+254 735 204 519 info@conquestadventures.co.ke
+254 735 204 519 info@conquestadventures.co.ke

Lake Magadi Road Birding

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Lake Magadi road birding is ideal for a birder who has some days in Nairobi, or those with a connecting flight and has a few hours to spare. Also, a bird enthusiast attending meetings/conferences in Nairobi and has a day off  or two before flying back home

Birdwatching Lake Magadi Road
Lake Magadi road birding’s first stop if the weather is fine is at Kona Baridi( Cold Bend)  which is at the southern end of Ngong Hills which is dry, windy, and a bit chilly in the morning. While here, you have an excellent view of the Great Rift Valley and Nairobi City, and further down stunning views of Olesukut and Olorgesailie mountains which are scenically amazing. From here we shall search for birds in the plains below and on top of Acacia trees dotting the area, bird species likely to be seen are African Pipit, Augur Buzzard, Red-faced Crombec, African Citril, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Malachite and Golden-winged Sunbird, Red-throated Tit, Abyssinian Wheatear, plus many other interesting bird species. As you start going downhill, the vegetation and altitude change to more acacia bushes and woodland. You can make around three or more stops for Lake Magadi road birding after Kona Baridi along the road where you can do a bit of walking in the bushes. At Across Road the rare Pringle’s Puffback and Foxy Lark will be heard singing, and a group of Lesser Kudu is also encountered on the elevation to the left. Driving further down is Ol Kejo River which is mostly dry, a perfect place to look for Ashy Cisticola, Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, and Buff Crested Bustard, other species seen around are Somali Bunting and Tiny Cisticola. A few minutes after the river there is a community borehole, where on the electricity lines the Taita Fiscal is seen perching, on plains adjacent, Kori Bustard will be seen puffing. Two-banded and Three-banded Coursers may also be seen. On a dam before Oltepesi Town, Red-fronted Prinia will be singing on top of a single acacia tree, White-throated Bee-eaters are busy on the dam’s wall excavating breeding holes. In Oltepesi town Swahili Sparrow is nesting on a few acacias left on the roadside. From here drive down to Lake Magadi where in the middle of the day, the temperatures are high, to look for the resident Magadi Plover, or the Chestnut -banded Plover, Dimorphic and dark Little Egrets, flocks of Lesser Flamingos, Gull-billed Terns, Pied Avocets, White-winged Black Terns, Cape Teals. On your way back in on top of the electricity, poles lookout for Eastern Chanting and Gabar Goshawks. Above in the sky, the Black-chested Snake and the Verreaux’s Eagles may also be seen. On a good day, more than 100 bird species are recorded. Lake Magadi Road Birding can be done any time of the year

At 600 meters  (2,000 feet) above sea level, Lake Magadi is one of the hottest places in Kenya and the world’s second-largest trona deposit (first is California’s Salton Sea). Magadi receives less than 500mm (20 inches) of rainfall and has an average temperature of 20C (68F) varying between 15 and 41 C (59 and 105.8F) Evaporation rate is 3500mm (120 inches ) annually. For astronomy lovers, the whole stretch of Magadi Road from Corner Baridi is very beautiful for stargazing in the evening, in a clear sky, Uranus, Orion, the Pleiades-the Seven Sisters, and Nebula are seen perfectly. Also, planets Venus, Mars, the bright one, and the red one Saturn may be observed well

Lake Magadi Road Birding Notable Birds

Common Rock Thrush, Northern Wheatear, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Red-throated Tit Wailing Cisticola, African Bare-eyed Thrush, Pringle’s Puffback, Zanzibar Greenbul, Ashy Cisticola, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Buff-crested Bustard, Somali Bunting, Tiny Cisticola, Red-fronted Warbler, Swahili Sparrow, White-throated Bee-eater, Magadi Plover, Dimorphic Egret, Gull-billed Tern, Two-banded Courser, Three-banded Courser

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