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Field Guides Tour Report
Ethiopia 2018
Sep 7, 2018 to Sep 30, 2018
Terry Stevenson

The dramatic landscape of the Bale Mountains National Park was the backdrop for a number of special sightings, such as Ethiopian Wolf, Blue-winged Goose and Rouget's Rail. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

Our September 2018 Ethiopia tour took place immediately after a period of exceptional long rains, which turned this gorgeous country lush and green. Highlights as always included many of the endemic birds that Ethiopia is so famous for - the gorgeous Prince Ruspoli's Turaco, huge Thick-billed Ravens, and the strange Stresemann's Bush-Crow, but the luxuriant conditions were also perfect for breeding, and we all enjoyed repeated looks at a wonderful variety of sunbirds, weavers, whydahs, bishops and widowbirds, all in breeding plumage. Mammals included the endemic Mountain Nyala, Soemmering's Gazelle, Ethiopian Mole-Rat, and of course, star of the show, Ethiopian Wolf (Simien Fox).

Beginning in Addis Ababa, we headed through the highlands for a one night stay in the Debre Birhan and Gemessa Gebel Escarpment area. With every bird being new, it was indeed an exciting first day; highlights including no less than 9 endemics - Erckel's Francolin, Wattled Ibis, White-collared Pigeon, Thick-billed Raven, Erlanger's Lark, White-billed Starling, Brown-rumped Seedeater, Ethiopian Siskin, and the little known Ankober Serin. But we also enjoyed a nice selection of other more widespread species, including Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier), Lanner Falcon, Fan-tailed Raven, Thekla's Lark, Moorland Chat, Red-breasted Wheatear and Tacazze Sunbird. Icing-on-the-cake though, was super close looks at no less than 70 Gelada (baboons).

Before returning to Addis, we dropped in to the Rift Valley at Melka Ghebdu; somewhat sadly, road construction is destroying some of the fine bushland habitat here, but we still enjoyed Hamerkop, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Dusky Turtle Dove, White-cheeked Turaco, Blue-naped Mousebird, Hemprich's Hornbill, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Yellow-breasted Barbet, Northern Crombec, Abyssinian Wheatear (another endemic), Beautiful Sunbird, and for some of the group, Red-billed Pytilia.

The following day found us heading north yet again, but this time slightly further west for a full day trip to the Jemma Valley. New birds included yet more endemics, which varied from Blue-winged Goose at highland streams, to Harwood's Francolin (heard by all, but this super skulker was only seen well by one of our group), Black-winged Lovebird, Rueppell's Chats and White-winged Cliffchats perched atop boulders on the steep slopes, and Yellow-rumped Serin (an uncommon and difficult to locate species) feeding on some tiny shrubby seed heads. More common birds included Lappet-faced, Hooded, and White-backed vultures, together with Rueppell's Griffons feeding on a donkey, migrating European Bee-eaters, African Black-headed Oriole, Little Rock-Thrush, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, and striking Yellow-crowned Bishops - in full breeding plumage.

After another night in Addis, we headed east and down to the low country at Awash NP. First though, we stopped at Lake Hora where nesting Banded Barbets were the prize find, then at Lake Cheleleka for White-backed and Maccoa ducks, and finally at a lava flow near Lake Beseka, where we found an adult and two juvenile endemic Sombre Chats.

We then spent three nights in the Awash area, adding a nice selection of mammals which included Hamadryas Baboon, Mantled Guereza, Warthog, Lesser Kudu, a large herd of Beisa Oryx, Salt's Dik-dik, and Soemmering's Gazelle. Birds varied from

Helmeted Guineafowl, Arabian Bustard, and Somali Fiscal, on the plains, to Yellow-billed Stork and African Fish-Eagle along the river. Eastern Plantain-eaters and Rueppell's Weavers preferred the more wooded riverine vegetation, while Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Eastern Yellow-billed and Von der Decken's hornbills, White-throated Bee-eater, Abyssinian Roller, Grey-headed Batis, Gillett's Lark, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Shining Sunbird, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver and Eastern Paradise-Whydah were in the bush country. Vultures, Black-breasted Snake-Eagle and Tawny Eagle crossed open skies.

The next part of our tour took us to back to the Rift Valley, and to the area around Lakes Ziway, Langano and Abiata. Yet again, this brought us many new birds with just a few of the highlights being flocks of both Greater and Lesser flamingos, hundreds of Marabous, Great White Pelican, Black Heron, African Spoonbill, Kittlitz's Plover, African Jacana, Bruce's Green-Pigeon, Grayish Eagle-Owl, Black-billed Woodhoopoe, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Lesser Honeyguide, Red-bellied Parrot, Ethiopian Boubou (endemic), White-winged Black-Tit, White-rumped Babbler (another endemic), Red-billed Oxpecker, nesting Village Weavers, and Cut-throat.

From here, we climbed to the high country in and around the fabulous Bale Mts. And, by spending two nights in the north and then one at the south, we were able to visit the high altitude Sanetti Plateau twice, giving us great chances of seeing Ethiopian Wolf. Indeed this paid off, as we saw no less than 7, including two right next to our bus. Additionally we had time to enjoy the lower altitude forest, the St. John's Wort belt, and the moss covered Giant Heather; highlights included more Blue-winged Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Rouget's Rail and Spot-breasted Lapwing (both endemics), Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Ethiopian Black-headed Oriole and Abyssinian Catbird (two more endemics), African Hill-Babbler, Broad-ringed White-eye, Abyssinian Slaty Flycatcher (endemic), Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Abyssinian Longclaw (endemic), African Citril, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, and Abyssinian Crimsonwing.

What followed was three rather long drives (spread over 4 days) as we made our way to two areas in the southern part of the country. This was, however, worth our efforts and we added the following wonderful birds; first around Negele, no less than 6 Prince Ruspoli's Turacos, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Somali Crow, Somali Short-toed Lark, and then both displaying and literally right at our feet, the rarest bird in Africa - Liben Lark!

At Yabello, we also added many more of the 'southern specials'. Here the highlights were a pair of Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, Martial Eagle, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Pygmy Falcon, Pygmy Batis, Red-naped Bushshrike (great looks at this skulker), Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Short-tailed Lark, Somali Tit, Pale Prinia, Banded Warbler, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Shelley's Golden-breasted and White-crowned starlings, Somali Bunting, Black-capped Social-Weaver, and Straw-tailed Whydah. The two real special birds here are Stresemann's Bush-Crow and White-tailed Swallow, both endemics and with extremely small world ranges. We had close encounters with the Bush-Crow, and unbelievably, after struggling to find the swallow, had a pair resting in the tree right above our heads as we ate our picnic lunch! Amazing!

We had a few surprise mammals near Yabello too, with Burchell's Zebra, Grant's Gazelle, and Greater Kudu all new to our list.

We concluded the main tour by driving back to Addis, where most of the group stayed on for a flight to Lalibela and a two night stay to visit some of the most important rock-hewn churches here. While everyone enjoyed the two afternoon church tours (expertly led by our local guide, Kibrom) we also managed a morning birding, re-visiting quite a few of the endemics we'd seen earlier on the tour. We also added African Hawk-Eagle, and a migrant White-throated Robin, then back at our comfortable hotel, it was a real treat to watch Bearded Vultures and Tawny Eagles glide by our rooms at eye-level.

Thanks for joining me for the tour!

Terry Stevenson's next tour to Ethiopia runs 6-29 September, 2019.

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

In the Yabello area, we had several great views of the extremely localized endemic Stresemann's Bush-Crow. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

Struthionidae (Ostriches)
SOMALI OSTRICH (Struthio molybdophanes) – Good looks at a pair close to the road south of Yabello.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – About 60 at Lake Ziway, and 1 at Lake Awassa.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – Ten at Lake Cheleleka.
WHITE-BACKED DUCK (Thalassornis leuconotus) – Four adults and 9 very small young at Lake Cheleleka.
BLUE-WINGED GOOSE (Cyanochen cyanoptera) – Eleven in the highlands on the way to Jemma Valley, and about 65 in the Dinsho Pools and Bale Mts. area. [E]
COMB DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – We saw a male at Lake Cheleleka.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Very common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 350.
RUDDY SHELDUCK (Tadorna ferruginea) – Four at high altitude pools in the Bale Mts.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Eight at Lake Cheleleka, and 6 at Lake Ziway.
AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus) – Four at Lake Ziway kept to thick cover, but were seen in the scope by most of the group.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – Eight in the Debre Birhan area, and 6 at Lake Cheleleka.
SOUTHERN POCHARD (Netta erythrophthalma) – We saw a single male at Lake Cheleleka.
MACCOA DUCK (Oxyura maccoa) – Nice looks at a male at Lake Cheleleka.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – Several flocks were seen at Awash NP and around Lake Langano; in all we saw about 180.
VULTURINE GUINEAFOWL (Acryllium vulturinum) – Good looks at about 30 on the road south of Yabello.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-NAPED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis castaneicollis) – Small groups totaling 6 adults and 6 juveniles in the Bale Mts. [E]
ERCKEL'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis erckelii) – Great scope views of a calling bird on a rocky hill near Debre Birhan, 2 in the Jemma Valley, and 2 at Lalibela. [E]
HARWOOD'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis harwoodi) – Heard by everyone and seen by one of our group in the Jemma Valley. [E]
YELLOW-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis leucoscepus) – One seen well and 3 flushed to the north of Yabello.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Dendroperdix sephaena) – Two at Bilen Lodge, 3 near Negele, and heard near Yabello.

Blue-winged Goose was another Ethiopian endemic that we saw well; they were seen in the highlands of the Bale Mountains, and in the Jemma Valley. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Widespread in small numbers throughout the tour.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – Several hundred at Lake Abiata.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – Several thousand at Lake Abiata.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
BLACK STORK (Ciconia nigra) – Some of the group saw 1 at Awash NP.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – One on the way to Jemma Valley.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – Widespread away from forested areas; in all we saw about 650.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – Small numbers at Awash NP, and at lakes Ziway and Abiata.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus) – About 10 at Lake Ziway.
GREAT CORMORANT (WHITE-BREASTED) (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus) – Small numbers were widespread on a variety of wetlands; in all we saw about 40.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – One at Lake Cheleleka, 10 at Lake Ziway, and 1 at Lake Awassa.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – About 350 at Lake Ziway, and 1 at Lake Awassa.
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – Twenty at Lake Hora, 3 at Lake Awassa, and 15 at Lake Ziway.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Widespread on rivers, pools and lake shores throughout the tour; in total we saw about 40.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – Singles near Addis Ababa and at Lake Cheleleka.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Good looks at 1 in the reeds beds at Lake Awassa.
GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos) – Three at Lake Ziway.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Four at Lake Ziway included a strange grey bird with a white face and throat, we also saw 2 at Lake Awassa.
BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca) – One at Lake Ziway was doing its distinctive 'umbrella' feeding action.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Widespread throughout the tour; in total we saw about 300.

The lovely African Paradise-Flycatcher was a widespread sighting. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – Two singles at Lake Ziway.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Singles at lakes Cheleleka and Ziway.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Five at Lake Ziway.
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – We saw a total of about 140 at a variety of mainly wetland areas.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Two at Addis Ababa, 8 near Negele, and 10 in the Awassa area.
WATTLED IBIS (Bostrychia carunculata) – Common in the highlands north of Addis, in the Bale Mts, and in the high country near Awassa. In all we saw about 350. [E]
AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Three at Lake Ziway.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Four singles between Yabello and Awassa.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – One in flight at Lake Ziway.
BEARDED VULTURE (Gypaetus barbatus) – Two at Melka Ghebdu, and 1 at Debre Birhan, 1 in the Bale Mts, and fantastic looks at about 10 in the Lalibela area which included close birds eating bones.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – Six in the high country above the Jemma Valley.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – By far the most common vulture, and still surviving in good numbers throughout Ethiopia; in total we saw about 900.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – Widespread in small numbers, with a total of about 50.
RŸUEPPELL'S GRIFFON (Gyps rueppelli) – Another widespread vulture and slightly more numerous than the previous species; in total we saw about 80.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – One at Awash NP, 1 near Negele, and 3 in the Yabello area.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Good looks at a perched adult at Awash NP.
BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – One near Negele.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – Two adults in low flight near Yabello.
LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – We saw 2 singles near Lake Ziway.
WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) – One over Lake Cheleleka.

Thick-billed Ravens were also fairly common. Participant Tim Barnekov captured these two in an apparent "discussion" about a food item.

TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Common and widespread; in total we saw about 45.
AFRICAN HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila spilogaster) – We saw an immature in flight, and then had great looks at a flying and perched adult near Lalibela.
DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates) – One at Melka Ghebdu, and about 16 at Awash NP.
EASTERN CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax poliopterus) – Single immatures near Negele and Yabello.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – One of the group saw 1 at Awash NP.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – Common and widespread; in all we saw about 140.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Common at wetlands throughout the tour, with a total of about 40.
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – Common in the highlands north of Addis and in the Bale Mts, we also saw 1 near Yabello and 4 around Lalibela.
Otididae (Bustards)
ARABIAN BUSTARD (Ardeotis arabs) – Just amazing this year, with 8 on the plains east of Bilen.
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – One in flight at Awash NP.
WHITE-BELLIED BUSTARD (Eupodotis senegalensis) – Heard to the south of Yabello.
BUFF-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis gindiana) – Three single males at Awash NP.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
ROUGET'S RAIL (Rougetius rougetii) – Common and easily seen in the Bale Mts. where we saw about 20, including a pair with tiny juveniles. [E]
BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra) – Excellent repeated close views of about 16 at Lake Awassa.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Widespread at a variety of wetlands.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
SENEGAL THICK-KNEE (Burhinus senegalensis) – One at Lake Beseke.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – About 20 at Lake Ziway.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – Two at Lake Abiata.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus) – Common along the shores of most lakes and wetlands; in all we saw about 120.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Prefers drier grasslands than the previous species; we saw them mainly around Langano-Abiata, with a tour total of about 60.

One of the most beautiful animals we saw were the Ethiopian Wolves, also known as Simien Fox. In all, we saw 7 of these handsome canids in the Bale Mountains. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

SPOT-BREASTED LAPWING (Vanellus melanocephalus) – Two in the highlands east of Debre Birhan, and then at least 15 in the Bale Mts. [E]
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – One on the shore at Lake Abiata.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) – One at Lake Ziway.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – One in the Bale Mts.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – One near Addis, and about 10 at Lake Ziway.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Twelve at Lake Ziway, and 20+ at Lake Awassa.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – About 40 at Lake Abiata, and 20+ at Lake Ziway.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – One near Debre Birhan.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Widespread in small numbers, with a total of about 8.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – Three singles on highland streams north of Addis, and 6 in the Bale Mts.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – One in the Bale Mts.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Four at Lake Cheleleka, 20 at Lake Ziway, and 2 in the Bale Mts.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – About 80 at Lake Ziway, 8 at Abiata, and 30 at Lake Awassa.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – One near Debre Birhan, 6 at Lake Cheleleka.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – About 40 at Lake Ziway, and 50+ at Lake Awassa.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles exustus) – Good looks at 3 near Bilen Lodge.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Small numbers in a variety of towns and villages. [I]
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Very common and widespread throughout the tour.
WHITE-COLLARED PIGEON (Columba albitorques) – About 400 in the high country north of Addis, and 130+ in the Bale Mts. area. [E]
LEMON DOVE (Columba larvata) – Some of the group saw this very secretive dove in the forest near Bale Mountain Lodge.

Although they were common on the tour, the Beautiful Sunbird certainly lives up to its name! Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

DUSKY TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia lugens) – Very common in the highlands towards Jemma Valley (400+) and others in the Bale Mts, and at Lalibela.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – Small numbers at Lake Cheleleka, Bilen Lodge, Lake Langano, and Awassa.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Common and widespread; in all we saw about 450.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Small numbers at Awash NP, near Negele, and Yabello.
VINACEOUS DOVE (Streptopelia vinacea) – Heard on the way to Yabello.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Common and widespread.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – Seen near Yabello, and heard in several other widespread areas.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – Widespread in dry country areas, with a total of about 100.
BRUCE'S GREEN-PIGEON (Treron waalia) – Nice looks at 2 in the acacia woodland at Lake Langano, 1 north of Negele, and 1 at Lake Ziway.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
WHITE-CHEEKED TURACO (Tauraco leucotis) – We saw these gorgeous turacos at Melka Ghebdu (2), and near Bale Mountain Lodge (2).
PRINCE RUSPOLI'S TURACO (Tauraco ruspolii) – For many the highlight of the tour; we saw 2 (a little distantly) north of Negele, and then had fabulous looks at 4 close birds to the west of there. [E]
WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides leucogaster) – Widespread in dry acacia country, with a total of about 50.
EASTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer zonurus) – Three near Awash Falls Lodge.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus) – Good looks at 2 singles at Lake Awassa.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – One at Awash NP.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – Heard at Jemma Valley.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – Heard at Jemma Valley.
COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus) – Two in the Jemma Valley.
Strigidae (Owls)
GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens) – Good looks at 1 in the grounds of the old government hotel at Lake Langano.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – Great looks at 2 near Bilen Lodge, and 1 near Yabello.

White-rumped Babblers are Ethiopian endemics; we got some good views of them in the Rift Valley and at Lalibela. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
ABYSSINIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus poliocephalus) – One heard at Lalibela.
Apodidae (Swifts)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – Two near Adama.
NYANZA SWIFT (Apus niansae) – Widespread in the highlands, with a total of about 120.
HORUS SWIFT (Apus horus) – Five at Lake Hora, and 20 at Lake Langano.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Three over the crater lake at Debre Zeit.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus) – Common and widespread.
BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus) – Seen in drier country than the previous species (although occasionally together), in all we saw about 60.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (CENTRAL AFRICAN) (Upupa epops senegalensis) – About 10 at Awash NP, and a few others in dry country elsewhere.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)
BLACK-BILLED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus somaliensis) – Seven in the acacia trees at Lake Langano. [E]
ABYSSINIAN SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus minor) – Two in flight at Awash NP, and then another pair seen well near Yabello.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)
ABYSSINIAN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus abyssinicus) – Three, and then 2, in the Lake Langano area, and then 4 north of Yabello - one of the tour highlights!
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros hemprichii) – Small numbers at Melka Ghebdu, Jemma Valley, Lake Langano, and Lalibela.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – About 14 at Awash NP.
EASTERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus flavirostris) – Eight at Awash NP, and 2 south of Yabello.
VON DER DECKEN'S HORNBILL (Tockus deckeni) – Small numbers in dry acacia country from Awash to Langano and then south to near Negele.
NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus) – Common and widespread in dry bush country; in all we saw about 60.
SILVERY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Bycanistes brevis) – Just great this tour, with at least 60 in the Awassa area.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Two at Lake Cheleleka, 6 at Lake Awassa, and 2 at Lake Ziway.
AFRICAN PYGMY-KINGFISHER (Ispidina picta) – One near the Awash Falls Lodge.

Bruce's Green-Pigeon was another Rift Valley sighting. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – Two at Awash, 1 near Modjo, and 1 at Lake Ziway.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – Four at Lake Awassa.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – One at Lake Langano.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – About a dozen at Lake Ziway, and 20 at Lake Awassa.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – Widespread in small numbers.
BLUE-BREASTED BEE-EATER (Merops variegatus lafresnayii) – This distinctive race has been given species status by some authorities and named Ethiopian Bee-eater 'M. lafresnayii'. We saw them at Melka Ghebdu, Jemma Valley, Awassa, and Lake Ziway. [E]
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – At least 250 were at Awash NP.
MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus) – Fifteen at Awash NP.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – We saw small migrating flocks at Awash, Dinsho, and near Negele.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
ABYSSINIAN ROLLER (Coracias abyssinicus) – Nice looks at 3 of these beautiful rollers in the Bilen area.
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (BLUE-BREASTED) (Coracias caudatus lorti) – One at Awash NP, 1 at Lake Abiata, about 8 at Yabello, and 6 near Lake Langano; all were the distinctive 'Lilac-throated' form.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – One at Awash NP.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
RED-AND-YELLOW BARBET (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) – Three in the Negele area.
YELLOW-BREASTED BARBET (Trachyphonus margaritatus) – Six at Melka Ghebdu, and 2 at Awash NP, 4 at Bilen.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (Trachyphonus darnaudii) – Six to the south of Yabello.
RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus pusillus) – Singles near Awash Falls Lodge, Lake Langano, Negele, and Lalibela.
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – Two in the forest near Bale Mountain Lodge.
RED-FRONTED BARBET (Tricholaema diademata) – One at Lake Langano.
BLACK-THROATED BARBET (Tricholaema melanocephala) – One near Yabello.
BANDED BARBET (Lybius undatus) – Great looks at a pair at a nest hole at Lake Hora, and then 1 or 2 at Lalibela. [E]

The impressive Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill was one of the tour highlights. This one was caught stalking across the road by participant Tim Barnekov.

BLACK-BILLED BARBET (Lybius guifsobalito) – Small numbers were in several widespread wooded areas; in all we saw about 16.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus) – Singles near Negele, and at Lake Ziway.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
LESSER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator minor) – One at Lake Langano.
GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator) – We saw single males at Bale Mts, and near Yabello.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RUFOUS-NECKED WRYNECK (Jynx ruficollis) – Three singles in the Lake Langano area.
NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica) – Widespread in small numbers, with a total of about a dozen.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – Two at Awash NP, and 1 at Lake Langano.
BEARDED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos namaquus) – We saw singles at Lake Langano, and near Negele.
MOUNTAIN GRAY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos spodocephalus) – Two near Bilen Lodge, and 3 at Lake Langano.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – We saw 2 of these tiny attractive falcons in the Yabello area.
EURASIAN KESTREL (RUFESCENT) (Falco tinnunculus rufescens) – One (for some of the group) at Modjo, and 1 at Lalibela.
EURASIAN HOBBY (Falco subbuteo) – One at Awash NP, and 2 singles over the Liben Plain.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – One near Debre Birhan.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One at the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment, 1 near Negele, and 1 at Lalibela.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
BLACK-WINGED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis taranta) – Widespread in a variety of open woodlands; in all we saw about 70. [E]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-BELLIED PARROT (Poicephalus rufiventris) – One at Awash NP, 10 at Lake Langano, 2 near Negele, and 6 near Yabello.
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
GRAY-HEADED BATIS (Batis orientalis) – We saw a single female at Awash NP, and a pair near Negele.
BLACK-HEADED BATIS (Batis minor) – Four in the acacia woodlands at Lake Langano.
PYGMY BATIS (Batis perkeo) – Five in the Yabello area.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – One at Bilen Lodge, and about 6 in the Yabello area.

Our extension features a visit to the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela. These medieval buildings are a World Heritage site, and we were able to tour them with our local guide, Kibrom. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – Five between Bale Mts. and Negele.
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – Pairs at Melka Ghebdu and Jemma Valley, and 1 at Lalibela.
RED-NAPED BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius ruficeps) – Fabulous looks at 2 of these little known bushshrikes south of Yabello.
ETHIOPIAN BOUBOU (Laniarius aethiopicus) – Nice looks at a pair at Lake Langano, and 1 at Bale Mountain Lodge; several others were also heard at a variety widely scattered sites. [E]
SLATE-COLORED BOUBOU (Laniarius funebris) – Heard near Bilen Lodge, and then about 6 seen in the Negele and Yabello areas.
ROSY-PATCHED BUSHSHRIKE (Rhodophoneus cruentus) – We saw a gorgeous male near Yabello.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – One at Awash NP, and 3 in the Yabello area.
GRAY-HEADED BUSHSHRIKE (Malaconotus blanchoti) – One near Negele.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitoroides) – Two at the government lodge at Lake Langano.
SOMALI FISCAL (Lanius somalicus) – Four at Awash NP.
NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis) – Common in the highlands north of Addis, and 3 near Lalibela.
WHITE-RUMPED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus ruppelli) – Fairly common and widespread in dry acacia country; in total we saw about 45.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus oriolus) – Two at Jemma Valley.
ETHIOPIAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus monacha) – At least 8 were in the forest around Bale Mountain Lodge. [E]
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – Two at Jemma Valley, and then singles in the Negele and Yabello areas.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Widespread in small numbers in open woodland and acacia country; in all we saw 30.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Widespread in small numbers.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
STRESEMANN'S BUSH-CROW (Zavattariornis stresemanni) – This highly sought after endemic was seen well in the Yabello area; with a total of about 16. [E]
RED-BILLED CHOUGH (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) – Some of the group saw a fly-over calling bird high in the Bale Mts.

Ethiopian Black-headed Orioles were seen in the Bale Mountains. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Very common in high altitude open country.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Common and widespread.
SOMALI CROW (Corvus edithae) – Four on the Liben Plains.
FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus) – Common and widespread, especially around villages and along cliffs.
THICK-BILLED RAVEN (Corvus crassirostris) – Always one of the favorite endemics; we saw a total of about 60 at a variety of widespread sites. [E]
Alaudidae (Larks)
CHESTNUT-BACKED SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucotis) – Two in the Bilen Lodge area.
FOXY LARK (Calendulauda alopex) – Two at Awash NP.
LIBEN LARK (Heteromirafra archeri) – Amazing looks, literally right at our feet on the Liben Plains; now considered to be Africa's rarest bird, with a population of less than 200. [E]
GILLETT'S LARK (Mirafra gilletti) – We had good scope looks at a bird singing from the top of a bush at Awash NP. [E]
ERLANGER'S LARK (Calandrella erlangeri) – Two in the grasslands south of Debre Birhan. [E]
SOMALI SHORT-TOED LARK (Alaudala somalica) – Three on the Liben Plains.
SHORT-TAILED LARK (Spizocorys fremantlii) – A flock of about 15 were on the Liben Plains.
THEKLA'S LARK (Galerida theklae) – Common in the high altitude grasslands north of Addis, and then again in the Bale Mts; in all we saw about 130.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – Fairly common around wetlands throughout the tour.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – Two north of Addis.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Small numbers were fairly common at a variety of cliffs and around villages.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Fairly common and widespread; in all we saw about 500.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Three at Bilen Lodge.
WHITE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo megaensis) – Becoming increasing difficult to find this localized endemic, but we were lucky once again and had our picnic lunch under a tree were a pair had chosen to rest - amazing close views! [E]
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – About 40 in the high country north of Addis.

We saw a flock of about 30 Vulturine Guineafowl near Yabello; this is just a small sampling of them, captured by participant Tim Barnekov.

BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera pristoptera) – According to range, the 6 birds we saw above the Jemma Valley should have been this race.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera antinorii) – Again according to range, 2 birds in the Yabello area were probably this race.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus leucomelas) – One of our group saw 1 at Modjo, and then everyone had nice looks at another single at Lake Langano.
SOMALI TIT (Melaniparus thruppi) – One (possibly 2) south of Yabello.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
MOUSE-COLORED PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus musculus) – Three at Lake Beseka.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
COMMON BULBUL (COMMON) (Pycnonotus barbatus schoanus) – These white-vented birds were fairly common in the Debre Birhan area, around Lake Langano, and at Lalibela.
COMMON BULBUL (SOMALI) (Pycnonotus barbatus somaliensis) – About 40 at Awash NP, although some in the area were probably hybrids with the previous race.
COMMON BULBUL (DODSON'S) (Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni) – Distinctive, with a yellow vent and white ear-mark; we saw small numbers around Negele and Yabello.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus spurius) – About 20 in the Bale Mts. area.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
NORTHERN CROMBEC (Sylvietta brachyura) – Two at Melka Ghebdu, 2 at Awash NP, and 1 near Negele.
RED-FACED CROMBEC (Sylvietta whytii) – Three at Lake Langano, 4 near Awassa, and 1 at Yabello.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (Iduna pallida) – One near Bilen Lodge.
UPCHER'S WARBLER (Hippolais languida) – One at Awash NP.
AFRICAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus baeticatus) – Three in the reeds at Lake Awassa.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – One near Negele, and 8 in the Yabello area.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – Common and widespread throughout the tour, with many more heard and seen; in all we encountered them on about half the tour days - all were the gray-backed race.
GRAY WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes simplex) – Four at Awash NP, and 1 near Yabello.
SINGING CISTICOLA (Cisticola cantans) – Two at Jemma Valley, and 1 at Lalibela.
BORAN CISTICOLA (Cisticola bodessa) – We saw a single singing bird to the south of Yabello.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Small numbers around Lake Langano.

This fierce-looking Pearl-spotted Owlet is one of three that we saw. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

WINDING CISTICOLA (ETHIOPIAN) (Cisticola galactotes lugubris) – Several authorities now consider this form specifically distinct; they were fairly common in the Bale Mts. [E]
PECTORAL-PATCH CISTICOLA (Cisticola brunnescens) – Three on the Liben Plains.
BUFF-BELLIED WARBLER (Phyllolais pulchella) – One at Awash NP, 2 at Lake Langano, and about 8 in the Yabello area.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Singles at Debre Birhan, Lake Cheleleka, Langano and Lalibela.
PALE PRINIA (Prinia somalica) – Three in the Yabello area.
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – Three at Awash NP.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
ABYSSINIAN CATBIRD (Parophasma galinieri) – A total of 7 were seen (and others heard) between the Dinsho Park HQ and the Bale Mountain Lodge. A wonderful bird with a great voice! [E]
AFRICAN HILL BABBLER (Sylvia abyssinica) – We saw a pair in thick undergrowth in the Bale Mts.
BANDED WARBLER (Sylvia boehmi) – Also known as Banded Parisoma, we saw 2 to the south of Yabello.
BROWN WARBLER (GRAY-VENTED) (Sylvia lugens griseiventris) – Several authorities now consider this distinctive warbler (actually a Parisoma) specifically distinct and endemic to the Bale Mts. - where we saw 2.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
BROAD-RINGED WHITE-EYE (MONTANE) (Zosterops poliogastrus poliogastrus) – Two at Addis, and about 30 in the Bale Mts.
WHITE-BREASTED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops abyssinicus) – One at Melka Ghebdu, and 3 at Awash NP.
WHITE-BREASTED WHITE-EYE (KENYA) (Zosterops abyssinicus jubaensis) – We saw about a dozen of this distinctive race (with all yellow underparts) around Yabello.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides rubiginosa) – Three at Lake Hora.
WHITE-RUMPED BABBLER (Turdoides leucopygia) – Great looks at 3 close birds at Lake Langano, then about 10 in the Negele area, and 4 at Lalibela. [E]
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DUSKY-BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa adusta) – Widespread in wooded and forest areas; in all we saw about 40.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – Two at Awash NP, and 2 at Lalibela.
GRAYISH FLYCATCHER (Bradornis microrhynchus) – About 6 at Awash NP, and about 8 in the Yabello area.
NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides) – Small numbers at Lake Langano, Awassa, and on the way to Yabello.

The Sacred Ibis was seen at a number of wetlands on the tour. Participant Tim Barnekov captured a nice image of one in flight.

ABYSSINIAN SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis chocolatinus) – About 10 in the Bale Mts. [E]
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Two (and many heard) near Yabello.
RŸUEPPELL'S ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha semirufa) – Heard at the Dinsho Park HQ, and then seen in Bale Mts.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – Three at Lake Awassa.
WHITE-THROATED ROBIN (Irania gutturalis) – Good looks at a male (and then a female briefly) near Lalibela; also known as Irania.
LITTLE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufocinereus) – Single males at Jemma Valley and Lake Langano, and then a pair at Lalibela.
AFRICAN STONECHAT (ETHIOPIAN) (Saxicola torquatus albofasciatus) – Nice looks at a pair at Bale Mountain Lodge.
RŸUEPPELL'S CHAT (Myrmecocichla melaena) – About a dozen at the Jemma Valley, and 4 at Lalibela. [E]
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) – One at Jemma Valley, 8 at Lake Langano, and 2 at Lalibela.
WHITE-WINGED CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea semirufa) – Four at Jemma Valley, and about 8 at Lalibela. [E]
SOMBRE CHAT (Cercomela dubia) – After quite a bit of walking around in the afternoon heat, we finally found an adult and 2 juveniles at Lake Beseka. [E]
BLACKSTART (Cercomela melanura) – Three at Lake Beseka.
MOORLAND CHAT (Cercomela sordida) – Common in the highlands north of Addis, and in the Bale Mts.
NORTHERN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe oenanthe) – Five in the Awash NP area, and singles at Bale Mts. and Yabello.
ABYSSINIAN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe lugubris lugubris) – Four near Debre Birhan, a dozen at the top of the Jemma Valley, and 2 at Lalibela. [E]
ISABELLINE WHEATEAR (Oenanthe isabellina) – One at Awash NP.
RED-BREASTED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe bottae) – Two near Debre Birhan, 2 on the way to Jemma Valley, 6 on the way to Goba.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ABYSSINIAN GROUND-THRUSH (Geokichla piaggiae) – Two singles in the thick undergrowth near Bale Mountain Lodge.
GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH (HEATH) (Psophocichla litsitsirupa simensis) – Small numbers in the high country north of Addis, and 3 in Bale Mts. [E]

This view of the landscape around Lalibela shows how the recent long rains affected the countryside of Ethiopia; it was lovely and green, and the birds were quite happy! Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

ABYSSINIAN THRUSH (ABYSSINIAN) (Turdus abyssinicus abyssinicus) – Common in the Bale Mts. and the high country east of Awassa.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – One at Awash NP, and 3 in the Lake Langano area, and 3 near Negele.
AFRICAN BARE-EYED THRUSH (Turdus tephronotus) – Nice looks at up to 4 near Yabello.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – About a dozen at Lake Abiata.
RED-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus morio) – A pair in the Jemma Valley, about half a dozen at Yabello, and 2 at Lalibela.
WHITE-BILLED STARLING (Onychognathus albirostris) – A pair at the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment, at least 12 in the Jemma Valley, 2 at Debre Zeit, and 12+ at Lalibela. [E]
SHELLEY'S STARLING (Lamprotornis shelleyi) – Nice looks at 4 of these rather localized starlings in the Yabello area.
RŸUEPPELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) – Common from Awash to Lake Langano.
GOLDEN-BREASTED STARLING (Lamprotornis regius) – Fabulous looks at 5 of these gorgeous starlings in the Yabello area.
SUPERB STARLING (Lamprotornis superbus) – First seen near Bilen Lodge, then common in dry country areas throughout the rest of the tour.
WHITE-CROWNED STARLING (Lamprotornis albicapillus) – Another starling with a rather restricted range; we saw about 40 between Negele and Yabello.
GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – Common and widespread.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Eight at Lake Langano, and 5 at Yabello; all were feeding on cattle.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
KENYA VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes orientalis) – We saw a single male on the way to Negele.
NILE VALLEY SUNBIRD (Hedydipna metallica) – A female at Lake Beseka.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – Six in the Debre Birhan area, 4 at Lake Langano, and 2 at Lalibela.
HUNTER'S SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra hunteri) – Three to the south of Lalibela.
TACAZZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia tacazze) – The most common sunbird in high altitude areas like the highlands north of Addis and the Bale Mts.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus) – Common in the low dry acacia country; in all we saw about 100.

D'arnaud's Barbet was one of 10 barbet species we saw on the tour. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – Small numbers near Lake Langano, Negele, Awassa, and Yabello.
SHINING SUNBIRD (Cinnyris habessinicus) – We saw a female at Bilen Lodge.
VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus) – Small numbers at Addis, Jemma Valley, Awash, Bale Mts, and Lalibela.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla flava) – We saw about 10 of these migrant wagtails; mainly along the shores of a variety of lakes.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – One at the Jemma Valley.
MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL (Motacilla clara) – Two pairs in the highlands north of Addis, and a single near Bale Mountain Lodge.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Some of the group saw 1 at Awash Falls.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – About 8 on the Liben Plains, and 2 near Yabello.
TREE PIPIT (Anthus trivialis) – One near Bale Mountain Lodge.
ABYSSINIAN LONGCLAW (Macronyx flavicollis) – Very secretive this tour, but most of us managed to see 1 near Dinsho. [E]
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
ORTOLAN BUNTING (Emberiza hortulana) – Some of the group saw a male near Lalibela.
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – Eight in the Jemma Valley, and 1 near Lake Beseka.
SOMALI BUNTING (Emberiza poliopleura) – Three around Yabello.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
AFRICAN CITRIL (Crithagra citrinelloides) – Three in the Jemma Valley, 4 in the Bale Mts, and 2 at Sabana.
REICHENOW'S SEEDEATER (Crithagra reichenowi) – Two near Negele, and 3 near Yabello.
YELLOW-RUMPED SERIN (Crithagra xanthopygia) – Can be difficult, but we were lucky this tour and saw 4 in the Jemma Valley, and 2 at Lalibela.
WHITE-BELLIED CANARY (Crithagra dorsostriata) – About a dozen in the Yabello area.
STREAKY SEEDEATER (Crithagra striolata) – Very common and widespread in all highland areas.
BROWN-RUMPED SEEDEATER (Crithagra tristriata) – Very common around Addis, in the highlands to the north, then in the Bale Mts. and at Lalibela. [E]

This is a nice portrait of one of the two Blue-headed Coucals we saw at Lake Awassa. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

ANKOBER SERIN (Crithagra ankoberensis) – Brief, but very close looks at 2 birds only 15 feet away at the Gemessa Gebel Escarpment. [E]
YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex) – Six at Debre Birhan, and about 20 in the Bale Mts.
ETHIOPIAN SISKIN (Serinus nigriceps) – Very common around Debre Birhan, above the Jemma Valley, and in the Bale Mts. [E]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
SWAINSON'S SPARROW (Passer swainsonii) – Very common and widespread.
YELLOW-SPOTTED PETRONIA (Petronia pyrgita) – Singles near Bilen Lodge, and at Yabello.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – Six near Lake Langano, and 6 near Yabello.
WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Dinemellia dinemelli) – Fairly common in dry bush country at Awash NP, Lake Langano, Negele, and Yabello.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Common in dry acacia bush country.
GRAY-HEADED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita arnaudi) – About 40 in the Yabello area.
BLACK-CAPPED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita cabanisi) – Fifteen in the Yabello area.
RED-HEADED WEAVER (NORTHERN) (Anaplectes rubriceps leuconotos) – Good looks at a male in breeding plumage near Yabello.
BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht) – The nominate race was common in the highlands north of Addis and at Lalibela, and the black-backed race 'reichenowi' was in the Bale Mts.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – One at Melka Ghebdu, 1 at Lake Langano, and 2 near Yabello.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – We saw a single male at Lake Awassa.
VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus) – About 30 in the Yabello area.
RŸUEPPELL'S WEAVER (Ploceus galbula) – Common especially in the Awash area (60), and near Lake Langano.
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – About 60 pairs were breeding at Lake Ziway.
CHESTNUT WEAVER (Ploceus rubiginosus) – A flock of 15 at Lake Langano, and then several hundred (with many in breeding plumage) near Negele.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – Small flocks were seen in several widespread bush country areas.

The Nubian Woodpeaker is widespread in Ethiopia. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

NORTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus) – Striking birds in breeding plumage were seen near Debre Birhan, Lake Cheleleka, Awash, and at Lake Langano.
YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP (Euplectes afer) – Another very striking bishop; we saw 2 on the way to Jemma Valley, and 4 at Lake Cheleleka.
YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis) – Widespread in the highlands; in total we saw about 35.
WHITE-WINGED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes albonotatus) – A flock of 9 (all males in breeding plumage) were at Lake Cheleleka.
RED-COLLARED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes ardens) – Three at Jemma Valley, about 20 in a rape seed field east of Shashemene, and 1 at Lalibela.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
YELLOW-BELLIED WAXBILL (Coccopygia quartinia) – Twenty at Bale Mountain Lodge.
ABYSSINIAN CRIMSONWING (Cryptospiza salvadorii) – A pair in the thick undergrowth at Bale Mountain Lodge.
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – One at Dinsho Pools, and 1 near Negele.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
PURPLE GRENADIER (Granatina ianthinogaster) – One near Yabello.
RED-BILLED PYTILIA (Pytilia lineata) – Some of the group saw a female at Melka Ghebdu.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Small numbers at Debre Birhan, Awash NP, and Lalibela.
CUT-THROAT (Amadina fasciata) – Two of the group saw a male at Sabana Lodge, and then we all had good looks at up to 8 at Lake Ziway.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata) – Six at Lake Awassa.
AFRICAN SILVERBILL (Euodice cantans) – Two at Lake Beseka, and 2 at Awash NP.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – Singles near Debre Birhan, Bale Mts, and Negele.
EASTERN PARADISE-WHYDAH (Vidua paradisaea) – About 8 at Awash NP included several males in full breeding plumage - spectacular!
STRAW-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua fischeri) – Great looks at a close male near Yabello.
VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata) – Four in the Melka Ghebdu area, 6 near Negele, and 2 at Lalibela.

We found this Pygmy Batis near Yabello. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Some authorities consider Vervet Monkey to be several species and split the form we saw at Awash NP as Grivet Monkey, however following this list we use the scientific name C. aethiops.
HAMADRYAS BABOON (Papio hamadryas) – A troop of about 50 were along the roadside on our way to Bilen.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – About 120 at Awash NP, 50 at Dinsho, 30 in the Bale Mts, and 80 between Negele and Awassa.
GELADA (Theropithecus gelada) – Great close looks this tour at Gemessa Gebel Escarpment (75), and Jemma Valley (60). [E]
MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza) – Two near Awash Falls, 9 in the Bale Mts, and 1 at Awassa.
CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis) – Two at Awash NP, and 1 at Bilen.
UNSTRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus rutilus) – Two near Bilen Lodge, and about 20 in the Yabello area.
STRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus erythropus) – Three to the north of Negele.
ETHIOPIAN MOLE-RAT (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) – Fantastic looks at 1 right in the open on the Sanetti Plateau, Bale Mts. [E]
SIMIEN FOX (ETHIOPIAN WOLF) (Canis simensis) – Just great this year, with a total of 7, including several right next to our vehicle - and all in wonderful light too! [E]
EASTERN DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale hirtula) – About a dozen in the Yabello area.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Brief looks at singles near Debre Birhan and at Awash NP as they crossed the road ahead of us.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – One near Debre Birhan, and 1 at Lake Beseka.
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – About 60 in the Yabello area.
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – About 40 at Awash NP, 60 at Dinsho, and 16 near Bale Mountain Lodge.
HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – One of our group saw 1 at Lake Awassa.
MOUNTAIN NYALA (Tragelaphus buxtoni) – About 50 on the grassy plains west of Dinsho. [E]
MENELICK'S BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki) – One at the Dinsho Park HQ. [E]
GREATER KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) – A fabulous looking male and 3 females south of Yabello.
LESSER KUDU (Tragelaphus imberbis) – Six near Awash Falls Lodge.

The Gelada is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia; we had some wonderful close views of these impressive monkeys. Photo by participant Tim Barnekov.

BOHOR REEDBUCK (Redunca redunca) – Two males on the plains west of Dinsho.
BEISA ORYX (Oryx beisa) – At least 50 at Awash NP.
SALT'S DIK-DIK (Madoqua saltiana) – We saw 4 of these attractive Dik-dik at Awash NP.
SOEMMERING'S GAZELLE (Gazella soemmerringi) – About 60 in the Awash-Bilen area. [E]
GRANT'S GAZELLE (Gazella granti) – One near Yabello.


Reptiles seen on the tour included an unidentified pale green Agama Lizard in the Jemma Valley, about 20 Nile Crocodiles in Awash NP, 2 Leopard Tortoise in Awash NP, and Ethiopian Meadow Rats on the Sanetti Plateau.

Totals for the tour: 351 bird taxa and 25 mammal taxa