Migratory birds, pond skaters and butterflies on City Park nature walk

Group on nature walk

Friends of City Park organize monthly nature walks, every first Saturday of every month. The rich biodiversity found at City Park makes the event a bird walk, tree walk, and dudu (insect) walk all combined.

On nature walk at City Park at City Park Nairobi

On a nature walk at City Park at City Park, Nairobi

On Saturday 5th September a flock of Eurasian bee-eaters was sighted flying through—the first flock of palearctic migrants to be seen in the park this season.  These birds are believed to migrate all the way from Europe to Africa when the cold winter is starting in Europe. Migratory birds come to Africa looking for food. Most migratory birds start arriving in Kenya from September, and return to Europe from April to May.

At the fishpond, pond skaters, dragonflies, and fish fingerlings were seen, and the pond was partially covered with beautiful water lilies.

We came across an Arrow Poison tree (Acokanthera schimperi). This tree is very poisonous but when the fruits are well ripened they are edible.  The Maasai community uses it to poison their arrow tips. African Crested Rat (Lophiomys imhausi) uses the poison from this plant to protect itself from its enemies. It was believed that it had poison in its body but research found that it smears the poison from the plant on its fur. “The need to deter predators has led to one of the most extraordinary defences known in the animal kingdom ” – Science author Jonathan Kingdon.

Butterfly at City Park NairobiCity Park is also home to many species of butterflies. On this day, African Monarch, Soldier Pansy, and many Acra and Colotis butterfly species were seen. An abundance of butterflies is often an indicator of a healthy environment.

Since our walk in September the Jacarandas have flowered. Jacaranda mimosifolia is an exotic tree from Brazil and Argentina. They usually produce purple flowers but there is one Jacaranda tree in the City Park that produces beautiful white flowers.

Insects
1.    Pond skaters
2.    Soldier Pansy
3.    Carpenter bee
4.    Honey bee
5.    Stingless bee
6.    African Monarch Butterfly

Birds
1.    Common Bulbul
2.    Black-backed Puff back
3.    Hadada Ibis
4.    Rupels Robin-chat
5.    Pied crow

6.    Eurasian Bee-eaters
7.    Tawny-flanked Prinia
8.    Black Kite
9.    Olive Thrush
10.    African Citril
11.    Bronze Sunbird

Mammals
1.    Vervet Monkey
2.    Sykes monkey
3.    Tree Squirrel

By Vincent Onyango

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