Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birding in Kenya XIII

On the final part of our weekend to Lake Baringo and Island Camp, we left the island mid-morning on Sunday in order to stop at Lake Baringo Club on the mainland. Sue told us there were many birds in and around the gardens surrounding the club. As we entered Baringo, we spotted a raptor on an electricity pole. I find id'ing raptors very difficult but have narrowed this bird down to a Goshawk, because of its attitude (straight up posture). Going through our bird book: Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, Grant and I decided it's an African Goshawk, female. This ID is open to discussion. However, I was thrilled (how often do I say this in my birding posts? lol!) to capture such beautiful images of this regal bird.
African Goshawk, female

Management relaxing after a gruelling weekend of work

As we arrived in the gardens with the lake fronting it,  we spotted a family of hippos in the shallows near the jetty. The sign on the lawn warns visitors.

Another sign warning people not to use the boats without authorization. While we watched, a tour guide took four people for a ride on the lake, making a wide berth around the hippos

Jackson's Hornbill, male

Sunday was a very hot and while we enjoyed icy refreshments on the veranda, Sue, Ruth and I photographed a number of birds, this one above, at very close range. Jackson's Hornbill is endemic to East Africa.

One of the waiters scattered breadcrumbs on a birdfeeder near the veranda wall and within nano-seconds starlings, weavers, sparrows and doves were squabbling over the tasty treats. A minute later a hornbill landed on the feeder: a female Jackon's Hornbill.

Jackson's Hornbill, female joins the bird banquet

No sooner had the hornbill flown off into a nearby bush when another visitor arrived on the bird feeder.

Helmeted Guineafowl faces off the smaller birds on the table. I love the action shot of the White-billed Buffalo Weaver - coming in to land - in the top left of the photo

 Posing for photos is a Lilac-breasted Roller, also the national bird of Kenya

For me the best sighting that day was of the [common] African Fish-eagle perched on a tree-top branch in the garden.
This eagle obviously had a bird's eye view of the lake and bush surrounding the garden. It sat here for about twenty minutes; then it threw its head back

and called

This was a male Fish-eagle, with its call higher-pitched than that of the female

Within minutes the the female called, swooped in as if from nowhere, and sat on a nest in the same tree!

We arrived home in the valley at mid-afternoon after a wonderful weekend away.


  1. I love your shot of the lilac-breasted roller, Jo, but what happened in the standoff between the guinea-fowl and the smaller birds? Who won? I'm guessing the smaller ones, because I always like the underdog!
    Hope you're feeling better, my dear friend.
    Love, K

  2. What an excursion ! Hippos and this evil looking Hawk ! How do you know that it is a female ? you looked under its tail ?? Or probably the males are more beautiful (the contrary with the human species)

  3. Jo, I just love all the photos you share with us! Especially the gorgeous birds we don't have here in my part of the world. They're all just beautiful!

  4. Jo, I just discovered your blog and enjoy very much! What a wonderful place to capture nature. We have been to South Africa prior to my love of photography. So your photos are taking care of my fix to go back!

  5. Jo, it's good to know you are safely home. Thanks so much for sharing all the great pictures of the trip to Baringo. Quality pics!

  6. What a wonderful weekend you all had! I was transported to my early childhood growing up in Zimbabwe and Zambia. We also visited Mozambique a few times.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo