Marabou Storks and cormorants silhouetted in the sunrise at Lake Nakuru, Kenya; Jan 1978.

Lake Nakuru is a soda lake located over a  mile above sea level in the floor of Kenya’s rift valley.  It is most famous for the vast flocks of flamingos – flocks that can be over a million strong – that periodically reside on the alkaline waters.

Here are two other resident members of the lake’s teeming birdlife.  The Marabou is a huge stork – five feet from beak to tail – and a very successful scavenger of anything at all eatable,  and also an opportunistic killer of anything small and defenceless.  It frequently attends kills of large mammals alongside vultures, and has a similarly unfeathered head for retrieving entrails etc from deep inside carcasses.

The cormorants are the same bird that we have here in Britain: they exist on a diet of fish which they catch underwater.  Despite the fact that they are predominantly waterbirds, their feathers are not waterproofed like those of ducks so that they must be dried out after underwater sorties – and the bird top right is doing just that – standing in the warming sun, with wings out to dry.  (The bird bottom right appears to have a beak protruding from the back of its head, but this is in fact the beak of another individual, swimming on the water behind it.)

This shot might very well have been presented in monochrome, but the gold of the sunrise is not to be abandoned!

Vivitar 400mm telephoto on Olympus OM SLR, mounted on a tripod; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Opher says:

    Those Marabou Storks are amazing birds. Great photo.


  2. bluebrightly says:

    The stork silhouettes are great. I think less kindly of the cormorants. They’re planning on shooting some in Oregon because they’re just getting out of control. not what I’d do, but really, they are just too successful in some places!


  3. The marabou look almost like silent sentinels standing guard over the golden waters 🙂


  4. Nelson says:

    That’s a very nice contrejour photo


  5. paula graham says:

    Great scene, another world. These Marabou storks are truly impressive , I have seen them in great numbers in the Pantanal wetlands a few years ago.


  6. Sallyann says:

    I’m glad you kept the glow of the sunrise, in guessing it wasn’t as peaceful as it looks, with all those birds around though. 🙂


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I just KNOW you like the GLOW!!! 🙂 And yes, not so peaceful – but then I’m not sure I class bird noise as noise – I often wonder what it would be like living next to a rookery – would I love the constant noise or be driven berserk by it???

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sallyann says:

        I know exactly what you mean about “noise”, my perfect house would be next door to a primary school where I would smile the whole way through play-time, but that particular “noise” just makes Hubby scowl and grimace. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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