Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

This is probably one of the easiest accessible real Africa locations from Europe, only two-three hours drive from the Airport in Nairobi, Kenya!

Below is some pictures from the small National Park at Lake Nakuru, located centrally in the Rift Vallay basin in Western Kenya. A small real Africa experience!

Large amounts of both flamingo species and pelicans is typically present,  Lake Nakuru, 2012
The road from Nairobi is heavy trafficked, and you will as well pass exciting parks like Nairobi National Park (close to the airport!), Lake Naivasha (freshwater), Hells Gate National Park and Aberdare National Park. So if you have a week, a lot of unique African nature is available in a very concentrated area.

 A pair of White Rhino, the local subspecies extinct, imported from Southern Africa, Lake Nakuru NP, 2015
The area is freightening small, and circles aroud the small Lake Nakuru. The Main gate to the park is litterally in the city of Nakuru, a quite typical kenyan railway station town. The lake itself is saline, with no outlet! Three creeks/rivers enter the lake, that might fluctuate. The old main gate (2012) was under water in 2015, and a new receptiona area is raised on the hill behild the lake.

Lake Nakuru National Parke is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the Rift Valley lakes.

Yellow wagtail, a winter visitor, Lake Nakuru NP, January 2015
Depending on budget, the preferred place to stay is Lion Hill Lodge, situated in the northern hills of the park. Here they have bird feeders as well as one of the better lodge restaurants in Kenya. The lodge is inside the park, but fenced in so it is a safe and exiting place!

Savanna and woodland, with zebras, Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya 2012
The small park have mot classical african mammals well known from the savannas further south. Here you can find both rhino species, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, zebra, antilope species and over 400 species of birds! Lion and leopards may occor. But there are no elephants!

Common Impala bull, Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya 2015

White-browed Robin-chat,  Lions Hill, Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya 2015
Augurd Buzzard,  Kenya, 2012
Rising water flooding the southern side of the park, Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya, 2015
Yellow-billed Stork and one Marabou Stork, Lake Nakuru NP, 2015
White Rhino,  Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya, 2012
Verrauxs Eagle-Owl, Lake Nakuru, Kenya, 2012
Giraffes in akacia woodland, Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya, 2012
Plains Zebra, Lake Nakuru NP, Kenya 2015

Lanner Falcon, Lake Nakuru, Kenya, 2015

No doubt where you are!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, at "Worlds End", the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula, is a great place. A small village, with a few too big hotels, and beaches all around the place. And a lot of wilderness beyond.

Below are some pictures from our holiday in Cabo San Lucas, in november 2004. Some changes will have happened, but these pictures gives some relevant views of this great place! And how it was then.

Lands End, from the bushland behind the long city beach, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

The city beach, with city center to the left, and the new Riu still not opened, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

House Finch, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

The city beach, same place as above, turning eastward, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

Divorce Beach, on the Pacific side, Lands End, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

Cactus Wren, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

Beach Bar on the city beach, Cabo San Lucas, 2004.

Uptown gravel street, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

A young Heermann's Gull on the beach, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 2004

Downtown harbor, luxury yachts and deep-sea sports-fishing boats, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

California Sea Lion, Lands End, Cabo San Lucas, 2004

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area, Florida, USA

If you wonder how you may combine a super beach holiday in Florida with some sparetime birding, Fort Myers Beach may be the place! Especially seabirds and wetlandbirds are plentiful in the lagoons a bit south on the Island. And inside the island, a boattrip will provide mangroves and well wooded areas to complement the seaside experience

The northernmost lagoon, with high waters after a small stormsurge,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Fort Myers Beach is a long island dominated by a huge seaside beach, just outside the city of Fort Myers, on the gulf-coast of Florida. A few hours drive west of Orlando. The Island has a bridge to mainland Fort Myers in north, and another connection southward at the southern tip. If you follow the beach or drives south, you will easily find Little Estero Lagoon, breaking up the beach with mangroves, dams and more banks than beach in the south.

Hard to pass the mangroves at hight tide, Little Estero, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Little Estero Lagoon is a small peaceful place in a sea of hotels, appartements, tourists, and beaches. The banks further out differs a lot at low tide versus high tide, but the banks and channels attract a lot of birds. And some areas are actually closed of in the breeding season to pretect the birds.

The area ha a lot of waterfowl: herons, waders, gulls, terns and the skimmer. I think we actually had eight different heron-species, some of them pictured below! Above you might see the Bald Eagles and Ospreys. And in the boat-harbors there are manatees with with boat-propeller tracks over their back...

Below are some of the pictures from the area:

Willet, common on the beach,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Ruddy Turnstone, migrating north, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Sanderlings, as well on migration north,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Least Sandpiper, Ft. Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Little Blue Heron in full breeding plumage, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Manatee, with a calf searching for milk, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Wilson's Plover in evening twilight, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Snowy Egret, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Loggerhead Shrike,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Great Egret, right on the beach, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Boat-tailed Grackle, Ft. Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Brown Pelican males in breeding plumage, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Great Blue Heron, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
This is the place, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Burleigh Head National Park, Queensland, Australia

Burleigh Head is a very small and busy National Park, keeping some ancient biotopes intact in the southern headland of Gold Coast south of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Here is ocean, surfers, stony and sandy beaches, rainforest, eucalyptys woods and an estuary. On a very small plot with even a road crossing.

Australian Pelican
The area is easy accessible and well

Området er lett tilgjengelig og godt tilrettelagt for besøkende, inklusive parkeringsplass på både nordsiden og sørsiden. Det er mye folk i området på godt merkede stier gjennom krattskog ytterst mot havet og gjennom regnskogen lenger inn og på toppen.

Beaches and boulders towards the Pacific Ocean
Linken nedenfor gir en pekepinn om artsrikdommen i området, men det er ikke lett å oppdage mange av disse på et par korte turer gjennom området. Vi bodde bare 10 meter fra parkens grenser, og det er et rikt fugleliv i hele området, også utenfor parken!

Laughing Kookaburra
Er du på Gold Coast sør for Brisbane er denne parken absolutt verdt et besøk, men det er større og flottere parker både nordover langs kysten og innover i landet. Vi kan legge til at Burleigh Head er en liten landsby også, og at området er et strålende sted å bo under et opphold i området!

Looking southwards, over the Estuary bordering the Park.
Link til parkens hjemmesider, med linker for artslister:

King Parrot

Gray Goshawk chased by Currawongs

Looking north from the North Gate, towards Surfers Paradise and Gold Coast

Pied Cormorant

Surfers on the northside

Little Corella

Australian Brush-turkey

Silver Gull
Australian Ibis