Scolopax rusticula (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 243 (1766) ; Naum, viii. p. 361, Taf, 211 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 348, pl. xcvi. ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 319 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 77 ; Dresser, vii. p. 615, pl. 540 ; Seebohm, B. Jap. Emp. p. 347 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 475 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiv. p. 671 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 949 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 283 ; Bidgway, p. 149 ; Saunders, p. 569 ; Lilford, v. p. 58, pls. 23, 24 ; Poynting, p. 103, pl. 23.
Becasse ordinaire, French ; Gallinhola, Portug. ; Becada, Ghocha, Span. ; Beccaccia, Ital. ; Waldschnepfe, German ; Woudsnep, Dutch ; Skovsneppe, Dan. ; Rugde, Norweg. ; Morkulla, Swed. ; Lehtokurppa, Finn. ; Waldschnep, Shabashka, Russ. ; Simtitar, Hindu. ; Himar el hedjel, Moor. ; Hodo-shigi, Jap.
Male ad. (Smyrna). Forehead dull light grey marked with dark brown ; hind head black crossed by three irregular yellowish buff and rusty brown bands ; upper parts reddish brown, barred and marked with black and warm ochreous ; tail black and marked with rusty red and tipped with buffy grey ; chin white ; sides of head greyish, marked with brown and rufous ; under parts dull rufous white with narrow undulating transverse dusky brown bars ; bill dull flesh-colour becoming dark brown at the end ; legs greyish flesh-brown ; iris blackish brown. Culmen 3.2, wing 7.7, tail 3.35, tarsus 1.4 inch. Sexes alike. The young bird has the outer webs of the primaries with distinct fulvous notches, the upper parts rather darker, and the under parts paler.
Hab. Northern Europe and Asia, north to about 66-67°, breeding however as far south as the Azores, Canaries, Madeira, and the Himalayas ; watering in South Europe, rarely in North Africa, in Japan, China, and India ; accident al in Eastern North America.
Is chiefly nocturnal in its habits, remaining during the day¬time till evening in dense covers, especially where the soil is damp, and feeding at night, its food consisting of worms and insects of various kinds. In the breeding season the male flies along certain regular routes, uttering its peculiar call orrt, orrt, pisp. Its nest is a hollow in the ground thickly lined with dry leaves, usually in the borders of a grove or a sparse thicket, and the eggs, 4 in number, are deposited late in April or early in May. These are creamy buff or dark stone-buff with pale dull purplish shell-markings and dark brown surface spots, these last being more numerous at the larger end. In size they measure about 1.75 by 1.32. The young are conveyed from the nest to their feeding grounds by being carried between the parents’ thighs.
1050. Scolopax rusticula