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Field Guides Tour Report
Ethiopia 2016
May 20, 2016 to Jun 9, 2016
Terry Stevenson

We had superb views of the endemic Simien Fox (aka Ethiopian Wolf), with at least nine individuals seen over two days. Photo by participant John Geale.

Our May-June 2016 Ethiopia tour was slightly different than previous trips in that we have now added two new luxury lodges at the Bale Mountains and Bishangari. These very nice lodges (both in great birding areas) really do make our tour stand apart from any other tours to the region, with not only the best accommodations, but now even more time in these fabulous birding areas.

Starting in Addis Ababa, we took our traditional route north to Debre Birhan, where a nearby rocky hill gave us our first Chestnut-naped Francolin, White-collared Pigeon, White-winged Cliffchat, Abyssinian Siskin and Brown-rumped Seedeater -- all endemics. And a good scope view of a Cape Eagle-Owl was an added bonus! It was in the afternoon, though, that we found our main prize, with close looks at five little-known Ankober Serins feeding in the same area as about 80 Gelada Baboons. The following morning, we drove down the escarpment to Melka Ghebdu and found two more specials -- Red-billed Pytilia and Yellow-throated Serin -- in record time, before returning to Addis Ababa in the afternoon.

Our second excursion from the capital was to the Jemma Valley, home of the secretive Harwood's Francolin, which proved difficult this year; eventually we all had good views of a flying bird as our local guides flushed one which had been hiding amongst the dense cover and rocks. Fox Kestrel, the gorgeous, tiny, Black-winged Lovebird, Rueppell's Chat, and White-billed Starling were other great birds we found here too. We then spent a few hours birding the high altitude grasslands, with nice looks at Blue-winged Goose, African Black Duck, lots of Wattled Ibis, Rouget's Rail, Erlanger's Lark, and Abyssinian and Red-breasted wheatears, before returning to Addis Ababa once more.

The following morning found us driving east for a three-night stay at Awash National Park, where (after almost two years of drought) the grasslands and bush country were exceptionally dry -- although some recent showers had brought a green flush to a few areas. As always, there were many new birds, and we all enjoyed Somali Ostrich, Abdim's Stork, Hamerkop, Rueppell's Griffon, Arabian Bustard, Black-headed Lapwing, Bruce's Green-Pigeon, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Von der Decken's Hornbill, Abyssinian Roller, Yellow-breasted Barbet, Pygmy Falcon, Gray-headed Batis, White-Helmetshrike, Somali Fiscal, Gillett's Lark, White-rumped Babbler, Sombre Chat, Nile Valley and Shining sunbirds, and the striking Northern Red Bishop. Mammals included Hamadryas and Olive baboons, Common Jackal, Warthog, Beisa Oryx, Salt's Dik-dik, Gerenuk, and the endemic Soemmering's Gazelle.

We then continued south along the Rift Valley to lakes Ziway, Langano and Abiata. Birding a mix of lakeshore, woodland, and open dry grassland, we added many more species, with just a few of the highlights being thousands of Greater and Lesser flamingos, a good variety of storks, herons, egrets and ibis, Temminck's Courser, Grayish Eagle-Owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Black-billed Woodhoopoe, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Hemprich's Hornbill, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Black-headed Batis, African Paradise-Flycatcher, White-winged Black-Tit, Red-faced Crombec, Little Rock-Thrush, Superb Starling, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, and Rueppell's Weaver.

Turning to the east next, we had three nights (at two different lodges) in the Bale Mountains. As always, a major highlight here was the Simien Fox (more commonly known as Ethiopian Wolf) and we had super looks this year, with at least nine different individuals. As we climbed the mountains (on a good dirt road), the landscape changed from farmland to forest, and then to open high-altitude grasslands, with scattered giant lobelias as we approached 14,000ft. Just birding along the road was excellent, with great looks at more Blue-winged Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Lammergeier, Rouget's Rail, Spot-breasted Lapwing, White-cheeked Turaco, African Emerald Cuckoo, African Wood-Owl, African Long-eared Owl, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Banded Barbet, Abyssinian Woodpecker (one of the harder endemics), Ethiopian Boubou, Ethiopian Black-headed Oriole, Thick-billed Raven, White-backed Black-Tit, Abyssinian Catbird, Abyssinian Slaty-Flycatcher, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Tacazze Sunbird, and Abyssinian Longclaw.

We then continued south to the Negele and Yabello areas, where several of the most localized Ethiopian endemics occur. Near Negele, we had great looks at the beautiful Prince Ruspoli's Turaco and Liben Lark (perhaps Africa's rarest bird). At Yabello, Vulturine Guineafowl, Red-bellied Parrot, Red-naped Bushshrike, Taita Fiscal, Stresemann's Bush-Crow, White-tailed swallow, Somali Tit, Pale Prinia, Shelley's, Golden-breasted and White-crowned starlings, Somali Bunting, and Northern Grosbeak-Canary joined our list.

Returning towards Addis Ababa, we spent a night at Awassa, where African Pygmy-Goose, Banded Snake-Eagle, and African Spotted Creeper were the highlights, and then moved to the delightful Bishangari Lodge, set amongst huge fig trees along the shore of Lake Langano. This new destination for us is becoming well-known as a base for finding the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot and we were not disappointed, seeing 18 of these increasingly rare birds. Other highlights here included Scaly Francolin, Goliath Heron, White-winged Tern (in breeding plumage), Lemon Dove, Narina Trogon, and Scaly-throated Honeyguide.

Our main tour finished in Addis Ababa, but most of the group continued on to see the famous Rock Hewn Churches at Lalibela. During two nights in this area, not only did we enjoy learning about the history of these churches from our expert local guide Kibrom, but we added a few new birds too, with the endemic Erckel's Francolin and Yellow-rumped Serin high on everyone's list, but perhaps the Lammergeiers that frequently passed our verandas proving the most showy.

Thanks for joining me for the tour!

-- Terry

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Struthionidae (Ostrich)

The African Fish-Eagle is one of the continent's iconic birds, found across most of Africa south of the Sahara. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

SOMALI OSTRICH (Struthio molybdophanes) – At least 2 males were seen distantly on the Asebo Plains.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-BACKED DUCK (Thalassornis leuconotus) – Good looks at several close birds at Lake Awassa.
BLUE-WINGED GOOSE (Cyanochen cyanoptera) – Thirty on the higher parts of the Bale Mts. were by far the most, but we also saw about another 12 in the highlands around Addis Ababa and at Dinsho Pools. [E]
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Very common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 180.
RUDDY SHELDUCK (Tadorna ferruginea) – About a dozen were seen as we crossed the Sanetti Plateau in the Bale Mts.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – One on the shore at Lake Awassa.
AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus) – Great close looks at these beautiful birds at Lake Awassa.
AFRICAN BLACK DUCK (Anas sparsa) – We saw a pair during our day trip to the Jemma Valley.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – Eight in the highlands north of Addis Ababa, and 2 on the Sanetti Plateau, Bale Mts.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – Six at Lake Abiata.
Numididae (Guineafowl)

The black beak of this tiny Malachite Kingfisher marks it as a youngster; an adult would have a bright red bill. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – We saw several flocks in dry country like at Awash NP and Lake Langano.
VULTURINE GUINEAFOWL (Acryllium vulturinum) – Great looks at these strange looking birds near Yabello.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-NAPED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis castaneicollis) – Four along the top of the rocky ridge to the south of Debre Birhan, and then at least 9 in the Bale Mts. [E]
ERCKEL'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis erckelii) – At least 6 were seen and several more heard around our hotel at Lalibela. [E]
SCALY FRANCOLIN (Pternistis squamatus) – One of the group saw 1 run across a trail at the Bale Mountains Park HQ, and then we all had good views of 2 or 3 at Bishangari.
HARWOOD'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis harwoodi) – Always difficult; this year our local guide found 1 and then flushed it - giving us all good views of a bird in flight. [E]
YELLOW-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis leucoscepus) – Two singles in the Negele area.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus sephaena) – Heard near Negele, and then seen near Yabello and Bishangari.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Small numbers at lakes Hora, Langano and Awassa.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

The aptly-named Beautiful Sunbird was common at several sites with acacia woodlands. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – Many hundreds at Lake Abiata.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – Many thousands at Lake Abiata.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
ABDIM'S STORK (Ciconia abdimii) – We saw a total of about 75 in a variety of grasslands and open country between Awash, Shashemene and Awassa.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – Some of the group saw 1 along the way to Negele, we then saw 3 near Awassa, and at 1 Bishangari.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – Common in many areas throughout the tour, with several hundred together at lakes Ziway and Awassa.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – Two near Awash, 2 at Lake Ziway, and 3 at Lake Awassa.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (WHITE-BREASTED) (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus) – We saw a total of about 120 at a variety of scattered wetlands throughout the tour.
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax africanus) – Seen at a variety of scattered freshwater wetlands; in all we saw about 70.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – Three at Lake Ziway.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – About 250 at lakes Ziway and Langano, and 20 at Lake Awassa.
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – Singles near Debre Birhan, Awash, and at Lake Awassa.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about 40.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Singles at the Dawa River and Lake Langano.
GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – One on the shore of Lake Langano - the world's largest heron!
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Three at Lake Awassa.
GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos) – Singles at lakes Hora, Ziway, and Awassa.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Two at Lake Ziway.
BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca) – Great looks at 3 (including 1 doing its unique 'umbrella' feeding action) at Lake Ziway.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Flocks with cattle were seen at Awash, Langano, and Awassa.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – About 7 at Lake Awassa.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – About 70 were seen around lakes Ziway and Langano, and then about another 50 at Lake Awassa.

The iridescent blue gloss on the head and nape of the Blue-headed Coucal is pretty eye-catching, particularly in good light. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about a dozen.
WATTLED IBIS (Bostrychia carunculata) – Very common in highland areas like around Addis, Debre Birhan, and in the Bale Mts. [E]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Two near Addis, and then 2 other singles near Yabello.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – A single adult was perched near our lodge at Awassa.
LAMMERGEIER (Gypaetus barbatus) – Three along the top of the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment, 1 in the Bale Mts. and about 8 at Lalibela.
EGYPTIAN VULTURE (Neophron percnopterus) – We saw an adult near Yabello.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – One on the way to Melka Ghebdu, and 2 near the Jemma Valley.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – Very common and widespread throughout the tour.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about 50.
RUEPPELL'S GRIFFON (Gyps rueppelli) – Widespread; in all we saw about 40.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – We saw an immature bird in flight near Yabello.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Beautiful looks at a low flying adult near Yabello.
BANDED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinerascens) – We saw an incredibly tame bird near our lodge at Awassa.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – Great looks at an adult carrying a large Monitor Lizard at Melka Ghebdu.

A male Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu sings and waves fine grasses to attract a mate during its courtship display. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – Two singles to the north of Yabello.
WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) – Two at Yabello.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 24.
VERREAUX'S EAGLE (Aquila verreauxii) – One in flight along the escarpment at Gemessa Gebel.
DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates) – We saw a total of about 10 between Awash NP and Lake Langano.
EASTERN CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax poliopterus) – A single adult and then an immature near Negele, and then another 8 in the Yabello area.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – One at Dinsho Park HQ.
AFRICAN GOSHAWK (ETHIOPIAN) (Accipiter tachiro unduliventer) – Some of the group saw a flying bird near Bishangari Lodge.
LITTLE SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter minullus) – One in the forest at Bale Mountains Park HQ.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – Common and widespread with a total of about 120.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 32.
MOUNTAIN BUZZARD (Buteo oreophilus) – Some of the group saw 1 at Bale Mountain Lodge.
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – Common and widespread.
Otididae (Bustards)

We saw nearly two dozen Abyssinian Ground-Hornbills at various locations. What a fabulous bird! Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

ARABIAN BUSTARD (Ardeotis arabs) – Very difficult this year, but eventually we all saw a single bird walking in long grass on the Ali Dege Plains.
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – Amazing to see 24 together in a barley field near Negele - and some displaying too!
BUFF-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis gindiana) – At least 4 at Awash NP, and 3 near Yabello.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
ROUGET'S RAIL (Rougetius rougetii) – Two in a marsh near Muketori, and 4 in the Bale Mts. [E]
BLACK CRAKE (Amaurornis flavirostra) – One at Lake Ziway, and 5 at Lake Awassa.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Two at Lake Awassa.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Most common at Lake Langano (250+), but we also saw small numbers at several other scattered wetlands.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – Twelve at Lake Abiata.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus) – Seen around a variety of wetlands, with a total of about 80.
BLACK-HEADED LAPWING (Vanellus tectus) – Five in Awash NP.
BLACK-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus melanopterus) – Three on the Liben Plains.

Kibrom, our excellent local guide, uses a high spot (one of the country's ubiquitous termite mounds) to scan for Arabian Bustards. Photo by participant John Geale.

CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Widespread on grassy areas near lakes.
WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus) – Eight near Negele.
SPOT-BREASTED LAPWING (Vanellus melanocephalus) – Great close looks at this endemic in the Bale Mts. including several pairs with tiny chicks. [E]
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – At least 40 were along the shore of Lake Abiata.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – One at a pool on top of the Jemma Valley Escarpment.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – First seen at Lake Ziway, and then about 20 at Lake Awassa.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
TEMMINCK'S COURSER (Cursorius temminckii) – Three, and then a single along the grassy shore of Lake Abiata.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – Six at Lake Ziway, 2 at Lake Langano, and 5 at Lake Awassa.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – About 30 at Lake Langano included an adult in superb breeding plumage.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
BLACK-FACED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles decoratus) – Four along the roadside between Negele and Yabello.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Small numbers in a variety of scattered towns throughout the tour. [I]
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Very common and widespread.
WHITE-COLLARED PIGEON (Columba albitorques) – Very common in the highlands around Addis and in the Bale Mts. - sometimes with flocks in their hundreds. [E]
RAMERON PIGEON (Columba arquatrix) – Two single birds in the Harenna Forest, Bale Mts.
LEMON DOVE (Columba larvata) – Great looks at this often shy species at Bishangari Lodge.
DUSKY TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia lugens) – Most common in the high country, but also in smaller numbers in the Rift Valley; in all we saw about 350.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – More commonly known as African Mourning Dove, they were common from Awash to Lake Langano, and then from Yabello to Awassa.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Very common and widespread.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Common between Negele and Yabello.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Very common and widespread.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – We saw about a dozen in the Negele to Yabello area, and a few others elsewhere.
BLUE-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur afer) – Heard by all and seen in flight by a few of the group at Melka Ghebdu.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – About 40 in the Awash area, and 8 at Yabello.
BRUCE'S GREEN-PIGEON (Treron waalia) – Great looks at 4 in the riverine vegetation near Awash Falls Lodge, and then another 4 at Bishangari.
Musophagidae (Turacos)

We found some two dozen Kori Bustards in a barley field -- and some of them were displaying! Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

WHITE-CHEEKED TURACO (Tauraco leucotis) – At least 4 were seen and several others heard in the Harenna Forest, Bale Mts. and then about 20 at Bishangari.
PRINCE RUSPOLI'S TURACO (Tauraco ruspolii) – Always a major target on this tour; we saw 2 hidden and then flying birds to the north of the Genale River, and then had great long looks at a bird eating figs west of Negele. [E]
WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides leucogaster) – Widespread in acacia country throughout the tour.
EASTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer zonurus) – Great looks at 2 near Awash Falls Lodge.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius) – One seen at Bale Mountain Lodge, and others were heard at several wooded areas throughout the tour.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) – One heard at Bishangari.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – One in trees along the shore at Lake Ziway.
AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus) – Fabulous views of 1 near Bale Mountain Lodge.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – One seen and several heard along the lakeshore at Ziway.
BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus) – Great close looks at Awassa - including 1 eating a large toad.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Singles at Awash, Negele, and Bishangari.
Strigidae (Owls)

The White-throated Bee-eaters around Bilen Lodge were satisfyingly tame, allowing close approach and great photos, like this one taken participant Becky Hansen.

AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis) – Heard by some of the group at Bishangari.
CAPE EAGLE-OWL (NORTHERN) (Bubo capensis dillonii) – Great spotting by Julia, when she found us a well hidden bird along the rocky cliff near Debre Birhan.
GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens) – Two singles in the Lake Langano area.
AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii) – Great looks at 1 at Bale Mountains Park HQ.
AFRICAN LONG-EARED OWL (Asio abyssinicus) – Wow, thanks to a local guide, we all had just amazing looks at this little known owl at the Bale Mountains Park HQ.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
ABYSSINIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus poliocephalus) – Three of the group saw 1 at our lodge at Lalibela.
SLENDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus clarus) – Four in the driveway of our hotel at Lake Langano.
Apodidae (Swifts)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – About 6 at Dinsho Pools, and about 10 at Lalibela.
MOTTLED SWIFT (Apus aequatorialis) – One at Lalibela.
NYANZA SWIFT (Apus niansae) – About 30 at Lalibela.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – About 30 around our first hotel at Lake Langano.

The tiny African Pygmy-Goose is Africa's smallest anatid -- and among the smallest waterfowl in the world. Photo by participant John Geale.

HORUS SWIFT (Apus horus) – About 20 over the cliffs at our lodge at Lake Langano.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Eight near Negele.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus) – Very common and widespread.
BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus) – We saw a total of about 40 in various areas of scattered dry acacia country.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina) – Wonderful looks at 2 or 3 birds in the forest at Bishangari.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (CENTRAL AFRICAN) (Upupa epops senegalensis) – Small numbers at Lake Langano, and around Negele.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills)
BLACK-BILLED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus somaliensis) – Some of the group saw 1 at Melka Ghebdu, and then everyone saw 3 at Lake Langano and about 20 in the Negele area which included some fabulous raucous calling birds. [E]
ABYSSINIAN SCIMITAR-BILL (Rhinopomastus minor) – Two at Awash NP, and 3 in the Yabello area.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)

Thanks to some local knowledge, we had amazing looks at the little-known African Long-eared Owl near the headquarters building at Bale Mountains NP.

ABYSSINIAN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus abyssinicus) – What a fabulous bird, with pairs and singles in the Ziway and Lake Langano areas, and around Negele and Yabello; in all we saw about 22.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros hemprichii) – Two pairs were seen well in the Lake Langano area, and then we heard them at Bishangari, and finally saw another close bird at Lalibela.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – About 20 between Awash and Lake Langano, and then 10 more between Negele and Yabello.
EASTERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus flavirostris) – Singles near the Dawa River and at Yabello.
VON DER DECKEN'S HORNBILL (Tockus deckeni) – We saw a male at Awash NP, and a female at Lake Abiata, and then about another 16 in the Negele and Yabello areas.
NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus) – At least 150 were seen in the Negele and Yabello areas, and another 20 in dry bush country around Awash and Lake Langano.
SILVERY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Bycanistes brevis) – Nice looks at about a dozen of these huge hornbills flying over the forest near Bale Mountain Lodge, and then another 40+ at Bishangari.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Eight at Lake Awassa, and a few other singles at lakes Hora and Ziway.
AFRICAN PYGMY-KINGFISHER (Ispidina picta) – One at Melka Ghebdu.
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – About 8 at Melka Ghebdu, and then singles at Awash and Negele.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – Most common at Awassa (20+), but we also saw small numbers at Awash NP and Lake Ziway.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – One at Lake Langano, and 1 near Negele.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Widespread at a variety of fresh water wetlands; in all we saw about 20.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – Small numbers in the dry bush country at Awash, Negele, and near Bishangari.
BLUE-BREASTED BEE-EATER (Merops variegatus lafresnayii) – This distinctive bee-eater has been split by some authorities as Ethiopian Bee-eater 'M. lafresnayii'. We saw them at the Jemma Valley, Lake Hora, Bishangari, and Lalibela. [E]
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – Very common and tame around Bilen Lodge and in Awash NP.
MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus) – Singles at Awash NP, and near Lake Beseka.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
ABYSSINIAN ROLLER (Coracias abyssinicus) – Great looks at 3 or 4 of these gorgeous rollers near Bilen Lodge.
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus lorti) – This form 'lorti' is sometimes split as Lilac-throated Roller; we saw 1 at Lake Langano, and about 20 between Negele and Yabello.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – Great looks at one at the entrance to Lake Abiata, and then about another 8 between Negele and Yabello.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)

An incredibly confiding Banded Snake-eagle (aka Western Banded Snake-Eagle in some taxonomic treatments) allowed great views near our lodge at Awassa. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RED-AND-YELLOW BARBET (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) – We saw 4 of these striking barbets near Negele.
YELLOW-BREASTED BARBET (Trachyphonus margaritatus) – About 5 at Melka Ghebdu, and 3 near Bilen Lodge.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (Trachyphonus darnaudii) – We saw a total of about 16 in the dry country around Yabello.
RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus pusillus) – One at Lake Hora, 2 on the way to Negele, and 2 at Bishangari.
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – One near Bale Mountain Lodge.
RED-FRONTED BARBET (Tricholaema diademata) – Two at Lake Langano, and 1 south of Yabello.
BLACK-THROATED BARBET (Tricholaema melanocephala) – Several heard and 1 seen near Yabello.
BANDED BARBET (Lybius undatus) – We saw this endemic barbet investigating a nest hole near Bale Mountain Lodge, and then had great looks at 8 or 9 in the Awassa area. [E]
BLACK-BILLED BARBET (Lybius guifsobalito) – Small numbers at Lake Hora, Awash, Lake Langano, and Lalibela.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus) – Nice looks at 2 in the fig trees along the shore of Lake Awassa.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
SCALY-THROATED HONEYGUIDE (Indicator variegatus) – One near Bishangari Lodge.
GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator) – Some of the group saw 1 at Bishangari Lodge.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

Bruce's Green-Pigeon is found across a great swath of Africa, from the Horn of Africa in the east to The Gambia and Senegal in the west. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RUFOUS-NECKED WRYNECK (Jynx ruficollis) – We saw a single at Lake Hora, and 2 at Lake Langano.
NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica) – Two singles at Awash NP, and then 2 at Negele, and 5 in the Yabello area.
ABYSSINIAN WOODPECKER (Dendropicos abyssinicus) – Often very difficult, but we all had excellent views this tour - with a pair at the Bale Mts. Park HQ - the male showing particularly well and at close range. [E]
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – Two singles near Yabello.
MOUNTAIN GRAY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos spodocephalus) – Singles in woodland at Lake Ziway, Lake Langano, in the Bale Mts, and at Awassa.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Nice looks at a single near Bilen Lodge, and then another 3 in the Negele to Yabello area.
EURASIAN KESTREL (RUFESCENT) (Falco tinnunculus rufescens) – Seen at the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment, Melka Ghebdu, the Bale Mts. and around Lalibela.
FOX KESTREL (Falco alopex) – Good looks at a flying bird along the Jemma Valley Escarpment.
EURASIAN HOBBY (Falco subbuteo) – One at our lodge over-looking Lake Langano was an exceptionally late migrant.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – We saw a total of about 10 at Debre Birhan, Jemma Valley, Lake Langano, and in the Bale Mts.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One at Lake Langano.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)

Participant Becky Hansen shot this fine portrait of a White-crowned Starling in its preferred acacia habitat; now, it's also common in pastures and around dwellings.

BLACK-WINGED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis taranta) – First seen drinking on a cliff face in the Jemma Valley, and then about 15 at Lake Langano, 2 at Awassa, and 8 at Lalibela. [E]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-BELLIED PARROT (Poicephalus rufiventris) – More commonly known as African Orange-bellied Parrot, we saw 4 in Awash NP, 2 near Negele, and 3 near Yabello.
YELLOW-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus flavifrons) – Can be very difficult, but we were extremely lucky this tour and had great views of about 18 at Bishangari. [E]
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea) – Two in the woodland along the shore at Awassa.
GRAY-HEADED BATIS (Batis orientalis) – Great close looks at a pair near Bilen Lodge.
BLACK-HEADED BATIS (Batis minor) – We saw a pair near Lake Abiata, and then another pair at Awassa.
PYGMY BATIS (Batis perkeo) – About 7 in the dry acacia country near Yabello.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops plumatus) – A single (unusual) in Awash NP, and the a flock of 7 near Yabello.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)

We saw plenty of White-bellied Go-away-birds in acacia country throughout the tour. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – Three singles between Negele and Yabello.
NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – One at Lake Hora, and then 8 in the Yabello to Awassa area.
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – Four in the Jemma Valley, and 1 at Lake Langano.
THREE-STREAKED TCHAGRA (Tchagra jamesi) – We all eventually got good looks at this rather shy tchagra south of Yabello.
RED-NAPED BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius ruficeps) – Great looks at a calling bird in the bush country near Yabello.
ETHIOPIAN BOUBOU (Laniarius aethiopicus) – Recently split from Tropical Boubou, we saw a total of about 20 at a variety of scattered sites. [E]
SLATE-COLORED BOUBOU (Laniarius funebris) – One near Negele, and about 5 in the Yabello area.
ROSY-PATCHED BUSHSHRIKE (Rhodophoneus cruentus) – Good close views of a single bird at Awash NP, 1 near Negele, and about 5 around Yabello.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – We saw this beautiful bushshrike during our drive from Bale Mts. to Negele.
GRAY-HEADED BUSHSHRIKE (Malaconotus blanchoti) – Two secretive birds were seen in dense foliage near our lodge at Awash.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
RED-SHOULDERED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga phoenicea) – Three of our group saw a male in the grounds of our lodge at Awassa.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitorius) – Two at Lake Langano, and 3 at Bishangari.
TAITA FISCAL (Lanius dorsalis) – One on an open plain area south of Yabello.
SOMALI FISCAL (Lanius somalicus) – Two at Awash NP, and then 2 on the Asebo Plains.
NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis) – Very common and widespread away from the arid south.
WHITE-RUMPED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus rueppelli) – Four at Awash NP, and then about 30 between Negele and Yabello.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
ETHIOPIAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus monacha) – Common in the Harenna Forest, Bale Mts, and then 3-4 at Bishangari. [E]
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – Small numbers at Negele, Yabello, and at Lake Langano.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Three at Melka Ghebdu, and then 50+ between Negele and Yabello.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Widespread in a variety of scattered woodlands; in all we saw about 20.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
STRESEMANN'S BUSH-CROW (Zavattariornis stresemanni) – This very localized endemic is always a highlight of the tour; we had great close looks at about 20 in the Yabello area. [E]

The Broad-ringed White-eye is also known (in some taxonomic treatments) as Montane White-eye -- a nod to its highland distribution. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Common and widespread in the high country.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Most common and widespread in the high country, but also occurring in small numbers in drier low areas.
SOMALI CROW (Corvus edithae) – Two above the Jemma Valley, and 2 on the Liben Plains, and about 6 in the Yabello area.
FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus) – Common and widespread.
THICK-BILLED RAVEN (Corvus crassirostris) – This amazing crow (you have to see it to believe it) was all around our coffee break stop at Shashemene, at Goba, and on the way to Awassa. [E]
Alaudidae (Larks)
GILLETT'S LARK (Mirafra gilletti) – Nice scope views of a pair in Awash NP. [E]
LIBEN LARK (Heteromirafra archeri) – Once again we all had amazing views of what is often considered to be Africa's rarest bird - and on the Liben Plains of course. Formerly known as Sidamo Lark 'H. sidamoensis' it is now considered conspecific with Archer's Lark and given the new English name Liben Lark. [E]
FOXY LARK (Calendulauda alopex) – Five in the acacia country south of Yabello.
CHESTNUT-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucotis) – About 20 near Bilen Lodge included some nice looking males.
ERLANGER'S LARK (Calandrella erlangeri) – Great close looks at 5 or 6 near Muketori. [E]

Is there anything prettier than a Superb Starling in the sunshine? Photo by participant John Geale.

SOMALI SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella somalica) – At least 60 were seen on the Liben Plains.
THEKLA LARK (Galerida theklae) – Most common in the Bale Mts. (60), but also a few others in the highlands north of Addis.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – Fairly common and widespread with a total of about 300.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – Four over a highland marsh above the Jemma Valley.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Widespread around cliffs and towns with tall buildings.
ETHIOPIAN SWALLOW (Hirundo aethiopica) – About a dozen over the Liben Plains, and 4 near Yabello.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Pairs at Bilen Lodge, and at Awassa.
WHITE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo megaensis) – After some effort we finally found a pair of these very localized endemic swallows in an open area south of Yabello. [E]
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – About a dozen around Lalibela.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – One at Jemma Valley, and then about 20 in the Negele to Yabello area.
MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis) – One at Lake Ziway, and 1 at Awassa.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera pristoptera) – Four near the Jemma Valley Escarpment, birds at Awassa were not identified to race.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera antinorii) – Two in the Bale Mts.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

After seeing about a dozen Silvery-cheeked Hornbills fly over the forest at Bale Mountain Lodge, it was nice to catch up with a perched bird at Bishangari. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus leucomelas) – Good looks at a pair in the acacias at Lake Langano.
SOMALI TIT (Melaniparus thruppi) – Four in the dry bush country near Yabello.
WHITE-BACKED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus leuconotus) – We saw at least 6 at the Bale Mts. HQ, and 2 others higher towards the Sanetti Plateau. [E]
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
MOUSE-COLORED PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus musculus) – Three in the Bilen Lodge area, and 3 near Yabello.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
AFRICAN SPOTTED-CREEPER (Salpornis salvadori) – Fabulous looks at a singing bird at Awassa.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
NORTHERN BROWNBUL (Phyllastrephus strepitans) – Four in the Negele area.
COMMON BULBUL (COMMON) (Pycnonotus barbatus schoanus) – This race was common to the north and east of Addis, and then at Lake Langano and at Lalibela.
COMMON BULBUL (SOMALI) (Pycnonotus barbatus somaliensis) – Fairly common in the Awash area.
COMMON BULBUL (DODSON'S) (Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni) – Common from Negele to Yabello.

The Blue-breasted Bee-eaters in Ethiopia (subspecies lafresnayii) are split by some taxonomists into a separate species -- appropriately, the Ethiopian Bee-eater.

COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus spurius) – Common in the Bale Mts.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
RED-FACED CROMBEC (Sylvietta whytii) – Two at Lake Langano, and 3 between Yabello and Awassa.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
BROWN WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) – Some of the group saw singles at Goba and in the Bale Mts. above the town.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
AFRICAN REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus baeticatus) – One at Lake Awassa.
LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) – Great looks at 1 by our hotel at Lake Awassa.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
CINNAMON BRACKEN-WARBLER (Bradypterus cinnamomeus) – We all saw a singing extrovert bird in the Bale Mts. - often very shy.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – About half a dozen of the race 'flavocincta' were seen near Yabello. This form is split by some authorities as Brown-tailed Apalis.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – The gray-backed form was common throughout the tour, though far more often heard than seen.
GRAY WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes simplex) – One near Negele, and 3-4 in the Yabello area.
SINGING CISTICOLA (Cisticola cantans) – About a dozen on the Jemma Valley Escarpment, 1 in the Bale Mts., and 10+ at Lalibela.
BORAN CISTICOLA (Cisticola bodessa) – Good scope views of a singing bird near Yabello.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Small numbers at Lake Langano, Negele, and Yabello.
WINDING CISTICOLA (ETHIOPIAN) (Cisticola galactotes lugubris) – Some authorities now split this as Ethiopian Cisticola, we saw them in the highlands north of Addis. [E]
PECTORAL-PATCH CISTICOLA (Cisticola brunnescens) – Heard near Debre Birhan, and then several were seen by everyone on the Liben Plains.
BUFF-BELLIED WARBLER (Phyllolais pulchella) – First seen at lakes Ziway and Langano, and then again near Yabello; in all we saw about 20.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Fairly common and widespread with a total of about 30.
PALE PRINIA (Prinia somalica) – Good looks at up to 8 in the Yabello area.
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – One near Yabello.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
ABYSSINIAN CATBIRD (Parophasma galinieri) – Good looks at this unusual endemic in the high altitude forest around the Bale Mountains. [E]
AFRICAN HILL BABBLER (Sylvia abyssinica) – One seen well and several heard around Bale Mountain Lodge.
BANDED WARBLER (Sylvia boehmi) – Several heard and about 4 seen in the Yabello area.
BROWN WARBLER (GRAY-VENTED) (Sylvia lugens griseiventris) – Two of this endemic (and possible future split species) were seen in the Bale Mts. above Goba. [E]
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)

Though Lammergeiers are widespread across the mountains of much of the Old World, they're nowhere particularly common -- so always a treat to see well. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

BROAD-RINGED WHITE-EYE (MONTANE) (Zosterops poliogastrus poliogastrus) – About 20 in the Bale Mts.
WHITE-BREASTED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops abyssinicus) – Small numbers around Ziway and at Lake Langano, and then a couple at Awassa and Lalibela.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides rubiginosa) – Three at Lake Hora, and another 3 at Awash NP.
WHITE-RUMPED BABBLER (Turdoides leucopygia) – Two at Awash NP, 3 near Negele, 5 at Bishangari, and 5 at Lalibela. [E]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
PALE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis pallidus) – One at Lake Langano.
GRAYISH FLYCATCHER (ETHIOPIAN) (Bradornis microrhynchus pumilus) – Small numbers in acacia country at Awash, Lake Langano, and Yabello. [E]
ABYSSINIAN SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis chocolatinus) – Four in the Bale Mts., and 1 at Lalibela. [E]
NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides) – Pairs at Lake Hora, and at Lake Langano.
DUSKY-BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa adusta) – Small numbers were widespread in a variety of woodlands throughout the tour.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Most common in the Yabello area (10+), but we also saw a few at a variety of widespread scattered sites.

A male Northern Grosbeak-Canary serenaded us near Yabello. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RUEPPELL'S ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha semirufa) – Fairly common in the Bale Mts. and at Lalibela.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – We saw 2 adults and a juvenile at Lake Awassa.
SPOTTED MORNING-THRUSH (Cichladusa guttata) – One at the Dawa River, and about 4 near Yabello.
LITTLE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufocinereus) – Two at Jemma Valley, and 4 in the Lake Langano area.
AFRICAN STONECHAT (ETHIOPIAN) (Saxicola torquatus albofasciatus) – We saw a couple of pairs in the highlands north of Addis, and then singles at the Bale Mts. and Awassa.
RUEPPELL'S CHAT (Myrmecocichla melaena) – Four along the Jemma Valley Escarpment, and about 6 at Lalibela. [E]
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) – Widespread in rocky areas, with a total of about 30.
WHITE-WINGED CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea semirufa) – Three on the rocky hill near Debre Birhan, and 2 at Lalibela. [E]
SOMBRE CHAT (Cercomela dubia) – We saw this extremely localized endemic on the Mount Fantalle lava flow. [E]
BLACKSTART (Cercomela melanura) – One at Bilen Lodge.
MOORLAND CHAT (Cercomela sordida) – Fairly common in the highlands north of Addis, and in the Bale Mts.
ABYSSINIAN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe lugubris lugubris) – Two near near Debre Birhan, and then singles at Lake Langano and Lalibela. [E]
RED-BREASTED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe bottae) – One in the high altitude grassland near Muketori.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

The subspecies of Lilac-breasted Roller in Ethiopia, lorti, is sometimes split as Lilac-throated Roller. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

ABYSSINIAN GROUND-THRUSH (Geokichla piaggiae) – Can be very shy and difficult, but we all had great looks at a singing bird at the Bale Mountains Park HQ, and then 3 near Bale Mountain Lodge.
GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH (HEATH) (Psophocichla litsitsirupa simensis) – We saw about 30 in the highlands north of Addis, and then a dozen in the Bale Mts. and 1 at Lalibela. [E]
ABYSSINIAN THRUSH (ABYSSINIAN) (Turdus abyssinicus abyssinicus) – Recently split from Olive Thrush (and also known as Mountain Thrush) this species was common around Addis, in the Bale Mts., and at Lalibela.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – Singles at Awash, Yabello, and at Lake Awassa.
AFRICAN BARE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus tephronotus) – Nice looks at 3 to the south of Yabello.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
SLENDER-BILLED STARLING (Onychognathus tenuirostris) – Two at the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment, and then at least 70 in the Bale Mts.
RED-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus morio) – Three in the Bale Mts., 8 at Yabello, and about 50 in the Lalibela area.
WHITE-BILLED STARLING (Onychognathus albirostris) – At least 40 were seen in along the Jemma Valley Escarpment, and a dozen at Lalibela. [E]
BRISTLE-CROWNED STARLING (Onychognathus salvadorii) – Some of the group saw 2 at our hotel at Yabello.
SHELLEY'S STARLING (Lamprotornis shelleyi) – Nice looks at 1 south of Yabello.

The Speckled Mousebird, which is endemic to Africa, was common throughout the tour. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

RUEPPELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) – Common in the lower altitude areas of dry bush country; in all we saw about 70.
GOLDEN-BREASTED STARLING (Lamprotornis regius) – We saw about a dozen of these gorgeous birds in the Negele and Yabello areas.
SUPERB STARLING (Lamprotornis superbus) – Common in the Rift Valley from Lake Langano and south to the Yabello area.
WHITE-CROWNED STARLING (Lamprotornis albicapillus) – We saw about 25 in the Negele area, and then another 40+ near Yabello.
GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – Very common and widespread.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Small numbers at Melka Ghebdu, Awash NP, Lake Langano, and at Bishangari.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
KENYA VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes orientalis) – Three in the Yabello area.
NILE VALLEY SUNBIRD (Hedydipna metallica) – Wonderful close looks at several males in Awash NP.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – Widespread in mostly highland areas, we saw a total of about 16.
HUNTER'S SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra hunteri) – Great looks at 4 of these striking sunbirds near Yabello.
TACAZZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia tacazze) – Another gorgeous mainly highland sunbird; with a total of about 60.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus) – This really is a beautiful sunbird, and we saw about 50 in a variety of acacia bush country sites.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – Widespread; with a total of about 40.
SHINING SUNBIRD (Cinnyris habessinicus) – Two at Melka Ghebdu, and then at least 6 in the Bilen Lodge area.
VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus) – Small numbers north of Addis, around Yabello, and at Lalibela.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL (Motacilla clara) – Two at a pool along the Jemma Valley Escarpment.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – One at Awash Falls Lodge.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – One near Debre Birhan, and 4 at Lake Abiata.
LONG-BILLED PIPIT (NICHOLSON'S) (Anthus similis hararensis) – One near the top of the Jemma Valley Escarpment.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – Six on the Liben Plains.
ABYSSINIAN LONGCLAW (Macronyx flavicollis) – A few of our group saw 1 near Debre Birhan, and then we all had good views of 1 or 2 near Dinsho Pools. [E]
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – Three near Debre Birhan, and 2 at the Mount Fantalle lava flow.
SOMALI BUNTING (Emberiza poliopleura) – Four in the dry bush near Yabello.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

The endemic Gelada is also known as the Bleeding-heart Monkey -- a reference to the bright red hourglass of bare skin on the adult male's chest. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

ANKOBER SERIN (Carduelis ankoberensis) – Fantastic looks at this little known endemic at the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment. [E]
YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex) – Common in the highlands north of Addis and at the Bale Mts.
ABYSSINIAN SISKIN (Serinus nigriceps) – This endemic was common in the high country north Addis, and in the Bale Mts. [E]
AFRICAN CITRIL (Serinus citrinelloides) – One at Lake Langano, about 10 at Awassa, and 2 at Lalibela.
REICHENOW'S SEEDEATER (Serinus reichenowi) – About 20 in the Negele area, and 6 at Awassa.
YELLOW-RUMPED SERIN (Serinus xanthopygius) – More commonly known as White-throated Seedeater, this very localized endemic was seen nicely at Nakutelab Monastery. [E]
WHITE-BELLIED CANARY (Serinus dorsostriatus) – About 30 in the Yabello area.
YELLOW-THROATED SERIN (Serinus flavigula) – We saw 3 of these localized and little known endemics at Melka Ghebdu. [E]
NORTHERN GROSBEAK-CANARY (Serinus donaldsoni) – Great looks at a female and then a singing male near Yabello.
STREAKY SEEDEATER (Serinus striolatus) – Mainly in the highlands; this species was common with a total of about 150.
BROWN-RUMPED SEEDEATER (Serinus tristriatus) – Common around Addis, Bale Mts., and at Lalibela. [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

We found a couple of Grayish Eagle-Owls snoozing on their day roosts around Lake Langano. Photo by participant John Geale.

SHELLEY'S RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer shelleyi) – About 40 to the south of Yabello.
SWAINSON'S SPARROW (Passer swainsonii) – Very common and widespread.
YELLOW-SPOTTED PETRONIA (Petronia pyrgita) – One at Awash NP, about 8 near Negele, and 10+ near Yabello.
BUSH PETRONIA (Petronia dentata) – Four at Melka Ghebdu.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – A few of the group saw 1 at Lake Langano, and then we all saw 6 near Negele, and about 20 at Yabello.
WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Dinemellia dinemelli) – Very common and widespread in acacia country.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Fairly common in acacia country; with a total of about 80.
GRAY-HEADED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita arnaudi) – About a dozen near Negele, and 20 at Yabello.
BLACK-CAPPED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita cabanisi) – About 30 in the Yabello area.
RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps leuconotus) – One at Melka Ghebdu, 6 near Negele, 4 at Yabello, and 4 at Awassa.
BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht) – Fairly common and widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw a total of about 120.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – Four at Melka Ghebdu, and 4 at Lake Langano.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – Two in the trees along the shore at Lake Awassa.
LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius) – One at the Jemma Valley Escarpment.
VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus) – Two at Melka Ghebdu.
RUEPPELL'S WEAVER (Ploceus galbula) – Common at lakes Hora and Langano.
SPEKE'S WEAVER (Ploceus spekei) – Two near Negele and another 2 at Yabello.
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – Very common at Awash NP, and at Lake Langano.
CHESTNUT WEAVER (Ploceus rubiginosus) – We saw a total of about 60, including some breeding males at Awash, Lake Abiata, and at Yabello.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – About 500 were in a single flock near Lake Hora.
NORTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus) – At least 40 in the Awash area, and then smaller numbers at Melka Ghebdu and Awassa - several were in striking breeding plumage.
YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP (Euplectes afer) – Some of the group saw 4 males in breeding plumage flying next to our bus as we drove towards Debre Birhan.
YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis) – About a dozen in the highlands north of Addis Ababa.
RED-COLLARED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes ardens) – Two on the top of the Jemma Valley Escarpment.
GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons) – Eight at Lake Awassa.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
YELLOW-BELLIED WAXBILL (Coccopygia quartinia) – Four at Bale Mountain Lodge.

We had small numbers of Black-billed Barbets in several locations; they're found primarily in open woodland. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

CRIMSON-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda rhodopyga) – Small numbers at Awash, Lake Langano, and near the Bale Mts.
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – Six in the Bale Mts., and 2 at Awassa.
BLACK-CHEEKED WAXBILL (Estrilda charmosyna) – One near Yabello.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
PURPLE GRENADIER (Granatina ianthinogaster) – We saw these very attractive waxbills at Bilen Lodge, and near Yabello.
RED-BILLED PYTILIA (Pytilia lineata) – We had great looks at a pair of these very localized birds at Melka Ghebdu.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Fairly common and widespread.
CUT-THROAT (Amadina fasciata) – Three near Bilen Lodge, and 1 at Yabello.
GRAY-HEADED SILVERBILL (Odontospiza griseicapilla) – One to the south of Yabello.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata) – Eight at Lake Hora, and 6 at Lake Langano.
BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (Spermestes bicolor) – Five along the shore at Lake Awassa.

The view from the balcony at Awash Falls Lodge was pretty special! Photo by participant John Geale.

AFRICAN SILVERBILL (Euodice cantans) – Some of the group saw 2 at Melka Ghebdu.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – Fairly common and widespread; including some great males in breeding plumage.
STRAW-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua fischeri) – Nice looks at a couple of pairs around Awash Falls Lodge.
VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata) – Three at Awash NP, and 1 near Negele.

BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Recent taxonomy has suggested the 'Vervet type' monkeys we saw in Ethiopia could be split from the common East African form. If following this then we saw what is now known as Grivet Monkey; we saw about 20 at Awash NP, 6 near Bale Mts., and 10 at Awassa.
HAMADRYAS BABOON (Papio hamadryas) – About 20 along the road near Awash NP.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – Common and widespread; in all we saw about 250.
GELADA (Theropithecus gelada) – Great looks at these fabulous animals at the Gemessa Gebel and Jemma Valley escarpments; in all we saw about 115. [E]
MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza) – More commonly known as Eastern Black-and- white Colobus, we saw these attractive monkeys in the Bale Mts. and at Awassa.

The gorgeous Tacazze Sunbird is principally found in the highlands. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis) – One at Awash NP.
STARCK'S HARE (Lepus starcki) – Some of the group saw at least 1 (of 2 singles) in the Bale Mts. [E]
UNSTRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus rutilus) – About 20 in the Negele and Yabello areas.
GAMBIAN SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus gambianus) – With the recent splitting and lumping of many forms of African squirrels it's difficult to know exactly what we saw. But, following this list we saw about 18 of this form at Awassa and Bishangari.
ETHIOPIAN MOLE-RAT (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) – At least 3 in the Bale Mts. [E]
SIMIEN FOX (ETHIOPIAN WOLF) (Canis simensis) – Just fabulous this year with at least 9 different wolves over 2 days. [E]
COMMON JACKAL (Canis aureus) – Singles near Debre Birhan and Bilen Lodge.
EGYPTIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes ichneumon) – One south of the Bale Mts.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Heard at Awash Falls Lodge, and at Bishangari.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – About 7 at the top of the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment, and 5 at Lalibela.
TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax arboreus) – Good looks at 1 at Bale Mountain Lodge.
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – About 14 at Awash NP, 50 at Bale Mts, and 15 at Bishangari.
GIANT FOREST HOG (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni) – One crossed the road in front of our vehicle as we left Bale Mountain Lodge.
MOUNTAIN NYALA (Tragelaphus buxtoni) – Great to see so many (perhaps 60) on the lower slopes of the Bale Mountains. [E]

We had small numbers of Crimson-rumped Waxbills at several locations. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.

MENELICK'S BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki) – Two females at the Bale Mts. HQ. [E]
BOHOR REEDBUCK (Redunca redunca) – Seven near Dinsho.
BEISA ORYX (Oryx beisa) – Twenty-four at Awash NP, and 1 on the Asebo Plains.
KLIPSPRINGER (Oreotragus oreotragus) – One of our group saw 1 in the Bale Mts.
ORIBI (Ourebia ourebi) – Five in front of Bishangari Lodge.
SALT'S DIK-DIK (Madoqua saltiana) – About 8 in Awash NP.
GUENTHER'S DIK-DIK (Madoqua guentheri) – Six during the drive from Negele to Yabello.
GERENUK (Litocranius walleri) – Six near Bilen Lodge.
SOEMMERING'S GAZELLE (Gazella soemmerringi) – We saw a single big male on the Asebo Plains. [E]
GRANT'S GAZELLE (Gazella granti) – Seventeen along the grassy shore at Lake Abiata.


Additional mammals and reptiles seen on the tour included;

Ethiopian Meadow Rat; common on top of the Bale Mts.

African Unstriped Grass Rat; common on top of the Bale Mts.

Nile Crocodile; 4 at Awash NP.

Nile (Water) Monitor; 1 at Lake Ziway.

Tropical House Gecko; widespread in small numbers.

Leopard Tortoise; 2 very large ones in Awash NP.

Totals for the tour: 366 bird taxa and 29 mammal taxa