(852) Phylloscopus affinis.
Motacilla affinis Tick, J. A. S. B., ii, p. 576 (1833) (Borabhum). Phylloscopus affinis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 401.
Vernacular names. Daotisha gabi (Cachari); Ani chin (Tibet).
Description. Upper plumage brown, faintly tinged with olive; wing and tail feathers brown, edged with olive-yellow; a broad yellow supercilium from the nostrils to the nape; lores and a patch behind the eye brown; whole lower plumage deep dull yellow, suffused with olive on the flanks and sides of the neck and breast; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale olive-yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill dark horny-brown above, pale yellowish-horny below; legs and feet yellowish brown or greenish brown to dark brown.
Measurements- Total length about 110 to 115 mm.; wing 56 to 62 mm.; tail 42 to 45 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen 9 mm. Second primary as long or longer than the 9th.
Distribution. In Summer throughout the Himalayas from Kashmir to East Assam, Tibet, and Western China to Kansu. In Winter practically throughout India as far South as South Travancore, Burma, but so far not recorded in the Punjab or North-West Provinces.
Nidification. Tickell's Warbler breeds in the Himalayas from the Afghan and Baluchistan Frontier to S.E. Tibet at elevations between 9,000 and 14,500 feet or even higher. The nests are very round domed affairs of grass, rather untidily put together and very thickly lined with feathers, sometimes mixed with fur or moss, sometimes with both. They are placed low down in scrub rhododendrons, junipers, etc., often not more than a few inches from the ground and in conspicuous positions. The eggs number three to five, generally four, and vary in colour from pure white to white sparsely spotted with pale reddish brown at the larger end. Eggs in the same clutch vary greatly and all are never alike—as a rule one egg is well spotted, one or two only faintly so and the others not at all. One hundred eggs average 15.5 x 12.0 mm.: maxima 17.2 x 12.3 and 16.0 x 12.5 mm.; minima 14.7x12.0 and 15".0 x 11.4 mm. They breed during June and July.
Habits. This little Warbler is a bird of the scrub-jungle rather than of the forests, and is found from about 8,000 feet up to the extreme limit of bushes. In Winter its migration-routes would appear to be due East at first and then South, as it has not yet been obtained in the North-West Frontier Plains, Sind, Rajputana or the Punjab. It, however, occurs in the Bombay Presidency the Central Provinces and Eastwards throughout Bengal, Behar, Orissa, Assam and Northern Burma. I also have seen specimens from Siam. In Winter it is found both in forest, open well-wooded country and in cultivated lands and it has all the habits of a Willow-Warbler, though it is not so active, restless a bird as are some of its nearest relations.