Birds and Birders in the mud

14th April 2018
Binoculars? Check…Telescope? Check… Notebook? Check… Hats? On… Get ready for birds, mud and fun at River Sabaki and Mida Creek.

March the 29th saw the science and conservation department from Mwamba Field Study Center and guides from Mida Creek head to River Sabaki for bird count.

At River Sabaki: Deep in the mud counting birds.

River Sabaki is marked as an Important Bird Area for the water birds. It took the team around four hours count and move around the River so as to get a record of most, if not all of the birds around the area. Thirty nine bird species were identified with Curlew Sandpiper leading with 425 closely followed by the Lesser Crested Tern with 215.

Team work is greatly required especially when doing bird count around the Sabaki River. The area is very muddy and the mud goes way up above the knees, so in order to move from one point to another the team has to form a chain so that neither gets struck in the mud and is they do that they are able to able to pull them out. Though it is fun to get struck once in a while.

Lennox Kirao, research assistant at Mwamba, with his team at bird hide by Mida Creek.

On 11th April the same team around noon headed for Mida Creek another Important Bird Area, for bird count. Four and a half hours counting birds is not an easy task especially in the afternoon, it takes a lot of passion and patience. Twenty six species were identified with the Greater Sand Plover taking the lead with 619 followed by the Crab Plover with 407.

DID YOU KNOW The crab plover inhabits sandy and muddy shores on mainland coasts and on islands, as well as inter tidal sand flats and mudflats, estuaries, lagoons and exposed coral reefs.

Different birds fascinated the different birders but one that caught every ones attention was the Lilac Breasted Roller; a very beautiful bird with very attractive colors. The bird too is on the list of the National bird of Kenya (yet to be made official).

DID YOU KNOW Lilac breasted Roller perches on dead tree to survey the area, searching for prey.

Bird counting continuous to be an important way of identifying different species and how many they are thus enhancing conservation.

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