Forest

massages & creature encounters at lake langano

Monday, October 29:  After our morning of birdwatching, we each have an hour-long massage in the massage hut. It’s wonderfully relaxing, except for the deep tissue kneading the masseuse does on my calves.  They feel bruised and beaten after all is said and done.

the massage hut at Bishangari Lodge

the massage hut at Bishangari Lodge

Behind this door lies a great massage!

Behind this door lies a great massage!

our masseuse doubles duty as a waitress

our masseuse doubles duty as a waitress

After our massages, we take another walk along the lakeshore, where we see a couple of scary-looking birds that appear to be right out of some prehistoric age.  They’re Abyssinian ground hornbills, and they don’t seem frightened of us at all.  They just strut their stuff confidently under the acacia trees and across the pumice rock.

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

While the strange black birds strut around like they own the land, a yellow-billed stork sits quietly on the lakeshore.

yellow-billed stork

yellow-billed stork

yellow-billed stork takes flight

yellow-billed stork takes flight

yellow-billed stork

yellow-billed stork

And we see a companionable little group of spur-winged plovers and Senegal thick-knees relaxing on the pumice stones.

spur-winged plovers and Senegal thick knees

spur-winged plovers and Senegal thick knees

grassy land beside the lake

grassy land beside the lake

As we stroll back through the forest toward our cabin, we hear leaves rustling overhead and find some elusive black & white Colobus monkeys darting about through the branches.  This one sits still just long enough for us to capture a blurry image of him on camera.

Colobus monkey in the forest

Colobus monkey in the forest

And later still, as I swing on the hammock by the lake, this black bird comes into the branches directly overhead.  I’m not sure what he is, but he’s possibly a Northern black flycatcher or a fork-tailed drongo.  I don’t know about the forked tail though, as his tail doesn’t look very forked to me.

Northern Black Flycatcher or fork-tailed drongo?  Not sure... :-)

Northern black flycatcher or fork-tailed drongo? Not sure… 🙂

Here at Lake Langano is the first time I have ever done any birdwatching, and I find it quite fascinating, especially as Ed knows his birds and has a book about birds of Ethiopia.  I love being out in nature at this place along Lake Langano.

Categories: Acacia trees, Africa, bird-watching, Ethiopia, Forest, Lake eco-zone, Lake Langano, Pumice stone eco-zone | 3 Comments

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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