birdwatching blogs


2012-05-27 | Askar Isabekov

In Samal Great Tits fed the fledglings, I watched the four crying juveniles were flying from tree to tree after their parent. In the square at Old Square I heard singing Blyth’s Reed Warblers; but some Greenfinches sang songs too, other ones fed the fledglings. I watched fledgling was pecking lilac seeds all alone. At night on the wire I saw last year's male Scops Owl. [...... read more ]

Sorbulak, Big Boguty.

2012-05-26 | Askar Isabekov

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Taukum - Kanshegel - Sorbulak - Almaty

2012-05-20 | Askar Isabekov

In Taukum sands from the early morning we heard the singing Red-headed Bunting, on the road-sides the most notable birds were Crested Larks and Turkestan Shrikes. The waiting morning flying of Black-bellied Sandgrouse in Kanshengel was not visible probably because of the yesterday's rain (appearance of puddles from which birds can to drink) and the morning cold. But some Sandgrouses still came to drink in watering place, we saw two flocks by six birds each, but most of the birds were flying alone or in pairs. Once the pair of Pallas's Sandgrouses was observed, and some later the flock of Demoiselle Cranes. Small Larks were singing very actively; the Isabelline Wheatears already took out fledglings from the burrow. On the wires near the village I saw the this year's first Eurasian Bee-eaters.13.30. Sorbulak was suddenly emptied, almost all passage Shorebirds flew out, the former abundance of birds was gone. Probably only local breeding birds stay on Sorbulak. Even in small number we observed [...... read more ]

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Almaty - Ile canion - Bura - Zhelturanga - Topar

2012-05-19 | Askar Isabekov

During the day the weather changed from time to time, a few times was heavy rain with strong wind, then rain gave way to the sun, sometimes to the clouds and strong winds, which quickly dried all around. However rainfalls and strong wind probably influenced to the behavior of birds which we watched but not much, and not all time.To the Ile river canyon we arrived at 8:40 am, the Rosy Starlings in the numerous number was very active and flying almost everywhere. The Red-headed Bunting already began to sing, also we watched several Pied Wheatears and one Grey-necked Bunting. In the nest of Golden Eagle the one lying chick was seen, the adult bird perched on the rock near the nest but then flew away. Bura, 14.00. Long-legged Buzzard was still on the nest, the Saxaul Sparrows and other Sparrows too; Spotted Flycatchers appeared (probably passage migrants). Common Nightingale and Rufous Bush Robin were very active; especially Robin who sang on the elm twig and in danger case flew off under the [...... read more ]

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2012-05-15 | Askar Isabekov

Today I watched the adult Grey-headed Goldfinch fed two fledglings on the wild apricot tree at Al-Farabi street. [...... read more ]


2012-05-13 | Askar Isabekov

New birds: Terek Sandpipers (about 10-15 birds), number of Whimbrels were increased (5 birds), another Lesser Sand Plover (bright spring male), the rest of birds were the same as a last time. [...... read more ]

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2012-05-09 | Askar Isabekov

Trip to Sorbulak with Gennady Dyakin. The sunny day. Step by step we explored first and second dams on the right side of Karaganda highway, then the little lake (puddle) on the other side or the highway, then the sandy southern coast of Big Sorbulak, the next to road lakes of Little Sorbulak, and then in reverse order - sandy southern coast, lake on other side , meadow and coast near first dam. On the wet meadow near the first dam and on the other side lake there were a lot of shorebirds both local (Lapwings, Stilts, Common Redshanks) and passage migrants which were not last time (Spotted Redshanks, Temminck's Stint, Ruffs). Stints were a lot, in fist time we tried to discern each of them, but after one hour we tired, furthermore all of Stints were Temminck's Stints. On the second dam we watched the male White-headed Duck! On the sandy southern coast there were a lot of birds: Gulls, Ducks, Shorebirds. We watched quite rare Ruddy Turnstone and very rare Lesser Sand Plover. The flock [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Samal.

2012-05-07 | Askar Isabekov

I found the nest of Greenfinch directly on the bus station at Ramstore. [...... read more ]

Ile floodplain - Bura - Ile canyon

2012-05-06 | Askar Isabekov

Riparian forest of Ile river - burned grove, saxaul thickets, asian poplar thickets. Bura - roadside thickets of asian elm. Wells in the desert near Kulanbasy. Ravine on Itzhon plateau. Ile river rock canyon.At morning we used bird calls to photograph Turkestan Tits, not all of Tits actively reacted to calls, some of them didn't pay any attention to call. In the burned grove of asian poplar there were many Common Starlings flew to tree-holes with the Grasshoppers in bills. Also the Kestrels were noticeable. The Saxaul and Tree Sparrows were building the nests. In Bura we saw Long-legged Buzzard on the nest, and several tree-holes on the quite low height. At tree-holes we saw Saxaul Sparrows which didn't begin to nest in my opinion. In Ile rock canyon the first we observed was the nest of Golden Eagle from which two adult birds flew off. In the nest there were two chicks, one of them had several dark feathers. Also we watched the pair of Rock Nuthatches were building the nest. May 5-6, [...... read more ]

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Sorbulak - Kanshengel - Topar - Zhelturanga - Ile river

2012-05-05 | Askar Isabekov

Sorbulak - the coast next to dam, the wet marshy meadow. Kanshegel - artesian wells. Topar - the lakes between sand-dunes, some of lakes grown by reeds other ones by trees. Zhelturanga - asian poplar grove with the bush thickets. Ile river floodplain - riparian asian poplar forest with bushes.The short stay on Sorbulak lake, the most interesting observations were Whimbrel in company with two Curlews and one Rosy Starling in flock of Common Starlings. On the artesian wells at Kanshengel we saw Black-bellied Sandgrouses, quite many Wagtails and quite a bit shorebirds, only Common Sandpipers were in large number. Also we saw one Baillon's Crake. On the Topar lakes next to Taukum sands the birds were absent, but on lakes next to Topar village there were some birds mostly Ferruginous Ducks. On lakes behind the Topar we noticed the same Ferruginous Ducks and also Moorhens. In Zhelturanga grove we short stayed, saw the White-winged Woodpeckers and some of little Passerines. In riparian forest [...... 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...