Little Grassbird vs Clamorous Reed-Warbler

To: "'John Layton'" <>, "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: Little Grassbird vs Clamorous Reed-Warbler
From: "Mark Clayton" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 19:01:31 +1100



You are quite right, the bird is now the Australian Reed-Warbler but old habits die hard, especially after a lifetime of calling a bird by a certain name – I was calling the bird the Australian Reed-Warbler a long time before it came out in Christidis and Boles, mainly due to Dick Schodde’s influence. I still call White-throated Needletails “Spine-tailed Swifts” but only when talking with close birding friends as they know what I mean. I will always use the correct name when talking to beginners, writing articles etc. I’m sure Philip would agree with me on the reed-warbler.




From: John Layton [
Sent: Monday, 20 December 2010 6:17 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Little Grassbird vs Clamorous Reed-Warbler


Lidell’s photo generated much debate/argument at our place, finally everyone settled for a juvenile Little Grassbird, but were surprised to read. “Its sound is a very weak whistle.” In our experience it’s quite the opposite and more often heard than seen. However this reminds me that I’ve sometimes thought the same species will give different calls depending on the geographical area. Anyone?

And I thought Clamorous Reed-Warbler was now Australian Reed-Warbler, or have the taxonomists changed it?

John Layton


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