South-Eastern Kenya Birding Trip Report

South-Eastern Kenya Birding and Wildlife Safari.
16th -31st January 2015.
Trip Report

Piero Aberti

Piero Aberti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Summary
Tour Participants: Michel, Patrick, Linda and Jael.
Tour leader: Joseph Aengwo.
Photo acknowledgements: Michel Cremari and Joseph Aengwo
Temperature Range: 13 –35°C.
Total Birds Seen: 435.
Total Mammals and Reptiles Seen: 43.
Birds of the Trip: Somali Ostrich, , African Crowned Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Vulturine Guineafowl, Shelley’s Francolin, Somali Courser, Fisher’s Turaco, Sokoke Scops Owl, Somali Bee-eater, Athi short-toed Lark, Chestnut-backed and Chestnut-headed Sparrow Lark, to mention a few!
Trip Report Compiled By: Joseph Aengwo

Michel Cremari

Michel Cremari

Note:The species mentioned in the report are only some of the species seen at each locality. Please refer to detailed checklists at end of the report for all species seen on this specific tour.
Day 1: 16th January 2015. I had meet up with the team at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, as they arrived from Zurich aboard Swiss Airline. Since Michel and I had shared photos of all the participant of this tour before, I reckon, I didn’t need a pager. After 45 minutes of their arrival time schedule, they emerge from the arrival terminal loaded with their suitcases and birding gear. We shared brief pleasantries and headed toward our safari van where we meet Ronald waiting for us, this was the guy who was behind the wheels all the way of our safari.
We arrival at Summerdale Inn where we were checked in and after our delicious dinner, we had a small tour briefing for the entire trip.

Day 2: 17th January 2015 Nairobi National Park. Armed with our binocular, telescope and our packed lunch, we quietly made our way through the busy city to Langata gate, which is the main entry of Nairobi national park. After clearing with the park authorities, we entered the park at 7 a.m. We begin exploring the forest habitat found on the western part of the park which produced species like; Tropical and Slate-coloured Boubou, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Black-backed Puffback,African paradise Flycatcher,Chin-spot Batis,Northern-pied Babbler, White-bellied Tit, Singing and Rattling Cisticola , Twany-flanked Prinia, Buff-bellied Wabler, African Emerald Cuckoo and Cinnanmon Chested Bee-eater. We then exited the forest into an open grassland savannah which produced species like Martial Eagle, White-backed Vulture, Great sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Common Moorhen, Grey-crowned Crane, White-bellied Bustard, African Jacana, Secretary Bird,Little-swift, Speckled Mousebird, Malachite Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Brown-backed Woodpecker , Spot-flanked Barbet, Common sand Martin, Red-rumped and Lesser-striped Swallow, Yellow-throated Longclaw,Pied and Northern Wheatear, Olivaceous and Willow Warbler, Red-faced Crombec and Red-throated Tit. We were running out of energy and we decided that a short lunch break is the best gift we can give to our self after such a successful morning. At Mokoyet picnic site was the place we had our lunch and Ronald and I had to take turn as guard as some olive baboon were keen in robbing us our lunch. Later we descended Mokoyet valley where we recorded species like; Fisher’s Sparrow Lark, Red-tailed Shrike and Long-tailed Fiscal.
We had small walk a long Mokoyet river which was guided by an armed Kenya wildlife service ranger. A long the river we recorded; White-headed Barbet, Fisher’s Loverbird, Grossbeak Weaver, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Streaky Seedeater and Village Indigo bird . We later drove though Rhino Plain we were lucky to see one Black Rhino with a young one, a troop of Vervet Monkey, Zebras, Impalas, Coke Herbeast and a lion pride. We drove all the way to Athi dam and round the Zebra plains where we also saw a lone black rhino from a distance. With the evening approaching, we then headed back to the main road, where we had a good view of Shelly’s Francolin and we pushed on to arrive at East gate a few minute to six o’clock.
Bird of the day: Red-throated Tit.

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Day 3: 18th January 2015 Ngong Hills, Magadi Road and Lake Magadi. Today we had an early departure with our ultimate destination being lake Magadi. But we had intention to stop at Ngong hills and several other points along the road. At Corner Baridi, on top of the hills, it was very chilly and we stopped for our specialty here, Wailing Cisticola which we saw with less strain, at the top of the hill we also pocket species like Tree and African Pipit and Blackcap. As we descended the Rift Valley, the dominant vegetation was Acacias species, starting with A. drepanolobium, A. tortilis,A.reficiens,A.mellifera, A.elatior, terminalia and balanites. At the base of the valley, we made a quick stop at a dry river bed. It was great to get into the valley in the early hours of the morning and we had a wonderful  observation of species which included  White-browed Scrub Robin, Common Rock Thrush, Pink-breasted Lark ,Yellow-bellied Eromomela,Tiny Cisticola, Grey-wren Warbler,African penduline Tit, Beautiful, Variable, Bronze and Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird,Northern Puffback,Lesser masked and Vitelline Weaver,Purple Grenadier, Green-winged Pytilia and Red and Yellow Barbet among others.
Moving on, it was soon time to head to the Lake. This is a shallow alkaline lake, its surface is largely covered by crust of sodium carbonate which can sometimes be 15 m thick. This is mined by Magadi Soda company,whose factory and associated town are located on the north eastern shore. We had our lunch at Pool side restaurant, the bar was quite good, but the kitchen took long to deliver our order keeping in mind that we still had drive back to Nairobi. After lunch we drove further south to the community conservation area, by the look of water level,it was noticeable it was low compared to when I was last there. With our telescops, we scanned the lake from the shore and we picked our main target species here Chesnut-banded Plover,Kittlitz’s Plover,Ruff, Common Greenshank, and Wood sandpiper, White-pelican, Avocet, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilt, African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed and Abdim’s Stork. On our way out of the lake, we also spotted Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and White-throated Bee-eater. We arrived at Galleria Nakumatt Karen shopping centre for some little shopping before we head back to our hotel.
Bird of the day: Chestnut-banded Plover.

Chestnut-banded Plover

Day 4: 19th January 2015 Amboseli National Park. Today we had a late departure from the lodge, as we were destined for Amboseli, which we figured out that it will cost us 3 hours to reach, considering the good conditioned of the road. As we were driving along the busy Mombasa road, from our window, we could see Pied Crows, Yellow-billed Kite, Augur Buzzard among other. We arrived at Kibo Safari Camp just before lunch. The ecosystem, mainly savannah grassland spread across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants among other wildlife species. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet the Maasai and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, which we actually missed.
After enjoying a sumptuous lunch, and a little siesta, we started our afternoon game drive in Amboseli National Park. Once inside the park we recorded species like Kori and Buff-crested Bustard, Double-banded Courser, Crowned , Blacksmith and Long-toed Lapwing, White-winged and Wiskered Tern,Collared Pratincole, Pygmy Falcon and Secretary Bird, Bateleur, Pallid and Montagu’s Harrier, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, Black-chested Snake Eagle,Spur-winged Goose,Red-billed and Hottentot Teal, White-faced and Fulvous Duck, Goliath Heron and Yellow-necked Suprfowl. As we were exiting the park, we saw Verrreaux’s Eagle Owl flying out of its rooting tree.
Bird of the day: Fan-tailed Widowbird.

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Day 5: 20th January 2015, Tsavo west national park. Before, heading to Tsavo west, we decided to revisit Amboseli park early that morning, as we were having coffee at the hotel lounge, we heard a Pearl-spotted Owlet calling from nearby tree, with the help of Michel spot light, we had an impressive few of the bird. Inside the park we saw various species of aquatic bird. We did however, missed the Kilimanjaro view. We drove back to the hotel for breakfast, which was then followed by journey to Tsavo west. We made a quick stop at a good birding location near Kimana junction, we had great view of Banded Parisoma, Chestnut-bellied Sangrouse, Upcher’s Warbler, White-fronted Bee-eater, Pygmy Falcon and Cut-throat Finch.
Leaving Amboseli we began our adventure by heading to Tsavo: one of the world’s largest national parks. This gigantic expanse of open savannah is home to some of the most typically African bird families as well as an amazing diversity of mammals. Secretary bird can be seen stalking the plains for snakes as elephants lumber through the grasslands and giraffes munch lazily on the ever-present acacias. As we drove through Loitoktok-Rombo road we also spotted, Yellow Bisoho, Streaky Seedeater, Zanzibar Red and Black-winged Bishop among others. We arrived at Ziwani Voyage Camp just at the edge of Tsavo west national park at around 2pm. We had a yummy lunch, after which it was followed by a afternoon nap, we embark on our afternoon bird walk around the camp private ranch. We were accompanied by the hotel naturalist by the name Chameleon and KWS ranger. On this walk we had impressive observation of  Spur-winged Goose, Water Thick-knee, Knob-billed Duck, Little and intermediate Egret, Black Crake, Common Moorhen, Brown Snake Eagle, Northern white-crowned Shrike, Red-billed Qulea and Taveta Golden Weaver. I guess of great interest to us was the Square-tailed Nightjar which took us 30 minute to have a good view of it. Thanks to our ranger. Seeing these spectacular creatures in the wild, with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background, is an experience of a lifetime. It is refreshing to see that places this wild still exist. While marveling at the mammals, we were not unmindful of the spectacular birds around us. By the end of the day Square-tailed nightjar took precedence over a herd of zebra and Grant’s gazelle were bypassed for the Pink-breasted Lark they flushed.
Bird of the day: Square-tailed Nightjar

Day 6: 21st January 2015, Kitobo Forest and Lake Jipe. Today we had an early breakfast, as we had two birding hotspot that we wanted to handle on this day. Kitobo forest located on the border of Kenya/Tanzania and Lake Jipe. Our birding at Ziwani ranch on our way to Kitobo forest was successful, We recorded species like Upcher’s and Olive-tree Warbler, Northern Crombec,Zitting Cisticola,Grey-wren Warbler, Pygmy Batis, Eastern Violet-backed Mariqua, and Hunter’s Sunbird, Abyssinian White-eye, Pringle’s Puffback , Golden-breasted and Fisher’s Starling, Black-capped Social Weaver and Red-Winged Lark.
kitobo forest is a ground water forest located about 10 km South-East of Taveta town in the Taita- Taveta County, Coast Province, Kenya. It is approximately 250 km inland from the coast and on the extreme lowland North-East of the Tanzanian Eastern Arc Mountain block of North Pare Mountains near the Kenya-Tanzania border. It covers an area of about 160 ha at an altitude of about 730 m above sea level. This is good sight for spotting White-Eared Barbet, Black-throated Wattle-eye and Grey-olive Greenbul. We managed to see two and missed one!!. We also saw Eastern Bearded Scrub Robin and a big group of Colobus Monkey.
We then moved on to Lake Jipe, stopping at gigantic baobab tree, just below a hill where on top of it is the Grogan’s Castle, there is where we had our packed lunch.We then proceeded reaching Lake Jipe at half past 2pm. Fed jointly by the run-off from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains, the lake is bordered by extensive beds of Typha reed and features large permanent swamps at its eastern and western ends. As a result, Lake Jipe is considered to be one of the most important wetland areas in Kenya and provides sanctuary for a vibrant selection of marsh and water birds to include knob billed geese, pied kingfisher, white backed night heron, black heron palm-nut vulture and African skimmer. Once at the shore we recorded species like Black, Squacco and Striated Heron, Hadada Ibis, Black-shouldered Kite, and Africa Fish Eagle, Lizzard Buzzard, African Jacana, Spur-winged Lapwing,Common Sandpiper, Taveta Golden Weaver and Zanzibar Red Bishop. We left the lake and drove back through Salaita Hill – a famous World War 1 site. On our way back to our hotel, we stopped at good location to see the Black-headed Lapwing , which we saw very well.
Bird of the day: White-eared Barbet.

Day 7: 22nd January 2015, All day visit to Tsavo West National Park. We entered the park at round 7 a.m through Ziwani Gate. This  park is best known as a Land of Lava, Springs and Man-eaters. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges. Once inside the park birdlife was abundant, we spotted Red-billed and White-headed Buffalo Weaver, Blue-capped Cordon Blue, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Orange-breasted and Rosy-patched Bush-shrike, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Black-bellied Sunbird, Somali Tit, Pink-breasted Lark, Red-fronted and Red-and-Yellow Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker,Malachite and Pied Kingfisher, Eurasian and Lilac-breasted Roller, Little Bee-eater, Southern Ground Hornbill, Hoopoe, Von der Decken’s and African Grey Hornbill and Abyssinian Scimitarbill. The sheer size of the Southern Ground Hornbill makes it a highlight of any trip and we were lucky enough to see quite a few of these together.
We had lunch at the Roaring Rock which gave us the best view of the entire park, from there we could see the Ngulia Hill and Chaemo Lava flow. After lunch we drove back birding and we saw Buff-crested Bustard, Martial Eagle, Secretary Bird, Pygmy and Lanner Falcon, Crested Francolin, Gabar Goshawk, Bateleur and Tawny Eagle. On our way out of the park, we got stuck on dry river bed full of sand. Ronald tried so much but, I guess we started off on a wrong foot!! It took the intervention of a colleague to get us out of that situation. At around 5 pm, we safely made our way out of the park to the comfort of our hotel.
Bird of the day: Abyssinian Scimitarbill.

On the Roaring Rocks
Day 8: 23rd January 2015,Tsavo East. After breakfast and checking out of Ziwani Voyage Camp, we made our way through Ziwani ranch to the main Voi-Taveta highway. Road construction was going on, and most of our drive through this road was dusty. Still on this we saw an injured White Stork, and after some little examination, it appeared that its winged was broken so it couldn’t continue with its journey. We also made a brief at Taita Sarova Salt Lick Hotel for refueling. Afterwards we continued to Voi, where we were received at Zomeni Lion Hill, a lodge located at the western boundary of Tsavo East National Park.
Our afternoon birding session was done along the climbing road of the lodge, and we saw species like Amathyist and Variable Sunbird, Little and white-rumped Swift, Rock Martin, Little Sparrowhawk , Red-winged Starling and Irania.
Bird of the day: Irania
Day 9: 24th January 2015, Taita Hills Forest. Rising from the open savannah of Tsavo, the Taita Hills seem like a world unto themselves. The humidity is a shock after the dryness of Tsavo and the disconnectedness of this montane forest provides the chance to see some excellent species. Three of the most prized species here are the Taita White-eye, Taita Apalis and Taita Thrush. While the Taita White-eye is fairly common and was easily found, the Thrush and Apalis can be a bit trickier. We were lucky enough to see this bird as it scavenged along the ground about ten meters from the road. While these endemics were clearly the most sought after species, other notable species include Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler and Striped Pipit.
After wards, we rolled down the hills and had our packed lunch at a road side view point, and scenery was breathtaking. We then moved on and we drove back to Voi and continuing  along the busy Mombasa road for 15 km, then we entered Ndara ranch. This is the ranch where the closed Sagala Lodge is situated. From there you have a super view of Sagala hills, which form part of the forest patches of Taita hills .We arrived here 3 pm and it was really warm, this did not dumped our birding spirit, once inside the ranch we listed species like Red-billed Quelea, Eastern Paradise Whyah, Green Winged Pytillia, Laughing Dove, White-bellied Go Away Bird, Scaly Chatterer, Pink-breasted Lark, Spotted Eagle Owl, African Paradise Flycatcher, Lesser Honeyguide, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill and Eurasian Oriole.
Bird of the day :Taita Thrush.

Day 9: 25th January 2015, The expansive Tsavo East National Park. This day was dedicated entirely to explore park. We started off after breakfast entering the park through Voi gate, once inside we deliberately drove toward the eastern part of park as if we were going to Sala gate. This allowed us to spend more time there exploring Tsavo from that part, and as we made our way into the less frequently visited regions of this massive park. This section of Tsavo turned out to be spectacular for ground dwelling species. The open plains were inhabited by thousands of Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark and excellent views, we also saw Chestnut-headed Sparrow Lark, Somali Courser, Somali Ostrich, Somali Bee-eater just to name a few of the highlight.

Ray Somali Bee-eater
Found in very few regions of Kenya, the Vulturine Guineafowl is an absolutely stunning species. The incandescent blue and black feathers on their necks makes this perhaps the most stunning bird in Kenya and watching a large flock feeding on the road is an unforgettable experience.
Bird of the day: Vulturine Gueineafowl.

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Day 10: 26th January 2015, Tsavo East-Watamu. Today we left early in the morning from Voi and drove along the ever busy Mombasa road to Mombasa town, we were lucky enough with the traffic jam Mombasa is known for during mid-morning , we crossed the Nyali bridge to Mtwapa and on along Malindi road which brought us to a beautiful touristic town called Watamu. We checked in at Turtle Bay Beach Club, this is was going to be our home for the next 5 days. Just before we ate our lunch, we were marvel by the gorgeous breeding plumage of Golden Palm Weaver who was busy finalizing its nest which was hanging precariously on a huge palm tree twig.
After Lunch at around 3:30 pm, we left the hotel for Mida Creek, the tide was low, which is not the best time to visit, but Alex, the guy who runs the Mida Creek bird hide, told me with less consideration that the tide was high!!!!. However, our telescope prove helpful here and we saw species like Gull-billed and Caspian Tern, Grey Plover, Greater and Mongolian Sandplover, White-fronted Plover, Ringed Plover, Dulin, Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Whembrel, Eurasian Curlew, Terek Sandpiper and Crab-Plover. We were also lucky enough to get good looks at Eastern Nicator, a species notorious for its love of thick dense foliage.

Bird of the day: Crab Plover.

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Day 11: 27th January 2015, Arabuko Sokoke Forest. As one of the last remaining tracts of coastal rainforest in East Africa, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is home to a large range of species found nowhere else in Kenya: many of these found almost nowhere else in the world. Our first morning in this very special habitat began wonderfully with Plain-backed, Collared and Amani Sunbird,and Four-coloured Bush-Shrike, and the near-endemic Fischer’s Turaco could be heard in the distance. The morning was also spent searching through flocks of Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike for Retz’s Helmetshrike; separating Pale and Forest Batis, and in general enjoying the spectacular birding we were lucky enough to experience. Just before we made our mind to head back to the hotel for lunch, we lucky with Fisher’s and Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Red-tailed Ant-thrush. We tried all but missed the Sokoke Pipit. David Ngala gave up, and as you all know David rarely gives up.

The afternoon was spent further exploring the forest. Highlights included a brief sighting of Narina Trogon, Common Scimitarbill, Dark-backed Weaver, Peter’s Twinspot,Little Yellow Flycatcher, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Black-headed Apalis , Green-backed Camaroptera and Tiny Greenbul. David left us briefly and vanished into the thick cynometra vegetation to try and locate where our mostly priced could be Less than seven minutes, he reappeared with a big smile on his face, we all knew that things were promising. He led us though intertwined cynometra vegetation and in completely hidden from branch we found it: the Sokoke Scops-Owl. This extremely endangered species is thought to have been extirpated from Tanzania and is currently only know from the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Extremely thrilled, we stood watching this tiny owl for what seemed to be hours before we collectively decided that it was time to go home. We made our way back to the road in a state of utter exaltation. Making our way back to the hotel we could barely contain our excitement.

Bird of the day: Sokoke Scops Owl.

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Day 12: 28th January 2015, Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Sabaki River Mouth. After the previous day excitement we felt on top of the world and we were ready to tackle just about anything . We had agreed with David that for this day, we will explore the forest evenmore!!we visited the forest in search for some more specialty species like East Coast Akalat, Terrestrial Brownbul, rufous morph of Sokoke Scops Owl,Malindi Pipit and Fishers Turaco and Green Barbet. For this occasion we missed the Green Barbet. We later on returned to the Turtle Bay Beach Club for lunch a quick rest.
After lunch, we headed further north of Watamu toward Malindi meandering our way into the nearby wood where we had a great view of Scaly Babbler, Yellow Wagtail and Lesser Flamingos as we approached the river estuary. At the river mouth we recorded Heuglin’s and Sooty Gull,Gull-billed, Caspian, Lesser-crested and Greater-crested and Common Tern, Little-ringed Plover, Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper. We however, missed our targeted species, Broad-billed Sanpiper.

Bird of the day: Fisher’s Turaco.

Day 13: 29th January 2015, Gede Ruins and Mida Creek. This being our last day of birding , we made our way early in the morning to Gede ruins, though it was not as interesting for birds as we thought, but it gave us some wonderful views of Green Barbet and the endemic Yellow-rumped Elephant-shrew . After we headed to Mida-creek hoping that the tide will be high, but again we were disappointed. We agreed that we for lunch and then after we give it a second try. Our second visit was much better than the previous one. Mida Creek is a great place to see shorebirds and is best known for its resident population of one of the worlds most sought after shorebirds: the Crab Plover. We saw this species in fairly large numbers as well as both Greater and Lesser Sandplovers and Eurasian Curlew.

This brought to the end our birding trip, and the team needed two days just to cool it off, before they fly back home. It was wonderful birding with you guys and I look forward to doing it again with you in future. Keep birding!!

Bird Species Recorded During the January 2015 Birwatching Trip
No Common Names Scientific Names
1 Common Ostrich Struthio camelus
2 Somali Ostrich Struthio molybdophanes
3 Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus
4 African Darter Anhinga rufa
5 Great White Pelican Pelicanus onocrotalus
6 Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax
7 Common Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
8 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
9 Striated Heron Butorides striata
10 Black Egret Egretta ardesiaca
11 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
12 Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia
13 Great Egret Ardea alba
14 Goliath Heron Ardea goliath
15 Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
16 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
17 Black-headed Heron Ardea melacocephala
18 Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
19 White Stork Ciconia ciconia
20 Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis
21 Abdim’s Stork Ciconia abdimii
22 Black Stork Ciconia nigra
23 Wolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
24 Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
25 Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
26 Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
27 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
28 African Spoonbill Platalea alba
29 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
30 Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor
31 Egyptian Goose Alopchen aegyptiaca
32 Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis
33 Knob-billed Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
34 White-faced Whistling-duck Dendrocygna viduata
35 Fulvous Whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor
36 Red-billed Teal Anas erythrorhyncha
37 Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota
38 Black Kite Milvus migrans
39 Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
40 Secretary Bird Sagittarius serpentarius
41 African Fish-eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
42 Osprey Pandion haliaetus
43 Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis
44 Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
45 Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus
46 African White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus
47 Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture Gyps rueppelli
48 Lapped-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus
49 Black-chested Snake-eagle Circaetus pectoralis
50 Brown Snake-eagle Circaetus cinereus
51 Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus
52 Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
53 Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus
54 Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
55 Eastern Chanting-goshawk Melierax poliopterus
56 Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar
57 Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus
58 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
59 Afrikan Goshawk Accipiter tachiro
60 Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus
61 Great Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus
62 Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus
63 African Harrier-hawk Polyboroides typus
64 Augur Buzzard Buteo augur
65 Common Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus
66 Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
67 Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis
68 Wahlberg’s Eagle Aquila wahlbergi
69 Verreaux’s Eagle Aquila verreauxii
70 African Hawk-Eagle Aquila spilogaster
71 Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
72 Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus
73 Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
74 Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus
75 African Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus
76 Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
77 Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus
78 African Hobby Falco cuvierii
79 Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
80 Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
81 Vulturine Guineafowl Acryllium vulturinum
82 Shelley’s Francolin Scleroptila shelleyi
83 Crested Francolin Dendroperdix sephaena
84 Yellow-necked Spurfowl Pternistis leucoscepus
85 Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostra
86 Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
87 Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
88 African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
89 Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum
90 Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori
91 White-bellied Bustard Eupodotis senegalensis
92 Buff-crested Bustard Eupodotis gindiana
93 Hartlaub’s Bustard Lissotis hartlaubii
94 Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
95 Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
96 Crab-plover Dromas ardeola
97 Water Thick-knee Burhinus vermiculatus
98 Somali Courser Cursorius somalensis
99 Temminck’s Courser Cursorius temminckii
100 Two-banded Courser Smutsornis africanus
101 Collared Pratincole Glareola ocularis
102 Blacksmith Lapwing Vanellus armatus
103 Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus
104 Long-toed Lapwing Vanellus crassirostris
105 Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus
106 Black-headed Lapwing Vanellus tectus
107 Senegal Lapwing Vanellus lugubris
108 Kittlitz’s Plover Charadrius pecuarius
109 White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus
110 Chestnut-banded Plover Charadrius pallidus
111 Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
112 Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
113 Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus
114 Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii
115 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
116 Ruff Philomachus pugnax
117 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
118 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
119 Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
120 Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
121 Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
122 Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
123 Common Redshank Tringa totanus
124 Little Stint Calidris minuta
125 Sanderling Calidris alba
126 Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
127 Dunlin Calidris alpina
128 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
129 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
130 Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
131 Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
132 Slender-billed Gull Chroicocephalus genei
133 Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
134 Heuglin’s Gull Larus heuglini
135 Sooty Gull Ichthyaetus hemprichii
136 Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
137 Greater Grested Tern Thalasseus bergii
138 Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
139 Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
140 Common Tern Sterna hirundo
141 White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
142 Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
143 Black-faced Sandgrouse Pterocles decoratus
144 Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
145 Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
146 Feral Pigeon Columba livia
147 Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos
148 Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria
149 Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
150 Ring-necked Dove streptopelia capicola
151 Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
152 African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decioiens
153 Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
154 Dusky Turtle Dove Streptopelia lugens
155 African Orange-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris
156 Fischer’s Lovebird Agapornis fischeri
157 Fischer’s Turaco Tauraco fischeri
158 White-bellied Go-away-bird Corythaixoides leucogaster
159 Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius
160 Jacobin Cuckoo Oxylophus jacobinus
161 African Cuckoo Cuculus gularis
162 Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
163 Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius
164 Diederik Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cuprius
165 Klaas’s Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas
166 African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus
167 White-browed Coucal Centropus superciliosus
168 African Wood-owl Strix woodfordii
169 Sokoke Scops-owl Otus ireneas
170 Verreaux’s Eagle-owl Bubo lecteus
171 Spotted Eagle-owl Bubo africanus
172 Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum
173 Square-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus fossii
174 Little Swift Apus affinis
175 White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
176 African Black Swift Apus barbatus
177 Mottled Swift Tachymarptis aequatorialis
178 Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
179 African Palm Swift Apus parvus
180 Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
181 Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus
182 Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina
183 Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
184 Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti
185 Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala
186 Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris
187 Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
188 African Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina picta
189 Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
190 Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oeobates
191 White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis
192 Somali Bee-eater Merops revoilii
193 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus
194 White-fronted Bee-eater Merops persicus
195 European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
196 Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus
197 Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias garrulus
198 European Roller Coracias caudatus
199 Hoopoe Upupa africana
200 Abyssinian Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus minor
201 Common Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
202 Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris
203 Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus
204 Von der Decken’s Hornbill Tockus deckeni
205 African Grey Hornbill Tockus nasutus
206 Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus
207 Trumpeter Hornbill Ceratogymna bucinator
208 Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes brevis
209 Southern Ground-hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri
210 Green Barbet Stactolaema olivacea
211 White-eared Barbet stactolaema leucotis
212 Red-fronted Tinkerbird pogoniulus pusillus
213 Red-fronted Barbet Tricholaema diademata
214 Spot-flanked Barbet Tricholaema lacrymosa
215 Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala
216 Brown-breasted Barbet Lybius melanopterus
217 White-headed Barbet Lybius leucocephala
218 d’Arnaud’s Barbet Trachyphonus darnaudii
219 Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus
220 Scaly-throated Honeyguide Indicator variegatus
221 Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor
222 Pallid Honeyguide Indicator meliphilus
223 Nubian Woodpecker Campethera nubica
224 Mombasa Woodpecker Campethere mombassica
225 Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicus fuscescens
226 Brown-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos obsoletus
227 Green-backed Woodpecker Campethera cailliautii
228 Grey Woodpecker Dendropicus goertae
229 Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana
230 Red-winged Lark mirafra hypermetra
231 Fawn-coloured Lark Calendulauda africanoides
232 Singing Bush Lark Mirafra cantillans
233 Pink-breasted Lark Mirafra cantillans
234 Red-capped Lark Calandrella cinerea
235 Somali Short-toed Lark Calandrella somolica athensis
236 Fischer’s Sparrow-lark Eremopterix leucopareia
237 Chestnut-headed Sparrow-lark Eremopterix signatus
238 Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark Eremopterix leucotis
239 Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligulia
240 Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
241 Sand Martin Riparia riparia
242 Common House Martin Delichon urbicum
243 Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
244 Lesser Striped Swallow Cecropis abyssinica
245 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
246 Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
247 African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp
248 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
249 Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
250 Golden Pipit Tmetothylacus tenelus
251 Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus
252 Grassland Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus
253 Malindi Pipit Anthus melindae
254 Striped Pipit Anthus lineiventris
255 Tree Pipit Anthus lineiventris
256 Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
257 Eastern Nicator Nicator gularis
258 Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor
259 Stripe-cheeked Greenbul Arzelocichla striifacies
260 Fischer’s Greenbul Phyllastrephus fischeri
261 Tiny Greenbul Phyllastrephus debilis
262 Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul Andropadus importunus insularis
263 Yellow-bellied Greenbul Chlorocichla flaviventris
264 Cabanis’s Greenbul Phyllastrephus cabanisi
265 White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata
266 East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunning
267 Cape Robin-chat Cossypha caffra
268 Olive Thrush Turdus abyssinicus
269 Taita Thrush Turdus helleri
270 Red-tailed Ant-thrush Neocossyphus rufus
271 Common Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis
272 Common Stonechat Saxacola torquatus
273 Whinchat Saxacola rubetra
274 Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
275 Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
276 Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
277 Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
278 Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin Cercotrichas galactotes
279 White-browed Scrub-robin Cercotrichas leucophrys
280 Eastern Bearded Scrub-robin Cercotrichas quadrivirgata
281 Irania Irania gutturalis
282 Spotted Morning-thrush Cichladusa guttata
283 Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida
284 Upcher’s Warbler Hippolais languida
285 Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum
286 Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
287 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
288 Buff-bellied Warbler Sylvia atricapilla
289 Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
290 Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla
291 Northern Crombec Sylvietta brachyura
292 Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii
293 Yellow-bellied Eremomela Sylvietta whytii
294 Banded Parisoma Sylvia boehmi
295 Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
296 Desert Cisticola Cisticola aridulus
297 Tiny Cisticola Cisticola nanus
298 Short-winged Cisticola Cisticola brachypterus
299 Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana
300 Stout Cisticola Cisticola robustus
301 Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes
302 Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans
303 Wailing Cisticola Cisticola lais distinctus
304 Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava
305 Green-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura
306 Grey Wren-warbler Calamonastes simplex
307 Grey-capped Warbler Eminia lepida
308 Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida
309 Black-headed Apalis Apalis melanocephala
310 Taita Apalis Apalis thoracica fuscigularis
311 White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Melaenornis fischeri
312 Southern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina
313 African Grey Flycatcher Bradornis microrhynchus
314 Ashy Flycatcher Muscicapa caerulescens
315 Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
316 African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta
317 Little Yellow Flycatcher Erythrocercus holochlorus
318 Chin-spot Batis Batis molitor
319 Pale Batis Batis soror
320 Pygmy Batis Batis perkeo
321 Forest Batis Batis Mixta
322 Black-throated Wattle-eye Platysteria peltata
323 African Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
324 Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus cyanomelas
325 Scaly Chatterer Turdoides aylmeri
326 Scaly Babbler Turdoides squamulata
327 Northern Pied Babbler Turdoides hypoleuca
328 White-bellied Tit Melaniparus albiventris
329 Northern Grey Tit Parus thruppi
330 Red-throated Tit Melaniparus fringillinus
331 Buff-bellied Penduline-tit Anthoscopus caroli
332 African Yellow White-eye Zostrerops senegalensis
333 Taita White-eye Zostrerops Poliogastrus silvanus
334 Abyssinian White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus
335 Bronze Sunbird Zosterops abyssinicus
336 Amethyst Sunbird chalcomitra amethystina
337 Olive Sunbird Cynomitra olivacea
338 Marico Sunbird Nectarinia mariquensis
339 Black-bellied Sunbird Cinnyris nectarinioides
340 Hunter’s Sunbird Chalcomitra hunteri
341 Purple-banded Sunbird Cinnyris bifasciatus
342 Beautiful Sunbird Cinnyris pulchellus
343 Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus
344 Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris
345 Amani Sunbird Hedydipna pallidigaster
346 Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi
347 Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis
348 Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
349 Taita Fiscal Lanius dorsalis
350 Long-tailed Fiscal Lanius cabanisi
351 Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus
352 Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
353 Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethopicus
354 Slate-coloured Boubou Laniarius funebris
355 Brubru Nilaus afer
356 Northern Puffback Dryoscopus gambensis
357 Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus culba
358 Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis
359 Rosy-patched Bush-shrike Rhodophoneus cruentus
360 Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike telophorus sulfureopectus
361 Four-coloured Bush-shrike Telophorus viridis
262 Northern White-crowned Shrike Eurocephalus reuppelli
263 Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike Prionops scopifrons
364 Retz’s Helmet-shrike Prionops retzii
365 Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
366 House Crow Corvus splendens
367 Pied Crow Corvus albus
368 Mountain Oriole Oriolus percivali
369 Eastern Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus
370 Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
371 Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus
372 Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus
373 Golden-breasted Starling Lamprotornis regius
374 Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio
375 Greater Blue-eared Starling Onychognathus morio
376 Black-bellied Starling Lamprotornis corruscus
377 Rüppell’s Long-tailed Starling Lamprotornis purpuroptera
378 Superb Starling Lamprotornis superbus
379 Hildebrandt’s Starling Lamprotornis hilderbrandti
380 Fischer’s Starling Spreo fischeri
381 Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
382 Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis
383 Rufous Sparrow Passer rufocinctus
384 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
385 Grey-headed Sparrow Passer griseus
386 Parrot-billed Sparrow Passer gongonensis
387 Yellow-spotted Petronia Petronia pyrgita
388 White-browed Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser mahali
389 Grey-capped Social-weaver Pseudonigrita arnaudi
390 Black-capped Social-weaver Pseudonigrita cabanisi
391 White-headed Buffalo-weaver Dinemellia dinemelli
392 Red-billed Buffalo-weaver Bubalornis niger
393 Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius
394 Vitelline Masked Weaver Ploceus vitellinus
395 Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
396 Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis
397 Speke’s Weaver Ploceus spekei
398 Chestnut Weaver Ploceus rubiginosus
399 Grosbeak Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons
400 African Golden Weaver Ploceus subaureus
401 Golden Palm Weaver Ploceus bojeri
402 Holub’s Golden Weaver Ploceus xanthops
403 Taveta Golden Weaver Ploceus castaneiceps
404 Dark-backed Weaver Ploceus bicolor
405 Red-billed Quelea Quelea erythrops
406 Fan-tailed Widowbird Euplectes axillaris
407 Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
408 Yellow-mantled Widowbird Euplectes macroura
409 White-winged Widowbird Euplectes albanotatus
410 Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
411 Zanzibar Red Bishop Euplectes nigroventris
412 Black-winged Red Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
413 Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba
414 Peter’s Twinspot Hypargos niveoguttatus
415 Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus bengalus
416 Blue-capped Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus cyanocephalus
417 Purple Grenadier Granatina ianthinogaster
418 Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
419 Jameson’s Firefinch Logonosticta rhodopareia
420 Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
421 Crimson-rumped Waxbill Estrilda rhodophyga
422 Bronze Mannikin Spermestes bicolor
423 Black-and-white Mannikin Lonchura bicolor
424 Cut-throat Finch Amadina fasciata
425 Eastern Paradise-Whydah Vidua paradisaea
426 Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
427 Village Indigobird Vidua chalybeata
428 Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus
429 White-bellied Canary Serinus dorsostriatus
430 Brimstone Canary Serinus sulphuratus
431 African Citril Serinus citrinelloids
432 Streaky Seedeater Serinus striolatus
433 Reichenow’s Seedeater Serinus reichenowi
434 Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
435 Somali Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza poliopleura

Animals and Reeptiles Seen

1 Olive Baboon Papio anubis
2 Yellow Baboon Papio cinocephalus
3 Syke’s Monkey Cercoithecus albogularis
4 Black and White Colobus Colobus guereza
5 Vervet Monkey Cercopithecus aethiops
6 Common Zebra Equus burchellii
7 Common Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius
8 Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus
9 Maasai Giraffe Giraffa c. tippelskirchi
10 Savanna Buffalo Syncerus caffer
11 Common Eland Tragelaphus oryx
12 Common Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus
13 Bohor Reedbuck Redunca redunca
14 Coke Hartbeest Alcelaphus buselaphus cokei
15 Grant’s Gazelle Gazella granti
16 Thomson’s Gazelle Gazella thomsoni
17 Lesser Kudu Tragelaphus imberbis
18 Gerenuk (Waller’s Gazelle) Litocranius walleri
19 Kirk’s Dik-Dik Madoqua kirki
20 African Elephants Lexodonta africana
21 Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo
22 White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda
23 Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula
24 Spotted Hyaena Crocuta crocuta
25 Striped Hyaena Hyaena hyaena
26 Small-spotted Genet Genetta servalina
27 Cheetah Acynonyx jubatus
28 Lion Panthera leo
29 Wild Cat Felis libyca
30 Rock Hyraxes Procavia capensis
31 Cape Hare Lepus capensis
32 Plain Ground Squirrels Xerus rutilus
33 Impala Aepyceros melampus
34 Common Wilderbeest Cinnochaetes taurinus
35 Fringe-eared Oryx Oryx beisa callotis
36 Black Rhino Diceros bicornis
37 Lesser Bushbaby (Galago) Galogo senegalensis
38 Striped Squirrel Xerus erythropus
39 Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew Rhynchocyon chrysopygus
40 Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus
41 Nile Monitor Varannus niloticus
42 Red-headed Agama Agama agama
43 Tree Blue Agama Agama atricollis

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2 Responses to South-Eastern Kenya Birding Trip Report

  1. Timo says:

    Hi guys I highly enjoyed your report…trying to decide if I should go to tsavo vs. laikipia or mara in april…hard to decide! Where did you see the cheetah? Also, how hard were Somali courser to find?

  2. kenyabirding says:

    Hi Timo, thanks for visiting Kenya Birding blog, we hope you enjoyed it. For a cheetah and Somali courser together, your best bet will be Samburu game reserve or Tsavo East.

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