Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve.

Mount Kenya Forest Reserve (Castle forest) was originally encompassing some large tracts of forest as well as Kenya’s namesake and second highest peak, Mount Kenya. It includes an altitudinal gradient that supports several highland specialty birds. Montane forest predominates up to about 2500m, where it’s replaced by bamboo forest.

 

photo@ Juhani Vilpo, The Elegant Doherty’s Bush-shrike

Forested areas on the mountain feature specialty birds such as the elusive Scaly Francolin as well as White-headed Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Mountain Wagtail, and Black-throated Wattle-eye. Also found there are monkeys such as Black-and-white Colobus. The cooler bamboo forest feature specialties such as Red-fronted Parrot, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Moustached Tinkerbird, Waller’s Starling, Sharpe’s Starling, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, and African Paradise-Flycatcher.

At higher elevations above 3000m is moorland where Jackson’s Francolin, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Moorland Chat, and Kandt’s Waxbill are of particular interest. Birding around the Castle forest  is good for all these species as well as the endemic Abbott’s Starling. The forest reserve also supports several species of eagles that sometimes soar high above.

 

The Elusive White-starred Robin