Sunday, 10 November 2013

Wondo Genet to Bale Mountains

A quick dash down to the nearby public swimming baths ( ! ) and stream at first light resulted in cracking views of a pair of Half-collared Kingfishers perched on a rock. Several Lemon Doves were also present in the vicinity as well before returning to the hotel for breakfast.

Half-collared Kingfisher

Afterwards we drove to the Agricultural College and spent a pleasant couple of hours walking through the forest seeing  our first Abyssinian Orioles, which were surprisingly common here. Flocks of Mountain Thrushes were present, along with even more Lemon Doves, a flyby Tambourine Dove, a few Red-headed Weavers and eventually a fine Narina Trogon. A short walk through more open areas gave us Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-fronted TinkerbirdGrey-backed Fiscal and several inquisitive White-rumped Babblers.

Mountain Thrush

White-rumped Babbler

 Leaving here we set out on the long drive to the Bale Mountains and as the road wound ever higher we eventually arrived at the moorland. Our first stop at a small cliff produced a day roosting Cape Eagle Owl which we enjoyed fine scope views of surrounded  by loads of small children from nearby settlements. 

Cape Eagle Owl

Other notable goodies up here include a ringtail Pallid Harrier, Steppe Eagle,  Augur Buzzard and Lammergeier in the clear blue sky. A small pond held 30+ endemic Blue-winged Goose, and the endemic Wattled Ibis. Our first Chestnut-naped Francolins and Rouget’s Rail were much appreciated before we reached Dinsho and the National Park HQ. 

Chestnut-naped Francolin

A local guide showed us a roosting African Wood Owl, but we couldn’t locate Abyssinian Owl. However, Abyssinian Catbird and White-backed Black Tit were added to our growing list of endemics, whilst a Cinnamon Bracken Warbler was the last bird of the day just before the sun set. Non avian tick of the day went to this Mountain Nyala

Mountain Nyala

We then drove 30kms to Goba and a decent hotel where we’d be staying for a couple of nights.

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