510. Cenanthe finschi barnesi

(510) Oenanthe finschi barnesi* Oates.
THE EASTERN GEORGIAN CHAT.
Oenanthe melanoleuca melanoleuca, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 47.
Oenanthe finschi barnesi, ibid. vol. viii, p. 620.
The Georgian Chat is found from Georgia and Transcaspia to Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, breeding throughout this area in suitable places.
Within our limits it has been found breeding in Baluchistan, a Mr. Webster having taken a nest and eggs in the Mashing Kelat State, whilst Major Williams found another nest near Quetta.
It is, apparently, a Chat which frequents the most arid and desolate of stony wastes and rocky hills, keeping aloof from cultivation of any kind. Williams obtained it in the Quetta Valley in “the dry low foot-hills at about 6,000 feet elevation.” Here it flitted about in the dry water-courses and boulder-strewn hill-sides, where the only vegetation was a little half-burnt-up grass or a few stunted bushes.
The nest is cup-shaped, made of fine grass, mixed with other materials and lined with wool, hair or fur, or any of these mixed. It may be placed under a stone, in a cliff or hole in a rock-face, a pile of stones, or in a hole in a bank. Of the two nests taken in Baluchistan, Webster’s was “in a hole in a bank, made of fine grass, hair, wool etc. and lined with hair and wool ; it contained five eggs and was taken on 7. 4. 26.” The second nest taken by Williams, which was “found in May, was placed under a small heap of stones and was a shallow saucer of sticks, fibrous plant-stems, grass and hair.” This also contained five eggs. In the first nest the female was caught on the nest and in the second case shot off it.
The breeding season lasts from the end of April to the end of June and this Chat possibly, like so many others, often has two bloods in the year.
Outside our limits this Chat lays four to six eggs which are said to be just like those of the typical form, or of Oe. I. leucomela. Hartert gives the measurements of forty-one eggs which, included with thirty measured by myself, give an average of 19.3 x 14.2 mm.
* I am still very doubtful if the name barnesi can stand ; the specimen unfortunately selected by Oates as type is much nearer true finschi than all the other Indian specimens which bear out his diagnosis. If the type be considered a wandering specimen of true finschi, then Oates’s bird must be given a new name. Ticehurst goes into this question very thoroughly in ‘The Ibis,’ 1927, p. 71.
Fourteen Baluchistan eggs average almost the same—19.3 x 15.4 mm. : maxima 20.4 x 16.4 and 20.3 x 16.6 mm. ; minima 18.6 x 14.8 and 18.8 x 14.5 mm.
Thirteen eggs taken by Pitman in Mesopotamia average bigger still—19.8 x 15.4 mm.
The eggs in my own series are much brighter in colour ; some are bright, almost Hedge-Sparrow blue, with a fine sheen. The markings also are generally brighter, darker and richer and, in most eggs, more numerous.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
510. Cenanthe finschi barnesi
Spp Author: 
Gates.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
510
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
40
Common name: 
Eastern Georgian Chat
M_ID: 
28566
M_SN: 
Oenanthe finschii barnesi
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
13685

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