174. AQUATIC WARBLER.
Acrocephalus aquaticus (Gmel.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 953 (1788) ; (Temm.) Man. d’Orn. p. 131 (1815) ; (Gould), B. of E. ii. pl. 3. fig. 2 ; (id.) B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 76 ; (Naumann), iii. p. 686, Taf. 82. figs. 2, 3, 4, 5 ; Newton, i. p. 380 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 89 , Dresser, ii. p. 591, pl. 89 ; Saunders, p. 87 ; Lilford, iii. p. 42, pl, 21 ; S. cariceti, Naumann, Isis, p. 785, 1821.
Becfin aquatique French ; Arandillo, Span. ; Pagliarolo, Ital. ; Binsen-Rohrsanger, German ; Vondsanger, Dan.
Male ad. (France). Crown. blackish brown, forehead reddish buff ; superciliary and median stripes broad buffy white ; upper parts greyish buff tinged with ochreous, each feather with a dark brown median patch ; rump and upper tail-coverts washed with warm ochreous ; wings and tail brown with light margins, inner secondaries darker and edged with buffy white ; under parts white tinged with buff ; sides of head and neck and hind-neck buffy grey with dark striations ; lower throat and flanks striated with brown : bill brown, base of lower mandible yellowish ; legs pale yellowish brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.4, wing 2.4, tail 1.95, tarsus 0.8 inch. The female resembles the male but the young have the upper parts washed with warm rufescent ochreous, and the underparts except the chin and the middle of the abdomen warm yellowish buff.
Hab. Inhabits central and southern Europe and North Africa, north as far as Denmark, and about 56° N. Lat. in Russia, east to the Ural, west to the Atlantic, straying rarely to Great Britain, and wintering in Africa.
The Aquatic Warbler frequents damp and marshy localities where the vegetation is rank and high, where patches of grass and flags are surrounded by water and morass, and small willow thickets are scattered round. It is active, rest¬less, and very shy, and creeps through the dense vegetation with the greatest ease. It feeds chiefly on insects. Its call-note and song resemble those of the Sedge-Warbler, but the latter is shorter and scarcely so rich or varied. It breeds in May, and its nest, which resembles that of the Sedge-Warbler but is smaller, is constructed of plant-stems and bents, and a few rootlets, worked together with insect-webs and intermixed with plant-cotton, and lined with horsehair. The eggs 4 or 5 in number resemble those of the Sedge-Warbler, but are smaller and the ground colour is paler and yellower ; they vary not a little, both in colouration and markings.
174. Acrocephalus aquaticus
174. AQUATIC WARBLER.