1 - 19 April 2022

by János Oláh

This was only the second time we ran our Kenya Specialities tour and we had a few itinerary changes from last year, such as visiting the remote Dida Galgalu desert in the far north. I guess there will be a few more minor changes in the future as well, which is inevitable when you targeting scarce and difficult birds. Our tour this year was yet another amazing journey in this legendary country with many special birds but it was in stark contrast with last year’s tour as the weather was very different. The rainy season should have started by the time we arrived but in reality it did not. The coastal area especially, but generally the entire tour was in very dry conditions. In fact I have never seen Arabuko-Sokoke forest in such a state and it was a very sad site. It was really silent and instead of the dawn chorus you could hear the rustling leaves falling from heat-stressed trees. It was awful and made birding very difficult. This part of Africa has definitely less rain than usual in the last few years. Climate change is obvious in this part of the World and it’s a good idea to see these birds as soon as you can! Nevertheless we worked hard and managed to see a long list of goodies and our bird species total was 600 recorded species but we also had an impressive mammal total of 63 species!

There were many highlights on this tour such as several pipits such as the fantastic Golden Pipit, Pangani Longclaw, the near-endemic Sokoke and Malindi Pipits and the localised Striped Pipit. Definitely major highlights were the Black (Manda) Boubou and the Violet-breasted Sunbird near Lamu, the amazing Heuglin’s Bustard in Tsavo East National Park and the fantastic Masked Lark – which was also voted the ‘Bird of the trip’ – as well as the localised Somali Sparrow in the Dida Galgalu desert. We also seen several Kenyan endemics like the Taita trio: Apalis, Thrush and White-eye, the endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw, the vulnerable Hinde’s Babbler and Aberdare Cisticola as well as Williams’s Lark and Kikuyu White-eye. Other near-endemic and ‘diamond’ special birds were also numerous and included Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, Jackson’s Spurfowl, Black-billed, Fischer’s and Hartlaub’s Turacos, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Lesser Jacana, Somali Coruser, Sooty Gull, Bat Hawk, Sokoke Scops Owl, Mackinder’s Eagle-Owl, White-headed Mousebird, Grant’s Wood Hoopoe, Jackson’s Hornbill, Mangrove Kingfisher, Somali Bee-eater, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Mombasa and Fine-banded Woodpeckers, African Broadbill, Forest Batis, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, Dusky-crested Flycatcher, Somali Crombec, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Hunter’s Cisticola, Turner’s Eremomela, Scaly Babbler, Fischer’s, Stuhlmann’s, Slender-billed, Sharpe’s and Magpie Starlings, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Equatorial and East Coast Akalats, Collared Palm Thrush, Amani, Tsavo and Golden-winged Sunbirds, Golden Palm Weaver and Jackson’s Widowbird just to name but a few! All in all it was a great trip with many fantastic birds and mammals!

The tour started at Lamu airport on the Kenya cost and from the airport we took a boat to our seaside hotel seeing many Sooty Gulls along the short journey. We have wasted no time and started to explore the dry bush country. We managed to track down our main target, a fine Black or Manda Boubou. It was special to see it doing its display flights, certainly a great start of the tour! Next morning we wake up for a singing Mangrove Kingfisher which was quickly found and the morning was very birdy with really good activity. Goodies included several parties of Scaly Babblers, a few Grey-headed Bushshrikes, two Three-streaked Tchagras, Northern Brownbuls, Coastal Cisticolas, Rufous Chatterers, a few Eastern Black-headed Batis, Bare-eyed Thrush, Spotted Morning Thrush and stunning male Golden Palm Weavers! We even got more looks of two more Black Boubous. After the busy morning we packed up and left Manda Island seeing waders along the low tide shoreline as we took our boat to the mainland. Our main target for the afternoon was to find Violet-breasted Sunbird and luckily a fine male was quickly found just south of Lamu. There were about 60 White-throated and 30 Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, 50 European Rollers and a good selection of waterbirds on the drive south. Late afternoon just before Malindi we had a short stop at the Sabaki River estuary where we found a wide selection of Palearctic waders. Perhaps the most notable sightings were about 2000 Greater Flamingos, a few White-fronted Plovers, both Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers, Terek Sandpiper and hundreds of Sooty Gulls and Lesser Crested Terns. Breeding plumaged White-winged Terns were also very showy!

Early next morning we arrived to Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and met with our local guide David Ngala. He has been helping Birdquest for many years and knows the forest as the back of his hand. A few weeks after our tour I received the very sad news that David has passed away after a fatal accident. Rest in peace my friend! But back in early April he was just as enthusiastic as ever and we started to explore the forest together. He told us that because of the droughts there are many African Elephants in the vicinity of the waterhole and it is not permitted to stay in the park after sunset. So we had to arrange our plans accordingly. We started in mixed forest habitat and later concentrated in the Brachystegia woodland and finished the day in a remote part of the national park. Despite the drought we had a great selection of specialities on our first day such as Fiery-necked Nightjar, Bat Hawk, a roosting pair of grey morph Sokoke Scops Owls, Green Barbets, Mombasa Woodpeckers, Forest and Pale Batises, East Coast Boubou, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Fischer’s Greenbuls, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Plain-backed and Amani Sunbirds and the tricky to find Malindi Pipit. But the first full day drew a blank in the search of Sokoke Pipit or Clarke’s Weaver.

In the next two days we were after the Sokoke Pipit, trying every single locations David knew but we never had a sniff. We also spent a lot of time in Clarke’s Weaver habitat though we knew or chances are very little when its dry in this forest and none of the park rangers has seen any for a long time. They usually arrive with the rains. All in all we had to work very hard for every special bird in the extremely dry forest. Slowly but steadily we found Fischer’s Turaco, Mottled Spinetails Little Spotted Woodpecker, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Retz’s Helmetshrike, Blue-mentled Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Nicator, Lowland Tiny Greenbul, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Black-headed Apalis, Eastern Bearded Scrub Robin, East Coast Akalat, Collared Palm Thrush as well as the amazing Golden-rumped Sengi. We have even found the first Black-faced Sandgrouse for the national park by a waterhole where up to 44 Tambourine Doves were also drinking. Our stay at Sokoke came to an end but next day we returned for a last early morning session to try for the pipit before leaving the coast behind. After three days trying I don’t think anybody had much hope, but persistence usually pays off and bang, we spotted a displaying Sokoke Pipit in the sky! Not much later we also found it on the ground and our best looks were on some close branches on a tree. Wow! We were all very happy to see this special bird and somewhat relieved we left for Tsavo East National Park.

Just before reaching the park we spotted Madagascar Pratincoles and as soon as we entered the park birds were coming thick and fast! In the drier region we soon found several Somali Coursers, a migrant Pallid Harrier and best of all a totally unexpected male Heuglin’s Bustard just a few meters from us. A real mega and one of our main targets for the far north – at this point we had no idea that this will be the only single observation of the species on the tour! We spent the entire day in the park until dusk when we had to leave. It was very different and very birdy after the dry coastal forest, and we saw a lot of species! Other highlights included the huge Somali Ostrich, the vivid Vulturine Guineafowl, several Black-faced Sandgrouses, a flock of Abdim’s Storks, Southern Ground Hornbill, the scarce Somali Bee-eater, Taita Fiscal, Chestnut-headed Sparrow Lark, Red-winged and Pink-breasted Larks, Golden-breasted and Fischer’s Starlings, several male Tsavo Sunbirds, the stunning Golden Pipit and the localised Pangani Longclaw. After leaving this famous national park we drove to the nearby Taita Hills.

Our next day was to explore the remnant patches of mountain forest in the top of the Taita Hills in search for some of the rarest endemic birds of the country. The so-called Taita trio consist of the increasingly rare tree gap specialist Taita Apalis, the very shy Taita Thrush and the relatively common Taita White-eye. On our way to a forest patch we had a few stops and managed to find two Brown-breasted Barbets and a small flock of Taita White-eyes. They gave prolonged good looks and some of them were even seen feeding on a roadside bush at eye level. A very good start of the day! Our next target was to find the apalis and this took some time. Finally we managed to locate a singing bird but seeing it well in the impenetrable vine tangles they live was a bit of a challenge. However after some nervous minutes we all had excellent looks. So by late morning we had only one task left: to locate a thrush! It sounds easy but it is not. It took us the rest of the day to get good looks of this shy bird for every participants but we did it! While we were birding in the mountain forest we came across Hartlaub’s Turacos, Silvery-cheeked Hornbills, Stripe-faced and Placid Greenbuls, Yellow-throated Woodland Warblers, Evergreen Forest Warbler, White-starred Robins and even Striped Pipits were seen on rocky outcrops along the forest edge. It was a great day!

Next day we had a long drive ahead of us and from the Taita Hills we drove all the way to the slopes of Mount Kenya. We had various short birding and leg stretching stops and had great looks of European Honey Buzzard, Brown and Black-chested Snake Eagles, 133 European Rollers, Red-and-yellow Barbets, a pair of Fischer’s Sparrow-Larks, Northern Pied Babblers and a fine male Straw-tailed Whydah just to name but a few. It was dark when we rolled into our hotel. Next day we quickly tracked down a party of endemic Hinde’s Pied Babblers and were soon on our way towards the Shaba Game Reserve. The luxury lodge and its garden was an oasis for birds and mammals. This area was also extremely dry just as the coast but we had almost two days to find the special birds. In these game reserves (Shaba, Buffalo Springs and Samburu) birding is always supplemented by mammals too, an exciting adventure! Albeit the land was parched we managed to find a great set of goodies such as several Somali Coursers, the highly localised Williams’s Lark, the shiny Grant’s Wood Hoopoe, gaudy Red-and-yellow Barbets, lovely Red-necked Falcon, Pygmy Batis, a fine pair of Pringle’s Puffback, noisy Acacia Tits, subtle Pink-breasted Larks, the long-billed Somali Crombec, a group of Scaly Chatterers, Bristle-crowned Starling, the scarce Gambaga Flycatcher, a dull coloured Brown-tailed Rock Chat, stunning male Black-bellied Sunbird, many Donaldson Smith’s Sparrow-Weavers, fine Black-cheeked Waxbill and Northern Grosbeak-Canary. We also had many sough-after mammals and our highlights included a mother and two fully grown Cheetah cubs, Grevy’s Zebras, Desert Warthogs, Gerenuks, Bright’s Gazelles, Small-eared Greater Galagos, Somali Grass Rats and even a skulking Kellen’s African Dormouse.

After leaving this remarkable and birdy area behind us we embarked on a longish drive towards Marsabit, the gateway to the Dida Galgalu desert. Driving north was uneventful but seeing young shepherd boys on the roadside asking for water was a sad sight. After the first two hundred kilometres the first Somali Crows started to appear and our lunch break area produced African Cuckoo, Somali Bee-eaters, Pale and Red-fronted Prinias and Golden-breasted Starlings. After arriving to Marsabit we checked into our hotel and drove towards the lava desert to some specific spots we have seen Somali Sparrows on previous tours. The last hour of the day was a good time to look for birds but we had no sign of Somali Sparrows anywhere, though found a nice flock of Magpie Starlings and a Somali Fiscal. Seeing Crested and Thekla Larks was also a bonus for those keen on their Kenya lists! Looking at the amazing habitat our expectations were building up for the next day when we were hoping for some really sought-after and rarely encountered birds. It was an early start and by dawn we were on the edge of the Dida Galgalu black lava desert. Temperature was very pleasant and we quickly managed to find a few Somali Sparrows and White-crowned Starlings were unexpected bonuses! We drove deeper and deeper into this inhospitable habitat and kept looking for larks. Eventually two Masked Larks were spotted in flight but when they landed only some of us got proper looks. Unfortunately by the time we scoped them up they flew off. We kept searching. We spotted a huge flock of birds in a distance and they turned out to be Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouses, thousands of them! We drove closer and had a magical hour with the huge flock coming to drink at a waterhole. There were lots and lots of larks around too and we kept scanning. A Peregrine was also harassing the sandgrouses, it was an unforgettable morning in the desert. After an hour we concluded there are no Masked Larks in this area so we kept searching…and searching, all day. A few other birds were seen in the lava desert but not much. Notable birds included Somali Courser, a migrant Montagu’s Harrier, a few Egyptian Vultures, Northern Wheatear and a Striolated Bunting. Eventually when we almost gave up our driver Zach found two Masked Lark and this time we could watch them as long as we wanted. A happy end to a long and hot day!

Our next day was yet another longish drive back south. We left early and had various birding stops on our way to Nyahururu. A good number of new birds were tracked down throughout the day and special mention should go to Black-winged Lapwing, White-headed Vulture, Cape (Mackinder’s) Eagle Owl, smart looking White-headed Mousebird, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Boran Cisticola, Yellow-vented Eremomela, Banded Parisoma and gorgeous Golden-winged Sunbird. It was late when we arrived to our hotel ready for some highland birding the next morning. Our pre-breakfast walk in the hotel grounds produced Mountain Nigthjar and we were soon birding in the lovely Marmanet Forest. It was a new habitat for us on the tour so there were lots of new birds throughout the morning. Perhaps the most notable goodies were Scarce Swift, stunning Hartlaub’s Turacos, African Cuckoo-Hawk, a displaying Crowned Eagle, Mountain Buzzard, Moustached Tinkerbird, Red-throated Wryneck, Fine-banded and Eastern Grey Woodpeckers, Olive-breasted Greenbuls, White-browed Crombec, Hunter’s Cisticola, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Kikuyu White-eye, Slender-billed, Wallers and Sharpe’s Starlings as well as a pair of Abyssinian Crimsonwing. Not a bad morning birding indeed. Our departure was somewhat delayed by some problems with our land cruiser but it was solved and we were on our way to Lake Bogoria. A small hidden wetland gave us Lesser Jacana and White-backed Duck while near Lake Bogoria we managed to find Jackson’s Hornbill. It was an action-packed day!

Our pre-breakfast walk around the hotel grounds was really great with fantastic breeding plumaged Golden-backed and Northern Masked Weavers, while the grassy area held Grey-headed Silverbills and Crimson-rumped Waxbills. A few migrant Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters were hunting overhead and a perched Western Banded Snake Eagle was the icing on the cake.
We were soon on our way to Western Kenya gradually climbing out of the Rift Valley and all the way through the Kerio Valley. A nice birdy lunch stop gave us White-crested and Ross’s Turacos, Black-headed Gonolek, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver and Long-billed Pipit. Finally we arrived to the famous Kakamega forest. A roadside stop before we arrived to the heavenly Rondo Retreat produced Buff-throated Apalis and the range-restricted Turner’s Eremomela. In the last ray of light around in the hotel garden we saw Yellow-crested Woodpeckers, a fine Mackinnon’s Fiscal and stunning White-chinned Prinias.

Our next day and half was spent in the forest. Well, those who know how African forest birding … it is often rewarding, but usually slow and hard work is required! Kakamega forest is a great birding location but the forest is going in an alarming rate and we could experience this even on our very short visit. This forest holds a few top birds and we worked hard to see as much as possible! Many forest trails were explored and we eventually found our main target, the mighty Blue-headed Bee-eater. We connected two times with this superb bird this year and it was especially welcome after missing this specialty on our last two tours. We also found a good selection of goodies such as Black-billed and Great Blue Turacos, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, African Broadbill, Chestnut, Brown-throated, Jameson’s and Yellow-bellied Wattle-eyes, Pink-footed Puffback, Lühder’s and Bocage’s Bushshrikes, Western Oriole, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, Joyful and Kakamega Greenbuls, Green Hylia, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Chubb’s Cisticola, Black-faced Prinia, Black-collared Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Scaly-breasted Illadopsis, White-tailed Ant Thrush, Grey-winged, Snowy-crowned and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chats and Equatorial Akalat. On our last pre-breakfast walk we even had great looks of Lord Derby’s Anomalures but our stay at Kakamega swiftly came to an end and we were on our way back to the Rift Valley.

We arrived to the famous Nakuru National Park in the late afternoon. This is a famous park but it is also a classic Rift Valley NP with severe human pressure all around and an electric fence to divide human habitat from nature. Nevertheless it has many birds and we could certainly experience this on our rainy afternoon but especially the next morning. We were based in one of the luxurious lodges inside the park, so game and bird viewing was superb. Unfortunately we never saw a single helmetshrike on our stay this year, so the rare Grey-crested Helmetshrike slipped away. We had great looks of Hildebrandt’s and Coqui Francolins, Black-bellied Bustard, thousands of flamingos (mostly Lesser), Little Rock Thrush and even found a flock of 13 Scissor-tailed Kites! A great rarity this far south and must have been pushed south by the severe drought. After the morning birding at Lake Nakuru we drove to the Kinangop Plateau stopping for Lynes’s Cisticola on the way. We were soon birding in a nice grassland area which is disappearing fast from the highlands. After some search we managed to get great looks of several Sharpe’s Longclaws which is an endangered Kenya endemic and we also found the first male Jackson’s Widowbird of the season! They were very late to arrive to the breeding grounds perhaps because the rain was late too.

On our last morning birding we visited the Aberdare National Park in search of more special birds! After a bumpy ride we arrived to this high elevation national park and we were greeted by male Tacazze Sunbird by the gate (at around 3100 meter asl) and also had great looks of the near-endemic Jackson’s Spurfowls. Entering the park proper we drove to our usual site for the endemic Aberdare Cisticola and we soon got excellent close looks of this often elusive bird. We saw a few more notable birds like African Olive Pigeon, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Eurasian Hobby, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Moorland Chat, Golden-winged and Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds and Yellow-crowned Canary but it was all too soon we had to turn around and head towards the airport. A short stop by the national park gate was rewarding as we found a Von Höhnel’s Chameleon. After leaving the park behind all we had to do is to negotiate through the Nairobi traffic but we did and arrived to the airport just in time. Kenya is a great country for birding and we had an action-packed tour with many special birds! It was certainly a tour to remember!


1st: Masked Lark

2nd: Williams’s Lark

3rd: Sokoke Pipit

4th: Blue-headed Bee-eater

5th: Vulturine Guineafowl





Somali Ostrich ◊  Struthio molybdophanes

White-faced Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna viduata

White-backed Duck  Thalassornis leuconotus

Spur-winged Goose  Plectropterus gambensis

Knob-billed Duck  Sarkidiornis melanotos

Egyptian Goose  Alopochen aegyptiaca

Blue-billed Teal (Hottentot T)  Spatula hottentota

Yellow-billed Duck  Anas undulata

Cape Teal  Anas capensis

Red-billed Teal (R-b Duck)  Anas erythrorhyncha

Helmeted Guineafowl  Numida meleagris

Vulturine Guineafowl ◊  Acryllium vulturinum  Fantastic looking beast which was seen regularly.

Crested Francolin (Kirk’s F)  Ortygornis sephaena

Coqui Francolin  Campocolinus coqui

Jackson’s Spurfowl ◊  Pternistis jacksoni  Many great looks in the Aberdare NP.

Hildebrandt’s Spurfowl ◊  Pternistis hildebrandti  A total of six were seen at Lake Nakuru.

Yellow-necked Spurfowl  Pternistis leucoscepus

European Nightjar  Caprimulgus europaeus 

Fiery-necked Nightjar  Caprimulgus pectoralis

Montane Nightjar  Caprimulgus poliocephalus

Slender-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus clarus

Scarce Swift ◊  Schoutedenapus myoptilus  A few were seen in the Aberdare NP.

Mottled Spinetail (Mottle-throated S)  Telacanthura ussheri

African Palm Swift  Cypsiurus parvus

Mottled Swift  Tachymarptis aequatorialis

Common Swift  Apus apus

Nyanza Swift  Apus niansae

African Black Swift  Apus barbatus

Little Swift  Apus affinis

Horus Swift  Apus horus

White-rumped Swift  Apus caffer

Great Blue Turaco  Corythaeola cristata  Seen at Kakamega, fantastic.

White-bellied Go-away-bird  Crinifer leucogaster

Ross’s Turaco  Tauraco rossae  Six were seen on our way to Kakamega.

White-crested Turaco ◊  Tauraco schuettii  Great looks in the Kerio Valley.

Black-billed Turaco ◊  Tauraco schuettii  Seen in Kakamega Forest.

Fischer’s Turaco ◊  Tauraco fischeri  Finally one was tracked down in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Hartlaub’s Turaco ◊  Tauraco hartlaubi  Fairly common in highland forests.

Kori Bustard  Ardeotis kori

Heuglin’s Bustard ◊  Neotis heuglinii  Great looks of this special bird in Tsavo East NP.

White-bellied Bustard  Eupodotis senegalensis

Buff-crested Bustard  Lophotis gindiana

Black-bellied Bustard  Lissotis melanogaster

White-browed Coucal  Centropus superciliosus

Diederik Cuckoo (Didric C)  Chrysococcyx caprius

Klaas’s Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx klaas

Red-chested Cuckoo  Cuculus solitarius

Lesser Cuckoo  Cuculus poliocephalus  One was seen at Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

African Cuckoo  Cuculus gularis

Common Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse  Pterocles exustus

Black-faced Sandgrouse ◊  Pterocles decoratus  A few were seen at Tsavo East NP.

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse  Pterocles lichtensteinii

Rock Dove (introduced)  Columba livia

Speckled Pigeon  Columba guinea

African Olive Pigeon  Columba arquatrix

Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon  Columba delegorguei

Dusky Turtle Dove  Streptopelia lugens

Mourning Collared Dove (African M D)  Streptopelia decipiens

Red-eyed Dove  Streptopelia semitorquata

Ring-necked Dove  Streptopelia capicola

Laughing Dove  Spilopelia senegalensis

Emerald-spotted Wood Dove  Turtur chalcospilos

Tambourine Dove  Turtur tympanistria

Namaqua Dove  Oena capensis

African Green Pigeon  Treron calvus

White-spotted Flufftail  Sarothrura pulchra

Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Red-knobbed Coot (Crested C)  Fulica cristata

African Swamphen  Porphyrio madagascariensis

Black Crake  Zapornia flavirostra

Grey Crowned Crane  Balearica regulorum  Endangered.

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

Greater Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus

Lesser Flamingo  Phoeniconaias minor

Water Thick-knee (W Dikkop)  Burhinus vermiculatus

Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus

Pied Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta

Blacksmith Lapwing (B Plover)  Vanellus armatus

Spur-winged Lapwing (S-w Plover)  Vanellus spinosus

Black-headed Lapwing (B-h Plover)  Vanellus tectus

Senegal Lapwing (Lesser Black-winged Plover)  Vanellus lugubris  Great find at Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Black-winged Lapwing (B-w Plover)  Vanellus melanopterus

Crowned Lapwing (C Plover)  Vanellus coronatus

Grey Plover  Pluvialis squatarola

Common Ringed Plover  Charadrius hiaticula

Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius

Kittlitz’s Plover  Charadrius pecuarius

Three-banded Plover  Charadrius tricollaris

White-fronted Plover  Charadrius marginatus

Lesser Sand Plover  Charadrius mongolus

Greater Sand Plover  Charadrius leschenaultii

Lesser Jacana  Microparra capensis  Great looks near Nyahururu.

African Jacana  Actophilornis africanus

Eurasian Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus

Ruff  Calidris pugnax

Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea

Sanderling  Calidris alba

Little Stint  Calidris minuta

African Snipe  Gallinago nigripennis

Terek Sandpiper  Xenus cinereus

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus

Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola

Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Crab-plover  Dromas ardeola  A total of 341 was counted at Mida Creek.

Somali Courser ◊  Cursorius somalensis

Madagascar Pratincole  Glareola ocularis  A few late migrants over Tsavo East NP.

Grey-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

Sooty Gull ◊  Ichthyaetus hemprichii

Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus [fuscus] fuscus

Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus [fuscus] heuglini

Gull-billed Tern  Gelochelidon nilotica

Caspian Tern  Hydroprogne caspia

Greater Crested Tern  Thalasseus bergii

Lesser Crested Tern  Thalasseus bengalensis

White-winged Tern (W-w Black T)  Chlidonias leucopterus

Yellow-billed Stork  Mycteria ibis

African Openbill (A Open-billed Stork)  Anastomus lamelligerus

Abdim’s Stork  Ciconia abdimii

Woolly-necked Stork  Ciconia episcopus

White Stork  Ciconia ciconia

Saddle-billed Stork  Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis

Marabou Stork  Leptoptilos crumenifer

African Darter  Anhinga rufa

Reed Cormorant (Long-tailed C)  Microcarbo africanus

White-breasted Cormorant  Phalacrocorax lucidus

African Sacred Ibis  Threskiornis aethiopicus

Hadada Ibis  Bostrychia hagedash

Glossy Ibis  Plegadis falcinellus

African Spoonbill  Platalea alba

Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron (Green-backed H)  Butorides striata  Non-leader.

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Black-headed Heron  Ardea melanocephala

Great Egret  Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret (Yellow-billed E)  Ardea [intermedia] brachyrhyncha

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Dimorphic Egret  Egretta dimorpha

Hamerkop  Scopus umbretta

Great White Pelican  Pelecanus onocrotalus

Pink-backed Pelican  Pelecanus rufescens

Secretarybird  Sagittarius serpentarius  Endangered.

Western Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

Black-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus

Scissor-tailed Kite (African Swallow-t K)  Chelictinia riocourii  An amazing observation of 13 birds at Lake Nakuru. Vulnerable.

African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)  Polyboroides typus

Palm-nut Vulture  Gypohierax angolensis

Egyptian Vulture  Neophron percnopterus  Endangered.

European Honey Buzzard  Pernis apivorus 

African Cuckoo-Hawk  Aviceda cuculoides  Great looks at Marmanet Forest.

Hooded Vulture  Necrosyrtes monachus  Critically endangered.

White-backed Vulture (African W-b V)  Gyps africanus  Critically endangered.

Rüppell’s Vulture (R’s Griffon V)  Gyps rueppelli  Critically endangered.

White-headed Vulture  Trigonoceps occipitalis  Critically endangered.

Lappet-faced Vulture  Torgos tracheliotos  Endangered.

Black-chested Snake Eagle  Circaetus pectoralis

Brown Snake Eagle  Circaetus cinereus

Western Banded Snake Eagle ◊  Circaetus cinerascens  One was seen at Lake Bogoria.

Bateleur  Terathopius ecaudatus  Endangered.

Bat Hawk  Macheiramphus alcinus

Crowned Eagle (African C E)  Stephanoaetus coronatus  A displaying bird was seen over Marmanet Forest.

Martial Eagle  Polemaetus bellicosus  Endangered.

Long-crested Eagle  Lophaetus occipitalis

Wahlberg’s Eagle  Hieraaetus wahlbergi

Booted Eagle  Hieraaetus pennatus

Tawny Eagle  Aquila rapax  Vulnerable.

Lizard Buzzard  Kaupifalco monogrammicus

Gabar Goshawk  Micronisus gabar

Eastern Chanting Goshawk (E Pale C G)  Melierax poliopterus

African Goshawk  Accipiter tachiro

Shikra  Accipiter badius

Little Sparrowhawk  Accipiter minullus

Black Sparrowhawk (Great S)  Accipiter melanoleucus

Western Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus  Non-leader.

Pallid Harrier  Circus macrourus  A female of this scarce migrant was seen at Tsavo East NP.

Montagu’s Harrier  Circus pygargus

Yellow-billed Kite  Milvus aegyptius

African Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus vocifer

Grasshopper Buzzard  Butastur rufipennis

Mountain Buzzard ◊  Buteo oreophilus  Three were seen in the Marmanet Forest and one in the Aberdare NP.

Augur Buzzard  Buteo augur

Pearl-spotted Owlet  Glaucidium perlatum

African Barred Owlet ◊ (Scheffler’s O)  Glaucidium [capense] scheffleri  Heard-only.

Sokoke Scops Owl ◊  Otus ireneae  Fantastic looks of a roosting pair in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Endangered.

Cape Eagle-Owl ◊ (Mackinder’s E-O)  Bubo [capensis] mackinderi  A breeding female was seen well near Nyahururu.

Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl  Bubo lacteus  Two were seen at Shaba Game Reserve.

African Wood Owl  Strix woodfordii  Roosting birds were seen at Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Speckled Mousebird  Colius striatus

White-headed Mousebird ◊  Colius leucocephalus  Excellent looks on our way back from Marsabit.

Blue-naped Mousebird  Urocolius macrourus

Narina Trogon  Apaloderma narina

Bar-tailed Trogon  Apaloderma vittatum  Heard-only.

African Hoopoe  Upupa africana

White-headed Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus bollei

Green Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus purpureus

Grant’s Wood Hoopoe ◊  Phoeniculus granti  One was seen in the Shaba GR.

Common Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus cyanomelas

Abyssinian Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus minor

Southern Ground Hornbill  Bucorvus leadbeateri  Vulnerable.

Northern Red-billed Hornbill ◊  Tockus erythrorhynchus  Common.

Von der Decken’s Hornbill  Tockus deckeni

Jackson’s Hornbill ◊  Tockus jacksoni  We had good looks at Lake Bogoria.

Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill  Tockus flavirostris

Crowned Hornbill  Lophoceros alboterminatus

African Grey Hornbill  Lophoceros nasutus

Trumpeter Hornbill  Bycanistes bucinator

Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill  Bycanistes subcylindricus

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill  Bycanistes brevis

Purple Roller (Rufous-crowned R)  Coracias naevius

Lilac-breasted Roller  Coracias caudatus

European Roller  Coracias garrulus

Broad-billed Roller  Eurystomus glaucurus

Grey-headed Kingfisher (Chestnut-bellied K)  Halcyon leucocephala

Striped Kingfisher  Halcyon chelicuti

Woodland Kingfisher  Halcyon senegalensis

Mangrove Kingfisher ◊  Halcyon senegaloides  Great looks of a singing bird on Manda Island.

African Pygmy Kingfisher  Ispidina picta

Malachite Kingfisher  Corythornis cristatus

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

Blue-headed Bee-eater ◊  Merops muelleri  A total of six were seen at Kakamega Forest this year!

Little Bee-eater  Merops pusillus

Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater  Merops oreobates

White-fronted Bee-eater  Merops bullockoides

Somali Bee-eater ◊  Merops revoilii  Three different sightings this year, the first in Tsavo East NP.

White-throated Bee-eater  Merops albicollis

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater  Merops persicus 

European Bee-eater  Merops apiaster

Northern Carmine Bee-eater  Merops nubicus

Grey-throated Barbet  Gymnobucco bonapartei

Green Barbet  Stactolaema olivacea

Moustached Tinkerbird (M Green T)  Pogoniulus leucomystax

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Golden-r T)  Pogoniulus bilineatus

Red-fronted Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus pusillus

Yellow-spotted Barbet  Buccanodon duchaillui

Hairy-breasted Barbet  Tricholaema hirsuta

Red-fronted Barbet  Tricholaema diademata

Spot-flanked Barbet  Tricholaema lacrymosa

Black-throated Barbet  Tricholaema melanocephala

Brown-breasted Barbet ◊  Lybius melanopterus  Two were seen in the Taita Hills.

Yellow-billed Barbet  Trachyphonus purpuratus

Red-and-yellow Barbet ◊  Trachyphonus erythrocephalus  First seen on our drive to Mount Kenya.

D’Arnaud’s Barbet ◊  Trachyphonus darnaudii  First seen on our drive to Mount Kenya.

Lesser Honeyguide  Indicator minor

Greater Honeyguide (Black-throated H)  Indicator indicator

Red-throated Wryneck (Rufous-necked W)  Jynx ruficollis

Buff-spotted Woodpecker  Pardipicus nivosus

Brown-eared Woodpecker  Pardipicus caroli

Nubian Woodpecker  Campethera nubica

Mombasa Woodpecker ◊  Campethera mombassica  About six were seen at Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Little Spotted Woodpecker (Little-spotted W)  Campethera cailliautii

Fine-banded Woodpecker ◊  Campethera taeniolaema  One was seen at Marmanet Forest.

Bearded Woodpecker  Chloropicus namaquus

Yellow-crested Woodpecker  Chloropicus xantholophus

Cardinal Woodpecker  Dendropicos fuscescens  Also the distinct lepidus race was seen in the Kenya highlands.

Eastern Grey Woodpecker ◊ (African G-headed W)  Dendropicos spodocephalus  We saw a pair in Marmanet Forest.

Pygmy Falcon  Polihierax semitorquatus

Lesser Kestrel  Falco naumanni

Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus

Red-necked Falcon  Falco chicquera

Amur Falcon  Falco amurensis

Eurasian Hobby  Falco subbuteo

Lanner Falcon  Falco biarmicus

Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus

Red-fronted Parrot  Poicephalus gulielmi

Meyer’s Parrot (Brown P)  Poicephalus meyeri

Red-bellied Parrot (African Orange-b P)  Poicephalus rufiventris

Fischer’s Lovebird  Agapornis fischeri

Yellow-collared Lovebird  Agapornis personatus

African Broadbill  Smithornis capensis

Forest Batis ◊  Batis mixta  Several sightings in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Chinspot Batis  Batis molitor

Pale Batis (East Coast B)  Batis soror

Eastern Black-headed Batis  Batis minor

Pygmy Batis  Batis perkeo

Chestnut Wattle-eye  Platysteira castanea  Three were seen at Kakamega Forest.

Black-throated Wattle-eye  Platysteira peltata

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Common W-e)  Platysteira cyanea

Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye  Platysteira concreta  A fine male was seen at Kakamega Forest.

Jameson’s Wattle-eye ◊  Platysteira jamesoni  A pair was seen at Kakamega Forest.

Grey-headed Bushshrike  Malaconotus blanchoti

Bocage’s Bushshrike (Grey-green B-s)  Chlorophoneus bocagei

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Sulphur-b B-s)  Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus

Gorgeous Bushshrike  Telophorus viridis

Rosy-patched Bushshrike ◊  Telophorus [cruentus] hilgerti  A few seen in the north.

Rosy-patched Bushshrike ◊ (Tsavo B)  Telophorus [cruentus] cathemagmenus  We saw this beauty in Tsavo East NP.

Three-streaked Tchagra ◊  Tchagra jamesi  Two were seen very well on Manda Island.

Black-crowned Tchagra (B-headed T)  Tchagra senegalus

Pink-footed Puffback  Dryoscopus angolensis

Black-backed Puffback  Dryoscopus cubla

Northern Puffback  Dryoscopus gambensis

Pringle’s Puffback  Dryoscopus pringlii

Slate-colored Boubou  Laniarius funebris

Lühder’s Bushshrike  Laniarius luehderi

Black Boubou ◊ (Manda B)  Laniarius nigerrimus  Several seen on Manda Island including a displaying male.

Tropical Boubou ◊  Laniarius major  First seen well in Marmanet Forest.

East Coast Boubou ◊  Laniarius sublacteus  We had good looks in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Black-headed Gonolek  Laniarius erythrogaster  Seen in the Kerio Valley.

Brubru  Nilaus afer

White-crested Helmetshrike ◊  Prionops plumatus  Regularly seen in the Shaba GR.

Retz’s Helmetshrike  Prionops retzii

Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike  Prionops scopifrons

Grey Cuckooshrike  Ceblepyris caesius

Black Cuckooshrike  Campephaga flava

Purple-throated Cuckooshrike  Campephaga quiscalina

Northern White-crowned Shrike  Eurocephalus ruppelli

Red-backed Shrike  Lanius collurio

Isabelline Shrike  Lanius isabellinus

Red-tailed Shrike  Lanius phoenicuroides

Mackinnon’s Shrike  Lanius mackinnoni  A singleton was seen at Kakamega Forest.

Lesser Grey Shrike  Lanius minor

Grey-backed Fiscal  Lanius excubitoroides

Long-tailed Fiscal ◊  Lanius cabanisi

Taita Fiscal ◊  Lanius dorsalis  Great looks in Tsavo East NP.

Somali Fiscal ◊  Lanius somalicus  Regularly seen in the far north.

Northern Fiscal  Lanius humeralis

Western Oriole (W Black-headed O)  Oriolus brachyrynchus

Black-headed Oriole (Eastern B-h O)  Oriolus larvatus

Eurasian Golden Oriole  Oriolus oriolus

Fork-tailed Drongo (Common D)  Dicrurus adsimilis

Common Square-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus ludwigii

Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher  Trochocercus cyanomelas

Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone rufiventer

African Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone viridis

House Crow (introduced)  Corvus splendens

Cape Crow (C Rook)  Corvus capensis

Pied Crow  Corvus albus

Somali Crow ◊  Corvus edithae  Common in the far north.

Fan-tailed Raven  Corvus rhipidurus

White-necked Raven (W-naped R)  Corvus albicollis

African Blue Flycatcher  Elminia longicauda

Dusky Crested Flycatcher ◊  Elminia nigromitrata  Several were seen in Kakamega Forest.

White-bellied Tit  Melaniparus albiventris

Dusky Tit  Melaniparus funereus

Acacia Tit (Northern Grey T)  Melaniparus thruppi

Eastern Nicator  Nicator gularis

Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark ◊  Eremopterix signatus  Our best encounters were in the Dida Galgalu desert.

Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark ◊  Eremopterix leucopareia  A fine pair was seen on our drive to Mount Kenya.

Pink-breasted Lark ◊  Calendulauda poecilosterna  Regularly seen in Shaba GR.

Red-winged Lark ◊  Mirafra hypermetra  Regularly seen in Tsavo East NP.

Rufous-naped Lark  Mirafra africana

Williams’s Lark ◊  Mirafra williamsi  Endemic. A special bird which we tracked down in the Shaba GR. The 9000th species for Sue!

Masked Lark ◊  Spizocorys personata  After much search we had superb looks. Voted bird of the trip!

Thekla Lark  Galerida theklae  Seen in the north: huriensis.

Crested Lark  Galerida cristata  Seen in the north: somaliensis.

Red-capped Lark  Calandrella cinerea

Sombre Greenbul (Zanzibar S G)  Andropadus importunus

Slender-billed Greenbul  Stelgidillas gracilirostris

Red-tailed Bristlebill (Common B)  Bleda syndactylus  Heard-only.

Yellow-throated Leaflove  Atimastillas flavicollis

Joyful Greenbul ◊  Chlorocichla laetissima  Common  in Kakamega Forest.

Yellow-bellied Greenbul  Chlorocichla flaviventris

Kakamega Greenbul ◊  Arizelocichla kakamegae  A few were seen  in Kakamega Forest.

Olive-breasted Greenbul ◊ (O-b Mountain G)  Arizelocichla kikuyuensis  We had good looks in Marmanet Forest.

Stripe-faced Greenbul ◊  Arizelocichla striifacies  Several encountered in the Taita Hills.

Yellow-whiskered Greenbul  Eurillas latirostris

Plain Greenbul (Cameroon Sombre G)  Eurillas curvirostris

Ansorge’s Greenbul  Eurillas ansorgei

Lowland Tiny Greenbul ◊  Phyllastrephus debilis  Aa rather shy bird of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Northern Brownbul ◊  Phyllastrephus strepitans  We had many good looks at Manda Island.

Fischer’s Greenbul ◊  Phyllastrephus fischeri  Several were seen in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Shy!

Cabanis’s Greenbul  Phyllastrephus cabanisi

Placid Greenbul ◊  Phyllastrephus placidus  About five were seen in the Taita Hills.

Dodson’s Bulbul ◊  Pycnonotus dodsoni  Common.

Dark-capped Bulbul  Pycnonotus tricolor

Black Saw-wing  Psalidoprocne pristoptera

White-headed Saw-wing  Psalidoprocne albiceps

Sand Martin  Riparia riparia

Brown-throated Martin (Plain M)  Riparia paludicola

Rock Martin  Ptyonoprogne fuligula

Wire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Angolan Swallow  Hirundo angolensis

Ethiopian Swallow  Hirundo aethiopica

Common House Martin  Delichon urbicum

Mosque Swallow  Cecropis senegalensis

Lesser Striped Swallow  Cecropis abyssinica

Red-rumped Swallow  Cecropis daurica

Northern Crombec  Sylvietta brachyura

Red-faced Crombec  Sylvietta whytii

Somali Crombec ◊ (S Long-billed C)  Sylvietta isabellina  A singleton was tracked down near Shaba Game Reserve.

White-browed Crombec ◊  Sylvietta leucophrys  A singleton was seen at Marmanet Forest.

Little Yellow Flycatcher ◊  Erythrocercus holochlorus  Core member of mixed flocky in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Green Hylia  Hylia prasina

Willow Warbler  Phylloscopus trochilus

Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler  Phylloscopus ruficapilla

Brown Woodland Warbler ◊  Phylloscopus umbrovirens  Several seen in Marmanet Forest.

Uganda Woodland Warbler ◊  Phylloscopus budongoensis  Several sightings of this canopy-loving bird at Kakamega Forest.

Great Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Eurasian Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus [scirpaceus] fuscus

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler  Iduna pallida

Evergreen Forest Warbler  Bradypterus [lopezi] mariae

Cinnamon Bracken Warbler  Bradypterus cinnamomeus

Singing Cisticola  Cisticola cantans  Heard-only.

Hunter’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola hunter  First seen well in Marmanet Forest.

Chubb’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola chubbi  We had good looks in Kakamega Forest.

Rattling Cisticola  Cisticola chiniana

Boran Cisticola ◊  Cisticola bodessa  This cryptic species was seen on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya.

Ashy Cisticola  Cisticola cinereolus

Lynes’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola distinctus  Two were seen near Nakuru NP.

Winding Cisticola  Cisticola marginatus

Coastal Cisticola ◊  Cisticola haematocephalus  We had many good looks on Manda Island.

Levaillant’s Cisticola (Tinkling C)  Cisticola tinniens

Aberdare Cisticola ◊  Cisticola aberdare  Endemic. Seen in the Aberdares NP. Endangered.

Desert Cisticola  Cisticola aridulus

Tawny-flanked Prinia  Prinia subflava

Pale Prinia ◊  Prinia somalica  A few seen in the far north.

Black-faced Prinia ◊  Prinia melanops  A smart looking bird seen well in Kakamega Forest.

Red-fronted Prinia (R-f Warbler)  Prinia rufifrons

White-chinned Prinia  Schistolais leucopogon

Black-collared Apalis ◊  Oreolais pulcher  Another stunner seen well in Kakamega Forest.

Buff-bellied Warbler  Phyllolais pulchella

Taita Apalis ◊  Apalis fuscigularis  Endemic. Great looks of this rare bird. Critically endangered.

Yellow-breasted Apalis ◊ (Brown-tailed A)  Apalis flavida  Several seen well on the coast and in the north.

Black-headed Apalis  Apalis melanocephala

Chestnut-throated Apalis ◊  Apalis porphyrolaema  Several seen well in Marmanet Forest.

Buff-throated Apalis  Apalis rufogularis

Grey Apalis  Apalis cinerea

Grey-capped Warbler  Eminia lepida

Grey-backed Camaroptera  Camaroptera brevicaudata

Olive-green Camaroptera  Camaroptera chloronota

Grey Wren-Warbler  Calamonastes simplex

Black-faced Rufous Warbler  Bathmocercus rufus

Yellow-vented Eremomela ◊  Eremomela flavicrissalis  Two were tracked down on our way back from Marsabit.

Turner’s Eremomela ◊  Eremomela turneri  Several seen in Kakamega Forest.

Banded Parisoma ◊  Curruca boehmi  A pair was tracked down on our way back from Marsabit.

Common Whitethroat  Curruca communis  Non-leader.

Pale White-eye  Zosterops flavilateralis

Kikuyu White-eye ◊  Zosterops kikuyuensis  Endemic. A few seen at Marmanet Forest.

Taita White-eye ◊  Zosterops silvanus  Endemic. We got many great looks this year in the Taita Hills. Endangered.

Northern Yellow White-eye  Zosterops senegalensis

Scaly-breasted Illadopsis ◊  Illadopsis albipectus  Good looks at Kakamega Forest.

Rufous Chatterer  Argya rubiginosa

Scaly Chatterer ◊  Argya aylmeri  Great looks near Shaba Game Reserve.

Hinde’s Babbler ◊  Turdoides hindei  Endemic. A party of six were seen very well. Vulnerable.

Scaly Babbler ◊  Turdoides squamulata  Many great looks at Manda Island.

Arrow-marked Babbler  Turdoides jardineii

Black-lored Babbler  Turdoides sharpei

Northern Pied Babbler ◊  Turdoides hypoleuca  First seen well on our drive to Mount Kenya.

Wattled Starling  Creatophora cinerea

Black-bellied Starling  Notopholia corusca

Greater Blue-eared Starling  Lamprotornis chalybaeus

Rüppell’s Starling (R Long-tailed S)  Lamprotornis purpuroptera

Golden-breasted Starling  Lamprotornis regius  Really smart looking bird!

Superb Starling  Lamprotornis superbus

Fischer’s Starling ◊  Lamprotornis fischeri  Common at Tsavo East NP.

White-crowned Starling ◊  Lamprotornis albicapillus  Great surprise in the Dida Galgalu desert: horrensis.

Violet-backed Starling  Cinnyricinclus leucogaster

Red-winged Starling  Onychognathus morio

Slender-billed Starling ◊  Onychognathus tenuirostris  First seen in Marmanet Forest.

Waller’s Starling  Onychognathus walleri  A singleton in Marmanet Forest.

Bristle-crowned Starling ◊  Onychognathus salvadorii  Several seen in the north.

Stuhlmann’s Starling ◊  Poeoptera stuhlmanni  A few were seen at Kakamega Forest.

Sharpe’s Starling ◊  Poeoptera sharpii  We had several great looks in Marmanet Forest.

Magpie Starling ◊  Speculipastor bicolor  Excellent looks at the edge of the Dida Galgalu desert.

Yellow-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus africanus

Red-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus erythrorynchus

White-tailed Ant Thrush  Neocossyphus poensis

Red-tailed Ant Thrush  Neocossyphus rufus

African Thrush  Turdus pelios

Abyssinian Thrush (Mountain T, Northern Olive T)  Turdus abyssinicus

Taita Thrush ◊  Turdus helleri  Endemic. Shy and skulking bird but we managed good looks this year in the Taita Hills. Endangered.

Bare-eyed Thrush (African B-e T)  Turdus tephronotus  Seen well at  Manda Island.

Bearded Scrub Robin (Eastern B S R)  Cercotrichas quadrivirgata

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (W)  Cercotrichas galactotes

White-browed Scrub Robin  Cercotrichas leucophrys

White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher  Melaenornis fischeri

Northern Black Flycatcher  Melaenornis edolioides

Southern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina

Pale Flycatcher  Melaenornis pallidus

African Grey Flycatcher  Melaenornis microrhynchus

Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata

Gambaga Flycatcher ◊  Muscicapa gambagae  Excellent looks in the Shaba Game Reserve.

African Dusky Flycatcher  Muscicapa adusta

Brown-chested Alethe  Chamaetylas poliocephala

Cape Robin-Chat  Cossypha caffra

Grey-winged Robin-Chat  Cossypha polioptera

Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat ◊  Cossypha cyanocampter  Seen very well in Kakamega Forest.

Rüppell’s Robin-Chat  Cossypha semirufa

White-browed Robin-Chat  Cossypha heuglini

Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat  Cossypha niveicapilla

White-starred Robin (W-s Forest R)  Pogonocichla stellata

Equatorial Akalat ◊  Sheppardia aequatorialis  Several seen in Kakmega Forest.

East Coast Akalat ◊  Sheppardia gunning  Tricky bird and it took some time in the parched Arabuko-Sokoke Forest to find.

Collared Palm Thrush ◊  Cichladusa arquata  Beautiful bird. We had good looks neat Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Spotted Palm Thrush (S Morning T)  Cichladusa guttata

Common Rock Thrush  Monticola saxatilis

Little Rock Thrush ◊  Monticola rufocinereus  A few noted at Lake Nakuru.

African Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus

Moorland Chat ◊  Pinarochroa sordida  Common in the Aberdare NP.

Anteater Chat (Northern A C)  Myrmecocichla aethiops

Northern Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe

Isabelline Wheatear  Oenanthe isabellina

Brown-tailed Rock Chat ◊  Oenanthe scotocerca  One was seen in the Shaba GR.

Abyssinian Wheatear ◊ (Schalow’s W)  Oenanthe [lugubris] schalowi  Great looks in the Rift Valley near Lake Nakuru.

Plain-backed Sunbird ◊  Anthreptes reichenowi  Good looks in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird (Kenya V-b S)  Anthreptes orientalis

Collared Sunbird  Hedydipna collaris

Amani Sunbird ◊  Hedydipna pallidigaster  Good looks in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Endangered.

Green-headed Sunbird  Cyanomitra verticalis

Olive Sunbird  Cyanomitra olivacea

Grey Sunbird ◊ (Mouse-coloured S)  Cyanomitra veroxii  One was seen  on Manda Island by some.

Amethyst Sunbird  Chalcomitra amethystina

Scarlet-chested Sunbird  Chalcomitra senegalensis

Hunter’s Sunbird ◊  Chalcomitra hunter  Farily common in dry country.

Tacazze Sunbird ◊  Nectarinia tacazze  Stunning species! Our best looks of male was in the Aberdare’s NP.

Bronzy Sunbird (Bronze S)  Nectarinia kilimensis

Malachite Sunbird  Nectarinia famosa

Golden-winged Sunbird ◊  Drepanorhynchus reichenowi  Fantastic bird and we had great looks!

Northern Double-collared Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris reichenowi  First seen in Marmaneet Forest.

Eastern Double-collared Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris mediocris  We had our best looks in the Aberdare NP.

Beautiful Sunbird  Cinnyris pulchellus

Marico Sunbird (Mariqua S)  Cinnyris mariquensis

Black-bellied Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris nectarinioides  Stunning bird, seen well in the Shaba GR.

Tsavo Sunbird ◊ (T Purple-banded S)  Cinnyris tsavoensis  Several seen in the Tsavo East NP.

Violet-breasted Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris chalcomelas  A fine male was seen south of Lamu.

Variable Sunbird  Cinnyris venustus

Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow  Gymnoris pyrgita

Chestnut Sparrow  Passer eminibey

Kenya Sparrow ◊ (K Rufous S)  Passer rufocinctus  Common in the Rift Valley.

Northern Grey-headed Sparrow  Passer griseus

Parrot-billed Sparrow ◊  Passer gongonensis  First seen well on Manda Island.

House Sparrow (introduced)  Passer domesticus

Somali Sparrow ◊  Passer castanopterus  Three were seen in the Dida Galgalu desert.

White-billed Buffalo Weaver  Bubalornis albirostris

Red-billed Buffalo Weaver  Bubalornis niger

White-headed Buffalo Weaver  Dinemellia dinemelli

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver  Plocepasser mahali

Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver  Plocepasser superciliosus  Good looks in the Kerio Valley.

Donaldson Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver ◊  Plocepasser donaldsoni  First seen at Shaba Game Reserve.

Black-capped Social Weaver  Pseudonigrita cabanisi

Baglafecht Weaver (Reichenow’s W)  Ploceus [baglafecht] reichenowi

Little Weaver  Ploceus luteolus

Spectacled Weaver  Ploceus ocularis

Black-necked Weaver  Ploceus nigricollis

Black-billed Weaver  Ploceus melanogaster

Eastern Golden Weaver (African G W)  Ploceus subaureus

Golden Palm Weaver ◊  Ploceus bojeri  We got our best looks at Manda Island.

Northern Masked Weaver ◊  Ploceus taeniopterus  A few were seen at Lake Bogoria.

Lesser Masked Weaver  Ploceus intermedius

Vitelline Masked Weaver  Ploceus vitellinus

Speke’s Weaver ◊  Ploceus spekei  We have visited a colony in the Rift Valley.

Village Weaver (Black-headed W)  Ploceus cucullatus

Vieillot’s Black Weaver  Ploceus nigerrimus

Golden-backed Weaver ◊  Ploceus jacksoni  A few were seen at Lake Bogoria.

Chestnut Weaver ◊  Ploceus rubiginosus  Large nubers were seen at Lake Nakuru.

Dark-backed Weaver (Forest W)  Ploceus bicolor

Brown-capped Weaver  Ploceus insignis

Red-headed Malimbe  Malimbus rubricollis

Red-headed Weaver  Anaplectes rubriceps

Red-billed Quelea  Quelea quelea

Long-tailed Widowbird  Euplectes progne

Jackson’s Widowbird ◊  Euplectes jacksoni  We were very lucky to see the first displaying male of the season.

Grey-headed Silverbill ◊  Spermestes griseicapilla  A few were seen at Lake Bogoria.

Bronze Mannikin  Spermestes cucullata

Black-and-white Mannikin  Spermestes bicolor

Abyssinian Crimsonwing ◊  Cryptospiza salvadorii  A pair was seen at Marmanet Forest: kilimensis.

Grey-headed Nigrita (G-crowned Negrofinch)  Nigrita canicapillus

Black-cheeked Waxbill ◊  Brunhilda charmosyna  One was seen at Shaba GR.

Crimson-rumped Waxbill  Estrilda rhodopyga

Cut-throat Finch  Amadina fasciata

Purple Grenadier  Granatina ianthinogaster

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu  Uraeginthus bengalus

Blue-capped Cordon-bleu ◊  Uraeginthus cyanocephalus  Three were seen near Shaba GR.

Red-headed Bluebill ◊  Spermophaga ruficapilla  A female was seen at Kakamega Forest.

Green-winged Pytilia  Pytilia melba

Red-billed Firefinch  Lagonosticta senegala

African Firefinch  Lagonosticta rubricata

Village Indigobird  Vidua chalybeata

Pin-tailed Whydah  Vidua macroura

Straw-tailed Whydah ◊  Vidua fischeri  Superb male on our drive to Mount Kenya.

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (Eastern P W)  Vidua paradisaea

Western Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla [flava] flava

Western Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla [flava] thunbergi

Cape Wagtail  Motacilla capensis

Mountain Wagtail  Motacilla clara

African Pied Wagtail  Motacilla aguimp

Golden Pipit ◊  Tmetothylacus tenellus  Excellent looks in Tsavo East NP.

Sharpe’s Longclaw ◊  Macronyx sharpie  Endemic. Great looks of several birds.  Endangered.

Yellow-throated Longclaw  Macronyx croceus

Pangani Longclaw ◊  Macronyx aurantiigula  Excellent looks in Tsavo East NP.

African Pipit (Grassland P)  Anthus cinnamomeus

Long-billed Pipit  Anthus similis

Plain-backed Pipit  Anthus leucophrys

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

Striped Pipit ◊  Anthus lineiventris  Great looks in the Taita Hills.

Sokoke Pipit ◊  Anthus sokokensis  It was really hard work to see this year! Great looks finally! Endangered.

Malindi Pipit ◊  Anthus melindae  Excellent looks near Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Tricky bird.

African Citril ◊  Crithagra citrinelloides  A few were seen in Marmanet Forest.

Southern Citril ◊ (East African C)  Crithagra hyposticta  A few were seen in Kakamega Forest.

Reichenow’s Seedeater ◊  Crithagra reichenowi  We had our first good looks in the Taita Hills.

Yellow-fronted Canary  Crithagra mozambica

Northern Grosbeak-Canary ◊  Crithagra donaldsoni  Superb looks  near Shaba GR.

Brimstone Canary  Crithagra sulphurata

Thick-billed Seedeater  Crithagra burtoni

Streaky Seedeater  Crithagra striolata

Yellow-crowned Canary  Serinus flavivertex

Striolated Bunting  Emberiza striolata  One was seen in the Dida Galgalu in the north: saturatior.

Somali Bunting (S Golden-breasted B)  Emberiza poliopleura



Yellow-spotted Hyrax  Heterohyrax brucei

Common Rock Hyrax (Black-necked R H)  Procavia capensis

African Elephant  Loxodonta africana

Golden-rumped Sengi (Yellow-r Elephant Shrew)  Rhynchocyon chrysopygus  Superb mammal, seen well in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Four-toed Hedgehog  Atelerix albiventris

Cheetah  Acinonyx jubatus  A mother with two fully grown cubs was a highlight in Shaba GR.

Common Dwarf Mongoose  Helogale parvula

African Golden Wolf (Common J)  Canis lupaster

Black-backed Jackal  Lupulella mesomelas

Grevy’s Zebra  Equus grevyi  Great looks in Shaba GR.

Plains Zebra (Common Z)  Equus quagga

Desert Warthog  Phacochoerus aethiopicus

Common Warthog  Phacochoerus africanus

Giraffe (Northern G) Giraffa camelopardalis

Masai Giraffe  Giraffa tippelskirchi

Impala (Common I)  Aepyceros melampus

Hartebeest (Kongoni)  Alcelaphus [buselaphus] cokii

Black-fronted Duiker (Mount Kenya D)  Cephalophus [nigrifrons] hooki  One was seen in the Aberdare  NP.

Thomson’s Gazelle (Eastern T G)  Eudorcas [thomsonii] thomsonii

Waterbuck (Defassa W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] defassa

Waterbuck (Elipsen W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] ellipsiprymnus

Gerenuk  Litocranius walleri

Günther’s Dikdik  Madoqua guentheri

Kirk’s Dikdik  Madoqua kirkii

Grant’s Gazelle (Peter’s G)  Nanger [granti] petersi

Bright’s Gazelle  Nanger notatus

Suni  Nesotragus moschatus

Beisa Oryx (Galla O)  Oryx [beisa] gallarum

Beisa Oryx (Fringe-eared O)  Oryx [beisa] callotis

Mountain Reedbuck (Chanler’s R)  Redunca [fulvorufula] chanleri

Bohor Reedbuck  Redunca redunca

Common Duiker (Bush D)  Sylvicapra grimmia

African Buffalo (Cape B)  Syncerus caffer

Common Eland  Tragelaphus oryx

Bushbuck (East Coast B)  Tragelaphus [scriptus] fasciatus

Bushbuck (Cape B)  Tragelaphus c sylvaticus

Hippopotamus  Hippopotamus amphibius

Heart-nosed False Vampire Bat  Cardioderma cor

Yellow-winged Bat  Lavia frons

Minor Epauletted Fruit Bat  Epomophorus minor

Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat  Epomophorus wahlbergi

Striped Leaf-nosed Bat  Macronycteris vittatus  Thousands were seen near Gede Ruins by some who visited a cave at siesta time.

Cape Roundleaf Bat  Hipposideros caffer  Three were seen near Gede Ruins by some who visited a cave at siesta time.

African Sheath-tailed Bat  Coleura afra  Thousands were seen near Gede Ruins by some who visited a cave at siesta time.

Least Bent-winged Bat  Miniopterus minor  Hundreds were seen near Gede Ruins by some who visited a cave at siesta time.

Kenya Coast Dwarf Galago  Paragalago cocos  One was seen near Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Small-eared Greater Galago (Northern Greater G)  Otolemur garnettii

Red-tailed Monkey (Black-cheeked White-nosed M)  Cercopithecus ascanius

Blue Monkey (Sykes’s M)  Cercopithecus [mitis] albogularis

Vervet  Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Guereza (Eastern Black-and-white C)  Colobus guereza

Olive Baboon  Papio anubis

Yellow Baboon  Papio cynocephalus

Cape Hare  Lepus capensis

Lord Derby’s Anomalure  Anomalurus derbianus  A pair was seen at Kakamega Forest.

Zanj Sun Squirrel  Heliosciurus undulatus

Huet’s Bush Squirrel  Paraxerus ochraceus

Striped Ground Squirrel  Xerus erythropus

Unstriped Ground Squirrel  Xerus rutilus

Somali Grass Rat  Arvicanthis [neumanni] somalicus  A colony by the gate at Shaba GR.

Zena’s Brush-furred Rat (Yellow-spotted B-f R)  Lophuromys zena  Seen in Kakamega Forest feeding on fallen fruits. IUCN lists this as a synonym with L. flavopunctatus.

Acacia Rat (Sundevall’s Thallomys)  Thallomys paedulcus  It was seen well at Shaba GR.

Kellen’s African Dormouse  Graphiurus kelleni  One was seen at Shaba Game Reserve.