Demi-egretta gularis, Boie.
928. :- D. asha, Sykes. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 746 ; Butler, Guzerat ; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p.23 ; Deccan, - Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 434 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 271.
THE ASHY EGRET.
Length, 24; wing, 10.25 ; tail, 3.25 ; tarsus, 3.95 ; bill at front, 3.5.
Bill reddish-yellow, dusky above ; orbitar skin yellow-green ; irides yellow; legs blackish ; the feet and lower part of the tarsus yellowish.
Adult in breeding season has the whole plumage dusky-slaty ; the chin and throat white ; an occipital crest ; a dorsal train of decomposed feathers not reaching to the end of the tail; and a pectoral plume of narrow and pointed not decomposed feathers.
In the cold season entirely of a slaty color, the throat alone white.
Young birds are pure white throughout, or, according to Layard, have some of the wing-coverts edged with grey. At the first breeding season they assume the dark slaty color, with traces of white on the winglet and lower surface in some ; specimens in a state of change are, of course, much varied with white.
The Ashy Egret or White-throated Reef Heron is fairly common along the coast, but does not seem to occur far inland, unless on very large sheets of water.