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birdwatching blogs


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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 [...... read more ]


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Kanshegel - Sorbulak.

2017-04-15 | Askar Isabekov

May be too earlier to visit Kanshengel, not so hot, last week weather was rainy, and waders don't start the spring migration. But I want to do it. Day is sunny but very windy. Firstly we visited the village, looked for Little Owl, but didn't found, then visited the well in village. It's a bit of water, and a bit of birds. We flashed couple of Ruddy Shellducks, took photos of Wagtails and Little Ringed Plovers, that's all. Then we drove in sands. All the time we noticed little passerines – Larks, Wheatears (recorded male Pied Wheatear of vitatta morph), Shrikes; all birds were not far, quite comfortable to photo-shooting. Some times we saw the flocks of Black-throated Thrushes and Bramblings-Chaffinches, the birds not common to desert in all seasons excluding the migration time. It's means the birds are migrating to north. There are no any waders excluding Little Ringed Plovers and Black-winged Stilts. We saw only Black-bellied Sandgrouses. We arrived to Kanshengel at 10 am and recorded [...... read more ]


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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 [...... read more ]


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What birds can be seen in Almaty right now?

2017-04-07 | Askar Isabekov

At morning from 8.15 am to 11.15 am I visited the Republic Square in sunny but cold weather (+5C in average). All the birds were expected, the large flock of White-winged Grosbeaks eating on the ground the seeds of dogwood-tree, the couple of Blue-capped Redstarts, and the Bluethroat. Surpringly I didn't see Shrikes, Stonechats and Bramblings. The Carrion Crow came and looked at me, probably it remember me from the recent years visits. There are a lot of very shy Chaffinches perhaps passage migrants. All the birds are expected but very beauty. After noon we had one kilometer walking along the snowy channel in Kimasar. The weather was cold and very cloudy. I was thinking we will not see Blue Whistling Thrush but we found it. We also watched three Brown Dippers in mating games, very active and brave Wrens, and Eversmann's Redstarts. The most significant record to me was the Wallcreeper posed a long time in different poses. In the mouth of gorge I took photo of little bird in the birch-tree. [...... read more ]


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Ile river canyon

2017-04-02 | Askar Isabekov

In this rainy and snowy season we find one windy day without rain to visit Ile river canyon. I didn't expect many birds because most of birds are not appear yet but the location is intersting for beginners. In rocks we saw resident Rock Nuthatches, migrant Black Redstarts (many birds), local Pied Wheatears, two Chiffchaffs, and many Crag Martins near the river. Chukar Partridges and Jackdaws are common here. In slope the large flock of migrant Rooks were feeding, at least two hundred birds. Of birds of prey we saw Golden Eagle in his own rock, Kites, Long-legged Buzzards, Kestrels.In the water of Ile river we watched Ruddy Shellducks, Caspian and Black-headed Gulls, flying Cormorants and yet numerous Goldeneyes, more than one hundred birds in the river part about three hundreds meters. In the steppe we saw many Calandra and Crested Larks, and also Isabelline and Northern Wheatears. Some birds were not identified: Pipits near the road, Kestrel on wires (perhaps Lesser Kestrel), the bird [...... read more ]


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Urban Birding. Desert Warbler.

2017-03-31 | Askar Isabekov

Hour-and-a-half birding with beginners in Republic Square. I hope that beginners were satisfied, but I was very satisfied because we found the Desert Warbler almost in the center of the city. I never seen Desert Warblers in Almaty, and I am sure nobody seen it here. All other birds of bushes were expected: two Turkestan Shrikes, three Isabelline Shrikes, Bluethroat, Chaffinches, Tree Sparrow and common residents. Carrion Crows probably are finishing the nest reconstruction, we saw Crow with some pieces of sintepon in bill, one piece of sintepon fall from bill to grass. Female Sparrowhawk was reconstructing old nest too, male was not observed. The first in this spring Wood Pigeon flew by.Because beginners didn't notice how was time I can assume that the initiation to birdwatching was successful list of birds [...... read more ]


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Sorbulak. The 2nd visit in week.

2017-03-29 | Askar Isabekov

My last visit to Sorbulak was 4 days ago. But guests arrived and I decide to show the, our main birding spot.What changed during these 4 days. White-headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Dunlin, Black-headed Wagtails, Steppe Grey Shrike appeared. Most of Ducks disappeared, Cormorants are numerous but not gather in shores. Ice melted everywhere. Trip list of birds. [...... read more ]


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What you can see in the city right now?

2017-03-28 | Askar Isabekov

One or one and half hour is the time need to urban birding. Two days I had birding in Dendropark and in Republic Square in Almaty. Now you can meet familiar (often) or unfamiliar birdwatchers in the urban birding spots. In 26th of March in Dendropark (aka President's Park) I met Gennady and Elena Dyakins, we together had some birding. Black-headed Gull was surprise for us, but Pied and Northern Weatears, and Pheasant were predictable but nice records. Bramblings and Chaffinches are yet in park. Magpies are building the nests. Next day I visited Republic Square. At first birds were invisible. Only Isabelline Shrike didn't hide. But when I carefully observed bushes and under the spruce trees I find other birds. I again saw Bramblings-Chaffinches, common Great Tits, Blackbirds and also season guests – Black-throated Accentors and Eversmann's Redstart. Soon, probably after several weeks the urban birding will become very interesting. But some of today records (for example Gull) is interesting [...... read more ]


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Sorbulak

2017-03-25 | Askar Isabekov

The last day before the rainy week me and Sanzhar Abdikhalyk uded to go to Sorbulak. The main target of trip is migrating birds. The first stopping we made over the Karaoi village, where he little finches were singing the songs in roadside thickets. I thing we saw more the one hundred Bramblings, Chaffinches, Grey-headed Goldfinches, Linnets. Further we watched these birds many times and numerous in single trees.In the water of Little Sorbulak there are a lot of Ducks and Coots, in the second reservoir we counted 3-4 thousands of water birds concentrated in the center of reservoir. In the gulf of first reservoir we watched hundreds of Cormorants in breeding plumage. In other spots we saw the breeding games of Great Crested Grebes. Of shorebirds we saw only Little Ringed Plovers which are in flocks yet. The Wagtails were a lot (Masked, White, Cintrines Wagtails), also we saw Water Pipits and Shrikes. In spite of prohibition of hunting we permanently heard the sounds of shots. When we [...... read more ]


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Taldykurgan. Day 2.

2017-03-23 | Askar Isabekov

Second day almost duplicated the first one. In morning we visited ponds, then went to Karatal. The morning ground is frozen, we easy go by all of roads and trails. In the ponds we watched the same list of birds but I saw the Water Rail in additional. Also I shortly noticed the Rail-sized bird with rounded wings looked like little Bittern in colour, I have no any guess appropriated for season and locations. Probably if we had more time for observation of ponds we can to take photo of Rail (we tried but unsuccessfully) and can to watch the daily start of migration. But we didn't have much of free time and we went to Karatal but to the spot located higher than yesterday one. Here was very nice, weather was very sunny and some windy. We again watched Black Stork, Great White Egrets. Eversmann's and Guldenstadt's Redstarts. Also we watched the migration of Eagles and Kites. I was feeling sure that I can just stay in one point and watch a lot of birds which be appeared from all of sides. [...... read more ]


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rare birds records


Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

© Alexandr Belyaev
2017-03-27
Almatinskaja obl.. g. Taldykorgan

Впервые отмечен для района Джунгарского Алатау, в целом редкая встреча для всего Семиречья, где до этого наблюдался только на Сорбулаке 30 мая 1995 года.


Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

© Gennadiy Dyakin
2017-03-21
South Kazakhstan

A rare record in the territory of Kazakhstan outside the Caspian Sea.


Mediterranean Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus brookei)

© Anatoly Levin
2016-06-02
Caspian see north-east part

The first record of the Mediterranean Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus brookei) in the territory (territorial waters) of Kazakhstan.


Western Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

© Ivan Bevza
2017-02-04

Редкая зимняя встреча вида для Семиречья. До этого одна птица была сфотографирована на равнине, примыкающей к южному побережью Капчагайского водохранилища 17 декабря 2016 г. (Г. Дякин, birds.kz), одну птицу наблюдали на р. Чу в районе с. Кордай в январе 2008 г. (Белялов, Карпов, 2009).

more rarities...

Big Year 2017

1. Askar Isabekov (147)
2. Anna Yasko (127)
3. Alexandr Belyaev (123)
4. Alexandr Balykin (111)
5. Gennadiy Dyakin (104)
more...

unidentified birds


2017-04-23

Андрей Симон: Самка обыкновенного жулана?

2017-04-23

Анна Ясько: Мне кажется, что это такая же горихвостка, как и здесь. Странно, грудь серая, остальной низ рыжий. Напоминает самца туркестанской горихвостки-чернушки,
[....]

2017-04-23

Анна Ясько: Клюв полностью темный, ноги темные, желтый сгиб крыла, отсутствие белых полос на крыле - теньковка.

2017-04-21

Аскар Исабеков: спасибо, Анна. очень убедительно.

more unidentified birds...