Identification: Black-tailed & Bar-tailed Godwits

2 Sep

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) is a common winter migrant and the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) is rare winter migrant. Black-tailed Godwit is more common in coastal area of dry lowlands and Bar-tailed Godwit arrives mainly to coastal area of Northern dry lowlands i.e Mannar and occasionally to Southern coastal area i.e Bundala.

Here are some useful field marks of these species, which will help you to identify the species correctly.

Black-tailed Godwit


Bar-tailed Godwit

(c) From ‘Birds Thapobanica’ Facebook Group 

Great Knots at Bundala Lagoon

31 Aug

The FOGSL Bird Ringing team at Bundala reports arrival of migrant shore birds. Here is a note by Dr.Sampath Seneviratne about sighting of Great Knot bird ringing sessions from 27th to 29th August 2014 . 

Very high numbers of arriving winter migrants at Bundala Lagoon over the past few days. The prevailing drought had opened up the lagoon shore at the southern side of the lagoon near the Saltern, where most of the shorebirds and other aquatic birds have been seen. Two GREAT KNOT were the highlight among high numbers of shorebirds. Both birds are molting with one almost retains its breeding plumage. This species is a regular but a rare migrant come to Sri Lanka and it is a globally threatened shorebirds species. There were 550 – 600 SPOT-BILLED PELICAN and 150 SPOONBILL among the crowd as well.

Great Knots at Bundala Lagoon – 27th to 29th August 2014 (c) Chandima Fernando

Great Knots at Bundala Lagoon – 27th to 29th August 2014 (c) Chandima Fernando

Great Knots at Bundala Lagoon – 27th to 29th August 2014 (c) Chandima Fernando


Mass Migration of Sea Birds

30 Aug

There is a mass migration of Sea Birds observed off west coast annually. Elsewhere on Facebook, Rex I. De Silva who studied these migrants over many years mentioned that this mass migration of seabirds should reach a maximum within the next week or two. Rex further added that The heavy rain forecast for tomorrow (Sunday 31st) should make conditions ideal for observing the seabird mass migration. It is best to start as early in the day as possible – ideally around 6.30 a.m. He says that as the day advances the birds will tend to fly farther away.

Rex requests the birdwatchers to be on the alert for Flesh-footed Shearwaters, Pomarine Jaegers and Brown Skuas. If any of you can visit the coastal areas tomorrow morning, try to observe this Sea Birds migration and share your observations..!!

For details visit:

MigrantWATCH 2014/15 launched

30 Aug

The MigrantWATCH 2014/15 was launched on Saturday 30th.August 2014 with a lecture by Prof.Sarath Kotagama on ‘Bird Migration’. Prof.Kotagama revealed some of the mysteries of bird migration and reasons why Sri Lanka is a preferred spot for birds migrate through Central Asian Flyway. Nearly 40% of birds of Sri Lanka migrate and end August to April is the main season for Winter Migrants. Coordinator of MigrantWATCH – Malaka Rodrigo shared the plans for this season’s MigrantWATCH to the participants.

Stay tune with FOGSL’s social media channels and for more updates on MigrantWATCH 2014/15. Following are some selected photos from the launch of MigrantWATCH 2014/15.

MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 1

Mw - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 2


Mw - malaka on MigrantWATCH 2

MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 3 MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 4

MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 5


MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 7


MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 10

MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 11

MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 12

MW - Lecture by Prof.Kotagama 13

MW - Malaka on MigrantWATCH 3

MW - Malaka on MigrantWATCH 4

Launch of MigrantWATCH 2014/15

25 Aug

It is again the time to welcome our feathered friends – the migratory birds..!! Majority of them will start arriving Sri Lanka within next few weeks; hence FOGSL launches its annual program MigrantWATCH 2014/15 with a lecture by Prof.Sarath Kotagama on Bird Migration on Saturday 30th.August at University of Colombo.

MigrantWATCH aims to promote observing migratory birds and their conservation. The program was founded in 2011 and held several successful events during last migratory season. The 30th.August session will also be an opportunity to suggest your own ideas for this season’s MigrantWATCH as the workplan will be finalized. The lecture and forum is open for all; so be free to attend the session also bringing your colleagues..!!

Visit for moments of last season’s MigrantWATCH events..!!

MigrantWATCH 2014&15 - The Bird Migration - by Prof.S.W.Kotagama

Field Trip to Sinharaja for Forest Birds

8 Mar

The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) under year 2014 theme “Birds of Sri Lanka: Splendour of Island Biodiversity” organizes a special field visit to celebrate the International Day of Forests fallen on 21st of March to highlight importance of Forests. The trip will be from 21st – 23rd of March (3 days).

International Day of Forest - FOGSL Field Visit to Sinharaja Rainforest

Photos taken during the pilot visit to arrange the trip by Ajith Gamage and Kusum Fernando.

Blue and White Flycatcher - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja - First Record from Sri Lanka (c) Ajith GamageBlue and White Flycatcher – first record of Sri Lanka (c) Ajith Gamage

Blue Magpie - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

Forest Eagle Owl - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage

Forest Eagle Owl (ulama)

Frogmouth - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage


Serendib Scops Owl - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage

Serendib Scops Owl

Spurfowl - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage





Launch of lecture series on Island Biodiversity

22 Feb

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has dedicated year 2014 to the value of “Island Biodiversity”. Sri Lanka is already recognised as one of the biodiversity hotspot of the world and being an island (along with India’s Western Ghats) has helped higher concentrations of endemic. Starting the FOGSL lecture series under the theme “Birds of Sri Lanka: Splendor of Island Biodiversity” prof.Devaka Weerakoontalked about why Island biodiversity is important, how Sri Lanka became a Biodiversity Hotspot and need to take action to conserve our threatened biodiversity.

Lecture - Island Biodiversity - Prof.Devaka Weerakoon


1 - Starting the lecture - Splendour of Island Biodiversity




1 - Prof.Deavaka Weerakoon delivering the lecture

Prof.Devaka Weerakoon


3 - Sri Lanka Endemicity




7 - Threatened species of Sri Lanka

8 - What is Island Biodiversity

9 - Within species - Genetic diversity

10 - Between species - Species Diversity

11 - Colonization of Island 2

11 - Colonization of Island

12 - Sri Lanka - from just land to a biodiversity hotspot

13 - Evolutionary links with Australia

14 - Evolutionary links with Africa (Madagascar)

15 - Separation from India

16 - Adam's Bridge - link to the India continued

16 - Grey Francolin - Indian species found in North

17 - Collared Dove - an Indian Species in Jaffna

18 - Indian Courser - an Indian Species in Jaffna (little population left)

19 - Spot-billed Duck

20 - Crab Plover

21 - Black Kite

22 - Long-tailed Shrike

23 - Butterflies restricted to North

24 - Butterflies restricted to North 2









33 - Hill Country birds




Audience - 1

Audience 2


Ishan sharing his record of Eye-browed Thrush 2

Kusum sharing World Wetland Day trip experience

Nashath - sharing Galoya Trip experience


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.