Lake Magadi Road Birding


Beautiful Sunbird Lake Magadi Road  BirdingLake 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.

Lake Magadi Road  Birding

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

Northern Wheatear

Vitelline Masked weaver

Red-throated Tits

Wailing Cisticola

African Bare-eyed Thrush

Pringle’s Puffback

Zanzibar Greenbul

Ashy Cisticola

Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit

Buff-crested Bustard

Somali Bunting

Tiny Cisticola

Red fronted Warbler

Swahili Sparrow

White-throated Bee-eater

Magadi Plover

Dimorphic Egret