Bird Count

So I went to help out on a bird count the other day with A Rocha Kenya, an amazing Christian conservation organisation, to the Sabaki river estuary; the Athi-Galana-Sabaki River being the second longest river in Kenya and home to a vast diversity of wildlife including birds, hippos, and crocodiles. We counted thousands of waders and several raptors incl. an African fish eagle, an osprey, a marsh harrier, a black kite, a peregrine falcon, and a pallid harrier, all of which were an amazing sight for me, but rather messed up our bird count as they kept chasing the flocks of small waders up and down the estuary so that in the end we had to give up counting and make do with an estimate of numbers. We also saw large flocks of flamingos, various species of terns, pelicans, sandpipers, etc.; the African spoonbill; counts of bee eaters like the Carmine Bee Eater, sunbirds, warblers, bishops – the list was very long! (I should know, I was the scribe, having to jot down numbers as the different birders were shouting them out to me from behind their scopes!)

Here are some pix, mostly of the birders and the river estuary, as I only had my phone so couldn’t really zoom in on the birds themselves…

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Picking our way through the mangroves to get to the river

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What’s so remarkable about this image? Yes, they’re my feet, but the 3 footprints above are hippopotamus. Was rather hoping they weren’t too fresh!
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Flamingos
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Sabaki estuary
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Mud-sliding our way along the estuary

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Yep.

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African sand and river mud.
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African sands and my African-muddy foot.

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Turns and gulls in view
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Turns and gulls flocking together
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Where the red river meets the blue Indian Ocean [and a couple of locals trawling through the waters with nets for fishing]
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River meets Ocean

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The crew.
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Heading back inland
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Abandoned shelter
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Lush, green, vibrant Kenya as far as the eye can see!
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A baobab tree
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Back in the bush and shade!

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