1455. Numenius phaeopus.
Scolopax phaeopus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 243 (1766). Numenius phaeopus, Myth, Cat. p. 268; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 684; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 168 ; Hayes-Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 417 ; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 297 : Le Messurier, S. F. iii, p. 381; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 155 ; Butler & Hume, S. F. iv, p. 16 ; Armstrong, ibid. p. 341; Hume, ibid. p. 464 ; Hume & Dew. S. F. vi, p. 460 ; Butler, S. F. vii, p. 187 ; ix, p. 429; Hume, ibid. p. 487; id. Cat. no. 878; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 910; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 85 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 70; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 411; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 352 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 355.
Chota Goungh, Chota Gulinda, H.
Coloration. Crown including forehead dark brown, with a broken median white band ; long supercilia from base of bill and sides of head whitish with dark streaks; lores and a band through eye to ear-coverts dark brown ; upper parts generally brown, with whitish spots on the edges of the feathers, becoming larger on the wing-coverts ; bastard wing, primary-coverts and quills blackish brown, primary-coverts and inner primaries tipped white, inner webs of all quills and outer webs of the inner primaries and of the secondaries with white indentations; lower back and rump white, some of the feathers as a rule with subterminal pointed brown spots ; upper tail-coverts, barred dark brown and whitish ; tail ashy brown, barred with dark brown ; chin, throat, and abdomen white ; fore neck and breast sullied white with dark brown shafts, flank's and axillaries barred.
To the eastward this passes into N. variegatus, with the lower back and rump thickly mottled with bars and spots of brown. Some Burmese skins are referred to N. variegatus by Sharpe, but it only ranks as a race or subspecies.
Bill blackish brown, basal half of lower mandible pale and pinkish ; irides dark brown ; legs and feet bluish grey.
Length of male 17; tail 3.75; wing 9.5; tarsus 2.3; bill from gape 32. Females on an average exceed males in size; wing 10.
Distribution. Europe and Northern Asia in summer; Africa, Southern Asia, the Malay Archipelago, and Australia in winter. This is a winter visitor to the sea-coasts of India, Ceylon, and Burma, and is occasionally found inland.
Habits, &c. As a rule, though there are local exceptions, the Whimbrel is a less common bird than the Curlew in India; but it has very similar habits. It is good to eat, better than the Curlew.