709. Cinclus asiaticus.
The Brown Dipper.
Cinclus asiaticus, Swains. Faun. Bor.-Amer., Birds, p. 174 (1831) ; Salvin, Ibis, 1867, p. 120; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 48; Hume, Cat. no. 347 ; Sharpe, Cat, B. M. vi, p. 314; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 281 ; id. Ibis, 1881, p. 437; Oates in Hume's N & F. 2nd ed. ii, p. 112. Hydrobata asiatica (Swains.), Blyth, Cat. p. 158; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 185; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 506 ; Hume, N. & F. p. 225; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 188 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlv, pt. ii, p. 203; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 52.
The Brown Water-Ouzel, Jerd.; Nambong karriak, Lepch.; Chubia akka, Bhut.
Coloration, The whole plumage chocolate-brown, the edges of the feathers somewhat paler in places; the eyelids covered with white feathers; wings and tail dark brown, edged with the same colour as that of the plumage in general, the later quills tipped white.
The young in March, just fledged, have the upper plumage grey, the feathers tipped with black and the subterminal portion more or less whitish; wings black, the quills and coverts all tipped and margined with white ; tail very dark brown, tipped white ; sides of the head grey with white shaft-streaks ; the lower parts grey and marked in the same manner as the upper plumage, but with more conspicuous black tips and subterminal white patches. In August the nearly adult plumage is assumed by a moult, but the new feathers of each side of the head, of the throat, breast, and middle of the abdomen, and sometimes those of the crown and back, are fringed with white, and the wing-coverts and quills are conspicuously margined with white. The fully adult plumage is assumed in the first spring by the casting of the white fringes.
Bill black ; legs pale brown; soles of the feet yellow; iris dark brown (Jerdon).
Length about 8; tail 2.2; wing 3.9; tarsus 1.15; bill from gape 1.05.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Afghanistan and Gilgit to Bhutan at elevations from 1000 to 14,000 feet, according to season. This species occurs in the North Khasi hills, specimens from that locality being in the National Collection. It extends into Turkestan.
Habits, &c. Breeds throughout the Himalayas at all levels from December to May. The nest is a rounded ball of moss lined with ferns and roots, with an opening at the side, wedged into a cleft of a rock near water and not far above its surface. The eggs, generally five in number, are white and measure about 1 by .72.