blog posts
491 photographed species of 520 (94%)
found 21 new species for Kazakhstan


rare birds records

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Black-throated Thrush (Turdus atrogularis)

© Yuriy Malkov


The first record of the species for the Kustanai region. The bird was feeding by wild apple trees fruits in the forest planting together with Fieldfares and Redwings.

Hume's Warbler (Phylloscopus humei)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Karamendy vill., Naurzumn reg., Kostanay oblast

The second record of Hume’s Warbler in the Nauruzum reserve. The first one was recorded by A.Timoshenko on October 18, 2014.

Meadow Bunting (Emberiza cioides)

© Malik Nukusbekov

Ertai. Zhambyl oblast.

This is the first photo fixation of this species in Karatau. The first one was recorded on September 14,2002 in the willow trees in the Karagur river.
Чаликова Е.С., Колбинцев В.Г. К орнитофауне Каратау и Боролдайтау // Selevinia, 2005. С. 110-116.

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Andrey Kovalenko

North-west area of Kaspian Sea, Kashagan, Kayran island.

The first record of the species in the region of Caspian Sea. The nearest record was in the east of the Aktobe region at 60 km to the north-east from the Irgiz village. (Timoshenko, 2012).

Eurasian Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus samamisicus)

© Askar Isabekov

Gorge. Kenderli bay. Mangistau.

The fourth record of the Eurasian Redstart (Ph.ph.samamisicus) in the territory of Kazakhstan. This is the first record on the autumn migration. The bird was recorded by Askar Isabekov and Alexander Belyaev. Before the vagrant was shot in Mangyshlak (Mitropolsky, 1965); also spring observations were on April 20, 2016 in Aktau, Mangistau region (A. Yasko, birds.kz) and April 28, 2016 in the Chagan floodplain in the West Kazakhstan region (A.Isabekov, birds.kz).

Eurasian Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus samamisicus)

© Andrey Kovalenko

North-west area of Kaspian Sea, Kashagan.

The fifth record for Kazakhstan and the second for this autumn season.

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Galina Kondratenko


Rare record for Almaty region. In Almaty region were recorded in Sorbulak on October 2, 2011 (V. Fedorenko, O. Belyalov, www.birds.kz) and in Almaty city on December 19, 2013 (A. Isabekov, www.birds.kz).

Eyebrowed Thrush (Turdus obscurus)

© Anna Yasko

Aktau, Mangystau region

The new species of the fauna of Kazakhstan. Eyebrowed Thrush is distributed from the east of Western Siberia (approximately to the line of Tomsk) to the Pacific Ocean. Vagrants were recorded in Western Europe.

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Alexandr Fedulin

Korgalzhin v.

The second record in Kurgaldzhinho. Three birds were observed. The first bird was recorded in Kulanotpes river at September 29th 1960. (Krivitsky et al, 1985).

Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus)

© Mark Pestov

Southern Ustyurt

The second record of this species in Kazakhstan. Two birds were observed on trees near the railway junction Taigyr in the Karakiyan district of Mangystau region. In the latest research of birds of Mangyshlak, Ustyurt and Peninsula Buzachi B.M. Gubin (2015) mentions the records of 31th August and 8th September 2010, when Patrick Palmen took the photos of the female bird in Fetisovo village.
The new record was at breeding season, so these two birds could be a sign to the breeding in the region (O. Belyalov, oral report). This record complements the present knowledge and indicates to the pronounced tendency of expansion the breeding range of species which was recorded in recent years in this areas where it wasn’t observed before (Koblik, Arkhipov, 2014). During the Soviet period only one record of this species was known, at April 15th, 1952 in Turkmenistan (Dementyev, 1954). Now vagrant birds were registered in Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia and Russia (Krasnodarsky Krai), but the potential breeding sites are expected for Turkmenistan (Koblik, Arkhipov, 2014).

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

The first evidence of the nesting this species on the Altai Tarbagatai Ridge in the Katon-Karagai National Park, where it was previously assumed to be Y.A. Kotukhov. He observed there a worried female bird on the mountain pass Burkhat (Starikov, 2006). First in breeding season for the territory of Kazakhstan it was noted on the Ivanovo Ridge in 1969, species later turned out to be common in the damp dark coniferous forest areas not only of Ivanovo, but also of the Lineysky ridge (Shcherbakov, 1974, 1978).

Pallas's Reed Bunting (Emberiza pallasi)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

Male, female and juvenile bird were photographed by V.Vorobyov at the Maral lake located in Katon-Karagaysky state national nature park. It's new breeding spot. In the Kazakh part of the Altai the Pallas’s Reed Bunting breeds in the Ukok Plateau in the sources of the river Bukhtarma (Shcherbakov, 1991) and on the South-Altai Ridge in the sources of Kara-Kaba (Berezovikov, Starikov, 1991).

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

© Anna Yasko

Aktau, Mangystau region

The second record of breeding Spotted Flycatchers in Mangyshlak. The first one was found at 50 km to the north of the station Beineu (Levin, Karyakin, 2005).

Pallid Scops Owl (Otus brucei)

© Oleg Belyalov

Almaty region

This is the first record of Striated Scops-Owl in National Park “Altyn Emel”. The mating call was observed on Mynbulak cordon. Quill feathers of one of the bird were considerably curved and spread which means the bird was staying in its hollow. Although the nest was not found, these observations point to nesting. The most eastern one meeting was on May 24, 2002 in the floodplain of the river Ile at the end of the Malay-Sarah ridge, where the voices of the pair were marked. (Gavrilov, 2002). This record is 150 km further to the east.
Belyalov O.V About the record of Otus brucei in the national park "Altyn-Emel" and a new idea of the distribution of the species in the north and north-east of the area // Rus. ornithol. journal. 2017, Vol. 26 (1457): 2411-2417.

Pacific Swift (Apus pacificus)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Kurchum

The first photo on birds.kz site.

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)

© Konstantin Andrussenko


The second record of Harlequin Duck during the winter-spring period of 2017 on the Irtysh River.

White's Thrush (Zoothera dauma varia)

© Sergey Domashevsky

Betpakdala desert. Southern Kazakhstan.

For the first time a vagrant bird was recorded in Betpakdala and in general a rare record for Kazakhstan.

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)

© Alexandr Katuncev


First photo record of species in Western Kazakhstan in breeding time.

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

© Ilya Smelansky

Northern face, Ustyurt Plateau, Aktobe Prov.

The first record for a desert region between the Caspian and Aral Seas. The bird was feeding on a goat's-wheat and a pyrethrum.The nearest breeding ranges for The Red Crossbill are in the Southern Urals (more than 600 km from the site of this record). In the years of poor harvest of conifers seeds they widely roam from the area of their distribution in any direction, flying even into the desert. The nearest known vagrants are on Emba, where the crossbills were marked by S. N. Varshavsky-fed seeds of some cornflower (Kovshar, 1974) and vagrants into the lower reaches of the Ural.
Kovshar A.F Race Red Crossbill - Loxia // Birds of Kazakhstan, vol.5, Alma-Ata, 1974: 320-331

Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

This is the first photo fixation of species on birds.kz.

Black-faced Bunting (Ocyris spodocephalus)

© Natalya Borovaya

poselie Black Uba, VKO

This is the first record for more than 80 years. Only a single record is known at wintering in the Zaisan hollow (Zalesskie, 1931), N.A. Zarudnyi got the vagrants on April 6, 1912 and October 25, 1913 near Tashkent. From the main list of ornithofauna this species was excluded in 2005 by E.I Gavrilov (Gavrilov E., Gavrilov A., 2005) due to the lack of records for a long period.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan", Almaty, 2005

Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)

© Anna Yasko

Saura, Mangystau

This is a rare record for Mangyshlak. There were only a few records in Fetisovo: one bird was on May 3, 2005; The singing of males was heard on May 11 and 23 in 2005 and 2006; one bird was feeding near a hedge on May 15-17, 2012 (Gubin, 2015).
Gubin B.M. Ornithofauna of the Mangyshlak peninsula // Birds of the deserts of Kazakhstan. Book 1. Almaty 2015. P. 22-149.

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucura)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Kanshengel, Almaty area.

That was a rare vagrant species in the Semirechye. The nearest places where the breeding range was known is the lower reaches of the river Chu, west of this meeting something about 500 kilometers. For a long time, birds were met in the lower reaches of the river Ile - June 24, 1933 in the tract Miyaly and June 21, 1942 on the lake Akkol (Sludsky, 1953; Dolgushin, 1962). In the last decade, they were marked twice: 1. On July 21 and 23, 2006 (Bevza, 2011), a young bird was seen in the Karachingil tract (lower reaches of the Turgen river); 2. It was photographed at Sorbulak on July 27, 2013 (G. Dyakin, A. Fokina, www.birds.kz).

Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala)

© Anna Yasko

Aktau, Mangystau

It was a rare record for Mangyshlak. Before that, records are known on June 1-2, 1888, in the region of the Sherkala mountain and the Akmysh springs, on May 6, 1947 near of Fort-Shevchenko, on May 7, 1964 in the tract Danga and May 17, 2009 near the Kaunda hollow.
Gubin B.M. Ornithofauna of the Mangyshlak peninsula // Birds of the deserts of Kazakhstan. Book 1. Almaty 2015. P. 22-149.

Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

© Gennadiy Dyakin

Sorbulak, Almaty region

That was the fourth record of this species for Semirechye and the third for the Sorbulak system.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis saxatilis)

© Alexandr Fedulin

Korgalzhyn, Akmola oblast.

This was a rare record for the Teniz-Korgalzhinsky region. Before that, only five records had been known: in 1980 and 1983 (Krivitsky et al., 1985), in 2005 (V. Khrokov, oral communication), one female bird in Karazhar, on May 13, 2009, one male bird in Korgalzhyn village on May 22, 2011 (J. Kamp, oral communication).
Koshkin A.V Ornithofauna of the Teniz-Korgalzhyn region (Central Kazakhstan) // Rus. ornithol. journal. 2017, Vol. 26, no. 1415: 909-956.

Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

© Alexandr Belyaev

Almatinskaja obl.. g. Taldykorgan

For the first time, it was noted for the Dzhungar Alatau region, in general, it is a rare record for the entire Semirechie region, where it was only observed on Sorbulak on May 30, 1995 (Erokhov, 2002) and on April 11, 1999 (Grachev, 2002).

Wood Lark (Lullula arborea)

© Ainur Iskakova


It was a very rare vagrant species for Kazakhstan and the second photofixation on the site. Before this, Wood Lark was photographed in Fort-Shevchenko on 12 March, 2016, by Aisagali Kydyr.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

© Gennadiy Dyakin

South Kazakhstan

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

Mediterranean Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus brookei)

© Anatoly Levin

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


It was a rare winter record of the species for Semirechie. Before this, one bird was photographed on a plain adjoining the southern coast of the Kapchagai Reservoir on December 17, 2016 (G. Dyakin, birds.kz), one bird was observed on the river Chu in the area near Kordai village in January 2008 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2009).

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

© Alexandr Katuncev


The first photo of the species in the winter.

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)

© Oleg Belyalov

Almaty region

That was the fourth winter record of a Dalmatian Pelican in the South-East of Kazakhstan. The first two records were in December 1998 at Sorbulak and in 2007 in the Alakol hollow (Berezovikov, 2008). Another meeting at Sorbulak was on December 27, 2014 (O. Belyalov, www.birds.kz).
Berezovikov N.N. 2008. Winter records of the Dalmatian Pelicans Pelecanus crispus on the reservoirs of South-Eastern Kazakhstan // Rus. ornithol. journal. 17 (413): 613-614

Rosy Starling (Sturnus roseus)

© Aisagali Kadirov

Tupkaragan, Mangystau.

The first winter record of Rosy Starling in Kazakhstan.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

© Anna Yasko

Aktau, Mangystau

Rare winter record of Black Kite in Kazakhstan. Previously recorded in winter time in Almaty oblast (Karpov, Belyalov, 2009; Berezovikov, 2014; Karpov, no pub) and in Mangysjlak (Yasko, www.birds.kz; V.Kovshar, no pub).

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.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)

© Malik Nukusbekov

Taraz vicinity

Twelve White Storks were recorded by Malik Nukusbekov 10 of January, 2017 near Taraz city. It's first record of group wintering of White Storks in Kazakhstan, and the second winter record in Taraz vicinity, the first one was 10 of January, 1992 (Kolbintsev, 1992). Also winter records of single birds are known to south from Shymkent.

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus)

© Askar Isabekov

Ust-Kamenogorsk. Strelka.

First reliable record of Harlequine Duck in Kazakhstan. There is only note of E.A.Eversmann (1866) about winter records in the lakes of southern steppes, but this record is too unclear. Near the borders of Kazakhstan recorded only at Nezhinka village near Orenburg where male duck was shot by N.A.Zarudny (1888). Both records related to the second half of XIX centure.

Red-throated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis)

© Ivan Bevza


Rare winter visitor for Almaty region.

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

© Anna Yasko

Aktau, Mangystau

Third record of the species in Kazakhstan, confirmed by photography. The first two records were December 9, 2014 in Bautino (Katuncev, www.birds.kz) and December 12, 2014 near Aktau (Katuncev, Isabekov, www.birds.kz).

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)

© Anna Yasko

Aktau, Mangystau

This is a new species for Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Ring-billed Gull inhabits in Northern America, but annually vagrant birds recorded in Western Europe and rarer observed in Central and Northern Europe. This is the first record of this bird in Caspian Sea coast. Probably the same bird was photographed in flock with Common Gulls (Larus canus) in the same place 7th of January and 5th of November 2015 (Yasko, www.birds.kz) but was identified only recently.

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unidentified birds


Анна Ясько: Они если не все, то многие в какой-то степени могут быть гибридными. Но здесь особо признаков гибридности не вижу. Я думаю, можно отнести к [....]


Аскар Исабеков: возможно какие-то жаворонки, но ничего не видно


Аскар Исабеков: Вот это правильный подход - если возникает монгольская или хохотунья - то сразу же надо выкладывать на определение и пусть там висит до скончания [....]


Виктор Калюжнов: На мой взгляд вокруг Серебрянска из овсянок встречаются больше всего красноухие. Давайте перенесём её к красноухим.


Владимир Казенас: Большое спасибо, Анна. В нашем районе черноголовый чекан обычен, но чаще встречается на поле.


Иван Бевза: Спасибо, Аскар!

more unidentified birds...