Bird site http://13suns.com Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:33:27 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Bale Mountains National Park http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Bale-Mountains-National-Park.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Bale-Mountains-National-Park.html

Bale Mountains National Park( 39o 43' East 6o 45' North) covers an area of about 247000 ha and is situated between 1500 and 4300 meters altitude. Bale Mountains National Park is on the south-east Ethiopian plateau. The zonal capital, Goba, is on the north-eastern side of the park. The park headquarters are on the northern border at Dinsho, 400 km by road from Addis Ababa.

The Bale mountains are formed of ancient volcanic rocks that are now dissected by rivers and streams that have cut deep gorges, in some places resulting in beautiful waterfalls. The mountains rise from the 2,500-m plateau to the west, north and east of the park. The Sanetti plateau, which dominates the northern section of the park, reaches 3,800–4,200 m on top of the mountain block, and is broken by several peaks including Tullu Deemtu (4,377 m), the highest mountain in southern Ethiopia and second-highest in the country.

Small lakes form in the numerous shallow depressions on the Sanetti plateau during the wet season. Larger, permanent lakes like Garba Guracha, Hora Bacha and Halla Wenz, are mostly found on the eastern side of the plateau.

The northern section of the park covers the valleys of the Web and Danka rivers. The northern highland block is separated from the Harenna forest by the spectacular Harenna escarpment that runs diagonally from west to east across the middle of the park.

The southern border of the park, at 1,600 m, represents the southern limits of the Harenna forest, the largest intact forest block in the country. Bale Mountains National Park supports a wide range of habitats and encompasses the largest tract of Afro-alpine vegetation in continental Africa.

The Harenna forest increases in species-richness from the low-altitude, open-canopy dry forest at 1,500 m to the very moist, often cloud/mist-covered forest at and above 2,400 m. At these higher altitudes the trees support a high density of epiphytes and woody climbers and, as the canopy is not very dense, a rich herb layer is present. Juniperus procera forest is found in the northern parts of the park and also on the east around and above Goba.

Around Goba there are also patches of Olea europaea cuspidata. The tree-heathers Erica arborea and E. trimera form a forest (up to 8 m tall) that replaces Juniperus procera at c.3,200 m. Such forest is best-developed on the top of the Harenna escarpment where the trees are festooned with lichens, particularly Usnea. Above this, only the tree-heathers persist, and then only as scrub 1–3 m tall. This vegetation continues up to the Afro-alpine moorland at 3,800 m.

The Afro-alpine moorland in this park is extremely rich in endemic plants, with predictions of 30% highly plausible. The most striking plants are the giant Lobelia spp. and cushions of everlasting flowers Helichrysum spp., particularly H. citrispinum and H. splendidum. A shrubby lady’s mantle Alchemilla haumannii that is endemic to the mountains in southern Ethiopia is also present.

The park is used for grazing domestic animals, and consequently fire is used to control the growth of woody vegetation (Erica spp.) and to stimulate new growth for grazing. The park contains hot (mineral) springs that the farmers value for their animals. There is also some cultivation of barley to c.3,000 m (sometimes to 3,500 m). The forests are traditionally used for gathering honey and other forest products, and for grazing.

Birds of Bale Mountains National Park

Bale Mountains National Park is extremely important for its avifauna. Over 265 species have been recorded, including six Ethiopian endemics (Vanellus melanocephalus, Poicephalus flavifrons, Dendropicos abyssinicus, Macronyx flavicollis, Parophasma galinieri and Serinus nigriceps) and many threatened species.

Due to its unique diversity and density (4,000 kg/ha) of rodents, the Bale mountains are very important for wintering (and passage) raptors. Both Aquila clanga and A. heliaca are uncommon migrants with some birds wintering. Aquila nipalensis, A. rapax and A. pomarina have all been recorded on passage and/or wintering. Circus macrourus is ‘not uncommon’ on the moorlands of the Sanetti plateau during passage and in winter, and small numbers of Falco naumanni have been recorded at similar times.

The area supports the only sub-Saharan population of Aquila chrysaetos. Rougetius rougetii and Macronyx flavicollis are ‘not uncommon’ residents. The wetlands and moorlands of the Sanetti plateau are particularly important for small numbers (1–4 pairs) of Grus carunculatus.

Breeding attempts have been reported on the tarns of Sanetti (at c.4,000 m) in the wet season between June and September, with birds leaving the high plateau in the dry season. A unique, isolated sub-Saharan breeding population (c.30–80 birds) of Tadorna ferruginea exists on tarns on the Sanetti plateau. The breeding population of 60+ Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax is the southernmost population in Africa. The endemic subspecies Sylvia lugens griseiventris frequents the low, scrubby junipers above Goba and elsewhere, and Corvus ruficollis edithae occurs, particularly around Goba.

Key Species at Bale Mountains National Park

Moorland Francolin (Francolinus psilolaemus) 
Erckel's Francolin (Francolinus erckelii) 
Chestnut-naped Francolin (Francolinus castaneicollis) 
Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) 
Wattled Ibis (Bostrychia carunculata) 
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) 
Mountain Buzzard (Buteo oreophilus) 
Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) 
Rouget's Rail (Rougetius rougetii) 
Wattled Crane (Grus carunculatus) 
Spot-breasted Lapwing (Vanellus melanocephalus) 
White-collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques) 
Dusky Turtle-dove (Streptopelia lugens) 
Black-winged Lovebird (Agapornis taranta) 
White-cheeked Turaco (Tauraco leucotis) 
Abyssinian Owl (Asio abyssinicus) 
Montane Nightjar (Caprimulgus poliocephalus) 
Scarce Swift (Schoutedenapus myoptilus) 
Nyanza Swift (Apus niansae) 
Banded Barbet (Lybius undatus) 
Abyssinian Woodpecker (Dendropicos abyssinicus) 
Dark-headed Oriole (Oriolus monacha) 
Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris) 
White-backed Tit (Parus leuconotus) 
Brown Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) 
Brown Warbler (Sylvia lugens) 
African Hill Babbler (Pseudoalcippe abyssinica) 
Abyssinian Catbird (Parophasma galinieri) 
Montane White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus) 
Sharpe's Starling (Cinnyricinclus sharpii) 
Slender-billed Starling (Onychognathus tenuirostris) 
Abyssinian Ground-thrush (Zoothera piaggiae) 
Rueppell's Robin-chat (Cossypha semirufa) 
Moorland Chat (Cercomela sordida) 
White-winged Cliff-chat (Myrmecocichla semirufa) 
Little Rock-thrush (Monticola rufocinereus) 
Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher (Dioptrornis chocolatinus) 
Tacazze Sunbird (Nectarinia tacazze) 
Swainson's Sparrow (Passer swainsonii) 
Baglafecht Weaver (Ploceus baglafecht) 
Abyssinian Crimson-wing (Cryptospiza salvadorii) 
Abyssinian Longclaw (Macronyx flavicollis) 
Abyssinian Siskin (Serinus nigriceps) 
African Citril (Serinus citrinelloides) 
Brown-rumped Seedeater (Serinus tristriatus) 
Streaky Seedeater (Serinus striolatus) 
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)

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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 11:25:10 +0000
Chalaklaka Wet Land http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Chalaklaka-Wet-Land.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Chalaklaka-Wet-Land.html

Chelekleka ( 38o 58' East 8o 51' North) is situated between 1800 and 1900 meters altitude. Chelekleka is a seasonally inundated pan, the western and south-western sides of which form the periphery of Debre Zeit town. Debre Zeit is in East Shewa Zone, 50 km kms from Addis Ababa.

Chelekleka is in a shallow pan into which fresh water seeps and flows from the surrounding cultivated slopes. Water fills the muddy depression during the rainy season and persists well into the dry season. The two highland ranges of Teltele and Sofa, on the north-eastern side of the swamp, are the main catchments for Chelekleka. Because of its shallow nature, the lake’s shoreline is wide. The size of the inundated area varies dramatically from year to year, although recently the size of the swamp has been reduced through the construction of flood-control dykes in the feeder streams, and channeling run-off from the town into Bishoftu lake .

The swamp is relatively rich in aquatic vegetation, with Typha spp., sedges, rushes, Potamogeton spp., Persicaria spp. and the floating grass Odontelytrum abyssinicum. The area around the lake is intensively used. As the waters retreat, peasant farmers cultivate vegetables on the rich alluvial soils left behind on its northern and eastern sides, and it is not uncommon to see some cultivation throughout the year. A thriving private citrus farm exists on the lake’s southern side. This wetland is also an important watering point for cattle in the area. Debre Zeit is an important town

Birds of Chelekleka Wet Land

This lake is important for the large concentrations of waterfowl that it supports on a seasonal basis, including a substantial wintering population Grus grus that is assumed to be part of a larger population wintering in the Debre Zeit, Koka and Akaki area. Chelekleka supports, along with the other Debre Zeit lakes, a wintering population of 10–15 Aythya nyroca. Numbers of Phoenicopterus minor present on the lake are known to fluctuate unpredictably. Circus macrourus is fairly common on spring and autumn passage, with small numbers overwintering. Aquila heliaca and Aquila pomarina have been reported during autumn migration. A survey in February 1996 recorded substantial numbers of waterbirds, including Tachybaptus ruficollis (150+), Bubulcus ibis (1,800+), Phoenicopterus minor (3,000+), Alopochen aegyptiacus (1,000+), Plectropterus gambensis (250+), Fulica cristata (300+), Philomachus pugnax (500+), Anas acuta (300+), Anas querquedula (200+), Anas clypeata (500+) and Netta erythrophthalma (150+), as well as smaller numbers of Nettapus auritus and Thalassornis leuconotus. There is one record of Vanellus leucurus from Chelekleka.

Key Species at Chelekleka Wet Land

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) 
Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) 
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) 
Common Crane (Grus grus) 
Avocet 
African Spoonbill 
Knob-billed Duck 
Maccoa Duck 
Red Billed Teal 
Tufted Duck 
Marsh Sandpiper 
Yellow Billed Stork 
African Fish Eagel

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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:56:10 +0000
Abijatta-Shalla National Park http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Abijatta-Shalla-National-Park.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Abijatta-Shalla-National-Park.html

Abijatta-Shalla National Park ( 38o 30' East 7o 30' North) covers an area of about 88700 ha and is situated between 1500 and 1700 meters altitude. The National Park is a combination of Lakes Abijatta and Shalla.The park is 56 km south-west of Lake Ziway and to the west of the main Addis-Mojo–Awassa road.

Both lakes are without outlets, and the water is alkaline. Lake Abijatta is very shallow (up to 14 m), while Lake Shalla, in the crater of an extinct volcano, is very deep (up to 266 m).

Three rivers, the Gogessa, Bulbula and Hora Kelo, feed Lake Abijatta. The lake had an area of 19,600 ha, a shoreline of 60 km and was full of fish, but by 1995, it had shrunk dramatically and no fish-eating birds were seen. Water is being removed from the lake to feed a soda-ash extraction plant, and from the Bulbula river for irrigation. Fish and aquatic plants now regularly occur only around the mouth of the Bulbula and Hora Kelo rivers. The shoreline is gently sloping.The nearby Acacia woodland used to have a more or less continuous (25-m-high) canopy, but most of the trees have been felled and turned into charcoal or sold as fuelwood.

 

Lake Shalla is south of Lake Abijatta and divided from it by a narrow strip of higher land, part of the old crater rim. Two rivers feed the lake. It has an area of c.33,000 ha and a shoreline of 118 km. It has several hot, somewhat sulphurous springs around the shore, and nine islands of which at least four are important breeding sites for birds. Bulrushes grow where the hot springs and rivers enter the lake, but most of the shore comprises steep cliffs, thus there is little place for wading birds and there are no fish.

The vegetation to the east and south of the lake is Acacia–Euphorbia savanna, the most common trees being the woodland Acacia spp. (A. etbaica and A. tortilis) and Euphorbia abyssinica, and bushes of Maytenus senegalensis. The woodland around the lakes is important in keeping the highly fragile soil structure intact. In undisturbed/ungrazed areas there is a rich grass and herb flora.

Birds of Abijatta-Shalla National Park

Over 400 species have been recorded from the park. The park is at one of the narrowest parts of the Great Rift Valley, a major flyway for both Palearctic and African migrants, particularly raptors, flamingos and other waterbirds. Among the globally threatened species known from the park are: Aquila heliaca (a rare passage migrant); Falco naumanni (an uncommon passage migrant with a few wintering); Circus macrourus (fairly common passage migrant, with a few wintering); and Acrocephalus griseldis (status unknown). Glareola nordmanni has also been recorded.

Fish-eating birds have mostly abandoned the park since the fish in Lake Abijatta died out. However, huge numbers of many wetland species remain, such as Phoenicopterus ruber, P. minor (the numbers of which fluctuate), Anas clypeata and Charadrius pecuarius.

The fringes of Lake Abijatta form an important feeding and resting ground for waders and ducks, particularly Anas clypeata, Recurvirostra avosetta, Calidris minuta and Philomachus pugnax. Smaller insectivores, such as Motacilla flava and Hirundo rustica, have also been recorded in massive numbers.

The islands of Lake Shalla used to be important breeding sites for cormorants, storks and pelicans, and colonies of Phalacrocorax carbo and small numbers of Pelecanus onocrotalus still occur. One endemic, Poicephalus flavifrons, and five Afrotropical Highlands biome species have also been recorded.

Among the unusual visitors to Lake Abijatta are Calidris alpina, C. melanotos, Charadrius mongolus, C. alexandrinus, Pluvialis fulva, P. squatorola, Phalaropus lobatus, Glareola nordmanni, Grus carunculatus , Netta erythropthalma, Larus ichthyaetus and L. cachinnans.

Key Species at Abijatta-Shalla National Park

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) 
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) 
Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) 
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) 
Eastern Chanting-goshawk (Melierax poliopterus) 
Wattled Crane (Grus carunculatus)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) 
Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius) 
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) 
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) 
Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica) 
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) 
Black-faced Sandgrouse (Pterocles decoratus) 
Red-bellied Parrot (Poicephalus rufiventris) 
White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) 
Star-spotted Nightjar (Caprimulgus stellatus) 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus somaliensis) 
Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus flavirostris) 
Von der Decken's Hornbill (Tockus deckeni) 
Hemprich's Hornbill (Tockus hemprichii) 
Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix signatus) 
Boran Cisticola (Cisticola bodessa) 
Yellow-vented Eremomela (Eremomela flavicrissalis) 
Scaly Chatterer (Turdoides aylmeri) 
White-rumped Babbler (Turdoides leucopygia) 
Bare-eyed Thrush (Turdus tephronotus) 
White-headed Buffalo-weaver (Dinemellia dinemelli) 
Rueppell's Weaver (Ploceus galbula) 
Speke's Weaver (Ploceus spekei) 
Red-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda charmosyna) 
Steel-blue Whydah (Vidua hypocherina)

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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:55:17 +0000
Sof Omar Cave http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Sof-Omar-Cave.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Sof-Omar-Cave.html

Sof Omar ( 40o 47' East 6o 54' North ) is situated between 1150 and 1450 meters altitude.Sof Omar is in the middle of Bale Zone, 120 km east of zonal capital Goba. With over 15 km of passages, Sof Omar is Ethiopia’s longest cave system. The Weyb river flows from its source in the Bale mountains, through the caves, finally joining the Genale river at Dolo on the border with Somalia.

Before entering the caves, the river passes through a valley cut into the limestone. The sides of the valley, which comprise large fossil-rich limestone blocks, are covered with a wide variety of small trees, bushes and climbers. The more level areas and border of the river are covered in fine black soil that supports some larger Acacia and fig trees.

The vegetation-type is described as Commiphora–Kirkia–Acacia woodland and bushland. Many species, such as the shrubs Commiphora monoica and Euphorbia baleënsis, and a crustacean are only known from this area (some also occurring at Shek Husein).

There are almost certainly as-yet- undescribed species in this isolated limestone area. The caves and the entrance area are a shrine named after the Muslim saint Shek Sof Omar. The shrine is well-visited by pilgrims, and is becoming increasingly popular with tourists.

Many of the trees in the area, although small, produce hardwood prized for making charcoal, or coloured woods that are carved into household items. There is some cultivation, particularly in the higher-rainfall areas towards Ginir.

 

Birds of Sof Omar

Sof Omar is an important site for Serinus xantholaema. The narrow limestone gorge adjacent to the cave entrance is where most recent records of this rare species originate. Records (between 1989 and 1996) of up to eight birds both from within the gorge and up to 8 km west of the bottom of the gorge suggest that the population is stable. Other species include the biome-restricted Spreo fischeri and Onychognathus salvadori (the first breeding record of which came from this site), and the uncommon Cercomela scotocerca.

Key Species at Sof Omar Cave

Eastern Chanting-goshawk (Melierax poliopterus) 
Red-bellied Parrot (Poicephalus rufiventris) 
Black-billed Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus somaliensis) 
Abyssinian Scimitar-bill (Rhinopomastus minor) 
Black-throated Barbet (Tricholaema melanocephala) 
Rosy-patched Bush-shrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus) 
Red-naped Bush-shrike (Laniarius ruficeps) 
Somali Tit (Parus thruppi) 
Grey Wren Warbler (Camaroptera simplex)
Fischer's Starling (Spreo fischeri) 
Bristle-crowned Starling (Onychognathus salvadorii) 
Brown-tailed Chat (Cercomela scotocerca) 
Large Flycatcher (Bradornis microrhynchus) 
Hunter's Sunbird (Nectarinia hunteri) 
Shining Sunbird (Nectarinia habessinica) 
Straw-tailed Whydah (Vidua fischeri) 
Salvadori's Serin (Serinus xantholaemus)

Come and experience this beautiful site through 13Suns

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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:51:46 +0000
Sululta Plain http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Sululta-Plain.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Sululta-Plain.html

The Sululta plain (38o 43' East 9o 12' North ) is situated at 2500 meters altitude.The Sululta plain is on the north-east side of Entoto mountain in North Shewa Zone. The village of Sululta is about 20 km north of Addis Ababa.

The plain is a wide, shallow valley almost completely surrounded by mountains from which many small rivers drain, feeding the Muger river that flows north-west into the Abbay (Blue Nile). Sululta plain is swampy with some quite large areas of open water in the rainy season, but it reverts to grazing land during the dry months.

The surrounding mountainsides were covered with forest dominated by Juniperus procera, and the lower slopes supported groves of Acacia spp. However, most of the hillsides around Sululta are now covered with plantations of Eucalyptus, with only odd native trees remaining, except for the groves protected by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

 

The vegetation on the Sululta plain comprises grasses, sedges and other species such as the endemic Trifolium schimperi, Haplocarpha schimperi and Cerastium spp. The most important grasses are Pennisetum spp. and Andropogon spp. In some areas the water reaches 50 cm deep, and such areas are often covered with floating grasses, particularly Odontelytrum abyssinicum, Potamogeton spp. and Aponogeton abyssinicus.

The riverbanks are better drained than the surrounding areas and thus support small bushes, scramblers and the occasional tree. The highland areas surrounding the valleys are intensively cropped.

Crop production is heavily dependent on a large population of cattle, which provide oxen for ploughing, and manure that is put on selected fields. The wide valleys provide these cattle with important grazing. Sedges and rushes are used extensively to cover the floors of houses. In Sululta, the farmers cut and bale the mixture of grasses, sedges and herbs, and sell it to the numerous dairy farmers in Addis Ababa.

Birds of Sululta Plain

Between July and October, 10–15 pairs of Sarothrura ayresi breed at one seasonal wetland, the only location currently known for the species in Ethiopia. Rougetius rougetii is an uncommon resident which has apparently declined, possibly due to changing land-use. However, the population of Macronyx flavicollis is stable, and the bird is not uncommon.

Gallinago media occurs on passage from July to October in the flooded grassland, with Crex crex occasionally recorded in autumn from less flooded areas. Circus macrourus is fairly common on spring and autumn passage, with small numbers wintering. Sululta is an important feeding area for Cyanochen cyanopterus, with between 35 and 850 recorded. Up to 120 Vanellus melanocephalus have been found as the plains dry out, especially between October and January.

More than 150 Bostrychia carunculata have been counted in some areas, although many more may be present at times. Between October and February, there are 2,000–4,000 waterbirds in one small area of inundation. Other species include Parophasma galinieri. Hirundo lucida breeds, and there is a good passage of Emberiza hortulana in October–November.

Key Species at Sululta Plain

Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) 
Wattled Ibis (Bostrychia carunculata) 
Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) 
White-winged Flufftail (Sarothrura ayresi) 
Rouget's Rail (Rougetius rougetii) 
Spot-breasted Lapwing (Vanellus melanocephalus) 
Great Snipe (Gallinago media) 
White-collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques) 
Dusky Turtle-dove (Streptopelia lugens) 
Montane Nightjar (Caprimulgus poliocephalus) 
Nyanza Swift (Apus niansae) 
Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris) 
White-backed Tit (Parus leuconotus) 
Brown Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) 
Brown Warbler (Sylvia lugens) 
Abyssinian Catbird (Parophasma galinieri) 
Montane White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus) 
Moorland Chat (Cercomela sordida)
Rueppell's Chat (Myrmecocichla melaena) 
Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher (Dioptrornis chocolatinus)
Tacazze Sunbird (Nectarinia tacazze) 
Swainson's Sparrow (Passer swainsonii) 
Baglafecht Weaver (Ploceus baglafecht)
Abyssinian Longclaw (Macronyx flavicollis) 
Abyssinian Siskin (Serinus nigriceps) 
African Citril (Serinus citrinelloides) 
Brown-rumped Seedeater (Serinus tristriatus) 
Streaky Seedeater (Serinus striolatus)

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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:50:30 +0000
Lake Zeway http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Lake-Zeway.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Lake-Zeway.html

Lake Zeway( 38o 49' East 7o 59' North) covers an area of about 65400 ha and is situated at 1636 meters altitude. Lake Zeway is a slightly alkaline lake in the central section of the Ethiopian Great Rift Valley. It lies to the east of Zeway town.

It is within a broad, down-faulted basin that to the south, and within the same drainage, includes Lakes Abijatta, Langano and Shalla. Also to the south, the landscape is dominated by Mt Aleltu (c.1,880 m). Within 10 km to the east and west of the lake are higher faulted ridges. To the north, the land rises gently to 1,670 m where it meets the watershed of the Awash river and Koka dam reservoir.

The lake is c.29 km long and 20 km wide, with a maximum depth of 8 m (mean c.2.5 m), and a seasonal variance of 0.5–1.2 m. There are several islands, some inhabited, the largest probably for 1,000 years and supporting an Orthodox Christian community. The Lake Zeway catchment is 7,025 km², fed by a number of rivers, of which the Meki and Catar are most significant.

The Meki drains the Gurage mountains to the west and north-west of the lake, and the Catar rises in the Arsi highlands to the east. Lake Zeway drains into Lake Abijatta via the Bulbula river. Lake Zeway is for the most part bordered by swamp: discontinuous blocks of Typha spp. and Cyperus papyrus fringe the shoreline, the latter being used to build boats similar to those found in Lake Tana. However, much of the shoreline and open water has now been invaded by Eicchornia crassipes.

Narrow thickets of Aeschynomene elaphroxylon (which provides a light balsa wood used to build boats) are found in areas subject to flooding and along the banks of the Bulbula river. Immediately inland, and especially along the western shoreline, there are expanses of Cynodon plectstachyus and the endemic C. aethiopicus which provide valuable grazing when the lake is low. However, where there is alkaline seepage, vegetation cover may be sparse and largely confined to low tussocks of the unpalatable grass Sporobolus spicatus.

Most of the area around Lake Zeway used to be covered in Acacia woodland, although much of this has now been cleared for farmland, especially large-scale irrigated fields producing export crops and cut flowers. Lake Zeway has a thriving, traditional fishing industry utilizing small boats, nets and lines. The main market for the catch is Addis Ababa.

Birds of Lake Zeway

Lake Zeway may support over 20,000 waterbirds on a seasonal basis. The most common species are Pelecanus onocrotalus, Leptoptilos crumeniferus (which roosts in large numbers by the lake, adjacent to town), Dendrocygna bicolor, D. viduata, Larus ridibundus, L. cirrocephalus, Chlidonias hybridus and C. leucopterus.

There is also a mixed roost of several thousand Phalacrocorax carbo and P. africanus close to the fisheries jetty. Other interesting species include Thalassornis leuconotus, Nettapus auritus and Gallinula angulata (in small numbers), Sterna caspia and S. sandvicensis (isolated records only) and Phalaropus lobatus. Large numbers of Hirundo rustica and Motacilla flava have been seen close by and may roost at the site.

Key Species at Lake Zeway

Malachite Kingfisher 
Pied Kingfisher 
Giant Kingfisher 
Lesser Jacana 
Marabou
African Pygmy Goose 
Black Crake
Darter 
Black Heron 
Allen's Gallinule 
Lesser Moorhen
Crowned Crane

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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:49:28 +0000
Lake Awassa http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Lake-Awassa.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Lake-Awassa.html

Lake Awassa ( 38o 25' East 7o 3' North ) covers an area of about 12900 ha and is situated at 1700 meters altitude. Lake Awassa lies to the west of Awassa town-275 km south of Addis Ababa.

The Awassa basin is in an old caldera in the middle of the Ethiopian Rift Valley, between the Abijata–Shalla basin to the north and that of Lakes Abaya and Chamo to the south. The walls of the caldera form steep walls to the north and east of the basin while most of the flatter areas are intensively cultivated. Lake Awassa is in the lowest portion of the caldera, along with a previously extensive wetland, Lake Shallo and the Shallo swamp. The swamp drains into Lake Awassa through a small river called Tiqur Wuha, which means ‘black water’.

There are no outlets from the lake, but water may seep away through the underlying volcanic ash and pumice. Awassa is a freshwater lake, even though the system appears to be closed. The level of the lake varies considerably from year to year and a dyke has been built to prevent the town from flooding.

The surface area ranges between 8,500 and 9,000 ha and the maximum depth is c.18–22 m. The shoreline varies between 50 and 65 km in length. Awassa is the smallest of the Rift Valley lakes, but is highly productive. It has a rich phytoplankton (over 100 species have been identified) and zooplankton that support large populations of six fish species. The most important commercial species is Oreochromis niloticus, but there are also good populations of catfish and Barbus.

The shoreline is gently sloping and mostly covered with vegetation that can extend 50 m or more into the lake. There are extensive beds of Cyperaceae and Typha spp. The dominant floating aquatic grass is Paspalidium geminatum, with other floating plants including Nymphaea coerulea, Pistia stratiotes and the smallest flowering plant in the world, Wolffia arrhiza. The lake supplies Awassa with all its water, and supports a thriving local fishery. The town and lake of Awassa form a popular resort for local and foreign visitors.

Birds of Lake Awassa

Significant numbers of congregatory waterbirds occur on the lake, with c.20,000 birds counted along less than 25% of the shoreline in January 1999. It is particularly important for Fulica cristata. Over 300 Leptoptilos crumeniferus (and 120 nests) were counted in November 1997, the largest concentration of this species in Ethiopia.

The population of this species (and of other waterbirds such as cormorants and pelicans) has risen steadily during the 1990s, probably due to the decline in fish populations in Lake Abijata .Other waterbirds occurring in good numbers include Alopochen aegyptiacus (1,464), Dendrocygna viduata (900), Plectropterus gambensis (712) and Threskiornis aethiopicus (311).

Other species of interest include Nettapus auritus, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, Circaetus cinereus, Falco ardosiaceus, Prodotiscus zambesiae, Centropus monachus, Salpornis spilonotus and Lagonosticta rubricata. Two Ethiopian endemics occur, Poicephalus flavifrons and Lybius undatus, along with at least seven Afrotropical Highlands biome species: Oriolus monacha, Lybius undatus, Nectarinia tacazze, Corvus crassirostris, Agapornis taranta, Passer swainsonii, Serinus citrinelloides and S. striolatus.

Key Species at Lake Awassa

Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata) 
Giant King Fisher
Purple Swamp Hen 
Saddle Billed Stork 
Lesser Jacana


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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:43:43 +0000
Gefersa Reservoir http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Gefersa-Reservoir.html http://13suns.com/More/Bird-site/Gefersa-Reservoir.html

Gefersa Reservoir ( 38o 38' East 9o 3' North ) covers an area of about 5700 ha and is at an altitude of 2600 meters.It is 18 km west of Addis Ababa (by road). The reservoir is in a shallow basin about 10 km wide, stretching between the Wechacha and Entoto mountains. The Gefersa river and its feeder streams are part of the Akaki river catchment.

The reservoir formed behind a main dam built in 1938 (and modified in 1954) and a second, smaller dam, built in 1966, upstream from the main dam; the water-storage capacities are c.6,500,000 m3 and c.1,500,000 m3 respectively, and the two dams control a catchment area of c.5,700 ha.

The reservoirs supply treated water to Addis Ababa. The reservoirs themselves are virtually free of large aquatic plants, probably due to the constantly fluctuating water-level. Patches of sedge occur where permanent streams flow into the reservoirs, and on the western and southern sides of the main reservoir, long, shallow valleys with small streams support swampy vegetation. This particular reservoir can be an added bonus of Ethiopia visit for bird lover.

 

The area immediately around the dam and on the northern side of the reservoir is enclosed and supports well-established exotic trees of Eucalyptus globulus, Cupressus lusitanica, Pinus patula and P. sylvestris. Meadows in this enclosure have been protected from grazing for many years and have developed a flora quite different from the heavily used areas outside.

Much of the area surrounding the reservoirs has been closely planted with Eucalyptus, although there are some patches of small trees, e.g. Maesa lanceolata, Buddleja polystachya and Maytenus obscura, the climbers Clematis simensis and Jasminum abyssinicum and also bushes of Rosa abyssinica. All other areas are densely inhabited and farmed.

Key Species at Gefersa Reservoir

Blue-winged Goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) 
Wattled Ibis (Bostrychia carunculata) 
Rouget's Rail (Rougetius rougetii) 
White-collared Pigeon (Columba albitorques) 
Dusky Turtle-dove (Streptopelia lugens) 
Nyanza Swift (Apus niansae) 
White-backed Tit (Parus leuconotus) 
Brown Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) 
Abyssinian Catbird (Parophasma galinieri) 
Montane White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus) 
Moorland Chat (Cercomela sordida) 
Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher (Dioptrornis chocolatinus) 
Tacazze Sunbird (Nectarinia tacazze) 
Swainson's Sparrow (Passer swainsonii) 
Baglafecht Weaver (Ploceus baglafecht) 
Abyssinian Longclaw (Macronyx flavicollis) 
Abyssinian Siskin (Serinus nigriceps) 
African Citril (Serinus citrinelloides) 
Brown-rumped Seedeater (Serinus tristriatus) 
Streaky Seedeater (Serinus striolatus)


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Bird site Tue, 28 Feb 2012 08:33:48 +0000