Acrocephalus palustris, (Bechst.) Orn. Taschenb. i. p. 186 (1802) ; (Naumann), iii. p. 630, Taf. 81, tig. 3 ; Dresser, ii. 573. pl. 87, fig. 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. ii. pl. 109 ; (id.) B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 74 ; Newton, i. p. 373 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 101 ; Saunders, p. 81 ; Lilford, iii. p. 38, pl, 19.
Rousserolle-verderolle, French ; Cannajola-verdognola, Ital. ; Sumpfrohrsanger, German ; Bosch-Rietzanger, Dutch ; Sumps-anger, Dan. ; Karrsangare, Swed. ; Bolotnaja-Malinofka, Russ. ; Lozovaka, Polish.
Male ad. (Belgium). Resembles A. streperus, but the upper parts are more olivaceous green, the underparts whiter, and the second quill is slightly shorter than the third, occasionally shorter only than the 4th ; beak and iris as in A. streperus ; legs fleshy brown. Culmen 0.6, wing 0.8, tail 2.3, tarsus 0.95 inch ; female similar but rather smaller. In the winter the underparts are washed with buff.
Hab. Europe from southern Sweden to the Mediterranean, and from Portugal to the Ural range, wintering in Palestine, Persia, and Africa ; of rare occurrence in England.
The Marsh-Warbler is less aquatic in its habits than the Reed-Warbler for though it is found in damp localities, yet it also frequents gardens and groves. Its call-note is harsh, resembling that of the Reed-Warbler, and its song is exceedingly rich and sweet, far superior to the song of that species, and somewhat resembles that of the Icterine Warbler, but is richer and of more compass. It is also an excellent mimic. It never places its nest amongst reeds or over the water, but in a bush, amongst rank herbage or in tangled brushwood, on dry ground, and seldom below from one to three feet above the ground. It is constructed of dry plant-stems, grasses, and nettle-fibres interwoven with insect-webs, and lined with fine grass-bents and horsehairs. The eggs 4 to 6 in number are usually deposited in June, and are French white, occasionally with a faint greenish tinge, somewhat sparingly marked with small purplish grey shell-markings, and larger dark brown or purplish brown surface-spots, which are usually more numerous at the larger end. In size they average about 0.73 by 0.52.
169. Acrocephalus palustris