Monday, 19 December 2011

Ethiopia - Part 3

South of Addis Ababa the main road passes through the Central Rift Valley and close to a succession of lakes that are of major importance for resident birds and for Palearctic and Afrotropical migrants.

Pied Kingfisher - common around most of the lakes.

Egyptian Geese - seen most days of the tour.

We were able to visit Lakes Cheleleka, Hora, Ziway, Langano and Awassa and made brief stops at others when we were travelling.

Although wetland birds were the main focus, the lakes are surrounded by bird-rich savannas and forest and the diversity of species was impressive.

Fields of vegetables at Lake Cheleleka come as a surprise to the first-time visitor expecting to find Ethiopia a country of famine and drought.

Fishing at Lake Awassa attracts pelicans, cormorants, egrets, gulls and terns.

Roosting Slender-tailed Nightjars were easy to find in the grounds of our hotel at Lake Langano.

One of several Greyish Eagle-Owls that we saw, this one was at Lake Langano.

This much bigger Verreaux's Eagle-Owl and its mate were being mobbed by Fan-tailed Ravens.

Greenshank, one of the many wader species wintering around the lakes.

African Pygmy-geese at Lake Ziway; they are attractive little birds but are they geese or ducks?

Western Reef Egrets are mainly coastal and this one at Lake Hora was the only one we saw. It had us thinking about those apparent hybrids we see around Tavira.

Superb Starling - common and widespread.

Masked Shrike, a species that we had seen before only in Lesvos. We saw 18 species of shrikes, bush-shrikes, boubous, etc in Ethiopia.

More from Ethiopia soon...

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