Last month marked four years since I started writing on here. I almost forgot because Corona has messed up my sense of time. But yes, it’s been 4 years already- 48 months of consistent writing. Today I’m looking back at two of the most memorable moments from each of those years- at least I’ll try to. Summarizing one year into two events is quite the task.
It’s day who-knows-what of self isolation since Kenya announced its first case of COVID-19 and I really miss being outdoors. The fact that no one knows how long this will last is what’s taking its toll more than anything. That and being holed up in the house with family all day, every day. Introverts will tell you they need breathing space from others every so often. On this last day of April, I’m thinking about the shortest bird census I’ve done so far.
Magadi is one of my favourite places to visit in this country. It fascinates me because of how wild it is. Looking at the harsh environment, you wonder how people and animals survive here- and yet somehow, they do. That’s why I always go to Magadi during Waterfowl census, and skip other locations if I don’t feel like going. The 2019 February census was an interesting experience.
January almost ended without a post! I’ve challenged myself to do at least one post every month, and for the past almost 4 years, I’ve managed. The year started well and then things started going sideways. The waterfowl census was postponed by 2 weeks, then I missed one of the trips due to organizational challenges, work was crazy and I was drowning in responsibilities…By the time last weekend was rolling around I was in dire need of a mental break.
For a long time, environmental conservation has been viewed as the work of activists, professionals and institutions in the conservation field only. The rest of us just observe from the outside. However, in recent years there’s been a shift towards citizen science. It’s catching on slowly but with impressive results.
I first went to Lk. Ol Bolosat last year during the July waterfowl census. I was excited since it was a new destination and I was eager to see just how cold it would get. Little did I know that an accident would unfold, in terms of me drowning and almost being swept away by the water. I decided to go back last month to make peace with the lake, so to speak.
World Wetlands Day is marked on Feb 2nd every year to highlight the importance of wetlands. They provide habitats & nesting grounds for birds and other wildlife, are a natural waste purifier and affect rainfall patterns. This year I’m recounting my January 2019 Waterfowl Census experience.
I can’t believe I’ve been to Magadi twice this year. The place is so fascinating to me. It’s wild and looks like somewhere on another planet. I don’t know how animals and plants thrive there. My first experience in January involved the drama of walking barefoot through muddy pools and on sharp pebbles. The second visit in July had drama also, but of a different kind.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this year I was determined to attend all the waterfowl census to be held in & around Nairobi in July. Especially those which I missed in January, like the one at Nairobi National Park. I have been to the Park several times before, but to see the mammals. This would be a different experience no doubt.
Unlike last year July when I was held up with work, this year I had free time. I was determined to go for all the Waterfowl Census exercises in/ around Nairobi. Also, this year’s July census was actually going to happen unlike last year which flopped. And so on the appointed day to visit Manguo Swamp, I arrived at the Museum early. It was a chilly day yet we were going to Limuru, which is always colder than Nairobi. Would we make it?