A fairly small, plain and unstreaked warbler, brownish above and paler below. Very hard to distinguish from other reed warblers, although the relatively short, rounded wings are a useful feature. Long, repetitive song is essentially identical to that of Eurasian Reed Warbler. Most safely identified on geographic range at seasons when migrant reed warbler species are absent. Largely restricted to marshy habitat, such as reed and sedge beds and the edges of papyrus, in addition to tall grass and bushes alongside rivers and ditches, but will occasionally stray into dry thickets and shrubbery.