(2112) Charadrius hiaticulus tundrae.
THE EASTERN RINGED PLOVER,
Aegialitis hiaticola tundra Lowe, Bull. B. 0. C, xxxvi, p. 7 (1915) (Yenesei). Aegialitis hiaticula. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 243.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead, lores to upper ear-coverts black; a broad line across the forehead from eye to eye white; anterior crown black; under and behind the eye a white semi-ring, a short broad supercilium white; crown and nape brown; a white collar on the hind-neck, followed by a broad black band; upper parts dark brown; primaries blackish, the shafts white in the middle, brown at the base and tip and with a white patch on the outer web of the fifth to the secondaries, increasing on the latter till the central is nearly all white, then decreasing until the inner are like the back; tail brown with a broad subterminal white band and white tip, the latter increasing until the outermost pair of feathers are almost pure white; the black forehead is continued as a broad band to the ear-coverts; chin, throat and sides of neck white, meeting the white hind-collar ; a broad band of black across the fore-neck and upper breast meeting the black hind collar; remainder of under parts white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; eyelids yellow; bill orange-yellow, the dertrum black; legs and feet orange-yellow.
Measurements. Wing 120 to 138 mm.; tail 52 to 64 mm.; tarsus about 22 to 26 mm.; culmen 13 to 15 mm. Young birds have no black on the head or breast, this being replaced by town; the black breast when first assumed has whitish fringes.
Nestling in down. Crown and lower back greyish-buff speckled with darker brown; a black line through the eye round the nape and a U-shaped black mark on the lower back; hind-neck and underparts white.
Distribution. Eastern Russia from the Petchora to East Siberia. In Winter south to Persian Gulf, India and China, extending to N. E. Africa.
Nidification. The Eastern Ringed Plover, like the Western race, makes a nest in a hollow, scratched out by itself, of tiny pebbles, shells or scraps of shells or any other small articles which it can obtain round about. The favourite site is on the sea-shore, above high tide, or on the pebbly beaches of big rivers but it also breeds in marshes and swamps far from these. The eggs, four in number, are not distinguishable from those of the Western race. The ground-colour varies from pale yellowish to fairly warm buff or olive-stone, whilst the marks consist of small spots of blackish, numerous everywhere but rather more so at the larger end. The few eggs I have seen average about 32.0 x 25.0 mm.
The breeding-season is May and early June in the South and June the 5th to July the 10th in the North.
Habits. The Ring-Plovers collect in some numbers during the non-breeding season but even at that time are often seen singly or in pairs only. They frequent the shores of both seas and rivers, run with great speed, though generally for a few yards only at a time, and fly well. Their food consists of insects, small molluscs, flies, worms etc. Their call has not been described but is probably the same as that of C. h. hiaticula. The notes of the latter bird have been described by Witherby as follows. Love song a sweet trilling " troo-i, troo-i "; call-note a harsh " trr " alarm-notes " pee-ip " or " pen-y-et."