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Field Guides Tour Report
Kenya Safari Spectacular 2018
Jun 1, 2018 to Jun 25, 2018
Terry Stevenson

This imposing Somali Ostrich is one of two that we saw at Samburu. The landscape here is open, and we got some great views of birds such as Vulturine Guineafowl, Secretarybird, and a variety of others. We also saw some wonderful mammals, including Grevy's Zebra and Beisa Oryx. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Our June 2018 Kenya Safari Spectacular tour took place after what were the best rains the country had experienced for many years. The exceptional rains throughout March, April and May filled the rivers and lakes, and turned virtually every habitat lush and green. Even Samburu and Baringo - normally two of the driest areas we visit, were covered with green grass and many fruiting or flowering trees. As a result, we saw many of Africa's most spectacular birds in breeding plumage with just a few of the highlights being a stunning variety of sunbirds, weavers, bishops and widowbirds.

Starting from Nairobi, we drove north through the central highlands for a one night stay on the south-west flank of Mt. Kenya, at Mountain Lodge. With almost every bird being new, we couldn't fail to have a wonderful start to the tour, and just a few of the highlights were African Darter (uncommon in Kenya these days), Hamerkop (great for those on a first tour to Africa and collecting families), Grey Crowned-Crane, African Jacana, Speckled Mousebird, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Malachite Kingfisher, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Red-fronted Parrot, Tropical Boubou, Mosque Swallow, Black-collared Apalis, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Red-billed Oxpecker, Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Yellow-crowned Canary, Yellow-crowned Bishop, and Pin-tailed Whydah. The area was not without mammals, too, and we had good looks at Spotted Hyaena, Bushbuck, African Buffalo, Suni (a tiny antelope), Giant Forest Hog, and for some of the group, Bush Pig.

Heading further north we then spent two nights in the acacia bush country at Samburu. As always the birding was spectacular with some of the group favorites being Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, Secretarybird, Martial Eagle, Kori Bustard, Chestnut-bellied and Black-faced sandgrouse, White-headed Mousebird, Violet Woodhoopoe, Eastern Yellow-billed and Von der Decken's hornbills, Somali Bee-eater, Red-and-Yellow Barbet, Pygmy Falcon, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Golden-breasted Starling, and White-headed Buffalo-Weaver. Mammals were great too, with both Lion and Cheetah, African Elephants (including bulls and females with young), the rare Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and Gerenuk.

We returned to Mt. Kenya for a two night stay at Naro Moru near the western slope. This enabled us to drive to 10,000 feet where we were able to bird a mix of Podocarpus and Hygenia forest, bamboo, and even a few clumps of Giant Heather. Birds at these high altitudes are not numerous, but the ones we saw were in truly spectacular scenery and we all enjoyed Jackson's Francolin, Mountain Buzzard, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Grey Cuckooshrike, White-bellied Tit, Brown Woodland-Warbler, Mountain Yellow-Warbler, Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler, Grey-capped Warbler, Broad-ringed White-eye, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, and Tacazze, Golden-winged, and Eastern Double-collared sunbirds.

Our next destination was the Bogoria-Baringo area in the Great Rift Valley, but first we stopped at a quarry near Kiawara for super scope looks at a roosting Cape (Mackinder's) Eagle-Owl. With the help of a local guide, Baringo was, as always, superb, and especially for day roosting owls - with five species (including Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Scops-Owl, Northern White-faced Owl, and Verreaux's and Grayish eagle-owls) all seen well. Other memorable birds here included Spotted Thick-knee, Three-banded Courser, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Hemprich's and Jackson's hornbills, Rufous-crowned Roller, Pygmy Batis, Somali Tit, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Bristle-crowned Starling, Northern Masked-Weaver, and Northern Red Bishop.

We then drove to the west, crossing the Tugen Hills, dropping in to the Kerio Valley, and then climbing the Great Rift Valley's western wall before a two night stay in the old Kitale Club. This somewhat ramshackle establishment is full of history, and gave us a chance to chat with the locals, or take a breather beside the still well maintained golf course. The birding, though, was our main reason for staying here, as it gave us access to the Kongelai Escarpment, Kerenget, and Saiwa Swamp NP. Many new species were added, and just a choice few were Banded Snake-Eagle, Verreaux's Eagle, Ross's Turaco, African Emerald Cuckoo, Double-toothed and White-headed barbets, Yellow-billed Shrike, African Blue-Flycatcher, Mountain Illadopsis, Lesser Blue-eared Starling, Golden-breasted Bunting, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver and Heuglin's Masked-Weaver, while new mammals included the rare and localized De Brazza's Monkey and Sitatunga.

From Kitale, we made the short journey south to Kakamega Forest and three nights at the lovely Rondo Retreat. Crowned Eagle nesting in the garden was fabulous, but we also enjoyed just walking the forest trails while picking up Great Blue Turaco (difficult this year but we eventually all got good looks), Bar-tailed Trogon (a gorgeous male), Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Yellow-billed Barbet, Brown-eared Woodpecker, African Broadbill (displaying), Jameson's and Chestnut wattle-eyes, Pink-footed Puffback, Dusky Tit, 8 species of greenbuls, Green Hylia, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Turner's Eremomela, Equatorial Akalat, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Green-throated Sunbird, and Red-headed Malimbe.

We then made a loop west to Mungatsi and Busia before heading south to Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria. New birds along this route included Long-crested Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Rock Pratincole, Broad-billed Roller, Black-billed Barbet, Red-headed Lovebird, Marsh Tchagra, Papyrus Gonolek, Swamp Flycatcher, and Red-chested Sunbird.

Heading back to Nairobi, we broke the journey with a one night stay at Lake Nakuru, where both Lesser and Greater flamingos were seen (though due to the rising fresh water lake levels, both in the hundreds, rather than hundreds of thousands). Other birds we enjoyed here included Saddle-billed Stork, Great White and Pink-backed pelicans, African Spoonbill, Eurasian (African) Hoopoe, Lilac-breasted Roller, and Long-tailed Widowbird, while mammals included Black-backed Jackal, Lion, White-Rhino, and Rothschild's Giraffe.

From Nairobi, we took a flight to Masai Mara, where we spent our time driving across the open grasslands, meandering through the riverine woodland, and visiting view points along the Mara River. Birds varied from Common Ostrich, Red-necked and Coqui francolins, Secretarybird, White-bellied Bustard, Temminck's Courser, Southern Ground-hornbill, Grey Kestrel and Jackson's Widowbird in the grasslands, to Rameron Pigeon, Klaas's Cuckoo, African Pygmy-Kingfisher and Violet-backed Starling in the woodland. Dwarf Bittern and Long-toed Lapwing were two highlights in the wetlands, while White-backed Vulture and Bateleur crossed the open skies. Mammals are, of course, a major attraction in the Masai Mara, and we were all able to watch and photograph Spotted Hyaena, more Lions (including two big maned males), a fabulous Cheetah (close and in the open), more African Elephants, Warthog, Hippo, and a variety of antelopes including Defassa Waterbuck, Topi, Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Klipspringer, Impala, and Thomson's Gazelle.

The final leg of our tour was taking a flight to the coast and then spending four nights at Watamu, before another flight from Mombasa back to Nairobi. Along the way, a chance stop at Amboseli (dropping off two passengers) gave us a pair of Greater Kestrels (with four juveniles) right by the runway. Our stay at the coast added Brown Snake-Eagle, Greater and Lesser sandplovers, White-fronted Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Terek Sandpiper, Crab-Plover, Saunder's and Lesser Crested terns, Tambourine Dove, Fischer's Turaco (eventually great looks), Green Malkoha, Mottled and Bat-like spinetails, Forbes-Watson's Swift (rare), Trumpeter Hornbill (one of 10 species of hornbills we saw), Mangrove Kingfisher, Green Barbet, Great Honeyguide, Short-tailed and Pale batises, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, African Golden Oriole, Terrestrial Brownbul, Tiny Greenbul, Yellow Flycatcher, Black-headed Apalis, Scaly Babbler (a skulker), East Coast Akalat, Red-tailed Ant-Thrush, Plain-backed Sunbird, Malindi Pipit, and the striking orange-red and black Zanzibar Bishop. Perhaps most exciting, though, was fabulous close looks at a pair of cuddled-up Sokoke Scops-Owls - for many the star attraction of the Sokoke-Arabuko Forest.

Thanks to each of you for joining me on this great survey of Kenya!

Our next Kenya Safari Spectacular tour with Terry Stevenson to runs May 31 to June 24, 2019.

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

These endearing Sokoke Scops-Owls were probably the "birds of the trip"! Participant George Sims got this lovely portrait of the two, and included the following: " Since it rained overnight, we were very concerned that we would miss the Sokoke Scops-Owl. We waited quietly in the forest for about 1/2 hour and then the local guide came to say he had found a pair. Sure enough they were settled in together for the day in a very secluded spot. They are only about 16 to 17 cm tall and weigh about 60 gms. What a treat it was to see these small endangered scops-owls!"

Struthionidae (Ostriches)
COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus massaicus) – Two in front of the Ole Sereni Hotel, and 4 in Masai Mara.
SOMALI OSTRICH (Struthio molybdophanes) – Nice looks at 2 striking single males at Samburu.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Small numbers in four different wetland areas.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Fairly common and widespread.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – One distantly for some of the group at Nakuru.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – Small numbers at a variety of widespread wetlands; with a total of about 12.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – One at Nakuru.
RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – Two in Masai Mara.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – Surprisingly few (perhaps due to the exceptionally long grass); we saw 1 at Samburu, and 6 at Nakuru.
VULTURINE GUINEAFOWL (Acryllium vulturinum) – Great looks at about 50 at Samburu, which included several small flocks with tiny juveniles.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
SCALY FRANCOLIN (Pternistis squamatus) – Some of the group saw 2 briefly at Mountain Lodge.
JACKSON'S FRANCOLIN (Pternistis jacksoni) – Great looks at this East African high altitude francolin at around 10,000ft. on Mt. Kenya; with a total of 7.
YELLOW-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis leucoscepus) – About 25 at Samburu, and 2 at Solio.
RED-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis afer) – About 10 at Masai Mara.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Dendroperdix sephaena) – Eight at Samburu, and a few others heard elsewhere in bush country.
COQUI FRANCOLIN (Peliperdix coqui) – We had a pair right next to our vehicle in Masai Mara.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Two at Nakuru.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – About 1000 at Lake Nakuru, and 2000+ at Amboseli.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – About 200 at Lake Nakuru, and perhaps 1000+ at Amboseli.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus) – Ten in the Lake Victoria area, and 100+ at Masai Mara.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – One at Masai Mara.
WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia) – Not expected at this time of year, so we were lucky to see 2 at Masai Mara.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – We saw 2 of these striking storks in a marshy area at Nakuru.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – About 50 at Nairobi, 50 on the way to Bogoria, 5 near Kitale, and 6 at Masai Mara.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – Small numbers at a variety of wetlands; in all we saw about 15.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus) – Widespread at a variety of freshwater pools.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – At least 100 were at the south end of Lake Nakuru. East African birds are the white-breasted race 'lucidus'.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – Increasingly uncommon in Kenya these days, but we were lucky and saw singles at Sagana and Baringo, and 2 at Lake Nakuru.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – About 120 at Nakuru.
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – Two on some distant dead trees at Nakuru.

The lovely Lilac-breasted Roller was especially abundant at Masai Mara, where we saw 30 of them. Photo by participant George Sims.

Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – By far the most together (50) were at Lake Victoria, but we also saw about another dozen at several widespread sites.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
DWARF BITTERN (Ixobrychus sturmii) – Nice looks at this normally very shy bird in Masai Mara.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Common and widespread in small numbers.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – Common and widespread in small numbers, and not so reliant on wetlands as the previous species.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Two at Baringo, 1 at Saiwa Swamp, and 1 at Lake Victoria.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – One at Lake Victoria, and 2 at Nakuru.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – About 50 at Kisumu, 30 at Nakuru, and a dozen in Masai Mara.
LITTLE EGRET (DIMORPHIC) (Egretta garzetta dimorpha) – Ten at Mida Creek.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Five at Baringo, and 2 near Kisumu.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Two flew over the Ole Sereni Hotel, and we then saw 3 in Masai Mara.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – One at Masai Mara.
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – Most common around Nairobi and Kisumu and a few others elsewhere; in total we saw about 80.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Common, widespread, and very noisy.
AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Four at Sagana Fish Ponds, and about 30 at Nakuru.

We found a pair of Three-banded Coursers at Baringo. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Sagittariidae (Secretarybird)
SECRETARYBIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius) – Great close looks this tour, with 3 at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Two at Solio, 3 in the far west, and 4 in Masai Mara.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Singles were seen in six widespread different areas.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – Very uncommon in Kenya, so we were lucky to see 5 at Eldoret.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – Sadly, and as with many other African vultures, they are in a dramatic decline; we saw 2 at Nakuru, and about 20 at Masai Mara.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Singles at Samburu and Solio, and about 5 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Two adults and 1 immature at Masai Mara.
BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – One (or perhaps 2) near Sokoke Forest.
BANDED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinerascens) – One at Saiwa Swamp.
CROWNED EAGLE (Stephanoaetus coronatus) – Fabulous looks at a breeding pair at Kakamega, and then another on the escarpment at Masai Mara.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – Singles at Samburu, Nakuru, and Masai Mara.
LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – Another raptor in rapid decline; we saw just 3 singles, near Busia, Nakuru, and in Masai Mara.
WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) – We saw 2 singles in the Kongelai and Mungatsi areas.
AYRES'S HAWK-EAGLE (Hieraaetus ayresii) – One near Mountain Lodge.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Six at Samburu, 1 at Nakuru, and 3 at Masai Mara.

Participant George Sims took this photo of guide Terry Stevenson with a small friend-- a von Hoehnel's Chameleon that we found on Mt Kenya.

CASSIN'S HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila africana) – One over Kakamega Forest.
VERREAUX'S EAGLE (Aquila verreauxii) – Nice looks at 1 in a low circling flight at Kongelai.
AFRICAN HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila spilogaster) – We saw a pair perched together at Samburu.
LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus) – Two near Busia, and 1 at the coast.
DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates) – One at Baringo, and 2 at Masai Mara.
EASTERN CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax poliopterus) – About 10 in the Samburu area.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – One at Samburu.
AFRICAN GOSHAWK (Accipiter tachiro) – One in the Mt. Kenya area.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Most common around towns and villages; in all we saw about 50.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – We saw a total of 16 at a variety of widespread wetland sites.
MOUNTAIN BUZZARD (Buteo oreophilus) – One high on Mt. Kenya.
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – Widespread in small numbers.
Otididae (Bustards)
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – Nice close looks at 2 singles at Samburu.
WHITE-BELLIED BUSTARD (Eupodotis senegalensis) – Three in the tall grass at Masai Mara.
BUFF-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis gindiana) – One at Samburu.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
AFRICAN RAIL (Rallus caerulescens) – We had a very close calling bird in a marsh near Molo. [*]
BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra) – Two at Sagana Fish Ponds, and 3 at Lake Victoria.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – One at Nakuru.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Singles near Thomson's Falls, and at Limuru.
Sarothruridae (Flufftails)
WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra) – Heard by everyone in the forest at Kakamega. [*]
Gruidae (Cranes)
GRAY CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica regulorum) – These spectacular birds were reasonably widespread in grasslands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 30.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – One along the river at Samburu.
SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis) – Two at Baringo, and 1 in Masai Mara.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – One at Lake Nakuru.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Small flocks at Mida Creek and the Sabaki River mouth.
LONG-TOED LAPWING (Vanellus crassirostris) – Two at Masai Mara.
BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus) – Most common at Lake Nakuru (20+), and a few others around scattered wetlands elsewhere.
SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 40.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Small numbers in grasslands; with a total of about 15.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – Six at the Sabaki River mouth.
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – About 50 at Mida Creek, and half a dozen at the Sabaki River mouth.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – Twenty at the south end of Lake Nakuru.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – One at Lake Nakuru.

Secretarybird was a favorite, and rightly so! This one, and two more, were seen at Samburu, and we also saw one at Masai Mara. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER (Charadrius marginatus) – Three along the beach north of Malindi.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Small numbers at a variety of fresh water wetlands; in all we saw about 20.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (EUROPEAN) (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus) – About 40 at Mida Creek.
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata) – Two singles along the beach north of Malindi.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – One near the Sabaki River mouth.
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – Good scope views of 1 at Mida Creek.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Four at Lake Nakuru.
Dromadidae (Crab-Plover)
CRAB-PLOVER (Dromas ardeola) – Always a pleasure to see this unique species - we saw 6 at Mida Creek.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
TEMMINCK'S COURSER (Cursorius temminckii) – Two in Masai Mara.
THREE-BANDED COURSER (Rhinoptilus cinctus) – We saw a pair of these mainly nocturnal coursers at Baringo.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola) – One at the Amboseli airstrip.
ROCK PRATINCOLE (Glareola nuchalis) – Twenty-two were on a rock pile in the Nzoia River.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – Sixty close (and many others way out over the lake) at Nakuru.
SAUNDERS'S TERN (Sternula saundersi) – One at the Sabaki River mouth.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Fifteen at Nakuru, and 1 at the coast.

This Yellow-throated Longclaw strongly resembles a North American meadowlark, but it is actually in the group with wagtails and pipits. We saw a good number of these striking birds at Masai Mara, and a few more at the coast. Photo by participant George Sims.

WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – About 25 at Nakuru.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – Twelve along the shore at Lake Victoria.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – Two at the Sabaki River mouth.
LESSER CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bengalensis) – Four at Mida Creek.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles exustus) – Good looks at about 20 at Samburu.
BLACK-FACED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles decoratus) – About a dozen at Samburu.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Small numbers in a variety of towns and villages.
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
RAMERON PIGEON (Columba arquatrix) – Nice looks at 1 on the escarpment above Kichwa Tembo.
DUSKY TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia lugens) – Four at Nairobi, and 1 at Masai Mara.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – Common in dry acacia country like Samburu and Baringo.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Common and widespread away from very arid areas.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw about 8.

The Great Blue Turaco "played hard to get", but we all eventually got good looks at this colorful bird at Kakamega. Photo by participant George Sims.

BLUE-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur afer) – One at Mungatsi.
TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria) – Great looks at 1 in Sokoke Forest.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – Six at Samburu.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – Small numbers at Kongelai, Kakamega, Mungatsi, and Masai Mara.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata) – Very difficult this year, but eventually we were all rewarded with great looks at Kakamega Forest.
SCHALOW'S TURACO (Tauraco schalowi) – Heard at Masai Mara. [*]
WHITE-CRESTED TURACO (Tauraco leucolophus) – Heard at the bottom of Kongelai Escarpment. [*]
FISCHER'S TURACO (Tauraco fischeri) – Another difficult shy turaco, but again we finally got great looks at Sokoke Forest.
HARTLAUB'S TURACO (Tauraco hartlaubi) – Briefly several times around Mt. Kenya, but then we all got excellent looks in the Tugen Hills.
ROSS'S TURACO (Musophaga rossae) – Six in the Kongelai area, and 5 at Kakamega.
WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides leucogaster) – Small numbers at Samburu, Baringo, and Kongelai; in all we saw about 30.
EASTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer zonurus) – Two at the bottom of Kongelai Escarpment.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus) – Singles at Saiwa Swamp and near Kisumu.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Three at Masai Mara, and 5 at the coast.
BLACK COUCAL (Centropus grillii) – Two at Masai Mara.
GREEN MALKOHA (Ceuthmochares australis) – Formerly known as Yellowbill, but now split as Blue and Green Malkoha, with Blue in the west and Green in the east; we had good looks at Green Malkoha at the edge of Sokoke Forest.
LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii) – Nice looks at a perched black morph bird near Sokoke Forest.
PIED CUCKOO (Clamator jacobinus) – Four at Samburu.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – One seen nicely at Baringo, and others heard.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – Heard at Kakamega, and then seen by all at Masai Mara - good looks too!
AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus) – One at Baringo was the first for that area, and then we all saw a fabulous calling male near the top of Kongelai Escarpment.
RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius) – Heard in many areas and seen at Mt. Kenya.
Strigidae (Owls)
SOKOKE SCOPS-OWL (Otus ireneae) – Perhaps the bird of the trip! Thanks to our local guide, we had fabulous looks at a pair on a day roost in Sokoke Forest.
AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis) – One of 5 species of owls we saw in a day at Lake Baringo, and all thanks to our local guide there.
NORTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL (Ptilopsis leucotis) – One along a dry river bed at Baringo.
CAPE EAGLE-OWL (NORTHERN) (Bubo capensis mackinderi) – Nice scope views of 1 in the open at a quarry near Kiawara.
GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens) – One at Lake Baringo.

African Harrier-hawk was seen in a few places along our route. Photo by participant George Sims.

VERREAUX'S EAGLE-OWL (Bubo lacteus) – One at Lake Baringo.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – And yet another owl seen at Lake Baringo.
AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii) – Two (1 briefly) in the forest at Kichwa Tembo.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
SLENDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus clarus) – One at Baringo.
Apodidae (Swifts)
MOTTLED SPINETAIL (Telacanthura ussheri) – About a dozen (mainly around a forest pool) at Sokoke.
BAT-LIKE SPINETAIL (Neafrapus boehmi) – Two briefly at Sokoke, and then another 2 seen much better the following day.
NYANZA SWIFT (Apus niansae) – About a dozen near Kiawara.
FORBES-WATSON'S SWIFT (Apus berliozi) – An unusual date for these, but some of us had good looks at 2 over a pool at Sokoke Forest.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
HORUS SWIFT (Apus horus) – Eight near Mt. Kenya, 15 at Kongelai, and 1 at Masai Mara.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Small numbers in the central highlands, Baringo, and Nakuru.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – Common in palm country; in all we saw about 100.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
WHITE-HEADED MOUSEBIRD (Colius leucocephalus) – We saw 6 of these rather localized birds at Samburu.
BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus) – Forty at Samburu, and 50+ in the Baringo-Bogoria area.

This Lioness at Samburu looks very relaxed as she surveys from her perch. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Trogonidae (Trogons)
NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina) – Nice looks at a calling male in the Tugen Hills.
BAR-TAILED TROGON (Apaloderma vittatum) – Good looks at a male (and another heard) at Kakamega.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – Four at Samburu, and 3 at Nakuru.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Five at Samburu, 4 at Baringo, and another 4 at Nakuru.
VIOLET WOODHOOPOE (GRANT'S) (Phoeniculus damarensis granti) – Great looks at 1 at Samburu.
WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei) – Eight in the higher forest on Mt. Kenya.
COMMON SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) – One of our group saw 1 at Naro Moru, and then we all saw 1 at the coast.
ABYSSINIAN SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus minor) – Two at Samburu.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)
SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus leadbeateri) – Just fabulous this tour, with no less than 12 in Masai Mara.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
CROWNED HORNBILL (Lophoceros alboterminatus) – Singles at Thomson's Falls and Kongelai, and then 2 at the coast.
HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros hemprichii) – We saw this localized 'northern species' at Baringo.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – One at Samburu, and then 4 in the Baringo to Kerio Valley area.
EASTERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus flavirostris) – Four at Samburu.
JACKSON'S HORNBILL (Tockus jacksoni) – About 8 at Baringo.
VON DER DECKEN'S HORNBILL (Tockus deckeni) – At least a dozen at Samburu.

We saw several families of Vulturine Guineafowl at Samburu. Here is an adult with a few tiny chicks in tow. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus) – Fifty at Samburu, 1 at Bogoria, and about a dozen at Kongelai.
SILVERY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Bycanistes brevis) – Three at Mountain Lodge.
BLACK-AND-WHITE-CASQUED HORNBILL (Bycanistes subcylindricus) – Heard in the Tugen Hills, and then seen well at Kakamega.
TRUMPETER HORNBILL (Bycanistes bucinator) – About 10 at Sokoke Forest.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Small numbers in four different wetland areas.
AFRICAN PYGMY-KINGFISHER (Ispidina picta) – One at Kichwa Tembo.
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – Seen at Sagana, Samburu, and around Kisumu; in all we saw about 20.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – Two at Baringo, 3 in the Kitale area, and 4 near Kisumu.
MANGROVE KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegaloides) – Scope views of 1 at the edge of Sokoke Forest.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – One at the bottom of Kongelai Escarpment.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima) – Two singles in the Bogoria area.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Small numbers on a variety of widespread fresh water rivers, lakes and pools.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops muelleri) – We watched 1 feeding from its favored perches inside the forest at Kakamega.
WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides) – One near Bogoria.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – Two at Samburu, and about 6 at Masai Mara.

Participant George Sims snapped this photo of a Spotted Hyaena. In his words, "It marched right up the road towards our vehicle like it owned the whole place (and maybe it does)."

CINNAMON-CHESTED BEE-EATER (Merops oreobates) – Fairly common in highland forest areas throughout the tour.
SOMALI BEE-EATER (Merops revoilii) – Another of the 'northern specials' we saw at Samburu.
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – About 100 at Samburu.
MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus) – Six along the shore at Lake Baringo.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – One in the Kitale area, 6 at Nakuru, and 30 at Masai Mara.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – One in the Baringo-Bogoria area.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – One at Kisumu.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus) – One seen well (and several heard) at Kakamega.
RED-AND-YELLOW BARBET (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) – We saw these strikingly colorful barbets at Samburu (2), and Kongelai (1).
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (Trachyphonus darnaudii) – Six at Samburu, 8 in the Kerio Valley, and another 8 at Kongelai.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (USAMBIRO) (Trachyphonus darnaudii usambiro) – Four at Masai Mara.
GRAY-THROATED BARBET (Gymnobucco bonapartei) – Five in the Tugen Hills, and about 40 at Kakamega.
GREEN BARBET (Stactolaema olivacea) – Several heard, and then 2 seen well at the edge of Sokoke Forest.
MOUSTACHED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus leucomystax) – One at Mountain Lodge.
YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus leucolaimus) – One near Mungatsi.
YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus bilineatus) – Many heard, and a couple seen in the Tugen Hills and at Kakamega.
RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus pusillus) – Two at Baringo.
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – One along the small creek near Mungatsi.
YELLOW-SPOTTED BARBET (Buccanodon duchaillui) – One in the high canopy at Kakamega.
SPOT-FLANKED BARBET (Tricholaema lacrymosa) – Two at Baringo, and 4 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-THROATED BARBET (Tricholaema melanocephala) – Two along the cliffs at Baringo.
WHITE-HEADED BARBET (Lybius leucocephalus) – We saw 2 at the bottom of Kongelai Escarpment, and 3 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BILLED BARBET (Lybius guifsobalito) – Two along the lakeshore near Kisumu.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus) – Another striking barbet; first we saw 1 at Kongelai, then 6 in the Kisumu area, and finally 1 at Masai Mara.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
SCALY-THROATED HONEYGUIDE (Indicator variegatus) – One at the edge of Sokoke Forest.
GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator) – We saw a single immature bird at the edge of Sokoke Forest.

This lovely Rosy-patched Bushshrike was one of four that we saw at Samburu. Photo by participant George Sims.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)
NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica) – One seen at Samburu, and others heard.
MOMBASA WOODPECKER (Campethera mombassica) – One heard and then seen a couple of times in flight at Sokoke.
BROWN-EARED WOODPECKER (Campethera caroli) – We saw a pair at Kakamega.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – Three (all single females) at Mt. Kenya, Baringo, and Kakamega.
AFRICAN GRAY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos goertae) – Often considered conspecific with the following 'species' but hybrids occur in several areas. One on a papaya tree at Kisumu showed the characteristics of this species.
MOUNTAIN GRAY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos spodocephalus rhodeogaster) – Often considered conspecific with the previous 'species' but hybrids occur in several areas. One at Kiawara and 2 at Nakuru showed the characteristics of this form.
BROWN-BACKED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos obsoletus) – We saw 1 of these uncommon woodpeckers at Naro Moru.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Five at Samburu.
GREATER KESTREL (Falco rupicoloides) – Two adults and a nest with 4 juveniles at Amboseli airstrip.
GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus) – One at Masai Mara.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – One along the cliffs at Baringo.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
RED-HEADED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis pullarius) – At least 4 were seen in flight along a wooded stream near Mungatsi.
FISCHER'S LOVEBIRD (Agapornis fischeri) – Three at the Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi. [I]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi) – We saw a total of about 30 in the Mt. Kenya area.
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – One at Kongelai, and 4 at Masai Mara.
RED-BELLIED PARROT (Poicephalus rufiventris) – Also known as African Orange-bellied Parrot; we saw about 8 at Samburu.

We saw three species of Giraffes on the tour. This Rothschild's Giraffe was photographed at Nakuru by participant George Sims.

Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)
AFRICAN BROADBILL (Smithornis capensis) – Great looks at a displaying bird in Kakamega Forest.
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea) – A pair were seen and several others heard at Kakamega.
BLACK-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira peltata) – Five at Saiwa Swamp.
CHESTNUT WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira castanea) – We saw a male in the canopy at Kakamega.
JAMESON'S WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira jamesoni) – Good looks at 1 (or 2) in the Kakamega undergrowth.
SHORT-TAILED BATIS (Batis mixta) – One at Sokoke Forest.
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – We saw a total of 6 in the Mt. Kenya area.
PALE BATIS (Batis soror) – One at Sokoke Forest.
BLACK-HEADED BATIS (Batis minor) – One at Kongelai.
PYGMY BATIS (Batis perkeo) – Three in the dry bush near the cliffs at Baringo.
Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)
CHESTNUT-FRONTED HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops scopifrons) – We saw four or five small flocks in Sokoke Forest.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – Two at Baringo.
NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – Two in the Tugen Hills, and 8 in the Kongelai area.
BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla) – About 6 in the central highlands, 2 at Masai Mara, and 1 at the coast.
PINK-FOOTED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus angolensis) – Nice looks at a female at Kakamega.

One of the many Yellow-necked Francolins that we saw at Samburu posed nicely for this portrait by guide Terry Stevenson.

MARSH TCHAGRA (Tchagra minutus) – One in the marshy overgrown farmlands south of Busia.
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – Two on the escarpment above Kichwa Tembo.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – One on the escarpment above Kichwa Tembo.
LŸUEHDER'S BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius luehderi) – Two singles in the tangled vines at Kakamega.
TROPICAL BOUBOU (Laniarius major) – Fairly common in the central highlands (30), and 2 at Masai Mara.
ZANZIBAR BOUBOU (Laniarius sublacteus) – Heard at Sokoke Forest. [*]
BLACK-HEADED GONOLEK (Laniarius erythrogaster) – One in the Kerio Valley, 2 at Kongelai, and 2 near Kisumu.
PAPYRUS GONOLEK (Laniarius mufumbiri) – One along the edge of the papyrus at Lake Victoria.
SLATE-COLORED BOUBOU (Laniarius funebris) – About 8 at Samburu, and heard at Baringo.
ROSY-PATCHED BUSHSHRIKE (Rhodophoneus cruentus) – Four at Samburu.
GRAY-GREEN BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus bocagei) – Two at Kakamega.
BLACK-FRONTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus nigrifrons) – Heard in the forest on the Tugen Hills. [*]
FOUR-COLORED BUSHSHRIKE (FOUR-COLORED) (Telophorus viridis quadricolor) – Heard at Sokoke. [*]
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
GRAY CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina caesia) – Two at Mt. Kenya, and 1 in the Tugen Hills.
PURPLE-THROATED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga quiscalina) – We saw a single female in the Mt. Kenya area.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitoroides) – Two in the Kerio Valley, about 20 in the Lake Victoria area, 10 at Nakuru, and 8 at Masai Mara.
TAITA FISCAL (Lanius dorsalis) – About 10 at Samburu.
MACKINNON'S SHRIKE (Lanius mackinnoni) – Three (including a juvenile) at Kakamega.
NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis) – Common and widespread away from the coast.
YELLOW-BILLED SHRIKE (Corvinella corvina) – Not seen for several years, but we saw 4 and then another 3 at Kongelai.
WHITE-RUMPED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus ruppelli) – Eight at Samburu, and 2 at Kongelai.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
AFRICAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus auratus) – Four along the edge of Sokoke Forest.
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – One at Bogoria, 2 near Kitale, and about 8 at Sokoke.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus ludwigii) – Three in the forest interior at Kakamega.
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Common and widespread away from Kakamega.

We saw quite a few Gray Crowned-cranes, including this one sitting on a nest. Photo by participant George Sims.

Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-HEADED PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (RED-BELLIED) (Terpsiphone rufiventer emini) – Some of the group saw 1 at Kakamega Forest.
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Four in the Mt. Kenya area, and 2 at Masai Mara.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
HOUSE CROW (Corvus splendens) – Numerous at the coast.
CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Fairly common in both the central and western highlands; in all we saw about 140.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Common and widespread.
FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus) – Two at Samburu, 5 at Kabarnet, and 1 at Kongelai.
Nicatoridae (Nicators)
EASTERN NICATOR (Nicator gularis) – Heard in Sokoke Forest. [*]
Alaudidae (Larks)
FISCHER'S SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucopareia) – We saw 5 of these attractive little larks at Samburu.
PINK-BREASTED LARK (Calendulauda poecilosterna) – About 40 at Samburu.
FOXY LARK (Calendulauda alopex) – Formerly lumped with the South African Fawn-colored Lark; we saw 6 of this fairly newly split species at Samburu.
RED-WINGED LARK (Mirafra hypermetra) – One at Samburu.
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – Most common in the Mara grasslands (60+), but we also saw a few at Solio and Nakuru.
RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea) – Two at Masai Mara.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – Four at Sagana Fish Ponds, 6 at Nakuru, and about 10 at Masai Mara.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Small numbers around cliffs and buildings in the central highlands and the Rift Valley.

Taita Fiscal was seen at Samburu. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Three at Nakuru.
ETHIOPIAN SWALLOW (Hirundo aethiopica) – Eight along the fence at Solio.
ANGOLA SWALLOW (Hirundo angolensis) – Six at Kakamega, and 3 in the far west.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Widespread in small numbers.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – One at Nairobi, a dozen at Nakuru, and 8 at Masai Mara.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Most common around Mungatsi and the far west (40+), but we also had a few at scattered sites elsewhere.
MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis) – Three near Mountain Lodge, and 2 at Nakuru.
WHITE-HEADED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne albiceps) – Two in the Kerio Valley, 30 at Kakamega, and 10 near Mungatsi.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) – Fairly common in the highlands and at Masai Mara; in all we saw about 100.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
AFRICAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda) – One at Saiwa Swamp, 6 at Kakamega, and 2 at Kichwa Tembo.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
WHITE-BELLIED TIT (Melaniparus albiventris) – Two at Thomson's Falls, and 2 in the Tugen Hills.
DUSKY TIT (Melaniparus funereus) – About 8 in the canopy at Kakamega.
SOMALI TIT (Melaniparus thruppi) – Three along the cliffs at Baringo.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
MOUSE-COLORED PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus musculus) – Two at Baringo.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
SOMBRE GREENBUL (Andropadus importunus) – One at the edge of Sokoke Forest.

We heard the Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill first at Tugen Hills, then got good looks at Kakamega. Photo by participant George Sims.

SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris) – Two at Mountain Lodge, and 2 at Kakamega.
SHELLEY'S GREENBUL (KAKAMEGA) (Arizelocichla masukuensis kakamegae) – Four (working along branches like woodpeckers) at Kakamega.
EASTERN MOUNTAIN-GREENBUL (OLIVE-BREASTED) (Arizelocichla nigriceps kikuyuensis) – Seven in the Mt. Kenya forest.
YELLOW-BELLIED GREENBUL (Chlorocichla flaviventris) – Three singles at Sokoke, although all kept well hidden.
JOYFUL GREENBUL (Chlorocichla laetissima) – We saw about 20 of these joyful songsters at Kakamega.
YELLOW-THROATED GREENBUL (Atimastillas flavicollis) – Three near Saiwa Swamp.
ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei) – Two in the mid-levels at Kakamega.
YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris) – Common at Kakamega, and a few others at Mountain Lodge and in the Tugen Hills.
LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens) – Normally very shy but we had great looks along the forest edge at Kakamega.
TERRESTRIAL BROWNBUL (Phyllastrephus terrestris) – Another shy greenbul; amazingly, we had this species preening right in the open at Sokoke Forest.
FISCHER'S GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus fischeri) – Heard several times in the undergrowth at Sokoke. [*]
CABANIS'S GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus cabanisi) – Six at Kakamega.
CABANIS'S GREENBUL (PLACID) (Phyllastrephus cabanisi placidus) – Good looks at 4 at Naro Moru.
TINY GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus debilis) – Two in the thick Afzelia forest at Sokoke.
COMMON BULBUL (DODSON'S) (Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni) – Two at Samburu.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Very common and widespread away from Samburu.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
NORTHERN CROMBEC (Sylvietta brachyura) – Three at Baringo.
RED-FACED CROMBEC (Sylvietta whytii) – One for one of our group at Naro Moru.
GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina) – Nice looks at 1 at Kakamega.
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
YELLOW FLYCATCHER (Erythrocercus holochlorus) – Also known as Little Yellow Flycatcher; we had nice looks at 1 in Sokoke Forest.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
UGANDA WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus budongoensis) – Two seen and many heard at Kakamega.
BROWN WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) – Two on the higher slopes of Mt. Kenya.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW-WARBLER (Iduna natalensis) – One at Kichwa Tembo.
MOUNTAIN YELLOW-WARBLER (Iduna similis) – At least 4 were in the forest above 10,000 ft. on Mt. Kenya.
GREATER SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus rufescens) – Two in the papyrus near Kisumu.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
CINNAMON BRACKEN-WARBLER (Bradypterus cinnamomeus) – Normally very shy, but we had fabulous looks at a singing bird high on Mt. Kenya.

Grevy's Zebra are rare, so we were pleased to see eight of them at Samburu. Photo by participant George Sims.

LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER (Bradypterus baboecala) – Singles at Saiwa Swamp and near Molo.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
BLACK-COLLARED APALIS (Apalis pulchra) – One at Mountain Lodge, 5 at Saiwa Swamp, and 2 at Kakamega.
BLACK-THROATED APALIS (Apalis jacksoni) – Heard at Mountain Lodge. [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – One in the grounds of our lodge at Nakuru.
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (BROWN-TAILED) (Apalis flavida viridiceps) – One at Baringo.
BUFF-THROATED APALIS (Apalis rufogularis) – Heard high in the canopy at Kakamega. [*]
CHESTNUT-THROATED APALIS (Apalis porphyrolaema) – Four at Mt. Kenya (another high canopy species).
BLACK-HEADED APALIS (Apalis melanocephala) – Three at Sokoke Forest.
GRAY APALIS (Apalis cinerea) – Small numbers at Mt. Kenya, Thomson's Falls, and in the Tugen Hills.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – The gray-backed form was widespread, although far more often heard than seen.
OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota) – One in the tangled vines at Kakamega.
RED-FRONTED WARBLER (Urorhipis rufifrons) – One at Baringo.
GRAY WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes simplex) – Several heard and 1 seen in flight at Baringo.
WHITE-CHINNED PRINIA (Schistolais leucopogon) – Four at Kakamega.
RED-FACED CISTICOLA (Cisticola erythrops) – Heard near Mungatsi, and then seen well by everyone at Masai Mara.

This Hippopotamus was one of 40 or so that we saw along the Mara River. Photo by participant George Sims.

TRILLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola woosnami) – Good looks on the escarpment above Kichwa Tembo.
CHUBB'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola chubbi) – Three at Saiwa Swamp.
HUNTER'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola hunteri) – Four at Mountain Lodge, and then about a dozen others high on Mt. Kenya.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Small numbers in a variety of widespread acacia bush areas, and about 20 at Masai Mara.
WINDING CISTICOLA (Cisticola galactotes) – Ten along the shores of Lake Victoria.
WINDING CISTICOLA (COASTAL) (Cisticola galactotes haematocephala) – Many authorities now split this form; we saw 6 in the marshy areas at the coast.
CARRUTHERS'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola carruthersi) – One in the papyrus at Lake Victoria.
LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola tinniens) – Good looks at a pair near Molo.
STOUT CISTICOLA (Cisticola robustus) – One at Kakamega, and 400+ at Masai Mara.
CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis) – Four in Masai Mara.
DESERT CISTICOLA (Cisticola aridulus) – Two at Samburu.
PECTORAL-PATCH CISTICOLA (Cisticola brunnescens) – Two at Nakuru, and several in speedy flight at Masai Mara.
GRAY-CAPPED WARBLER (Eminia lepida) – Seen at Naro Moru and the Tugen Hills, and heard at several other widespread sites.
BLACK-FACED RUFOUS-WARBLER (Bathmocercus rufus) – Good looks at a male at Kakamega (and several others heard there).
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Three at Masai Mara, and 4 at the coast.

This Southern Ground-hornbill was one of the amazing birds we saw in the Masai Mara grasslands, where we saw 12 of these marvelous creatures. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

PALE PRINIA (Prinia somalica) – One at Baringo.
BANDED PRINIA (BLACK-FACED) (Prinia bairdii melanops) – Two in the Kakamega undergrowth.
YELLOW-VENTED EREMOMELA (Eremomela flavicrissalis) – Three singles at Samburu.
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – Heard at Baringo. [*]
TURNER'S EREMOMELA (Eremomela turneri) – We saw 2 of these endangered tiny warblers in the canopy at Kakamega.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis) – Widespread in small numbers in the west.
BROAD-RINGED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops poliogastrus) – We saw a total of about 50 in the Mt. Kenya area.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
MOUNTAIN ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis pyrrhoptera) – Good looks at 1 at Saiwa Swamp.
SCALY-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis albipectus) – About 4 were heard at Kakamega, but sadly they just wouldn't show. [*]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides rubiginosa) – Twelve at Samburu, 6 at Baringo, and 4 at Kongelai.
SCALY BABBLER (Turdoides squamulata) – Good looks at these normally very shy birds at the edge of Sokoke Forest.
BROWN BABBLER (Turdoides plebejus) – One at the bottom of Kongelai Escarpment.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DUSKY-BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa adusta) – Common in highland forest areas throughout the tour.
SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica) – About a dozen in wetland areas between Busia and Lake Victoria.
GRAYISH FLYCATCHER (Bradornis microrhynchus) – Twenty at Samburu, and 6 at Baringo.

A pair of Coqui Francolins came right next to our vehicle in Masai Mara. Participant George Sims got this nice image of one of them.

ASHY FLYCATCHER (Fraseria caerulescens) – Nice looks at 1 near the edge of Sokoke Forest.
NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides) – One near Kerenget, and 5 at Masai Mara.
WHITE-EYED SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis fischeri) – Widespread in highland forest areas; in all we saw about 40.
BROWN-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas hartlaubi) – One along a wooded stream near Mungatsi.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Two at Samburu, and 4 at Baringo.
CAPE ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha caffra) – Singles at Thomson's Falls and Eldoret.
GRAY-WINGED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha polioptera) – We saw an immature bird along a track behind Rondo Retreat.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – By far the most common Robin-Chat, with about 30 seen at a variety of sites in the highlands and Masai Mara.
SNOWY-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha niveicapilla) – One at Kakamega.
SPOTTED MORNING-THRUSH (Cichladusa guttata) – Two at Samburu, 12 in the Baringo-Bogoria area, and 1 at Kongelai.
BROWN-CHESTED ALETHE (Pseudalethe poliocephala) – Three singles at Kakamega.
EQUATORIAL AKALAT (Sheppardia aequatorialis) – Some of our group saw 1 at Kakamega.
EAST COAST AKALAT (Sheppardia gunningi) – This shy bird was seen nicely in Sokoke Forest.
LITTLE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufocinereus) – Two at Kiawara.
AFRICAN STONECHAT (Saxicola torquatus) – Five in the Kakamega area.
NORTHERN ANTEATER-CHAT (Myrmecocichla aethiops) – Three at Solio, and about 20 at Nakuru.
SOOTY CHAT (Myrmecocichla nigra) – About 15 at Masai Mara.
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) – We saw a pair along the cliffs at Baringo.
BROWN-TAILED CHAT (Cercomela scotocerca) – Four along the cliffs at Baringo.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
RED-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus rufus) – One at Sokoke Forest.
WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis) – Good looks at 1 behind Rondo Retreat.
ABYSSINIAN GROUND-THRUSH (Geokichla piaggiae) – Fabulous to see this often shy bird right in the open at 10,000 ft. on Mt. Kenya.
ABYSSINIAN THRUSH (Turdus abyssinicus) – Formerly lumped with the South African Olive Thrush; we saw a total of about 15 in the central highlands.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – Mainly replaces the previous species in the west and at lower altitudes; we saw a total of about 20.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – One at Kiawara, and then flocks of about 150 at Masai Mara.
SLENDER-BILLED STARLING (Onychognathus tenuirostris) – We saw a female near the top of Kongelai Escarpment.
RED-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus morio) – Six at Thomson's Falls, and 1 at Nakuru.

These gorgeous Beisa Oryx on the plains at Samburu are just a few of the ones we saw. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

WALLER'S STARLING (Onychognathus walleri) – One in the Tugen Hills.
BRISTLE-CROWNED STARLING (Onychognathus salvadorii) – About 20 along the cliffs at Baringo.
STUHLMANN'S STARLING (Poeoptera stuhlmanni) – About 40 at Kakamega.
BLACK-BELLIED STARLING (Notopholia corrusca) – Forty (in scattered groups) at Sokoke.
HILDEBRANDT'S STARLING (Lamprotornis hildebrandti) – Two above the escarpment at Masai Mara.
RŸUEPPELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) – Fairly widespread away from forest and the coast; in all we saw about 150.
GOLDEN-BREASTED STARLING (Lamprotornis regius) – We saw about a dozen of these gorgeous starlings at Samburu.
SUPERB STARLING (Lamprotornis superbus) – Very common and widespread.
FISCHER'S STARLING (Lamprotornis fischeri) – About 30 at Samburu.
LESSER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chloropterus) – Six on the Kongelai Escarpment.
GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – Fairly widespread in open wooded areas.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Common around both cattle and big game, with a total of about 100.
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – Two at Masai Mara.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
PLAIN-BACKED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes reichenowi) – Good looks at 3 of these endangered sunbirds at Sokoke.
KENYA VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes orientalis) – About 10 at Baringo.

We found Eurasian (African) Hoopoe at Samburu and at Nakuru. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris) – Three at Kakamega, 2 at Masai Mara, and about 8 at the coast.
GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra verticalis) – Two at Kakamega Forest.
OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra olivacea) – One near Mt. Kenya, 3 at Kakamega, and 1 at Sokoke.
GREEN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra rubescens) – Nice looks at a male at Kakamega.
AMETHYST SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra amethystina) – Singles at Naro Moru, Kongelai, and Nakuru.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – One at Kongelai, 2 near Mungatsi, and 4 at Nakuru.
HUNTER'S SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra hunteri) – Two males at Baringo.
TACAZZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia tacazze) – Five in the Mt. Kenya area.
BRONZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia kilimensis) – Common in both the central and western highlands.
GOLDEN-WINGED SUNBIRD (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi) – Five in the Mt. Kenya area.
OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris chloropygius) – We saw a single male near Mungatsi.
NORTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris reichenowi) – Small numbers in both the central and western highlands.
EASTERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mediocris) – Ten around Mountain Lodge, and then a further dozen or more higher on the mountain.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus) – This really is beautiful; we saw about 20 at Baringo.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – Singles at Kongelai and near Mungatsi.

Here are two Black Rhinos and a White Rhino, photographed by participant George Sims.

RED-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris erythrocercus) – Four along the shores of Lake Victoria.
BLACK-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris nectarinioides) – One at Samburu.
PURPLE-BANDED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris bifasciatus) – Single males at Kongelai and Masai Mara.
VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus) – Small numbers at Nairobi, near Mt. Kenya, Kakamega, and Nakuru.
COPPER SUNBIRD (Cinnyris cupreus) – We saw about 15 (including many glorious males) in the Mungatsi area.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Four at Mountain Lodge.
MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL (Motacilla clara) – One near Sagana, 1 near Mt. Kenya, and 2 at Kakamega.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – One at the coast.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – Two at Solio, 3 at Nakuru, and about 30 at Masai Mara.
MALINDI PIPIT (Anthus melindae) – Good looks at 3 in the grassland near Sokoke Forest.
SOKOKE PIPIT (Anthus sokokensis) – Heard in Sokoke Forest. [*]
YELLOW-THROATED LONGCLAW (Macronyx croceus) – Common at Masai Mara (30+), and 6 at the coast.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – One at Masai Mara.
GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza flaviventris) – Singles at Kerenget, Nakuru, and Masai Mara.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Crithagra mozambica) – One near Mungatsi, and 40 at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN CITRIL (Crithagra citrinelloides kikuyensis) – Four at Blue Posts Hotel, Thika, and 4 near Mt. Kenya.
SOUTHERN CITRIL (Crithagra hyposticta) – Two at Kakamega.
REICHENOW'S SEEDEATER (Crithagra reichenowi) – Three at Kisumu, and 4 at Nakuru.
WHITE-BELLIED CANARY (Crithagra dorsostriata) – Two at Baringo, and 4 near Kisumu.
BRIMSTONE CANARY (Crithagra sulphurata) – Three along the fence at Solio, and 1 at Nakuru.
STREAKY SEEDEATER (Crithagra striolata) – Common around Nairobi, Mt. Kenya and Nakuru.
THICK-BILLED SEEDEATER (Crithagra burtoni) – Four at Mountain Lodge.
YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex) – Four at Mountain Lodge, 12 high on Mt. Kenya, and 2 near Molo.

We found a number of Bateleurs at various points along our route, including this immature. Photo by participant George Sims.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Small numbers in the highlands, and common at the coast.
KENYA RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer rufocinctus) – Fairly common in acacia country around the base of Mt. Kenya, and at Nakuru; in all we saw about 60.
NORTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer griseus) – Fairly widespread in the western highlands and at Nakuru.
PARROT-BILLED SPARROW (Passer gongonensis) – Common at Samburu and Baringo, and a few near the coast.
SWAHILI SPARROW (Passer suahelicus) – Three at Masai Mara.
CHESTNUT SPARROW (Passer eminibey) – About a dozen (including males in breeding plumage) at Samburu.
YELLOW-SPOTTED PETRONIA (Petronia pyrgita) – Two at Samburu, and 6 at Baringo.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
WHITE-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis albirostris) – About 10 at a breeding colony at Bogoria.
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – Four at Samburu.
WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Dinemellia dinemelli) – We saw these striking birds at Samburu (40+), Baringo (6), and Kongelai (1).
SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER (Sporopipes frontalis) – Two at Samburu, and 2 at Masai Mara.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Very common in central highlands, Great Rift Valley, and Kongelai; in all we saw about 600.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser superciliosus) – Two on the Kongelai Escarpment.
DONALDSON-SMITH'S SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser donaldsoni) – About 60 at Samburu.
BLACK-CAPPED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita cabanisi) – Many (particularly around their nests) at Samburu.

This Spotted Thick-knee blends in well to the background of soil and dry grass. Photo by participant George Sims.

RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis) – Three at Kakamega.
RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps) – Some of the group saw 1 near Baringo.
BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht) – Common and widespread in the highlands.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – About 6 in the Baringo-Bogoria area.
SLENDER-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus pelzelni) – A dozen along the shore of Lake Victoria.
BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (Ploceus nigricollis) – One at Kakamega.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – One at Naro Moru.
BLACK-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus melanogaster) – Black with a yellow face makes this species really distinctive; we saw 2 in the Tugen Hills, and 2 at Kakamega.
AFRICAN GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus subaureus) – Four at the coast.
HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops) – About 8 at Kerenget, and 2 at Masai Mara.
GOLDEN PALM WEAVER (Ploceus bojeri) – Common in the grounds of our hotel at the coast.
NORTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER (Ploceus castanops) – We saw a single male at Lake Victoria.
NORTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus taeniopterus) – Restricted to Lake Baringo in Kenya; we saw several males in breeding plumage during our lunch break on the shore.
VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus) – One at Samburu, and 6 at Baringo.
HEUGLIN'S MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus heuglini) – Very rare in Kenya, with only one known site near Kitale where we saw a pair.

Here is our group at Mount Kenya, with our driver John Ngigi. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

SPEKE'S WEAVER (Ploceus spekei) – Common in the central highlands, at Nakuru, and at Masai Mara.
VIEILLOT'S WEAVER (Ploceus nigerrimus) – Six at Kakamega.
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – Thirty at Baringo, and 100+ near Kisumu.
BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus) – About 80 between a pool south of Busia and along the shore of Lake Victoria.
GOLDEN-BACKED WEAVER (Ploceus jacksoni) – We saw about 10 of these very attractive weavers at Lake Baringo.
CHESTNUT WEAVER (Ploceus rubiginosus) – A flock of 20 in breeding plumage were at Samburu.
FOREST WEAVER (Ploceus bicolor) – About 10 at Kakamega, and 6 at Sokoke.
BROWN-CAPPED WEAVER (Ploceus insignis) – Four at Kakamega.
CARDINAL QUELEA (Quelea cardinalis) – One of our group saw 2 in breeding plumage in the Kerio Valley.
NORTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus) – Restricted to the Baringo-Bogoria area in Kenya where we saw 2 males in breeding plumage.
SOUTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes orix) – One male in the Ahero Rice Scheme.
ZANZIBAR RED BISHOP (Euplectes nigroventris) – Two striking males at a marsh near Mombasa.
BLACK BISHOP (Euplectes gierowii) – We saw at least 6 males in the Mungatsi and Busia areas.
YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP (Euplectes afer) – Another striking bishop; we saw 6 of these at the Sagana Fish Ponds.
YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis) – Singles at Kongelai and Nakuru, and 6 in Masai Mara.

This big bull African Elephant posed in front of several smaller ones at Masai Mara. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

WHITE-WINGED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes albonotatus) – About a dozen at Sagana Fish Ponds.
YELLOW-MANTLED WIDOWBIRD (YELLOW-SHOULDERED) (Euplectes macroura macrocercus) – Two males in the open glade at Kakamega.
RED-COLLARED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes ardens) – One in full breeding plumage near Mt. Kenya, and then another 20 (in various plumages) at Masai Mara.
FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris) – About 20 in the Saiwa area, and 60+ at a variety of sites from Busia to Kisumu.
LONG-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes progne) – One at Solio, and then 6 at Nakuru.
JACKSON'S WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes jacksoni) – Endemic to East Africa; we saw singles at Solio and Nakuru, and then about 30 at Masai Mara.
GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons) – Small numbers were seen in five widely scattered wetland sites; in all we saw about 40.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus) – Some of our group saw 1 at Kakamega.
CRIMSON-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda rhodopyga) – Singles at Nakuru and Masai Mara.
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – About a dozen in the western highlands, and then at least 100 at Masai Mara, and a few at the coast.
KANDT'S WAXBILL (Estrilda kandti) – Four above 10,000 ft. on Mt. Kenya.
BLACK-CHEEKED WAXBILL (Estrilda charmosyna) – One at Samburu.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – Common and widespread.
PURPLE GRENADIER (Granatina ianthinogaster) – Two briefly at Samburu, and then good looks for everyone at Masai Mara.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Small numbers in the central highlands, Baringo, Kisumu, and Nakuru.

We found a few African Golden-Weavers at the coast. Photo by participant George Sims.

BAR-BREASTED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rufopicta) – Six along the wooded stream near Mungatsi.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata) – Widespread in small numbers.
BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (BLACK-AND-WHITE) (Spermestes bicolor poensis) – One at Saiwa Swamp, and about 10 at Kakamega.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about 20.
VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata) – Good looks at a male in breeding plumage at the Ahero Rice Scheme.

BROWN GREATER GALAGO (Otolemur crassicaudatus) – Strangely, we saw 1 walking on the ground at Kichwa Tembo (perhaps injured)?
BLUE MONKEY (Cercopithecus mitis) – About 50 at Kakamega, and a dozen at Kichwa Tembo.
SYKES MONKEY (Cercopithecus albogularis) – One at Mountain Lodge, and about 25 at the coast.
BLACK-CHEEKED WHITE-NOSED MONKEY (Cercopithecus ascanius) – Twenty at Kakamega, and 10 at Kichwa Tembo.
DE BRAZZA'S MONKEY (Cercopithecus neglectus) – We saw 3 of these rare monkeys at Saiwa Swamp.
BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Common and widespread.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – About 250 at Samburu, 20 at Kakamega, 100+ at Nakuru, and 100+ at Masai Mara. All ages, all sizes, all activities!
YELLOW BABOON (Papio cyanocephalus) – Five on a track in Sokoke Forest.
MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza) – We saw these striking monkeys at Mt. Kenya, Saiwa Swamp, and Kakamega.
CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis) – One at Baringo.

This Cheetah came very close as it walked to a nearby waterhole. Photo by participant George Sims.

UNSTRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus rutilus) – Small numbers at Samburu, Baringo, and at Kongelai.
STRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus erythropus) – Singles at Kakamega and Mungatsi.
FOREST GIANT SQUIRREL (Protoxerus stangeri) – One at Kakamega.
BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus sp.) – About 12 at Mountain Lodge, and 3 at Bogoria.
RED-LEGGED SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus rufobrachium) – About 10 at Kakamega.
ZANJ SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus undulatus) – One (or 2) at Sokoke Forest.
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) – Two at Nakuru, and 3 at Masai Mara.
COMMON (SMALL-SPOTTED) GENET (Genetta genetta) – One at Samburu.
LARGE-SPOTTED GENET (Genetta tigrina) – Some of our group saw 1 at Mountain Lodge.
EGYPTIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes ichneumon) – One ran across the road at Solio.
SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus) – One in the Mt. Kenya area.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – About 8 at Kichwa Tembo.
EASTERN DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale hirtula) – Six at Samburu, and 4 at Baringo.
MARSH MONGOOSE (Atilax paludinosus) – One (for some of the group who stayed up late) at Mountain Lodge.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Three at Mountain Lodge, and 2 at Masai Mara.

A Black-backed Jackal, photographed by participant George Sims.

LION (Panthera leo) – We saw a single females at Samburu and Nakuru, and then 2 huge big maned males, and a further 4 (of mixed ages) at Masai Mara.
CHEETAH (Acinonyx jubatus) – One a bit distantly at Samburu, and then good looks at a much closer one at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Many close encounters with various groups, including big bulls, females, and babies, in both Samburu and Masai Mara.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – About 10 at Baringo, 3 at Kongelai, and 4 at Nakuru.
TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax arboreus) – Heard at Naro Moru, and then 2 singles were seen at Kichwa Tembo.
GREVY'S ZEBRA (Equus grevyi) – We saw 8 of these rare zebra at Samburu - just gorgeous in this classic dry country habitat.
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – Two at Solio, 60 at Nakuru, and 150 at Masai Mara.
BLACK RHINOCEROS (Diceros bicornis) – Two at Solio.
WHITE RHINOCEROS (Ceratotherium simum) – Two at Solio, and 7 at Lake Nakuru. [I]
BUSH-PIG (Potamochoerus larvatus) – Not often seen on this tour, but for the lucky ones who stayed up late at Mountain Lodge there were 3.
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – Small numbers at Samburu and Solio, and then about a further 80 at Nakuru and Masai Mara.
GIANT FOREST HOG (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni) – Four at Mountain Lodge was a very lucky sighting.
HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – About 40 along the Mara River.
COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis) – One in front of the Ole Sereni Hotel, and then about 50 at Masai Mara.
RETICULATED GIRAFFE (Giraffa reticulata) – Nine at Samburu.
ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE (Giraffa rothschildi) – It took a while this year, but eventually we all got super close looks at Nakuru.
SITATUNGA (Tragelaphus spekei) – We saw a male and a female of these rare antelopes at Saiwa Swamp.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – About 15 at Mountain Lodge, 3 high on Mt. Kenya, and then 2 at Masai Mara.
COMMON ELAND (Taurotragus oryx) – Eleven at Nakuru, and 1 at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – We saw herds at Mt. Kenya, Solio, Nakuru, and Masai Mara; with a total of about 750.
COMMON WATERBUCK (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) – We saw a fine looking male at Samburu.
DEFASSA WATERBUCK (Kobus defassa) – About 40 in the Mt. Kenya area, 30 at Nakuru, and 50 at Masai Mara.
BEISA ORYX (Oryx beisa) – We saw about 45 at Samburu, and 10 at Solio.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – About 30 at Masai Mara.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – Four at Masai Mara, and then 5 in front of the Ole Sereni Hotel on the last afternoon.

During the tour, we traveled through some amazing landscapes, and saw many incredible birds, mammals and other creatures. Kenya had a wonderful rainy season prior to our tour, so the grasslands were green and lush. The Oloololo Escarpment at Masai Mara, photographed by guide Terry Stevenson, is just one example of the beauty of Kenya that we experienced.

BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus) – A small group of 9 were seen in the southern part of Masai Mara.
KLIPSPRINGER (Oreotragus oreotragus) – One on the escarpment above Kichwa Tembo.
SUNI (Neotragus moschatus) – Great close looks at this normally shy tiny antelope at Mountain Lodge.
KIRK'S DIK-DIK (Modoqua kirki) – At least 50 were seen at Samburu.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – One of the more widespread antelopes, with good numbers at Samburu, Solio, Nakuru, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 500.
GERENUK (Litocranius walleri) – Eight at Samburu.
THOMSON'S GAZELLE (Gazella thomsoni) – Sixty at Nakuru, and several hundred at Masai Mara.
GRANT'S GAZELLE (Gazella granti) – About 150 at Samburu.


Reptiles on the tour included;

Nile Crocodile: about a dozen at Samburu, 3 at Baringo, and 10 at Masai Mara.

Water Monitor: 2 at Samburu, and 1 near Mungatsi.

Red-headed Rock Agama: about a dozen at Samburu and Baringo.

Elementaita Rock Agama: 1 at Kiawara.

Mwanza Rock Agama: 3 at Masai Mara.

Von Hoehnel's Chameleon: 1 at over 10,000 ft. on Mt. Kenya.

Tropical House Gecko: seen in several buildings throughout the tour.

Leopard Tortoise: 1 at Samburu, and 2 in the Baringo-Bogoria area.

Totals for the tour: 524 bird taxa and 58 mammal taxa