1423. Cursorius gallicus.
The Cream-coloured Courser.
Charadrius gallicus, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 692 (1788). Cursorius gallicus, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 874 ; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 163 ; Hume, Ibis, 1868, p. 239 ; id. S. F. i, p. 228; Adam, ibid. p. 393; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 11; v, p. 232; Hume, Cat. no. 840 bis: Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 324; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 16; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 235; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 175; Oates in Hume's N & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 325; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 34. Cursorius jamesoni, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 875 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 250.
The European Courier Plover, Jerdon.
Coloration. Crown light rufous, in front ashy grey on the occiput, the grey feathers partly concealing a nuchal black patch; white supercilia, meeting behind the nape, and bordered throughout beneath by a black band running from one eye to the other ; lores and chin creamy white, sides of face buff; upper parts generally rufous buff; primary-coverts and primaries black, secondaries blackish on the inner webs, tipped with white and bordered externally with rufous buff, which gradually grows broader on the inner feathers; tail-feathers like back, all, except the median pair (which have sometimes a subterminal black spot), with a sub-terminal black band and white tip ; lower parts buff, paler and less rufous than the back; lower abdomen and under tail-coverts white ; wing-lining and axillaries black.
Young birds sandy, with many black bands throughout, paler below.
Bill black ; legs yellowish white (Jerdon). Iris umber-brown (v. Heuglin).
Length 10 ; tail 2.5; wing 6.5 ; tarsus 2.25; bill from gape 1.4.
Distribution. Dry barren tracts of Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and South-western Asia, as far east as Baluchistan, Afghanistan, and North-western India. This species is found in the Punjab, Sind, Rajputana as far east as Ajmir, Jodhpur, and Erinpura, and in Cutch.
Habits, &c. Very similar to those of C. coromandelicus. The eggs resemble those of G. coromandelicus in number and size, but are much paler, light stone-coloured, thickly, rather finely spotted with brown and pale lilac. It is doubtful whether this bird breeds in India, there being evidently some mistake about the eggs found near Sirsa, and formerly attributed to this species by Hume.