(855) Phylloscopus collybitus sindianus.
The Sind Willow-Warbler.
Phylloscopus sindianus Brooks, Str. Feath., viii, p. 476 (1880) (Sind); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 406.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Hardly distinguishable from P. c. tristis, but does not ever acquire the greenish tinge sometimes present on the wings and rump of that bird; generally the yellow on the axillaries and under wing-coverts is less clear. I can see no difference between the two birds in the wing-formulas, nor in the shape and size of the first primary.
Colours of soft parts as in P. c. tristis.
Measurements exactly the same as in P. c. tristis, but the culmen never measures less than 9 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in Ladak and Tibet, possibly also in North Kashmir; in South-Eastern Turkestan as far North as Aksu. In Winter South to Sind, Punjab, the United Provinces and Rajputana.
Nidification. Mr. P. Ludlow first obtained this Warbler between 11,000 and 14,000 feet breeding near Leh, and since then Messrs H. Whistler and B. B. Osmaston have found it breeding in great numbers in Ladak during May, June and July. All three of these gentlemen sent me specimens which I at first identified as P. c. tristis, but on receiving a series of eggs from Mr. Osmaston these differed so greatly from those of that bird that I again examined the specimens sent by him and found them to be of this race. P. sindianus is apparently the Himalayas and Central Asian breeding form, whilst tristis is a bird whose breeding is confined to the North. The nest is domed and is made of fine grass lined first with cotton-down and finally with feathers. It is placed in low thorny bushes only a few inches above the ground or very often in the thorns growing on the top of stone boundary-walls. The eggs are longer ovals than those of tristis and are spotted more boldly with rich bright red, which forms caps or rings at the larger end instead of being marked with almost black specks scattered over the whole surface. Twenty eggs average 15.7 x 12.0 mm.: maxima 17.0 x.13.0 mm.; minima 15.0 X 11.9 and 15.3 x 11.7 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of P. c. tristis but keeping much more to semi-desert and poorly wooded tracts. Apparently never catching insects like a Flycatcher, as tristis does.