Tag Archives: waterbuck

Athi Dam

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Waterbuck are not a species you would associate with the present dry conditions, but the population in the Athi Basin seems to be OK judging by the furry creatures pictured above.

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The Athi Dam is the biggest dam (by area) in the Nairobi National Park, but getting less so. In the last few days there have been storms over the Athi River town area & I can only hope that this included the Athi Basin, in which case the dam might have caught some precious water.

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Thirsty gnu trek in from miles around to drink at the fast receding waters. The only other water source is at the western end of the Park (Hyena & Nangolomon dams, Olomanyi is fast drying up) in the Mokoyeti stream. The Empakasi River (the southern boundary of the park), which means “Always Running” in the Maa language, has stopped running & is a series of stagnant pools…..

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The Athi Dam -a truly magical spot where there is ALWAYS something interesting to observe-provides a precious aquatic habitat for water birds such as this Black-winged Stilt.

Below, wildebeest trek in…….

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Antelopes of Nairobi National Park

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Today’s offering (after hours downloading images…..) is about the many species of antelope to be found within the various habitats of the park. These range from species represented by hundreds of individuals, to those such as these Mountain Reedbuck, of which there can only be about 20, all found in one locality in the park:in the Sosian valley.

How does a group such as this manage to survive, genetically?

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Here’s a Mountain Reedbuck doe. Difficult to photograph, these small species of buck…Notice the gland below the ear. Antelope live in a secret world of scent difficult for us to comprehend & have glands near their eyes, & between their hooves & leave subtle messages in their lavatories telling others of their kind who what why & where they are….

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The once dominant species of the Athi Kapiti Ecosystem, now represented by just a few hundred animals when in years past there were thousands! At least we’ve got at least 20 more this year.Wildebeest have calved in the safety of the park owing to the on-going drought.

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The King of Antelopes, a bull eland. Mostly confined to the park these days owing to habitat loss in the dispersal area, this species is doing very well.

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A Coke’s hartebeest or kongoni, in typical stance. This species is doing so well in the park that it must be getting close to it’s maximum sustainable population. This is excellent news as elsewhere this species is in decline.

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A Bohor (where does this name originate?) reedbuck ram. Although there must have been Bohor reedbuck in the wetlands at the Eastern edge of the park historically, many have been translocated in from Western Kenya. These animals are very difficult to see & (like most small antelope) hide motionless in the vegetation as a defensive measure.

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A Mountain Reedbuck ram testing a female in oestrous.

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The best shot I have been able to get of the elusive steenbok, which live in pairs. Having no horns I assume this is a juvenile.

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The elegant bushbuck is one of the most widespread antelopes in Africa, able to live close to humans (like in my garden) if not hunted. Solitary animals, they are numerous in all the habitats of the park apart from on the plains.

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Impala are also a very adaptable & successful species, though they are water dependent.

Well over 600 in & around the park show that this species is flourishing in the park.

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A doe oribi with young. This species has been translocated into the park.Hopefully it will not compete with the duiker sp. which occur in the park (grey & bush?)

I could not get pictures of suni (which occur in the Langata forest) or dikdik, (which I have never seen in the park but which can be found along the Embakasi Gorge & in the Silole Sanctuary.) Does anybody have images of these three species? Or klipspringer?

Below is a waterbuck, which occurs both in the Langata Forest & in the Athi Basin.

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