Saturday, November 29, 2008

Birding at Kithulgala forests – A memorable experience

FOGSL members participated in another successful field visit at Kithulgala from 21st to 23rd November. Kithulgala forest is a convenient location for bird watching since it is located in a short distance from Colombo. Being a lowland rain forest, Kithulgala provides an excellent habitat for many birds. Although it was rainy during the period, our members were able to record sixty six species including nine endemics. Visiting the Belilena caves, where fossils of more than 32,000 years old discovered, was an unforgettable experience. The long trek through the jungle to reach this cave provided real outdoor experience as well as opportunity for birding.
Participants: Mr. A.S.M. Rufki, Ms. Indika Amali, Mr. Chandima, Mr. Nirmal Ranasinghe, Mr. Niren Ranasinghe, Mr. P. Fernando, Ms. S. Fernando, Mr. Niranjan Bandaranayaka, Mr G. Herath, Mr. C.R.I. Gomez, Miss. Nimalka Sanjeewanee, Miss. Kashmy Sadanayake, Mr. Sugathsiri Bandara and Mr. Indrika Pradeepa.

List of birds recorded during the visit
Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii)
Indian Pond-heron (Ardeola grayii)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger)
Crested Serpent-eagle (Spilornis cheela)
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
Spotted Dove (Stigmatopelia chinensis)
Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
Pompadour Green-pigeon (Treron pompadora)
Green Imperial-pigeon (Ducula aenea)
Sri Lanka Hanging-parrot (Loriculus beryllinus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Sri Lanka Emerald-collared Parakeet (Psittacula calthropae)
Sri Lanka Red-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus)
Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis)
Brown-backed Needletail (Hirundapus giganteus)
Asian Palm-swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis)
Alpine Swift (Tachymarptis melba)
Little Swift (Apus affinis)
Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata)
Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus)
White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis)
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaultia)
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis)
Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)
Sri Lanka Yellow-fronted Barbet (Megalaima flavifrons)
Crimson-fronted Barbet (Megalaima rubricapillus)
Rufous Woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus)
Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)
Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)
Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura)
Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia)
Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus)
White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens)
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradise)
Jungle Crow (Corvus levaillantii)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus)
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica)
Asian Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)
Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)
Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides)
Large-billed Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus magnirostris)
Sri Lanka Brown-capped Babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillus)
Dark-fronted Babbler (Rhopocichla atriceps)
Sri Lanka Orange-billed Babbler (Turdoides rufescens)
Yellow-billed Babbler (Turdoides affinis)
Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus)
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush (Zoothera imbricata)
Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis)
White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)
Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)
Tickell's Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)
Jerdon’s Leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni)
Thick-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum agile)
Pale-billed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos)
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica)
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata)
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

Indrika Pradeepa provided the bird list and photos. FOGSL acknowledges Mr. Padmasiri and his staff at the Ceylon Adventure Sports, Kithulgala for facilitate FOSGL team during the period.

Friday, November 21, 2008

‘Sri Lanka Birds’ in the month of October

‘Sri Lanka Birds’ web based data entry system for Sri Lanka completed another successful month by the end of October. Summary results of the month of October is given in this report. This analysis is based on the data downloaded on 21st November 2008.

New members 11
Total members 190
We warmly welcome new members to the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ community.

Total Number of Observations 2065
Number of Species 180
Number of Endemic Species 19
Number of Proposed endemic Species 7
Number of migrant species 22

Nesting records
Number of observations 12
Number of species 10
Species (Baya Weaver, Brown Paradise- flycathcher, Common Myna, Great Egret, Greater Coucal, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Red-vented Bulbul, White-rumped Munia, White-throated Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Babbler)

Mostly recorded species (No: of observations)
Common Myna (78)
House Crow (76)
Yellow-billed Babbler (65)
Red-vented Bulbul (62)
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (61)

Top five users (No: of observations)
Rahula Perera (657)
Newton Jayawardena (603)
Dilshan De Silva (253)
Chandanie Wanigatunge (147)
Kusum Fernando (140)

A total of 48 locations were visited during October by ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ members. As in the previous month, highest number of observations was made at Ragama (330).

Current statistics describing the number of field visits, number of observations and bird species, as well as the number of users registered in the system, are displayed on the login page of ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ - .

We would like to thank all the members for entering their valuable observations into Sri Lanka Birds. We highly appreciate the contributions of members towards conservation of birds through this initiative.

Administrator of “Sri Lanka Birds”
Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka

Monday, November 3, 2008

13th Annual P.B. Karunarathna Memorial Bird Education Exhibition

13th annual P.B. Karunarathna Memorial Bird Education Exhibition was held from 30th October to 2nd November at the Department of Zoology, University of Colombo. This annual event is organized to commemorate late P.B. Karunarathna, a founder member of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka and a well known naturalist of the country.

Special sections on Sinharaja rain forest and Biodiversity of Sri Lanka were displayed as well as bird education materials. This annual exhibition is one of the major events organized by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka to raise awareness among the general public.

Bird awareness seminars were also conducted for the school children of Royal College and Thurston College in parallel to the exhibition.

FOGSL thanks all the members who supported in many ways to organize this exhibition.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An update of the National Bird Ringing Programme - September 2008

As part of the National Bird Ringing Programme, FOGSL conducted another bird ringing session at Bundala National Park from 17th to 21st September 2008, with the collaboration of Department of Wildlife Conservation. This session was conducted to capture birds at the beginning of the migrant season 2008/09.

As in previous seasons, netting sessions for waders were conducted at the Bundala lagoon. Number of birds and species observed in and around the lagoon during the period were very high. A total of eight species of waders and a Whiskered tern were captured during the netting sessions. Total number of birds captured was 61. Highest number of recaptures under the NBRP was recorded during this session. Kentish plovers (3), Common Redshanks (2) and a curlew Sandpiper were recaptured during the session. A single Grey Plover was recaptured for the first time after commencement of the NBRP.

Following birds were captured during this session.

Common Redshank
Curlew Sandpiper
Kentish Plover
Lesser Sandplover
Grey Plover
Little Stint
Marsh Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Whiskered Tern

A short netting session to capture forest birds in the scrub forest around the lagoon was also conducted. A total of 12 birds belong to seven species were captured during this session. A White-browed Bulbul which was ringed in July 2007 was recaptured during the session.

Following forest birds were captured during this session.

Red-vented Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul
Oriental White-eye
Tawny-bellied Babbler
Common Tailorbird
Scaly-breasted Munia
Little Green Bee-eater

A special training session on ‘bird ringing and basic bird studies’ were also conducted for the officers of the Department of Wildlife Conservation as a part of the National Bird Ringing Programme. A total of nine officers from DWC were trained during this session. Trainees from the DWC were R.S. Rathnayaka, M.D.P. Buddhika Roshan, P.A. Gunadasa, L.H.R. Kumara, K.A.D. Narada Kumarasiri, J.A.H. Melroy Jayakody, D.M.G.Y. Prabath, W.R.S. Dunuwila and L. Dulip Mendis.

Participants from FOGSL for this ringing session were C.D. Kaluthota, K. Dayananda, K.A.S. Sanjeewa, Pradeep Suranga, and Sameera Ariyarathna.

FOGSL show gratitude all the participants for their hard work in the field, and Mr. Sisira Kumara de Silva (Park Warden, Bundala NP) Uthpala Adaranga (Deputy Park Warden, Bundala NP), Chamara Munasinghe (Eco-tourism officer, Bundala NP) and the staff of the Bundala National Park for their contribution to facilitate this session.