Moderator: roger dickey
Species seen around Nanyuki Show Ground included:
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher
Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu
Various unidentified Sunbird sp.
On the main training area just to the north of NSG (rolling hill country, with some watering holes, and lots of thick acacia scrub) I identified:
Greater Blue-eared Starling
Northern Anteater Chat
African Dusky Flycatcher
Miombo Rock Thrush (probably the single most interesting bird of the trip: FAR out of the range stated in my guide, but clearly identifiable, and two separate individuals seen)
Northern White-crowned Shrike
Finally, a couple of colleagues and I took the opportunity post-Endex of a quick overnight trip to Sweetwaters/Ol Pejeta Reserve, which was closer to savannah in many areas, but also included some terrific marshes and streams This gave:
African Fish Eagle
African Brown Parrot
African Pied Wagtail
White-bellied Go-away Bird
Lesser Striped Swallow
Grey Crowned Crane
Green Wood Hoopoe
Lesser Masked Weaver
One of the challenges that I found of birding in an entirely new area was identification overload: look up a “straightforward Spotted Flycatcher” and you are presented with up to 9 possible alternatives! I reckon I firmly identified only around half the birds that I saw, heard or glimpsed, a sometimes distressingly low ratio compared to back in the UK. Three things helped me in this regard, and overall:
- Having a colleague on the Ex who is similarly into birds, and had done a previous Ex AT.
- The Helm guide to the area, which is good, and the maps particularly useful. The downside is its sheer mass: the price of c.1500 species; ironically it (just) fits in CS95 trouser pockets, but will certainly not fit in the current design of MTP. If going out for a longer deployment, especially over the winter, I would, however, take the 2nd Edition of the European Collins Bird Guide in addition: it really would help with the migrant waders and passerines.
- Tremendous help from Lesser Spot Finder, who was generous with suggestions by email, and whose lists on the AOS Forum from his longer deployment gave me a good idea of where to go, and what to look out for. Many thanks, Rich.
I am waiting for a disc from one of my colleagues, and will post any acceptable photos.
I agree that a pre-deployment guide to popular Ex areas and operational areas has real merit for birders who want to know what guides to take and what they might see.
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