birdwatching blogs

Almaty. Republic Square.

2008-02-25 | Askar Isabekov

Saw large raptor (Goshawk or large falcon) ) turning over the square with a trophy (crow or pigeon). The raptor was much larger than a victim. [...... read more ]

The Ile valley.

2008-02-23 | Askar Isabekov

The oncoming of the spring already feels. Everywhere in steppe there is no any more snow but iced pools on the lowlands. Still one week ago I easy went on snow on the reservoir, but today snow was not present, and Mew Gulls sat on thin ice under which water darkens. In the same place on ice four Mallards sat also. Over the reservoir White-tailed Sea-Eagle (probably local resident) and White Egret flew by. The recent big snowfall covered steppe by white snow, but open places of wet sand and clay became. Open places with a grass are not present. Therefore small birdies (the Great Tits, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Bramblings, Grey-headed Goldfinches) fed in a grass under russian olive. There were Blackbirds and Black-throated Thrushes in the same place. [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Republic Square.

2008-02-20 | Askar Isabekov

Probably it is possible to tell spring is already close. Till a dinner day was warm and sunny. On the Square saw only sporadic Blackbirds and Great Tits. Except these usual birds I observed only two Coal Tits and one Chaffinch. This winter is poor to birds. I congratulate all birdwatchers with the Day of Ornithologist (February 19th). [...... read more ]

Ile, Enbekshikazakh regions. Almaty oblast.

2008-02-18 | Askar Isabekov

The windy at time overcast day. In Kazakhstan on the winter time the russian olive (or djida) is the basic forage to many birds. On the Ile river valley the russian olive vegetates in many places. Today several hours I observed birds near thickets of djida. Common birds are Magpies, Greenfinches, Black-throated Thrushes. Frightened off Thrushes often do not depart but fade. Considering grey protective coloring and immovability the birds become absolutely imperceptible. One Black-throated Thrush even nestled to a trunk of djida to be less appreciable. Sometimes sporadic Blackbirds, Tree Sparrows were observed. The flock of Fildfares was arrived. Fildfares was arrived orderly by flight at 20-30 birds, sat down on a high tree, looked round and dispersed on bushes. At flying away all actions occurred inversely: by a danger signal all birds flew up on a high tree, looked around and then together departed. Almost at once I found Stock Pigeon. The Pigeon sat very conspicuously, almost horizontally. [...... read more ]

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Ile region. Almaty oblast.

2008-02-17 | Askar Isabekov

A rare sunny day. On Kapchagai reservoir ice does not still thawed. Near to the reservoir probably because of high humidity there is a fog and trees are covered by hoarfrost. There were no birds absolutely. Near Jetygen on the roadside it was a lot of Rooks, Magpies and Jackdaws. Near Janalyk on russian olive thickets from time to time flocks of Blackbirds and Black-throated Thrushes observed. Once saw a flock of Greenfinches and once three Grey-headed Goldfinches. In Baiserke the Common Kestrel sat on a cable column, along a road the male Hen Harrier flew. Three times saw Buzzards, but all three birds did not allow watching themselves, therefore I can not identify it. Also saw Stock Pigeon, but didn't photograph it, Pigeon didn't allow coming up closer than on 50 meters. [...... read more ]

Tonkeris. Talgar region. Almaty oblast.

2008-02-09 | Askar Isabekov

First I visited The russian olive thickets nearby Janashar. On russian olive saw only usual Blackbirds, Black-throated Thrushes and Tree Sparrows. On the roadside few times noticed Azure Tits and Grey-headed Goldfinches. A bit further near Kosmos in the elm thickets large predators were noticeable from away. Most likely, they were Upland Buzzards which are a lot on the south-east Kazakhstan in the winter. Also I noticed two Upland and one Long-legged Buzzards nearby Tonkeris. In the same place saw also the female Hen Harrier. The white waist and a long tail were very well appreciable. The bird sat on the destroyed structures and then flied up. On the roadside much corn grains were scattered, Jackdaws, Rooks and Yellowhammers pecked these corn. On russian olives near Tonkeris there were only Blackbirds and Black-throated Thrushes. The Great Grey Shrike looked out a victim from wires about canes. At this time it became already absolutely murky and it was snowing. Birds were not visible any [...... read more ]

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Little Almaty gorge.

2008-02-07 | Askar Isabekov

On the road to Medeo saw the pair of Ravens in the sky. [...... read more ]

Kastek gorge. Zhambyl region. Almaty oblast.

2008-02-02 | Askar Isabekov

I heard about Kastek gorge for a long time, but I decided to go on a today's trip because I heard information that in the beginning of January people some times saw White Egrets on river floods in Kastek gorge. Till the road to Akkainar the noticeable birds were only several Upland Buzzards and the Pheasants fed directly on a roadside. But right after turn onto mountains we met Great Grey Shrike. Great Grey Shrike is a rare enough bird. Therefore I made some attempts to photograph it. All time Shrike was close to road, sat down on tops of the roadside elms only sometimes flew to the reeds. It was not clear what Shrike is fed, because we didn't see any small birds nearby this place. The situation became clear after we met a flock of Yellowhammers (later on the back way I saw Shrike chased Yellowhammer). On floods of the Kastek river we didn't see Egrets. On the river there was only one White-bellied Dipper, and Crested Larks were fed nearby road. It is a lot of Crested Larks in Kastek village [...... 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


Анна Ясько: Полностью испода крыла у этого кулика не видно, поэтому о рисунке достаточно сложно судить. Лучше всего видны здесь подмышечные перья. Понятно,


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...