Birding Tour August 2009
Local Guide : Joseph Mwang
Day One – August 3rd - Arrival at Nairobi Airport – Fairview Hotel.
Day Two – August 4th - Bird and Game watching in Nairobi National Park – Fairview Hotel.
Day Three – August 5th - Travel day to Mount Kenya (180km) – Serena Mountain Lodge.
Day Four to Six – August 6th - 8th - Travel to Samburu National Park (150 km) – Samburu Serena Lodge.
Day Seven - Eight – August 9th- 10th - Travel to Lake Nakuru National Park (280 km)– Sarova Lion Hill Lodge
Day Nine - Ten – August 11th - 12th - Travel to Lake Baringo (125 km) – Lake Baringo Country Club
The boat-ride was superb with the absolute highlight an African Fish Eagle coming to pick out of the water a big fish we had bought from one of the local fisher-men before leaving . Besides this spectacular action of the Eagle we saw some other very good birds Goliath Heron, African Jacana, Senegal Thick-knee, Malachite Kingfisher, Black Crake and flying just over our heads the Giant Kingfisher.
Before we left the local guide wanted to show us the Black-headed Lapwing, a specie that we missed the day before. This time we had more luck and we found a pair in the semi-desert area not far from the lodge.
We decided to take a packed lunch and to leave for Lake Naivasha. We had some stops because our guide spotted a Silver-backed flycatcher and we wanted to buy some real African honey. We had seen so many bee-hives hanging up in the Acacia Trees that we really wanted to know more about that honey. With help of our guide we all bought some, giving one of the women a fantastic day. The honey has the real African taste and is very nice.
Lake Naivasha Country Club is part of the same group as Lake Baringo Country Club. The same tendency of decline in quality you could observe in this place too. Beautiful location with spectacular gardens, but general maintenance and service in decline.
We stayed the first two nights in Mara Serena Safari Lodge. Located on a hill overlooking the 1,800 square kilometers of rolling plains, woodlands and rivers that make up the Masai Mara Triangle - one of the world's richest wildlife sanctuaries. The lodge is really magic. From the rooms you can observe the movements of Wilde Beast in long endless rows. Their reaction on the sound of a roaring lion. Elephants just below your window. A special experience.
We did our daily game and birding drives in the (early) morning after breakfast and in the afternoon after a nice lunch and a moment to relax.
Some of the many birds we saw: Ruppell's Griffon Vulture, Black-bellied Bustard, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Grey-capped Social-Weaver, Wooly-necked Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Grey Kestrel, Brown Snake Eagle, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting.The last two nights we stayed in Mara Sarova Tented Camp. Again a nice place with a different atmosphere. We had one day left to visit the Masai Mara plains and we used that day well to find some species we wanted to see again, or we did not see before: We were finally lucky to find Black-lored Babbler, Rufous-crowned Roller, Bateleur (often seen but never sitting so close), Red-necked Spurfowl, White-browed Coucal, Red-rumped Swallow, Lesser Striped Swallow, Rufous-chested Swallow, Black-crowned Tchagra, Magpie Shrike, Rosy-breasted Longclaw.
Our last afternoon we stayed in the camp and made a walk in the afternoon. A nice surprise was the Giant Kingfisher waiting for us near a small pond and the Shikra sitting in a tree next to it.
Grebes - Podicipedidae
Cormorants - Phalacrocoracidae
Darters – Anhingidae
Pelicans - Pelecanidae
Herons, Egrets and Bitterns – Ardeidae
Hamerkop – Scopidae
Storks – Ciconiidae
Ibises and Spoonbills – Threskiornithidae
Flamingoes - Phoenicopteridae
Ducks and Geese – Anatidae
Vultures, Eagles, Hawks, Kites, Buzzards and Osprey - Accipitridae
Falcons – Falconidae
Guineafowl – Numididae
Quail and Francolins – Phasianidae
Rails, Coots and Gallinules - Rallidae
Cranes – Gruidas
Bustards – Otididae
Jacanas – Jacanidae
Avocets and Stilts – Recurvirostridae
Thick-knees – Burhinidae
Coursers and Pratincoles – Glareolidae
Plovers – Charadriidae
Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Snipes – Scolopacidae
Gulls – Laridae
Sandgrouse – Pteroclidae
Pigeons and Doves – Columbidae
Turacos – Musophagidae
Cuckoos and Coucals – Cuculidae
Typical Owls - Strigidae
Nightjars – Caprimulgidae
Swifts – Apodidae
Mousebirds - Coliidae
Kingfishers – Alcedinidae
Bee-eaters – Meropidae
Rollers - Coraciidae
Wood-hoopoes and Scimitarbills - Phoeniculidae
Hoopoes - Upupidae
Hornbills - Bucerotidae
Barbets and Tinkerbirds - Capitonidae
Wrynecks and Woodpeckers - Picidae
Larks - Alaudidae
Swallows and Martins - Hirundinidae
Pipits, Wagtails and Longclaws - Motacillidae
Cuckoo-shrikes - Campephagidae
Bulbuls - Pycnonotidae
Thrushes, Chats and relatives - Turdidae
Flycatchers - Muscicapidae
Batises and Wattle-eyes - Platysteiridae
Chatterers and Illadopses - Timaliidae
Tits - Paridae
Penduline Tits - Remizidae - Anthoscopus musculus
Sunbirds - Nectariniidae
White-eyes - Zosteropidae
Shrikes - Laniidae
Helmet- Shrikes - Prionopidae
Orioles - Oriolidae
Drongos - Dicruridae
Crows, Ravens and Piapiac - Corvidae
Starlings and Oxpeckers - Sturnidae
Sparrows and Petronias - Passeridae
Weavers - Ploceidae
Whydahs and Indigobirds - Viudidae
Seedeaters and Canaries - Fringillidae
Old-World Buntings - Emberizidae