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Field Guides Tour Report
Kenya Highlights 2015
Jul 1, 2015 to Jul 19, 2015
Terry Stevenson

The Lion is surely the quintessential animal of the African plains. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

Our July 2015 Kenya Highlights tour began, as always, at the Ole Sereni Hotel overlooking Nairobi National Park. We then went south to Lake Magadi (near the Tanzania border), north to Mount Kenya and the arid lowlands of Samburu, west to Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley, and further west to Kakamega Forest and Lake Victoria, before returning to the Rift Valley at Nakuru and back to Nairobi. The final leg involved flights to and from the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve -- the jewel of Kenya's wildlife parks.

Beginning with our day trip to Lake Magadi, we were somewhat surprised to find recent rains had made the road slow and bumpy. However, the scenery was spectacular as we dropped from over 6000' in the Ngong Hills to the dry acacia scrub at 2000' near Magadi. For a first day of birding, it was truly impressive, with Sacred and Hadada ibises near our hotel, Yellow-throated Longclaw and Red-collared Widowbird in the grasslands, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Blue-naped Mousebird, Von der Decken's Hornbill, and Beautiful Sunbird in the acacia country, and Lesser Flamingo, Pied Avocet, and the very localised Chestnut-banded Plover at the lake. Add roosting Slender-tailed Nightjars at our picnic spot, and a close Eastern Chanting-Goshawk on the way back to our hotel, and it all made for a great first day.

We then headed north to Mountain Lodge on the southwestern slope of Mount Kenya, where we saw our first Sykes Monkeys (literally on our verandas), Large-spotted Genet at a feeding platform, and Bushbuck, African Buffalo, and Spotted Hyaena around the water hole. Birds varied from the secretive Scaly Francolin at the forest edge and dozens of Gray Crowned-Cranes in a nearby marsh, to Hartlaub's Turaco (just gorgeous in the scope), the massive Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, tiny White-browed Crombec, Black-throated Apalis, Rueppell's Robin-Chat, and Yellow-crowned Canary.

Leaving the forests and farmlands of Mt. Kenya behind, we then drove further north and dropped to the Samburu lowlands -- an area of arid bush country, crossed by the Ewaso Nyiro River and lined with palms and acacia trees. This is near the southern limit of several birds and mammals, and we were soon enjoying many of these, including 'Somali' Ostrich, Vulturine Guineafowl, White-headed Mousebird, Somali Bee-eater, Yellow-vented Eremomela, and Donaldson-Smith's Sparrow-Weaver. Other more widespread birds varied from Kori Bustard, Black-faced Sandgrouse, and Golden-breasted Starling, to a dozen species of raptors, including Secretary-bird, White-headed Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, and Pygmy Falcon. The four 'special mammals' -- Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and Gerenuk -- were all seen the first afternoon! African Elephants and a young female Leopard right near our vehicle were icing on the cake.

Next, we drove west to the Baringo-Bogoria area, with a night at Naro Moru along the way. The Mackinder's form of Cape Eagle-Owl was a highlight along this route, and (thanks to our local contacts) the following day produced yet more owls, including Grayish and Verreaux's eagle-owls and Northern White-faced Owl -- all on their day roosts. Other highlights in this area included Goliath Heron, Three-banded Courser, Jackson's and Hemprich's hornbills, Pygmy Batis, Somali Tit, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Bristle-crowned Starling, Northern Masked-Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver, and Northern Red Bishop.

Continuing further west, we enjoyed gorgeous White-crested Turacos and Black-headed Gonoleks in the Kerio Valley, and then, during our time at Kakamega Forest, admired such varied species as White-spotted Flufftail, Great Blue Turaco, African Emerald Cuckoo, Bar-tailed Trogon, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Yellow-billed Barbet, African Broadbill, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, African Blue-Flycatcher, 9 species of greenbuls, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, Black-billed Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, and Red-headed Bluebill. Mammals were few, but watching the antics of Blue and Black-cheeked White-nosed monkeys and Mantled Guereza provided plenty of amusing moments.

Heading back to the Rift Valley, we spent a night at Nakuru, where both Great White and Pink-backed pelicans were amongst a good variety of other waterbirds. We also saw Klass's Cuckoo, Little Rock-Thrush, Yellow Bishop, Long-tailed Widowbird, and our only Rueppell's Griffon of the tour. Mammals highlights included White Rhino, Rothchild's Giraffe, Common Eland, and Defassa Waterbuck.

After a night in Nairobi, we finished the tour by flying to the Masai Mara for a three-night stay at the famous Kichwa Tembo Camp. Set amongst classic African savanna scenery, we took our 4x4 vehicle and drove across the plains, seeing an abundance of spectacular mammals, including Banded Mongoose, Spotted Hyaena, several groups of Lion, a mother Cheetah with four youngsters, herds of African Elephants, and several thousand African Buffalo, Burchell's Zebra, and Wildebeest. The birds were also spectacular, ranging from Common Ostrich, Secretary-bird, Temminck's Courser, and Southern Ground-Hornbill on the open grasslands, to secretive Coqui Francolins, six species of storks at a single marsh, and Rufous-necked Wryneck, Black-crowned Tchagra, and Hildebrandt's Starling in the woodlands.

The combination of an exotic African landscape, more than 50 species of mammals, 400+ birds and genuinely friendly people surely puts Kenya very high on the list of the world's greatest wildlife tour destinations!

-- Terry

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

Struthionidae (Ostrich)

A family of Tree Hyraxes, which are distantly related to both elephants and sea cows, entertained us at Kichwa Tembo. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

OSTRICH (COMMON) (Struthio camelus massaicus) – Four in the Bogoria area, about 6 at Nakuru, and 30+ at Masai Mara.
OSTRICH (SOMALI) (Struthio camelus molybdophanes) – We saw a female and then a nice male (with blue neck and legs) at Samburu.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Six at Limuru Pond, and 3 near Kisumu.
WHITE-BACKED DUCK (Thalassornis leuconotus) – Scope views of 1 at Limuru Pond.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Common and widespread at wetlands throughout the tour.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Four at Masai Mara.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – About a dozen in the Mt. Kenya area, and 2 at Limuru Pond.
RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – Ten in the Mt. Kenya area.
HOTTENTOT TEAL (Anas hottentota) – Four at Limuru Pond.
CAPE TEAL (Anas capensis) – Six at Lake Nakuru.
SOUTHERN POCHARD (Netta erythrophthalma) – We saw 2 males at Limuru Pond.
MACCOA DUCK (Oxyura maccoa) – Two males at Limuru Pond.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – At least 300 at Samburu.
VULTURINE GUINEAFOWL (Acryllium vulturinum) – We saw about 80 of these striking guineafowl at Samburu.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
COQUI FRANCOLIN (Francolinus coqui) – A pair of adults with 2 tiny juveniles and then another two adults at Masai Mara.
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus sephaena) – About 10 at Samburu.
SCALY FRANCOLIN (Francolinus squamatus) – Nice looks at 3 from the roof of Mountain Lodge.
YELLOW-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus leucoscepus) – Abut 50 at Samburu, and 6 at Solio.
RED-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus afer) – We saw an adult and a juvenile in the Mara grasslands.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Small numbers in the Mt. Kenya area, Limuru Pond, and at Lake Nakuru.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – About 30 at Lake Nakuru.
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus minor) – At least 500 at Lake Magadi (although many were distant), and then close views of about 3000 at Nakuru.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus) – One at Lake Victoria and 1 at Masai Mara.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – At least 8 at Masai Mara.
WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia) – Strangely unusual at this time of year; we saw at least 30 at Masai Mara.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – Two at Masai Mara.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer) – Fairly common throughout the tour, with a total of about 400.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – Fairly common at a variety of wetlands (especially in Masai Mara); in all we saw about 200.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Six at Lake Baringo, and about 40 at Nakuru.
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax africanus) – Small numbers were at Limuru Pond, and lakes Baringo and Victoria.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa) – Uncommon in Kenya, so we were lucky to see 2 at Lake Baringo.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus) – About 100 at Lake Nakuru.
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – One at Lake Nakuru.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – First seen in the Baringo-Bogoria area, and then at Lake Victoria, Nakuru, and Masai Mara.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
DWARF BITTERN (Ixobrychus sturmii) – Great views of this secretive bird at Masai Mara.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Widespread in small numbers at wetlands throughout the tour.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – The world's largest heron - we had great looks at singles at Lake Baringo and Masai Mara.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – One at Lake Baringo.
GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos) – Widespread throughout the tour, with a total of about 50.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Six at Limuru Pond.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Two at Baringo, and then about 60 at Lake Victoria and 50 at Nakuru.
CATTLE EGRET (IBIS) (Bubulcus ibis ibis) – Common and widespread throughout the tour.
RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON (Ardeola rufiventris) – Two in flight and then a standing bird in the marsh near Kichwa Tembo.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – One at Samburu, 4 at Baringo, 2 at Kisumu, and a single at Masai Mara.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – We saw a single adult at Masai Mara.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – Common and widespread.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Common throughout the tour, with a total of about 90.
AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Two at Sagana Fish Ponds, and 4 at Lake Nakuru.
Sagittariidae (Secretary-bird)
SECRETARY-BIRD (Sagittarius serpentarius) – Three at Samburu and 4 in Masai Mara.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – One along the Magadi Road and 3 at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Singles near Naro Moru and Thomson's Falls.
WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis) – Nice looks at a perched bird along the river at Samburu, and then 2 in flight at Masai Mara.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos) – Four at Masai Mara.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – Some of the group saw 1 at Samburu, and then we all saw at least 8 at Masai Mara.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – About 40 at Samburu, 40 at Nakuru, and 30 at Masai Mara.
RUEPPELL'S GRIFFON (Gyps rueppelli) – Amazingly few this tour; just a single bird at Lake Nakuru.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – One of Africa's most gorgeous raptors; we saw 4 at Samburu, and about a dozen at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Some of the group saw an adult in low flight at Baringo, and then we all saw another adult at Masai Mara.
BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – Three at Samburu.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – Fabulous looks at an adult and then an immature at Samburu, and another fabulous adult at Lake Nakuru.
LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – One at Lake Victoria, and 3 at Masai Mara.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – Six at Samburu, 2 at Nakuru, and another 6 at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila spilogaster) – Great looks at a pair in Masai Mara.
LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus) – One along the road from Kakamega to Kisumu.
EASTERN CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax poliopterus) – One along the Magadi Road, and 1 at Samburu.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – One near Naro Moru.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – We saw an immature in the Kerio Valley, and an adult at Nakuru.
BLACK GOSHAWK (Accipiter melanoleucus) – One flew over the grounds of Rondo Retreat.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Common in Nairobi city.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Good scope views of a pair at Lake Baringo, and then singles at Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara.
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – Small numbers in both the central and western highlands.
Otididae (Bustards)
KORI BUSTARD (Ardeotis kori) – Great looks at a very close male at Samburu.
BUFF-CRESTED BUSTARD (Eupodotis gindiana) – One at Samburu.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BLACK CRAKE (Amaurornis flavirostra) – Four along the lakeshore at Baringo, and 1 near Kisumu.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (AFRICAN) (Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis) – Six at Limuru Pond.

Dozens of handsome Gray Crowned-Cranes foraged in a marsh near Mountain Lodge. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus meridionalis) – One at Kiawara.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Six at Kiawara, and about 300 at Limuru Pond.
Sarothruridae (Flufftails)
WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra) – Heard by all and seen by some of the group at Kakamega.
Gruidae (Cranes)
GRAY CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica regulorum) – We saw about 60 of these gorgeous cranes during the tour.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – Eight on a sand bank at Samburu, and 2 at Masai Mara.
SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis) – Two at Baringo.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – About 30 at Magadi, and 20 at Lake Nakuru.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – One at Magadi.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACKSMITH LAPWING (Vanellus armatus) – Widespread in small numbers at a variety of scattered wetlands.
SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus) – Fairly common in small numbers; in all we saw about 45.
CROWNED LAPWING (Vanellus coronatus) – Widespread in drier areas than the previous lapwings.
WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus) – About 40 in Masai Mara were far more than normal.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – About 8 along the shore at Lake Nakuru.
THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris) – Eight at Samburu.
CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius pallidus) – Six adults and 2 tiny juveniles at Lake Magadi.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – One at Limuru, and 2 at Masai Mara.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Two at Samburu, and 1 at Kiawara.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – Three on a small pool at Nakuru.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – One at Lake Nakuru.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
TEMMINCK'S COURSER (Cursorius temminckii) – Good close looks at 1 in Masai Mara.
THREE-BANDED COURSER (Rhinoptilus cinctus) – Wonderful scope views of this beautiful courser at Baringo.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – Five at Lake Nakuru.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
YELLOW-THROATED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles gutturalis) – Fabulous close looks at a pair in Masai Mara.
BLACK-FACED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles decoratus) – Two single males at Samburu.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – Common and widespread.
RAMERON PIGEON (Columba arquatrix) – Three at Mountain Lodge, and 1 at Masai Mara.
DELEGORGUE'S PIGEON (Columba delegorguei) – Two at Mountain Lodge, and 2 in the Tugen Hills.
DUSKY TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia lugens) – Four in the Nairobi area.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – Two along the Magadi Road, and then common and Samburu and Baringo.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Common away from arid areas.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Very common throughout the tour.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Very common and widespread.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – Small numbers at Magadi, Samburu, in the Kerio Valley, and at Masai Mara.
BLUE-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur afer) – Seen by one of the group at Kakamega.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – Common at Magadi, Samburu, and Baringo.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – Two feeding at the salt lick at Mountain Lodge, 10 at Kakamega, and 2 at Masai Mara.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata) – Great looks at 2 at Kakamega.
SCHALOW'S TURACO (Tauraco schalowi) – Heard at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BILLED TURACO (Tauraco schuettii) – Very uncommon in Kenya so we were lucky to see 2 at Kakamega Forest.
WHITE-CRESTED TURACO (Tauraco leucolophus) – We saw 2 of these gorgeous turacos in the Kerio Valley.
HARTLAUB'S TURACO (Tauraco hartlaubi) – Scope views of 1 at Mountain Lodge, and then 6 in the Tugen Hills.
ROSS'S TURACO (Musophaga rossae) – Two at Kakamega, where they are generally rather uncommon.
WHITE-BELLIED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides leucogaster) – Small numbers in dry acacia country like along Magadi Road, Samburu, and Baringo.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
PIED CUCKOO (Clamator jacobinus) – We saw an adult and an immature at Baringo.
RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius) – Singles along the Magadi Road and Kakamega, and others heard elsewhere.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – Nice looks at 1 at Lake Nakuru.
AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus) – Good scope views of a singing male at Kakamega.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – Singles at Kakamega and Nakuru.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Four at Masai Mara.
Strigidae (Owls)
AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis) – Two at Samburu.

Topis were common on the Masai Mara. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

NORTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL (Ptilopsis leucotis) – Close looks at a pair of shy birds at Baringo.
CAPE EAGLE-OWL (NORTHERN) (Bubo capensis mackinderi) – Thanks to Eunice we had good looks at 1 on a quarry face near Kiawara.
GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens) – Many authorities now split this from Spotted Eagle-Owl 'B. africanus', but others doubt it as a valid species; we saw a bird at Baringo with the plumage of Grayish Eagle-Owl, but yellow (instead of dark) eyes.
VERREAUX'S EAGLE-OWL (Bubo lacteus) – One in a dry river bed at Baringo, and 1 at Nakuru.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – Two at Samburu.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
ABYSSINIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus poliocephalus) – One of the group saw 1 at Mountain Lodge.
SLENDER-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus clarus) – At least 2 were seen by everyone near Lake Magadi.
Apodidae (Swifts)
AFRICAN SWIFT (Apus barbatus) – About 20 over Lake Nakuru.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Common around cliffs and buildings throughout the tour.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Two at Limuru Pond.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – Two at Samburu, 6 at Kisumu, and 6 at Nakuru.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus) – Common and widespread in the highlands.
WHITE-HEADED MOUSEBIRD (Colius leucocephalus) – About 5 at Samburu.
BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus) – Widespread in dry acacia; in all we saw about 40.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BAR-TAILED TROGON (Apaloderma vittatum) – Great looks at a male at Kakamega.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Singles at Baringo, near Kakamega, and Masai Mara.
AFRICAN PYGMY-KINGFISHER (Ispidina picta) – One at Kakamega.
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – About 8 at Samburu, 2 at Bogoria, and 5 in the Kisumu area.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – Good looks at 3 at Baringo, and 1 at Kisumu.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima) – We saw a single fly-by in Masai Mara.
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Small numbers at lakes Baringo, Victoria and Nakuru.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER (Merops bullockoides) – About 10 at Masai Mara.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – One at Baringo, and 6 at Masai Mara.
CINNAMON-CHESTED BEE-EATER (Merops oreobates) – About 30 at Mt. Kenya, 6 in the Tugen Hills, and 20 at Kakamega.
SOMALI BEE-EATER (Merops revoilii) – We saw 2 of these 'northern' localised birds at Samburu.
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – We saw small numbers at Magadi, Samburu, and Baringo.
MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus) – One near the cliffs at Baringo.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – We saw about 30 of these colorful rollers in a variety of open bush and woodland.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – One along Magadi Road, and 1 at Baringo.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – Singles at Solio and Nakuru.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Two at Samburu, 7 in the Kerio Valley, and 6 at Lake Nakuru.
WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei) – Five at Kakamega Forest.
COMMON SCIMITAR-BILL (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) – We saw a pair near Mt. Kenya.
Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)
SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus leadbeateri) – Firstly we saw 7 distant birds in Masai Mara, but then we saw another three right next to the vehicle.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus) – Hundreds at Samburu, and 6 at Baringo.
EASTERN YELLOW-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus flavirostris) – About 8 at Samburu.
JACKSON'S HORNBILL (Tockus jacksoni) – About 10 at Baringo included a very tame pair at our lunch restaurant .
VON DER DECKEN'S HORNBILL (Tockus deckeni) – About 20 along the Magadi Road, and 8 at Samburu.
CROWNED HORNBILL (Tockus alboterminatus) – Two pairs at Masai Mara.
HEMPRICH'S HORNBILL (Tockus hemprichii) – Nice looks at this very localised hornbill along the cliffs at Baringo.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Tockus nasutus) – About a dozen at Baringo and in the Kerio Valley.
SILVERY-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna brevis) – Two as we drove down from Mountain Lodge.
BLACK-AND-WHITE-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna subcylindrica) – Four in the Tugen Hills, about 40 at Kakamega, and 1 at Kichwa Tembo.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus) – Good looks at a pair at Kakamega.
RED-AND-YELLOW BARBET (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus) – We saw these gorgeous barbets near Magadi, and at Bogoria.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (Trachyphonus darnaudii) – Four at Samburu.
D'ARNAUD'S BARBET (USAMBIRO) (Trachyphonus darnaudii usambiro) – About 30 at Masai Mara.
GRAY-THROATED BARBET (Gymnobucco bonapartei) – First seen in the Tugen Hills (5), and then about 40 at Kakamega, and 2 at Masai Mara.
YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus) – Four at Mountain Lodge, 1 in the Tugen Hills, and 1 at Kakamega.
RED-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus pusillus) – One along the cliffs at Baringo.
YELLOW-SPOTTED BARBET (Buccanodon duchaillui) – One at Kakamega.
RED-FRONTED BARBET (Tricholaema diademata) – One at Baringo.
SPOT-FLANKED BARBET (Tricholaema lacrymosa) – Singles at Thika and Baringo, and about 4 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-THROATED BARBET (Tricholaema melanocephala) – Two along Magadi Road, and 3 at Baringo.
WHITE-HEADED BARBET (Lybius leucocephalus) – One in a large fig tree at Masai Mara.
BLACK-BILLED BARBET (Lybius guifsobalito) – Two at Kisumu.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
GREEN-BACKED HONEYGUIDE (Prodotiscus zambesiae) – Rather localised in Kenya; we had very good looks at 1 at Naro Moru.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RUFOUS-NECKED WRYNECK (Jynx ruficollis) – Good views of a responsive bird on the Oloololo Escarpment.
NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica) – Two at Baringo, and 1 at Lake Nakuru.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – Widespread in small numbers; in all we saw 9.
BEARDED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos namaquus) – We saw a pair at Samburu, and a single male at Masai Mara.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
PYGMY FALCON (Polihierax semitorquatus) – Fabulous looks at a female at Samburu.

A gaggle of Banded Mongooses keeps a wary eye on things. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus) – Generally uncommon, but we were lucky and saw 3 singles at Masai Mara.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – One at Samburu, and 2 at Baringo.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi) – About 60 in the Mt. Kenya to Naro Moru area.
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – Heard in the Kerio Valley, and seen in flight at Masai Mara.
RED-BELLIED PARROT (Poicephalus rufiventris) – More commonly known as African Orange-bellied Parrot; we saw 6 at Samburu.
Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)
AFRICAN BROADBILL (Smithornis capensis) – Great close looks at a displaying bird at Kakamega Forest.
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea) – Eight at Kakamega.
CHESTNUT WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira castanea) – At least one of our group saw a male fly across a trail in Kakamega Forest.
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – Two at Mountain Lodge, and 1 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-HEADED BATIS (WESTERN) (Batis minor erlangeri) – We saw a single female in the Kerio Valley.
PYGMY BATIS (Batis perkeo) – One along the cliffs at Baringo.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – One at Samburu.
NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – A pair in the Kerio Valley.
BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus cubla) – One at Kericho, and about 6 at Masai Mara.
PINK-FOOTED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus angolensis) – Good views of a male at Kakamega.
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – One on top of the Oloololo Escarpment, Masai Mara.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – One at Masai Mara.
LUEHDER'S BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius luehderi) – We saw about 8 of these attractive bushshrikes in the tangled vines at Kakamega.
TROPICAL BOUBOU (Laniarius major) – About 6 at Mountain lodge, 2 in the Tugen Hills, and 2 at Nakuru.
BLACK-HEADED GONOLEK (Laniarius erythrogaster) – We saw 4 of these striking birds in the Kerio Valley, and 1 at Kisumu.
SLATE-COLORED BOUBOU (Laniarius funebris) – Singles along the Magadi Road, and at Samburu.
ROSY-PATCHED BUSHSHRIKE (Rhodophoneus cruentus) – Three at Samburu.
GRAY-GREEN BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus bocagei) – Four in the canopy at Kakamega Forest.
BLACK-FRONTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus nigrifrons) – We saw an orange morph in the canopy of the forest on the Tugen Hills.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
GRAY CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina caesia) – Two at Mt. Kenya, 1 in the Tugen Hills, and 2 on the Oloololo Escarpment.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitorius) – Two at Lake Nakuru, and 3 at Masai Mara.
TAITA FISCAL (Lanius dorsalis) – Three at Samburu.
MACKINNON'S SHRIKE (Lanius mackinnoni) – Six at Kakamega.
NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis) – Now split from Common Fiscal; they were very common in the both the central and western highlands.
WHITE-RUMPED SHRIKE (Eurocephalus rueppelli) – More commonly known as Northern White-crowned Shrike; we saw about 6 at Baringo.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrhynchus) – Two at Kakamega.
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – Two near Bogoria.
BLACK-TAILED ORIOLE (Oriolus percivali) – Two singles at Mountain Lodge.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SQUARE-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus ludwigii) – Four at Kakamega.
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Small numbers in fairly dry country; in all we saw about 50.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – We saw rufous morph birds at Magadi Road, Mt. Kenya, and Bogoria, and a beautiful white morph in the Kerio Valley.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
CAPE CROW (Corvus capensis) – Widespread in open country of the central and western highlands.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Common and widespread.
FAN-TAILED RAVEN (Corvus rhipidurus) – Four at Samburu, 2 at Baringo, and about 20 at Iten.
Alaudidae (Larks)
WHITE-TAILED LARK (Mirafra albicauda) – One at Masai Mara.
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – One at Nakuru, and 100+ at Masai Mara.
PINK-BREASTED LARK (Calendulauda poecilosterna) – Four at Samburu.
FOXY LARK (Calendulauda alopex) – One at Samburu.
FISCHER'S SPARROW-LARK (Eremopterix leucopareia) – Six at Samburu, and 1 at Masai Mara.
RED-CAPPED LARK (Calandrella cinerea) – One at Nakuru, and 4 at Masai Mara.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – About 40 at Sagana Fish Ponds, 30 at Limuru, and 30 at Masai Mara.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – Ten at Masai Mara.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – Small numbers were seen in a variety of rocky areas and around buildings.
ANGOLA SWALLOW (Hirundo angolensis) – About 30 near Kakamega.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – Four at Sagana, 6 at Samburu, 2 at Nakuru, and 4 at Masai Mara.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – One near Nairobi, 6 around Mt. Kenya, 20 at Nakuru, and 4 at Masai Mara.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Six on the wires (with other swallows) at Sagana Fish Ponds, and then about 40 at Masai Mara.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa) – Ten on the road at Masai Mara.
MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis) – Four distantly at Lake Nakuru.
WHITE-HEADED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne albiceps) – Six in the Kerio Valley, and about 80 at Kakamega.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) – Two at Mountain Lodge, 2 in the Tugen Hills, and about 75 at Masai Mara.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
AFRICAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda) – Seven along the forest edge at Kakamega, and 1 at Kericho.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
WHITE-BELLIED TIT (Melaniparus albiventris) – One at the Blue Posts Hotel, Thika, and 3 in the Kerio Valley.
DUSKY TIT (Melaniparus funereus) – About a dozen at Kakamega Forest.
SOMALI TIT (Melaniparus thruppi) – Heard at Samburu, and then seen nicely along the cliffs at Baringo.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
MOUSE-COLORED PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus musculus) – Good looks at 2 at Baringo.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris) – Four at Mountain Lodge, and 1 at Kakamega.
SHELLEY'S GREENBUL (KAKAMEGA) (Arizelocichla masukuensis kakamegae) – Four creeping along the mossy branches at Kakamega.
EASTERN MOUNTAIN-GREENBUL (OLIVE-BREASTED) (Arizelocichla nigriceps kikuyuensis) – Some of the group saw 1 at Mountain Lodge.

The open savanna of the Masai Mara, where we finished our tour. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

JOYFUL GREENBUL (Chlorocichla laetissima) – Several small flocks at Kakamega.
YELLOW-THROATED GREENBUL (Atimastillas flavicollis) – Three at Kisumu.
ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei) – Four at Kakamega.
PLAIN GREENBUL (Eurillas curvirostris) – About 8 in the middle-storey at Kakamega.
YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris) – One at Naro Moru, 2 at the Tugen Hills, and about a dozen at Kakamega.
LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens) – Many heard at Kakamega.
NORTHERN BROWNBUL (Phyllastrephus strepitans) – Two at Lake Baringo.
CABANIS'S GREENBUL (CABANIS'S) (Phyllastrephus cabanisi sucosus) – Three in the Kakamega undergrowth.
COMMON BULBUL (DODSON'S) (Pycnonotus barbatus dodsoni) – About 40 at Samburu.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Very common and widespread away from Samburu.
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
WHITE-BROWED CROMBEC (Sylvietta leucophrys) – Singles at Mountain Lodge and Kakamega Forest.
NORTHERN CROMBEC (Sylvietta brachyura) – Singles near Magadi and Baringo.
RED-FACED CROMBEC (Sylvietta whytii) – One at Naro Moru River Lodge.
MOUSTACHED GRASS-WARBLER (Melocichla mentalis) – Good looks at a singing bird at Kichwa Tembo.
GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina) – Heard at Kakamega.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf-Warblers)
UGANDA WOOD-WARBLER (Phylloscopus budongoensis) – Several heard and 1 seen at Kakamega.
BROWN WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus umbrovirens) – One in the Tugen Hills, and 1 at Kakamega.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
MOUNTAIN YELLOW-WARBLER (Iduna similis) – One at Mountain Lodge.
GREATER SWAMP-WARBLER (Acrocephalus rufescens) – Two in the papyrus at Kisumu.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
BROAD-TAILED GRASSBIRD (Schoenicola platyurus) – One in the Mara grasslands.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
BLACK-COLLARED APALIS (Apalis pulchra) – Many heard and 6 seen in the undergrowth at Kakamega Forest.
BLACK-THROATED APALIS (Apalis jacksoni) – One from the roof at Mountain Lodge.
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (Apalis flavida) – We saw a pair at Lake Nakuru.
YELLOW-BREASTED APALIS (BROWN-TAILED) (Apalis flavida viridiceps) – Two at Samburu.
BUFF-THROATED APALIS (Apalis rufogularis) – We saw a single female at Kakamega.
CHESTNUT-THROATED APALIS (Apalis porphyrolaema) – One at Mountain Lodge.
GRAY APALIS (Apalis cinerea) – Four at Mountain Lodge, and heard in the Tugen Hills.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – We saw singles of the gray-backed form at Magadi, Mt. Kenya and Kakamega.
OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota) – Heard at Kakamega.
RED-FRONTED WARBLER (Urorhipis rufifrons) – Three at Samburu, and 1 at Baringo.
GRAY WREN-WARBLER (Calamonastes simplex) – One along the Magadi Road.
WHITE-CHINNED PRINIA (Schistolais leucopogon) – About a 20 along the edges of Kakamega Forest.
RED-FACED CISTICOLA (Cisticola erythrops) – Heard at Masai Mara.
TRILLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola woosnami) – Heard on the Oloololo Escarpment.
CHUBB'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola chubbi) – Six at Kakamega.
HUNTER'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola hunteri) – About 6 in the Mt. Kenya area.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – One near Magadi, 6 at Nakuru, and about a dozen at Masai Mara.
WINDING CISTICOLA (WINDING) (Cisticola galactotes amphilectus) – Heard and seen briefly at Kisumu.
LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola tinniens) – Nice looks at this smart looking cisticola in the highland marsh near Kakamega.
STOUT CISTICOLA (Cisticola robustus) – Very numerous in the Mara grasslands.
PECTORAL-PATCH CISTICOLA (Cisticola brunnescens) – Small numbers in the Mara grasslands.
GRAY-CAPPED WARBLER (Eminia lepida) – Heard at Kichwa Tembo.
BLACK-FACED RUFOUS-WARBLER (Bathmocercus rufus) – Seen in the Kakamega undergrowth by most of the group - a real super skulker!
BUFF-BELLIED WARBLER (Phyllolais pulchella) – One along the Magadi Road, and 4 at Nakuru.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Singles at Kakamega, Nakuru, and Masai Mara.
BANDED PRINIA (Prinia bairdii) – Nice looks at a pair of these rather shy prinia's at Kakamega.
YELLOW-VENTED EREMOMELA (Eremomela flavicrissalis) – Two at Samburu.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
AFRICAN HILL BABBLER (Sylvia abyssinica) – One in the Tugen Hills.
BANDED WARBLER (Sylvia boehmi) – One at Samburu.
BROWN WARBLER (Sylvia lugens) – We saw a pair in a large Yellow-barked Acacia at Naro Moru.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis) – One at Kakamega, and 1 at Kichwa Tembo.
BROAD-RINGED WHITE-EYE (KIKUYU) (Zosterops poliogastrus kikuyuensis) – About 6 at Mountain Lodge.
WHITE-BREASTED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops abyssinicus flavilateralis) – Three at the bottom of the Ngong Hills.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)
BROWN ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis fulvescens) – One at Kakamega Forest.
SCALY-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis albipectus) – Seen by some of the group at Kakamega.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides rubiginosa) – Small numbers in a variety of dry bush country from Samburu to Baringo.
NORTHERN PIED-BABBLER (Turdoides hypoleuca) – Two in the Ngong Hills.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
PALE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis pallidus) – One in the Kerio Valley, 2 at Nakuru, and 2 on the Oloololo Escarpment.
GRAYISH FLYCATCHER (Bradornis microrhynchus) – Small numbers in acacia country near Magadi, at Samburu, Baringo, and Masai Mara.
WHITE-EYED SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis fischeri) – About 30 in the Mt. Kenya area, 2 in the Tugen Hills, and singles at Nakuru and Masai Mara.
NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides) – Three singles at Masai Mara.
SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica) – Four along the shores of Lake Victoria near Kisumu.

A successful Hammerkop flips its dinner the "right way round." Photo by participant Steve Madison.

DUSKY-BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa adusta) – More commonly known as African Dusky Flycatcher: we saw about 20 around Mt. Kenya, 3 in the Tugen Hills, 1 at Kakamega.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Three along the Magadi Road.
CAPE ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha caffra) – Four singles in the Mt. Kenya area.
GRAY-WINGED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha polioptera) – Two in the forest near Rondo Retreat.
RUEPPELL'S ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha semirufa) – Two at Mountain Lodge.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – Four at Nakuru, and about 8 at Masai Mara.
SNOWY-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha niveicapilla) – Great looks at this often shy bird at Kakamega.
SPOTTED MORNING-THRUSH (Cichladusa guttata) – We saw a total of about 10 at Magadi, Samburu, and Baringo.
BROWN-CHESTED ALETHE (Pseudalethe poliocephala) – We saw an immature bird feeding along a very muddy track at Kakamega, and then an adult at Rondo Retreat.
LITTLE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola rufocinereus) – One at the flooded quarry near Kiawara, and 1 at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
AFRICAN STONECHAT (Saxicola torquatus) – Two in the tea estate at Kakamega.
NORTHERN ANTEATER-CHAT (Myrmecocichla aethiops) – Three at Solio, and about 25 at Lake Nakuru.
SOOTY CHAT (Myrmecocichla nigra) – About 40 at Masai Mara.
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) – We saw a pair in a rocky gulley near Lake Baringo.
FAMILIAR CHAT (Cercomela familiaris) – Four on the Oloololo Escarpment.
BROWN-TAILED CHAT (Cercomela scotocerca) – One along the cliffs at Lake Baringo.
ABYSSINIAN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe lugubris schalowi) – One at the bottom of the Ngong Hills.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis) – Good looks at this rather shy ant-thrush at Kakamega.
ABYSSINIAN THRUSH (Turdus abyssinicus) – Formerly lumped Olive Thrush; we saw 4 in the Mt. Kenya area, and 2 at Kericho.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – Four at Kakamega.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – Three at Solio.
GREATER BLUE-EARED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – About 40 in the Naro Moru area, 10 in the Tugen Hills, 50 at Nakuru, and 20 at Masai Mara.
RUEPPELL'S GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) – We saw a total of about 20 in the Baringo-Bogoria area, 40 at Nakuru, and 20 at Masai Mara.
GOLDEN-BREASTED STARLING (Lamprotornis regius) – One of Africa's most spectacular birds; we saw 3 at Samburu.
SUPERB STARLING (Lamprotornis superbus) – Common and widespread - and just superb!
HILDEBRANDT'S STARLING (Lamprotornis hildebrandti) – Four at Baringo.
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – Four at Naro Moru, and about 40 at Masai Mara - yet another gorgeous African starling.
FISCHER'S STARLING (Spreo fischeri) – Six at Samburu.
RED-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus morio) – About a dozen along the cliffs at Baringo.
BRISTLE-CROWNED STARLING (Onychognathus salvadorii) – We saw about a dozen of this 'northern species' at Baringo.
STUHLMANN'S STARLING (Poeoptera stuhlmanni) – At least 30 were seen in the canopy at Kakamega Forest.
SHARPE'S STARLING (Pholia sharpii) – We scoped 1 in the Tugen Hills.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
RED-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) – Small numbers on a variety of mammals at Mt. Kenya, Samburu, Nakuru and Masai Mara.
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – About 50 at Masai Mara where they prefer to feed on giraffe and buffalo.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
KENYA VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (Anthreptes orientalis) – Small numbers at Magadi, Samburu, and Baringo.
GREEN SUNBIRD (GRAY-THROATED) (Anthreptes rectirostris tephrolaemus) – One male and 2 females at Kakamega.
COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris) – Nice looks at a male at the Blue Posts Hotel near Thika, and then at Kakamega and Masai Mara.
GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra verticalis) – Singles at Naro Moru and Kakamega.
WESTERN OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra obscura ragazzii) – One at Kakamega.
GREEN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra rubescens) – We saw two males at Kakamega.
AMETHYST SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra amethystina) – A pair were at the Blue Posts Hotel, Thika.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – We saw a single female at Kisumu.
TACAZZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia tacazze) – Just gorgeous! We saw a male at Imenti, and then 3 at Naro Moru.
BRONZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia kilimensis) – The common long-tailed sunbird of the highlands; in all we saw about 60.
GOLDEN-WINGED SUNBIRD (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi) – Nice looks at a female at Limuru Pond.
NORTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris reichenowi) – Two at Naro Moru, 3 in the Tugen Hills, and 8 at Kakamega.
EASTERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mediocris) – Four at Mountain Lodge.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus) – This really is a beautiful sunbird: we had great looks along the Magadi Road and at Baringo.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis) – Two females near Thika.
RED-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris erythrocercus) – Five along the lake shore at Kisumu.
BLACK-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris nectarinioides) – About 20 (all in non-breeding plumage) at Samburu.
SHINING SUNBIRD (Cinnyris habessinicus) – We saw a female and then a male in the grounds of our lodge at Samburu.
VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus) – Four in the Nairobi area, and 1 at Kakamega.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Two at Mountain Lodge.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Common and widespread.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – One in the Ngong Hills, and 6 at Masai Mara.
LONG-BILLED PIPIT (Anthus similis) – Four along the Oloololo Escarpment.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – One at Solio, and about 80 at Masai Mara.
YELLOW-THROATED LONGCLAW (Macronyx croceus) – One in the Ngong Hills, and about 40 at Masai Mara.
ROSY-THROATED LONGCLAW (Macronyx ameliae) – Six, all in the same marshy area at Masai Mara.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
SOMALI BUNTING (Emberiza poliopleura) – One along the Magadi Road.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex) – About 8 in the Mt. Kenya area.
YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Serinus mozambicus) – Very common at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN CITRIL (Serinus citrinelloides kikuyensis) – Also known as Western Citril, we saw a male near Nanyuki.

A pensive Lion gazes out across the savanna while its buddy snoozes. Photo by participant Steve Madison.

SOUTHERN CITRIL (Serinus hypostictus brittoni) – One at the edge of Kakamega Forest.
REICHENOW'S SEEDEATER (Serinus reichenowi) – Two near Nairobi.
WHITE-BELLIED CANARY (Serinus dorsostriatus) – Six along the Magadi Road.
BRIMSTONE CANARY (Serinus sulphuratus) – Three in the Ngong Hills.
STREAKY SEEDEATER (Serinus striolatus) – Small numbers at Nairobi and Mt. Kenya.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Six in the Kisumu area.
KENYA RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer rufocinctus) – About 40 in the central highlands, 20 at Nakuru, and 1 at Masai Mara.
NORTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer griseus) – Six at Sagana, and about 20 in the Kakamega area.
PARROT-BILLED SPARROW (Passer gongonensis) – About 20 at Samburu, and 10 at Baringo.
CHESTNUT SPARROW (Passer eminibey) – Common, with many males in breeding plumage at Magadi and Samburu.
YELLOW-SPOTTED PETRONIA (Petronia pyrgita) – Small numbers at Magadi, Samburu, and Baringo.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
WHITE-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis albirostris) – Nice looks at an adult on the feeder at Baringo.
RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis niger) – One at Samburu.
WHITE-HEADED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Dinemellia dinemelli) – Common at Samburu (50) and Baringo (12).
SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER (Sporopipes frontalis) – Two at Samburu.
WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser mahali) – Common and widespread in acacia country; in all we saw about 400.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser superciliosus) – Nice looks at 3 in the Kerio Valley.
DONALDSON-SMITH'S SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser donaldsoni) – About 50 at Samburu.
GRAY-HEADED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita arnaudi) – Forty along the Magadi Road, and 30 at Masai Mara.
BLACK-CAPPED SOCIAL-WEAVER (Pseudonigrita cabanisi) – About 300 at Samburu.
RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis) – Some of the group saw 1 at Kakamega.
RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps) – We saw a female at Naro Moru, and a male near Bogoria.
BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht) – Very common in the highlands.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – We saw a single male nest building at Baringo.
SLENDER-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus pelzelni) – Some of the group saw 1 in the papyrus at Lake Victoria.
BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (Ploceus nigricollis) – Three at Kakamega.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – Heard at Naro Moru.
BLACK-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus melanogaster) – Nice looks at this unusual looking weaver (black with a yellow face) at Kakamega.
AFRICAN GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus subaureus) – A male at Sagana Fish Ponds.
NORTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER (Ploceus castanops) – About 10 along the shores of Lake Victoria.
NORTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus taeniopterus) – We saw about 20 of this very localised weaver at Baringo.
LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius) – Three at Samburu.
VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus) – Small numbers near Magadi and at Baringo.
SPEKE'S WEAVER (Ploceus spekei) – Common in the central highlands.
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – One at Sagana, and then about 30 at Baringo, and 20 along the shores of Lake Victoria.
BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus) – Four in a marsh on the way to Kakamega, and about 40 at Kisumu.
GOLDEN-BACKED WEAVER (Ploceus jacksoni) – We saw about a dozen of these beautiful weavers at Lake Baringo.
CHESTNUT WEAVER (Ploceus rubiginosus) – One along Magadi Road, and 4 at Samburu.
FOREST WEAVER (Ploceus bicolor) – About 6 at Kakamega.
BROWN-CAPPED WEAVER (Ploceus insignis) – Nice looks at about 10 at Kakamega.
CARDINAL QUELEA (Quelea cardinalis) – We saw a male in breeding plumage along the Magadi Road, and about 50 in tall grass at Masai Mara.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – Several hundred along the Magadi Road.
NORTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus) – We saw 3 stunning males in the Bogoria area.
YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis) – Small numbers at Nakuru and Masai Mara.
WHITE-WINGED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes albonotatus) – Six at Masai Mara.
YELLOW-SHOULDERED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes macroura macroura) – Some of us saw a single male in the farmlands near Kakamega.
RED-COLLARED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes ardens) – Four males in breeding plumage in the Ngong Hills.
FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris) – Four in the marsh on the way to Kakamega.
LONG-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes progne) – Six at Lake Nakuru included some wonderful long-tailed males.
JACKSON'S WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes jacksoni) – We saw displaying males in a wheat field near Nanyuki, and then about 50 at Masai Mara; an East African endemic.
GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons) – Two in flight in the Tugen Hills, and 2 feeding on small fruits at Kakamega.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus) – Two at Kakamega.
CRIMSON-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda rhodopyga) – Two along the Magadi Road, and 2 at Lake Nakuru.
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – One at Nakuru, and 2 at Masai Mara.
RED-HEADED BLUEBILL (Spermophaga ruficapilla) – One of the group saw a female in the undergrowth at Kakamega, and then we all had good looks at another female along the road.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – Small numbers at Naro Moru, Kerio Valley, Kisumu, and Nakuru.
PURPLE GRENADIER (Granatina ianthinogaster) – We saw a male at Samburu, and a female at Baringo.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Small numbers in the highlands.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata) – Eight in the Mt. Kenya area, and about 20 at Masai Mara.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – One at Kisumu, and 4 at Nakuru.
EASTERN PARADISE-WHYDAH (Vidua paradisaea) – A few of us saw a single male in breeding plumage along the Magadi Road.

BROWN GREATER GALAGO (Otolemur crassicaudatus) – One at Kichwa Tembo.
BLUE MONKEY (Cercopithecus mitis) – Sixty at Kakamega, and about 30 at Kichwa Tembo.
SYKES MONKEY (Cercopithecus albogularis) – About 30 at Mountain Lodge.
BLACK-CHEEKED WHITE-NOSED MONKEY (Cercopithecus ascanius) – More commonly known as Copper-tailed Monkey, we saw 1 at Kakamega, and about 15 at Kichwa Tembo.
BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Common in a variety of habitats throughout the tour; in all we saw about 250.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – About 60 along the Magadi Road, 60 at Samburu,!50 at Nakuru, and 60 at Masai Mara.
MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza) – More commonly known as Eastern Black-and-white Colobus; we saw about 50 at Kakamega.
CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis) – Six at Samburu.
UNSTRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus rutilus) – Most common at Samburu (40), but we also saw a few along the Magadi Road and at Baringo.

The river at Samburu Lodge -- with only the animals allowed past this point! Photo by participant Steve Madison.

FOREST GIANT SQUIRREL (Protoxerus stangeri) – One at Kakamega.
BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus sp.) – About 20 at Mountain Lodge.
RED-LEGGED SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus rufobrachium) – One in the Kerio Valley, and 1 at Kakamega.
BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) – Two singles at Masai Mara.
COMMON (SMALL-SPOTTED) GENET (Genetta genetta) – About 10, right in our lodge at Samburu.
LARGE-SPOTTED GENET (Genetta tigrina) – Two on the feeders at Mountain Lodge.
SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus) – One at Kichwa Tembo.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – We saw several small groups at Masai Mara.
EASTERN DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale hirtula) – About 20 at Samburu.
SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta) – One at Mountain Lodge, and 10 at Masai Mara.
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) – Fabulous to see a young female walking right near our vehicle at Samburu.
LION (Panthera leo) – Several encounters at Masai Mara, including females, young, and a mating pair.
CHEETAH (Acinonyx jubatus) – Great to see a mother and 4 young at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Many great close experiences, including 50+ at Samburu, and at least 80 at Masai Mara.
ROCK HYRAX (Procavia capensis) – Four at Baringo.
TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax arboreus) – We saw 1 on our afternoon walk at Naro Moru, and then a family at Kichwa Tembo.
GREVY'S ZEBRA (Equus grevyi) – Amazing this tour, with at least 350 at Samburu; the world population is now estimated at less than 3000.
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – About 30 at Solio, 200 at Nakuru, and 1000+ at Masai Mara.
BLACK RHINOCEROS (Diceros bicornis) – Two of our group saw 1 during their hot air balloon ride at Masai Mara.
WHITE RHINOCEROS (Ceratotherium simum) – One at Solio, and about 25 at Lake Nakuru. [I]
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – About 40 at Samburu, 12 at Nakuru, and 50+ at Masai Mara.
GIANT FOREST HOG (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni) – One at Mountain Lodge.
HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Five at Lake Baringo, 4 at Kisumu, and about 80 in the Mara River.
COMMON GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardalis) – About 60 at Masai Mara.
RETICULATED GIRAFFE (Giraffa reticulata) – Great looks at about 30 of this 'northern species' at Samburu.
ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE (Giraffa rothschildi) – Two at Lake Nakuru.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – Six at Mountain Lodge.
GREATER KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) – Three females at Samburu - localised and uncommon in Kenya.
COMMON ELAND (Taurotragus oryx) – One near Gilgil, and 3 at Masai Mara.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – Two at Mountain Lodge, 500 at Nakuru, and 300+ at Masai Mara.
COMMON WATERBUCK (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) – About a dozen at Samburu.
DEFASSA WATERBUCK (Kobus defassa) – One hundred at Nakuru, and about 40 at Masai Mara.
BEISA ORYX (Oryx beisa) – At least 100 were seen at Samburu, and 1 at Solio.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – Common at Masai Mara, where we saw about 300.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – More commonly known as Coke's Hartebeest, we saw 2 at Masai Mara.
JACKSON'S HARTEBEEST (Alcelaphus jacksoni) – Good looks at this uncommon antelope at Solio.
BLUE WILDEBEEST (Connochaetes taurinus) – About 2000 at Masai Mara.
KLIPSPRINGER (Oreotragus oreotragus) – Two on a low rocky ridge at Samburu.
KIRK'S DIK-DIK (Modoqua kirki) – Very common at Samburu.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – About 300 at Samburu, 400 at Nakuru, and 150+ at Masai Mara.
GERENUK (Litocranius walleri) – Fourteen at Samburu.
THOMSON'S GAZELLE (Gazella thomsoni) – About 100 at Samburu.
GRANT'S GAZELLE (Gazella granti) – About 100 at Samburu.


Reptiles seen on the tour included:

Nile Crocodile; about 30 at Samburu.

Water Monitor; 1 at Masai Mara.

Red-headed Rock Agama; several at Samburu and Baringo.

Green Tree Agama; 1 at Kisumu.

Mwanza Rock Agama; about 20 at Masai Mara.

Striped Skink; small numbers at Kisumu and Nakuru.

Tropical House Gecko; widespread in small numbers.

Leopard Tortoise; 4 in the Bogoria to Baringo area.

Totals for the tour: 439 bird taxa and 52 mammal taxa