Monday, June 2, 2014

Birds of the Great Rift Valley

Camille's Guest Blog #3:

Things have been a bit busy around here lately.  Dan is in the midst of a particularly busy grad school course, I'm getting things ready for the new chief resident who's arriving soon, and we've been enjoying the company my two visiting cousins, Paul and Todd.  Hence, a bit of a blog hiatus.  Anyhoo.

You already know there are lots of impressive ground-based animals in Naivasha.  But the winged population is pretty spectacular as well.  We've had lots of fun this year with our "Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania" book.  Eric, for example, likes to flip through the pages as fast as possible and then yell "ALL DONE!"

A sampling of what we've seen, many of them in our own backyard:

Superb Starlings are so common, you almost stop noticing how beautiful they are.

Also in the iridescent category, Marico Sunbirds frequent our garden.

The Hoopoe wins best mane AND best name.

Pied Kingfisher, easy to spot near the lake.

We saw a whole gaggle of lovebirds at Crater Lake, apparently brought there for the resort.

Ruppell's Robin-Chat (Thrush).  Obviously named by a British person.

Weavers!  How come the eggs don't fall out?

The super-adorable and well named White-Eyed Slaty Flycatcher.  We have lots of these.  But there still seem to be plenty of flies around.

Pied Crow

Fish Eagle catching dinner in Lake Naivasha.

Hadada Ibis, so named because it yells HA-DA-DA while it flies.

African Paradise Flycatcher

Common Bulbul.  All drab and business-like, except for its bright yellow butt.

The Crested Canary, on the other hand, asks, "Why stop with the butt?"
Most Beautiful Bird in the World, the Marabou Stork.  Expert nyama choma bone catcher.

I obviously took all those pictures myself.  Especially the one of the Fish Eagle.  Wait, no I didn't take any of them.  It's really hard to take pictures of little fast-moving birdies.  And besides, this is just the tip of the iceberg!  We also have ducks, pelicans, flamingoes, cormorants, herons, egrets, swifts, swallows, sparrows, larks, sparrow-larks, woodpeckers, and mourning doves, but you're going to have to google those yourself.  So much tweeting and chirping and color and life, all on our very own clothes line.  And only 2.5 more weeks to soak it all in.

Kenya, we miss you already.


  1. Thanks C for the bird's eye view of recent events! I am looking forward to reading a book with Eric, especially to hear him say "all done". Hope you are all enjoying the visit with your cousins. Soak in all that color and light before your return to the states. Love and hugs to all.

  2. I miss you guys more than you miss Kenya--hugs are needed in the USA. See you soon.

  3. OK, so Eric's approach to reading is exactly my approach to assigned reading . . . which may be why I became a math major! I was only marginally better on those occasions in college when Liz and I took the same English course and I borrowed her books in order to read her underlining!!

    Even if you did not take these bird pics, it must be wonderful to see them in your environs. Enjoy what is left of your time there . . . good luck on the move back here.

    Eric, try sleeping on the plane!! You will like it!!

    As always,