Sr Lanka

Subject: Sr Lanka
From: stuart dashper <>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 10:29:41 +1000
Dear All,

Spent a couple of weeks wandering around Sri Lanka over January. I can
highly recommend it as a birding destination. It was a great change to go
to a country where birds (and mammals) are largely not hunted or persecuted
and as a result there are huge numbers of animals everywhere. Sri Lanka is
about the size of Tasmania with a bird list of approximately 440 species,
26 of which are recognized endemics, although this figure is likely to
increase as there are many Sri Lankan subspecies and races that will
probably be elevated to species status in the near future. Transport, food
and accomodation are all excellent and quite cheap and the birding is
relatively easy, we managed to see all the endemics as well as some Sri
Lankan/Southern Indian specialities (eg Sirkeer Malkoha) amongst the 220
odd species seen for the trip. Susan has loaded a full trip report on her
website for those of you that are
interested. There is also a collection of my photos at the site and if I
can get reasonable photos of shy species like Indian Pitta then this most
be a wildlife photographer's paradise.
One thing that did intrigue me about the birding in Sri Lanka was the mixed
flocks in the rainforests around Sinharaja in the southern hills. Unlike
those in many other parts of southern asia these flocks were very slow
moving, seemed to have fairly predictable movements, were composed of
relatively large birds and had a fairly stable species composition. The
mixed flocks were based around a group of Orange-billed Babblers (20+) and
typically included 2 or more Malabar Trogons (surely one of the easiest
trogons in Asia), 3-5 Red-faced Malkohas, 1-3 Blue Magpies, a Flycatcher or
two and 1-2 species of smaller bird (eg Large-billed Leaf Warbler).
Interestingly White-faced Starling and Layard's Parakeet also associate
with these flocks as do Ashy-crowned Laughingthrushes which work the ground
layer. The guides in this area also use tape playback of the mixed calls
from a flock in an attempt to attract the flock, I'm not convinced that
this was terribly effective in Sri Lanka but was wondering if anyone had
tried this technique in other countries.
If anyone would like more information on Sri Lanka please contact me.

Stuart Dashper 
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