Thursday, 17 October 2013

The hotel garden revisited, Adama

At the hotel in Adama, Ethiopia, I had a short birding session before breakfast for a second time on Monday morning. 

There were several different birds from the morning before and some better views of others.

male red-billed firefinch

Red-billed firefinch was one bird which gave better and more prolonged views and this time in good light conditions too. In fact a male and female pair showed together.

female red-billed firefinch

The most significant challenge for me that morning was the array of different yellow birds which looked superficially quite similar especially as my African experience isn't that great. 

female Ruepell's weaver 

Having said that, two of the birds were actually Ruepell's weaver which we get in Saudi Arabia.

male Ruepell's weaver

However because I was in East Africa I had to double check if any other similar weaver existed.

Baglafecht weaver

A second weaver in the garden was Baglafecht weaver which is apparently the most common garden weaver in East Africa but for me it was a lifer. 

female village indigobird

Another bird which I had taken for a small weaver really fooled me. It is actually a female village indigobird. I am grateful to the experts on BirdForum for pointing this out. It's utterly different from the male.

Abyssinian citril

Once again the garden held Abyssinian citril. I haven't had time to find out why some have black faces while others don't. 

another Abyssinian citril

Another new bird from the day before was mountain cliff chat. There was a small flock or large family group of them often climbing the hotel as if it were a cliff.

female mountain cliff chat

The spectacled mousebird gave better views and now I can see more clearly how it got its name.

spectacled mousebird

I managed to identify one of the sunbirds this time. It was a heavily moulting male beautiful sunbird which didn't really live up to its name because of the moult.

"not so" beautiful sunbird

Three pied crow over the garden hedge didn't look wonderfully attractive either especially the juvenile.

pied crow

Another corvid seen from the garden was the ubiquitous fan-tailed raven.

fan-tailed raven

Equally ubiquitous is yellow-billed kite. I can tell this one is a juvenile most easily by its bill colouration. 

juvenile yellow-billed kite

Some of the later birds seen in the garden were three resting Ethiopian swallow.

Ethiopian swallow

Just before I went in for breakfast though, five hooded vulture flew overhead to round off the session.

hooded vulture in flight

There is one remaining blog from Ethiopia reporting back on a day trip to Awash National Park where among others I finally got to see several water birds.


  1. Brilliant Pics as always Rob. Looks like a great trip

  2. Bernard, thanks for your kind words. We had a few surprise at Tabuk and so in one future blog its not the photos (poor quality) but a really rare bird that matters.