Common Sandpiper

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This bird takes up residence in all suitable habitats once it arrives in Sri Lanka and can be seen in diverse places from the coast, coastal estuaries and lagoons to rivers, canals, marshes, reservoirs and paddy fields. Unlike many waders who stick to coastal areas, this bird is seen in far inland and even ascends the highest hills, and can be seen in Nuwara Eliya, Pattipola and Horton Plains National Park. It is not shy of human presence and can be seen in busy places such as the Galle face beach, along the Beira Lake and even along some footpaths and pathways through their habitats. It is always seen that they are rather shy and wary upon arrival, but get used to the presence of human beings and sounds quickly if they are not disturbed too much initially. It is usually solitary during the stay,but a pair or a group of about 3 or 4 individuals can be met with occasionally. Each individual maintains a territory that is guarded aggressively against other members of the same species and intruders are met with a charge accompanied with loud calls but has never been seen attacking another. It roosts in a communal roost at night, which is a departure from the daytime behavior.

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Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law

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