Pratincola indica, Blyth.
483. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 124 ; Butler, Guzerat ; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 475 ; P. maura, Pall.: Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 404; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, p. 124.
THE INDIAN BUSHCHAT.
Length, 5.25; wing, 2.75 ; tail, 1.75; tarsus, 0.9; bill at front, 0.38.
Bill black ; irides deep-brown; legs black.
The male in summer plumage has the whole head and neck, back, wings, and tail black, the back and wings edged with pale rufous; wing-spot, rump, and upper tail-coverts, white; breast and lower parts bright ferruginous, deep on the breast, paler on the flanks and belly and albescent on the vent and under tail-coverts ; a demi-collar of white almost meets on the nape, dividing the back of the head and neck.
In winter plumage the black is almost replaced by earthy brown ; the rump and tail-coverts are ferruginous-brown ; the lores, ear-coverts, and chin, however, are always more or less black; the white wing-spot is less prominent; the whole lower parts are dull ferruginous, albescent on the under tail-coverts, and the demi-collar is deficient or rusty.
The female resembles the male in winter dress, being brown above, margined with paler brown, and rufescent towards the the tail; but the chin and throat are white, and there is a white supercilium. The wing-spot too is a little sullied.
The Indian Bush or Whinchat is a common winter visitant to all parts of the district, appearing about the commencement of September.