680. Merula obscura.
The Dark Ouzel.
Turdus obscurus, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 816; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 251; Hume, Cat. no. 369 bis; id. S. F. xi, p. 130. Turdus pallens, Pall. Zoogr. Rosso-Asiat. i, p. 457 (1811). Turdus rufulus, Drap. Diet. Class. d'Hist. Nat. x, p. 443 (1826); Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 401. Turdus modestus, Eyton, P. Z. S. 1839, p. 103. Turdus javanicus ? Horsf, Blyth, Cat. p. 101. Geocichla dissimilis (Blyth), Scully, S. F. viii, p. 284, Merula obscura (Gm.), Seebohm, Cat B. M. v, p. 273 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 1. Geocichla unicolor (Tick.), apud Butler, S. F. ix, p. 399.
Coloration. Male. Upper plumage olive-brown; the forehead, crown, and nape in old birds tinged with ashy; lores black ; a broad white supercilium from the lores to the nape ; chin, a patch at base of bill, and under the eye white ; ear-coverts and the whole throat dark slaty brown; breast and sides of the body chestnut-brown; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts white, the last basally margined with brown; wings and tail brown, suffused with olive on the outer webs ; axillaries and under wing-coverts slaty grey.
Female. Resembles the male in general coloration, but has the crown always of the same colour as the upper plumage; the lores and ear-coverts pale, the latter with whitish shafts; the middle of the chin and throat white with a few minute brown streaks.
Iris olive-brown; eyelids greenish; upper mandible dark brown ; lower mandible and gape yellow; inside of mouth yellow; legs yellowish brown ; claws horn-colour.
Length nearly 9; tail 3.5; wing 4.8; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. A winter visitor, more or less abundant, to the whole of Burma, the Andamans, Manipur, Shillong, Sikhim, and Nepal. An occasional straggler visits the plains of India, and in the Hume Collection there is a specimen procured at Belgaum in March. In the winter this species extends to China and to the Malay peninsula and islands, and it summers in Siberia.