there are three plain 
primaries. Supposing one or two of the English species were 
found with four plain outer primaries, this would not invalidate 
a general rule, and a prevailing difference, even with an occa- 
sional exception, must not be set aside. Sitta cashmirensis, 
Brooks, is considered by Mr. Dresser and others who have seen 
it to be a good species. I mention this as it was doubtfully 
referred to in birds of Europe. 

297.— Alseonax latirostris, Baffles. 

A. cinereoalba (T. and S.) ; I have seen two more ex- 
amples from Japan,* and they do not agree with the Indian A. 
terricolor, Hodgs. The bill is somewhat differently shaped, and 
has much more black on the lower mandible ; also the general 
tone of the plumage is much more ashy or greyer than that of 
terricolor. Mr. Swinhoe was wrong in uuiting the two species. 

323 bis. — Erythrosterna parva, Meyer and Wolf. 

Indian examples are not to be separated from European ones. 
It appears that I was wrong in considering Indian examples 
of parva to be E. hyperythra, Cabanis, figured by Holdsworth, 
in winter dress. E. hyperythra must therefore be a hill species, 
which does not migrate to the plains of India in the cold, 
weather. 

* A. 1 atirostris was described from Sumatra — all we in India contend for is that 
latirostris is probably identical with terricolor, Hodgs, inasmuch as we get this 
terricolor not only all over India, but in the Andamans and throughout the Malay 
Peninsular to within a few miles of Sumatra. Whether the Japanese bird is distinct 
or not, does not alter the fact that latirostris of Sumatra is infinitely more likely 
to be identical with birds on the other side of the Straits of Malacca than with 
Japanese birds, and that therefore our Indian bird which is identical with specimens 
from the latter locality ought in all human probability to stand as latirostris. — Ed., S. F. 



274 ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 

We have then in India three closely affined species, E. 
parva, E. albicilla, Pallas (erroneously termed leucura, Gmelin), 
and E. hyperythra. 

393 Ms.— Stachyris nififrons, Hume. 

Stachyris preecognitus, Swinhoe, has a very red head and no 
striae like S. rafifrons, Hume. The latter is smaller and some- 
what paler on the head. 

483.— Pratincola indica, Myth. 

Is quite* distinct from rubicola, and as observed by 
Mr. Swinhoe, has always the upper tail coverts plain, which in 
rubicola are always marked longitudinally with dark brown. 
This is an unfailing distinction ; so let the confounding of these 
two distinct Stonechats be abandoned for the future. 

Pratincola robusta, Tristram. 

I examined the two types, and consider this remarkably fine 
large Stonechat to be a good species. It is rarer than P. insignia, 
Hodgson. 

548 — Drymoipus inornatus, Sykes. 

I examined the type, and it is in the longicaudatus plumage, 
or the winter plumage of D. terricolor, Hume. 

The synonyms of this bird are therefore — 

D. inornatus, Sykes. 

D. longicaudatus, Tickell. 

D. terricolor, Hume. 

The difference between winter and summer plumage is fairly 
shewn in the plate in Lahore to Yarkand, except that the tip 
of the tail of the winter bird (D. longicaudatus) is too 
white. 

I took a number of Indian examples with me to compare 
with Sykes'; type, in order that no mistake might be 
made. 

550. —Drymoipus lepidus (Burnesia lepida, Blyth.) 

This is quite distinct from Drymaeca gracilis, Hupp, and 
lays a blue egg streaked with black, f while the eggs of D. 

* Some time ago I examined my large series of Indian and European birds and 
this distinction appeared to me infallible. Did not Cabanis first point it out ? c. f. HI, 
p. 429, and note, p. 239.— Ed., S. F. 

f There is some mistake here. Our Indian bird, gracilis or lepidus, whichever it 
may be, lays a small glossy egg, with a dull white, greenish white, or pale green ground, 
profusely freckled and streaked, and, at times, even blotched with a bright, only slightly- 
brownish, red; the markings are densest around the large end where they form a 
broad nearly confluent well-marked but imperfect and irregular zone. See also Nests and 
Eggs, Hough Draft, page 357. Since this was written Captain. Bingham has taken a 
very large number of these eggs, and they correspond perfectly with the specimens 
received from Mr. A. Anderson. I do not know what Mr. Brooks means by saying 
this bird lays a blue egg streaked with black. — Ed., S. F. 



ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 275 

<j?*acilis, which I have from Palestine taken by Canon Tristram, 
are as red as those of a Prinia. D. lepidns is a true Drymoi- 
pus, and should not be generically separated because it is streaked. 
The note is exceedingly like that of D. inomatus, but weaker, 
and its habits are very similar. 

553.— Hippolais rama, Syhes. 

I examined the type which Mr. Dresser correctly deter- 
mined as the larger and greyer fa species. I had specimens of 
both species with me for comparison. 

Phyllopneuste coronata, T. fy S. 

Is very like Regutoides occipitalis, but with darker and 
rather stronger bill. It is a rather brighter colored bird, and 
the lower tail coverts are pale yellow. The latter point is the 
characteristic distinction. It is quite distinct from R. occipi- 
talis, with which it has been erroneously united. 

Phylloscopus Brehmii, Homey er. 

I have seen the type, which is P. rufa. The small Chiff- 
chaffs are only the females, and not distinct species. 

Phylloscopus brevirostris, Strickland. 

I have examined the type, and it is beyond all doubt only 

P. rufa. The wing formula of this species is subject to slight 

variation, which includes the proportions of the primaries of 
P. brevirostris. 

Phylloscopus abyssinicus, BUnford. 

Is also P. rufa in fine pure spring plumage. 

It was very satisfactory to find that the types of the three 
new Chiff-chaffs — Brehmii, brevirostris, and abyssinicus, were 
founded upon some of the phases of P. rufa. I myself had 
described very small female examples of rufa as P. tristrami; 
but the Editor of the Ibis did not insert my paper as soon as 
I could have wished and I recalled it. I am glad now that the 
delay took place, or there would have been one more useless 
synonym of the Chiff-chaff. 

Some years since I came to the conclusion that Phylloscopus 
tristis, Blyth, was identical with P. rufa. I had found that 
an example of P. brevirostris, sent me by Canon Tristram, was 
apparently identical with P. rufa. Blyth, in Ibis for 1867, 
page 25, suggests the identity of tristis and brevirostris; Jerdon 
also (Birds of India, page 873) refers to the identification 
on Blyth's authority ; and as brevirostris was clearly rufa, 
I erroneously jumped to the conclusion that tristis = rufa. Close 



276 ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 

comparison of a wood series which I afterwards got of rufa, 
with our Indian bird, soon convinced me that I was wrong. 

The European and Asiatic Chiff-chaffs much resemble each 
other, so a word or two upon their differences will not be out 
of place. 

Tristis is not nearly so greenish above, nor so yellowish 
below as rufa. It is pale greyish, brown above, and dull fulvous 
white below; like rufa, it is rufous about the head, or strongly 
tinged with reddish white, the cheeks and supercilium especially 
shew this tint. Rufa is olive above, and much more tinged 
with yellow on the lower parts. Both birds have the bright 
yellow axillaries and edge of wing. While rufa is a rather 
richly toned Phylloscopus, tristis is, with the exception of 
neglectus, the most sober-toned of the group. 

With regard to the eggs said to be those of tristis taken by 
Messrs. Seebohm and Harvie Brown, I am not quite satisfied 
with them. They are exactly like those of trochilus, but 
rather smaller than the average. They rest entirely upon native 
evidence, and were taken where trochilus is common. They there- 
fore require confirmation. I should expect the eggs of tristis to 
be more like those of rufa, viz. spotted with dark purple brown, 
instead of light red. Still the eggs may be those of tristis which 
time will shew. Vide Ibis for April 1876. 

Phylloscopus xanthodryas, Swinhoe. 

Is a very distinct species, similar in coloration of upper 
surface to P. magnirostris, but rather greener ; and its lower 
surface is different, being a rather clear greenish yellow, more 
inclined to green than yellow. It is less infuscated on the 
sides of the breast and flanks than magnirostris. The second 
primary equals the 6th. It is about the same size as magni- 
rostris. 

Phylloscopus plumbeitarsus, Swinhoe. 

Is also a good species. It is about the size of P. viridanus, 
and has two wing bars. It is somewhat greener than that 
bird, and its supercilium is broad and long. The bill is stouter 
than in viridanus, being more of the magnirostris shape. Dried 
skins do not shew the colour of the legs and feet as different 
from those of viridanus, but no doubt the lead color is apparent 
in fresh examples. The second primary is equal to the seventh. 

Phylloscopus tenellipes, Sioinhoe. 

Another good bird; is a small Phylloscopus of entirely differ- 
ent coloration, brownish olive, above and passing to very rufous 
olive on lower back and tail. The head is inclined to greyish 



ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 277 

brown. There is a buff-colored wing 1 bar and indica- 
tions of a second one. Supercilicum reddish white inclined to 
yellow anteriorly. A very dark band through the eye : cheeks 
mottled with brown ; lower parts white, washed with brownish 
on sides of breast and flanks. Bill rather short, and stout, legs 
and feet very pale, as in Horornis. The second primary is equal 
to seventh, or between sixth and seventh. 

Phylloscopus umbrovirens, Biipp. 

Is a remarkable species. Head ruddy brown, wings very 
green ; tail greenish ; no wing bars ; bill rather stout ; a warm 
brownish supercilium ; from chin to breast light rufous brown 
or brownish buff, becoming paler lower down towards tail 
coverts. 

Phylloscopus Schwarzii, Badde. 

I am afraid that my namesake, P. Brooksi, Hume, belongs 
to this species.* Comparing my colored sketch of the type, 
the only difference I can perceive is the slightly longer bill. 

Dimensions of two examples were : — 

Wing. Tail. Bill at front. Bill from nostril. Bill from gape. 



c? 2"-5 


2"-20 


•29 


•29 


•47 


? 2"-5 


2"15 


•29 


•27 


•5 



The total lengths given on the labels are $ 143 Mill. ? Mill. 
131. I have given a few particulars of Phylloscopi that are 
not Indian to facilitate identification ; if any of them happen to 
turn up in India, which is not at all unlikely as regards the 
three Chinese species. 

582.— Curruca affinis, Bhjth. 

The distinctions I have pointed out ( ei Stray Feathers/' 
1875, p. 272) hold good, and the Indian bird is quite distinct 
from its European congener. 

582 bis.— Curruca cinerea, Latham. 

Mr. Hume shewed me examples killed in the west of India. 

* I am inclined to doubt this identification; Schwarzii is very carefully figured by 
Radde " Reisen im suden von ost Sibirien." Table 9. 

Neither of the two figures shew any supercilium, whereas this is very large and con- 
spicuous in Brooksi extending to the nape. The shape of the first quill is different, 
and the bill of Brooksi appears to be not only shorter, but not nearly so broad ; however, 
Mr. Brooks mav be correct, but I had fully considered Schwarzii when I described 
Brooksi. — Ed., S. F. 



278 ORNITHOLOGICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS. 

Anthus Seebohmi, Dresser. 

I examined this bird. It has a longer and stronger bill than 
pratensis, and more resembles Corydulla than Anthus. The 
coloration is rather different from that of pratensis, and there 
are a few whitish feathers, mingled with the dark brown of the 
shoulders. The third primary is shorter than in pratensis, bein<r 
one-sixth of an inch short of tip of wing. The outer tail 
feathers are not white, but pale brownish white, or a rather 
soiled cream color. The wing is the same length as in praten- 
sis. But for the long strong bill, it might, at first sight, be 
mistaken for pratensis. It is a good species. 

597.— Anthus agilis, Sykes. 

I examined the type which I found to be undoubted arhoreus 
or trivialis, as suggested by Mr. Blyth. I had a uumber of 
Pipits of various sorts with me in order to make sure work, but 
it was apparent at a glance, that Sykes' bird was the common 
Tree Pipit of Europe. To some the identification would not 
have been easy work ; for the type, like an old soldier, has a 
false leg belonging to some other species. It has a white leg, 
and a stronger black one. The white leg is an original one, 
but the toes are all decayed, and from the foot the species could 
not be determined. The character of the plumage as regards 
striation of back, the bill, size of wing, &c, are what we have 
to go by, but they are sufficient for any one who knows the 
species. I trust the term agilis will not in future be the 
favourite one for the very distinct green Chinese Pipit, Anthus 
maculatus, Hodgs. 

Accentor multistriatus, David. 

From North China, is excessively like A. strophiatus, Hodgs. ; 
but is paler, and somewhat larger. It is quite distinct from 
both A. strophiatus and A. Jerdoni, Brooks. 

679.— Fregilus graculus. 

This is Indian, and is the species found in Persia and 
Cashmere. 

Fregilus himalayanus, Gould, is a larger bird, .with consider- 
ably longer wing and bill; and the color of the bill and legs 
is retained much better in skins than in the other species. I 
think the large species should be kept distinct. 

765.— Spizalauda deva, Sykes. 

This type I carefully examined, and it is the small bird that 
Mr. Hume named S. simillima. 



279 



g&Mtional Uotcs on tfec 5pt4auna of tic gnonnmit 
gslaubs. 



Since the publication of my paper on the avi-fauna of the 
Islands of the Bay of Bengal,* a very large number of speci- 
mens, chiefly from the Andamans, have, owing to the kindness of 
General D. Stewart, Captain' Wimberley, and Mr. A. F. de Roep- 
storff, passed through my hands. 

Several good species, Ephialtes modestus, Emberiza pusilla, 
Tringa crassirostris, and StrLv de Roepstorji, have been added 
to the list, as also one doubtful one Hupotcp.nidia abnormis. I 
have now to add three others — Accipiter msus, Cuculus canorus, 
and Gelochelidon angllca. Some species that were doubtful 
have proved to be invalid like Janthenas nicobarica, Geocic/da an- 
damanensis, and Megapodiits trinkutensis ; others again, such as 
Jlcedo Beavani (entered by me as A. asiatica), Halcyon saturati&r, 
Pelargopsi s intermedia, Hypotanidia obscuriora, Turrrix albiventris, 
have proved in my opinion valid species. 

As to several species, e.g. Milvus govinda, Pastor rosens, and 
Pelecanus philippensis, the further experience of several years 
confirms the view that I originally took that these cannot be 
considered as pertaining to the ornis of these islands, though a 
straggler of one or other of them may possibly have occurred there. 

Of some species again the continued failure to procure any 
further information, e.g., Hirundo andamanensis and Oreocincla 
inframarginata, strengthens the conviction that there has pos- 
sibly been some mistake in regard to them. 

It is quite certain now that Acridotheres fuscus and eveiy 
other species introduced by Colonel Tytler, with the exception of 
Acridotheres tristis and Pavo cristatus, have entirely died out. 

I have jotted down from time to time a few further notes in 
regard to the avi-fauna of these islands which have occurred 
to me in examining the numerous collections which have been 
kindly submitted to me, and I take this opportunity of now 
putting these on record. 

I have entered the names of all species not included in my 
first list (II, p. 139,) in antique type. 
8. — Falco peregrinus, Gmel. 

To General Stewart I am indebted for a specimen of this 
species procured at Port Blair. We saw the species at Pre- 
paris, and Dr. Armstrong lately obtained a specimen at Diamond 
Island, not far from Cape Negrais, so that the route by which 
this species (and probably the several Accipiters) arrive at tho 
Andamans is pretty clear. 

* See Vol. II, p. 139, et seq. .- see also Vol. II., p. 489, p. 490, et seq. p. 631 ; Vol- 
III, p. 264, p. 280, p. 327, and pp. 389, 390. 

M 2 



Tarsus, 1" 8 Tail, 4"5. 
2"1 „ 6"0. 

2"-0 „ 6"5. 



280 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI-FAUNA 

24.— Accipiter nisus, Lin. 

The occurrence of the European Sparrow Hawk at the Anda- 
mans, where a fine female, which he has just sent me, was killed 
in October, by Captain Wimberley, is worthy of note. This spe- 
cies has not as yet been recorded from Tenasserim, and its occur- 
rence in Burmah at all rests solely on Captain Fielden's belief 
that a bird he shot some years ago at Thayetmyo was Accipiter 
nisus. It occurs eastward as far as China, southwards to Ceylon, 
but does not extend its wanderings, as far as is yet known, to 
Malayana or the Archipelago— and the South Andaman is the 
most south-easterly point from which it has been as yet recorded. 

25. — Accipiter virgatus, Temm. 

Three more specimens of this species, all young birds of 
the year, and killed in the South Andaman in August and Sept- 
ember, were sent me by Captain "Wimberley. In all (see Vol. 
II, p. 141) the fourth quill is decidedly longer than the fifth. 

The birds, two females and one male, are small and more 
brio-htlv tinned with rufous than is usual in the case of conti- 
nental exemples. 

<J Length, 10" 75 Wing, 5"8 

$ „ 13" 5 „ rz 

$ „ 12"-9 „ 7"-l 

34 bis. — Spizaetus andamanensis, Tytler. 

This species is not so rare as I fancied ; I have now received 
other specimens in young and intermediate stages of plumage. 

Two males measured : — Length, 22"5 — 22 ff, 75; wing, 
14''_14'-2 ; tail from vent, 9'-75— 9''5; tarsus, 3"-5— 3'-6; bill 
from gape 1"'8. 

One of these, which from analogy I take to be a young bird, 
has the entire head and neck all round and entire lower sur- 
face white with a faint creamy tinge on the head and neck ; 
the ear coverts unstreaked white ; no mandibular stripe ; the 
faintest possible trace of a throat stripe ; the breast feathers 
with a very few linear lanceolate dark brown shaft stripes. 

Feathers of the centre of the crown and of the broad nu- 
chal sub-crest, as also the feathers of the nape below this crest 
and the sides of the basal portion of the neck, with dark 
brown oval sub-terminal shaft spots. Forehead and sides of 
the crown and the feathers immediately beyond the ear coverts, 
with dark shaft stripes ; mautle deep wood brown, the feathers 
margined paler ; the tail has a broad sub-terminal dark brown 
band, with a narrow white tipping, and there are six well-mark- 
ed, nearly equidistant, half inch broad, dark brown bands, on a 
somewhat olive brown ground, above this. 

In the next stage the dark shaft spots on the head and 
nape are more numerous and more developed : the ear coverts 
and cheeks and sides of the throat are striped with dark brown; 



OF THIS ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 281 

a narrow central throat stripe appears ; most of the feathers of the 
breast and abdomen exhibit large (though not so large as in the fully 
adult), somewhat wedge-shaped, terminal brown shaft spots, and 
the tibice and vent feathers acquire a fulvous brown tint. In this 
stage the whole lower surface is sometimes tinged with a dirty 
pale fulvous brown. The third stage, that of the fully adult, has 
been already described in detail, Vol. II, page 142. 

I do not exactly understand the changes that take place in 
the barrings of the tail. In the quite young bird, above describ- 
ed, there are six bars besides the sub-terminal one ; in the two 
in Colonel Ty tier's collection which I examined, and which were 
also, as I now know, young and not adult birds, there were four 
bars only, besides the sub-terminal one. In the old adult described, 
Vol. II, page 142, there are five. In the specimen described by 
Captain Beavau there were apparently six, besides the terminal 
one. As a rule in the Spizaeti, the bars in the young are more 
numerous and more or less equidistant; as the bird grows older, 
some of the bars get absorbed, the terminal bar becomes much 
broader than the rest, the succeeding interspace becomes broader 
than any of the other interspaces, and the remaining bars 
often reduced to half the number that exist in the young bird, 
also grow broader and more pronounced. But then, as in many 
other of the Raptores, the changes of plumage of the lower 
surface and of the tail are not always synchronous, and speci- 
mens will be found with a perfectly adult tail which have not 
yet assumed the perfect adult plumage below, and again others in 
which the chin, throat, and whole lower parts, are those of the 
perfect adult, while the tail has not yet completed its changes. 

39 quat. — Spilornis Davisoni, Hume. 

This species appears to be quite as common at the Anda- 
mans as Elgini. I have examined now fully fifty specimens, and 
all I previously said of this species (Vol. II, pp. 147-8) is correct. 
Call it a local race or sub-species, or species, its coarse stout 
tarsi, with their coarse conspicuous scutation, and wings only 
varying from about 14 to 15 £ inches, separate it at once from the 
other races of cheela, melanotis, Jerd., and Rutherfordi, Swiuh., 
of both of which as of Davisoni, I have now very large series. 

As I said long ago, this race seems to me to come nearest 
pallidus, Wald., but it differs (at rate if Mr. Sharpe's figure and 
description, Cat. I, p. 290, pi. IX, are correct) from this latter 
in two important particulars at least. In the first place instead 
of having a comparatively short though full crest, it has a very 
long one, completely covering when not raised the whole back 
of the nape ; in a fine male, measured from the forehead where 
it may be said to commence, it extends 52 inches backwards. 
In the second place the tail is differently marked. In pallidus the 
tail is all dark brown, tipped of course paler and with one broad 



282 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI-FAUNA 

median ashy white band. Of the central tail feathers ot the 
above specimen of Davisoni the basal 3'5 inches (of which all 
but l" - 2 is hidden by the upper tail coverts) are a rather warm 
hair brown. Then comes a broad very dark brown bar of l' - 9 7 
margined above on the inner web with an 0"1 broad wavy pure 
white line. Then after the dark brown bar comes a broad (1""3) 
pale bar, white at its upper and lower margins, elsewhere clouded 
with pale brown. Then follows a sub-terminal 2-inch blackish 
brown bar, tipped for 0"'2 with pale brown, and then beyond that 
with pure white for O'l. Add to this that Davisioni has 
apparently a larger bare lore space than pallidus. In this 
latter the frontal feathers descend on either side as low as 
a line joining the nostrils and the anterior angle of the eye. 
In Davisoni, they nowhere cross a line drawn from the cui- 
men of the cere, to a point about 0""15 above the upper mar- 
gin of the eye. This holds good ia every one of sixteen specimens 
now before me, one of which has apparently only just left the 
nest, while three are clearly old adults. I feel sure myself that 
the species for sub-species) is a good one. 

39 sextus. — Spilornis minimus, Hume. 

Mr. De. Roepstorff has procured three other specimens of this 
species, two in the very same locality where our former speci- 
mens were obtained, and one at Katchall. The first he has 
sexed as a female. It measured : — Length, 18""5 ; wing, 1 1"'5 ; 
tail from vent, 7 ,/# 5 ; tarsus, 2"' 75; bill from gape, straight 
to point, 1"*7; the bird appears to be adult and is a perfect 
miniature of adult cheela, but entirely wants any barring on 
the throat and entire breast. 

The second is a nearly adult male, it is in the adult plumage, 
but is paler than the preceding, and has the scapulars and 
all the coverts tipped with white. It has no trace of barring 
on the throat or breast. It measures : — Length, 18"*7 ; wing, 1 1"1 ; 
tail from vent, 7"*6 j tarsus, 2"*75 ; bill from gape, l"-6. 

The third of these is sexed a female, it is in the first plum- 
age very similar to that of cheela. It measures : — Length, 1 9" "25 ; 
wing, 11"'3; tail, 8""3; tarsus, 2"*7 ; bill from gape,°l"-67. 

We have now five specimens, males and females of this interest- 
ing species in different stages of plumage,and these fully confirm 
my original brief, but I believe sufficient diagnosis (I, p. 464.) 

" Resembles cheela, but is much paler ; has the throat and breast 
entirely unbarred. Is the smallest of its genus. Wiuqs va7'y- 
ing from, ll'-Q to 1V-75:' 
56. — Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

Notwithstanding the close look-out that has now been kept 
since our visit to the Andamaus nearly three years ago, by three 
different collectors, no specimen of the common Kite appears yet 
to have been met with. 



OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 283 

60 bis.— Strix De Roepstorffi, Hume (III, p. 390;. 

There seems no doubt now that this must have been the. 
Owl which Colonel Tytler saw, and which Captain Beavan sup- 
posed might be Syrnium seloputo, Horsf. There is no reason 
whatsoever to believe that this latter does occur at the Anda- 
mans, or indeed the Nicobars, but the latter have been as yet 
so perfunctorily worked, that the negative evidence goes, where 
these are concerned, for much less. 

74 his A.— Ephialtes nicobaricus, Sp. Nov. 

At p. 151, Vol. II, I eutered doubtfully a small Scopsowl 
from the Nicobars as pertaining to the rufous form, as it is gener- 
ally considered (though I believe it to be distinct) of Epliialtes 
pennatus, viz. Scops sunia of Hodgson. 

Having now re-examined the bird, and compared it with spe- 
cimens of pennatus, sunia, malayanus, menadensis, and other 
similar species, and having carefully studied Mr. Sharpe's 
catalogue, it appears to me clear that the Nicobar bird is distiuct 
from any species as yet admitted by Mr. Sharpe. 

It can be easily described as closely resembling sunia, with 
the whole forehead, crown, occiput, and upper parts generally, 
together with the sides of the head, throat, and breast, ferru- 
ginous chestnut (much more ferruginous than Sunia ever is,) 
with the same white scapular spots, the same white notches ou 
primaries and greater coverts, but with the crown and entire 
upper surface, more or less freckled and vermiculated with 
blackish brown, and with the feathers of the ruff on the sides of the 
neck and across the throat strongly marked with black. The 
frecklings and vermiculations of the upper surface (which are 
wanting in sunia) are not so dense, and are much coarser than in 
malayanus, and the sides of the head and cheeks are rufous, 
and not greyish or greyish brown as in this latter. 

No specimen of sunia, aud I have a large series, makes any 
sort of approach to the markings of the upper surface, which 
characterise the Nicobar bird. Some very rufous examples of 
pennatus on the other hand do make some approach in the 
character of their markings on the upper surface to those of the 
Nicobar birds, but then the very brightest rufous examples of 
pennatus always have more or less of a greyish tino-e on the 
scapulars and tertiaries, and never have the* throat and breast 
and sides of the neck bright rufous. Moreover, the vermicula- 
tions and markings on the upper surface in the Nicobar bird 
are coarser aud more sparse than in rufous pennatus. 

The lower breast, abdomen, and the rest of the lower parts 
including the /am, are precisely as in many specimens of sunia, 
and again as in a very rufous pejinatus. 



284 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI-FAUNA 

The dimensions are those of the two last named species. 

74 quint.-— Ephialtus modestus, Wald, 

Mr. Sharpe who has carefully examined the types of both 
this species and E. Balli, Hume, is of opinion that modestus 
is distinct. He remarks : — u It has been suggested by Mr. Hume 
that the bird from the Andamans, named Scops modestus by 
Lord Walden, must be the young bird of <S. Balli; and I con- 
fess that, until I examined and compared the types, I enter- 
tained a similar impression. Lord Walden, however, having 
kindly lent me the original specimen of S. modestus for examina- 
tion, I have come to the conclusion that the two species are 
quite distinct. Lord Walden has two specimens precisely 
similar ; and they seem to me to represent the young of some 
species of the 6'. malayanus type. Immature they certainly 
are ; but they present too many differences for me to refer them 
to S. Balli. The type of the latter has been lent to me by 
Mr. Hume ; and as the wings and tail in S. modestus are 
doubtless those of the adult bird, I draw attention to the follow- 
ing charaacters, which, as its seems to me, must separate the 
two ; for in no other species of Scops is such a difference known 
between the }'oung and the adult stages : — 

Scops Balli, ad. greater Scops modestus, juv. greater 

wing coverts and secondary wing covert and secondary quills 
quills dull brown, externally alternately barred with sandy 
rufous chocolate, with minute rufous and dark brown, the latter 
vermiculations of black, and a bars rather broken up into 
few small notches of fulvous. vermiculations, especially on 

Primary coverts nearly outer margin ; the greater 
blackish brown, vermiculated coverts with white spots near 
•with rufous chocolate at the the tip of the outer web, not 
tips. Primaries dull brown, present in the secondaries, 
rufescent at tips, notched with Primary coverts and primaries 

white on outer web, the inter- dull brown on inner web, but 
spaces inclining to rufous regularly banded with sandy 
chocolate. rufous and dark brown on 

Tail for the most part rufous, outer web ; some of the pri- 
chocolate-like back, with indi- maries with whitish notches, 
cations of lighter bands, the Tail regularly banded with 

outer feather externally notched dark brown and sandy 
with whitish. rufous, the dark bars somewhat 

broken up into vermiculations 
on the centre feather. 

Ac-ain, the feathering of the tarsus is very different, not 
extending nearly so far down the leg in S. Balli as it does 
in S. modestus.'" 



OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 285 

81 A.— Ninox scutulata, Baff. ? N. burmanica. Sp. 
Nov. 

It is under Raffles' name that Mr. Sharpe considers that the 
Nicobar birds should stand. He appears to have seen only one 
specimen, a female collected at Trinkut with awing- 7" # 4. I can- 
not doubt that this specimen was affinis. The larger race that oc- 
curs on the Nicobars has the wing about 8"'l and 8"'4 in 
males and females, and they should perhaps be placed with the 
Burmese race ; they are much larger, and not at all of the same 
type as the extreme south of India, Ceylonese, and Straits 
race. In dealing with these Ninoxes, Mr. Sharpe defines the 
species as follows : — 
Head, grey ; much lighter than the back, which is 

browner; tail, clear grey, tipped with white, 

the black bands in strong contrast. 

a. Axillaries barred with brown and white ; 
breast spots, brown ; size, large. Wing 8 to 8 75 

inches ... ... ... . . . lugubris, Tick. 

b. Axillaries uniform orange chestnut ; breast 

spots, chestnut. Size, small. Wing, 665 inches affinis, Tytler. 
Head, dark brown, generally uniform with the 

back, seldom greyer ; tail, dark bi-own, with 

blackish brown bars ... scutulata, Raffl. : Jiirsulus, Tern. 

Lugubris he assigns to the Indian peninsula and the 
Himalayas. Affinis, which is clearly distinct and of which fur- 
ther hereafter, belongs, though Mr. Sharpe does not specifically 
mention this, equally to the Andamans and Nicobars. 

Lastly his scutulata, he assigns to the whole of India, Ceylon, 
Malaiasia, through China to Japan and southwards into the 
islands of the Malayan sub-region. Thus uniting under this 
head, the little malaccensis, Eytou from the Straits, japonicus, 
and borneensis, Bonp., and jiorensis, Wallace. 

I myself am very doubtful whether the Indian lugubris and 
scutulata, apud Sharpe, can be definitely separated. No doubt 
typical specimens corresponding with Mr. Sharpe's diagnosis 
may be selected, but many specimens will be found which it is 
not possible thus to classify. 

The points Mr. Sharpe insists on are: — (1) the greyness of 
the head, much lighter than the back in lugubris, and the dark 
brown head, generally uniform with the back in what he calls 
scutulata; and (2) the pale grey tail, tipped with white in 
lugubris, and the dark brown tail in scutulata. 

I do not think however, that these distinctions hold good. I 
have some birds with very dark tails and conspicuously greyer 
heads ; others with very light tails and yet of a generally dark 
brown upper plumage, aud the head darkest of all and not 
in the least grey. 



286 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVl-FAUNA 

My impression is that either we must unite Mr. Sharpe's two 
species higubris and scutulata, or that we shall have to divide 
them into several more species. (1) one for the plains of 
Central and Northern India, the true lugubris, (2) one for 
Ceylon, Travancore, and the Straits, hirsutus, Tem, which, if 
Sumatran specimens prove identical, must stand as scutulata, 
(3) one for Nipal and the Eastern Himalayas, nipalensis, (4) one 
for Tipperahj Cachar, and other neighbouring localities eastward, 
a very large dark form only provisionally designated by me as 
innominata, and (5) one for Pegu and Tenasserim intermediate 
between this last and nipalensis with which the Nicobar birds 
closely correspond. I shall deal, however, with this question 
more fully hereafter, at present I merely wish it to be under- 
stood that the Cachar birds (? innominata, sp. nov.) belong to 
a very large dark race, the upper surface a nearly uniform deep 
chocolate brown with the head if anything darker than the 
rest of the body — while those from the Nicobars like those 
from Pegu and Teuasserim, are intermediate in size aud color 
between the Cachar form and nipalensis, Hodgs. 

I am quite ready to make only one species of the lot, but if 
lugubris is to be separated, so also must be, I think, the other 
races above indicated. 

81 his. — J\inox ajfinis, Tytler. 

I am afraid Mr. Sharpe's diagnosis of this species, "axillaries 
uniform orange chestnut, breast spots chestnut, wiug 6'*65," will 
scarcely hold good. 

The axillaries are not always uniform, they are sometimes 
banded with brown, and ai*e pale buff instead of being orang-e 
chestnut ; the breast spots are not always chestnut, in one speci- 
men they are ferruginous buff, precisely the same color as in 
specimens of other Indian and Malayan Ninox. Lastly, the wing 
in the male is certain! y sometimes as large 6"' 9, for I have 
one specimen of this size, and the wings of the females run 
to 7" 4 and 7'' 6, and, I entertain no doubt that Mr. Sharpe's 
N. scutulata from the Nicobars (Cat. Vol. II, p. 159,) a female 
with the wing 7"*4 belonged really to the present species. 

82 ter. — Hirundo andamanensis, Tytler. 

Nothing has yet been seen of this supposed species, which 
I suspect will prove to be nothing but the immature male of 
the common Eastern Chimney Swallow. 

82 quat.— Hirundo gutturalis, Scop. 

Under which name, and not H. rustica, as given in my first 
paper, the Chimney Swallow so common at the Andamans should 
probably stand. 
96. — Chcetura indica, Hume. 



OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 287 

Notwithstanding what has recently been advanced, I must 
re-express my opinion that this is a good species, differinc* 
from gigantea (Hasselt) as pointed out, S. F., I, p. 471. 

I have now specimens of the true gigantea, one killed by Mr. 
Hough at the extreme south of the Tenasserim Provinces, and 
two others from near Singapore. They all want the white or 
whitey brown patch in front, and the whitey brown throat, 
and have a distinct green and not bluish gloss. Again, they 
are not nearly so pale on the back as indica. I have now com- 
pared 4 Javan, 2 Singapore, 1 Malewoon specimen, all of one 
type, representing as I believe the true gigantea with between 
30 or 40 specimens of indica from Southern India and the 
Andamans, and I cannot myself see how the adults of the two 
species can be confounded. The young of indica doubtless 
have the white patch, more or less tinged with brown, but even 
so, they appear to me distinguishable at a glance. 

These birds possess such extraordinary powers of locomotion, 
that I should not be surprised to hear of specimens of indica 
turning up in Sumatra or the Malay Peninsular as stragglers 
from the Andaman's, but if the races were not distinct, it is 
most extraordinary that, out of 37 specimens from India and 
the Andamans, not one should belong to the gigantea type, and 
that out of 7 from Java and the Malay Peniusular, not one 
should be of the indica t}^pe. 

118. — Merops pliilippinus, Lin. 

I mentioned (S. F., II, p. 162,) that, though seen at the Cocos, 
and obtained at the Nicobars, we had no record of the occurrence 
of this species at the Andamans. I have recently obtained 
specimens killed at Aberdeen (S. Andaman) in November by 
Mr. De Roepstorff. 

130. — Halcyon atricapillus, Gm. 

This also is a species, which is not quite so rare as I fancied, 
as I have received altogether some 8 or 10 specimens since my 
paper was published. 

133.- — Ceyx tridactgla, Lin. 

No second specimen appears to have been since obtained from 
the Andamans, but Mr. De Roepstorff has sent me two speci- 
mens which he procured on Kondul, a tiny island immediately 
adjoining the Great Nicobar. 

134 quat. — Alcedo Beavani, Walden. 

Referring to what I said (II, p. 174), I may mention that I 
have now examined about 26 specimens from the Andamans, and 
that the only difference that I can discover to be constant be- 
tween the two sexes is that in the female, the lower mandible 
is red, a peculiarity shared, however, apparently by the young 

n 2 



288 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI-FAUNA 

male. In one or two females there is just the faintest trace of 
a reddish tinge at the base of the ear coverts. No single speci- 
men, old or young, has either red cheeks or red ear coverts. 
This being so, the species cannot be asiatica, and we must adopt 
Lord Walden's name of Beavani (olim rufig astro). See, for 
further remarks on the continental representatives of this 
species, my Travancore paper. 

199.— Cuculus canorus, Lin. 

I have received a specimen of a Cnckoo, killed at the Anda- 
mans on the 16th November, which is precisely similar to a 
great number of others that I have obtained in India, and which 
in common with most other Indian ornithologists, I have always 
called canorus. These specimens differ only from others ob- 
tained in India and from European ones, in their slightly 
smaller size, and possibly a shade slenderer bills. The present 
specimen is a female, passing out of the barred stage, the rump 
and upper tail coverts alone being pure ashy, the feathers 
narrowly margined at the tips with rufous. The wings are 
only 7""97, and the total length 12"*75, but it is of the true cano- 
rus type, with numerous narrow cross set bars on the lower 
surface, and not at all of the sir lotus, Drapiez, canoroides, 
Miiller (= canorinus, Cab. et Hein. ), &c, &c., type with the com- 
paratively broad and widely separated bars. This species has 
not j'et been recorded from the Andamans, and must now be 
entered in our list. 

200. — Cuculus striatus, Drapiez. 

A beautiful adult of this species, quite inseparable from 
Himalayan examples, was sent me from Port Blair, where it 
was procured in February. We often heard this species in the 
Andamans, where its melodious double note, " kyphul pukha" 
is familiar to all, but it was only in the Nicobars that we suc- 
ceeded in securing specimens. 

203. — Cuculus micropterus, Gould. 

As already noticed (III, p. 264), I have received a typical 
specimen of this species from the Andamans. 

235 bis. — Arachneclithra pectoralis, Horsf. 

Comparing a large series of Nicobar specimens, with an 
equally large series from a number of different localities on the 
Malay Peninsular, south of Penang, I find that the insular bird 
runs decidedly smaller, and is of a somewhat darker and greener 
olive above than the Straits birds. 

279.— Dicrurus annectans, Hodgs. 

I entered this species as balicassius, Lin., but it is now admit- 
ted that this latter title applies to tht Philippine species, and not 



OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 289 

to the Malayan or Himalayan forms. Lord Walden has recent- 
ly remarked (Trans, Z. S. IX. 2, p. 180) that the Malayan race 
is Edolius ajinis, Blyth (J. A. S. B., 1842, p. 174,) the 
Himalayan D. annectans, Hodgs. (Ind. Rev., 1837, p. 326), and 
that he is unable to separate the two. 

280 bis. — Dicrurus leucogenys, Walden. 

I entered a young specimen of this species erroneously as 
leucophceus, Vieill ; the latter is considered to be exclusively a 
Javan form, and though when adult closely resembling the young 
of the present species before the white cheeks of the latter 
make their appearance, it is a smaller bird, and has the lores 
dark, whereas the young of the present species has them pale 
or almost white. It is the young of the present species that 
Blyth described as cineraceus, Horsf., in his description which 
I quoted, note p. 210, Vol. II. 

356 bis. — Geocichla albogularis, Blyth. 

At page 495, Vol. II, I noticed that Lord Walden had se- 
parated the Andaman Bush Thrush as G. andamanensis, and as, 
though without explaining wherein the difference consisted, His 
Lordship asserted that it was clear that the Andaman bird be- 
longed to a totally distinct species, I naturally, having no Nico- 
bar specimens to compare, accepted this verdict. 

Having now, however, eleven specimens of the Andaman, and 
four of the .Nicobar birds before me, I confess that I should be 
glad to have pointed out to me wherein this total distinctness 
consists ; to me the birds do not appear to be separable. 

First, as to size; the following are the dimensions of the 
wings of my fifteen specimens : — 

Nicobars. 
<£ 4"-09 
„ 4"-2 
3"-91 



3" -98 



Then as to color ; this is apparently very variable ; no doubt, 
four out of the six Andaman males have duller colored heads 
and are paler below and have less white on the throat (in fact, 
one has no white at all on the throat), than the Nicobar males ; 





Andaman, 


c? 


4"- 12 


» 


4"- 1 


» 


4"- 2 


55 


4' -4 


» 


4"-01 


55 


4"-05 


? 


3"-9 


)) 


3"-91 


ii 


4"-0 


)) 


4" -05 


11 


4"1 



290 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI-FAUNA 

but two specimens have just as much white on the throat as the 
Nicobar birds, and one has the head and other parts just as 
brightly colored. 

The Nicobar female again has more white on the throat than 
three out of the five Andaman birds, but two of the Andaman 
birds have just as much white. The Nicobar bird again has 
the head and lower parts considerably more deeply colored than 
four out of the five Andaman birds, but the fifth Andaman 
bird only differs by a shade. 

On the whole it seems to me that all that can be said is that 
the Nicobar birds, as a body, are more deeply colored and have 
more white on the throat than the Andaman birds ; but looking 
to the fact that this distinction is by no means absolutely con- 
stant, and that it is not accompanied by any perceptible differ- 
ence in size, I do not think that this is sufficient to warrant 
specific separation, and I cannot therefore now concur in the 
propriety of separating the Andamauese bird under Lord 
Walden's title of G. andamanensis. 

520 bis.-— Locustella lanceolata, Tern. 

I am now disposed to'think that my L. subsignata, really may 
be, as stated by Lord Walden, identical with Temminck's bird. 

The entire tone of coloration is quite different from that of a 
specimen obtained on the Attaran river in Tenasserim, and 
which was pronounced by Messrs. Sharpe and Dresser to be 
probably the true lanceolatus, but I have since obtained numer- 
ous specimens further south in the Tenasserim provinces, 
corresponding well with the Andaman species, and I am dis- 
posed to think that either the Attaran specimen is not the true 
lanceolatus, or that it is in very different stage of plumage. It 
is well known how these Locustellas vary in plumage according 
to season ; this is most conspicuous in the case of L. Hendersoni, 
Cassin. The only difficulty here is that the Attaran specimen 
and others killed in the Andamans and in the extreme south 
of Tenasserim, were killed in the same month, and yet differ as 
widely in plumage as does Hendersoni immediately after the 
antumn moult and during the breeding season. 

On the whole, I think, the Andaman bird must stand as lan- 
ceolata, and the question of the identity or otherwise of the 
Attaran bird must be left to future investigation. 

556 bis.— Phyllopneuste borealis, Bias. 

Lord Walden, Ibis, 1874, p. 140, records a specimen of this 
species from the South Andamans. I myself have only seen the 
nearly allied P. rnagnirostris from these islands. Borealis is 
very like rnagnirostris, but greyer about the neck and breast, with 
more pointed wings and a small first primary as in sibilatria. 



OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 291 

590. — Motacilla luzoniensis, Scop. 

I admitted this species into my list with some doubt, no 
specimens having been procured of late years. Now at last 
however Captain Wimberley has procured a single specimen near 
Port Blair iu February. It is a female, with the very dark grey 
of the back patched, or beginning to be mottled with black. 
Captain Wimberley informs me that this is the only specimen 
he has ever seen. 

631 ter. — Zosterops nicobariensis, Blyth. 

I have carefully re-examined two large series of this sup- 
posed species, one from the Andamans, and the other from the 
Nicobars. Iu the great majority of specimens the bills of these 
insular birds are longer and conspicuously broader at the 
base than in the continental palpebrosus. In some specimens 
the difference in size is so marked and conspicuous that no 
one would hesitate to separate nicobariensis as distinct, but 
out of the large series two are, as far as I can see, absolutely 
inseparable from palpebrosa, and in at least one-fourth of the 
specimens, the difference ot size is inconsiderable. 

As regards color I do not think that they can be safely 
separated ; no doubt, a good many of the insular birds do have 
the upper surface somewhat greener, but others correspond in 
this inspect with continental specimens. Whether under these 
circumstances the species should be maintained as distinct, is 
entirely a matter of opinion ; personally I am not disposed to 
think that it should be separated. This is just one of those 
cases in which the trinomial nomenclature (which I am con- 
fident our successors will adopt) would be so convenient. 

The name Zosterops palpebrosa nicobariensis would exactly fit 
the case. 

701 ter. — Mania fumigata, Walden* 

The Andaman race of M. striata, which I described, II, p. 257, 
under the name of u non- striata," must stand as above. The 
Nicobar race, which is quite as distinct from the Andaman one 
as is this latter from striata must, if separated at all, stand 
under my name i( semistriata" under which I characterized 
it, loc. cit. 

720.— Emberiza pusilla, Pall. 

As already noticed (II, p. 497), this species has to be 
included in the list. It was obtained near Port Blair by Lieu- 
tenant Wardlaw Ramsay. 

730 ter. — Carpophaga insula?'is, Blyth. 

This species must begin to lay at the end of December. 
On the 12th February Mr. De Roepstorff shot a young bird 



292 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI- FAUNA 

fully fledged and nearly full sized, only showing here and 
there a little of the yellow nestling hair at the ends of the 
feathers. 

780 quat. — Carpophaga palumboides, Hume. 

I find that this species is tolerably common, at any rate at 
certain seasons, both at the Andamans and Nicobars. We have 
had a great many specimens sent up from both groups, varying 
from the type of specimen figured in the Ibis as palumboides, 
with the very white head and neck to the type later described 
as Janthenas nicobarica by Lord Walden. There is really no 
doubt now (see also II, p. 498, and III, p. 327) that this latter 
is merely one stage of plumage of the present species. 

797 Us. — Turtur humilis, Tern (vera) ; T. humilior, 
Hume (II, p. 269 ; III, p. 279.) 

It is a very curious thing that, though we have now procured 
five females of this species, all presenting the same distinctive 
characteristics, no male has yet been met with. All the 
specimens as yet obtained have been procured in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Port Blair. 

Lord Walden in his recent valuable paper on the birds 
of the Philippines has pointed out what to me at any rate 
was quite unknown, viz. that the Red Turtle Dove, of Luzon, 
S. China to Shanghai, Formosa, Hainan, and Cambodia, differs 
from that of India which we have hitherto called u humilis " in 
being of a much darker red, and in having the under-wing 
coverts dark ash instead of pale ash inclining to white, and 
the head uropygium, and upper tail coverts much darker ash. 
He adds : — " The Indian bird will have to take the title of Turtur 
tranquebarica. Hern. Obs. Zool. p. 200, 'ex Tranque- 
baria' (1804), while for that of Luzon, it will perhaps be best 
to retain Temminck's title, although he does not make it quite 
clear whether he described and figured a Bengal or a Philip- 
pine individual/' 

Although Temminck doubtless says ll on trouve ceite espece 
en Bengale et dans Vile de Lugon, " I think that the dimensions 
he gives " Environ neiif pouces^ which is equivalent to 9*87 
English inches, show that it was the non-Indian race that he 
was describing. No specimen of the Indian form which we must 
now call tranquebarica that I have ever seen, has reached this 
dimension even in the flesh ; 9"*25, with a wing of 5 ff, 2, is the 
average of five adult males of the Indian species ; on the other 
hand the other species seems to run to nearly 10, with a wing 
of 5"'5 or even larger, so that to my mind there is no doubt 
that Temminck's name should be retained for the larger, 
darker, and darker under-wing-coverted Eastern species. 



OF THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS. 293 

If, however, it should ever be proved that Temminck's 
description was taken from an Indian specimen, then I think 
that probably my name humilior will have to be adopted for 
the Eastern race. 

Although no males of the species have been procured at 
the Andainans, we have procured a whole sei*ies, males and 
females of the same species, from the Pakchan Estuary, 
Tenasserim, Tavoy, Rangoon, and Akyab, all of which present 
the same characteristic differences as compared with the 
Indian bii'd, that the Luzon and South China bird does, and 
I have no doubt whatsoever that these all belong to the 
Philippine species. If this be so, then for the present at any 
rate the Andaman bird must stand as humilis, the nearly allied 
Indian species taking as above the name of tranquebarica. 

834 ter. — Turnix albiventris, Hume (II, p. 281.) 

Other specimens which have come to hand of this little 
Quail leave me no doubt as to its distinctness, though it must 
be admitted that the name was not happily chosen. 

847. — sEgialitis mongoUcus, Pall. 

It is most extraordinary, in fact almost incredible, but I 
cannot avoid the conclusion that this species must breed in the 
Andamans. I have birds shot in the neighbourhood of Port 
Blair in May, July, and September which appear to me to be 
unquestionably nestlings. The whole of the feathers of the head, 
back, scapulars, wing coverts, are broadly fringed with light 
buff; the central tail feathers similarly margined and tipped ; 
the white of the face, the sides of the neck, and the entire breast 
and upper abdomen suffused with buff. This is not a bit like 
the birds in breeding plumage which I have from Central Asia, 
and also from various parts of India shot just before their 
departure, and they appear to me to be birds just newly fledged. 
One was shot in May, three in July, and three in September. 
The September birds having mostly less of the fulvous tippings. 
I can account for these specimens in no other way than by sup- 
posing that some few of the birds remain to breed at the 
Andamans. This appears to be in a high degree improbable, but 
I do not see my way to any other conclusion. 

858 bis. — Esacus magnirostris, Geoffr. 

This species does not appear to be very uncommon at the 
Andamans. I have had several specimens sent me from near 
Port Blair and Port Cornwallis ; we got specimens at the 
Cocos ; the birds were also seen and an egg taken at Corbyn's 
Cove, and a specimen was also seen at Macpherson's Straits, 
so that it occurs throughout the Andaman group from north 
to south, but has not as yet been observed at the Nicobars. 



294 ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THE AVI-FAUNA, &C. 

881 Ms.— Tringa crassirostris, Tem and Schl. 

Is another species obtained near Port Blair by Lieutenant 
Wardlaw Ramsay. 

913 bis.— Hypotsenidia obscuriora, Sume (S. F., Ja- 
nuary 1874, p. 302, H.ferrea, Walden, Ibis, April 
1874, p. 147.) 

Having now had the opportunity of comparing over 
twenty specimens of the Andamanese Rail with fully double 
that number of specimens of striata from very numerous 
localities in India, Burmah, and the Malay Penisular, 
I believe that no doubt can exist as to the specific distinctness 
of the insular form. 

At p. 389, Vol. Ill , I described a supposed new Rail under 
the name of Hypotanidia abnormis. No further specimens 
of this have come to hand, and I have a conviction that it 
will turn out to be an abnormal variety of obscuriora, probably 
a nearly adult bird, that, as an accident, has not put on the 
normal white banding of the upper surface. 

951. — Nettapus coromandelicus, Lin. 

This species turns out to be not very uncommon in the 
Andamans, and a good many specimens have been sent to us. 

983.— Gelochelidon anglica, Mont. 

This is another species new to these islands. It was killed 
by Captain Wimberley, in the S. Andamans, in November, and 
is, he says, the only one he has seen. The specimen is a rather 
small young female, the primaries very dark, the wing only 
ll"-5 ; tarsus, l'-l ; bill at front, l"-5. 

986 ter.— Sterna Dougalli, Mont. 

Though not apparently a constant resident, or even a 
regular visitant to the Andamans, this species occurs there 
from time to time in large flocks, so much so that during 
the last 18 months I have seen fully 50 specimens. 

The bills vary in color according to season. In birds 
killed in April they are blackish, in May they begin to 
change to orange red at the bases. In June only the terminal 
portions are blackish dusky, and in July the whole of the bill 
has become red or orange red. {vide ante note, p. 246.) 

A. 0. H. 



To face P. 295. 



Stray Feathers Vol. IV 




295 



ilotes on some 'gixte collects in ifre Casta fit farcpon 
District of ije |m&rab!>g Delta. 



By James Armstrong, b.a., m.b., &c. 

From the latter end of November until the beginning of 
March, my duties, as officer iu medical charge of the Marine 
Survey of India, enabled me to devote a portion of my time to 
the study of the avi-fauna belonging- to the Rangoon district of 
the Irrawaddy delta. During this period, so far as I was able, 
I have made short notes upon the habits of the birds collected, 
and have carefully recorded in the flesh the different dimensions 
of each species met with, in the hope of being able to add some- 
thing to the general store of ornithological facts. 

Before giving a detailed account of the different species found 
to frequent this district, I shall first endeavour to convey a 
rough idea of the region in which they were collected. 

By reference to the map it will be seen that the Rangoon 
river, after its junction with the Pegu, forms the eastern bound- 
ary of the Irrawaddy delta, and that at some distance to the 
westward a second large stream pours out its waters into the 
Gulf of Martaban. This stream is called the China-Ba-keer 
river, and has for a considerable portion of its terminal length a 
direction more or less parallel with the Rangoon river, with 
which it is connected at irregular intervals by several large 
channels or creeks, extremely tortuous in their course, and all 
mainly depending for their depth of water upon the condition of 
the tides. 

Between the mouths of the Rangoon and China-Ba-keer rivers, 
is enclosed a district of about five and twenty miles in extent, 
of which the main feature is its perfect flatness, without the 
slightest hill or smallest elevation to be seen on any side. Yet, 
notwithstanding its uniformity in this respect, it possesses a great 
diversity in the character and amount of its vegetation. Swamps 
and j heels, open waste ground and ploughed lands, forest coun- 
try and thin tree jungle, are all to be met with. 

Throughout this region the great majority of the collection, 
which forms the subject of the following notes, was made. Some 
few specimens were also collected from the immediate vicinity of 
Rangoon, and others from the region about Eastern Grove, 
which forms the eastern boundary of the Rangoon river near 
its mouth. Several birds were also obtained from the neigh- 
bourhood of Syriam, a small town and district situated near the 
eastern bank of the Rangoon river, close to its junction with 
the Pegu. 

o 2 



296 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

In the Syriam district alone there are a few slight hills and 
rising grounds, the highest attaining an elevation above the sur- 
rounding level of perhaps 150 or 180 feet. These hills are, for 
the most part, clothed with forest trees, consisting chiefly of 
various species of figs and acacias, which furnish an abundant 
supply of food to the numerous birds which frequent them. 
Several species of Squirrels, too, are to be met with : Sciurus 
Phayrei, Blyth, Sciurus ferrugineus, Cuv., and Sciurus chrysono- 
tas, Blyth, all occur here in tolerable abundance. 

It only remains now to say a few words upon the zoology 
and physical features of the country which intervenes between 
Elephant Point at the mouth of the Rangoon river, aud the vil- 
lage of China-Ba-keer, similarly situated with regard to the river 
of the same name. 

The marine zoology of this district is extremely small and 
scanty. The great rapidity of the tides, the brackishness of the 
water, and the immense amount of mud and fine sand, which is 
held in suspension by the water, and is constantly being depo- 
sited by subsidencB on the bottom, are the factors which most 
powerfully co-operate to prevent the development and retard the 
growth of the marine fauna in this locality. 

The littoral fauna, on the contrary, is abundant. Along the 
entii'e length of the coast line, between Jjlephant Point and China- 
Ba-keer, there are immense mud flats, varying from half to 
three or four miles in width, which at low tides are left uncover- 
ed, and swarm with different kinds of crabs and small mud- 
fishes. These banks afford rare feeding-grounds to multitudes 
of Stints, Plovers, Herons, and other shore birds, which congre- 
gate upon them. 

Fringing this long stretch of mud (which, by the way, is 
very soft, and without some special contrivance impossible to 
traverse) is a very gently sloping beach, varying in width from 
fifty to several hundred yards, and entirely composed of fine 
white sand. This zone of sand swarms with a crimson stalk- 
eyed crab, Ocypode platytarsis, which exists in such numbers at 
certain points, as to give the beach the appearance of an extend- 
ed surface of crimson. As one approaches this crimson expanse, 
a very curious effect is produced by the sudden disappearance of 
the color along the margin, caused by the instantaneous with- 
drawal of the crabs into the holes, which they burrow for them- 
selves in the sand, and from which they never appear to 
wander for more than a few feet. 

At intervals along the shore the continuity of this sandy 
beach is interrupted by mangrove swamps, which sometimes ex- 
tend out to a considerable distance into the mud, and are always 
completely covered at high water. A few miles distant from 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 297 

-Elephant Point, the jungle in these swamps consists almost exclu- 
sively of a tall willow-like tree, Sonneratia apetala, which appear- 
ed to be a favorite resort for several species of King-fishers and 
Wood peckers. With the exception, however, of this solitary patch 
of Sonneratia, the tidal jungles were mainly composed of such 
plants as Ceriops Roxburghiana, Acanthus ilicifulius, and various 
species of mangroves. 

Beyond the sandy beach in the neighbourhood of Elephant 
Point, the country is under cultivation, and, with the exception 
of a few isolated clumps of trees, hedges, and small patches of 
thin tree jungle and scrub, it is quite open. At a little distance 
to the westward, however, cultivation ceases, and for several 
miles along the shore, a dense low jungle comes down quite close 
to the beach. Sometimes at very high spring tides this jungle 
is completely flooded for several miles inland. It is composed 
mainly of low-growing trees and shrubs, such as Hibiscus 
tiliaceus, Clerodendron inerme, Derris scandens, Grewia microcos, 
Glycosmis pentaphylla, Jasminum scandens, Hagellaria indica, 
and others, amongst which very few birds indeed are to be found. 

About midway between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer, 
this low jungle is found to pass abruptly into an open grass co- 
vered country, which continues almost up to China-Ba-keer, and 
is in a few places irregularly dotted with hedges and scrub. 
Inside this open grass land, there are broad belts of evergreen 
forest, running more or less parallel to the shore, and in many 
places rendered quite impenetrable by the Lliana-like creepers and 
thick thorny underwood beneath. 

In addition to all these varieties of country, numerous 
swamps and j heels of varying extent are to be met with at inter- 
vals. Some of these are quite open and clear, or at the most only 
fringed with weeds, but the greater number are completely co- 
vered with aquatic plants, and are the favored haunts of num- 
berless Herons and other water birds. 

In conclusion I have to convey my warmest thanks to the 
editor* of "Stray Feathers," to whom I am indebted for the 
identification of all the specimens collected, and without whose 
kind assistance the present paper could not have been written. 



34.— Spizaetus caligatus, Baffles. 

This appears to be a rare species. I only saw a single speci- 
men which I shot near China-Ba-keer in December. It was 

* I have added a few notes at Dr. Armstrong's request, as also references to previous 
passages in S. F., in which birds mentioned and not included in Dr. Jerdon's work, 
will be found described. — A. 0. H., Ed. 



298 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

perching upon one of the lower branches of a large tree over- 
hanging a jheel, from whence it appeared to be watching for 
frogs or fish. It was a male, and gave the following measur- 
ments in the flesh : — 

Length, 26 2 ; expanse, 51*5 ; tail from vent, 121 ; wing, 
16"8 ; tarsus, 4 - 25 ; bill from gape, l - 85. 

The irides were light yellowish brown ; cere and bill, dusky 
black ; feet, light yellow ; toes, with three or four very large 
scutella at base of claws ; claws, black. 

41.— Poliosetus ichthyaetus, Ilorsf. 

This species appeared to be scarce. I have not been able to 
identify it along the coast line, although it is not improbable 
that it occurs there along with Cuncuma leucogaster. I have 
only shot a single specimen at a considerable distance up the 
Rangoon river, where the white-bellied Sea Eagle does not 
appear to extend to. It was an immature female, killed on the 
23rd of January, and gave the following measurements recorded 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 28 ; expanse, 61 ; tail from vent, 122 ; wing, 18'2; 
tarsus, 355 ; bill from gape, 22. 

The irides were light yellowish brown ; cere, slaty grey ; bill, 
dark dusky slate color, lighter towards base ; legs and feet, 
thick, coarse, and strong, and of a dirty light yellow color ; 
claws, black. 

[This specimen is in the lineated stage. — A. 0. H.] 

43 —Cuncuma leucogaster, Gmel. 

The white-bellied Sea Eagle was to be met with, though 
sparingly, all along the coast from Elephant Point up to China- 
Ba-keer. It was not unusual to see a pair or more of these 
birds high up in the air, and far out of the reach of shot, wheel- 
ing and circling round and round, with a peculiarly easy and 
graceful flight. It was very seldom indeed that one would 
come within shooting distance, so that it was a matter of con- 
siderable difficulty to obtain specimens. I killed one male 
bird at China-Ba-keer, of which the following are the dimen- 
sions in the flesh : — 

Length, 27*75; expanse, 71 ; tail from vent, 10*5; wing, 
22 ; tarsus, 3*7 ; bill from gape, 2*25. 

The irides were light brown ; cere and gape, leaden grey ; 
upper mandible, dusky brown, shading into a greyish blue 
towards its junction with the cere ; lower mandible, bluish grey, 
tipped with dusky brown ; legs and feet, dirty yellowish white ; 
claws, black. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 299 

48 ter. — Poliornis liventer, Tern. (vide S. F.,III,p.31.) 

This species is by no means very uncommon in the im- 
mediate vicinity of Elephant Point, where it frequents 
the extensive paddy-fields in that locality. These birds may 
be often seen in the early morning- coursing along with a 
graceful swooping flight from one field to another, never 
rising to any height, but generally flying quite close to the 
ground, and when tired, settling down to rest on the slightly 
elevated boundaries between the fields. They are particularly 
wary and difficult to approach. The following are the 
dimensions recorded in the flesh of a fine male bird killed at 
Elephant Point : — 

Length, 15*8 ; expanse, 37*75 ; tail from vent, 6*5 ; wing, 
11"5 ; tarsus, 2*6; bill from gape, 1'4; mid toe and claw, 205. 

The irides were of a beautiful lemon yellow color; cere, 
orange ; both mandibles, orange yellow, tipped with dusky 
brown ; legs and feet, bright yellow ; claws, dusky black. 

53.— Circus melanoleucus, Gmel. 

This bird was abundant in the neighbourhood of Rangoon, 
and was likewise numerous in suitable localities between Ele- 
phant Point and China-Ba-keer. Like Poliornis liventer it 
seemed to prefer hunting for its prey over the rice-fields 
and open waste ground. I shot three birds which, although 
differing very much inter se in coloration, are all referred by 
Mr. Hume to this species. The following are their dimensions 
recorded in the flesh : — 

Adult male. — Length, 18*5 ; expanse, 41*75 ; tail from vent, 
8*5; wing, 14; tarsus, 3*05; bill from gape, 1*2; mid toe 
and claw, 1*75. Irides, bright yellow ; cere, dark slaty grey; 
bill, dusky black; legs and feet, chrome yellow ; claws, black. 

Male, jnv. — Length, 18 ; expanse, 40 ; tail from vent, 8*5 ; 
wing, 13*5 ; tarsus, 3*1 ; bill from gape, 1*25 ; mid toe and claw, 
1*75. Irides, yellow; cere, slaty greenish grey; bill, dusky 
black ; lower mandible, lighter colored near base ; legs and feet, 
orange j'ellow ; claws, dusky black. 

Female, jnv. — Length, 18*75 ; expanse, 43*25 ; tail from vent, 
8*6 ; wing, 14*4; tarsus, 3*25 ; bill from gape, 1*25; mid toe and 
claw, 1*85. Irides, light brownish yellow ; cere, slaty greenish 
grey ; bill, dusky black ; legs and feet, orange yellow ; claws, 
black. 

56 ter.— Milvus affinis, Gould. 

This species was met with everywhere, but was abundant 
only in the vicinity of villages. I observed a single pair 
breeding in the middle of January. They had their nest in 



300 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

the fork of a large acacia tree, growing close to the shore at 
Eastern Grove, several miles distant from the nearest village. 
The female was sitting on her nest, but I shot the male as he 
was flying around. The following measurements were recorded 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 25*2 ; expanse, 52*5 ; tail from vent, 12*5 ; w-ing, 
17 '5 ; tarsus, 2*5 ; bill from gape, 1*8. 

[The only specimen preserved by Dr. Armstrong should, in 
my opinion, rather be classed as M. govinda, Sykes. It is a 
male, with a wing, 17*5. — A. 0. H.] 

60— Strix indica, Blyth. 

I have only met with the Indian Screech Owl at Elephant. 
Point, where it was by no means abundant. I killed two 
specimens there amongst some tall densely foliaged trees 
whither for several evenings I had observed them to resort. 
The male bird was somewhat larger than the female, and 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 14*8 ; expanse, 39*75 ; tail from vent, 5*2 ; wing, 
11-5 ; tarsus, 2*75 ; bill from gape, 1*7. 

Female. — Length, 14*5 ; expanse, 38*25 ; tail from vent, 4*7 ; 
tarsus, 2*75 ; bill from gape, 1*75 ; wing, 11. 

In both sexes the irides were deep brown ; bill, yellowish 
white ; cere, pinkish white ; legs and feet, dusky yellowish brown ', 
claws, horny brown. 

72.— Ketupa ceylonenis, Gmel. 

This handsome Owl was tolerably abundant in the thin forest 
jungle surrounding the different jheels lying between Ele- 
phant Point and China-Ba-keer. The following are the dimen- 
sions recorded in the flesh of female birds shot at Elephant 
Point:— 

Length, 21*5 to 22*15 ; expanse, 46*75 to 49*5 ; tail from vent, 
7*5 to 7*75 ; wing, 14*9 to 15*7 ; tarsus, 3*15 to 3*2; bill from 
gape, 2*25 to 2*3. 

The irides were bright golden yellow ; the bills horny or 
slaty grey ; the legs and feet were dirty yellow ; and the claws 
dusky brown. 

72 bis.— Ketupa javanensis, Less. 

The Malay Fish Owl was abundant in the jungle bordering 
the numerous creeks which flow into the Rangoon river near 
its mouth. Just after sun-set these birds begin to issue from 
the surrounding jungle, and with a powerful, though some- 
what heavy flight, hunt for their prey up and down along the 
course of the creek, resting now and then in some adjacent 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF TTTE IRRAWADDY DELTA, 301 

mangrove. The following are the dimensions recorded in the 
flesh of a male bird shot in Deserter's Creek : — 

Length, 19 ; expanse, 46'5 ; tail from vent, 6 - 8 ; wing, 139 ; 
tarsus, 2*95; bill from gape, T95. 

The irides were light yellow, cere, dark slate color ; bill, 
dusky ; legs and feet, dusky yellowish brown. 

[This species is not included by Dr. Jerdon, and has not yet 
been described in " Stray Feathers." 

The dimensions are very variable, but I cannot yet satisfy 
myself that there is any constant difference in the dimensions 
of the sexes, though I have twelve specimens before me 
from Johore, Malacca, Pak-Ohan, Tenasserim, Amherst, and 
Rangoon. 

Taking the two sexes together, the dimensions recorded in 
the flesh vary as follows : — 

Length, 17*75 to 19'25; expanse, 46 to 48 ; tail from vent, 
6'25 to 7 j wing, 13*25 to 14 (a very young bird has the 
wing 12 - 75) ; tarsus, 2'6 to 2*95; bill from gape, 1*65 to 2 ; 
weight, 1-75 to 2 25 Its. 

In the adult the colors appear to be as given above by Dr. 
Armstrong. In the young birds the legs and feet appear to 
be a pale dirty green, or dirty greenish white. The bill and 
cere, dark plumbeous horny ; the gape and the tip of the lower 
mandible, whitish ; in one young bird, however, the bill was 
plumbeous blue, yellowish horny at tip, and the cere, green- 
ish blue. At all ages the irides appear to be yellow. 

The feathering of the tarsi varies a great deal in different 
individuals. This may possibly be partly due to age, but I 
have not been able to satisfy myself of this fact. In one 
specimen the whole tarsus and tibio-tarsal articulation, except 
just in front, are quite bare ; in another a very narrow tongue 
of feathers runs down the front of the tarsus for about three 
quarters of an inch ; in another again, no portion of the tibia 
even at the back is bare, the whole of the front and sides of 
the tarsus is feathered at the joint, and from this a broad 
triangular patch of feathering runs downward for fully an 
inch from the joint, terminating, of course, in a point on the 
front of the tarsus. 

The whole lower surface in the adult is a uniform clear buff, 
the chin only and a large patch at the base of the throat, 
white; all the feathers with narrow linear blackish brown 
shaft-stripes, always broadest on the breast, and the thigh 
coverts unstreaked. The breadth ot the streaking- on the 
lower surface varies very greatly in different specimens. In 
the ver}'- young birds the broadest streak barely exceeds 015 ; in 
some birds, apparently of intermediate age, some of the stripes 



302 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

on the breast are fully 03 ; while again, in what I take to 
be the oldest adults, the broadest breast stripes do not exceed 
0*15. These differences, however, may perhaps be individual. 
Anyhow where the breast stripes are broadest, there the stripes 
of the rest of the lower parts are most strongly marked ; and 
where the breast stripes are very narrow, there the stripes 
are almost obsolete on the lower abdomen, flanks, and lower 
tail coverts. 

The ear-tufts are very long. In some specimens nearly 
three inches in length. These, with the whole of the 
feathers of the head, upper back, and interscapular^ 
region, are dark, almost blackish brown, margined with buff. 
The width of these margins varies greatly in different speci- 
mens, as does also the tint ; in some they are a clear pale buff, 
and in others redder and more ferruginous ; and, I should 
perhaps here note, that in some specimens the under-surface 
also has a decided rusty tinge, especially on the breast. 

The scapulars and lesser wing coverts are somewhat similar 
to the feathers of the nape and upper back, but they mostly 
want the buff edgings, though paling in patches towards the 
margins, and they are more or less distinctly characterized by 
imperfect, transverse yellowish-white bars, which in many 
specimens are reduced to moderate-sized spots, one on either 
web. 

The rump and upper tail coverts vary extraoi'dinarily in 
different specimens, but typically they are buffy, or buffy - 
brown, or fawn brown, with a dark brown patch at the tips, 
fringed marginally with buff, and with a few paler spots here 
and there, representing more or less imperfect transverse bars. 
The tail feathers are deep brown, more or less broadly tipped with 
yellowish or buffy white, and with, in the adult, three trans- 
verse bars of the same color, the third of which is partially 
hidden by the upper tail coverts ; but some specimens, appa- 
rently adult, also have four such transverse bars, in which case 
it is the fourth which is partially hidden by the tail coverts ; 
and one quite young bird, clearly the youngest specimen I 
have, has five such bars, besides the pale tippings. 

The quills and their greater coverts are dark brown, broadly 
banded and tipped, paler on both webs, the banding on the 
outer webs and tippings being yellowish white, pale buff, or 
bright buff, and on the inner webs being a pale greyish or 
yellowish brown. The size and color of all these markings 
varies in every individual, but the banding is always, I think, 
broadest on the primaries, and narrowest on the tertiaries. 

The lores are densely clad with large bristle-like feathers, 
paler, indeed sometimes whitish, at their bases, blackish for 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 303 

more or less of their terminal portions. The cheeks and ear 
coverts are a dull rusty buff, sometimes very ferruginous, aud 
generally darker shafted, at any rate towards the tips. 

One very young- bird has the whole of the upper parts very 
similar to the lower parts, each feather with a narrow blackisn 
brown shaft stripe ; only two or three feathers of the head, 
und a few of the scapulars with broad dark brown centres as 
in the adult. 

As pointed out by Mr. Sharpe (Cat. II, 4). both flavipes and 
javanensis are distinguished at once from ceylonensis by the 
absence of the hair-line transverse bars on the lower surface, 
which give these parts in ceylonensis a vermiculated appearance, 
while from flavipes, the present species is at once distinguished 
by its smaller size, the wing probably never exceeding 14*5, 
while in flavipes it probably never falls short of 18 inches. — 
A. 0. H.J 

81.— Ninox SCUtellatus, Baffles, apitd Sharpe. 

I found this species abundantly amongst the clumps of trees 
and thin jungle near the shore at Elephant Point, where they 
appear to feed principally upon a species of crab, Ocypode 
platytarsis, which occurs iu immense profusion upon the lands 
in that locality. I found the debris of these crabs in the 
stomachs of nearly all those which I examined. There does 
not appear to be any important difference in size between 
the two sexes. The following are the dimensions of six speci- 
mens recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 11*5 to 13-5 ; expanse, 24-75 to 28 ; wing, 8'2 to 8'7; 
tail from vent, 5 to 5*5 ; tarsus, 1 to 1*25 ; bill from gape, *9 to 1*1. 

The irides were bright yellow ; cere, dark slaty green ; bill, 
dusky black, margined with greyish ; legs and feet, dusky 
yellow ; claws, horny brown. 

[I have adopted Mr. Sharpens nomenclature for these speci- 
mens, but as fully explained in my Travancore paper, I do not 
consider these Burmese birds to be the true scuteliatus. Rati. — 
A. O. H.] 

82.— Hirundo rustica, Lin. 

This was the only Swallow I met with, and it occurred in the 
greatest abundance everywhere. At Elephant Point along 
the shore vast swarms were always present, roosting at night 
on the sands a little above high water mark. Male birds 
measure somewhat more than females. The following is a 
resume' of the dimensions of both sexes recorded in the flesh : — 

Males. — Length, 5 "75 to 6*3; wing, 4'45 to 4*75; tail from 
vent to end of outer feathers, 2*75 to 35 ; to end of mid feathers, 

p 2 



304 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

1*8 to 2*1 ; tarsus, '42 to '46 ; bill from gape, '55 to "6 ; at front 
*3 ; width at grape, "52 to - 6. 

Females. — Length, 5 "25 to 5 '6 ; wing, 4*3 to 4*5; tail from 
vent to end of outer feathers, 2 5 to 2*6 ; to end of mid feathers, 
1*8 to 2'1 ; tarsus "43 to "44 ; bill from gape, "55 to *57; at front, 
•3 ; width at gape, '45 to "47. 

In both sexes the irides are deep brown ; bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, dusky black. 

[This is the smaller race generally now separated as 
gutturalis. — A, 0. H.J 

117.— Merops viridis, Lin. 

The common Indian Bee-eater was very generally distributed 
ovre every portion of Southern Pegu which I visited. It was 
especially abundant at the mouth of the Rangoon river, 
and from there all alcng the coast up to China-Ba-keer, 
where hundreds might be seen perched upon the dead bushes 
and drift wood washed up along the margin of the shore just 
above highwater mark. They were here wonderfully tame, 
allowing me to get within two or three yards of them before 
they would attempt to fly away. The following is a resume 
of the dimensions of several specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 9 to 9*5 ; expanse, 115 to 12*1 ; tail from vent, 37 to 
3*8 ; wing, 4*6 to 5*2 ; tarsus, *35 to *4 ; bill from gape, 1*3 to 1-45. 

Irides, deep red ; bill, dusky black; legs and feet, greyish 
black ; claws, horny brown. 

[The whole of the specimens belong to the rufous crowned 
and naped race separated as ferrugineiceps. — A. 0. H.] 

118.— Merops Daudini, Cuv. 

This species, though tolerably abundant in certain localities 
was by no means general in its distribution. I have only met 
with it in a tidal swamp a few miles from Elephant Point, 
and also along the course of Deserter's Creek. In this latter 
locality it was met with in tolerable abundance, more especially 
where the margins were bordered with tali Sonnerotia trees. 
Here numbers of this species might be seen making wide 
circles, with a strong rapid flight at a great height up in the 
air, and again returning to perch on the summits of these 
trees, where they would remain for a moment or two before 
starting on a fresh expedition. They kept, as a rule, to the 
highest trees, and were very wary and difficult to approach. 
A male bird shot near Elephant Point measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 12*1 ; expanse, 15*6 ; tail from vent, 5'5; wing, 5'45; 
tarsus, -5; bill from gape, 1*95. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 305 

The irirles were deep crimson ; bill, black ; legs and feet, 
dusky greyish black ; claws, horny brown. 

119.— Merops Swinhoei, Hume. 

The Chesnut-headed Bee-eater occurred very sparingly 
in Southern Pegu. During the months of November, Decem- 
ber, and January, I did not meet with any specimen of this 
species, but during the latter end of February I saw several 
pairs near Elephant Point. They were all remarkably shy, and 
when disturbed flew away quite out of sight. A male bird 
shot in the vicinity of Elephant Point measured in the flesh : — ■ 

Length, 8-75; expanse, 12*5 ; tail from vent, 3*5 ; wing, 1*2 ; 
tarsus, '4 ; bill from gape, 1'65. 

Irides, crimson; bill, black; legs and feel, dusky pink; claws, 
brownish. 

124.— Coracias affinis, McCkll. 

This bird, without being numerous anywhere, was universal 
in its distribution over the entire district. Wherever there 
were clumps of trees, bushes or hedges in open cultivated 
or waste ground, this species might be seen perching usually 
upon some dry leafless branch or twig. It was, however, 
excessively wary, so that it was not always easy to procure 
specimens. The following is a resume of the dimensions of 
several specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 125 to 13-75 ; expanse, 22-5 to 13*7 ; tail from vent, 
5 to 5*3 ; wing, 7*2 to 75; tarsus, TO to 1*15 ; bill from gape, 
1-6 to 1-8. 

Irides, light red ; bill, black ; legs and feet, ashy grey ; claws , 
black. 

128.— Pelargopsis amauroptera, Pearson. 

This handsome King-fisher was by no means abundant 
anywhere. I have only met with it amongst the mangrove 
iungle which borders the margin of the larger creeks, flowing 
into the Rangoon river near its mouth. It is very shv and 
difficult to approach, and when disturbed, flies away with a 
harsh cry into the thickest jungle it can find. Male birds appear 
to be somewhat larger than the females. The following are the 
dimensions of three specimens shot on the banks of Deserter's 
Creek : — 

Length, 14*5 to 5 ; expanse, 20*3 to 207 ; wing, 5*7 to 6 ; tail 
from vent, 41 to 44; tarsus, 0'6 to 0'7; bill from gape, 
3-3 to 3.7. 

The irides vary from light to deep brown ; the eyelids are 
margined with orange beading ; .gape, deep salmon or orange 



30G NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

red ; bill, bright vermilion, tipped with dusky ; legs and feet, 
orange red ; claws, dusky black. 

129.— Halcyon smyrnensis, Lin. 

This species was universally distributed over the entire 
district, and tolerably abundant everywhere. It was found in 
low jungle, and thin forest in open ground as well as along 
the margins of all the nullahs and streams in the vicinity. The 
following are the dimensions recorded in the flesh of ten 
specimens from Elephant Point, China-Ba-keer, Deserter's 
Creek, Rangoon, Syriam, and Eastern Grove : — 

Nine Males. — Length, 10*7 to 11*5 ; expanse, 14*25 to 155 ; 
wino- 4*5 to 4*95 ; tail from vent, 3*2 to 3*7 ; tarsus, # 6 to "65 ; 
bill from gape, 2-7 to 29. 

A female measured.— Length, 10*7 ; expanse, 14*75 ; wing, 
4*55- tail from vent, 3; tarsus, '62 ; bill from gape, 27. 

The iriJes are dark brown ; bill, dusky red, tipped with 
blackish brown; legs and feet, brownish red; claws, dark 
brown. 

130— Halcyon pileata, Bodd. 

This beautiful King-fisher formed a marked characteristic of 
the avi-fauna belonging to the Rangoon district of the Irra- 
waddy delta. It was to be seen everywhere. It was abundant 
amongst the mangroves on each side of every creek and nullah. 
The shore jungle along the coast, from Elephant Point up as far 
as China-Ba-keer, resounded with its discordant cry. Under 
every little dry projecting twig along the sea shore, a quantity 
of white excreta, and the remains of the legs and bodies of small 
crabs showed where one of these birds had been making its 
dinner and indulging in its siesta. Each bird appears to have 
its own favorite watch tower, and when disturbed, flies away 
with a shrill cry. taking a semicircular sweep to some dry twig 
ahead, and as soon as it thinks that the danger is passed by, 
returns again to the post from which it had been dislodged. The 
followino- is a resume" of the dimensions recorded in the flesh of 
numerous examples of this species : — 

Length, 11-7 to 12*5 ; expanse 18 to 18*75; tail from vent, 
3*3 to 3*75 ; wing, 4*9 to 5*3 ; tarsus, *6 to *7 ; bill from gape, 
2*9 to 3*15. 

Irides, reddish brown or dark brown ; bill, deep coral red ; 
leo*s and feet, dusky brownish red ; claws, horny brown. 

132.— Halcyon chloris, Bodd. 

The White-collared King-fisher occurs, though very sparingly 
throughout the tidal swamps intervening between Elephant 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 307 

Point and China-Ba-keer. It was perhaps more frequently 
met with amongst the mangroves bordering the larger nullahs 
and creeks near the mouth of the Rangoon river, feeding upon 
the small crabs and fish, which at ebb-tide swarm upon the mud 
in those localities. I obtained four specimens, of which the . 
following are the dimensions recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 10 to 10'25 ; expanse, 14 to 15 ; wing, 4-43 ; tail 
from vent, 2*8 to 3 ; tarsus, - 6 to '63; bill from gape, 21 
to 2*3. Irides, dark reddish brown ; upper mandible, dusky 
greenish black ; lower mandible, pinkish or yellowish white, 
tipped and margined with greenish black ; legs and feet, slaty 
grey. 

134.— Alcedo bengalensis, Om. 

The common Indian King-fisher was tolerably abundant along 
all the nullahs and creeks in the vicinity of Elephant 
Point and Eastern Grove. It does not, however, appear 
to frequent the more extensive mangrove swamps along the 
coast between the Rangoon and Ohiua-Ba-keer rivers. The 
dimensions of four specimens recorded in the flesh are as 
follows : — 

Length, 6*3 to 6'6 ; expanse, 9'4 to 9*75 ; tail from vent, 
1*3 to 1-5; wing, 2*75 to 2 8; tarsus, # 35; bill from gape, 1*8 to 
2; bill at front, P35 to P45. 

Irides, dark brown ; uppermandible, black ; lower mandible, 
either black or brownish white, tipped and margined with 
dusky black ; legs and feet, dull red ; claws, brown. 

147 bis.— Palaeornis magnirostris, Ball, (Vide 
S.F., 11,9,176.) 

Birds of this species were very abundant in the district about 
Elephant Point. They used to select the adjacent paddy-fields 
for their feeding grounds, remaining there throughout the day- 
time. Towards evening, however, they would return in large 
parties to roost amongst some isolated clumps of tall trees 
which were scattered here and there over the neighbourhood. I 
observed them breeding in the trunks of trees towards the end of 
January and throughout February. The following is a resume 
of the dimensions of six specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Three Males— Length, 20 to 21 ; expanse, 22 -5 to 23; tail 
from vent, 13 to 13-6; wing, 7*6 to 8 ; tarsus, '73 to -75 ; bill 
from gape, 12 to 1*3 ; from base of culmen to tip, 1*4 to 1* 5 j 
height of bill at base, P35 to P47. 

Three Females.— Length, 17 to 20; expanse, 2P5 to 22-75 ; 
tail from vent, 10"2 to 126; wing, 73 to 7'7 ; tarsus, *72 to 



308 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

•75 ; bill from gape, 1*05 to 1*25 ; from base of culmen to tip, 
1-35 to 1-4; height of bill at base, I 4 to 1-45. 

In both sexes the iridea were of a pale yellowish white ; bill, 
crimson, tipped with dirty yellow, apparently the result of 
.attrition; legs and feet, bright yellow. 

[The numerous specimens collected by Dr. Armstrong, 
though very much resembling magnirostris of the Andamans, 
has not, taking a series, so large a bill as that species. It is a 
very much larger bird, however, than the Ceylon eupatria, and 
it altogether wants the glaucous blue tinge on the head of the 
Northern and North- Western sivalensis, Hutton. It approaches 
nearest to nipalensis, Hodgson, but seems to me on the whole 
to average larger, and to have the yellow throat patch more 
conspicuously marked. — A. O. H.] 

149 Us.— Palaeornis bengalensis, Gm., (Vide S. F., 
II, 16.) 

This species was tolerably abundant in the forest districts 
lying between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer. I have 
always found them consorting in parties of from seven or ten 
to twenty or thirty. They are very noisy birds, giving utter- 
ance to a harsh screaming cry during their flight, which is ex- 
tremely rapid and powerful. The following is a resume of the 
dimensions of eight specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Four males. — Length, 11'5 to 13; expanse, 15*7 to 16*5; 
tail from vent, (r7 to 7*5 ; wing, 52 to 5*7; tarsus, "5 to *6 ; 
bill from gape, *65 to '75. 

Four females. — Length, 105 to 11 ; expanse, 152 to 157 ; tail 
from vent, 5*7 to 63; tarsus, *5 to *6 ; wing, 5 to 525; bill 
from gape, '65 to - 7. 

In both sexes theirides were light pinkish or yellowish white ; 
upper mandible, orange or dark yellow, becoming lighter to- 
wards the point which is tipped with greyish white ; lower 
mandible, black ; legs and feet, dirty black. 

152.— Palaeornis melanorhynchus, Wagler. 

This species was more numerous and more generally distri- 
buted than either magnirostris or bengalensis. It is usually gre- 
garious in its habits, but I have not infrequently found it soli- 
tary. It occurs most abundantly in the vicinity of flowering 
trees, upon the flower and leaf buds of which it feeds. It is 
much more familiar than any other species of Parrot which I 
met with, and if one of a flock should happen to be wounded, 
its calling will bring the whole party flying round almost with- 
in arm's length; the entire number keeping up all the time an 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 309 

unceasing din of not unpleasing chatter. Male birds measure 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 13-75 to 14*5 • expanse, 19*25 to 205 - tail from vent, 
6*7 to 75 ; wing-, 66 to 6*8; tarsus, "65 to *7 ; bill from gape, '9 
tol. 

Females. —Length, 13-5 to 14*2 ; expanse, 19 to 20; wing, 6-5 
to 6-7 ; tail from vent, 7 to 7*3 ; tarsus, "6 to '7 ; bill from gape, 
•85 to 1. 

In both sexes . the irides are pearly white ; the legs and 
feet, greenish grey. In the adult male the upper mandible 
is bright vermilion red, tipped more or less with yellowish 
white, while in the adult females and young males it is dusky 
black, in both sexes the lower mandible is black. 

153.— Loriculus vernalis, Sparrm. 

The Indian Lorikeet was by no means abundant. I have only 
met with it in the thin forest jungle at Elephant Point and near 
China-Ba-keer. The birds are very active little creatures, 
and have a curious habit of ascending the branch of a tree in a 
spiral path, making numerous circuits of the stem before reach- 
ing the extremity. Their cry is harsh and discordant. The 
following are the measurements of three specimens recorded in 
the flesh: — 

Length, 555 to 5'75 ; expanse, 8*75 to 96 ; wing, 3-4 to 3 - 6 ; 
tail from vent, 1*55 to 1*7; tarsus, 0'45 to 0-5; bill from gape, 
0-45 to 0-5. 

The irides are white ; bill, orange yellow ; legs and feet, 
yellow ; claws, dusky brown. 

157 ter.— Picus analis, Horsf.—(Vide S. F. III, 57.) 

This species was only met with in the thin tree jungle close 
to Elephant Point, where it was decidedly rare. Two females 
measured in the flesh: — 

Length, 7 to 7*3 ; expanse, 11*5 to 11*6 ; tail from vent 25 ; 
wing, 39 to 3 - 8; tarsus. *65 to "7; bill from gape, 1 to '95. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, dull greenish black ; legs and feet, 
dusky greyish black ; claws, black. 

163 bis.— Yungipicus canicapillus, Bhjth—(Vide 
S. F., Ill, 59.) 

This species appears to be extremely local in its distribution. 
I have only met with it in a patch of tall willow-like trees 
(" Sonneratia apetala") y growing in a tidal jungle a few miles 
from Elephant Point. During the mornings and evenings they 
occurred in great abundance amongst the branches of these 
trees, but during the heat of the day they always retired for 



310 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

shelter to the thick underwood adjoining*. The following are 
the dimensions of six specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Three males. — Length, 5"5 to 5\S ; expanse, 10*3 to 10*6; tail 
from vent, 1*7 to 19 ; wing-, 3*15 to 3*2 ; tarsus, -55 to *6; bill 
from gape, *72 to '8' 

Three females. — Length, 5 - 3 to 5*6 ; expanse, 10*2 to 10-5 • tail 
from vent, 1*7 to 1*9 ; wing, 305 to 3"15 ; tarsus, - 5 to "6 ■ bill 
from gape, '7 to 75. 

In both sexes the irides vary from light to dark brown ; bill, 
dark greenish black ; legs and feet, dull greenish slate color ; 
claws, horny brown. 

166.— Chrysocolaptes sultaneus, Hodgs. 

In the belts of forest trees between Elephant Point and 
China-Ba-keer, this species was met with in abundance. It 
flies with considerable rapidity from tree to tree the branches of 
which it ascends by a series of jerks. During its flight it utters 
a harsh scream, which it discontinues as soon as it alights. The 
following are the dimensions of several specimens recorded in 
the flesh : — 

Males:— Length, 12*5 to 12-75 ; expanse, 20-25 to 21 "5 ; tail 
from vent, 4-1 to 4*7 ; wing, 6*15 to 6*65 ; tarsus, 1*15 to 1*2 ; bill 
from gape, 2'1 to 2-2. 

Females.— Length, 11-5 to 12-2; expanse, 20*1 to 20-75; tail 
from vent, 4 to 4-8; wing, 6'2 to 6'5 ; tarsus, 1 - 15 to 1*2 j bill 
from gape, 1*85 to 2. 

In both sexes the irides were white, with a tinge of pink 
shading into brownish at the sclerotic margin ; bill, legs, and feet 
of a dark slate color ; claws, dusky black. 

[The numerous specimens collected by Dr. Armstrong agree 
well with specimens from Thayetmyso — like these, they are 
larger than C. Delesserti, and conspicuously smaller as a body 
than the true Himalayan sultaneus. — A. O. H.] 

171 bis.— Gecinus vittatus, Vieillot.—(Vide S. F., 
Ill, 68.) 

This species of Woodpecker appears to be rare in Southern 
Pegu.* I have only met with three or four specimens in the 
forest jungle near China-Ba-keer. Two males measured in the 
flesh :— 

Length, 12*2 to 12-8 ; expanse, 16-2 to 17-75 ; tail from vent, 
4'8 to 49 ; wing, 5*45 to 5*5 • tarsus, 1*1 ; bill from gape, 
1-6 to 1-7. 



* bay rather, close to the coast.— Ed, S. F. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDT DELTA. 311 

The irides were dull red ; upper mandible, dusky black ; 
lower mandible, brownish yellow, tipped with dusky ; legs, feet, 
and claws, dull greenish black. 

184.— Tiga intermedia, Blyth. 

I found this species to be more common and more generally 
distributed than any other Woodpecker. It was especially nu- 
merous in the vicinity of China-Ba-keer, where there are 
belts of tall forest trees running parallel to the shore. 
From sun-rise until nearly noon, this region resounds with the 
harsh cry, which, like Chrysocolaples sultaneus, they only utter 
when on the wing flying from tree to tree. Like that species 
too they always alight on the lower part of the trunk or branch, 
ascending by a series of jerks, and stopping frequently to ga- 
ther insects from the bark, or to have a look around them. 
During their flight they make with their wings a peculiar whir- 
ring noise, which I have not remarked during the flight of 
Chrysocolaptes sultaneus. The following are the dimensions of 
six specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Three males. — Length, 10 - 5 to 11*6 ; expanse, 16*8 to 17"7; 
tail from vent, 4 to 4 - 3; wing, 5'45 to 5'75 ; tarsus, 1 to 1*1 ; bill 
from gape, 1*3 to 14. 

Three females. — Length, 10*75 to 1125 ; expanse, 16'5 to 
17*75 ; tail from \ent, 4*1 to 4*4 ; wing, 5*5 to 5"8 ; tarsus, - 95 to 
1-05 ; bill from gape, 1'25 to 1"3. 

Irides, bright red ; bill, dull bluish black ; legs and feet, slate 
color. 

197.— Xantholsema haemacephala, Mull. 

Wherever there was thin forest jungle or clumps of trees, 
this species was to be met with in abundance. They frequented, 
as a rule, the outskirts of the forest, perchiug on the tops of 
the trees, and giving utterance to their peculiar monotonous 
call, which may be distinctly heard at a distance of more 
than a quarter of a mile. The following is a resume' of the 
dimensions of four male birds recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 5'5 to 6*7 ; expanse, 10*2 to 1065 ; tail from vent, 
1*5 to 1*7 j wing, 3-Z to 34; tarsus, '75 to "85 ; bill from gape, 
•9 to 1-05. 

Irides, dark reddish brown ; bill, dusky black ; legs and feet, 
red ; claws, black. 

207.— Hierococcyx sparveroides, Vigors. 

This species is undoubtedly rare. I have only met with it 
on two or three occasions, and always in the thickest part of 

Q 2 



312 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

the forest jungle near China-Ba-keer. A male specimen shot 
on the 19th December measured in the flesh: — 

Length, 15-7 ; expanse, 253 ; tail from vent, 8*75 • wing-, 9*25 j 
tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, 1*4. 

Irides, rich yellow • eyelids, margined with orange yellow ; 
upper mandible, dull greenish black; lower mandible, dusky 
horny green, shading into dirty yellow towards the point, which 
is tipped with dusky black ; legs, feet, soles, and claws, bright 
yellow. The contents of the stomach consisted almost entirely 
of portions of grasshoppers and beetles. 

209.— Cacomantis rufiventra, Jerd. 

This species was universally distributed over the entire 
region lying between Rangoon and China-Ba-keer, but did not 
appear to be abundant anywhere. They were generally met 
with in pairs, frequenting the open ground at the outskirts of 
forest jungle, keeping almost exclusively to low bushes or 
hedges. There does not seem to be any appreciable difference 
of size between the two sexes. The following is a resumd of 
the dimeusions of five specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 8*75 to 9 - 5 ; expanse, 15*1 to 15*6 ; tail from vent, 
4*5 to 5*1 ; wing, 445 to 4*6 ; tarsus, "6 to '65 ; bill from gape, 
•9 to 1. 

Irides, brown ; upper mandible, reddish black ; lower mandi- 
ble, 3 ellowish brown, tipped with dusky ; gape, deep salmon 
red • legs and feet, yellowish brown ; claws, black. 

215.— Rhodophytes tristis, Less. 

This species was not uncommon amongst the copses and 
thickets in the forests jungle between Elephant Point and 
China-Ba-keer. Several specimens measured in the flesh show 
the following result : — 

Length, 205 to 225 ; expanse, 162 to 18-2 • tail from vent, 
lS^kTlG-S; tarsus, 155 to 1-65 ; bill from gape, 1-5 to 165. 
Irides, brownish red ; lores, crimson ; bill, bright horny green, 
darker towards the base ; legs and feet, greenish black ; claws, 
dark brown. 

217 quat— Centrococcyx eurycercus, Say.— (Vide 

S.F.,I, 453; III, 83.) 

This species was generally distributed, though far from 
abundant anywhere. I only obtained a single specimen which 
I shot near Elephant Point ; it was a female and measured in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 20*5 ; expanse, 24 ; tail from vent, 1075 • wing, 79 ; 
tarsus, 2'4 ; bill from gape, 19. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 313 

Irides, crimson ; bill, dusky black, whitish at extreme point ; 
legs and feet, dark slaty black ; claws, black. 

[The only specimen obtained by Dr. Armstrong resembles 
in every respect specimens from Thayetmyo ; and if the races, 
which I have indicated, as differing materially from the true 
eurycercus, be considered deserving of specific separation, this 
present specimen should stand as C. intermedins. (See S. F., I, 
453; and III, 83).— A. O. H.] 

233 bis.— Chalcoparia cingalensis, Gmel,(Vide S. F., 

Ill, 86.) 

I have only met with this species at Syriam and the vicinity 
of Elephant Point, where, however, they appear to be scarce. 
They frequent the thin shrubby jungle in those localities. The 
following are the dimensions of three specimens recorded in the 
flesh :— 

A male measured. — Length, 4'3; expanse, 6*2 ; wing, 2*2 • 
tail from vent, 1*75 ; tarsus, 0*6 ; bill from gape, *06. 

Tivo females. — Length, 4 to 4*1 • expanse, 5"8 to 5'9; wing, 
2 05 to 2-15 ; tail from vent, 1*55 to 1*6 ; tarsus, 058 to 06 : 
bill from gape, 0*55 to 0*58. 

In both sexes the irides are bright red ; bill, dusky black ; 
legs and feet, dull greenish black. 

234.— Arachnechthra asiatica, Lin. 

In the neighbourhoods of Rangoon and Syriam this species 
was extremely abundant, but I have only met with it two or 
three times between Elephant Point and China- Ba-keer. Male 
birds measure in the flesh : — 

Length, 4-4 to 4*7; expanse, 6*7 to 6'8 ; wing, 2*15 to 22 ; 
tail, 1*4 to 1*55 ; tarsus, "52 to "6 ; bill from gape, *8 to '85. 

A female measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 4*4; expanse, 6*75; wing, 2*15; tail from vent, 1*35 ; 
tarsus, '55 ; bill from gape, *8. 

Irides, brown ; bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

234 ter.— Arachnechthra flammaxillaris, Btyth. 

This species, though not abundant anywhere, was met w r ith 
generally throughout the district. Five males measured in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 43 to 4*6 ; expanse, 6 to 6*25 ; wing, 1*97 to 2*1 ■ tail 
from vent, 1*35 to 1*5 ; tarsus, "5 to *55 ; bill from gape, "75 to 8. 

A female measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 4*25; expanse, 6 ; wing, 2; tail from vent, 1*5; 
tarsus, "53 ; bill from gape, '8. 

In all the irides were red ; bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 



314 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

[When describing ArachnecJithra andamanica (S. F., I, 404), 

1 also pointed out some of the characteristic differences of the 
present species, A flammaxillaris, Blyth ; but the species is 
not included in Dr. Jerdon's work, and has not yet been de- 
scribed in " Stray Feathers." 

The following are the dimensions, and a description founded on 
a large series obtained in various parts of the Tenasserim pro- 
vinces and lower Pegu, Diamond Island, and Akyab : — 

Males. — Length, 4 - 3 to 4*6 ; expanse, 6 to 6*8 ; wing, 1*95 to 
2"12 ; tail from vent, 1'35 to 1*55 ; tarsus, 05 to 0*55 ; bill from 
gape, 0-7 to 0*8 ; bill at front, 0-59 to 0-7. 

Female. — Length, 4 - 25 to 4 - 37 ; expanse, 6 to 6 "5 ; wing, 

2 to 2-05 ; tail from vent, 1*3 to 1-5 j tarsus, 0-45 to 0'53 ; bill 
from gape, 0'7 to 0*8 ; bill at front, 0'63 to 0'67. 

The bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. As to the irides there 
is some doubt ; they have been recorded as red in some speci- 
mens, and dark brown in others. 

The adult male has the entire top and back of the head, sides 
and back of the neck, the entire back, scapulars, and lesser 
coverts, rump and upper tail coverts, a dull olive green, or 
brown, washed with this color. Some specimens are much 
browner, some greener, but in most examples, there is a slightly 
brighter tinge on the rump. 

The quills, and their greater coverts, are rather pale hair 
brown, as a rule all more or less fringed on their outer 
margins, with the color of the back, but this is sometimes 
almost entirely wauting, only the margins of the quills being 
slightly paler. 

The tail is black ; the exterior tail feather broadly, and 
the next two, more and more narrowly tipped with white. 

The chin, throat, and breast, deep metallic purple, bordered 
along the sides of the neck, and, indeed, from the gape 
downwards, by a more or less well-defined band of deep steel 
blue. Below, the deep metallic purple of the upper breast 
is bordered by a more or less conspicuous band of red, which 
varies from a brownish orange red in some specimens, to almost 
maroon in others. 

This band is very imperfectly marked in some good speci- 
mens even, and it is succeeded by a dusky or blackish patch, 
in some specimens confined to the centre of the breast, in some 
extending on either side into a band. 

The abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts, typically are clear 
pale primrose yellow, paling somewhat on the lower tail coverts, 
but in some specimens with a gamboge tint on the abdomen, 
and in others very pale, the flanks always more or less shaded 
with grey or dusky, which, in some very brightly-colored 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 315 

specimens, becomes a greenish olive. Axillary tufts typically 
a flame orange, but in some specimens only an intense gam- 
boge yellow, tinged with orange towards the tips. 

I am not clear as to the meaning of these variations in 
color, as they occur in specimens all apparently adult, and 
killed at the same time and place. 

The female is similar to the male, but appears never to have 
the same amount of green edgings to the quills and their 
coverts, and has the entire lower surface a bright clear primrose 
yellow, only down the centre of the chin and throat, ^ the 
color is slightly paler and less pure. — A. 0. H.] 

236.— Dicaeum cruentatum, Lin. 

I have met with this species only in the immediate vicinity 
of Rangoon, where it was extremely abundant. They are 
met with most abundantly during the hottest part of the day, 
frequenting thin tree or open forest jungle. They flit about 
with great activity from tree to tree, usually in small parties 
of four or five, giving utterance all the time to small chirruping 
notes. The following is a resume of the dimensions of six 
males recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 3*25 to 3 5 ; expanse, 5*8 to 6'1 ; wing, 1*85 to T95 ; 
tail from vent, 1*1 to 1*15; tarsus, "45 to "5 ; bill from gape, 
•5 to -55. 

A female measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 3\3 ; expanse, 5*65 ; wing, 1'75 ; tail from vent, 1*1 ; 
tarsus, - 46; bill from gape, '5. 

In both sexes the irides were reddish brown ; bill, legs and 
feet, black. 

254 bis.— Upupa longirostris, Jerd. — {Fide S. F., 
111,89.) 

This species appeared to avoid forest jungle, but was very 
abundant in the open cultivated or waste ground, frequentino- 
the shrubs and hedges in those localities. I have usually 
found it consorting in pairs. The following is a resume of 
six specimens, the dimensions of which have been recorded 
in the flesh : — ■ 

Two males. — Length, 11*7 to 12-2,- expanse, 17 to 17*4 ; 
wing, 5' 45 to 5'5; tail from vent, 4'1 to 4*4; tarsus, *95 ; 
bill from gape, 255 to 2-75; from forehead to tip, 2*42 to 
2'6 ; from anterior margin of nares to tip, 2 to 2*2. 

Four females. — Length, 11*2 to 11-75 j expanse, 165 to 
17; wing, 5*1 to 5-3; tail from vent, 3*9 to 4; tarsus, '93 to 
•95 ; bill from gape, 2*37 to 2'52 ; from forehead to tip, 
2*25 to 2'37 ; from anterior margin of nares to tip, 1*85 
to 2. 



316 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

In both sexes the irides were light brown ; bill, dusky black, 
paler towards base ; feet, legs, and claws, dark slate color. 

[Dr. Armstrong preserved eight specimens. All of these 
agree in the characteristic point of the black tippings of the 
crest feathers joining on to the chestut of the crest, without 
any intermediate white bar as in epops, or paler band as in 
iiigripennis. The bills too, as will be seen from Dr. 
Armstrong's measurements, run considerably longer than 
those of either of the two above referred to species. A. 0. H.] 

260 bis.— Lanius collurioides, Less. (L. hypoleucos, 
Blyth.— Vide S. F., Ill, 90.) 

I have only seen this species at Rangoon where it was 
decidedly scarce. They frequent the thick bushes and hedges 
in the neighbourhood. The following are the measurements of 
two male birds recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 7 - 6 to 7*8; expanse, 107 to 10-5 ; wing, 3*4 to 
3-35 ; tail from vent, 3*55 to 375 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, 
•9 to -85. 

Irides, reddish brown ; upper mandible, dusky black, margined 
near gape with yellowish white ; lower mandible, yellowish 
white, tipped with dusky black ; feet and legs, dusky. 

261.— Lanius cristatus, Lin. 

This Shrike, although far from being abundant, appears 
to be more generally distributed than collurioides. It seems to 
prefer the vicinity of towns or villages, frequenting the thick 
low jungle in their vicinities. The following are the measure- 
ments recorded in the flesh of two specimens, a female and 
a male killed near Rangoon and Elephant Point respectively : — 

Leno-th, 7*4 to 7'6 ; expanse, 10*4 to 10'5 ; wing, 3*35 ; tail 
from vent, 32 to 3*3 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, *85 to "87. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky black, margined 
with yellowish white near gape; lower mandible, dirty white, 
tipped with dusky black ; legs and feet, dusky brown. 

270.— Graucalus Macei, Less. 

This species occurs in tolerable abundance amongst the thin 
tree jungle at Syriam and Eastern Grove, as well as in 
similar localities between Elephant Point and China- Ba-keer. 
It frequents the tops of the taller trees, flying from one to 
another, and seldom so far as I have observed, settling amongst 
any of the lower branches. There seems to be no appreciable 
difference of size between the two sexes. The measurements 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 317 

of two males and two females recorded in the flesh are as 
follows : — 

Length, 12 to 12*35 ; expanse 19*3 to 19 75 ; wing, 6-6 to 675 ; 
tail from veut, 5'2 to 5*5 ; tarsus, 1-05 to l'l ; bill from gape, 1*5 
to 155. 

The irides vary from brilliant light hazel to reddish or dark 
brown ; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

[The Rangoon specimens agree perfectly with Calcutta spe- 
cimens, and are intermediate in size, between the larger North- 
ern race usually identified as the true Macei, and the smaller 
Southern G. Layardi, of Blyth. I do not myself believe in 
the distinctness of these two supposed species. (See also S. 
F. II, 204.— (A. 0. H.] 

275.— Pericrocotus roseus, Vieillot. 

This species occurs sparingly in the vicinities of Rangoon 
and Syriam, and I have also found it in the neighbourhood of 
China Ba-keer. As a rule, it is solitary in its habits, and I 
have never met with more than a pair of these birds together. 
They seem to prefer high trees with loose foliage, such as 
Casuarinas and Sonneralias, amongst the branches of which 
they hop about with great rapidity. The following result is 
obtained from the measurments of three males recorded in the 
flesh :— 

Length, 7'2 to 73 ; expanse, 9*8 to 10*3 ; wing, 3*3 to 3*45 ; tail 
from vent, 3*3 to 37 ; tarsus, "6 to '65 ; bill from gape, "75 to *8. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

[Lord Walden, in his interesting article on the late Colonel 
Tickell's " Illustrations of Indian Ornithology/' remarks : — 
" P. roseus, £, is figured and described by Colonel Tickell from 
a Tenasserim example. The uropygium and upper tail coverts 
are described as being ' pure brilliant scarlet,' — This is certainly 
the case with all Burman and Assam birds I have seen. But 
is it so in typical Bengal and other Indian individuals ? These 
last I have never met with varying from the description given 
by Jerdon (B. Ind. I, p. 422.) — ' rump tinged with rosy" 

Typical specimens from Mergui are widely different from 
others, say from the Agrore valley at the extreme north-west 
frontier of India. In the Tenasserim specimens the head and 
back, the former especially, are a much darker, almost leaden 
grey, in the Agrore bird much paler and browner. In the Agrore 
bird, the rump and upper tail coverts are merely tinged 
with rosy, in the Tenasserim bird the upper tail coverts are 
brilliant crimson scarlet, and the rump is strongly tinged 
and patched with the same color. The red on the wings, tail 
and win or lining of the Teuasserim bird is altogether brighter 



318 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

than in the Agrore bird. Birds from Rangoon appear to be 
similar. Adult females of the Tenasserim birds also differ 
from the female from Agrore, in the first place in being some- 
what darker, and in the second place in having the rump and 
upper tail coverts not merely slightly yellowish, but also in 
having each feather of these parts narrowly fringed with bright 
gamboge yellow. Birds from the neighbourhood of Mussoorie 
and the Doon are very similar to those from Agrore, but are 
somewhat darker in color, and so the Darjeeling birds also ap- 
pear to be. But specimens from Comillah, Tipperah, appear to be 
intermediate between the two forms, but most nearly allied 
to the Tenasserim form, having a very strong scarlet tinge on 
the rump, and having the upper surface notably darker than in 
the Agrore specimens. I think that the two forms grade per- 
fectly into one another, and I am not myself inclined to separate 
them specifically. If the Tenasserim form should be deemed 
worthy of separation, it would probably stand as affinis, Mac- 
Clelland. P. Z. S. 1839, p. 157, which is stated to pertain to 
the Assamese form of P. roseus, which corresponds with the Tip- 
perah birds. — A. 0. H.] 

276— Pericrocotus peregrinus, Lin. 

This species was abundant at Rangoon and Syriam as well 
as throughout the entire district intervening between Elephant 
Point aud China-Ba-keer. It occurred in greatest numbers 
along the borders of the forest jungle, and I have always met 
with it consorting with several others of the same species. They 
measure in the flesh. 

Length, 5 - 7 to 6 ; expanse, 8*4 to 8'8 ; wing 265 to 27 ; tail 
from vent, 2*7 to 2'8 ; tarsus, "6 to *62 ; bill from gape '62 
to -65. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, legs, and feet, dusky black. 

278.— Buchanga albiricta, Eodgs. 

The common Drongo Shrike occurred in abundance every- 
where. It was to be found alike on the outskirts of forests, 
in the vicinity of villages and along the sea-shore. The 
following is a resume of the dimensious of six specimens 
recorded in the flesh : — 

Three males — Length, 1055 to 11 ; expanse, 16*6 to 17*25 ; 
wing, 5 - 7 to 5"9 ; tail from vent, 56 to 5 - 9 ; tarsus, '7 to *72 ; 
bill from gape, 1*05 to 1*1. 

Three females. — Length, 1035 to 11 ; expanse, 15*5 to 16'7 ; 
wing, 5*2 to 5*55 ; tail from vent, 5 to 5 # 8 ; tarsus, "67 to '7 ; 
bill from gape, 105 to 1*1. 

In both sexes the irides vary from brown or reddish brown, 
to bright red ; the bill, legs, and feet, are black. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 



319 



[A large number of specimens, procured by Dr. Armstrongs 
are what I consider to be true albiricta. In a very fine 
specimen of this species from Ajmere, (I choose a central 
locality), in which the white rictal spot is very nearly the 
tenth of an iuch in diameter, a male, the wing measures 5*92, 
and the toil from vent, it being- a particularly fine specimen, 
6*25. These Rangoon specimens agree precisely with this 
Ajmere specimen in size and shape of bill, in color, and I 
may also say in size, as in some males the wings range up to 
5 "9, and the tails also up to 5 '9. As regards the rictal spot, 
none have this so strongly marked as in the Ajmere example, 
but some have it clearly marked, while in others it is barely 
discernible. Doctor Jerdon (Ibis, 1872, p. 119) separates 
the Indian King-crow without a rictal spot under Swinhoe's 
name of cathwcus, but I must absolutely dispute the value of 
the rictal spot as a specific characteristic of Indian birds as 
all over the country, at least, wherever, I have been, birds with 
and without the rictal spot equally occur. As to the smaller 
Southern race D. minor, Blyth, from Ceylon, and and B. atra, 
Hermann, from Tranquebar, the difference of size may be 
considered to warrant specific separation, but certainly D. 
lougns and D. cathcecus of India, apud Jerdon, are not in my 
opinion separable from D. albirictus. — A. 0. H.] 

280 A. — Buchanga intermedia, Blyth. — (Vide S. F., 
Ill, 97.) 

The ashy Drongos collected from the neighbourhoods of Ran- 
goon and Syriam, as well as those from the district intervening 
between Elephant Point aud China-Ba-keer, may, from their 
relative dimensions, be arbitrarily divided into two quasi species. 
The larger birds are, probably, referable to the B. pyrrhops of 
Hodgson, although their dimensions are somewhat less those given 

-n At • 

by Mr. Grote for that species ; while the smaller variety may, 
I think, with equal probability be referred to the B. intermedia 
of Blyth. The following are the dimensions recorded in the 
flesh of four specimens of intermedia : — 













Outer tail 


Middle tail 




Bill from 




Sex. 


Length. 


Expanse 


Wing. 


feathers. 


feathers. 


Tarsus. 


gape. 


1 


c? 


10 


155 


49 


4-8 


38 


•76 


1-05 


a 




10-3 


16 


51 


6-2 


3-9 


'75 


112 


3 


, 


105 


16-3 


5 3 


5 5 


3-9 


■72 


1-07 


4 


" 


10 4 


16 


62 


5-6 


4 


75 


11 



In all four specimens the irides were lake red ; the bill, legs ? 
feet, and claws, jetty black. 

r 2 



320 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 



280 B.— Buchanga pyrrhops, Hodgs. — {Vide S. P., 
Ill, 98.) 

The birds which have been referred to this species were as 
generally distributed and occurred in apparently as great abun- 
dance as the preceeding The following are the dimensions of 
four specimens recorded in the flesh : — 













Outer tail 


Middle tail 




Bill from 




Sex. 


Length. 


Expanse. 


Wing. 


feathers. 


feathers 


Tarsus. 


gape. 


1 


s 


11-2 


1725 


5-65 


6-3 


4 5 


•75 


1 12 


2 


„ 


11 


17-25 


5-5 


59 


4 3 


•75 


1*15 


3 


,, 


11-5 


17 


5-6 


6-4 


45 


•8 


12 


■1 


4 


1075 


17 


54 


55 


43 


•75 


1-15 



In all four specimens the irides were lake red, and the bill, 
legs, and feet, jetty black. 

[I should unhesitatingly refer all these eight birds, all 
precisely similar, and in which a regular gradation of size 
can be traced, to one species. They are all, with one exception, 
very typical, being light iron grey beneath, pale above, and 
very ashy on the tail. One specimen, however, is much closer 
to longicaudatus, the bill and the entire upper surface, includ- 
ing the tail, is absolutely inseparable from true longicaudatus. 
The breast and abdomen alone have the purer lighter grey 
tint of pyrrhops. In these respects this bird resembles several 
from Dacca, where the tj'pical pyrrhops also is common. 
Most certainly typical longicaudatus and typical pyrrhops or 
intermedins appear to be very different, but no observer, how- 
ever superficial, with an adequate series Defore him, can truth- 
fully deny that numbers of intermediate forms occur, which 
might be indifferently united with either, and under these 
circumstances I must reiterate the remark I long ago made, 
namely, that it is very doubtful -whether it is expedient to 
separate specifically all these interblending races. — A. O. H.] 

282.— Chaptia senea, Vieillot. 

This species occurs very sparingly in the forest jungle near 
China-Ba-keer, but I have not met with it elsewhere. A male 
specimen measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 8*7 ; expanse, 13*8 ; tail from vent, 4"6 ; wing, 4"75 ; 
tarsus, *7; bill from gape, 1. 

Irides, dark reddish brown ; bill, legs, and feet, deep black. 

283.— Bringa tectirostris, Hodgs. 

This species was met with occasionally in the thick underwood 
of the tall forest jungle adjacent to China-Ba-keer, where, how- 
ever, it was scarce. The following are the dimensions recorded 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 321 

in the fle ib. of two male birds, shot at China-Ba-keer in Decem- 
ber, neither of which had by that time developed its long tail 
feathers : — 

Length, 10-5 to 10*75 ; expanse, 15*9 to 16*25 ; wing, 5*15 
to 5*2 ; tail from vent, 5'4 to 535 ; tarsus, '85; bill from gape, 
11 to 115. 

Irides, reddish brown ; bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

285 h's.— Dissemurus paradiseus, Lin. (Vide S. E., 

II, 212; III, 101.) 

This species was met with in great abundance in the forest 
belts intervening between the Rangoon and China-Ba-keer 
rivers. It frequents the lower branches of the trees and the 
dense thorny underwood in those localities. The following are 
the measurements of six specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Three Males. — Length, 20*5 to 22 ; expanse, 19*5 to 20 ; wing, 
6*35 to 66 ; outer tail feathers, 14*5 to 16*2 ; middle tail feathers, 
5-8 to 6 : tarsus, 1*2 to 1*25 ; bill from gape, 1-5 to 1-55. 

Three Females. — Length, 17*5 to 195 ; expanse, 185 to 1925 ; 
wing, 6 to 6'2 ; outer tail feathers, 11*2 to 14; middle tail fea- 
thers, 5*5 to 6 ; tarsus, 1*15 to 2 ; bill from gape, 1*45 to 152. 

Irides, dark brown or reddish brown* bill, legs, feet, and 
claws, black. 

286.— Chibia hottentota, Lin. 

Although this species was, as a rule, abundant in those locali- 
ties where it occurred, yet it appeared to be very local in its dis- 
tribution. I have met with it most abundantly near S\riam, 
where I shot some nine or ten specimens in a small clump of 
Acacias, the flowers of w 7 hich they were minutely examining 
apparently in search of insects. These trees appeared to afford 
them such an abundant harvest of food, that, although they 
would all fly off at the report of the gun, yet after flying away 
to a short distance, they would almost immediately return to the 
same trees. 1 do not think that there could have been less than 
seventy or eighty of these birds feeding in this small clump of 
nine or ten acacias. There is no appreciable difference in the 
dimensions of the two sexes. The following is a resume of the di- 
mensions of eight males and four females recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 11 -5 to 125 ; expanse, 18*75 to 20; wing, 5*9 to 6*55 ; 
tail from vent, 5*3 to 5*5; tarsus, 1 to 1*1 • bill from o-ape, 1*45 
to 1*7. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

287.— Artamus fuscus, Vieillot. 

This bird was very abundant throughout the entire district. 
I have met with at Rangoon^ Syriam, Elephant Point, and 



"322 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

China-Ba-keer. It was especially numerous in the vicinities of 
villages, where parties of from ten to twenty or more would 
perch in the upper branches of some tall tree, whence they would 
sally forth at intervals in quest of insects, Male birds measure 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 7 to 7'5 ; expanse, 14'5 to 15 ; wing, 5 to 5*15 ; tail 
from vent, 2-3 to 2*5 ; tarsus, -6 to -7 ; bill from gape, -85 to -95. 

A female measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 7*3 ; expanse, 14-75 ; wing, 5-05 ; tail from vent, 2-3 ; 
tarsus, "6 ; bill from gape, "9. 

In both sexes the irides are dark brown ; bill, greenish blue, 
tipped with dusky ; legs and feet dark, dark slate color. 

290.— Myiagra azurea, Bodd. 

This species was abundant throughout the entire district, fre- 
quenting for the most part the underwood in forest jungle. I 
have generally met with it in small parties of four or five, all ot 
which were usually females. The male bird when met with was 
generally solitary,' but now and then I observed one amongst a 
party of females. The females are somewhat smaller than the 
males. 

Four females measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 5*8 to 62 ; expanse, 5*75 to 6'5 ; wing, 2-6 to 285 ; 
tail from vent, 26 to 29 ; tarsus, '65 to -67 ; bill from gape, '7 
to -72. 

A male specimen measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 6-5 ; expanse, 6*75; wing, 2-95 j tail from vent, 2'9 ; 
tarsus, '75; bill from gape, "75. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, indigo blue ; legs and feet, slaty 
color. 

295.— Culicicapa cinereocapilla, Vieillot. 

I have only met with this bird in the neighbourhood of Ran- 
goon, where it appears to be very rare. A male specimen shot 
in February measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 4*6 ; expanse, 675 ; tail from vent, 1* 95 • wing, 2*4 ; 
tarsus, *55 • bill from gape, "5. 

Irides nearly black ; bill, dusky above, dirty white under- 
neath ; legs and feet, brownish yellow. 

296.— Hemichelidon sibiricus, Gmel. 

This species appears to be rare. I only obtained a single 
specimen which I shot amongst the loose thickets near Elephaut 
Point. It was a female, and measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 47 ; expanse, 975 ■ tail from vent, 2 ; wing, 2'9 ; 
tarsus, '55; bill from gape, '58 : width at rictus, '37. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 323 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky black ; lower 
mandible, yellowish brown, tipped with dusky ■ legs and feet, 
brownish black. 

301.— Eumyias melanops, Vigors. 

This species occurred in tolerable abundance both at Syria m 
and Elephant Point. It appears to frequent alike the hedges 
and thickets in the sides of hills and in open waste ground as 
well as the low thin jungle in mangrove swamps. The following 
are the dimensions of five specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Two Males. — Length, 65 to 6-7; expanse, 1075 to 11 ; wing, 
3-45 to 3-5 ; tail from vent, 295 to 3-1 ■ tarsus, *62 to -63 ; bill 
from gape, '66 to '68. 

Three Females. — Length, 6*2 to 6"4 : expanse, 104 to 106 ; 
wing, 3*15 to 3'2 ; tail from vent, 2*6 to 29 • tarsus, *62 to - 63 • 
bill from gape, '6 to "65. 

IrideSy dark brown • bill, legs, and feet, black. 

323.— Erythrosterna leucura,-^^. 

This is evidently a rare species throughout the district. I 
have only seen a single specimen which I shot in December at 
Elephant Point. It was a female, and measured in the flesh.: — 

Length, 5*3 ; expanse, 8 - 25 ; tail from vent, 2 ; wing, 2 65 ; 
tarsus, '72 • bill from gape, -"63. 

Irides, very dark brown ; bill, dusky brown, lighter under- 
neath, legs and feet, dusky black. 

371.— Oreocincla dauma, Lath. 

I have only seen a single specimen of this bird, which I shot 
on the 18th December, in the forest jungle near Cliina-Ba-keer. 
It was busily occupied picking up insects on the ground, and 
on being disturbed, flew away into a tree, where it was shot. 
It was a fine male bird, and measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 11*3 ; expanse, 17*25 ; tail from vent, 435 ; wing, 
5'6 ; tarsus, 1*35; bill from gape, 1*25. 

Irides, dark brown • upper mandible, dusky black ; basal half 
of lower mandible, yellowish brown • terminal, half dusky ; le^s 
and feet, yellowish brown ; claws, horny brown. 

396.— Timalia pileata, Borsf. 

I shot a single specimen of this bird at Elephant Point in 
the beginning of January, but did not meet with any more. 
Its sex is doubtful, the generative organs not being sufficiently 
developed for determination. It measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 5*6 j expanse, 7 - 8 • tail from vent, 2 ; wing, 255 ; 
tarsus *98; bill from gape, *78 • from nares, "52. 

Irides, reddish brown ; bill, black • legs and feet, dusky black. 



324 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

452 ter A.— XxtlS Davisoni, Hume. [Fide S. E, 
III, 301.) 

I have seen several birds which I believe belong to this species 
amongst the open tree jungle near Elephant Point. I only 
obtained a single specimen which was a female, and measured 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 7*75; expanse, 11*25; tail from vent, 3*35 ; wing, 
3*55 ; tarsus, *9 ; bill from gape, *9. 

Irides, brownish white ; bill, legs, and feet, dusky black. 

456.— Rubigula flaviventris, Tickell. 

This little bird was extremely abundant in the neighbourhood 
of Rangoon. It occurs also, though sparingly, at Syriam, but 
I have not met with it in any portion of the country which 
lies between Elephant Point and China- Ba-keer. It is very 
familiar in its habits, and seems to prefer the vicinity of houses 
or villages. It frequently flies off shore, and perches on the 
rigging of the ships in harbour, where it will remain for hours, 
warbling songs with peculiarly sweet twittering notes. From 
its familiar habits it becomes an easy prey to the native boys 
of the town, who wantonly kill numbers of them with mud. 
bullets discharged from a bamboo bow. The following is a 
resume dimensions of six specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 7*25 to 7*6; expanse, 10 to 105; wing, 3'15 
to 3*45 ; tail from vent, 3'2 to 3*5 ; tarsus, "59 to *65 ; bill 
from gape, "72 to 75. 

Irides, white, with a greenish yellow tinge ; bill, legs, and 
feet, dusky brownish black. 

457 bis.— Brachypodius melanocephalus, Gmel. 

This species was tolerably abundant at Syriam, frequenting 
the taller trees in thin forest jungle. I have also met with 
it in similar localities at Rangoon. I only obtained two 
specimens, a male and female, of which the following are the 
dimensions recorded in the flesh : — 

Male. — Length, 7*2; expanse 10*2 ; tail from vent, 3*1; 
wing, 335 ; tarsus, "55 ; bill from gape, *75. 

Female. — Length, 6"8; expanse, 9*75; tail from vent, 2 9 ; 
wing, 3*15 ; tarsus -55 ; bill from gape, *75. Bill, deep black ; 
legs and feet, plumbeous. 

[This species is not included in Dr. Jerdon's work, and has 
not yet been described in " Stray Feathers." 

3/rt/e.— Length, 7-12 to 7-3; expanse, 10-12 to 10-3; wing, 
3-2 to 3-35; tail from vent, 2'9 to 3*3; tarsus, 05 to 0*55 ; 
bill from gape, 075 to 0*85. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 325 

Female. — Length, 6 - 5 to 6'9; expanse 975 to 10; wing, 
3*1 to 3*15 ; tail from vent, 2"8 to 3 ; tarsus, 05 to 055 ; 
bill from gape, 0-75 to 0*8. 

In both sexes the legs are plumbeous or dark plumbeous, 
the bill is black, the inside of the mouth, pale plumbeous blue, 
the irides, clear pale blue. 

The entire head, including cheeks, chin, and throat, black, 
with a metallic lustre, decidedly green on the throat and ear 
coverts, but purplish in most lights elsewhere. The whole body 
above and below, including upper and lower tail coverts, the 
wing coverts, except the greater primary coverts, yellow, 
strongly tinged with greenish olive on the breast and back, and 
faintly washed with this tint elsewhere, except on the lower 
abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts. The feathers of the 
lower back are only broadly tipped with j^ellow, and where the 
feathers are in the least disarranged, the deep brown basal 
portions show through as conspicuous more on less lunate 
patches. The quills and the primary greater coverts, deep 
hair brown ; the secondaries, margined on their outer webs 
with, and the greater portion of the outer webs of the tertiaries, 
yellow. The tail, which is very much rounded, black, broadly 
tipped with bright yellow. Both upper aud lower tail coverts 
are very long, the former reach within about - 7, and the latter 
within 08, of the end of the tail, which brings them just 
level to the end of the exterior tail feather. The wing lining, 
white, tinged with yellow. 

The female is, as a rule, precisely similar to the male, but 
in some cases is, perhaps, greener and more infuscated than 
in any male. 

The quite young birds appear to have the metallic black 
of the head entirely replaced by a dull olive green, and the 
whole plumage is duller aud greener than in the adult. — 
A. O. H.] 

460.— Otocompsa emeria, Shaw. 

This species was met with, though very sparingly through- 
out the district which lies between Elephant Point and China- 
Ba-keer. It occurs, however, in abundance at Syriam, where, 
as a rule, it keeps to the sides of the hills and lower elevations. 
The following is a resume of the dimensions of six specimens 
recorded in the flesh: — 

Length, 7 '5 to 8"25 ; expanse, 9-i to 10; tail from vent, 32 
to 36; wing, 3"05 to 3 3 ; tarsus, -82 to "85; bill from gape, St 
to -87. 

Irides, brown ; bill, legs, and feet, black. 



326 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

461 bis. — Molpastes intermedins, Hay. {Vide S. F. 3 
III, 127.) 

I have met with this species only in the thin tree jungle 
near Elephant Point, where, however, it appears to be rare. A 
male bird shot at the end of February measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 8*5 ; expanse, 11*5; tail from vent, 3 - 7 ; wing, 3 - 8; 
tarsus, '9 ; bill from gape, '95. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

467.— Iora typhia, Lin. 

This little bird was met with in tolerable abundance, about 
Rangoon and Syriam, and less frequently at Elephant Point 
and China-Ba-keer. It appears to frequent loose shrubby 
jungle and gardens, as well as the outskirts of forest land. 
The following are the dimensions of four specimens recorded 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 52 to 5"6; expanse 7'6 to 8 - 2; tail from vent, 1*8 to 
2" ; wing, 2*4 to 2'6 ; tarsus, "73 to *75 ; bill from gape, '68 to "78. 

Irides, light greyish white; bill, slaty blue, lighter at tip ; legs 
and feet, bluish grey. 

469.— Irene puella, Lath. 

This species occurs sparingly at China-Ba-keer, but is ex- 
tremely common at Syriam, where, in the early mornings, 
large flocks of these birds may be found feeding amongst the 
different fig-trees in the neighbourhood. There is no constant 
difference in size between the two sexes. Three males and 
three females measured in the flesh show the following result: — 

Length, 9'75 to 10*3; expanse, 14'5 to 15*5; tail from vent, 
3*75 to 4*25 ; Aving, 4'8 to 52; tarsus, '75 to *85 ; bill from gape, 
1-1 to 1-2. 

In one female the irides were deep red, in all the remaining 
specimens of either sex they were light reddish brown ; the bill, 
legs, feet, and claws, were black. 

Of nine specimens that I obtained, none exhibited the bril- 
liant smalt blue plumage of the adult male. None of these 
specimens however were obtained later than the end of February. 

[This brilliant plumage is however by no means seasonal, as 
we have killed males in the perfect plumage in every month in 
the year —A. O. H.] 

471.— Oriolns chinensis, Lin. 

This species was generally distributed, but by no means 
abundant anywhere. It frequents thinly wooded forest jungle, 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 327 

keeping", as a rule, to the tops of the tallest trees. A. fine male 
shot near Elephant Point measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 10*5; expanse, 18*75; tail from vent, 3"8; wing, 6*2; 
tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, 1*45. 

Irides, red; bill, fleshy pink; legs, and feet, dusky slate color; 
claws, horny brown. 

472.— Oriolus melanocephalus, Lin. 

The black-headed Oriole occurs in abundance throughout 
the entire district. It frequents alike low tree jungle as well 
as forest land. A male specimen from Syriam measured in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 9*5; expanse 15*8; wing, 5*1; tail from vent, 3*4 ; 
tarsus, '98 ; bill from gape, 1 "3. Irides, bright red ; bill, brownish 
white, tipped with pinkish; legs and feet, dark slate color; claws, 
black. 

475.— Copsychus saularis, Lin. 

The Magpie Robin was met with everywhere in tolerable 
abundance. I have usually seen it in couples frequenting thick- 
ets and hedges. The following are the dimensions of four 
specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Three males. — Length, 8 to 8*7; expanse, 11*25 to 11*7; 
wing, 3*8 to 3-85; tail from vent, 3"5 to 39; tarsus, 1*15 to 1*2; 
bill from gape, 1 to 1*2. 

One female, — Length, 8 ; expanse, 11 ; wing 3*55 ; tail from 
vent, 3*3 ; tarsus, 1 - U5; bill from gape, L05. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

[Three specimens, male, of this species shot at Elephant 
point and China Ba-keer, places both on the western side of 
the Rangoon river, and about twenty miles apart, are remark- 
able for having, one the tail of typical saularis, with the fourth 
tail feather, counting from the exterior, pure white, with only 
a narrow dusky fringe on the basal portion of the inner web, 
while a second has an almost typical musicus tail, with the 
fourth feather black, with only a white wedge projecting down- 
wards from the tip along the shaft for about an inch ; the third 
is intermediate, the fourth feather is white, with a narrow black 
band on the exterior of the outer web, and a broad black band 
along the interior of the inner web. A single female only 
was procured at Elephant Point, she is much darker than 
females of the Indian saularis, but not so dark as musicus from 
the Straits.— A. 0. H.] 

483.— Pratincola indica, Blyth. 

1 have only met with this little bird in the neighbourhood of 
Elephant Point, where it was very abundant. It was always 

s 2 



328 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

to be fouud in the open waste ground, and amongst the paddy- 
fields, flying from one ear of rice to another, and generally 
selecting those which were taller than the surrounding ones. 
It is a very wary little bird, just allowing one to get within 
range of it, when it would at once fly off, and perch again at 
a little distance off, upon the dried stalk of some withered herb 
or tall rice-stem. 

The following are the dimensions of four specimens recorded 
in the flesh : — 

Two Males. — Length, 5*2 to 5*3 ; expanse, 7*5 to 7*25 ; 
wing, 27 to 2*55 ; tail from vent, 2*05 to 2 ; tarsus "8 to 
•78 ; bill from gape, "62 to '66. 

Two Females. — Length, 5*2 to 4*8; expanse, '7 to 7 - 2 ; 
wing, 2'5 to 2*55 ; tail from vent, 185 to 1* 8 ; tarsus, *78 to 
8 ; bill from gape, '1 to *6. 

Irides, darkbrown ; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

518. — Arundinax aedon, Pallas. 

This species appears to be very uncommon. I have only 
met with it once in the low scrubby jungle near Elephant 
Point. The specimen then obtained was a female, and measured 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 7 5; expanse, 9*5; wing, 3*2; tail from vent, 
3 - 45 ; tarsus, *8 ; bill from gape, l'l. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky brown ; lower 
mandible, whitish yellow ; legs and feet, slate color. 

544 quat.— Drymoipus extensicaudata, Swinhoe. — 
( Vide S. F. Ill, 310.) 

This little bird is rare. I have only seen a single specimen 
■which I shot on the 1st of January a few miles from Ele- 
phant Point. It was running and hopping about amongst 
some acanthus bushes in a dried-up swamp, holding its tail 
erect, and giving utterance to a continuous succession of 
monotonous notes, probably to attract the attention of its 
partner. It was a male, and measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 5*8; expanse, '6 ; tail from vent, 2*85 ; wing, 1-95"; 
tarsus, "8 ; bill from gape, '65. 

Irides, light brown ; upper mandible, dusky brown ; lower 
mandible, pinkish white, tipped with horny, legs and feet, flesh 
color; claws, horny brown. 

[I have already previously thus identified similar specimens 
forwarded by Mr. Oates. This present specimen has been 
compared with Chinese examples received from Mr. Swinhoe. — 
A. 0. H.] 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 329 

555.— Phylloscopus fuscatus, Blyth. 

This species did not appear to be very uncommon amongst 
the copses and thickets in the vicinity of Elephant Point. A 
male bird shot in that locality measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 5'5 ; expanse, 7*2 ; tail from vent, 2-4; wing, 
2*5; tarsus, '95; bill from gape, -52. 1 rides, brown ; upper 
mandible, dusky brown ; basal half of lower mandible, yellowish 
white ; terminal half, light brown ; legs, feet, and claws, 
yellowish brown. 

558.— Phylloscopus lugubris, Blyth. 

I only saw a single specimen of this species, which I shot in 
December near Elephant Point. It was a male, and measured 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 4'9 ; expanse, 6'0; tail from vent 2; wing 2'5 ; 
tarsus, '78 ; bill from gape, '6. 

Irides, brown ; upper mandible, dark brown, tipped with light 
yellowish ; middle part of lower mandible, light brown, whitish 
at base and tip ; legs and feet, greenish brown. 

565.— Reguloides superciliosus, Gmel. 

I have only met with this species at Syriam and in the vicinity 
of Elephant Poiut, at both of which localities it appears to be 
very rare. Two male specimens measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 4 to 4*2; expanse, 6*25 to 6'3; tail from vent, 1*5 
to 1"65; wing, 112 to 1*12; tarsus, '7 to '7 ; bill from gape, 
5 to -49. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky brown ; lower 
mandible, yellowish white, tipped with brown ; legs and feet, 
yellowish brown ; claws, brown. 

593 quat.— Budytes flava, Lin.—(Vide S.F. II, 238.) 

This bird appeared to be numerous about Rangoon and in the 
neighbourhood of Elephant Point, frequenting the open waste 
ground and dried-up paddy-fields in those localities. A female 
shot at Rangoon measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 6'9 ; expanse, 9'75 ; tail from vent, 3*2 ; wing, 
3'35 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, '7. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky black ; lower 
mandible, yellowish white, edged and tipped withhorny 
brown; legs, feet, and claws,black. 

595.— Nemoricola indica, Gmel 

I have seen only a single specimen of this species, which I 
shot in the thickest part of the dense forest jungle a few miles 



330 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

from China-Ba-keer. It was a male and gave the following 
measurements in the flesh : — 

Length, 6*75; expanse, 9"5; tail from vent, 2*8; wing, 3; 
tarsus, *8 ; bill from gape, '9. 

Irides, nearly black; upper mandible, dusky brown; lower 
mandible, fleshy white ; legs and feet, purplish white ; claws, 
horny white. 

596.— Pipastes maculatus, Hodgs. 

This species was met with sparingly in the thin tree jungle 
and amongst the isolated clumps of trees in the vicinities of 
Rangoon and Syriam. A female specimen killed at Rangoon 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 6'5 ; expanse, 10*25 ; tail from vent, 2'5 ; wing, 3*3; 
tarsus, '87; bill from gape, '68. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky brown, paler at 
margin ; lower mandible, light yellowish brown ; legs and feet, 
pale brown ; claws, horny brown. 

599.— Corydalla Richardi, Vieillot. 

This species was extremely abundant in the paddy-fields and 
amongst the marshes and open swamps near Elephant Point 
and China-Ba-keer. The following are the dimensions of four 
males recorded in the flesh: — 

Length, 7*6 to 7*8; expanse, lT5to 12*2 ; tail from vent, 3 to 
3*2; wing, 3'45 to 37 ; tarsus, 1*2 to 1'22; bill from gape, '8 
to -85. 

Irides, dark brown; upper mandible, dusky brown; lower 
mandible, pale browish white, tipped with dusky brown ; legs 
and feet very pale brown ; claws, horny brown. 

600.— Corydalla rufula, Vieillot. 

This species was abundant in the cultivated and open waste 
ground around Rangoon and in the neighbourhood and Elephant 
Point. A female measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 62 ; expanse, 10'25 ; wing, 327 ; tail from vent, 
245 ; tarsus, *98 ; bill from gape, *75. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, • dull brown ; lower 
maudible, dirty whitishtipped with brown ; legs and feet, pale 
brown ; claws, honrv brown. 

645.— Parus csesius, Tickell. 

This species was met with abundantly in the open tidal jungle, 
bordering portions of the coast between Elephant Point and 
China-Ba-keer, and also in similar localities along the margin of 
the Rangoon river at Eastern Grove. It is a very active little 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 331 

bird perpetually moving from one bush or tree to another, and 
frequenting alike the highest Sonneratia trees and the lowest 
mangroves. I have never observed it at any distance from tidal 
jungle. The following is a resume of the dimensions of five 
males recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 5*5 to 5*75 ; expanse, S'25 to 8*75; tail from vent, 
2'2 to 2-4; wing, 242 to 2*55 ; tarsus, -68 to 7 ; bill from gape, 
•5 to *53. Irides, brown ; bill, black; legs and feet, slaty blue ; 
claws, black. 

674.— Dendrocitta rufa, Scop. 

I only saw a single specimen of this species, which I shot in 
the forest jungle near Syriam in the beginning of January. It 
was a male, and measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 165 ; expanse, 185 ; wing, 5*85 ; tail from vent, 
9'75 ; tarsus, 1*35 ; bill from gape, 1*42. 

Irides, brownish red ; bill, dusky black ; legs and feet, slaty 
black ; claws, black. 

678 bis.— Crypsirina varians, Lath— (Vide S. F. III. 
146.) 

This bird occurred in great abundance in the Evergreen for- 
ests lying between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer, as well 
as in the thin tree jungle near the mouth of the Rangoon 
river. The following is a resume of the dimensions recorded 
in the flesh of six male and two female specimens : — 

Length, 12 to 13 ; expanse, 12-75 to 135 ; tail from vent, 7*5 
to 8 ; wing, 4*45 to 4* 6 ; tarsus, 1 to 1*1 ; bill from gape, 1 to 
1-07. 

In most specimens the irides were of a fine pale or 
greyish blue, but in two males thoy were dark brown ; the 
eyelids of all were margined with reddish or light brown, 
and the bill, legs, feet, and claws, were deep coal black. 

683 bis.— Sturnopastor superciliaris, Blyth,—(Vide 
S. F. Ill, 149.) 

This species was very common in all open cultivated and 
waste ground, more especially in the vicinity of villages. It 
was usually met with in parties of from ten to thirty. There 
is no appreciable difference in size between the two sexes. 
The following are the dimensions of six specimens recorded 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 9 - 2 to 9*5 ; expanse, 13*5 to 145 ; tail from vent, 
2-75 to 3 ; wing, 4'4 to 455 ; tarsus, 1-15 to 125 : bill from 
gape, 1-38 to 1*45. 



332 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

Irides, yellow; bill, orange red at base, shading into dirty 
white towards tip ; leg's and feet, pale yellowish brown ; claws, 
light brown. 

[ The specimens vary a good deal, and that too apparently 
in the case of perfect adults. In some specimens the forehead 
and the entire crown are so thickly streaked with white, that 
little else is to be seen but this color ; in others the forehead 
only is very sparingly streaked with white, so that the bird 
scarcely appreciably differs from contra. — A. 0. H. ] 

686.— Acridotheres fuscus, Wagler. 

This species was even more abundant than the preceding. 
The birds congregated in crowds round every village, and 
flocks of thirty or fifty might be seen feeding in almost every 
dried-up paddy field. The following are the dimensions of 
six specimens recorded in the flesh: — 

Length, 9 to 10 ; expanse, 14-25 to 15*2; wing, 45 to 4'9 ; tail 
from vent, 2'9 to 3*2 ; tarsus, 1-25 to 135 ; bill from gape, 1*05 
to 1'22. 

Irides, whitish, yellowish white, or pale dull yellow ; up- 
per mandible, orange, tipped and margined with horny yellow and 
black at gape ; lower mandible, orange, black at base, and tipped 
with horny yellow, legs and feet, dull brownish yellow. 

688.— Temenuchus malabaricus, Gmel. 

This species was very abundant, frequenting alike forest 
jungle, open country, hedges, and thickets. I have frequently 
seen these birds in the forests clinging like tit-mice to the 
trunks and branches of trees, and apparently searching for 
insects. They are usually gregarious, consorting in parties of 
five to fifteen. 

The following are the dimensions of four males and two fe- 
males recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 7-2 to 7*8; expanse, 12 to 12-75 ; wing, 375 to 4-05 ; 
tail from vent, 2*5 to 2 # 8 ; tarsus, 85 to 95 ; bill from gape, -9 to 
1-05. 

Irides, dull white, greyish or pale yellowish white ; bill 
bright apple green, dusky green at base, bright yellow towards, 
point, tipped and margined with pale yellow ; legs and feet 
pale brown or yellowish brown. 

688 his. — Temenuchus burmanicus, Jerd,—{Vide S. 
F. Ill, 149.) 

This appears to be a rare species. I have only seen a single 
specimen which I shot in November in the open forest 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 333 

jungle near Rangoon. It was a male, and measured in the 
flesh.— 

Length, 9'4 ; expanse, 14'5 ; tail from vent 3*2 ; wing, 4*52 ; 
tarsus, 1*3 ; bill from gape, 1*22. 

Irides, light yellow ; bill, bright orange red, tipped with horny- 
yellow, and dusky black at base, naked lores, dull brown ; legs 
and feet, yellowish brown. 

688 Quat.— Temenuchus nemoricolus, Jerd. — 

This species appears to be just as common as malabaricns 
from which it does not appear to differ in habits. I have gener- 
ally killed both species together in the same flock. The fol- 
lowing is a resume of ihe dimensions of six specimens recorded 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 7*2 to 7'7 ; expanse, 11*7 to 12-5 ; tail from vent, 
2-4 to 2-9; wing, 3-7 to 395 ; tarsus, '8 to '9; bill, from 
gape, "9 to 1"05. 

Irides, pale yellowish white ; bill, apple green, duller at base, 
and terminal portion bright yellow, tipped and margined with 
lighter yellow ; legs and feet, pale brown or yellowish brown. 

[I have already (S. F.,IIL, 151), reproduced Doctor Jerdon's 
original description of this species, and I mentioned at the 
same time that this description did not correspond over well 
with the type specimen given me by Dr. Jerdon, and I also 
gave a full description of the type specimen. I have now ascer- 
tained that the bird given me by Dr. Jerdon was a young 
bird, which can scarcely have served him as a type, and which 
differs from his type in a most important particular. He says ; 
" Winglet and a spot on the greater coverts pure white," and 
several of Dr. Armstrong's specimens agree perfectly with 
this description, namely, they have the entire winglet and the 
whole of the primary greater coverts white. On the other 
hand the specimen given me by Dr. Jerdon has the winglet 
and primary greater coverts dark brown, but has the median 
coverts and the secondary greater coverts, fulvous white. 

I do not now doubt that these all belong to the same species 
or race. I iind the amount of white in the wings of these birds 
most variable. In some specimens the winglet and only three 
or four of the primary greater coverts are white ; in others 
only some of the winglet feathers and some of the primary 
coverts are white. Again, sometimes it is the anterior ones 
and sometimes it is the posterior ones that are white, sometimes 
white and brown feathers pretty well alternate ; lastly, one 
specimen of Dr. Armstrong's has, besides the entire winglet 
and primary greater converts, one secondary and the entire 
tail white ! 



334 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

In my first list of the birds of Tenasserim, (S. F., II, 480 note) 
I pointed out that the race of malabaricus, at that time ob- 
tained by us in the northern half of Tenasserim, differed mate- 
rially from the continental form, and I proposed for this form, 
in case it should be considered deserving of specific separation, 
the name of leucopterus. 

I am now convinced that this form is not deserving of speci- 
fic separation ; it is not typical malabaricus, neither is it ty- 
pical nemoricola, but a race intermediate between the two. 

But, taking now a large series of specimens, it seems to me 
somewhat doubtful whether nemoricola even can be main- 
tained ; because after all, it only differs from malabaricus in 
the much paler hue of the lower surface and in the white of 
wino-. The latter is a most unstable character, varying in ex- 
tent and situation in every possible way ; while as to the 
color of the lower parts, every intermediate shade between the 
darkest malabaricus and palest leucopterus is represented 
amongst my specimens. 

There are specimens with only one single winglet or primary 
greater covert feather on one wing, white ; all the rest, as 
as in malabaricus ; and the lower surface scarcely perceptibly 
paler than in the fullest colored examples of this latter species. 
And at the other end of the series you have a bird, with the 
whole of the primary greater coverts and winglet, one secon- 
dary in each wing, and the whole of the tail white, and the 
lower surface also almost white. And between these extremes 
you have every intermediate form ; the rule appearing to be 
that the more white there is on the wing, the paler is the lower 
surface and vice versa. 

Taking this in connection with the fact that the birds asso- 
ciate in the same flock, and sre precisely identical in all other 
particulars, it seems to me possible that nemoricolus is nothing 
more than a more or less albinoid variety of malabaricus. 
This view of the question at any rate deserves fuller investi- 
gation, and Dr. Armstrong has promised to procure this next 
season a very full series of these birds. — A. O. H.] 

691.— Saraglossa spiloptera, Vigors. 

I shot a pair of these birds on the 1st January in the low 
scrubby jungle near Elephant Point. They are the only 
specimens which I have seen, and appear to be very rare 
throughout the district. The male measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 7'85 ; expanse, 13-5 ; tail from vent, 2*55 ; wing, 
4*25 ; tarsus, "88 ; bill from gape, "98. 

Irides, dull white ; bill, dusky black, reddish black at base of 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 335 

lower mandible ; upper and lower mandibles, margined with 
pale yellow ; legs, feet, and claws, black. 

The female measured in the flesh : — - 

Length, 7*75 ; expanse, 13; tail from vent, 2'5 ; wing, 4*15 ; 
tarsus, -9 ; bill from gape, 1. 

Irides, white ; bill, black, dusky yellow at gape ; legs, feet, 
and claws, black. 

693.-— Eulabes javanensis, Osbech 

This species occurs sparingly in the evergreen forests about 
Syriam and China-Ba-keer. Two males measured in the flesh : ■ 

Length to, 105 to 11; expanse, 20 to 19*25; wino- 6*5 
to 6-15 ; tail from vent, 3-1 to 3*4 ; tarsus, 1-35 to° 1-32, 
bill from gape, 1*5 to 1*42. 

Irides, dark brown ; nude lores, orbital skin, and lappets, 
yellow; bill, deep orange red, bright shadiug into bright yellow 
towards tip; legs, feet, and claws, dirty yellow. 

693 Sex. — Ampeliceps coronatus, Blyth. 

This species appears to be very uncommon throughout the 
entire district, I have only met with it once in the thick and 
almost impenetrable underwood of the forest jungle near China- 
Ba-keer. It then formed one of a party of eight or ten of the 
same species, who were chirping and chattering and chasino- 
each other amongst the dense thickets in that locality. The 
following are the dimensions of a male specimen recorded in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 8*7; expanse, 16*2 ; tail from vent, 2*5 ; wing, 5*05 ; 
tarsus, 1; bill from gape, 1*05. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, dull greenish, tipped and margined with 
yellow ; legs and feet, bright ochrish yellow; claws, dark brown. 

[We had never previously obtained this beautiful species, the 
Gold-crested Grackle, further north than a place about twenty 
miles south of Moulmein. Dr. Armstrong's specimen is from 
near China-Ba-keer, in about the same latitude as our most 
northerly specimen, but fully a hundred miles further to the west. 

I have seen no other specimens from anywhere else outside 
the Province of Tenasserim, and in that I only as yet know it to 
occur between Moulmein and some locality intermediate between 
Tavoy and Mergui : to the latter locality it does not extend. 

This species has not yet been described in u Stray Feathers," 
and is of course not included by Dr. Jerdon. 

The following dimensions aud description are taken from a 
large series obtained within the limits above referred to : — 

Males.— Length, 8 to 9*2 ; expanse, 15*25 to 16*75; wing, 
4*82 to 5-3 ; tail from vent, 2*2 to 2*5 ; tarsus, 0*95 to 1 ; bill 
from gape, 1 to 1*15 ; weight 2*75 to 3'5 ounces. 

t 2 



336 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

Females. — Length, 8*5 to 8'82 ; expanse, 15*12 to 16-82 ; wing, 
4'82 to 5 j tail from vent, 2*5 ; tarsus, 09 to 1 ; bill from gape, 
1 to 1-12. 

The legs and feet are in some a pinkish chrome yellow, in 
others a dingy fleshy orange, or a dull orange yellow ; the 
claws, black, or dingy greenish blue. The bill is yellow, in 
some slightly brownish, in some greenish, more or less green- 
ish at the gape, and bluish at the base of the lower mandible. 
The irides are very dark brown ; the eyelids, black ; the orbital 
skin in some a pale dingy orange, with fleshy tint, in some 
gamboge vellow, in some clear bright pale orange. 

The adults of both sexes appear to be quite similar, and have 
the lores, forehead, crown, occiput, and a full short occipital 
crest, the chin, the upper throat, as far back as the centre of 
the eyes, and a triangular point projecting downwards in the 
centre of the lower portion of the throat, golden yellow. 

The first six primaries have a broad white patch on the inner 
webs near the bases, the seventh has a small white patch also 
on the inner web, and the second to the seventh have a corre- 
sponding patch on the outer webs strongly tinged with golden 
yellow. 

The whole of the rest of the plumage of the bird, except the 
inner webs of the quills, which are deep hair brown, is black, 
glossed with a dull green metallic reflection. 

The young birds probably want the golden yellow on the 
throat and head. The youngest bird that I possess, has 
the lores and the whole front and top of the head black, but with 
a few golden feathers intermingled on the forehead and anterior 
half of the crown. There is also much less of the golden 
yellow on the chin and throat. — A. 0. H.] 

704 bis. — Estrelda burmanica, Hume. ( Vide, infra p.) 

This little bird appears to be very rare throughout the entire 
district. I have only once met with a single pair, a few miles 
from Elephant Point, amongst the tall grass ridges, which 
form the boundaries between the paddy-fields. It always 
rested upon some tall grass panicle, feeding apparently upon the 
seed, and when disturbed, would fly across the paddy-field to 
some neighbouring ridge of grass, where it would again settle. 
The following are the dimensions of a male recorded in the 
flesh :— 

Length, 4-2 ; expanse, 5 '35 ; tail from vent, 1*5 ; wing, 175 ; 
tarsus, '51 ; bill from gape, - 33. 

Irides, crimson; upper surface of upper mandible, black at its 
base, remainder of bill bright red ; legs and feet, flesh, color. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 337 

767. — Alauda gulgula, Franklin. 

This species was evenly distributed, and tolerably abundant 
over the entire district, frequenting open cultivated and waste 
ground. 

A male specimen measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 6 - 5 ; tail from vent, 2 , 4< ; expanse, 11*8 ; wing-, 3*65 ; 
tarsus, *98 ; hind toe and claw, 1*1 ; bill from gape, "82. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, light brown ; legs and feet, chocolate 
brown. 

774.~Osmotreron bicincta, Jerdon. 

This Pigeon was very abundant in the evergreen forests 
lying between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer. It also oc- 
curs in tolerable abundance in the thin tree jungle and hedges 
on the borders of forest land. The following are the dimen- 
sions of four specimens recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 11 '5 to 12 ; expanse, 19 to 20 5 ; tail from vent, 4 to 
4*4 ; wing, 6'1 to 665 ; tarsus, '88 to 9 ; bill from gape, '8b to 9. 

Irides with an inner ring of pale blue and an outer zone 
of salmon red; bill, dull green to nares; remainder, licrht 
horny green : legs and feet, lake red. 

780.— Carpophaga senea, Lin. 

This species occurred sparingly in the forest jungle near 
China-Ba-keer. A male bird shot in December measured in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 17; expanse, 29; tail from vent, 5*9; wing, 9*35; 
tarsus, 1*1; bill from gape, 1'5. 

Irides, deep red; bill, dusky purple, darker at base; legs 
and feet, lake red. 

782.— Alsocomus puniceus, Tickell. 

This Pigeon was very rare. I have only met with a single 
specimen, which I shot in the dense Evergreen Forest in the vi- 
cinity of China-Ba-keer. Its stomach contained a quantity of 
large plum-colored drupes. It was a female, and measured in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 15'75 ; expanse, 26 ; tail from vent, 6*1; win"-, 
8 - 65 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, L05. 

Irides, orange; bill, purplish, tipped with horny ; legs and 
feet, purplish red. 

795 Ms.— Turtur tigrina, Tem.—(Vide S. F.,L, 461). 

This Dove was one of tiie commonest birds I met with. Wher- 
ever the country is suitable for them, they occur in the greatest 
profusion. They frequent open thickets, and loose underwood 
and hedges, seeking their food on the ground, and roostino* 
during the heat of the day in the thickets. The following is a 



338 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

resumd of the dimensions of six specimens recorded in the 
flesh. 

Length, 11-25 to 128; expanse, 16*5 to 17*75; tail from 
vent, 5 to 5 - 8 ; wing, 5*6 to 5*75 ; tarsus, *95 to 1 ; bill from 
gape, *95 to l - 05. 

Irides, light or reddish brown, or salmon red ; bill, dusky- 
black; legs and feet, red. 

797.— Turtur humilis, Tern. 

This species was not abundant anywhere. It was generally 
met with in well-wooded districts ; but occasionally in open 
ground in parties of four or five. A male and female measured 
respectively in the .flesh : — 

Length, 9'5 to 9*2; expanse, 17*5 to ]6'£; tail from vent, 
3*5 to 3'6; wing, 5*6 to 5; tarsus, *85 to '8; bill from 
gape, *85 to *8. 

Irides, brown ; bill, black; legs and feet, dusky purplish red. 

[These specimens belong to the Malayan, and not the Indian 
form. They are, what I described under the name of T. 
humilior from the Andamans, but as I have already remarked 
in a recent paper on the birds of the Andamans, 1 think that 
Temminck's name " humilis" applies to this the Malayan, and 
not to the Indian form. — A. O. H.] 

812.— Gallus ferruginous, Gmel. 

The Red Jnngle-fowl was not uncommon in the wooded districts 
and evergreen forests in the vicinity of China-Ba-keer. I have 
frequently dislodged a family of them from some densely foli- 
aged shrub, to which ihej had resorted for shelter from the mid- 
day sun. A male shot at China-Ba-keer in December measured 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 26 ; expanse, 26*5 ; tail from vent, 13 ; wing, 9 ; 
tarsus, 3; spur, 1*25; bill from gape, 1"2. 
Irides, light red; comb wattles and lores, crimson; upper man 
dible, dusky black ; lower mandible, dusky blacked, tipped paler ; 
legs and feet, slaty grey. 

843. — Glareola lactea, Tern. 

This bird was rare. I have not seen more than three or four 
on the sands near Elephant Point. A male specimen measured 
in the flesh : — 

Length, 6*5 ; expanse, 16*2 ; tail from vent, 2*15 ; wing, 5'5 ; 
tarsus, "9 ; bill, *75. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

844.— Squatarola helvetica, Gmel. 

I have only met with this species along the sandy portions, of 
the beach, between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer where 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 339 

it was not uncommon. The birds are often seen in parties of 
from five to ten, but are generally associated with flocks of 
smaller birds, amongst which they may be readily distinguished 
by their much greater size. They are very wary and shy, and 
are always the first to set the example of flight to their smaller 
companions. The following are the dimensions of four males 
recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 11*8 to 12*75 ; expanse, 24 to 25 ; tail from vent, 3*3 
to 3*5 ; wing, 7*6 to 7*7 ; tarsus, 1*8 to 1*9 ; bill from gape, 
1-45 to 1-52. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

845. —Charadrius fulvus, Gmel. 

The Eastern Golden Plover was common enough all along- the 
sea shore, but was found much more abundantly in the adjacent 
ploughed lands and cut paddy-fields, where they usually occurred 
in parties of variable numbers. Two males and two females 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 9 to 9*75 ; expanse 18'7 to 20; wing, 5*9 to 
6*5 ; tail from vent, 2 '4 to 2*65 ; tarsus, 155 to 17 ; 
bill from gape, 1*05 to 1*2. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, black ; legs and feet, dark slate color. 

846.— (Egialitis Geoffroyi, Wagler. 

This species occurred in abundance along the sands and on 
the mud banks near Elephant Point. They were generally met 
with in small parties consorting with immense flocks of smaller 
Sand-plovers. Five specimens measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 8*1 to 8*85; expanse, 17*75 to 19*25 ; tail from vent, 
2*1 to 2*7; wing, 5*4 to 5*75; tarsus, 1*4 to 1*5 ; bill from gape, 
1*05 to 1-15. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, dusky black ; legs and feet, greyish 
plumbeous. 

847— (Egialitis mongolicus, Pall. 

This species is extremely abundant. It occurs in immense 
numbers upon the sand and mud flats lying between Elephant 
Point and China-Ba-keer, as well as all along the eastern 
boundary of the mouth of the Rangoon river. The following 
is a resume of the dimensions of five male and five female 
specimens :— 

Length, 7 to 8*2; expanse, 15*5 to 17; tail from vent, 2 to 
2*4 ; wing, 4*8 to 5'15 ; tarsus, 1*3 to 1*4 ; bill from gape, 
•85 to 1. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, black ; legs and feet, dark slaty grey. 

In one bird out of thirteen the wing measures 5*25 : 
nevertheless it appears to belong to this species. 



340 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

848.— (Egialitis Cantianus, Lath. 

This Sand-plover is quite as abundant as mongolicus. The 
flocks of the two species usually intermingle and feed together 
in company. The dimensions of numerous specimens recorded 
in the flesh show the following result : — 

Length, 6*5 to 7 ; expanse 13 to 14-2; tail from vent, 1*8 to 
2*2 ; wing, 4*2 to 4'5 ; tarsus, 1/1 to 1"25 ; bill from gape, 
•75 to -95. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, black ; legs and feet plumbeous grey. 

849.— (Egialitis curonicus, Besck. 

Although only a single specimen of this bird was obtained, 
yet it is probable that it is not so uncommon as might 
be thence inferred. The specimen shot was one out of 
ten or twelve other birds belonging to the two allied species 
mongolicus and cantianus, from which, at a distance, it is im- 
possible to distinguish it. The specimen was a female, and 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 6-8 ; expanse, 13'2 ; tail from vent, 2- 6 ; wing, 4*5 ; 
tarsus, *92 ; bill from gape, "7. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, black; legs and feet, yellowish brown. 

809.— (Edicnemus indicus, Salvad. 

This bird appears to be rare. I have only seen a single 
specimen, which I shot in December at China-Ba-keer. It 
■was lying in cover under some low scrub at the margin of the 
beach, and did net attempt to rise until I had almost placed 
my foot upon it. It then flew some twenty yards off, and 
squatted down on the sand. Thinking that it was a nestling, 
aud that 1 might capture it alive, I was proceeding towards it 
when it again rose and settled down some little distance off, 
where it was shot. It was a male, and measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 15; expanse, 29; tail from vent, 4*7 ; wing, 7'9 ; 
tarsus, 3 ; bill from gape, 2. 

Irides, light lemon yellow ; basal portion of bill, glaucous 
yellow, tipped and margined with dusky black ; legs and feet, 
horny yellow. 

870.— Gallinago stenura, Tem. 

The Pintail Snipe was met with in great abundance at Ran- 
goon Syriam, Eastern Grove, Elephant Poiut,China-Ba-keer, and 
the intervening district. It frequented alike paddy-fields, jheels, 
swamps, and grassy plains. Male specimens measured : — 

Length, 10-2 to' 105 ; expanse, 17-75 to 18-25; tail from 
vent, 2-3 to 2*6; wing, 5*2 to 5'3; tarsus, 1*35 to 1 '4 ; bill 
from gape, 2-45 to 2-5. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 341 

876.—Terekia cinerea, Gmel. 

The Avoset Sand-piper was by no means abundant. 1 only 
saw two or three specimens feeding- along with Stints and Sand- 
plovers on the mud flats near Elephant Point. A male bird 
shot in January measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 9*2 ; expanse, 1675 ; tail from vent, 2*2 ; wing, 
5*25 : tarsus, 1*15 ; bill from gape, 2'25. 

Irides, dark brown ; basal third of bill orange dusky, thence 
shading into dusky black for the remainder of its length; legs 
and feet, bright yellow ; claws, black. 

877- — Numenius lineatus, Cuv. 

This species was extremely abundant all along the coast from 
Elephant Point to China-Ba-keer, as well as along the eastern 
shore of the mouth of the Rangoon river. They were nearly 
always met with in parties varying from four or five to forty 
or fifty. They were always excessively wary and difficult to 
approach. The male bird is smaller than the female, more par- 
ticularly in the length of bill. A male bird, shot near the 
Eastern Grove light house in February, measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 2T5; expanse, "38; tail from vent, 4'5 ; wing 
11*1 ; tarsus ; 3*1 ; bill from gape, 5"2. 

A female shot in January at Deserter's Creek measured in 
the flesh : — 

Length, 24-3; expanse, 40-75; tail from vent, 45 ; wing, 
11*2; tarsus, 3*6; bill from gape, 7*2. 

Irides, dark brown ; upper mandible, dusky black ; lower 
mandible, dirty pinky ; white at base ; remainder, dusky black ; 
legs and feet, livid slaty grey. 

878.— Numenius phceopus, Lin. 

The Whimbrel, although abundant, did not occur in such 
large numbers as lineatus. It was for the most part solitary, 
but I have also met with in small parties of five or six. A male 
bird shot, on the banks near the mouth of the Rangoon river, 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 17 5; expanse, 28 ; tail from vent, 3*8 ; wing, 9*2 ; 
tarsus, 2 - 4 ; bill from gape, 3*8. 

Irides, dark brown; upper mandible, dusky black ; basal 
two-thirds of lower mandible, fleshy white, terminal third 
dusky black ; legs and feet, ashy grey. 

881 bis.— Tringa crassirostris, Tern, et Schleg.—{Vide 
S. P., I, 240.) 

This species was apparently rare. I only obtained a single 
specimen which I shot on the sands near China-Ba-keer. 



342 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

They feed in company with other Stints of smaller species 
amongst which they are conspicuous by their size. The speci- 
men shot was a male, and measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 11*15 ; expanse, 23; tail from vent, 2*6 ; wing-, 6*9 ; 
tarsus, 1*38 ; bill from gape, 1*9. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, dusky black, paler at base of lower 
mandible ; legs and feet, greenish dusky. 

882.— Tringa subarquata, Gmel. 

This was by no means a common species about the mouth of 
the Rangoon river, where alone I met with it. It was most 
abundant at low water, where it might be seen hunting for food 
in the soft mud close to the water's edge. At high water it 
was found amongst the fresh water j heels in the neighbourhood 
of Elephant Point. The following is a resume of the dimensions 
of several species recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 8 to 9*2 ; expanse, 14*2 to 16*25 ; tail from vent, 
1*8 to° 2-2 ; wing, 4*9 to 5*25 ; tarsus, 1*18 to 1*25 ; bill 
from gape, 1*45 to 1*6. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, legs, and feet, dusky black. 

884. — Tringa minuta, Leisler. 

This little Stint was extremely abundant all along the sea 
coast lying between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer. It 
seemed, as a rule, to prefer the more sandy part of the shore, 
and did not appear to frequent the mud-banks, for even at low 
water it was always to be found feeding on the sand which was 
bordering the margin of the mud. The following is the result 
of the measurements of numerous specimens recorded in the 
flesh :— 

Length, 5*75 to 65 ; expanse, 11*75 to 12*5 ; tail from vent, 
1*8 to 2*1 ; wing, 3*75 to 4 ; tarsus, *75 to *8 ; bill from gape, 
•75 to *85. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, legs, and feet, black. 

"With regard to the variations in the size of the wing in birds 
of this species from different localities, Mr. Hume says in 
" Stray Feathers," Vol., L, p. 243 : — " Amongst all my 
Indian killed specimens, male and female, in winter and in sum- 
mer plumage, only one has awing above 8*9 ; in the vast majority 
the wings are between 3*7 and 3'8 ; and in a few specimens the 
wino-s range between 3*o and 3*7, and again in a very few be- 
tween 3*8 and 39. " Now out of ten specimens shot by me in 
Burmah, one only is as small as 3*75 ; two measure 3*8 ; two, 
3*9 ; two, 3*92 ; and the remaining three reach a length of 4. 
Thus it would appear that the Burmese specimens attain a con- 
siderably larger average length of wing than those killed in 
India. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 343 

[Some of the larger specimens, at any rate, probably belong 
to the nearly allied T. albescens, Temminck, but I must confess 
myself unable to separate this species from mi?iuta } in winter 
plumage, with any certainty. — A. O. H.] 

886.— Tringa platyrhyncha, Temm. 

This species was excessively common throughout the entire 
district lying between the mouth of the Rangoon river and 
China- Ba-keer. It was also common along the margins of all 
the creeks and nullahs in the vicinity, extending up the Ran- 
goon river as far as the junction of the latter with its Pegu 
tributary. Four males measured in the flesh show the follow- 
ing result : — 

Length, 6*5 to 7; expanse, 12*3 tol3'4; tail from vent, 
l k 5 to 1*9 ; wing, 4 to 4-25; tarsus, *85 to "95 ; bill from gape, 
1-25 to 1-4. 

Irides, dark brown; bill, legs, and feet, dusky black. 

887.— Eurynorhynchus pygmceus, Lin. 

The neighbourhood of Elephant Point at the mouth of the 
Rangoon river has not as yet been recorded as a locality from 
whence this remarkable species has been obtained. It seems to 
be of rare occurrence in that district, for although several days 
were spent by me in careful and systematic search for it, yet 
I was never able to see or to obtain more than a single speci- 
men. The specimen referred to, was one of a score or more of 
other birds, belonging to the smaller species of (Egialitis and 
Tringa, which were all killed at one shot as they were feeding 
together in a common flock of many hundreds on the sand- 
banks fringing high water mark. It is a female in winter 
plumage, and was shot on the 1st of December. The following 
dimensions were recorded by me in the flesh : — 

Length, 62 ; expanse, 12*15 ; tail from vent, 1*7 ; wing, 
3*92; tarsus, 8*3; bill from gape, "98; from forehead to tip, 
P05 ; from behind nares to tip, *83 ; greatest width of upper 
mandible, "41 ; ditto of lower mandible, *38. 

The irides are of a deep dark brown ; bill, legs, feet and 
claws, black; mid toes, *76 inches in length. 

888.— Calidris arenaria, Temm. 

This bird was somewhat rare. I have only met with it at 
Elephant Point where it feeds on the sands along with Sand- 
plovers and Stints. The following are the dimensions of a male 
bird recoi'ded in the flesh : — 

Length, 7-75; expanse, 15; tail from vent, 2'2 ; wing, 4-9; 
tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, 1*15. 

hides, dark brown ;bill, legs, feet, and claws, black. 

u 2 



344 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

891 — Actitis glareola, Gmel. 

The spotted Sandpiper was tolerably abundant on the Sand- 
banks between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer. A male 
specimen recorded in the flesh measured : — 

Length, 9 - 15 ; expanse, 1475; tail from vent, 2*1 ; wing, 4 8; 
tarsus, 1*5 ; bill from gape, 1*45. 

A female measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 8"3 ; expanse, 145 ; tail from vent, 2; wing, 4*85 ; 
tarsus, 1'55 ; bill from gape, 1*3. 

In both the irides were dark brown; bill, dusky black, except 
near base where it was greenish; legs and feet, slaty green. 

893. — Tringoides hypoleucos, Lin. 

The common Sandpiper was not very abundant anywhere. 
It was usually met with in small parties in cultivated land and 
ploughed fields and on the margins of tanks and jheels. The 
following is a resumd of the dimensions of several specimens 
recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 7*6 to 8 ; expanse, 13 to 13*8 ; tail from vent, 2 - 2 to 
2*45 ; wing, 4'2 to 4*3 ; tarsus, *92 to 1 ; bill from gape, 
1-05 to 1-2. 

Irides, brown ; legs and feet, greenish brown. 

894. — Totanus canescens, Gmel. 

This species was very abundant in all the jheels and along 
the margins of the mud flats in the vicinity of Elephant 
Point. They were usually solitary, but were frequently met 
with in parties of three or four. The measurements of several 
male specimens recorded in the flesh show the following 
result : — 

Length, 132 to 14-25 ; expanse, 22 to 23*5 ; tail from 
vent, 3-2 to 3-5; wing, 7'4 to 7*8 ; tarsus, 2-5 to 2-62 ; bill 
from gape, 2*3 to 2*4. 

The females are somewhat smaller. A specimen of this sex 
measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 13*25; expanse, 21*6; tail from vent, 3*1; wing, 
7'15 ; tarsus, 2 25; bill from gape, 2*32. 

In all the irides were dark brown ; bill, dusky black ; legs and 
feet, slate green ; claws, black ; length of mid-toe and claw, 1*5. 

894 bis.— Totanus Haughtoni, Nobis, Sp. Nov. 

Amongst the numerous varieties of shore birds, killed on 
the sand and mud fiats, between Elephant Point and China- 
Ba-keer, is one, of which I have secured two specimens, 
which appear to be new to ornithology. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 



345 



I propose to describe this presumably new species under the 
above name, dedicating it to my valued friend, the Rev. 
Professor Haughton, of Trinity College, Dublin, whose labors 
have done so much to enlarge the field of Natural History 
research. 

The species appears to be decidedly rare throughout the entire 
district. I have never seen more than the two specimens 
obtained, both of which were shot in December at China- 
Ba-keer, as they were feeding on the extensive sand banks 
in that locality, in company with a large flock of Sand 
Plovers. It bears a striking general resemblance to specimens 
of Totanus canetcens, Gmelin, from which, however, as well as from 
all other Indian species belonging to the same sub-family, 
it differs conspicuously, in the comparatively much longer, 
broader, and more massive bill, in the much shorter length of 
tarsus, as well as in the unusual fact of the three anterior toes 
being united to each other by a membrane. 

The following are the dimensions and a description of the 
bird founded upon the measurements recorded in the flesh of 
the two specimens obtained at China-Ba-keer : — 





an 


o 




S . 




S 


a 


u^ 


a 


8 it 




3 


a 


11 


3 


2 » 

"•- a. 


H 


(2 °* 

c'2 


<C E= 


t53 




>3 


a, 
M 


£ 


!3> 


u 

03 

Eh 


— OS 

n 


08 

3 


£.23 

m 


5 3 

i 


M OS 


A 


13 2 


23-25 


7 3 


3 


1 1 85 


2 5 


2 1 


95 


1-5 


52 


? 


129 


22 3 


70 


3 LI 


1-65 


2-2 


193 


086 


1-4 


0-5 



In both specimens the irides are dark brown ; bill, horny 
yellow near the base, fading into dusky for the terminal half 
which is tipped with black ; legs and feet, dull ochreous 
yellow ; claws, black. 

Feathers of crown, occiput, back of head, scapulars, and 
upper back, of a uniform cinereous grey, each with a dark 
central longitudinal stripe, which is darker and more pro- 
nounced in the interscapular region. Lower back, rump, and 
upper tail coverts, white, the feathers of these parts havin<* 
near their extremities one or two ill-defined, dusky blotches, 
which on the upper tail coverts become developed into a pair 
of more or less clearly defined, V-shaped, transverse bars. 
Forehead and proe-orbital region of a much lighter grev, 
and more mixed with white than the other portions of the 
head. The throat and front of the neck, the entire breast 
and abdomen, the under-tail coverts, as well as the axillary 
plumes and uuder-wing coverts are pure white. On the sides 
of the neck the feathers are also white, but each has here a 
dark narrow shaft stripe, thus giving a lineo-puuetate appear- 



346 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

ance to that portion of the bird. The tail, which is short 
and nearly even, is greyish white, margiued and tipped with 
pure white, the two central feathers alone are brownish, and 
more narrowly margined with white than the others. The 
wings are long and pointed ; the primary quills and 
their coverts are of a rich hair brown, faintly margined 
with lighter brown on their outer webs. Secondary quills 
with their coverts, dusky brown, each with a well-defined 
white margin and tip, which, however, is much narrower on 
the quills, but is broader and clearer on the coverts. The 
tertiaries are long and plume-like, of an ashy brown color, the 
shafts being of a much darker color than the webs. Along 
the entire length of the radius and angle of the shoulder, there 
is a well-defined line of demarcation between the dark hair 
brown of the upper, and the pure white of the under surface. 
The shaft of the first quill feather is pure white, all the others 
being of a more or less pronounced brown. First quill longest, 
second about a quarter of an inch shorter. The bill is long, 
broad, and massive, slightly recurved for its terminal third, and 
with both mandibles grooved one for a little more than half 
their length. The end of the upper mandible is slightly expanded, 
and has its point bent down over the lower. The nostrils 
are linear and sub-basal, a little over quarter of an inch in 
length, and nearly that distance from the most anterior 
feathered portion. 

The tarsi are short and somewhat slender. The toes also 
are slender, the three anterior being united to each other by a 
membrane, which, extending on either side of the middle toe 
from the distal extremity of its proximal phalanx, reaches well 
down to a similar point in the inner, and nearly to the distal 
extremity of the second proximal phalanx in the outer. 

[The present species which I believe to be new* is a very 
puzzling one. The following is a brief diagnosis : — 

In winter plumage resembles generally Totanus canescens, 
but has a much broader and more massive bill, a much shorter 
tarsus (male 1'85; female, 1'65), and the ivebs between the 3 
anterior toes very much more developed. Wings, £ 9 7*3 ; $ , 7'0; 
bill at front, c?, 2*1 ; ?, 193. 

It is by no means a typical Totanus, and in its short tarsi 
and much webbed feet recalls Pseudoscolopax semipalmatus, but 
then the bill is much shorter (in a specimen of this latter now 
before me the bill is 2*9 at front) and of a different character, 
wholly wanting the tumid multi-pitted ends of that species, 

* If not new, I am responsible for the creation of an useless synonyme and not 
Dr. Armstrong. Prima facie it is difficult to believe that it can be new but I have 
diligently worked up the whole group and can find nothing that agrees well with 
our specimens. — Ed. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 347 

and the membrane between the outer and middle toes, is 
also proportionately larger. 

The bill is something like that of Tringa crassirostris, but 
stouter, broader, and longer, and with the lateral grooves 
extending only for ll-20thsof the length of the bill, and this 
peculiarity, of course, equally with the comparative shortness 
of the bill separates it from the God-wits in which the lateral 
grooves run quite or very nearly to the point. 
' Again the webbing of the feet reminds one of T. semipal- 
matus, Gmel. but that is altogether a larger bird, (wing 8 - 25,) 
with a longer and much slenderer bill (at front, 2 - 42) with very 
much longer tarsi (2-58), and a huge, unmistakable, white patch 
on the wing. 

In the short tarsus and stout bill, this species is allied to 
T. incanus, Gmelin, but that is a decidedly a smaller bird, with 
as extreme dimensions, wing, 6'95 ; tarsus, 1*37 ; and bill at 
front, 1*55 ; with a proportionally longer and more rounded tail, 
and shorter mid toe, with a less stout bill, and scarcely any 
webbing to the feet. The plumage further of our birds (at any 
rate in winter, for we know as yet nothing of the summer garb) 
differs entirely from that of the Ashcolored, Yellow-shanks, 
indeed to a casual observer is precisely that of the Green- 
shanks. 

On the other hand the bill is not a bit that of a typical 
Totanus compressed throughout, and tapering from the base, 
and I see that Dr. Finsch places the species {incanus), the bill 
of which most resembles that of our bird, under Actitis. 

Possibly, these birds should form the type of a distinct 
genus, which might be thus defined : — Bill considerably longer 
than the head, stout, nearly straight, but the culmen perceptibly 
recurved, tapering quite at the base, after that of nearly 
uniform width throughout, rather obtusely pointed just at the 
tip, which is bent down over the lower mandible. Culmen broad, 
slightly flattened towards the tip. Nostrils, lateral, sub-basal 
(commencing nearly a quarter of an inch from the base) placed 
in a membranous groove which extends rather beyond half 
the length of the bill (say ll-20ths.) The wings reaching 
considerably beyond the end of the tail and pointed. 
The first quill longest ; tail, moderate and nearly even. Tarsi, 
slender, one-fifth longer than mid toe and claw, covered in front 
by numerous narrow faintly marked scales. Toes, slender, 
moderately long, anterior toes united by a membrane. The 
outer and middle toes quite to the first joint of the middle, 
nearly, if not quite, to the second joint of the outer. The inner 
and middle to the first joint of both, but the membrane r.ither 
deeply scalloped. Hind toe, long, slender somewhat elevated. 



348 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

I do not, however, think generic separation necessary and 
prefer to consider this an aberrant species of Totanus. — A. O. H.] 

895.— Totanus stagnatilis, JBechst. 

This species, though not scarce, was by no means abundant. 
It was more frequently met with on the margins of the tidal 
nullahs and creeks, than on the extensive mud flats at the 
mouth of the river. Specimens measure in the flesh: — 

Length, 10*2 to 10*7 ; expanse, 155 to 16*2 ; tail from vent, 
2-8 to 2-85; wing, 5*2 to 5*3; tarsus, 2 to 2*03; bill from 
gape, 1*7 to 1-75. 

Irides, dark brown ; bill, dusky greenish black ; legs and feet, 
greenish plumbeous. 

[Of two specimens killed on the 28th February, one was 
in winter plumage, and the other in almost perfect summer 
plumage. — A. O. H.] 

897.— Totanus calidris, Lin. 

This species was extremely abundant, occurring in large 
quantities both on the shore between Elephant Point and 
China-Ba-keer, and along the margins of the numerous 
nullahs and creeks in the vicinity. They generally associate 
in large flocks, which do not appear to hunt for food in company 
with other birds of different species. The combined effect 
produced by the red legs of a large flock of these birds is 
very striking, having the appearance of a large red patch 
moving about on the sands. In this way they may be recog- 
nized with facility from a considerable distance. Male birds 
measure in the flesh : — 

Length, 1035 to 11-29 ; expanse, 19*4 to 19'8 ; tail from 
vent, 2-5 to 2*8; wing, 6*8 to 6*3 ; tarsus, 2 to 2*1 ; bill from 
gape, 2*05 to 2"15. The females are somewhat smaller, and 
give the following measurements in the flesh : — 

Length, 10*75 to 1125 ; expanse, 18*75 to 19*5; tail from 
vent, 2*5 to 2*7 ; wing, 58 to 6*1 ; tarsus, 2 to 2*1 ; bill from 
gape, 1*9 to 2. 

In both male and female the irides are dark brown ; the bill, 
dusky red for basal third, from thence to tip dusky black ; 
legs and feet, orange red. 

900.— Metopodius indicus, Lath. 

I only met with this bird in the jheels and tanks which were 
overgrown with aquatic plants and grasses. In these locali- 
ties it was extremely abundant, lying so close amongst the 
vegetation, that frequently it would not rise until I had 
got so near as almost to be able to touch it. A fine male 
bird in the full black plumage of the adult was shot by me 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAWADDY DELTA. 349 

in one of these jheels near Elephant Point on the 81st Decem- 
ber. It measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 1T5 ; expanse, 20*5 ; tail from vent, 1*75 ; wing, 
635 ; tarsus, 2*5 ; bill from gape, 1*4; hind toe and claw, 3*4. 

Irides, dark brown ; the shield and cere extending down as far 
as the nares, greenish olive ; bill, greenish, shading into reddish 
white at base and gape ; legs and feet, dull dusky green. 

Another male bird in what Mr. Oates considers to be the 
plumage of the young bird in its second spring was shot near 
the same locality on the 20th February, and the following 
particulars were recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, ll - 45 ; extent, 2*22; tail from vent, 1'8 ; wing, 
6*7 ; tarsus, 2'45 ; bill from gape, 1*4 ; hind toe and claw, 31. 

This specimen is well advanced in the transition stage 
from the light to the dark plumage. The rufous of the head 
has been almost entirely replaced by deep metallic green 
concolorous with the back of the neck, and amongst the buff 
feathers on the side of the neck numerous dark green feathers 
have begun to make their appearance, but no change what- 
ever has as yet taken place in the under parts. 

It may be worth while remarking that the dimensions record- 
ed of this specimen very considerably exceed those given by 
Mr. Oates for young males measured by him, and in some par- 
ticulars are greater even than the dimensions of the adult male 
in black plumage, as recorded by that gentleman. (See ci Stray 
Feathers," Vol. Ill, p. 184.) 

913.— Hypotsenidia striata, Lin. 

I only saw this species in marshy ground in the vicinity of 
Syriam, where it was decidedly scarce. A male specimen shot 
on the 16 th February measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 103 ; expanse, 162 ; tail from vent, 1*8 ; wing, 4'75 ; 
tarsus, l - 47; bill from gape, 1:7, 

The irides were of a light yellowish brown ; upper mandible, 
dusky brown, except at the gape where it was orange ; lower 
mandible, orange, shading into dusky brown for its terminal 
third ; legs and feet, plumbeous green. 

929.— Bubulcus coromandus, Bodd. 

The Cattle Egret was met with in great abundance throughout 
the entire district. It frequented the mangrove swamps and 
tidal jungle lying between Elephant Point and China-Ba-keer, 
perching, as a rule, upon the low mangroves and other bushes in 
those localities. It was also very abundant at a considerable 
distance from the shore, probably attracted by the herds of 
buffaloes, a large number of which are kept for agricultural 
purposes by almost every Burman in that region, and which, 



350 NOTES ON SOME BIRDS COLLECTED IN THE EASTERN OR 

when let out to graze, were almost invariably accompanied by 
a considerable party of these birds. The following is a resume^ of 
the dimensions of numerous specimens recorded in the flesh : — ■ 

Length, 192 to 20'2 ; expanse, 32 to 34'5 ; tail from vent, 
3'2 to 3 6 ; wing, 9'3 to 9*9 ; tarsus, 33 to 3'7 ; bill from gape, 
3*4 to 3*45 ; mid-toe and claw, 3*1 to 3*15. 

Irides, yellowish white ; orbital skin, pale yellowish green ; 
bill, yellow with a greenish tinge at the base ; legs and feet, 
black ; mid-toe claw, pectinated on inner margin. 

930.— Ardeola Grayii, Sykes. 

This species was extremely common and abundant in every 
nullah and creek near the mouth of the Rangoon river as well 
as all along the shore intervening between Elephant Point and 
China-Ba-keer. They frequented the mud flats when the tide 
was low, and generally at high water resorted to the mangroves 
bordering the shore or neighbouring nullahs. Male birds appear 
to be somewhat larger than the females. A fine specimen mea- 
sured in the flesh : — 

Length, 15 - 2 ; expanse, 25'75 ; tail from vent, 2*9; wing, 
8'65 ; tarsus, 2*3 ; bill from gape, 3'2. 

Females— -Length, 14-25 to 14*6 ; expanse, 23-2 to 23*8 ; 
tail from vent, 2-55 to 2*65 ; wing, 7*55 to 7*6; tarsus, 1*9 to 
2*2 ; bill from gape, 3*1 to 3"15. 

937.— Nyctiardea nycticorax, Lin. 

The night Heron is undoubtedly rare. 

I only met with a single specimen which I shot in the upper 
branches of a large tree over-hanging a nullah near Elephant 
Point. It was a male, and measured in the flesh: — 

Length, 23; expanse, 40 - 6 ; tail from vent, 4 ; wing, 11*5 ; 
tarsus, *3 ; bill from gape, 4-1. 

The irides were rich crimson ; upper mandible, dusky black, 
irregularly blotched near the base with greenish ; basal half 
of lower mandible, greenish horny, terminal half dusky black ; 
legs and feet, light ochrish yellow; claws, horny black. 

980.— Larus brunneicephalus, Jerd. 

This Gull, which was the only species met w r ith, swarmed 
at the mouth of the Rangoon river, and about China-Ba-keer, 
and was also present in abundance throughout the intervening 
district. Specimens measure in the flesh : — 

Length, 17 to 18*2; expanse, 38*75 to 44*25 ; tail from vent, 
4 - 8 to 5 - 2 ; wing, 12*4 to 13 ; tarsus, 1*75 to 2 ; bill from gape, 
2-15 to 2-25. 

Irides, white; bill, orange red, tipped and margined with 
dusky; legs and feet, red. 



RANGOON DISTRICT OF THE IRRAwADDY DELTA. 351 

983.— Sterna nilotica, V. Easselq. 

This species was met with in abundance along the shore lying 
between China-Ba-keer and Elephant Point. It always pre- 
ferred hunting for its prey at the water's edge, so that it was 
only possible to secure specimens at high water, in consequence 
of the impossibility of crossing the broad mud flats, which at 
low water intervene between the beach and the margin of the 
water. Specimens shot measure in the flesh : — 

Length, 12*5, 14'25 ; expanse, 34*25, 39 - 75 ; tail from vent, 
4*, 5'5 ; wing, 11'25, 12"2 ; tarsus, 1*2, 1*4 ; bill from gape, 
1-9, 2-4. 



% first fist of % gtriis of % fatacow Jills. 

For the last two or three years Mr. Frank Bourdillon has 
been very kindly sending me, from time to time, small despatches 
of birds from Southern Travancore, chiefly collected in and 
at the base of the range of mountains locally known as the 
Assamboo Hills, which commencing near Cape Comorin, run 
up thence nearly due northwards. Ninety species having thus 
accumulated, many of them of great interest, Mr. Bourdillon 
has kindly favoured me with a brief description of the phy- 
sical characteristics of the locality in which these specimens 
were collected, together with notes in regard to most of the 
species, which will be found reproduced under his initials, in the 
subjoined list. A great number of the specimens had been 
carefully measured in the flesh. In all such cases I have copied 
the dimensions from the tickets. A few species have been in- 
serted in the list by Mr. Bourdillon on his own authority, as 
he felt certain of their identity. 

Mr. Bourdillon says : — 

" It is with considerable diffidence that I accede to Mr . 
Hume's request for a short introductory note to his list of birds 
collected by me in South Travancore, feeling confident that, 
through defective information, I shall have to omit many points of 
interest which might be advantageously introduced in a paper of 
this kind. However, in the hope that a preliminary notice in 
" Stray Feathers," may induce other and abler ornithologists 
with equally favourable opportunities to co-operate in working out 
and recording the avi-fauna Travancore, I venture to offer a few 
remarks on the locality in which my specimens were collected. 

" This is a portion of that range of hills, which, commencing 
within a few miles of Cape Comorin, stretches northwards, with 
slight interruptions, along the western coast, and forms the chief 

w 2 



352 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

geographical feature of the southern extremity of the 
Peninsula. 

" The greater nuraher of the specimens, however, were col- 
lected within a few miles of the Ponmudi (Golden crown) 
Peak, a hill of merely local importance and no great height, 
some twenty miles due east of Trevandrum, the capital of 
Travancore. 

" Of these hills, which rise rather abruptly from the level of 
the plains or coast line, the average altitude is 4,000 feet, a 
few peaks reaching 5,000 feet, and only one being credited 
with an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level. 

" Their chief physical feature is a dense growth of evergreen 
forest, containing much valuable timber, the greater part of 
which, owing to the want of proper communication with the 
coast, remains any thing but a source of revenue to the Go- 
vernment. The dull monotony of this expanse of forest is 
broken occasionally by bold and precipitous cliffs, while the 
more exposed ridges and outlying spurs are clothed with 
a short rank grass. This grass, in a more forcing climate at the 
foot of the hills, attains great luxuriance, and with a sparse 
sprinkling of trees, covers almost the whole of the country 
from the base of the hills to the limit of cultivation along 
the coast line. 

" The annual rainfall is abundant averaging in different parts 
from 150 to 180 inches, but, owing to the steep slope of the 
hills, there are no large natural reservoirs, and as a natural 
consequence, the representatives of the wading and swimming 
birds are few and scarce. The climate of the hills much re- 
sembles that of the central province of Ceylon, with this differ- 
ence that in Travancore there is nowhere the same variation 
as may be observed between the climates of the highest and 
of the lowest parts of the Ceylon mouutain range. 

" On the Travancore hills at an elevation of 2,500 feet the 
average temperature may be stated at 75° F. 

" The seasons may roughly be divided into two monsoons, 
viz. that in which the prevalent winds are from the 8. and 
S. "W., extending from April to September, and that lasting 
over the other six months of the year, when winds from the 
E. and N. E. more generally obtain. Of these two seasons, 
on the western slope of the hills the south-west monsoon is 
characterised by a more copious rainfall (in June and July 
often as much as 40 and 25 inches), and by a more equable 
temperature, with occasional severe gusts of wind. The north- 
east monsoon is usually ushered in by short but violent down- 
pours of rain, accompanied by storms of thunder and light- 
ning in October. The amount of rain decreases each month 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 353 

and is replaced during the last two months of the year, by 
an almost incessant hurricane of wind, which comes sweeping* 
over the hills and temporarily almost denudes of their leaves 
the coffee plantations of the Europeans who have settled on the 
hills. 

" The average temperature is at its lowest in December and 
January, rising again during February and March, till the heat 
towards the end of the latter month becomes trying to European 
and native alike, and causes a considerable amount of sickness 
and fever until the rains carry off to the sea the large 
amount of decaying vegetable matter, which collects in the 
forest during the windy and dry months. 

" Amongst birds, the winter visitors, as far as I have yet 
been able to observe, begin to arrive in September and stay 
till the end of April, the earliest to come and the latest to 
depart being the little Grey and Yellow Wagtail {Calobates me- 
lanope). In addition to the winter visitors there are other birds 
permanent residents of the plains- — which only ascend the slopes 
of the hills during the two or three hot months (February to 
April). Of these, perhaps the common Coucal (C. rufipennis) 
and the Cotton-thief (T. paradisi) are the most obvious exam- 
ples. 

" During the S. W. monsoon one hears nothing but the occa- 
sional ci*oak of a Fruit Pigeon, and during the rare gleams of 
sunshine Mynahs and Racket Tails make an effort to appear 
lively. The only living thing, setting aside slugs and leeches, 
that seems to enjoy the persistent rain, is the Whistling 
Thrush (M. Horsfieldi) , who has a high old time of it, picking 
up snails and such like petits morceaux, from dreary morn to 
dismal eve. 

''Of the larger animals indigenous to the hills, we have amongst 
quadrumana two species of black monkey {Presybtis *?) and at 
least one of grey (Macacus?), the latter being held in some 
sort of superstitious veneration by the natives, while both of 
the former are eagerly sought for as a variation of the usual curry 
and rice diet. Of the carnivora, tigers are not uncommon, 
occasionally doing much damage when herds of cattle are 
kept, but rarely causing loss of human life. Leopards also are 
not rare, though seldom met with, an entirely black and rather 
smaller variety being somewhat more scarce. Wild dogs 
(Cuon rutilans), are numerous and are said to destroy large 
numbers of deer and pigs. The jackal (Canis aureus) on the other 
hand, rarely, if ever, ascend the hills, though common along 
the coast line. 

* ? P.jubatus, Wagner, and P. johnii, Fisher, and M. radiatus, Kuhl. — Ed., S. F. 



3.";4 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

a Of Rodentia the only remarkable examples are the large 
black and red squirrel (Sciurus malabaricus); and the brown fly- 
ing squirrel {Pteromys petaurista), both of which animals 
exist in great numbers in the heavy forest ; we have also, though 
in less numbers, the common porcupine (Hystrix leucura). 
Among the carnivora, I should not have omitted the S. Indian 
bear (Ursus labiatus), which may be found in suitable localities, 
and labours under the same evil character amongst the natives, 
as that attributed to the Ceylon animal by the Cingalese. 

" Among the deer tribe, the Sambhar ( Rusa Aristotelis) and the 
little mouse-deer (Moschus memimna} are the most common on 
the hills proper, while in the jungles at the foot of the range, 
the spotted deer (Axis maculatus) is more abundant. On the 
higher grass ridges may sometimes be observed large herds 
of the Neilgherri ibex (Hemitragus hylocrius,) and I myself on 
one occasion during the breeding season counted over forty of 
these animals together. I believe neither the neilghai, nor 
black buck is found in any part of Travancore, though the latter 
occurs in great force on the plains along the Eastern coast. 
Great numbers of bison, as they are misnamed ( Gavaeus gaurus) , 
roam about the hills at all seasons, descending to the lower 
jungles when the April rains help the young grass to spring 
up amongst the ashes caused by the annual forest fires. 

" Elephants also, though nowhere in the south collecting into 
large herds, may generally be found with the assistance of the 
hillmen as trackers, to whom they are a source of great terror, 
and who readily assist in their destruction. 

u Owing to the inroads of the elephants on their patches of 
cultivation, the hill men in the wilder jungles live almost 
entirely in little huts built among the boughs of some large 
tree, which they ascend by meaus of a bamboo tied round the 
stem and forming a sort of ladder. 

" The wild boar (Sus indicus) occurs in great numbers, but 
owing to the nature of the ground and the density of the 
jungle he is no where hunted on horseback. 

" I must not conclude without recording my obligations for 
assistance in the collection of my specimens to Messrs. T. 
Fulton Bourdillon and H. S. Ferguson, who have both sent 
me several species which I have not myself obtained." 

List of Species. 

( The numbers are those of Dr. J er don's Birds of India, and 
of my catalogue) 

14 — Hypotriorchis severus, Horsf. 

u Is I believe only a winter visitor, though (without having 
taken a nest) I have reason to think that it breeds here. The 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 355 

crv of this bird is rather shriller and weaker than that of the Kes- 
tril. — F. W. B." 

A male adult shot at Kowdiar, April 27th, measured in the 
flesh :— 

Length, 10*75 ; expanse, 26 ; wing, 9*25 ; tail, 4*5 ; tarsus, 
1-36 ; bill from gape, 0*9. 

17.— Tinnunculus alaudarius, Lin. 

" The Kestrel is also a winter visitor, and breeds on the hills. 
On one occasion I noticed a pair of old birds feeding their 
young in a nest perched on the ledge of an inaccessible rock, 
at an elevation of about 2,800 feet, during the mouth of 
April.— F. W._B." 

Two males killed, Mynall in December and Erridge in March, 
both belong to the slightly smaller and markedly deeper-coloured 
race, resident in the southern portion of the Peninsula of India, 
where they breed in the Neilgherries and Pulneys, and probably 
the other hilly ranges, such as the Anna muleys and the Assam- 
boo Hills. 

A male measured : — Length, 1312; expanse, 25*5; wing, 
9*37 ; tail, 7 ; tarsus, 1*37 ; bill from gape, 0'7. 

22.— Lophospiza trivirgatus, Tem. 

" A resident appearing to prefer heavy jungle. I know 
nothing of its breeding habits. — F. W. B.*" 

A young male killed at Mynall on the 6th August at an ele- 
vation of about 2,000 feet, clearly, as might be expected, belongs 
to the true trivirgatus race, which is markedly smaller than the 
race (L. indicus, Hodgs.) which occurs in Sikhim, Cachar, 
and Burmah. It measured in the flesh : — Length, 15; expanse, 
27'5 ; wing, 8 ; tail, 7 - 25 ; tarsus, 236 ; bill from gape, 1*06. 

The bill was black ; the gape, tarsi, and feet, greenish yellow ; 
claws black ; irides, sulphur yellow. 

32.— Neopus malaiensis, Reinw. 

"A resident on the hills, not uncommon from 500 feet eleva- 
tion and upward. I have never seen any make an attempt to 
seize a full-grown bird, but have once or twice seen one carry 
off a nest in its claws and examine the contents as it sailed 
lazily along. It is a very silent bird and may be seen steadily 
quartering backwards and forwards along the side of a hill, and 
in and out amongst the tree tops. — F. W. B." 

A male of the Black Kite Eagle, still showing traces of the 
young plumage, killed at Mynall measured : — 

Length, 27 ; expanse, 64 ; wing, 20*62 ; tail, 13*5 ; tarsus, 
3*25 ; bill from gape, 2 ; inner toe, 1*45 ; its claw straight 



356 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

from root to point, V45 ; mid toe, 1*72 ; its claw straight from 
root to point, 1'08 ; outer toe, 1*1 ; its claw straight, 063 ; hind 
toe, 1*1 ; its claw straight, 1*4. 

35.— Spizaetus cirrhatus, Gmel. 

" Perhaps the handsomest eagle of the hills, not so common 
as either the Black Kite Eagle, or Harrier Eagle. It is very- 
daring, frequently making a dash amongst the chickens, when, 
if it misses its stroke, it retires to some neighbouring tree 
to concert a fresh plan of attack, if not shot or driven off. 
When approached in this position, it raises its crest very con- 
spicuously. Though not yet fortunate enough to take a nest, I 
think this species must breed on the hills, for I once saw a 
young bird barely able to fly. — F. W. B." 

I do not think that the gradual changes of plumage of this 
species from youth to maturity have been anywhere very 
clearly noticed. Without entering into an elaborate descrip- 
tion, I think I can with the series before me, obtained in 
Travancore, the Neilgherries, Seone, Raepoor, Mundla, and other 
localities in the Central Provinces, Mount Aboo and Etawah, 
give some idea of the normal changes of plumage. 

I may mention here that Mr. Sharpe, in his Catologue I. p. 270, 
records a specimen of this species from Nipal. I have seen 
an enormous number of Spizaeti from Sikhim and Kumaon 
as well as other parts of the Himalayas, but never one refer- 
able to this species, only nipalensis from the higher hilly region, 
and caligatus, as well as nipalensis from the lower hills, and 
either there is some mistake as to the species, or the locality, 
whence the specimen was obtained has been wrongly recorded. 

The youngest birds of cirrhatus, when they first issue from 
the nest, have the entire head, neck all round, chin, throat, and 
entire under-parts, white ; only on the crown and sides of 
the neck is there a slight fulvous tinge, and a few of these 
feathers have linear, brown, shaft stripes, and the flanks and 
the upper portion of the tibia have a pinkish fawn-coloured tinge. 
The entire chin, throat, breast, abdomen, absolutely pure spot- 
less white. The crest black, with usually very little white 
tipping. The tertiaries and secondary greater coverts, conspi- 
cuously margined with white, the tail with 6 or 7 transverse 
darker brown bars, besides the sub-terminal one, which is not 
wider than the others. 

A little later a buffy fawn-coloured tinge spreads over the 
whole head and sides of the neck, a few of the feathers of the 
breast o-et a faint tinge of the same colour and these exhibit a 
linear shaft stripe. On the abdomen many of the feathers get 
a fawn-coloured spot towards their tips, and a tint of the same 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 357 

colour pervades portions of the vent feathers and lower tail 
coverts. 

Later again the whole head, nape, and sides of neck, become 
a warm fawn brown, all the feathers now shewing narrow, 
blackish, shaft stripes. The lower parts are still chiefly white, 
but almost all the feathers of the breast and abdomen have a 
more or less triangular, brownish, fawn-coloured spot at the tip, 
and shew a tendency to a dark shaft stripe ; and in some birds, 
at this time several of the feathers of the lower throat have 
conspicuous narrow black shaft stripes. The sides become 
fawn brown, though the feathers still are mottled white at the 
bases and the shafts are darker ; the thighs, vent feathers, and 
lower tail coverts are now a warm, but brownish fawn colour, 
somewhat irregularly barred with white ; the tail has now only 
four bands besides the sub-terminal one, which has become con- 
spicuously broader. [Sometimes the young bird, before exhi- 
biting any black streaks on the side of the neck or on 
the throat, becomes a nearly uniform warm fawn colour on the 
entire lower surface, and even retains this plumage until it 
has acqiiired the adult tail. I do not understand this, it is 
certainly none of the normal stages from the nestling to ma- 
turity, but as it occurs it is necessary to record it.] 

Then (to return to the normal stage of progression), the 
black striping of the head, back, and sides of the neck, becomes 
more conspicuous ; a black central throat stripe begins to be 
indicated, the warm fawny tint of thighs and vent becomes 
replaced by a wood brown, the black shaft stripes of the breast 
become more oval, and the tail begins to approach the normal 
type with only three transverse bars besides the sub-terminal one. 

Gradually the brown of the vent and flanks creeps up to the 
lower breast ; the breast spots grow larger and larger, and ulti- 
mately the white margins of the feathers almost wholly assume 
the brown tint of the abdomen. The entire white chin and 
throat have the feathers so broadly striped, centrally, with black, 
that only just enough white peeps through to give indications 
of a separation between a black throat stripe, and two broad 
black moustachal stripes. 

The brown of the head and sides of the neck, though still 
warm, has lost the fawny tinge of the younger stages, and the 
black centres of the feathers have greatly increased in size. 

The tail has a very broad terminal band, of say 1"8 and 
interspace of 2, and three other bands each about an inch 
broad. The crest quite black and untipped, grows to a great 
length ; in one specimen before me it is over 4'75 inches long. 

While these changes have been going on, the whole upper 
plumage has been growing darker. 



358 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

As to the white tipping to the crest, this is very irregular, 
the youngest birds and the oldest most generally want it ; birds 
of intermediate ages generally have it ; but in several cases I 
notice of two birds, in precisely the same stage, that one wants, 
and the other exhibits it. 

39 bis.— Spilornis melanotis, Jerd. S. minor, Hume. 
? S. albidus, Cuv. 

a The Harrier Eagle is commoner than the Black Kite Eagle, 
but though sometimes making an attempt on the fowl-yard, it is 
generally rather shy. It has a loud clanging scream, which 
the bird utters while soaring high in the air. — F. W. B." 

Two males of this species are typical examples of the smaller 
southern race which I designated minor, and which it is said 
should, if distinct, stand as albidus, Cuvier. 

The birds are not only smaller, very much smaller than S. 
clieela of the Himalayas, but they look very different, and the 
conspicuous absence of all striation on the breast catches the 
eye at once. 

The following are the measurements in the flesh of two males, 
one an old adult, the other a young bird just beginning to pass 
into the adult plumage: — 

Adult — Length, 25; expanse, 48; wing, 17; tail, 12-25; 
bill from gape, 1*8; tarsus, 3*75. 

Young — Length, 24 ; expanse, 50 ; wing, 15*75 ; tail, 10*75 ; 
tarsus, 3-87 ; bill at gape, 1*8. In this latter, killed in 
March, the cere and bare space round the eye were yellow ; 
the legs and feet were dirty yellow ; claws, black ; the irides, 
pale, clear yellow ; the base of bill and gonys, plumbeous ; the 
tip, black. 

47.— Buteo plumipes. Hodgs. Beng. Sp. Mag. p. 182, 
1836.— P. Z. S. 1845, p. 37.— B. nifiventer, Jerd. 
1847. — Falco buteo japonicus, Tern and Schl. 1850. 

" This bird, a winter visitor, seems to be not uncommon 
during December, January, and February, preferring high open 
country, where two or three may be seen steadily quartering 
the ground and occasionally pouncing on some mouse or 
lizard. I have seen them perch both on trees and on 
stones, and once saw one as low as 2,000 feet elevation, where 
it was beating backwards and forwards over a field of young 
coffee.— F. W. B." 

The single specimen sent from Travancore by Mr. Bourdillon 
belongs, I believe, unquestionably to Hodgson's species, plumipes. 

I have long since come to the conclusion that the Himalayan 
and northern Pegu Buzzards which I identified with japonicus, 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 359 

(Schlegel) were identical with plumipes, and I see that Mr. 
Sliarpe having Japanese and Chinese specimens to compare, has 
united the two. 

Having now obtained a specimen of this species from the 
hills of Southern India and having specimens from the Hima- 
layas agreeing precisely with his plate, I cannot doubt that 
Dr. Jerdon's B. rufiventer from the Neilgherries, a male with a 
wing of 15, belonged to this species, and not to B. desertorum, 
of which Mr. Sharpe says, that the wing never exceeds 15, and 
of which Schlegel gives 15*3 as the extreme limit ; clearly if 
the wing never exceeds 15 - 3 in females, no male could in this 
division of the Buzzards have the wing 15. 

I have recently had to review my whole series of Indian 
Buzzards, nearly 200 specimens in all ; and I take this 
opportunity of stating the conclusions at which I have arrived 
after some days' careful study. I am the more anxious to do 
this, because my present views differ in some respects from 
tnose that I have previously recorded. The species of Buzzards 
that I would now admit into our Indian avi-fauna, are : — 

1. Buteo ferox, S. G. Gmelin, (1769.) 

2. „ aquilinus, Hodgs. (Blyth J. A. S. B. 1845*) 

3. „ plumipes, Hodgson (as above). 

4. Archibuteo hemiptilopus, Blyth (1846) — strophiatus, 
Hodgs. (1844) — sine discr. — leucoptera, Hume (S. F. I. 318). 

It will be observed that I no longer admit desertorum to 
our list ; for a long time past I have only retained this species 
on the strength of Dr. Jerdon's rufiventer, and now, that I 
have obtained a specimen from Southern India and have con- 
vinced myself that it is inseparable from plumipes, I feel com- 
pelled to exclude the African species from our avi-fauna. 

At one time I separated the slightly smaller and more rufous 
specimens of ferox, so common in the Himalayas and consider- 
ed these to represent desertorum ; but even at the time (" Rough 
Notes," pp. 268 to 269, and note), I remnrked that our birds 
seemed to be too lai'ge with reference to the dimensions given by 
European authors, as also with reference to those of a fine male 
from South Africa in Colonel Tytler's collection, and I added of this 
hitter. — " In plumage it greatly resembles some of our Himalayan 
birds, but is much smaller than any of these. Personally, I 
feel by no means satisfied that our Indian bird is desertorum.''' 

Mr. Dresser, in his recent article on this species, quotes my re- 
mark that desertorum ,l is confined to the Neilgherries and 

* It is impossible to say whether this name or Hodgson's other name, leucocephalus, 
should stand. This latter was read at the Zoo, on the 8th April 1815, but when the 
record of this reading was published. I cannot ascertain. Aquilinus appeared in the 
J. A. S B. for 1st April 1815, but when this actually appeared is doubtful. The numbers 
were often months in arrears. — Ed., S. F. 

x 2 



3()U A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

Himalayas, and appears not to be uncommon anywhere in 
these latter hills, from Murree to Darjeeling." 

This remark, however, must now be considered to be cancelled ; 
the birds that I assigned to desertorum from numerous parts 
of the Himalayas were only, I am now convinced, small spe- 
cimens of ferox (many, if not all, of the stages of plumage, 
of which are precisely similar to stages of the South African 
Buzzard), while the Southern Indian supposed desertorum, must, 
I believe, be assigned to plwnipes. 

It may be noticed that prima facie this is what might have 
been expected. The Malabar Coast and the hills of Southern 
India, in consequence, as I am inclined to believe, of their heavy 
rainfall, comprise a fauna closely allied to that of the Terai, 
Sikhim, and what we may call the Indo-Burmese Province. If 
an African species were to be looked for, it would rather be 
in the open Deccan, Sindh, or Rajpootana, or the dry plains 
of Upper India or of Upper Pegu. The last place it would be 
likely to occur in, would be the Neilgherries and the Assamboo 
Hills, and that the Buzzard under consideration is not uncom- 
mon, in these latter is a strong a priori argument against its 
being desertorum and in favor of its being plumipes. 

The importance of this consideration is enhanced by the 
fact, that while characteristic and accurately sexed specimens 
of plumipes and desertorum can doubtless be separated, at 
a glance, it becomes I believe, almost impossible to discriminate 
some un sexed and non-characteristic specimens. They may 
be either female desertorum, with rather abnormally fully-plumed 
tarsi, or male plumipes, with little-plumed tarsi. 

And here it is to he noticed that the pluming of the tarsus 
is a very unstable character ; in each species the extent of the 
bare portion of the tarsus varies very materially, and this not only 
if the apparent bare portion of the tarsus be considered (in 
consequence of the feathers being longer or shorter according 
to season and perhaps climate), but also in the actual distance 
to which the tarsus is feathered, counting this only to the root 
(and not the tip) of the lowest feather. Measured in this 
latter way, which is perhaps the safest, I find that in a series of 
120 ferox, with wings varying from 1625 in the smallest male 
to 19"25, in the largest female, the unfeathered portion of 
the front of the tarsus, varied from 2 '4 to 1*5 ; and that not 
by any means according to size of bird, one male for in- 
stance, with a 16*8 wing, having 2*1 unfeathered, while a 
female, with a wing 19 has only 2'0 unfeathered. Nay, 
more than this, one typical ferox, a female, wing, 18*5; with the 
front of the tarsus unfeathered for 2*1 ; has a stripe of feathers 
runuing down the inside of each tarsus, to within 0'5 of its base. 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 



361 



Now this variation in the extent to which the tarsus is 
feathered is equally observable in plumipes (=japonicu8j, as will 
be seen from the following details of the specimens in my mu- 
seum. I note that in this list I have measured the bare portion of 
the tarsus, counting from near the tips of the tarsal plumes : — - 
Length of Bare portion Locality. 






cq 



be 



< 



8 ? 



J2 

CD *"> 

be S 






i 

I 



9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 



wing. 
143 
14-4 
145 
14-6 
146 
14-8 
15 
15-3 
15-3 
155 
15-9 
159 
15-9 
15-9 
15-9 
147 
14-8 
151 
15-5 
155 
15-6 



of tarsus. 
1-7 



1-5 



5 

35 
1 



Travancore. 
Sikhim. 
Thyet Myo. 
Kotgurh. 
Darjeeling. 

Ditto. 
Native Sikhim. 
Gulmerg, Cashmir. 
Native Sikhim. 
N. of Masuri. 
Darjeeling. 
Native Sikhim. 
N. of Masuri. 
Kotgurh. 
Kote Khaie. 
Native Sikhim. 

Ditto. 

Ditto. 

Ditto. 

Ditto. 
Darjeeling. 

Now it will be observed that the wings vary from 14 - 3 to 
15 9; and the bare portion of the tarsus from 1 to 1*7; but 
it has to be noted, that the only two birds in which it exceeds 
1*5, are from Travancore and Thyet Myo, and in these the real 
difference mainly consists in the feathers being shorter and 
more worn, possibly to a certain extent the result of the 
warmer climate in which they were residing when killed. 

All theso 21 birds are absolutely inseparable. Bill, legs, feet, 
plumage, dimensions have all been most carefully scrutinized. 
I have spent a whole day over them, and have not the slightest 
hesitation in asserting my conviction, that they all belono- to 
one* species. 

In refusing to admit B. desertorum to a place in our avi fauna, 
I have not overlooked, that Mr. Sharpe in his catalogue (I, 

* Since this was written, Mr. W- F. Blanford has been staying with me, and I sub- 
mitted to him the whole of my Buzzards. He examined these 21 birds most carefully 
and laboriously, and he says that, like myself, he is unable to discover any single 
point by which they can be divided, or by which any one can be separated speci- 
fically from the rest. 



1-21 

1-2 

1- 

1-3 

1-2 

1-3 

1-5 

11 

1-6 



362 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

p. 180), records three Indian examples of this species, from Nipal, 
Etawab, and Madras. 

Possibly Mr. Sharpe not having a sufficient series before 
him, may have relied too implicitly on the extent of the 
feathering of the tarsus, which, as I have shown, is a worth- 
less character, as regards individual specimens, although it may 
be good specifically. It may be quite true that desertorum, 
as a species, has the tarsus less feathered than plumipes, but 
it is impossible to take a particular specimen, and because it 
has 1*5, 1'6, or 1*7 of its tarsus bare, thereupon to pronounce 
that it is necessarily not plumipes, because we have essentially 
typical plumipes, with 1*5 and 1*6 of the tarsus bare. 

Or again he may have relied, similarly in the absence of 
a good series, on the more rufous character of the plumage 
and specially of the thighs, which is said to be a diagnosis of 
desertorum. But plumage in the case of these Buzzards is, 
I am convinced, a delusion and a snare ; not only ferox (and ? 
desoHorum),, but equally plumipes and Archibuteo strophiatus 
exhibit similar variations of plumage from the pale, through the 
rufous and browu to the blackish brown, and though one type 
of plumage is more common in one species and another in 
another, specimens of each may, I believe, be met with in each. 
So in plumipes we have a specimen from Native Sikhim, a 
typical specimen wing, 15*9, and barely l'l of the front of the 
tarsus bare (the feathers running a good deal further down on the 
interior of the tarsus), which is as red as any Buzzard can be. 

It is, however, possible that while the South African deserto- 
rum with a wing never, as far as I can make out, exceeding 
15'3 inches, may, the sexes being known, be clearly separable at 
all times from even rufous and slightly tarsi-plumed plumipes ; 
gradations between the two may occur in intermediate coun- 
tries, a consideration of which would as completely justify 
Mr. Sharpe in uniting his Indian specimens with desertorum, 
as a careful examination of my series (uufortunately but few 
of them reliably sexed; justifies me in assigning all mine to 
plumipes. 

Turning now to ferox and being desirous of contributing 
my quota to the discussion which has been going on as to the 
changes of plumage of ferox, I propose to give a list of 94 
specimens in my museum which I have recentky examined, 
and arranged according to t}*pes of plumage in the order in 
which, from a consideration of my large series, these appear, 
if sequent and not alternative, to follow each other, together 
with the dimensions of the wing in each specimen. 

There appear to me to be five fairly well-marked types, 
with of course numbers of intermediate forms, showing how 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 363 

the different types, in some cases at any rate, grade into each 
other and thus enabling me, according to my idea, to make 
pretty certain as to the order in which these types occur. 

I do not pretend to assert that every bird passes through all 
these stages, some of them may be alternative, some birds 
may never attain the final stages, possibly the females never 
pass into the black stage ; but what I do contend is, that where 
these stages are attained they are attained somewhat in the 
order indicated below. That the white and rufous stage is 
the younger (though some birds breed in this,) and the darker 
stages older, and that the so-called melanism, or 5th stage, is 
not an indication of youth, but a final result into which birds 
pass after going through, and not before, any of the other 
stages. 

To those who contend that the white and brown or rufous 
stage is the adult and the darker stages the young, I would 
draw attention to the fact that out of 94 specimens, no less 
than 44 belong to their supposed adult, and as a matter of 
fact, it is, taking the country as a whole, twice as numerous as 
all the other forms put together, though owing to the fact that 
the less common varieties attract the collector's eye, the num- 
ber in this series is only as 44 to 50. Now every collector 
knows that in these Raptors one always sees many more imma- 
ture than perfect adults, and it is therefore contrary to all 
experience to believe that the most common form is that of 
the adult, and the rarer ones those of the young. The follow- 
ing is the list: — • 
1st Stage, Lower plumage white, dirty white or buff more or 

less marked with brown or rufous. 
Males (1) Raipoor 16-5. (2) Rohtuk 16-25. (3) Sambhur 

16-75. (4* Sambhur 164. 
(5) Sirsa 165. (6) Kotghur 17. (7) Mukrana, Jodh- 

poor 17. (8) Etawah 17. 
(9) Sambhur 17. (10) Kot Khaie 17. (11) Sambhur 

17-25. (12) Sirsa 17-4. 
(13) Kot Khaie, Simla Hills 17-5. (14) JBhim Tal 

17-5. (15) Sirsa 17-5. (16) Sambhur 17-6. 
(18) Etawah 17-6. (19) Kotghur 1775. 
(21; Bussahir 165. (22) Kotghur 17'5. (23) Sassa- 

pur-Khunaitie 16*75. 
Females (55J Delhi 18. (56) Sirsa 18-5. (57) Cashmere 185. 

(58) Delhi 18-2. 
(59) Lahore 18-2. (60) Etawah 18-75. (61) Sambhur 

18-5. v 62) Sirsa 18"25. (63) Abbotabad 

18-75. (64) Sumbulpoor 18-4. (65) Abbota- 
bad 18-75. 



364 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

(66) Sirsa 18-2. ^67) Sirsa 1875. (68) Kot Khaie 18. 

(69) Sambhur 19-1. 
(70) Sirsa 18-2. (71) Hissar 18-25. (72) Delhi 18. 

(73) Goorgaon 18-6. (74) Rabun 18. 
(75) Delhi 186. (76) Kotghur 18-25. 
2nd Stage, General plumage brown, but with a good deal of 
white and rufous, on the breast and abdomen. 
Male* (24) Kot Khaie 16-25. (25) Kotghur 16*5. (27) 
Khunaihi, Bussahir. 
(28) Kotghur 17-2. (19) Sukkur 16-75. 
Females {11) Kotghur 18. (78) Delhi 18 5. (94) near Lark- 

hana, Sindh, 18'25. 
3rd Stage, General plumage brown with breast, and more or 

less of nape rufous. 
Males (28) Bussahir 17. (29) Kotghur 16-5. (30) Kotghur 
1-6. (31) Simla 16-5. 
(32) Bussahir 17-25. (33j Kotghur 16-25. (34) Bussa- 
hir 1675. 
(35) Cashmere 16-8. (45) Dhurmsala 17*8 ? 
Females (79) Goorgaon 19-25. (80) Etawah 18*25. (81) Sirsa 
18. (91) Nurie Nai, Sehwan 18-25. (93) 
Sukkur 18-4. 
4th Stage, Uniform Brown. 

Males (36) Kot Khaie 17-75. (37) Kotghur 17. (38) Mussoorie 
17-5. (39) Kotghur 16'5. 
(40) Kot Khaie 17. (41) Kotghur 17-9. (42) Kotghur 

17. (43) Kotghur 17*25. 

(44) Sambhur 17-75. (46) Mussoorie 17*5. (47) 
Delhi 17*5. (48) Rohtuk 17*5. 
Females (82) Simla 19. (83) Kotghur 18. (84) Murdan 

18. (85) Goorgaon 18. 

(86) Gawlior 19*2. (87) Delhi 18*2. (88) Rohtuk 

18. (89) Kotghur 19. (90) Kotghur 18. 
5th Stage, Uniform very dark brown, tail more or less 

conspicuously barred with white. 
Males (49) Murdan 17-5. (50) Kotghur 17*5. (51) Hissar 

17. (52) Kot Khaie 17-5. 
(53) Kot Khaie 16*75. (54) Kotghur 16*5. (92) 

Cumba, N* Sindh 17*1. 
It will be seen that the wing varies in the male from 1 6'25 
to 17'75 • and in the females from 18 - to 19*25 • long and short 
wino-s are to be met with in pretty well every stage of plumage. 
I have examined these birds not only with reference to the 
length of wing, but also with reference to the shape, and rela- 
tive proportions of the primaries, the size and shape of bills and 
nostrils, the size of feet and claws, and lastly the length, extent 



OP THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 365 

of feathering, and scutelation of the tarsi, and though indi- 
vidual specimens will be found to differ greatly in all these 
particulars, such differences exist equally in examples in all 
stages of plumage, and I really think that 1 may safely assert 
that all belong to one and the same species. 

The variations of plumage are doubtless extraordinary, but 
between specimens which above are a dull grey brown, the 
feathers slightly margined with rufous, and below almost un- 
spotted white, tinged only on the sides and flanks with rufous, 
and with an unbarred pale, salmon-coloured tail, to the deep 
chocolate almost blackish-brown bii*d, with a tail conspicuously 
barred with white, every intermediate shade of plumage exists, 
and with the whole series laid out before one it is absolutely 
impossible to draw a line any where. 

I have a good many (26) more specimens, besides those above 
enumerated, which not being sexed, I have not thought it neces- 
sary to record, but not one (belonging to this type, and of 
course excluding plumipes) from the Himalayas or any part of 
India in which the wing is less than 16*25. 

It has in the first place to be noticed that the above classifi- 
cation has no pretensions to mathematical accuracy. Nature 
draws no hard and fast line, and, except the last sub-division, 
each of the classes includes several specimens Avhich might 
with almost equal reason be included, either in the preceding 
or in the subsequent class, as the case may be. 

I have done my best to place each specimen in the sub- 
division to which, on the whole, it seems most properly to belong ; 
but there are still a few birds so thoroughly intermediate that 
any one else might arrange them differently. 

As regards the fifth sub-division all seven specimens are 
typical, and, as will be observed, are without exception males. 
It is just possible that the females never assume this dark plu- 
mage, but this seems unlikel} 7 , seeing that fully half of my 
specimens of plumipes in the corresponding stage of plumage 
are presumably females, and Mr. Blanford records having shot, 
and himself sexed, a female in this stage of plumage with the 
wing, 15-9.— (J. A. S. B. 1872, p. 41). 

As regards the remaining stages of plumage, it is curious 
that out of 44 in the 1st stage 22 are females, out of 8 in the 
2nd stage, only 3 are females, of 14 in the 3rd stage, 5 
are females, and of 21 in the 4th stage only 9 are females, 
while as already noticed in the last stage, none are fe- 
males. 

I cannot at all explain what this indicates, the more so 
that where 2 or more birds are together, collectors naturally 
shoot the biggest and finest specimens. 



366 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

Before taking leave of ferox, I may note that although it 
is quite impossible to separate them specifically, birds from the 
Himalayas do seem to average somewhat smaller, to be more 
constantly rufous, and to have the tarsi feathered further down, 
than birds killed in the plains. There are no doubt several 
exceptions to this rule, but it is nevertheless a fact that the 
great bulk of the birds in which the tarsi were feathered for less 
than 1*9 inches (measuring to the roots and not the tips of the 
lowest tarsal plumes) were obtained in the Central Himalayas, 
while in the great majority of specimens killed in the plains of 
India the bare portion of the tarsus, measured as above, did 
not fall short of 2 inches. This difference, however, is neither 
absolutely constant, nor is it accompanied by any such 
constant difference of plumage, or in dimensions as could 
justify the separation of these hill birds. 

I am inclined to believe that these more fully tarsi-feathered 
Buzzards which were mostly procured in the hills, north of 
Simla, in Kooloo and Bussahir (and a great many of them during 
the winter) represent a permanent resident race belonging to 
these hills, in which they breed, and from which they do not, 
as a rule, migrate during the cold seasou to the plains. 

On the other hand, I believe that the mass of the birds 
which throng the desert plains of Northern and North-western 
India breed in the Suliman range in Cabul and Beloochistan 
whence they migrate to India during the winter, and this differ- 
ence of habitat and of conditions of life is the only rational 
explanation I can offer of the general, though not absolutely con- 
stant, difference between the birds killed in the Central Hima- 
layas and the plains of India. 

In my notes on the ornithology of the first Yarkand expedi- 
tion, I expressed an opinion adverse to the validity of Hodgson's 
species, Buteo aquilinus. I had then a single specimen of the 
species which was compared for me with the type by Mr. 
G-urney and Mr. Gr R Gray, and pronounced by them to be 
identical with it. I have still only this one specimen, but yet 
after a very careful examination of it and a comparison 
with 120 specimens of ferox, I am inclined to retract my 
former opinion and admit aquilinus as a good species. 

The points of distinction on which Mr. Blyth chiefly insisted 
were the extent to which the tarsus was feathered, aud the 
reticulate character of the seutation of the foot and front aud 
sides of the tarsus. 

As regards the former, I have already shown that this is not 
a character by which the bird can be separated from many 
specimens of ferox ; but as regards the latter I am bound to say 
that I think I was too hasty in my former conclusion, and 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 367 

although in several specimens of ferox the scutation makes 
a decided approach to that of my specimen of aquilinus, in 
no single specimen out of 120 does it appear to be so thoroughly 
and entirely reticulate as in the present species. 

But besides this difference, there is a marked structural 
difference. The wing in this specimen, a female, is only 186, 
and we have several females of ferox in which the wing exceeds 
19, yet in none of these are the feet anything" like so powerful, 
or the claws as large as in my specimen of aquilinus. 

In a fine female ferox with the wing the same size (18*6) 
the inner toe-claw measures, from root to point along the curve, 
exactly one inch, the same claw in aquilinus similarly 
measured is over 1*85. The other claws are also, but not 
quite proportionally, larger, in fact, the extra size of the inner 
toe-claw appears to be one characteristic of aquilinus. 

Besides this I do think that the bill is somewhat more 
powerful than in any specimen I have of ferox; and it also 
seems to me, though I admit that this is not a good character, 
that the second quill is longer than it is in ferox, being not quite 
an inch shorter than the 3rd. 

On the whole, comparing this with perhaps the largest series 
of ferox ever collected together in one place, I cannot avoid 
the conviction that it is distinct. I have only to add that 
as regards my specimen, the plumage is similar to that of many 
specimens of ferox in what I call the first stage, and that I have 
little doubt that rufous, brown, and dark specimens of it occur. 

When we turn from ferox to plumipes, we find in this latter 
a precisely parallel series of types plumage, although the upper 
surface is apparently never so rufous as it is in some specimens 
in the first stage of the former. 

With the other stages I need not now concern myself but in 
regard to the dark, and as I conceive latest stage, I wish to 
make a few suggestions. 

Mr. Gurney, Ibis, 1876, p. 369, remarks, apropos of the black 
stage : — " To me it seems much more likely to be an accidental 
melanism, both from its great rarity and from the fact of its never 
having been observed either in China or Japan, but only in 
countries adjacent to the Himalayas — a circumstance which 
possibly may afford a parallel to the occurrence in a similarly 
restricted, but more westerly, district of the melanistic phase 
of B. ferox." 

Now as regards its rarity, it will have been seen that out 
of my 21 specimens, 6 are in the typical plumipes plumage, 
and 2 of the others, I may add, approach it very closely. 

It appears to me that this is the largest proportion of old 
adults that one could possibly expect to meet with, even in the 

y 2 



368 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

very home and stronghold of the species. A melanism that 
affects 33 per cent, of the community, surely deserves the appella- 
tion of a stage of plumage. 

That this dark form has not yet been observed in China and 
Japan, and on the other hand is common in the Himalayas is 
entirely in favour of its being the plumage of age and not a 
mere melanism. Habitually the younger birds extend their 
migrations further than the older ones ; if the black birds are 
old adults, they would, of course, be very rare in Chiua and 
Japan, where the species is only, I believe, a winter migrant, 
from a distant locality, while (as is a fact) they might be ex- 
pected to be common in the Eastern Himalayas which are a 
portion at any rate of the head-quarters of the species. But 
if the dark stage is a mere accidental melanism, independant 
of ao-e, then the observed facts are much less easily explicable, 
indeed become inexplicable. If my contention that the dark 
stage is dependant on age be rejected, then it seems to me that 
the only tenable alternative hypothesis is that the dark stage 
represents a local species or sub-species, bearing the same rela- 
tion to japonicus that Cyanocincla solitarms does to C. cyana. 
Under no circumstances does it seem to me that the accidental 
melanism theory sufficiently accounts for the known facts. 

As Mr. Gurney truly observes, the precisely parallel case 
of B. ferox ought to throw some light on the suject. Through- 
out the plains of the North-Western Provinces the dark birds 
are almost, if not wholly, unknown. Further west and north 
in the Punjaub and Rajpootana, these begin to appear, but still 
throughout the greater portion of these tracts they are rare, 
and the great bulk of the specimens are still, as they almost 
universally are, in the North-Western Provinces in what I call 
the first stage of plumage. It is only in the extreme north 
and west, in the Punjab, about Peshawur and Murdan, and 
trans-Indus and again in Sindh trans-Indus that the dark form 
is at all common ; and in some few places in the latter locality 
they seem to be more numerous than the white and rufous 
birds. This is in the immediate neighbourhood of the breeding 
places of, as I believe, the majority of the birds that visit the 
plains of India. 

But it will doubtless be said that the birds breed also about 
Sarepta in Palestine and elsewhere, and that no considerable 
number of black birds are ever there obtained. If this is 
correct, then all that can be said is that the Eastern race that 
breeds in Afghanistan and Beloochistan (and possibly Persia also) 
differs in assuming, when old or quite adult, a stage of plumage 
only accidental in the western race ; and such difference is 
quite in harmony with what I have already noticed in regard 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 369 

to the Central Himalayan race (and I suspect Mongolian birds 
from what Radde says are akin) with a greater tendency to 
deep rufous colouration and a more fully-feathered tarsus. 

From all I have seen of this sub-group of Buzzards, I am 
inclined to suspect that they are specifically of recent origin, and 
that the several species have not yet become fully differentiated. 

As a rule, it seems to me that when dealing with continental 
species (the conditions of insular life are different), it is only 
those that are past their prime, which we may expect to find 
clearly and sharply defined from their congeners, and without 
intermediate connecting links. While the group of species 
is young and still developing, the boundaries are still hazy 
and intermingled ; it is only when decadence has commenced, 
and the interconnecting links have dropped out, that the several 
surviving species are found to be distinctly isolated. It seems 
to me probable that all those groups, in which the species are 
found, to grade imperceptibly into each other (a gradation, 
often, and, as I think, unphilosophically explained as cases of 
hybridism), are of comparatively recent origin, and that the 
more throughly isolated a set of species are the older they may 
prima facie be assumed to be. Of course, there are external cir- 
cumstances which will modify this general law as to the normal 
progress of species of life, but the law itself appears to me to be 
one of primary importance that has scarcely as yet attracted 
attention. 

To return to our Buzzards, and their supposed accidental 
melanoid varieties ; there is yet a fourth species to be noticed, 
and that is Archibuteo hemiptilopus, Blyth. 

Now it is very remarkable that this also has a black form, as 
dark as the darkest plumipes, or 5th stage ferox. 

I have very fully described one specimen of this species (a 
presumed female) (S. F. Vol.1, p. 315) which is in the stage 
corresponding to my first stage of ferox. I also described 
doc. cit) from Mr. Hodgson's drawing another specimen, a male, 
almost precisely in what I have called the 3rd stage of ferox. 

Mr. Sharpe has figured and described (Cat. I. p. 199, PI. VII. 
2) a specimen, supposed to be Hodgson's type almost exactly 
in what I call the 4th or uniform brown stage, anil I have now 
before me two others, one a female (presumably) in plumage 
intermediate between the 2nd and 3rd stages, and one a male 
(presumably) in the 5th or melanoid stage. Both these are 
from Thibet. 

The first measures: — Length, about 27; wing, 20; tail, 12; 
tarsus, 3*4 ; bill from gape, 2'0 ; mid toe and claw, 225 ; hind toe 
and claw, 1*9; bill, along culmen, from edge of cere to point, 1*3; 
hind toe claw along curve, 1*2 ; mid do. do. 0'75 ; inuer do. do. l'l. 



370 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

Structurally and in dimensions this specimen agrees pre- 
cisely with the specimen I formerly described, only (as might 
be expected in an older bird) the feet and claws are a trifle 
more massive and powerful. 

The general plumage is a very uniform, moderately pale, hair 
brown, verging somewhat to umber, but the breast and middle of 
the abdomen are much variegated with ferruginous brown 
feathers broadly tipped and, in some cases, margined, with 
rufescent butf. 

The lower tail coverts are fulvous white, broadly margined 
with rufous and rufous buff, and with traces of imperfect 
brown bars on these margins. On the nape and inter- 
scapular region is an immense patch of feathers, white on their 
basal halves, and buff in some, deep ferruginous in others, 
on their terminal halves, all brown shafted, and some with 
narrow brown shaft stripes. The wing lining is mingled deep 
ferruginous and brown. Large portions of the huge white 
wing patch described in the former specimen are in this pre- 
sent bird mottled over with a brownish grey, and this is the 
colour of those portions of the outer webs of the earlier 
primaries which were white in the former specimen. The 
tail is like that of many ferox, a grey brown, tinged with 
rufous towards the tips, everywhere browner towards the 
margins, with 3 or 4 transverse irregular bars towards the 
tips, and zig-zaggy traces of 4 or 5 others higher up. 

The presumed male is a somewhat smaller bird. 

Length, about 24 ; wing, 19 ; tail, 11*0 ; tarsus, 3'4 ; bill from 
gape, 2 - 0; mid-toe and claw, 2*0; hind toe and claw, 162 ; 
bill along culmen from edge of cere to point, 1C3; hind-toe 
claw along curve, 1*2 ; inner do. do. 1*13 ; mid do. do. 07. 

Although the bill measured from the gape in this skin is 
as long as in the former specimen, it is really considerably 
smaller and feebler, and though the claws are nearly as long, 
they as well as the toes are feebler and slenderer. 

The large size of the inner toe claw far exceeding that of 
iihe mid, and all but equalling that of the hind toe is a marked 
peculiarity of this species, shared though in a minor degree by 
aquilinus. Another noteworthy point is the very considerable 
dilation of the inner edge of the mid toe claw. 

The whole bird is a very deep umber brown, almost blackish, 
deepest on quills, tail, abdomen, lower-tail coverts, and tibial 
and tarsal plumes. The latter quite conceal the foot in this 
specimen, are somewhat shorter in the female above described, 
and shorter still in that first described (S. F. p. 1, loc cit). 

Some of the longer upper tail coverts exhibit a few oval 
white spots. The basal halves of the central tail feathers exhibit 



OF THE TRAVANCOKE HILLS. 371 

four irregular clouded transverse grey bars ; in the lateral 
feathers, these are more numerous, extend nearer and nearer 
to the tips, and are whiter and larger (almost confluent in some 
places) on the inner webs. The white wing patch is entirely 
replaced by a pale somewhat brownish grey, except in a small 
patch along the shaft quite at the base of the primaries. 
Except that the claws are much more curved, and the inner 
toe much shorter and feebler and the tail shorter, this specimen 
might well pass for a rather brown, diminutive Neopus, and 
indeed it was as a probably new species of this genus that 
Mr. Mandelli sent me this specimen. 

Looking to the systematic manner in which this black stage 
is reproduced in each of these three species, I think that the idea 
of accidental melanism may be set aside, and this form accepted 
as a normal state of plumage, at any rate in hemiptilopus and 
(Indian) ferox, and plumipes. 

All my three specimens of hemiptilopus exhibit that peculiar 
plumose character of the base of the bill almost concealing 
the nares, on which Hodgson's name cryptogenys was founded. 
I have no doubt whatsoever myself ^that this latter, as well 
as strophiatus, Hodgson, must be considered as synonyms of 
Blyth's name. 

Of course, the whitish breast band on which Hodgson's second 
name was founded is merely one stage of plumage, which may 
occasionally be observed in ferox just as it is passing into the 
uniform brown stage. 

Before quitting the Buzzards, I must notice Mr. Gurney's 
view {Ibis, 1876, p. 367) that in ferox "transverse bars 
upon the tail are ordiuarily and normally indications of 
immaturity." I may be wrong, I naturally traverse in this 
and other cases, the opinions of so eminent an authority with the 
greatest diffidence, but still 1 think, I ought to record dis- 
tinctly that my large series of this species does not permit of 
my concurring in this opinion. Strongly barred, feebly 
barred, partially barred, tails, as well as unbarred ones, and 
others with only traces of a bar or two seem to be met with 
in the most various stages of plumage. If you arrange the 
birds by the degree to which their tails are barred, you get 
specimens of the most discordant types of plumage side by 
side. Nothing can be more irregular than the changes of plumage ; 
they are never synchronous on the upper and lower surfaces. 
Arrange by the former, and you have all types of the lower 
grouped together and vice versa. 

What Mr. Gurney says may possibly be true of the Palestine 
and Sarepta breeding birds, but 1 hardly think it can be 
accepted as equally applicable to the Indian race. 



372 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

51.— Circus Swainsoni, Smith. 

a Not uncommon from November to January inclusive, on 
high and exposed bare grass land. — F. W. B." 

A fine young: female of this species killed Colatboorpolay 
Valley, Travancore, at an elevation of about 3,000 feet; on the 
28th December measured in the flesh : — 

Wing, 14-62 ; tail, 9*26; tarsus, 2"9; bill from gape, 1-18. 
The cere was greenish yellow ; bill and claws, black ; tarsi and 
feet, orange yellow ; irides, bright yellow. 

55.— Haliastur indus, Bodd. 

No specimen received. 

u The Brahmany Kite is an occasional visitor to the hills 
during 1 the hot weather. Its usual habitat is the sea coast and 
the palmyra plantations ; a few miles inland. — F. W. B." 

56. — Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

No specimen sent. I cannot therefore tell whether the 
specific name has been correctly assigned. 

" The Pariah Kite is a hot weather visitor on the hills ; num- 
bers may be seen hovering over the smoke of the grass fires 
at the foot of the hills, and wherever a piece of felled jungle 
is fired, the blaze and smoke is sure to attract these birds, 
who immediately collect and dive repeatedly into the thickest 
of the smoke, to supper on the remains of some scorched 
snake or lizard. I do not think that they pass the nights up 
the hills, for they are not usually visible before eight o'clock in 
the morning:, or after four in the afternoon. — F. W. B." 



'6? 



68.— Otus brachyotus, Gm. 

" A single specimen seen and shot while hawking at mid- 
day in bright sunshine, at 4,000 feet elevation, in the end of 
December.— F. W. B." 

This specimen, a female killed at the same time and place as 
the pale-chested Harrier last mentioned, measured in the flesh : — 
Length, 15; expanse, 38; wing, 1237 ; tail, 65 ; tarsus, 1*87; 
bill from gape, 1*05. 

The bill and claws, black ; the irides, yellow. 

78— Glaucidium malabaricum, Blyth. 

"A resident, preferring the lower jungles, though I have 
occasionally heard one as high as 2,500 feet in heavy jungle. 
The cry is not to be mistaken, it is extraordinarily loud for 
the size of the bird. It has a great variety of notes, which 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 373 

it utters both by night and by day. It appears to feed 
princiDally during the hour after sunrise and before sunset. — 
F. W'. B." 

I follow Mr. Sharpens catalogue in classing this bird as a 
Glaucidium, but I am not prepared to say that in all cases the 
particular small structural differences on which he founds his 
divisions of genera amongst the owls are those which lead to 
groupiug the various species in the most natural manner. Like 
Linnoeus' botanical classification, it immensely facilitates the 
identification of any particular specimen, but it seems to me to 
be in some respects artificial, and I doubt not that he will here- 
after modify it considerably. Of its extreme convenience to 
working field naturalists there can be no two opinions. 

The specimens sent, all belong to the typical malabaricum 
type, with the whole head, neck, upper back, and lesser wing 
coverts, strongly ferruginous. As to the conspicuous difference 
in appearance between typical radiatum and typical malabari- 
cum no one can doubt, but it is rather puzzling to find 
typical radiatum in the very same locality as 'typical 
malabaricum, and to meet with, both in Southern and Northern 
India, specimens that might be assigned to either species. 
I have never yet seen a thoroughly typical malabaricum 
from Northern India, but at Aujango on the Travancore coast 
between Ciuilon and Trevandrum where considerable collections 
were made for me, I obtained a typical radiatum, several ty- 
pical malabaricum, and a good many more or less intermediate 
forms. I consider malabaricum quite as good a species as a 
vast number that are now-a-days admitted, but my own fixed 
impression is that when ornithology is further advanced, a vast 
number of what are now admitted as species will be degraded 
to sub-species and indicated by trinomial appellations. I 
believe that it would be much better to call these present birds 
Glaucidium radiatum, malabaricum, than to designate them as is 
at present the custom. 

Some of the specimens sent measured in the flesh': — Length, 8 ; 
expanse, 175 to 18; wing, 5 ; tail, 258, 2*62; tarsus, 09 ; 
bill from gape, 0'7. The irides were light yellow. 

81 — Ninox scutellata, Baff. 

" Replaces the preceding species above 2,000 feet elevation, 
and frequenting heavy jungle and the borders of clearings, 
where, on bright moonlight nights during the winter months, 
numbers may be heard calling to one another. The call is a 
monotonous double hoot (the first syllable prolonged, the 
second cut short), uttered when the bird is perched on the bough 
of some bare tree ; and I have never heard it cry as described 



374 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

by Jerdon. The bird is shy, making a sudden dive into the 
jungle when approached. — F. W. B." 

The specimen sent is one of the small dark race which appears 
to be common to the extreme south of India, Ceylon, and 
the Straits, and it may be (though I have no specimens to 
compare) to Sumatra also. This race at any rate answers fairly 
to Raffles' description, length about 10 inches, and at present I 
see no objection to retaining it under Raffles' name ; but if the 
Indian JNinox are to be divided at all, as Mr. Sharpe divides 
them into lugubris and scutellata, then I altogether demur to 
retaining under the name of scutellata the large dark races of(i) 
Pegu and Tenasserim, (ii) Cachar, Tipperah, Sylhet, &c, (iii) 
Nipal and the Eastern Himalayas. 

The present specimen is absolutely identical with one of our 
specimens shot at Pulo Seban, 22 miles E. by N. of Malacca. 
It is extremely dark, the head darker than the body, but not 
at all grey, and it has the interspaces of the tail extremely 
light-coloured, and the tail conspicuously tipped with white. 
Another specimen shot in the native state of Tampin near 
Malacca is very similar, only the head a shade less dark. 
A third specimen shot at Ruroo (near Tampin) is very similar, 
but has the interspaces of the tail very dark and scarcely 
any white tipping to it. These are all males, our present being 
a male\also. 

It measured, in the flesh : — Length, 106; expanse, 23 # 75 ; 
wing, 7-87 ; tail, 4 62 ; tarsus, 0-87. 

The corresponding Malaccan specimen measured in the 
flesh: — Length, 10*1; expanse, 25; wing, 7*6; tail, 4'75 ; 
tarsus, 0*9 ; so that it is really impossible to separate the two. 

I have elsewhere descussed our Indian species of JSinox and 
need, therefore, say no more about them at present. 

83 — Hirundo javanica, Sparrm. 

" A resident travelling but little, two or three persistently 
frequenting each sheltered ravine in an opeu clearing. They 
seem to spend more of their time on a perch than most 
Swallows.— F. W. B." 

A specimen, a male shot at My nail, in January, measured : — 
Length, 4*8 ; expanse, 105 ; wing, 4*1; tail, 1'94 ; tarsus, 
0-35 ; bill from gape, 0\5. 

103.— Collccaliaunicolor, Jerd. 

l< Residents on the hills and very abundant. I only know 
of one breeding cave, which was discovered by a gentleman 
when following up the track of a bear. This cave is situated 
at the base of a grass ridge at an elevation of about 2,300 feet 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 375 

It is formed by a large mass of rock having slipped and left 
a crevice between it and the main body, some 80 or 90 feet 
long-, 20 feet high, and an average breadth of 3 feet, being 
no where more than 6 feet wide. The floor of the cave was 
thickly strewed with the guano deposited by the birds ; this 
guano consisted for the most part of the undigested and hard 
portions of beetles, and presented little of the pungent odour 
which characterises the guano of commerce. On visiting 
this cave in March, with the gentlemen mentioned in the 
preface, we found the birds had begun breeding. On the over- 
hanging sides of the cave, at heights varying from 6 to 16 feet 
from the ground, were some two or three hundred nests. Of 
these perhaps one-third were empty being either unfinished or 
abandoned, while the greater number of the nests contained two 
pointed-oval white eggs : some of the nests contained a single 
ego;, and some a newly hatched nestling. 

tl The nests themselves, though fastened and lined with a good 
deal of gelatine, contained a larger proportion of moss and 
feathers and did not look at all tempting as an article of diet. 
They varied considerably in shape, the more perfect being a 
fairly correct circular shallow cup, with' one side flattened for 
adhesion to the wall of rock. Others which held eggs were 
mere brackets, slightly indented to retain the contents. The 
egg, judging from 14 specimens collected on this occasion, varies 
from *81 to *91 of an inch in length, and from # 52 to *58 in 
breadth : the average being *85 long and '55 broad. — F. W. B." 

The specimens sent belong to the same species as occurs in 
the Neilgherries, and after comparing a large series from the 
Neilgherries with an equally large series from numerous 
localities in the Himalayas, I have no hesitation in uniting the 
two, although unquestionably Himalayan birds average lighter 
coloured. 

On the other hand, I must distinctly protest against uniting 
with this continental Indian species the white, or in less mature 
examples, whitey brown rumped species of which we procured 
numerous specimens at the Andamans, and which is exceedingly 
common on the Tenasserim Coast, and which I have hitherto 
designated as spodiopygia, Peale. I have nearly a hundred of 
the two species put together before me, and with all deference 
to eminent ornithologists at home, I must maintain that the 
two species are as distinct as Oriolus kundoo, and Oriolus 
chinensis. It is noteworthy that unicolor never makes an 
edible nest any more than linchi, whereas spodiopyga always 
does. 

z 2 



376 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

Of two Travancore males measured in the flesh, the following 
are the dimensions : — ■ 

Length, 4*75, 4'9 ; expanse, 10*3, 10'4 ; wing, 4-8, 4*75 ; tail, 
2-22, 2-25 ; tarsus, 0-35 ; bill from gape, 0*45 ; breadth at gape, 
0*5. Irides, dark brown. 

105.— Batrachostomus moniliger, Layard. 

" Of this very peculiar bird, which I believe is not rare, 
I have at present been able to secure but three specimens, 
viz., a male and female, and a nearly-fledged nestling. 
The adult birds were killed in thick brushwood under a dense 
growth of heavy timber, while the young bird was brought 
to me with the nest taken in rather open jungle at an elevation 
of about 2,100 feet. 

I believe the bird to be not uncommon, because I attribute 
to it a loud chuckling cry, with somewhat the tone of a Goat- 
sucker and not unlike the laugh of some Kiug-fishers, a 
difficult call to describe, which may generally be heard in 
heavy jungle at 2,000 feet elevation, any night during the 
last and first two months of the year. If I am not mistaken, 
the habits of this bird are very shy and retiring, for it never 
appears to venture into the open, and only commences calling 
in the breeding season some considerable time after dark, and 
living entirely in dense jungle, it is a very difficult bird to secure. 
Of the nest and nestling, a short account will be found in 
Mr. Hume's "Nests and Eggs" of Indian Birds.— F. W. B." 

Before alluding to the particular specimens sent, I wish at 
once to point out an error into which the editor of the or- 
nithological part of Blyth's birds of Burma has fallen. 

He asserts as a matter of fact that Batrachostomus castaneus, 
Hume, from Darjeeling, vide Vol. II. p. 349, is identical with 
B. affinis, Blyth ; this however it certainly is not. 

This is not a moot point in regard to which opinions might 
differ, but a simple matter of fact, iu regard to which I am sure 
that the learned editor will agree with me, if he will only take 
the trouble actually to compare Malaccan and Sikhim specimens. 
The plumage is no doubt very similar, though the breast in the 
Sikhim birds is always much brighter than in examples from 
the Straits, but the great characteristic difference that exists is 
in the size of the bill. The bill in the Malaccan species is 
enormously larger than in the Sikhim one. Figured dimensions 
do not always convey an adequate idea in such matters, but 
in this case the difference is very considerable. 

Thus the width of the gape in the Malaccan species varies 
from 1*4 to 1*5, in the Sikhim species from 1*05 to 1*1. Again 



OF THE TRAVANCORB HILLS. 377 

the length of the bill in affinis, measured from gape to point, 
varies from 1*3 to 1*4; in B. castaneus, from 1*06 to 1"12. 

Any one who will compare the bills of several specimens 
from each locality, will, I am certain, admit the distinctness of 
the two. There are also conspicuous differences in plumage. The 
whole under-surface in castaneus being a much richer and 
deeper color than in affinis, and the white spots of the gorget 
being in castaneus much larger, much purer white, and much 
more conspicuously bounded below by black ; moreover, there 
are similar white spots on the throat of castaneus which are 
not apparently represented in affinis. 

In the second place the same editor, above referred to, also 
asserts that B. punctatus, Hume=B. moniliger of Layard. This 
again I must beg to contradict. 

Mr. Bourdillon has sent me a very fine pair, the female of 
which corresponds closely with Mr Blyth's description (J. A. 
S. B. XVIII., p. 806, and " Stray Feathers," Vol. II., p. 
350). And I find that both $ and ? fthe male, however 
differing greatly in plumage from the female) are clearly distinct 
from and very much larger birds than my punctatus. 

I pointed out at the time that punctatus was much smaller than 
moniliger as described by Blyth, and now I find that Blyth's 
dimensions agree exactly, except in the matter of the length of 
the bird ( and he took this from the dry skin) with Mr. Bour- 
dillon's measurements recorded in the flesh. I suppose that 
punctatus, though clearly an adult, can scarcely have weighed 
half as much as moniliger. Like castaneus, punctatus therefore is 
unmistakably distinct* from the species with which it Avas so 
unhesitatingly pronounced to be identical. I do not think that 
the learned editor in question should have so positively asserted 
what he had no means of verifying. 

These are not the only two errors of this kind into which this 
same learned editor has fallen in this one catalogue. Mr. Oates 
has pointed out another of precisely the same character, and 
I have more yet to notice elsewhere. It does seem a pity that 
such very erroneous assertions should be put forward so 
authoritatively without the remotest apparent grounds. 

It does not, however, at all necessarily follow that because 
castaneus is distinct from affinis that it is therefore a food 
species. As I said in an article on certain species of this genus, 
Vol. II., p. 353, I am by no means convinced that castaneus 
is not one sex, and Otothrix Hodgsoni the other sex of the same 
species in which case the bird would stand as Hodgsoni. 

* Since this was written, Mr. W. P. Blant'ord has been staying with me. I have 
submitted to him my whole (very limited) series of Batrachostomi. and he agrees 
generally with mo in all my conclusions. He has promised me to write separately 
on tho subject to the Ibis. — Ed., S. F. 



378 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

It is true, that when I formerly wrote, I thought it (relying 
upon what Hodgson recorded) probable that Hodgsoni was the 
female and castaneus the male, but now the remarkable fact 
appears that while the female moniliger as sexed by Mr. Bour- 
dillon closely agrees with Mr. Blyth's description of that 
species, tbe male as also sexed by Mr. Bourdillon approxi- 
mates in plumage to Otothrix Hodgsoni, and bears it appears 
to me precisely the same relation in point of plumage to its 
female that Otothrix Hodgsoni does to B. castaneus. 

As regards the identity of Otothrix Bodgso?ii and Batrachos- 
tomus castaneus, it has further to be remarked that despite what 
has been said to the contrary (unless I wrongly identify the 
former), the upper mandible in both closes completely over the 
lower mandible ; moreover the bills of both are precisely 
similar, and in both very much smaller than either those 
of affinis or moniliger, and lastly in both there is, in good 
specimens, a peculiar development over the eye of long 
bristle-like feathers which I do not find in either of the other 
species. 

Of course, we must defer any positive conclusion until some 
one will shoot and carefully dissect a few of the Sikhim birds, 
but at present it appears to me that the balance of evidence is 
entirely in favor of B. castaneus and 0. Hodgsoni, representing 
different sexes of the same species. Further it would not sur- 
prise me to find that the red and grey birds of the other 
species of this genus represent the two sexes, instead of being 
mere stages of plumage common to both sexes. 

To return now to Batrachostomus moniliger of the female, the 
following are the dimensions recorded in the flesh : — 

Length, 9; expanse, 16; wing, 4'75; tail, 4; tarsus, 06 ; 
bill from gape to tip, 1*35 ; width at gape, 1'37. 

The original description given by Mr. Blyth, already quoted 
in this Journal (Vol. II. p. 350), corresponds on the whole so 
accurately with this bird (the $ of the pair according to Mr. 
Bourdillon,) that I shall not attempt any fresh description, but I 
would remark that in my specimen it appears to be the nuchal 
and not the occipital feathers that are tipped white, that the inner 
webs of the primaries are hair brown, and that every one of the 
feathers of the interscapulary region has a minute, but bright, 
black spot at the tip. 

The male, however, is a very different looking bird, altogether 
greyer and less rufous, with the abdomen and the outer webs of 
most of the scapulars pure white and only pencilled with 
blackish brown, with an excessively conspicuous and broad 
white nuchal half collar, and a white band across the base of 
the throat. 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 379 

This specimen, like the female, was shot at Mynall in South 
Travancore at an elevation of about 2,000 feet above the sea 
level. It measured in the flesh : — 

Length, 9 ; expanse, 15*5 ; wing, 4*75 ; tail, 4*5 • tarsus, 
0'59 ; bill, width at gape, 1*4 ; from gape to tip, 1*4. 

The bill was pale brownish ; feet, ditto ; claws, plumbeous ; 
irides, bright yellow. 

It is a remarkable fact that while the female has only two- 
thirds of the tarsus feathered, the male has the entire tarsus 
feathered. 

The entire chin, throat, breast, a pale very slightly rufescent 
fawn brown, darker towards the sides, most of the feathers, 
especially along the side aud towards the lower part of the 
breast, excessively finely almost obsoletely vermicilated 
towards their tips with blackish brown, and a few of those on 
the lower part of the breast with distinct though minute black 
spots at the tips ; a row of feathers across the base of the throat 
broadly tipped with white, the white preceded by a faint 
narrow blackish brown line. Abdomen and sides are ex- 
cessively pale fawn colour, but the feathers all broadly 
tipped with white, so that on the upper abdomen and sides, 
the fawn colour is completely hidden, the white more or less 
freckled, but very finely, with blackish brown, and in some 
of the feathers immediately adjoining the breast bounded, by an 
irregular black line above. A conspicuous fulvous supercilium, 
all the feathers on the upper edge of which are tipped black ; 
lores, a duller and slightly more rufous tint as are the bases 
of the strong loreal bristles, the terminal two-thirds of which 
are blackish. 

The whole of the forehead, crown, and occiput, aud sides 
of the head behind the eye, pale buff, much the same color as 
the supercilium, but so densely freckled over with black or 
blackish brown as to leave but little of the ground colour 
visible ; besides this all the feathers of the head have minute 
terminal buff spots preceded and almost surrounded on the 
upper side by tiny black specks ; there is a distinct rufous 
tinge at the base of the occiput. 

The feathers of the nape are broadly banded at the tip with 
white, preceded and followed by narrow black lines ; the 
interscapulary region is precisely similar to the head, but has 
the rufous tinge of the base of the occiput, and the black 
spots want the terminal buff speck ; the rump again is similar, 
but entirely wants both buff and black spots, but a few of 
the former appear again on the upper tail coverts ; the inner 
webs of the scapulars, and the inner scapulars generally, are 
similar to the interscapulary region, but the outer webs and a 



380 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

considerable portion of the outer scapulars are white, finely and 
sparsely vermicilated with brown ; all the scapulars have con- 
spicuous velvet black spots at the tips, and some of the outer 
ones have a white speck again beyond this. 

The primaries are deep hair brown on the inner^webs, dull 
rather pale rufous on the outer webs, with narrow, regular, 
widely separated, sloping bars of the same colour as the iuner 
web, and with here and there a pale patch on the interspaces. 

The secondaries are similar, but have the bars less defined, 
and the interspaces more freckled. 

The extreme tips of both primaries and secondaries are 
minutely specked with dull pale rufous. 

The tertiaries are very similar to the scapulars, but are 
suffused with a silvery grey tint. 

The coverts are rufescent brown, narrowly and irregular- 
ly barred with black ; many of the secondary and tertiary 
greater coverts are tipped with white, in some cases preceded, 
in some almost entirely encircled by a black line. Two or 
three white spots half encircled by a black line occur ou the 
lesser coverts. 

The tail is grey, tinged with slightly rufescent thrown on the 
basal half, every where pencilled finely with blackish brown, 
but much more densely so in zones, so as to produce the effect 
of numerous transverse darker bars. The last three of these 
bars distinctly defined by an irregular wavy velvet black line. 

This specimen, I may add, is iu the most perfect state of 
preservation possible. 

The nestling, but not of this pair, was obtained with the nest 
near Mynall on the 24th February. Mr. Bourdillon says : — 

il The nest was composed of vegetable down neatly and 
compactly, interwoven with pieces of dead leaves, fragments 
of bark, dry wood, and one or two pieces of lichen. In shape 
it was a circular pad or disc about 2 '5 inches broad, and 1*25 
in depth, the upper surface being slightly hollowed out. The 
nest was placed about 16 feet from the ground in the fork of 
a sapling apparently without any attempt at concealment. At 
the foot of the tree I found the remains of an egg, these I 
send with the nest as I at least have no doubt that they origin- 
ally enclosed the young frog mouth. You will see from these 
fragments that the egg was pure white, rather round, of thin 
texture, and with a smooth glossless surface." 

Further particulars about the nidification of this species and 
Otothrix Hodgsoni, will be found in the outcomiug revised 
edition of tl Nests and Eggs/' 

The nestling barely fledged is a curious little rufous brown 
ball, with the characteristic bill of the species and with distinct 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 381 

traces of black terminal bars to the feathers of the upper back 
and scapular region, It was so young that its sex was not 
ascertained by dissection. It is not four inches in length, and 
probably was not above eight days old. 

One word more about my B. punctatus. Mr. Vincent Legge 
suggests that it was probably not shot by Mr. Nevil himself, 
but procured from a dealer in Kandy along with other specimens 
which he purchased for me, and that it is therefore possible that 
after all its parentage may not be Cingalese. So that though 
certainly not identical with moniliger, it may be identical with 
some other known species. But it is considerably smaller than 
any other of which I can find a description. 

108.— Caprimulgus Kelaarti, Blyth. 

tl A winter visitor, occurring rather abundantly from Novem- 
ber to March, and preferring open grass land at the edge of 
forest.— F. W. B." 

Six specimens sent, all nearer to the Kelaarti than the indica 
type. No doubt, typical examples of these two supposed species 
appear to be very distinct, but as far as I have been able to inves- 
tigate the question, every intermediate link between the two 
typical forms occur, and occur, moreover, almost all over the 
country ; I am quite unable mj'self to detect any constant differ- 
ence by which the two species may be separated. 

If we accept size as the criterion, then we shall find some 
of the very smallest birds, not only from Mahabaleshwar and 
Ahmednuggur, but also from Raipoor, Sankhra, and Etawah. 
If on the other hand we take the silver grey, and much black- 
mottled plumage, and the entire absence of rufous as the 
criterion, we shall find Kelaarti not only equal in size to indicus, 
but occurring in Hazara, near Simla, and in the Doab. 

In both species the male has a large, almost terminal, white 
spot on the four exterior laterals on either side, in fact (as there 
are only ten tail feathers altogether), on all but the two centre 
ones. A narrow irregular terminal dark band succeeds to the 
white spot, and Mr. Blyth at one time pointed out as a distinction 
between indicus and Kelaarti, that this band was much broader 
in the latter than in the former ; but this distinction again will 
not hold good, as some of the largest, and some of the most 
rufous birds will be found, with the terminal bands as broad as 
auy of the smallest, and darkest non-rufous specimens. Besides 
the white spot on the tail, the male has a white spot on the 
outer webs of the first three primaries, and on the inner webs 
of the second to the fourth ; the female entirely wants the white 
tail spots, which are not even represented as in the albonotatus 



382 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRD3 

group, by buffy patches, while the white wing spots are repre- 
sented by imperfect rufous bars, scarcely larger than the rest of 
the similar bars which mark the primaries. 

Of the six birds sent only two are at all typical Kelaarti, and 
even these have more rufous about them than typical Kelaarti 
Bhould have. These measure : — 

Male — Length, 9*75 ; expanse, 19 ; wing, 6*75; tail, 4*5. 

Female — Length, 10 - 25 ; expanse, 21 ; wing, 7.25 ; tail, 4*75. 

Two are very rufous, quite as much so as the majority of 
Northern Indian specimens. They measured : — 

Length, 10'5, 10'25 ; expanse, 21, 20-75 ; wing, 7'37, 7*62 ; 
tail, 5*5, 5. The remaining two are intermediate. 

I believe myself that Kelaarti will have to be suppressed, the 
most typical specimens are not more distinct than are some of 
the different Indian races of Pericrocotus perigrinus, and these 
latter races are at any rate confined to particular portions of the 
country, whereas Kelaarti and indicus occur everywhere. 

114 ter.— Lyncornis Bourdilloni, Hume. 

" This species, which Mr. Hume has done me the honour to 
name after myself, I have only once observed as described in 
Vol III. p. 302, and I know nothing further of its habits. — F. 
W. B." 

This species was fully described, Vol. Ill, p. 302, no second 
specimen has as yet been secured. 

115.— Haspactes fasciatus. Gmel. 

" A common bird in heavy jungle above 1,000 feet elevation ; 
as described by Jerdon, it is of solitary habit, wandering about 
a good deal ; but it utters its call (something like the mewing 
of a cat) continuously, though not loud enough to attract much 
attention.— F. W. B." 

123.— Coracias indica, Lin. 

No specimens received. 

" The Indian Roller is rather scarce even in the low country. 
I have seen one or two pairs in the neighbourhood of cultiva- 
tion at the foot of the hills, where I have also known them to 
breed. They do not appear to enter the forests or the hills 
themselves.— F. W. B." 

126.— Eurystomus orientalis, Lin. 

" This bird, no where abundant, is, I think, only a visitor* 
although I have observed it in August, during the winter months* 
in April and as late as May. During the breeding season they 
are very noisy and jealous of the approach of even small birds 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 383 

to the proximity of their nest ; and I was once much amused 
in watching- a pair turn out a couple of hill mynahs from a 
hole in a rotten stump, when the latter had commenced to lay 
materials for a nest. I secured three hard-set eggs of this 
species in March at about 1,700 feet elevation, of which a note 
will be found in Mr. Hume's ' Nests and Eggs.'— F. W. B." 
Eurystomi from all parts of India, and Burma appears to 
be uudistinguishable. 

129.— Halcyon smyrnensis, Lin. 

" Common among the small patches of paddy cultivation 
and on the banks of the larger streams at the foot of the hills, 
but never ascending to any height. The female lays from four 
to six round white eggs, about the beginning of April in a hole 
in a bank.— F. W. B." 

135 bis.— Alcedo ? asiatica, Swains. 

" Occurs, though less abundantly, in the same situations as the 
last species.— F.^W. B." 

A most lovely little King-fisher sent me by Mr. Bourdillon 
may for the present bear this title ; but if other specimens are 
procured, exhibiting the same characteristic differences as the 
example before me, the Southern Indian birds will have to be 
separated as a distinct species. 

The bird before me is larger than any specimen of asiatica 
or Beavani that I have seen, and with a considerably longer 
bill than any specimen recorded by Mr. Sharpe in his splendid 
monograph. The bill measures 2 05 at front, and the wing is 
just 2 8. 

The colour of the upper surface is as bright as the brightest 
Malayan specimen. The lower surface is more intensely coloured 
than any specimen of asiatica or Beavani that I have seen. 
The whole sides of the breast are a deep violet-blue, and several 
rows of the feathers of the breast are narrowly tipped with the 
same colour. 

It must be understood clearly that this is not Beavani, but 
a form lying on the other side of asiatica. 

As to Beavani, a few remarks may be useful. I have now before 
me eleven males and five females of this species from the Auda- 
mans, and I find that the females only differ constantly from 
the males in having the whole lower mandible, and sometimes 
tho whole of both mandibles, deep dull red. None of the 
females have the characteristic red ear coverts and cheeks of 
female asiatica. They mostly have the ear coverts almost 
uniform with the cheeks, but with fewer bright blue spots, but 
one specimen has on one side of the head a slight rufous 

a 3 



384 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

tinge at the base of the ear coverts. These specimens vary a 
great deal in the colour of the upper parts, but as Lord Walden 
correctly remarked, not one of these approaches the intensely 
deep blue of \\xq finer Malayan specimens of asiatica. 

When we take Tenasserim specimens from Amherst, we find 
that some of these are identical in colour with the deepest coloured 
Andaman birds, but one of them is nearly as deeply coloured as 
Malaccan specimens ; here the strange thing is that the 
female has the cheeks and ear coverts red, but divided by a con- 
spicuous blue band. This too is the case with a female from the 
Rajmahal hills, and this too was probably the case with 
Captain Beavan's specimen from Maunbhoom, at any rate it had 
red upon the cheeks. It would thus seem that while the 
typical Beavani of the Andaraans is characterized by the ab- 
sence of rufous on the cheeks and ear coverts in the female, 
and a somewhat paler and greener tint on the upper surface, 
the birds of continental India and Northern Tenasserim so far 
as I yet know them (unfortunately I have no females from 
Sikhim and other localities) are characterized by more or less 
rufous cheeks and ear coverts divided by a blue band, and some 
of those from Northern Tenasserim and Sikhim by a tint on the 
upper surface more approaching that of typical asiatica. 

On the other hand, this Southern Indian bird (unfortunately 
I have only a male) is characterized by intense brilliancy of 
plumage, by its large size and by a bill conspicuously exceeding 
in length, every specimen I possess of Beavani, asiatica and the 
intermediate continental race. 

140. — Dichoceros cavatus, Shaw. 

" No where numerous, except perhaps in some of the wilder 
jungles on the lower slopes of the hills, though one pair might 
be found in each valley or glen of any size throughout the whole 
range. I have never seen more than three together. The 
hideous and harsh cry of this bird first of all perhaps attracts 
the attention of a new arrival on the hills, while its larger 
size, conspicuous colouring and extraordinary bill render it no 
less remarkable to the eye. I believe that the same pair 
of birds, if unmolested, will continue to build year after 
year in the same tree, but I am inclined to place little credit 
in the story of the male plastering up the female during the 
period of incubation, although it is quite likely he may feed her 
during the whole of that time. A note of a nest and egg 
secured in February will appear in Mr. Hume's ( Nests and 
Eggs/ &c— F. W. B." 

A splendid pair of this species carefully measured in the 
flesh and sexed have been received. The male differs as is 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 385 

well known by its slightly larger size, decidedly larger bill 
and casque, and by having the posterior end of the casque black 
and the triangular patch on either side of the anterior portiou 
of the casque, and the truncated groove and flat portion of 
the culmen in front of the casque also black. The irides, 
as in Burmese specimens, of the males were red, of the 
females pearly white. The dimensions of these two birds 
were as follows : — 

Male — Length, 49*62; expanse, 67*5; wing, 20*5 ; tail, 18; 
tarsi, 2*4 ; bill over all from posterior margin of casque along 
culmen to point, 16 ; casque only, 6 5 ; greatest width of casque, 
2*5 ; height of casque, 1*7. 

Female — Length, 48; expanse, 62; wing, 20 ; tail, 17*25, 
tarsus, 2 37 ; bill over all from posterior margin of casque along 
culmen to point, 14*75; casque only, 6; greatest width of 
casque, 2*7 ; height of casque, 1*4. 

It is not clear how the application of the Linnasan name 
bicornis to this species can be justified. I cannot verify all 
Linnaeus' references, but his description, which ought I conceive to 
fix his name, accurately applies to convexus of Temmiuck, PL Col. 
530, and can by no possibility apply to the present species. 

Linnasus refers to Edwards' birds, pi. 281, fig. D. That 
again is a coarse but correct representation of the head of 
convexus, Tern. He also refers to Brisson's Hydrocorax philip- 
pensis ; that is a compound description. The entire description 
of the plumage, with the exception of the tail (where Brisson 
has o-ot into an inextricable muddle giving the bird 12 tail 
feathers, ten black and two white which no horn bill in the 
world has,) also refers convexus. As regards the beak and 
casque it is probable that he did describe this present species. 
Some others of Linnaaus' references may refer to this species 
also; I am unable to refer to Amcen. Acad. Tet. Gaz. ; Will. 
Orn., so cannot pronounce positively on this point, but Linnaeus' 
own description which must, it seems to me, constitute the cri- 
terion of the species he intended to refer to, clearly and un- 
mistakably refers to convexus, although in the diagnosis he talks of 
the casque, as antrosum bicorni ; and it appears to me that the 
name of bicornis must henceforth be applied to convexus of 
Temminck and Shaw's name, which dates from 1811, be applied 
to the present species.- 

Mr. Gray makes two species out of these birds, the one to 
which he assigns the Linnaeau name bicornis, he gives from 
Malacca, Sumatra, and Tenasserim. The other homrai of 
Hodgson, he gives from Nipal and Assam. 

I have seen no specimens from Malacca or Sumatra, but after 
a careful comparison of 12 specimens from various parts of 



386 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

Tenasserim with 22 others from the Assamhoo Hills in the 
extreme south of India, the Dhoon, Sikhim, and Cachar, I 
cannot see my way to making* more than one species out of the 
birds that occur within the limits of our Indian Empire. 

There is no doubt that the Sikhim birds are, some of them at 
any rate, larger than those from Tenasserim and even Southern 
India, but in a large series, such as I have now before me, every 
gradation of size is to be met with ; and so far as plumage and 
colouration of bill and casque are concerned, there is absolutely 
not the smallest constant difference between specimens obtained 
in different parts of the country. 

As regards the shape of the casque there is undoubtedly the 
most conspicuous difference between different specimens. Hold- 
ing the point of the bill towards one, and looking at the anterior 
margin of the casque, this margin in some specimens assumes 
the shape of a semi-cireular curve, at times of a curve even 
deeper than a semi-circle, while again in other specimens it is a 
curve so flat as scarcely to deserve the name of a curve. In 
one specimen, for instance, from Darjeeling, the two anterior 
points of the casque are 35 inches apart; but the lowest point 
of the casque between these two points is only 0*35 below them. 
In another specimen, and this is from Kollidoo, the points of 
the casque are only 2'1 apart, and the lowest point of the casque 
between these points is 125 below them. 

I believe that the former represents what Mr. Gray consi- 
dered to be homrai of Hodgson, the latter what he considered to 
be bicornis. It was looking to these differences at a time when 
I had no opportunity of comparing a large series that I, in the 
first list of the birds of the Tenasserim Provinces {ante Vol. 
II, p. 470), separated the specimens obtained by us in Tenasser- 
im into these two species ; but I am convinced, now, that this 
distinction will not hold, as specimens from all localities equal- 
ly present these differences, and this in what are obviously 
old adults. 

Even from the same localities the size of the bill and 
casque varies greatly amongst apparently perfect adults ; 
but unquestionably, as a whole, the Sikhim birds have them 
larger than any obtained elsewhere. 

In one Sikhim bird, the bill and casque together measured 
from the posterior margin of the casque along the middle of the 
casque and culmen to point, measures 17*5 inches, and the 
greatest height of bill taking the two mandibles and the casque 
together is 5 inches ; another Sikhim bird is 17*75 and 5 inches, 
and there are several Sikhim specimens over 17 and 4*75 inches. 
On the other hand, the largest South Tenasserim specimen mea- 
sured in this same way is only 16 and 4 - 5. The rest average 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 387 

smaller, and one very beautiful and apparently old adult is only 
14 and 3 8. Specimens from Northern Tenasserim and Southern 
Travancore and the Dhoon seem intermediate in size. Under 
no circumstances, however, can a small difference like this by 
itself justify a specific separation and there are a good many 
Sikhim birds which are not larger than the largest of the South 
Tenasserim birds. 

145.— Toccus griseus, Latham. 

lc Common in heavy jungle from 1,000 to 3,000 feet eleva- 
tion. It has a very ludicrous call reminding one of a Punch 
and Judy show. It is shy and, unlike that of the last species, 
its flight is rapid and easy. The specimen sent had bright red 
irides and was a male. A full grown specimen in the Trevan- 
drum gardens, and perhaps a female, has dirty white or pale 
grey irides. — F. W. B." 

A male of this species, procured at an elevation of about 
1,600 feet, measured: — 

Length, 22 ; expanse, 26'5 ; wing, 8"25 ; tail, 9'5 ; tarsus, 
1*6 : bill at front along curve of culmen, 4 - l. 

The bill was horny yellow, overspread with a brownish red 
tinge, except towards the tips ; the margin along the commissure, 
black; the tips, paler; the orbital skiu, black; irides, red; 
tarsi and feet, greenish. 

Dr. Jerdoir's description does not correspond over well with 
this specimen. 

The forehead is greyish white ; a broad superciliary stripe 
from the nostrils over the eyes extending some distance back, 
a slightly brownish white ; the feathers of the crown and occi- 
put slaty grey ; the latter conspicuously elongated and with 
greyish white shaft stripes ; faint greyish white tippings to 
most of the feathers of the crown ; the ear coverts dark brown 
paler shafted ; feathei*s of the chin, whitish ; entire throat and 
sides of the neck, grey ; the feathers pale, almost white shafted. 
The whole of the plumage of these parts is dull, as is also that 
of the lower parts, but all the rest of the upper parts is well gloss- 
ed. The entire back, rump, upper tail coverts, scapulars, and 
wing coverts, dark greyish dusky, with a faint greenish reflection 
on it, the coverts have mostly the faintest possible pale edges, 
and the shafts of many of the feathers have in certain lights 
a scarcely perceptible line on either side of them. The quills 
and tail feathers are black, with a greenish lustre on them, very 
conspicuous on the secondaries and tail feathers, except the 
central pair. The third to the eighth primary inclusive 
broadly tipped with pure white on both webs, the ninth similarly 
tipped but on the inner web only. 



388 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

All the tail feathers but the central pair broadly tipped with 
white ; breast, flanks, sides, and upper abdomen, dull blue grey ; 
lower abdomen, greyish white to white ; vent and lower tail 
coverts white, tiuged with fulvous or dingy pale rufescent. 

I may add that females procured in the Wynaad and on 
the Cardamon Hills only differ in being rather paler and duller 
above and below, in exhibiting less of the green gloss, and 
in having only three pairs of the tail feathers tipped with white. 
I have not specimens enough to enable me to determine 
whether this difference (three pairs white tipped in the one case, 
four pairs in the other) is individual or depends, as from my 
few specimens it would seem to do, upon sex. 

I may notice that the young bird has the hides dirty yellow, 
that the bill is smaller, is entirely pale yellow, and not over- 
spread with the reddish brown tint of the adult, has a black 
patch at the base of the lower mandible, and another on the 
basal portion of the culmen. 

151.— Palaeornis columboides, Jerd. 

tl Very common ; not ascending to the tops of the hills, 
and being replaced at their base by the red-headed Parroquet. 
It occurs on the margin of heavy jungle, but is found most 
abundantly in the secondary growth on land which has once 
been occupied by the hill men. This species commences laying 
in the first week of January, aud fresh eggs may be obtained 
early in February. The eggs are generally deposited with- 
out any attempt at a nest, beyond, perhaps, a few dried leaves 
in a natural cavity of a tree. The eggs, which are smooth, 
white, glossy, and of delicate texture, are from two to four in 
number.— F. W. B." 

Two males and two females, one of the latter a young bird, 
all sexed by Mr. Bourdillon himself, fully bear out my 
remarks in regard to this species, Vol. II, p. 226. 

A male measured in the flesh : — Length, 14 ; expanse, 14'5 ; 
wing, 5 - 5 ; tail, 875 ; tarsus, 05 ; bill from gape to point, 
0*8; a finer male was nearly 15 inches in length and had a 
tail, 9-5 long. 

A female measured : — Length, 1225 ; expanse, 16-25 ; Aving, 
5-37; tail, 675. The bill was black; irides, yellow; and 
feet, grey. 

153. — Loriculus vernalis, Sparrm. 

" Fully as common as the last, at the same elevations, 
but less conspicuous on account of its smaller size. I took 
three very hard set eggs of this species from a hollow stump, 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 389 

in the middle of March ; the eggs were smooth, white, and 
glossy, averaging *43 % '33 inches. — F. W. B." 

A lovely adult male, the crown, the most brilliant green, 
without a trace of the blue on the crown which, according 
to Dr. Finsch, characterizes the adult. 

This specimen measured in the flesh : — Length, 5*62 ; ex- 
panse, 10*25 ; wing, 375 ; tail, 1*87. 

164 bis.— Yungipicus gymnopthalmos, Bhjth. 

i( Lives in the tops of high trees, and is as difficult to observe 
as to shoot.— F. W. B." 

A female measured : — Length, 4'87 ; expanse, 9 ; wing, 2 87 ; 
tail, 1-25 ; 

The bill and legs, plumbeous ; the irides, yellow ochre ; 
the bare orbital skin (and I do not remember to have 
seen this previously noticed), dull lake red. 

165.— Hemicercus cordatus, Jerd. 

" Like the Last, frequents the tops of tall trees, singly or 
in pairs, but it has a peculiar loud call which attracts attention. 
Early in February, I observed a pair of these birds, working 
at a nest, but unfortunately they were frightened and lei't 
before laying any eggs. — F. W. B." 

A pair of this species procured at Mynall have been sent by 
Mr. Bourdillon, unfortunately he did not himself sex them, 
but put them down as male and female according to what he 
found in Jerdon, so that these birds afford no additional 
evidence as to whether in opposition to Avhat Jerdon says, and 
in accordance with what is the case with canente, it is the male 
that has the white-speckled head. I myself have now no doubt 
upon this point, the bird with a speckled-head is considerably 
the larger of the two, and has a markedly larger bill. The 
following are the dimensions of the two birds : — 

1st. — Black forehead, speckled with white. Male (as I 
believe): — Length, 6; expanse, 12; wing, 372; tail, 1*25; 
bill at front, 0-88. 

2?id. — Forehead and crown, fulvous. Female (as I believe) : — 
Length, 5*75; expanse, 10-75,- wing, 3-6; tail, 1'36 ; bill 
at front, 6*70. 

166 bis— Chrysocolaptes Delesserti, Math. 

" Inhabits the lower ranges of forest. — F. W. B." 
A single female, clearly belonging to this species or sub- 
species. It measured in the flesh: — Length, 11 '5; expanse, 
18-75; wing, 575 ; tail, 4; bill at front, 17. The irides 
were yellow. 



390 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

169— Thriponax Hodgsoni, Jerdon. 

11 In the neighbourhood of large undisturbed tracts of forest, 
this bird is fairly common and not very shy, but it soon leaves 
districts, when the forest is being cleared to any extent. 

" I have seen this bird from 600 to 3,000 feet elevation. It 
has a loud and rather pleasant cry, which it utters at intervals 
when climbing 1 up the stem of some large tree, and when pass- 
ing from one tree to another it emits a loud chuckle. It 
rarely takes a long flight, and a pair may be heard a great 
distance off calling to each other, as they pass from tree to 
tree.— F. W. B." " 

A male measured : — Length, 18; expanse, 24*5; wing, 8'& ; 
tail, 7*5; tarsus, L35 ; bill at front, 2*55. 

A female measured: — Length, 17"12; expanse, 24; wing, 
8-1 ; tail, 7-25; tarsus, 1*29; bill at front, 2-5. 

175.— Chrysophlegma chlorophanes, Vieill. 

" Almost as abundant as the next species, but less noisy, 
except during the breeding season. In February and March, 
the plaintive monotonous call of these birds (which some- 
what resembles the breeding call of the common Pariah Kite), 
may be heard at all hours of the day, as they cling motionless 
to the topmost bough of some tall forest tree. I have rarely 
heard them utter any sound during flight. — F. W. B." 

185.— Chrysonotus rubropygialis, Malh. 

" One of the commonest birds among the hill forests, not 
occurring 1 in the low country. I obtained two eggs of this 
species taken in March. — F. W. B." 

I have already remarked, Vol. Ill, p. 328, that in my 
opinion this species could not be separated from C. intermedins, 
Blyth. I have now compared six Travancore specimens of 
the present species, with a large series of intermedins from 
various parts of the Tenasserim Provinces ; in my opinion, 
there is absolutely no constant difference in the plumage of 
the two, although possibly the heads of the males in the 
Southern birds are of a slightly deeper and duller red. As 
regards the size again, some birds of both races are precisely 
identical in dimensions, alike of bills and wings, but this much 
may be conceded, that taking a series of both, the Southern 
birds would average somewhat smaller. This at any rate is 
true in my series, but it is not at all improbable that if I had 
as large a series of the Travancore birds, as of the others, I 
might meet with equally large specimens of the former. 

In the three Travancore males, the wings are, 5*3, 5*4, 5*55 ; 
amongst the Burmau birds, though there are many wings as 



OF THE TRAVANCORE HILLS. 391 

small as these, the majority certainly exceed 5'6 ; and in one 
or two cases extend to 5'8 and 5*9. 

The three females from Travancore have the wings, 5*2, 5*35, 
5'45. Amongst the Burman females there are plenty of win^s 
from 5'18 to 5*45 ; but more than half the birds have the 
wings, 55 and upwards. 

I canuot think that a difference of this nature is sufficient to 
justify the retention of both species. 

194.— Megalaima viridis, Gmel. 

tl Another very common bird — its loud and rather peculiar 
call may be heard at all hours of the day, and sometimes at 
night during fine weather. They build in very rotten old tree 
stumps, cutting a hole for the purpose and leaving a number 
of chips of the rotten wood to serve as a nest, laying in March. 
1 have never seen the eggs, but obtained two unfledged young 
early in April.— F. W. B." 

Some years ago, Captain Hayes Lloyd described a Green 
Barbet of Western India, as distinct from M. viridis under 
the name of M. Sykesi (vide ante, Vol. I, p. 419.; 

The points upon which he appears to have relied were that 
it was larger, and that the brown of the head and nape was 
paler and with a coppery gloss. He obtained the species, he 
said, on the summit of Matheran and other detached hills in 
the Concan. 

Now I have before me a series from Matheran, three speci- 
mens from Mahabaleshwar a huge series from various parts of 
the Neilgherries, from the base to the summit, a specimen from 
the Cardamon Hills, another from Mangalore, a series from 
Aujango, and a couple of specimens from the Assamboo Hills 
in South Travancore. 

I am bound to affirm that so far as plumage goes, even' 
Matheran bird can be matched exactly in the other series ; 
from all localities some have their heads paler, some darker, 
and the paler ones often have what may be called, by courtesy, 
a sort of coppery gloss. 

I think the Matheran birds do average slightly larger than 
the rest, but there is certainly not enough difference in size 
to justify specific separation, and the largest bird of all that 
1 have is one from Ooty. I have very carefully measured the 
wines of a number of birds with the following results : — 

Matheran, 4-18, 4*2, 4-2, 4*21. 

Mahabaleshwar, 375, 3*75, 4*2. 

Neilgherries, 41, 4'05 4*4, 4-07, 3*9, 395, 3-92, 4'17, 4, 4-1, 
4-05, 4-05. 

b 3 



392 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

Cardamon Hills, 3*8. 

Mangalore, 385. 

Aujaugo, 3-75, 3-7, 37, 4, 3'8. 

Assamboo Hills, 3"8, 3*9. 

Captain Lloyd gives the wirier of his type specimen as 4*3. I 
have no Matheran bird in which the wing exceeds 42; but 
I have an Ooty bird with a wing 4 '4. 

I think Megalaima Sykeai may be suppressed. 

198.— Xantholaima malabarica, Blyth. 

"This species is very common throughout the low country, 
and during the hot weather ascends the lower slopes of the hills. 
Its call, as Jerdon mentions, is similar to that of the crimson- 
breasted Barbet (X. hcemacephala) , but the two are easy to be 
distinguished from each other. My brother obtained two fresh 
eggs of this species early in March at an elevation of about 
500 feet above sea level. The eggs were white, smooth, and 
glossless, measuring 064 by 0*62 ; and 1 by 0'66. They were 
placed without any attempt at a nest in a hole cut by the birds 
in a dead branch about 20 feet from the ground. — F. W. B." 

205— Heirococcyx varius, Vahl. 

" Abundant in the semi-cultivated land of the plains and 
occasionally penetrating the jungles at the foot of the hills to 
1,000 feet elevation. Never ascends the hill slopes to any 
height, though common in the low country. — F. W. B." 

A female measured: — Length, 13'25 ; expanse, 2225 ; wing, 
7*6; tail, 6-75 ; tarsus, 1*0 ; bill from gape, straight to point, 
1-25. 

233.— Leptocoma minima, Sykes. 

u This beautiful little bird is common on the edges of forest 
and is slightly gregarious in habit, three or four hunting about 
together amongst the boughs of some Gamboge tree, which is a 
tree they seem particularly to like. They are not at all shy, and 
when sitting quiet in thick brushwood, I have seen them perch 
inquisitively within a few feet of my face. I have not obtained 
the eggs of this species, but Mr. Ferguson observed a pair 
commence a hanging nest at the extreme end of a Gamboge 
bough at some height from the ground. Unfortunately the 
birds left the nest unfinished.— F. W. B." 

Two males measured in the flesh : — Length, 3*5, 3*7 ; expanse, 
537, 5-62 ; wing, 181, 18 j tail, 10, 1*1 ; tarsus, 048, 0'5. 



OF THE TRAVANCORK HILLS. 393 

234.— Arachnechthra asiatica, Lath. 

" This species occurs abundantly in the open jungle near the 
foot of the hills, it is very active and keeps up an incessant 
chirping throughout the hottest part of the day, when nearly 
all other birds, except the crimson-throated barbet, are silent. — 
F. W. B." 

235.— Dendrophila frontalis, Horsf. 

No specimen received. 

" This beautiful little Nuthatch is another common species 
on the hills, principally frequenting the margins of clearings 
in the forest, when small parties of five or six individuals may 
be observed creeping about the stems and boughs of dead trees 
in search of their insect food. — F. W. B." 

261 bis.— Lanius lucionensis? Lin. (S. F. Vol. II. 
p. 199.) 

" A single specimen obtained in a felled, but unburnt, clearing 
of forest early in February at an elevation of about 2,000 feet. 
— F. W. B." 

A specimen of a Shrike nearly adult, belongs either to this 
species, or, as I suggested, in the case of a very similar speci- 
men from Ceylon (Vol. I., p. 434), to some not yet discri- 
minated species. I have a very large series of lucioniensis, from 
the Andamans, and also specimens from China, but this bird 
does not altogether agree with any. The wing, tail, bill, all 
are those of lucionensis, but the forehead, crown, and occiput 
are the same pale grey, brown as the back. There is a broad 
white or whitish supercilium running from the lores, over the 
black ear coverts, but there is no paling towards the front over 
the head which seems to be present more or less in all specimens 
of lucionensis. I need scarcely add that it is certainly not 
cristatus, as the whole head, nape, back, and scapulars, are 
a perfectly uniform dull pale earth brown, without the faintest 
tinge of rufous and paler a good deal than in any of the 
young lucionensis I have. 

264.— Tephrodornis sylvicola, Jerd. 

ct Not uncommon in the margins and glades of forest, ap- 
pearing to prefer the neighbourhood of cultivation, and grega- 
rious in parties of five or six individuals ; wandering about 
a good deal from tree to tree. — F. W. B." 

267.— Hemipus picatus, Sykes. 

" Not very abundant ; frequents the tops of trees at the 
higher elevations. — F. W. B." 



394 A FIRST LIST OF THE BIRDS 

A male with the black back measured: — Length, 5*12 ; expanse, 
7; wing, 2*3; tail, 2*12 ; tarsus, 0*56; bill from gape, 0*65. 

272.— Pericrocotus flammeus, Forst. 

"A common species of gregarious habits, generally (as 
Jerdon says) frequenting the tops of tall trees. The males 
have a rather pleasing, but feeble warbling song, which they 
utter on the wing