1463. Totanus stagnatilis.
The Marsh Sandpiper or Little Greenshank.
Totanus stagnatilis, Bechst. Orn. Taschenb. pt. 2, p. 292, pl. (1803); Blyth, Cat. p. 266; Irby, Ibis, 1861, p. 239; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 701; Adam, S. F. ii, p. 338 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 155 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 18; v, p. 233; Fairbank, ibid. p. 263; Armstrong, ibid. p. 348; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 463 ; Davidson & Wenden, S. F. vii, p. 89; Hume, ibid. p. 488; id. Cat. no. 895; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 844 ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 430; Reid, S. F. x, p. 71 ; Davidson, ibid. p. 321; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 403 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 359; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 325; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 357; Sharpe, Cat,. B. M. xxiv, p. 422.
Chota gotra, Beng.
Coloration in winter. Forehead, lores, cheeks, and whole lower plumage, including axillaries, also lower back and rump, white; sides of head behind eye and of neck streaked with brown; crown and hind neck greyish brown, with darker centres to feathers; upper back, scapulars, and tertiaries brown, with dark shafts and narrow whitish edges ; wing-coverts and primaries darker brown ; secondaries less dark; greater coverts, secondaries, and later primaries with narrow white edges ; inner edges of quills mottled with white; upper tail-coverts white, with a few brown bars; tail-feathers white, middle pair and outer webs of others tinged with ashy brown, and all more or less irregularly barred with darker brown; the bars disappearing in older birds.
In summer the feathers of the upper parts have marked dark centres, which form conspicuous angulate spots on the back and " herring-bone " markings on the tertiaries ; the general colour of the upper parts is sandy grey ; the fore neck and upper breast are spotted with brown, and the flanks irregularly barred.
Bill dark brown, greenish at the base beneath; irides hazel-brown ; legs and feet bluish green (Legge).
Length 10 ; tail 2.3 ; wing 5.5 ; tarsus 2; bill from gape 1.7.
Distribution. The breeding area of this species extends from South-eastern Prance, through South Russia and Central Asia, to Southern Siberia. In winter T. stagnatilis ranges throughout Africa, Southern Asia, the Malay Archipelago, and Australia. It is locally distributed in India and Burma at that season, but is abundant in Ceylon.
Habits, &c. The Marsh Sandpiper, as its name implies, is rather a bird of inland marshes and freshwater pools than of the mudflats and sandbanks of estuaries and the sea-coast, though it is found in all. It is generally met with in small flocks, sometimes singly, and is an active, vivacious, noisy little bird.