Although the name ‘happy valley’ evokes memories of licentiousness in the minds of many, to yours truly, it is a reminder of the serenity experienced whenever I go birding in the valley/wetland within the vicinity of my home.
During the month of September, I had numerous opportunities to walk through the aforementioned valley. During these times, I have photographed birds, flowers and butterflies . Perhaps my favourite image would be that of the African Pygmy Kingfisher, an intra-African migrant and one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. As it has been said before, in nature photography the image is always given, never taken. Indeed, this little beau is a testament to this fact.
Several white-eyes were also at hand to offer me some good images. It is quite tricky to distinguish between the Abyssinian, Montane and yellow white-eye in the field as was noted in this year’s annual Kenya Birding Magazine. Nonetheless, equipped with a camera, I find it easier to study the images more closely thereafter to make these distinctions.
I also caught sight of a lesser swamp warbler, a marsh warbler and what I believe to be a Chubb’s Cisticola.
It was also evident that in nature its not all bliss. I came across a butterfly caught in a spider’s web. While it fought for its dear life, I was tempted to free it but I did not. Predator-prey relationships are crucial for any ecosystem’s balance. Hence, I adopted one of the most cardinal principles of photojournalism-non-interference.
All in all, it has been a good month of birding and nature watch. October looks to be a better month since I have joined Nature Kenya. They have guided bird-walks for members every Wednesday within Nairobi and pot-luck drives outside Nairobi once a month ( every second Sunday I believe).
Happy birding! Happy Mashujaa Day! I salute Nature Kenya, East African Wildlife Society in all their efforts at Nature Conservation!