Prospect Reservoir, Blacktown - 1st November 2003

To: Edwin Vella <>, BIRDING-AUS <>
Subject: Prospect Reservoir, Blacktown - 1st November 2003
From: Mike Carter <>
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 12:35:27 +0000
Great Reed Warbler
Strange coincidence that Edwin should mention this because about nine days too late, I received information that a visiting English birder, Paul Rendell in company with a local birder, one David Cross, reckoned he saw a Great Reed Warbler with two Australian Clamorous Reed Warblers on 20 October at Tom Thumb Lake, Bendigo, Victoria. He claimed it was 25% larger with a more rounded head and was typical of the species he knows well, presumably from Europe. It did not call or sing. I got the impression that he really did mean Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, which of course, has never been recorded in Australia. I am not too sure whether Edwin really meant this or was referring to Oriental Reed Warbler A. orientalis which is the species which occurs in Australia, (see Christidis & Boles 1994). Although rare, it is possibly an annual migrant, being easily overlooked and can be difficult to identify even in the hand. 
I have tapes of this species singing which should include some calls. They were recorded by David Stewart senior near Mossman in Queensland where I found two in a cane field. These were accepted by BARC. If you wish to follow this up, I suggest you contact David as the 'owner' of the sequence. He may have already published this on one of his commercial tapes. The calls are extremely harsh. Incidentally, although labelled Great Reed Warbler, those on the BOCA tape from Fogg Dam would be Oriental. 
Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136
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