Acrocephalus schoenoboenus, (Linn.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 329 (1766) ; Newton, i. p. 376 ; Dresser, ii. p. 597, pl. 90, fig. 2 ; A. phragmitis (Naumann), iii. p. 648, Taf. 82, fig. 1 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 117. pl. xxi. fig. 3 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 91 ; Saunders, p. 85 ; Lilford, iii. p. 40, pl. 20.
Becfin phragmite, French ; Ruisinor sylvestre, Span. ; Fora-paglie, Ital. Schilf-Rohrsanger, German ; Rietsanger, Dutch ; Sivsanger, Dan. ; and Norweg. ; Safsangare, Swed. ; Kaislakerttu, Finn. ; Kisilovka, Russ. ; Rokitnicza, Polish.
Male ad. (Asia Minor). Crown blackish brown, streaked with tawny brown ; supercilium yellowish white ; upper parts dull reddish brown clouded with dark brown ; rump and upper tail-coverts rufescent tawny ; quills and tail dark brown with lighter margins ; chin, throat, and middle of abdomen whiter ; rest of underparts pale buff ; the flanks and under tail-coverts washed with rufous ; bill dark brown, base of lower mandible yellow ; legs pale brown ; iris brown. Culmen 0.55, wing 2.65, tail 2.1, tarsus 0.82 inch ; first primary small and narrow, shorter than the coverts, second rather longer than the 4th, third longest. In the winter the supercilium and underparts are more tinged with buff.
Hab. Europe and Asia ; as far northward to Finmark, eastward to the Yenesei, Turkestan, and the Altai, west to Spain, along the Mediterranean Basin, Palestine, and the Crimea ; winter¬ing in Africa as far south as the Transvaal. In Great Britain in summer, up to the Isle of Skye, and Ireland.
Frequents dense thickets of aquatic plants, sedge, and reed-patches, and bushes skirting water, is restless, active, and lively in its movements ; its flight is irregular and feeble and it seldom shows itself in open places. It feeds on aquatic insects, and in the autumn to some extent on berries. Its call-note, which is frequently uttered, to some extent resembles that of the Whitethroat ; and its song though hurried is pleasant and musical and by no means wanting in depth or power. It breeds in May in dense patches of aquatic herbage, and its nest which is fastened to the dense growing stems of aquatic plants, is constructed of dry steins of grasses, fine rootlets, and often a little moss, and lined with fine bents, horsehair, feathers and sometimes wool. Its eggs from 4 to 6 in number are pale yellowish brown or warm buff, closely dotted with dark brown or greenish buff, and sometimes streaked with short hair-like lines of black. In size they average about 0.65 by 0.52.
175. Acrocephalus schoenobAenus