Ethiopia: 15 May - 03 June 2016

Published by Catherine McFadden (mcfadden AT

Participants: Cathy McFadden, Paul Clarke


It had been 10 years since our last birding trip to continental Africa, so we decided it was high time to venture back to that part of the world. Ethiopia intrigued us, and despite its historical association with devastating famines and the political instability of its immediate neighbors it is currently a quite safe place to visit. Ethiopia boasts about 30 endemic species plus a number of other birds found only in the Horn of Africa countries and therefore difficult to see anywhere else. Some of the endemics occur only in areas that are not accessible to tourists (i.e. the far eastern regions bordering Somalia) but the majority can be seen in the course of a standard 3-week birding itinerary through the central and southern parts of the country. The rest of Ethiopia’s avifauna is an interesting mix of widespread East African species plus some West African species whose ranges just make it into the western half of the country. Over 500 species can be seen in a 3-week tour during the winter when numerous Palearctic migrants are also present.

When to visit Ethiopia presented us with our biggest dilemma. Our lives are dictated by an academic schedule which means we have the summers (May-August) off but are generally not free to travel for any extended period of time between September and May. Most birders visit Ethiopia during the dry season from November to March, but after much debate we decided to chance a visit in the second half of May. Although Palearctic migrants had all left by then, resident birds were breeding and some intra-African migrants were present. The spring rains had come in late April, breaking a severe drought, and the entire country was lush and green. We were lucky to miss the rains by only a week or two, and encountered evidence of recent flooding in a number of places. The weather was beautiful throughout our trip, however, with brief showers on just one or two days in the mountains. Apart from the absence of migrants, we discovered that the main drawbacks to birding Ethiopia in late May were that ground-dwelling birds such as coursers and larks were difficult to find in the dense, new grass, and birds that apparently had been easy stake-outs at dwindling water holes during the drought had dispersed now that water was plentiful.

Based on positive reviews we’d read in several trip reports and travel guides we decided to use Ethiopian Quadrants ( as our in-country tour agent. They suggested a 20-day itinerary, arranged all of our accommodations, and provided us with a really excellent driver and four-wheel-drive vehicle. Through them we requested birding guide Abiy Dagne, and because we were going to be there late in the season he was available (another advantage of traveling in May). Abiy also came highly recommended in trip reports, and we are happy to pass that recommendation along enthusiastically – he knows the birds and birding sites very well, and was an enjoyable companion. Abiy works as a free-lance guide for a number of different companies, and can also be contacted directly ( In addition to guiding, he is happy to arrange itineraries for birders who wish to travel and bird on their own without a guide, and can provide drivers who know all the birding sites.

Excellent resources are available for birding in Ethiopia, including Redman et al.’s Birds of the Horn of Africa (2nd ed., 2011) and two recent site-finding guides. We used Spottiswoode et al.’s Where to Watch Birds in Ethiopia (2010) which has excellent descriptions (plus maps and GPS coordinates) for birding sites throughout the country as well as photographs and specific information on where to find all of the Ethiopian and Horn of Africa endemics. A large collection of sound recordings for Ethiopian birds is available on the xeno-canto website ( Ethiopia’s tourism infrastructure has improved greatly in recent years, and neither the road conditions nor the accommodations were as dire as some reports from just a few years ago suggested. All of our accommodations fell into the category of comfortable but basic, with en suite bathrooms but plumbing and electricity of varying degrees of reliability. The Chinese have been busy building new roads throughout the country, and most of those we traveled were good-quality asphalt or recently graded gravel. The main problem with the roads is that much of the traffic using these nice new surfaces consists of donkeys, horsecarts, and tuk-tuks (3-wheeled motorcycle taxis) along with herds of cows, goats, sheep, and camels. Every drive is an exciting obstacle course enlivened by unpredictable livestock and suicidal bus drivers threading their way through the mix at high speed.

Much has been written about the Ethiopian food, and we were fully prepared to be served spaghetti with tomato sauce every night as reported in other trip reports. Although it is true that this (or rice with tomato sauce) is often the only Western dish available, we found the Ethiopian cuisine to be perfectly acceptable. This consists pretty invariably of injera (a spongy bread that comes rolled up like a dishtowel) served with either tibs (small pieces of broiled beef or lamb) or shiro (a chick pea paste of variable consistency). The injera is used in lieu of cutlery to scoop up the accompanying tibs, shiro, or sometimes just more injera soaked in a spicy red sauce (a dish called firfir that is often eaten for breakfast – we weren’t quite that adventurous, and were happy enough with the standard tourist fare of eggs and toast…). Once we had demonstrated to Abiy that we were serious about eating the Ethiopian food he was very happy to take us to local holes-in-the-wall to try regional specialties. We survived these culinary explorations relatively unscathed, suffering mildly upset stomachs only on the two occasions when we ate local, raw honey.

Starting about two weeks after we had paid the advance deposit on our trip we began receiving pleas from international aid agencies to donate money to help stave off what was shaping up to be another devastating drought-caused famine in Ethiopia. And when they heard we were planning a trip to Ethiopia friends often responded with “I hear they’re having a terrible famine there.” Despite these warnings we were unable to find many concrete news reports of famine, and Ethiopian Quadrants assured us repeatedly that everything was fine. While there may indeed have been pockets of famine (food security is an ongoing issue in some remote areas), we saw no signs of it in the course of driving several thousand kilometers of the countryside. Ethiopians told us they think the NGOs often play up the threat of famine to raise money, and they worry (probably rightly) that tourism suffers as a result of that continually reinforced negative image. Ethiopia’s a very poor country, but the people are friendly and welcoming, and we had as enjoyable a birding trip here as we’ve had anywhere else in the world!

15 May: Sululta Plains and Ethio-German Park
We arrived into Addis Ababa at about 8 a.m. after two consecutive nights spent in the air (LAX to Washington D.C. followed by D.C. to Addis). In hindsight, we really should have planned to arrive a day early to rest and acclimate. Too late for that, we were met at the airport by our guide, Abiy, and driver/assistant guide, Affara, who were ready to roll. A stop for breakfast on the way out of Addis followed by a drive of an hour or so and we were standing on the Sululta Plains, surrounded by cows, sheep and endemic birds. These included large flocks of White-collared Pigeons, Spot-breasted Lapwings and Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Geese, a pair of Abyssinian Longclaws, and an Ethiopian Cisticola. Groundscraper Thrushes hopped around us, a large flock of Fan-tailed Widowbirds erupted periodically from the grass, and we were delighted to discover a lone African Black Duck sitting in a small trash-strewn pond.

We continued on to the Ethio-German Park Lodge, which sits on the edge of a spectacular escarpment. On the way we had stopped at a butcher shop so Abiy could buy some large bones, which were now put out on the escarpment in the hopes of attracting a Lammergeier. The bones were quickly discovered by Fan-tailed Ravens, a pair of Tawny Eagles, and a group of Rueppell’s Vultures. Unfortunately, by the time a Lammergeier did appear the bones had been scattered down the slope by the quarreling vultures, and the bird passed high overhead without coming in for a closer look. Around the lodge grounds we became acquainted with the endemic Abyssinian Slaty-Flycatcher, Brown-rumped Seedeater, and Rueppell’s Black Chat, as well as a variety of other species that would prove to be common throughout the highlands such as Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Mountain Thrush, Tacazze Sunbird, Ethiopian Boubou, Rueppell’s Robin-Chat, and Common Fiscal.

16 May: Jemma Valley
Throughout the night the sheet-metal vents on the roof of our room had banged loudly in the wind, so we were rather bleary-eyed at 5 a.m. as we departed for the Jemma Valley. Just as the skies began to lighten we passed through a wooded area where two owls (unidentified) crossed the road in front of us in quick succession. A Montane (Abyssinian) Nightjar could be heard calling nearby, and a bit of tape-playback brought it in to circle us a couple of times before it disappeared back into the forest. We arrived on the lip of the Jemma Valley not long after sunrise, and began the search for Harwood’s Francolin. Unfortunately, several had flushed from the roadside just as we had arrived, and it took some time and the help of several locals before we were finally able to relocate a group of six on the slope far below us. While searching we had a not unwelcome false alarm in the form of an Erckel’s Francolin, and also ran across both Mocking and White-winged Cliff-Chats, Little Rock-Thrush, Red-collared Widowbird, and a most unexpected Abyssinian Woodpecker.

As we descended the switchbacks to the valley floor far below we carefully scrutinized every kestrel—most were Eurasian Kestrels but eventually a Fox Kestrel did fly over. Abiy knew a spot to check for Speckle-fronted Weavers, and we had great views of several feeding at the edge of the road. We then spent several hot hours walking slowly along the Lomi River where many birds were coming to drink and bathe in the shallow pools. These included small flocks of Black-winged Bishops, Red-billed Quelea, African Silverbills, Red-cheeked Cordonbleus and Red-billed Firefinches, Cut-throats, Bush Petronias, Village Weavers, Village Indigobirds, and a few Yellow-fronted Canaries. Malachite, Gray-headed, Pied, Half-collared, and African Pygmy-Kingfishers were all present, and in the trees overhanging the river we found Banded and Black-billed Barbets, Bruce’s Green-Pigeon and Vinaceous Dove, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Green-backed Eremomela, Red-faced Crombec, Abyssinian White-eye, and Scarlet-chested Sunbird. What we unfortunately didn’t find here were any Red-billed Pytilias, although Cathy got a brief and inconclusive glimpse of what may have been that species.

We moved on a short distance to another site with water where we had excellent looks at White-throated Seedeater, Black-winged Lovebird, and a very confiding Red-fronted Tinkerbird. A stop at the Jemma River crossing as we headed home yielded a Woolly-necked Stork nesting on the cliff face and many Plain Martins plus a couple of Wire-tailed Swallows nesting under the bridge. The slow grind back up the switchbacks to the high plateau was enlivened by a troop of Gelada Baboons on the roadside, but after that diversion we dozed for most of the 2-hour drive back to the Ethio-German Park Lodge.

17 May: Debre Libanos to Debre Birhan
Less wind meant a better night’s sleep, and we were somewhat more alert when we met Abiy at 6 a.m. to walk the lodge grounds. We spent a few minutes tracking down singing Stout Cisticolas and noisy White-rumped Babblers before walking the short distance down to the Portuguese Bridge, a historic stone structure overlooking a waterfall that plunges over the cliff edge. White-billed and Slender-billed Starlings were coming in to drink above the falls, White-winged Cliff-Chats, Rueppell’s Black Chats, and a Mountain Wagtail worked the streambed, and keen-eyed Abiy spied a pair of Erckel’s Francolins on the far cliff face. The highlight, however, was a troop of Gelada Baboons who arrived to sunbathe, paying little attention to us as they went about their morning ablutions. Eventually we hiked back up to the lodge for breakfast al fresco, during which a pair of Hemprich’s Hornbills serenaded us from their perch on the cliff edge while Lanner Falcons and Alpine Swifts soared overhead.

After breakfast we packed up and moved on to the monastery at Debre Libanos. Here steady streams of pilgrims were making their way into the forest to hike to a sacred cave from which holy water flows. We joined the procession, but didn’t get far before stopping and stepping aside, surrounded by bird activity despite the human traffic. About six White-cheeked Turacos were chasing each other through the canopy, Lemon Doves walked by on the forest floor, and before long we had also ticked Abyssinian Oriole, another Abyssinian Woodpecker, Gray-headed Woodpecker, White-backed Black-Tit, several Banded Barbets, Brown Woodland-Warbler, Northern Puffback, Montane (Broad-ringed) White-eyes, Yellow-bellied Waxbills, and a soaring Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle. Very pleased with the morning’s tally we took a short break to tour the church, which has quite spectacular stained-glass windows as well as a special dais where the emperor Haile Selassie used to sit.

The afternoon was spent retracing some of yesterday’s route across the high plateau, this time taking the turn-off to Debre Birhan. We stopped adjacent to the wooded spot where we had seen the nightjar and owls yesterday, and while Abiy checked out some possible roost trees we birded the adjacent moorland, finding Moorland Chats, a distant pair of Moorland Francolins, and a couple of Banded Martins. A few miles further on we picked up Red-breasted Wheatears, Thekla Larks, and an Erlanger’s Lark, and a final stop at a river crossing added a variety of waders, ducks and geese to the day’s list. We arrived at the Eva Hotel in Debre Birhan at about 5 p.m., taking a while to settle in as we had to change rooms when a blocked shower drain caused our first room to flood – neither the first nor last issue we were to have with dodgy plumbing during the trip.

18 May: Melka Ghebdu and Gemessa Gedel
We left Debre Birhan at sunrise for the 2-hr drive to Melka Ghebdu, one of the few known spots where the endemic Yellow-throated Seedeater can be found. On the outskirts of Debre Birhan we ran across a lone Knob-billed Duck as well as a couple of African (Grassland) Pipits on the roadside. Augur Buzzards and Lanner Falcons were common along this high elevation route, and near Ankober a Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk was hunting over the moorland. We reached Melka Ghebdu at about 9 a.m. and spent an anxious hour or so looking unsuccessfully for seedeaters. In the process we ran across Yellow-breasted Barbet, Violet-backed Starling, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Pied Cuckoo, Rueppell’s and Little Weavers, and several Abyssinian Wheatears. Finally, Abiy heard some Yellow-throated Seedeaters calling from the dense roadside vegetation, and we eventually managed to get good views of a pair. With that key target species ticked we headed back to Debre Birhan for lunch.

In the late afternoon we followed the impressive new Chinese-built highway north to Gemessa Gedel, a roadside pullout with a spectacular vista and a reliable site for another very localized endemic, the Ankober Serin. Initially we worked our way downslope to an area where we could see a lot of bird activity, but found only the ubiquitous Streaky Seedeaters and Abyssinian (Black-headed) Siskins, along with Yellow Bishops, a few Yellow-crowned Canaries, and an Abyssinian Longclaw. Frustrated (and rapidly losing patience with a group of small boys who were dogging us, persistently trying to sell us trinkets and fresh oregano), we crossed the road and headed up to the scenic overlook at the cliff’s edge. Here we finally found a flock of about 10 Ankober Serins clinging to the cliff face. Relieved, we relaxed for awhile enjoying both the view and a lovely dark-morph Augur Buzzard hunting overhead before heading back to Debre Birhan for another night.

19 May: Debre Birhan to Awash NP
We had a long, hard drive ahead of us today so hit the road immediately after breakfast. About 40 km from Debre Birhan we stopped at some borrow pits near the village of Gisa. The shallow ponds that had formed in the bottom of the pits held a smattering of waterfowl, and the surrounding disturbed weedy areas were teeming with Yellow and Yellow-crowned Bishops, African Citrils, and Abyssinian Siskins. The highlights of our stop here were an African Snipe, the only Three-banded Plovers of the trip, numerous Ethiopian Cisticolas, and another pair of Erlanger’s Larks.

In the late morning we broke the journey again with a stop at Lake Cheleleka, a shallow wetland area on the outskirts of Debre Zeit. The water was a distant scope view away, but if we squinted past the throngs of Marabou Storks we could just make out a variety of other waders, including both Sacred and Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilts, some lingering Marsh Sandpipers, and singles of Black-tailed Godwit, African Spoonbill, and Black-headed Heron. A blurry group of ducks eventually resolved into a pair of Garganey and a pair of Hottentot Teal. A walk along the hedgerow here turned up Grey-headed Batis, Rufous Chatterer, Rattling Cisticola, a pair of Spectacled Weavers, and the first White-backed Vultures we had seen. We moved on to a restaurant overlooking nearby Lake Bishoftu for lunch, and found a table with unobstructed views of the water. This very deep lake holds large numbers of waterfowl in winter, most of which had left by now. One Southern Pochard remained, along with a few Little Grebes, and Long-tailed and Great Cormorants. A pair of Peregrine Falcons sped by at eye level while we ate.

As we turned off towards Awash and left the Rift Valley behind, the drive became considerably more tedious. Up to now we had mostly been on good, new highways with relatively little traffic. The road to Awash, however, is the main route to Somalia and the port of Djibouti, and truck traffic was extremely heavy in both directions. Opportunities to pass were few and far between, and we crawled along at a frustratingly slow pace, stuck behind trucks that were in turn often stuck behind donkey carts. It was late afternoon by the time we reached Lake Beseka and stopped amid the bleak volcanic landscape to search for yet another very range-restricted endemic, the aptly named Sombre Chat. It took some care to separate this species from the very similar Blackstarts with which they were associating. We also saw the only African Darters and Striolated Bunting of the trip here as well as an unexpected Madagascar Bee-eater. By the time we reached the Awash Falls Lodge dusk was falling, leaving us no time to explore the grounds before a hasty shower and dinner.

20 May: Awash NP
Breakfast at 6 a.m. and then we headed out into Awash NP for the morning. Close to the lodge we found several Eastern Plaintain-Eaters, a White-browed Coucal, a Black-breasted Snake-Eagle perched on a telephone pole, and numerous White-throated Bee-eaters on the wires. We spent some time walking the edges of the old airstrip trying to track down Buff-crested Bustards that were calling tantalizingly nearby – a futile effort that resulted in a few brief glimpses of the backside of a bird rapidly disappearing through the scrub. We did, however, come across a very photogenic pair of Four-banded Sandgrouse and a singing Somali Bunting. Of course, as soon as we left the airstrip and started to drive deeper into the park Buff-crested Bustards began to pop up everywhere, and by the end of the day we had seen about five different birds as well as several White-bellied Bustards. Driving through the acacia-dotted savannah we picked up Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Somali Fiscal, small groups of Crowned Lapwings and a few Black-headed Lapwings huddled together in the shade, flocks of Helmeted Guineafowl, and our first pair of Abyssinian Ground-Hornbills. A brief stop at the derelict Kereyou Lodge turned up a Gillett’s Lark and some Ethiopian Swallows, but the skies over the Awash Gorge were disappointingly devoid of raptors.

We returned to the lodge for lunch and to wait out the worst of the mid-afternoon heat, heading back out into the park again in the late afternoon. Our first stop was at the campsites along the river, where we found a Bearded Woodpecker and a Pearl-spotted Owlet, along with Guereza Colobus and Vervet Monkeys and a large troop of Olive Baboons. We then drove the same loop through the park that we had taken in the morning, but the afternoon’s highlights were mammals rather than birds: small herds of Beisa Oryx and Soemmerring’s Gazelles, Warthogs wallowing in a mudhole, diminutive Salt’s Dik-diks, a pair of Black-backed Jackals, and a pack of Spotted Hyenas. An astounding number of large Leopard Tortoises were also trundling about, probably active as a result of recent spring rains that had turned the entire park lush and green with flowers carpeting the ground in places. Abiy was astounded by the changes that had taken place in the three weeks since his last visit, when he said the landscape had been very dry and brown. The evening’s only notable birds were a Double-banded Courser flushed from the road at dusk, and an unidentified nightjar perched on a power line near the lodge.

21 May: Awash NP to Ali Dege Plains and Bilen
While driving through the park in the dark the previous evening we had seen a stray horse wandering not far from a group of Spotted Hyenas, and had speculated about the horse’s chances of surviving the night. So this morning we had the macabre thought that maybe there would be a fresh kill to attract vultures, and decided to make another loop of the park before leaving. Happily for the horse, there was no sign of any vultures, but we did find an Arabian Bustard along with several Kori Bustards. Dark Chanting-Goshawks were out in force today, and Wahlberg’s Eagle, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, White-winged Widowbird, Cardinal Woodpecker, and Steel-blue Whydah were all welcome additions to our growing list.

We left Awash NP behind and drove about an hour north on that same truck-congested road to the Ali Dege Plains, an area that either is or has been proposed to be Ethiopia’s newest national park. Here we picked up a local ranger and headed out into a sea of knee-high green grass, driving on what may or may not have been an actual vehicle track. Abiy again expressed amazement at the change the rains had wrought, and said he had never before seen the place like this! The first birds we encountered may have been the best sighting of the entire trip—a group of four Yellow-throated Sandgrouse sitting in the wheel ruts we were following at the time. They sat there very unconcerned as we hung out the windows of the vehicle photographing them at point-blank range. Somali Ostriches were not so confiding—the several pairs we saw at a considerable distance were quick to move off when we tried to approach them. A pair of Secretarybirds was less wary and gave great views as they stalked through the grass. The dense vegetation made the search for Singing Bushlarks a challenge, and we had to be satisfied with a number of flight views as we repeatedly flushed a bird only to have it drop back into the grass and disappear. Another two Arabian Bustards were also largely hidden in the grass except for the tops of their heads. This was the first and one of the only sites where we encountered large flocks of Wattled Starlings, Red-billed Buffalo-Weavers, and Chestnut Weavers. A large herd of Grevy’s Zebras remained on the horizon, as did a single Gerenuk, while Soemmerring’s Gazelles were somewhat more approachable.

Bilen Lodge is closed indefinitely for renovations (apparently much needed), so we stayed at the nearby Animalia Lodge. Although a fine base of operations, we were somewhat disturbed to learn that this Italian-owned lodge is a big-game hunting concession. Weapons were very much in evidence, from the antique Afar rifles and scimitars displayed in the dining room to the armed guards sleeping around the grounds with AK-47s laid casually beside them. After lunch we kicked back in the afternoon heat, picking up a few new species (Abyssinian Roller, Lesser Masked-Weaver, Shining Sunbird) from our room’s shaded porch. In the late afternoon we headed over to the Bilen Hot Springs and nearby wetland, taking a local along to act as a liaison in the event we encountered any unfriendly Afar tribesmen. At the hot springs we found several Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and a pair of Senegal Thick-knees, and a walk through the surrounding thorn scrub and wetland turned up Black-throated and Yellow-breasted Barbets, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Nubian Woodpecker, Dideric Cuckoo, a noisy group of Black-billed Woodhoopoes, and a flyover by a pair of Saddle-billed Storks. We spent some time here trying to separate African Collared Doves from the very similar and much more widespread Ring-necked Doves, and in the end were not confident we succeeded. Walking back to the vehicle we spotted lion tracks in the dried mud, and a minute or two later began to hear a grunting noise coming from the nearby scrub. Abiy turned to the local guy and asked him if he knew what it was, whereupon he grinned and nodded “yes.” Not a lion (phew!) but a pair of very large Leopard Tortoises copulating, the male rhythmically stamping his feet on the female’s shell and emitting the hissing grunts we’d heard, while the female nonchalantly ate grass.

As sunset approached, Abiy suggested we wait by a large, open gravel-covered expanse that he said often attracted nightjars. Sure enough, we were soon surrounded by Slender-tailed Nightjars calling and flying around us. Abiy managed to pin down a smaller nightjar in his light, and from the very close-range photos we were able to take we ultimately identified it as a Plain Nightjar. Arriving back at the lodge sweaty and hungry, we discovered that our room had no electricity. After we inquired if it was supposed to (answer: yes), the staff discovered that power was out to about half the compound. Although we would have been happy enough to shower by candlelight, they insisted we move immediately to a room with power, which first meant finding and packing all of our belongings by headlamp. And once we finally got everything moved, we discovered the new room had a non-functional shower…

22 May: Bilen to Bishangari
We had 385 km to drive today, so were on the road soon after breakfast to make our way back to the Rift Valley. Once there we stopped for lunch at a hotel, then drove slowly along the shores of Lake Koka scanning for waterfowl. The most productive spot was close to the Awash River crossing, where the wetland held White-faced and Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, Spur-winged Goose, Squacco Heron, African Jacana and Pied Avocets, and Horus Swifts hawked insects over the river. A stop at Lake Ziway added a few Black Herons and a large flock of Great White Pelicans, along with a Black Crake and a Lesser Swamp-Warbler in the lakeside vegetation. We arrived at Bishangari Lodge on the eastern shore of Lake Langano at sunset.

23 May: Bishangari Lodge
Flocks of the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot are rumored to come down to the lakeshore in front of the lodge to drink daily at 6:30 a.m., and we were in place before then, eagerly awaiting their arrival. Unfortunately, it was a cool, overcast morning and the parrots apparently weren’t thirsty. We were, however, so we finally gave up and went for breakfast, delighted to find Scaly and Crested Francolins and several Lemon Doves feeding around the edges of the open-air dining area. We spent the morning birding the forest and forest edges surrounding the lodge and nearby village. In the course of the morning we ticked a wide assortment of new species, including Narina Trogon, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Black Scimitarbill, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Double-toothed Barbet, Greater and Scaly-throated Honeyguides, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black-headed Batis, African Thrush, and Blue-spotted Wood-Dove. Silvery-cheeked Hornbills were common and conspicuous, and we watched a male making visits to a nest cavity, passing figs through to the female walled up inside. Late in the morning we came to a spot where we could hear Yellow-fronted Parrots calling from high in a tree, and spent some time sitting nearby hoping they would move to where we could see them. This vigil eventually ended successfully, and in addition to a couple of parrots we also scored a Broad-billed Roller. The morning’s biggest surprise, however, was finding a pair of territorial Red-capped Robin-Chats that according to our field guide shouldn’t have been in Ethiopia at this time of year.

After lunch we spent our heat-of-the-day siesta time photographing birds around the lodge grounds, managing to get good shots of a pair of Sulphur-breasted Bushshrikes, along with less skulking species such as Grey-backed Fiscal, Northern Black Flycatcher, Red-headed Weaver, Bare-faced Go-Away-Bird, and African Fish-Eagle. Large numbers of Red-cheeked Cordonbleus were feeding on the lawn, joined periodically by Reichenow’s Seedeaters and Bronze Mannikins. In the late afternoon we walked along the lakeshore to a spot where a large flock of Red-knobbed Coots and both species of pelicans were congregating, and well-camouflaged Kittlitz’s Plovers ran along the water’s edge. Returning through the forest we found yet another (different) pair of Red-capped Robin-Chats, but still no sign of the Green Twinspots we’d been looking for. At dusk a Slender-tailed Nightjar circled the beach, and as we sat down to dinner an African Wood-Owl began to call. We eventually got very good looks at it as it sat in a large fig tree overhanging the dining area.

24 May: Bishangari to Goba
A pre-breakfast search for Green Twinspots was unsuccessful, but today the Yellow-fronted Parrots were back to their advertised routine, and we got very close to a pair that came down to the shore to feed. After breakfast we were back on the road for another long drive. Before once more leaving the Rift Valley, however, we made a stop at Abiata-Shalla NP, driving in to Lake Abiata. This very shallow and rapidly receding brackish lake supports both Lesser and Greater Flamingos, and mixed flocks of a few hundred were within easy viewing range. Pied Avocets and Ruff were feeding in the shallows, as well as a flock of a dozen Cape Teal. We spent some time walking the thorn scrub near the park entrance, where Grant’s Gazelles were new for the mammal list and new birds included Rufous-crowned Roller, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, White-winged Black-Tit, Red-fronted Barbet, Foxy Lark, and Chestnut Sparrow. Somali Ostrich also occurs here, but we had our doubts about the provenance of one that was hanging out close to the park buildings and allowed us to walk right up to it.

We broke the long drive to the Bale Mountains with a stop for lunch at a village “butchery” where Abiy introduced us to shakila tibs, a variant of the “normal” tibs with injera in which the tibs (chunks of broiled beef) are served atop a small charcoal brazier. In the late afternoon we reached the Bale Mountains and made our first stop at a small settlement where a group of local children have a concession taking birders to see a Cape Eagle-Owl that roosts on a nearby cliff. As we continued on into Bale Mountains NP the weather deteriorated, and we reached park headquarters in Dinsho under very black skies with thunder rolling in the distance, the first hint of rain we’d had during the trip so far. A local guide was waiting for us, and we quickly followed him into the gloomy Hagenia-juniper forest to a roosting African Wood-Owl and two African Long-eared Owls. An Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, another White-backed Black-Tit, and a Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler were bonus birds picked up along the way. Still hurrying to stay ahead of the weather, we descended through some mountain meadows where a herd of Mountain Nyala and a Menelik’s Bushbuck seemed relatively unconcerned by our presence, while a group of Bohor Reedbuck kept a greater distance. It was dusk by the time we arrived in Goba and settled into the Wabe Shabelle Hotel, where we would spend the next three nights.

25 May: Sanetti Plateau and Harenna Forest
We left the hotel in the dark, reaching the official boundary of Bale Mountains NP just as the sun was rising. Our first stop was near a small settlement where a couple of trees held several ‘Bale’ Brown Parisomas, and slightly further on we had our first Chestnut-naped Francolins and Rouget’s Rail on the roadside. Species diversity dropped as we ascended to the 13,000 ft. Sanetti Plateau, where Moorland Chats, Abyssinian Siskins, and Thekla Larks were about the only passerines, but the many small ponds held pairs of Blue-winged Geese, Ruddy Shelducks, and Spot-breasted Lapwings, some with small chicks in tow. Augur Buzzards perched on Giant Lobelias, and we had one Golden Eagle fly over and land on the ground for prolonged scope views. Ethiopian Wolf was one of our top target species here, and it was not long before we saw a pair in the distance and then had a young wolf casually cross the road right in front of us.

We dropped down off the plateau into the Harenna Forest, stopping along the way in Harenna village for tea and a local specialty, a thick flatbread served with cooked spinach and honey. We then spent the afternoon birding the roadsides within the forest, finding Abyssinian Catbird, a pair of African Emerald Cuckoos, African Hill Babbler, and Olive Sunbird. Yellow-bellied Waxbills and Streaky Seedeaters were both abundant, but the Abyssinian Crimsonwings we were hoping to see eluded us. Eventually we made the long drive back across the Sanetti Plateau to Goba, where a quick walk around the hotel grounds before dinner turned up a young African Goshawk.

26 May: Sof Omar
Once more we left the hotel before dawn, this time to make the long drive east to Sof Omar, Africa’s largest cave system and a reliable site for the very localized, endemic Salvadori’s Seedeater. Although the gravel road is apparently in much better condition than it used to be, it was nonetheless a slow drive due largely to the shear volume of people and livestock using the road (overloaded donkeys, horsecarts, herds of cattle and sheep, the occasional bus trying to get through…). As we dropped in elevation we made a few stops along the road, picking up birds such as Gray-headed Bushshrike, Northern Brownbul, Bristle-crowned Starling, Straw-tailed Whydah, Boran Cisticola, a soaring African Hawk-Eagle, and a pair of Scaly Chatterers. Just outside the village of Sof Omar we walked a little way into the thorn scrub and found ourselves in the midst of a large flock of Reichenow’s and Salvadori’s Seedeaters plus Chestnut Weavers, all of them coming to the ground at our feet to feed. Also in the mix were several Yellow-spotted Petronias, Red-fronted Warblers, and Crimson-rumped Waxbills.

With our primary target species seen easily and well, we toured the cave itself, and then wandered through the adjacent canyon where we found a pair of Brown-tailed Rock Chats and a Black-headed Oriole. On the drive back to Goba we took our time and explored the highland roadsides more thoroughly. Somali Crows were common here, and we also ran across a few African Stonechats and several Black-shouldered Kites. We were all surprised to see a bustard walking through a grassy pasture. Despite good scope views we couldn’t decide with certainty if the female-plumaged bird was a Black-bellied Bustard or Hartlaub’s Bustard, although the former would seem to be more likely at such a high elevation.

27 May: Goba to Negele
Same routine, a pre-dawn departure from the hotel. We hit the Sanetti Plateau just as the sun was rising, a beautiful clear morning with air temperatures below freezing, ice on the puddles, and a dense carpet of delicate ice needles protruding from the ground. We spent some time looking unsuccessfully for Moorland Francolins, then hurried across the rest of the plateau, looking forward to warming up with a breakfast of hot tea, bread and honey in Harenna village. Before embarking on the long drive to Negele, we wanted to spend some more time searching for the Abyssinian Crimsonwings that had eluded us two days ago in Harenna Forest. Today we were successful, eventually tracking down three of them, although mostly just getting views of dull gray bellies against a dull gray sky as they stayed high in a tree. A flock of Rameron Pigeons provided a nice diversion, and we also ran across two more Abyssinian Catbirds and finally saw several of the Red-chested Cuckoos we’d been hearing. Black Sparrowhawk was also new for the tour, seen while we were trying – ultimately unsuccessfully – to track down a calling Sharpe’s Starling.

We made it to Dolo Mena at about noon, and before breaking for lunch paid a visit to Abiy’s “secret spot” for Red-billed Pytilia. Unfortunately that species was AWOL today, but we did get excellent views of the only Grosbeak Weavers and African Firefinches of the trip. South of Dolo Mena we stopped by the roadside to photograph the strange boulder-like Monkey Chair plants, and in the space of just a few minutes picked up a host of new species, including Red-and-Yellow Barbet, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-crested Helmet-Shrike, and Brubru. Late in the afternoon we reached a stretch of road where Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco can be found reliably. Abiy spotted the first pair from the car, precipitating a screeching stop followed by good views as the birds remained in trees on the roadside. A better-planned stop at a spot where he had seen them previously yielded a second pair.

A superficially nice, modern hotel has recently opened in Negele, meaning it’s no longer necessary to stay at the infamous Green Hotel we had read about in various trip reports. Abiy had been building up our expectations of the new place by extolling its clean, modern bathrooms. Sure enough, our bathroom sported a very fancy-looking shower, complete with a rain showerhead, handset, and six adjustable body jets. Unfortunately, there was not enough pressure to get the water to do anything other than dribble out of those nice, modern fixtures, and once again we found ourselves taking sponge-baths from a tepid trickle coming out of the tub faucet.

28 May: Liben Plain and Negele
The Maereg Hotel serves no food, so we picked up bread, jam, juice and a flask of hot tea and ate a picnic breakfast on the Liben Plain. Plain-backed Pipits and Pectoral-patch Cisticolas crept through the surrounding grass, Ethiopian Swallows swooped by, and in the distance a Gabar Goshawk hunted and a Kori Bustard stalked the plain. We fanned out to search for larks in the grass, and after just a few minutes Abiy waved us over to where he had found a Liben Lark as well as about 15 Somali Short-toed Larks. Satisfied with long, close looks at both of those species plus Speke’s Weavers and White-crowned Starlings seen around a nearby Borana settlement, we drove on across the plain. A small lake held Red-billed Ducks and a few African Spoonbills and African Openbill storks. A walk through the thorn scrub along the Somali state border was very productive. Here we found more Salvadori’s Seedeaters, along with Shelley’s and Golden-breasted Starlings, Three-streaked Tchagra, a mixed flock of Mouse-colored Penduline-Tits and Yellow-bellied Eremomelas, Somali Tit, Crimson-rumped Waxbills, and White-browed Scrub-Robin. A Coqui Francolin called close by but couldn’t be enticed into view, and a pair of White-headed Vultures passed overhead a little higher than we would have liked.

After another lunch of shakila tibs at the butchery in Negele, we drove to a site along the Genale River where the Chinese are building a hydroelectric dam. This is a high-security area, and we had to get permission at a military checkpoint before being allowed to walk down to the water’s edge. Here a flock of about 15 Juba Weavers were feeding in the riverside vegetation, giving us excellent, close looks. A Black-bellied Sunbird was a bonus. We then returned to the outskirts of Negele to look for Three-banded Coursers. We were hoping to find them before dusk, but the dense understory vegetation – a result of the recent rains – made it impossible to locate them under the bushes where they normally roost during the day. As soon as it got dark, however, they began to call and fly around the adjacent pasture, and we were eventually able to get good views of one in the spotlight. Eyeshine in a distant tree turned out to be a pair of Senegal Galagos, aka Bushbabies, tiny primitive primates.

29 May: Negele to Yabello
We were supposed to stay in Negele for another day and night, but when it looked like we would find all of our Negele-area target species by the end of the day yesterday Abiy proposed that we modify our itinerary and move on to Yabello a day ahead of schedule. This would allow us to add a day at Wondo Genet, a site where we might find several of the species we had missed earlier in the trip. So today we left Negele in the dark to start the long drive south, early enough to catch a Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl still out hunting in the pre-dawn gloom. We stopped for another picnic breakfast at a river crossing where we hoped to find the endemic White-winged Collared-Dove. No luck with that, but a Spotted Morning-Thrush serenaded us over breakfast and Vitelline Masked-Weavers popped up along the roadside. A large flock of White-rumped Swifts was feeding over the river, and a pair of Black-faced Sandgrouse came down to drink briefly. As we continued the drive we encountered large flocks of Vulturine Guineafowl in the road and numerous raptors alongside it. The majority of these were Eastern Chanting-Goshawks, but we also picked up Shikra, Gabar Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Grey Kestrel, and a high-soaring pair of Verreaux’s Eagles. The tiny Guenther’s Dik-diks were also common sights, pairs dashing across the road periodically.

We found several White-winged Collared-Doves in the village just north of the Dawa River crossing, and one more along the river itself. From this point on we stopped periodically along the road and walked a short way into the Acacia-Commiphora scrub. Even in the heat of the afternoon pishing brought in lots of birds, and in this manner we accumulated a large list that included southern specialties such as Somali Crombec, Pygmy Batis, Pringle’s Puffback, Red-naped Bushshrike, Slate-colored Boubou, Pale Prinia, d’Arnaud’s Barbet, Black Cuckooshrike, Bare-eyed Thrush, Eastern Violet-backed and Marico Sunbirds, Black-cheeked (Red-rumped) Waxbill, Purple Grenadier, Gray-headed and Black-capped Social-Weavers, and White-bellied Canary.

Late in the afternoon the landscape changed subtly and Abiy announced we were entering bush-crow country. Sure enough, within 5 minutes we were stopped, surrounded by a flock of about 20 Stresemann’s Bush-Crows, some of them busy turning over dung on the road in search of a meal. Passing through the village of Soda we found a pair of Short-tailed Larks, but dipped on Somali Courser, the high grass once again an impediment to finding ground-roosting birds. The sun was starting to set as we reached the good, paved highway to Yabello, and we were traveling at a good clip when Paul suddenly announced he’d seen a zebra. We were all (Paul included) a bit skeptical about this, but drove back a quarter mile to check. Indeed, there was a lone Burchell’s Zebra trotting purposefully along a dirt track that paralleled the highway. It crossed the road right behind us, allowing us to photo-document the first zebra crossing we’d seen in Ethiopia. We finally pulled into the Yabello Motel at dusk, a small flock of Shelley’s Rufous Sparrows outside Yabello the last new birds of a very productive day.

30 May: Yabello
In the morning we re-traced our route back towards Soda, stopping first at a nearby Borana village to look for another very localized endemic. Two White-tailed Swallows were flying around the settlement, ducking in and out of a thatched hut where it appeared they might be nesting. The Ethiopian people are remarkably indifferent to strangers (even “farangi” like us) walking around on their land, often right on their doorsteps, but many of them have a strong opposition to any sort of photography. The distinction between a camera and binoculars isn’t always clear to them, and on several occasions we’d been aware of Abiy patiently explaining the difference to agitated locals while we got on with looking at the birds. That appeared to be happening here, as two teenage boys seemed unhappy, and Abiy was allowing them to look through his bins. When one of the swallows landed photogenically on a nearby snag, Abiy told us we could go ahead and take pictures. At this the boys came running over angrily and threw sticks at the bird to flush it. We decided this would probably be a good time to move on to another site…

We made a stop where there appeared to be some activity along the road, and found both Flappet and Foxy Larks, as well as another pair of Scaly Chatterers. Next, a stroll around a nice expanse of scrub turned up Northern Grosbeak-Canary, Tiny Cisticola, and Banded Parisoma among the very common Gray Wren-Warblers, Somali Buntings, and African Gray Flycatchers. Paul wasn’t feeling well, so we returned early to Yabello so he could rest. He opted to stay at the hotel for the afternoon as Cathy and Abiy went back out to Elephant Rock, an aptly named formation along the road south of Yabello. Magpie Starling was our primary quarry here, but we didn’t find any until we’d given up and started to drive back towards Yabello when Abiy finally spotted two perched by the roadside. At sunset we stopped at a spot good for nightjars, and walked along a dirt track parallel to the main road. It got darker and darker with no sign of any nightjars, and we were starting to worry about our chances when one finally called nearby. A quick blast of tape brought it in to circle around us once, difficult to see in the now complete darkness. Another blast of tape, another quick flyby, and then Abiy shone his light on the road to reveal a Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar sitting right at our feet! Another set of photos of a nightjar at point-blank range!

31 May: Yabello to Hawassa
We left Yabello early to start the long drive north to Hawassa. The first stretch of this road is new, and we made good time to Agere Maryam where we stopped at a hotel for breakfast. Just before Agere Maryam the road passes through a good stretch of forest followed by some wetlands, and we made brief stops at both of those spots. A pair of Thick-billed Ravens on the roadside here was the first really good look we’d gotten at that species, and more Yellow-fronted Parrots were also nice to see. After Agere Maryam the road deteriorated and the going was slow, the result of lots of detours and active roadworks where the new road is still under construction. Nonetheless, we made it to Hawassa in under 6 hours, which Abiy said was record time! After a late lunch at the United Africa Hotel we walked along the adjacent Lake Hawassa waterfront. White-backed Ducks and African Pygmy-Geese were common in the weedy vegetation close to shore, along with African Jacanas, Malachite Kingfishers, Black Crakes, Common Waxbills, and Lesser Swamp-Warblers that were nesting in the reeds. There was a rookery of Purple Herons and Black-crowned Night-Herons in trees lining the shallow wetlands adjacent to the lake, and those areas also held Common Moorhens and Blue-headed Coucal. White-browed Robin-Chats and African Thrushes were particularly confiding along the broad, shady and very busy lakeside promenade.

Today was Paul’s birthday, a fact we’d let slip at some point last week but hadn’t mentioned since. We were somewhat surprised when Abiy and Affara joined us for dinner at the hotel, as they normally didn’t eat with us in the evenings. And we began to get suspicious when first one then the other left the table, citing “a problem in the kitchen.” Shortly thereafter they returned with a birthday cake for Paul and small gifts for both of us. We were genuinely surprised and really touched by their thoughtfulness – we’ve often been on birding trips during Paul’s birthday and this is the first time anyone has arranged any sort of celebration!

01 June: Hawassa to Wondo Genet
First thing in the morning we birded around the hotel grounds, finding without much difficulty our primary target, African Spotted Creeper. After breakfast we walked the lakeside promenade again, hoping to run across Lesser Jacana. No luck with that, but we did pick up African Reed-Warbler, Red-faced Cisticola, and an unexpected Spotted Morning-Thrush. A visit to the famous Lake Hawassa fish market was an anti-climax. Although plenty of Maribou Storks, Sacred Ibis and a few Hamerkops and Gray-hooded Gulls were hanging around waiting for fish scraps, the only really noteworthy birds we saw were several Black Kites, distinct from the Yellow-billed Kites we’d been seeing daily. And we declined to try the market’s speciality offering, a local variation of sashimi consisting of raw filets of tiny Tilapia served with a chili paste that was being prepared in not-very-hygienic-looking 5-gallon paint buckets.

After lunch we made the relatively short drive to Wondo Genet. This was our unplanned bonus day, and we had a choice of staying at the Wabe Shabelle Hotel (the usual accommodation here) or trying a new lodge that is closer to the better remaining stands of forest. We opted to try the new Blen Lodge, which turned out to be considerably more basic than anywhere else we had stayed. The traditional rondavel-style room did have an attached “bathroom,” but it comprised nothing more than a tap (no basin), a showerhead that was supposed to deliver hot water (but didn’t), and a squat toilet that also (somewhat ingeniously) served as the shower drain. Upon our arrival here we were met by a local guide who took us into the forest to look for our main target species: Green Twinspot, Sharpe’s Starling and Mountain Buzzard. Of those, we managed to see only Sharpe’s Starling, a single bird perched at the very top of an enormous dead tree on a steep slope above us, visible only by hand-holding the spotting scope in a near vertical orientation. Although Twinspots had apparently been common here earlier in the spring, they were now nowhere to be found.

02 June: Wondo Genet to Wolliso
The highlight of some pre-breakfast birding around the lodge grounds was a large mixed flock of Bronze and Black-and-White Mannikins feeding on the lawn. After breakfast we drove on to Lake Langano, where we made a stop at that Wabe Shabelle Hotel, located on the west side of the lake. A group of young men were very happy to see us, and immediately set about searching the grounds for roosting nightjars and owls. In rapid succession they were able to lead us to a Barn Owl, a Grayish Eagle-Owl, and a Slender-tailed Nightjar. We then made another stop at Lake Ziway where we saw most of the same species we’d seen there a week ago. After a stop for lunch in Buta Gire we climbed up and over the Buta Gire mountains on another impressive new highway before arriving in the town of Wolliso to spend the night at the Negash Lodge. Upon arrival we explored the fairly extensive and heavily wooded grounds of the lodge, but turned up a lot more monkeys (Vervets and Guereza Colobus) than birds.

03 June: Gibe Gorge to Addis Ababa
We departed the lodge in the pre-dawn dark. Arriving at Gibe Gorge at sunrise, we made our first stop on the descent into the gorge (really more of a broad valley) where we searched the hillside for Clapperton’s Francolin. We did eventually hear one calling from a dense thicket, but got only flight views as it flushed when we got close. Two Moustached Grass-Warblers sitting up singing were much more cooperative. At the bridge over the Gibe River we stopped at a tea stall for breakfast, deciding the hot flatbread they were serving looked considerably more appetizing than the stale rolls the lodge had provided. This is another high-security site (no photos of the bridge allowed!), and Abiy had to negotiate permission at the police checkpoint before we could drive down to the water’s edge. Egyptian Plover is the key species here, and we were lucky to see five different birds, several of them close enough for good photos. Gibe Gorge also hosts a number of other species that are more typical of western Ethiopia, and in the course of the morning we picked up Wattled Lapwing, Copper Sunbird, Abyssinian Waxbill, Bar-breasted Firefinch, and a large flock of Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starlings with a few of the ubiquitous Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starlings mixed in for comparison.

By late morning we had to call an end to play to begin the drive back to Addis Ababa. On the way we stopped for lunch at a small, local restaurant that specialized in kitfo, minced beef that is served with various soft cheeses and spinach paste mixed in. Ethiopians eat the beef raw, but Abiy wisely ordered us the cooked version which was very tasty. At about 4 p.m. we arrived at the Ghion Hotel in downtown Addis Ababa where we had a room reserved for a few hours. This gave us just about enough time to shower, change and pack before joining the owner of Ethiopian Quadrants for dinner at the company-owned restaurant. From there it was straight to the airport, cutting it a bit close and arriving at our gate as the flight was boarding.

We ended the trip having seen about 440 species, including all but one of the Ethiopian and Horn of Africa endemics that can be found on this itinerary (only Red-billed Pytilia eluded us).

Species Lists

Complete Trip List (boldface = Ethiopian or Horn of Africa endemic)
Somali Ostrich (Struthio camelus molybdophanes) 8 Ali Dege, 1 Abiata
White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) 5 Koka, 2 Hawassa
Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) 3 Koka
White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) 10 Hawassa
Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) 20 Sululta, 7 Debre Birhan, 4 Gisa, 16 Bale
Comb (Knob-billed) Duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) 1 Debra Birhan
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca) common, seen almost every day
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) 8 Bale
Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis) 5 Koka
African Pygmy-Goose (Nettapus auritus) 12 Hawassa
African Black Duck (Anas sparsa) 1 Sululta
Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata) 6 Sululta, 20 Debre Birhan, 2 Gisa
Red-billed Duck (Anas erythrorhyncha) 6 Liben
Hottentot Teal (Anas hottentota) 2 Cheleleka, 2 Hawassa
Garganey (Anas querquedula) 2 Cheleleka
Cape Teal (Anas capensis) 12 Abiata
Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma) 1 Bishoftu
Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) 25 Awash, 4 Bilen, 10 Abiata, 2 Hawassa, 6 Gibe
Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) 50 Negele, 3 Yabello
Coqui Francolin (Francolinus coqui) heard only, Negele
Crested Francolin (Francolinus sephaena) 4 Bishangari, 16 Negele area
Moorland Francolin (Francolinus psilolaemus) 2 near Doro
Scaly Francolin (Francolinus squamatus) 2 Bishangari
Erckel's Francolin (Francolinus erckelii) 1 Jemma, 2 Ethio-German
Clapperton's Francolin (Francolinus clappertoni) 1 Gibe
Harwood's Francolin (Francolinus harwoodi) 6 Jemma
Yellow-necked Francolin (Francolinus leucoscepus) 2 Awash, 6 Liben, 3 Yabello
Chestnut-naped Francolin (Francolinus castaneicollis) 23 Bale
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 2 Debre Birhan, 3 Gisa, 9 Bishoftu, 2 Koka, 5 Hawassa, 1 Ziway
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 100s Abiata
Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) 15 Koka, 100s Abiata
African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus) 6 Liben
Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii) often seen along roads or nesting in towns, 15 Gibe
Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus) 1 Jemma, 5 Agere Maryam
Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) 2 Bilen
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer) very common on Rift Valley Lakes
Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis) 2 Jemma R., 1 Beseka, 2 Ziway, 3 Langano, 3 Gibe
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) a few on most Rift Valley Lakes, 15 Hawassa
Long-tailed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus) 2 Bishoftu, 5 Beseka, 1 Langano, 10 Hawassa, 3 Ziway
African Darter (Anhinga rufa) 3 Beseka
Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) 10-50+ at Koka, Ziway, Langano
Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) 5 Langano
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) one or more seen daily in Rift Valley and northern highlands
Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) 1 Jemma, 3 Debre Birhan, 1 Koka, 2 Langano
Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala) 1 Cheleleka, 1 Agere Maryam
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) 8 Hawassa
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 1 Sululta, 3 near Doro, 1 Ziway
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 20 Cheleleka, 1 Langano, 3 Ziway
Black Heron (Egretta ardesiaca) 5 Ziway
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) 6 Bilen, Koka
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) 3 Koka, 10 Hawassa
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 20 Hawassa
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) Chelelaka, Koka, Ziway
Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) up to 10 seen daily in Rift Valley, Jemma, Liben
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) 1 Sululta, 5 Bishangari, 1 Harenna, 5 Hawassa, 3 Wolisso, 8 Gibe
Wattled Ibis (Bostrychia carunculata) up to 50 seen daily in highland areas
African Spoonbill (Platalea alba) 1 Cheleleka, 2 Koka, 3 Liben
Secretary-bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) 1 Awash, 2 Ali Dege
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) 1 Jemma, 2 Sof Omar, 1 Negele
African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus) 1 Jemma, 2 Awash, 4 Bishangari, 1 Yabello, 2 Gibe
Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) 2 Ethio-German, 1 Gemessa Gedel, 2 Butagire
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) 1 Ethio-German
White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) 2 Negele
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) common everywhere
White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) 2 Cheleleka, 3 Awash, 1 Dolo Mena, 5 Butagire, 1 Gibe
Rueppell's Griffon (Gyps rueppellii) common in northern highlands and Rift Valley
Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) 3 Awash, 1 Negele
Black-breasted Snake-Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis) 1 Melka Ghebdu, 3 Awash, 1 Sof Omar
Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) 3 Langano, 3 Yabello
Wahlberg's Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) 1 Awash
Ayres's Hawk-Eagle (Hieraaetus ayresii) 1 Debre Libanos
Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) 1-3 seen daily in highland areas
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) 1 Bale
Verreaux's Eagle (Aquila verreauxii) 2 Negele
African Hawk-Eagle (Aquila spilogaster) 1 Melka Ghebdu, 1 Sof Omar
Dark Chanting-Goshawk (Melierax metabates) 1 Jemma, 1 Beseka, 7 Awash
Eastern Chanting-Goshawk (Melierax poliopterus) 1 Sof Omar, 1 Dolo Mena, 10 Negele, 2 Yabello
Gabar Goshawk (Micronisus gabar) 1 Beseka, 1 Liben, 1 Negele
African Goshawk (Accipiter tachiro) 1 Ethio-German, 1 Bishangari, 1 Goba
Shikra (Accipiter badius) 1 Awash, 2 Negele
Little Sparrowhawk (Accipiter minullus) ?2 Bishangari, 1 Dolo Mena
Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk (Accipiter rufiventris) 1 Ankober
Black Goshawk (Accipiter melanoleucus) 1 Harenna
Black Kite (Milvus migrans) 3 Hawassa
Yellow-billed Kite (Milvus m. parasitus) common, especially around towns
African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) 1-3 seen daily in Rift Valley and Awash
Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur) up to 6 daily in highland areas
Arabian Bustard (Ardeotis arabs) 1 Awash, 2 Ali Dege
Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) 3 Awash, 2 Liben
White-bellied Bustard (Eupodotis senegalensis) 3 Awash
Buff-crested Bustard (Eupodotis gindiana) 5 Awash, 1 Ali Dege
Black-bellied Bustard (Lissotis melanogaster) 1 Sof Omar
Rouget's Rail (Rougetius rougetii) 3 Bale (plus 4 chicks), 3 Agere Maryam
Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra) 2 Ziway, 5 Hawassa
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 6 Hawassa
Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata) common on Rift Valley lakes, 100+ Langano
Senegal Thick-knee (Burhinus senegalensis) 2 Bilen, 1 Bishangari, 8 Gibe
Egyptian Plover (Pluvianus aegyptius): 5 Gibe
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 10 Cheleleka, 2 Abiata, Koka
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) Koka, Abiata
Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus) common in Rift Valley, 30 Liben
Black-headed Lapwing (Vanellus tectus) 2 Awash
Black-winged Lapwing (Vanellus melanopterus) 1 Jemma
Crowned Lapwing (Vanellus coronatus) 8 Awash, 5 Ali Dege, 3 Abiata, 15 Liben
Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus) 2 Gibe
Spot-breasted Lapwing (Vanellus melanocephalus) 20 Sululta, 15 Bale
Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius) 15 Bishangari, 5 Abiata
Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris) 3 Gisa
African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus) 10 Koka, 20 Hawassa, 3 Ziway
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) 5 Cheleleka, 1 Ziway
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 1 Cheleleka
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) 10 Abiata, 1 Ziway
African Snipe (Gallinago nigripennis) 1 Gisa
Double-banded Courser (Smutsornis africanus) 1 Awash
Three-banded Courser (Rhinoptilus cinctus) 3 Negele
Gray-hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) 2 Koka, 3 Ziway, 2 Bishangari, 8 Hawassa
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) 1 Koka, 1 Bishangari, 10 Hawassa
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus) 3 Bilen
Yellow-throated Sandgrouse (Pterocles gutturalis) 4 Ali Dege
Black-faced Sandgrouse (Pterocles decoratus) 4 Negele
Four-banded Sandgrouse (Pterocles quadricinctus) 4 Awash, 4 Bilen
Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea) common, seen most days
White-collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques) common in highlands, often in large flocks
Rameron (Olive) Pigeon (Columba arquatrix) 10 Harenna, 3 Agere Maryam
Lemon Dove (Columba larvata) 2 Debre Libanos, 3 Bishangari
Dusky Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia lugens) common in highlands
?African Collared-Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea) 1 Bilen may have been this species
White-winged Collared-Dove (Streptopelia reichenowi) 5 Dawa
Mourning Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decipiens) fairly common at Bilen, Yabello, Hawassa
Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata) common, seen or heard most days
Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola) fairly common especially in south
Vinaceous Dove (Streptopelia vinacea) 2 Jemma, 1+ Gibe
Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) common everywhere except Negele-Yabello area
Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove (Turtur chalcospilos) 5 Melka Ghebdu, 6 Awash, 1 Sof Omar, 5 Negele
Blue-spotted Wood-Dove (Turtur afer) 4 Bishangari, 1 Wondo Genet
Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) fairly common at Awash, Ali Dege, Bilen
Bruce's Green-Pigeon (Treron waalia) 2 Jemma, 4 Bishangari, 1 Dolo Mena
White-cheeked Turaco (Tauraco leucotis) 6 Debre Libanos, 6 Bishangari, 1 Harenna, 1 Wondo Genet
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco (Tauraco ruspolii) 4 between Dolo Mena and Negele
Bare-faced Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides personatus) 2 Melka Ghebdu, 8 Bishangari
White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) common at Awash and Negele-Yabello areas
Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus) 6 Awash, 1 Gibe
Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) 1 Melka Ghebdu, 5 Yabello area
Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius) 2 Harenna, 1 Wondo Genet
Black Cuckoo (Cuculus clamosus) heard only, Sof Omar
Klaas's Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas) 1 Jemma, 1 Awash, 1 Ziway, 1 Yabello
African Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx cupreus) 2 Harenna
Dideric Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx caprius) 1 Bilen
Blue-headed Coucal (Centropus monachus) 2 Hawassa
White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus) 1 Awash, 1 Bilen, 2 Bishangari
Barn Owl (Tyto alba) 1 Langano
Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) 1 Bale
Grayish Eagle-Owl (Bubo cinerascens) 1 Langano
Verreaux's Eagle-Owl (Bubo lacteus) 1 Negele
Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) 1 Awash
African Wood-Owl (Strix woodfordii) 1 Bishangari, 1 Dinsho
African Long-eared Owl (Asio abyssinicus) 2 Dinsho
Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar (Caprimulgus donaldsoni) 1 Yabello
Abyssinian (Mountain) Nightjar (Caprimulgus poliocephalus) 1 Muka Turi
Plain Nightjar (Caprimulgus inornatus) 1 Bilen
Slender-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus clarus) 1 Awash, 2 Bilen, ?1 Bishangari, 1 Langano
Alpine Swift (Apus melba) 3 Ethio-German, 2 Bishangari
Mottled Swift (Apus aequatorialis) 10 Negele, 10 Hawassa
Nyanza Swift (Apus niansae) up to 20 seen daily in highland areas
Little Swift (Apus affinis) 10 Sof Omar
Horus Swift (Apus horus) 8 Koka
White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer) 10 Negele
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus) common in highlands and Rift Valley
Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) common at Awash and Negele
Narina Trogon (Apaloderma narina) 3 Bishangari, 2 Wondo Genet
Half-collared Kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquata) 1 Jemma
Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) 2 Jemma, 1 Bilen, 1 Bishangari, 15 Hawassa
African Pygmy-Kingfisher (Ispidina picta) 5 Jemma, 1 Gibe
Gray-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala) 3 Jemma, 2 Melka Ghebdu, 2 Awash, 4 Gibe
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis) 2 Awash, 2 Hawassa, 1 Wondo Genet
Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti) 1 Awash, 1 Bilen
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) 3 Jemma, 4 Bishangari, 2 Hawassa, 2 Langano, 1 Ziway
Little Bee-eater (Merops pusillus) 1 Jemma, 3 Ali Dege, 4 Negele, 3 Hawassa
Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus) 2 Ethio-German, 5 Jemma, 15 Bishangari, 6 Dolo Mena
White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis) 1 Beseka, 15 Awash, Ali Dege, Bilen
Madagascar (Olive) Bee-eater (Merops superciliosus) 1 Beseka
Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssinicus) 3 Bilen
Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) 1 Bishangari, 7 Negele and Yabello areas
Rufous-crowned Roller (Coracias naevius) 3 Abiata, 4 Yabello, 2 Langano
Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus) 1 Bishangari
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 2 Bilen, 2 Bishangari, 1 Abiata, 4 Negele, 1 Langano
Black-billed Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus somaliensis) 4 Bilen, 6 Bishangari, 5 Dolo Mena
Black Scimitar-bill (Rhinopomastus aterrimus) 5 Bishangari, 1 Dolo Mena
Abyssinian Scimitar-bill (Rhinopomastus minor) 3 Awash, 2 Ali Dege, 3 Negele
Northern Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus) common at Awash and in Negele area
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus flavirostris) 1 Awash, 3 Negele
Von der Decken's Hornbill (Tockus deckeni) 2 Abiata, 2 Sof Omar, 12 Negele area
Hemprich's Hornbill (Tockus hemprichii) 4 Ethio-German, 2 Melka Ghebdu, 4 Bishangari
African Gray Hornbill (Tockus nasutus) 8 Awash, 2 Abiata, 5 Negele, 10 Gibe
Silvery-cheeked Hornbill (Ceratogymna brevis) 40+ Bishangari, 8 Agere Maryam, 3 Hawassa
Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus) 9 Awash, 4 Bishangari, 8 near Robe
Red-and-yellow Barbet (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) 4 Dolo Mena, 4 Negele
Yellow-breasted Barbet (Trachyphonus margaritatus) 1 Melka Ghebdu, 2 Bilen
D'Arnaud's Barbet (Trachyphonus darnaudii) 12 Yabello
Red-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus pusillus) 2 Jemma, 1 Debre Libanos, 1 Bishangari, 1 Sof Omar
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) 2 Bishangari
Red-fronted Barbet (Tricholaema diademata) 1 Abiata, 1 Negele
Black-throated Barbet (Tricholaema melanocephala) 1 Bilen, 1 Sof Omar, 3 Negele
Banded Barbet (Lybius undatus) 1 Jemma, 3 Debre Libanos, 1 Melka Ghebdu, 6 Bishangari, 3 Hawassa
Black-billed Barbet (Lybius guifsobalito) 6 Jemma, 2 Awash, 3 Bishangari, 1 Abiata, 1 Gibe
Double-toothed Barbet (Lybius bidentatus) 5 Bishangari, 1 Dolo Mena, 2 Hawassa
Green-backed Honeyguide (Prodotiscus zambesiae) 1 Wondo Genet
Scaly-throated Honeyguide (Indicator variegatus) 1 Bishangari
Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) 2 Bishangari, 1 Dolo Mena, 1 Gibe
Rufous-necked Wryneck (Jynx ruficollis) 1 Bishangari, 1 Bale
Nubian Woodpecker (Campethera nubica) 1 Bilen, 2 Bishangari, 1 near Robe, 3 Negele, 1 Hawassa
Abyssinian Woodpecker (Dendropicos abyssinicus) 1 Jemma, 1 Debre Libanos
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens) 2 Awash, 1 Bilen, 3 Yabello
Bearded Woodpecker (Dendropicos namaquus) 1 Awash, 1 Abiata
Gray-headed Woodpecker (Dendropicos spodocephalus) 1 Debre Libanos, 3 Bishangari, 1 Wondo Genet
Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) 2 Negele
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) 3 Jemma, 1 Muka Turi, 1 Melka Ghebdu, 1 Awash, 1 Sof Omar
Fox Kestrel (Falco alopex) 1 Jemma
Gray Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus) 2 Negele, 1 Agere Maryam
Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) 1 Sululta, 2 Ethio-German, 8 Debre Birhan, 2 Gisa, 2 near Robe
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 2 Bishoftu
Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta) 1 Jemma, 1 Debre Libanos, 1 Cheleleka, 1 Bishangari,1 Hawassa
Red-bellied Parrot (Poicephalus rufiventris) 1 Negele, 3 Yabello
Yellow-fronted Parrot (Poicephalus flavifrons) 3 Bishangari, 3 Agere Maryam, 5 Wondo Genet
Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea) 2 Bishangari, 1 Dolo Mena
Gray-headed Batis (Batis orientalis) 1 Cheleleka, 2 Bishangari, 1 Gibe
Black-headed Batis (Batis minor) 1 Ziway, 5 Bishangari
Pygmy Batis (Batis perkeo) 5 Negele - Yabello
White(-crested) Helmetshrike (Prionops plumatus) 10 between Dolo Mena and Negele
Brubru (Nilaus afer) 1 Dolo Mena, 3 Negele
Northern Puffback (Dryoscopus gambensis) 1 Jemma, 1 Debre Libanos, 3 Bishangari, 2 Hawassa, 1 Wondo
Pringle's Puffback (Dryoscopus pringlii) 3 Negele
Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra senegalus) 1 Jemma, 1 Melka Ghebdu, 1 Cheleleka, 1 Bishangari
Three-streaked Tchagra (Tchagra jamesi) 2 Negele
Red-naped Bushshrike (Laniarius ruficeps) 1 Negele, 1 Yabello
Ethiopian Boubou (Laniarius a. aethiopicus) 1-5 daily in northern highlands and Rift Valley, 2 Harenna
Slate-colored Boubou (Laniarius funebris) 12 Negele - Yabello
Rosy-patched Bushshrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus) 2 Awash, 1 Negele, 3 Yabello
Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike (Telophorus sulfureopectus) 2 Bishangari
Gray-headed Bushshrike (Malaconotus blanchoti) 1 Bishangari, 2 Sof Omar, 3 Negele
Black Cuckooshrike (Campephaga flava) 1 Negele
Gray-backed Fiscal (Lanius excubitorius) 3 Bishangari, 4 Hawassa, 1 Gibe
Somali Fiscal (Lanius somalicus) 5 Awash, 2 Negele
Northern (Common) Fiscal (Lanius humeralis) up to 10 seen daily along roadsides in highland areas
White-rumped Shrike (Eurocephalus rueppelli) up to 10 seen daily in Awash and southern areas
Dark-headed (Abyssinian) Oriole (Oriolus monacha) 2 Debre Libanos, 3 Bishangari, 1 Agere Maryam, 3 Wondo Genet
African Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus) 1 Sof Omar, 2 Negele
Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) common, seen at most low elevation sites
African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) seen on many days
Stresemann's Bush-Crow (Zavattariornis stresemanni) 20 near Soda, 2 Yabello
Cape Crow (Corvus capensis) common at high elevation sites
Pied Crow (Corvus albus) common at high elevation sites
Somali Crow (Corvus edithae) 30 Robe, 5 Liben, 5 Yabello
Fan-tailed Raven (Corvus rhipidurus) up to 5 seen daily in northern highlands and Yabello area
Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris) 1 Dinsho, 2 Harenna, 3 Agere Maryam, 3 Wondo Genet
Singing Bushlark (Mirafra cantillans) 3 Ali Dege
Flappet Lark (Mirafra rufocinnamomea) 2 Yabello
Gillett's Lark (Mirafra gilletti) 1 Awash
Liben (Sidamo) Lark (Heteromirafra sidamoensis) 1 Liben
Foxy Lark (Calendulauda alopex) 1 Abiata, 2 Yabello
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark (Eremopterix leucotis) 1 Beseka, 1 Ali Dege
Erlanger's Lark (Calandrella erlangeri) 1 near Doro, 2 Gisa
Somali Short-toed Lark (Calandrella somalica) 15 Liben
Short-tailed Lark (Pseudalaemon fremantlii) 2 near Soda
Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae) 6 Muka Turi, 4 Gisa, 20 Bale, 1 near Robe
Plain Martin (Riparia paludicola) 50 Jemma R., Cheleleka, 100+ Langano, 12 Hawassa
Banded Martin (Riparia cincta) 2 near Doro, 2 Liben
Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) 10 Jemma, 2 Ethio-German, 10 Sof Omar, 4 Yabello
Ethiopian Swallow (Hirundo aethiopica) 2 Awash, 3 Koka, 5 Negele, common at Liben
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii) 2 Jemma
White-tailed Swallow (Hirundo megaensis) 3 Yabello
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) 5 Ethio-German, 1 Gisa, 3 Koka, 1 Dolo Mena
Lesser Striped-Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) 5 Jemma, 18 Yabello, 3 Gibe
Black Sawwing (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) up to 5 daily in forested areas
White-winged Black-Tit (Melaniparus leucomelas) 1 Abiata
White-backed Black-Tit (Melaniparus leuconotus) 1 Debre Libanos, 1 Dinsho
Somali (Northern Grey) Tit (Melaniparus thruppi) 10 Negele, 3 Yabello
Mouse-colored Penduline-Tit (Anthoscopus musculus) 3 Bishangari, 5 Negele
African Spotted-Creeper (Salpornis salvadori) 1 Hawassa
Northern Brownbul (Phyllastrephus strepitans) 3 Sof Omar, 1 Negele
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus schoanus) up to 10 daily everywhere except south
Somali Bulbul (Pycnonotus b. somaliensis) 2 Awash
Dark-capped Bulbul (Pycnonotus b. spurius) 25 Harenna
Dodson’s Bulbul (Pycnonotus b. dodsoni) 30 Negele - Yabello
Northern Crombec (Sylvietta brachyura) 1 Awash, 1 Bilen, 1 Negele
Red-faced Crombec (Sylvietta whytii) 2 Jemma
Somali Crombec (Sylvietta isabellina) 4 Negele - Yabello
Moustached Grass-Warbler (Melocichla mentalis) 2 Gibe
Brown Woodland-Warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) 1 Debre Libanos, 1 Harenna
African Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus baeticatus) 1 Hawassa
Lesser Swamp-Warbler (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) 1 Ziway, 5 Hawassa
Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler (Bradypterus cinnamomeus) 1 Dinsho, 1 Harenna
Yellow-breasted Apalis (Apalis flavida) 2 Dolo Mena, 13 Negele - Yabello
Green-backed Camaroptera (Camaroptera brachyura) common, 1-3 seen on most days
Red-fronted Warbler (Urorhipis rufifrons) 2 Sof Omar, 1 Yabello
Gray Wren-Warbler (Calamonastes simplex) 1 Awash, 13 Negele - Yabello
Red-faced Cisticola (Cisticola erythrops) 1 Hawassa
Singing Cisticola (Cisticola cantans) 3 Jemma, 1 Harenna, 1 near Robe, 1 Wondo Genet
Boran Cisticola (Cisticola bodessa) 1 Sof Omar, 1 Negele
Rattling Cisticola (Cisticola chiniana) 2 Cheleleka, 5 Bishangari, 4 Negele
Ethiopian Cisticola (Cisticola galactotes lugubris) 1 Sululta, 1 Gemessa Gedel, 5 Gisa, 2 Bale, 2 near Robe
Stout Cisticola (Cisticola robustus) 2 Ethio-German
Tiny Cisticola (Cisticola nana) 1 Yabello
Pectoral-patch Cisticola (Cisticola brunnescens) 1 Sululta, 1 Gisa, 3 Liben
Buff-bellied Warbler (Phyllolais pulchella) 4 Bishangari, 3 Hawassa
Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava) 1 Debra Libanos, 5 Harenna, 2 Dolo Mena, 4 Hawassa, 2 Gibe
Pale Prinia (Prinia somalica) 5 Negele-Yabello
Yellow-bellied Eremomela (Eremomela icteropygialis) 2 Melka Ghebdu, 3 Negele
Green-backed Eremomela (Eremomela canescens) 1 Jemma
Abyssinian Catbird (Parophasma galinieri) 3 Harenna
African Hill Babbler (Sylvia abyssinica) 3 Harenna
Banded Warbler (Parisoma) (Sylvia boehmi) 1 Yabello
‘Bale’ Brown Warbler (Parisoma) (Sylvia lugens) 3 Bale
Broad-ringed (Montane) White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus) 2 Jemma, 5 Debra Libanos, 2 Cheleleka, 2 Bishangari, 5 Harenna, 1 Wondo Genet
Abyssinian (White-breasted) White-eye (Zosterops abyssinicus) 8 Jemma, 10 Negele, 1 Yabello, 2 Gibe
Scaly Chatterer (Turdoides aylmeri) 2 Sof Omar, 3 Yabello
Rufous Chatterer (Turdoides rubiginosa) 1 Cheleleka, 1 Bilen, 1 Bishangari, 3 Yabello
White-rumped Babbler (Turdoides leucopygia) 3 Ethio-German, 5 Bishangari, 2 Dolo Mena, 3 Wondo
Grayish Flycatcher (Bradornis microrhynchus) 4 Awash, 2 Bilen, 6 Negele, 10 Yabello, 3 Gibe
Abyssinian Slaty-Flycatcher (Melaenornis chocolatinus) 1 Ethio-German, 4 Harenna, 2 Goba, 3 Wondo
Northern Black-Flycatcher (Melaenornis edolioides) 2 Bishangari, 1 Abiata, 2 Dolo Mena, 4 Negele
Dusky-brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta) 1 Bishangari, 3 Harenna, 4 Goba, 2 Hawassa
Red-backed (White-browed) Scrub-Robin (Cercotrichas leucophrys) 3 Negele, 5 Yabello
Rueppell's Robin-Chat (Cossypha semirufa) 1 Ethio-German, 2 Bishangari, 1 Dinsho, 3 Harenna, 2 Wondo
White-browed Robin-Chat (Cossypha heuglini) 1 Sof Omar, 3 Hawassa
Red-capped Robin-Chat (Cossypha natalensis) 4 Bishangari
Spotted Morning-Thrush (Cichladusa guttata) 2 Negele, 2 Yabello, 1 Hawassa
Little Rock-Thrush (Monticola rufocinereus) 1 Jemma, 1 Langano, 1 Wondo Genet
African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) 1 Sululta, 2 Dinsho, 3 near Robe
Rueppell's Chat (Myrmecocichla melaena) 3 Ethio-German, 5 Jemma
Mocking Cliff-Chat (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) 5 Jemma, 1 Ethio-German, 1 Bishoftu, 1 Yabello, 1 Langano
White-winged Cliff-Chat (Thamnolaea semirufa) 2 Jemma, 3 Ethio-German
Brown-tailed (Rock-)Chat (Cercomela scotocerca) 2 Sof Omar
Sombre Chat (Cercomela dubia) 2 Beseka
Blackstart (Cercomela melanura) 2 Beseka, 4 Bilen
Moorland Chat (Cercomela sordida) 4 Muka Turi, 5 Gemessa Gedel, 1 Gisa, 15 Bale
Abyssinian Wheatear (Oenanthe lugens lugubris) 2 Jemma, 3 Melka Ghebdu
Red-breasted Wheatear (Oenanthe bottae) 8 Muka Turi, 1 Gisa
Abyssinian Ground-Thrush (Geokichla piaggiae) 1 Dinsho
Groundscraper Thrush (Psophocichla litsitsirupa) common in high elevation grasslands
Abyssinian (Mountain) Thrush (Turdus abyssinicus) common at high elevation sites
African Thrush (Turdus pelios) 2 Bishangari, 5 Harenna, 1 Ziway
African Bare-eyed Thrush (Turdus tephronotus) 3 Negele
Wattled Starling (Creatophora cinerea) 15 Ali Dege, 20 Liben
Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) very common, seen almost every day
Lesser Blue-eared Glossy-Starling (Lamprotornis chloropterus) 50+ Gibe
Rueppell's Glossy-Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) 5+ daily at Awash, Bilen, Bishangari, Yabello, Hawassa
Golden-breasted Starling (Lamprotornis regius) 9 Negele, 9 Yabello
Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) common at Awash and in south
Shelley's Starling (Lamprotornis shelleyi) 18 Negele, 2 Yabello
Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) 2 Melka Ghebdu, 6 Bishangari
White-crowned Starling (Spreo albicapillus) 25 Liben, 3 Negele, 10 Yabello
Red-winged Starling (Onychognathus morio) 3 Bishoftu, 2 Harenna, 2 Agere Maryam, 2 Gibe
Slender-billed Starling (Onychognathus tenuirostris) 2 Ethio-German, 3 Dinsho, 2 Bale, 2 Wondo
Bristle-crowned Starling (Onychognathus salvadorii) 10 Sof Omar, 4 Negele
White-billed Starling (Onychognathus albirostris) 10 Jemma, 30 Ethio-German, 50+ Debre Libanos
Sharpe's Starling (Pholia sharpii) 1 Wondo Genet
Magpie Starling (Speculipastor bicolor) 2 Yabello
Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) up to 5 seen daily in many areas
Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird (Anthreptes orientalis) 2 Negele, 1 Yabello
Nile Valley Sunbird (Hedydipna metallica) 2 Beseka, common at Awash and Bilen
Western Olive Sunbird (Cyanomitra obscura) 1 Harenna
Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis) 3 Jemma, 1 Dolo Mena, 2 Hawassa, 2 Gibe
Hunter's Sunbird (Chalcomitra hunteri) 2 Negele
Tacazze Sunbird (Nectarinia tacazze) seen daily at high elevation sites (Ethio-German, Bale, Harenna)
Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris pulchellus) 5 Melka Ghebdu, 3 Awash, 4 Bishangari, 10 Hawassa, 3 Langano
Mariqua Sunbird (Cinnyris mariquensis) 1 Abiata, 1 Sof Omar, 7 Negele
Black-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris nectarinioides)) 1 Genale
Shining Sunbird (Cinnyris habessinicus) 1 Awash, 2 Bilen, 1Negele
Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venustus) 1 Jemma, 2 Cheleleka, 4 Bishangari, 4 Yabello, 2 Wondo, 2 Gibe
Copper Sunbird (Cinnyris cupreus) 10 Gibe
Mountain Wagtail (Motacilla clara) 3 Jemma, 1 Ethio-German
African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp) 1 Dawa, 3 Gibe
African (Grassland) Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus) 2 Ethio-German, 4 Debre Birhan
Long-billed Pipit (Anthus similis) 2 near Soda
Plain-backed Pipit (Anthus leucophrys) 10 Liben
Abyssinian Longclaw (Macronyx flavicollis) 2 Sululta, 1 Gemessa Gedel
Striolated Bunting (Emberiza striolata) 1 Beseka
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (Emberiza tahapisi) 1 Bilen
Somali Bunting (Emberiza poliopleura) 2 Awash, 4 Negele, 8 Yabello
Ankober Serin (Carduelis ankoberensis) 10 Gemessa Gedel
Yellow-crowned Canary (Serinus flavivertex) 3 Gemessa Gedel
Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus) 4 Jemma, 10 Gibe
Abyssinian (Black-headed) Siskin (Serinus nigriceps) common at all high elevation sites
African Citril (Serinus citrinelloides) common at Gisa, Bishangari, Hawassa
Reichenow's Seedeater (Serinus reichenowi) 6 Bishangari, 15 Sof Omar, 9 Negele-Yabello
Yellow-rumped (White-throated) Serin (Serinus xanthopygius) 1 Jemma
White-bellied Canary (Serinus dorsostriatus) 5 Negele, 3 Yabello
Yellow-throated Serin (Serinus flavigula) 2 Melka Ghebdu
Salvadori's Serin (Serinus xantholaemus) 15 Sof Omar, 5 Negele
Northern Grosbeak-Canary (Serinus donaldsoni) 2 Yabello
Streaky Seedeater (Serinus striolatus) up to 15 daily at all high elevation sites
Brown-rumped Seedeater (Serinus tristriatus) 2 Sululta, 2 Debra Birhan, 1 Gisa, 2 Goba
Shelley's Rufous Sparrow (Passer shelleyi) 10 Yabello
Swainson's Sparrow (Passer swainsonii) very common, seen on most days
Chestnut Sparrow (Passer eminibey) 1 Abiata
Yellow-spotted Petronia (Petronia pyrgita) 1 Awash, 3 Bilen, 2 Sof Omar, 15 Negele-Yabello
Bush Petronia (Petronia dentata) 10 Jemma, 3 Melka Ghebdu
Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver (Bubalornis niger) 10 Ali Dege, 4 Bilen, 10 Negele, 2 Yabello
White-headed Buffalo-Weaver (Dinemellia dinemelli) up to 10 seen daily in Awash and Negele-Yabello
Speckle-fronted Weaver (Sporopipes frontalis) 5 Jemma
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali) common at Awash, Bilen, Bishangari, Langano
Gray-headed Social-Weaver (Pseudonigrita arnaudi) 30+ Yabello
Black-capped Social-Weaver (Pseudonigrita cabanisi) 45+ Yabello
Red-headed Weaver (Anaplectes rubriceps) 3 Bishangari, 4 Negele, 1 Hawassa
Baglafecht Weaver (Ploceus baglafecht) up to 10 daily at high elevation sites and Bishangari
Little Weaver (Ploceus luteolus) 4 Melka Ghebdu, 1 Beseka, 1 Ziway, 4 Bishangari, 5 Hawassa
Spectacled Weaver (Ploceus ocularis) 2 Cheleleka, 4 Bishangari, 7 Hawassa
Lesser Masked-Weaver (Ploceus intermedius) 6 Bilen, 10 Negele
Vitelline Masked-Weaver (Ploceus vitellinus) 5 Negele, 10 Yabello
Rueppell's Weaver (Ploceus galbula) up to 10 daily at Awash and Rift Valley sites
Speke's Weaver (Ploceus spekei) 10 Liben
Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus) common in northern highlands, Awash and Rift Valley
Juba (Salvadori's) Weaver (Ploceus dichrocephalus) 15 Genale
Chestnut Weaver (Ploceus rubiginosus) very common at Ali Dege and Bilen, 10 Sof Omar
Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) 10 Jemma, 2 Awash, 5 Bilen, 5 Yabello, 50+ Gibe
Northern Red (Orange) Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus) common along roadsides in Rift Valley
Black-winged Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus) flocks at Jemma, Gibe
Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer) large flock at Gisa
Yellow Bishop (Euplectes capensis) 10+ daily at high elevation sites
White-winged Widowbird (Euplectes albonotatus) 2 Awash, 10 Yabello
Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens) 3 Jemma, 2 Ethio-German
Fan-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes axillaris) 30 Sululta
Grosbeak Weaver (Amblyospiza albifrons) 3 Dolo Mena
Yellow-bellied Waxbill (Coccopygia quartinia) 4 Debra Libanos, 15 Harenna, 5 Dolo Mena
Abyssinian Crimson-wing (Cryptospiza salvadorii) 3 Harenna
Abyssinian Waxbill (Estrilda paludicola ochragaster) 8 Gibe
Crimson-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda rhodopyga) 1 Jemma, 4 Sof Omar, 4 Negele, 1 Gibe
Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild) 1 Bale, 7 Hawassa
Red-rumped (Black-cheeked) Waxbill (Estrilda charmosyna) 5 Negele, 7 Yabello
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus) common, seen everywhere but Yabello
Purple Grenadier (Granatina ianthinogaster) 6 Negele, 2 Yabello
Red-billed Pytilia (Pytilia lineata) ?1 Jemma
Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) a few seen at most low elevation sites other thanYabello
Bar-breasted Firefinch (Lagonosticta rufopicta) 1 Gibe
African Firefinch (Lagonosticta rubricata) 2 Dolo Mena
Cut-throat (Amadina fasciata) 8 Jemma, 7 Bilen, 2 Koka, 1 Sof Omar, 25 Liben
Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullatus) 15 Bishangari, 5 Dolo Mena, 10 Hawassa, 25 Wondo, 5 Gibe
Black-and-white Mannikin (Spermestes bicolor) 25 Wondo Genet
African Silverbill (Euodice cantans) 5 Jemma, 3 Bilen
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) 1 Jemma, 1 Gisa, 1 Awash, 5 Sof Omar, 1 Goba, 1 Ziway, 5 Gibe
Steel-blue Whydah (Vidua hypocherina) 1 Awash
Straw-tailed Whydah (Vidua fischeri) 1 Awash, 2 Sof Omar, 1 Negele
Village Indigobird (Vidua chalybeata) 10 Jemma, 1 Sof Omar, 2 Dolo Mena

Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatilis)
Stark’s Hare (Lepus starcki)
Gambian Sun Squirrel (Heliosciurus gambianus)
Ethiopian Meadow Rat (Stenocephalemys albocaudata)
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
Golden Jackal (Canis aureus)
Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis)
Senegal Galago (Galago senegalensis)
Guereza Colobus (Colobus guereza)
Savanna (Olive) Baboon (Papio cynocephalus)
Gelada Baboon (Theropithecus gelada)
Hamadryas (Sacred) Baboon (Papio hamadryas)
Vervet (Grivet) Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops aethiops)
Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)
Grant's Gazelle (Gazella granti)
Soemmerring's Gazelle (Gazella soemmerringii)
Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri)
Guenther's Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii)
Salt's Dik-dik (Madoqua saltiana)
Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni)
Menelik’s Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki)
Bohor Reedbuck (Redunca redunca)
Beisa Oryx (Oryx beisa)
Bush Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia)
Burchell's Zebra (Equus burchellii)
Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi)
Ethiopian Rock Hyrax (Procavia habessinica)