Papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri)

Photo@Moses Kandie

Photo@Moses Kandie

When we started our journey at the shore of Lake Victoria in such for the seldom Papyrus Gonolek with Titus who was our boat man, we didn’t expect to have such a luck!!we were all surprised after a few minute of calling back its call, the bird made an impressive show off for a cool 1 minute. This is how such a photo was taken. In Kenya, this bird is mostly seen in the extensive shores of Lake Victoria. For this one, we were at hippo point side. But you have an equal chances of seeing it in Sio port too.
The Papyrus Gonolek is similar to the black headed Gonolek but with a bright-yellow cap complementing her crimson breast, and white bar on the black wing.The bird has specialized habitat requirements, being restricted to papyrus swamps.Papyrus Gonolek is not yet a threatened spicies but she has become rare due to habitat loss and pollution.

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Striped kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti)

photo@Joseph Aengwo

photo@Joseph Aengwo

Striped Kingfisher is one of the most brilliantly coloured bird, even though it the smallest and least colourful of the non-aquatic Kingfishers. It has strident voice and dramatic courtship display. This species has some blue plumage on scapulars, brown head with streaky lining. The breast is white with some little strikes black upper and red lower mandible. This species is adapted to wooded habitat of dry country side.

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Amani sunbird (Anthreptes pallidigaster)

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Photo@Moses Kandie

 

The Amani Sunbird is classified as Endangered (EN), considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. This elusive bird if found in Coastal subtropical moist lowland forest especially in Arabuko Sokoke in north coast of Kenya and Eastern Usambara mountains in Tanzania.
Adult male has glossy blue-green head, throat and upper breast. Upperparts are iridescent dark purplish blue-green on upper back, scapulars and upperwing coverts. Lower back and rump are blackish. Short tail and uppertail coverts are glossy purplish-blue. Underparts are greyish-white, with orange-red feathers on upper flanks. Underwings are white. The black bill is down-curved. Eyes are dark brown
You have a high chance of watching this species which is confined to a few remnant Brachystegia woodlands. They prefer the high canopy trees and a lot of patience is advised before you enjoy a great view of this beautiful bird.

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Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

Photo@Jurg Hosang

The squacco heron is a migrant, wintering in Kenya. This is a stocky species with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed in flight, when it looks very white due to the colour of the wings. The squacco heron’s breeding plumage is recognized by sky blue bill as clearly seen in the photo above with a black tip. It prefers marshy wetlands as a breeding site. The birds nest in small colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. This species being a terrestrial bird, is mostly seen in lakes, river valleys, swamps and other permanent or temporary freshwater wetlands in Kenya Rift Valley, Lake Victoria rice fields, Central highland ponds and on both north east and south cost of Kenya.

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Hemprich’s Hornbill (Tockus hemprichii)

J.F.L Van Duinen

J.F.L Van Duinen

Hemprich’s Hornbill is huge dark brown bird, with a massive dark red bill. The breast is dark, with a white-belly and the outer tailed rectrices is white. In Kenya, this bird is sparsely distributed in rocky hillsides and cliffs in arid and semi-arid country with records from Lake Nakuru around Menegai crater, Lake Baringo, West Lake Turkana, Ortum and Kongolei escarpment.

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Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae)

Photo@Jan F.L Van Duinen

Photo@Jan F.L Van Duinen

Ross’s or Lady Ross as it sometime called is a medium-sized bird, with a long tail and broad, round wings. They have three toes on each foot that point forward, while the fourth toe can be rotated forward or backwards. Males and females differ in that females may have a greenish beak. This Beautiful Turaco is seen in mostly on the western side of Kenya Great Rift Valley mostly in areas around Tugen Hills and El geyo escarpment. Ross’s Turaco is a very social bird, seen mostly moving is a small noisy flock of 2 to 7 birds. They spent most of their time among trees in search for fruits until evening when they nest solitary on a plat form of twigs.It is an easy bird to Identify because nothing else in our region is like it.

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Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus)

Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus)

photo@Tony Crocetta

Northern Red Bishop is an African finch that are best known for the males’ habit of weaving complex dome nests, as well as their entertaining displays to attract potential females. Bishop species in Kenya are widespread and are better viewed during breeding season when the males are in their bright red and black breeding plumage, which normally happen in Kenya around May to October, mostly after long rains. As he is building the nests, he also performs display flights and fluffs his feathers to attract females to his nests. Once he sees a preference for one or more of the nests, he will concentrate on those and abandon the others. The females will settle down in her chosen nest and personalize it by lining it with soft grasses, plant material and feathers.
The best birding site to watch this is specie in Lake Baringo, where the above photographed was taken. However, other species of Bishops can be seen in other wetland across Kenya including ; Amboseli National Park, Lake Victoria, Mwea rice plantation, Lake Jipe, and Sabaki Delta in Malindi.

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