Monday, May 25, 2009

Bird watching in Rajarata

Field visit to Mihinthale

FOGSL members participated in another successful field visit at Mihinthale from 30th April to 03rd May. Rajarata University premises, adjacent irrigation tanks and the surrounding area were good birding area since it provided wide variety of species. Participants were able to join with a bird netting training programme which was conducted for the students of the University by FOGSL. A total of 96 species including two endemic species were recorded during the visit


Participants: Prof. S.W. Kotagama, Ms. Sujatha Mayadunnage, Mr. G. Herath, Miss. Yuraji Karunaratne, Mr. A. Jayasekara, Mrs. Sindy de Silva, Mrs. Shamila Perera, Mrs. Cheryl Silva, Mr. Indrika Pradeepa

List of birds recorded
Sri Lanka Junglefowl
Indian Peafowl
Cotton Pygmy-goose
Painted Stork
Asian Openbill
Woolly-necked Stork
Black-headed Ibis
Indian Pond-heron
Cattle Egret
Purple Heron
Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Little Egret
Little Cormorant
Oriental Darter
Brahminy Kite
Grey-headed Fish-eagle
Crested Serpent-eagle
Changeable Hawk-eagle
White-breasted Waterhen
Purple Swamphen
Common Moorhen
Barred Buttonquail
Eurasian Thick-knee
Red-wattled Lapwing
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Whiskered Tern
Spotted Dove
Emerald Dove
Orange-breasted Green-pigeon
Pompadour Green-pigeon
Alexandrine Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Asian Koel
Blue-faced Malkoha
Greater Coucal
Indian Nightjar
Asian Palm-swift
Little Swift
Crested Treeswift
Malabar Trogon
White-throated Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Little Green Bee-eater
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill
Malabar Pied Hornbill
Brown-headed Barbet
Crimson-fronted Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet
Greater Flameback
White-naped Woodpecker
Ashy Woodswallow
Common Iora
Common Woodshrike
Large Cuckooshrike
Black-headed Cuckooshrike
Small Minivet
Brown Shrike
Black-hooded Oriole
Black Drongo
White-bellied Drongo
Asian Paradise-flycatcher
House Crow
Jungle Crow
Hill Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Jerdon's Bushlark
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark
Zitting Cisticola
Jungle Prinia
Ashy Prinia
Plain Prinia
Black-crested Bulbul
Red-vented Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul
Common Tailorbird
Brown-capped Babbler
Tawny-bellied Babbler
Yellow-eyed Babbler
Yellow-billed Babbler
Oriental White-eye
Common Myna
Oriental Magpie-robin
White-rumped Shama
Indian Robin
Tickell's Blue-flycatcher
Jerdon's Leafbird
Golden-fronted Leafbird
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple Sunbird
Long-billed Sunbird
White-rumped Munia
Scaly-breasted Munia
Paddyfield Pipit

Bird list and photos: Indrika Pradeepa

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BirdLife International announces more Critically Endangered birds than ever before

BirdLife International's latest evaluation of the world's birds has revealed that more species than ever are threatened with extinction. A staggering 1,227 species (12%) are now classified as Globally Threatened but the good news is that when conservation action is put in place, species can be saved.

"In global terms, things continue to get worse – but there are some real conservation success stories this year to give us hope and point the way forward", said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife's Director of Science and Policy.

According to this recent update, a sum of 192 species comes under category ‘Critically Endangered’, while 362 species in ‘Endangered’ and 669 species in ‘Vulnerable’ categories. A total of 133 species are considered as ‘Extinct’, whereas four species extinct in the wild.

To learn more about this evaluation, visit

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birds observed during the festive month

Sri Lanka Birds’ ; Sri Lankan section of the global web-based data entry system ‘worldbirds’ completed another successful month by the end of April 2009. This report provides an analysis of data entered by ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ members for the month of the Sinhala New Year. This analysis is based on the data downloaded on 15th May 2009.

New members 17
Total members 295
FOGSL warmly welcomes new members to the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ community.

Total Number of Observations 1214
Number of Species 165
Number of Endemic Species 7
Number of Proposed endemic Species 6
Number of migrant species 30

Observations of Bar-tailed Godwit, Greater Flamingo and Yellow wagtail at Bundala are noteworthy records. Number of endemic species recorded in the system for the month was very low compared to previous months. The total number of observations recorded in the system was also low compared to earlier months.

Nesting records
Number of observations 15
Number of species 14

Species (White-bellied Drongo, Spotted Dove, Black-hooded Oriole, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Common Tailorbird, Black-naped Monarch, Brown-headed Barbet, White-rumped Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Black-crowned Night-heron, Little Egret, White-bellied Fish-eagle, Sri Lanka Grey-hornbill, House Crow)

Three other species (Oriental Magpie Robin, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Long-billed Sunbird) and Black-hooded Oriole and Little Egret were reported in breeding stages other than nesting.

Mostly recorded species (No: of observations)
House Crow (47)
White-throated Kingfisher (43)
Common Myna (42)
Cattle Egret (41)
Yellow-billed Babbler (40)

Top five users (No: of observations)
Newton Jayawardane (557)
Uditha Wijesena(172)
Dharshana Ranatunga (149)
Chaminda Jayaratna (104)
Amila Sumanapala (89)

A total of 25 locations were visited during April by ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ members. Highest number of observations was made at Ragama (276) as in many previous months.

To see 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, visit the login page of ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ - .

FOGSL highly appreciates the contributions of members towards the conservation of birds through this initiative.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Students of Sacred Hearts Convent enjoyed birds and environment

The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka conducted a field workshop for the students of Nature Explorers Club of the Sacred Heart Convent, Galle. The workshop was held at Bundala National Park from 5th to 7th April 2009. Seminars and field activities were included in the workshop which was conducted by Prof. Sarath Kotagama. Mr. Indrajith, Park Warden of the Bundala National Park delivered a special lecture on the conservation of wildlife in the park.
The students were able to participate in another important event during the workshop. A bird ringing session of the National Bird Ringing Programme was held during the period at the park. It was conducted by the Field ornithology Group of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife Conservation. The young students learned about bird ringing and had the opportunity to handle birds under the supervision of FOGSL research team. It was a very rare and valuable experience for the students while enjoying outbound living.
Team from the Sacred Heart Convent Galle.
Ms. Christine Devota, Ms. G H A Thulari Nethmini, Ms. Chamodhi Gunathilake, Ms. W A Chathri Lalanga, Ms. Chathuri Jayalabi Edirisinghe, Ms. Chathuri Nisansala, Ms. Thilini Soysa, Ms. Geethma Gimhani, and Ms. Hemamala Dissanayake (Teacher in charge).
Photos by Uditha Wijesena

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Common, Endemic and Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka

Common, Endemic and Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka: Pictorial Pocket Guide 1 is now available at FOGSL web site. Visit to download this book free of charge.

Common, Endemic and Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka is published by Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka as the first of a series of pocket guides. This excellent field guide is authored by Professor Sarath Kotagama, the first professional ornithologist in Sri Lanka. Illustrations of the book are by well-known bird illustrators; Sarath Kotagama, K.D. Lakshman, Kelum Gunasekara, Pruthiviraj Fernando and Kulasiri Ranaweera.

This book describes almost all common birds together with endemic and threatened birds recorded in the island. The pocket guide aims to provide a rapid, reliable and simple means to the identification of birds in Sri Lanka.