"Sand Lark" can also be an alias for the common sandpiper.
The Sand Lark, also known as India Short-toed Lark or Indian Sand Lark (Calandrella raytal), is a small passerine bird in the lark (Alaudidae) family, largely resident in the river valleys of South Asia from Pakistan through sub-Himalayan India to Bangladesh. It is somewhat similar, but smaller than, the Short-toed Lark.
It is found east of Jammu of India-occupied Kashmir, through into Hindustan Haryana, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal terai and plains, Bihar, northern West Bengal, Bhutan foothills, Brahmaputra valley in Assam, and in Bangladesh, extending into Myanmar along the rivers such as the lower Irrawady and Chindwin. Also Madhya Pradesh south to Hoshangabad and Mhow.
Slightly smaller than the sparrow (ca. 13cm), the Sand Lark is greyish sandy, with dark brown streaks, from above, while the belly is white, sparsely and indistinctly dark-streaked on the sides. Supercilium and cheeks are white. Shortish black and white tail. Sexes alike.
Keeps singly or in scattered twos or threes; in non-breeding season in small flocks of up to 20 or 30. Runs about feeding on bare sandy flats in the characteristic zigzag jerky spurts of the family.
In breeding season, the male has a distinctive song flight. Soaring aloft about 30m it flies about with intermittent series of wing flaps and pauses while singing, finally shooting down vertically with closed wings and flattening out while a metre or so from the ground before alighting on a clod or stone.
Weed seeds and insects.
- Season: February to May.
- Nest: A cup like depression in the ground at the base of a shrub, lined with grass, hair, etc.
- Eggs: 3, sometimes 2. Yellowish or greyish white, freckled with brown.
Both sexes share domestic chores.