Tag Archives: birds

Ornithological Congress

David received an invitation two weeks ago to atted an ornithological congress by the Pan African Ornithological Congress (POAC) which will be held at Arusha in Tanzania.The congress will be held on 14th to 21st of October.

PAOC is a regular congress which is held after every four years to talk about African Ornithology with the aim of promoting  conservation of African birds.

He has been requested to make a presentation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and the bird monitoring programme he has been working on.

David in one of his Bird surveys

East Coast Akalat surveys in Arabuko-Sokoke

The East Coast Akalat is a rare bird at the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. It is known to occur in small groups in various other forested patches, however, the single largest known population is found in the Arabuko-Sokoke forest (Matiku et al. 2000). The East Coast Akalat has been classified as Near Threatened (likely to be seriously threatened in the near future), due to habitat fragmentation and loss in the forest in which it occurs (BirdLife Internatinoal 2008, IUCN 2007).  (*From a report written and produced by A Rocha Kenya*)  David usually conducts 12 East Coast Akalat surveys during December of every year. Last year David and Andrew , who is a research assistant at A Rocha Kenya, went to Komani, which is almost in the middle of the forest,

Ngala reading the GPS during the survey

Ngala reading the GPS during the survey

to do this survey.

They went out at 5:50 am and on their way they observed few suni footprints, which they were happy to see, as it is rare to see suni due to the trapping which was been taking place in that part of the forest. Despite the seemingly reduced number of mammal activity in the forest, there was still the usual abundance of birds calling in the forest.

It was a nice morning for a survey and they were able to identify 11 different East Coast Akalats calling along their transect. They were not fortunate enough to see the bird, as it was calling from within dense forest, but they closest one they heard was a mere 5 meters from the trail.The survey ended at 8:15 am.

On their way out of the forest David took Andrew to see the Sokoke Scops Owl; another rare bird in the forest. After hiking 50 meters off the road along a barely discernable path through the dense forest, David pointed out two of the owls roosting 5 meters above their heads in the forest canopy.

David and Patrick are currently working on writing an end-of-the-year annual report to give the the KFS to assist them in the protection and conservation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. We will hopefully be posting some of his results and observations on the blog in the weeks to come.

Saving Bird Species in the Dakatcha Woodland

Sokoke Scops Owl

Sokoke Scops Owl

Dakatcha Woodland is an important area for fauna and flora lying c.20km due north of Arabuko-Sokoke across the Sabaki River. Many conservation organizations have taken part in educating the communities about the importance of forests and how to conserve their heritage in their areas.

A private Italian business came through the Council of Malindi and persuaded the members of the Malindi Council and other stakeholders to propose the area to be taken by the business to plant Jatropha for biofuel. Formally, they proposed the area from Baricho to Adu to be a Jatropha plantation  – an area of 50,000ha, but the business was allowed to start with only 10,000 hectares for just a trial and thereafter see what they would do.

Dakatcha Woodland is on the north-western side of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest approximately 20 km directly and 80 km in a car as one must go around the river at Sabaki Bridge. The woodland has many patches of Cynometra, Brachystegia and other bushes. This is important because we get Clarke’s Weaver in the Brachystegia trees and Sokoke Scops Owls in the Cynometra trees and other vegetation.

Dakatcha Woodland is also a Government Crown Land. The area has many households and elder’s sub-divisions in it, but it has not been officially demarcated by the Ministry of Lands and Settlement. The Department of Lands have demarcated the area in the eastern part of Marafa, a few kilometres from Marafa town.

Therefore, before the land department reaches the habitats concerned, I would be very interested to go there and track the area so that the fauna and flora could at least have a place to stay and also that the area would be recognized as a forest reserve.

I am therefore inviting any interested individual or conservation organization who is willing to donate to support me to go to the Dakatcha Woodlands in order to carry out surveys as to what birds and trees can be found there.

59 bird species identified …..seen any of these birds?

59 bird species identified …..seen any of these birds?

While I was at mrima wa ndege, I did some birding and identified 59 bird species. Mrima wa ndege is the name of a place in Swahili while means ‘the hill of birds” no wonder I got so many bird species. Here is a list of the bird species I identified in their common names:-

DN - Camping with warden 0882.jpg

a view from mrima wa ndege.

1. African Barred owl

2. African scops owl

3. Fiery necked night jar

4. Zanzibar Sombre greenbul

5. Black headed Oriole

6. Northern brownbal

7. Collared sunbird

8. Grey headed bushshrike

9. ring necked dove

10. Laughing dove

11. Black crowned tchagra

12. Striped kingfisher

13. Tropical bulbul

14. Common bulbul

15. Red tailed tinkerbird

16. Long-tailed fiscal

17. Crested francolin

18. Red eyed dove

19. Pale flycatcher

20. Emarol spotted wood dove

21. Namaqua dove

22. Blue eyed starling

23. Purple banaded sunbird

24. Northern white crowned shrike

25. White-browed coucal

26. Red-billed buffalo weaver

27. Fork-tailed drongo

28. Golden pipit

29. Northern crownec

30. Grey wren-wabler

31. Black headed batis

32. White winged chat

33. Blue naped mousebird

34. Brown headed parrot

35. Rufous chatterer

36. Speckled mousebird

37. Grey hornbill

38. Mouse coloured sunbird

39. African bare-eyed thrush

40. Common scimitarbill

41. Grey-backed camaroptera

42. Sulphur breasted bush shrike

43. Spotted morning thrush

44. White bellied go-away-bird

45. Chestnut weaver

46. Black collared barbet

47. European golden oriole

48. Lilac breasted roller

49. Little bee eater

50. Greater honey guide

51. Amethyst sunbird

52. Green wood hoopoe

53. Palm swift

54. Pied wagtail

55. Burn swallow

56. Von der Decken’s hornbill

57. African harrier-hawk

58. Black backed puffback

59. Redchicked donblue

DN at camp site.jpg

David Ngala

FoASF – Conservation Officer

[email protected]

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