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Of missed chances

coastal birds
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Or maybe stillness…

My goal of chasing the sunrise in 2019 continues.

Well, I get to see the sunrise while at home every single day apart from the weekends when I choose to sleep in. But when an opportunity comes to view the sunrise in a different location, especially overlooking the vast ocean, I dare not say no.

A trip to Malindi at the beginning of the month was much needed. First, I was heading towards a burnout kind of situation. Second, I couldn’t wait to explore, both Malindi itself and stare at the ocean wondering how lost I can get in it. The moment of stillness. This came at an opportune moment after reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.

The first morning in Malindi I was actually shocked that I could wake up early after arriving late the previous day. Maybe I was too excited. All I wanted was to get a glimpse of the sunrise and hopefully do some bird watching. You are always in tune with wildlife when there are birds to view.

Coastal Birds

Grey Heron © Ken Gitau

Even before the sun showed itself from the horizon, there were waders casually enjoying breakfast. ‘A bit too salty.’ I thought to myself. ‘But they must be used to it.’ ‘It’s called adaptation.’ Sometimes my right and left brain’s hemisphere never get along. I only vividly remember identifying the Grey Heron on this morning even though there was a myriad of other birds, possibly sandpipers and other coastal waders. (Note to self: You need a crash course on waders. Specifically coastal waders and waterfowls.)

On this day, there was also the chance to spot birds in the ocean. But where was my mind on that particular moment, wondering how we are just a small drop in the ocean. I think being in the ocean makes you think deep, really deep within yourself.

A crab © Ken Gitau

Day two was coupled with the same bird species. I should think. I was the least bothered. But for some reason, I was just observing not labelling things. I was plainly meditating over the goodness of nature. Being baffled by nature’s magnificence. To see how beautiful the world is, especially Malindi. On this day, it was World Wildlife Day. My main thoughts were of the vastness of life below water. Imaging how close to 200000 marine species identified numbering to more than one million which have yet to be identified called the ocean home. It’s more than your brain can grasp in a day.

Nature

From right on the ground Heuglins Gull. Next to it is a Sooty Gull © Ken Gitau

The third day saw me not wanting to miss the sunrise on my last day in Malindi considering I had missed it on the previous day. This was fortunately followed by a morning walk along the shore until we cross to the other edge or maybe we were just pressed for time. After getting glimpses of crabs burrowing in the sand as they woke up from their temporary homes (I find this behaviour very interesting), enjoying the cool morning sun before it could become unbearable during the day and coming to the realisation that Nairobi is calling and we can’t stay here forever, well not yet, I was only left with one goal, doing a serious bird excursion along Malindi and Watamu. This will be the best place for a crash course.

Another crab. Legends say it’s a ghost.  © Ken Gitau

In the meantime, despite the lost opportunity to identify the many bird species along this region and being content with the Common House Sparrow and the Indian Crow lest I forget the Grey Heron, my mornings in Malindi were filled with stillness.

All I can say is that I saw many unidentified lifers.

If at all you need a break, look for what inspires you daily. For me, travel does other than conquering my fears.

“You are never more essentially, more deeply, yourself, than when you are still.” – Eckhart Tolle

Coastal birds

Greater Crested Tern in flight © Ken Gitau

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Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui is a believer in all things beautiful. A believer in spreading information in regards to environmental awareness. A believer in sharing all that is good in Kenya's natural world. A believer in speaking truth with no boundaries. Do you have a story, photo, experience or message you need to share? Send your work to vicki@nyikasilika.org or vickiwangui26@gmail.com.

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