Kenya - Masai Mara [1]

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5 years 2 weeks ago #79730 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Kenya - Masai Mara [1]
I have just returned from an 8-night birding trip to Kenya, a follow-up to the trip I made in September 2010. The trip was again organised for me by Moses Kandie whom I contacted 2 years ago through the BirdingPal network http://www.birdingpal.org/tours/KenyaItinerary.htm

I can really recommend Moses to anyone wanting to do some serious birding in Kenya. Moses has his own website http://www.birdwatchingexpress.net and can also be contacted via e-mail or by cellphone (drop me a private message and I will give you these details if you are interested). Once the birding venues were decided Moses organised the entire trip apart from my plane ticket from Joburg to Nairobi - vehicle, driver, accommodation, etc.

The trip was designed to boost my Kenya species list. So to add to those seen at Nakuru, Baringo, the Kakamega forest and Eldoret on my first trip, this time we took in the Masai Mara, Thomson's Falls, Nyeri, Mount Kenya and Samburu NR.

It was a very successful trip, with most of the "wish list" species seen. We finished with a trip total of 345 species (I used the IOC 3.1 v2 list), of which 123 were new to my Kenya list and 76 of these were also lifers. I passed a few landmarks during the trip - Kenya list topped 500 species (now 510), All Africa list went past 1,000 (now 1,062), Africa excluding southern Africa hit 700 (now 796) and my list of photographed species topped 1,000 (now 1,018).

I took over 2,000 photos so it will take a while to process everything, but as I finish with each of the venues I will post new installments.

The Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi leaves Joburg at 00:40 and arrives in Nairobi at 05:45, so we "hit the ground running" and were in the Masai Mara for a late lunch on Day 1. We spent 2 nights in this area, famous of course because of the annual wildebeest migration - but more of that later.

The Masai Mara is characterised by vast open savanna with some scrubby bush and not too many trees.







In venues like national parks where walking opportunities are limited, most of the birding was done from a "Kombi" type vehicle with an opening "safari" roof - this one just ahead of us on one of the roads.



During one afternoon and a full day birding we clocked up 118 species, some familiar faces from southern Africa and many more not so familiar.

African Grey Woodpecker - female


Athi Short-toed Lark


Bare-faced Go-Away-Bird


Black-lored Babbler


Brown-throated Wattle-Eye - male and female of sub-species nyansae




Dark Chanting Goshawk


Fischer's Sparrowlark - male


Grey-capped Social Weaver


Grey-capped Warbler


Grey-headed Kingfisher


Marico Sunbird sub-species suahelicus


Pallid Harrier - male


Pallid Honeyguide



Neil

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5 years 2 weeks ago #79819 by docandy
docandy replied the topic: Re: Kenya - Masai Mara [1]
Lovely storyline and photographs! :P

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