28. THE ARRAKAN HILL-PARTRIDGE.
Arboricola intermedia, Blyth.
Sides of the body marked with white and chestnut. Breast grey. Feathers of the back obsoletely fringed, not barred. Throat black.
Vernacular Name :—Toung-hka, Burmese.
The Arrakan Hill-Partridge occurs in various parts of the Arrakan hill range, and I observed it on the eastern slopes of this range in the latitude of Prome. I also procured this Partridge near Bhamo, and quite lately Mr. F. Atlay sent me a specimen from the Ruby-Mines. Colonel Godwin-Austen observed it in the North Cachar and the Naga Hills, and Mr. Hume in Manipur. The range of this species and the preceding intercept each other very curiously; and presently, when we have more specimens to compare from various localities, I think the two species may have to be united.
Speaking of this Partridge, Mr. Hume says :—" This species was very common in the Eastern Manipur Hills at elevations of 4000 feet and upwards. In the Western hills I did not see it.
" It frequented chiefly the thinner jungle, on the slopes of the hills, which has grown up where in past years the primeval forest had been felled for cultivation. They run terribly, and without dogs it is only by the merest chance that one can get a shot at them. As a rule they never fly ; only when, caught between two or three beaters, there is no other means of escape, do they make up their minds to show themselves, and then they rise with a rush with comparatively little noise, and sweep away smoothly and very rapidly down hill."
Again he writes :—" I obtained a nest of this species containing six eggs on the 10th May at an elevation of 6000 feet near Machi in the Eastern Manipur Hills. The nest was a pretty large depression at the base of a tuft of grass scantily lined with dry bents. It was in the midst of grass about two feet high which was growing amongst thin scrub-jungle. When the nest was first found the bird rose from the eggs within a yard of us, and was snared at the nest about two hours later. The eggs are broad ovals conspicuously pointed towards the small end; the shell is extremely fine, compact and close, and has a fine gloss, at any rate a fair amount of gloss. The colour is pure spotless white. They measure from 1.46 to 1.52 in length and from 1.13 to 1.19. in breadth."
- This Partridge resembles Blyth's Hill-Partridge very closely. The present species, however, has a black throat, followed by a chestnut band, to which succeeds the grey of the breast. The black band below the chestnut of the foreneck, always present in Himalayan examples of Blyth's Hill-Partridge, is absent in the Arrakan Hill-Partridge.
The present Partridge resembles the preceding species in size.