Anthus spinoletta, Lin.
605ter. :- Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 491 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 170.
THE WATER PIPIT.
Length, 6.37 to 7.25 ; expanse, 9.5 to 11.25 ; wing, 3.15 to 3.6 ; tail, 2.75; bill at front, 0.45 to 0.53.
Bill dark horny-brown; irides brown; legs and feet brown or dark-brown.
In the winter plumage the upper surface is a sort of olive-brown, with more or less of a faintly rufous tinge; the rump unstriated; the head and back with dark hair-brown centres to the feathers; there is a well marked dull white stripe from the nostril over the eye; the coverts and the quills are mostly hair-brown, the former broadly margined with brownish or olivaceous-white, purer just at the tips of the coverts, and the latter narrowly margined ; the first few primaries with greyish-white, the rest with a sort of greenish or olivaceous-white ; the tippings of the coverts form two tolerably well marked wing-bars; the tertiaries, which are somewhat paler than the rest of the quills, are broadly margined with brownish-white; the central tail-feathers, which are the shortest, are a comparatively pale-brown, margined all round with brownish-white ; the next pair on either side are very dark-brown, very narrowly margined with pale olivaceous, and the fourth with a tiny whitish spot at the extreme tip ; the exterior tail-feathers of all have the whole outer webs white, slightly brownish towards the tip, the whole inner web white for nearly half an inch from the tip, beyond which for another three-quarters of an inch the white occupies (next the shaft) a gradually diminishing portion of the inner web, the rest of the feather being brown ; the lower surface is a dull white, in many specimens with a faint vinaceous tinge, in parts with a row of small brown spots down the sides of the neck, with similar spots on the breast, and longer striae along the sides and flanks.
" In the summer plumage the whole upper surface becomes greatly overlaid with an earthy or greyish-brown shade, the striations of the back and head almost disappear, though the edges of the feathers are still somewhat paler than the centres, and the whole lower parts become a nearly uniform pale vinaceous color, without a single spot or streak; in some specimens, which are somewhat less advanced, a few spots still remain on the breast, and one or two streaks on the flanks. In all stages of plumage the axillaries are white ; and the greater portion of the wing-lining, and the lower surface of the quills, pale satin-grey.
Within our limits the Water Pipit occurs as a not uncommon winter visitant to Sind, and more rarely to Mount Aboo, but has not been recorded from any other portion of Guzerat.