Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birds observed during the month of May

The month of May with long ‘Vesak’ holidays provided more birding opportunities to our members. Therefore Vesak month was a very successful month for the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ web-based data entry system. This report provides an analysis of data entered by ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ members for the month of May. This analysis is based on the data downloaded on 17th June 2009.

New members 12
Total members 307
FOGSL warmly welcomes new members to the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ community. FOGSL hopes they will enjoy the system while contributing towards the conservation of Sri Lankan birds.

Total Number of Observations 1474
Number of Species 172
Number of Endemic Species 18
Number of Proposed endemic Species 7
Number of migrant species 24

Observations of Lesser Adjutant at Udawalawa and Ruhuna national Parks, Sri Lanka Scaly Thrush at Sinharaja, Black Drongo at Mihinthale are noteworthy records. Considerably higher number of migrants was also reported during the month.

Nesting records
Number of observations 14
Number of species 7
Species (Red-wattled Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt, Brahminy Kite, White-browed Fantail, Crested Tree-swift, House Crow and Oriental Magpie Robin) .
Three other species (Great Thick-knee, Black-hooded Oriole, Scaly-breasted Sunbird) and Black-winged Stilt were reported in breeding stages other than nesting.

Mostly recorded species (No: of observations)
Common Myna (52)
Yellow-billed Babbler (48)
Red-vented Bulbul (47)
House Crow (46)
Cattle Egret (44)ள

Top five users (No: of observations)
Newton Jayawardane (550)
Chandanie Wanigatunge (321)
Rahula Perera (208)
Nishantha Ganeshapriya (139)
Sujatha Mayadunnage (88)

A total of 29 locations were visited during May by ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ members. Highest number of observations was made at Ragama (415) as in many previous months.

Visit the login page of ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ 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.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Download books and articles on Sri Lankan Birds

Books published by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka are now available to download free of charge at the FOGSL website. Visit ‘Download’ section of the web site to download publications as pdf files. Following publications are available at the moment.

“Common, Endemic and Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka”
This book describes almost all common birds together with endemic and threatened birds recorded in the island. It was authored by well-known ornithologist Prof. Sarath Kotagama. This book is available to buy at FOGSL office and all leading bookshops.

“Birds of Sinharaja”
This book describes the all birds recorded, at the Sinharaja National Heritage Wilderness Area which has one of the highest Avifaunal diversities. It was authored by well-known ornithologist Prof. Sarath Kotagama. This book is available to buy at FOGSL office and all leading bookshops.

“Birds of Sri Lanka: A Tally List”
This list is based on the recent taxonomic revision of Sri Lankan avifauna done by FOGSL researchers. This booklet is prepared to use in the field. FOGSL hopes this will speed up your recording ability in the field and will help you to upload data into the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’. This will be available to buy at FOGSL office soon.

“Siyoth – Journal of the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka”
All articles published in Siyoth Volume 2, Number 1 and 2 are available to download. ‘Siyoth’ is available to buy at FOGSL office and all leading bookshops. Contact FOGSL office to buy past issues of ‘Siyoth’.

Will be online soon.
“Bird Flocks of Sinharaja”
The “Mixed species Feeding Flocks” of Sinharaja National Heritage Wilderness Area is the worlds’ most extensively researched flock since 1981. The study has enabled the publication of numerous research papers and the doctoral thesis of Dr. Eben Goodale. It has thus brought fame to Sinharaja in terms of avifaunal studies. This book is a field guide to identify birds in the mixed species feeding flocks. It was authored by well-known ornithologist Prof. Sarath Kotagama and Dr. Eben Goodale. This book is available to buy at FOGSL office and all leading bookshops. This will be added to download section soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

World Environment Day 2009

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

Commemorated yearly on 5 June, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day's agenda is to:

1. Give a human face to environmental issues;
2. Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
3. Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;
4. Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change'. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.

For more details…

Thursday, June 4, 2009

World Environment Day 2009

People around the world will unite for the planet on 5th June for World Environment Day 2009, with a strong call for environmental action. This year's theme is 'Your Planet needs You! Unite to combat climate change' - a topic that reflects everyone's individual responsibility to protect the planet.

FOGSL, one of the leading environment organizations in Sri Lanka has organized series of events from 5th to 10th June to celebrate the WED 2009. All these events are aimed at the school children who have strong will to protect the environment.

5 June – Kivula Junior School, Kalametiya –Events: Seminars, Tree planting programme, Assessment of students’ creations.

5 June – Ekala Maha Vidyalaya (J.B. Senanayaka School) - Events: Seminars, Tree planting programme.

9 June – Alawathupitiya Junior School - Events: Seminars, Tree planting programme.

10 June – Yashodaradevi School, Gampaha - Events: Seminars, Tree planting programme.

5 June –A citizen science programme to assess status of Asian Openbill in and around Colombo will be started. This programme will be implemented with the volunteer participation of School children. Students who travel from Colombo to Polgahawela by train are invited to participate in this interesting study. For more details, contact Mr. Aruna Padmaperuma or Mr. Pradeep Suranga at FOGSL.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

World Migratory Bird Day 2009 celebrations at Kalametiya

World Migratory Bird Day 2009 was held on 9th and 10th May under the theme ‘Barriers to Migration”. With 122 registered events in 51 countries worldwide, it was celebrated with a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause.
Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka organised a two-day Workshop for School children on ‘Wetland conservation and migratory birds’ to celebrate this event. Workshop was held on 11th and 12th May at Kalametiya for the children of two selected schools in the area. A total of 60 students and 10 teachers from Kivula junior school and Deniya Pingama junior School were participated in the workshop.
Series of seminars on wetlands and wetland conservation, bird migration, and wetland ecology was completed. Field visits to Kalametiya sanctuary and Bundala National Park was also conducted during the period. Students got first hand experience on habitat ecology of many vegetation types at the Bundala National Park, Sri Lanka’s first Ramsar site. Participants were also able to visit one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Sri Lanka at Bundala during the workshop.

Education officers Aruna Padmaperuma, Chandralal Kumara and Susantha Sanjeewa of FOGSL conducted the workshop.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Capturing birds at the end of migratory period 2008/09

FOGSL conducted another bird ringing session at Bundala National Park from 05th to 09th April 2009 in collaboration of the Department of Wildlife Conservation. As part of the National Bird Ringing Programme, this session was conducted to capture birds at the end of migratory season 2008/09.
Netting sessions for waders were done at the Bundala saltern. Very low numbers of birds and species were observed in and around the saltern during the period since many of the birds have already gone. Total of 92 birds were captured while Little Terns gave the highest account. A total of eight waterbird species including a five wader species were captured. Two Common redshanks which were ringed during the last ringing session in December 2008 were recaptured.
Striated heron, Indian Cormorant, Kentish Plover, Lesser Sandplover, Common Redshank, Little stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Tern were the captured species.

A training programme for the officers of the DWC on bird ringing and other related bird studies was conducted. A total of seven participants engaged in the programme during this session. During the training programme a series of lectures and practical components on bird ringing and other field studies were conducted. Participants from the DWC were Mr. Thissa Ariyawansa, Mr. H.A. Premasiri, Mr. H.K. Piyasena, Mr. Mishan Kariyawasam, Mr. M.R.U.D. Perera, Mr. R.J. Kumara and Mr. D.C. Mahanama. Participants from FOGSL for this ringing session were Prof. S.W. Kotagama, Mr. C.D. Kaluthota, Mr. R.A.R. Perera, Mr. Kasun Dayananda, Mr. Sameera Ariyarathna, Mr. Pradeep Suranga, and Mr. Dilshan De Silva.

FOGSL acknowledges all the participants for their difficult task in the field, Mr. W.A.A.D.U. Indrajith (Park Warden, Bundala NP) and his staff for their role to facilitate this session in the Bundala National Park.