Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A fantastic day in the mangrove forest

Here we are in beautiful Mkwiro, with a nice hot sunny day, preparing ourselves to a mangrove survey!!! We prepare to leave at 10 am, because at low tide it’s the only moment that is possible to walk through the mangroves.

--Taking a moment in the mangroves--

The mangroves are perfect coastal ecosystems that are essentially important for all the tropical regions; they are responsible for retaining the soil (preventing coastal erosion), treating pollution by removing nitrate and phosphates and an important nursery ground for many different species (from invertebrates to fish and birds). Our survey starts in the middle of the mangrove forest, searching for different benthic species like for example, fiddler crabs, marsh crabs, many different invertebrates and of course for birds to. The mangrove at low tide is really funny to walk through, every step we take, our water shoes fill with mud, and everybody seems to have great fun. Further on, we observe some birds in the sky, we count 4 birds, 2 different species, one of them is big and impressively beautiful, it’s the African Fish Eagle, controlling the sky.... the last tree are black kites flying together, enjoying the sea breeze. After a few minutes we reach the sea shore where on the distance we can see all Kisite\Mpunguti Marine Reserve and Park.

--Stuck in the mud!--

We continue walking, enjoying this nice view, through the shore when suddenly, one of the volunteers points in the direction of a big bird walking and chasing fish in a tide puddle, it is a massive yellow billed stork!! With this last sighting we call an end to the survey and start the 45 minute walk along the villagers’ pathways through the forest to reach Wasini Village, where we had a beautiful lunch (fish, coconut rice, sea weed with coconut sauce and the excellent chapati) in the Coral spirit restaurant. All in all fantastic day!