Song of the reedbeds

sedge warbler.JPG

This blog comes to you with some sadness, as a couple of days after Lee wrote this, he was taken into hospital following a heart attack.  He is still in hospital awaiting major heart surgery, but we’ll do our best to keep the blog going.

With the weather being so hot recently, we were spoilt for choice about where to go birdwatching, and I suggested somewhere near a pub.  I’m sure Alison would agree, the pinto of ice cool lager and cider we had after our woodland walk was better than seeing a golden eagle!

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Anyway, back to the important stuff.  Last year we spotted the first sedge warbler down by Clayworth towpath by the canal, so we decided to go in search of one again.

As we approached the reed beds, all we could hear was the singing of reed warblers, and, yes – the sedge warbler!  Most of the sightings we had were of the reed warbler, but every so often the sedge warblers appeared at the top of a reed stem.

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Unlike the reed warbler, the sedge warbler has a buff chest, soft greyish streaks on a tawny back, black and cream streaks on the cap and the unmistakable wide silver-white eye stripe with a dark line.

sedge warbler (4).JPG

The pictures took a while to get, as the bird is so active and moves very quickly through the reed beds.  They love to be around the watersides and boggy habitats, often in hedges beside wet ditches and sometimes in drier places with vertical stem growth.

The nest is made of dry grass, and is quite a deep cup of moss, cobwebs and plant down.  5 to 6 eggs are laid in 2 broods from April to July.

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It will feed the young on small insects, spiders and various seeds.  Most of the insects are caught from the reeds and top of the waterways.  The call is a rasping “tchrr” song: a mix of whistles, warbles, clicks and trills, with much mimicry.

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This year is turning out to be a great time for us, and what we’ve found is that the birds seem to return to the same places each year.

It was so hot, and on the way to the reeds I bumped into this beautiful family of swans swimming in line – the first family I’ve seen this year!  Summer’s here!

mute swans.JPG

mute swans (2).JPG

As I mentioned at the start, Lee is now hospitalised and I’m afraid I don’t get out as often as he does as I don’t have the luxury of being retired yet!  We will try and still bring you something, even if it’s pictures we’ve already taken that we haven’t shared with you yet.  Bear with us and keep reading – we really appreciate the comments we’ve had from our readers when we’re out and about.  Keep spotting the birds and enjoying our lovely countryside!

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4 thoughts on “Song of the reedbeds

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