Lake Magadi Road Birding
Lake Magadi road birding is ideal for a birders who has some days in Nairobi, or those with a connecting flight and have some few hours to spare
Also a bird enthusiast attending meetings/conferences in Nairobi and has an off day or two before flying back
Birdwatching Lake Magadi Road
Lake Magadi road birding first stop if the weather is fine is at Kona Baridi( Corner Baridi) the southern end of Ngong Hills which is dry,windy and cold in the morning.
From here, you have good views of the Great Rift Valley and Nairobi City, further down excellent views of Olesukut and Olorgesailie Mountains which are scenically stunning
From here we shall search for birds in the plain below and on top of Acacia trees dotting the area, species that we may came across are: Grassland Pipit, Augur Buzzard, Red-faced Crombec, African Citril, Abyssinian Wheatear, plus many other interesting bird species
As you start going downhill, the vegetations change to more acacia bushes and woodland.
You can make around 3 or more stops for Lake Magadi road birding after Kona Baridi along the road where you can do bit of walking
At Icross Road the rare Pringle's Puffback and Zanzibar Greenbuls will be heard singing, a group of Lesser Kudus are 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 coloured Penduline Tit and Buff Crested Bustard, other species seen around are Somali Bunting,and Tiny Cisticola.
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.
On a dam before Oltepesi Town, Red fronted Warblers are hyperactive on top of a single acacia tree, White throated Bee-eaters busy on the dam's wall excavating breeding holes .
In Oltepesi town Swahili Sparrow nesting on few acacia left on the roadside.
From here drive all the way down to Lake Magadi which 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 Flamingoes on southern end of the lake near the hotsprings
On your way back in the on top of the electricity poles look out for Eastern Chanting and Gabars Goshawks.
Above in the sky the black chested Snake Eagle may also be seen
On a good day more than 100 bird species are recorded
Lake Magadi Road Birding can be done anytime of the year
At 600m (2,000ft) 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 (20in) of rainfall and has a average temperature of 20C (68F) varying between 15 and 41 C (59 and 105.8F) Evaporation rate is 3500mm (120in ) annually
Lake Magadi Road Birding Notable Birds
Common Rock Thrush
Vitelline Masked weaver
African Bare-eyed Thrush
Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit
Red fronted Warbler