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Trip Report, Ethiopia November 2004

This was the Ethiopia Endemics trip with Naturetrek from 19-28 November 2004. Systematic List follows 'Birds of Africa south of the Saraha' by Sinclair & Ryan, this is far superior to Van Perlo's 'Birds of Eastern Africa' and has a lot of new splits. Photos from Ethiopia.

Itinerary

19 November: Overnight flight to Addis Ababa via Rome
20 November: Addis Ababa, Gefersa Reservoir
21 November: Debre Libanos Gorge, Solulta Plains
22 November: Lake Hora, Lake Ziway
23 November: Wondo Genet
24 November: Wondo to Bale Mountains
25 November: Bale Mountains
26 November: Bale Mountains HQ, drive to Awassa
27 November: Lake Awassa, Fish Market, Ostrich Farm, Lake Langano, return to Addis Ababa
28 November: Flight to Heathrow via Rome

Bird List

* = endemic
1. LITTLE GREBE Common.
2. GREAT WHITE PELICAN Small nos. Lakes Ziway, Awasa.
3. PINK-BACKED PELICAN 20 at Lake Hora.
4. WHITE-BREASTED CORMORANT Common.
5. LONG-TAILED CORMORANT Common.
6. AFRICAN DARTER 1 Lake Ziway.
7. SQUACCO HERON A few around the lakes.
8. CATTLE EGRET Common around cattle.
9. BLACK HERON Small nos. Lakes Ziway and Awasa
10. GREAT WHITE EGRET A few around the lakes.
11. LITTLE EGRET A few around the lakes.
12. GREY HERON A few around the lakes.
13. BLACK-HEADED HERON 1 from road in Rift Valley.
14. GOLIATH HERON 1 from a roadside stop.
15. HAMMERKOP Fairly common all wetlands.
16. WHITE STORK 40 beside the road, another in flight.
17. MARABOU Very common, including breeding colony at Lake Awassa.
18. YELLOW-BILLED STORK 1 at Lake Ziway.
19. SACRED IBIS Very common and widespread.
20. *WATTLED IBIS Very common, seen almost daily, max count 60.
21. HADADA A few around the lakes.
22. GLOSSY IBIS 2 only seen.
23. AFRICAN SPOONBILL 1 seen from the road.
24. LESSER FLAMINGO c5,000 very distantly at Lake Abiata
25. WHITE-FACED WHISTLING DUCK 100 at L. Ziway, 50+ L. Awassa.
26. *BLUE-WINGED GOOSE Up to 10 seen on 4 days.
27. EGYPTIAN GOOSE Very common.
28. RUDDY SHELDUCK Four seen in Bale Mountains
29. SPUR-WINGED GOOSE Up to 10 seen on two days.
30. AFRICAN PYGMY GOOSE A few at L. Ziway & L. Awassa.
31. COMMON TEAL 3 at Gefersa.
32. YELLOW-BILLED DUCK Common, seen on 5 days.
33. PINTAIL 1 at Gefersa.
34. RED-BILLED TEAL 1 at L. Awassa.
35. SHOVELER A few around the lakes.
36. AFRICAN POCHARD 3 at L. Ziway.
37. WHITE-BACKED DUCK 3 at L. Awasa.
38. BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE 1-2 seen most days from the bus.
39. YELLOW-BILLED KITE One of the commonest species seen.
40. BLACK KITE Only one noted, in Addis Ababa
41. AFRICAN FISH EAGLE A few around the lakes.
42. EGYPTIAN VULTURE 1 at Debre Libanos Gorge.
43. LAMMERGEIER 1 at Debre Libanos Gorge.
44. HOODED VULTURE Very common.
45. AFRICAN WHITE-BACKED VULTURE Only a few seen on two days.
46. RUPPELL'S VULTURE Up to 5 seen on 3 days.
47. AFRICAN HARRIER HAWK 3 seen on first day in Rift Valley.
48. MARSH HARRIER Up to 3 seen on 3 days.
49. PALLID HARRIER First bird seen when landing at Addis, two males in the Rift Valley.
50. MONTAGU'S HARRIER Four seen.
51. DARK CHANTING GOSHAWK 4 seen from the bus, all atop telegraph posts.
52. GREAT SPARROWHAWK 1 at Wondo Genet, 2 by hotel at Goba in Bale Mountains.
53. RUFOUS-BREASTED SPARROWHAWK 1 at Bale Mountains
54. AFRICAN LITTLE SPARROWHAWK 1 at Wondo Genet.
55. AFRICAN GOSHAWK 1 at Wondo Genet.
56. SHIKRA 1 at Bale Mountains
57. AUGUR BUZZARD Up to 10 seen on 5 days, common in Bale Mountains.
58. GRASSHOPPER BUZZARD 1 seen from the bus in Rift Valley
59. LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE 1 in Bale Mountains.
60. GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE 1 at Wondo Genet.
61. TAWNY EAGLE Six birds seen on 4 days, mainly in Rift Valley
62. STEPPE EAGLE 1 at Gefersa, 1 in Rift Valley.
63. EASTERN IMPERIAL EAGLE Surprisingly the commonest Aquila with 7 seen.
64. LONG-CRESTED EAGLE 3 seen from the bus.
65. CROWNED EAGLE Two seen and juvenile heard at Wondo Genet.
66. COMMON KESTREL 1-3 seen most days.
67. LESSER KESTREL 4 seen after leaving Wondo Genet.
68. LANNER FALCON 4 in Solulta Plains, two others elsewhere.
69. PEREGRINE FALCON 1 at Debre Libanos Gorge, 2 in Rift Valley
70. CHESTNUT-NAPED FRANCOLIN 2 groups of 10+ in Bale Mountains.
71. COMMON CRANE 3 groups of up to 10 seen.
72. WATTLED CRANE 2 in Bale Mountains
73. *ROUGET'S RAIL 5+ in Bale Mountains.
74. COMMON MOORHEN 2 only seen.
75. RED-KNOBBED COOT A few on Rift Valley lakes.
76. AFRICAN JACANA Common on Rift Valley lakes.
77. SPUR-WINGED PLOVER Up to 10 seen on 3 days.
78. BLACK-WINGED PLOVER 15 on Solulta Plains, 4 at Bale Mountains.
79. CROWNED PLOVER A few seen around Rift Valley Lakes.
80. *SPOT-BREASTED PLOVER 3 in Bale Mountains.
81. LITTLE RINGED PLOVER 2 seen.
82. THREE-BANDED PLOVER 1 on way to Bale Mountains.
83. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT 5 at L. Ziway.
84. GREENSHANK 1-2 on Rift Valley lakes.
85. MARSH SANDPIPER 1-2 on Rift Valley lakes.
86. WOOD SANDPIPER up to 5 seen on 4 days.
87. GREEN SANDPIPER 1-2 seen on 4 days.
88. COMMON SANDPIPER 1-2 seen on 4 days.
89. AFRICAN SNIPE 1 seen well at Lake Ziway, several other snipe seen flying over.
90. LITTLE STINT 2 at Gefersa, 1 elsewhere.
91. TEMMINCK'S STINT 2 seen.
92. RUFF 3 at L. Ziway, c10 at L. Abiatta.
93. BLACK-WINGED STILT Up to 10 seen on 3 days.
94. SENEGAL THICK-KNEE 2 from road bridge near L. Koka.
95. COLLARED PRATINCOLE 100+ at L. Ziway. 1 at L. Awassa.
96. BLACK-HEADED GULL 2 seen.
97. GREY-HEADED GULL Up to 10 at Lakes Ziway and Awassa.
98. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Two fuscus adults seen - 'Baltic Gull'.
99. GULL-BILLED TERN 2 at Lake Awassa.
100. CASPIAN TERN 2 seen at L. Langano
101. WHISKERED TERN A few at the fish market.
102. WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Commonest tern; 100+ at the fish market.
103. CHESTNUT-BELLIED SANDGROUSE 12 flew over the road in the Rift Valley.
104. *WHITE-COLLARED PIGEON Up to 20 seen on 8 days out of 9.
105. FERAL DOVE A few seen in towns.
106. SPECKLED PIGEON Very common and widespread.
107. OLIVE PIGEON 1 flew over at Wondo Genet.
108. DUSKY TURTLE DOVE Common in Addis, seen on 7 days.
109. RED-EYED DOVE Less common, seen/heard on 8 days.
110. MOURNING DOVE Only seen on two days in Rift Valley.
111. LAUGHING DOVE Seen on 3 days.
112. NAMAQUA DOVE A few seen from the bus in Rift Valley.
113. TAMBOURINE DOVE 2 seen at Wondo Genet.
114. LEMON DOVE 1 seen well Wondo Genet, a long overdue tick for me.
115. BRUCE'S GREEN PIGEON 10+ at Wondo Genet.
116. *YELLOW-FRONTED PARROT 3 at Wondo Genet, difficult to find when resting in trees.
117. *BLACK-WINGED LOVEBIRD Up to 4 seen on 5 days, easily seen at L. Awassa.
118. WHITE-CHEEKED TURACO A flock of 20 at Wondo Genet, a few others elsewhere.
119. WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD 4 seen in Rift Valley.
120. AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO A juvenile briefly at a lunch stop.
121. BLUE-HEADED COUCAL 1 at Lake Awasa.
122. SENEGAL COUCAL 1 at Lake Awasa.
123. NORTHERN WHITE-FACED SCOPS OWL 1 at Lake Langano near restaurant.
124. GREYISH EAGLE OWL 1 at Lake Langano near restaurant.
125. VERREAUX'S EAGLE OWL 3 at Lake Awassa in hotel grounds
126. AFRICAN WOOD OWL 2 at Bale Mountains Park HQ.
127. SLENDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR 1 roosting at Lake Langano near restaurant.
128. NYANZA SWIFT 1 at Gafersa.
129. WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT 1 at Debre Libanos Gorge.
130. SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD Common, seen on 5 days.
131. BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD 1+ seen in Rift Valley.
132. NARINA'S TROGON 3 seen well at Wondo Genet in pine forest.
133. PIED KINGFISHER A few seen on Rift Valley lakes; 1 also seen near Addis.
134. MALACHITE KINGFISHER Up to 4 on Rift Valley lakes.
135. HALF-COLLARED KINGFISHER 1 near swimming pool at Wondo Genet.
136. WOODLAND KINGFISHER 1-2 around Rift Valley Lakes.
137. STRIPED KINGFISHER 2 in trees near Lake Abiatta.
138. BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER 5 on roadside wires on way to Bale Mountains.
139. NORTHERN CARMINE BEE-EATER Up to 10 seen on 3 days.
140. LITTLE BEE-EATER Up to 10 seen on 4 days.
141. BLUE-BREASTED BEE-EATER 1-2 seen on 3 days near Addis.
142. EUROPEAN ROLLER 2 seen on 2 days in Rift Valley.
143. LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER C. caudate lorti Up to 3 seen on wires in Rift Valley.
144. EURASIAN HOOPOE 1-2 seen on 3 days.
145. BLACK-BILLED WOOD-HOOPOE 2 seen in Rift Valley.
146. RED-BILLED HORNBILL 2 seen in Rift Valley.
147. VON DER DECKEN'S HORNBILL 4 at L. Langano.
148. HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL 2 on Solulta Plains.
149. SILVERY-CHEEKED HORNBILL Up to 10 seen on 4 days.
150. ABYSSINIAN GROUND HORNBILL 2 roosting in trees at dusk near Wondo Genet.
151. DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET 3 at Wondo Genet.
152. BLACK-BILLED BARBET 1 at Lake Ziway.
153. *BANDED BARBET 1-2 seen on 3 days.
154. RED-FRONTED BARBET 2 in Rift Valley.
155. RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD 1 seen.
156. YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD 1 at Wondo Genet.
157. LESSER HONEYGUIDE 2 at Wondo Genet.
158. NUBIAN WOODPECKER 1 at Wondo Genet, 3 at Lake Awassa.
159. *ABYSSINIAN WOODPECKER 2 at Wondo Genet
160. CARDINAL WOODPECKER Singles at at Wondo Genet and Lake Awassa
161. GREY-HEADED WOODPECKER Singles on 3 days.
162. ERLANGER'S LARK 4 on Solulta Plains, 1 in Bale Mountains.
163. CHESTNUT-BACKED SPARROW-LARK 2 seen from the bus.
164. THEKLA LARK 3 on Solulta Plains, 8+ in Bale Mountains.
165. SAND MARTIN Up to 2 seen on 3 days.
166. BROWN-THROATED MARTIN Seen around the Rift Valley lakes.
167. BARN SWALLOW Common, seen on 7 days.
168. WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW 3 on wires after leaving Wondo.
169. RED-RUMPED SWALLOW A few around Addis Airport.
170. AFRICAN ROCK MARTIN Seen on three days, several around hotel in Addis.
171. BLACK SAW-WING P. pristoptera antinorii 20 over Wondo Genet.
172. YELLOW WAGTAIL Common, several races seen including feldegg at L. Ziway.
173. GREY WAGTAIL Singles seen on 4 days.
174. MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL Up to 3 seen on 3 days, regular at Wondo Genet.
175. WHITE WAGTAIL Only seen on 3 days.
176. GRASSLAND PIPIT 1-2 seen in Rift Valley.
177. RED-THROATED PIPIT 2-6 seen on 5 days, around Rift Valley lakes and highlands.
178. *ABYSSINIAN LONGCLAW 2 on way down from Bale Mountains.
179. GREY CUCKOO-SHRIKE 1 at Wondo Genet.
180. RED-SHOULDERED CUCKOO-SHRIKE A pair at Wondo Genet.
181. COMMON BULBUL Common away from Addis.
182. DARK-CAPPED BULBUL P. tricolor The yellow-vented form of Common Bulbul seen twice.
183. NORTHERN WHITE-CROWNED SHRIKE 2 at the Ostrich Farm.
184. WHITE-CRESTED HELMET-SHRIKE 4 at the Ostrich Farm.
185. BRUBRU 1 at the Ostrich Farm.
186. NORTHERN PUFFBACK 5 at Wondo Genet.
187. TROPICAL BOUBOU 3 Wondo Genet, two singles elsewhere.
188. SLATE-COLOURED BOUBOU 1 at the Fish Market.
189. SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSH-SHRIKE 1 up the trail at Wondo Genet.
190. GREY-BACKED FISCAL 2+ on two days in Rift Valley.
191. COMMON FISCAL Very common, up to 10 seen every day.
192. MASKED SHRIKE 1 seen in the Rift Valley.
193. COMMON NIGHTINGALE 1 at Lake Awassa
194. AFRICAN STONECHAT 3 birds seen including a pair of the Ethiopian race albofasciatus.
195. NORTHERN WHEATEAR 2 singles seen in the Rift Valley.
196. PIED WHEATEAR The commonest wheatear, 10+ seen on 7 days.
197. ISABELLINE WHEATEAR Common 5+ seen on 5 days.
198. BOTTA'S WHEATEAR Up to 18 seen on 4 days.
199. HILL CHAT Up to 20 seen on 4 days, commonest in Bale Mountains.
200. MOCKING CLIFF CHAT 1 by Portuguese Bridge at Debre Libanos Gorge.
201. *RUPPELL'S BLACK CHAT 3 in ravine near Solulta Plains.
202. COMMON ROCK THRUSH Two singles seen.
203. LITTLE ROCK THRUSH 4 around restaurant by L. Langano.
204. WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT 2 singles seen, near Wondo & at Lake Awassa.
205. RUPPELL'S ROBIN-CHAT Two at Wondo Genet, 1 at Bale Mountains.
206. AFRICAN THRUSH Only seen at lower altitude; 10 in Rift Valley.
207. MOUNTAIN THRUSH Common, up to 10 seen on six days.
208. GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH Common on high plateaus, up to 25 seen on 4 days.
209. ABYSSINIAN GROUND-THRUSH 3 seen well at Wondo Genet.
210. *ABYSSINIAN CATBIRD 1 in forest in Bale Mountains.
211. WHITE-RUMPED BABBLER One flock of 5+ at Wondo Genet.
212. AFRICAN HILL-BABBLER 1 at Wondo Genet.
213. SEDGE WARBLER 2 at L. Awasa.
214. LESSER SWAMP WARBLER 1+ at L. Awasa.
215. EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER Two singles seen in Rift Valley.
216. BLACKCAP 5 at Wondo Genet, two singles elsewhere.
217. LESSER WHITETHROAT Total 4 seen in Rift Valley.
218. WILLOW WARBLER 3 at Wondo Genet, a few in Rift Valley.
219. CHIFFCHAFF Common, up to 10 seen on 8 days.
220. BROWN WOODLAND WARBLER 2 at Wondo Genet, 1 at Bale Mountains Park HQ.
221. ETHIOPIAN CISTICOLA 3 singles seen of recent split from Winding Cisticola.
222. BORAN CISTICOLA 2 at Ostrich Farm.
223. TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA Up to 5 seen on two days.
224. BUFF-BELLIED WARBLER 5 seen in Rift Valley.
225. GREY-BACKED CAMAROPTERA 10 at Wondo Genet, several in Rift Valley.
226. YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA 3 in Rift Valley.
227. RED-FACED CROMBEC 2 singles in Rift Valley.
228. DUSKY FLYCATCHER 5 at Wondo Genet, singles on 4 other days.
229. *ABYSSINIAN SLATY FLYCATCHER Up to 6 seen on 4 days.
230. NORTHERN BLACK FLYCATCHER 2 seen in Rift Valley.
231. GREY FLYCATCHER 1 at Lake Langano.
232. BLACK-HEADED BATIS 2 seen on 2 days in Rift Valley.
233. BANDED WATTLE-EYE 1 at Wondo Genet.
234. AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER 5 at Wondo Genet, two singles in Rift Valley.
235. *WHITE-BACKED TIT 4 at Bale Mountains Park HQ.
236. SPOTTED CREEPER 2 at Wondo Genet.
237. SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD 3 at Wondo Genet and singles on 3 other days.
238. VARIABLE SUNBIRD 5 at Wondo Genet and two singles elsewhere.
239. TACAZZE SUNBIRD 1-2 on five days.
240. BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD Seen on two days in Rift Valley.
241. OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD 4 at Wondo Genet.
242. MONTANE WHITE-EYE 10 at Wondo Genet, two on two other days.
243. ORTOLAN BUNTING 2 at Gefersa and three on Solulta Plains.
244. YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY 1 at Bale Mountains.
245. AFRICAN CITRIL 3 in Rift Valley, two singles elsewhere.
246. *BLACK-HEADED SISKIN 100+ in Bale Mountains, a few singles elsewhere.
247. STREAKY SEEDEATER 1-2 seen on four days.
248. BROWN-RUMPED SEEDEATER Up to 10 seen on 6 days, juvs similar to previous species.
249. PIN-TAILED WHYDAH 1 at Wondo Genet.
250. YELLOW-BELLIED WAXBILL 1-6 seen on 3 days.
251. COMMON WAXBILL 10 at Lake Awassa.
252. RED-CHEEKED CORDON-BLEU 10 seen in Rift Valley and 2 enroute to Bale Mountains.
253. RED-BILLED FIREFINCH Widespread, 1-5 seen on 4 days.
254. SILVERBILL 1 seen at Lake Hora.
255. BRONZE MANNIKIN 1+ seen at Wondo Genet.
256. GROSBEAK WEAVER 1 at Lake Awassa in hotel grounds.
257. BAGLAFECHT WEAVER 1-2 seen on 6 days, the commonest weaver.
258. LITTLE WEAVER 5 seen in Rift Valley.
259. RUPPELL'S WEAVER 1 at Lake Hora.
260. VILLAGE WEAVER 1 in Rift Valley.
261. SPECTACLED WEAVER 2 at Lake Awassa.
262. RED-BILLED QUELEA 200+ beside Lake Ziway
263. WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER 10 in Rift Valley.
264. WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER c50 in Rift Valley.
265. SWAINSON'S SPARROW Up to 10 seen on 7 days.
266. SLENDER-BILLED CHESTNUT-WINGED STARLING 20 at Wondo Genet and Bale Mountains.
267. *WHITE-BILLED STARLING 5 on Solulta Plains
268. GREATER BLUE-EARED GLOSSY STARLING 2+ in Rift Valley.
269. LESSER BLUE-EARED GLOSSY STARLING 3 on Solulta Plains, a few elsewhere.
270. RUPPELL'S GLOSSY STARLING 1-5 seen on two days in Rift Valley.
271. VIOLET-BACKED STARLING 3 at Awassa fish market.
272. SUPERB STARLING Common, particularly Awash and Langano, around resort.
273. WATTLED STARLING 4 in the Rift Valley.
274. RED-BILLED OXPECKER 2-7 seen on 4 days, mainly around cattle.
275. EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE 1 in Rift Valley.
276. AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE 1 at Lake Ziway.
277. *ETHIOPIAN ORIOLE 15 at Wondo Genet.
278. FORK-TAILED DRONGO 2+ in Rift Valley.
279. RED-BILLED CHOUGH 15 in Bale Mountains.
280. PIED CROW Common, seen on 7 days.
281. SOMALI CROW C. edithe Up to 5 seen below Bale Mountains.
282. CAPE ROOK Up to 20 seen on 6 days, common on high plateaus.
283. FAN-TAILED RAVEN 10 at Wondo Genet, up to 5 on 5 other days.
284. *THICK-BILLED RAVEN Up to 4 seen on 5 days, several around restaurant at Wondo.

MAMMAL SPECIES
1. COMMON WARTHOG Up to 20 in Bale Mountains.
2. HIPPOPOTAMUS 1+ at Lake Ziway.
3. COMMON DUIKER 2 in Rift Valley.
4. 'MENELIK'S' BUSHBUCK 1+ at Bale Mountains Park HQ of endemic race meneliki.
5. *MOUNTAIN NYALA 20+ in Bale Mountains, especially around Park HQ.
6. TREE HYRAX 2 near Lake Ziway.
7. GAMBIAN SUN SQUIRREL A dark individual at Wondo Genet.
8. SPEKE'S HARE 1+ in Bale Mountains.
9. *ETHIOPIAN WOLF 5 in Bale Mountains, about 1% of world population.
10. AFRICAN CIVET 1 in hotel grounds at night by Lake Awassa.
11. SLENDER MONGOOSE 1 seen from bus.
12. AFRICAN WILD CAT 1 seen from bus.
13. OLIVE BABOON 5 at Wondo Genet, 20 below Bale Mountains.
14. *GELADA BABOON c50 on Solulta Plains & Debra Libanos Gorge.
15. VERVET MONKEY 10 at Wondo Genet, a few others in Rift Valley.
16. BLACK-AND-WHITE COLOBUS 20 at Wondo Genet, a few others in Rift Valley.
17. GIANT MOLE RAT 2+ in Bale Mountains, the main prey for the Wolves.
18. SWAMP RAT Dozens in Bale Mountains.