Monday, December 8, 2014

Vagrant Rails and Crakes (Family: Rallidae) recorded in Sri Lanka

    Birds that appear outside their normal range are known as vagrants. This post summarizes up to date published sight records of vagrants of the family Rallidae (Rails and Crakes) in Sri Lanka.     

     1) Water rail (Rallus aquaticus) R.Indicus
3 or 4 specimens procured by Lieut. Long of H.M. Ceylon rifle regiment at Jayelle (Sic = Jaela) paddy-fields and given to Layard is the only record of the occurrence of this rail in Sri Lanka (Legge V. 1880: 1018).

      2) Corn Crake (Crex crex)
Two immature females procured from Bambalapitiya, one by Dr. Thelma Gunawardane from a garden near the sea on 9th October 1970 and another one in exhausted condition by David Bartholomeusz in the same area on 18th September 1972 are the only records of Corn Crake in Sri Lanka. Both are believe to be just arrived birds from the Indian mainland (Phillips W.W.A., 1978:23). Another previous sight record exists in 1950 on board a ship close to Ceylon. (Hoffmann, T. W., 1974)


Hoffmann, T. W., 1974. Notes From The Ceylon Bird Club 1970-1973. Loris, 13(4), 211-214.
Legge V., 1880. A History of the birds of Ceylon  1983 second edition.
Phillips W.W.A., 1978 Annotated checklist of the Birds of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1978 revised edition.

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