A summer bird arriving in this country from Africa in April and leaving, at the latest, in October. A bird of the reedy pond-side, where, on some reed-stalk or willow twig, it utters its very varied song, a strange mixture of sweet and harsh notes. It also sings while on the wing and frequently at night. It feeds on gnats, midges and other water insects and also on larvae.
Its nest is usually near water, in thick herbage such as brambles and briars, and is a deep cup loosely built of coarse grass and lined with hair.