(1214) Alauda gulgula guttata.
The Kashmir Sky-Lark.
Alauda guttata Brooks, J. A. S. B., xli, p. 84 (1872) (Kashmir). Alauda gulgula. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 326 (part).
Vernacular names. Bhurut (Hind.).
Description. This form is very close to A. a. inopinata in colour but has the upper plumage a little darker and more rufous ; the lower plumage is also a little more fulvous and the streaks on the breast broader and more conspicuous; the pale portions of the tail are rufescent, not pure white.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements, Wing 89 to 106 mm.: tail 59 to 64 mm.; tarsus 21 to 23 mm.; culmen 11 to 13 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in the Himalayas from, but not including, Afghanistan and Gilgit, throughout Kashmir, Garhwal and Kuman. It was also procured by Mandelli in Sikkim.
Nidification. The Kashmir Sky-Lark breeds from early May to July from about 5,000 feet up to at least 14,000 feet. It breeds both on the plateaus which are covered with grass, long or short and in cultivated country, especially in wheat fields. Its nest is like that of others of the genus and generally very well concealed. The eggs number three or four, very rarely live and vary greatly in appearance. The majority are large, rather handsome eggs with a distinct gloss and a hard strong-texture similar to that of the English Sky-Lark. Others are much smaller, have no gloss and the general character is speckled or freckled, exactly like the eggs of the smaller plains' races. It may be that these eggs are those of A. g. gulgula, which race does penetrate into the lower hills and breeds below 5,000 or 6,000 feet. All Whymper's tine series from Garhwal taken at over 10,000 feet are of the large, boldly blotched type as are those of Osmaston and others from Leh, Ladakh and the higher mountains of Kashmir. One hundred eggs average 22.5 x 16.8 mm.: maxima 24.3 X 18.4 mm.; minima 20.7 X 15.4 mm.
Habits. The Kashmir Sky-Lark is to some extent a resident bird, a certain number being found all the year round up to some 9,000 or 10,000 feet but the majority move to lower elevations in Winter and at that season many are found in large flocks in the plains of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, while it. extends in smaller numbers as far East as Oudh. In Summer ir is found up to 15,000 and as low as 5,000 feet but many of its reported occurrences at the lower elevations are probably referable to A. g. gulgula. In its habits generally it differs in no way from other Sky-Larks and in song and flight is said to be but little inferior to the English Sky-Lark and much superior to the plains-dwelling forms.