8. Syrrhaptes tibetanus.
THE TIBETAN PINTAIL SAND-GROUSE.
Kaling, Kuk, Ladak.
Male 18" to 20". Female 16 1/2" to 18". Bill bluish. Primaries black, with white patch on inner web of hinder ones.— Male: Crown and nape white, closely barred. Narrow yellow band across back of neck. Black blotches on inner web of scapulars. Breast grey. Abdomen white, with no black patch. Wing finely barred.— Female : Whole breast lineated with zigzag brown lines. Closed wing boldly barred (Lahore to Yarkand, p. 259).
Eggs (2 x 1.33). From Tibet; common in Ladak and Sutlej Valley. (B. 1323. O.G. 6. O. 1.) Also S. paradoxus. Pallas's Pintail S. G. from the Kirghiz steppes.
" Baguerlac" the Tetrao paradoxus of Pallas, known as S. pallasi, is Marco's bird (Yule's Marco Polo, p. 240).
Tetrao=, a bird mentioned by Athenaeus and Pliny. Paradoxus=, strange, contrary to expectation ; from the curious structure of its feet.
Pallas's Sand-Grouse, known also as the "Tartary Partridge," or "Partridge of the Steppes," is a rare and erratic visitant to Europe and Britain. Unknown in British Isles till 1859, when three were obtained (two in England, one in Wales). In May, 1863, the first great irruption occurred all over Europe and throughout Britain. In 1872 there was another visitation to Great Britain. During May, 1888, its appearance was reported in several places remote from one another. Nothing is known of the causes which are forcing it to quit its native Central Asian steppes for a new home in Germany and elsewhere. Throat and around eyes orange. Breast grey, with black patch on abdomen. Breast-band black and white. Eggs, three or four (1.7 x 1.5), pale olive, spotted brown. (O. G. 4.)