(2166) Lobipes lobatus.
THE RED-NECKED PHALAROPE.
Tringa tobata (" t" error of type, corrected p. 824} Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed., i, p. 148 (1758) (Hudson Bay, N. America). Phalaropus hyperboreus. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 281.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Female in breeding plumage. Upper plumage dark grey-brown, the scapulars, innermost secondaries and tail darker, each feather edged outwardly with rufous, those on the secondaries and back sometimes obsolete; sides of the rump and lateral tail-coverts whitish ; central tail-feathers blackish, the lateral rather paler brown edged with white; wing-coverts dark blackish-grey, the greater broadly edged with white, forming a wing-band; primary coverts and primaries blackish, the latter with white shafts ; outer secondaries blackish edged with white; chin, throat and lower sides of head white; sides of neck rich rufous extending in a band round the fore-neck ; sides of breast, sometimes meeting below the chestnut band, grey; flanks, axillaries and under wing-coverts mottled white and grey; remainder of lower plumage white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris deep brown ; bill dark horny-brown to black ; legs and feet pale plumbeous or lavender-blue.
Measurements. Wing, 105 to 111 mm., 110 to 118 mm.; tail 42 to 47 mm.; tarsus about 19 to 21 mm.; culmen 20 to 24.5 mm.
Male differs from the female in having the chestnut of the sides of the neck divided by dark grey on the fore-neck.
In Winter the upper plumage is grey, the feathers of the mantle edged with white; back,rump and upper tail-coverts blackish-grey; wings dark brown, the white wing-bar very conspicuous ; forehead, fore-crown, face and sides of the head white; posterior crown blackish-brown ; a patch round the eye, running down the ear-coverts, blackish; sides of breast grey; remaining lower parts white.
Young birds have the upper plumage black or nearly so, the feathers of the mantle narrowly edged with warm or pale buff; crown dark brown, extending in a line down the back of the neck; a dark brown line round the lower part of the eye extending over the ear-coverts ; sides of head and neck, chin, throat and lower plumage white, the sides of the breast brown or grey-brown.
Nestling in down. Similar to that of the Grey Phalarope but more richly rufous and without the black line from the forehead to the crown.
Young birds moult direct from the juvenile plumage into the breeding plumage and do not assume an intervening Winter dress but, on the other hand, a good many birds appear to breed in a semi-mature dress, getting a partially red neck and grey breast but retaining the rest of the juvenile plumage.
Distribution. Breeding circumpolar. In Europe South to the Orkneys, South Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia East to Commander Island and throughout Northern America from Alaska to the Yukon. In Winter it migrates South to North Africa and in Asia to India, Malaya, China and Japan.
Nidification. The Red-necked breeds Phalarope in Subarctic regions round the world, coming farther South for this purpose than the Grey Phalarope. Its breeding-habits otherwise differ but little from those of that bird, though its nest is often placed in among coarse grass growing in a foot or two of water, the grass being beaten down and then added to so as to form a neat dry cup. On the other hand, when in drier spots nothing is added as lining and so the nest is very primitive. The eggs only differ from those of the Grey Phalarope in being on an average smaller and less boldly marked and richly coloured; at the same time many eggs are quite indisguishable. One hundred eggs average 29.6 X 20.9 mm.: maxima 32.0 x 21.3 and 31.0 x 22.2 mm.; minima 26.7 X 19.7 and 26.6 x 19.3 mm.
The breeding-season commences in the middle of May in the Orkneys, June and early July in Scandinavia.
Habits. Similar to those of the preceding species. It is just as tame and fascinating a little bird to watch and, even when incubating, the little cock-bird will step off the nest, feed round about for a few minutes and then settle himself down again quite oblivious of the fact that he is being watched ail the time.