Birding in Lake Ol’ Bolossat
Are you looking for a birding tour to Lake Ol’ Bolossat in Kenya? Lake Ol Bolossat is a fresh water body located on a very flat plain of Central province Kenya in Nyandarua district. This is the only lake found in the entire Central Province of Kenya; rising about 2340 meters above sea level. Birding activities can also be done at the 36km-long escarpment, rising 2,500m above the sea level to create a spectacular scenery.
The lake’s catchment and basin are significant for socio-economic development. The lake serves as a catchment for Ewaso Nyiro River which supports important functions and lifestyles of the surrounding communities living in the arid and semi-arid parts of northern, north-eastern and rift valley provinces. The thriving tourism industry in Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo springs national reserves is made possible by the flow of the Ewaso Nyiro river.
Well, Lake Ol’ Bolossat hosts a good number of bird species that attract thousands of bird watchers in the tourism industry. Over 45 species were recorded in a survey that was carried out by Wamiti et al in 2007. The Lake is also a home to a number of Palearctic migrantary waterbirds. During the 2007 survey made by the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement, 17 waterbird species were recorded. The area around Lake Ol’ Bolossat covers an area of about 43.3 km² of which open water is about 4 km² with unique montane grasslands.
Lake Ol’ Bolossat holds the second largest population of the endangered Grey Crowned Crane in Kenya, and probably the highest density of breeding pairs across the species range. Other birds found in Lake Ol’ Bolossat include; Northern Shoveler, Abdim’s Stork, Little Bittern, Great Cormorant, African Darter, Dwarf Bittern, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Black Egret, Goliath Heron, Hottentot Teal, White Stork, Black Stork, Woolly-necked Stork, Saddle-billed Stork, African Spoonbill, Lesser Flamingo, Spur-winged Goose, African Pygmy Goose, White-faced Whistling Duck, Hamerkop, Maccoa Duck, Purple Swamphen, Knob-billed Goose, Red-billed Duck, Greater Flamingo, White-backed Duck, Yellow-billed Duck, African Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Long-crested Eagle, Common Teal, Eurasian Widgeon, Southern Pochard, African Fish Eagle, African Marsh Eagle, Red-chested Flufftail, African Crake, Black Crake, African Water Rail, Fulvous Whistling duck, Red-knobbed Coot, Lesser Moorhen, Little Grebe, Lesser Jacana among others.
Besides birds, Lake Ol’ Bolossat is a home to a number of hippopotamus, fish species, not to mention smaller water animals. Although the area doesn’t host wild animals like lions or cheetahs, there are random sightings of zebras and gazelles.