Large pipit with strong facial pattern. Nominate race has dark brown lores, contrasting creamy supercilium and lower eyelid (giving spectacled appearance), brown ear-coverts; forehead whitish, crown, head side and upperparts blackish-brown, buff olive-brown feather edgings giving streaked appearance, rump plainer olive-brown to buff; wing feathers dark brown, edged buffish olive-brown; tail dark brown, edged grey, T5 tipped white, T6 brownish-white to buff; throat to upper breast white to pale buff, rest of underparts buff or pale brown, blackish-brown stripe or patch on side of throat and lower neck; iris dark brown; bill lack; legs dark horn or pinkish. Sexes alike. Juvenile has blackish-brown streaks below. Race rhododendri is slightly smaller than nominate, and has greener upperparts and darker underparts; wollastoni has somewhat brighter plumage, but black at side of throat reduced to broken streaks of absent.