Kenya is renowned for its birding sights with almost eleven percent of the world’s species – some 1089 different varieties, Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world. It is not unusual for birding trips to record 300-600 different varieties on a short trip or to record more than 120 at a particular site on a single day!
To see Kenya’s rarest, indigenous and unfortunately endangered birds, the bird enthusiast needs to seek out forests or highland grasslands tucked away amongst various farmlands. Arabuko-Sokoke Forest near Malindi, tops the list, with the six threatened bird species of the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Spotted Ground Thrush, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver.
Some other areas including the forest “islands” at the top of the Taita Hills, near Voi, is home to the beautiful but critically endangered Taita Thrush and Taita Apalis, as well as the endangered Taita White-eye.
Sharpe’s Longclaw and Aberdare Cisticola, native and endangered, live in the highland grasslands near the Aberdare mountain range.
In western Kenya, Kakamega Forest is a little patch of Guineo-Congolian rainforest in Kenya. Among the many rainforest species found are spectacular Turacos and Hornbills, and the tiny, endangered Turner’s Eremomela.
The scarce and threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler is found in papyrus swamps on the shores of Lake Victoria, alongside the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Canary, all papyrus endemics.