Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vagrant Chats and Old World Flycatchers (family:Muscicapidae) Recorded in Sri lanka

     1) Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
      First record of occurrence of this bird in Sri Lanka is by Layard and second was by E.C. Fernando from Boralesgamuwa in November 1955. Third record is from Tharanga Herath with photographic evidence near old campsite of the Bundala National Park on 13th March 2014. (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/the_ceylon_bird_club_news.php)

      2) Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin(Erythropygia galactotes familiaris)
A live specimen collected on 30th September 1964 in a garden at Dehiwela and brought to Thelma Gunawardane by Osmar Ismail is the first and only record of the occurrence of this bird in Sri Lanka. The bird was in exhausted condition and was found dead on following morning. Specimen sent to J.D. Macdonald of the British natural history museum and identification was confirmed by himself. (Gunawardene, W. T. T. P., 1965)

      3) Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
W.W.A. Phillips mentioned two sight records of Isabelline Wheatear, one bird close to the 15th mile-post on the Mannar-Pooneryn road, north of the Uyatantundi Aru causeway by K.F. Dallas and a friend on the 4th December 1970 [November 1970 according to the Hoffmann, T. W., 1974] and another one from dry mud-flats about a quarter of a mile from Vankalai on the 14th March 1976 by John and Jude Banks (Phillips 1978: 83, & Hoffmann, T. W., 1977). A sight record of a single bird reported from Bundala on March 1990 (Hoffmann, T. W., 1991) Another sight record is given in the South-east coast (in two seasons) in the Report of the CBC for the 2008-2011 periods (Warakagoda D. & Sirivardana U., 2011)

      4) Blue-throated Flycatcher (Cyornis rubeculoides)
Emerson Tennent first time included it in his list as a Sri lankan bird (Tennent E., 1861: 267). But Legge was in the opinion that Tennent may have been misidentified C. banyumas which is the flycatcher which represented in the south of the peninsula while C. rubeculoides is the North Indian bird. (Legge, W. V. 1870).  His idea is further supported by not having C. banyumas in Tennents list. Legge himself noted that he had met with this bird in various parts of the northern forests, but only from October to April of the year and Layard also obtained few specimens during its migration from the mainland ,first one being on 14th October 1851(Legge 1880:547). Legge mention of seeing a specimen in Lord Tweeddale’s collection [which was probably collected by Chapman] by HoldsworthLegge also had some specimens collected by himself. All of above specimens from Northern forests and Jaffna peninsula till W.W.A. Phillip observed a single bird on Mousakande estate Gammaduwa in the Mathale hills (3300ft a.s.l) (Phillips 1978:75)). In 1997/68 migrate season almost certainly a bird was seen in the northern forest area (Cameron, R.Mcl.L., 1968) and another sight record of a single bird reported on February 1981 at Sigiriya (Hoffmann, T. W., 1982)

Unconfirmed vagrants:

Species for which there are only one or two sight records exist categorized here as unconfirmed vagrants. Problematic records without sufficient details are also included.

      5) Pied Wheatear(Oenanthe pleschanka pleschanka)
G.M. Henry in 16 November 1943 observed an exhausted female bird in its winter plumage in a Colombo garden probably after arriving presumably from India. He has confirmed his identification after comparing his notes and sketches he had taken during many minutes of his observations with specimens at the British Natural History Museum. (Henry G.M. 1998: 380) There is another sight record of Pied Wheatear on passage between Sri Lanka and Maldives islands (Repley S.D. 1982: 471)

      6)Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)
Single sight record of the Desert wheatear available so far was reported by R.W. Lekkerkerk of Holland from Bundala National Park in February 1986 (Hoffmann, T. W., 1987).

      7) Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)            
Single sight record of it at Sinharaja noted by Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G (Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G. 2010: 306 Quoting CBCN 1978, July: 41). However it is not available in annual review of CBC notes for 1978 (Hoffmann, T. W., 1979) not in CBC country list (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/sri-lanka-bird-list.php) and two appendixes (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/Appendix-I.pdfhttp://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/Appendix-II.pdf), not even in List of rejections (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/List-of-Rejections.pdf)

      8) Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia)
Sight record made by Deepal Warakagoda and Steve Rooke at Yala block IV in March 1999 is the first record of its occurrences in Sri Lanka (Warakagoda, D. 2000). Second sight record of it from Thanamalwila on 3rd January 2012 with photographic evident by Amila Salgado (Samaraweera P., 2013)

      9) Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva)
A.J. Vincet has recorded it from Horton plains in March 1994. It is the only record of this bird in Sri Lanka (Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G. 2010:307)

      10) Slaty-blue Flycatcher (Ficedula tricolr)
Single sight record at Sigiriya in February 1993 by A.J. Vincent is the only record (Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G. 2010:308)

      11) Black-and-rufous Flycatcher (Ficedula nigrorufa)
E.L. Mitford of the Ceylon civil service said to have procured a specimen of this species from Rathnapura district. Layard identified the species by a drawing of the bird made by Mitford who asserts that it was migratory, appearing in JuneLegge doubted about it since no South-Indian migratory bird visiting Sri Lanka at that season and it can’t be also a local migration since it would not have been observed in other areas of the island (Legge 1880: 548)

      12) White-bellied Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes)
Sight record of A.J. Vincent at Kitulgala in April 1994 is the only evident for the occurrence of this species in Sri Lanka (Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G. 2010:309)

      13) Hill Blue-flycatcher (Cyornis banyumas)
Single sight record of this flycatcher reported from Colombo in 1985 (Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G. 2010:309 quoting CBCN 1985, Oct: 53a). However annual review of CBC notes for 1985 lack such a record (Hoffmann, T. W., 1986). It is not available in either CBC country list (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/sri-lanka-bird-list.php) or two Appendixes (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/Appendix-I.pdfhttp://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/Appendix-II.pdf), not even in List of rejections (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/List-of-Rejections.pdf)

14) Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)
First time recorded by Sarath Seneviratna on March 2008 at Walahanduwa (Warakagoda D. & Sirivardana U., 2011)

15) Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
The sight record of the single bird at t Udawalawe National Park on 8th of February 2015 by Chintaka De Silva, Janith Jayarathna and Clemens Steiof is the first record of it for Sri Lanka. (http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/the_ceylon_bird_club_news.php)

16) Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus)

Single bird observed at Udawalawe National Park on 8th February 2015 by Chintaka de Silva, Janith Jayaratne and Clemens Steiof is probably the second record of it for Sri Lanka.(http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/the_ceylon_bird_club_news.php)


Cameron, R.Mcl.L. 1968. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club - 1967/68. Loris. 11(3):153-154.
Gunawardene, W. T. T. P., 1965. A new addition to the avifauna of Ceylon Erythopygia galactodes familiaris. Spolia Zeylanica, 30(2), 247-248.
Hoffmann, T. W., 1974. Notes From The Ceylon Bird Club 1970-1973. Loris, 13(4), 211-214.
Hoffmann, T. W., 1977. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club 1976. Loris, 14(3), 154-156.
Hoffmann, T. W., 1979. Note from the Ceylon Bird club 1978. Loris, 15(1), p6-8.
Hoffmann, T. W., 1982. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club 1981. Loris, 16(1), 38-40.
Hoffmann, T. W., 1986. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club 1985. Loris, 17(3), 99-101.
Hoffmann, T. W., 1987. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club 1986. Loris, 17(5), 209-210
Hoffmann, T. W., 1991. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club, 1990. Loris, 19(3), 103-105.
Henry G.M., 1998 A Guide to the birds of Sri Lanka 1998. 3rd Edition.
Kotagama, S., Ratnavira, G. 2010. An illustrated Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Colombo.
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.
Repley S.D., 1982 A synopsis of the birds of India and Pakistan together with those of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka 1982
Samaraweera P., 2013. Report from the Ceylon Bird Club 2012, Loris 26(5&6), 33-35
Tennent E., 1861. Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon with narratives and anecdotes. (AES reprint 1999)
Warakagoda, D., 2000. Report from the Ceylon Bird Club for 1999. Loris, 22(4), 23-25.
Warakagoda D. & Sirivardana U., 2011. Report from the Ceylon Bird Club for 2008-2011, Loris 26 (1&2)

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