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Bird ID help needed: those darn larks!


janzin
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So I have two larks from Blackbuck National Park which I am unsure of. In my checklist I have both Greater-short-toed Lark and Syke's Short-toed Lark checked off for this date, but I'm not sure which is which or if one of these is even something else entirely.

 

Help appreciated! Maybe @Galana  @Dave Williams @Soukous can sort it out?

 

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Oh Boy. I wish I could count myself as any kind of authority on Indian Larks.

I am not convinced that they are the same species but...

 

If it was a straight choice between the 2 species you mentioned, I would have to plump for the Greater Short Toed Lark. The markings on the cheek and throat look wrong for a Syke's Lark. 

The lighting in the photos is sufficiently different as to make the plumage appear to be almost a different colour, so it is hard to be sure but neither of them appear to have rufous tail feathers. 

The lower bird does have a definite crest, but I can't see one on the upper bird. That would fit better with the Syke's Lark, but the plumage doesn't look right; the facial markings look more like a Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Bottom line @janzin  - I wish I could be more help, but I'm flattered that you consider me capable of such a task. 

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35 minutes ago, Soukous said:

 

Bottom line @janzin  - I wish I could be more help, but I'm flattered that you consider me capable of such a task. 

 

That makes two of us @Soukous!

My knowledge is very limited, Larks are totally confusing , so much so for my Big Year 2017, I largely ignored all my Lark shots  in Namibia on the grounds of confusion. However, if I had to make a (slightly ) educated guess it would be Greater Short Toed for the first, Oriental Skylark for the second. Both are guesses based on the basis of location as well as appearance. Having tried to find the answer in my guide book  I'm hopefully some one like @Galana will come up with the definitive answer. That's how we learn!

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Thanks @Soukous and @Dave Williams  I'm also inclined to go with Greater Short-toed Lark, maybe for both, but the crest on the 2nd image is throwing me.  I have Crested Lark later in the trip--for sure--and it looks very different, with a much more prominent crest. But I suppose that is a possibility!

 

Note that I wasn't suggesting Syke's Lark but Syke's Short-toed Lark, which has recently been split from Greater, but they are pretty hard to tell apart from what I've read. Also neither should really show a crest.

 

It actually doesn't look bad for Oriental Skylark, and I didn't have that on my list.

 

So maybe Crested Lark or Oriental Skylark....?

 

Well hopefully @Galana may shed some light but perhaps he is traveling now...

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You know what...I want back to my original photos--the deleted/unprocessed ones--and found one of bird 2 where the crest is more raised. So actually I do think its a Crested Lark. The facial pattern looks right.

 

I think the Oriental Skylark would have some rufous. The light here is very accurate and there's really no rufous on this bird at all.

 

So that just leaves #1 which for now I will go with as Greater-short Toed, unless someone suggests otherwise.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Yes, Crested actually looks the most likely bet. It was over the page in my book and I missed out on seeing the distribution maps!!!

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just home but very pleased to see that you got there on your own. @janzin

Edited by Galana
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I have given my Grimmett and Innskip to my guide but would have gone for Crested on #2. And GST for #1.

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welcome back @Galana I'm glad that you are in agreement with my conclusions :)

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