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Common Name : Kentish Plover     -       Scientific Name : Charadrius alexandrinus seebhomi       -       Other Name : Bola Oleiyya (S), Kent Oleiyya(S)
Kokkare Villu
06/22/2013
Kokkare Villu
06/22/2013
Kokkare Villu
06/22/2013
Kokkare Villu
06/22/2013

Three subspecies of this dainty little bird have been recognized. C.a. alexandrinus breeds in Europe, the Atlantic islands and from North Africa to North-eastern China. C.a. dealbatus breeds in southern Japan and South-eastern China. C.a. seebohmi breeds in Sri Lanka with a small population in southern India.

The resident subspecies C.a. seebohmi is a common breeding resident in the dry lowlands of the country. The birds of the migratory subspecies C.a. alexandrinus can be found in suitable habitat throughout the dry lowlands during the winter season. The identification of the resident race from the migrant race is quite a challenge. The most prominent field characteristic that separates them apart is the lack of black in the lore area (between the eye and the bill base) of the local race seebhomi. The lores of most birds that I have observed had black close to the eye but diffused in to white close to the bill base. The crown of the local race is brown with only a rufous tinge. The females lack the black forehead band.

The conservation status of the species under reference is regarded as “Vulnerable ” (National Red List 2012).
This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

These active birds are usually seen in pairs or small groups of 4-8 birds on the shores of lagoons, large tanks and salterns. I have observed them at many locations in the dry zone from Chilaw in the west coast up to the Jaffna Peninsula and all the way down to Tangalle in the South. I have also seen them in the islands off Devil’s Point such as Kakarathivu and the islands off Jaffna including the islands of  Delft  and Analathivu . At Kora Kulam in the Mannar Island I have observed and photographed nests and immature birds of this race during the month of June.

In Wilpattu I have observed this species at Mahapatessa, Kokkare Villu and Alam Villu.