1465. Totanus fuscus.
The Spotted Redshank.
Scolopax fusca, Linn. Syst. Nat, i, p. 243 (1766). Totanus fuscus, Bechst. Orn. Taschenb. pt. 2, p. 286; Blyth, Cat. p. 266; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 702 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 253; Hume, S. F. i, p. 248; Adam, ibid. p. 397; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 18; v, p. 233; Cockburn, S. F. iv, p. 509; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 463 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 229 ; Hume, Cut. no. 896 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 848; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 97; Reid, S. F. x, p. 71; Macyrcyor, ibid. p. 441; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 405 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 360; Seebohtn, Charadr. p. 351; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 409.
Batan, Gatni, Surma, H.; Yerra kal ulanka, Tel.
Coloration in winter. Narrow forehead, crown, hind neck, and back ashy brown; lores darker; a small black spot in front of the eye ; supercilia from base of bill white; wing-coverts, scapulars, and tertiaries like back, but bordered with black and white, the latter outside ; on the greater coverts, scapulars, and tertiaries the white border is broken and alternates with black spots at regular intervals : bastard wing, primary-coverts, and primaries dark brown ; inner borders of primaries mottled with white ; later primaries and secondaries imperfectly barred white and brown ; lower back and rump white ; upper tail-coverts barred black and white; tail ashy brown, incompletely barred with white and dark brown on both edges; lower plumage white ; fore neck, sides of neck, and upper breast indistinctly spotted and mottled with brown, and flanks tinged with dusky and barred.
Young birds have more white edges and spots on the upper parts, and the lower parts are broadly barred with dull brown.
In summer the whole plumage becomes partly by a moult, partly by change of colour, dusky, and white spots appear on the edges of the blackish back-feathers ; the head, neck, and lower parts are dark sooty-grey.
Bill very dark brown; basal half of lower mandible dusky red; irides brown; legs and feet orange-red (Oates). Legs dark red in breeding-plumage.
Length 13; tail 2.5 ; wing 6.75 ; tarsus 2.3; bill from gape 2.5.
Distribution. The Spotted Redshank breeds north of the Arctic circle in Europe and Asia, and in winter migrates to the countries around the Mediterranean and to Southern Asia. It is common from September till May in well-watered parts of Northern India; rare in Southern India, Ceylon, and Burma.
Habits, &c. This bird occurs singly or in flocks, sometimes large, about marshes, tanks, and rivers, wading in shallow open water. It swims well. Before leaving India it assumes the breeding-plumage.