Kenya - May 10-31, 2008

Published by Benjamin Schwartz (benji_schwartz AT

Participants: Benjamin Schwartz, Frank and Tony Wong


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

Golden-breasted Starling
Golden-breasted Starling
Eastern Paradise-Whydah
Eastern Paradise-Whydah
Grey-headed Negrofinch
Grey-headed Negrofinch
Yellow-throated Longclaw
Yellow-throated Longclaw
Sooty chat
Sooty chat
Snowy-crowned Robin
Snowy-crowned Robin

With world-class accommodation, spectacular scenery, and an amazing array of bird and mammal species, Kenya is the ideal destination for both birders and non-birders alike. It also makes an excellent introduction to Africa with habitat ranging from montane forest to open savannah and lowland rainforest with tremendous opportunities to truly study and get to grips with some of Africa’s most iconic species. Run as a custom tour, we were able to completely adjust the intensity of our birding to match our other interests. With a large focus on photography and mammal viewing, as well as a chance to experience some of Kenya’s outstanding culture, we were able to have an enjoyable and relaxed experience while still seeing a large number of fantastic birds.

Day 1: Lake Magadi

Birding in a new place is always a thrill, but when that place is on a different continent, and in an amazing country like Kenya, the excitement is almost unbearable. After having picked up species such as Superb Starling and Marabou Stork on the brief drive to our hotel the previous evening, our first new bird on our first full day was the gorgeous Bronze Sunbird. This unexpected find perched nicely for us on a telephone wire just on the outskirts of Nairobi. Having gotten off to a great start, we continued on our way to Lake Magadi. Brief roadside stops introduced us to some of the more common species such as White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Streaky Seedeater, and Kenya Rufous Sparrow that we would become very familiar with during our trip. A longer stop in Olepolos was our first true introduction to how amazing birding in Kenya can be. The birds just kept on appearing; from the giant White-bellied Go-away-bird to tiny Yellow-bellied Eremomela and species such as Red-and-yellow Barbet, Blue-headed Cordon-bleu, Banded Parisoma, and White-bellied Canary mixed in-between. The real highlight however was the majestic Kori Bustard that seemed not to notice us there and with stately grace walked by within fifteen meters of us!

Continuing on our way we made one final stop as a flock of about 10 Beautiful Sunbird fed on flowers along the roadside just before Lake Magadi. As we arrived, the thrill of hundreds of Flamingoes, both Greater and Lesser, was almost too much to take, but we soon started spotting other shorebirds as the flamingoes melted into the background. Lake Magadi was chock-a-block full of the normally difficult to find Chestnut-banded Plover. Every time our bins were raised, another plover seemed to appear. Combine this with Curlew Sandpiper, slews of Pied Avocet, African Spoonbill, and Yellow-billed Stork, and Lake Magadi was definitely in good form. A final stop at a small water drip turned up African classics such as Namaqua Dove, Cut-throat Finch, Chestnut Sparrow, African Silverbill, and Chestnut Weaver. While it didn’t feel that the excitement of our first day could be matched, we knew there was still a lot more to come!

Day 2: Nairobi NP

Located within the city limits of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi NP is home to over 600 species: the highest species count of any capital city in the world! The almost mind-numbing number of birds seen in our one day here kept us constantly on our toes.

The morning started out with fields full of Red-collared and White-winged Widowbirds dashing about all around us.

We were also surprised and thrilled to find that the fields were full of Cardinal Quelea; a species that is only seasonally common in Kenya and often difficult to find. Driving through the park, birds weren’t the only things on our minds as we soon began to encounter some of the mammals that Africa is famous for. Giraffes became a common background to our birding, but the true mammalian thriller was a gorgeous black rhino seen feeding on the plains. However, in a day of over 100 bird, and 7 mammal species, the highlight was still to come. As we were making our way back towards the exit gate, a strange sight drew all our attention. Out in the field an odd shape could be seen bouncing up and down. As soon as this stopped, the same could be seen in another part of the field, and then another and another. At least six Jackson’s Widowbird, an East African endemic, could be seen displaying all around us! Being able to sit and watch such a rare and amazing feat was definitely the highlight of a day full of amazing experiences!

Day 3: Mt. Kenya – Castle Lodge

Leaving Nairobi, our excitement levels were high as we would now be spending an extended period of time away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The day began around the small town of Thika where we managed to pick up our first waterfowl of the trip with species including Red-billed, White-faced Whistling-, and Yellow-billed Ducks. Further stops along the way produced Black-backed Puffback, African Jacana, and amazing numbers of Intermediate Egret. Feeling ready for lunch, we made our way to Castle Lodge.

Located on Mt. Kenya, Kenya’s highest mountain, we were set for a fabulous time. As hungry as we had all been, our food was unfortunately left to get cold due to the amazing number of sunbirds flitting past our table. The highlight of them all was the absolutely spectacular Tacazze Sunbird. The beautiful sunny day only went to make the iridescent gold and purple on this amazing species even brighter. An afternoon walk through the forest brought us species such as African Crowned-Eagle, Hunter’s Cisticola, African Hill Babbler, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. However, the absolute highlight of the day came as we were on our way to dinner. Sitting at the top of a bare tree was a singing Abbott’s Starling! This East African endemic is confined to the highland slopes of Mt.Kenya and Northern Tanzania. While often extremely difficult to track down, this cooperative bird sat in perfect view for over an hour.

Day 4: Mt. Kenya – Mountain Lodge

While the heat from the fireplace may have kept some of us snug in bed, a persistent Montane Nightjar seemed to have plans of its own for our morning.

Once rousted, the nightjar proceeded to sit in the open, providing excellent spotlight looks at our first nocturnal bird of the trip. As the sun rose, other birds began to make themselves known as well. Best of all, our Abbott’s Starling was back and had brought six of his friends. We now had a great chance to study both the males and the females. While difficult to tear ourselves away from this great bird, we knew there were still plenty of species for us to pick up. We quickly encountered, amongst others, Montane Oriole, Black-throated Apalis, and Kandt’s Waxbill. Having already had a fulfilling morning, we decided it was past time for some coffee and a great breakfast before heading on our way.

En-route to Mountain Lodge, a brief stop was all that was needed to find a lovely pair of roosting African Wood Owl. Accidentally flushing this bird was an overall bonus as it perched quite close and was immediately mobbed by a massive flurry of birds including Grey-capped Warbler, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, and Yellow-whiskered Greenbul. After taking in all the excitement of this mobbing action, we decided to leave the owl in peace and continue on our way to Mountain Lodge. While the bird activity here was rather slow, it did provide some excellent photographic opportunities and along with excellent views of the fantastic Golden-winged Sunbird and massive numbers of Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon. The mammal viewing also went a long way to make up for the slow birding.

African buffalo, defassa waterbuck, and bushbuck surrounded the waterhole in the afternoon, while darkness brought spotted hyena, greater-spotted genet, and white-tailed mongoose.

Day 5: Naru Moru

Feeling bad for their previous day’s inactivity, the birds this morning definitely seemed to feel they had some catching up to do. As soon as the sun hit the trees the birds started hopping around in earnest. We quickly picked up many of the specialties including Grey and Chestnut-throated Apalis, Slender-billed Greenbul, and fantastic views of Hartlaub’s Turaco. After a fantastic session of binocular aerobics, we sat down to a great breakfast before beginning our journey to Naru Moru.

Passing through the Solio Plains, we quickly began accumulating even more species. The most fantastic of all though were the magnificent Long-tailed Widowbird in amazing breeding plumage. With foot-and-a-half long tails, watching these birds flit through the grasslands was an awe-inspiring sight! Other highlights here included African Silverbill, Northern Anteater-Chat, and massive flocks of the worlds most numerous land passerine: the Red-billed Quelea. Arriving at Naru Moru after a hectic morning of birding, we decided to relax a bit and watch as the splendid Tacazze, Bronze, and Golden-winged Sunbirds all vied for position at the flowering Jacarandas. Even in our relaxed mood, we couldn’t help but pick up species such as Rufous Chatterer, Black Cuckoo-Shrike, and African Hawk-Eagle.

Day 6: Lake Naivasha

After some pre-breakfast birding, we were set to descend into the warmer climes of the Great Rift Valley. Our first stop on the way to Lake Naivasha was at the famous Mackinder’s Eagle-Owl site where we were able to get some excellent photos of our second day-roosting owl of the trip. We then made our way to Thompson Falls. This stunning waterfall is surrounded by picturesque gardens filled with birds.

While marveling at a gorgeous Amethyst Sunbird overhead, our attention was quickly diverted as a pair of Sharpe’s Starling flew into a bare tree. These striking, though not easily found, starlings hung about for quite a while as they popped in and out of what turned out to be a large cavity nest. While we could have sat watching and photographing these stunners for ages, hunger pangs began to set in and we decided to continue on our way.

After gorging ourselves on a terrific lunch at Lake Naivasha, we loaded up into a canoe to let the food settle. Normally designed as a chance to see hippo, of which we saw two very large pods, the bird viewing was astounding as well. While watching a surprisingly friendly Giant Kingfisher, we quickly began ticking off cuckoos as Klaas’s, Dideric, African, and Red-chested Cuckoos all flew into a group of lakeside acacias. Other sightings from the canoe included Red-headed and Grosbeak Weavers, Grey-crowned Crane, Purple Gallinule, and hundreds of breeding plumage Whiskered Tern. Well pleased with our relaxing afternoon effort, but still wanting more, we explored the grounds of the Lake Naivasha Country Club. Just as the light was fading we managed to track down a singing Black Cuckoo, of the less widespread gabonensis subspecies, that seemed to be arriving a bit late for the earlier cuckoo party.

Day 7: Hell’s Gate and Lake Nakuru

An old volcanic crater, Hell’s Gate NP provides stunning scenery as the massive cliff faces rise out of the open plains. Our birding here began with a bang as Schalow’s Wheatear, one of the local specialties, was found hopping in a garden right at the entrance gate. Although not everyone was impressed with the beauty of this species, it is quite striking for a wheatear. Entering the park, our first stop was at a giant outcrop known as Witch’s Tit. While usually fairly active with passerines, a soaring pair of Lanner Falcon seemed to be keeping the birds hidden. We continued on through the massive herds of zebra and had excellent views of nearly 75 perched and soaring Rueppell’s Griffon. While swift numbers were low, we did manage to separate the Nyanza from the more common African Black Swifts. A final stop at the Witch’s Tit found the falcons perched and a very responsive Mocking Cliff-Chat before we left to begin the drive to Lake Nakuru.

Lake Nakuru is always an amazing experience and this afternoon was no exception. An attempt to drive straight from the entrance gate all the way to the lodge without stopping turned out to be futile as within minutes of entering the park two large francolins ran across the road. While worried we might miss out on lunch, we couldn’t stop ourselves from reaching for bins. It was definitely a good thing we did as the birds turned out to be two Hildebrandt’s Francolin frantically chasing each other on the road. While locally common, this species is often very difficult to pick up and always a good find. Just making it to the lodge in time for lunch, we spent some time relaxing before heading back out to see what other birds the park had in store. We weren’t disappointed as we quickly found Green Woodhoopoe, Blue-naped Mousebird, and Lilac-breasted Roller. The birding continued to be fantastic with hundreds of Great White Pelican and both Lesser and Greater Flamingoes, but the real highlight came just as we were about to start our return journey to the lodge. Having stopped to watch a Red-capped Lark, our attention was immediately drawn away by a black-backed jackal being chased by, and then chasing, a Grant’s gazelle. As if this wasn’t enough of a show, a spotted hyena came to join in the fun. While all the animals ended up going their separate ways, seeing this natural interplay is truly one of the most quintessential of African experiences.

Day 8: Lake Nakuru to Lake Baringo

Stepping out of our cabins as the sun was rising we were immediately greeted by the sight of thousands of White Pelican covering the surface of Lake Nakuru. While flamingo numbers weren’t as high, this was soon forgotten as we began ticking off species on our way to breakfast. White-browed Robin-Chat, Northern Black-Flycatcher, African Thrush, and Grey-headed Woodpecker were all seen within minutes of opening our doors and breakfast itself was interrupted by a stunning male Mocking Cliff-Chat hopping under our table. As we began our drive, the morning’s frenzy continued with amazing sightings including Common Scimitar-bill, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black-crowned Tchagra, Northern Crombec, and a stately Secretarybird. With final views of more Hildebrandt’s Francolin, we decided to depart Nakuru as the morning activity died down.

With Baringo being a center for the troubles of a few months past, it was wonderful to be greeted so enthusiastically by residents happy to see a return to normality. While some of the lodges in the area hadn’t reopened, the birds took no notice and were as prolific as ever. Though ventures further afield were planned for the afternoon, the massive number of birds in the lakeshore gardens ended up keeping us completely occupied. A virtual feast of fallen seeds was well underway when we arrived and some of the bird highlights included Jackson’s Hornbill – a specialty of the area, Rueppell’s Long-tailed Glossy-Starling, Brown Babbler, White-billed Buffalo-Weaver, and Spotted Palm-Thrush. As rain and strong winds began to pick up, a beautiful double rainbow was our last sight before turning in for the night.

Day 9: Lake Baringo to Kakamega Forest

While the number of nocturnal birds that can usually be found at Baringo was low, the famous Baringo Cliffs more than made up for their absence. Starting off the morning with terrific sightings of a pair of roosting Grayish Eagle-Owl, we soon became swamped with birds including Pygmy Batis, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, and Bristle-crowned Starling. Heading to the cliffs, we soon picked out Mouse-colored Penduline-Tit, Brown-tailed Rock Chat, Red-fronted Warbler, and Green-winged Pytilia. After picking up a slew of new birds, we departed from Baringo excited to reach our next destination. Kakamega forest stands alone in Kenya as a last patch of Congolese Rainforest. As such, there are many species here that can’t be found anywhere else in Kenya. We were all extremely excited to reach this unique destination and our optimism for its possibilities was quickly justified. Before even having a chance to check into Rondo Retreat, a pair of the comical and cartoonish Great Blue Turaco were spotted in a tree directly outside our cabin. Perched out in the open, these birds allowed excellent views (and photos) before they began running through the trees like giant, crested squirrels. While on-and-off-again downpours made the last hour of birding before sunset difficult, it didn’t stop us picking up a couple more goodies in the form of Grey-winged Robin-Chat and Brown-chested Alethe. With two full days of birding Kakamega ahead of us, it was a thrill to have picked up two quite difficult birds within our first hour!

Day 10: Kakamega Forest

With heavy rain continuing throughout the night, we were quite relieved when it finally let up as the sun rose. And no sooner had the rain stopped than the birds came out in force! Before even reaching the dining room we had seen Slender-billed Greenbul, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, White-headed Saw-wing, and, best of all, the globally threatened and extremely range restricted Turner’s Eremomela. With such a great start to the day, we didn’t think things could possibly improve; little did we know what was in store! Birding around the grounds of Rondo Retreat turned out to be extremely productive. Flowering trees brought in swarms of Green-headed, Green-throated, Bronze, Scarlet-chested, and Northern Double-collared Sunbirds while Grey-winged and Snowy-crowned Robin-Chats hopped on the ground nearby. Making our way out to the road we quickly picked up goodies such as White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Blue-Flycatcher, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, and Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill.

Feeling quite happy with our morning effort, we jokingly commented that it was a shame we hadn’t seen more barbets about. Well, they must have heard us and been offended because they showed up in force once we arrived back at our cabin. Grey-throated, Double-toothed, Hairy-breasted, and Yellow-spotted Barbets were all seen feeding on a bush just behind the main office! Watching their feeding frenzy soon made us realize we were due for one of our own before beginning our afternoon jaunt.

Unfortunately the rains once again began just as we were about to head further afield into the forest. We started on our way regardless of the weather, but the deluge soon had us questioning our sanity. Just as we were about to give up and head back, a Black-faced Rufous Warbler was heard and we decided to brave the rain and exit the van to track it down. As soon as we stepped out of the vehicle the rain suddenly stopped and not only did we see the warbler, but a very obliging Leudher’s Bush-shrike flew within meters of us for excellent looks (though we were all kicking ourselves for not having cameras with us due to the rain). With the rain stopped, we continued our walk with highlights including Olive-green Camaroptera, Banded Prinia, Kakamega Greenbul, and Dusky Tit. As a grand finale to a terrific day, two notorious skulkers, Equatorial Akalat and Brown-chested Alethe, came out into the open on the side of the road!

Day 11: Kakamega

Still on a bird-high from the previous days bonanza, we spent the day searching the forest interior for some of Kakamegas more difficult species. While the quantity was no match for the day before, the quality was definitely up there. Within minutes of starting we had picked up Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Uganda Wood-Warbler, Brown-eared Woodpecker, and Olive-green Camaroptera. Continuing deeper into this lush forest the birding got more difficult, but the benefits seemed greater. The piercing call of Scaly-breasted Illadopsis could be heard all around us while Red-tailed Bristlebill and Cabanis’s Greenbul hopped through the undergrowth. We were soon lucky enough to hit a large flock where we picked out species such as Pink-footed Puffback, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Red-headed Malimbe, Dusky Crested-Flycatcher, Yellowbill, and both Chestnut and Yellow-breasted Wattle-eyes. One of the highlights though was spotting what on first sight appeared to be a Red-bellied Paradise-Flycatcher; an extremely rare bird in the region. On closer inspection, the bird in question turned out to be a partial hybrid with African Paradise-Flycatcher (a much more common bird in the region). While having a red belly and lacking the white in the wings, the gray-blue of the head came down to merge slightly with the red. Definitely a gorgeous bird and all the more exciting for the controversy it raised over countability! Though bird activity slowed down in the afternoon, stunning Red-headed Bluebill and Blue-headed Bee-eater made the extra effort well worthwhile!

Day 12: Masai Mara

Though mostly a driving day, Kenya is the sort of place where it’s near impossible not to see new birds. Leaving Kakamega before the birds were active, we arrived at Kisumu quite early and decided to take advantage of the situation by having a peak at one of Africa’s largest lakes: Lake Victoria. Massive numbers of Hammerkop surrounded us as we watched Fan-tailed Widowbird and the absolutely stunning Red-chested Sunbird flit through the reeds. With our photographic thirst quenched we left Lake Victoria only to come to a screeching halt on the outskirts of Kisumu as a horde of African Openbill landed in the roadside rice paddies!

After a long drive, we arrived in the Mara with a bit of light remaining and birded our way to the lodge. While Water Thick-knee, Black Coucal, and Yellow-throated Longclaw were all impressive, the true draw of the Masai Mara is in the assortment and pure number of mammals. Huge herds (properly referred to as “dazzles”) of zebra could be seen frolicking on the open plains with Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, impala, topi, wildebeest, and hartebeest while stately giraffe fed in the distance. An obliging family of elephant passed extremely close while a hyena with numerous cubs wrestled and yelped right next to the van (one of the cubs actually started trying to eat the vans radio antenna before we decided it was time to go!) With a late afternoon thunder storm rolling in, we arrived at the lodge full of anticipation for what the next couple days would bring!

Day 13: Masai Mara

The Masai Mara definitely did not disappoint us today. Starting off the morning we quickly picked up Rosy-throated Longclaw, Parasitic Weaver, and displaying Flappet Lark. Our mind soon turned from birds though as we caught sight of a cheetah with two cubs perched atop a termite mound. These stunning animals were very cooperative and provided excellent photo opportunities. By the time other vehicles arrived to check out our sighting, they seemed rather confused as we were all facing away from the cheetah to get photos of a lovely displaying Sooty Chat and a covey of Harlequin Quail. Continuing on, we soon encountered our second large cat species for the morning: a male and female lion. Not at all wary of our presence, the true king of the African savannah got up to stretch and show off within mere meters of the vehicle! With our excitement levels high we drove off in search of more amazing experiences.

The afternoon found us in the midst of hundreds of zebra. The sea of black-and-white stripes was almost mind boggling and it was easy to see how their hides provide a great strategy for confusing potential predators. As we continued driving we noticed a distinct lack of ungulates and soon spotted the cause: a lone cheetah on the prowl and looking quite hungry! Even while surrounded by such amazing mammals, birds were not neglected. African Wattled Lapwing sat preening on the shore of the Mara River surrounded by hippos and crocodiles while Singing Bushlark flitted between hooves. Stopped to view a stunning Lappet-faced Vulture, we were commenting on the seeming lack of large ground dwelling birds when a White-bellied Bustard flew from the tall grasses. Not 100 meters later a pair of Black-bellied Bustard dust bathing in the middle of the road provided an excellent close to the day.

Day 14: Masai Mara

Deviating slightly from birding, today was spent experiencing the local Masai culture. Visiting a small village, we were allowed to see the traditional lifestyle led by this ancient tribal group. Primarily shepherds leading a semi-nomadic existence, the villages lack electricity, running water, and many of the other modern amenities that are often considered so essential to our survival. Greeted by a traditional dance of welcome, the chief was kind enough to give us a tour through the small village and through his small shelter. While we were all fascinated by the Masai way of life, they seemed equally enthralled with our birding gear and looking through the spotting scope was definitely a highlight for them.

Though our day was rather relaxing and not a lot of time was spent searching for birds, we still managed some extraordinary species. Walking around the grounds of one of the lodges we were stopped in our tracks as Ross’s Turaco began calling nearby. Tracking the bird down, we were able to get spectacular looks of this stunning purple, yellow, and red bird. While watching these, we were flabbergasted as two Schalow’s Turaco flew into the same tree. While this is your more run-of-the-mill green turaco, its extremely long crest makes it quite distinctive and its limited range in East Africa makes it all that much more exciting. Seeing both of these spectacular turacos in one tree surely makes up for the lack of time spent birding during the rest of the day! Still, we did manage quite a few other species including Gray Kestrel, Capped Wheatear, Slate-colored Boubou, Long-billed Pipit, and the range restricted Usambiro Barbet. Add to this over 20 species of mammal, including great views of both cheetah and lion, and the combination of culture, birding, photography, and mammal viewing was definitely a success!

Day 15: Masai Mara to Nairobi

Primarily a travel day, our morning began with a final drive through the vast open plains of the Mara. With mammals and birds at every turn, it’s always difficult to say good-bye to this fantastic region. With final views of elephant, giraffe, zebra, and many others, we left the park to start our journey back to Nairobi. The drive brought us through more amazing scenery and, once up the escarpment, superb views over the Great Rift Valley. Before arriving in Nairobi, a stop at the Limuru ponds rounded off our waterfowl list with species such as Maccoa, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, and the often difficult to find White-backed Duck. Though this was the end of the standard two-week tour, we had all luckily signed up for the eastern extension and were thrilled to know that there was still so much more to see and explore.

Day 16: Nairobi to Tsavo West

Leaving the city once again, we were all quite excited to see what our first new bird in the east would be. We definitely weren’t disappointed! A short stop at Hobcraft Ranch on our way to Tsavo proved to be extremely beneficial. While the bird numbers here weren’t extremely high, the quality was tremendous and we quickly picked up our number one target species: Red-throated Tit. This endemic of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania is often quite difficult to find and we were absolutely flabbergasted at the ease with which we saw this species and how cooperative it was in giving us great views! Our day definitely would have been well spent if that was the only species we saw but, Kenya being Kenya, there’s always more to come. Arriving in Tsavo we briefly birded the area around the gate where we picked up Hunter’s Sunbird, the dodsoni subspecies of Common Bulbul, and the fantastically tiny Pygmy Falcon. Other highlights of our afternoon drive and time spent photographing birds around the lodge include African Bare-eyed Thrush, Spot-flanked Barbet, Spotted Mourning-Thrush, and Abyssinian Scimitar-bill.

Day 17: Tsavo West

Eating breakfast before first light, we were stationed and ready as the first birds came in to a wonderful fruiting fig tree on the lodge grounds. African Green Pigeon, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, and Black-throated Barbet could all be seen partaking in their early morning feast before we hit the roads to see what else Tsavo had to offer. After the vast open plains of the Masai Mara, birding in Tsavo was quite a shock to the system. Rather than open savannah with sparse acacias, Tsavo is acacia woodland and seemed extraordinarily dense after our time in the Mara. As we got used to our new surroundings, we quickly realized that though the mammals are quite similar, the birds are very different. We soon began racking up new species including Pink-breasted Lark, Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Pangani Longclaw, and Black-capped Social-Weaver. As the day began to heat up and bird activity diminished we decided to explore the natural beauty around us. With the snow-covered summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background we drove through the stunning valleys that make up this section of Tsavo. Giraffe, elephant, and lesser kudu could all be seen making their way through this truly remote wilderness.

Early afternoon found us at Sagala Lodge. Taking advantage of being able to leave the van behind and explore on foot, we once again began to quickly find some astounding birds. Fischer’s Starling were quite common along with African Black-headed Oriole and Tsavo Purple-banded Sunbird. Large amounts of chattering overhead soon brought our walk to a halt as we found a tree filled with species including White-crested Helmetshrike, Slate-colored Boubou, Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird, and Yellow-spotted Petronia. Searching for what had caused all the raucous, we soon discovered two well camouflaged Pearl-spotted Owlet perched in the center of the tree. Seeing this mobbing behavior was truly spectacular, but the real highlight was still to come. Making our way back to the lodge we came across one of the most stunning sights any of us had seen: a tree full of Golden-breasted Starling. With its iridescent blue-purple back and long tail, this bird is nice enough from behind, but with the first hint of its bright golden-yellow belly, the heart truly starts racing. The Golden-breasted Starling was immediately elevated to favorite bird of the trip!

Day 18: Taita Hills to Tsavo East

Ascending from the hot and dry woodlands of Tsavo, we found ourselves in the isolated forests of the Taita Hills. Separated from other montane forests, the Taita Hills have evolved three unique subspecies which may well deserve full species status. These were of course the birds we were in hot pursuit of. While the Taita White-eye (a sub-species of Montane White-eye) was, as always, easy to find, the other two proved quite difficult. Hearing the Taita Apalis (a sub-species of Bar-throated Apalis) quite frequently didn’t seem to help in actually setting eyes on them. After an exhaustive search we were near the point of giving up when once again the bird began calling in the canopy up-slope of us. Dashing off into the forest, we were shocked when, rather than the apalis, we quite suddenly came face-to-face with the Taita Thrush (a sub-species of Olive Thrush). Within a few minutes we had nailed the apalis as well. While our fleeting glimpses left us wanting more, we were thrilled that our arduous effort hadn’t been in vain. While these three species were by far the highlight of our morning excursion, other species included Yellow-throated Wood-Warbler, Stripe-cheeked Bulbul, and Cabanis’s Greenbul.

Returning to the lowlands, we made our way to Tsavo East where we once again began picking up open-country species including African Mourning Dove, Gray Wren-Warbler, and Three-streaked Tchagra. The real highlight of the afternoon however was another lion sighting. While these magnificent beasts tend to be fairly lazy and inactive during the day, the late afternoon found one lioness out on the hunt. First spotted trying to stealthily peer over an embankment, the lioness soon turned her attention our way and came strutting down the road right next to our van. Seeing such a powerful creature in action so close was the thrill of a lifetime!

Day 19: Tsavo East to Malindi

Our last morning in what is so often thought of as quintessential Africa was spent searching the acacias for previously missed species. As a last opportunity for Africa’s big game, time was also spent getting final pictures of the elephant, giraffe, zebra, and myriad antelope that we had gotten so used to. With flocks of Red-billed Quelea numbering in the thousands and a varied assortment of sparrow-weavers, sparrow-larks, buffalo-weavers, starlings, and francolins surrounding us, it was a truly phenomenal farewell. The highlight however was a chance encounter with a Golden Pipit. Unlike the majority of pipits – drab, brown-streaked, and often confusing – this species is bright yellow with a small black breast-band and is absolutely stunning. While often quite difficult to find, we were extremely lucky in seeing two perched up in plain view. It was definitely a fantastic ending to our time in Tsavo!

As we made our way to the coast the rain began to fall. With a brief window of clear skies we stopped at Mida Creek. As we made our way out onto the flats, we began picking up a host of shorebirds. However, as we reached the bird hide it immediately began pouring down rain once again. Not deterred, we starting ticking of waders including Lesser Sandplover, Terek Sandpiper, and, our target bird, the odd looking Crab-plover. Having picked up our key species and ready for a hot shower at the beach resort, we made our way back to the van wet but pleased with having gotten the birds we wanted.

Day 20: Sokoke Forest and Sabaki River

With the heavy rains from the previous evening continuing through breakfast, we decided to brave the elements and see what we could find at the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. This isolated remnant patch of coastal lowland rainforest is home to many endemic and specialty species and we were thrilled when the rain stopped just as we arrived. We soon began picking up birds such as Green Barbet, African Golden Oriole, Pallid Honeyguide, and the stunning red-crested Fischer’s Turaco – all the more exciting as it was one of the specialties we were searching for! Heading into the lush brachystigia forest the birding started out slow but we were soon going at break-neck speed as we ran into a couple feeding flocks. Birds here included Retz’s and Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrikes, brightly colored Narina Trogon, tiny Little Yellow Flycatcher and Pale Batis, Forest Weaver, and amazing views of the endemic Mombasa Woodpecker. Hardly able to keep up with all the activity, we continued on to search for another of Sokokes endemic specialties. Walking along the road, the soft whistle of the Sokoke Pipit was suddenly heard nearby and we quickly dashed off into the forest. Skulking along the forest floor, this species is often quite difficult to find but we were lucky enough to have two sit up perched for us out in the open; one facing towards us and the other away just to be sure that we could have the best views imaginable! Hardly able to tear ourselves away, lunch was beckoning and we reluctantly left this amazing forest.

Wanting a chance at better photographic opportunities, we decided that the afternoon would be spent in the more open habitat of the Sabaki River mouth. While the weather remained in our favor, we never would have guessed what the afternoon had in store for us. Starting out with a beautiful blue sky, the rain again began to fall just as we were arriving at the Sabaki River. Within moments, the van became stuck in the mud. Despite all our best efforts, it seemed we would be there for a while. Quite close to our final destination, we set out birding as the local villagers arrived to replace us in helping our driver out of the muck. Scanning the flats we soon began spotting new birds for the trip including African Skimmer, Greater and Lesser Crested Terns, Eurasian Curlew, and Lesser Black-backed Gull. As the sun began to set, we returned to the van only to find that it had been abandoned. Two local children informed us that the villagers’ efforts had accomplished little more than our own so they had all gone off to find a tractor. Taking advantage of our “extra” birding time, we were lucky enough to see lovely flocks of Madagascar Pratincole coming in to roost. Just as we began to give up hope of our drivers return, the tractor’s bright lights rounded the corner. In holiday mood, the villagers quickly had us out of the mud and on our way. No Kenyan experience is complete without getting stuck in the mud at least once and due to the friendly Kenyan nature, what could have been a very frustrating situation ended up being quite a lark!

Day 21: Lake Jilare and Mida Creek

With the morning once again looking rather rainy, we set out to brave the weather and were once again thrilled when the rain stopped just as we reached our destination. Lake Jilare, located on the far side of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest on the road towards Tsavo’s Sala gate, is a lovely haven for water birds and surrounded by beautiful acacia woodland. With the sun beginning to shine the birds became active and we quickly picked up Jacobin Cuckoo, Mouse-colored sunbird, and Scaly Babbler. Scanning the open water, the absolutely stunning African Pygmy-Goose was quickly spotted and, to everyone’s extreme delight, a Mangrove Kingfisher came to perch quite nearby. Though in the seemingly wrong habitat, this lovely species seemed to feel perfectly at home in the acacia surrounded lake.

With a long journey home the following day, it was decided that the afternoon should be spent enjoying the marvelous Kenyan coast and relaxing on the beach while the weather held out. As the clouds began to close in, we decided that one last foray should be made to Mida Creek to attempt some non-rain-drenched photos of the Crab Plover. Arriving at high tide, all the waders were fabulously close and we were able to get to grips with many of this often confusing group of birds. While photography was our main goal, we couldn’t help but pick up a few new species including Ruddy Turnstone and Woolly-necked Stork.

Species Lists

1, (Common) Ostrich, Struthio camelus
2, Little Grebe (Dabchick), Tachybaptus ruficollis
3, Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus
4, Pink-backed Pelican, Pelecanus rufescens
5, Great (White-breasted) Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
6, Long-tailed (Reed) Cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus
7, Darter, Anhinga melanogaster
8, Gray Heron, Ardea cinerea
9, Black-headed Heron, Ardea melanocephala
10, Goliath Heron, Ardea goliath
11, Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea
12, Great Egret (Egret), Ardea alba
13, Intermediate Egret, Egretta intermedia
14, Little Egret, Egretta garzetta
15, Dimorphic Egret, Egretta garzetta dimorpha
16, Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
17, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
18, Hamerkop, Scopus umbretta
19, Yellow-billed Stork, Mycteria ibis
20, African Openbill, Anastomus lamelligerus
21, Woolly-necked Stork, Ciconia episcopus
22, Marabou Stork, Leptoptilos crumeniferus
23, Sacred Ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
24, Hadada Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash
25, Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
26, African Spoonbill, Platalea alba
27, Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus
28, Lesser Flamingo, Phoenicopterus minor
29, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Dendrocygna bicolor
30, White-faced Whistling-Duck, Dendrocygna viduata
31, White-backed Duck, Thalassornis leuconotus
32, Egyptian Goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus
33, Comb (Knob-billed) Duck, Sarkidiornis melanotos
34, African Pygmy-goose, Nettapus auritus
35, Yellow-billed Duck, Anas undulata
36, Red-billed Duck, Anas erythrorhyncha
37, Maccoa Duck, Oxyura maccoa
38, Black-shouldered Kite, Elanus caeruleus
39, Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus migrans aegyptius
40, African Fish-Eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer
41, White-backed Vulture, Gyps africanus
42, Rueppell's Griffon, Gyps rueppellii
43, Lappet-faced Vulture, Torgos tracheliotus
44, White-headed Vulture, Trigonoceps occipitalis
45, Brown Snake-Eagle, Circaetus cinereus
46, Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus
47, African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene), Polyboroides typus
48, Lizard Buzzard, Kaupifalco monogrammicus
49, Eastern Chanting-Goshawk, Melierax poliopterus
50, Gabar Goshawk, Micronisus gabar
51, Black Goshawk, Accipiter melanoleucus
52, Augur Buzzard, Buteo augur
53, Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax
54, Wahlberg's Eagle, Aquila wahlbergi
55, African Hawk-Eagle, Aquila spilogaster
56, Martial Eagle, Polemaetus bellicosus
57, Long-crested Eagle, Lophaetus occipitalis
58, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, Stephanoaetus coronatus
59, Secretary-bird, Sagittarius serpentarius
60, Pygmy Falcon, Polihierax semitorquatus
61, Gray Kestrel, Falco ardosiaceus
62, Lanner Falcon, Falco biarmicus
63, Crested Francolin, Francolinus sephaena
64, Scaly Francolin, Francolinus squamatus
65, Hildebrandt's Francolin, Francolinus hildebrandti
66, Yellow-necked Francolin (Spurfowl), Francolinus leucoscepus
67, Red-necked Francolin (Spurfowl), Francolinus afer
68, Harlequin Quail, Coturnix delegorguei
69, Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris
70, Gray (Southern) Crowned-Crane, Balearica regulorum
71, Black Crake, Amaurornis flavirostris
72, Purple Swamphen, Porphyrio porphyrio
73, Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
74, Red-knobbed Coot, Fulica cristata
75, Kori Bustard, Ardeotis kori
76, White-bellied Bustard, Eupodotis senegalensis
77, Buff-crested Bustard, Eupodotis gindiana
78, Black-bellied Bustard, Lissotis melanogaster
79, African Jacana, Actophilornis africanus
80, Crab Plover, Dromas ardeola
81, Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus
82, Pied Avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta
83, Water Thick-knee (Dikkop), Burhinus vermiculatus
84, Madagascar Pratincole, Glareola ocularis
85, Long-toed Lapwing, Vanellus crassirostris
86, Blacksmith Plover, Vanellus armatus
87, Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus spinosus
88, Black-headed Lapwing, Vanellus tectus
89, Black-winged Lapwing, Vanellus melanopterus
90, Crowned Lapwing, Vanellus coronatus
91, Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus senegallus
92, Black-bellied Plover, Pluvialis squatarola
93, Common Ringed Plover, Charadrius hiaticula
94, Kittlitz's Plover, Charadrius pecuarius
95, Three-banded Plover, Charadrius tricollaris
96, Chestnut-banded Plover, Charadrius pallidus
97, Lesser Sandplover, Charadrius mongolus
98, Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
99, Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata
100, Common Greenshank, Tringa nebularia
101, Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola
102, Terek Sandpiper, Xenus cinereus
103, Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
104, Ruddy Turnstone, Arenaria interpres
105, Sanderling, Calidris alba
106, Little Stint, Calidris minuta
107, Temminck's Stint, Calidris temminckii
108, Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
109, Ruff, Philomachus pugnax
110, Sooty Gull, Larus hemprichii
111, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Larus fuscus
112, Gray-headed Gull, Larus cirrocephalus
113, Lesser Crested Tern, Sterna bengalensis
114, Great Crested (Swift) Tern, Sterna bergii
115, Whiskered Tern, Chlidonias hybridus
116, African Skimmer, Rynchops flavirostris
117, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Pterocles decoratus
118, Rock (Feral) Pigeon, Columba livia
119, Speckled (Rock) Pigeon, Columba guinea
120, Rameron (Olive) Pigeon, Columba arquatrix
121, Delegorgue's (Eastern Bronze-naped) Pigeon, Columba delegorguei
122, Dusky Turtle-Dove, Streptopelia lugens
123, African Mourning Dove, Streptopelia decipiens
124, Red-eyed Dove, Streptopelia semitorquata
125, Ring-necked (Cape Turtle) Dove, Streptopelia capicola
126, Laughing Dove, Streptopelia senegalensis
127, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Turtur chalcospilos
128, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Turtur afer
129, Tambourine Dove, Turtur tympanistria
130, Namaqua Dove, Oena capensis
131, African Green-Pigeon, Treron calva
132, Fischer's Lovebird, Agapornis fischeri
133, Red-fronted Parrot, Poicephalus gulielmi
134, Red-bellied (African Orange-bellied) Parrot, Poicephalus rufiventris
135, Great Blue Turaco, Corythaeola cristata
136, Schalow's Turaco, Tauraco schalowi
137, White-crested Turaco, Tauraco leucolophus
138, Fischer's Turaco, Tauraco fischeri
139, Hartlaub's Turaco, Tauraco hartlaubi
140, Ross's Turaco, Musophaga rossae
141, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Corythaixoides leucogaster
142, Pied (Black-and-white, Jacobin) Cuckoo, Clamator jacobinus
143, Red-chested Cuckoo, Cuculus solitarius
144, Black Cuckoo, Cuculus clamosus
145, African Cuckoo, Cuculus gularis
146, Klaas's Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx klaas
147, African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus
148, Dideric Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx caprius
149, Yellowbill (Green Coucal), Ceuthmochares aereus
150, Black Coucal, Centropus grillii
151, White-browed Coucal, Centropus superciliosus
152, Cape [Mackinder's] Eagle-Owl, Bubo capensis
153, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Bubo africanus
154, Grayish Eagle-Owl, Bubo cinerascens
155, Verreaux's (Giant) Eagle-Owl, Bubo lacteus
156, African Wood-Owl, Strix woodfordii
157, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum
158, Abyssinian (Montane) Nightjar, Caprimulgus poliocephalus
159, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus clarus
160, Bat-like (Bohm's) Spinetail, Neafrapus boehmi
161, African Palm-Swift, Cypsiurus parvus
162, Mottled Swift, Tachymarptis aequatorialis
163, Nyanza Swift, Apus niansae
164, African (Black) Swift, Apus barbatus
165, Little Swift, Apus affinis
166, White-rumped Swift, Apus caffer
167, Speckled Mousebird, Colius striatus
168, White-headed Mousebird, Colius leucocephalus
169, Blue-naped Mousebird, Urocolius macrourus
170, Narina Trogon, Apaloderma narina
171, Bar-tailed Trogon, Apaloderma vittatum
172, Malachite Kingfisher, Alcedo cristata
173, African Pygmy-Kingfisher, Ispidina picta
174, Gray-headed (Gray-hooded) Kingfisher, Halcyon leucocephala
175, Woodland Kingfisher, Halcyon senegalensis
176, Mangrove Kingfisher, Halcyon senegaloides
177, Striped Kingfisher, Halcyon chelicuti
178, Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maximus
179, Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis
180, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Merops muelleri
181, White-fronted Bee-eater, Merops bullockoides
182, Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus
183, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Merops oreobates
184, White-throated Bee-eater, Merops albicollis
185, Madagascar (Olive) Bee-eater, Merops superciliosus
186, Lilac-breasted Roller, Coracias caudata
187, Rufous-crowned (Purple) Roller, Coracias naevia
188, [African Hoopoe], [Upupa africana]
189, Green (Red-billed) Woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus purpureus
190, Common (Greater) Scimitar-bill, Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
191, Abyssinian Scimitar-bill, Rhinopomastus minor
192, Red-billed Hornbill, Tockus erythrorhynchus
193, Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Tockus flavirostris
194, Jackson's Hornbill, Tockus jacksoni
195, Von der Decken's Hornbill, Tockus deckeni
196, Crowned Hornbill, Tockus alboterminatus
197, Hemprich's Hornbill, Tockus hemprichii
198, African Gray Hornbill, Tockus nasutus
199, Trumpeter Hornbill, Ceratogymna bucinator
200, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Ceratogymna brevis
201, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Ceratogymna subcylindricus
202, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Bucorvus leadbeateri
203, Gray-throated Barbet, Gymnobucco bonapartei
204, Green Barbet, Stactolaema olivacea
205, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus bilineatus
206, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus pusillus
207, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Buccanodon duchaillui
208, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Tricholaema hirsuta
209, Red-fronted Barbet, Tricholaema diademata
210, Spot-flanked Barbet, Tricholaema lachrymosa
211, Black-throated Barbet, Tricholaema melanocephala
212, White-headed Barbet, Lybius leucocephalus
213, Double-toothed Barbet, Lybius bidentatus
214, Yellow-billed Barbet, Trachyphonus purpuratus
215, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Trachyphonus erythrocephalus
216, D'Arnaud's Barbet, Trachyphonus darnaudii
217, Usambiro Barbet, Trachyphonus darnaudii usambiro
218, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Indicator variegatus
219, Lesser Honeyguide, Indicator minor
220, Least Honeyguide, Indicator exilis
221, Pallid Honeyguide, Indicator meliphilus
222, Nubian Woodpecker, Campethera nubica
223, Mombasa Woodpecker, Campethera mombassica
224, Tullberg's (Fine-banded) Woodpecker, Campethera tullbergi
225, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Campethera caroli
226, Cardinal Woodpecker, Dendropicos fuscescens
227, Bearded Woodpecker, Dendropicos namaquus
228, Gray-headed Woodpecker, Dendropicos spodocephalus
229, Singing Bushlark, Mirafra cantillans
230, Red-winged Lark, Mirafra hypermetra
231, Rufous-naped Lark, Mirafra africana
232, Flappet Lark, Mirafra rufocinnamomea
233, Pink-breasted Lark, Calendulauda poecilosterna
234, Foxy (Fawn-colored, Abyssinian) Lark, Calendulauda alopex
235, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark, Eremopterix signata
236, Fischer's Sparrow-Lark, Eremopterix leucopareia
237, Red-capped Lark, Calandrella cinerea
238, Plain (Brown-throated Sand) Martin, Riparia paludicola
239, Banded Martin, Riparia cincta
240, Rock Martin, Ptyonoprogne fuligula
241, Barn (European) Swallow, Hirundo rustica
242, Angola Swallow, Hirundo angolensis
243, Wire-tailed Swallow, Hirundo smithii
244, Lesser Striped-Swallow, Cecropis abyssinica
245, Rufous-chested (Red-breasted) Swallow, Cecropis semirufa
246, Mosque Swallow, Cecropis senegalensis
247, Red-rumped Swallow, Cecropis daurica
248, White-headed Sawwing, Psalidoprocne albiceps
249, Blue (Black) Sawwing, Psalidoprocne pristoptera
250, African Pied Wagtail, Motacilla aguimp
251, Cape Wagtail, Motacilla capensis
252, Mountain (Long-tailed) Wagtail, Motacilla clara
253, Golden Pipit, Tmetothylacus tenellus
254, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Macronyx croceus
255, Rosy-throated (Rosy-breasted) Longclaw, Macronyx ameliae
256, Pangani Longclaw, Macronyx aurantiigula
257, Plain-backed Pipit, Anthus leucophrys
258, African (Grassveld) Pipit, Anthus cinnamomeus
259, Long-billed Pipit, Anthus similis
260, Sokoke Pipit, Anthus sokokensis
261, Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga petiti
262, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga flava
263, Common (Black-eyed) Bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus
264, Dodson's Bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni
265, Shelley's [Kakamega] Greenbul, Andropadus masukuensis
266, (Little) Gray Greenbul, Andropadus gracilis
267, Slender-billed Greenbul, Andropadus gracilirostris
268, (Zanzibar) Sombre Greenbul, Andropadus importunus
269, Yellow-whiskered Bulbul, Andropadus latirostris
270, Eastern Mountain-Greenbul, Andropadus nigriceps
271, Stripe-cheeked Bulbul (Greenbul), Andropadus milanjensis
272, Honeyguide Greenbul, Baeopogon indicator
273, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Chlorocichla flaviventris
274, Joyful Greenbul, Chlorocichla laetissima
275, Cabanis's Greenbul, Phyllastrephus cabanisi
276, Toro Olive-Greenbul, Phyllastrephus hypochloris
277, Common (Red-tailed) Bristlebill, Bleda syndactyla
278, Eastern (Yellow-spotted) Nicator, Nicator gularis
279, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Neocossyphus poensis
280, Olive Thrush, Turdus olivaceus
281, [Taita Thrush], [Turdus helleri]
282, African Thrush, Turdus pelios
283, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Turdus tephronotus
284, Brown-chested Alethe, Alethe poliocephala
285, Singing Cisticola, Cisticola cantans
286, Chubb's Cisticola, Cisticola chubbi
287, Hunter's Cisticola, Cisticola hunteri
288, Rattling Cisticola, Cisticola chiniana
289, Winding Cisticola, Cisticola galactotes
290, Stout Cisticola, Cisticola robustus
291, Zitting (Fan-tailed) Cisticola, Cisticola juncidis
292, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Prinia subflava
293, White-chinned Prinia, Prinia leucopogon
294, Banded [Black-faced] Prinia, Prinia bairdii
295, Black-collared Apalis, Apalis pulchra
296, Taita Apalis, Apalis thoracica fuscigularis
297, Black-throated Apalis, Apalis jacksoni
298, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Apalis flavida
299, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Apalis porphyrolaema
300, Black-headed Apalis, Apalis melanocephala
301, Gray Apalis, Apalis cinerea
302, Red-fronted Warbler, Urorhipis rufifrons
303, Gray-capped Warbler, Eminia lepida
304, Green-backed Camaroptera, Camaroptera brachyura
305, [Gray-backed Camaroptera], [Camaroptera brevicaudata]
306, Olive-green Camaroptera, Camaroptera chloronota
307, Gray Wren-Warbler, Calamonastes simplex
308, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Bradypterus cinnamomeus
309, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Bathmocercus rufus
310, (African) Moustached Grass-Warbler, Melocichla mentalis
311, African Reed-Warbler, Acrocephalus baeticatus
312, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Chloropeta similis
313, Buff-bellied Warbler, Phyllolais pulchella
314, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Eremomela icteropygialis
315, Turner's Eremomela, Eremomela turneri
316, Northern Crombec, Sylvietta brachyura
317, Red-faced Crombec, Sylvietta whytii
318, Yellow-throated Wood-Warbler, Phylloscopus ruficapillus
319, Uganda Wood-Warbler, Phylloscopus budongoensis
320, Greater (Common) Whitethroat, Sylvia communis
321, Banded Warbler (Parisoma), Parisoma boehmi
322, Silverbird, Empidornis semipartitus
323, Pale Flycatcher, Bradornis pallidus
324, African Gray Flycatcher, Bradornis microrhynchus
325, White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Melaenornis fischeri
326, Northern Black-Flycatcher, Melaenornis edolioides
327, Southern Black-Flycatcher, Melaenornis pammelaina
328, African Dusky Flycatcher, Muscicapa adusta
329, Ashy Flycatcher, Muscicapa caerulescens
330, White-starred (Starred) Robin, Pogonocichla stellata
331, Equatorial Akalat, Sheppardia aequatorialis
332, Cape Robin-Chat, Cossypha caffra
333, Gray-winged Robin-Chat, Cossypha polioptera
334, Rueppell's Robin-Chat, Cossypha semirufa
335, White-browed Robin-Chat, Cossypha heuglini
336, Red-capped (Natal) Robin-Chat, Cossypha natalensis
337, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, Cossypha niveicapilla
338, Spotted Morning-Thrush (Palm-Thrush), Cichladusa guttata
339, (Eastern) Bearded Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas quadrivirgata
340, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas hartlaubi
341, Red-backed (White-browed) Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas leucophrys
342, African Stonechat, Saxicola torquata
343, Mourning (Schalow's) Wheatear, Oenanthe lugens
344, Capped Wheatear, Oenanthe pileata
345, Familiar (Red-tailed) Chat, Cercomela familiaris
346, Brown-tailed (Rock) Chat, Cercomela scotocerca
347, Northern Anteater-Chat, Myrmecocichla aethiops
348, Sooty Chat, Myrmecocichla nigra
349, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris
350, African Shrike-flycatcher, Megabyas flammulatus
351, Brown-throated (Common) Wattle-eye, Platysteira cyanea
352, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Platysteira castanea
353, Jameson's Wattle-eye, Platysteira jamesoni
354, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Platysteira concreta
355, Short-tailed (Forest) Batis, Batis mixta
356, Chinspot Batis, Batis molitor
357, Pale (East Coast) Batis, Batis soror
358, Pygmy Batis, Batis perkeo
359, (Little) Yellow Flycatcher, Erythrocercus holochlorus
360, African Blue-Flycatcher, Elminia longicauda
361, Dusky Crested-Flycatcher, Elminia nigromitrata
362, White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher, Elminia albonotata
363, Black-headed (Red-bellied) Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone rufiventer
364, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis
365, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, Illadopsis albipectus
366, African Hill Babbler, Illadopsis abyssinica
367, Scaly Chatterer, Turdoides aylmeri
368, Rufous Chatterer, Turdoides rubiginosus
369, Black-lored (Sharpe's) Babbler, Turdoides sharpei
370, Scaly Babbler, Turdoides squamulatus
371, Northern Pied-Babbler, Turdoides hypoleucus
372, Brown Babbler, Turdoides plebejus
373, Arrow-marked Babbler, Turdoides jardineii
374, White-bellied Tit, Melaniparus albiventris
375, Dusky Tit, Melaniparus funereus
376, Red-throated Tit, Melaniparus fringillinus
377, Mouse-colored Penduline-Tit, Anthoscopus musculus
378, Kenya (Eastern) Violet-backed Sunbird, Anthreptes orientalis
379, Collared Sunbird, Hedydipna collaris
380, Amani Sunbird, Hedydipna pallidigaster
381, Green-headed Sunbird, Cyanomitra verticalis
382, Eastern Olive-Sunbird, Cyanomitra olivacea
383, Mouse-colored (Grey) Sunbird, Cyanomitra veroxii
384, Green-throated Sunbird, Chalcomitra rubescens
385, Amethyst (Black) Sunbird, Chalcomitra amethystina
386, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Chalcomitra senegalensis
387, Hunter's Sunbird, Chalcomitra hunteri
388, Tacazze Sunbird, Nectarinia tacazze
389, Bronze Sunbird, Nectarinia kilimensis
390, Golden-winged Sunbird, Drepanorhynchus reichenowi
391, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Cinnyris preussi
392, Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Cinnyris mediocris
393, Beautiful Sunbird, Cinnyris pulchellus
394, Mariqua (Marico) Sunbird, Cinnyris mariquensis
395, Red-chested Sunbird, Cinnyris erythrocerca
396, Purple-banded Sunbird, Cinnyris bifasciatus
397, Tsavo [Purple-banded] Sunbird, Cinnyris tsavoensis
398, Variable (Yellow-bellied) Sunbird, Cinnyris venustus
399, African Yellow White-eye, Zosterops senegalensis
400, Broad-ringed (Montane) White-eye, Zosterops poliogastrus
401, [Taita White-eye], [Zosterops silvanus]
402, White-breasted (Abyssinian) White-eye, Zosterops abyssinicus
403, African Golden Oriole, Oriolus auratus
404, African Black-headed Oriole, Oriolus larvatus
405, Black-tailed (Montane) Oriole, Oriolus percivali
406, Gray-backed Fiscal, Lanius excubitoroides
407, Long-tailed Fiscal, Lanius cabanisi
408, Taita Fiscal, Lanius dorsalis
409, Mackinnon's Shrike (Fiscal), Lanius mackinnoni
410, Common Fiscal (Shrike), Lanius collaris
411, White-rumped (Northern White-crowned) Shrike, Eurocephalus rueppelli
412, Brubru, Nilaus afer
413, Northern Puffback, Dryoscopus gambensis
414, Black-backed Puffback, Dryoscopus cubla
415, Pink-footed Puffback, Dryoscopus angolensis
416, Black-crowned Tchagra, Tchagra senegala
417, Brown-crowned (Three-streaked) Tchagra, Tchagra australis
418, Three-streaked Tchagra, Tchagra jamesi
419, Luehder's Bushshrike, Laniarius luehderi
420, Tropical Boubou, Laniarius aethiopicus
421, Black-headed Gonolek, Laniarius erythrogaster
422, Slate-colored Boubou, Laniarius funebris
423, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Rhodophoneus cruentus
424, Gray-green (Bocage's) Bushshrike, Telophorus bocagei
425, Gray-headed Bushshrike, Malaconotus blanchoti
426, White (White-crested) Helmetshrike, Prionops plumatus
427, Retz's (Red-billed) Helmetshrike, Prionops retzii
428, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Prionops scopifrons
429, Square-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus ludwigii
430, Fork-tailed (Common) Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis
431, House Crow, Corvus splendens
432, Cape (Black) Crow (Rook), Corvus capensis
433, Pied Crow, Corvus albus
434, Fan-tailed Raven, Corvus rhipidurus
435, White-necked (White-naped) Raven, Corvus albicollis
436, Wattled Starling, Creatophora cinerea
437, Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis chalybaeus
438, Rueppell's (Long-tailed) Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis purpuropterus
439, Golden-breasted Starling, Lamprotornis regius
440, Black-bellied Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis corruscus
441, Superb Starling, Lamprotornis superbus
442, Hildebrandt's Starling, Lamprotornis hildebrandti
443, Violet-backed (Plum-coloured) Starling, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
444, Fischer's Starling, Spreo fischeri
445, Red-winged Starling, Onychognathus morio
446, Waller's Starling, Onychognathus walleri
447, Bristle-crowned Starling, Onychognathus salvadorii
448, Stuhlmann's Starling, Poeoptera stuhlmanni
449, Kenrick's Starling, Poeoptera kenricki
450, Sharpe's Starling, Pholia sharpii
451, Abbott's Starling, Pholia femoralis
452, Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorhynchus
453, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus africanus
454, White-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Bubalornis albirostris
455, Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver, Bubalornis niger
456, White-headed Buffalo-Weaver, Dinemellia dinemelli
457, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Sporopipes frontalis
458, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Plocepasser mahali
459, Gray-headed (Gray-capped) Social-Weaver, Pseudonigrita arnaudi
460, Black-capped Social-Weaver, Pseudonigrita cabanisi
461, Baglafecht Weaver, Ploceus baglafecht
462, Little Weaver, Ploceus luteolus
463, Lesser Masked-Weaver, Ploceus intermedius
464, Spectacled Weaver, Ploceus ocularis
465, Black-necked Weaver, Ploceus nigricollis
466, Black-billed Weaver, Ploceus melanogaster
467, Golden Palm Weaver, Ploceus bojeri
468, Northern Masked-Weaver, Ploceus taeniopterus
469, Vitelline Masked-Weaver, Ploceus vitellinus
470, Village (Black-headed) Weaver, Ploceus cucullatus
471, Speke's Weaver, Ploceus spekei
472, Vieillot's (Black) Weaver, Ploceus nigerrimus
473, Chestnut Weaver, Ploceus rubiginosus
474, Forest (Dark-backed) Weaver, Ploceus bicolor
475, Brown-capped Weaver, Ploceus insignis
476, Red-headed Malimbe, Malimbus rubricollis
477, Red-headed Weaver, Anaplectes rubriceps
478, Cardinal Quelea, Quelea cardinalis
479, Red-billed Quelea, Quelea quelea
480, Yellow-crowned Bishop, Euplectes afer
481, Yellow (Yellow-rumped) Bishop, Euplectes capensis
482, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Euplectes axillaris
483, Yellow-shouldered (Yellow-mantled) Widowbird, Euplectes macrourus
484, White-winged Widowbird, Euplectes albonotatus
485, Red-collared Widowbird, Euplectes ardens
486, Long-tailed Widowbird, Euplectes progne
487, Jackson's Widowbird, Euplectes jacksoni
488, Grosbeak Weaver, Amblyospiza albifrons
489, Gray-headed Negrofinch, Nigrita canicapilla
490, Green-winged Pytilia, Pytilia melba
491, Red-headed Bluebill, Spermophaga ruficapilla
492, Red-billed Firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala
493, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Uraeginthus bengalus
494, Blue-capped Cordonbleu, Uraeginthus cyanocephalus
495, Purple Grenadier, Uraeginthus ianthinogaster
496, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Estrilda quartinia
497, Common Waxbill, Estrilda astrild
498, Black-crowned Waxbill, Estrilda nonnula
499, Kandt's [Black-headed] Waxbill, Estrilda kandti
500, Red-rumped (Black-cheeked) Waxbill, Estrilda charmosyna
501, African Quailfinch, Ortygospiza fuscocrissa
502, African Silverbill, Euodice cantans
503, Gray-headed (Munia) Silverbill, Odontospiza griseicapilla
504, Bronze Mannikin, Spermestes cucullatus
505, Black-and-white (Red-backed) Mannikin, Spermestes bicolor
506, Cut-throat (Finch), Amadina fasciata
507, Village Indigobird (Widowfinch), Vidua chalybeata
508, Pin-tailed Whydah, Vidua macroura
509, Eastern Paradise-Whydah, Vidua paradisaea
510, Parasitic Weaver (Cuckoo Finch), Anomalospiza imberbis
511, Cinnamon-breasted (Rock) Bunting, Emberiza tahapisi
512, Yellow-crowned [Cape] Canary, Serinus flavivertex
513, African Citril, Serinus citrinelloides
514, Southern [Easte African] Citril, Serinus hyposticutus
515, Reichenow's (Yellow-rumped) Seedeater, Serinus reichenowi
516, Yellow-fronted Canary, Serinus mozambicus
517, Southern Grosbeak-Canary, Serinus buchanani
518, White-bellied Canary, Serinus dorsostriatus
519, Brimstone (Bully) Canary, Serinus sulphuratus
520, Streaky Seedeater, Serinus striolatus
521, Thick-billed Seedeater, Serinus burtoni
522, House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
523, Kenya [Rufous] Sparrow, Passer rufocinctus
524, Gray-headed Sparrow, Passer griseus
525, Parrot-billed Sparrow, Passer gongonensis
526, Swaheli Sparrow, Passer suahelicus
527, Chestnut Sparrow, Passer eminibey
528, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Petronia pyrgita


1, Black-and-white (Guereza) Colobus, Colobus guereza
2, Olive Baboon, Papio anubis
3, Yellow Baboon, Papio cynocephalus
4, Vervet Monkey, Cercopithecus pygerythrus
5, Gentle (Blue) Monkey, Cercopithecus mitis
6, Gentle (Sykes) Monkey, Cercopithecus mitis albogularis
7, Red-tailed Monkey, Cercopithecus ascanius
8, Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, Rhynchocyon chrysopygus
9, Unstriped Ground Squirrel, Xerus rutilis
10, Red-bellied Coast Squirrel, Paraxerus palliatus
11, Red-legged Sun Squirrel, Heliosciurus rufobrachium
12, Giant Forest Squirrel, Protoxerus stangeri
13, Black-backed Jackal, Canis mesomelus
14, Bat-eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis
15, Black-tipped (Slender) Mongoose, Herpestes sanguinea
16, Dwarf Mongoose, Helogale parvula
17, Banded Mongoose, Mungos mungo
18, White-tailed Mongoose, Ichneumia albicauda
19, Spotted Hyaena, Crocuta crocuta
20, Common (Large-spotted) Genet, Genetta geneta
21, Lion, Panthera leo
22, Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus
23, Black-necked Rock Hyrax, Procavia johnstoni
24, Eastern Tree Hyrax, Dendrohyrax validus
25, African Elephant, Loxodonta africana
26, Common (Grant's) Zebra, Equus quagga boehmi
27, Black Rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis
28, White Rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum
29, Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius
30, Common Warthog, Pharcochoerus africanus
31, Masai Giraffe, Giraffa tippelskirchi
32, Rothschild's Giraffe, Giraffa rothschildi
33, African (Cape) Buffalo, Syncerus caffer
34, Bushbuck, Tragelaphus scriptus
35, Lesser Kudu, Tragelaphus imberbis
36, Eland, Taurotragus oryx
37, Blue Duiker, Cephalophus monticola
38, Kirk's Dikdik, Madoqua kirkii
39, Waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa
40, Thomson's (Red-fronted) Gazelle, Gazella rufifrons
41, Grant's Gazelle, Gazella granti
42, Gerenuk, Litocranius walleri
43, Impala, Aepyceros melampus
44, Topi, Damaliscus korrigum
45, Coke's Hartebeest, Alcelaphus buselaphus cokei
46, White-bearded Gnu, Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus
47, Beisa Oryx, Oryx beisa