birdwatching blogs

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Almaty, Samal.

2011-06-30 | Askar Isabekov

At 4.30 am I saw both adult Scops Owls which behaved uneasily and even cried the alarm call. Coming back at 7.30 am I saw female Scops Owl which was perching on the chestnut but not sleeping and behaving uneasily. At dinner time my son found on the tree the fledgling of Scops Owl got confused in branches. We took fledgling in home. And an hour later we found also the male Scops Owl with a white spot on belly. The male perched on the same tree as fledgling. At night we have put out fledgling on the bottom branch of the chestnut-tree, and fledgling began to wander confidently on branches. We also watched the second fledgling which ran on the balcony eaves, but later flew on apricot-tree. Adult Scops Owls both male and female were very active, had time to feed both fledglings and those juveniles which still remained in the nest. Male also sang from time to time. [...... read more ]

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Big Almaty lake, Cosmostation.

2011-06-25 | Askar Isabekov

The morning was sunny, but weather became very murky after the dinner time. Trip with Gennady Dyakin to highlands of Zailijsky Alatau. In first we visited juniper thickets of Big Almaty lake. this season Birds bring up nestlings and behave very cautiously. I saw several Himalayan Rubythroats only by the binocular, other birds tried to be inconspicuous too, and hid in juniper bushes. We ran into White-winged Grosbeaks, Red-mantled Rosefinches, one male Blue-capped Redstart. Only Black-throated Accentors behaved publicly, sang at tops of spruce-trees, the majority of birds are hardly noticeable, possibly brought up of nestlings. In territory of observatory we saw tens of juvenile Grey-headed Goldfinches, one Red-fronted Serin and two singing males of Common Rosefinch. On ascent to Cosmostation we noticed several pairs of Northern Wheatears, one soaring Lammergier, and flight of Carrion Crows. But on territory of Cosmostation (3500 m) we saw only groups of Yellow-billed Choughs, pair of Mynahs, [...... read more ]

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2011-06-23 | Askar Isabekov

At late night I heard the singing of Scops Owl. At once Owls continue to bring up the nestlings. Probably it's close the time of fledging, and Scops Owls can breed once again. It is quite probable, especially considering the abundance of locust at last days, the locusts even flew in open windows of apartments. [...... read more ]

Kim-Asar Gorge, Ile Alatau National Park.

2011-06-22 | Askar Isabekov

Hot, cloudy day. At the enter of gorge I has beheld White-bellied Dipper, Grey Wagtails (both juveniles, and adults) and Blue Whistling Thrushes; at first I beheld one adult Thrush, and then juvenile bird. Juvenile looked out from the grass, but adult Thrush sent the alarm calls from other side of small river. I already watched the similar scene in Tajikistan. Further in gorge I noted one more pair of Blue Whistling Thrushes, then one more bird, and one more on the back way, but probably it was one of noted earlier. In total 6-7 Blue Whistling Thrushes in one gorge. Also in the enter of gorge I saw the flying Hobby. Further in upwards gorge I didn't see anything new. In the bushes of the lower forest belt the Common Whitethroats and Common Rosefinches still sang. It was interesting to me to discover that the short melodious whistle, which I earlier guessed as a song, is a usually call. Today I saw this song whistled by females of Rosefinch. Saw also Grey-headed Goldfinches flew by pairs. [...... read more ]

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Almaty, Самал.

2011-06-21 | Askar Isabekov

Mynahs expelled the Scops Owl from its common diurnal place in the chestnut crone. Today Mynahs fed the juveniles by the mellow cherry both in trees, and on wires. In the beginning adult Mynah selected the cherry, then extracted from it the stone, and then brought the cherry without stone to juvenile bird. All of Mynahs actions were accompanied by shouts and noise. The Scops Owls also conceded to Mynahs the nearest to nest wire, and made to perch on other wire, far from the lantern. Still tonight I saw pair of the active Grey-headed Goldfinches perching on the billboard directly over Al Farabi avenue. [...... read more ]

Almaty. Samal.

2011-06-20 | Askar Isabekov

Last days and nights I watched the Scops Owl, but may not one but two. Yesterday I noted how Owl flew in the nest-hole with the trophy, I went rounded the home and saw the Owl were perching on pine-tree. So probably I watched not one but two Owls. At day I noted only one Owl, probably second one this time were sitting in nest. [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Samal, Republic Square.

2011-06-17 | Askar Isabekov

Morning promenade from 7 to 8 am. Directly near my home I glanced on the sleeping Scops Owl. A few later I heard singing Grey-headed Goldfinches. In Republic Square the Common Whitethroats and Blackbirds were singing very actively. The Great Tits fed juveniles. And on back way I noted the perching on birch-tree Hobby. This season many birds sing again, in the city - Common Whitethroats, Grey-headed Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, in mountains - Black-throated Accentors, Grey Wagtails. Probably these birds will have the second breeding soon. [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Samal.

2011-06-15 | Askar Isabekov

At night I came out to watch the Scops Owl. As yet Owl fed the nestlings. [...... read more ]

Kim-Asar gorge. Ile-Alatau National Park.

2011-06-12 | Askar Isabekov

The hot cloudy day. In Kim-Asar gorge the damage from the last hurricane is not so large, almost all trees survive. In low belt of tree, in the bushes there are a lot of Common Whitethroats and Greenish Warblers. Higher, in the spruce forest I heard the same Greenish Warblers, Blackbirds, Common Rosefinches and Cuckoos. In the juniper thickets I watched the White-winged Grosbeaks, Hume's Warblers and Black-throated Accentors. In the last spruce-trees on the border with alpine meadows the Tree Pipits sang very actively. They also sang on meadows perching on stones. In same places many Black-throated Accentors sang too. Unfortunately it was rainy, and I have not possibility to watch the birds of stone belt and the high belt of junipers. But the birds of highlands were singing most activity of all. On stones I saw only Mistle Thrushes, Hume's Warblers, one Grey-headed Goldfinch, one Raven and many Tree Pipits. Common birds: Magpies, Carrion Crows. Raptors: one Kestrel, one Black Kite. Also [...... read more ]

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Batareika river. Ile-Alatau National Park.

2011-06-11 | Askar Isabekov

Hot sunny day. I wanted find the nest of Eurasian Redstart, but the tree in which hole the Redstarts nested is absent, last hurricane broke many spruce and birch-trees. I tried find Redstarts in the birch forest but didn't find. In forest I saw Magpies with juveniles, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Great Tits, Common Rosefinches, and one Cuckoo camouflaged as dry branch. In gardens the Kestrel, Oriental Turtle Dove and Azure Tit were noted. Greenish Warblers sang actively, some times the songs of Great Tits and whistles of Common Rosefinches were hearable. On Batareika river I watched several White-bellied Dippers, one Brown Dipper, two Blue Whistling Thrushes, and Grey Wagtails with dim-colored and not-wary juveniles. [...... 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...