Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Silver-Cheeked Hornbill. Nanyuki Kenya

Difficult to photograph, Silver Cheeked Hornbills inhabit closed-canopy highland forests in East Africa. They are BIG birds!  See the location here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow on Kilimanjaro- from Amboseli Kenya

We get a bit of Christmas snow here on the equator too! It just takes a bit of effort to get to where it is.....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pink! (It must be Christmas).

Flamigos at 'Little Lake' off Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

Invertebrate zooplankton colour the feathers via a vitamin A precursor- canthaxanthin. Some lakes have a different selection of plankton which add little or no colour. These birds seem to have been coloring up quite nicely on what they are eating (filtering actually....).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunset over Lake Baringo, Kenya

Sunsets are usually lovely sights to behold from Lake Baringo. I've collected a few as you may have noticed!

Signing off till Dec 24th.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weaver bird & nest- Lake Baringo

A Jackson's Golden-backed weaver does his best to entice a female into his nest overhanging the water on the shores of Lake Baringo, Kenya

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cattle Egret Fly-By, Amboseli Kenya

These Cattle Egrets were homing in on a small herd of elephant in Amboseli when I shot them 'on the wing'.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Old elephant. Amboseli Kenya

A Very old elephant from Amboseli. This complete the series of three ages (see the two previous posts).

Is it the absence of a fur coat that lets us see the age of elephant so clearly? They wrinkle with age just like humans.

Elephant can live to +- 70 years of age, but the average for wild populations is typically in the region of 45 before tooth senescence  deals the final blow. Amboseli, noted for it's fine wind-driven volcanic dust, is a harsh environment in terms of tooth wear I would expect.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A very young elephant- Amboseli Kenya

A very young elephant samples some sprouting grass in Amboseli. This one could be 5 to 7 months old.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Egret & Mt. Kilimanjaro- Amboseli Kenya

Caught this cattle egret on the wing with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop in Amboseli Park, November 2010.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Amboseli wildflowers & Mt. Kilimanjaro. Amboseli Park, Kenya

A couple days after the first good rains of the short rainy season in Amboseli Park, Kenya.

See the location here.

Turaco- Nairobi Kenya

Hartlaub's Turaco, Nairobi.  This is a resident of closed-canopy forests, often seen from a distance as a flash of brilliant red when flying- it's primary feathers are all bright red & not visible wben wings are folded.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cumulous cloud- Lake Baringo Kenya

The Great Rift Valley in Kenya is an impressive cloud generator with a low flat & hot bottom up to 75 km across bordered by cool highlands. Typically, such towering cu-nim clouds occur in the evening, triggered by 'valley release' on a grand scale as cool air rushes into the Rift from higher elevations displacing the lower hot surface atmosphere at sunset. Lakes, old volcanoes and a range of colours in soil and rock add to the thermal mix making Lake Baringo the very best place I know for enjoying sunsets.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wet Gnus- Masai Mara, Kenya

Wildebeest (Gnus) running up the bank of the Mara River in the Masai Mara. Joyfully no doubt!

The annual migration brings almost a million Gnus into the Mara region and once in their northern range they stay for a couple months (mid August through to mid October) before wandering back in a rather less organised fashion. Seasonal grass growth over millions of square kilometers spanning Tanzania and Kenya drives this mass movement, and wildebeest will cross and re-cross the Mara River many times during the course of the year.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cattle Egrets on Elephant- Amboseli Kenya

Along for the ride....

Cattle egrets are almost constant companions of the Amboseli Elephant when the grasses are reasonable long and thick. They feed off insects disturbed by the elephant's grazing and passage. In return they act as rather sensitive intruder alarms- or so it is thought.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sacred Ibis, Lake Naivasha Kenya

The Sacred Ibis. Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. Not the most attractive head!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Banded African Fish-Eagle. Lake Baringo Kenya

I was surprised to note that this Fish Eagle was banded. Evidently about a third of the some 100-odd Eagles resident around Lake Baringo have been banded in a study over the past several years.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Little Lake'- Lake Naivasha Kenya

Landscape shot across "Little Lake", a small appendage to Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley, Kenya. Flamingos found here are seasonal visitors in transit between other more saline lakes within the Great Rift Valley. Hills close to Lake Naivasha are geothermically active, and steam turbines tapping into this resource at Olkarai ( here ) provide more than 10% of Kenya's electricity.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Testing the Wind- Elephant in Amboseli Park, Kenya

A female Elephant with half-grown young tests the wind just downwind of the photographer in Amboseli Park, Kenya.

See location here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aptly Named: The Superb Starling

Bearing a suitably descriptive name, the Superb Starling ranges throughout most of Kenya, from arid bushland to the chilly highlands. It's a gregarious bird, flocking together in dozens.

This one was photographed at Lake Naivasha; here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beached Jahazis- Shela beach, Lamu Island, Kenya.

Two beached Jahazis at Shela town beach, Lamu Island in Kenya.

Jahazis are used for in-shore fishing and local inter-island transport within the Lamu archipelago. They are small versions of the big coastal trading dhows that have been used in the region for a thousand years or more, and are still hand crafted out of local hardwood to this day

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flamingo Heads; Little Lake, Lake Naivasha Kenya

Look! Look!! It's a ______________ !!!  (fill in the blank)

Photo taken here on "little Lake', Lake Oliedon, off Lake Naivasha with my 500mm lens. Flamingo don't normally enhabit the main lake as the water isn't alkaline enough to support the type of plankton Flamingo feed on. Little Lake is a shallow pan which attracts flamingos in small flocks seasonally.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little Bee-Eater, Nairobi Park

This Little Bee-Eater brightened up some gloomy weather in Nairobi Park the other day. It was feeding on ants or termites on the ground below it's perch together with two others of the same species.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Camoflaged Mantis- Nairobi

Found this little mantis on the road yesterday here in Nairobi. Brilliant example of adaptive camouflage... it looks more like a dried bit of leaf than a dried bit of leaf does! Wonder if it's an undiscovered species on account of the fact that it'd be so hard to find.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunbather- Lake Baringo, Kenya

A sunbathing crocodile exhibits typical 'gape'- seen after the individual has been in the sun for a while on a hot day. Maybe this regulates brain temperature through evaporation in the mouth while allowing the bulk of it's body to come up to a comfortable temperature before slipping into the cool water...

That's MY theory, for what it's worth!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Turtle-Hatch beach, Manda Island (Lamu) Kenya

This is the beach where the Green Turtle hatchling  was photographed (pic posted 2/11/110).

See location here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hatchling Green Turtle, Manda Island (Lamu) Kenya

A freshly-hatched Green Turtle makes it's way towards surf on the seaward beach of Manda Island in the Lamu Archipelago, Kenya. It's nest was only a few meters from the highest tide mark in a dune overlooking the Indian Ocean. Typically a Green Turtle's nest contain one hundred or so eggs that hatch in two or three batches.

See the location here.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This big bird was photographed in Nairobi Park a few months ago. Saddle Billed Stork's favoured habitat is swampy areas. I know they eat insects & some carrion, but why such a big bill? Nice colour scheme.....

Friday, October 29, 2010

5 Lion Cubs in the Masai Mara

Five well-fed lion cubs from the Masai Mara. This was taken well before the annual migration this year, evidence that this pride was doing well.

See location here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Turaco- Nairobi Kenya

Hartlaub's Turaco, taken earlier this month in my back yard- Nairobi.

This species lives in mature highland closed-canopy forest & is adept at 'crawling' through trees in search of nuts & fruit.

See the location here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Evening Ablutions- Lake Baringo at dusk

A Njemps tribe fisherman washes at water's edge on Ol Kokwe Island, Lake Baringo in the Rift Valley.

See Location here

Monday, October 25, 2010

'On the Trot'- Jackal in Nairobi Park

Taken in the Nairobi park at dusk- one of those 'chancer' shots that I don't really expect will turn out.

For those interested- here's the EXIF tech specs of the photo- ain't digital photgraphy grand??

Model - NIKON D90
DateTime - 2010:08:08 18:29
ExposureTime - 1/125 seconds
FNumber - 5.00
ISOSpeedRatings - 1000
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Flash not fired, auto mode
FocalLength - 150.00 mm

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lake Baringo Cormorant

A Long-tailed Cormorant from Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

Travel Companions- Mara Migration

I'm not sure of the actual ratio of Wildebeest to Burchell's Zebra in the annual Migration between the Serengeti and Masai Mara, but I'd estimate something like 9:1 (Gnu:zebra). Zebra seem more calculating & less prone to the skittish behaviour which so characterises the Gnu... I'm sure that there's a symbiosis between these travel companions with the Gnu benefiting from the Zebra's tactical leadership and the Zebra benefiting from lowered predation as carnivores pick off the more numerous & possibly less cautious Gnus around

See the general area of the migration through the Serengeti & Mara  HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three to an ambach- Njemps Children, Lake Baringo Kenya

Three Njemps children paddle their father's traditional reed 'ambach' on Lake Baringo in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. Baringo Island camp helps fund their school, serving a population of some 3000 people living on Ol Kokwe Island in the center of the lake.

Click to see location:,-95.677068&sspn=32.527387,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Lake+Baringo,+Rift+Valley+Province,+Kenya&ll=0.612819,36.077042&spn=0.160322,0.338173&t=h&z=12

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lake Naivasha Flamingos

One step too close and half the flock took to the air. I do try to avaoid disturbing the wildlife, but it happens sometimes.

Lake Oliedon- AKA 'Little Lake' or 'A Lake' is a sometimes-connected appendage of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Vally and hosts transient flocks of Lesser (pictured) and Greater Flamingo.

See Naivasha on Google Maps:,-95.677068&sspn=32.527387,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Lake+Naivasha,+Sulmac+Village,+Rift+Valley+Province,+Kenya&t=h&z=12

Friday, October 15, 2010

Goliath Heron- Lake Baringo

The Goliath Heron.

Lake Baringo is an important breeding area for this impressive 5 ft. tall bird.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mara Vulture & Dead Tree

Dead trees & vultures seem to go together somehow....

This is the Ruppell's Griffon Vulture- the most numerous vulture in the Mara.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mount Kenya at Dusk

Mount Kenya at dusk. This mountain is deemed to have the largest basal area to height ratio in the world. It's an old extinct volcano with a height of 5199m, directly upon the equator.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Snowy Egret fly-by; Lake Baringo Kenya

Snowy Egret- one of my favourite subjects. This was taken at Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Some young grasshoppers found in a cluster at the base of a clump of broad-leafed grass in Nanyuki. They were approx 11mm in length excluding antennae.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A young mature female emerges from the riverine forest bordering the Mara Triangle near Little Governor's Camp in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Water Thick-Knee bird: Lake Baringo

Water Thick-Knee, a nocturnally active shore bird  resident at Lake Baringo in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya