Martins, Wagtails, Pelicans.

2017-03-17| Askar Isabekov

Two days ago I had a little misunderstanding in phone call. I talk about Mallards spend the night on snow in our local park, but my friend ask me – what snow about you talking? The higher part of city is all covered by snow, but in lower one all of snow was melt. Today I visited Kurty and Sorbulak and was surprised the steppe is not only free from the snow but almost dry. During the road I saw two first in this spring Masked Wagtails in Komsomol but didn't make stopping because I hoped to find them in Kurty. But whet I noticed House Martins over the Kaskelen river I go to take photo of first spring Martins. In addition to three tens of Martins I saw here Masked and Citrine Wagtails, Water Pipits, singing Red-fronted Serin, Marsh harrier, flying by Cormorants and Caspian Gulls. The most emotional records are Wagtails and Martins of course. The list of birds in Mezhdurechensk.

Sorbulak is still covered by ice, only near the coastal line ice was melt. The same story is in Savka lake. There were different ducks (Ferruginous, Tufted Ducks, Pintails, Shovellers, Pochards) in the open water reeds. Black-headed Gulls already arrived to colony and shouted in fly. Also here I saw three Marsh Harrier, and four Black Kites were flying in eastern direction. The most significant record is flock of Dalmatian Pelicans which were soaring over the ice of Sorbulak. I did't see where they landed. In the first dam of Sorbulak I recored the first spring Pied Wheatear. The list of birds in Sorbulak.

In Kurty I arrived at noon time, the weather began to deteriorate. In the steppe tens of Calandra larks were flying. Twice I saw Steppe Eagles and three times Long-legged Buzzards. In the thickets under the dam I saw Eversmann's Redstarts, Mistle Thrushes, Blackbird, Rock Bunting. Jackdaws and Gulls were flying back and forth. Birds were less in number than I expected. The list of birds in Kurty.

Steppe is open everywhere but not yet green and yet without flowers. Colors of steppe are now formed only by birds. All around the flocks of Rooks and Jackdaws, often I saw circling flocks of Rooks which prepare to depart. If first Pintails were the symbol of the spring beginning, but first Wagtails and Martins mean the finish of winter. Nice!

1. my first Pied Wheatear in this spring

2. Great Grey Shrike

3. first House Martins

4. Red-fronted Serin was singing far from the breeding range

5. Marsh Harrier

6. Masked Wagtail

7. Himalayan Wagtail (Motacilla alboides)

8. Water Pipit

9. Citrine Wagtail

10. Black-throated Thush

11. Azure Tit

12. Black-headed Gull

13. arrived Dalmatian Pelicans

14. Lapwings

15. Steppe Eagle

16. the most bright bird of today birding is Eversmann's Redstart

17. Long-legged Buzzard

18. Muskrat in Kurty river

19. start of migration of Kites to east

20. Sorbulak is ice covered yet

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rare birds records

Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)

© Askar Isabekov
Sorbulak lake system. Almaty oblast.

First photo of rare wintering species in Sorbulak, and generelly in SE Kazakhstan. Before this record male and female were observed in flock of Tufted Ducks at February 2nd, 2003; and single bird at Jabuary 18th, February 21st, and March 13th of 2004 (Belyalov, Karpov 2012).

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

© Alexandr Belyaev
Almaty region, g. Taldykorgan

Second record of Dunncock in South-Easten Kazkahstan. Only one record for region was known before: at January 10, 1993 in northern foothills of Zailisky Alatau ridge, in sandthorn thickets of Chilik river four Dunncocks were recorded (Губин, 2002).

Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

© Askar Isabekov
Sorbulak lake system. Almaty oblast.

First winter record in Sorbulak lakes. Only spring records are known before this one: May 30, 1995 (Erokhov, 2002), April 11, 1999 (Grachev, 2002), and April 23, 2017 (Dyakin, In winter time Pygmy Cormorant is not rare in Chardara reservoir (Erokhov et al, 2006; Kovalenko, Kravchenko, 2007; Kovalenko, Karpov, 2008); recent years was observed in Taraz (Kolbintsev, 2009; M.Nukusbekov,; A.Balykin,, in foothill part of Chu river valley (Belyalov, Karpov, 2009), one specimen was photographed at December 23, 2017 in Taldykurgan vicinity (A.Belyaev,

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

© Malik Nukusbekov
Ertai. Zhambyl oblast.

Rare observation of Black Kite in Kazakhstan in winter time. Previously in winter time recorded in Almaty oblast (Karpov, Belyalov, 2009; Berezovikov, 2014; S.Shmygalev,; in Mangyshlak (Yasko, 2017); and in Chardara (A.Kovalenko,

Березовиков Н.Н. 2014. Зимняя встреча черноухого коршуна Milvus migrans lineatus в городе Алматы // Рус. орнитол. журн. 23 (1082): 3957.
Карпов Ф.Ф., Белялов О.В. 2009. О зимней встрече чёрного коршуна в Алматинской области // Selevinia: 234.
Ясько А.О. 2017. Орнитологические наблюдения в городе Актау // Рус. орнитол. журн. 26 (1399): 382-394.

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Big Year 2018

supported by

1. Askar Isabekov (134)
2. Boris Gubin (112)
3. Alexandr Belyaev (84)
4. Alexandr Katuncev (71)
5. Anna Yasko (67)


unidentified birds


Сергей Л. Волков: Анна, действительно, бывают и бекасы с таким исподом крыла. У нас бекасы довольно редки, и у наблюдал только светлый испод. Теперь буду знать.Я


Сергей Силантьев: Даже визуальное сравнение с большим крохалем на снимке говорит о том, что птица не маленькая...Кряква.


Ясько Анна: На мой взгляд, пропорции у этих двух птиц одинаковые. Сидящая птица также по пропорциям на канюка не похожа (маленькая голова).Кстати, вот

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