(499) Saxicola macrorhyncha.
Pratincola macrorhyncha Stoliczka, J. A. S. B., xli, pt. ii, p. 238 (1872) (Cutch); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 63.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Upper plumage sandy-buff, broadly streaked with dark brown ; lores and a broad supercilium pale buff; ear-coverts rufous-buff; lores and ear-coverts marked with dark brown; upper tail-coverts white or rufous-white; middle tail-feathers dark brown, edged with sandy-buff, the next pair white on about four-fifths of the inner web and about two-thirds of the outer webs, increasing gradually to the whole of the outer web on the outermost pair; a broad patch of white on the wing-coverts next the back; other wing-coverts and quills black, edged with rufous-sandy ; chin and throat pure white; remainder of lower plumage very pale buff, generally darker on the breast; under wing-coverts white, with the black bases showing through; axillaries white with black bases.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill and legs black.
Measurements. Wing 70 to 77 mm.: tail 50 to 54 mm.: tarsus 24 mm.; culmen 11 to 12 mm.
Male in summer. Above, the pale margins are nearly worn off and the bird appears to be a sooty-black; the supercilium becomes white and the lower surface creamy-buff, the black bases often showing through.
Female similar to male but with no white wing-patch and no white on the tail.
Measurements practically the same as the male.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill horny-black, paler at base of maxilla and on mandible.
Young males are like the adult but have the white wing-patch very small and the white on the tail less in extent and strongly tinged with fulvous.
Young. "Upper surface earthy brown, streaked and spotted with pale creamy buff; upper tail-coverts pale creamy-buff; wings dark brown, all the feathers edged with rufous, the median coverts with triangular whitish tips; tail dark brown, all the feathers edged on both webs and tipped with rufous; the outer pair of feathers have the entire outer web and a small portion of the base of the inner web rufous; sides of the head, lores and ear-coverts dirty white mottled with brown; the lower surface dull buffish white, mottled with brown on the throat and breast." (Whistler, Ibis,' 1922, p. 304.)
Distribution. A resident species in the Punjab, Kajputana, Northern Gujarat, Cutch and Sind.
Nidification. Unknown but Mr. H. Whistler obtained specimens in pairs, in the Jhang District, Punjab, in April and July, and obtained young birds in August and September.
Habits. Mr. Whistler writing of this Chat in the Jhang District records : " Its favourite haunts are the wide plains of a hard, sandy soil, fertile when ploughed and irrigated, but normally of the consistency and appearance of a ' made-up' tennis court; they are bare of grass for the most part, but are studded with the small desert plants of 'Uck' and 'Karil' (wild Caper) and diversified with small sand-dunes and broken ground.
" A few pairs also inhabit the somewhat different area of the Nurpar Canal escape, where the running-off of volumes of waste canal-water has produced great reed-beds, surrounded by jungles of Pampas-grass.
"In habits Stoliczka's Chat resembles the other members of the genus, perching on the tops of bushes or stems, at times fairly tame, at others surprisingly wild. I never heard any call-note uttered."