Status: Summer visitor to large reedbeds in southern and eastern Ireland from late April to September.
Conservation Concern: Amber-listed in Ireland due to its small breeding population. The European population is considered to be Secure.
Identification: A typical small warbler, about the same size as a Robin. Ages and sexes appear virtually similar. A rather non-descript bird, being a pale brown colour all-over, with the undersides slightly paler. Has a very faint supercilium. Blends in well in preferred habitat of dense reedbeds and difficult to see when not singing.
Similar Species: Other Warblers.
Call: The main call is a quiet “check”. The song is similar to that of the Sedge Warbler, but is not as excited and variable. A typical phrase would be: “tru-tru-tru-swee-swee-tiri-tiri-tiri”. The song will usually be delivered while perched on the top of a reed.
Diet: Feeds almost exclusively on insects and other invertebrates.
Breeding: Reed Warblers breed in large areas of reedbeds in south and east of Ireland.
Wintering: Winters in central and southern Africa.
Where to See: One of the most reliable sites to see Reed Warblers in Ireland are the ponds near the harbour in Arklow, Co. Wicklow. Another good site is Tacumshin in County Wexford.
Monitored by: Countryside Bird Survey.