The Long-billed Ringed Plover.
Charadrius placidus, Gray, Cat. Mam. &c. Coll, Hodgs. 2nd ed. p. 70 (1863); Hurting, Ibis, 1873, p. 326; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 133. Aegialitis hiaticula, apud Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 165, nec Linn. Eudromias tenuirostris, Hume, S. F. i, pp. 17, 417, 495 ; Blanf. Ibis, 1873, p. 217. Aegialitis placida, Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 455; Hume, Cat. no. 848 bis; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 351; Hume Inglis, S. F. ix, p. 258; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 314; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 262.
This species resembles the last two, but is larger than either, and has a much larger bill. The whole forehead is white, lores (in winter) brown, and some brown is intermixed with the black of the collar; the shafts of all primaries are brown, even of the first primary; only a small portion near the end is lighter in colour in some skins, not as a rule.
Bill black, extreme base of lower mandible yellow; irides dark brown, margin of eyelids yellow; feet yellow (Scully).
Length 8.75 ; tail 3 ; wing 5.5 ; tarsus 1.3 ; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. Eastern Asia : Manchuria, Corea, Japan, China, and North-eastern India. Specimens have been obtained from time to time in Nepal, Sikhim, Bhutan, Assam, and Cachar.
Habits, &c. This is probably a migratory bird, and visits India in the winter only. It has been met with in river-beds.
In June, 1839 or 1840, Jerdon obtained at the edge of the Pulicat Lake, near Madras, a Plover which he described as Charadrius russatus (Madr. Jour. L. S. xii, p. 213). This was subsequently identified by Blyth with the Australian AE. nigrifrons, Cuv. (AE. melanops, Vieill.), and the skin is probably still in the Museum at Calcutta. No specimen has ever since been found in India, and the species was omitted by Jerdon from the ' Birds of India,' a circumstance not improbably clue to his suspecting that some mistake had been made. Blyth (Ibis, 1867, p. 165) called attention to the omission, and the name has been restored by Hume (S. F. vii, p. 438; Cat. no. 850 bis). I cannot but regard the occurrence of the specimen in India as fortuitous, and I do not think the species should be included in the list of Indian birds.
AE. melanops may be recognized by its deep claret-red scapulars, by its having the forehead and middle of the sinciput, the lores, and a broad band from them extending round the back of the neck all black, and also a broad pectoral gorget with a pointed extension backwards. Length 5.8 ; tail 2.1 ; wing 4.3 ; tarsus 1.