Rediscovery
  Large-billed Reed Warbler

 
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Rediscovery of the Large-billed Reed Warbler
(Acrocephalus orinus)

~ Sumit Sen

 

 


Location: Near Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, Narendrapur. 10 kms south of Kolkata city. 88° 22' 20" E; 22° 26' 50" N 

© Sumit K Sen

Date and time of sighting: Single observation on 1st April 2007, 9.11 am to 9.23 am.
Number of birds sighted: One.
Observation: Blyth's Reed sized (13-14 cm) warbler seen feeding on tall bamboo at Narendrapur, 10 kms south of Kolkata city. While feeding it constantly fanned its tail, a behaviour which initially attracted our attention to the bird. The movement of the bird was fantail like, the bird seemed to slide/glide from one feeding point to another.  Bird did not call even once in 12 minutes.
Observed by: Sumit K. Sen, Bhaskar Das, Anjan and Aranya Gupta
Key identification features: The bird has been identified with the help of hand-held species images and notes appearing in the Oriental Bird Club Image Gallery.

Identification points include:
1. Size (estimated at 13 cms)
2. Unstreaked rich olive-brown upperparts (image and field observation).
4. Long large bill with entirely pale lower mandible and blackish upper mandible
5. Short whitish supercilium ending at the back of the eye, whitish crescent below the eye, short blackish line behind and before the eye.
6. Creamy underparts tinged with buff/brown on breast, flanks and undertail coverts.
7. Exterior tail feathers shorter than central ones. All tail feathers pointed.
8. Short wings making the tail appear relatively long.
9. Olive brown legs.

The absence of a descriptive photograph of the upperparts does not allow us to comment on the diagnostic parts of the wings.

Identification: Identified from images with the help of inputs from Philip D. Round, Stephen Rumsey, David Pearson, Staffan Bensch, Bill Harvey, and Krys Kazmierczak. Identification has been confirmed by the Bombay Natural History Society.


Earlier Indian records: A single specimen was collected in the Sutlej Valley near Rampur, Himachal Pradesh, India in November 1867. Another specimen from India has been discovered among the collection of Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum) skins at the Natural History Museum at Tring in the U.K.

Current status: A live specimen has been trapped by Philip D. Round in March 2006 in Thailand.

References:
1. http://www.orientalbirdimages.org/search.php?action=searchresult&Bird_ID=2750
2. Philip D. Round at OBI
3. Pamela C. Rasmussen:  Birds of South Asia, The Ripley Guide
4.
http://www.birdlife.org/news/pr/2007/03/acrocephalus_orinus_rediscovered.html
5. Stray Feathers-III (p 405)

 

   
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