Category Archives: wet season

NNP WET WET WET

IMAGES BY WILL KNOCKER…..

 

water water Everywhere…..

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NNP Wet Season

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The Rains this year have been ok, if not dramatically good…….

The waterfall on the Mokoyeti River….

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Water gets the cycle of life going at a goodly rate: fungus breaking down black rhino dung…..

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An unlikely Wet Season Club at Hyena Dam…

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The Spotted Thick Knees are breeding……

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Grantis in the Mood…..

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But some of the dams still need water…..

I flew over the ‘Dispersal Area’ today….it looks more like a suburb of Nairobi than a wildlife area….

Zebra Crossing

By WILL KNOCKER:

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The only way OUT of NNP is in the east of the park, near Athi River where it abuts the Sheep & Goat land, several thousand acres of short grass plain much loved by the remaining wildebeest. After heavy rain the grazers immediately ‘vote with their hooves’ & begin to move out towards the dispersal area outside the park.

Here a herd of zebra is about to cross the Empakasi River & out to the plains beyond.

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On their way…..

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Safely crossed to the other bank….

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View of ‘The Promised Land’ on the other side of the river….

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Lions Kill Buffalo

Story & pictures by DAVE MCKELVIE:
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Came across 3 lions who were in the process of killing a buffalo
A very large buffalo
2 large males and a female, just next to 4b, they will still be there as they have a lot to eat
Female and a male at back end feasting
Large male had a hold on snout and paws round horns suffocating the buff
Large male buff was still alive, kicking a bit and trying to move his head, but was already weak and on his last breath
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How The Saddlebill Got It’s Name

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Buffaloes of Nairobi National Park

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Formidable bovids, with a fearsome reputation, Cape buffaloes were introduced to NNP, where they did not (in the last 100 years) exist….

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Portrait of a bull: it is true you do not want to meet one of these on foot, but the record shows that generally speaking, buffaloes are intelligent -avoiding people if they can (on the southern boundary of the park, which is unfenced) & are more like (gentle) wild cattle than the monsters familiar from hunter’s tales. If you are hunted, of course you are aggressive….

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NNP now boasts close to 1,000 of these large, social grazers & they are well distributed across the Park.

The significance of this number of large grazers on the 30,000 acres of the Park is considerable.

A few months ago & grass-a normally super-abundant resource in the NNP- a part of the one of the richest grassland ecosystems in Africa-was extremely scarce. Buffaloes are particularly vulnerable to drought owing to their massive bulk.

Now the Park is a sea of long-grazing grass & the migratory sp. -mainly zebra & wildebeest, are on the short grass plains OUTSIDE  the park.

The daily increasing buffalo population should have an impact on the grasslands of the Park, keeping them sweet & precluding the need for controlled burns by the Park’s managers, KWS.

And will our lions (estimated at 35-40) learn to hunt this increasing source of prey?

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Typical members of a herd: cows & calves (a distinctive light brown colour) whilst bulls come & go according to the Bull Politics of the herd, where the meanest & most powerful get to mate with the cows that are in oestrous…..

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Buffaloes are nearly always accompanied by very useful tickbirds (ox-peckers) as they are invariably afflicted by masses of biting ticks….

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Portrait of a bachelor herd…..

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A herd on the plains in the Athi Basin……

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and the herd bull……..

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Rain Rain & More Rain….

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The Rains on the Savannah brings a time of great plenty & this year this process has been quite exceptional! Guinea fowl (amongst many other sp. of birds) have been able to nest TWICE this season: look at all them chicks!

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It has been raining on  & off since the beginning of the year, with 6 inches in the last week alone!

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The Park is a sea of grass, all the dams are full & the wetlands brimming with water…

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It’s difficult to see wildlife in the long grass & the predators are hungry as much of the wildlife has migrated out of the Park…

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The other day I noticed hundreds of ethereal enormous white birds wheeling into treetops on the ridge opposite the Silole Sanctuary……..NOT the usual common egrets….

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Taking shelter from the storms: they stayed all night…..

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Great White Pelicans…..

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Hundreds of them, from the Rift Valley, investigating the huge areas of Kenya that are currently flooded….like Spirits of the Wet….

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The sun comes out briefly from time to time….

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Most wildlife, such as these Plains zebra, are in the Athi Basin & on the Sheep & Goat land adjacent to the Park.

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Many kongoni (especially bulls on their territories) remain in the Park….Yellow -Necked francolin in the foreground.

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The Lightning Bird in his element, hunting frogs…….

Peculiar Display in the Grasslands

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What on earth is this weird design?

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Extraordinary neck contusion & vocally a quiet ‘click!’ then a slightly louder ‘pop’ followed by a deep mooing boom…..

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A male Hartlaub’s  (or Maasai -this sp. only occurs in or nearby Maasailand!) Bustard trying to impress an invisible female hidden in the grass nearby…

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The Click??

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The Moo??

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What do I look like from behind?

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The things we do to TRY & impress…..

Hippo Calf Update

Photos by ROB ALLEN

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The hippoes translocated in the park in recent months (see previous posts) have scattered all over the park & many of the dams have had some(or one) hippoes in them.

But the calf featured here a few weeks ago was spotted & photographed by Rob Allen & is still with Mum in the Nangolomon Dam, itself overflowing with water owing to recent rains.

No mammal in Nature puts on meat (converted from grass;hippoes are of course grazers) quicker than hippoes……

But beware:hungry lions killed one of the translocated hippoes seeking new territory a week or two ago in the Kiserian valley running into the Park.

Let us hope that this fast growing little hippo survives into the future….

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