An impressive variety of birds included the huge Somali Ostrich, the tiny Ashy Cisticola, the striking Rosy-patched Bush-shrike, the endemic Sombre Rock Chat, Harlequin Quail, Heuglin's Courser, Gillett's Lark and Eastern Grey Plantain-eater.
We saw more mammals here than anywhere else in the country, amongst them Grevy's Zebra, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu and Salt’s Dikdik.
Pallid Harriers were seen commonly in a variety of habitats and finally one posed for a photograph! This is a species undergoing a steep population decline in Europe mainly as a result of the destruction and degradation of steppe grasslands through conversion to arable agriculture.
Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse - very confiding birds seen at Bilen Lodge. We also saw plenty of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse.
Awash Falls - a more impressive sight than we expected.
Arabian Bustard - we also saw Buff-crested, Kori and White-bellied Bustards in this area.
Northern White-faced Owl - we saw six owl species in all, a dozen individual birds.
Secretarybird - its common name is popularly thought to refer to the crest of long quill-like feathers, lending the bird the appearance of a secretary with quill pens tucked behind his or her ear. More recently it has been suggested that "secretary" is derived from a French corruption of the Arabic saqr-et-tair or "hunter-bird." Whatever, it's a pretty strange bird!
Hooded Vulture - seen around most towns and villages and attracted to garbage everywhere!
We have another tour in Ethiopia planned for December 2012 with a slightly modified itinerary. Details are on the Avian Adventures website.