(500) Saxicola insignis.
Pratincola insignis Hodgs., List Mam. Birds B.M., App. p. 153 (1847) (Nepal); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 64.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Male in winter. Lores and ear-coverts black; head black with narrow fulvous fringes; upper plumage black with broad fulvous edges: upper tail-coverts white, more or less suffused with rufous; tail blackish with narrow rufous edges and concealed white bases; edge of shoulder of wing, a very big patch next the back and the greater primary coverts white; remainder of wing black, the inner secondaries edged with fulvous; point of chin black; chin and throat white, sometimes smeared with rufous; rest of lower plumage rusty ferruginous, deepest on the upper breast and palest on the abdomen; often a few spots of black on the fore-neck and upper breast; under tail-coverts fulvous-white ; axillaries and under wing-coverts white with black bases.
In summer the pale fringes are worn off the upper parts which become wholly black; the spots on the fore-neck and breast also seem to disappear.
Colours of soft parts. Iris deep brown; bill and legs black.
Measurements. Total length about 162 to 166 mm.; wing 83 to 92 mm.; tail 49 to 54 mm.; tarsus 27 mm.; culmen 13 mm.
Female. Upper plumage and wings brown, edged with dull fulvous; upper tail-coverts dull ferruginous; tail crown, edged paler; forehead and faint supercilium fulvous; below pale rusty fulvous, darkest on the throat and breast which are sometimes lightly spotted; sides of neck, throat and breast generally brownish. The greater coverts of the wing are not white, nor is there any white wing-patch as in the male, but the fulvous margins to the greater and median coverts form two broad wing-bars.
A young male has the upper plumage of the male and the lower that of the female.
Distribution. Occurs in winter on the plains of Northern India from Cawnpore to the Bhutan Doars. Mandelli obtained this Chat in the lower hills of Sikkim and the Bhutan Doars in April but the breeding-grounds are still unknown.
Habits. Beyond the fact that this Chat is found in fiat, open country thickly dotted with cane-fields nothing is recorded about it.