Rock Martins and other birds, Ethiopia

Portuguese Bridge, Ethiopia

Over recent days I have written about some of the birds I saw on a visit to the Portuguese Bridge area (near Debre Libanos) which is about 110km north of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. There is some controversy over the old bridge (shown above). Local guides claim it was built by the Portuguese about 400 years ago. Other authorities claim that it was built more recently.

We were visiting the area last December. Geologically it is a very interesting place. We had wonderful views over the valley and down into the Blue Nile Gorge about 1000 metres below us. I’ve included no bird photos today – only scenery shots of this amazing place.

I saw a good number of birds and if you look through recent posts here you will see photos of some of them. Instead of bird photos I have compiled an annotated list of some of the birds seen:

  • Pied Crow – numerous
  • Fan-tailed Raven – 3 flying overhead
  • Lammergeier – 1 soaring on thermals overhead
  • Yellow-billed Kites – numerous – about 20 – 30 swooping low over people eating lunch. One took food from my fingers!
  • Dusky Turtledove – about 5 seen
  • Speckled Pigeon – only 1 seen
  • Tacazza Sunbird – 2
  • Rock Martin – about 10 swooping around the cliff edges
  • Blue-breasted Bee-eater – 2 seen swooping for insects and then sitting on a branch
  • Augur Buzzard – one seen only briefly, flying overhead

I saw and heard a number of other species but either didn’t get good views of them or no views at all. One of the more frustrating sightings was that of the Rock Martins swooping around the cliff edges. They came quite close – close enough for good identification – but none settled down to perch so I could get a photo. On the wing they were too swift to focus on. [Sigh]

So – you’ll have to be content with some lovely scenery shots instead. But stay tuned for more photos taken elsewhere in the coming days.

Portuguese Bridge, Ethiopia

Portuguese Bridge, EthiopiaPortuguese Bridge, Ethiopia



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