Monday, April 26, 2010

An easy way to record your bird observations

The main objective of the majority of bird watchers is to record sightings of birds. This is the primary interest of amateur birdwatchers. However, many of us are reluctant to write down notes in the field. One of the major reasons is the time taken to write down notes reduce the time for watching birds. Here is a solution for recording. Standardized abbreviations (Alpha codes) allow you to record your observations on note book within seconds without compromising time for birding. It is not necessary to keep all the codes in mind. Anybody can create the code for any bird, once the principles are understood.

Download “Standard Abbreviations for Common Names of Sri Lankan Birds” at FOGSL web

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bird watching during the first quarter of the year 2010

Bird watchers, who do it as a hobby, can also participate in conservation programmes. ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ is such a ‘citizen science programme’. Through this initiative, data provided by bird watchers are taken into consideration for the conservation efforts, not only in Sri Lanka, but also in global level.

After nearly two years and four months from the launch of the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ database, number of observations recorded in the system reached 60,000 while number of visits arrived at 3000. Summary results of the analysis for the first quarter of the year 2010 are given in this report. This analysis is based on the data downloaded on 16th April 2010.

New members (70)
Total members (453)
FOGSL warmly welcomes new members to the ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ community.

Number of visits (317)
Total Number of Observations (7240)
Number of Species (288)
Number of Endemic Species (25)
Number of Proposed endemic Species (7)
Number of migrant species (84)

Rare migrant species; White-headed stilt, Brown Noddy, European Bee-eater, Pied avocet, Blyth’s Pipit, Northern Shoveler, and vagrants; Ruddy Shelduck and Southern Grey Shrike, were among the noteworthy observations recorded during the three months period.

Nesting records
Number of observations (44)
Number of species (20)

Species - Asian Palm-swift, Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike, Baya Weaver, Brown Hawk -owl, Brown-headed Barbet, Common Tailorbird, Coppersmith Barbet, Long-billed Sunbird, Oriental Magpie Robin, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Pied Kingfisher, Purple Swamphen, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Red-vented Bulbul, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Scaly-breasted Munia, Streaked Weaver, White-bellied Drongo, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Yellow-eyed Babbler

Mostly recorded species (No: of observations)
Red-vented Bulbul (184)
Common Myna (184)
House Crow (181)
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (167)
Yellow-billed Babbler (160)
White-throated Kingfisher (160)

Top five users (No: of observations)
Newton Jayawardane (2186)
Nadika Hapuarachchi (1131)
Ivan Maggini (705)
Amila Sumanapala (704)
Chaminda Jayarathna (674)

A total of 119 locations were visited during the period by ‘Sri Lanka Birds’ members. Highest number of observations was made at Ragama (1481) as in many previous months. Birding locations which were visited during the period showed wide range, including many sites in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

To see current statistics that describe 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’ .

Friday, April 9, 2010

Birding at Mune point and Annaiwilundawa

FOGSL organized its monthly field visit for the month of March from 27th to 29th, to North-Western coastal area. A team of 25 FOGSL members joined to explore birds in the areas around Puttalum lagoon and Annaiwilundawa. Camping among the mangrove forests at Mune point and boat trip to Gange Wadiya enhanced the excitement of this memorable experience. A total of 125 bird species including some of the site specialists such as Grey Francolin were recorded during the visit.
Mrs. Cheryl Silva, Miss. Ayanthi Samarajeewa, Mrs. Tharindra de Silva, Miss. Madubashini Jayawardhane, Mr. Nanda Siriwardhane, Mrs. Roshini Rodriguez, Dr. Newton Jayawardhane, Mr. Pubudu, Miss. Uraji Karunaratne, Mr. Asoka Jayasekara, Mr. Kasun Dayananda, Mr. Thilanka Perera, Mr. Chameera Seneviratna, Mr. Rohan Kaththiriarachchi, Mr. Wernon Fernando, Mr. Ranjith Silva, Mr. Mohamad Faris, Miss. Jayanthi Karunaratne, Mrs. Sujatha Mayadunnage, Mr. Janaka Disanayaka, Mrs. Shamila Perera, Mr. Kusum Fernando, Mr. Sadun Jayawardhane, Mr. Indrika Pradeepa

Bird species recorded
Grey Francolin
Indian Peafowl
Lesser Whistling-duck
Asian Openbill
Black-headed Ibis
Yellow Bittern
Cinnamon Bittern
Striated Heron
Indian Pond-heron
Cattle Egret
Grey Heron
Purple Heron
Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Little Egret
Spot-billed Pelican
Little Cormorant
Indian Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Oriental Darter
Brahminy Kite
White-bellied Sea-eagle
Grey-headed Fish-eagle
Crested Serpent-eagle
White-breasted Waterhen
Purple Swamphen
Common Moorhen
Black-winged Stilt
Red-wattled Lapwing
Pacific Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Caspian Plover
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
Eurasian Curlew
Common Redshank
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Wood Sandpiper
Terek Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Little Stint
Brown-headed Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Lesser Crested Tern
Great Crested Tern
Little Tern
Whiskered Tern
Rock Pigeon
Spotted Dove
Emerald Dove
Orange-breasted Green-pigeon
Pompadour Green-pigeon
Alexandrine Parakeet
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Grey-bellied Cuckoo
Drongo Cuckoo
Asian Koel
Blue-faced Malkoha
Greater Coucal
Brown Hawk-owl
Jerdon's Nightjar
Asian Palm-swift
Little Swift
Crested Treeswift
Indian Roller
Stork-billed Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Little Green Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater
Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill
Brown-headed Barbet
Coppersmith Barbet
Brown-capped Woodpecker
Rufous Woodpecker
Black-rumped Flameback
Common Iora
Common Woodshrike
Large Cuckooshrike
Black-headed Cuckooshrike
Small Minivet
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike
Black-hooded Oriole
White-bellied Drongo
Asian Paradise-flycatcher
House Crow
Jungle Crow
Barn Swallow
Jerdon's Bushlark
Zitting Cisticola
Grey-breasted Prinia
Jungle Prinia
Plain Prinia
Red-vented Bulbul
White-browed Bulbul
Common Tailorbird
Blyth's Reed-warbler
Clamorous Reed-warbler
Yellow-billed Babbler
Common Myna
Oriental Magpie-robin
White-rumped Shama
Indian Robin
Jerdon's Leafbird
Pale-billed Flowerpecker
Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple Sunbird
Long-billed Sunbird
House Sparrow
Streaked Weaver
Baya Weaver
Scaly-breasted Munia
Tricoloured Munia
Paddyfield Pipit
Blyth's Pipit

Bird list and Photos: Indrika Pradeepa

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New bird guide launched

The new field guide “An Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka” was launched on 5th, April 2010 at the New Biology Lecture Theater, University of Colombo in front of a large gathering. The new book which was authored by Prof. Sarath Kotagama and illustrated by Gamini Ratnavira was dedicated to two well-known naturalists, namely P.B. Karunarathna and Cedric Martenstyn. Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama participated for the event as the chief guest.

Lighting the oil lamp, by Prof. Sarath Kotagama, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Mrs. Karunarathna and Mrs. Martenstyn.

The gathering

Reading the dedication to Late P.B. Karunarathna by wildlife biologist Kelum Manamendra-arachchi

Dedication to Late Cedric Martenstyn by renowned naturalist Rex De Silva

A message from California, USA - Gamini Ratnavira addressing the gathering

Chief Guest, Prof. Hirimburegama addressing the audience

Prof. Kotagama presenting the first copies of the book to Mrs. Karunarathna and Mrs. Martenstyn

A long queue for the author’s signature

Photos: Upul Wickremasinghe