Thursday, January 21, 2010

Second record of Black-headed Bunting in Sri Lanka

During a field visit on 4th January 2010, we recorded a Bunting feeding in a grassy area at Uraniya pitiya near Palugaswala No 1 of Yala National Park. We were able to observe it for about 20 minutes continuously and later we identified it as a Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala).

At around 16.00 hours in the evening, we spotted the bird which was feeding on the grassy area. After few minutes the bird came on to a pile of dry Elephant dung and started to search food on it. We were able to shoot few photographs using a 200-500mm zoom lens while the bird was on the pile of dung. After few minutes, bird started to feed on the grassland again. Few minutes later, bird flew away to a bush in the vicinity and settled for a moment there, before vanished into the scrub forest.

Observation was made by Nikon 8x40 binoculars around 20m from the bird. The bird was photographed using a Canon 350D SLR from the same distance.

This is the second sight record of the Black Headed Bunting in Sri Lanka. It was first recorded in January 2005 at Udawalawe National park along with another bunting species namely Red-headed Bunting (Emberiza bruniceps). The species is considered as a vagrant to the island.
Reported by Thilanka Ranathunge and Nilantha Kodithuwakku of Nature Odyssey
Photographed by Thilanka Ranathunge

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