Birding at Kirala Kele, Hiyare

13 Dec

The second field visit under the MigrantWATCH 2016/17 has been done to Kirala Kele wetlands, Matara on 04th of December. During the pilot trip conducted a week before on 27th.November to Kirala Kele – rare migrant Baillon’s Crake was recorded; elevating Kirala Kele as a birding hotpot with lot of top birders and bird photographers in the country visiting the site. The MigrantWATCH team consist of 20 individual birders who had teamed up with members of University of Ruhuna Birders’ Club and Rahula College Birdwatching Society. Altogether, about 50 participated the birding session at Kirala Kele. After Kirala Kele, the team left for Hiyare forest.

Group photo taken at Kirala Kele showing section of the crowd (c) Sanjeewa Seneviratne

Group photo taken at Kirala Kele showing section of the crowd (c) Sanjeewa Seneviratne

Kirala Kele Group photo - FOGSL team

Kirala Kele Group photo – FOGSL team

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Thousands of Montana snow geese die after landing in toxic, acidic mine pit

8 Dec

Received sad news that thousands of migratory geese died landing on a toxic mine pit in USA. Visit following links fro more..

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/12/07/montana-snow-geese-searching-for-pond-land-in-toxic-mine-pit-thousands-die/?utm_term=.264fd64dcb63 

http://www.lankadeepa.lk/index.php/articles/488285 

MigrantWATCH Video

7 Dec

All the winter visitors to Sri Lanka should have been now landed other than few exceptions. So we take this opportunity to release this video specifically done for FOGSL’s MigrantWATCH program. The video was compiled by  Jeewa Mendis with most of the clips found in the video were captured by herself. FOGSL take this opportunity to THANK Jeewa for doing this wonderful video.

ENJOY THE MIGRANTWATCH VIDEO..!!!

It is DECEMBER again – the Bird Counting Month..!!

1 Dec

december-bird-counting-month-image

Bird Counting Month is an opportunity for you to pay attention to the birds. In ‘December’ Sri Lanka will be having the peak number of birds as it is middle of the migration season, hence the best time to do this exercise.
Participating for the Bird Counting is simple. What you have to do is to make a list of birds that you have been able to identify in a given location (with number of each species – if possible). The list should include the date, time, location, weather at the time, the habitat that the bird observation is carried out, and the name and contact details of the observer. You can also include the number of each species seen at the location, so that this number can be used roughly to compare the population next year. We will announce the method you can share your data shortly.
If you participated the Bird Counting last year, do the counting in the same area this year too. The list of birds and numbers can be tallied with the last few years. If the conditions of the counting are same, then yourself can have an assessment of the status of birds in that area.

Join the birding visit to Kirala Kele to be part of the official launching event of ‘Bird Counting Month’.
Pass the message.. Get your friends to join too…!!

Happy Bird Counting Month,
– FOGSL

Mass movement of Indian Pond Heron along the west coast..?

1 Dec

Nashath Hafi of Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) reports a mass movement of Pond Herons along the west coast parallel to the beach. Nashath observed this for last few days where flocks of Indian Pond herons each consist of about 10 to 25 birds flying toward Colombo. On 29th November, he counted 476 pond heron 13 cattle egrets from a location near Bamabalapitiya Railway Station between 7.55 am to 8.23. A similar observation was made today 01st of December. An observation done yesterday evening indicates that there is no reverse movement or an indication that these birds are dispersing from a night roost and goes back to the same location. So there is a chance these birds are part of some sort of migration, but we need more data.

So if you are free, living closer to coast or having somebody live near the sea who can do the observation, please help to get more data to get a count of the birds flying along the west coast in the mornings and possibly in the evening too

Pond heron flying near Colpetty

Pond heron flying near Colpetty

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Isabelline Wheatear – rare winter migrant

22 Nov

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina) is a rare winter visitor to Sri Lanka. Susa Weerappuli shares the photo of a female Desert Wheatear spotted in Yala National Park on 14th November 2016.

desert-wheatear-female

Rare migratory night heron found exhausted

20 Nov

Published on SundayTimes on 20.11.2016 http://www.sundaytimes.lk/161120/news/rare-night-heron-found-exhausted-217581.html

A Malayan night heron, a rare migrant bird, appeared in a garden in Thimbirigasyaya this week, spotted by Rajini Jayawardena who lives in Siripa Road last Sunday night.

“It was a relatively large bird and was in the garden, hidden in the darkness. It didn’t fly away even when we went closer to it so I was worried about whether the bird was injured,” Ms. Jayawardena said.

The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL), based at the University of Colombo, was alerted and its MigrantWATCH team identified the bird as a Malayan night heron, which visits the country around this time.

As there were no visible injuries, the team believed the bird was exhausted and disoriented by its long flight of more than 2000 miles and decided to let it recover by itself.

Ms. Jayawardena kept a watchful eye on the heron to keep it safe from cats, crows and other predators. When even by Tuesday the bird did not show any improvement FOGSL decided to capture it and give it a check-up.

Dr. Sampath Seneviratne, who took care of the bird, said it had no injuries – it was simply exhausted. After receiving some first aid, the night heron was released to a better habitat in a Colombo suburban area.

Bird migration is in full swing with star migrants such as the greater flamingo flocking in their thousands in lagoons in the Jaffna peninsula, according to Janaka Bandara, who photographed these birds.

Global conservation giant meets in LankaThe Global Council of BirdLife International, the world’s largest partnership of conservation organisations with partners in more than 120 countries and territories, meets in Sri Lanka this week.

The organisation’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Zurita, said the meeting in Sri Lanka will contain important discussions. BirdLife Global Council’s local partner is the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL), represented by Professor Sarath Kotagama.

The public will have a chance to meet BirdLife International’s members and representatives of its Asian partners at the BirdLife Asian Partnership Bird Fair being held today from 7am-5.30pm at the Thalawathugoda Biodiversity Study Park located near the Kimbulawela end of the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Road. The event is free and more information can be obtained from http://www.birdfair2016.wordpress.com.

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