Monday, December 07, 2009

Kenya - Friday, Lake Naivasha, afternoon walk

Another afternoon of bird ID checking, typing, photo (and this time video) processing flew by, just in time for our afternoon self-guided birding walk around the grounds of the Hotel…

Our first encounter, a now familiar White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher:

Not very sharp as these are very quick moving, small birds that like to feed in bushes and trees. A White-browed Coucal:

A pair of Lilac-breasted Rollers, really good looking birds:

An African Dusky Flycatcher, not only plainly coloured but also playing hard to get in the shadow of the trees:

A Winding Cisticola:

This is another Sunbird that doesn’t match any in my guidebook. I suspect this is a Variable Sunbird:

We did see Sand Martins and Scarce Swifts, I have record shots of both, but nothing worth adding to the blog. The Swifts in particular were great to watch zooming around, the fly fast and low and make a great sound as they swish past.

A familiar bird from home, the Willow Warbler, which makes me wonder if the previous one might have been a ChiffChaff. So much easier when they are signing their song in late Spring in the UK!

The over-side and under-side of a Montagu’s Harrier. The local guide was as surprised as we were to see this:

I took this picture of the bougainvillea at the front of the hotel:

This group of White-browed Robin-chats were signing together, which was lovely to watch:

Based on the tail and the size of the bird, I believe this is a Square-tailed Drongo:

A Spectacled Weaver - though blurry the black chin makes it clear it’s not a Baglafecht Weaver:

This tree, unusually, has a cactus growing in it:

As the day drew in a troop of Monkeys moved through the grounds:

It turns out the Buffalo, Water Buck, Giraffe and Hippopotamuses also move through the grounds… hence we got moved out of one area we were birding in by some very twitchy security guards.

After dinner, as we walked briskly down to the lake to share our G&Ts with the hippos, we were once again stopped by the same twitchy security guards. Helen is disappointed to report that, despite all the warning signs telling people that they do this or that (parking, walking, breathing) at their own risk, there is no such thing as ‘voluntary assumption of risk’ in Kenya, and you are not allowed to do anything that might be remotely dangerous. Sadly, the hippos were deemed not to be safe to view until the magic hour of 7am (not 6:45am, mind) the following morning. So we instead retired to bed.

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