(2113) Charadrius dubius dubius.
THE CHINESE LITTLE RINGED PLOVER.
Charadrius dubius Scop., Del Flor. et Faun., Insubr., ii, p. 93 (1786) C Luzon). Aegialitis dubia. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 241 (part.).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. This species is a small replica of the preceding species. It differs in having the shaft of the first primary all white, that of the others all dark brown; there is no white patch on the outer webs of the primaries, and the secondaries are all coloured like the back; the black fore-crown is nearly always-divided from the brown by a very narrow white line.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown ; bill black, the extreme base of the upper and rather more of the lower mandible yellow ; legs and feet yellow in breeding-season; greenish-yellow, dusky olive or greenish-brown in non-breeding plumage.
Measurements. Wing 115 to 119 mm.; tail 48 to 58 mm.; tarsus 22 to 24 mm.; culmen 13 to 14 mm.
In non-breeding and young birds the same differences occur as in the Kinged Plover.
Distribution. South China and Formosa throughout the Malay Archipelago, the Indo-Chinese countries and once near Mergui in Tenasserim, whence I had two skins sent me of birds shot in January 1898.
Nidification. La Touche and Jones have both described the nesting of this little Plover, the former in Chihli, the latter near Shantung, "Wai-hei-wei. They prefer shores of big rivers and fresh water to the sea-shore though they breed there also. Many birds nest by themselves bub in other cases they collect in small scattered colonies, making no nest beyond a shallow scratching in which there may or may not be a few pebbles. They lay four eggs of which the ground-colour varies from a pale creamy or yellowish-buff to a warm reddish-buff. The markings consist of freckles or tiny specks and spots of dark brown and secondary markings of the same character of lavender. These are distributed freely over the whole surface but in some eggs are more numerous at the larger end. Sixty eggs average 27.7 x 21.8 mm.: maxima 31.2 x 22.0 and 30.3 x 23.0 mm.; minima 27.7 X 22.3 and 28.6 x 21.0 mm. In shape they are modified peg-top, the surface smooth but not glossed.
The breeding-season is from the end of April to early June, a few clutches having been found as late as July.
Habits. Much the same as those of the next and better-known bird.