Mida Creek lies between Watamu and the main Mombasa Road, spreading over 32 square kilometers. Its extensive mangrove forests, the warm shallow waters and large areas of mud flats attract a wide variety of birds including a great many northern migrants. Local waders include Yellow-Billed Storks, Wooly-Necked Storks, Grey and Black – Headed Herons and often flocks of Greater Flamingo. Regular winter visitors include Crab, Grey and Ringed Plovers, Common and Curlew Sandpipers, Whimbrel, Sanderling and many others, often in very large numbers.
Many other species inhabit the margins of the mangrove forests, such as the Great White Egret, Little Egret, Pied Kingfisher and if you are lucky you may even see the spectacular Malachite Kingfisher. The Osprey and the African Fish Eagle, with its distinctive cry, are often overhead. Other species such as the raucous Hadada Ibis and the beautiful Carmine Bee-eater roost in the mangroves at night.
The mangrove forests themselves are also fascinating. Mangroves occur in sheltered creeks and estuaries where there is a fresh water source. In Mida Creek there are six species of mangrove, which include the impressively stilt-rooted Rhizophora mucronata in the intertidal zone and Avicennia marina with its gnarled trunks and short aerial roots at the muddy inshore margins. A good place to see the various species of mangrove is along the KWS boardwalk on Sudi Island.
In the area of the KWS boardwalk it is also possible to see six of different types of crab which inhabit the mangroves. Pick up one of the conical shells which abound and look inside – you may find a Hermit crab. The white crabs in sandy areas are “ghost” crabs, the small blue/grey crabs in colonies just below high water (look for the crabs in colonies just below high water (look for the casts by the holes) are “Money” crabs, and the fat red fellows are known as “Sally Lightfoots”! Out on the mud flats you will find Fidller crabs, living their aggressive lives in colonies that are either left – or right – clawed, whilst deep under the roots you may see the large holes of the understandably shy edible Mud crab. Along the water’s edge can also be seen the amphibious Mud-skippers.