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.....