Abyssinian scimitarbill ( Rhinopomastus minor)

IMG_7347 - CopyAbyssinian Scimitarbill in our region occurs in two races , R.m. minor is found in north eastern part of Kenya, while the race R.m. cabanisi is found in southern Kenya. This species can easily be mistaken for Woodhoopoe, although woodhoope are gregarious while Scimitarbill is solitary in its movement behavior. Its bill is more curved down almost giving the Sunbirds bill impression, and on flight the bright red curved billed contrast with uniformly dark-blue plumage. They inhabit light woodlands, dry Acacia bush and thorn-scrub especially along dry river bed. Generally, it a widespread species.

Doherty’s Bush-shrike (Telophorus dohertyi)

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Photo@Juhani Vilpo
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Photo@Juhani Vilpo

Doherty’s Bsuh-shrike is a relatively small-billed bush-shrike. Male of crimson morph has forehead and forecrown, lower cheek, chin and throat bright crimson rump.This bird is very secretive and keeps to the small bushes of around 2300 above sea level especially in Mt.Kenya and Aberdare national park. They are very responsive to calls and quickly pops up to protects its territory from the “purported” intruder.This photo was taken in January this year in Mt.Kenya forest reserve.

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.

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.

Scarlet-Tufted Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia johnstoni)

Scarlet-Tufted Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia johnstoni)

Photo@Stratton Hatfield

Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird are endemic to the alphine zones of East Africa mountains. In Kenya, they are exclusively restricted to the moorlands of Mt.Kenya and Aberdare National Parks.They feed exclusively on the nectar of Lobelia telekii flowers.Males are resident on their territories all year and defend Lobelia telekii inflorescenes from conspecifics.Males are bright iridescent green, with scarlet pectral tufts which are displayed prominently during aggressive interactions with other males.