1442. Aegialitis geoffroyi.
The Large Sand-Plover.
Charadrius geoffroyi, Wagl. Syst. Av., Charadrius, no. 19 (1827); Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 180; id. Ibis, 1865, p. 34 ; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 146. Charadrius leschenaulti, Lesson, Man. d'Orn. ii, p. 322 (1828). Hiaticula geoffroyi, Blyth, Cat. p. 262. Aegialitis geoffroyi, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 638; Hurting, Ibis, 1870, p. 378, pl. xi; Bull. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 288; Walden, Ibis, 1873, p. 316; Legge, S. F. i, p. 489; Armstrong, S. F. iv, p. 339 ; Hume, ibid. p. 463 ; Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 455 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 226; Hume, Cat. no. 846 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 81: Butler, ibid. p. 426 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p, 939; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 360: Barnes, Birds Bom, p. 329. Aegialitis leschenaultii, Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 273. Cirrepidesmus geoffroyi, Hume, S. F. i, p. 229 ; ii, p. 288; Adam, S. F. ii, p. 338; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 12. Ochthodromus geoffroyi, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 217.
Coloration. In winter plumage the forehead and supercilia are white, a band from the lores under the eye to the ear-coverts brown; the whole upper plumage brown, the feathers slightly paler towards the edges and with traces of dark shaft-stripes; greater wing-coverts tipped with white; primary-coverts, primaries, and secondaries dark brown, shafts of first primary white except at the tip, of other primaries for a short distance near the end; in the inner primaries part of the outer web is white; secondaries tipped white and with white along the shafts; lateral tail-coverts with white edges ; tail-feathers brown with white tips, outermost pair almost entirely white ; lower parts, with axillaries and under wing-coverts, white; a brown band across the breast, generally but not always interrupted in the middle.
In summer the upper plumage is paler brown, and tinged with rufous ; no pale supercilia; forehead black, enclosing an elongate white spot at each side, the two sometimes united across, but varying much ; lores themselves and a large space below the eye, from which a streak runs back to the upper ear-coverts, black; crown, hind neck, sides of neck, and a broad band across the upper breast dull rufous.
Bill black; irides brown; tibiae and feet slate-bluish or plumbeous, paling to yellowish olive or in some to fleshy-grey (Legge) ; legs greyish green, toes darker (Jerdon).
Length 8.5 ; tail 2.2 ; wing 5.5 ; tarsus 1.5 ; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. A migratory bird, breeding in Japan, Formosa, and Hainan, and perhaps on the Red Sea, and spending the winter on the shores of the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia. It is found in winter, though not very abundantly, on the sea-coasts of India, Ceylon, and Burma.
Habits, &c. The Large Sand-Plover haunts sandy coasts and the mouths of large rivers in small parties, often mixed with other Sand-Plovers. It appears on the Indian coasts about September, and leaves in April or May, by which time it has assumed the breeding dress.