02 September 2012

Into the highlands...KENYA (28 Aug.)

And so, after connecting with Iain Campbell in the dark of night in Nairobi, Nick, myself and Iain were soon on our way into Kenya's central highlands. We arrived at Castle Forest Lodge to be greeted with a steaming hot, milky, English-style "builders" tea (very good for me!), and a deluge of highland birds in a bumper day for our holiday. The entrance road to the lodge was rarely quiet with one bird popping up after another. Flocks held active Black-throated Apalis, the "nuthatching" Brown-capped Weaver creeping along limbs, and Broad-ringed White-eyes. Noisy, trilling, Chestnut-throated Apalis seemed ever-present in the forest canopy. A pair of Bar-tailed Trogon sat quietly in the understorey, and the flowers around our cabins rustled with the ever-present, and ever-dashing, Tacazze Sunbird. However, one of the ultimate prizes was the Hartlaub's Turaco, spectacularly decorated with fancy "eye make-up". At the end of the day starlings provided the headlines, with first the understated, though much-wanted, Kenrick's Starling, followed by the rare and striking Abbot's Starling to finish our daytime birding. However, as dusk descended, and the sun dropped out of sight, a noisy Montane Nightjar serenaded us, and landed on the cabin roof! A great intro to the highlands, if ever there was one.

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