Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wader study workshop at Bundala

FOGSL organized the annual Wader Study Workshop for its members from 12th to 14th December at Bundala wetland complex and its surroundings. The main highlight of the trip was participating in the National Bird Ringing Programme conducted jointly by the FOGSL and the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

We left the FOGSL office on the 11th December around 2.30 pm in a coach that was fully packed with members and their belongings! The only stop of the journey was at Kuruwita for a well deserving cup of tea. It was around 10.00 pm when we arrived at Walligaththa junction and had to wade through flood waters which were rushing in to the Embilikala lagoon. No one wanted to put up tents at the ‘Heritage’, our base camp for the trip, and opted to sleep on the mats for a change. But sadly many didn’t sleep well that night due to “large herds” of mosquitoes and snoring of their neighbors! Sounds of crackers that are lit to chase the wondering elephants were very common, indicating an accelerating human-elephant conflict in the village and its surroundings. Weather gods were good to us during the following three days and as indicated in the list below, 124 bird species were recorded, of which the only endemic was the Sri Lanka Jungle fowl. More than 30 migrants were present in the lagoons, tanks and slatterns. A Fulvous Whistling-duck was spotted amongst the resting Garganyes in the Bandu wewa. Large numbers of terns and cormorants were observed in the Bundala salterns where the bird ringing activities were taking place. The most common migratory waders caught in the mist nets were the Common Redshanks. Capturing White-cheeked Tern, Sterna repressa in the mist nets was a rare treat, especially for Rex whose record of the species 20 years ago was not well received locally at that time.
During dusk, Small Pratincoles and two Nightjar species (Jerdon's and Indian) were observed resting on the saltern banks and on the roads. Spotting a pair of White-naped Woodpeckers at a home garden near the Debarawewa, was an exiting event for many members.
List of birds recorded

Common name Scientific name

Sri Lanka Junglefowl Gallus lafayetii
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus
Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor
Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica
Garganey Anas querquedula
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Indian Pond-heron Ardeola grayii
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Great Egret Casmerodius albus
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis
Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger
Indian Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
Brahminy Kite Haliastur Indus
White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus
Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
White-headed Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus
Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus
Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Small Pratincole Glareola lactea
Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus
Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis
Great Crested Tern Sterna bergii
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Little Tern Sterna albifrons
White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Spotted Dove Stigmatopelia chinensis
Green Imperial-pigeon Ducula aenea
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus
Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Clamator coromandus
Grey-bellied Cuckoo Cacomantis passerinus
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus
Blue-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris
Sirkeer Malkoha Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Collared Scops-owl Otus bakkamoena
Jerdon's Nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis
Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus
Crested Treeswift Hemiprocne coronata
Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Brown-headed Barbet Megalaima zeylanica
White-naped Woodpecker Chrysocolaptes festivus
Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus
Common Iora Aegithina tiphia
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus
Asian Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi
House Crow Corvus splendens
Jungle Crow Corvus levaillantii
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Jerdon’s Bushlark Mirafra affinis
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark Eremopterix griseus
Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis
Plain Prinia Prinia inornata
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer White-browed Bulbul Pycnonotus luteolus
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius
Tawny-bellied Babbler Dumetia hyperythra
Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum
Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus
Oriental Magpie-robin Copsychus saularis
Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicatus
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Jerdon’s Leafbird Chloropsis jerdoni
Purple-rumped Sunbird Nectarinia zeylonica
Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica
Long-billed Sunbird Nectarinia lotenia
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata
Scaly-breasted Munia Lonchura punctulata
Tricoloured Munia Lonchura Malacca
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Paddyfield Pipit Anthus rufulus
Participants: Prof. Sarath Kotagama, Rex De Silva, Shamila Perera, Rahal Fernando, Gayan Budhdhika , Akila Kularatne, Ayanthi Samarajeewa, Rohantha Samarajeewa, Madubashini Jayawardhane, Yuraji Karunaratne, G.K. Kumara, A.S.M. Rufki, Rohan Kaththiriarachchi, Mahitha Kaththiriarachchi, Chameera Senavirathne, G. Herath, Thena Perera, Nishanthi Perera, P. Amudesh, Wilson Kulasuriya, Thilaka Batagoda.

Indrika Pradeepa provided the bird list and photos.

Reported by Nishanthi Perera.

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