a dawn birdwatching expedition at lake langano

Monday, October 29:  This morning we wake up before dawn to go on a guided birdwatching stroll.  While waiting for our guide near the lodge dining area, a scaly francolin with bright orange webbed feet hops about on the ground and on the low branches of trees.  Wild horses graze near the lodge dining area.

a Scaly Francoline outdoors near the dining area

a scaly francolin outdoors near the dining area

wild horses graze near the dining area

wild horses graze near the dining area

another wild horse

another wild horse

Once our guide arrives, we spend two hours traipsing in the acacia zone by the lake and then through the forest.  We cross a big open field, and then wander along the fringes of the forest. Yellow-fronted parrots flit about in trees near the lake.

yellow-fronted parrots

yellow-fronted parrots

The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp. –John Berry

In the forest, we marvel at the huge gnarled ficus trees, and as we walk out into the open field, we come across a group of baboons romping around and grooming each other.  We nearly stumble into a hole dug by an aardvark, and up the trees, we spot three black & white Colobus monkeys watching us like spies from the treetops.

red shoes & wildflowers

red shoes & wildflowers

ficus tree in the forest

ficus tree in the forest

Olive baboons groom each other with care

Olive baboons groom each other with care

an aardvark hole

an aardvark hole

three black & white Colobus monkeys watch us from the treetops

three black & white Colobus monkeys watch us from the treetops

Lines of schoolchildren, books under their arms and dressed in colorful mismatched clothing, pass by us in the field on their way to school.  One elderly gentleman accompanies his children on horseback.

renewal of the mind: going to school

renewal of the mind: going to school


an elderly gentleman accompanies his children to school on horseback

We find scores of different birds.  Most of them I’m not able to capture on film. Blue-breasted bee eaters flit about on some bushes. Greater blue-eared starlings hop about in the field.  A red-headed weaver industriously builds a nest.

blue-breasted bee eater

blue-breasted bee eater

blue-breasted bee eater

blue-breasted bee eater

blue breasted bee eater

blue breasted bee eater

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence – Robert Lynd

Greater blue-eared starling

Greater blue-eared starling

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. –Chinese Proverb

a red-headed weaver builds his nest

a red-headed weaver builds his nest

Later, as we have breakfast at the lodge, Ed identifies all the birds we saw on the walk: speckled pigeons, lemon doves, African paradise flycatchers, white-rumped babblers, Grey-headed bush shrikes, fork-tailed drongos, red-checked cordon bleu, white-throated seed eaters, African dusty flycatchers, Eurasian hoopoes, common red starts.  And many more elusive little birds with colorful names.

Categories: Africa, bird-watching, Birds, Ethiopia, Forest, Lake Langano | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “a dawn birdwatching expedition at lake langano

  1. Do you wonder why birds are named as they are? The blue-breasted bee eater doesn’t have a blue breast – although he is a beauty. At least the red-headed weaver does have a red head. A delightful tour, thanks for letting me tag along.

    • I know, I do wonder about that, Carol. You’re right, he doesn’t have a blue breast, but he has a little band of blue at the top of his chest. It is odd though, as it seems he’d be better called the yellow-breasted bee eater. I guess it must be hard to name birds, as there are so many different kinds! Thanks for coming along with me to Ethiopia! 🙂

  2. Pingback: lake langano in ethiopia « a nomad in the land of nizwa

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