October 2021, 24 Days Kenya Birding Trip Report
Kenya Birding Trip Report – Four years back, we did an Uganda tour of about the same number of days, nearly a clean sweep of the whole list expected in the country. After an extensive inventory from several African countries, the team had a target list in Kenya. For 25 days, the focus was on less than a quarter of the Kenyan birds, which explains how travelled the team was. However, being keen birders and naturalists, we still loved looking at every one of those seen in the past. Besides, with the ongoing splits and studies, sub-species arise all the time. It was essential to look at every Dark-capped Bulbul in every corner in a vast country like Kenya. This effort gave us a record of 738 species and sub-species.
Day 1 – September 15, 2021. Birding Nairobi National Park
Nairobi was experiencing a dry spell, and very clearly, one would tell how dry it had gotten. However, the birds were still active, and the park revealed lots of its secrets to us.
We had a delicious lunch in the company of a birds collection that worked on the insects in the Acacia. This beautiful Thorn-tree (customarily referred to as Acacia) entertained a very nice Brown Parisoma, Red-throated Tit a beautiful East African endemic, Speckled Mousebird Race Kikuyuenis, Southern Black Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Hildebrant’s and Superb Starlings.
After lunch, we walked down to the parking yard picking up a nice African Harrier-Hawk, Red-faced and Singing Cisticolas, Spotted Mourning and Abyssinian Thrushes, Variable and Bronze Sunbirds, Three-banded Plover, Common Sandpiper, Holub’s Golden Weaver, African Pied Wagtail, among others.
During this afternoon drive, we had a couple of targets to find. We found some of our targets and other lovely birds, like the skittish Shelley’s and Yellow-necked Francolins, White-belied and Buff-crested Bustards, Stout, Zitting and Rufous
winged Cisticola, Rufus-napped Lark, Fisher’s Sparrow-Lark, Kenya Rufous and Chestnut Sparrows. We had Purple Grenadier, Red-billed Firefinch, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, and Common and Black-cheeked Waxbills among the waxbills. We saw the Long-tailed Fiscal, Spotted Thick-knee, Crowned Lapwing elsewhere, while the well-vegetated bushes along the streams presented Dusky-turtle Dove and the Northern Pied Babbler. African Palm (both large and small forms), Little Swifts, Barn, Lesser-stripped and Bank Swallows, Banded Martin, White-backed and Lapped-faced Vultures, Martial and African Hawk-eagles, Black-headed Herons, Hadada Ibis and Marabou Stork made rounds overhead.
We got a great introduction to the mammals of Kenya; White and Black Rhinocerous, the smaller Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelles, Impala, Eland famed for being Africa’s largest Antelope, Masai Giraffe, a nice pair of Black-backed Jackle among others.