Swarovski Optik Blog 8/9: Yebello

In 2015 I organized an expedition to Ethiopia. I collected a team of 5 researchers to search for Caprimulgus solala in Nechisar National Park. For the purpose of this expedition, I wrote 9 blogs for Swarovski Optik.

Original blog message here (30 October 2015)

On day 13 we decide to have a small break. We leave Nechisar National park to work somewhere else. Two expedition members travel to Bale Mountains to film Ethiopian wolves. I go with Eddy and Zsofia to Yebello Wildlife Sanctuary, 250km down south. We plan to stay there for four days, because the park is known for its high bird diversity and the number of nightjars there should be high too.

Our drive from Arba Minch to Yebello takes about 6 hours and on the road we encounter breath-taking landscapes. When we get closer to Yebello, the landscape, and species starts to change. The temperature rises, it gets drier and the degree of overgrazing seems to increase. Suddenly we see our first dromedary and ostriches.

In the next two days we were spoiled by impressive birds and mammals on the “Soda Plains” and surrounding vilages: BruBru, Crowned Lapwing, D’Arnaud’s barbet, hornbills, Heuglins and Senegal Bustard, Lapped faced vultures, Shelleys- and Superb starling, Lesser-striped swallows and many eagles. Also the endemic Stresemann’s Bush crow and White-tailed swallow did not escape our binoculars.  We had a chance to see the special Gerenuks, a special antelope with a long neck.

The only thing we did not see was nightjars… not even a single one. For two nights we have been chasing these birds during the night, but we did not see a single eye reflecting in the dark. On the third day we decide to head back home, back to Nechisar where more nightjars are waiting for us.

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