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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Warblers /Sylviidae

Cetti's Warbler/Cettia cetti - Adult

L 13-14 cm. Breeds in dense, rather tall and often well-delimited vegetation, preferably near but not in water, e.g. in drier tall reeds with scattered bushes, stands of papyrus, willow, bamboo, various thick bushes etc.; sometimes breeds near human habitation, in thickly wooded parkland, beside reservoirs and canals etc. Mainly resident, but migratory in E. Generally keeps concealed in vegetation, often hops on ground or low down in shrubbery. Nests low down in dense vegetation.
IDENTIFICATION: A medium-sized, rather compact warbler, shortnecked and broad-tailed, with short, strongly rounded wings. Bill pointed. Plumage uniform red-brown above, dusky greyish-white below with rusty tinge on flanks and belly. Head pattern roughly as on Reed and Savi’s Warblers, the two species which it superficially most resembles, i.e. has a narrow and not particularly distinct pale supercilium which is set off by dark lores and dark eye-stripe. Best identified by: body shape and short primary projection; longer supercilium than Reed and Savi’s; faint grey tone on earcoverts and neck- and breast-sides but slightly warmer (greyish) red-brown, rather dark tone on lower flanks and belly; dark brown undertail-coverts with narrow pale fringes; relatively short undertail-coverts reaching only halfway along tail. Lively and active, flicks wings and tail, often cocks tail. Sexes and ages alike.
VOICE: Call an explosive, metallic ‘plitt!’ which may be repeated in series and turn into rattling ‘plir’r’r’r’r’. Song consists of a sudden and loud outburst of metallic, clanging notes; rhythm characteristic: first 1-4 slightly tentative notes, usually with final one stressed, then a half-stop followed by a rapid series of groups of similar notes, at times dying at end, e.g. ‘plitt, plittplütt!… tichutt-tichutt-tichutt chütt, chutt!’ (or, why not: ‘Listen!…. What’s my name?… Cetti-Cetti-Cetti- that’s it!’).

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