Limosa laponica, Lin.
875bis. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 244.
THE BAR-TAILED GODWIT.
Length, 14.5 to 14.8; expanse, 27.0 to 27.5 ; tail, 2.7 to 3.3 ; wing, 7.8 to 8.4; tarsus, 2 ; bill, 2.8 to 3.1; weight, 8.1 oz.
Length, 15.75 ; expanse, 28.0; wing, 8.4 ; tail, 3; tarsus, 2; bill,3.65 ; weight, 9 oz.
Bill pinkish for about the basal half, rest black or dusky; irides brown; legs and feet black, in some dusky-plumbeous.
In the winter plumage there is a broad indistinct white superciliary band, and the feathers immediately below the eye are also white ; the chin and throat are pure white ; the forehead, the whole top, back and sides of the head, and neck all round brownish-white, closely streaked with darker brown, the streaks very minute on the sides of the head, somewhat larger on the front of the neck, and darker and stronger on the head and back of the neck, where but little of the white remains visible. The upper back pale earthy-brown, each feather with a narrow dark-brown central shaft-stripe, and mostly margined somewhat paler.
The breast pale greyish-brown, more or less obscured by the albescent tippings to the feathers, and some of the feathers, with, inconspicuous darker shafts ; the feathers of the central portion of the breast, if raised, will be found to be not merely tipped whitish, but to be also obscurely barred with white ; the abdomen, vent, and lower tail-coverts are pure white, as are also the axillaries and wing-lining; the rump is white with a few cuneiform or heart-shaped blackish-brown spots ; upper tail-coverts white, with narrow irregular arrow-head bars ; tail feathers grey-brown, with dark shafts tipped white, and mottled with white on the inner webs of the exterior ones, in some with traces of darker transverse bars ; the primaries and their greater-coverts black ; the shafts of the first two or three white, subsequent ones brownish-white ; scapulars and tertiaries pale brown, darker shafted, margined paler, and many of them more or less tinged with ashy ; the lesser and median-coverts like the scapulars, but margined whitish ; secondaries brown, paler on their inner webs, and margined on both webs and on the tips with white, as indeed are also, so far as the tips are concerned, the later primaries, though less conspicuously so; the greater secondary-coverts are more ashy-brown, narrowly margined with white. In one specimen, which appears to be further advanced, the lateral tail-feathers ' are distinctly barred brown and white ; the cuneiform barrings on the rump and upper tail-coverts are more marked; the axillaries are all strongly barred; the feathers of the sides and flanks, and also the lower tail-coverts, exhibit numerous arrow-head bars ; and one or two rufous or chesnut feathers with black bars have begun to show themselves on the breast. The summer plumage is thus described by Temminck : :- Male. :- Upper parts of the head and occiput blackish-brown, mixed with streaks of reddish-yellow; a band of the latter color over the eyes; lores blackish-brown ; cheeks and throat of a yellowish-red ; all the lower parts of the body, including the under tail-coverts, pale yellowish-red; upper part of the back and scapulars blackish-brown, marbled with reddish-yellow and whitish-grey; lower part of the back and rump white, marked with longitudinal yellowish-red spots ; the tail marked with brown and white bars, those of the latter tint irregularly distributed and disposed more or less longitudinally; quills black from their tip, the remaining part towards the bases blackish-brown, with their inner webs whitish-grey, marbled with pale brown; the secondaries grey, with the shafts and margins white.
Female. :- The head and lores, as in the male ; the throat white, marked with reddish-grey ; cheeks and neck very light reddish, with numerous brown streaks, which become broader, and form small transverse brown and white bars on the sides of the breast; the latter and the belly marbled with white and very pale reddish ; the abdominal part white ; the lower tail-coverts reddish-white with light brown bars. :- Hume, Stray Feathers, Vol. I, p. 236.
The Bar-tailed Godwit is a not uncommon cold weather visitant to Kurrachee Harbour, and also occurs further east at the mouths of the Indus.