birdwatching blogs

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Big Almaty Lake. Ile-Alatau National Park.

2008-04-29 | Askar Isabekov

The lake still isn't free from ice. Junipers groves are dry but there is snow in the fir forest especially on eastern slopes. Below the lake in the fir forest I saw two singing Songar Tits and Hume's Warblers. In the thick fir branches male Blue-capped Redstart sang. Even lower in the birch grove I saw Great Tits and four Mistle Thrushes. About the lake the pair of Ruddy Shelducks flew and gabbled. Many Carrion Crows anything searched on the ice. On the ice border Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail were fed. Quite a few of Grey Wagtails. It's a little birds in the juniper groves. Presented birds behaved easy. Birds weren't noticeable and always hid in the juniper bushes. The male of Red-mantled Rosefinch flew by. Only Blackbirds and Black-throated Accentors sang today. Blackbirds sang actively but Accentors sang a little and a low. Accentors sang a little and hid to bushes. Probably it's some early to sing. Some times I enough close saw White-browed Tit-Warblers both bright males and pale [...... read more ]

Temirtau - Almaty.

2008-04-26 | Askar Isabekov

Back road. Very murky. The rain was in all Kazakh Upland. Some places rain was strong some places was easier. Very dark. Despite the rain Harriers flew. Today I observed them less than last time. During 75 km (from 900 to 825 km) I saw 7 Harriers include 4 Montagu's Harriers, 3 Pallid Harriers and one reddish little female, probably female of Pallid Harrier. I think early morning and murky weather affected to number of Harriers. On another time and other weather the number of Harriers may be much more. Also I again met pair of Demoiselle Cranes. Near Aksu-Ajuly I saw one Steppe Eagle. A lot of Common Kestrels, twice near the road flights of Lesser Kestrels turned. Both time there were high enough (15-20 m) rocks nearby the road. On the roadside pools twice saw ducks, once three Shovelers (two males and one female) and pair of Garganeys and once pair of Mallards, male Gadwall and male Garganey. Once Common Redshank and Marsh Sandpiper were occurred. Northern Trans-Balkhash area. The group [...... read more ]

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Temirtau. Nura river.

2008-04-25 | Askar Isabekov

The weather is murky, the wind is very strong. In the Nura holm in willow thickets Bluethroats sang. I hoped to find Warblers but probably it's early enough time to Warblers. Always Magpies were occurred, there were Common Starlings on poplars and Fieldfares in thickets. The female of Marsh Harrier flew out, male Kestrel flushed from poplar and coursed Harrier. On the little lakes I saw Coots, Common Pochards and pair of Red-necked Grebes. [...... read more ]

Temirtau. Samarkand reservoir, Nura river.

2008-04-24 | Askar Isabekov

Samarkand reservoir is large enough, a coastal line is about 56 km. There are groves on the coast of reservoir. In the old poplar grove I saw pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tits, pair of Azure Tits, pair of Fieldfares and singing Common Starlings. Hooded Crows coursed Kestrel. In the grove on directly reservoir coast there is a lot of Fieldfares. The trees are yet without leaves and I found some old nests of Fieldfares, probably they will nest on this place this year. In same grove the pair of Azure Tits were fed. [...... read more ]

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Balkhash - Karaganda.

2008-04-23 | Askar Isabekov

The weather was murky and very windy. First quarter of the road (about 70-80 km) crosses the Balkhash depression. Landscape is plain and desert, there were a bit of birds. I saw only one Common Redshank on roadside pool and two raptors (one Long-legged Buzzard and one Steppe Eagle). Sometimes Caspian Gulls were observed, always single birds. I think Caspian Gulls as raptors hunt to gophers. Further road crosses Kazakh Upland. After late snowfall there is snow on the rocks. Roadside pools got free from ice but somewhere there is snow in depressions. I didn't observe little birds because tried to go quickly. But also they weren't so much. I noticed that Northern Wheaters were instead Isabelline and Pied Wheaters. On the roadside pools I saw ducks (pair of Mallards, much Garganeys, Common Teals, one Ruddy Shelduck, pair of Pintails) and waders (Common Redshanks and Stilts). From time to time Common Kestrels, once the pair of Lesser Kestrels and little Merlin were observed. Almost each ten [...... read more ]

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Almaty - Balkhash.

2008-04-22 | Askar Isabekov

Before the Sorbulak lake I saw only Coots, one Moorhen near Shamalgan station, Citrine Wagtails, one Gull and two Kestrels. Sorbulak lake. Near the Sorbulak lake I saw the flock of Lesser Kesrels. The day was sunny but wind was very strong. Ducks and waders hid from the wind on the little salt lake hidden from the wind by the mound. There were not a lot of birds but the number of species was very diverse. So the longer watch to birds the more birds occurred. Ducks: Shovelers (most number), pair of Mallards, Ferruginous Ducks (5 birds), Red-crested Pochards (pair), Common Pochard (one male), Gadwalls, Garganeys, Common Shelduck, Ruddy Shelduck (pair), Pintails (5-6 birds). Waders: Pied Avocets (pair), Black-winged Stilts (a lot), Common Redshank, Little Ringed Plovers, Common Snipes, Bar-tailed Godwits, one Lapwing. Also Coots, Moorhen, White-winged Terns, Common Terns, Black-headed Gulls, Caspian Gulls. Sand Martins, Common Starlings, Masked Wagtails and one of Yellow Wagtails group. The [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Republic Square, Botanical Garden.

2008-04-20 | Askar Isabekov

On the Republic Square I occurred large (about 20 birds) flock of Black-throated Thrushes feeding in the grass. The larger Blackbirds showed some aggressions to Black-throated Thrushes. On the same place I saw pair of Greenfinches. In the Botanical Garden all same birds such as yesterday. There was the pair of hovering Sparrowhawks in the sky. The Wood Pigeon males high hefting tails gallanted to females. And they did it both on the ground and on the branches. A lot of Great Tits. Some times I saw Chiffchaffs. Some times I heard sounds of Pheasants. [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Atakent, Botanical Garden.

2008-04-19 | Askar Isabekov

There were mostly Magpies and Great Tits on Atakent. Once I saw Hooded Crow coursed Sparrowhawk, heard singing Greenfinches, saw flock of Tree Sparrows. That's all, there are nothing another on Atakent. Good news, the Botanical Garden opened to all people. Public was a little, probably not all know about opening. A lot of Magpies and Wood Pigeons on Botanical Garden. Sparrowhawk coursed Carrion Crow but Magpies coursed Sparrowhawk. Magpies played. Botanical garden is main nesting place of Wood Pigeons in Almaty. Wood Pigeons hooted and sat on the trees by large flocks, someone flew, whirled and hovered. Also Blackbirds, Great Tits presented. Pheasants and Chiffchaffs were hearable. Chiffchaffs were fed on the birch trees. I saw a flock of Black-throated Thrushes. One Black-throated Accentor hid in the procumbent juniper, didn't sing but cheeped. Blackbirds sang actively. Twice I saw the Fox and once the Squirrel. [...... read more ]

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2008-04-18 | Askar Isabekov

It snows. Birds hid. Only Mynahs, Great Tits and Blackbirds were observed. [...... read more ]

Almaty. Republic Square.

2008-04-14 | Askar Isabekov

Birds were a little. Exclude Great Tits I saw only several Chiffchaffs, two singing Greenfinches and one male Grey Wagtail. Probably it's cold in mountains therefore Grey Wagtail stay in the city. [...... read more ]

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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.

more rarities...

Big Year 2018

supported by

1. Askar Isabekov (133)
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


Николай Балацкий: Однозначно, что ремез. Голова в анфас, то есть клювом к фотографу.

more unidentified birds...