Sunday, 4 May 2014

Awash Falls National Park, Ethiopia

Awash Falls National Park, Ethiopia
25 January 2014

    I am coming to the end of posting about my January trip to Ethiopia - just a couple of days left, but it certainly was a journey to remember in ways good and bad.
    Rüpell's Starling Lamprotornis purpuroptera was quite common in this area, but was always a delight to see. For someone used to seeing only Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris on a regular basis, African starlings are really quite incredible.

    On an early morning walk we located this pair of Tawny Eagles Aquila rapax nesting on a transmission tower.

    Nile Crocodiles Crocodylus niloticus were not uncommon in lakes and rivers throughout Ethiopia and this individual was basking on a rock.

    Awash Falls National Park contained a good variety of bustard species, none more spectacular than Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori. Northern Carmine Bee-eaters Merops nubicus often flycatch from the backs  of Kori Bustard and I was dearly hoping to witness this behaviour; unfortunately it didn't happen.

    A drop of water in an arid area becomes a magnet for birds and the holding pond at the lodge was no exception. This Shining Sunbird Cinnyris habessinicus  appears to be in advanced moult and was anxious to take advantage of a source of water.

    Swainson's Sparrow Passer swainsonii was a very common bird, and this individual was also quick to drink.

    Numerous species of weaver provided great interest; this Rüppell's Weaver Ploceus galbula was no exception.

    Village Indigobird Vidua chalybeata was sighted relatively infrequently and the presence of water certainly enabled us to have prolonged views as it waited its turn.

    The plains at Awash National Park provided ideal habitat for a variety of bustards and we were very fortunate to see several White-bellied Bustards Eupodotis senegalensis.

    At the end of a dedicated day of birding we all joined together for dinner as the sun set.


  1. It's really a paradise there for a photographer. Fantastic to see all these animals with their stunning colors. Great series, David. I have appreciated your whole series about your trip. Greetings, Joke

  2. Wonderful series, David.
    My favorite photos are number 6,7,9 and 12.
    Greetings Irma

  3. Great Pictures of unsusal birds ......
    Love the last Picture a lot!

  4. I think immediately that this was a trip to remember David and I think you still having fun on the host looks back years. Seen a sheet and polite, and that makes a deep impression.
    We were also able to enjoy all the beautiful things you've come to on your journey :-)

  5. Fantastic pictures! We envy you a observation of a crocodile. We have never seen this reptile in the wild,only in the zoo.

  6. Greetings from Menorca. Thank goodness there are no crocs like that here. Have seen a small bustard though -- Stone Curlew. Catch up with you soon.

  7. Superb birds and reptile, the Kori Bustard, fantastic.

  8. Great birds! The first picture looks like the original "Angry Bird'!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  9. That must have been an awesome trip! Thanks for sharing it with us!