(887) Muscitrea grisola grisola.
The Grey flycatcher-warbler.
Tephrodornis grisola Blyth, J. A.S.B., xii, p. 180 (1843) (Malay Peninsula). Muscitrea grisola. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 31.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Upper plumage, wings and tail rufous olive-brown, more ashy-brown on the crown and nape; the secondaries and greater wing-coverts are edged with a more rufous-brown; underparts white, the breast suffused with ashy and the throat often mottled with ashy.
Colours of soft parts. Iris reddish brown ; bill dark brown to blackish ; mouth flesh-colour; legs and feet horny-brown to plumbeous-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 160 to 170 mm.; wing 81 to 89 mm.; tail 55 to 61 mm.; tarsus about 23 mm.; culmen 13 to 14 mm.
The young birds are much more rufous and, even in adult birds,, the older seem to get greyer and paler than birds of the first year.
Nestling. Still more rufous, the secondaries being almost wholly of this colour and pure white below.
Distribution. Andamans, Arrakan, Pegu, Tenasserim, Annam, Siam, Malay Peninsula and Islands, Java, Sumatra and Borneo.
Nidification. According to Mr. Osmaston this Warbler "breeds in May and June and two eggs only are laid. The nest is rather a thin, flimsy cup-shaped structure made of roots, which are attached by cobwebs to the twigs supporting it. The eggs could be seen from below through the nest, which was unlined and somewhat resembled that of a Bulbul. The nests were all in small trees from 6 to 12 feet from the ground. The eggs are slightly flossy, dark cream or pale cafe-au-lait spotted with dark yellowish brown or sepia. The spots are rather small and not numerous, and they tend to form a zone towards the big end. The eggs remind one a little of those of Rhipidura albicollis. They van very little in size, the mean of 8 eggs being .85" x .62".
Habits. Not uncommon round about Port Blair, frequenting there, as elsewhere, open jungle and clearings in forest. It is said to be a quiet unobtrusive bird very like a Flycatcher or a Warbler of the genus Seicercus in its habits, sometimes catching insects on the wing and, at other times, on the branches and trunks of trees. Mr. Osmaston says that it has a fine loud whistle which it repeats three or four times or prolongs into one long note, followed by another either higher or lower in key.