To East along the foothills

2017-04-09| Askar Isabekov

Today we drove in eastern direction along the foothills by the road passed near the Big Almaty Channel. About the half of way is rather far from the foothills in the middle of dense roadside thickets of Asian Elm. Channel passes above the road and is visible all the time, below the road there are small villages, fields and the numerous nurseries of fruit and other trees. In winter time here possible to watch flocks of finches and thrushes, in summer time the nesting Wood Pigeons, Oriental Turtle Doves, Orioles, Penduline Tits etc. But most of these birds arrives in May to the green leaves, but now trees are without leaves and we watched only Wood Pigeons and not yet departed Black-throated Thrushes and Bramblings-Chaffinches.

The second half of the road passes close proximity of the foothills. There are a bit of trees, road is slightly swings in both horizontal and vertical planes in accordance with the terrain. Landscape is the low grass meadows with a lot of stones. There are Whetears, Pipits and Larks. We watched probably all of nesting birds of this area including Chukar Partridges and Pheasants. Some words about Wheatears, the Isabelline and Pied Wheatears are common here, sometimes white-throated Pied Wheaters (vittata morph) are recorded, and also today I saw one Northern Wheatear. It may be the passage migrant but about 10 years ago I recored one Northern Wheatear in summer time in the same location, therefore I can guess the nesting of this bird, but I am not sure of course. In this location there are some very interesting gorges which I never visited. Need to plan the special trip to these gorges.

The final destination of our trip is the large pool (mini lake) near Kyzylsharyk village. In this pool I always watch birds, at least Ruddy Shellducks and Lesser Ringed Plovers, but during migration the Wagtails too. Ruddy Shellducks probably nest every year in one of Ground Squirrels or Mormot holes near the pool. Today we watched in addition to the listed birds the Water Pipit and Greenish Sandpiper too. In vicinity of the pool I took photos of Isabelline Shrikes which we saw in road too. But we didn't see Turkestan Shrike today. Also we recorded one flying to SE Crane. We didn't recognize it but it was Common Crane in my opinion.

1. Ile Alatau ridge is always visible in this path

2. male Common Kestrel

3. male Brambling

4. male Black-throated Thrush

5. male Stonechat

6. female Isabelline Shrike

7. Corn Bunting

8. Calandra Lark

9. Chukar Partridge is so bright bird but can be invisible in rocks

10. Tawny Pipit

11. Water Pipit

12. Ruddy Shellduck

13. Common Straling

14. male Isabelline Shrike is very beauty - grey upperparts and rufous underparts

15. Lesser Ringed Plover

16. Citrine Wagtail

17. one more Isabelline Shrike

18. Mallards stay in channel

19. Lesser Kestrel arrived

20. Wood Pigeon

21. even the little water is the life

22. the typical landscape

# species number

1Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)10

2Common Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)1

3Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)1

4Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)1

5Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)5

6Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar)7

7Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)1

8Common Crane (Grus grus)1?

9Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)3

10Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)1

11Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)15

12Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)

13Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)3

14Hoopoe (Upupa epops)2

15Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra)5

16Sky Lark (Alauda arvensis)1

17Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)4

18Masked Wagtail (Motacilla personata)5

19Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)1

20Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)1

21Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)5

22Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)15

23Common Mynah (Acridotheres tristis)

24Black-Billed Magpie (Pica pica)

25Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)150

26Rook (Corvus frugilegus)200

27Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

28Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)1

29Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)3

30Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)1

31Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)7

32Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)3

33Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)30

34Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)1

35Great Tit (Parus major)

36House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

37Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

38Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)50

39Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)50

40European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)5

41Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)2

2017-04-12. Олег Белялов:

Ущелья, о которых ты говоришь, находящиеся в восточной части Заилийского Алатау - уже практически не отличимы от Сюгатов и Богутов. Там из овсянок - скальная, горная и Стюарта. Конечно есть желчная и просянка по предгорьям. Пока не нашел там красноухую, но точно есть где то повыше, как в Торайгыре. Тут гнездится горная славка, которой нет в центральной части хребта, но зато есть в западной, где ландшафт схож. Теплится надежда на райскую и белогорлого - но это мечты. А вот встреча здесь певчей славки, как мне представляется, лишь дело времени

2017-04-17. Аскар Исабеков:

Спасибо, Олег, за информацию. Еще больше захотелось в эти ущелья. Тем более, что они совсем недалеко и мало исхожены.

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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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