Monday, 21 February 2011

ETHIOPIA 21 February 2011: Bogol Manyo

Monday 21 February.  A good night almost under the stars on the porch of the ‘community hut’ in Bogol Manyo, we left before it started to get light and drove south-east to an old mining track near Kole.  Here we spent most of the morning in open stony desert, a dried up river bed and along a ridge.  Somali Wheatear was one of my main targets for the trip and Merid spotting a male as we first stopped the vehicles didn’t disappoint.  I later saw a second male a km of so away while walking back along the mining track and a pair were seen by the ridge.  We then spent an hour by the Genale River with most of us opting to return there rather than have a long lunch/siesta in a nearby town.  Our final birding site for the day was the Melka Suftu road which we drove for two hours, with regular stops to scan for bustards.  Heuglin’s was a possibility but we were unsuccessful.  We then returned to Bogol Manyo, the last hour in dust (from the front vehicle) and darkness.  A brief breakdown of the leading vehicle provided some excitement but fortunately it was soon fixed and we got back by 9pm, although it felt more like midnight.  Birds seen included 2 Pigmy Falcons, 6 Buff-crested Bustards, 2 Spotted Thick-knees, 3 Water Dikkop, 5 Somali Coursers, 19 Chestnut-bellied  and 4 Black-faced Sandgrouse, 3 White-winged Collared Doves, 75 Namaqua Doves, Orange-bellied Parrot, 5 Somali, 4 Blue-cheeked and 9 Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, 2 Abyssinian Scimitarbill, 2 Taita Fiscals, Ethiopian Swallow, Gillett’s Lark, 75 Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Larks, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Philippa’s Crombec, 30 White-crowned Starlings and 4 female/non-breeding Juba Weavers.

Somali Wheatear site, Dave S and our vehicle by the old mining track

male Somali Wheatear by the old mining track

Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird

views from the old mining track south of Bogol Manyo

view to ridge south of the old mining track

Black-faced Sandgrouse in a dried up river bed by the old mining track

panoramic view from the old mining track

another male Somali Wheatear - nice to find one's own

Montagu's Harrier by the Genale River

Kittlitz's Plover and Temminck's Stint

Water Dikkops by the Genale River

female Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse off the Melka Suftu road

male and female Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse off the Melka Suftu road

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