(608) Monticola solitaria pandoo.
The Indian Blue Rock-Thrush.
Petrocincla pandoo Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 87 (Western Ghats). Petrophila cyanus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 146 (part.).
Vernacular names. Shama (Hind. in S.); Pandu (Mahr.); Poda-kachi pitta (Tel.); Ningri-pho (Lepch.); Daohangar (Cachari) ; Hengmeruine ( Kacha Naga); Vohtigle (Mikir).
Description. Both male and female differ from the same sexes of Hartert's Blue Bock-Thrush in being very much darker, darker even than the European bird.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.
Measurements. Wing 115 to 125 mm.
Distribution. Kashmir East to Tibet, Sikkim, the hills North of Assam and possibly Chin Hills. In Winter it is found over the whole of India and Assam and possibly a few individuals wander into Northern Burma, but all those I have examined from East of Assam belong to the next race.
Nidification. The Indian Blue Bock-Thrush freely breeds in Kashmir, Simla States, Garhwal, Sikkim and Tibet from 6,000 feet upwards but in most cases over 8,000 feet. They commence to lay in the end of April and eggs may be found up to the middle of June. The nest is a rather rough cup of moss, twigs, grass and leaves lined with roots or grass and is nearly always placed in between stones and boulders in old walls or cliffs, more rarely in a hole in a bank and occasionally, according to Dresser, even in a bush. The eggs number three to five and are pale blue in colour, sometimes with a few specks of reddish at the larger end. Twenty eggs average 27.4 x 19.8 mm.: maxima 28.0 x 20.0 and 27.7 x 20.1 mm.; minima 24.3 x 18.3 mm.
Habits. This Thrush is a bird of open country, especially such as is precipitous and rocky and in "Winter, like the other Rock-Thrushes, it often frequents the vicinity of villages and houses, perching on the roofs and railings. It has a habit, much like that of the Chats, of perching on a stump or rock, from which it makes little sallies after insects on the ground or passing by, or it sits, nicking its tail up and uttering a quaint little croak at intervals, much like that of a frog but very low and soft. It has a rather pleasant whistle and is said to have a " melodious but plaintive " song during the breeding-season. It eats berries and fruit as well as insects, snails, etc. and will swallow animals as big as small lizards, snakes and frogs.