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 Rüppell'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.