Urban birding with beginners. Shrikes, Sparrowhawks, Blue Whistling Thrushes.

2017-04-16| Askar Isabekov

I posted the message in Facebook with invitation to join to my birding in Republic Square. Three person joined to me. Given that ordinary citizen of Almaty never awakes at 7am in weekend, three beginners is a large number. In the Square we watched Isabelline and Turkestan Shrikes which were very good models, nesting couple of Carrion Crows, the Bluethroats (I took photos but beginners noticed only the moving from one bush to another one), Chiffchaffs (hard viewable in the crowns of birch-trees). The we went to park where I showed the nests of Sparrowhawks, but birds were not visible. But when we had talking the male Sparrowhawk came with the prey (firstly we guessed the mice but in photo I recognized the female of Chaffinch) and then female appeared too. Birds didn't pay attention to us, were making sounds and doing something probably coupling, I didn't see if be honest. After the watching of Sparrowhawks we went to Blue Whistling Thrushes, and noticed couple of Grey-headed Goldfinches in road. We saw both male and female Thrushes, I was glad because last visit I saw one only bird. By the way, we noticed one of Thrushes faced us immediately after we arrived to spot (it chased Magpie), then it came closer and gave us possibility to take photos. This fact is confirmed the Chinese thesis that not only human watches bird but the bird watches human too. In this case Blue Whistling Thrush came to watch beginners. The birding duration was 2,5 hours, we saw 16 species of birds.









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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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