Kenya:
Africa in a Nutshell
1-15 Nov, 2008


Guide: Benji Schwartz
Participants: Linton and Carol Hamilton, Sally Dick, and Ev Merriman
Group Photo


Introduction:
With huge tracts of unspoiled acacia-dotted savannah, Kenya is justly famous as one of Africa’s premier mammal viewing destinations. However, with habitat ranging from lowland rainforest to moorlands above the tree-line, Kenya is also a birders paradise. A trip here in November provides not only all the resident species, but also a whole slew of Palearctic migrants that winter in the warmth of the African sun. In our all-to-brief two week tour we managed to pick up 506 bird species including almost all of the endemic and specialty species we had at our disposal. Though birds were our prime focus, it’s impossible to visit such a diverse country without experiencing the mammals that have made it one of the top tourist destinations in Africa. We took full advantage of the experience and saw an amazing 52 mammal species; including four species of cat, giraffe, elephant, zebra, jackal, hyena and many of the other species that are so iconic to Africa!


Day 1: Lake Magadi
Setting off on our first day we were all thrilled to be starting this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. With Marabou Stork lining the streets of Nairobi we left town and began the journey to Lake Magadi. En-route we stopped half way through the descent into the Great Rift Valley and explored the surrounding acacia scrub. Within moments of leaving the vehicle we began picking up species such as White-bellied Canary, Red-and-yellow Barbet, and White-browed Scrub-Robin. With all the flowering plants around we soon entered sunbird heaven. From the aptly named Beautiful Sunbird to the striking red of the Scarlet-chested and muted majesty of the Mariqua Sunbirds, we hardly knew where to aim our bins! While our quick jaunt soon turned into a much more thorough exploration of the area, we soon found our stomachs taking priority over birding and decided to continue on our way to Lake Magadi and lunch.

In stark contrast to the area surrounding Nairobi, Lake Magadi’s dry heat was a shock to the system. We quickly found the one tree that gave scant shade and set out to have lunch while scanning the open water. Amongst the hundreds of Lesser Flamingo, we picked out a small number of Greater Flamingo mixed in. Scanning through the small waders we discovered amazing numbers of Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, and Little Stint. Our key species however was the smart looking Chestnut-banded Plover. Due to the lakes low water lever, all the plovers seemed to be concentrated in the one small area in front of us and we were able to obtain amazing looks of this often difficult to find species. Feeling well satisfied with our first birding foray, we returned to Nairobi filled with excitement for the rest of our trip!

Fischer's Sparrow-LarkKlaas's Cuckoo
Flocks of Fischer's Sparrow-Lark came to join us for lunch at Lake Magadi on our first day out.Klaas's Cuckoo could be heard calling incessantly around our hotel in Nairobi.


Day 2: Nairobi N.P.
Located within the city limits of Nairobi, over 600 species have been recorded in Nairobi N.P. and this makes the city the worlds “birdiest” capitol. We soon began to understand just how amazing the birding here can be. While waiting to check in at the gate we were already beginning to pick up new species, including the stunning Hartlaub’s Turaco, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Red-collared Widowbird, and Long-crested Eagle. With well over 100 species seen during the day, highlights included a covey of Shelley’s Francolin, Black-bellied and White-bellied Bustards, Bateleur, and a beautifully fresh plumaged and unexpected Rosy-throated Longclaw.

Of course, Nairobi N.P. is known for more than just its birds. Today was also our first exposure to the wildlife that has made Kenya famous. And what an introduction it was! Not only did we pick up the regular host of zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, hartebeest, and a variety of antelopes, but we were soon thrilled to find a family of black rhino. However, our luck didn’t stop there. While the park has a plethora of large mammals, cats are usually extremely difficult here. However, after getting our fill of close-up giraffe photos, we rounded the corner only to come to an immediate screeching halt. Lying less than 20 meters away was the absolutely gorgeous serval, one of Kenya’s more difficult cat species. As we watched the cat rose to its feet and began walking around to make sure we had the best views possible. Our next surprise came as we were taking photos of a Black-bellied Bustard right on the road side. With all our focus on the bustard, we were shocked when a quick glance up found a lioness walking directly in the same line of sight. While this queen of the African savannah quickly disappeared behind a bush, we were all still thrilled to have picked up two amazing cats!


Day 3: Solio Plains, Kiene Forest, and Thicka Sewage Works
With the amazing quantity of birds seen over the last two days, we decided to focus our energies today on quality. We began by heading up to the Solio Plains in search of one of Kenya’s eight endemic species. This high elevation grassland is home to the striking Sharpe’s Longclaw. As we drove up we thought ourselves in for a long drawn out trek in the hopes of flushing our target. However, before we had all even had the chance to exit the vehicle, our bird was found. We were amazed to find huge numbers of Sharpe’s Longclaw in the field directly opposite us and all managed absolutely fantastic views! With our target under wraps, we continued on to find such beauties as Long-tailed Widowbird, African Snipe, Capped Wheatear, and Black-winged Plover.

As the day began to heat up we made our way to the Kiene Forest. Located on the lower slopes of Mt. Kenya, we decided a brief stop here would prepare us nicely for our journey to higher elevations the following day. While we expected to pick up some of the easier forest species, our need for quality over quantity was obviously still apparent. Though the birding started slowly, we soon didn’t know which way to look as a fantastic White-starred Robin was found hopping around the base of the same tree that a Bar-tailed Trogon sat perched in. While these are both difficult species, the highlight was still to come. As we sat watching a dull colored group of Cabanis’s Greenbul, a bright orange flash quickly drew all our attention. Hopping around a tree directly in front of us was a Black-fronted Bushshrike. One of the most gorgeous birds of the forest, this often extremely difficult to find species was quickly voted the best bird of the trip thus far!

To round off the day list and prove that quantity still has its value, we continued on to the Thika Sewage Works. We quickly began to pick off waders such as Lesser Sandplover, and Marsh and Wood Sandpipers. We then began to scan for our first ducks in Africa and soon found species such as Red-billed and Hottentot Teals, Yellow-billed Duck, and Garganey. With this fantastic cap to our day we headed back for our final night in Nairobi.

African Crowned EagleMasai Giraffe
This African Crowned Eagle seemed rather out of place in a heavily cultivated area on our way to Solio Plains.This giraffe was posing so beautifully for us that we almost missed the serval waiting around the corner!


Day 4: Blue Post Hotel and Mt. Kenya
After the whirlwind speed of the previous few days, we all decided a slow paced day of birding was called for. With a late 7:15 start we left Nairobi to explore the rest of Kenya further. Our first stop was at the Blue Post Hotel. In existence since 1913, this hotel has a long history as a traveler’s rest-stop. Located on a beautiful waterfall, the birds here tend to also be quite spectacular. The highlight was a stunning African Pygmy Kingfisher which perched quite close and allowed some excellent photo opportunities. We then made our way to Mt. Kenya with a brief stop at the Mwea rice paddies where we found species such as Golden-crowned Bishop, White-winged Widowbird, and a host of egrets and herons.

The lush forests of Mt. Kenya were in stark contrast to the areas we had birded thus far; even the Kiene Forest seemed to pale in comparison. After checking in to the fabulous Serena Mountain Lodge, we spent our afternoon on the rooftop scanning the surrounding forest as well as the mammal filled waterhole. Bird highlights here included Montane Oriole, Blackcap, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, and the striking (for a greenbul) Yellow-whiskered Greenbul. However, mammals stole the show and all our attention was soon on the waterhole as a family of elephant, our first thus far, came to drink directly below us. The buffalo, which had dominated the area, obviously felt a bit put out and quickly a brawl between elephant and buffalo arose. As the elephant chased the buffalo around the pond, it was soon clear who the winner would be. With the buffalo out of the way, the elephants had a go at a family of Egyptian Goose just to prove their dominance once and for all! As darkness came lightning raged around Mt. Kenya and we crossed our fingers in the hopes that our following days plans wouldn’t be disrupted.


Day 5: Mt. Kenya and Naro Moru
As we awoke to the storms still surging around Mt. Kenya, we quickly realized that our plan of getting up to Met Station, the highest point on the mountain accessible by road, would have to be revised. However, this did give us a chance to spend a bit more time viewing the fantastic species around Mountain Lodge. From the rooftop we watched as hundreds of Red-fronted Parrot left their roost and came to feed nearby. This was soon followed by a host of other species waking up for their dawn chorus. Highlights included fantastic views of African Green Pigeon, Oriole Finch, Mountain Buzzard, and circling Giant Kingfisher.

After a late breakfast we began the journey to Naro Moru. En-route we picked up species such as Grey Cuckooshrike, Brown-capped Weaver, and Chinspot Batis. A special stop was also made for the Mackinder’s sub-species of Cape Eagle-Owl. We were lucky enough to be able to approach quite closely to this strikingly different sub-species and managed some great photos. Arriving at Naro Moru River Lodge we wandered the beautiful grounds in search of more fantastic birds and quickly picked up species such as Golden-winged Sunbird, Green Woodhoopoe, Rufous Chatterer, and Pallid Harrier. With heavy rains visible over the Aberdares we kept our fingers crossed that the next days birding would go according to plan.


Day 6: Aberdares to Lake Naivasha
While the previous days rain had us all a bit worried, we made our way to the Aberdares in the hopes that the gates were still open. We were all thrilled when we arrived with no impediment to our progress. With our concerns lifted we began birding in earnest. The lower elevation forests of the Aberdares were teeming with birds and we quickly began ticking off species such as Black Cuckooshrike, Pallid Honeyguide, Holub’s Golden Weaver, and Scaly Francolin. The Aberdares are also an amazing place for mammals and as we stopped at a small waterhole we were all shocked into silence as we spotted our first leopard lounging under a small tree at the edge of the opening. We were lucky enough to be able to watch this magnificent beast for 15 minutes as it stretched and strut before disappearing into the undergrowth. As if one leopard wasn’t enough, we soon encountered our second. Sitting camouflaged on the road side, we screeched to a halt only to have the leopard come out to investigate our vehicle. Standing within feet of the van it took a good long look at us before sauntering off up the road.

Thrilled with having now seen all of the Big 5, we began the journey to the moorland above the tree-line and a search for the special species of this area. The scenery was astounding as we past from montane forest, through bamboo forest, and finally to the swampy moorlands. As we began scanning for specialty species, we were thrilled to find our second serval of the trip. Stalking small rodents in the moorland, we were able to watch as it pounced on a rather plump looking root-rat. After this prolonged look at our second cat species for the day, we continued our search for specialty birds and quickly found Jackson’s Francolin, Aberdare Cisticola, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Blue-headed Coucal, Alpine Chat, Slender-billed Starling, and Cinnamon-bracken Warbler. Having virtually cleaned up on our high elevation specialties, we continued on our way to Lake Naivasha.

African Pygmy KingfisherMalachite Kingfisher
Both African Pygmy Kingfisher (left) and Malachite Kingfisher (right) were quite common throughout the tour, but it was tough to top our first views at Blue Post Hotel.

Day 6: Aberdares to Lake Naivasha

While the previous days rain had us all a bit worried, we made our way to the Aberdares in the hopes that the gates were still open. We were all thrilled when we arrived with no impediment to our progress. With our concerns lifted we began birding in earnest. The lower elevation forests of the Aberdares were teeming with birds and we quickly began ticking off species such as Black Cuckooshrike, Pallid Honeyguide, Holub’s Golden Weaver, and Scaly Francolin. The Aberdares are also an amazing place for mammals and as we stopped at a small waterhole we were all shocked into silence as we spotted our first leopard lounging under a small tree at the edge of the opening. We were lucky enough to be able to watch this magnificent beast for 15 minutes as it stretched and strut before disappearing into the undergrowth. As if one leopard wasn’t enough, we soon encountered our second. Sitting camouflaged on the road side, we screeched to a halt only to have the leopard come out to investigate our vehicle. Standing within feet of the van it took a good long look at us before sauntering off up the road.

Thrilled with having now seen all of the Big 5, we began the journey to the moorland above the tree-line and a search for the special species of this area. The scenery was astounding as we past from montane forest, through bamboo forest, and finally to the swampy moorlands. As we began scanning for specialty species, we were thrilled to find our second serval of the trip. Stalking small rodents in the moorland, we were able to watch as it pounced on a rather plump looking root-rat. After this prolonged look at our second cat species for the day, we continued our search for specialty birds and quickly found Jackson’s Francolin, Aberdare Cisticola, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Blue-headed Coucal, Alpine Chat, Slender-billed Starling, and Cinnamon-bracken Warbler. Having virtually cleaned up on our high elevation specialties, we continued on our way to Lake Naivasha.

Day 7: Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate N.P., and Lake Nakuru
As we hadn’t had much time around Lake Naivasha on the previous evening, we decided to begin the day by exploring the area around the lodge. A brief walk around the grounds proved extremely fruitful with species such as Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Black-lored Babbler, Red-headed Weaver, and Amethyst Sunbird. We then moved on to explore the lake itself. Taking out boat out to a small island we picked up a host of waders, terns, and ducks. The sheer number of African White Pelican was astounding and we were able to float amazingly close to large pods of hippo relaxing in the early morning.

With our day already off to a great start we left Lake Naivasha and made our way to Hell’s Gate N.P. This park is aptly named for its hot springs and is famous as one of the few parks in Kenya where you are allowed to exit the vehicle and walk amongst the animals. Taking full advantage of this we were able to obtain excellent views of Rueppell’s Griffon, Nyanza Swift, and Red-faced Crombec to name but a few. The park is also home to the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe and we felt extremely privileged to be able to see this striking creature.

Arriving at Lake Nakuru in early afternoon we immediately began our birding and were quickly rewarded with superb views of the highly localized Grey-crested Helmet-Shrike. However, what truly sets this lake apart is the over one million flamingo that call it home. As we sat in awe of this spectacle we were further taken aback as a spotted hyena came loping along the shore line. With the light fading we sat and watched this truly picturesque seen in amazement before calling it a day and heading to our lodge for a fantastic dinner. With over 125 species seen, as well as the fantastic variety of scenery, the day would be etched in our minds for years to come.

Black-backed jackalLeopard
The black-backed jackal were seen playing in small family groups at Lake NakuruThis leopard put on quite a show for us as it stretched and rolled in the Aberdare's


Day 8: Lake Nakuru and Lake Baringo
With the early morning howl of nearby hyena, we awoke to begin a fantastic day of birding. We were once again awe-struck by the sheer number of flamingo that seemed to give Lake Nakuru an unearthly pink sheen.  The number of birds in this region boggles the mind and we soon began picking up species including Greater Spotted and Steppe Eagles, African Hoopoe, and stunning views of the iconic Secretarybird. As we approached the waters edge the pink sheen took form in the shape of thousands upon thousands of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Scanning the banks we soon found other wetland species including Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Cape Teal, and fabulously close views of Greater Painted Snipe. Along with all the birds, our senses were on overload with the hoards of mammals surrounding us. While buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, and gazelle were everywhere, we soon found a group of four confiding white rhino that let us approach quite close. While it seemed impossible to top this rhino view, we ended up seeing a total of 19 white rhino during the morning, all of whom allowed excellent photo opportunities. On top of this, we saw our first family group of black-backed jackal lying frolicking in the shade of a large acacia. With such an excellent morning, it was hard to tear ourselves away but we knew the day had much more in store for us.

Arriving at Lake Baringo in the early afternoon we began birding immediately. Before even having a chance to set down our bags we were reaching for our bins as we quickly found the first of our Baringo specialties: Jackson’s Hornbill. Along with this fantastic bird were other species such as White-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Brown Babbler, and Red-billed Hornbill. Finally have a brief respite to check in, we headed off with Francis, a local bird expert, in search of some of the difficult to see nocturnal species. As always, he was prepared with a flurry of activity for us. Within walking distance of our hotel he showed us roosting Three-banded Courser, African Scops Owl, and Southern White-faced Scops Owl. Other species encountered along the way included Red-fronted Barbet, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Brown, and Red-chested Cuckoo. As the sky began to prematurely darken we returned to our hotel just before the heavy rain began to fall. However, knowing that we would once again be going out with Francis on the following morning let us rest with the knowledge that more great birds were to come!


Day 9: Lake Baringo and Kakamega
In an attempt to maximize our birding time at Lake Baringo we decided to have a late breakfast and partake only in coffee first thing in the morning. As the sun rose our coffee soon combined with birding as the new species began to appear over the lake; these included Wattled Starling, African Darter, and the highly localized Northern Masked Weaver; a species whose entire range in Kenya is limited to the Lake Baringo environs. Off to an excellent start we once again met up with Francis to bird the famous Baringo Cliffs. This area is home to quite a few specialty species and with only a couple hours to bird the area we were thrilled to quickly start ticking these species off. As we searched for Hemprich’s Hornbill we quickly realized just how much it had rained the night before. Walking through the muddy cliff base it felt as if we had ten pound weights attached to our feet due to all the mud clinging to our shoes. As we searched for the hornbill we picked up many other specialties including Red-fronted Warbler, Mouse-colored Penduline-Tit, Fan-tailed Raven, and Brown-tailed Chat. After clogging through the mud with no sign of the hornbill we finally returned to the road only to discover a Hemprich’s not 50 meters from the van. After fully enjoying this species, and scraping the mud from our shoes, we followed Francis’s lead and within moments he had magically spotted a very hidden Slender-tailed Nightjar.

With our birding time in the area coming to a close we loaded into the van to begin the long drive to Kakamega. However, within 15 minutes we stopped short as the road out of the area was completely flooded and a fast moving river separated us from the rest of Kenya. We once again realized just how much it must have rained during the night. All told, we ended up waiting for almost two hours for water levels to subside. Of course, this “extra” time in the region was not wasted. While bird activity died down in the heat of the day, we still managed to pick up a few new species. We also had the opportunity to chat with the local community, all of whom came out in festive spirits to see the spectacle of the overflowing river. While not an experience we planned for, it is definitely one that will be fondly remembered for a long time!

Great Blue TuracoHyena
Watching Great Blue Turaco on the hotel grounds in Kakamega is always one of the trip highlights.This hyena came out in the late afternoon to begin its evening hunt around the flamingo encrusted Lake Nakuru.


Day 10: Kakamega
Waking up before dawn, and without a single light around for miles, we were all taken aback by the number of stars filling the skies. This sight alone would have been enough to make the early rise worthwhile but as the sun rose and the dawn chorus began we were immediately in awe of all the new species around us as well. As the last remnant patch of Congolese rainforest in Kenya, Kakamega is home to a marvelous array of species found nowhere else in the country. Our first species of the day was the magnificent Grey Parrot. While common over much of its range, this species is almost completely extirpated from Kenya and as we managed great scope views we knew we were in for an amazing day. Leaving the hotel grounds we soon began picking up specialty species including the rare but stunning Turner’s Eremomela, Bocage’s and Lüdher’s Bushshrikes, White-browed Crombec, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, eye-level views of Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, and both Yellow-spotted and Yellow-billed Barbets. With over forty new trip species seen on our morning walk we made our way back to the hotel for a bit of relaxation.

While we had planned on heading out again for the afternoon, the tranquility of Rondo Retreat was so enticing that many of us decided to stay in and enjoy the grounds at a slower pace. For those of us that did venture out, afternoon highlights included Square-tailed Drongo, Dusky Tit, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, and Pink-footed Puffback.


Day 11: Kakamega, Mumia Bridge, and Lake Victoria
Another pre-dawn wake-up proved disappointing as far as star gazing was concerned and the distant lightning shed an ominous note to birding plans. However, we managed to make the most of the dry hours and birded the immediate vicinity of Rondo Retreat. The overcast skies and threat of rain seemed to dampen the bird activity as well and our morning was definitely concerned more with quality than quantity. Highlights included Yellow-crested and Brown-eared Woodpeckers as well as the skulking White-spotted Flufftail.

The rains finally arrived just as we loaded into the van to leave Kakamega. Driving west towards the Ugandan border the showers seemed to shadow our every move. Our first stop saw a break in the showers but the river we planned on birding along was a rushing torrent. Rock Pratincole, one of our target species, normally perches atop the exposed rocks but due to the heavy rains these were all below over a meter of rushing water. Though we feared our search was in vain, we persevered and finally found two stunning birds perched atop old bridge supports. With Rock Pratincole under our belts we quickly picked up other species, including Red-chested and Coppery Sunbirds, before continuing on to Kisumu.

Unfortunately the torrential downpours precluded any further stops en-route, but the rain stopped just as we pulled up to our lodge. Located on the shore of the world’s second largest lake, Lake Victoria, we were perfectly situated to enjoy the plentiful birdlife in the area. A brief walk around the hotel grounds brought such spectacular species as Black-headed Gonolek, Northern Brown-throated and Black-headed Weavers, African Skimmer, and Water Thick-knee. With our fingers crossed in the hopes that our pleasant weather would hold out we went to bed looking forward to exploring the papyrus swamps in the morning.


Day 12: Dunge Swamp and Masai Mara
Going after one of Kenya’s toughest specialty species, another early start found us at Dunge Swamp. Located on the edge of Lake Victoria, the dense papyrus swamps are home to a number of highly range restricted species. However, our main focus was on one species in particular: Papyrus Gonolek. Within moments of entering the swamps we began to hear this spectacular species calling. However, this would prove to be as much as we could manage. Despite our best efforts the gonolek was heard tantalizingly close but always just out of view. Luckily we consoled ourselves with a host of other highly sought after birds. These included Papyrus Canary, Marsh Tchagra, Slender-billed Weaver, and Carruther’s Cisticola. With a long drive ahead of us we pulled ourselves away from the swamp and began our journey to the Masai Mara. Arriving in the late afternoon we had just enough time to spot Crested Guineafowl, Woolly-necked Stork, and Senegal Lapwing before darkness fell to the booming of distant Southern Ground Hornbill.

Red-chested SunbirdRock Pratincole
The striking Red-chested Sunbird was quite common in the areas around Lake Victoria.With very few rocks visible in the overflowing river, these two Rock Pratincole made themselves comfortable on old bridge supports.


Day 13: Masai Mara
The Masai Mara, part of the world famous Serengeti ecosystem, is justly world renowned for its amazing mammal viewing opportunities. We began our day full of anticipation for the wonders we would find here. Of course, mammals had to share equal precedence with the amazing birdlife here. Even before entering the park we were picking up species including the stunning Violet-backed Starling, oversized Moustached Grass-Warbler, and the range restricted Usambiro Barbet. Once we entered the park we saw that the recent heavy rains had flooded huge plains and created a massive swamp. While at first worried that this would hinder our birding, a beautiful Rufous-bellied Heron landed nearby and we quickly decided that maybe the flooding wasn’t so bad. As we moved east the plains dried up and we quickly started picking up more new species. Highlights included a very confiding trio of South Ground Hornbill on the side of the road, African Quailfinch, Lappet-faced and White-headed Vultures, and a rare sighting of a pair of Imperial Eagle soaring overhead.

Mammal sightings were also in abundance and we were thrilled to find ourselves in the midst of huge herds of elephant, topi, and Thompson’s gazelle. In the heat of birthing season, we had the unique chance to see a plethora of young animals including a baby gazelle just rising to take its first steps and a baby elephant, probably less than a month old, which was still small enough to be blown around by the strong winds. Of course, the cats are always a highlight and we found three large prides of lion relaxing in the sun (one on the picnic tables where we had planned on eating lunch) as well as a lazy cheetah stretching out on the open plains. While thrilled with all we had seen, we were all excited to have another full day to explore the Mara coming up.


Day 14: Masai Mara
Located on the escarpment overlooking the Mara, we awoke at Mara West Camp to a stunning sunrise over the open plains below. Our attention was soon torn from this fantastic view as a pair of equally stunning Ross’s Turaco flew into the trees just behind our luxury tents. These large royal-blue birds with a shocking red crest and yellow eye skin immediately had our blood pumping and we soon found ourselves birding around the lodge grounds rather than entering the Mara proper. Highlights of our walk included Trilling Cisticola, Purple-banded Sunbird, and Grey Kestrel before we were finally ready to head into the park.

As we had satiated our thirst for mammals on the previous day, we focused primarily on birding. However, the Masai Mara is the type of place where mammals are constantly around. While watching a Long-billed Pipit, the nearby trumpeting of elephant grabbed our attention. We were thrilled to see two youngsters play fighting as the adults stood watch nearby. The excitement quickly escalated as an adult male came into the matriarchal herd in pursuit of a receptive female. As we watched the massive male caught the female and mounted her in such an awkward manner as to make us all laugh.

Returning to our birding we continued to pick up new species as we ventured further into the Mara. With large thunder clouds looming in the distance we were ready to arrive at our lodge when we received a call for help from a nearby stranded vehicle. Driving off-road through the flooded plains we could see how they had gotten stuck. Luckily, our venture managed to flush a beautiful Great Snipe before we too got bogged down while trying to push the other vehicle to dry land. Deciding it was as good a time as any for lunch, we relaxed while seven other vehicles came to our rescue. As one of these getting stuck as well, it was quite a loud cheer that went up as we were finally all freed. With our adventure for the day behind us we proceeded to our lodge to spend a relaxing afternoon around the waterhole where we picked up Wahlberg’s Eagle, Grey-capped Warbler, and amazing views of Striped Kingfisher.

Ross's TuracoYellow-throated Longclaw
Both Ross's Turaco (left) and Yellow-throated Longclaw (right) were quite common around Mara West Camp.


Day 15: Masai Mara and Limuru Ponds

With early afternoon flights, our last day in Kenya was spent primarily in traveling from the Masai Mara to Nairobi. However, this didn’t stop us from birding as much as possible along the way. Our morning started earlier than planned as we were woken up by the calls of nearby birds. Though mostly confused diurnal species calling, we did manage to pick up a Freckled Nightjar as well. After a bit more relaxation and an early breakfast, we left our lodge to begin the journey to Nairobi. While it’s always sad to leave the Mara, we took full advantage of our time here and absorbed as many of the giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest as possible.
With our limited time and muddy roads we were slightly worried about getting to the airport on-time. However, we still managed to squeeze in some birding during a lunch stop at the Limuru ponds. Though we had already visited many wetland areas, the Limuru ponds always hold a couple specialties which are hard to find elsewhere. As we ate we were lucky enough to pick up new species including Maccoa, White-backed, and Tufted Ducks. With our departure looming we continued to Nairobi and a final farewell to Kenya. With 506 bird species and 52 mammal species encountered in two weeks we left knowing we’d had a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience in one of the world’s true treasures!




Bird List:
1(Common) OstrichStruthio camelusOstrich
2Little Grebe (Dabchick)Tachybaptus ruficollis
3Great White PelicanPelecanus onocrotalus
4Great (White-breasted) CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo
5Long-tailed (Reed) CormorantPhalacrocorax africanus
6DarterAnhinga melanogaster
7Gray HeronArdea cinerea
8Black-headed HeronArdea melanocephala
9Goliath HeronArdea goliath
10Purple HeronArdea purpurea
11Great Egret (Egret)Ardea alba
12Intermediate EgretEgretta intermedia
13Little EgretEgretta garzetta
14(Common) Squacco HeronArdeola ralloides
15Madagascar Pond-HeronArdeola idae
16Rufous-bellied HeronArdeola rufiventris
17Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
18Striated HeronButorides striata
19Black-crowned Night-HeronNycticorax nycticorax
20HamerkopScopus umbrettaThis Ostrich, in bright breeding plumage, gave us quite the show as it danced for a nearby female.
21Yellow-billed StorkMycteria ibis
22Black StorkCiconia nigra
23Woolly-necked StorkCiconia episcopus
24Saddle-billed StorkEphippiorhynchus senegalensis
25Marabou StorkLeptoptilos crumeniferus
26Sacred IbisThreskiornis aethiopicus
27Hadada IbisBostrychia hagedash
28Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
29African SpoonbillPlatalea alba
30Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus roseus
31Lesser FlamingoPhoenicopterus minor
32White-faced Whistling-DuckDendrocygna viduata
33White-backed DuckThalassornis leuconotus
34Egyptian GooseAlopochen aegyptiacus
35Spur-winged GoosePlectropterus gambensis
36Cape TealAnas capensis
37Yellow-billed DuckAnas undulata
38Northern PintailAnas acuta
39Red-billed (Teal) DuckAnas erythrorhyncha
40Hottentot TealAnas hottentota
41GarganeyAnas querquedula
42Northern ShovelerAnas clypeata
43Southern PochardNetta erythrophthalma
44Ferruginous (Duck) PochardAythya nyroca
45Tufted DuckAythya fuligula
46Maccoa DuckOxyura maccoa
47Black-shouldered KiteElanus caeruleusLappet-faced Vultute
48Black KiteMilvus migrans
49[Yellow-billed Kite][Milvus aegyptius]
50African Fish-EagleHaliaeetus vocifer
51Hooded VultureNecrosyrtes monachus
52(African) White-backed VultureGyps africanus
53Rueppell's Griffon (Vulture)Gyps rueppellii
54Lappet-faced VultureTorgos tracheliotus
55White-headed VultureTrigonoceps occipitalis
56Black-breasted Snake-EagleCircaetus pectoralis
57BateleurTerathopius ecaudatus
58Western (European) Marsh-HarrierCircus aeruginosus
59Pallid HarrierCircus macrourus
60Montagu's HarrierCircus pygargus
61African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)Polyboroides typus
62Eastern Chanting-GoshawkMelierax poliopterusDue to habitat loss, Lappet-faced Vulture is now almost entirely restricted to large game reserves.
63Gabar GoshawkMicronisus gabar
64ShikraAccipiter badius
65Black Goshawk (Sparrowhawk)Accipiter melanoleucus
66Eurasian (Steppe) BuzzardButeo buteo
67Mountain BuzzardButeo oreophilus
68Augur BuzzardButeo augur
69Greater Spotted EagleAquila clanga
70Steppe EagleAquila nipalensis
71Imperial EagleAquila heliaca
72Wahlberg's EagleAquila wahlbergi
73Ayres's Hawk-EagleAquila ayresiiGray Kestrel
74Martial EaglePolemaetus bellicosus
75Long-crested EagleLophaetus occipitalis
76(African) Crowned Hawk-EagleStephanoaetus coronatus
77Secretary-birdSagittarius serpentarius
78Lesser KestrelFalco naumanni
79Eurasian (Rock) KestrelFalco tinnunculus
80Gray KestrelFalco ardosiaceus
81Amur FalconFalco amurensis
82Sooty FalconFalco concolor
83Eurasian HobbyFalco subbuteo
84Lanner FalconFalco biarmicus
85Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
86Shelley's FrancolinFrancolinus shelleyi
87Scaly FrancolinFrancolinus squamatus
88Yellow-necked Francolin (Spurfowl)Francolinus leucoscepus
89Red-necked Francolin (Spurfowl)Francolinus afer
90Jackson's FrancolinFrancolinus jacksoni
91Helmeted GuineafowlNumida meleagris
92Crested GuineafowlGuttera pucheraniGray Kestrel was found perched atop of the roofs of Mara West Camp
93Gray (Southern) Crowned-CraneBalearica regulorum
94White-spotted FlufftailSarothrura pulchra
95Black CrakeAmaurornis flavirostrisGreater Painted-snipe
96Purple SwamphenPorphyrio porphyrio
97Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
98Red-knobbed CootFulica cristata
99Kori BustardArdeotis kori
100White-bellied BustardEupodotis senegalensis
101Black-bellied BustardLissotis melanogaster
102Lesser JacanaMicroparra capensis
103African JacanaActophilornis africanus
104Greater Painted-snipeRostratula benghalensis
105Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
106Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosetta
107Water Thick-knee (Dikkop)Burhinus vermiculatus
108Temminck's CourserCursorius temminckii
109Three-banded (Heuglin's) CourserRhinoptilus cinctus
110Rock PratincoleGlareola nuchalis
111Blacksmith PloverVanellus armatus
112Spur-winged PloverVanellus spinosus
113Senegal LapwingVanellus lugubrisThis pair of Greater Painted-snipe were so close we barely needed our bins!
114Black-winged LapwingVanellus melanopterus
115Crowned LapwingVanellus coronatus
116Wattled LapwingVanellus senegallus
117Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
118Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubius
119Kittlitz's PloverCharadrius pecuarius
120Three-banded PloverCharadrius tricollaris
121Chestnut-banded PloverCharadrius pallidus
122Lesser SandploverCharadrius mongolus
123African SnipeGallinago nigripennis
124Great SnipeGallinago media
125Common RedshankTringa totanus
126Marsh SandpiperTringa stagnatilis
127Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
128Green SandpiperTringa ochropusThree-banded Courser
129Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
130Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
131Little StintCalidris minuta
132Temminck's StintCalidris temminckii
133RuffPhilomachus pugnax
134Gray-headed GullLarus cirrocephalus
135Gull-billed TernSterna nilotica
136Caspian TernSterna caspia
137Whiskered TernChlidonias hybridus
138White-winged (Black) TernChlidonias leucopterus
139African SkimmerRynchops flavirostris
140Rock (Feral) PigeonColumba livia
141Speckled (Rock) PigeonColumba guinea
142Delegorgue's (Eastern Bronze-naped) PigeonColumba delegorgueiThree-banded courser was staked out for us by Francis at Lake Baringo.
143Lemon (Cinnamon) DoveColumba larvata
144Dusky Turtle-DoveStreptopelia lugens
145African Mourning DoveStreptopelia decipiens
146Red-eyed DoveStreptopelia semitorquata
147Ring-necked (Cape Turtle) DoveStreptopelia capicola
148Laughing DoveStreptopelia senegalensis
149Emerald-spotted Wood-DoveTurtur chalcospilos
150Blue-spotted Wood-DoveTurtur afer
151Tambourine DoveTurtur tympanistria
152Namaqua DoveOena capensis
153African Green-PigeonTreron calva
154Red-headed LovebirdAgapornis pullarius
155Fischer's LovebirdAgapornis fischeri
156Gray ParrotPsittacus erithacus
157Red-fronted ParrotPoicephalus gulielmi
158Meyer's (Brown) ParrotPoicephalus meyeri
159Great Blue TuracoCorythaeola cristata
160Hartlaub's TuracoTauraco hartlaubi
161Ross's TuracoMusophaga rossae
162Bare-faced Go-away-birdCorythaixoides personatus
163White-bellied Go-away-birdCorythaixoides leucogaster
164Eastern (Gray) Plantain-eaterCrinifer zonurus
165Pied (Black-and-white, Jacobin) CuckooClamator jacobinus
166Red-chested CuckooCuculus solitariusAfrican Scops-Owl
167Black CuckooCuculus clamosus
168Klaas's CuckooChrysococcyx klaas
169African Emerald CuckooChrysococcyx cupreus
170Dideric CuckooChrysococcyx caprius
171Blue-headed CoucalCentropus monachus
172White-browed CoucalCentropus superciliosus
173African Scops-OwlOtus senegalensis
174Southern White-faced (Scops) OwlPtilopsis granti
175Cape [Mackinder's] Eagle-OwlBubo capensis
176Verreaux's (Giant) Eagle-OwlBubo lacteus
177Pearl-spotted OwletGlaucidium perlatum
178Abyssinian (Montane) NightjarCaprimulgus poliocephalus
179Freckled NightjarCaprimulgus tristigma
180Slender-tailed NightjarCaprimulgus clarus
181Scarce SwiftSchoutedenapus myoptilus
182African Palm-SwiftCypsiurus parvus
183Alpine SwiftTachymarptis melba
184Mottled SwiftTachymarptis aequatorialis
185Common (Eurasian) SwiftApus apusAfrican Scops-Owl was one of the many nocturnal species found for us by Francis at Lake Baringo.
186Nyanza SwiftApus niansae
187African (Black) SwiftApus barbatus
188Little SwiftApus affinis
189White-rumped SwiftApus caffer
190Speckled MousebirdColius striatus
191Blue-naped MousebirdUrocolius macrourus
192Bar-tailed TrogonApaloderma vittatum
193Malachite KingfisherAlcedo cristata
194African Pygmy-KingfisherIspidina picta
195Gray-headed (Gray-hooded) KingfisherHalcyon leucocephala
196Woodland KingfisherHalcyon senegalensis
197Striped KingfisherHalcyon chelicuti
198Giant KingfisherMegaceryle maximus
199Pied KingfisherCeryle rudisBroad-billed Roller
200White-fronted Bee-eaterMerops bullockoides
201Little Bee-eaterMerops pusillus
202Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaterMerops oreobates
203White-throated Bee-eaterMerops albicollis
204Blue-cheeked Bee-eaterMerops persicus
205European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster
206European RollerCoracias garrulus
207Lilac-breasted RollerCoracias caudata
208Rufous-crowned (Purple) RollerCoracias naevia
209Broad-billed RollerEurystomus glaucurus
210(Eurasian) HoopoeUpupa epops
211[African Hoopoe][Upupa africana]
212Green (Red-billed) WoodhoopoePhoeniculus purpureus
213Common (Greater) Scimitar-billRhinopomastus cyanomelas
214Red-billed HornbillTockus erythrorhynchus
215Jackson's HornbillTockus jacksoni
216Von der Decken's HornbillTockus deckeni
217Crowned HornbillTockus alboterminatus
218Hemprich's HornbillTockus hemprichiiBroad-billed Roller sat for hours in the same place at Lake Victoria.
219African Gray HornbillTockus nasutusHemprich's Hornbill
220Silvery-cheeked HornbillCeratogymna brevis
221Black-and-white-casqued HornbillCeratogymna subcylindricus
222Southern Ground-HornbillBucorvus leadbeateri
223Gray-throated BarbetGymnobucco bonapartei
224Yellow-rumped TinkerbirdPogoniulus bilineatus
225Red-fronted TinkerbirdPogoniulus pusillus
226Yellow-spotted BarbetBuccanodon duchaillui
227Red-fronted BarbetTricholaema diademata
228Spot-flanked BarbetTricholaema lachrymosa
229Black-throated BarbetTricholaema melanocephala
230White-headed BarbetLybius leucocephalus
231Black-billed BarbetLybius guifsobalito
232Yellow-billed BarbetTrachyphonus purpuratus
233Red-and-yellow BarbetTrachyphonus erythrocephalus
234d'Arnaud's BarbetTrachyphonus darnaudii
235[Usambiro Barbet]Trachyphonus usambiro
236Lesser HoneyguideIndicator minor
237Pallid HoneyguideIndicator meliphilus
238Nubian WoodpeckerCampethera nubicaAfter tromping through the heavy mud at the Bairngo Cliffs, Hemprich's Hornbill was finally found right next to the road.
239Brown-eared WoodpeckerCampethera caroli
240Cardinal WoodpeckerDendropicos fuscescens
241Bearded WoodpeckerDendropicos namaquus
242Golden-crowned (Yellow-crested) WoodpeckerDendropicos xantholophus
243Gray-headed WoodpeckerDendropicos spodocephalus
244Singing BushlarkMirafra cantillans
245Rufous-naped LarkMirafra africana
246Foxy (Fawn-colored, Abyssinian) LarkCalendulauda alopex
247Fischer's Sparrow-LarkEremopterix leucopareia
248Red-capped LarkCalandrella cinerea
249Plain (Brown-throated Sand) MartinRiparia paludicola
250Banded MartinRiparia cincta
251Gray-rumped SwallowPseudhirundo griseopyga
252Rock MartinPtyonoprogne fuligula
253Barn (European) SwallowHirundo rustica
254Angola SwallowHirundo angolensis
255Wire-tailed SwallowHirundo smithiiSecretarybird
256Lesser Striped-SwallowCecropis abyssinica
257Rufous-chested (Red-breasted) SwallowCecropis semirufa
258Mosque SwallowCecropis senegalensis
259Red-rumped SwallowCecropis daurica
260Common House-MartinDelichon urbica
261White-headed SawwingPsalidoprocne albiceps
262Blue (Black) SawwingPsalidoprocne pristoptera
263African Pied WagtailMotacilla aguimp
264Yellow WagtailMotacilla flava
265Gray WagtailMotacilla cinerea
266Mountain (Long-tailed) WagtailMotacilla clara
267Yellow-throated LongclawMacronyx croceus
268Rosy-throated (Pink-throated, Rosy-breasted) LongclawMacronyx ameliae
269Sharpe's LongclawHemimacronyx sharpeiSecretarybird was one of the top-ten most wanted species on this tour and we managed some amazing views!
270Plain-backed PipitAnthus leucophrys
271African (Grassveld) PipitAnthus cinnamomeus
272Long-billed PipitAnthus similis
273Gray Cuckoo-shrikeCoracina caesia
274Petit's Cuckoo-shrikeCampephaga petiti
275Black Cuckoo-shrikeCampephaga flava
276Common (Black-eyed) BulbulPycnonotus barbatus
277Shelley's [Kakamega] GreenbulAndropadus masukuensis
278Slender-billed GreenbulAndropadus gracilirostris
279Yellow-whiskered BulbulAndropadus latirostris
280Eastern Mountain-GreenbulAndropadus nigriceps
281Joyful GreenbulChlorocichla laetissima
282Cabanis's GreenbulPhyllastrephus cabanisi
283Northern BrownbulPhyllastrephus strepitans
284Common (Red-tailed) BristlebillBleda syndactyla
285Little Rock-ThrushMonticola rufocinereus
286Olive ThrushTurdus olivaceus
287African ThrushTurdus peliosCarruther's Cisticola
288Red-faced CisticolaCisticola erythrops
289Trilling CisticolaCisticola woosnami
290Chubb's CisticolaCisticola chubbi
291Hunter's CisticolaCisticola hunteri
292Rattling CisticolaCisticola chiniana
293Wailing [Lynes's] CisticolaCisticola lais [distinctus]
294Winding CisticolaCisticola galactotes
295Carruthers's CisticolaCisticola carruthersi
296Stout CisticolaCisticola robustus
297Croaking CisticolaCisticola natalensis
298Aberdare CisticolaCisticola aberdare
299Tiny CisticolaCisticola nana
300Zitting (Fan-tailed) CisticolaCisticola juncidis
301Tawny-flanked PriniaPrinia subflava
302Pale PriniaPrinia somalica
303White-chinned PriniaPrinia leucopogon
304Banded PriniaPrinia bairdii
305Black-collared ApalisApalis pulchra
306Yellow-breasted ApalisApalis flavidaCarruther's Cisticola was one of the many specialty species we picked up at Dunge Swamp.
307Buff-throated ApalisApalis rufogularis
308Chestnut-throated ApalisApalis porphyrolaema
309Black-headed ApalisApalis melanocephala
310Red-fronted WarblerUrorhipis rufifrons
311Gray-capped WarblerEminia lepida
312Green [Grey]-backed CamaropteraCamaroptera brachyura [brevicaudata]
313Olive-green CamaropteraCamaroptera chloronota
314Cinnamon Bracken-WarblerBradypterus cinnamomeus
315(African) Moustached Grass-WarblerMelocichla mentalis
316Olive-tree WarblerHippolais olivetorum
317Icterine WarblerHippolais icterina
318African (Dark-capped) Yellow WarblerChloropeta natalensis
319Buff-bellied WarblerPhyllolais pulchella
320Yellow-bellied EremomelaEremomela icteropygialis
321Turner's EremomelaEremomela turneri
322White-browed CrombecSylvietta leucophrys
323Northern CrombecSylvietta brachyuraStriped Kingfisher
324Red-faced CrombecSylvietta whytii
325Green HyliaHylia prasina
326Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus
327BlackcapSylvia atricapilla
328Greater (Common) WhitethroatSylvia communis
329African Gray FlycatcherBradornis microrhynchus
330White-eyed Slaty-FlycatcherMelaenornis fischeri
331Northern Black-FlycatcherMelaenornis edolioides
332Spotted FlycatcherMuscicapa striata
333Swamp FlycatcherMuscicapa aquatica
334African Dusky FlycatcherMuscicapa adusta
335Ashy FlycatcherMuscicapa caerulescens
336White-starred (Starred) RobinPogonocichla stellata
337Cape Robin-ChatCossypha caffraStriped Kingfisher was the last of the seven species seen during this tour.
338Gray-winged Robin-ChatCossypha polioptera
339Rueppell's Robin-ChatCossypha semirufa
340White-browed Robin-ChatCossypha heuglini
341Snowy-crowned (Snowy-headed) Robin-ChatCossypha niveicapilla
342Spotted Morning-Thrush (Palm-Thrush)Cichladusa guttata
343Brown-backed Scrub-RobinCercotrichas hartlaubi
344Red-backed (White-browed) Scrub-RobinCercotrichas leucophrys
345Common [African] StonechatSaxicola torquata
346Northern WheatearOenanthe oenanthe
347Mourning (Schalow's) WheatearOenanthe lugens
348Pied WheatearOenanthe pleschanka
349Capped WheatearOenanthe pileata
350Familiar (Red-tailed) ChatCercomela familiaris
351Brown-tailed (Rock) ChatCercomela scotocerca
352Moorland (Alpine) ChatCercomela sordida
353Northern Anteater-ChatMyrmecocichla aethiops
354Sooty ChatMyrmecocichla nigra
355Mocking Cliff-ChatThamnolaea cinnamomeiventris
356Brown-throated (Common) Wattle-eyePlatysteira cyanea
357Jameson's Wattle-eyePlatysteira jamesoni
358Yellow-bellied Wattle-eyePlatysteira concreta
359Chinspot BatisBatis molitor
360African Blue-FlycatcherElminia longicauda
361African Paradise-FlycatcherTerpsiphone viridis
362Rufous ChattererTurdoides rubiginosus
363Black-lored (Sharpe's) BabblerTurdoides sharpei
364Northern Pied-BabblerTurdoides hypoleucus
365Brown BabblerTurdoides plebejus
366Arrow-marked BabblerTurdoides jardineii
367White-bellied TitMelaniparus albiventris
368Dusky TitMelaniparus funereusSilvery-cheeked Hornbill
369Somali (Northern Gray) TitMelaniparus thruppi
370Mouse-colored Penduline-TitAnthoscopus musculus
371[Buff-bellied Penduline-Tit][Anthoscopus sylviella]
372Kenya (Eastern) Violet-backed SunbirdAnthreptes orientalis
373Green SunbirdAnthreptes rectirostris
374Collared SunbirdHedydipna collaris
375Green-headed SunbirdCyanomitra verticalis
376Eastern Olive-SunbirdCyanomitra olivacea
377Amethyst (Black) SunbirdChalcomitra amethystina
378Scarlet-chested SunbirdChalcomitra senegalensis
379Tacazze SunbirdNectarinia tacazze
380Bronze SunbirdNectarinia kilimensis
381Golden-winged SunbirdDrepanorhynchus reichenowi
382Red-tufted (Scarlet-tufted Malachite) SunbirdNectarinia johnstoni
383Northern Double-collared SunbirdCinnyris preussi
384Eastern Double-collared SunbirdCinnyris mediocris
385Beautiful SunbirdCinnyris pulchellus
386Mariqua (Marico) SunbirdCinnyris mariquensis
387Red-chested SunbirdCinnyris erythrocercaSilvery-cheeked Hornbill was quite common in the fruiting trees on Mt. Kenya.
388Purple-banded SunbirdCinnyris bifasciatus
389Variable (Yellow-bellied) SunbirdCinnyris venustus
390Copper SunbirdCinnyris cupreus
391African Yellow White-eyeZosterops senegalensis
392Broad-ringed (Montane) White-eyeZosterops poliogastrus
393White-breasted (Abyssinian) White-eyeZosterops abyssinicus
394Eurasian Golden OrioleOriolus oriolus
395African Black-headed OrioleOriolus larvatus
396Black-tailed (Montane) OrioleOriolus percivali
397Red-backed ShrikeLanius collurio
398Gray-backed FiscalLanius excubitoroides
399Long-tailed FiscalLanius cabanisi
400Mackinnon's Shrike (Fiscal)Lanius mackinnoni
401Common Fiscal (Shrike)Lanius collaris
402White-rumped (Northern White-crowned) ShrikeEurocephalus rueppelli
403BrubruNilaus afer
404Northern PuffbackDryoscopus gambensis
405Black-backed PuffbackDryoscopus cubla
406Pink-footed PuffbackDryoscopus angolensis
407Marsh [Anchieta's] TchagraTchagra minuta
408Black-crowned TchagraTchagra senegala
409Brown-crowned (Three-streaked) TchagraTchagra australis
410Luehder's BushshrikeLaniarius luehderi
411Tropical BoubouLaniarius aethiopicus
412Black-headed GonolekLaniarius erythrogaster
413Papyrus GonolekLaniarius mufumbiri
414Slate-colored BoubouLaniarius funebris
415Gray-green (Bocage's) BushshrikeTelophorus bocagei
416Black-fronted BushshrikeTelophorus nigrifrons
417Gray-crested HelmetshrikePrionops poliolophus
418Square-tailed DrongoDicrurus ludwigiiMackinder's Eagle-Owl
419Fork-tailed (Common) DrongoDicrurus adsimilis
420Cape (Black) Crow (Rook)Corvus capensis
421Pied CrowCorvus albus
422Fan-tailed RavenCorvus rhipidurus
423White-necked (White-naped) RavenCorvus albicollis
424Wattled StarlingCreatophora cinerea
425Greater Blue-eared Glossy-StarlingLamprotornis chalybaeus
426Rueppell's (Long-tailed) Glossy-StarlingLamprotornis purpuropterus
427Superb StarlingLamprotornis superbus
428Hildebrandt's StarlingLamprotornis hildebrandti
429Violet-backed (Plum-coloured) StarlingCinnyricinclus leucogaster
430Red-winged StarlingOnychognathus morio
431Slender-billed StarlingOnychognathus tenuirostris
432Waller's StarlingOnychognathus walleri
433Stuhlmann's StarlingPoeoptera stuhlmanni
434Kenrick's StarlingPoeoptera kenricki
435Red-billed OxpeckerBuphagus erythrorhynchus
436Yellow-billed OxpeckerBuphagus africanus
437White-billed Buffalo-WeaverBubalornis albirostrisA sub-species of Cape Eagle-Owl, Mackinder's Eagle-Owl is found primarily in higher elevation regions.
438White-headed Buffalo-WeaverDinemellia dinemelli
439Speckle-fronted WeaverSporopipes frontalis
440White-browed Sparrow-WeaverPlocepasser mahali
441Gray-headed (Gray-capped) Social-WeaverPseudonigrita arnaudi
442Baglafecht WeaverPloceus baglafecht
443Slender-billed WeaverPloceus pelzelni
444Little WeaverPloceus luteolus
445Lesser Masked-WeaverPloceus intermedius
446Spectacled WeaverPloceus ocularis
447Black-necked WeaverPloceus nigricollis
448African Golden-WeaverPloceus subaureus
449Holub's Golden-WeaverPloceus xanthops
450Northern Brown-throated WeaverPloceus castanops
451Northern Masked-WeaverPloceus taeniopterus
452Vitelline Masked-WeaverPloceus vitellinus
453Village (Black-headed) WeaverPloceus cucullatus
454Vieillot's (Black) WeaverPloceus nigerrimusCrowned Hornbill
455Black-headed WeaverPloceus melanocephalus
456Golden-backed WeaverPloceus jacksoni
457Forest (Dark-backed) WeaverPloceus bicolor
458Brown-capped WeaverPloceus insignis
459Red-headed WeaverAnaplectes rubriceps
460Red-billed QueleaQuelea quelea
461Yellow-crowned BishopEuplectes afer
462Yellow (Yellow-rumped) BishopEuplectes capensis
463Fan-tailed WidowbirdEuplectes axillaris
464Yellow-shouldered (Yellow-mantled) WidowbirdEuplectes macrourus
465White-winged WidowbirdEuplectes albonotatus
466Red-collared WidowbirdEuplectes ardens
467Long-tailed WidowbirdEuplectes progne
468White-breasted NegrofinchNigrita fusconota
469Gray-headed NegrofinchNigrita canicapilla
470Green-winged PytiliaPytilia melba
471Red-headed BluebillSpermophaga ruficapilla
472Red-billed FirefinchLagonosticta senegala
473Jameson's FirefinchLagonosticta rhodopareiaThe piping call of Crowned Hornbill was a constant accompaniment to our birding at Naro Moru River Lodge.
474Red-cheeked CordonbleuUraeginthus bengalus
475Purple GrenadierUraeginthus ianthinogaster
476Yellow-bellied WaxbillEstrilda quartinia
477Crimson-rumped WaxbillEstrilda rhodopyga
478Common WaxbillEstrilda astrild
479Black-crowned WaxbillEstrilda nonnula
480Kandt's [Black-headed] WaxbillEstrilda kandti
481Black-cheeked (Black-faced) WaxbillEstrilda erythronotos
482African QuailfinchOrtygospiza fuscocrissa
483Bronze MannikinSpermestes cucullatus
484Cut-throat (Finch)Amadina fasciataPapyrus Canary
485Village Indigobird (Widowfinch)Vidua chalybeata
486Pin-tailed WhydahVidua macroura
487Cinnamon-breasted (Rock) BuntingEmberiza tahapisi
488(African) Golden-breasted BuntingEmberiza flaviventris
489Oriole FinchLinurgus olivaceus
490Yellow-crowned [Cape] CanarySerinus flavivertex
491African CitrilSerinus citrinelloides
492Southern [Easte African] CitrilSerinus hyposticutus
493Papyrus CanarySerinus koliensis
494Reichenow's (Yellow-rumped) SeedeaterSerinus reichenowi
495Yellow-fronted CanarySerinus mozambicus
496White-bellied CanarySerinus dorsostriatus
497Brimstone (Bully) CanarySerinus sulphuratus
498Streaky SeedeaterSerinus striolatus
499Thick-billed SeedeaterSerinus burtoni
500House SparrowPasser domesticus
501Kenya [Rufous] SparrowPasser rufocinctus
502Gray-headed SparrowPasser griseus
503Parrot-billed SparrowPasser gongonensisAn East African Endemic, Papyrus Canary is restricted to areas with dense Papyrus swamps and often quite difficult to find.
504Swaheli SparrowPasser suahelicus
505Chestnut SparrowPasser eminibey
506Yellow-spotted PetroniaPetronia pyrgita


Mammal List:
1Black-and-white (Guereza) ColobusColobus guerezaThe Lion Sentry
2Olive BaboonPapio anubis
3Vervet MonkeyCercopithecus pygerythrus
4Gentle (Blue) MonkeyCercopithecus mitis
5Gentle (Sykes) MonkeyCercopithecus mitis albogularis
6Red-tailed MonkeyCercopithecus ascanius
7Scrub HareLepus saxatilis
8Unstriped Ground SquirrelXerus rutilis
9Red-legged Sun SquirrelHeliosciurus rufobrachium
10Giant Forest SquirrelProtoxerus stangeri
11Audacious Mole-ratTachyoryctes audax
12Black-backed JackalCanis mesomelus
13Bat-eared FoxOtocyon megalotis
14Egyptian MongooseHerpestes ichneumon
15Black-tipped (Slender) MongooseHerpestes sanguineaBetter advice has never been given....
16Dwarf MongooseHelogale parvula
17Banded MongooseMungos mungo
18Marsh MongooseAtilax paludinosus
19White-tailed MongooseIchneumia albicauda
20Spotted HyaenaCrocuta crocutaLion Picnic
21Common (Large-spotted) GenetGenetta geneta
22Serval CatFelis serval
23LeopardPanthera pardus
24LionPanthera leo
25CheetahAcinonyx jubatus
26Black-necked Rock HyraxProcavia johnstoni
27Southern Tree HyraxDendrohyrax arboreus
28Yellow-spotted Bush HyraxHeterohyrax brucei
29African ElephantLoxodonta africana
30Common (Grant's) ZebraEquus quagga boehmi
31Black RhinocerosDiceros bicornis
32White RhinocerosCeratotherium simum
33HippopotamusHippopotamus amphibius
34Giant Forest HogHylochoerus meinertzhageniWe decided to let the lions have this picnic site and found a new one for ourselves.
35Common WarthogPharcochoerus africanus
36Masai GiraffeGiraffa tippelskirchi
37Rothschild's GiraffeGiraffa rothschildiElephant
38African (Cape) BuffaloSyncerus caffer
39BushbuckTragelaphus scriptus
40ElandTaurotragus oryx
41Blue DuikerCephalophus monticola
42Harvey's DuikerCephalophus harveyi
43SuniNesotragus moschatus
44Kirk's DikdikMadoqua kirkii
45Bohor ReedbuckRedunca redunca
46WaterbuckKobus ellipsiprymnus defassa
47Thomson's (Red-fronted) GazelleGazella rufifrons
48Grant's GazelleGazella granti
49ImpalaAepyceros melampus
50TopiDamaliscus korrigum
51Coke's HartebeestAlcelaphus buselaphus cokeiThis baby elephant looked to be less than a month old and was small enough to still be pushed around in the wind.
52White-bearded GnuConnochaetes taurinus albojubatus

Lake Victoria