Identification: The Cetti's Warbler can be tantalisingly difficult to see as it belts out explosive bursts of song from the nearest bush. If you do get to see a Cetti's Warbler you'll notice dark reddish-brown upperparts and pale whitish underparts, highlighted only by a short pale stripe arching over a conspicuous black eye. Its tail is both broader and longer than most other warblers. Its colour, song, habitat and skulking habits show many similarities to the Nightingale but the eyestripe makes an obvious difference.
Habitat: Breeds and winters in scrubby margins of reedbeds and overgrown ditches.
Distribution: Having first been recorded in 1961, the first recorded breeding was from Kent in 1972 and since then numbers have increased to over 350 pairs, largely in southern England. Best sites include Radipole Lake in Dorset, Marazion Marsh in Cornwall and Titchfield Haven in Hampshire. In the Midlands the only reliable site is Brandon Country Park in Warwickshire where a pair has bred for the past few years.
Widespread and common in most of southern Europe and Turkey where its loud explosive song makes it easy to locate, although seeing one can be very difficult.
Population: Numbers fluctuate, but up to 350 singing males have been counted in Britain since this species colonised here in the early 1970's. Although 17-282 would be typical. They are found mainly along the south coast with a small population in East Anglia.
430,000-1.3 million breeding pairs across southern Europe.