MigrantWATCH 2015/16 started

31 Aug

‪#‎MigrantWATCH‬ 2015/16: It is time to keep an eye on migrants as the Migratory Birds season this year is getting started. Delivering a lecture on Migrant Birds of Sri Lanka on 22nd of August; Prof.Devaka Weerakoon kicked-start this year’s MigrantWATCH. A special program to observe Seabirds migration has been organized on Sunday 13th of September.

As this is the time many of the common migrants are due, please keep an eye on them and share your sightings. Following is a list of first sightings of some of the common migrants recorded last year.

* Blue-tailed Bee-eater: 31st of August
* Barn Swallow: 06th of September
* Forest Wagtail: 19th of September
* Grey Wagtail: 05th of September

(visit http://goo.gl/M3Kqlo for the full list)


MigrantWATCH 2014/15

10 May
This weekend is the World Migratory Bird Day. But sadly it is fallen on the off season for migratory birds in this part of the world, so we would not organize any event on this special day. However, I’m taking this opportunity to summarize and share some of the activities we had done as part of 2014/15 #MigrantWATCH. Looking forward for the next migratory season for MigrantWATCH 2015/16 . .
30.08.2014 Lecture on Bird Migration By Prof.Sarath Kotagama
27.09.2014 Lecture on Migrant Birds of Sri Lanka By Prof.Devaka Weerakoon
27.09.2014 Let’s Explore Bird Migration FOG KIDS program for Junior birders
28.10.2014 Birding at Thalangama Wetland
03.12.2014 – 05.12.2014 Exhibits on Migrants at P.B.Karunaratne Memorial Bird Educational Exhibition
Throughout season Monitoring of incoming of Ratnapura Barn Swallows Assisted by Athula Edirisinghe
Throughout season Capturing the sightings of migrants shared on public domain Assisted by Ajith Gamage
 The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) continued its annual program MigrantWATCH during the migratory season 2014/15 inline with “Welcome to the Birds” initiative of BirdLife Asia. The MigrantWATCH 2014/15 activities started with a lecture by Prof. Sarath Kotagama on Bird Migration on the last Saturday of month of August (30.08.2015) marking the onset of migratory season.

The main event of the MigrantWATCH 2014/15 was held on the last weekend of September with a lecture by Prof. Devaka Weerakoon on 27th of September. A mini exhibition on Migrants with few exhibition panels was setup inline with the lecture. The special MigrantWATCH T-shirt too has been manufactured by Dilly & Carlo to support this year’s MigrantWATCH too has been made available for sales at this event.

The FOG-KIDS session for junior birders of September was conducted on the theme ‘Migrant Birds’. An introduction to the common migrants that could be spotted even on home gardens was given to these Junior Birders who enjoyed the session.

A birding session for migrants and other common birds at Thalangama Wetland on 28th of September was followed. Over 100 birders participated in this birding event.

As a separate exercise, the migratory Barn Swallow colony of Ratnapura was tracked for the days they first arrive. It was discovered that the first group of migrants arrived in Ratnapura on 08th of September. Along with the launch, an online data capturing sheet in the form of GoogleDocs were setup to record the data of the sightings of the migrants shared in the public domain such as social media and the records directly sent to FOGSL.

The awareness on migrant birds was given through print media and social media throughout the season. The blog www.migrantwatch.wordpress.com too has been used to outreach the public and bird enthusiasts on migrant birds.

. . . Looking forward for the next migratory season for MigrantWATCH 2015/16..!!

Records of MigrantWATCH 2014/15

6 Nov

You can access the MigrantWATCH 2014/15 datasheet through this link online.


Here is the data on migrants collected as of 05th of November 2014

FOGSL Migrant Bird Recording 2014_2015 – 06.11.2014

MigrantWATCH 2014/15 Main Event: Lecture on Migrants of SriLanka & Birding at Thalangama

27 Sep

‪#‎migrantWATCH‬ event on 27th.September: As we reach the peak of this migratory season, the main event of MigrantWATCH 2014/15 was held today at University of Colombo. The lecture on the topic “Migrant Birds of Sri Lanka” was done by Prof.Devaka Weerakoon to an audience of about 100 who attentively listened to the interesting facts on Migrant Birds. On behalf of MigrantWATCH team; Malaka Rodrigo had given an update of MigrantWATCH activities of the season while Prof.Sarath Kogatama opened the floor explaining the importance of observation of Migrant Birds.

A special lecture on “Palaeobiodiversity of Sri Lanka with emphasize on Birds” by Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi has also been organized together with MigrantWATCH event by the Biodiversity Secretariat of Ministry of Environment has organized this special lecture.


28th.September: Field Visit to Thalangama for migrants and other common birds

Birding was conducted on Sunday morning to a large crowd gathered at Thalangama wetland. There were lot of new comers who enjoyed birding.

1 Prof.Kotagama and Malaka

2 Prof.Kotagama doing introduction 3

3 Prof.Kotagama doing introduction

4 Records of MigrntWATCH - malaka Rodrigo


Barn Swallow colony - malaka presentation

Blue-tailed Bee-eaters - also having a breeding population

Busy in buying publications

Devaka BrownNody

from Dillys & Carlos

Getting memberships

Getting ready to Thalangama

Kusum drawing the agenda Lecture by Prof.Devaka Weerakoon 2

Lecture by Prof.Devaka Weerakoon

Outside exhibition 2

Outside exhibition

participants - upul distributing leaflets


Participants attentively listening to the lecture

participants checking publications

People networking end enjoying the refreshments

People networking end enjoying the refreshments2

People networking end enjoying the refreshments3

prof.devaka - Barn Swallow

Prof.devaka - Birds that migrate

prof.devaka - brown noddy

Prof.Devaka - Greater Flamingo

prof.devaka - Other migrants

Prof.devaka - Where birds spend

prof.devaka 2

Prof.devaka 3



September MigrantWATCH lecture and Birding at Thalangama

25 Sep

Migrant Birds of Sri Lanka - Lecture & Birding session at Thalangama

Are tall buildings trouble migrants visiting Sri Lanka..??

20 Sep

It is reported that millions of birds are killed each year in collisions with the tall buildings elsewhere in the world. Lights in the high rising structures are particular death traps, so in some cities of USA, the unwanted lights of the buildings are switched off or purposely dimmed to minimize the damage during peak of the migratory seasons. Development has reached Sri Lanka and there are lots of sky-scrapers mushrooming in main cities. There are communications towers too erected in many places. Have these become death traps to many of the migrant birds in Sri Lanka..?

Let’s try to find our whether tall buildings trouble migrants visiting Sri Lanka too.

(1) If your workplace is at a tall building, keep an eye for injured / death birds found in vicinity. Perhaps you can ask the department / or the external agency that carry out cleaning / janitorial services to alert you if such bird is found as they will be the first to encounter such troubled migrants.

(2) If the bird is dead, you can simply take a photo for the records (using a mobile phone..?) and email migrantwatch.srilanka@gmail.com or share on FB page

(3) If the bird is alive and injured, protect them from dogs, cats, crows, shikras etc. and monitor whether it recovers itself. Handle them gently only if necessary and keep them in a dark, quiet and warm place if too weak to fly. You can contact MigrantWATCH team on following numbers for more instructions 0718440144/ 0712289022/ 0777356931

(2) Please share past records on cases where migrants collide on buildings at onset of toward the end of migratory season.

This Slaty-legged Crake was rescued from Lucky Plaza building in Colombo during first MigrantWATCH held in 2011..

Slaty-legged Crake2 - lucky Plaza Building - 17.11.2013

Slaty-legged Crake - lucky Plaza Building - 17.11.2013



Let’s try to help the migrants..!!

List of migrants seen for this season

16 Sep

We have compiled an online document to share the records of migrants. The sightings of migrants that are shared on public domain, social media and the records directly sent to us will be updated on this regularly. Please share your sightings of the migrants too, so that we can have better records that we can analyze at the end of this migratory season. Thanks Ajith Gamage for setting this page and volunteering to manage it for MigrantWATCH 2014/15. http://bit.ly/1nQ7gbo