Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kenya roadside

I've had the pleasure of driving and walking around in western Kenya (highlands) for the past several days, and then driving southeast across the equator to Nairobi. Although I did no purposeful birding, I kept my eyes open and caught glimpses of a number of Africa's outstanding avian citizens, of which here is a selection (I've included a few sightings from my time in Uganda last week, also):

Black-headed oriole
Sacred ibis
Hadada (many - learned the Nandi [also] onomatopoeic name for them, "chebokwakwa")
Cape rook
Scarlet-chested sunbird
Blue-eared glossy starlings (probably greater, didn't have a field guide handy to check)
Superb starlings
Augur buzzard (regular and melanistic phase)
Pallid harrier, male and female (females could have been Montagu's, nearly impossible to distinguish in the field)
Bat hawk (seldom sighted, always notable in my experience)
Possible pygmy falcon (too brief a glimpse to be sure...would be a new one for me!)
Lilac-breasted roller
Lanner falcon (actually seen in Mbale, Uganda on the way to Kenya, a pair)
Grey crowned crane
Olive (rameron) pigeon (and several other species of dove/pigeon, including laughing, ring-necked, speckled, along with calls of blue-spotted wood dove & red-eyed dove)
Red-cheeked cordon-bleu
Rufous sparrow
Crowned plover
Grey-backed and common fiscal shrikes (Nandi name for grey-backed fiscal is "Kipkegei")
Red-rumped swallow
Little swift
Yellow-throated longclaw
Black-headed heron
Eurasian bee-eater
Hooded vulture
Black-shouldered kite
Saddlebill stork (this also in Uganda, in Lake Victoria as the road leaves Entebbe)
African goshawk (melanistic male chasing Ruepell's long-tailed starling & brown parrot - in Mbale town)
Helmeted guineafowl
Red-billed oxpecker
Fork-tailed drongo
Black-and-white-casqued hornbill
Grey-headed kingfisher
Woodland kingfisher
Pink-backed pelican