Lake Nakuru


June 2015

Overall, this trip was a bit lackluster. There were some very good moments, but they lacked the punch this park has become famous for. The flamingos were gone! We eventually found a distant flock of about 150 (mixed greater and lesser), but this really left us wanting. It is to be acknowledged that we came during breeding season so many were in Tanzania’s Lake Natron. But the high water levels due to deforestation and geological changes has really dampened the value of this national park.

African Hoopoe

African Hoopoe

That being said, it was still a very enjoyable day. Immediately past the gate we were greeting by at least 15 jumping Jackson’s widowbirds and a good number of yellow bishops in full breading plumage. We spent time with a very accommodating African hoopoe, saw a large flock of helmetshrikes with a few pure grey-crested helmetshrikes (as evidenced by the lack of a yellow eye wattle), and observed many species of waterfowl. The white and pink backed pelicans were here in force, and when a shower moved across the lake their ascent was quite a sight to behold. We also had great game viewing of the rare Rothschild giraffe, a distant black rhino with a baby, and multitude of buffalo (too many, in my opinion). KWS really needs to review their policy on culling, or it will lose the precious balance of appropriate concentrations of herbivores and carnivores.

Nakuru Sunrise

Acacia Forest

Lake Nakuru Shower

Rothschild Giraffe

White Rhinos

For my money, the best moment in Nakuru was not experienced inside the park. A friend and guide based in Lake Baringo named Francis grew up in Nakuru and clued me into where I might find white throated bee-eaters. Hopping on a motorbike, I made my way over to the location and after about 30 minutes found a breeding colony of at least 200 of these colorful and gregarious birds. I could not believe it…seriously. I always enjoy seeing adult bee-eaters teaching their young to navigate and hunt quick flying insects. Additionally, red headed queleas were all around in full breeding attire, and the chippy calls of male bishops would drive them off. The relatively bland experience inside the park was soon forgotten in light of this great viewing all by myself.

WF Bee-Eater

White Fronted Bee-Eater

Red Headed Quelea

Red Headed Quelea

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