Sunday, February 27, 2011

ඕලු මුවා/වැලි මුවා[Olu muwa/ Welli Muwa]/Barking Deer/Muntjack (Muntiacus muntjak malabaricus)

Found in forest areas throughout the Island though much common in lower hills.  Usually met alone or as pairs in forest edges always not much away from a dense cover to which it can retreat when a threat occurred. It feeds during night but can be also seen during early morning or late evening hours. It has a very peculiar cry which resembles to the barking of a dog. Hence its English name. Sometime it keep on barking intermittently for long period when alarmed by a leopard or such a intruder. Its food consist of grasses and leaves.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Merremia emarginata

Rather rare prostrate vine found in sandy places of dry zone. Indigenous. Also found in tropical Africa, tropical Asia and Malaysia.  Specimens were collected from Mannar, Kekirawa, Trincomalee, Batticola, Yala national park (Flora of Ceylon Vol 1 – Dassanayaka & Fosberg, 1980). Above picture was taken at Manthei of Mannar district

Monday, February 21, 2011

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Very common migrant to lagoons and coastal marshes and tanks of dry zone especially in Northern and South-eastern part of the country. Sometimes it occurs in flocks of many hundreds. It feeds by up-ending in shallow waters of lagoons. And during night it flies to the paddy fields to feed on grains and aquatic animals.  Eventhough it is said that it feeds during night and roost on sandbanks or on the water of lagoons well out in the middle during day time (Henry 1998 3rd Edition & Kotagama & Rathnaveera 2010) I have observed in Vankalai sanctuary of Mannar that it is feeding even during dawn till 8-9 am and again in dusk.  Probably due to the prevailing safe situation there around army camp where hunting of them is impossible.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Common Bluetail (Ischnura senegalensis)

Common small damselfly with  about 20-24 abdomen and 13-16mm hind wing. It inhabits from sea level to 7000ft both in dry and wet zones

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

ඇත්-නෙරෙන්චි[Et-Nerenchi]/Common pedalium (Pedalium murex)

A very common herb along sandy beaches of the dry zone. Flowering from February to September and perhaps in other months.  Flowers open in the morning and close late in the afternoon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)

Caspian tern is the largest of all terns. It is unmistakable with its characteristic large red bill with dark tip. It is a common migrant to dry zone coastal areas of Northern half of the island and coastal wetlands and tanks of Hambantota district. It is less common in wet zone. Breeding birds were observed also from sand banks of Adam’s bridge and resident population present in Negombo lagoon (Kotagama & Ratnavira 2010).  Caspian tern is usually seen flying solitarily or in pairs and resting on sand banks often companies with other terns. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dawn Bluetail (Ischnura aurora aurora )

Small damselfly of about 16-20mm of abdomen and 10-12mm of hind wing, distributed locally throughout the country from the coast to the higher hills.