127. Dartford Warbler.
Melizophilus undatus, (Bodd.), Tabl. Pl. Enl. p. 40 (1783) ; Hewitson, i. p. 143. pl. xxxvii. ; Newton, i. p. 398 ; Dresser, ii. p. 441, pl. 69 ; Saunders, p. 55 ; Lilford, iii. p. 48, pl. 24 ; 8. provincialis (Gmel.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 958 (1788) ; (Gould) B. of E. ii. pl. 129 ; (id.) B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 59 ; (Seebohm) Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 31 ; S. dartfordiensis, Lath. Gen. Synop. Suppl, i. p. 287 (1790).
Pitchou Provencal, French ; Colorin, Caganchina, Span. ; Magnanina, Ital.
Male ad. (England). Upper parts blackish grey, the crown washed with slate and the back with brown ; quills and tail blackish brown, edge of the wing white and outer tail-feathers edged and tipped with dull white ; centre of abdomen white, the rest of the under parts chestnut-red ; under wing and tail-coverts slate grey ; throat marked with silvery grey ; sides of head slate-grey ; bill blackish, base of lower mandible yellowish ; legs reddish brown ; iris orange yellow, edge of eyelid bright yellow. Culmen 0.5, wing 2.1, tail 2.7, tarsus 0.75 inch ; second quill equal to seventh ; tail graduated. The female is dull and paler and has the under parts much paler, and the young are darker above, and have the under parts dull grey washed with yellowish buff, the legs yellowish, and the iris yellowish brown.
Hab. Resident, in. England as far north as Suffolk, resident also in some parts of France, in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Palestine, and North Africa ; very rare in Greece, and is said to occur also in Corsica.
Frequents open ground covered with bushes, in England furze-covered commons and is very shy and secretive in its habits. Exceedingly active, it creeps about in the dense brush- work like a mouse. Its flight is quick and jerky, and when undisturbed it frequently perches on the topmost spray of a bush. Its call note resembles the syllables pit-it-chou or when disturbed it utters a harsh cha, cha, and its song is somewhat varied and hurried. The nest is placed in a bush near the ground and is sometimes firmly and at others more loosely constructed of grass-bents lined with wool or hair, and the eggs 4 to 6 in number are French white or greenish white marked with hair brown or greenish brown, the markings in some being collected chiefly at the larger end, and in others closely distributed all over the surface. In size they average about 0.66 by 0.51 inch, and are usually deposited from late in April to June.
127. Melizophilus undatus
127. Dartford Warbler.