Tag Archives: Anthus sokokensis

East Coast Akalat in the east-african lowland forest of Arabuko-Sokoke/ Kenya

BlauflügelrötelA somewhat melancholy, often repeated melody from the dense undergrowth reveals the “tropical robin”. It is an East Coast Akalat (Sheppardia gunningi) of the subspecies sokokensis. We are in the so-called mixed forest. The beginning of our morning trip is not going well. However, a Red-legged Sun Squirrel (Heliosciurus rufobrachium), can be seen briefly on the edge of the track. Suddenly there is loud chirping from the dense bush. Here we leave the car, as obviously a Bird Party is on the way. Our guide says to hear an East Coast Akalat out in the thicket. We play the vocals from the East Coast Akalat by band. But unfortunately, there is nothing to see. Perhaps the large troop of Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike (Prionops scopifrons) is responsible for the East Coast Akalat not venturing out. So we have to beat ourselves into the bushes. That turns out to be very productive. First of all, I see the Golden-rumped Elephant-shrew (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus) scurrying across the ground. Then we play the song of the East Coast Akalat from the tape again. This time we have a prompt response.

The East Coast Akalat comes first on a branch. Unfortunately he does not stay there for a long time, but at least I can photograph it in the semi-darkness. Only a short time later, it sits even very nicely exposed on a branch right on the track we passed in the jungle. The whole area looks very typical like the place at the Chintheche Inn on Lake Malawi, where I had already photographed the East Coast Continue reading East Coast Akalat in the east-african lowland forest of Arabuko-Sokoke/ Kenya

Malindi Pipit (Anthus melindae) in the Arabuke-Sokoke Forest/ Kenya

MalindipieperA Pipit takes flight as we approach the dry, low grassy area. Our Guide calls immediately: this is not Malindi Pipit (Anthus melindae) but an African Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus). Already on the Sabaki River Delta we had searched for the Malindi Pipit in the sparsely vegetated grasslands in vain. Our Guide says that the previously highly populated plain has been abandoned because agriculture reduces available habitat. In the specific case on the Sabaki River Delta probably a salt production should be established. Politicians currently seem to be investing in salt production along the coast. This is of course a big threat. The areas for the salines, i.e. the evaporation areas, the technical facilities and the dikes will of course dramatically reduce the available habitat for this species. But the transformation of agriculture, including the cultivation of biofuels, is also a major threat. Overall, he sees a great threat to the survival of this species, at least in the vicinity of Malindi.

In the Arabuke Sokoke Forest, however, he was able to see the Malindi Pipit near the so-called elephant swamp. Because there is nowhere around but the only place to see the Pipit. The swamp is not bad at all. Nevertheless, Our Guide cannot feel comfortable in the area, because you never know when and if elephants would Continue reading Malindi Pipit (Anthus melindae) in the Arabuke-Sokoke Forest/ Kenya