blog posts
493 photographed species of 521 (94%)
found 21 new species for Kazakhstan


rare birds records

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Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

© Askar Isabekov

Sorbulak lakes system.

The first record at Sorbulak confirmed by photography. Previously, there is record of two vagrant birds here of June 5, 2011 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012). The nearest known breeding range is the Alakol system of lakes, where the first nests were found in 2000 (Berezovikov, 2004, Berezovikov, Levinsky, 2008).

Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata rossorum)

© Victoria Kovshar

low Ural River, Atyrau region

For the first time ever recorded in the Northern Pre-Caspian. Breeding in Kazakhstan is known only for Kyzylkum. Several vagrants were recorded to the east of the breeding range: at Bilikol (Gubin, 1991, oral report); at Aksu-Jabagly (Kolbintsev, 1999); at Chokpak (Gavrilov & Gavrilov, 2005); at Sorbulak (Kovalenko, 2007, www.birds.kz), and to the west from the breeding range: in Mangyshlak (Gubin, Vilyaev, 2012, www.birds.kz). The northernmost until this day record is the report about male of May 14, 1882, near Orenburg (Zarudny, 1897).

Menetries Warbler (Sylvia mystacea turcmenica)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Zhambyl area. Chu river.

The Menetries Warbler breeds in Kazakhstan along the valley of the Syrdarya river. However for a long time Oleg Belyalov suggested that Menetries Warblers regularly caught at the Chokpak station can breed much to east from the known breeding range. After more than 10 years these assumptions were confirmed. This is the first record of a Menetries Warbler proving its breeding on the Chu river, at 400 km to the east of the previously known breeding spots.

Menetries Warbler (Sylvia mystacea turcmenica)

© Askar Isabekov

Ile river holm

And then one even more eastern record of the Menetries Warbler confirming its habitat in the floodplain of the Ile river. That expands the range of the habitat for more than 600 km to the east of the previously known breeding spots in Kazakhstan.

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Shili lake., Auliekol reg., Kostanay obl.

The first vagrant confirmed by a photography. In addition to this record there are several more ones are known: in 1900-1901 birds were observed on the Irtysh in autumn (Yablonsky, N.I, 1904); on August 27, 1998 a flock was observed on the Sorkol lake, on May 4, 1999 single bird was observed in the mixed flock between the Bozshakol and Pyatikhatka lakes (Erokhov SN, Berezovikov N.N, 2000); on February 13, 2006, on Shoshkakol lakes 6 Barnacle Gees were observed (A.V Kovalenko, SA Kravchenko, 2006).

Common Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Sorbulak lake, Almaty region

For the first time Common Oystercatcher breeds in Sorbulak last year. But the eggs were not measured, and the history of the nest was not traced. This year the birds made the clutch in the same place. The size of the eggs and the behavior of the bird confirmed their breeding.

Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

For the first time recorded on Altay. The nearest records are known from Alakol depression (Berezovikov,2008).

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba baicalensis)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Sorbulak lake, Almaty region

Two birds were observed on Sorbulak.

Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Small Sorbulak lakes, Almaty region

First record from Sorbulak.

Bewick's Swan (Cygnus bewickii)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Almaty area. Sorbulak.

The first record in Semirechye confirmed by photography. The spring records are known in two places: on Ile in the mouth of Khorgos (Alferaki, 1891) and in the delta of Tentek river (Berezovikov, 2002). On Sorbulak it was previously recorded once in the beginning of winter (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012).

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

© Alexandr Katuncev


First winter record in western part of Kazakhstan. Earlier only several records were in Southern Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Almaty oblasts.

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

© Galina Kondratenko


First record of Laughing Dove on Mangyshlak.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

© Ivan Zuban


First winter record in Kazakhstan confirmed by photos. Earlier the latest records in Ural river delta were in the third ten days of October (Gistsov, 2012). There is the information about December record in foothills of Western Tien Shan (Kolbintsev, 1997).

Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla kobdensis)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

First confirmed by photos record of Great Rosefinch in Kazakhstan part of Altai. Earlier at July 20 of 2005 Raffael Aye observed couple in upper of Katun river near the border with Russia (KOB-2005, p183).

Blyth's Rosefinch (Carpodacus grandis kotschubeii)

© Andrey Kovalenko

South Kazakstan area. Zhabagly.

New species of fauna of Kazakhstan. First birds were shot in Zhabagly (Southern Kazakhstan) at January 12 2014 by E.Belousov. In same place at 8-9 of February A.Isabekov, A.Kovalenko and V.Fedorenko also photographed these birds. Previously known in localities of Uzbekistan bordered to Kazakhstan territory, nests in Ugam and Pskem ridges.

Pallas's Rosefinch (Carpodacus roseus)

© Serg Silan


The first photos of this species on the site. In the Kazakhstan’s part of Altai the nesting of Pallas’s Rosefinch is known only in several sites. In winter time was observed in foothills.

Caucasian White-winged Snowfinch (Montifringilla nivalis alpicola)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Space station, Zailiysky Alatau

First winter record in Ile Alatau. In this ridge only three observations of the little flocks (15, 25 and 27 of October 2003) in Middle Talgar (3000-3400 m) was known (Dzhanyspaev, 2004). The nearest breeding sites are in the Kyrgyzstan part of Kungei Alatau. In Kazakhstan was found in Terskei Alatau, Kyrgyz Alatau, Talas Alatau and Ugam ridges (Gavrilov, 1974). Probably this record shows to the nesting on the southern slope of the Ile Alatau which is almost unexplored by scientists.

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

First time photographed in Kazakhstan. Before only one record was known in Kazakhstan - in the upper Bukhtarma river at August 27, 1987 Boris Scherbakov (1990) observed the brood.

Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

© Andrey Kovalenko

South Kazakhstan area. Shardara.

Very rare vagrant to Kazakhstan. Earlier recorded on Caspian sea (Dolgushin I.A.., 1962), at 30 of October 1969 on Ile river (Gavrilov E., Gavrilov A., 2005), at 1st of October, 2006 on Koibagar lake (Berezovikov N.N., 2007) and at January of 16, 2009 in Aktau (Kovshar V., 2009)

Spotted Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla severtzovi)

© Yevgeny Belousov

South Kazakhstan, Dzhabagly village.

Rare resident occurring at long intervals. The first record at December 15, 1938 (Kovshar, 1966). Next winter observations was in 1970/71 and 1971/1972 years. (Gubin, 1989). Later observed in 1989, 1991, 1995, 2003. (Chalikova, 2004; Kolbintsev, 2004). The last records was at March 7 and 16, 2011 - (E.S. Chalikova, unpublished information).

White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)

© Alexey Timoshenko


The 6th record in Kazakhstan.

Red-throated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis)

© Madina Dyussebayeva

Almaty city

The 10th record of Red-throated Thrush in Almaty oblast and the 4th in 2013. This year Red-throated Thrush was observed at January 19 (Dyakin G., Isabekov A., Kovalenko A., www.birds.kz) , at February 17 (Isabekov A., Fedorenko V., www.birds.kz) and at February 23 (Fedorenko, V., www.birds.kz). Earlier the six records (Nikolsky, 1887, Shnitnikov, 1949, Gavrilov, 1970) and several unpublished records were known.

White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)

© Ivan Zuban


The fifth record of White-winged Crossbill in Kazakhstan, but the first record confirmed by the photos. Previous records: in 20s of November 1971 near Semipalatinsk (Kovshar A.F., 1974); at August 19, 1999 on the lake Sultankeldy (Heinicke, 2006); at August 30, 2002 at the lake Shangin (Belyalov O.V., 2002); at January 27, 2008 in the upper river Tautekeli (Starikov S.V., 2009).

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Askar Isabekov

Almaty. Republic Square.

The first winter record in Kazakhstan. Breeds only on Lineisky and Ivanovsky ridges of Altai (Scherbakov, 2002). In all the rest territory only six autumn records are known: in 1920 near Kustanai (Geptner, 1925); in 1925 near Semipalatinsk (Selevin, 1930); in 1960 at Kurgaldzhino (Krivitsky et al, 1985); in 2011 at Aktobe steppes (Timoshenko, 2012) and near Sorbulak (V.Fedorenko, www.birds.kz); in 2012 at Betpak-Dala (A.Vilyaev, www.birds.kz).

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

© Oleg Belyalov


Only few winter observations are known for South-Eastern Kazakhstan (Gavrilov, 1999). The third winter record in Sorbulak vicinity, the previous two were at December 09, 2000 and February 20, 2011 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012).

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

Very interesting record. The nearest nesting sites were on Zaysan lake and Black Irtysh river, but the reality of nesting in recent years is unknown. (Starikov, 2002; Gistsov, 2012). Spoonbill is rare bird of fauna of Kazakhstan. Despite the widespread breeding, its total number is least than 1000 pairs.

Pander's Ground-Jay (Podoces panderi panderi)

© Alexey Timoshenko

UKO, Kyzylkum

Lives in the distant parts of the Kyzlkum desert and rare recorded by researchers. The subspecies transcaspius (Zarudny Kudashev, 1916) was described from this area, but later combined to P. p. panderi.

Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum)

© Askar Isabekov

Almaty, Republic Square.

The latest date record in Kazakhstan. In prior only some records were known in the south of the country, but all of them belonged to the end of October (Kovshar, 1966; Gavrilov, Gistsov, 1985). That the latest date record was the observation by Severtsov N.A. at October 26 in Shymkent, but it was about 150 years ago.

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

© Fedor Sarayev

Mangystau oblast. Buzachi.

The first record from the western part of Kazakhstan was confirmed by the photos.

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

© Svetlana Aleinikova


The first record on the Ustyurt plateau. The closest recording sites are on the Peninsula Mangishlak, where it was observed by only three ornithologist - Dolgushin I.A. (10 May 1947), Korelov M.N. (8-16 September 1964) and Kovshar A.F. (17 May 1990).

Siberian Pipit (Anthus rubescens japonicus)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Almaty area. Sorbulak lake.

The first photo was taken from the territory of Kazakhstan. On Sorbulak alone birds were seen at December 25, 2004; March 7, 2005 and October 9, 2011 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012), but none of them has been confirmed by photography.

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Almaty area. Sorbulak lake.

Photographed for the first time in South-Eastern Kazakhstan. On Sorbulak previously not observed. In the region there are only old records: November's observation near Dzharkent in 1899 (Zarudny, Koreev, 1905); record at 20-21 April 1907 in the meadows near Otar; the river Chu at October 1, 1915; and at river Lepsy (Shnitnikov, 1949). Of course the rarity of observations because the Meadow Pipit does not stand out in the mass of other Pipits passing through Kazakhstan.

Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus)

© Viktor Kolesnikov


A rare encounter and the first photo of this species on the site. Over the past few years, known several meetings of Yellow-browed Warbler in Kazakhstan: 13.09.2001 and 27.09.2002 ensnared by st. Chokpak, Jambul region (Kovalenko A.V. and others), and several times was fixed at Kanshengel village, Almaty region. - 14,18.05.2002 and 26.05.2003 (Kovshar A.F.) and 19-20.05.2002 (Kovshar V.A.) noted twice in western Kazakhstan 17-18.10.2002 and 29.04.2005 in the Fetisovo village, Mangystau region. (Gubin B.M.).

Pallas's Warbler (Phylloscopus proregulus)

© Yevgeny Belousov

South Kazakhstan, Dzhabagly v.

One of the rarest birds of the fauna of Kazakhstan. It’s 12th record of this species. Previous records: 1. Mass passage migration in Aksu-Zhabagly at October 7-23, 1960, one bird obtained at October 7th (Kovshar, 1966); 2. Mass passage migration in Aksu-Zhabagly at October 3-17, 1960, one bird obtained at October 3th (Kovshar, 1966); 3. Mass passage migration in Aksu-Zhabagly at November of 1970 (Gubin, 1989); 4. Mass passage migration in Aksu-Zhabagly at November of 1971 (Gubin, 1989); 5. Observed in Ust-Kamenogorsk at October 31, 1981 (Starikov, Tsikh, 1990); 6. Caught in lower Sarysu at September 27, 1986 (Khrokov ect,1991); 7. Observed in Kapchagai city vicinity at May 22, 1990 (Kovalenko, 2002); 8. Caught in Kurgalzhini reserve at September 18, 1999 (Koshkin, 2002); 9. Caught in Chokpak at October 21, 2001 (Gavtilov E., Gavrilov A., 2005); 10. Caught in Chokpak at October 24, 2002 (Gavtilov E., Gavrilov A., 2005); 11. Observed in Aksu-Zhabagly reserve at April 13, 2004 (Chalikova, 2005).

Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Almaty area. Balkhash lake.

Pygmy cormorant was photographed for the first time on lake Balkhash. Previously it was recorded in Ile river delta on october 21, 2007 (Panov, 2008). There are records from Sorbulak lake on May 30, 1995 (Erokhov, 2002), April, 11, 1999 - 2 birds (Grachev, 2002). Winters on river Chu close to Kurday pass (Karpov, Belyalov, 2009).

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucura)

© Gennadiy Dyakin

Almaty region, Sorbulak lake

The first meeting on the Sorbulak lake. Two birds were observed on the west side of the lake near the dam. Nearest famous meeting occurred in the lower reaches of the Ili river on June 24 (I.A. Dolgushin, 1962) and in Karachengil hunting farm on July 21 and 23 2006 (I.A. Bevza, 2007).

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Karamendy vill., Naurzum reg., Kostanay oblast

This is the first photographic record of this species in Kazakhstan on this website. Dunnock was recorded in Kustanay oblast previously only several times. N.M. Smetana (1974) E.A and T.M. Bragin (2002). The breeding range in Western Siberia (per Ryabitsev 2008) comes very closely to Kazakhstan border - in the forested areas close to Ural mountains. Also recorded on migration along Ural river near the Caspian and the Mangyshlak peninsula (Gavrilov, 1999).

Sociable Lapwing (Chettusia gregaria)

© Gennadiy Dyakin

Almaty region, Sorbulak

This is the first record of the sociable lapwing in the Sorbulak lake system over more than 50-years of ornithological observations in this area. There are irregular records close to this location. On river Kaskelen (by Shnitnikov, 1949), Itzhon plateau, right-side bank of Ile river (Dolgushin, 1962) and at the edge of the Taukun desert in Kanshengel (Berezovikov et al., 1999). Two broods have been recorded in Kanshengel on June 21, 2003 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2004).

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)

© Gennadiy Dyakin

East Kazakhstan, Yazevoye lake

This is the first photographic record at lake Yazevoye (Listvaga mountain range). In July 2006 two broods each of brown and red-backed shrikes (Chelyshev, Nagibina, 2007). In Kazakhstan brown shrike has also been noted for Western Altay (Kuzmina, 1948; Sherbakov 1986) and Markakol Lake Depression (Berezovikov, 1989).

Ibisbill (Ibidorhyncha struthersii)

© Gennadiy Dyakin

Almaty region, Borohudzir

Earlier breeding of Ibisbill only supposed in this region, but until now there was no significant findings.

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unidentified birds


Сергей Силантьев: Почему не рассматривается подвид зеленой - viridanus, ведь четко видится светлая хотя и не резкая полоса по краям больших кроющих?


Владимир Муравский: Не сильно обнадёжили, хочется всё-таки какой-то определённости, ну или консенсуса хотя бы :)


Нурлан: По клюву и телосложению мне видится восточный канюк.


Александр Катунцев: почему не рассмотреть вариант с восточноевропейской.


Алексей Кошкин: Высылал на определение П. Томковичу, российскому специалисту по куликам. "...окраска оперения странная...", "...предположил, что если не какой-то [....]


Аскар Исабеков: Вы правы, Михаил, осталось только понять который, у нас их три вида. Я больше склоняюсь к тростниковому.

more unidentified birds...