2151. Glottis guttifer

(2151) Glottis guttifer.


Totanus guttifer Nordman, Reise u. d. Erde (Erman) Natur. Atlas, p. 17 (1835) (Okhotsch); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 267.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. - Breeding plumage. " Differs from the Winter plumage in being blacker above and being spotted below with black; the crown blackish streaked with whitish edges to the feathers; the feathers of the back black, with spots of white to the edges of the feathers, more distinct on the scapulars and inner secondaries; upper tail-coverts and centre tail-feathers with slight indications of black spots; sides of face and sides of neck white, with triangular spots of black, larger on the latter; the ear-coverts slightly ashy-grey with obscure dusky streaks; under surface of body pure white, with a few small spots or streaks of black, irregularly scattered over the throat and breast, larger and more thickly distributed over the sides of the upper breast, and scarcely visible on the flanks; under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white " (Mus. Henry Seehohm).

Colours of soft parts. " Bill dusky, tipped black, yellow near the base; irides dark brown; legs and feet dull ochreous-yellow or greenish-ochreous " (Armstrong).

Measurements. Wing, 178 mm., 174 to 181 mm.; tail 62 to 67 mm.; tarsus 45 to 47 mm.; culmen 50 to 57 mm.

In Winter the whole mantle is ashy-grey, each feather with dark shafts and whitish edges, much less conspicuous than in the preceding bird, and the white very soon abraded and obsolete; the forehead, lores and sides of the head are white, the two latter distinctly spotted with black; crown and hind-neck ashy, the feathers white-edged and dark-shafted, the sides of the neck spotted with blackish; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts white, the latter laterally barred with brown; tail white, with light brown contour marks ; wings as in Glottis nebularia, underparts pure white, the neck slightly spotted with dark brown ; axillaries pure white.

Young birds resemble those of the Greenshank and are much more brown above than the adult, the feathers spotted and notched with buff; the throat and upper breast streaked and mottled with brown.

Distribution. Apparently breeding in North-East Siberia and wandering South to North-East India, Burma and Hainan in Winter. Whether it breeds regularly or not in Tibet is not known. Eggs were taken by Steen in 1910 which he attributed to the Greenshank but which are exactly like an egg sent me with remains of a skin of Armstrong's Sandpiper, so that it is certainly a casual breeder in that country.

Nidification. Nothing recorded. The eggs referred to in the preceding paragraph were taken near Gyantse at an elevation of some 15,000 feet on the 16th of May and the 3rd of June, whilst that sent me with the skin was taken on the 29th of May. They are exactly like Greenshanks' eggs but, as one would expect, much smaller. Six eggs average 47.9 x 33.0 mm.: maxima 49.2 x 36.6 mm. and minima 46.4 x 34.3 and 47.4 x 31.5 mm.

Habits. Very little known beyond the fact that they are said to frequent sand-banks and mud-flats near the sea in company with other Waders.

* Totanus glottoides Vigors, P. Z. S., 1831, pl.173 (Himalayas, India.)

There is no specimen in the British Museum in breeding-plumage and this description is copied from the Catalogue of Birds, xxiv, p. 480, which is apparently copied from one of Seebohmi descriptions.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.6 1929.
Title in Book: 
2151. Glottis guttifer
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Armstrongs Sandpiper
Nordmann's Greenshank
Tringa guttifer
Vol. 6
Term name: 

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