Saturday, December 05, 2009

Kenya - Sunday, Mount Kenya, part 2

We were joined at the watering hole by a couple of Cape Wagtails:

Next it was time for lunch. We’d just settled down to our salad starter (just like at Sweetwater the food is excellent and the vegetarian option is curry :) when we were advised a group of elephants had come to the watering hole. We resumed our seat on our own balcony overlooking the watering hole:

You can see one of them has had its trunk dramatically shortened, this would have been in a snare set by an illegal hunter/trapper in the National Reserve, the others had to help it feed. Two Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills flew across - by the time the second one came through I nearly had my camera ready, still I did manage a shot:

A Common Sandpiper alighted on a rock:

We decided, somewhat hesitantly, to go on the nature walk at 3pm, lasting two hours and $30 per person. We hoped it would be just us and the guide, in the end we were joined by four other tourists and two armed guards, so the walk was going to be a slow amble looking at and talking about trees, plants and those animals that weren’t flushed by the noise of the group approaching. Had we know we’d have booked a walk of our own to focus on the birding (and would definitely recommend advance booking of a walk for other avid birders visiting this camp). As it was the walk wasn’t a complete washout, we did get to add a few more species including first a Cardinal Woodpecker:

Next a Gambaga Flycatcher:

A Brown-capped Weaver:

A Mountain Greenbul:

As you can tell by the sequence of photos, the light was fading as cloud moved in. We did a few more new species including Yellow-crowned Canary, Mountain Greenbul, Ross’s Turaco and a Silver-cheeked Hornbill. Helen was at least delighted to find that the halfway point of the walk was in a forest clearing with tree stump ‘tables’, replete with cups of tea, although we passed on the cake (a 2 hour amble doesn’t qualify for cake). On the way back to the hotel a lone Black-and-white Colobus Monkey:

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