Trip report: Kenya (July 2011) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Ken Behrens.

This was a custom tour designed for a group of people who had already traveled to Namibia with TB. Although most boreal and intra-African migrants are absent at this time of year, and itʼs not ideal for a huge species list, it is the peak time for mammals in the famous Masai Mara Reserve, and generally the peak tourist season. Despite the lack of migrants and the abbreviated nature of this tour, we still recorded 680 species of birds. To give an idea of the composition of Kenyaʼ mega bird diversity, on this tour we recorded 3 species of guineafowl, 8 francolins, 40 raptors, 7 lapwings, 9 turacos, 10 cuckoos, 10 owls, 8 kingfishers, 10 hornbills, an incredible 18 barbets, 12 woodpeckers, 9 wattle-eyes and batis, 26 members of the bush-shrike family, 22 greenbuls and bulbuls, 8 apalis, 18 cisticolas, 7 robin-chats, 8 babblers, 19 starlings, 27 sunbirds, and 31 weavers! Although a couple of these groups like cisticolas and greenbuls are more known for distinctive vocalizations than colorful plumage, the majority of the groups mentioned above include colorful and distinctive birds. We also found 61 species of the mammals including the ‘big 5’, cheetah, serval, and a whole range of beautiful antelope.

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