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

1 Dec

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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.

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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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VIP migrants find haven in Colombo wetlands

17 Nov

Published on SundayTimes on 13.11.2016 http://www.sundaytimes.lk/161113/news/vip-migrants-find-haven-in-colombo-wetlands-216983.html

This is the bird migration season and the remaining wetlands around Colombo are attracting some special migrant birds, particularly in the wetlands around Thalawathugoda.

While testing his new camera, Erich Joseph was lucky to capture the comb duck in a spot close to the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital. This is a rare migrant and the sighting in our capital city indicates the importance of protecting the remaining wetland habitat in Colombo and its suburbs.

Another migrant, the glossy ibis, has also taken refuge in the Thalawathugoda wetlands. Rishani Gunasinghe, who managed to photograph a small flock of these birds, says that although they look a dull black at a distance, light shining on their feathers brings out their real beauty.

The comb duck

The glossy ibis

RIP Pitta

16 Nov

Udaya Karunaratne on 15.11.2016 reported an Indian Pitta that got slammed into a glass window and got critically injured. It is common that disoriented Indian Pittas and many other species of migrants hit on windows. It is adviced to switch off / dim the lights at night if birds continue to hit on your window. ‘What a pity’ sighs Udaya.

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Malayan Night Heron rescued from Thimbirigasyaya

15 Nov

On Sunday, Bhathiya Senanayake reported to MigrantWATCH team that an unusual bird was presence on his neighbor Ms.Rajini Jayawardena’s garden. They said that bird seems to be injured. Getting down a photo of the bird, MigrantWATCH team identified that the bird is a Malayan Night Heron which is a rare migrant to Sri Lanka. This is the time they arrive the country, so it is assessed the best option to look at the bird where it live.

As the bird didn’t move, MigrantWATCH team made a visit to the bird. Since the habitat was not ideal for the Malayan Night Heron, it is decided to relocate it in a better habitat closer to a wetland. The bird was taken to the University of Colombo and due to release tonight (15.11.2016).

http://gossip.hirufm.lk/12056/2016/11/malayan-nithe-seron.html