Great Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus (2012)
Watercolour on paper, 210 x 297mm.
The Great Reed Warbler is a huge warbler, 50% bigger than a Reed Warbler and almost as big as a Redwing. Most warblers move delicately through the reeds but this one crashes around clumsily. In plumage it looks quite similar to a Reed Warbler but it has a more obvious eyestripe and the larger size and stronger bill are usually obvious.
The UK’s only naturalised parrot – it is large, long-tailed and green with a red beak and a pink and black ring around its face and neck. In flight it has pointed wings, a long tail and very steady, direct flight. Often found in flocks, numbering hundreds at a roost site, it can be very noisy.
This medium-sized member of the plover family is unusual in that the adult female is brighter than the male – an indication of their role-reversal in raising the young. Adults have largely grey-brown upperparts and bright chestnut belly, with a white chest band, throat and eyestripe, the latter contrasting with a dark cap. On spring migration they are often seen in groups, or ‘trips’, at traditional stopping places.