(581) Turdus obscurus obscurus.
The Dark Thrush.
Turdus obscurus Gmel., S. N., i, p. 816 (1789) (Lake Baikal). Merula obscura. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 134.
Vernacular names. Daokat gashim (Cachari).
Description.— Adult male. Whole upper plumage, sides of head and neck, wing-coverts and edges of tail and wing-quills olive-brown, tinged with rufous; lores dark brown; a narrow supercilium, a patch under the eye and chin white; throat and fore-neck ashy, sides of head, ear-coverts and sides of neck slaty grey running on to the upper breast; upper breast and flanks pale chestnut; centre of breast and abdomen white; under tail-coverts white, margined with brown; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale slaty grey. The ear-coverts are often pale-shafted.
In old males the forehead, crown and nape are sometimes tinged with ashy.
Colours of soft parts. Iris olive-brown or hazel-brown ; bill horny-brown, the gape and all but tip of lower mandible yellow; legs yellowish horny or light brown to dark fleshy-brown.
Measurements. "Wing 115 to 130 mm.; tail 90 to 91 mm.; tarsus 31 mm.; culmen 18 to 19 mm. Philippine birds are very small, wing 115 to 119 mm. and there are no specimens from elsewhere with a wing less than 120 mm.
Female Similar to the male but with the throat and fore-neck white streaked with dark brown; the head seems to be always concolorous with the back; the lores and ear-coverts are paler and the latter more distinctly streaked with white.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the male.
Young male similar to the female.
Distribution. Breeding in Siberia from the Yenisei to Amur, Kamschatka. In Winter South to China, Indo-Chinese countries. Yunnan, Siam, Burma and Assam. Less regularly it is found as far West as Sikkim and Nepal and a wanderer to Belgaum has been recorded, the specimen now being in the British Museum. In Europe it has been found as far West as Heligoland and South France.
Nidification. The Dark Thrush breeds in the Amur in April, May, and June, making a nest which is said to be very like the untidy nest of the Fieldfare, placed in small trees on branches 18 to 20 feet up. The eggs, four to six in number, are like richly-spotted small eggs of the Blackbird. Thirty-two eggs average 27.16 x 19.62 mm.: the maxima and minima are respectively 30.5 x 20.0 mm.; 26.6 x 21.1 mm. and 23.5 x l7.5 mm.
Habits. A bird of the open forest with a rich, short song and shy Habits. As far as India and Assam is concerned, it seem3 to migrate in flocks, a few individuals accompanying flocks of Turdus ruficollis and Turdus atrogularis but feeding apart from these birds and leaving them as they enter open, cultivated country.