• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Clamorous Reed Warbler or Oriental Reed Warbler? China (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Someone posted on another forum , and these photos are taken in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province ,2012-05-17。
I think it is not common Oriental Reed Warbler , the long beak with hook, long tail , no vertical lines on chest.
Little information about the Clamorous Reed Warbler in China,can anybody help me identify which it is? or tell me the differences between Clamorous Reed Warbler(Acrocephalus stentoreus) and Oriental Reed Warbler(Acrocephalus orientalis).

All photos in this address http://www.birdnet.cn/showtopic-354330.aspx

Many thanks :)


  • 173492829612894.jpg
    392.5 KB · Views: 171


Well-known member
Hi Xuky - it's a pretty good picture to work from. This bird does have a long beak.... Hopefully some others who know more will speak up. I'll only say it looks a bit darker than the pictures I've seen on the internet of Clamorous, but that may be the exposure....


Well-known member
Hi. Since these birds show a lot of variety, and we don't have Clamorous here in Japan, I can't be sure. However, your bird looks a lot darker than our Oriental Reed Warblers (I was looking at some yesterday) and seems to differ in other features. The eyebrow is almost non-existent in your bird, the bill is narrower, darker and doesn't lead straight out from the top of the head as it often does on Oriental (i.e your bird has a forehead; Oriental often seems not to). As far as I can see the PP looks short, and the grey streaking on the throat cannot be seen (though this could be the light as the photo is washed out).

Your bird also looks a lot like the picture of Clamorous Reed Warbler in Birds of Europe.

Apparently, Clamorous likes papyrus more than other reeds if available. I've no idea if you have papyrus in Shenzen, though. I thought it was all tower blocks.

With luck, now that I've bumped it with this comment, someone who knows more than me will spot your question and answer with expertise.


Well-known member
I am not at all familiar with Acrocephalus from the Far East, but it doesn't look like a Clamorous to me. The bill shape is more reminiscent of Great/Oriental reed warbler. But wait for someone who's got solid birding experience in the region.


Well-known member
Hi Xuky.

Well, I looked out some photos of Oriental Reed Warbler from near me in Central Japan.

I also looked today at all the photos posted on the link you gave (yesterday it was downloading very slowly).

Your bird still looks darker to me, and I note especially the black lores on your bird, and the darker bill, which also stand out in the illustration for Clamorous in Birds of Europe. Also, although the book doesn't mention it, the legs on your bird are very black like the illustration for Clamorous, but unlike Oriental Reed in the illustration and my experience. The primary projection on your bird looks shorter to me, and the tail rounder (but I'm not very good at this sort of detail). Also the light grey streaking on the lower throat of Oriental is not visible on any of your pictures, but visible on mine (1, 3 and especially 4).

My photos show four different birds. 1 and 2 are the same bird on 30 April. 3 is on 13 May, 4 on 24 May, 5 on 16 June.

I hope you can see some of the differences I mentioned in this post and my first post. But I have never seen Clamorous in the field, and these differences may well be within the normal range.

Well, I've actually exceeded the limits of what I can contribute. I hope someone comes along who's familiar with both birds. I was hoping a Bird Forum member called Rockfowl who is very expert on China would look at your pictures, because I'm sure he would know. But he may be away in China leading a tour and so not looking in at the moment.


  • 080430025 Heijo.jpg
    080430025 Heijo.jpg
    174.1 KB · Views: 130
  • 080430026 Heijo.jpg
    080430026 Heijo.jpg
    232 KB · Views: 86
  • 080513021 Nara Ponds.jpg
    080513021 Nara Ponds.jpg
    237.2 KB · Views: 91
  • 070524016 Nara Ponds.jpg
    070524016 Nara Ponds.jpg
    221.8 KB · Views: 79
  • 070616055 Nara Ponds.jpg
    070616055 Nara Ponds.jpg
    235.8 KB · Views: 114


Well-known member
We trap Oriental Reed Warbler regularly at Mai Po in Hong Kong, just over the border from Shenzhen. We do constantly look out for Clamorous as a possible vagrant, but so far there have been no records. So as a start point I am very cautious about suggesting Clamorous (which would be the first in south-east China I think). I am not very familiar with Clamorous, so the following comments are based more on experience with Oriental and my expectations for Clamorous.

The upperparts on this bird seem fairly dark, contrasting with a very white throat, but I think may be due to camera settings creating a strong contrast - the vegetation also seems very contrasting. This could also in part explain the apparently strong contrast in the lores and in the supercilium. The plumage tone of Clamorous varies according to subspecies I think, so the importance of this feature would depend on which subspecies would occur.

The bird also has the crown feathers raised on most photos, which affects the apparent head and bill shape. The bill length and shape looks to me to be normal for Oriental, especially on the photos where the crown feathers are lowered slightly. I would expect Clamorous to look longer and thinner billed than this. A slight hook at the tip of the bill (which you mention) is not at all unusual for Oriental.

The streaking on the breast is often used as a feature separating the two, but I suspect may be overemphasised. We fairly often trap birds which show very little or no streaking, although I think the streaking may be more apparent in spring than autumn.

To confuse issues, there has been a suggestion that the Oriental Reeds passing through HK in autumn and spring may be different - certainly there seem to be differences in biometrics in the two seasons. I don't know whether there are any differences in plumage (it's not really been checked).

I don't think from these photos you can be sufficiently sure about primary projection or other features. The tail does not look unusually long and on the one photo with a slightly spread wing, it does not look like the PP is short - but I don't think this can be said for sure. There seem to be pale tips to the tail, which is also sometimes quoted as a feature or Oriental.

On balance, I think that it would be really hard to say for sure that this is Clamorous, especially given the significance of the record. If anyone has experience of both species (especially Clamorous in southeast Asia) it would be interesting to know other opinions.


Well-known member
Hi MacNara.
Thank you for your great pictures and your detailed reply, this is exactly what I am familiar with the Oriental reed-warbler! So I think the bird is not a common Oriental Reed-Warbler.

Hi johnallcock
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!
I know it would be really hard to say for sure that this is Clamorous,haha, I just have a little hope , after all, very little information about it in china.

In addition to the overall color is quite special , in my impression , Oriental Reed Warbler 's mouth is not so shrill , right?

Users who are viewing this thread