brings about lots of pleasant changes in the environment. One of these is it creates temporary pools in most parts of Sri Lanka. This may sound bad news when you think about mosquitoes. But these pools also attract dragonflies, which come to find food and love. Aggressive predators, dragonflies in their aquatic larval stages feed among other things on mosquito larvae. Also at their free flying adult stage; they feed on mosquitoes, quite a bit. Therefore, dragonflies play an important role in controlling these harmful pests, which increase during wetter months.
While birding in a secondary forest patch close to my residence, I came across quite a cute little temporary pool with plenty of dragons. I found myself making two trips to this fantastic wetland reserve to attempt to capture some of its beautiful residents in camera. Here are a couple of dragon shots that I managed.
Blue Pursuer Potamarcha congener -- adult male.
My birding highlights included Yellow-fronted Barbet - an endemic bird of Sri Lanka that is still holding a small population – probably the closest locality to Colombo in its distribution in Sri Lanka. This endemic is still not recorded in my garden yet; despite the latter being only a 1.5 km away as a
Crow Barbet flies. The reason for its absence in my yard is probably is due to the fact that the intervening gap being somewhat heavily built-up. It just shows how habitat-specific some of these endemics are.
I also saw my first White-browed Fantail in my local area. Primarily a dry country bird, it occurs in the wet zone where vegetation has been cleared and secondary growth has taken over. Therefore, in my opinion, it’s a good indicator species about dryness that is creeping into parts of the wet zone due to increasing human activity.
Fellow blogger; Java Jones lamented once that he doesn’t get to see White-browed Fantail in the garden of his highland retreat anymore. I asked him whether his land has got ‘wetter’ than before. His answer was, a ‘yes’. He had planted a lot of trees for habitat enrichment over the years, which have turned his garden greener and consequently too wet for White-browed Fantail! He mentioned that it is found in nearby tea fields, which are open and sunny but not in his backyard anymore.