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1724670-982768-thumbnail.jpg 'Kulafumbi' is our family home in Kenya, East Africa. 'Kulafumbi' is a play on the Kiswahili words "kula vumbi", which mean "eat dust", because it was so hot and dusty building our house in this remote, wild, wonderful place. Kulafumbi borders the Tsavo National Park - with no fences between us and the Park, the wildlife comes and goes of its own free will and treats our land as its own, which is exactly how we like it. In turn, we provide a protected area for the wild animals to do as they please. This protected area also creates an important buffer for the river, which forms the boundary between us and the park.
House & Land - more info
My Family & I - more info


1829439-992202-thumbnail.jpg Look how many species of animals & birds we've spotted to date at Kulafumbi:


BIRDS: 199+
INSECTS: Too many to count



"We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems..."



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Flights of Fancy

One of the wonderful things about our house being set on the edge of a precipice, falling away to the river below, is that we are eye to eye with the birds as they pass by on the wing...and often we even get a bird's eye view of the birds themselves!

It's impossible not to wonder at the beauty and diversity of these feathered creatures, and yes, I suppose to envy them their freedom a little too.

Here are just a few of the passers-by, in all their glory...

A gorgeous Black Stork, on a winter's visit from Europe If you look carefully, you can see the "spurs" on the front edge of the wings, which give Spur-winged Plovers their name Over the past few days, a group of Pied Kingfishers have been dashing up and down the river, frantically shrieking and tumbling and turning as they squabble, and inadvertently demonstrating that they are the most consummate of fliers. A Blue-cheeked Bee-eater hunting for insects on the wing The fact that we see our resident pair of African Fish Eagles almost daily does not detract from their beauty... When it first arrived on our stretch of river, the Goliath Heron was so shy, moving away down- or upstream as soon as there was any activity in the house at all. Now it is so tame that whatever commotion might be emanating from the house, it is quite unfazed. Even when we go down to the beach and pass within 30 metres, it just watches us out of the corner of its eye but doesn't bother to move. Can you get more beautiful than this? A female Bateleur Eagle (the aerial acrobat of all aerial acrobats) flying past overhead...

Our resident Glossy Starlings bred successfully this year, and have been bringing their youngsters to the bird table. The immature birds have dark eyes, in contrast to the white-yellow eyes of the adults. Here's one of the young ones finishing off our Christmas pudding:

I just discovered why Glossy Starlings have iridescent upper parts. It's apparently because their feathers contain hollow melanin granules near the surface...so now we know that! Be that as it may, they are rather striking birds to look at, but it has to be said they are as comic as they are colourful...just watching one bird for a few minutes, you see all kinds of funny expressions:

Reader Comments (9)

Now I'd call that a superb starling. Same bird, different name?

January 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternuttycow

Hi Tanya,
It sure that it is not too often that the spectacular Black Stork flies over. It is wonderful. Thanks for showing us everything that is going on
All the best,

January 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradrian

Hi Imogen - how have you been?

The Superb Starling is slightly different to the Glossy Starling...it has an orange chest, with a white stripe separating the orange from the blue - you can see a photo of one here. The Glossy Starling is dark blue all over, with a black head.

January 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterTanya

Hi Adrian. Nice to see you here. Believe it or not, we do get a few Black Storks here every year. Our spot on the river seems to be one of their "winter retreats". In fact, yesterday I saw 15 of them on our sandbank up near "Hippo Bend" as we call it. It's wonderful to see them here.

January 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterTanya

Beautiful photography, I've always been partial to bee-eaters but they're all fantastic. Your photos are making me very nostalgic for Africa.

January 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Derrick

What fantastic photos and great bird expressions. You can almost see them thinking.

February 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne perazzini

Only a few words to alert about the new blog directory for people living abroad, travelers and expatriates: BlogExpat:
This free blog service has become a directory of expat blogs, open to any blog of people living abroad. This is an exciting new feature and you can immediately add your expat/travel blog in the BlogExpat directory and help us grow the community:
You will get a personal page for the profile of your blog with its latest posts and will be able to reach easily expat, travelleurs, targeted visitors and neighbours who can find you thanks to our Google Maps.
We hope to see you soon on www.blogexpat.com.

PS: you can also add our logo with the appropriate colours to your blog here:

February 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlogexpat

Hello, what a wonderful site, I have found you by searching for wild flowers of Africa! I have just returned from my (3rd) visit to the Mara. Know what you mean about odd weather, not just rain but hail too!!
Will definitely visit your site regularly for updates on Kenya

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSally

Hello David and Sally, and welcome to my Wilderness Diary...it's nice to see you here!

Suzanne, as always, lovely to hear from you. Yes indeed, birds can be as expressive as any other creatures (or so I believe).

February 26, 2009 | Registered CommenterTanya

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