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World Migratory Bird Day 2017

13 May
The World Migratory Bird Day 2017 (WMBD2017) is internationally celebrated on 10th of May and the theme this year has been “Their Future is our Future” aimed at highlighting the interdependence of people and nature, and more especially people and migratory animals – in particular birds, as they share the same planet and thus the same limited resources. The 2017 campaign aim at raising awareness on the need for a sustainable management of our natural resources, demonstrating that birds conservation is also crucial for the future of humankind.
The WMBD2017 if fallen during non-migratory season, so unfortunately we can not do much on raising awareness for the day, but let’s spread the word on importance of protecting migratory species. Wait for the MigrantWATCH and “Welcome to the Birds” campaign that will start on October. 

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).

Cover of විදුසර magazine on migrantWATCH

5 Nov

විදුසර (Vidusara) Science Publication’s 26th.Oct.2016 issue carries a story on MigrantWATCH 2016/17. The editor used a photo of the migrant Bee-eater as the cover with a detailed article on page 07. Raising awareness on Migratory Birds and educate public on what to do, if they found an exhausted migrant are objectives of MigrantWATCH; so we carry out a media campaign through newspapers.

Vidusara cover - 26.0ct.2016.png


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 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

Launch of MigrantWATCH 2014/15

25 Aug

It is again the time to welcome our feathered friends – the migratory birds..!! Majority of them will start arriving Sri Lanka within next few weeks; hence FOGSL launches its annual program MigrantWATCH 2014/15 with a lecture by Prof.Sarath Kotagama on Bird Migration on Saturday 30th.August at University of Colombo.

MigrantWATCH aims to promote observing migratory birds and their conservation. The program was founded in 2011 and held several successful events during last migratory season. The 30th.August session will also be an opportunity to suggest your own ideas for this season’s MigrantWATCH as the workplan will be finalized. The lecture and forum is open for all; so be free to attend the session also bringing your colleagues..!!

Visit for moments of last season’s MigrantWATCH events..!!

MigrantWATCH 2014&15 - The Bird Migration - by Prof.S.W.Kotagama

Field Trip to Sinharaja for Forest Birds

8 Mar

The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) under year 2014 theme “Birds of Sri Lanka: Splendour of Island Biodiversity” organizes a special field visit to celebrate the International Day of Forests fallen on 21st of March to highlight importance of Forests. The trip will be from 21st – 23rd of March (3 days).

International Day of Forest - FOGSL Field Visit to Sinharaja Rainforest

Photos taken during the pilot visit to arrange the trip by Ajith Gamage and Kusum Fernando.

Blue and White Flycatcher - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja - First Record from Sri Lanka (c) Ajith GamageBlue and White Flycatcher – first record of Sri Lanka (c) Ajith Gamage

Blue Magpie - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie

Forest Eagle Owl - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage

Forest Eagle Owl (ulama)

Frogmouth - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage


Serendib Scops Owl - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage

Serendib Scops Owl

Spurfowl - 02.03.2014 - Sinharaja (c) Ajith Gamage