12. KESSLER’S THRUSH.
Turdus kessleri, Prjev. Mong. i Strana Tangut. p. 62, pl. x. (1876) ; id. in. Rowley’s Orn. Misc. ii. p. 198, pl. liv ; (Seebohm), Cat. B. Br. Mus. V. p. 261 ; Pleske, Prjevalsky’s Reisen, Vogel, ii. p. 21, Taf. v. fig. 2,. (eggs).
Male ad. (Kansu). Head, neck, wings, and tail blackish ; back and lower breast buff ; scapulars, rump, flanks, and abdomen chestnut red ; under wing-coverts buffy white with brown tips ; bill yellow ; legs brown. Culmen 1.0, wing 6.0, tail 4.6, tarsus 1.4 inch. In the female the head, neck, wings, and tail are sooty grey, the latter tinged with brown ; upper parts brownish grey, rump washed with rusty ochreous ; abdomen and flanks brighter rusty ochreous ; bill horn-coloured at the base, yellowish at the tip. The nestling male has the crown, nape, hind-neck, and ear-coverts blackish brown, the hind-neck slightly spotted with buffy white ; back and scapulars ashy grey at base, then blackish with a sub-terminal buffy white band ; rump paler ; upper tail-coverts blackish grey with whitish shaft stripes and tips ; under parts dull brownish yellow, irregularly banded ; breast and moustache distinctly spotted ; sides of neck spotted with blackish ; flanks marked with chestnut ; upper wing-coverts black, the lesser broadly, the median narrowly margined with reddish yellow, the former having also reddish yellow stripes ; wings and tail blackish. The female nestling is much paler and the bars are finer and closer.
Hab. Kansu, the Upper Chuanche, and southern Koko-nor mountains.
It inhabits woods both deciduous and conifer in the moun¬tains, bushes in the alpine districts, and juniper thickets in the lower alpine region, occurring up to an altitude of 12,000 feet. In spring and autumn it is seldom seen in pairs but in flocks of three to ten individuals. Fledged young were seen in July and family parties in August. In habits it resembling Turdus gouldi, and is an equally good songster ; its song resembles that of the Song Thrush. Its call note resembles the syllables tschok, tschok, tschok. Two nests taken by Prjevalsky in the Southern Koko-nor Mountains on the 26th of May, contained 8 and 4 fresh eggs, and were placed in rocks under a protruding stone, one about seven and the other about four¬teen feet above the dry bed of a stream, and placed where they were easily seen. One was built entirely of grass-bents and the other of grass-bents lined with hair, and feathers of Perdix sifanica. The eggs resembled those of the Fieldfare but several were so closely spotted that the ground colour was scarcely visible. In size they varied from 33 by 23 to 31.6 by 22.25 millimetres (1.30 by 0.91 to 1.23 by 0.88 inch). Both male and female took their share in incubating.
12. Turdus kessleri
12. KESSLER’S THRUSH.