Tag Archives: India

Sykes’s Warbler wintering in Sri Lanka?

SteppenspötterDuring a stay at the western coast of Sri Lanka, bird-lens.com shot images of an alleged Acrocephalus-Warbler in Briefs Garden, an ornamental garden near the west coast. Immediately I was thinking of a Blyth’s Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum) but could not really confirm ID not at least because the habitat – a garden hedge – was quite strange for the species. I asked for ID-advice from the experts in birdforum.net. Some agreed with BRW (as Blyth’s Reed-Warbler is abbreviated) others voted for a Sykes’s Warbler (Iduna rama) due to the proportions, the long, unrounded tail, the general hue of the plumage, the colour of the legs. Sykes’s Warbler is sometimes regarded as a subspecies of the Booted Warbler (Iduna or Hippolais caligata rama) is a plain brown warbler with pale legs. The bird breeds in Central Asia and winters primarily in India but also as far south as Sri Lanka. The close relative of Booted Warbler prefers trees with sparse canopy in open, dry habitat. Both time when observed in dense Mangrove-like bushes in Sri Lanka, the first thinking of this brown bird with a pointed forehead was of an Acrocephalus – warbler.

And in deed, this small Hippolais – Warbler with its quite long, thin, pointed bill, flat forehead and crown, and rather long tail enhanced by short primary projection often resembles an Acrocephalus – Warbler.

But sometime, it may recall a drab Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) or other Phylloscopus warbler, too. The Sykes’s Warbler Continue reading Sykes’s Warbler wintering in Sri Lanka?

Common Barn-owl in Sri Lanka

The buoyant, slow, wavering flight of the Common Barn-owl (Tyto alba) with its legs dangling makes the owl appear ghost-like. Sometimes it can be seen as a fast, dark shadow in the evening sky. The nocturnal birds are a special challenge for bird photographers. They can only be photographed with a lot of knowledge of the right location, some time and normally a considerable use of technology. This individual to photograph on a perch just after sunset near a lake (they call it tank) in Tissamaharama, southern Sri Lanka, was only possible due to the intense knowledge of the local guide.

The Common Barn-owl owes its name to the pronounced heart-shaped face veil. The shape and bright color of the veil make it easy to distinguish it from other owls. The owl’s silent flight is famous. Because the body plumage is very soft and the outer wing feathers are serrated the barn owl can glide silently through the night. In contrast to one or the other domestic owl species, the barn owl is Continue reading Common Barn-owl in Sri Lanka