(540) Luscinia megarhyncha golzii.
The Turkestan Nightingale.
Lusciola golzii Cabanis, Jour. f. Orn., 1878, p. 79 (Turkestan). Daulias golzii. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 101.
Vernacular names. Sanduas (Tartar); Sochak (Armenian).
Description. The whole upper plumage and the margins of the wing-feathers russet-brown; brighter on the upper tail-coverts and tail; wings brown ; lores, cheeks and the whole lower plumage pale buff, palest and often almost white on the chin, throat and centre of the abdomen and rather more buff on the under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel; bill dark horny-brown, paler below; legs and feet light brown to rather dark horny-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 185 to 195 mm.; wing 91 to 97 mm.; tail 76 to 81 mm.; tarsus about 28 mm.; culmen about 14 mm.
The Eastern or Turkestan Nightingale can be separated at once from other races by its long tail which in the European and "West Asiatic birds only runs up to about 65 mm. (measured from external base of feathers). The first primary is about equal to the primary coverts in our form, whereas in the British bird it is much longer. Variations in these latter measurements are, however, somewhat numerous. The true Persian Nightingale is a still larger, darker bird, L. m. africana (E. & E.).
Distribution. Breeding from Turkestan, the Kirghis Steppes, Trans-Caspia to the Tian-Schan. In Winter it migrates to South Arabia and has wandered twice into India, two specimens having been obtained in Oudh.
Nidification. The Turkestan Nightingale breeds during May and June making a cup-shaped nest of grass, dead leaves, etc., which it places either on the ground or, preferably, in a tangle of rose-bush and briars, a foot or two above it.
It lays four or five eggs of the same deep olive-brown as those of the European Nightingales, some more brown, some more green, which measure about 22.5 x 16.1 mm.
Habits. The habits of all the Nightingales are much the same wherever found. They are shy, secretive birds, feeding much on the ground and amongst dense bushes and briars etc., but they also have the same beautiful song, even if the Eastern birds' notes are not quite so full and sweet as those of its European cousin. This race is much more a frequenter of gardens than our English bird is, perhaps because so many of the gardens are so much bigger and wilder.