1388. Rallus aquaticus.
Rallus aquaticus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 262 (1766) ; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 416 ; id. Cat. no. 914 bis ; Hume $r Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 261; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 98; Scully, ibid. p. 591; George, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. iv, p. 311; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiii, p. 20.
Precisely like li. indicus, except that there is no brown band through the eye to the ear-coverts, the sides of the head being generally ashy throughout; the lores are sometimes brownish, but there is no streak behind the eye ; .the breast is pure ashy grey, without any brownish wash, the middle of the abdomen is sullied buff, and the under tail-coverts are chiefly white.
Upper mandible dark brown, basal half of upper mandible along commissure and basal two-thirds of lower orange-red, end of bill horny ; irides red ; legs and feet brownish pink to fleshy brown.
Length 11; tail 2.25 ; wing 5 ; tarsus 1.6 ; bill from gape 1.7.
Distribution. Throughout Europe and the Palaearctic region as far east as Yarkand and Cabul. A rare winter visitor to the Himalayas, obtained in Gilgit (Scully); Kulu (Hay); and Dehra Hun (Hume). A skin from Sind, included under this species in the British Museum Catalogue, is, 1 find (and Dr. Sharpe agrees), R. indicus, but Mr. B. George states that he killed a specimen near Shikarpur. There is also a skin of Hodgson's, labelled Nepal and perhaps collected there.
Habits, &c. Similar to those of R. indicus. The nest in Europe is placed in a swamp, and consists of dried leaves loosely put together. The eggs, 8 to 10 or more in number, are pale stone-colour, sparingly spotted with purple and dark red, and measure about 1.4 by 1.05.