Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Lake Naivasha - Kenya

On leaving Sweetwaters we headed further south to Lake Naiviasha Sopa Lodge where we were scheduled to spend another night.  The trip south was long and in parts we travelled along a very rough road which was exhausting.  However, as with all the other sites, we could have spent the entire holiday in this one spot and not been disappointed.  According to the blurb there are almost 600 species of bird found in this area but in the few hours we had available I was not going to get to see anything like that but it proved to be different and exciting in any event.

On first arrival at the Lodge we had a late lunch and went on a short boat ride around a small part of the lake. At this point I will hold my hands up and say I did not adjust the camera for the reflected light in the lake so a lot of the photos are not great,  However, as we pottered along on our hour long ride we got to see a fair amount;

 A distant little Egret was the first of many we spotted along the side of the lake.
 As was our old friend the Grey Heron.  Both of these species are pretty common in this part of the world.
 Another bird I seem to encounter virtually everywhere is the Little Grebe or Dabchick.  Although I only saw this one bird I am certain there are more about.
The Pink Backed Pelican is found all along the lake in small groups but the lake also hosts the Great White Pelican.
 and lots of Cormorants, this one being the White Breasted Cormorant.
While this one is a Reed (Long Tailed) Cormorant with its yellow bill and red eye, unfortunately I only got a single shot of this one so we cant see the tail.
 A little family of Egyptian Geese were none too happy with our boatman coming along.

 As we drifted into a small alcove this Great White Egret came into view but he did not stay about for very long.
A god awful shot of a purple heron, for some reason I could not get focused in on it at all but at least there is enough to make a clear ID possible.
 There were quite a number of the Pied Kingfishers working the lakeside.

 The White-Fronted Bee Eater was a first for me, These are beautiful little birds with a bright crimson throat were quite common along the lakeside.
A second view of the White Fronted Bee Eater.

 A couple of Yellow Billed Ducks.
 A Sacred Ibis was one of many we saw fishing by the lakeside.
While we later spotted a couple of Glossy Ibis searching the hotel lawn for lunch.
 A rather distant view of a Blacksmith Plover.
 Yet another lifer for me was the Yellow Billed Stork.
 While not too far away was a Marabou Stork, definitely not one of the prettiest birds you will see around the place :).
 This juvenile Fish Eagle was difficult to get close to so unfortunately its a bit of a long shot.  There were a few around the side of the lake but this is all I could get by way of photos.

A couple of Spoonbills feeding by the lakeside and the lower shot has some Spoonbills, a Grey Heron and at the back I think there is a Cattle Egret.
 On the return trip I caught sight of this Giant Kingfisher perched on a dead tree.

 Some shots of the Abyssinian Scimitarbill which landed on a nearby tree.  I got to watch one of these up close while over at the hotel complex a little earlier in the day but as is always the case, I did not have a camera.
A distant shot of what I believe is a Nubian Woodpecker, this one appears to have a distinct black and white face which is indicative and I think this is female as it appears to have a red hindcrown.
Have quite a few photos of the Hippos in the lake but probably the more interesting ones would have been those at night (if I had them).  we were warned not to come down to the hotel alone after dark because the Hippos come up onto the hotel lawn to graze.  As we were being chaperoned by the security man later in the evening he shone his torch either side of the path and there they were about 20 feet away.  A little disconcerting when you think these are among the most dangerous animals on the continent.
The Waterbuch heard wandered about the hotel lawns all day and all ran towards the dining room in the evening.  I am not certain but I guess they are being fed there.
Giraffe wandered around some areas of the hotel grounds also.
And a small heard of Zebra were also present but a lot less approachable than some of the other animals.

We set off the following morning for the Masai Mara having only had about 6 daylight hours at this site but as with every other place we visited I would return here in a heartbeat and for much longer to see if I could get some more of that 600 bird list.

© Bernard Bracken