25 August 2012

Owling...Kenya-style...KENYA (25 Aug.)

Today was a really big day in Kenya. A full day was spent with the expert guides of Sokoke Forest, on the Kenyan coast, being whisked from one mega bird to another. Suffice to say, the guides were good, very, very good. And the result was that Nick and I had way too much to mention in a blog. However, some of the highlights included 64 Crab Plovers sprinkled around Mida Creek-a new family for yours truly-along with a heap of regional specialties, from the forest dwelling Sokoke Pipit (a rare pipit and unusual in that it likes shade on its back), while Four-colored Bush-shrike won the most colorful bird of the day, even if we are still trying to work out the four colors of the name! However, for me there was only ever going to be one winner today. I am an owl fiend after all, and so my visit to Sokoke was structured around their very own special owl, appropriately called Sokoke Scops-Owl, a tiny owl confined to this region of Africa, and only remaining in the few patches of coastal forest left there, of which Sokoke is the biggest tract. After drawing a blank at several roost sites, our guide finally hit the jackpot with this pair huddled together on a fragile looking rainforest vine. However, our guide seemed unhappy, despite our obvious state of ecstasy at seeing them, that we had not seen a rufous one! He put that right moments later, and I soon understood his frustration: it was clear when I locked eyes on this orange form, it really was the bird of the day!

No comments: