Kenya Part 2: Naivasha


Firstly, thank you for all the comments about part 1 of my Kenya blog - if you haven't already seen it, you can find a link in the side-bar to the right of this post >>>>

After saying farewell to the Maasai Mara, we headed North East to Lake Naivasha for a boat safari. I instantly fell in love with the place - so much so that I came back the next afternoon and did the boat safari a second time! The only problem with looking back through my photos is that they make London feel even colder and more miserable!

Lake Naivasha was a birdwatchers' dream with eagles, kingfishers and all manner of beautiful water fowl. Unfortunately, this chap obviously wasn't around when all the looks were being handed out. The bollock-faced bird, or Marabou Stork to give it its official title, is without doubt the ugliest creature I photographed on my trip...

I have only seen kingfishers a couple of times in the UK (only fleeting glimpses) and I've always wanted to photograph them. Lake Naivasha to the rescue again! They seemed to be everywhere. This is a pied kingfisher enjoying a spot of dinner...

The lake also boasted giant kingfishers which were quite a bit larger than their pied cousins.

Sadly, in the time we had, I didn't get an action shot of one fishing that I was happy with. They dart down into the water so quickly and it's hard to know the exact point of focus. I suppose I will just have to go back and try again! We did, however, watch as a giant fisher caught a crayfish and banged it against a tree - presumably to kill it and break down the shell - before eating it. I particularly like mottled light of this shot (even if I do say so myself)...

In fact, everything seemed to be looking for dinner, like this great white egret...

...or this magnificent African fish eagle which I've put into a little action montage...

The locals had a similar idea and wanted in on the action...

...although they constantly had to keep their wits about them because of the threat from very territorial, aggressive hippos who kept popping up to see what was going on.

Kenya obviously has a lot of species which aren't found in the UK, like the African spoonbill and the black heron. They have evolved and adapted to suit their environment and catch the food they desire. Spoonbills use their bills to sweep through the water and find shrimp, small fish, molluscs and insects...

The black heron (or black egret) adopts a strange method called "canopy feeding", creating an umbrella which attracts fish into the shade...

It really made me laugh watching these two different birds interact... no doubt much to the frustration of the black heron! The much larger spoonbill followed the heron around, letting it do all the hard work before poking its head in and stealing the rewards! Dirty tactics...

In the UK, we only really see grey herons (at least before a recently set-up breeding scheme for purple herons in Kent). I'm not sure how many species Kenya has but it would definitely win at Top Trumps. Here is a mangrove heron who was having a few posture issues...

Apparently, herons are occasionally seen facing to the left but I wasn't lucky enough to capture that rare event on my trip as you can see from these pictures of the squacco heron and the purple heron...

Despite Kenya's pretty chaotic road system, there were pelican crossings... and pelican flyings...

Not far from Lake Naivasha is Hell's Gate National Park with a fascinating gorge carved into the sandstone...

This is my friend, Faustus the grasshopper. He was in the queue in front of me to go through Hell's gate and see the big man...

If you've reached this far, well done for sticking it through to the end - I'm aware that my blog posts are quite long at the moment! The 3rd and final part of my Kenyan blog will hopefully be ready next week and will feature shots from Nakuru National Park, including zebra, rhinos and various birdlife. I will also be adding some pics of sunbirds that I found in Nairobi.

As stated in my last blog, prints of my images are available to purchase so please get in touch if you're interested: info@robinboot.com

#travel #africa #kenya #safari #wildlife #birds #landacape

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