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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
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Biggest Twitch

A fishy business in Ethiopia

On this day in 2008, during The Biggest Twitch adventure, we visted a fish-market in Ethiopia on the shores of Lake Awash.

Keith and Chritian Eth

Our great friends, and pro bird guides, Keith and Christian made sure we enjoyed an amazing array of mind blowing birds including all the possible endemics this varied and surprising country has to offer.

Safety briefing eth

Keith and Christian really looked after us on this 27 day tour and always briefed us about the day ahead, the birds we hoped to see and of course any health and safety issues that might arise, sun burn, insect bites that sort of thing.

Fish quay eth

The lake side was a hive of activity as the fishing boats arrived with the catch. Unloading, cleaning and selling going on all around. Of course we were here to look for birds and all that fish had attracted plenty of feathered interest.

White pelican eth

White Pelican, cormorants, gulls and terns swarmed around the newly arrived boats in the hope of a free meal, and many were rewarded by the fishermen throwing them scraps.

birds fish market

As the fish were gutted and cleaned, with very sharp knifes, the waste was thrown into the water over the mens shoulders. It did not stay waste for long, it soon became a welcome meal for a hungry bird.

Marabou eth

But the real stars of this show were the Marabou Storks that dominated all around them as the grabbed the prime cuts from the smaller birds. It was very hot and we sought the shade of a tree to enjoy the spectacle from. This tree was also being used as a lofty perch by a gang of Marabou Storks. Chritian was just focusing his telescope on a gang of gulls out on the lake when "whoosh!"! Christian was covered in a deluge of Marabou guano! One the Marabous above us had had to go, yuck, and what a stink. Poor Christian was well and truely covered, and his scope. For days after everytime you looked through the scope the smell of fish added to the experience. Funny no one could remember the bit about "Don't stand under Marabou Storks" in Christians morning briefing!

Marabou flock eth

washer women eth

In the same spot the local women were doing the weekly wash in the same water as the fish were being gutted in.

saddle billed stork

Just around the corner it was a peaceful scene with many birds feedin in the shallows of the lake, including this handsome Saddle-billed Stork. It had been a wonderful, if very smelly, visit to the market.


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