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!
BIRDS OF THE TOUR
1st: Masked Lark
2nd: Williams’s Lark
3rd: Sokoke Pipit
4th: Blue-headed Bee-eater
5th: Vulturine Guineafowl
SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED
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.