Sunday, April 10, 2011

Island Camp, Lake Baringo, Birding Paradise

On Sunday morning we woke to the sun peeping over the horizon and lighting the lake below. At 6.30 we were served with tea and ginger biscuits which we enjoyed out on the tent veranda.

Within minutes we were joined by a multitude of weavers who pecked at the crumbs at our feet (yes, I crumbles my biscuit on the ground)

The view of the lake from our beds when we awoke on Sunday morning

I'd arranged to do a bird tour around the island and had to meet Johnson at reception (on the water's edge) at seven o'clock. While I showered I noticed the weavers were on the tea tray sipping milk and eating the sugar, so dashed out, grabbed my little camera and snapped away.

Early morning teawas shared by the weavers, while the sun rose over Lake Baringo,  !

Words are superfluous

I met Johnson at the appointed time and the first thing he pointed out was the Little Weaver's nest. As is the case with all weavers, the male builds the nest and then displays while hanging on the nest or branch to advertise it until a female approves and joins him as his mate

Johnson next pointed out a Blue-naped Mousebird which was a lifer for me. It was soon joined by several others all moving about too fast for me to get a decent photo.

A little further on, Johnson motioned upwards once again: a Greyish Eagle-owl, resting in a tree, after a hard night's work.

The Greyish Eagle-owl (above) differs from the Spotted Eagle-owl in that it has dark brown eyes. The latter has yellow eyes. Another lifer for me, this Greyish Eagle-owl!

Johnson and I walked up to thatched, open bar where he wanted to show me the various sunbirds which drink from the sunbird feeder suspended there. There were no birds but  Johnson kindly agreed to pose  for a photo against the backdrop of the indigenous trees, shrubs and magnificent Lake Baringo

Later we walked to the informal bar and pool area where there were sunbirds in abundance! Even though I could see the Beautiful Sunbird which Johnson kept pointing out to me, I was unable to get a clear photo of this distinctively striking bird. Above is a sunbird's nest

When I questioned a distinct "pop-pop-pop" call heard all over the island, Johnson told me it was a tinkerbird. Then we saw the bird fly into a hole in the tree, remain out of sight for a few seconds before emerging half-way again. It stayed in the above position for about half a minute before flying out to fetch more food for its young in the nest! I was thrilled to get a clear photo of the Red-fronted Tinkerbird
As regular readers of my blog know, I love little brown birds. The more non-descript, the bigger the challenge for me to try and find out what it is. The little bird above is not at all non-descipt and I was thrilled to tick it off as another lifer for the weekend: A Crimson-rumped Waxbill

All too soon my 90 minute guided bird tour with Johnson came to an end. I joined Grant and Johan who were having breakfast in the thatched open restaurant overlooking the camp and lake below

Then it was time to pack our cases and get down to the water's edge. Our boat was due to collect us at 10am and ferry us back to the mainland.

This little girl, her brother and a red hen in a box accompanied us on the boat

Arriving at the mainland jetty on Baringo Lake

I couldn't resist photographing this last bird,  a Pied Kingfisher, watching us leave the boat, !

On the way home, we passed through a village with stalls displaying Original Pure Honey. Michael, our driver, stopped and we all stocked up

Home sweet home

We arrived back in camp shortly after 1.30 after a wonderful weekend away.

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  1. Jo,
    How exquisite!!! I loved all the pictures from your part of the world...gosh, it's so much fun!

    I love the owl and the birds sitting on the tray :)

  2. Beautiful bird shots and what a great safari to go on.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

  3. That bird glowing wings and water image is Spectacular! I was so entranced by the weaver's nests in ZA but the birds weren't around. Nice little bird walk. I really like your "camping" on the lake.

  4. Hi Jo, I am still in awe of your trip... Beautiful scenery, boat rides, BIRDS, sunrises and sunsets.... Holy Cow--what else is there in life??????? ha

    Thanks for sharing such fabulous beauty.

  5. Hi Jo-Anne,

    Beautiful photos Looks like you'll have to publish a book on birds. You have enough photos to choose from.


  6. What a perfectly magical trip you had, Jo! And how special to have been able to share your tea and biscuits with those delightful weavers. Returning home to all that green lushness must have felt akin to returning to paradise!

  7. Absolutley wonderful photos and memories for you, Grant and Johan.

  8. What a wonderful place!! Now you make me want to visit East Africa, that's for sure!

  9. What an amazing trip and not so far from home. You must have been overjoyed to see all those new birds. I liked the kingfisher. The wake up view is to die for.

  10. You certainly saw some amazing birds. My favorite shots are of the sunrise with the bird hovering in the foreground, and the lovely owl.

  11. What a wonderful excursion ! you see quiet a lot of the country and parts which are not in the tourist catalogues !

  12. Hi Jo,a fabulous weekend, I cannot believe you and Grant actually packed so much into a short few days. Birds of every colour and shape but the flamingos remain my firm favourites!

  13. Jo, what a great place to see birds. Your photos are all wonderful. The owl is my favorite and the nest is really neat looking. It is similiar the Orioles nest here. I enjoyed the birds and the pretty scenery.


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