868. Alaudula persica.
Alauda pispoletta, Pall., Hume, Ibis, 1870, p. 531. Alaudula pispoletta (Pall.), Hume, S. F. vii, p. 528; id. Cat. no. 762 bis. Alaudula persica, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 590 (1890).
Coloration. Upper plumage sandy fulvous, each feather with a narrow dark brown shaft-streak ; wings dark brown margined with sandy fulvous ; middle pair of tail-feathers brown broadly margined with fulvous ; the next three pairs dark brown with narrow margins ; the penultimate dark brown on the inner web, white on the outer ; the outermost feather white, with the inner half of the inner web black; lores, supercilium, and sides of the head pale buff; lower plumage fulvous white, rather darker on the breast and flanks; breast distinctly streaked with brown ; flanks indistinctly streaked ; the cheeks frequently streaked with brown.
The colours of the soft parts of this Lark do not appear to have been recorded.
Length about 6; tail 2.6; wing 4 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .5 ; bill from forehead to tip .4.
Sharpe has quite properly bestowed a name on this hitherto unnoticed and well-defined species, but in doing so he has selected a Persian example as his type, a bird collected by Blanford at Niriz in Persia. The Larks of this type found in India, although agreeing with this Persian bird in general size, structure, and coloration, differ from it immensely in the size of the bill. The former have the culmen measuring .4 and the latter .6. Having seen only one Persian bird I do not wish to insist too much upon this difference in size of bill, otherwise I should be disposed to keep the Indian birds distinct.
Distribution. The Punjab, extending west through Afghanistan to Persia. This species is probably only a winter visitor to the plains of the Punjab.
* A. adamsi is said to be larger than A. raytal, but a series of measurements of both taken by me has convinced me that the contrary is the case.