701. Oreocincla mollissima.
The Plain-backed Mountain-Thrush.
Turdus mollissimus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xi, p. 188 (1842). Oreocincla mollissima (Blyth), Blyth, Cat. p. 160 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 193; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 533; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 36; Hume, Cat. no. 370; id. S. F. xi, p. 132; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 108. Geocichla mollissima (Blyth), Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v. p. 159.
Phanaiok-kiok-pho, Lepch.; Teliakanrim, Bhut.
Coloration. The whole upper plumage rich olive-brown; wings dark brown, the feathers all broadly edged with olive-brown, the median and greater coverts very narrowly and indistinctly tipped with fulvous; the four middle tail-feathers olive-brown, the next three pairs blackish faintly tipped with white, the outermost pair black on the basal two thirds of the inner web, olive-brown elsewhere and tipped with white ; a ring of fulvous feathers round the eye; sides of the head mingled black and fulvous ; chin, throat, breast, and sides of the body ochraceous, each feather with a terminal black band; abdomen white, with similar bands; under tail-coverts greenish brown streaked with white; axillaries white broadly tipped with black ; under wing-coverts black, broadly tipped with white.
The young after the first autumn moult appear to be tinged with rufous, and to have the spots on the wing-coverts larger than in the adult.
Legs and feet yellowish fleshy; claws horny brown ; bill dull black; base of lower mandible pale fleshy brown; iris deep brown (Hume).
Length about 11; tail 3.8 to 4.2; wing 5.5 to 6; tarsus 1.4 ; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. I have examined specimens of this Thrush from numerous localities in the Himalayas from Chamba to Darjiling, and from no other part. Godwin-Austen records it from the Khasi hills, and Hume is under the impression that he recognized this species in Manipur, but he was unable to secure a specimen.
This Thrush ascends the Himalayas up to 6000 or 8000 feet in summer, and probably descends to the lower valleys in winter.
Habits, &c. The eggs of this species are described as being white marked with two shades of red, and measuring about 1.35 by .88.