(602) Oreocincla spiloptera.
The Spotted-winged Thrush.
Oreocincla spiloptera Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 142 (1847) (Ceylon); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 155.
Vernacular names. Val-arrtchia (Cing.).
Description. Upper plumage, lesser wing-coverts and quills russet-brown, the latter edged with olive-brown; median and greater coverts blackish with bold white tips; tail-feathers russet-brown, the outer two or three pairs with small white tips; lores and a ring round the eye white; sides of head mixed black and white; lower plumage white, tinged with grey on the flanks and sides of breast and boldly spotted with fan-shaped black spots on the breast, upper abdomen, flanks and sides of throat.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill horny-black, paler at the base of the lower mandible; legs and feet "dusky bluish grey or greyish fleshy " (Legge).
Measurements. Total length about 230 mm.; wing 93 to 108 mm.; tail 74 to 78 mm.; tarsus about 34 mm.; culmen 21 to 22 mm.
The Young bird has the upper parts streaked with fulvous and the lower surface, except the chin, fulvous ochreous instead of white.
Distribution. Ceylon only.
Nidification. According to Legge the breeding season extends from January to June and the nest is said to be made of twigs, roots, moss and grass, lined with fine roots. It is placed on small trees and saplings at no great height from the ground in forest. The eggs apparently number two only and are very much like the eggs of Geocichla citrina, but rather bigger; two eggs taken by Legge measuring 28.1 x 19.0 mm. Two eggs in my collection, sent me by Col. H. H. Harington, are similar but smaller.
Habits. This is a forest bird, being found from the level of the Plains up to some 4,000 feet. It is a shy, retiring bird and spends most of its time feeding on insects on the ground. Legge says it has a sweet whistle.