The Moustached warbler is a target bird for many serious birders visiting Mallorca but is very local to the north of the island in only two reserves the S’Albufereta and the Albufera. The latter is by far the most reliable site with the birds resident all year and the S’Albufereta cannot offer the same hope of sightings. The bird is very secretive and normally needs to be heard first to have any chance of a sighting so March just before breeding is a good time with the males often seen at the top of tall reeds calling away. The S’Albufereta holds over 1000 pairs which is the largest colony in western Europe and good places to observe are from the raised viewing platform overlooking the reed beds north of the visitors centre. They can, however, be viewed in many of the reed beds around the reserve along with the numerous Cetti’s warblers and Fan-tailed warblers.
The Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon)is an old-world warbler that breeds in southern Europe and southern Asia. It is a medium sized warbler 12-13.5 cm and slightly larger and darker than the sedge warbler. The adult has a finely streaked brown back and white underparts. The forehead is flattened and it has grey ear coverts and a strong and pointed bill. The adults are identical however the youngsters have well marked breasts.
The song is similar to both the sedge and reed warbler but slightly more melodious.
It breeds in sedge and reed beds at the waters edge where it builds a nest of deed and grass and lays a clutch of 3-6 eggs which it incubates for 14 -15 days and then another 14 days before the young fledge.