(2158) Erolia temminckii.
Tringa temminckii Leisler, Nacht. Bechst. Nat. Deutsch., p. 63 (1812) (Hanau); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 275.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Breeding plumage. Upper plumage black, the feathers of the crown edged with rufous, those of the back etc. barred and tipped with rufous; lower back and rump blackish ; central tail-coverts blackish, finely edged and tipped with rufous and sometimes notched with the same; lateral tail-coverts white ; inner wing-coverts and inner secondaries like the back; median coverts brown edged with grey; greater coverts darker brown, broadly edged with white ; primary coverts and primaries black, the first primary with a white shaft, the inner primaries with a white patch at the base of the inner webs; outer secondaries¬ brown with white bases and edges; sides of the head and neck fulvous-white streaked with dark brown ; chin and throat fulvous-white, very lightly streaked; breast a darker fulvous streaked with black and with indefinite bars on the lower breast and anterior flanks; axillaries and lower plumage white ; central tail-feathers brown; outer white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill black; legs and feet olive-green or yellowish-olive.
Measurements. Wing 90 to 100 mm.; tail 45 to 48 mm.; tarsus about 16 to 19 mm.; culmen 15 to 17 mm.
In Winter the upper plumage is light grey-brown, each feather with paler grey edges and a dark shaft-streak; head and neck paler and more grey, the shaft-streaks obsolete; forehead and supercilium white; sides of the head pale grey; chin and throat white; fore-neck, sides of neck and extreme upper breast pale brownish-grey, the centres of the feathers darker; remainder of under-plumage white.
Nestling like that of the Little Stint but paler, more yellowish-buff and less cinnamon or rufous.
Distribution. Breeding from Scandinavia to North-East Siberia. In Winter South to North Africa and Southern Asia. In India found ail over the North in great numbers, becoming less common in the South and rare in Ceylon. It is common some Winters in Assam and Bengal but much less common in Burma, though it is found as far South as Tenasserim.
Nidification. Although the breeding-areas of this and the Little Stint overlap, Temminck's Stint breeds much farther South and the Little Stint much farther North. In the South most birds lay in early June but in the North few lay before the end of June and many in late July. The nest is much like that of the Little Stint and neither eggs nor nest could with certainty be distinguished from those of that bird but the latter is generally lined with grass bents. On the whole the eggs are rather less boldly marked. One hundred average 27.9 x 20.4 mm.: maxima 30.5 x 20.8 and 28.8 X 21.5 mm.; minima 25.5 X 20.8 and 28.2 x 19.4 mm. The birds sit very close but are not quite so tame as the Little Stint. The nests are often built several close together and a favourite site is at the edge of some small lake or swamp on upland tundras.
Habits. Much the same as those of the Little Stint, occurring in India in flocks of some size, though these sometimes split up shortly after the arrival of the birds in India. They feed on insects, tiny worms and coleoptera. The only note I have heard is a short, sharp whistling "tweet" as they rise but they are very silent birds in the Winter.