صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

additional recent females which completely satisfy me of their identity. That described as T. unicolor, I now infer to be a very old female; and think it probable that old males, with rufous sides (as describep under T. dissimilis) would also assume the more ashen hue of the upper-parts, and the spotless ashy of the throat and breast: but, in such case, the variation this Thrush would exhibit is most remarkable.

Sitta europæa, and S. affinis, XV, 288. Mr. Strickland informs me, that the bird sent as S. europea from Norway, is the S. asiatica, v. uralensis, auctorum, found in Siberia and the Ural, but never yet recorded from Norway, where, according to all my authorities, the true S. europaea, with the lower-parts fully as rufous as in Hodgson's nipalensis, is alone found." This latter species is distingiushed from S. europea by its much smaller size, &c., as mentioned in a note to XV, 289, and by a character which I did not then notice, (from an imperfection of the specimens at that time before me,) viz. that the two middle tail-feathers have, constantly, their basal half white, except on the longitudinal outer half of their exterior web.

Totanus solitarius, Vieillot, XIII, 389. This, according to Mr. Strickland, is identical with Scolopax melanoleuca, Gm., and Sc. vocifera, Wilson.

[ocr errors]

P. S. No. 2. In the Calcutta Journal of Natural History,' No. 28, p. 560, it is remarked that the Palæornis nigrirostris of the Catalogue of Nepalese birds, is "asserted to be the young merely of P. pondicerianus vel mystaceus ;" and its distinctness as a species is there argued. The latter, however, is not the case. I have long since ascertained the black-billed bird to be the female of P. pondicerianus; though occasionally, but rarely, females of this species will have a little red on the upper mandible, more or less. The same sexual diversity occurs in other species of Palæornis, as in P. caniceps and P. erythrogenys recently described from the Nicobar Islands, in P. columboides of the Neilgherries (the female of which is P. melanorhynchus of Sykes), and seemingly in P. bitorquatus of the Isle of France. The fine series of P. pondicerianus set up in the Society's Museum exhibits this fact most convincingly. The young female of P. pondicerianus was not long ago named P. modestus by Mr. Fraser (in Proc. Zool. Soc. 1845, p. 16).

The same correspondent asks--" Why was the publication of the 'Catalogue of Nepalese Birds' discontinued after about a tithe only had been given?" To this I think it will be sufficient to reply, that every one of the novelties contained in that catalogue has now been

published by me, excepting only such names as there were no specimens to answer to; of which a very few only occurred.

A collection of birds from Afghanistan and the Deyra Doon, just received on loan from Capt. Hutton, affords the following novelties, which I proceed to describe out of hand.

Malacocercus Iluttoni, nobis. Merely differs from M. caudatus in its larger size, and the general paler hue of its upper parts. Length of wing 3 in., and of middle tail-feathers above 5 in. From Candahar. Carpodacus crassirostris, nobis. Length about 5 in., of wing 33 in., and tail 13 in. Bill highly Pyrrhuline, resembling that of Hæmatorpiza (XIII, 950). General colour earthy grey-brown above, faintly tinged with crimson on the tips of the feathers; the under-parts, cheeks, forehead, rump and upper tail-coverts, conspicuously crimson-tipped; and the alars and greater wing-coverts and rectrices except towards the tip, margined with deep crimson. Bill apparently yellow; and legs pale. From Afghanistan.

Emberiza? aurifrons, nobis. A true Bunting, but with bill of peculiar form, much resembling that of Passer arcuatus, (Tem.), of South Africa. Length 51 in., of wing 3 in., and tail 21 in.; its medial feathers in. shorter. Forehead and vertex bright golden-saffron, much as in Catamblyrhynchus diadema, (Lafr.), figured by Mr. G. R. Gray; occiput, cheeks, throat and fore-neck, black, passing to dusky on the nape and sides of the neck; back dusky, with yellowish lateral margins to the feathers; the rump towards the tail deep canary-yellow, shoulder of the wing golden fulvous-yellow, and margins of the remiges and rectrices saffron-yellow; under tail-coverts pale canary-yellow, and rest of the lower parts albescent tinged with yellow, with a dusky central streak to each feather, and those of the breast dusky with yellow margins; axillaries pure white; a pale bar on the wing; and the bill and feet dark. From the north-west Himalaya.

Melanocorypha torquata, nobis. Afghanistan Lark, XIII, 962. Nearly allied to M. calandra, from which it differs in its smaller size, and general paler hue; the black of the sides of the breast meeting across. Length of wing 44 in., and of tail 24 in. ; tarse under 1 in. The exterior web of the outermost tail-feather is not white, as in M. calandra.

Notes, chiefly Geological, from Gooty to Hydrabad, South India, comprising a brief notice of the old Diamond Pits at Dhone, by Capt. NEWBOLD.

From the granite rock of Gooty northerly, to about a mile or two beyond Piapully, granite is the prevalent rock.

The pebbles of a small stream running at the foot of the granite hill of Piapully, I found encrusted with carbonate of soda, and had the appearance of having been snowed upon. Reddish felspar is the prevailing mineral in the granite,-associated with chlorite, and actynolite, as at Gooty.

Beyond Piapully, which is 12 miles from Gooty, pebbles of sand-stone and pudding-stone, quartz and chert, some of them angular and little worn, indicate the proximity of an aqueous deposit, which is shortly afterwards seen in situ, as a bed of pudding-stone capping the summit of a rugged hill sloping southerly, and again sweeping up, saddle shape. On the opposite side into a steep crag of granite scattered blocks of basaltic green-stone are seen in this vicinity; and the subsoil is often a bed of kunker.

From the granite limits to Kurnool.-From this locality to within a few miles south of the Tumbuddra, a range of hills having an average apparent height of 250 feet, the level and peculiar contour of which distinctly informs us of their nature,-continues flanking the right, or east, of the Kurnool at irregular distances of 2 or 3 miles, but now and then throwing promontory-like bluffs to the westward. These hills are of sand-stone, dipping slightly towards the east; and the rocks in the plain at their base granite, gneiss and hornblende schist. The sand-stone caps the granite, which is seen at several points along the range, forming the base and about three fourths of the height of some hills, as in the vicinity of Dhone and Ramulacota, on which rests a thick bed of sand-stone. The lower layers next the granite are often of pudding-stone, or conglomerate. The imbedded rocks are almost entirely pebbles of white and rust-stained quartz, much rounded, from the size of a filbert to that of a man's head. A few pebbles of trap, hornblende, tough actinolitic green felspar, and flinty slate, the very hardest portions of hypogene and granitic rocks,

are occasionally seen; but I did not observe a fragment of the ordinary mass of granite or gneiss.

In shooting and other excursions among these hills across the N. and S. strike of the strata, I observed to the eastward the ordinary blue lime-stone of Cuddapah resting conformably on this sand-stone, and beds of a more recent sand-stone and conglomerate capping the lime-stone. This is the celebrated diamond conglomerate of Banaganpilly. That it is of more recent origin than the lime-stone and subjacent sand-stone, is proved by superposition, and by its imbedding fragments of chert derived from veins in the lime-stone.

These chert pebbles are recognized, not only by mineral identity, but by their imbedding the oolitic looking globules which are seen in myriads in the lime-stone cherts and jaspers.

I am not aware that the difference in the age of these two sand-stone beds has been before noticed, or that the existence of an older sandstone formation underlying the Cuddapah lime-stone and the diamond conglomerate, has hitherto been pointed out either by Malcolmson, Voysey, or other writers on the geology of South India. I found sulphate of barytes in fine crystals in the lime-stone; and beds of a fine steatite, (occasionally passing into French chalk,) which are quarried and the steatite exported to Madras, and other places. It is cut into pencils and extensively used by the natives for writing accounts, &c. in their black books of prepared cloth, and also for smoothing chunam.

Along the base of the hills half a mile N. E. of Dhone, the ground for half a mile is covered with old diamond excavations in a bed of sand-stone gravel, now covered with rubbish and bushes. North of this 10 or 12 miles are the diamond mines of Ramulacota before described.*

The diamond pits of Dhone have not been worked within the memory of the oldest man of the village; but he says his forefathers dug there with what success is uncertain. Their being neglected may be perhaps received as a negative proof of their unproductiveness, or of having been exhausted.

Slightly thermal and perennial springs, and dykes of basaltic greenstone posterior to the sand-stones and limestone formation, which they penetrate and alter, are of frequent occurrence throughout the diamond

* Journal Royal Asiatic Society, 1843, p. 231.

area; as well as saline incrustations of carbonate and muriate of soda, both on the banks of the rivulets, and on the surface of the granitebased plains on the western flank of these hills.

The dykes of basaltic green-stone are occasionally seen traversing the granite and hypogene schists of the plain, like a black wall, and burying themselves in the sand-stone and lime-stone range to the eastward. An instance of this is observed about 4 miles S. of Dhone at the boundary pass. This dyke is in some places 150 feet high and 200 broad. Its course can be traced for miles.

The hill of Yeldoorty (22 miles S. from Kurnool) is of a poor ferruginous quartz rock veined with white quartz, the rocks in the plain, at its base, are granite and gneiss, with reddish felspar, penetrated by trap dykes.

At Woolundarconda (144 miles S. of Kurnool), the granite rises in small, but picturesque tors and logging stones. Here the sand-stone range approaches the road. A little further N. massive hornblende schist is seen in weathered and apparently waterworn masses.

The range terminates in the bluff whale-backed, sand stone hill of Juggernauth, about 3 miles south of Kurnool, whence the blue limestone and its associated shales base the plain to the banks of the Tumbuddra and Hendri at Kurnool,-the hypogene schists occasionally showing themselves. Here regur is the prevailing surface. From Gooty to Taikoor reddish sandy alluvial soil is much blended with it.

From Kurnool to Paugtoor.-After crossing the Rajghat ferry over the Tumbuddra, the tongue of land (here 16 miles broad), which lies between it and the Kistnah, is traversed; like most others trips of land similarly placed, its surface is slightly convex,-rising gently towards the centre from the beds of the rivers which flank it. It is for the most part covered with regur, occasionally mixed with alluvium, based on the blue lime-stone of Cuddapah,-a bed of kunker often intervening. This soil is often 15 feet thick.

The wells naturally deepen towards the centre. One is 61 feet deep. The lime-stone is rarely seen above the surface; the dip appears to be quâquâ versal in some low mammiform elevations; in other localities it is nearly horizontal, or dipping at an angle of 5° towards the


« السابقةمتابعة »