Budytes flava, Lin.
593ter. :- Butler, Deccan; Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 411; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 168.
THE GREY-HEADED FIELD WAGTAIL.
Length, 6 to 6.5 ; wing, 3.25 ; tail, 2.95 ; bill at front, 0.6.
Bill dark-brown ; irides dusky-brown ; legs dark-brown.
Forehead, crown, nape, and sides of the face, bluish-grey; a dark streak from the base of the bill through the eye, a white, supercilium, and another short white stripe below from under the eye ; below the bluish-grey of the face an albescent streak to the chin, which is white; throat, breast, and rest of under surface bright-yellow; neck behind, and back, yellowish-green, tinged brownish; greater and lesser wing-coverts dusky-brown, margined with yellowish-white; primaries, secondaries, and tertiaries, dusky-brown, margined with yellowish-white; tail dark-brown, edged with greenish-yellow, the two outermost feathers white, with a dark-brown margin on their inner webs, broader on the: second, and extending over part of the outer web ; the next narrowly edged with white; upper tail-coverts like the back.
The female has a white supercilium; the head and crown duller, mixed somewhat with greenish later in the year; the chin is white, and the throat a yellowish or buffy-white ; breast and under parts pale-yellow ; back greyish-brown.
The Grey-headed Field Wagtail occurs both in the Deccan and in Sind. It has apparently been overlooked in Guzerat and Rajputana.
They are difficult birds to deal with, and Jerdon did not discriminate the two last species.
The following key by Mr. Brooks will assist greatly in helping collectors to discriminate the three species : :- B. flava. :- Grey head, broad white supercilium, grey and white cheeks.
B. cinereocapilla. :- Dark-grey head, supercilium absent or else very narrow and white ; often only half a supercilium behind the eye ; cheeks a dark slate color or almost black. This dark cheek is the well marked peculiarity of the species.
B. melanocephala. :- Pure black head, with very rarely indeed a supercilium, and then very narrow, like a thin white thread.
The black head is a good distinction.