Sunday, 2 March 2008
Special birds: Aquatic Warbler
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola is one of Europe's rarest breeding warblers. It is most definitely an "eastern" bird but has very special habitat needs in the breeding season and thus is only locally distributed. Good numbers occur in marshes, fens and wet meadows in Poland and a few hundred singing males are found in the Hortobagy National Park in Hungary. They occur in these areas from late April through to August, but are only really visible in spring when they are singing. They are delicately marked little birds with yellowish stripes on the crown and mantle. Though they occur in reedbeds on migration (even in western Europe) they rarely enter this habitat in the breeding season. The English name "Aquatic"implies some fondness for water, though in fact overtly wet places are avoided, certainly those with deep open water.