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,
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
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.
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
Glossy Ibis – the fairly rare black beauties among the winter migrants – seem to have grown fond of the organic paddy fields of Talawatugoda, reports Rishani Gunasinghe.
The number has increased to 4 since one was first sighted here a couple of weeks ago. A pair has also been observed to be roosting in the Parliament lake by Mr. Will Duncan. Noon to Late afternoon is the best time to see them and observe the vibrant colors on their feathers, but do be careful not to come too close, as they seem to get quite easily disturbed by human presence. The best way to observe them is from a vehicle if they are on a paddy field near the road, or by sitting silently at the edge of the walking track. If you don’t disturb them, they will go on feeding, flying from paddy field to paddy field, They might even take a bath and spread their beautiful wings out to dry, rewarding you with some quite special shutter chances.
FOGSL Member Will Duncan shares his excitement on seeing migratory Indian Pitta at doorstep of his own house..!!
“Pittas, sometimes referred to as the jewels of the forest, are keenly sought after by birdwatchers around the world. Absent in Europe and the Americas, birdwatchers from these continents spend hours, days or even weeks hunting for these elusive, beautiful, enigmatic and simply awesome birds. We in Sri Lanka are lucky to have one of these jewels the Indian Pitta as a visitor between the months of October and May. But that doesn’t mean they are easy to see!
At about 5pm on 17th October, the fairly familiar sound of purple-faced leaf monkeys galloping over our rooftop in Thalawathugoda interrupted my daughters violin practice and I decided to open the front door to see if they stayed. They hadn’t but my attention was drawn to a pair of red-vented bulbuls low down in a palm about 2 metres from my front door…but only for a second as my gaze fell to the floor below, and the ‘jewel’ that just stood there, looking at me.
I froze, literally frightened it would go before the rest of the family could share this experience, before I could grab my camera to record this event I had been hoping for since moving to Colombo 3 years ago. I whisper-shouted to my daughter and the pitta stayed. I grabbed my camera and the pitta stayed. It stayed, actively feeding and hopping around the palms and bushes just outside my front door until darkness fell. The bird was gone by morning. Having spent days, hours and almost weeks myself searching for pittas in Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and the Philippines, actually opening my front door to a pitta was extraordinary and I will never forget it. Neither will my jealous birding friends from the UK!”