Through My Lens – An Easy Day in Nairobi National Park

After a morning of doing some experimental removal of the invasive Parthenium hysterophorus plant in Nairobi National Park with FoNNaP yesterday (07 Sept 2019), I spent the rest of the day leisurely exploring the park with a few friends. Although the day was mostly overcast, it was still a good one.

Here are a few highlights:

Yellow-necked Spurfowl family out and about
Eland and zebra were common sightings
Maasai Giraffes taking it easy. They were clearly confident there are no lions nearby so were happy to sit down
Follow the leader …
Taking care of an annoying itch
Serrated Hinged Terrapin along the Empakasi River
A juvenile Martial Eagle checks out the surroundings
Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest near one of their regular crossing points south into Naretunoi Conservancy on the Kitengela wildlife dispersal area
A Sacred Ibis walks past “Big Mama”, possibly the park’s biggest croc. This huge Nile Crocodile has been seen taking prey as large as adult zebra
The tiny and adorable Kittlitz’s Plover. Not an uncommon sighting at Athi Dam
A lone Pink-backed Pelican was hanging out at the dam
Common Sandpiper resting in a depression in the mud. One would be forgiven for thinking it was nesting, but this Palearctic migrant only breeds in Europe and Asia. Other Palearctics we saw included a Common Greenshank, a few Little Stints and some Barn Swallows
Sacred Ibis (top), Kittlitz’s Plover (bottom left) and Common Sandpiper (bottom right)
An immature Yellow-billed Stork among the ibis
Black-backed Jackal pups were barely visible in their den. It’s very close to the road – an indication of how comfortable the parents are with vehicles
The 7 KF sub-adult lions were having a siesta out on the plains. No need for shade as the day was cool
This easy-going Serval gave us a nice close-up sighting near the Mokoyeti River
Predators were the highlight of the late evening. We narrowly missed a leopard sighting in the Kisembe Forest but this African Goshawk with a Red-eyed Dove it had just killed at the forest edge was a fitting end to the day as we drove out of the park

A day well spent in my favorite part of Nairobi.

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About Sidney Shema

Sidney is a Kenya-based ornithologist and photographer specializing in the birds of Africa, with an especially keen interest in the birds of prey (raptors) of Kenya.
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