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found 23 new species for Kazakhstan


Novruz 2021. Koksarai reservoir.

2021-03-23| Askar Isabekov

Weather report 100% garanteed the rainy day. Thunder was rattling even in 7 am, it was rainy but horizont was light in all directions, so we hoped weather can become better. Due the rain we first go to the farest point of today trip, using inconvinient for birding rainy time for moving. Dam of Koksarai reservoir is closed by barrier but unlike Shoshkakol it without a lock, as kind of defense of absolutely accidential visitors, I of course agree this mode. All water is ice free, wether is slightly rainy and windy. Fact is special for this trip and probably relating to instable spring, some of species of birds are presented just single specimens, but other ones are definitely counted by hundreds or even thousands birds. Single birds more likely are first migrants, for example today we saw first Barn Swallow. But numerous Red-crested Pochards and Great White Pelicans gathering to huge flocks probably are in pause due the bad weather, before the fly to breeding spots. However the records of one or two Mallard a day looks strange. More or less significant records: flock of Eurasian Curlews, mentioned Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, pretty Slender-billed Gulls, and Pallas's Sea Gulls. The flock of hundreds Great White Pelicans first giving us time to watch thier, then slowly start to fly away but not all in one time, but by single bird like unpicking knittingб slowly, one row for another one the flock was becoming less.

Saying goodby to dam we drived to opposite side of reservoir. There we had a plan to watch birds in old road pathing to water but the dirt of this road changed our plan. We back to the road where we are going to wait flocks of Geese. But first we met two Ospreys in interval of five minutes. First one was free but second one with prey therefore not flew away but gave us a chance to take photos. After the Ospreys we watched the huge flocks of Geese which movement seems was local. We wathced them during about one hour including lunch time. Geese appeared by flocks of hundreds to thousands birds from South-East and landed between road and lake, definitely for foraging. In one flock I noticed someone pale almost white, in size of surrounding Greater White-fronted Geese which formed the majority in all flocks. Later I understood they were just Greykag Geese looking much paler in upperparts than surrounding Geese. Rare species of Geese were found neither in field nor in photos.

Our plan also contained the visit of Shimkent's reservoir of wasterwater, and a quite optimistic watching of Pied Bushchat in the same place. Buschat was not found, reservoir was almost full, I never seen this reservoir so full. Majority of birds in water was formed by Coots, in addition the common species of Ducks and Little Grebes. Many flying Marsh Harriers are common in local reeds. After this final birding spot Marina and Olga left our group, but we go to our last point of spending night, located in area of Abail village.

1. left to right: Marina Sivokon, Olga Sivokon, Aleksandr Belyaev, Robert Parker, Gennady Dyakin, Askar Isabekov, Victoria Zvyaguntseva. photo by Krishanti.

2. Slender-billed Gull.

3. Dalmatian Pelecans.

4. Great White Pelecans

5. Eurasian Curlews

6. Isabelline Shrike

7. Bearded Reediling

8. Pallas's Sea Gull

9. Red-crested Pochard

10. Tawny Pipit

11. Osprey

12. Greater White-fronted Geese with two Greylag Geese

13. Koksarai reservoir

14. Yellow Ground Squirrel

15. Marsh Harrier

16. Shymkent reservoir of wasterwater. Gennady Dyakin and Victoria Zvyagintseva.

# species number

1Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)10

2Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)20

3Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)50

4Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)300

5Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)5

6Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)3

7Great White Egret (Egretta alba)15

8Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)15

9Greylag Goose (Anser anser)50

10Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons)10000

11Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)20

12Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)1

13Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)15

14Common Teal (Anas crecca)20

15Gadwall (Anas strepera)20

16Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)5

17Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)30

18Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)150

19Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)200

20Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)100

21Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)5

22Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)2

23Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)1

24Western Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)30

25Common Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)1

26Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus)7

27Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)7

28White-tailed Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)5

29Merlin (Falco columbarius)1

30Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)5

31Common Crane (Grus grus)35

32Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo)100

33Common Coot (Fulica atra)2000

34Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)20

35Common Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)2

36Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)1

37Common Redshank (Tringa totanus)5

38Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)20

39Pallas's Gull (Larus ichthyaetus)30

40Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)100

41Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)5

42Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans)10

43Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)

44Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)10

45Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)10

46Common Swift (Apus apus)50

47Hoopoe (Upupa epops)3

48Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)1

49Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

50Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla)

51Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra)

52White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)1

53Masked Wagtail (Motacilla personata)10

54Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)1

55Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)1

56Steppe Grey Shrike (Lanius pallidirostris)2

57Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)50

58Common Mynah (Acridotheres tristis)

59Black-Billed Magpie (Pica pica)

60Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

61Rook (Corvus frugilegus)

62Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

63Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)

64Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)10

65Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka)1

66Desert Wheatear (Oenanthe deserti)1

67Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)3

68Bearded Tit (Panurus biarmicus)6

69House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

70Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)

2021-04-05. Елбосын Бабалык:

Было интересно. Хотелось бы в следующий раз присоединиться.

2021-04-09. Геннадий Дякин:

На Коксарае еще 35 серых журавлей и 2 пустынных сорокопута.

2021-04-09. Askar Isabekov:

добавил журавлей и сорокопутов

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rare birds records

White-winged Snowfinch (Montifringilla nivalis)

© Vladimir Vorobyov
VKO Katon-Karagay

The first record of the species in the Kazakh part of Altai, confirmed by a photo.

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

© Qanatbek Kenzhegulov

The first reliable record of the Great Black-backed Gull on the territory of Kazakhstan. There are indications of finds of this gull in the Caspian Sea between the mouths of the Volga and the Urals, as well as near Omsk (Dolgushin 1962). Vagrant are known to the Makhachkala region (Tatarinkova 1970).

Dusky Thrush (Turdus eunomus)

© Askar Isabekov
Uzunagach, Almaty oblast.

A rare vagrant species for Kazakhstan. On February 27 and 28, two birds kept in the thickets of silverberries near the village of Uzynagash (43 km west of Almaty). This is the sixth record of the Dusky Thrush for Kazakhstan. Records of this species are known for the Syrdarya, near the village of Dzhulek (October 16, 1927), near Almaty (February 16, 2013), as well as Ust-Kamenogorsk (October 14 and 16, 2016), Kurgaldzhino (May 7, 2020).

Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

© Askar Isabekov
Almaty, Aitykov str.

The first record of Pygmy Cormorant in Almaty in general and, in particular, during the winter. The expansion of the Pygmy Cormorant to the northeast concerns not only the probable nesting area, but also the wintering grounds. The nearest winter finds are Sorbulak and Taldykorgan (winter 2017-18, one bird each). In this connection, it is worth noting a significant number of birds in the Almaty (40) and Sorbulak (20) records this winter.

more rarities...

unidentified birds


Анна Ясько: Сложно сказать, хохотунья или барабинская. Птица еще не во взрослом наряде, это усложняет задачу.


Анна Ясько: Каменка-плешанка, самка.


Алдияр Сапарбаев: Черныш

more unidentified birds...