MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
|# Excl Vagrants*:||164|
|# Near Endemics*:||7|
|*Based on partial or incomplete data.|
|Habitat: Highland forest, grassland, moorland|
ABOUT THE BIRDING
Mount Kenya National Park was originally a forest reserve encompassing some large tracts of forest as well as Kenya's namesake and second highest peak, Mount Kenya. It includes an altitudinal gradient that supports several highland specialty birds. Montane forest predominates up to about 2500m, where it's replaced by bamboo forest. Still higher is a forest of Giant Heath, and above that is moorland. A road goes far up the mountain into the moorland, so birding the park can be done by vehicle.
Forested areas on the mountain feature specialty birds such as the elusive Scaly Francolin as well as White-headed Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Mountain Wagtail, and Black-throated Wattle-eye. Also found there are monkeys such as Black-and-white Colobus. The cooler bamboo forest feature specialties such as Red-fronted Parrot, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Hartlaub's Turaco, Moustached Tinkerbird, Waller's Starling, Sharpe's Starling, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, and African Paradise-Flycatcher. At higher elevations above 3000m is moorland where Jackson's Francolin, Abyssinian Ground-Thrush, Moorland Chat, and Kandt's Waxbill are of particular interest. Birding around the meteorological station is good for all these species as well as the endemic Abbott's Starling. The park also supports several species of eagles that sometimes soar high above.
LOCATION OF SITE
Mount Kenya National Park is located east of the rift valley about 175 km northeast of Nairobi. The park is reached via the Nanyuki-Isiolo Road.