(799) Acrocephalus dumetorum.
Acrocephalus dumetorum Blyth, J. A. S. 13., xviii, p. 813 (1849) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 359.
Vernacular names. Podena (Hind.); Tik-tikki (Mahomedan); Tikra (Beng.) ; Kumpa-jitta (Tel.).
Description. Above olive-brown tinged with fulvous and with a very taint tinge of russet on the upper tail-coverts; wings and tail brown, the feathers edged with olive-brown; lores dusky; feathers round eyelid buff; a very faint supercilium buff; ear-coverts and sides of neck like the back but paler ; lower plumage pale buff, darker on the flanks, vent and breast.
Colours of soft parts. Iris yellow-brown to dark brown; bill dark horny-brown above, yellow below; legs and feet yellowish horny or fleshy-horny to pale brown.
Measurements. Wing 59 to 64 nun.; tail 55 to 60 mm.; tarsus 21.5 to 22.5 mm.; culmen 12 to 13.5 mm.
The second primary is equal to the eighth or a little shorter. The first primary is very small, about 10 to 11 mm.
In Summer plumage the lower parts are almost white.
Distribution. Eastern Russia and West Siberia to the Himalayas as far East as Nepal, wintering throughout the plains of India, Burma and Ceylon.
Nidification. Blyth's Reed-Warbler breeds from Russia practically throughout Western and Central Western Asia to the Himalayas. In Europe and the Altai it makes a typical deep cup-shaped nest which it places in low bushes, brambles and: nettles but in the Himalayas it is said to make a ball-shaped nest low down in rose-bushes on hill-sides well away from water. The eggs are of three definite varieties: pale rose-coloured, marked with violet-grey and reddish brown and with a few black spots; milky-white spotted with olive-brown and dirty-white almost completely covered with olive-brown. Dresser gives the average size as 17.8x 12.9 mm.
It breeds in May and June and lays four or five eggs in a clutch.
Habits. Blyth's Reed-Warbler is said to be far more like the Marsh-Warbler in its habits than the Heed-Warbler. Although often found in marshy and swampy tracts, it also frequents low bush and scrub-jungle as well as small trees at a considerable distance from water. Its ordinary note is a loud tchick tchik,a sound like flint and steel being struck together; besides this call it has a fine bong, which, according to Professor Lilljeborg, is as. rich and varied as that of the Song-Thrush.