626. Saxicola deserti.
The Desert Chat.
Saxicola deserti, Temm. Pl. Col. pl. 359, fig. 2 (1825) ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 132 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 42 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 188 ; Blanf. # Dresser, P. Z. S. 1874, p. 224 (part.); Scully, S. F. iv, p. 143; Hume, Cat. no. 492; Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 383; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 205. Saxicola atrogularis, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 131 (1847); Blyth, Cat. p. 167 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 287; Hume & Senders. Lah. to Yark. p. 205.
The Black-throated Wheatear, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the upper plumage is rich buff, turning to pale fulvous-white on the rump and upper tail-coverts; basal third of tail-feathers white, remainder black; wing-coverts and quills black, all the feathers more or less margined with white; the tertiaries broadly margined with buff; the inner coverts white; feathers at base of upper mandible and a supercilium pale buff; sides of head and neck, chin, and throat black, fringed with pale buff; remainder of lower plumage buff, brightest on the breast; under wing-coverts and axillaries black, tipped with white; the inner webs of quills, when viewed from below, narrowly margined with white. In spring and summer the supercilium becomes more distinct, the fringes of all the black feathers disappear, and the mantle is marked with dusky; the under wing-coverts and axillaries frequently become entirely black.
Female. Resembles the male in general appearance, but has the colours duller and the supercilium paler; the chin, throat, sides of head and of neck pale brown, not black; ear-coverts rich brown; all the wing-coverts and quills brown, broadly margined with buff, and the inner coverts not white as in the male; under wing-coverts brown, tipped white.
Bill, legs, and feet black; iris brown (Hume).
Length about 6.5; tail 2.7; wing 3.7; tarsus 1; bill from gape .85.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the plains of India, where the limits of this species are almost identical with those of S. isabellina, being the latitude of Bombay on the south and Nagpur on the east. This Chat has been obtained at Sambhar in June, and it is not improbable that this and other Chats, which are considered winter visitors, may remain in small numbers to breed in some of the less-frequented parts of the deserts of Rajputana and Sind. The Desert-Chat breeds in Turkestan, and at the seasons of passage to and fro must occur in Kashmir and Gilgit. It is common, according to Stoliczka, in Western Tibet. It ranges west as far as Algeria.