October Monthly Meeting - Travels in Search of Birds

bird africa

We were delighted by a talk from local resident and acclaimed wildlife guide and author , Nigel Redman, about his “Travels in Search of Birds in the Horn of Africa”. Nigel’s talk was packed full of information as well as astonishing photographs of the peoples, landscapes, habitats, and the main birds and mammals in this corner of Africa.

Consisting of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti and Socotra, The region has a fast growing population, currently at 140m, that is becoming a threat to the diversity of species, although it was good to hear that species are not yet being lost. Ethiopia, the largest country in the region has a population which has grown from 40m in 1987 to 119m now.


Nigel told us that across the region there are 1006 species, of which 80 are endemic - found only in that part of the world. Nigel reckons that he has seen about 930 species in his trips over several years, staying in accommodation that ranged from luxurious to very basic indeed. One hotel he showed us had strict instructions that “Weapons and Intoxicants are not allowed in and out of the hotel”.

The region boasts several varieties of owls, one of which was photographed nesting atop a giant termite nest, the height of a double decker bus at least.

This was a talk that transported us into a warm summer African safari, on a cold, autumn Blakeney morning. We hope to get Nigel back in the future to tell us about more of his  amazing travels in search of birds.

David Riddle