Archive | February, 2014

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

World Wetland Day Birding visit to Anawilundawa Ramsar Wetland

8 Feb

FOGSL arranged a special birding trip to mark the even of World Wetland Day 2014. The Anawilundawa Ramsar Wetland which is an important habitat for Wetland Birds has been the main destination of the tour. Following are some moments captured during this trip. Photo credit to Ajith Gamage and Sujeeva Gunasena.

Group Photo - Field Trip to Anawilundawa on World Wetlands Day - Copy - Copy






FOGSL team birding 2

FOGSL team birding

wetland birds 2

wetland birds

January lecture: Do butterflies Migrate..?

8 Feb

Not only birds, but insects too migrate. Dr.Michael Van der Poorten delivered the MigrantWATCH lecture in January on this theme.

Lecture - Butterflies of Sri Lanka with emphasis on their migration - Dr.Van der Poorten


zDr.Van der Pooten goes in to audience


zMigratory species 8


Welcome 2014 listening to ‘Dawn Chorus’

8 Feb

The new year 2014 has been dedicated to Small Island Nations. Inline with this, the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) has selected “Island Biodiversity” as its theme of the 2014 . Been an island, Sri Lanka is home for many unique species. The theme ‘Island Biodiversity’ is more relevant to Sri lanka. Birds of Sri Lanka too is an important part of the country’s biodiversity and perhaps the most interesting group of animals due to their attraction and their presence even on busy urban areas.

Hence FOGSL will align its 2014 programs under the theme “Birds of Sri Lanka: Splendour of Island Biodiversity”.

To start 2014 FOGSL invited all to Welcome the New Year listening to the ‘Dawn Chorus’ compose by Nature’s Musicians.

Welcome 2014 - listning to the Dawn Chorus

Following is an article published on Sri Lanka’s most popular English Newspaper – The SundayTimes taking the message to a wider audience..

In the soft dawn of a New Year, a sweet sound will steal your heart

By Malaka Rodrigo

For the many preparing to see in 2014 to the booming sound of rock bands and firecrackers the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka has a counter-proposal: welcome the dawn of the New Year to the sweet sound of the dawn chorus. Birds are nature’s wonderful songsters and they sing every morning to welcome the day but their songs mostly go unnoticed due to our busy lifestyle. With all their skills, musicians and composers who have been inspired by the charms of birdsong have not been able to emulate the perfection of Nature’s melody.

Says FOGSL, there’s no better way to see in the New Year than by listening to our birds singing their dawn chorus, but if January 1 is disturbed by the sounds of crackers and you are feeling too sleepy from late-night partying to wake up in time to hear the birds, select any day of the first week of 2014 and listen to nature’s symphony to remind yourself of the need to be closer to nature.

If you listen to the dawn chorus in your area regularly you will notice changes in the melody as some birds intensify their singing during the breeding season. The best example is the well-known songster, the Asian Koel (koha), who starts singing its beautiful song to attract its mate around April.

The Oriental Magpie Robin (polkichcha) is another common songster that enriches the dawn chorus by singing from the highest point in the area. The birds start the day around 4:30-5 a.m. Get up early before sunrise and keep listening!

December Lecture: Migrants and other unique Northern birds

8 Feb

Northern parts of Sri Lanka has been declared as a unique avi-fauna zone with several bird species found only in these areas. Some of the star migrants such as Greater Flamingo are now mainly inhabit areas in Jaffna and Mannar; so it is indeed a unique birding experience. Vimukthi Weeratunga: well known photographer and environmental activist has delivered the 4th lecture under the MigrantWATCH program on December.

Migrants and other unique Northern Birds - Lecture by Vimukthi Weeratunga & Field Visit



Participants 4

Participatnts 5