Sunday, 28 December 2014

Nightbirds in the Daytime....

A bit of a crazy day today as we left the impressive Bishangari Lodge after a 6.30am breakfast, during which an African Pygmy Kingfisher was seen. We drove out along the 20kms of bumpy track towards the main road and had a Wahlberg’s Eagle and a Peregrine flying overhead. Once on the main road it didn’t take long to reach Abiata-Shalla National Park, where a walk through the acacia woodland resulted in our first Red-fronted Barbet and Bearded Woodpecker of the tour, as well as Rufous Chatterer and a few other previously seen species. Girum also played a blinder with the finding of a day roosting Slender-tailed Nightjar in the shade of some dense bushes.

Slender-tailed Nightjar

From here we drove back down to the shores of Lake Langano where a Northern White-faced Scops-Owl was seen at another day roost, and we followed this with a Greyish Eagle-Owl in another lodge’s gardens! 

Northern White-faced Owl
Greyish Eagle-Owl

Easy birding! We had a poor lunch here but could scope some flyby Baltic Gulls, as well as Great White and Pink-backed Pelicans and other waterbirds. Other goodies seen this morning included Little Rock Thrush, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Fan-tailed Raven, Black-billed Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Striped and Malachite Kingfishers, White-backed Vulture, Shikra, Namaqua Dove, and Helmeted Guineafowl.

Striped Kingfisher

At Lake Abiata the strong wind and poor light made our visit a little problematical, but as well as being amazed at the huge numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos at the lakes edge, we also found a small group of Cape Teal and some close Kittlitz’s Plovers here as well. Big flocks of Ruff, some Common Redshanks and a Ringed Plover were more familiar fayre to us, but there was also a distant Wattled Crane amongst the Common Cranes, African Sacred Ibis and others. We left here and drove to the large town of Nazret for the night.

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