Sunday, December 06, 2009

Kenya - Wednesday, Lake Nakuru - Afternoon game drive

After our walk it was time for an afternoon game drive around part of the grounds of Lake Nakuru National Park. We headed out back towards the entrance, spotting first this Lilac-breasted Roller:

Then a pair of White Rhino. The Park doubles up as the most significant habitat for Lesser Flamingos and is a Rhino sanctuary:

Following a conversation between Peter and another driver, we promptly turned around and headed back beyond the exit for our hotel, as someone had spotted a sleeping Leopard, crashed-out halfway up an Acacia tree:

The Leopard perked-up briefly, probably checking out what was checking him out, which was by now four safari vehicles:

Finally, we drove around the other side to get a different perspective on this magnificent beast:

Heading on from the Leopard (makes you wonder what a game drive can deliver when the most hoped for highlight is delivered in the first thirty minutes!), a bird that looks like a Tropical Boubou but is in fact a Semi-collared Flycatcher:

Then an Augur Buzzard, first taking off:

Then gaining height:

Despite the drought, some of the wildlife has obviously been breeding:

This bird, not yet identifies is possibly an immature Slate-coloured Boubou?

Another location where there are still Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys:

We did spot a Fox Kestrel, the picture is quite indistinct due to the distance, but a worthy record:

If you’re not familiar with the situation in Kenya, they are suffering a significant drought. All around the park are the corpses of dead Buffalo. These corpses are popular with some of the birds, such as the Sacred Ibis, Marabou Stork, Cattle Egret you can see on this relatively recent addition to the dead:

Elsewhere in what used to be a river mouth, a Marsh Sandpiper is on the left here (I hope this one stops off at Hollowell next Autumn on its way back south!):

It was a bit of an afternoon for Kestrels, the second species being a Lesser Kestrel:

We asked Peter if there was anywhere we could get out and walk. He took us down to the edge of the lake, well what used to be the edge, that’s moved about 20 yards further away, leaving a dust-bowl of salt, mud and various other stuff, including a lot of dried flamingo droppings. On the way down, a Blacksmith Lapwing:

We hadn’t expected to see Pied Avocets mingling with the Lesser Flamingos:

We were delighted to find a number of waders in the remains of the stream, including this Broad-billed Sandpiper:

A flock of Ruff:

Also on the shore a small group of Whiskered Terns:

A Black-shouldered Kite flew past against the tree line, followed by a Eurasian Marsh-Harrier, though both quite distant in the fading sunlight. Of course we should mention the Lesser Flamingos, lots and lots of them, although apparently, they are much reduced in number as the drought conditions are pushing some to move around looking for habitat and food:

On our way back to camp the Leopard had changed position, but clearly not his spots:

The last bird of the day, a resplendent White-browed Robin Chat:

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