Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birding in Kimwarer Valley

We went out birding on Sunday morning, a dull and wet day. Although there wasn't the normal abundance of birds in and around the dam, we did see Pied Kingfishers and Malachite Kingfishers, Grey Herons and Common Squacco Herons, Hamerkops, African Jacanas, Cattle Egrets and a flock of Black Crakes.

Two hours later we drove back towards the offices. In a dip in the road with thick bush on the edges, I spotted mousebirds. People don't often stop for or look at mousebirds. They're a common sight and can be a major pest if you have a fruit orchard. However, even though we see them here often, I've never been able to get a good photo. Grant stopped so I could!

 Speckled Mousebird

The Speckled Mousebird is a generally brown bird with a very long tail and a disctinctive head crest. A gregarious species, they occur in woodlands, scrub and cultivated areas.

Sit up dear. The lady's taking a photo

While I watched these birds on my camera screen, I noticed another, stockier and very colourful bird sitting near them. Before I could focus, it flew away. That evening Grant and I drove down to the same area. As we arrived, I spotted the same colourful bird perched on a branch.

The Red-and-yellow Barbet (Female)

This is a very distinctive red and yellow bird with a large red bill and black crown. The wings and tail are black spotted with white and yellow. The underparts are yellow with an orange wash on the chest. There is a black and white spotted chest band and a black streak down the throat. The female is similar but lacks the black throat streak and has a red crown tipped with black.

This morning as my post is aired, Grant and I will be travelling to Nairobi. He has business in the city and we should be motoring home tomorrow. He's thrilled that I've decided to leave my laptop at home. (Must remember to pack my knitting!) I 've arranged to meet up with a blogger friend. More about this later.

Till then, bless you - all!


  1. That is a nice bird, must be nice living next to nature.

  2. Just taking some time to forget the "evilness" from work. Your post and pics don't disappoint. Thank you. Praying for the Lord's protection over you, two. God bless.

  3. Goodness gracious, that tiny mouse-bird is a gem! I would not mind then eating my fruit.

    Isn't it odd how we go to a place to get some good bird-shots and nothing happens until you give up. I just came back from my first walk for weeks, there were birds flying around me everywhere and squabbling in the sky as well but nothing I could even just get into my sights. I was heading across the end of the dam towards the hole in the fence when a fantail posed for me brilliantly.

    Have a great time in the big smoke!

  4. Lovely captures, Jo. Those mousebirds are so gorgeous, even if they are regarded as a nuisance by some ;) Hope you enjoy your trip to Nairobi and the meeting with your blogger friend. Glad you left your laptop behind. It's good to be able to break free from all obligations once in awhile!

  5. AhHa! Now, I'm getting your blog like it's supposed to be. Made the corrections here yesterday. As always, I've enjoyed reading about any activities of anyone in Kenya. (Well, almost anyone)! ☻

  6. Hello Jo,

    I hope things are going well with you.

    I have started a website for the identification of insects, reptiles, spiders and all fauna and flora of South Africa and was wondering if you would put a link from your page and Facebook to the website?

    There is no comprehensive site available up to now and I want this to eventually be the biggest we have.

    I am encouraging people to send me their pictures – cropped as much as possible and sized to about 600 x 400 pixels to It will have their name put onto it and added to the database.

    The website address is and if you will contact me at the above address, I will give you an avatar you can use.

    It would be greatly appreciated if you would be willing to help me spread the word and if anyone else would put the link on their page too.

    Best wishes,

  7. The Lord bless you, too, dear Jo.
    I love the colors of the Red-and-yellow Barbet. You do get some excellent captures of so many birds in your area!


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