Friday, 29 April 2016

Reed-bed Choristers !

I wouldn't say that the Reed bed chorus is the most tuneful  of dawn choruses, especially when compared to the woodland scene, but it has a very unique charm all of its own, and I love it.

 The best time to experience this, is an early morning visit, preferably with the sun shining, when the spring migrants are returning to the reedbeds.

It's now the end of April, the reedbeds at Rainham are alive with birds, the Sedge Warbler is by far the most numerous and obvious Warbler in the reedbeds at the moment, their territorial songs, a series of trills and warbles delivered from every vantage point available, every now and then they either launch themselves up into the air, in a display flight, or dive down into the reedbeds and out of sight.

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Next to add its voice to the chorus is the Reed Warbler often described as a "rasping repetitive .churring" not sure if that helps really, but once you can recognise the call its quite distinctive and easy to pick out. a lot easier than trying to pick the bird out in the reeds.

Reed Warbler

The Cetti's Warbler now a resident warbler species here in the south, has to be the star, its explosive song, almost always delivered unseen, always grabs your attention, its one of those skulking warblers thats very difficult to catch a glimpse of, I was fortunate with this very showy bird.

Cetti's Warbler
Its quite surprising to me the number of Wrens seen in and around the reed bed, adding their melodious song to the chorus.

Reed Buntings are another common bird seen around the reedbeds, the male birds adding there own monotonous song to the ever increasing chorus, usually delivered from the top of a reed stem.

male Reed Bunting
female Reed Bunting
The trees on the edge of the reed beds are full of Blackcaps and Whitethroats, even a Chiffchaff or two, again adding their voices to the chorus.



male Blackcap

female Blackcap

This Bearded Tit  made an appearance, although silent on this occasion, their call described has a 'pinging' has eluded me, I have never been able to pick the call out in the reedbed, nice bird to see though

Bearded Tit.

No chorus would be complete without the trilling calls of the Little Grebe, and the call of the Coots always around the reed fringed dykes.

Coot family

Little Grebes

No reedbed chorus is complete without the mating calls of the Marsh Frog. Just the occasional call at the moment, but they soon will begin in earnest.

 Here's a photograph from last year, and something to look forward to when the Marsh frogs join the chorus.


  1. Stunning series of captures! Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)