(888) Seicercus affinis.
The Allied Flycatcher-Warbler.
Abrornis affinis (Hodgs.) Horsf. & Moore, Cat., i, p. 341 (1854) (Nepal). Cryptolopha affinis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 422.
Vernacular names. Inshushia-gate (Kacha Naga).
Description. Centre of crown from forehead to nape bluish grey; sides of crown and nape black; lores yellowish green, almost white above ; supercilium bluish grey, tinged with green ; a ring round the eye white, interrupted above by a black patch; upper plumage and visible portion of wings bright olive-green; the greater wing-coverts tipped yellow; tail olive-green, the two outer pairs of tail-feathers white on the greater portion of the inner webs; sides of the head bluish grey; entire lower plumage, axillaries and under wing-coverts bright yellow ; flanks tinged with olive, never very pronounced.
The third pair of tail-feathers occasionally have a spot of white at the tip of the inner web.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel; bill above horny-brown, below yellowish flesh-colour to yellow; legs and feet horny-yellow to yellowish-fleshy, claws darker.
Measurements. Total length about 110 mm.; wing 52 to 58 mm.; tail 42 to 45 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen 9 to 10 mm.
Distribution. Sikkim to East Assam, North and South of the Brahmaputra, Chin and Kachin Hills and Annam (ocularis Rob. & Kloss, 'Ibis.' 1919, p. 448).
Nidification. The Allied Flycatcher-Warbler breeds from the middle of April to the middle of June, from 4,000 feet up to about 7,000 or perhaps 8,000 feet, making a beautiful domed nest of green moss, sometimes mixed with a few roots and bits of dead leaf. The lining is of moss, well felted together and nearly always with a dense over-lining of cotton-down or vegetable-silk. Most nests are placed on the ground on mossy banks or the sides of ravines in Evergreen or Pine forests but occasionally it is built in among the living moss growing on some fallen log or dead stump. The eggs, which number four or five, are pure white, moderately glossy and rather fragile. Thirty eggs average 15.4 x 12.4 mm.: maxima 16.3 X 12.7 and 15.3 x 13.1 mm.; minima 14.1 x 12.1 mm.
Habits. In the Cold Weather months this little Warbler keeps principally to tree-forest or to mixed giant bamboo and tree-jungle, but in Summer it resorts more to the scrub and undergrowth in dense humid evergreen forest. It is an intensely active, energetic little bird; now catching insects on the wing from some fixed perch like a Flycatcher, now bustling in and out of branches and foliage, hunting every leaf and every cranny in the bark for spiders and ants. It is practically never still, except when singing its sweet little song and, even then, it expresses its surplus energy in quivering wings and pulsating throat- It displays, like all the species both of this genus and Abrornis, by fluffing out all its feathers, spreading its tail and wing, whilst it cowers low down on some small branch close to the female; then suddenly it stands erect and bursts into song; sings rapidly for a minute or two and then repeats the display. It is a very bold little bird and seems to have no fear of man, although, from its habits, it comes little under observation.