394. Hypolais rama.
Sylvia rama, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 89. Phyllopneuste rama (Sykes), Blyth, Cat. p. 183; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 335; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 189 ; Butler & Hume, S. F. iii, p. 486. Iduna caligata (Licht.), apud Hume, N. & E. p. 360. Hippolais rama (Sykes), Brooks, S. F. iv, p. 275. Hypolais rama (Sykes), Hume, Cat. no. 553; Doig, S. F. ix, p. 279; Seebohm, Cat. B, M. v, p. 84; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 224; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 254.
Sykes's Warbler, Jerd.; Koktalghu, Turki.
Coloration. After the autumn moult the upper plumage and the margins of the wing and tail are olive-brown with a fulvous tinge, the outer tail-feathers edged with whitish; lores dusky; a pale whity-buff supercilium from the nostrils to just past the eye ; the whole lower plumage very pale buff, the throat and middle of the abdomen nearly white.
Iris brown ; legs and feet grey ; bill brown above, fleshy below (Butler).
Length about 5.5; tail 2.2; wing 2.3 to 2.5; tarsus .8; bill from gape .6. The second primary terminates between the seventh and ninth, the first primary is 1.1 to 1.25 short of the tip of the wing and the secondaries .4 short.
There is no seasonal change of colour in the plumage beyond what is caused by abrasion and wear and tear of the feathers. The colour of the plumage is a very bad guide to identification.
Distribution. Throughout the whole peninsula of India down to the Nilgiris in the south, and to the longitude of Dinapore and Lohardugga in the east. I have examined a large series of birds from almost every portion of this area. It is in general a winter visitor, but Doig found a large colony breeding from March to July on the Eastern Nara, Sind. It breeds in Quetta and westwards to Europe; also in Turkestan ; and Seebohm states that it breeds in Kashmir. India appears to be its main winter-quarters.
Habits, &c. Breeds in Sind, constructing a small cup-shaped nest of sedge and fine grass in the centre of a low bush. The eggs, four in number, are white marked with brown and measure .61 by .49.
* HYPOLAIS LANGUIDA, Hemp. & Ehr., is said to occur in Sind, but I can find no specific instance of its having done so. It differs from all the other Indian species of Hypolais in having the primary-coverts and the bastard primary of almost the same Length, or, rather, reaching to the same point, and in its larger size, the wing being about 3 in Length. It has been obtained in Baluchistan, but in that portion of it under Persian control, and at Chaman in Afghanistan.