Kenya is one of the richest spots for bird watching in the world. With a wealth of different habitats, often close to each other, it is quite easy to spot over 100 species in one day.
Although many of the birds are brightly coloured and exotic looking, they are generally quite easily recognised. Within a day or 2, you will be identifying the various species with great ease! The main bird habitats include water, open plains, woodlands and farmlands.
On or near water, you will find bright pink Flamingos, Hammerkops, iridescent Kingfishers, Plovers, Herons, Storks, Geese, Cranes, Jacanas and of course, the magnificent African Fish Eagle. In certain places along the coast there are breeding pairs of Osprey as well.
The open Savannah plains, where the majority of the big safaris take place, offer excellent bird watching opportunities for some unusual ground dwellers. The Ground Hornbill, rising to a height of nearly 110 CM, is one of the largest and most visible. The tall Secretary bird is also spotted often. Eagles, vultures, and the ostrich, the largest bird on earth, are also spotted frequently.
The smaller plains birds, such as the Ox-peckers, snowy white Egrets, brilliant Sunbirds and bustards are also found in abundance. In a nutshell, you cannot miss seeing birds on any game drive!
Near the woodlands, you will find yet more species with starlings of every colour, Bee-eaters, Drongos, Hornbills, Shrikes, the beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller, Barbets and Guinea Fowl.
Arriving into the big city airports, frequently the first birds spotted are the urban and farmland dwellers, such as the Wagtails and Weaver Birds, with their huge nest colonies.
Even a short 2 or 3-day safari will provide an excellent species count for ardent birdwatchers; a longer trip will ensure a superb introduction to the over 1,000 species found in East Africa.
Have you been on a birdwatchers trail in Kenya? What kind of birds did you spot?