Contact

Jetwing Eco Holidays

Jetwing House
46/26 Navam Mawatha
Colombo 2
Sri Lanka.

Phone :
94 11 238 1201 or 94-11-234 5700 (Ext) 559, 561 or 593
Fax :
94 11 462 7743

Our usual office hours are from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5 pm. We do access emails intermittently outside these hours. We are at GMT plus 5 hrs 30 mins.

 

March 2002

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Special Offer for Leopard Watching at Yala Safari Lodge. 50% discount on select days.
  • Himalayan migrants still present at sites in and around Nuwara Eliya.
  • Bay-backed Shrike still present in Yala

BIRDING & WILDLIFE NEWS

24th - 25th - Bay Backed Shrike still present at Yala 

Anouk Illangakoon
reports from a four day visit to Yala and Bundala.  Bay-backed Shrike on two consecutive days (24th & 25th March ) off the main road at Yala near the Buttuwa Spill road. At Palatupana Lewaya 2 Ruffs were sighted among a large flock of feeding Redshanks on the 25th. 58 Flamingos were seen on the morning of the 26th. Also at Palatupana a fairly large flock of Brown-headed Gulls and several species of Terns were seen with a single Saunder's Tern among them. At Bundala Saltern 1 Red-necked Phalarope was sighted among a mixed flock of waders on the 26th. Yala although very dry yielded good Leopard and Bear sightings.

Good period of Leopard sightings in Yala

Ravi Samarasinha also reports a good period of Leopard sightings in Yala. The Leopard Project has received an extension up to 4 July 2002, from the Department of Willdife Conservation. The Leopard Researchers have had their sponsorship under the Jetwing Research Initiative for food and accommodation at the Yala Safari Game Lodge extended up to this date.

24th - Black Winged Stilts reported from Bambewa Wewa

Manori Gunawardana reports (24 March) Australian type Black-winged Stilts from Bambewa Wewa.  A flock of  Rosy Starlings spotted by Rajika Gamage photographer at TRI Talawakelle.

1st - 17th - Coral Mining reported off Seenigama.

Karen Coniff went to Seenigama over the 1- 17 March weekend and reports that the people there are very involved in coral mining. She states "It was awful to see load after load of coral unloaded and broken to bits then burned".

17th - 8 Red-faced Malkohas reported from Morapitiya

Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Udaya Siriwardana & Vijitha de Silva visited Morapitiya Forest Reserve (17 Mar). Four good quality feeding flocks, holding 8 Red-faced Malkohas. One flock held 10-15 Ashy-headed Laughingthrush. 2 Pairs of Green-billed Coucals

21st - Common Buzzard, Kashmir Red-breasted Flycatcher, Indian Blue Robin and flowering Strobilanthes at Horton place.

Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Lal de Silva, S Ravi, & Udaya Siriwardana report that Common Buzzard is still present (21 Mar) from Horton Plains. Lal de Silva has reported 15 Pied Thrushes in Victoria Par, perhaps they are flocking for the return journey. The four noted Kashmir Red-breasted Flycather and Indian Blue Robin still present at sites around Nuwara Eliya. The mass flowering and seed setting of the Strobilanthes at Horton Plains reported earlier, is drawing to a close. A very noticeable drop in Sri Lanka Junglefowl (evidenced from vocalisations).

EVENTS SUMMARY

Saturday 30th March 2002, NBLT, University of Colombo, Colombo 3. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka  9.30 am. General Meeting. Rahula Perera will talk on Feeding Flocks.

SPECIAL OFFERS

YALA SAFARI LODGE - 50% LEOPARD WATCHERS DISCOUNT

The Yala Safari Lodge, which supported the Leopard Research Project, is offering a special discount for wildlife enthusiasts to take advantage of the Leopard sightings, which are being reported at present. A 50% discount is offered on half and full board rates, for room nights from Sundays to Thursdays inclusive. Valid from 5th February to 30th April 2002. Contact Aruni on 345700  (or hotels@jetwing.lk) for bookings. Resident (non a/c) rates are: Half Board -single/double/triple Rs 1,743 / 2,095 / 2,698. Full Board - single/double/triple Rs 1,920 / 2,450 / 3,230. A/c supplement Rs 500. This special offer is to subscribers of Sri Lanka Wildlife News (SLWN), members of the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) and the Sri Lanka Natural History Society (SLNHS). 

OVERSEAS WILDLIFE TOURS

Jetwing Holidays, the outbound travel arm of Jetwing is running a series of overseas wildlife tours to Borneo, Kenya, Peru, Madagascar and Tiger Safaris to India. Departure dates are customised for small groups. Contact Bewan Weiman (074 712818) or Janakan Joseph (074 714827). 5% of all profits will be contributed to the Jetwing Research Initiative to support Research and Conservation projects in Sri Lanka. E-mail eco@jetwing.lk

SRI LANKA WHISTLING THRUSH (Arrenga) - 3 MONTH JRI RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP

The Jetwing Research Initiative (JRI) have agreed to support a 3 month study on the  the endemic Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush (Arrenga) , in the Nuwara Eliya area. The support under the JRI will be by the provision of food and accommodation at the prestigious St Andrews Hotel in Nuwara Eliya. This will take care of the major logistical issues, one of the biggest hurdles faced by researchers. FOGSL, the local partner of Bird Life International, who have received the scholarship will seek additional sponsorship to meet the other costs of the study pertaining to transport, research materials etc.

Candidates who are interested in applying to undertake the study should contact Professor Sarath Kotagama,
Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL),
Department of Zoology,
University of Colombo,
Colombo 3.
Phone 075 342609, Fax 075 337644.
E-mail fogsl@slt.lk

Please note that you should not apply to Jetwing. However, you may visit the Jetwing Eco website (www.jetwingeco.com) for more information on the Jetwing Research Initiative.

NEW BOOKS

Nature Photographer 2001 Portfolio The wining and commended entries of the Nature Photographer 2001 Competition are published in a 32 page full colour portfolio. The Portfolio is on sale for Rs 390 from Smart Media - 100 Horton Place, Barefoot, Bookland, Lake House Bookshop Hyde Park Corner, ODEL, Vijitha Yapa and other leading bookshops.

SRI LANKA WILDLIFE NEWS (15 MARCH 2002)
- compiled by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Special Offer for Leopard Watching at Yala Safari Lodge. 50% discount on select days.
  • A team from the Ceylon Bird Club visit Mannar, until recently out of bounds due to the armed conflict. A short account is given by the team.
  • Book Review: A new Guide to Bundala (IUCN) will raise standards in publications of this genre (the media are free to reproduce the book review).
  • The Jetwing Research Initiative has offered a 3 month research scholarship to study the endemic Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush based at St Andrews Hotel, 115 year old heritage property in Nuwara Eliya. The scholarship is awarded to FOSGL, see below for details on applying for the research post.

BIRDING & WILDLIFE NEWS

Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne and La de Silva (St Andrews Hotel Naturalist), have located (3 Mar) a new (or unpublicised?) site for the montane endemic Sri Lankan Whistling Thrush or Arrenga, a few kilometers from Nuwara Eliya. This would be a major asset for birders who currently at times have to undertake repeat visits to Arrenga Pool in Horton Plains to get the bird. The site is on government property and details are being withheld until as such time as permission is obtained for birders to visit the site. Other birds of interest included Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler beside Lake Gregory. On a subsequent visit to the Arrenga locality, Lal de Silva found Leopard scat, with traces of Sambar fur.

Vicky Wickramasekara on tour with Mike Armaline (1st week March) reports 60 Greater Flamingos at Palatupana. A possible Blyth's Pipit in Bundala National Park, near the saltern.

Sarath Kotagama led a FOSGL field trip (9-12 Mar) based at Giritale. Interesting birds included an Indian Blue Robin at Ritigala and Painted Snipe at Gal Vihara in Polonnaruwa.

Lal Anthonis and Ravi Samarasinha visited Arugam Bay and Kumana (6 Mar). This is one of the first few visits by wildlife enthusiasts to the Kumana National Park, since hostilities with the LTTE cut off visitor traffic. The park entrance is as yet un-manned and they report free movement by fishermen to the park. Kumana Villu did not have the nesting birds it is famed for. This was also commented on in an earlier article in the Sunday Times by Marlon Saldin and in another recent newspaper article by Nihal Fernando. Ravi and Lal were able to approach some birds very close, and they consequently suspect that the decline in birds may not be due to shooting. A more detailed report will be published in a subsequent issue of SLWN.

Lester Perera reports (7 Mar) 15 Red-necked Phalaropes, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 Ruff, with several hundred other waders at Bundala Salt Pans (accessed from within the park). 

EVENTS SUMMARY

Friday, 22nd March to Sunday, 24th March 2002. 10.00 am- 5.30 pm daily,  Indian Cultural Centre, 133 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 3. Eloquence In Stone, The Lithic Saga of Sri Lanka, An Excerpt from the forthcoming Publication, A Photographic Exhibit presented By Studio Times Limited with Photographs by Nihal Fernando & Luxshmanan Nadaraja and Text by SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda

Saturday 30th March 2002, NBLT, University of Colombo, Colombo 3. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka 9.30 am. General Meeting.

BOOK REVIEW

GUIDE TO BUNDALA. A Guide to the Biodiversity of Bundala National Park  a Ramsar Wetland in Sri Lanka

Compiled by Channa Bambaradeniya, IUCN 2001. xiv + 54 pp. ISBN 955-8177-12-1. Tables & colour photographs. Rs 250

A book however useful the content may be, is limited in the role it plays, if it suffers from being banished to the shelves of an academic library. The team in the Sri Lanka IUCN office, led by Channa Bamabaradeniya, have avoided this pit fall. Authors and institutions with a bent for academic publishing should study this book carefully for it has the some of the 'magic ingredient'. The magic ingredient is that indefinable 'touch and feel' which dictates as to whether a book will have popular appeal. The book would have been priced out of reach if a full fledged coffee table quality book had been done. Equally, a dry academic tome which summarized the bio diversity assessment conducted by the IUCN team, would have suffered from a lack of public consumption. Instead what we have is a good balance of factual content and good presentation. The book is 'guide book sized', with an attractive colour cover of a flock of Flamingo, is illustrated with many colour photographs and is interspersed with tables, text boxes and even a touch of poetry, to liven up the design.

These ingredients means that the book will appeal to a wider audience. Those with a general interest in natural history will find this a useful step to learning more about the dry zone wildlife of Sri Lanka. It is also a timely reminder that the dry zone of Sri Lanka also harbours many species which ought to figure prominently in a national conservation strategy. There is no denying that the rainforests harbours the greatest biodiversity. However, reading through this guide makes it clear that the dry zone should not be understated. For example 32 species of mammals have been recorded. Admittedly, with the exception of the Elephants, the others may not have the sex appeal of the big three (Elephant, Bear and Leopard). But nevertheless, the richness of even an arid zone habitat, is driven home. Other vertebrates have also been recorded in good numbers, 32 species of fish, 48 species of reptiles, 15 species of amphibians and not surprisingly the birds lead with 197 species. The next time someone tells me that Bundala is only for birds, I will give them a copy of the book, or better, suggest that they buy their own.

The book is structured with an introduction to Bundala National Park, which together with the foreword by Daya Kariyawasam, Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, lays out the legislative as well as physical background to the park. The first of the fauna and flora sections, is on the vegetation and habitat types. This has a useful summary of the dominant plant species of each habitat type. On my next visit, to Bundala or even Yala National Park, I will use these lists to learn more of these key plants, from the interpreters or 'trackers' who accompany visitors to the park. In fact, the book would have worked extremely well as a tourist guide, if more of the plants and animals could have been illustrated with photographs. But then again, the cost would have gone up several fold, limiting the audience. Sections on the birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies follow and will be a useful source of reference. The mammals section serves to highlight that the smaller mammals should not be eclipsed by the popular elephant. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bundala has all four species of Mongoose.

The butterfly section has a plate of six photographs by Dhammithra Samarasinghe, which have been photographed extremely well. It is encouraging to see this group of animals deserving such attention, as rather curiously in Sri Lanka, the butterflies have never had the following which it has overseas. This is surprising, as thanks to John ands Judy Banks, inexpensive literature has been available. Bundala with 52 species of butterflies, offers ample scope for butterfly watching. However, be warned, many of the Blues are not easy to identify under field conditions.

Birders will find the section on Birding Hotspots in Bundala, a useful guide. The main text content, ends with a sobering chapter on biodiversity conservation in Bundala, useful advice for visitors, a glossary and references. With regard to the threats to the park, unfortunately, one has damaged the fragile ecology irreversibly. The discharge of fresh water into the Malala and Embilikala lagoons from the Kirindi Oya irrigation scheme has changed the quality of the water. Consequently, the species composition of birds in particular has changed, as the lagoons have lost their salinity.

Pages 33 to 54 are taken up with lists of vertebrate species and butterflies. The checklist of birds is one of the best I have seen so far. The table is structured so that the months of the year are horizontally laid out, with a bar being drawn across the months in which the species is seen. This makes it very apparent visually as to which species are resident and which ones are seasonal. It is clear that the months in which a species has been seen, has been derived using a broad brush approach in allocating migrants to a January to April and September to December time band. Such approximations are tolerable on the grounds of practicality. Sri Lanka is a long way away from having the number of observers who could generate enough data to make more exact site reports a possibility. The relative abundance of a species is also shown, quite cleverly, by using a different pattern in the bar, with abundance segmented into four categories. For example species which can be seen 60% to 100% of the time, in the proper habitat, is shown with a solid bar. There are also columns to indicate the habitat types in which a species is found.

Although the book is 54 pages, it is a relatively easy book to read through in the space of an hour or so. This is partly because much of the pages are checklists of species and partly because the information is written in layman's language. On the whole, this book will serve to raise standards on how scientific work can be made more useful by publishing in a style and format to appeal to a wide audience. The IUCN and its staff and their helpers are to be congratulated. At Rs 250, the book is a very good value and will be a nice addition to the bookshelf of any nature enthusiast. As for myself, I will be buying a second copy to take to the field.

The review was written by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne (gehan@jetwing.lk), lead author of A Birdwatcher's Guide to Sri Lanka published by the Oriental Bird Club and A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka published by New Holland.

SHORT NOTES/PAPERS

Ceylon Bird Club Team visits Mannar for Waterfowl Census

The account of the visit to Mannar by the Ceylon Bird Club waterfowl census team may be worth expanding, for those who wish to tour this beautiful part of the island, till recently out of bounds to visitors because of the armed conflict. Learning that the road to Mannar was now being used by civilians and bus services, Namal and Jackie Kamalgoda, Kasun Ekanayake and Udaya Sirivardana set out from near Anuradhapura at mid-morning.

The road - after Medawacchiya - was pot-holed for several short stretches, but otherwise quite good. There was a heavy presence of the armed forces all along, and ruins of buildings and infrastructure were evident, but it seemed that for the residents life now went on peacefully. At a border of the area under government control villagers living outside it were seen passing through a checkpoint, a quiet routine activity. Before the team's first count at a wetland they informed an armed forces station near it that their work would require moving around with bins and telescopes. After a very friendly reception here, they then went about their census and other birding quite freely, except at a sensitive area where they were pre-warned not to stop.

They specially wished to observe - other than waterfowl - some bird species more or less confined to the region: Rufous-rumped Shrike, Black Drongo, Collared Dove, Grey Partridge and Indian Courser. The latter two eluded them, though the partridge was heard often, and pursued on foot through thorn and marsh. The other three were actually common, with Namal getting good photos of the shrike and the drongo. The birdwatchers' pleasure at their 'firsts' was not lessened by seeing their new species many more times. Among other notable bird records were a large 'mixed heronry', with a number of Great Cormorants on nests, 43 Yellow-wattled Lapwings grouped together on a mudflat, and the fantastic sight of 4,000+ Greater Flamingo in Mannar Bay. Migrant waterfowl were many. The commoner raptors were seen several times. The count took up most of the day, or the team would have done more touring around and other birding. Their sites presented many beautiful scenes.

In the last couple of years the CBC has resumed the census in the formerly troubled areas north and east of Polonnaruwa. Kasun and Udaya were in the team which covered that region this year. They recall a rather peaceful tour there too, and idyllic scenes, with elephants grazing on the far shore of several of the wetlands.
Story commissioned by SLWN.

SPECIAL OFFERS

YALA SAFARI LODGE - 50% LEOPARD WATCHERS DISCOUNT

The Yala Safari Lodge, which supported the Leopard Research Project, is offering a special discount for wildlife enthusiasts to take advantage of the Leopard sightings, which are being reported at present. A 50% discount is offered on half and full board rates, for room nights from Sundays to Thursdays inclusive. Valid from 5th February to 30th April 2002. Contact Aruni on 345700  (or hotels@jetwing.lk) for bookings. Resident (non a/c) rates are: Half Board -single/double/triple Rs 1,743 / 2,095 / 2,698. Full Board - single/double/triple Rs 1,920 / 2,450 / 3,230. A/c supplement Rs 500. This special offer is to subscribers of Sri Lanka Wildlife News (SLWN), members of the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) and the Sri Lanka Natural History Society (SLNHS).

OVERSEAS WILDLIFE TOURS

Jetwing Holidays, the outbound travel arm of Jetwing is running a series of overseas wildlife tours to Borneo, Kenya, Peru, Madagascar and Tiger Safaris to India. Departure dates are customised for small groups. Contact Bewan Weiman (074 712818) or Janakan Joseph (074 714827). 5% of all profits will be contributed to the Jetwing Research Initiative to support Research and Conservation projects in Sri Lanka. E-mail holidays@jetwing.lk

SRI LANKA WHISTLING THRUSH (Arrenga) - 3 MONTH JRI RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP

The Jetwing Research Initiative (JRI) have agreed to support a 3 month study on the  the endemic Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush (Arrenga) , in the Nuwara Eliya area. The support under the JRI will be by the provision of food and accommodation at the prestigious St Andrews Hotel in Nuwara Eliya. This will take care of the major logistical issues, one of the biggest hurdles faced by researchers. FOGSL, the local partner of Bird Life International, who have received the scholarship will seek additional sponsorship to meet the other costs of the study pertaining to transport, research materials etc. Candidates who are interested in applying to undertake the study should contact Professor Sarath Kotagama, Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL), Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, Colombo 3. Phone 075 342609, Fax 075 337644. E-mail fogsl@slt.lk Please note that you should not apply to Jetwing. However, you may visit the Jetwing Eco website (www.jetwingeco.com) for more information on the Jetwing Research Initiative.

The scholarship is prompted by a cursory survey conducted by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne and Lal de Silva which suggests that the Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush may be more resilient to human presence than has been hitherto suspected. They believe that breeding populations of the Thrush may still be found in some of the relatively undisturbed stream sites they visited in and around Nuwara Eliya town. The FOGSL led study will initially focus on a survey of potential sites in and around Nuwara Eliya to map the distribution of the bird, followed by studies on the ecology of it.

SRI LANKA WILDLIFE NEWS (1 MARCH 2002)
- compiled by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Special Offer for Leopard Watching at Yala Safari Lodge. 50% discount on weekdays.
  • Andreas Buchheim writes on the Flight Identification of Rose-ringed and Alexandrine Parakeets.
  • 2nd record of Eye-browed Thrush
  • 2,000 Greater Flamingos at Mannar causeway.

BIRDING & WILDLIFE NEWS

Jackie Nel of Serendib Magazine (Sri Lankan Airlines in-flight magazine), visited Yala National Park (22-24 Feb) with Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne. On 3 game drives they had a total of 5 Leopard sightings, representing what is believed to be 4 individuals. On one evening game drive they encountered 4 Leopards. At Wilpala Wewa (Yala), a juvenile Phillipine Shrike was photographed.

At Palatupana Lewaya large numbers of waders were present including Broad-billed Sandpiper and Ruff

Chandra Jayawardana reports 40 Greater Flamingos from the Goda Kalapuwa in the Yala Protected Area Complex.

Lal de Silva (25 Feb) reports the montane endemic, Dull-blue Flycatcher and the endemic Black-lipped Lizard in the grounds of St Andrews Hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Deepal Warakagoda (17 Feb) on a Nature Trek Tour, located an Eye-browed Thrush, which is the second record of it from Sri Lanka.  The bird was found at Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya. The bird's home range is from Siberia to Kamchatka.

Rohan de Soysa observed, at very close range, a Changeable Hawk Eagle at Olaboduwa Estate, Gonapola, (on the Piliyandala -Horana Road) 32 Km from Colombo. This is his first record of this bird from the Western Province. Note that Serpent Eagles are common in the area.

Udaya Siriwardana, Kasun Ekanayake and Namal Kamalgoda visited Mannar (23/24 Feb) Mannar, for the CBC Annual Waterfowl Count. They observed a Rufous-rumped Shrike on a nest, the nest was located by the bund of Giants
 
Tank. They also observed Black Drongos, Ringed Dove, Whimbrel, Curlew, and over 2,000 Greater Flamingos on the right of the Mannar causeway. Heard plenty of Grey Partridge but never sighted. Great Cormorants nesting in a mixed heronry. Nuwara Wewa at Anuradapura had a flock of over 1,000 Pintails.

EVENTS SUMMARY

Saturday 30th March 2002
, NBLT, University of Colombo, Colombo 3. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka
9.30 am. General Meeting.

SPECIAL OFFERS

YALA SAFARI LODGE - 50% LEOPARD WATCHERS DISCOUNT

Leopard watchers are having a good viewing season in Yala with many good sightings reported almost every day. The Yala Safari Lodge which supported the Leopard Research Project, is offering a special discount for wildlife enthusiasts to take advantage of the Leopard sightings. A 50% discount is offered on half and full board rates, for room nights from Sundays to Thursdays inclusive. Valid from 5th February to 30th April 2002.

Resident (non a/c) rates are: Half Board -single/double/triple Rs 1,743 / 2,095 / 2,698. Full Board - single/double/triple Rs 1,920 / 2,450 / 3,230. A/c supplement Rs 500. Contact Aruni on 345700  for bookings. This special offer is to subscribers of Sri Lanka Wildlife News, members of the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (WNPS), Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) and the Sri Lanka Natural History Society (SLNHS).

SHORT NOTES ON IDENTIFICATION/BEHAVIOUR ETC
Flight Identification of Rose-ringed and Alexandrine Parakee
ts
-by Andreas Buchheim

The short note below has been specially prepared for Sri Lanka Wildlife News by Andreas Buchheim who is working on a paper on Parakeets which is scheduled to be published in 2003.

It is commonly known that the identification of Rose-ringed (RP) and Alexandrine Parakeets (AP) is usually straightforward. The maroon-red shoulder-patches and the proportionately longer tail in the AP easily separate them. But for flight identification, it is mainly their calls which, once learnt, enable easy identification. Silent birds, especially those flying to a night-roost for example, can pose problems if the upper-wing cannot be checked. The longer tail is not always present (broken feathers, females and juveniles have shorter tails) and without direct comparison is hard to judge accurately other features which should be looked for.

The best field mark, in such situations in flight, is the colour of the underwing-coverts which are text-marker-yellow in RP and dull-green (bluish suffusion) in AP. This produces an obvious contrast to the flanks in RP which is lacking in AP. Both have more or less greenish flanks, a little more yellow in RP and slightly (not always) bluish in AP. Please note that the underside of primaries, secondaries, greater under-primary-coverts and outer greater under-secondary-coverts is dark-grey in both species (also in other Psittacula).Sometimes the head of AP looks considerably paler than the body. This appears less so in RP. Another minor feature is produced by different wing-formulae, though quite hard to see on the fast moving birds. Although each primary of AP is sharply pointed (square-tipped in RP) the wing tip does not look pointed as three primaries of roughly the same length make the wing tip look more blunt. Wings of RP are more pointed in this respect.

NEW BOOKS

Nature Photographer 2001 Portfolio The wining and commended entries of the Nature Photographer 2001 Competition are published in a 32 page full colour portfolio. The Portfolio is on sale for Rs 390 from Smart Media, 100 Horton Place, Barefoot, Bookland, Lake House Bookshop Hyde Park Corner, ODEL, Vijitha Yapa and other leading bookshops.

Guide to Bundala. A Guide to  the Biodiversity of Bundala National Park - a Ramsar Wetland in Sri Lanka

Published by the  IUCN. Rs. 250. The 54 page guide includes lists of vertebrate fauna and butterflies. The list of birds (197 species) is prepared in a user-friendly manner. Common plants in each habitat type and plant life forms have also been tabulated. The chapters include an introduction, vegetation types, habitats and plants, animals, birding hotspots, threats, and useful advice for park visitors. 44 colour photographs. Available from bookshops and the IUCN office at 53 Horton Place, Colombo 7.