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.

African Pygmy Kingfisher (Ispidina picta)

African Pygmy Kingfisher (Ispidina picta)

Photo@Yan Van Duine

African Pygmy Kingfisher is a small insectivorous kingfisher found mostly in woodland habitats and not necessarily restricted to wetland.In Kenya, its range widespread in bushland of Lake Baringo, Kerio Vallye,Samburu,Meru and Nakuru National and southern parks of Amboseli, Tsavo East and West. Its habitat range from woodland habitats, savannas and riverine forests, but also scrublands, grasslands, open rivers and streams, coastal bushes, plantations and gardens.The dark blue crown of the adult separates it from the African Dwarf Kingfisher. The smaller size and violet wash on the ear coverts distinguish it from the similar Malachite Kingfisher.

Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)

Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)

Photo@Morton Kelemen

A medium-sized, attractive water bird, the greater painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) is unusual amongst birds because the female is larger and more brightly coloured than the male. The female greater painted-snipe has distinct white patches around the eyes, which contrasts the dark red-brown head and neck. The upperparts are dark bronze-green with fine black barring and the wings are dark grey, white and gold. The male greater painted-snipe has a conspicuous golden eye patch that sits in stark contrast with the grey-brown head, ash-grey neck, and white streaked throat.
In Kenya it is widespread from sea level to over 2000m, but uncommon, highly erratic and seasonal. Frequent marshy and lakes like Lake Baringo, Lake Nakuru and central Kenya swamps.

Fan-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes axillaris)

Fan-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes axillaris)

Photo@Tony Crocetta

This is an adult male fan-tailed widowbird, Euplectes axillaris, a member of the avian family Ploceidae, the weaver birds. One of its cousins is the red-billed quelea, Quelea quelea, the most abundant bird in the world.This species has an extremely large range, so incidence of you spotting it while birding in Kenya is very high. They exhibit sexual dimorphism and female appears brown, with the distinctive red-shoulders which clear when the bird air-bone.
In Kenya this species is mostly seen in Masai Mara, mostly a long the northern part of the reserve around the Musiara Swamp.

African Orange-bellied Parrot (Poicephalus rufiventris )

African Orange-bellied Parrot (Poicephalus rufiventris )

photo@Piero

African Orange-bellied Parrot  male has a brown, with varying tinges of brown/orange on cheeks and breast; orange lower breast, abdomen and underwing coverts; pale green thighs and lower flanks to undertail coverts; yellow/green rump and upper tail coverts with blue suffusion. Bill grey/black. Cere and eye ring bare and brown/grey. Eye orange/red. Female-green lower breast to undertail coverts; green rump and upper tail coverts, blue suffusion absent. A juvenile bird is similar to adult female, but in general paler and duller; in male orange wash on underwing coverts and breast. Cere and eye ring bare and paler grey. Eye brown.

This is species is  is well distributed in  in eastern part of Kenya , commonly seen in places like Samburu and Meru National Park, Tsavo East and West , and if you are lucky enough to Tarangire National Park, then you are absolutely sure of spotting it in the big Baobab trees the park is known for.

Friedmann’s Lark (Mirafra pulpa)

Friedmann's Lark (Mirafra pulpa)

Photo@Joseph Aengwo

Friedmann’s Lark is a rare bird resembling Singing Bush Lark but more richly coloured and more heavily streaked above, especially on nape and upper back, streaking enhanced in fresh plumage by broad pale feather edges; superciliary stripes somewhat  less prominent . Singing birds readily distinguished vocally and y prominent white throat. Gregarious territorial birds share habitat with Singing Bush Lark, Red-winged and Flappet Lark.It has a tendency of elevating crown feathers when singing, leaning forwards and fluffing out  the white throat. Tsavo West and East National Park are the only places you have an high chance of seeing them.