25 Mar 2014

Kenya: home to the ‘big five’ and of the ‘many small’

Lukenya School students enjoying a day of bird watching (Photo: Martha N. Mutiso)
By nairobi.volunteer

On Saturday the 1st of March 2014, BirdLife International and Nature Kenya staff and other birding enthusiasts visited Lukenya Academy for a bird watching morning with pupils and teachers. Lukenya Academy is a co-educational day and boarding school situated on the eastern foot of the Lukenya Hill, approximately 35 kilometers south-east of Nairobi.

After an entertaining speed-course in bird identification by Dr. Julius Arinaitwe, Africa Director of BirdLife International, pupils and staff left the class room excited and ready to identify and appreciate the bird life and beautiful surrounding landscape. The group was split into six small groups with everyone armed with binoculars and field bird guide books.

Dr. Julius Arinaitwe engages children in the classroom before heading to the field (Photo: Martha N. Mutiso)


The initial stages of the bird watch (Photo: Martha N. Mutiso)


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During two hours the groups positively identified the following 40 bird species:


Abyssinian White-eyeLittle Bee-eater
Augur BuzzardLong-tailed Fiscal
Black KitePlain Martin
Blue-naped MousebirdRed-cheeked Cordon-bleu
Bronze SunbirdRed-faced Crombec
Cattle EgretRufous Sparrow
Chestnut WeaverSacred Ibis
Chin-spot BatisScarlet-chested Sunbird
Common BulbulSouthern Grosbeak Canary
Common SandpiperSpeckled Pigeon
Crowned LapwingSpotted Morning Thrush
D’Arnaud’s BarbetSuperb Starling
Egyptian GooseThree-banded Plover
Grey HeronVariable Sunbird
Grey-capped Social WeaverWhite-bellied Canary
Grey-capped WarblerWhite-bellied Go-away-bird
Hadada IbisWhite-browed Sparrow Weaver
Hildebrandt’s StarlingYellow-billed Stork
Lanner FalconYellow-breasted Apalis
Laughing DoveYellow-rumped Seedeater


Using bird guides to identify the 'many small' (Photo: Martha N. Mutiso)A student follows a bird closely (Photo: Martha N. Mutiso)


This fantastic rich harvest of the 'many small' confirms that bird watching is a fun and accessible outdoor activity for everybody to enjoy, individual or group.  So grab your binoculars and join the club of bird and nature enthusiasts!

Story by Albert Schenk