Out of Africa

‘Being A Bird’ a fabulous new bird book for kids in Kenya

Apologies for the paucity of entries in the past couple of weeks. Since my last scribblings I have been to Kenya, Nairobi to be exact and back plus just returned from Israel – but more about that trip tomorrow.

In Kenya I was beautifully looked after by Nature Kenya and the Kenya Tourist Board and stayed in an amazing hotel and apartment and saw tons of birds. And by tons I mean tons. I’m still writing my species list out. I reckon that I must have seen at least 300 species in and around Nairobi with upwards of 100 of them being totally new to me. In fact, some were so new to me that I instantly forgot their names!

The best creatures that I saw were my first wild Ostriches, Giraffes, Water Buffalo and White Rhinos. There was also a multitude of other mammals including zebras and various antelopes including the curious and truly massive Eland. A bull Eland walked past our vehicle whilst we were in the Nairobi National Park. As it strolled past we could hear its leg joints clicking. They are famous for this phenomenon. Bird wise it was the Secretary Bird that stole the show. We saw three of them in the National Park. It is a species that I have dreamt about seeing since I was a little boy. To see this weird looking bird prancing in the grassland was a joy to behold. A dream come true.

During my stay I was asked to launch Being A Bird by Nature Kenya at the Nairobi Natural History Museum. It’s a great little book that will go a long way to encourage kids to notice the urban birds around them in Nairobi. A fabulous effort by the authors and illustrator.

I’ll be writing a piece about my Nairobi experience in a forthcoming issue of Bird Watching Magazine.

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