Friday, January 8, 2010
Wow! Many birds are still around Attidiya Bellanwila sanctuary.
As you may aware our new house and ECO-V office is at Boralesgamuwa, 15km south to heart of Colombo. Even you can see the tall buildings in Colombo from our balcony. We are facing a part of Bellanwila Attidiya bird sanctuary which is a marsh and situated next to Ratmalana domestic airport. It has become a controversial habitat as many private lands within the sanctuary being developed and by filling them damaging the wildlife . This is the place where I started my career as a bird watcher and I did my first ever research project for my Bsc. degree 15 years ago.
We have been living in this new house for past one year and every day we enjoy the green environment and the water front from our balcony (picture with Boo looking at the lake). I conducted few bird watching sessions for ECO-V members during last year but I hardly had time to watch quietly as my attention was always taken by the two Purple faced langur troops who live in my neighborhood. I usually watch their behavior whenever I look through my windows. I never had the opportunity to get a checklist of birds recently. I was watching birds with John Pilgrim when he visited us and it triggered my enthusiasm again for bird watching which I could not do systematically for a long time. I used my binoculars, note book and guide books and sat in my balcony for one for few hours yesterday and day before.
Believe me, I managed to watch them only for 45 minutes in the morning from 7.30am to 8.15am and another 45 minutes in the evening from 5 pm. I recorded 42 bird species, 2 troops (11 individuals) of Purple faced langurs, thousands of fruit bats and few micro bats. Bird list includes 7 migrants and our dear Spot-billed pelicans (I managed to take a photo when they were flying above my roof).
Isn’t it still a bird paradise? My dear bird loving friends...you have to plan your next holiday with us at ECO-V. You can see them all by just sitting comfortably in our balcony having a good breeze and sun shine. I am sure our dear friends, Sarah Hawkins, Ramesh Kannan, Paul Herbatson, Mark Chappell, John Pilgrim who already visited us will agree with me. You all are welcome!