A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

East Africa Highlights: Kenya & Tanzania 2022

March 5-23, 2022 with Terry Stevenson guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the first birds we saw on the tour was this Silvery-cheeked Hornbill that posed beautifully at our Nairobi Hotel, The Residences at Karen Country Club. Photo by participant Myles McNally.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This trip list does not represent the standard itinerary for this tour as we only visited Kenya (and not Tanzania). However, we recorded a comparable number of species of birds and mammals, though a few may differ from those recorded on our standard two-country route.

This Kenya Highlights tour was introduced at short notice to replace East Africa Highlights, which wasn't possible due to covid restrictions in Tanzania. It turned out to be a wonderful alternative, with almost 440 species of birds including 'specials' like Vulturine Guineafowl, Great Blue Turaco, Red-chested Owlet and Jameson's Wattle-eye, and 46 mammals including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Black Rhino, and Grevy's Zebra.

As usual we began with a walk around the grounds of our Nairobi hotel and a visit to the nearby famous Nairobi National Park. Highlights during this first day were a variety of waterbirds including Black Crake, Long-toed Lapwing, African Darter, African Spoonbill, and Malachite Kingfisher. On the plains we watched Common Ostrich and Kori Bustard, while in the more forested areas were Hartlaub's Turaco, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill and White-starred Robin. We also enjoyed our first mammals, which varied from agile Black-faced Vervet Monkeys to lumbering Black Rhino, Common Giraffe, and a variety of antelopes that included our only Hartebeest and Wildebeest of the tour -- all in all a great first day.

We then headed north to The Ark, where a night overlooking the mineral lick and waterhole provided us with views of our first African Bush Elephants, Bushbuck, Giant Forest Hog, Suni, and Large-spotted Genet. Birding highlights were Crowned Hornbill, Red-fronted Parrot, Black-collared Apalis, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Kikuyu White-eye, and Golden-winged Sunbird.

Heading further north, but now in the arid semi-desert country at Samburu, we began to add a totally different variety of birds. Again just a few highlights were Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, Chestnut-bellied and Black-faced sandgrouse, Bateleur, Blue-naped Mousebird, Eastern Yellow-billed and Von der Decken's hornbills, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Greater Honeyguide, Pygmy Falcon, Pygmy Batis, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Somali Tit, Northern Crombec, Golden-breasted Starling, Hunter's Sunbird, Black-capped Social-Weaver, Golden Palm Weaver, and Cut-throat. While mammals included great looks at all four 'northern specials' -- Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and Gerenuk.

We then back-tracked to near Mt. Kenya before heading to the Baringo-Bogoria area in the Great Rift Valley. Along the way we stopped to see Cape (Mackinder's) Eagle-Owl at a well known site, and then we added an amazing variety of birds while joined at Baringo by our local guide, Francis. Just some of the new species we saw were; Slender-tailed Nightjar, Spotted Thick-knee, Three-banded Courser, Northern White-faced Owl and Grayish Eagle-Owl (all nocturnal birds seen well in daylight), African Green-Pigeon, Verreaux's Eagle, Narina Trogon, Green Woodhoopoe, Hemprich's and Jackson's hornbills, Black-throated Barbet, Lesser Honeyguide, Nubian Woodpecker, Mouse-colored Penduline-tit, Bristle-crowned and Magpie starlings, Brown-tailed Chat, Beautiful Sunbird, and Northern Masked and Golden-backed weavers.

Continuing on we headed west through the Kerio Valley (where we saw the striking Black-headed Gonolek) and then spent three nights at Rondo Retreat in the Kakamega Forest. From the comfort of this lovely lodge we took daily walks in the forest adding the following to our list Great Blue Turaco, Red-chested Cuckoo, Ayres's Hawk-Eagle, Red-chested Owlet, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Yellow-billed, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted barbets, Western Black-headed Oriole, Jameson's Wattle-eye, Luedher's Bushshrike, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Joyful and Ansorge's greenbuls, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Gray-winged Robin-Chat, Brown-chested Alethe, Red-headed Malimbe, Black-billed Weaver, and Red-headed Bluebill.

It was now time to head back to the Rift Valley, but not before we spent a few hours on the shores of Lake Victoria. Here, amongst a mix of fig trees, scrub, and beds of papyrus we soon added Eastern Plantain-eater, Long-crested Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, Broad-billed Roller, Greater Swamp Warbler, Angola Swallow, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-chested Sunbird, Slander-billed and Northern Brown-throated weavers, and the rare Papyrus Canary. Arriving at Lake Nakuru mid-afternoon gave us a few more hours of birding, which together with the whole of the following morning gave us plenty time to photograph the many thousands of waterbirds. Particularly enjoyed were the flocks of Lesser Flamingo (20,000+) and Great White Pelican (500+), but we also had the spectacle of numerous species all feeding and flying around right before us. Just some of these included Blue-billed and Cape teals, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Ruff, Curlew, Wood and Marsh sandpipers, Gray-hooded Gull, Gull-billed, White-winged and Whiskered terns, Great and Long-tailed cormorants, Pink-backed Pelican, Glossy Ibis, African Spoonbill, and African Fish-Eagle.

We then returned to Nairobi for a one night stay before taking the morning flight to Masai Mara where we spent three nights at the famous Little Governor's Camp. Here, based in this traditional high-end camp we took daily game drives in an open-sided four wheel drive. The camp is one of just a few which are still unfenced and as a result animals are free to wander right amongst the tents. Watchful guards are ever present, so it's just wonderful to have all this wildlife around you and yet feel perfectly safe. Just some of the highlights we experienced here were Red-necked Francolin, Black-bellied Bustard, Schalow's and Ross's turacos (both right in camp), Gray Crowned-Crane, Saddle-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, Secretarybird, White-headed, Lappet-faced, White-backed and Rueppell's vultures, Martial Eagle, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, African Wood-Owl, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Gray Kestrel, Meyer's Parrot, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Rufous-chested Swallow, Arrow-marked and Black-lored babblers, Red-billed and Yellow-billed oxpeckers, Sooty Chat, Red-collared, Fan-tailed and Jackson's widowbirds (all in breeding plumage), and Rosy-throated Longclaw.

But, Masai Mara is of course world famous for its mammals and we were certainly not disappointed as we slowly worked our way across the plains finding Black-backed Jackal, Spotted Hyaena, a large male Leopard, more than 20 Lions (including a huge pride with a big maned male, females and cubs), Cheetah, fantastic looks at the normally shy Serval, Common Giraffe, and large herds of Burchell's Zebra, African Buffalo, Topi, Impala and Thomson's Gazelle.

We then returned to Nairobi on a 50 minute flight, before having the luxury of a free afternoon with our own day rooms and farewell dinner before transferring to the airport for our international flights home.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Struthionidae (Ostriches)

COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus massaicus)

At least 25 in Nairobi NP were by far the largest number for a single area, but we also saw 1 at Baringo, and about 8 at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The wide-open plains at Masai Mara featured grazers such as these Topi. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

SOMALI OSTRICH (Struthio molybdophanes)

At Samburu we had nice looks at 2 males and 2 females (including 1 male doing a dramatic display dance).

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata)

About 30 at Lake Baringo, and another 30 at Masai Mara.

KNOB-BILLED DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos)

One at Masai Mara.

EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca)

Common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 480.

SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis)

One at Nairobi NP.

BLUE-BILLED TEAL (Spatula hottentota)

Formerly known as Hottentot Teal, we saw 1 at Lake Nakuru.

YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata)

Two at The Ark, and about 18 at Nakuru.

CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis)

Two at Nakuru.

Numididae (Guineafowl)

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris)

Widespread in a variety of scattered bushland areas; in all we saw about 360.

VULTURINE GUINEAFOWL (Acryllium vulturinum)

We saw 15 of these strange looking birds at Samburu.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Ortygornis sephaena)

Eight at Samburu.

COQUI FRANCOLIN (Campocolinus coqui)

Great looks at 2 males and a female in the Nakuru grasslands, and then another male there.

YELLOW-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis leucoscepus)

About 25 at Samburu.

RED-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis afer)

Five at Masai Mara.

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus)

At lease 50 were together with the Lesser Flamingos at Lake Nakuru.

LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor)

Twenty thousand plus were an impressive sight at Lake Nakuru.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

One at Kiawara, and about 30 at Lake Nakuru.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

Not common in Kenya, but we saw small numbers in a few towns along our route.

SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea)

Replaces Rock Pigeon in most towns and villages; in all we saw about 60.

MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens)

Common in arid country, with about 45 at Samburu, and 30 at Baringo.

RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata)

Widespread in more lush areas than the previous species; in all we saw about 80.

RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola)

Common and widespread away from the Kakamega Forest area.

LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis)

About 20 at Samburu, and 30+ in the Baringo to Bogoria area.

EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos)

Two at Baringo.


One in the riverine forest along the Mara River.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Three-banded Coursers were a nice find by Francis (our expert local guide) at Baringo; these are two of the three that were taking advantage of a shady nook. Photo by participant Myles McNally.

NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis)

Two singles at Samburu.


About a dozen at our hotel at Bogoria, 4 in the Kerio Valley, and 15 at Masai Mara.

Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)


Great looks at 7 drinking birds at Samburu.

BLACK-FACED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles decoratus)

Six at Samburu.

Otididae (Bustards)

KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori)

One on the open plains in Nairobi NP.

WHITE-BELLIED BUSTARD (Eupodotis senegalensis)

Two at Samburu.

BUFF-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis gindiana)

Three at Samburu.

BLACK-BELLIED BUSTARD (Lissotis melanogaster)

We saw a single flying male at Masai Mara.

Musophagidae (Turacos)

GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata)

Just great to see 7 all together in Kakamega Forest.

SCHALOW'S TURACO (Tauraco schalowi)

Two singles seen (and others heard) at and around Little Governor's Camp.

HARTLAUB'S TURACO (Tauraco hartlaubi)

Five in the forest around our hotel in Nairobi.

ROSS'S TURACO (Musophaga rossae)

Four in the riverine forest at Little Governor's Camp.

WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides leucogaster)

Common at Samburu and Baringo; in total we saw about 75.


Two at the edge of Kisumu town.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus) [*]

One was calling from within the papyrus at Kisumu.

WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus)

Singles at Samburu and Nakuru, and 5 at Masai Mara.

KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas)

Singles at Naro Moru, and Masai Mara.

RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius)

Scope views of a calling bird at Kakamega.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

SLENDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus clarus)

Thanks to our local guide we had great day-time views at Baringo.

Apodidae (Swifts)

NYANZA SWIFT (Apus niansae)

Five on the way to The Ark.

LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis)

Common around buildings and bridges; in all we saw about 450.

HORUS SWIFT (Apus horus)

One at The Ark, and then about 20 along the Mara River.


Four at Masai Mara.

AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus)

About 10 at Nairobi NP, and 25+ at Samburu.

Sarothruridae (Flufftails)

WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra) [*]

Heard along a thickly vegetated stream in Kakamega Forest.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Black-chested Snake-Eagle was one of two that we saw; it appears to be just awakening and considering the prospects for the day. Photo by participant Peter Vale.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)

Six at Nairobi NP, and 4 at The Ark.

RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata)

One at Limuru Pond.

BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra)

Good views at Nairobi NP, Baringo, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about a dozen.

Gruidae (Cranes)

GRAY CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica regulorum)

We saw these spectacular birds at Nairobi, The Ark, Samburu, and Masai Mara; in total we saw about 40.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)

WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus)

One at Samburu, and 2 singles at Masai Mara.

SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis)

Two near the cliffs at Baringo.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)

Fairly widespread with the largest numbers being 55 at Sagana Fish Ponds and 30+ at Nakuru.

PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Fifteen at Nakuru.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

LONG-TOED LAPWING (Vanellus crassirostris)

Five at Nairobi NP, and 6 at Sagana Fish Ponds.

BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus)

Widespread around wetlands; in total we saw about 80.

SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus)

Another widespread lapwing, with a total of about 220.

CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus)

More of a grassland species than the previous lapwings; in all we saw about 45.

WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus)

Amazing numbers at Masai Mara where in addition to the more usual pairs and single birds we saw over 200 together in a small area.

KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius)

Four along the shore at Lake Nakuru.

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)

Singles at lakes Baringo and Nakuru.

THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris)

Singles and pairs were seen at Nairobi, Sagana, Samburu, Baringo and at Masai Mara.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus)

Widespread in areas with floating vegetation; in all we saw about 55.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

RUFF (Calidris pugnax)

One at Samburu, 2 at Baringo, and 2 at Nakuru.

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)

One at Baringo, and 8 at Nakuru.

LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)

About a dozen at Sagana, 10 at Baringo, and 30+ at Nakuru.

COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago)

Two at The Ark, 1 at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)

Small numbers were widespread at a variety of scattered wetlands; in all we saw about 12.

GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus)

Two at Samburu.

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)

One at Samburu.

MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)

Three at Baringo, and 1 at Nakuru.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Blue Monkeys were fairly common at Kakamega and a few other locations. Participant Myles McNally got a nice portrait of this one.

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)

Common and widespread with a total of about 90.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

SOMALI COURSER (Cursorius somalensis)

Great looks at 3 right next to our vehicle on the arid white plains at Samburu.

THREE-BANDED COURSER (Rhinoptilus cinctus)

Again thanks to our local guide we had fabulous scope views of 3 at Baringo.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)

At least 300 were at Lake Nakuru.

BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

One at Lake Nakuru.

GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)

About 50 at Lake Nakuru.

WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus)

About 40 (in non-breeding plumage) were at Nakuru.

WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)

Two in breeding plumage along the shore at Lake Victoria.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus)

One at Lake Victoria, and then 200+ at Masai Mara.

WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus)

One at Samburu, 2 flying over the forest at Katimok, and 8 at Masai Mara.

WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia)

About 120 in the wheat fields at Kisima (the north slope Mt. Kenya).

SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)

Four at Masai Mara.

MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer)

Fairly widespread in both towns and open big game country; in all we saw about 90.


Most common in Masai Mara (40), but we also saw small numbers at Nairobi NP, Samburu, and Nakuru.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa)

Eight at Nairobi NP.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus)

Widespread in small numbers at a variety of scattered wetlands; in all we saw about 25.

GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Eighty at Lake Nakuru.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

At least 500 were in a single flock at the south end of Lake Nakuru, and others (perhaps totaling 200) were out feeding on the open water.

PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens)

Twelve at Sagana Fish Ponds, and 30+ at Lake Nakuru.

Scopidae (Hamerkop)

HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta)

Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 24.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)

Widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 60.

BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala)

The common and widespread heron in grasslands; we saw a total of about 140.

GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath)

Good looks at singles at Samburu and Masai Mara.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

Widespread throughout the tour with a total of about 220.

INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia)

Two at Nairobi NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This beautiful Rosy-patched Bushshrike was one of two we saw well at Samburu. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)

One at Baringo, and then about 30 at Nakuru, and 20 at Masai Mara.

BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca)

Two in the shallows on the western shore at Baringo.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Common and widespread throughout the tour.

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)

Two at Baringo.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

One at Samburu, and 2 singles at Masai Mara.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

One at Samburu, and 5 at Masai Mara.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)

Three at Baringo, and 1 at Nakuru.

AFRICAN SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus)

Very common and widespread with a total of about 550.

HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash)

Common and widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw about 150.


Widespread at a variety of widespread wetlands; in all we saw about 90.

Sagittariidae (Secretarybird)

SECRETARYBIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius)

One on the overgrazed grass plains just outside the Masai Mara reserve.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus)

Fourteen at Masai Mara.

WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis)

One in flight at Masai Mara.

LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos)

Two (with other vultures) at Masai Mara.

HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus)

Four at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.


By far the most widespread large vulture; we saw a total of about 160.

RUEPPELL'S GRIFFON (Gyps rueppelli)

One at Samburu, and 20 at Nakuru.

BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus)

Seven at Samburu, and 14 at Masai Mara.

BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis)

We saw single adults at Samburu, and Masai Mara.

MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus)

Nice looks at an adult at Masai Mara.

LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis)

Two at Kisumu, and 4 at Masai Mara.

WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi)

One at Masai Mara.

AYRES'S HAWK-EAGLE (Hieraaetus ayresii)

One over the forest at Kakamega.

TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax)

One at Nairobi NP, 12 at Samburu, and 3 at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We found 18 species of sunbirds on the tour, including this gorgeous Red-chested Sunbird photographed by participant Myles McNally.

VERREAUX'S EAGLE (Aquila verreauxii)

Good looks at 2 along the cliffs at Baringo.

DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates)

Close views of a perched bird at Masai Mara.

EASTERN CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax poliopterus)

Two at Samburu.

GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar)

Three at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.

EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus)

We saw a flying male at Masai Mara.

PALLID HARRIER (Circus macrourus)

Two males at Masai Mara.

MONTAGU'S HARRIER (Circus pygargus)

Singles at Nairobi NP, and at Solio Game Ranch.

AFRICAN GOSHAWK (Accipiter tachiro)

One at The Ark.

SHIKRA (Accipiter badius)

Singles at Bogoria and Baringo.

OVAMBO SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter ovampensis)

We had good looks at this rare raptor at Nakuru.

BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans)

Most common around cities like Nairobi and Nakuru, but we also saw a few others elsewhere; in all we saw about 170.

AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer)

Small numbers were widespread at a variety of wetlands; in all we saw about 28.

COMMON BUZZARD (STEPPE) (Buteo buteo vulpinus)

One to the west of Kiawara.

AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur)

Widespread in small numbers with a total of 14.

Strigidae (Owls)

NORTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL (Ptilopsis leucotis)

Another great find by our local guide at Baringo.

CAPE EAGLE-OWL (NORTHERN) (Bubo capensis mackinderi)

One in a rocky gulley near Kiawara.

SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL (Bubo africanus)

One at Nakuru.

GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens)

Two near the cliffs at Baringo.

PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum)

One in the large acacia trees in the Kerio Valley.

RED-CHESTED OWLET (Glaucidium tephronotum)

We saw this rare species high in the canopy at Kakamega Forest.

AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii)

One seen and a second bird heard at Masai Mara.

Coliidae (Mousebirds)

SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus)

Common and widespread throughout the tour.

BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus)

About 20 at Samburu, 12 at Bogoria-Baringo, and 10 in the Kerio Valley.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina)

We saw 1 at Baringo (where they are very rare), and then 2 at Little Governor's Camp in Masai Mara.

Upupidae (Hoopoes)


Two singles at Samburu.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Rothschild’s Giraffe was one of five that we saw at Nakuru. Photo by participant Peter Vale.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)

GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus)

Eight in the Baringo-Bogoria area.

WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei)

Five at Kakamega.

COMMON SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas)

One in the car park at Naro Moru River Lodge.

Bucerotidae (Hornbills)

CROWNED HORNBILL (Lophoceros alboterminatus)

A pair were at the gate to the Aberdare National Park.

HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros hemprichii)

Amazing look at 2 on the feeder at Bush Baby Bar and Restaurant, Lake Baringo.

AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus)

One at Baringo, and 2 at Nakuru.


Good looks at 2 at Samburu.

JACKSON'S HORNBILL (Tockus jacksoni)

About 8 at Baringo.


We saw a single male at Samburu.

NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus)

About 20 at Samburu, and 6 at Baringo.


Good looks at 1 at the edge of the golf course at The Residences.

BLACK-AND-WHITE-CASQUED HORNBILL (Bycanistes subcylindricus)

Six at Katimok, and about a dozen (including a breeding pair) at Kakamega.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus)

Widespread in small numbers; we saw a total of 10.

GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala)

Four at Samburu, and 2 at Bogoria.

WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis)

Great looks at these beautiful kingfishers at Kisumu and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 15.

STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti)

Two at the Bogoria Spa Resort.

GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima)

Some of the group saw 1 during our picnic lunch near Sagana.

PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis)

One at Lake Baringo, and then common at lakes Victoria and Nakuru, and along the Mara River.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)

WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides)

Five at Nakuru, and 2 at Masai Mara.

LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus)

Common in dry country like Samburu and Kerio Valley; in all we saw about 26.


Replaces the previous species in more wooded areas; in total we saw about 30.

WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis)

Very common at Samburu (120+), and at Baringo (12), and Kakamega (4).

BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (Merops persicus)

One at Baringo.

EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster)

One at Baringo.


Three at Isiolo town were totally unexpected, and then another 3 were seen at Baringo.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We only found one Secretarybird near Masai Mara; participant Myles McNally was able to get a great shot of it as it stalked through the dry grasses.
Coraciidae (Rollers)

EUROPEAN ROLLER (Coracias garrulus)

One at Masai Mara.

LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus)

Fairly common in open country with scattered trees; in all we saw about 30.

RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius)

Singles in the Tugen Hills and the Kerio Valley.

BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus)

Two on the wires near Kisumu.

Lybiidae (African Barbets)

YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus)

One seen and others heard at Kakamega.

RED-AND-YELLOW BARBET (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus)

Nice looks at this gorgeous barbet in the Kerio Valley.

GRAY-THROATED BARBET (Gymnobucco bonapartei)

Eight at Katimok, and about 20 at Kakamega.

YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (YELLOW-RUMPED) (Pogoniulus bilineatus bilineatus)

One at Naro Moru, and 8 at Kakamega.

RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus pusillus)

One at Nairobi NP.

YELLOW-SPOTTED BARBET (Buccanodon duchaillui)

Two high in the canopy at Kakamega.

HAIRY-BREASTED BARBET (Tricholaema hirsuta)

We had scope views of this uncommon barbet at Kakamega.

SPOT-FLANKED BARBET (Tricholaema lacrymosa)

Singles at Nairobi and Nakuru.

BLACK-THROATED BARBET (Tricholaema melanocephala)

Two near the cliffs at Baringo.

WHITE-HEADED BARBET (Lybius leucocephalus)

One at Masai Mara.

Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)

THICK-BILLED HONEYGUIDE (Indicator conirostris)

One in the interior of Kakamega Forest.

LESSER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator minor)

Very similar to the previous species but prefers more open country, we saw singles at Baringo and in the Kerio Valley.

GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator)

Some of the group saw an immature at Samburu.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)


One on the higher part of the Oloololo Escarpment, Masai Mara.

CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Chloropicus fuscescens)

Small numbers were at Samburu, Kerio Valley, Kakamega, and Masai Mara.

GOLDEN-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Chloropicus xantholophus)

Three at Kakamega.

MOUNTAIN GRAY WOODPECKER (Chloropicus spodocephalus rhodeogaster)

Two at Samburu, and 1 at Baringo.

NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica)

Two at Baringo.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus)

Great looks at 2 of these tiny falcons at Samburu.

EURASIAN KESTREL (EURASIAN) (Falco tinnunculus tinnunculus)

Two singles at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.

GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus)

Two near the Musiara Marsh, Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A small flock of unusual Vulturine Guineafowl showed nicely for us at Samburu. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus)

One at Samburu.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi)

Five were seen in flight from The Ark walkway.

MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri)

Two at Nakuru, and 4 at Masai Mara.

RED-BELLIED PARROT (Poicephalus rufiventris)

Also known as African Orange-bellied Parrot, we saw a pair and 2 juveniles at a nest hole at Ashnil's Camp, Samburu.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)


Two single males at Kakamega.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)


One in the Kerio Valley.

WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrynchus)

One seen and several heard at Kakamega.


Singles at Samburu, Baringo, and Nakuru.

Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)

BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea)

Eight at Kakamega, and 1 at Masai Mara.

BLACK-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira peltata)

Good looks at a pair in the Katimok Forest.

JAMESON'S WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira jamesoni)

Always secretive, but most of us got good looks in the Kakamega undergrowth.

CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor)

Singles at The Residences, Nairobi NP, and Katimok.

PYGMY BATIS (Batis perkeo)

We saw a pair at Samburu.

Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)

BRUBRU (Nilaus afer)

Two singles at Samburu.

NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis)

One in the Kerio Valley, and 1 at Nakuru.

BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla)

Two at Nairobi NP, and 2 at Masai Mara.

PINK-FOOTED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus angolensis)

One at Kakamega.

LUEHDER'S BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius luehderi)

Two in the tangled vines at Kakamega.

TROPICAL BOUBOU (Laniarius major)

Widespread in small numbers with a total of about 10 (plus many heards).

BLACK-HEADED GONOLEK (Laniarius erythrogaster)

We saw these striking birds at Kerio Valley and along the shores of Lake Victoria.

SLATE-COLORED BOUBOU (Laniarius funebris)

Two at Samburu.

ROSY-PATCHED BUSHSHRIKE (Rhodophoneus cruentus)

Two singles at Samburu.

GRAY-GREEN BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus bocagei) [*]

Heard at Kakamega.

BLACK-FRONTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus nigrifrons)

Another beautiful bushshrike, we saw this species in the forest at Katimok.

GRAY-HEADED BUSHSHRIKE (Malaconotus blanchoti) [*]

Heard at Little Governor's Camp, Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We got really close to some White Rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru. Photo by participant Myles McNally.
Dicruridae (Drongos)

SHARPE'S DRONGO (Dicrurus sharpei)

Formerly considered conspecific with Square-tailed Drongo, we saw at least in dozen in the forest at Kakamega.

FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis)

Common and widespread away from forest interior.

Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)


Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about 20.

Laniidae (Shrikes)


One at Masai Mara.

GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitoroides)

Three at Nakuru, and 1 at Masai Mara.

LONG-TAILED FISCAL (Lanius cabanisi)

About a dozen at Nairobi NP.

TAITA FISCAL (Lanius dorsalis)

Ten at Samburu.

MACKINNON'S SHRIKE (Lanius mackinnoni)

Two in the grounds of Rondo Retreat, Kakamega.

NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis)

Common and widespread throughout the tour.

WHITE-RUMPED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus ruppelli)

Two at Samburu.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis)

About 30 in the central highlands around Solio and Naro Moru, and then 20 in the Nakuru area.

PIED CROW (Corvus albus)

Common and widespread (especially near towns).

FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus)

Two in flight at Samburu.

Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)

AFRICAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda)

Eight at Kakamega.


One at Katimok.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

WHITE-BELLIED TIT (Melaniparus albiventris)

We saw a pair at Naro Moru River Lodge, and then a single at Katimok.

DUSKY TIT (Melaniparus funereus)

Two at Kakamega.

SOMALI TIT (Melaniparus thruppi)

One was seen at Samburu, and another heard at Baringo.

RED-THROATED TIT (Melaniparus fringillinus)

One at our picnic site in Nairobi NP.

Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)

MOUSE-COLORED PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus musculus)

The smallest bird in Africa, we saw 1 at Baringo.

Alaudidae (Larks)

FISCHER'S SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucopareia)

Four at Samburu.

PINK-BREASTED LARK (Calendulauda poecilosterna)

About 20 at Samburu.

FOXY LARK (Calendulauda alopex intercedens)

Two singles at Samburu.

RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana)

This grassland species was very common at Masai Mara (90+), and we also saw them at Nairobi NP, Solio, and Nakuru.

RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea)

About 18 at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Slender-tailed Nightjar was another great find by our local guide at Baringo. Photo by participant Myles McNally.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)

NORTHERN CROMBEC (Sylvietta brachyura)

Good looks at 2 at Samburu.

RED-FACED CROMBEC (Sylvietta whytii)

One at Nakuru.

MOUSTACHED GRASS-WARBLER (Melocichla mentalis)

Nice looks at a singing bird at Masai Mara.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)

WHITE-CHINNED PRINIA (Schistolais leucopogon)

Fourteen at Kakamega.

BLACK-COLLARED APALIS (Oreolais pulcher)

One at The Ark, and 4 at Kakamega.

GRAY WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes simplex)

One at Samburu.

GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata)

Seen at Nairobi, Naro Moru and Nakuru, and several others heard elsewhere.

OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota) [*]

Heard at Kakamega.

YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (BROWN-TAILED) (Apalis flavida viridiceps)

Four at Samburu.

CHESTNUT-THROATED APALIS (Apalis porphyrolaema)

Good looks at 1 at Naro Moru River Lodge.

GRAY APALIS (Apalis cinerea)

Six at The Ark.

TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava)

Six at Nairobi NP, and 1 at Katimok.

PALE PRINIA (Prinia somalica)

Not so common, so we were lucky to get good looks of 1 at Samburu.


Nice looks at a male in the Kakamega undergrowth.

SINGING CISTICOLA (Cisticola cantans)

Two at Nairobi NP.

CHUBB'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola chubbi)

We saw a calling pair at the edge of Kakamega Forest.

HUNTER'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola hunteri) [E]

Two at The Ark.

RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana)

One in the Kerio Valley, and then 6 at Nakuru, and 2 at Masai Mara.

ASHY CISTICOLA (Cisticola cinereolus)

One at Samburu.

WINDING CISTICOLA (Cisticola marginatus)

Three at Nairobi NP.

CARRUTHERS'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola carruthersi) [*]

Several were heard calling in the papyrus beds at Lake Victoria.

STOUT CISTICOLA (Cisticola robustus)

One in the glade at Kakamega, and 100+ at Masai Mara.

SIFFLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola brachypterus)

One in the undergrowth at Nairobi NP.

ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis)

We saw a displaying bird at Masai Mara.

PECTORAL-PATCH CISTICOLA (Cisticola brunnescens)

Several seen as 'flying dots' and a couple seen well at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This gorgeous Serval allowed us a nice long view at Masai Mara. Photo by participant Myles McNally.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)


One at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.


One at The Ark.

GREATER SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus rufescens)

One along the shore at Lake Victoria.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola)

About 20 at Nairobi NP, and 30 at Masai Mara.

BANDED MARTIN (Neophedina cincta)

One, low over the Mara grasslands.

ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula)

Small numbers particularly around buildings and the Baringo cliffs.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Common throughout the tour.

ETHIOPIAN SWALLOW (Hirundo aethiopica)

Two on the fence at Solio Game Ranch.

ANGOLA SWALLOW (Hirundo angolensis)

Six on wires near Kisumu.

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii)

Singles or pairs at Sagana, Naro Moru, and Masai Mara.

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica)

A total of about 20 were seen between Nairobi and the Aberdare's, with the best views being of roosting birds at The Ark.

LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica)

Widespread; with a total of about 50.

RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa)

Four at Masai Mara.

MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis)

One at The Ark.

WHITE-HEADED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne albiceps)

About 30 at Kakamega, and 20 at Masai Mara.

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)

RED-TAILED BRISTLEBILL (Bleda syndactylus)

Fabulous looks at this shy species at Kakamega.

JOYFUL GREENBUL (Chlorocichla laetissima)

Abut 20 of these joyful songsters were seen at Kakamega.

ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei)

One at Kakamega.

YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris)

About 10 seen (and others heard throughout the day) at Kakamega.

LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens)

Two at Kakamega.

CABANIS'S GREENBUL (PLACID) (Phyllastrephus cabanisi placidus)

Four at The Residences, Nairobi, and 1 at Naro Moru.

COMMON BULBUL (DODSON'S) (Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni)

Sometimes considered specifically distinct from Common Bulbul; we saw about 30 at Samburu.

COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor)

Very common and widespread away from the Samburu area.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)

WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus)

Two at Nairobi NP.

UGANDA WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus budongoensis)

One at Kakamega.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This is the male of two tiny Pygmy Falcons that were seen at Samburu. Photo by participant Peter Vale.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)

BANDED PARISOMA (Curruca boehmi) [*]

We heard 3 or 4 at Samburu, but sadly only ever saw the briefest views of a flying bird.

Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)

KIKUYU WHITE-EYE (Zosterops kikuyuensis)

Two at the gate to the Aberdare NP.

NORTHERN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis)

Heard at Katimok, and then seen at Little Governor's Camp, Masai Mara.

Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)

SCALY-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis albipectus) [*]

Heard in the dense undergrowth at Kakamega.

Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)

RUFOUS CHATTERER (Argya rubiginosa)

Six at Samburu, and 2 at Bogoria.

ARROW-MARKED BABBLER (Turdoides jardineii)

Nine at Masai Mara.

BLACK-LORED BABBLER (Turdoides sharpei)

Three at Masai Mara.

NORTHERN PIED-BABBLER (Turdoides hypoleuca) [E]

About a dozen at Nairobi NP.

Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)

RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorynchus)

Widespread wherever there was big game throughout the tour; in all we saw about 90.

YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus)

Eight at Masai Mara.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea)

Two at Samburu.

RED-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus morio)

Four along the cliffs at Baringo.

BRISTLE-CROWNED STARLING (Onychognathus salvadorii)

We saw 5 of this 'northern arid country species' at Baringo.

MAGPIE STARLING (Speculipastor bicolor)

Five in the grounds of Bogoria Spa Resort.

RUEPPELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)

Common at Baringo-Bogoria, Nakuru, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 140.

GOLDEN-BREASTED STARLING (Lamprotornis regius)

We saw this gorgeous starling at Samburu – one of the world's most beautiful birds!

SUPERB STARLING (Lamprotornis superbus)

Another gorgeous starling, this species is common throughout most of Kenya.

FISCHER'S STARLING (Lamprotornis fischeri)

Eight at Samburu.

GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)

Most common at Nakuru and Masai Mara, and a few others elsewhere; in all we saw about 80.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis)

Four at Kakamega.

ABYSSINIAN THRUSH (Turdus abyssinicus)

We saw this highland species at Nairobi, The Ark, Naro Moru, and in the Tugen Hills,

AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios)

Singles near Naro Moru, and at Kakamega.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)


Small numbers at The Residences, Naro Moru, and Masai Mara.

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata)

One at Baringo.

AFRICAN GRAY FLYCATCHER (Bradornis microrhynchus)

Two at Nairobi NP, 6 at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This large battle-scarred male Lion was one of a pride of more than 20 that we saw at Masai Mara. Participant Peter Vale got this nice portrait of the old warrior.

NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides)

One in the Kerio Valley.

SOUTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis pammelaina)

One at our lunch spot near Sagana Fish Ponds.

WHITE-EYED SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis fischeri)

Fairly widespread in the highlands with a total of about 40.

RUFOUS-TAILED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas galactotes)

One at Samburu.

RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys)

Two at Baringo.

CAPE ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha caffra)

One near The Ark, and 1 at Kisima.

BLUE-SHOULDERED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha cyanocampter) [*]

Heard in the dense undergrowth at Kakamega.

GRAY-WINGED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha polioptera)

One on the loop trail at Rondo Retreat.

RUEPPELL'S ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha semirufa)

Some of the group saw 1 at The Residences, Nairobi.

WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini)

Fairly widespread in small numbers away from arid country; in all we saw about 12.

SPOTTED MORNING-THRUSH (Cichladusa guttata)

Seven at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.

WHITE-STARRED ROBIN (Pogonocichla stellata)

Two at The Residences.

BROWN-CHESTED ALETHE (Chamaetylas poliocephala)

Three singles at Kakamega.

RUFOUS-TAILED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola saxatilis)

We saw a great looking male at Samburu.

WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra)

Singles at Nairobi NP and Masai Mara.

AFRICAN STONECHAT (Saxicola torquatus)

One in the tea estate at Kakamega.

MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) [*]

Heard along the cliffs at Baringo.

SOOTY CHAT (Myrmecocichla nigra)

About 8 at Masai Mara.

NORTHERN ANTEATER-CHAT (Myrmecocichla aethiops)

One at Solio Game Ranch, and about 50 at Nakuru.

NORTHERN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe oenanthe)

One at Nairobi NP, and 10+ at Nakuru.

CAPPED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe pileata)

One at Masai Mara.

ISABELLINE WHEATEAR (Oenanthe isabellina)

About 30 at Samburu, 10 at Nakuru, and 1 at Masai Mara.

BROWN-TAILED CHAT (Oenanthe scotocerca)

Three along the cliffs at Baringo.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)


Two at Samburu, and 1 at Baringo.

GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes rectirostris)

Some of the group saw a single male at Kakamega.

Field Guides Birding Tours
At Kakamega we found 7 Great Blue Turacos. This lovely portrait of one was captured by participant Myles McNally.

COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris)

Six, mostly feeding in a bottlebrush tree at Naro Moru River Lodge.

GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra verticalis)

Six at Naro Moru River Lodge, and 1 at Thomson's Falls.

OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra olivacea ragazzii)

Two at Kakamega.

AMETHYST SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra amethystina)

Single males were seen at Thomson's Falls, and at Nakuru.

SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis)

Eight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.

HUNTER'S SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra hunteri)

We saw a single male at Samburu.

TACAZZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia tacazze)

Three at Thomson's Falls.

BRONZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia kilimensis)

Widespread in the highlands with a total of about 60.

GOLDEN-WINGED SUNBIRD (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi)

Good looks at a distinctive female at The Ark.


Three at Naro Moru, 4 at Thomson's Falls, and 4 at Kakamega.


About 15 at The Ark, and 1 at Thomson's Falls.

BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus)

We saw about 6 of these really 'beautiful' sunbirds at Baringo.

MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis)

Yet another gorgeous sunbird – we saw 4 at Samburu.

RED-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris erythrocercus)

Six along the shore of Lake Victoria.

BLACK-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris nectarinioides)

About 8 at Samburu.

VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus)

Six at Nairobi, 2 at Kiawara, and 2 at Nakuru.

Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)

WHITE-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis albirostris)

About a dozen were nest building at Bogoria.


One at Samburu.

WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Dinemellia dinemelli)

Common at Samburu (50), and a few at Baringo (6).

SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER (Sporopipes frontalis)

About a dozen at our picnic site in Nairobi NP.


Very common at Samburu and Baringo (450+ combined), and then 10 at Nairobi NP, and 2 at Masai Mara.


About 120 at Samburu.

BLACK-CAPPED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita cabanisi)

Sixty at Samburu.

RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis)

One (working along a branch like a nuthatch) at Kakamega.

RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps)

Three at Samburu, and 1 at Bogoria.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw a good number of endangered Grevy’s Zebra at Samburu. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht)

Small numbers were widespread throughout the highlands.

LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus)

We saw a single male at Baringo.

SLENDER-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus pelzelni)

Three along the shore at Lake Victoria.

BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (Ploceus nigricollis)

One at Samburu.

SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis)

A total of 7 were seen at a variety of widespread scattered areas.

BLACK-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus melanogaster)

Good looks at 1 at Kakamega.

AFRICAN GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus subaureus)

Four at Sagana.

HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops)

Two at Nairobi NP.

GOLDEN PALM WEAVER (Ploceus bojeri)

Two singing males at Samburu.


We saw a single female at Lake Victoria.

NORTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus taeniopterus)

A very localized species – we saw 3 at Lake Baringo.

LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius)

Four at Samburu.

VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus)

We saw a single male at Baringo.

SPEKE'S WEAVER (Ploceus spekei)

About 20 in the Nairobi area.

VIEILLOT'S WEAVER (Ploceus nigerrimus)

A pair were nest building at Rondo Retreat, Kakamega.

VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus)

Sixty at Baringo, 12 at Nakuru, and 120+ at Masai Mara.

BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus)

About 10 at Lake Victoria.

GOLDEN-BACKED WEAVER (Ploceus jacksoni)

We saw a good looking male at Baringo.

BROWN-CAPPED WEAVER (Ploceus insignis)

One at Katimok, and 4 at Kakamega.

YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis)

About 10 (all in breeding plumage) at Masai Mara.


About 40 at Masai Mara.

FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris)

At least 100 were in the marshy grasslands in Masai Mara.

JACKSON'S WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes jacksoni)

Flocks of 50 and then 60 were seen over the grasslands in Masai Mara.

GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons)

Two in the marsh at The Residences, Nairobi.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata)

About a dozen at Sagana, 10 at Kakamega, and 6 at Kisumu.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Lesser Flamingos put on a great show for us at Lake Nakuru. Photo by participant Myles McNally.

BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (BLACK-AND-WHITE) (Spermestes bicolor poensis)

Five at Kakamega.

GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus)

One at Kakamega.

COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild)

About 10 at Naro Moru, and 1 at Kisumu.

CRIMSON-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda rhodopyga)

About 30 at Samburu.

QUAILFINCH (Ortygospiza atricollis)

Two or three small flocks were flushed from the sides of the tracks in Masai Mara.

CUT-THROAT (Amadina fasciata)

Five at Samburu.

PURPLE GRENADIER (Granatina ianthinogaster)

One at Nairobi NP.

RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus)

Ten at Sagana, 2 at Kiawara, and 20+ at Nakuru.

RED-HEADED BLUEBILL (Spermophaga ruficapilla)

Good looks at 2 of these undergrowth birds at Kakamega.


Two at Baringo.

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala)

Six at Sagana.

Viduidae (Indigobirds)

PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura)

We saw a single male at Nairobi NP, and then about 30 (including both sexes) at Masai Mara.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Four at Thika, and 2 at the gate to Masai Mara.

KENYA RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer rufocinctus)

About 20 between Nairobi and the Aberdares, and then a dozen at Nakuru.


Three at Kisumu.

PARROT-BILLED SPARROW (Passer gongonensis)

About 20 at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.

SWAHILI SPARROW (Passer suahelicus)

Sixteen (especially around the gate) at Masai Mara.

CHESTNUT SPARROW (Passer eminibey)

About 100 at Samburu.


Formerly known as Yellow-spotted Petronia, we saw 1 at Nairobi NP.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis)

Two at The Ark.

MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL (Motacilla clara)

Three at the gate to the Aberdare NP.


One on the shore at Lake Baringo.

AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp)

Small numbers were common and widespread.

AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus)

Singles at Nairobi NP and Solio, and about 20 at Masai Mara.

PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys)

One at Nakuru, and about 15 at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had some wonderful encounters with African Bush Elephants throughout the tour. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

TREE PIPIT (Anthus trivialis)

One at Nairobi NP.


One at Nairobi NP, and 30+ at Masai Mara.


Nice looks at a male at Masai Mara.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Crithagra mozambica)

One near Nakuru, and 20 at Masai Mara.

AFRICAN CITRIL (Crithagra citrinelloides kikuyensis)

We saw a single male at Sagana.

PAPYRUS CANARY (Crithagra koliensis)

We saw 2 of these very uncommon birds along the shore at Lake Victoria.

REICHENOW'S SEEDEATER (Crithagra reichenowi)

About a dozen at Nairobi NP, and 6 at Kisumu.

WHITE-BELLIED CANARY (Crithagra dorsostriata)

One at Baringo.

BRIMSTONE CANARY (Crithagra sulphurata)

Small numbers at Nairobi NP, Solio, and Masai Mara.

STREAKY SEEDEATER (Crithagra striolata)

We saw a total of about 40 at widespread sites in the central highlands.

YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex)

Twenty along the road to The Ark.


BLUE MONKEY (Cercopithecus mitis)

About 30 at Kakamega, and a few others elsewhere like at Katimok and Masai Mara.


Also known as Copper-tailed Monkey, we saw about 10 at Kakamega.

BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops)

Very common and widespread with a total of about 600.

OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis)

Very common and widespread with a total of abut 1200.

MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza)

We saw about 50 of these striking monkeys at Kakamega.


Two hundred at Samburu, and 6 in the Baringo-Bogoria area.

FOREST GIANT SQUIRREL (Protoxerus stangeri)

One at Kakamega.

RED-LEGGED SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus rufobrachium)

Two at Kakamega.

BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas)

About 8 at Masai Mara.

LARGE-SPOTTED GENET (Genetta tigrina)

One at The Ark.

SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus)

Singles near Kiawara and Baringo.

BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo)

Two large groups (totaling about 80) were seen at Masai Mara.


Two on a termite hill at Samburu.

SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta)

About a dozen at Masai Mara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our local guide at Baringo found this wonderful Northern White-faced Owl. Photo by participant Myles McNally.

SERVAL (Felis serval)

Magnificent long looks at this normally very shy cat at Masai Mara.

LEOPARD (Panthera pardus)

Great looks at a large male in the grass at Masai Mara.

LION (Panthera leo)

Two at Samburu, and then a pride of 20+ at Masai Mara which included a huge big maned male.

CHEETAH (Acinonyx jubatus)

One at Masai Mara.

AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana)

Five at The Ark, 80+ at Samburu, and 500+ at Masai Mara – many fabulous interactions.

ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis)

One at Baringo.

TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax arboreus)

One at Nakuru.

GREVY'S ZEBRA (Equus grevyi)

We saw about 170 of these extremely rare and endangered zebras at Samburu.

BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli)

Widespread in grasslands, with an overall total of about 900.

BLACK RHINOCEROS (Diceros bicornis)

One at Nairobi NP.

WHITE RHINOCEROS (Ceratotherium simum) [I]

Two at Nairobi NP, 5 at Solio Game Ranch, and 5 'super close' at Nakuru.

WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

Common and widespread away from forest; in all we saw about 250.

GIANT FOREST HOG (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni)

Eight in The Ark area of the Aberdare NP.

HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius)

Fifteen at Nairobi NP, and 200 at Masai Mara.

COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Thirty at Nairobi NP, and about 85 at Masai Mara.

RETICULATED GIRAFFE (Giraffa reticulata)

About 60 at Samburu, and 2 at Solio.

ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE (Giraffa rothschildi)

Five at Nakuru.

BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus)

One at The Ark.

AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer)

Most common at Nakuru (600+) and Masai Mara (1500+) and a few others at Nairobi NP, and The Ark.

COMMON WATERBUCK (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)

About 60 at Samburu.


Twenty at Nakuru, and about 160 at Masai Mara.

BEISA ORYX (Oryx beisa)

At least 150 were seen at Samburu.

TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus)

About 200 at Masai Mara.

HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus)

Also known as Coke's Hartebeest, we saw about 150 at Nairobi NP.

JACKSON'S HARTEBEEST (Alcelaphus jacksoni)

Two in the cattle ranching area adjoining Solio Game Ranch.

BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus)

One (with Hartebeest) at Nairobi NP.

SUNI (Neotragus moschatus)

Three at The Ark.

GUENTHER'S DIK-DIK (Madoqua guentheri)

About a dozen at Samburu.

KIRK'S DIK-DIK (Modoqua kirki)

Two at Masai Mara.

IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus)

Common and widespread in woodland and slightly open country; in all we saw about 1400.

THOMSON'S GAZELLE (Gazella thomsoni)

A dozen at Nairobi NP, 50+ at Nakuru, and then about 350 at Masai Mara.

GRANT'S GAZELLE (Gazella granti)

Forty at Nairobi NP, 140 at Samburu, 2 at Nakuru, and 4 at Masai Mara.


Reptiles seen on the tour included;

Nile Crocodile, 10 at Nairobi NP, and 30+ (including some huge ones) at Masai Mara.

Nile Monitor, 1 at Masai Mara.

Blue-headed Tree Agama 1 at Nairobi NP.

Red-headed Rock Agama, about 6 in the Bogoria-Baringo area.

Mwanza Rock Agama, 3 at Masai Mara.

Tropical House Gecko, small numbers at a variety of lodges throughout the tour.

Totals for the tour: 436 bird taxa and 46 mammal taxa