170. GREAT REED-WARBLER.
Aerocephalus arundinaceus, (Linn.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 296 (1766) ; (Hewitson), i. p. 122, pl. xxxii. figs. 3,4 ; Newton, i. p. 361 ; Dresser, ii. p. 579, pl. 88 ; A. turdoides, (Meyer), Vog. Liv. and Esthl. p. 116 (1815) ; (Naumann), iii. p. 597, Taf. 81, fig. 1 ; (Gould), B. of E. pl. 106 ; (id.) B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 72 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus v. p. 95 ; Saunders, p. 83 ; Lilford, iii. p. 34, pl. 17.
Rousserolle, French ; Rouxinol dos paus, Portug. ; Carrisalero, Span. ; Cannaseccione, Ital. ; Karakiet, Rietlijster, Dutch.
Male ad. (S. Russia). Upper parts dull light brown tinged with warm rufescent olivaceous ; quills and tail brown, the former with lighter margins ; an indistinct dull white supercilium ; under parts white, the underwing and tail-coverts and flanks washed with pale warm fawn-colour ; a few indistinct striae on the throat ; bill brown, the lower mandible yellowish at the base ; legs light brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.78, wing 3.85, tail 3.15, tarsus 1.2 inch ; first primary small, much shorter than the coverts, 2nd and 3rd equal and longest. Female similar, the young have the upper parts tinged with rusty ochreous, the supercilium warm fawn-buff, and the underparts excepting the chin and upper throat, warm rusty fawn. In the winter the under parts of the adult are much more fulvous in tinge.
Hab. Central and southern Europe, as far north, though rarely, as Great Britain, and southern Sweden ; south to North Africa and east to Palestine, Asia Minor, Persia, Turkestan, and Afghanistan, wintering in Africa south to the Transvaal.
Frequents damp marshy localities and dense reed-beds, where it creeps about amongst the aquatic herbage with ease Its flight is jerky and feeble, and it is very shy and averse to take wing. Its call-note is a harsh tschak or tack and a deep tscharr, and its song though loud and not unmelodious is not of a high order, and is generally uttered from a high reed or some exposed position. It feeds chiefly on insects and in autumn to some extent on berries. Its nest is like that of the Reed- Warbler, but larger, and is attached to several stems of rushes, or reeds near the water. The eggs which are deposited in May or June, usually 4 or 5 in number, are pale blue green marked with purplish grey shell-blotches, and dark brown surface-spots, and average 0.9 by 0.75 in size.
170. Acrocephalus arundinaceus
170. GREAT REED-WARBLER.