Topi and dove

I’d seen a lone topi (Damaliscus lunatus) in passing the previous day as we drove into Maasai Mara. Now on this early morning drive I saw one in the beautiful light. The reddish brown coat, the purple patch over the hind quarters, a mask-like colouring on the face, and the bands of dark over the thighs are very distinctive. The hugely fragmented habitat of the Topi has led to drastic reductions in their numbers. There are several subspecies, and some of them are classed as vulnerable. I would see more of them over the day.

I hadn’t spotted many doves in Kenya, so when I saw this ring-necked dove (Streptopilia capicola) I quickly took a photo. I confused it with the Eurasian collared-dove, but a quick look at the field guide told me that the collared-dove is not found in Africa. The beady black eyes distinguish it from other collared doves of Africa. It has a large range, being found in South and East Africa, and their numbers are actually on the increase. Nevertheless, this was my first view of this increasingly common African bird.