Anthus sordidus Rupp., Neue Wirb., Aves, p. 103 (1835) (Abyssinia).
The typical African form A. s. sordidus differs from all our Indian forms in its more smoky, less fulvous, tint of plumage.
Key to Subspecies.
A. Above general appearance dark brown, the broad central streaks to the feathers
dominating…………A. s. similis, p. 285.
B. Above lighter brown, the darker centres not so definite or so dark…………A. s, jerdoni, p. 286.
C. Above paler grey ground, the dark centres to the feathers obsolete…………A. s. decaptus, p. 287.
In his Illustrations of Indian Ornithology ' Jerdon has figured and satisfactorily described the form of Anthus sordidus found breeding in South India under the name of Anthus similis; and the fact that he confused the two forms of sordidus found in Northern and Southern India with one another cannot invalidate his name. Again, his first, description, as given in the ' Madras Journal of Literature and Science certainly agrees better with the Southern than the Northern form. Oates's name cockburniae must therefore he discarded.
The bird Jerdon figures and his description both apply to it typical Nilgiri bird and the fact that he says he previously obtained the same bird at Jalna in the Northern Deccan does not make Jalna the type-locality. There is, however, no reason why this race should not have been found in Jalna in Winter, for although there is no specimen from Jalna, there are other specimens from Ahmadabad in the British Museum Collection.