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Field Guides Tour Report
Wild Kenya: A Tented Camp Safari 2019
Jul 13, 2019 to Jul 28, 2019
Terry Stevenson

We were in time to experience the great migration of Blue Wildebeest and Burchell's Zebra in the Masai Mara. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Our latest Wild Kenya: A Tented Camp Safari ran 13-28 July 2019 - and what a tour it was! Starting and ending in Nairobi, we visited the Mt. Kenya area, arid-bush country at Samburu, alkaline Lake Nakuru and freshwater Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley, and the world famous grasslands of Masai Mara.

Our first stop out of Nairobi was a night at Mountain Lodge on the south-west flank of Mt. Kenya, and together with a couple of birding breaks along the way it was a wonderful introduction to the central highland birds. Just a few of the highlights included Hartlaub's Turaco, Hamerkop, Crowned and Long-crested eagles, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Red-fronted Parrot, Black-tailed Oriole, Tropical Boubou, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Eastern Mountain-Greenbul, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Rueppell's Robin-Chat, and Eastern Double-collared Sunbird. Mammals were equally exciting, with 5 African Elephants and about 50 African Buffalo standing at the waterhole as we arrived at Mountain Lodge. Other mammals here included Bushbuck, Defassa Waterbuck, and for those who watched out at night, Spotted Hyaena and White-tailed Mongoose.

We then headed to Samburu, and what a start to our visit here too, with 3 young Cheetah and a single young Leopard before we even got to our camp. We then had two more full days, giving us ample time to watch and photograph troops of Olive Baboon, 4 Lion, and then another pride of 7 eating a Grevy's Zebra, and at least a couple of hundred elephants including family groups, babies, and some big bulls. The four 'specials' of the region - Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx and Gerenuk, were all seen repeatedly and at close quarters, while other great mammals included Warthog, Greater Kudu, Kirk's Dikdik, and finally just as we were leaving the reserve - a fine adult female Cheetah crossing the road before us. As always, the birdlife was spectacular, and again just a few highlights were Somali Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, Black-faced and Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, Somali Courser, White-bellied and Buff-crested bustards, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Hooded Vulture, Bateleur, Blue-naped Mousebird, Violet Woodhoopoe, Von der Decken's Hornbill, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Pygmy Falcon, Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Somali Tit, Hunter's Sunbird, and Somali Bunting.

Breaking our journey to the Great Rift Valley, we then spent a night at Naro Moru, where an afternoon walk in the lodge grounds gave us a variety of gorgeous sunbirds including Scarlet-chested, Tacazze, Bronze, Northern Double-collared, Eastern Double-collared, and Variable. Day time views of a sunbathing Tree Hyrax were an unexpected treat, too.

Heading on to Lake Nakuru, we stopped at a site for Cape Eagle-Owl and then at the lake itself, we enjoyed a wealth of waterbirds including Cape Teal, both Greater and Lesser flamingos, Kittlitz's Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, White-winged Tern, African Darter, Great White and Pink-backed pelicans, 7 species of herons and egrets, 3 different ibis, and African Spoonbill. Land birds included Klaas's Cuckoo, Green Woodhoopoe, White-fronted Bee-eater, Gray-backed Fiscal, White-browed Robin-Chat and Brimstone Canary. Mammals varied from huge White Rhinos and Rothschild's Giraffes, to striking Burchell's Zebra, Common Eland, Warthogs, and Thomson's and Grant's gazelles.

We then drove north within the rift to freshwater Lake Baringo, where the present high water levels are not idea for waterbirds - although every one of us enjoyed the super close looks at Goliath Heron! However, the species in the bush and along the cliffs were magnificent, and with the help of our local guide Francis, we managed to see the following: Spotted Thick-knee, Verreaux's Eagle, African Scops-Owl, Northern White-faced Owl, Grayish Eagle-Owl, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Jackson's Hornbill, Black-throated Barbet, Lesser Honeyguide, Pygmy Batis, Mouse-colored Penduline-Tit, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Bristle-crowned Starling, Northern Masked and Golden-backed weavers. The mammal of the day was undoubtedly Hippo.

Finally, we returned to Nairobi and after a night at the Ole Sereni Hotel, took the 50 minute flight to Masai Mara. For many, this is the highlight of the tour, with constant views of African mammals wandering the vast grassy plains. Due to unusual rains in the previous months, the grass was exceptionally tall this year, but, we still enjoyed Black-cheeked White-nosed and Blue monkeys right within our camp. Immediately before us, herds of Elephant, Buffalo, Topi, Impala and Thomson's Gazelle wandered the plains and crossed our private airstrip at will. We also admired lesser numbers of Common Giraffe, Hippo, Warthog, Bohor Reedbuck, and Slender and Banded mongoose - while the predators included Lion, Serval, Spotted Hyaena and Black-backed Jackal. Without doubt though, the mammal highlight here was driving through the famed herds of Blue Wildebeest as they made their way north on the annual migration. Of course, we also enjoyed many fabulous birds, varying from Common Ostrich, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and Black-bellied Bustard on the plains, to Scaly Francolin, Schalow's Turaco, Narina Trogon and Brown-throated Wattle-eye in the forest. Marshy areas held Spur-winged Goose, Hamerkop, African Jacana, Woolly-necked and Saddle-billed storks, and the scattered bushes and trees provided perches for Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Lilac-breasted Roller, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Gray Kestrel, Gray-backed Fiscal, Violet-backed and Hildebrandt's starlings, and the gorgeous Purple Grenadier. Perhaps though, it was the birds of prey which were the most memorable, and these included Black-winged Kite, the giant Lappet-faced Vulture, flocks of both White-backed and Rueppell's Griffon vultures, Martial Eagle, Black-breasted and Banded snake-eagles, Tawny Eagle, and Bateleur.

Thanks to all for coming along on this adventure!

Our next Wild Kenya: A Tented Camp Safari, runs 11-26 July 2020.

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

One of the most beautiful birds in Africa is the Lilac-breasted Roller. We had a great view of this one in the Masai Mara, and we also saw them in Samburu. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Struthionidae (Ostriches)
COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus) – Eight in the Baringo area, and about 30 at Masai Mara.
SOMALI OSTRICH (Struthio molybdophanes) – Nice looks at about a dozen at Samburu.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Six at Sagana, and another 6 at Limuru Pond.
KNOB-BILLED DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – Two at Nakuru.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Very common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Eight at Masai Mara.
HOTTENTOT TEAL (Spatula hottentota) – We scoped 4 distant birds at Limuru Pond.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – Two near Thomson's Falls, 6 at Nakuru, and about 30 at Limuru Pond.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – About 10 at Nakuru, and 6 at Elementaita.
RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – Six at Limuru Pond.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – Widespread in a variety of dry bush country, farmland and grassland; in all we saw about 150.
VULTURINE GUINEAFOWL (Acryllium vulturinum) – Unbelievable numbers this tour, with numerous flocks at Samburu totaling about 700.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
SCALY FRANCOLIN (Pternistis squamatus) – Two crossed a track in the grounds of Kichwa Tembo.
YELLOW-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis leucoscepus) – About 50 at Samburu, 20 at Solio Game Ranch, and 4 at Nairobi.
RED-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis afer) – About a dozen in the Mara.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Dendroperdix sephaena) – Eight at Samburu.
COQUI FRANCOLIN (Peliperdix coqui) – Good views of a pair in Masai Mara.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – Good views at Nakuru and Elementaita, with a total of about 1200.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor) – Over a thousand were seen at Nakuru, with good views of some close birds, and then perhaps 3000 at Elementaita with both close and distant birds.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – About 40 at Nakuru.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Two near Nairobi.

Tea, coffee and snacks on arrival in Masai Mara. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – The most common and widespread large pigeon; in all we saw about 120.
DELEGORGUE'S PIGEON (Columba delegorguei) – We saw a single male in flight from the roof terrace at Mountain Lodge.
DUSKY TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia lugens) – Two at the Ole Sereni Hotel.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – About 20 at Samburu, and 30 at Baringo.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Widespread in the higher altitude country above 5000 feet.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Common and widespread everywhere except Lake Baringo.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Very common and widespread throughout the tour.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – One at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.
TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria) – Heard at Naro Moru. [*]
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – About 60 at Samburu, and a dozen at Baringo.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – About 80 were flushed from a single tree in Masai Mara.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles exustus) – Great looks at a male dust bathing at Samburu.
YELLOW-THROATED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles gutturalis) – Fabulous looks at pair right beside our vehicle in Masai Mara.
BLACK-FACED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles decoratus) – About a dozen at Samburu.
Otididae (Bustards)
WHITE-BELLIED BUSTARD (Eupodotis senegalensis) – Three at Samburu.
BUFF-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis gindiana) – At least 7 at Samburu.
BLACK-BELLIED BUSTARD (Lissotis melanogaster) – We saw a single male (flying) and then a female (standing) in the Mara grasslands.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
SCHALOW'S TURACO (Tauraco schalowi) – Great looks at a close perched bird at Kichwa Tembo, and then 2 in flight on the Oloololo Escarpment.
HARTLAUB'S TURACO (Tauraco hartlaubi) – Four at Mountain Lodge, and 2 at Naro Moru.
BARE-FACED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides personatus) – Great scope views of a close pair on the Oloololo Escarpment.
WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides leucogaster) – Two at Samburu, and 5 at Baringo.

This beautiful Cheetah strolled across the road in front of us at Samburu, under the watchful eyes of a Grevy's Zebra. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Singles at Naro Moru and Baringo, and 3 at Masai Mara.
PIED CUCKOO (Clamator jacobinus) – One at Masai Mara.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – One at Baringo.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – One seen and another heard at Lake Nakuru.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) – Heard by some of the group at Masai Mara. [*]
RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius) – Two at Baringo, and heard at Masai Mara.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
SLENDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus clarus) – Thanks to our local guide Francis, we all had great looks at Baringo.
Apodidae (Swifts)
NYANZA SWIFT (Apus niansae) – About 30 flying over the road near Kisima.
AFRICAN SWIFT (Apus barbatus) – At least 20 at Lake Nakuru, and 1 at Elementaita.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Surprisingly few, with just 6 at Nakuru, 20 at Masai Mara, and a few around the Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi.
HORUS SWIFT (Apus horus) – One at Nakuru.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – One at Sagana.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – About 6 at Samburu.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – One near Thomson's Falls, and 6 at Limuru Pond.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Six near Thomson's Falls, 100+ at Nakuru, 8 at Masai Mara, and about 200 at Limuru Pond.
AFRICAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio madagascariensis) – Two at Limuru Pond.
BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra) – One at Lake Baringo.
Gruidae (Cranes)
GRAY CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica regulorum) – Small numbers were widespread in open farmlands and in the Mara grasslands; in all we saw about 40.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – One at Samburu.
SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis) – Good scope views of 1 at Baringo.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – About 12 at Nakuru, and 20 at Lake Elementaita.

We had a good view of this immature Eastern Chanting-Goshawk at Samburu. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus) – About 20 at Nakuru were the most for one area, but we also saw another dozen at a variety of widespread wetlands.
SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus) – Widespread in small numbers with a total of about 35.
BLACK-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus melanopterus) – Three at Solio, and 10 at Masai Mara.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Two at Samburu, about 12 at Solio, and 40+ in the Mara grasslands.
WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus) – One in flight at Masai Mara.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – About 10 (including juveniles) at Nakuru, and 4 at Masai Mara.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – Widespread in small numbers on the edges of wetlands.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Three at Limuru Pond, and 2 at Masai Mara.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Two at Lake Nakuru.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Small numbers at Baringo, Elementaita, and in Masai Mara; in total we saw 7.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – One at Nakuru, and 1 at Masai Mara.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – One at Masai Mara.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Two at Masai Mara.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
SOMALI COURSER (Cursorius somalensis) – Great looks at 3 of these desert wanderers at Samburu.
THREE-BANDED COURSER (Rhinoptilus cinctus) – Can be very very difficult, but we had great luck and fabulous views of 1 at Baringo.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – About 60 at Lake Nakuru, and 35 at Lake Elementaita.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Two singles at Nakuru.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – About 80 at Nakuru.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (AFRICAN) (Ciconia episcopus microscelis) – Three in a small creek at Masai Mara.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – Nice looks at this magnificent stork at Masai Mara.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – Widespread with small numbers at Nairobi, in the Mt. Kenya area, Nakuru, Baringo, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 40.

We got wonderful looks at White Rhinoceros at Nakuru; here, a couple the group were caught photographing them by guide Terry Stevenson.

YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – We saw about 60 at Nakuru, Elementaita, and Baringo, and a few others at scattered sites elsewhere.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa) – Generally uncommon these days, but we were lucky and saw 6 at Nakuru, and about 40 at Baringo.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus) – One at Sagana Fish Ponds, and 30+ at Baringo.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – First seen at the Blue Posts Hotel, Thika, and then at Nakuru (100+), and Baringo (120+).
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – Surprisingly, we saw 1 in low flight at Samburu, and then had at least 150 at Nakuru, and 40 at Lake Elementaita.
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – One at Nakuru.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Four in the Nairobi area, 6 at Baringo, and 8 in Masai Mara.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Widespread at a variety of scattered wetlands; in all we saw about 20.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – More of a grassland feeder than the previous species, we also saw about 20.
GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – Fantastic looks at 3 on our boat trip at Lake Baringo.
GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos) – Four at Nakuru, 30 at Elementiata, and 5 at Masai Mara.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – One at Nakuru.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – One near Naro Moru, and then a total of about 50 at lakes Nakuru and Baringo.
CATTLE EGRET (WESTERN) (Bubulcus ibis ibis) – Common and widespread.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – One at Nakuru.
MADAGASCAR POND-HERON (Ardeola idae) – One at Masai Mara.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – About 10 at Lake Baringo.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – One of our group saw 1 fly over Kichwa Tembo early one morning.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Seven at Nakuru.
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – Common and widespread away from forested areas.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Small numbers were widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw about 50.

Participant Rachel Sa got this candid shot of the group birding at Lake Baringo.

AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – One near Nairobi, 5 at Lake Nakuru, and 6 at Masai Mara.
Sagittariidae (Secretarybird)
SECRETARYBIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius) – One of the group favorites, we had good looks at 2 in the Solio grasslands.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Small numbers in a variety of open country from arid Samburu to the Mara grasslands.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Two of our group saw an adult at Masai Mara.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – We saw 4 of these huge vultures in Masai Mara.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – Four at Samburu was an exceptional number, as these vultures are now very uncommon in Kenya.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – By far the most common vulture, with about 20 at Samburu, 1 at Nakuru, and 80+ at Masai Mara.
RUEPPELL'S GRIFFON (Gyps rueppelli) – Great looks at about 20 of these increasingly uncommon vultures at Masai Mara.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – A classic species of the open African skies; we saw 4 at Samburu, and 7 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Great views of an adult at Nakuru, and then a second more distant bird at Masai Mara.
BANDED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinerascens) – Formerly known as Western Banded Snake-Eagle we had great close views of this rather localized species in the Mara.
LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – Singles at Kisima, and in Masai Mara.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Four at Samburu, and 5 at Masai Mara.
VERREAUX'S EAGLE (Aquila verreauxii) – We saw a pair over the cliffs at Baringo.
EASTERN CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax poliopterus) – Four at Samburu.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – Four at Samburu, 1 at Baringo (which had just caught a Laughing Dove), and 2 at Masai Mara.
BLACK GOSHAWK (Accipiter melanoleucus) – One was in low flight over the road near the Kiawara Quarry.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – About 35 in the Nairobi area.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Two at Nakuru, and 5+ at Baringo where our boat driver fed a couple of them on fish - great photo op!
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – About 8 between Nairobi and Mt. Kenya, and 5 at Nakuru.
Strigidae (Owls)
AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis) – Fantastic looks at Lake Baringo.

Samburu is home to the lovely Beisa Oryx, and we saw quite a good number of them when we were there. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

NORTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL (Ptilopsis leucotis) – Again, (and entirely thanks to our local guide), we had fantastic looks at this rarely seen owl at Baringo.
CAPE EAGLE-OWL (NORTHERN) (Bubo capensis mackinderi) – One near Kiawara.
GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens) – Thanks to our local guide, we had excellent day-time views of 2 of these owls at Baringo.
AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii) – Heard by some of the group at Kichwa Tembo.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus) – Common and widespread in the highlands.
BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus) – About 20 at Samburu, and 30 at Baringo.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina) – Nice views of a male during our walk at Kichwa Tembo.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – One at Samburu, and 2 in Masai Mara.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Two at Nakuru, and 3 at Baringo.
VIOLET WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus damarensis) – Three at Samburu.
ABYSSINIAN SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus minor) – Great looks at 2 singles at Samburu.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)
SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus leadbeateri) – Four in flight at Masai Mara.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
CROWNED HORNBILL (Lophoceros alboterminatus) – One in the Yellow-barked Acacia woodlands at Lake Elementaita.
HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL (Lophoceros hemprichii) – One of our group saw a single bird at Island Camp, Baringo.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus) – Some of the group saw 1 near Samburu.
EASTERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus flavirostris) – Great looks at about 6 at Samburu.
JACKSON'S HORNBILL (Tockus jacksoni) – We saw 6 at Baringo, including a pair only ten feet away on the bird-feeder there.
VON DER DECKEN'S HORNBILL (Tockus deckeni) – About 10 at Samburu.
NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus) – Very common at Samburu (80+), and then 1 at Baringo.
SILVERY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Bycanistes brevis) – One at the Blue Posts Hotel near Thika.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Three at Lake Baringo.

Guide Terry Stevenson got this great shot of some of the migrating Wildebeests at a waterhole in the Masai Mara.

GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – One at Sagana, 4 at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima) – Nice looks at one along a stream in Masai Mara.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Six at Sagana, and about 40 at Baringo.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides) – Six at Nakuru, 2 near Elementaita, and 2 at Masai Mara.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – Five at Samburu, and 6 at Masai Mara.
CINNAMON-CHESTED BEE-EATER (Merops oreobates) – Eight at Mountain Lodge, and 3 near Limuru, and 4 at Kichwa Tembo.
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – About 40 at Samburu, and 20 at Baringo.
MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus) – Fifteen along the shores of Lake Baringo.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – We saw about 6 of these gorgeous rollers at Samburu, and about 15 in the Mara.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – One at Samburu.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – Two of our group saw 1 at Masai Mara.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
RED-AND-YELLOW BARBET (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) – Fantastic close looks at Samburu where we saw a total of 3.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (Trachyphonus darnaudii) – Two at Samburu.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (USAMBIRO) (Trachyphonus darnaudii usambiro) – Often considered specifically distinct from the previous form, we saw 6 in Masai Mara.
GRAY-THROATED BARBET (Gymnobucco bonapartei) – Two at Kichwa Tembo.
YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus) – Heard at Mountain Lodge. [*]
RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus pusillus) – One at the Blue Posts, Thika.
RED-FRONTED BARBET (Tricholaema diademata) – Good looks at Island Camp.
SPOT-FLANKED BARBET (Tricholaema lacrymosa) – Three at Masai Mara.
BLACK-THROATED BARBET (Tricholaema melanocephala) – Two at Baringo.
WHITE-HEADED BARBET (WHITE-HEADED) (Lybius leucocephalus albicauda) – One on top of the Oloololo Escarpment, Masai Mara.

A pair of Jackson's Hornbills thought our Landcruiser might offer something to eat, and it looks like one of them found a tidbit! Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
LESSER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator minor) – One at Lake Baringo.
GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator) – We saw a sub-adult male at Samburu.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RUFOUS-NECKED WRYNECK (Jynx ruficollis) – Two on the Oloololo Escarpment, Masai Mara.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Chloropicus fuscescens) – Three at Samburu.
MOUNTAIN GRAY WOODPECKER (Chloropicus spodocephalus rhodeogaster) – Four at Samburu.
NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica) – Heard at Ole Sereni and Samburu, and then 1 was seen by some of the group at Baringo.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Fabulous looks at 3 of these seriously cute tiny falcons at Samburu.
GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus) – Two at Masai Mara.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – We saw a flying immature bird at Samburu, and then had nice scope looks at a perched adult at Baringo.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi) – About 10 at Mountain Lodge, and 5 (briefly) at Naro Moru.
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – Two seen well (perched), and others seen in flight at Masai Mara.
RED-BELLIED PARROT (Poicephalus rufiventris) – More commonly known as African Orange-bellied Parrot, we had good looks at about half a dozen at Samburu.
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea) – One in the forest at Kichwa Tembo.
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – We saw a pair at Naro Moru.
PYGMY BATIS (Batis perkeo) – A pair at Baringo.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – Singles at Samburu and Baringo.
NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – We saw a single male at Samburu.
BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla) – Two at Masai Mara.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – One at Masai Mara.
TROPICAL BOUBOU (Laniarius major) – One seen well (and several heard) at Mountain Lodge.
SLATE-COLORED BOUBOU (Laniarius funebris) – Six at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.

Terry and Rachel posed for a photo at one of our picnics. Photo by participant Rachel Sa.

ROSY-PATCHED BUSHSHRIKE (Rhodophoneus cruentus) – Great looks at about 5 of these striking birds at Samburu.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – We saw a single immature at Samburu.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
GRAY CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina caesia) – One at Mountain Lodge.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitoroides) – About 10 at Nakuru, and 3 in the Mara.
TAITA FISCAL (Lanius dorsalis) – Two singles at Samburu.
NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis) – Common and widespread away from the low country like Samburu and Baringo; in all we saw about 60.
WHITE-RUMPED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus ruppelli) – Four at Samburu, and 1 at Baringo.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – One at Naro Moru.
BLACK-TAILED ORIOLE (Oriolus percivali) – Four at Mountain Lodge.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Common and widespread; in all we saw about 45.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – We saw a total of 7, including a beautiful white morph bird at Lake Baringo.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Two near Naro Moru, and 10 at Nakuru.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Common and widespread.
FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus) – Six at Samburu.
Alaudidae (Larks)
PINK-BREASTED LARK (Calendulauda poecilosterna) – At least a dozen at Samburu.
FOXY LARK (Calendulauda alopex intercedens) – Two singles at Samburu.
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – One at Nakuru, and 40+ at Masai Mara.
RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea) – About 6 on the short Mara grasslands.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (AFRICAN) (Riparia paludicola ducis) – Widespread, particularly around wetlands.
ROCK MARTIN (ROCK) (Ptyonoprogne fuligula fusciventris) – Small numbers around buildings and rocky cliffs; in all we saw about 30.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Two at Nakuru, and 1 at Masai Mara.

We had some great sightings of Lions at Samburu, including this one surveying the riverbed. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Widespread in small numbers, with a total of about 20.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (RED-RUMPED) (Cecropis daurica emini) – Another widespread swallow; in all we saw about 40.
LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Six at Ole Sereni, 4 at Baringo, and 10+ at Masai Mara.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa) – Six at Masai Mara.
MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis) – Pairs at both Nakuru and the Mara.
WHITE-HEADED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne albiceps) – Four at Masai Mara.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) – Eight in the highlands around Mt. Kenya, and about 20 at Masai Mara.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
WHITE-BELLIED TIT (Melaniparus albiventris) – Three at Naro Moru.
SOMALI TIT (Melaniparus thruppi) – Nice close looks at 1 at Samburu.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
MOUSE-COLORED PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus musculus) – We saw a pair at Lake Baringo.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris) – Two at Mountain Lodge.
EASTERN MOUNTAIN-GREENBUL (OLIVE-BREASTED) (Arizelocichla nigriceps kikuyuensis) – Three at Mountain Lodge.
HONEYGUIDE GREENBUL (Baeopogon indicator) – Some of the group saw 1 at Masai Mara, where it is presumed to be a very uncommon visitor.
YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris) – Two at Naro Moru River Lodge.
COMMON BULBUL (DODSON'S) (Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni) – About 25 at Samburu.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Common and widespread away from Samburu where it is replaced by the previous form.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
NORTHERN CROMBEC (EASTERN) (Sylvietta brachyura leucopsis) – Two at Samburu, and 1 at Baringo.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
LESSER SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) – One at Limuru Pond.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
YELLOW-VENTED EREMOMELA (Eremomela flavicrissalis) – Nice looks at 3 at Samburu.
YELLOW-BELLIED EREMOMELA (Eremomela icteropygialis) – One at Baringo.
GRAY WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes simplex) – One at Baringo.

Somali Courser is a desert specialist that we found in Samburu. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – Frequently heard throughout the tour, and about 5 seen in the Mt. Kenya area.
BUFF-BELLIED WARBLER (Phyllolais pulchella) – Two at Baringo in the acacias near the cliffs.
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – One at the Blue Posts Hotel, and 2 at Naro Moru.
CHESTNUT-THROATED APALIS (Apalis porphyrolaema) – Difficult this tour, but eventually we all got good looks at a singing bird at Mountain Lodge.
GRAY APALIS (Apalis cinerea) – One at Mountain Lodge.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Three in Masai Mara.
RED-FRONTED PRINIA (Prinia rufifrons) – One at Baringo.
GRAY-CAPPED WARBLER (Eminia lepida) – Nice looks at a singing bird in the undergrowth at Naro Moru.
HUNTER'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola hunteri) – Heard in the central highlands several times, but we never did manage to see one. [*]
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Small numbers at Nakuru, Baringo, and in Masai Mara.
WINDING CISTICOLA (WINDING) (Cisticola galactotes amphilectus) – One at the edge of a marshy area at Masai Mara.
STOUT CISTICOLA (Cisticola robustus) – The most common cisticola in the long grass at Masai Mara.
CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis) – Good looks at 1 near Kichwa Tembo airstrip.
PECTORAL-PATCH CISTICOLA (Cisticola brunnescens) – About 10 at Masai Mara.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
BROWN PARISOMA (Sylvia lugens) – One at Naro Moru.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
BROAD-RINGED WHITE-EYE (KIKUYU) (Zosterops poliogastrus kikuyuensis) – We saw a small flock of 5 at Mountain Lodge.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides rubiginosa) – About a dozen at Samburu.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
DUSKY-BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa adusta) – Four at Mountain Lodge.
GRAYISH FLYCATCHER (Bradornis microrhynchus) – Four at Samburu, 2 at Baringo, and 1 at Masai Mara.
PALE FLYCATCHER (Agricola pallidus) – One at Masai Mara.
SILVERBIRD (Melaenornis semipartitus) – One at our Equator stop near Mogotio.

Lake Nakuru was the site of a Flamingo spectacle, where we saw both Lesser and Greater Flamingos. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides) – Two at Kichwa Tembo.
SOUTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis pammelaina) – Singles at Sagana and Samburu.
WHITE-EYED SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis fischeri) – Small numbers of this attractive flycatcher at Mountain Lodge, Naro Moru, and Nakuru.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – One at Samburu, and 2 along the cliffs at Baringo.
CAPE ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha caffra) – Singles at Mountain Lodge and Limuru Pond.
GRAY-WINGED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha polioptera) – Great looks at this normally very shy bird at Kichwa Tembo.
RUEPPELL'S ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha semirufa) – One at the Blue Posts Hotel, Thika.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – Small numbers at Naro Moru, Nakuru, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 10.
SPOTTED MORNING-THRUSH (Cichladusa guttata) – Two at Samburu, and about 20 at Baringo.
AFRICAN STONECHAT (Saxicola torquatus) – Four near Thomson's Falls.
NORTHERN ANTEATER-CHAT (Myrmecocichla aethiops) – We saw about 20 of these grassland birds, mainly at Solio and Nakuru.
SOOTY CHAT (Myrmecocichla nigra) – About a dozen at Masai Mara.
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) – We saw a single female along the cliffs at Baringo.
FAMILIAR CHAT (Cercomela familiaris) – One on the Oloololo Escarpment.
BROWN-TAILED CHAT (Cercomela scotocerca) – One at the Baringo cliffs.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ABYSSINIAN THRUSH (Turdus abyssinicus) – Four at the Ole Sereni Hotel, and 2 at Kisima.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – Two at Nakuru.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – One at Nakuru, and about 60 at Masai Mara.
RED-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus morio) – We saw a pair near Kiawara.
WALLER'S STARLING (Onychognathus walleri) – Some of the group saw a flock of about 25 fly overhead as we were leaving Mountain Lodge.
BRISTLE-CROWNED STARLING (Onychognathus salvadorii) – Two in flight at Samburu, and then about 10 (including perched birds) at Baringo.

Reticulated Giraffes were common in Samburu, where we saw about 50 of these giants. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

MAGPIE STARLING (Speculipastor bicolor) – Three in flight at Samburu.
HILDEBRANDT'S STARLING (Lamprotornis hildebrandti) – Nice looks at 1 in the Mara.
RUEPPELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) – We saw a total of about 50 between Nakuru, Baringo and Masai Mara.
SUPERB STARLING (Lamprotornis superbus) – Very common and widespread.
FISCHER'S STARLING (Lamprotornis fischeri) – Ten at Samburu.
GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – Small numbers at Solio, Nakuru, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 30.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Widespread in areas with big game; we saw a total of about 60.
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – Seven, mainly on buffalo and giraffe in Masai Mara.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
EASTERN VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes orientalis) – We saw single males at Samburu and Baringo.
COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris) – Two at the Blue Posts Hotel, and then fabulous views of a glistening male on the Oloololo Escarpment.
GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra verticalis) – One at Thomson's Falls.
AMETHYST SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra amethystina) – Great looks at 2 males at Nakuru, and then another single at Kichwa Tembo.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – One at Naro Moru, and 6 at Nakuru.
HUNTER'S SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra hunteri) – Two males at Samburu.
TACAZZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia tacazze) – About 6 (with several gorgeous males) at Naro Moru.
BRONZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia kilimensis) – Four at Naro Moru, and 2 at Nakuru.
GOLDEN-WINGED SUNBIRD (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi) – Another gorgeous sunbird, we saw these north of Nanyuki, and at Naro Moru.
NORTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris reichenowi) – One at Naro Moru.
EASTERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mediocris) – About 8 around Mountain Lodge, and then 1 at Thomson's Falls.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus) – This really is a 'beautiful' sunbird; we saw about 20 at Baringo.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – Singles at Samburu and Masai Mara.

One of two Black Rhinoceros we saw near Kichwa Tembo. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

BLACK-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris nectarinioides) – About 8 along the river at Samburu.
SHINING SUNBIRD (Cinnyris habessinicus) – One at Samburu.
VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus) – Small numbers at the Blue Posts Hotel, Naro Moru, and Limuru Pond.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Two at Mountain Lodge.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – One at Solio, and 3 at Masai Mara.
LONG-BILLED PIPIT (Anthus similis) – One along the Oloololo Escarpment.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – Five in the Mara grasslands.
YELLOW-THROATED LONGCLAW (Macronyx croceus) – Two at Nakuru, and about 10 at Masai Mara.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Crithagra mozambica) – Six at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN CITRIL (Crithagra citrinelloides kikuyensis) – Four at Sagana Fish Ponds.
REICHENOW'S SEEDEATER (Crithagra reichenowi) – Six at the Ole Sereni Hotel.
WHITE-BELLIED CANARY (Crithagra dorsostriata) – Two at Samburu, 1 at Baringo, and 1 at Masai Mara.
BRIMSTONE CANARY (Crithagra sulphurata) – Nice looks at 1 at the gate to Lake Nakuru NP.
STREAKY SEEDEATER (Crithagra striolata) – Six at Ole Sereni Hotel, and 1at Naro Moru.
YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex) – Two singing high from a tree top at Kisima.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
SOMALI BUNTING (Emberiza poliopleura) – Five at Samburu.
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – One near Kichwa Tembo.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Small numbers at Nairobi, Baringo, and Masai Mara.
KENYA RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer rufocinctus) – Six at Nairobi, about a dozen at Naro Moru, and 20 at Nakuru.
NORTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer griseus) – One at Nakuru.

We saw quite a few African Elephants, including this small group at Mountain Lodge. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

PARROT-BILLED SPARROW (Passer gongonensis) – Twenty at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.
SWAHILI SPARROW (Passer suahelicus) – Three near the village at the Mara River bridge.
CHESTNUT SPARROW (Passer eminibey) – Good looks at about 30 (with several males in breeding plumage) at Samburu.
YELLOW-SPOTTED PETRONIA (Gymnornis pyrgita) – Four at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – Eight at Samburu.
WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Dinemellia dinemelli) – About 50 at Samburu, and 6 at Baringo.
SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER (Sporopipes frontalis) – One at Masai Mara.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Common and widespread in acacia country; in total we saw about 400.
DONALDSON-SMITH'S SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser donaldsoni) – About 50 at Samburu.
BLACK-CAPPED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita cabanisi) – Several flocks totaling about 100 at Samburu.
BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht) – Small numbers in the highlands and at Masai Mara.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – Four at Baringo.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – One at Naro Moru River Lodge.
NORTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus taeniopterus) – Virtually restricted to Lake Baringo in Kenya, we had excellent looks at many nest building pairs along the shore.
SPEKE'S WEAVER (Ploceus spekei) – Common in the highlands and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 200.
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – Great looks on the bird feeder at Lake Baringo.
GOLDEN-BACKED WEAVER (Ploceus jacksoni) – We saw about 20 of these very attractive weavers at Baringo.
CHESTNUT WEAVER (Ploceus rubiginosus) – Twelve at Samburu, 10 at Baringo, and 60+ at Masai Mara.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – About 200 at Samburu.
YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis) – Nice looks at birds in breeding plumage at Nakuru and Masai Mara.
LONG-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes progne) – At Nakuru, 4 displaying males in full breeding plumage were a highlight of the tour.

Here is another view of our picnic in Masai Mara; everyone looks nice and relaxed! Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
BLACK-CHEEKED WAXBILL (Estrilda charmosyna) – Six at Samburu.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – Small numbers were widespread throughout the tour.
BLUE-CAPPED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus) – Far less common than the previous species, and we were lucky to see 4 at Samburu.
PURPLE GRENADIER (Granatina ianthinogaster) – One at Samburu, and 6 at Masai Mara.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – About a dozen in the Thika to Mt. Kenya area, and 1 at Lake Baringo.
CUT-THROAT (Amadina fasciata) – About 20 at Samburu.
AFRICAN QUAILFINCH (Ortygospiza fuscocrissa) – Great looks at a close pair feeding on the ground at Masai Mara.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata) – Small numbers in the central highlands.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – Good looks at males at Naro Moru, Nakuru, and Masai Mara.

BROWN GREATER GALAGO (Otolemur crassicaudatus) – Heard at Kichwa Tembo. [*]
BLUE MONKEY (Cercopithecus mitis) – About a dozen were in the forest around Kichwa Tembo.
SYKES MONKEY (Cercopithecus albogularis) – Ten at Mountain Lodge.
BLACK-CHEEKED WHITE-NOSED MONKEY (Cercopithecus ascanius) – Some of the group saw up to 3 at Kichwa Tembo.
BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Very common, widespread, and often a pest; we saw a total of about 400.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – Common and widespread with a total of about 450.
UNSTRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus rutilus) – About 40 at Samburu.
OCHRE BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus ochraceus) – Six at Mountain Lodge, and 2 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) – We saw 3 tiny babies at Samburu, and then 4 adults at Masai Mara.
COMMON (SMALL-SPOTTED) GENET (Genetta genetta) – Two of our group saw 1 at Samburu.
SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus) – Two near Mountain Lodge, and 1 at Masai Mara.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – Great looks at about 50 of these amusing characters in Masai Mara.

This Red-and-yellow Barbet posed nicely for guide Terry Stevenson at Samburu.

EASTERN DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale hirtula) – About a dozen at Samburu.
WHITE-TAILED MONGOOSE (Ichneumia albicauda) – Some of the group (who stayed up late) saw 1 at Mountain Lodge.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – Three at Mountain Lodge, and 1 at Masai Mara.
SERVAL (Felis serval) – Just fantastic to see this uncommon cat so well in the Mara grasslands.
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) – Nice looks at a young one climbing a rocky ridge at Samburu.
LION (Panthera leo) – We saw a total of 11 at Samburu (including 2 males and 5 females feeding on a Grevy's Zebra), and then a single female in Masai Mara.
CHEETAH (Acinonyx jubatus) – We started the first afternoon in Samburu with close views of 3 young ones, and then on our last morning there had fabulous views of a large female crossing the road in front of us.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Also known as African Bush Elephant; we had many great encounters, seeing herds, young ones and large bulls; in total we saw about 300.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – Eight along the cliffs at Baringo.
TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax arboreus) – Two at Naro Moru, and then 1 with a baby at Kichwa Tembo.
GREVY'S ZEBRA (Equus grevyi) – Just fantastic this tour with at least 250 at Samburu (the world population is estimated at about 2800).
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – About 20 at Samburu, and then very common at Nakuru, Elementaita, and Masai Mara.
BLACK RHINOCEROS (Diceros bicornis) – Good looks at 2 on the Kichwa Tembo plains.
WHITE RHINOCEROS (Ceratotherium simum) – About 10 at Nakuru, included several very tame ones. [I]
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – Common at Samburu, Nakuru, and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 120.
HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Seven at Lake Baringo, and about 80 at Masai Mara.
COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis) – Twelve in front of the Ole Sereni Hotel, and then a total of about 60 at Masai Mara.
RETICULATED GIRAFFE (Giraffa reticulata) – About 50 at Samburu.
ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE (Giraffa rothschildi) – Least common of the giraffe species; we saw 22 at Nakuru.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – Six at Mountain Lodge, and 2 for some of the group at Kichwa Tembo.
GREATER KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) – We were lucky enough to see 4 (all females) at Samburu - an uncommon species in Kenya.
COMMON ELAND (Taurotragus oryx) – Four at Nakuru, and 12 at Elementaita.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – Fifty at Mountain Lodge, and then several really big herds at Nakuru and Masai Mara; in all we saw about 1000.
BUSH (GRAY) DUIKER (Sylvicapra grimmia) – One on the Oloololo Escarpment.
COMMON WATERBUCK (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) – About 30 at Samburu.
DEFASSA WATERBUCK (Kobus defassa) – Four at Mountain Lodge, 20 at Nakuru, and 35 at Masai Mara.
BOHOR REEDBUCK (Redunca redunca) – Seven at the Ole Sereni Hotel, and 4 in Masai Mara.
BEISA ORYX (Oryx beisa) – We saw about 80 of these striking antelopes at Samburu.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – About 250 at Masai Mara.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – Ten in front of the Ole Sereni Hotel, and 1 at Masai Mara.
BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus) – As the migration had literally just started to arrive earlier that week, we were extremely lucky to see spectacular numbers near the border in Masai Mara.
KIRK'S DIK-DIK (Modoqua kirki) – About 40 at Samburu.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – At least 300 at Samburu, 80 at Nakuru, and 100+ at Masai Mara.
GERENUK (Litocranius walleri) – About 50 at Samburu.
THOMSON'S GAZELLE (Gazella thomsoni) – Sixty at Nakuru, and 800 at Masai Mara.
GRANT'S GAZELLE (Gazella granti) – Two hundred at Samburu, 20 at Nakuru, and about 30 at Masai Mara.


Reptiles seen on the tour included;

Nile Crocodile, 6 at Samburu, 3 at Baringo, and 2 at Masai Mara.

Water Monitor, 1 at Masai Mara.

Red-headed Rock Agama, about 5 at Samburu, and a dozen at Baringo.

Mwanza Rock Agama, at least 6 at Masai Mara.

Tropical House Gecko, 3 at Baringo.

Totals for the tour: 345 bird taxa and 48 mammal taxa