(1192) Anthus sordidus decaptus.
The Persian Bock-Pipit.
Anthus sordidus decaptus Meinertz.. Bull. B. O. C., xli, p. 23 (1920) (East Persia). Anthus similis, Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 306 (part).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Much paler both above and below than the Brown Bock-Pipit, more an ashy grey-brown above and less fulvous below ; the markings on the sides of the throat and on the breast are much fainter and paler.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 95 to 102 mm.; tail 85 to 90 mm.; tarsus 27 to 28 mm.; culmen about 13 to 14 mm.
Distribution. Persia, Afghani-tan, Baluchistan, Sind. In Winter apparently wandering a good deal as there are in the British Museum specimens collected in Deesa, Khandesh and Ajmere. This form differs from A.s.captus merely in being a little smaller.
Nidification. Breeds from April to June on the Afghan and Baluchistan border and is especially common round Querta, where Betham took many nests containing two to five eggs. The nest, of the usual type, seems nearly always to be placed under a bush or tuft of rank weeds or grass, less often under a rock, although the sites selected are generally very rocky and bare with but scant vegetation. The eggs are like others of the species and thirty average 23.3 X 16.8 mm.: maxima 25.0 x l7.2 and 24.9 x 17.4 mm.; minima 21.5 X 16.4 and 21.9x 15.2 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of the other Bock-Pipits but frequenting much more desert country where the heat is much greater and vegetation, whether wild or cultivated, scanty and restricted to valleys and irrigated patches.