Friday, 11 February 2011

ETHIOPIA 11 February 2011: Jemma Valley and Gemessa Gedel

Friday 11 February.  We left the Ethio-German lodge early and drove to the Jemma Valley, stopping a short way down the dirt track over its rim at first light.  The main target here was Harwood’s Francolin and we soon heard them calling from the fields below us, seeing three without too much trouble.  The same could not be said of the invisible Erckel’s Francolins heard calling from the escarpment above us.  After an hour or so in this area we moved on down the valley stopping briefly at the Jemma Bridge and then for two hours at Lomi Bridge which was particularly productive although the hoped for Red-billed Ptylia couldn’t be found.  We drove back towards Debre Birhane stopping on the plains nearby to see Erlanger’s Lark before checking into the Eva hotel where most had a late lunch.  We then drove for an hour along a very good road to the impressive cliffs at Gemessa Gedel where we spent the rest of the day before returning to the hotel.  Ankober Serin is pretty much guaranteed here although low clouds sometimes cause problems.  Visibility remained very good for us and 20+ serins were found easily although like most Ethiopian seedeaters it was somewhat disappointing to look at.  Other birds seen during the day included Black Stork, 8 Wattled Ibis, 4 Lammergeyers, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, 40 White-collared Pigeons, 2 Bruce’s Green Pigeons, Bare-faced go-away-bird, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Blue-breasted Bee-eater, 4 Black-billed Barbets, Thick-billed Raven, 2 White-rumped Babblers, 15 White-billed Starlings, Groundscraper Thrush, 2 Abyssinian Black Wheatears, 2 Moorland and 3 Ruppell’s Black Chats, 6 White-winged and 4 Mocking Cliff Chats, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver and 2 Speckle-fronted Weavers.

Harwood's Francolin in the Jemma Valley soon after dawn

early morning view over Jemma Valley

Grey-headed Kingfisher by Lomi Bridge

Bruce's Green Pigeon at Lomi Bridge

Wire-tailed Swallow on Lomi Bridge

Striped Kingfisher near Lomi Bridge

Black-winged Red Bishop from Lomi Bridge

Black-billed Barbet near Lomi Bridge

Abyssinian Blue-breasted Bee-eaters near Lomi Bridge

Mocking Cliff Chat at Lomi Bridge

Speckle-fronted Weaver in the Jemma Valley

leaving the Jemma Valley

Gemessa Gedel
Ankober Serin at Gemessa Gedel

Verreaux's Eagles at Gemessa Gedel

Gemessa Gedel

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