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Birdfinders has run tour to Ethiopia for the past nine years and every year brings new surprises and records some of which we pass on to the African Bird Club as rare or unusual. This year there were two surprises, firstly an immature Red-footed Falcon, photographed over Awassa on 1st November. There are only few records of this species in the region, from Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and northeast Ethiopia but to our knowledge, it never has been recorded from the Rift Valley Area. The second surprise was an immature Oriental Honey-buzzard, photographed over Wondo Genet in the late afternoon of 2nd November; this may be the first record for Ethiopia.

Additionally, there were excellent sightings of three Liben Larks and seven Prince Ruspoli’s Turacos, the most vulnerable of Ethiopian endemics. Other Ethiopian and Horn of Africa endemics seen included Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, Spot-breasted Lapwing, White-collared Pigeon, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Black-winged Lovebird, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Banded Barbet, Erlanger’s Larks, White-tailed Swallow, Abyssinian Longclaw, Abyssinian Catbird, Stresemann’s Bush-crow, Thick-billed Raven, Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher, White-backed Black-tit, Rüppell’s Black-chat, White-winged Cliff-chat, Sombre Chat, Dark-headed Oriole, White-billed Starling, Salvadori’s Serin and Ethiopian Siskin. Other Ethiopian or regionally endemic species and sub-species included Brown Saw-wing (antinorii), Black Sawwing (pristoptera), Ethiopian Cisticola, Brown Parisoma, Abyssinian Wheatear, Chestnut-naped, Erckel’s and Moorland Francolins, White-cheeked Turaco, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Larks, White-rumped Babbler, Ethiopian Boubou, Somali Fiscal, Swainson’s Sparrow, Salvadori’s (Juba) Weaver, African (Ethiopian) Stonechat (albofasciatus), Somali Crow, White-crowned Starling, African Citril, Brown-rumped Seedeater and many other special African birds. Photographs on many of these can be found on our website together with a detailed trip report kindly prepared by Steve and Annette Phillips and a complete checklist. We are already accepting bookings for our 2015 tour on the slightly revised dates of 1–18 November 2015.

Blue-winged Goose African Pygmy-goose
Hottentot Teal Vulturine Guineafowl
Yellow-necked Francolin Wattled Ibis
Rüppell's Griffon Black-breasted Snake-eagle (imm)
Crowned Eagle African Hawk-eagle
African Goshawk Arabian Bustard
White-bellied Bustard Rouget's Rail
Wattled Crane Spot-breasted Lapwing
Three-banded Plover Somali Courser
White-collared Pigeon Lemon Dove
Prince Ruspoli's Turaco White-cheeked Turaco
Cape Eagle-owl Verreaux's Eagle-owls
Abyssinian Owl Donaldson-Smith's Nightjar
Abyssinian  Nightjar Slender-tailed Nightjar
Narina Trogon Half-collared Kingfisher
Blue-breasted Bee-eater Abyssinian Scimitar-bill
Abyssinian Ground-hornbills Silvery-cheeked Hornbill
Banded Barbet Wahlberg's Honeyguide
Rufous-necked Wryneck Abyssinian Woodpecker
African Hobby Black-winged Lovebird
Brown-throated Wattle-eye Grey-headed Batis
Ethiopian Boubou Taita Fiscal
Somali Fiscal Stresemann's Bush-crow
Somali Crow Thick-billed Raven
Liben Lark Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark
Somali Short-toed Lark Ethiopian Swallow
Red-faced Crombec Brown Woodland-warbler
Ethiopian Cisticola Banded Parisoma
Brown Parisoma Abyssinian White-eye
Abyssinian Slaty-flycatcher Red-backed Scrub-robin
Rüppell's Robin-chat White-browed Robin-chat
White-winged Cliff-chat Sombre Chat
Abyssinian Ground-thrush African Stonechat
Abyssinian Thrush African Bare-eyed Thrush
Bristle-crowned Starling Sharpe's Starling
Tacazze Sunbird Mariqua Sunbird
Abyssinian Longclaw Abyssinian Siskin
African Citril Salvadori's Serin
Brown-rumped Seedeater Speke's Weaver
Salvadori's Weaver Purple Grenadier
African Firefinch Bishangari
Sanety Plateau
Stresemann's Bush Crow

Stresemann's Bush Crow