birdwatching blogs

Trans-Aral area.

2010-06-30 | Askar Isabekov

At morning in Toretam area I saw the pair of Stock Pigeons picked up the seeds on roadside. Between Toretam and Kazalinsk in addition to Stock Pigeons (which were the most interesting of the morning records) I also have three observations of Black-bellied Sandgrouses (3, 1, 2 birds). Some times Caspian Gulls were noticed. From about Kamyshlybash till Aralsk in the desert roadsides there are the wells near which I observed not only Camels but the birds too. Almost on each well the Steppe Eagles were occurred, the Eagles were so much that first time I took them for the Kites. The Sandgrouses occurred too, I for sure saw Black-bellied Sandgrouses and heard croaked Pin-tailed ones. Also on one puddle I saw the flock of Collared Pratincoles and one Kentish Plover.In Aralsk city on so hot day I probably should glad to see even common Sparrow. But I watched more rare bird. Near the well the water formed the puddle, from which the Desert Finches drunk the water. Finches were both black-billed adults [...... read more ]

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Along the Syrdarya river.

2010-06-29 | Askar Isabekov

In the morning near Baigekum village I attempted to find Saxaul Sparrows or/and White-winged Woodpeckers but didn't see both. Some times I walked in the thickets between Jolek and Syrdaria river coast. I watched Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, one careful Menetries Warbler, Pied Bushchat and Turkestan Tits, in addition to rarities I also saw Eurasian Bee-eaters, Collared Doves (in Baigekum and Jolek), Red-headed Buntings, Hoopoes, Common Swifts and Barn Swallows. Some times I saw flying by Grey Herons. Near water tank in Baigekum the Shikra hunted to Tree Sparrows.On the road to Kyzylorda there were some Asian Poplar groves, in one of them I stayed. I saw many tree-holes made by Woodpeckers but didn't watch neither Woodpeckers nor other birds. Only one nest of Shikra was noticed.Over Kyzylorda on road sides there were the little lakes (even may be named as puddles). Near this lakes some times I saw Marsh Harriers, once the pair of Ferruginous Ducks, three times White-tailed Lapwings and also flying [...... read more ]

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2010-06-28 | Askar Isabekov

The gorge to Karaoi is full dry, even there were some pools but river channel is dry. In rocks I noticed the Isabelline and Pied Wheatears. Also I watched Red-headed Buntings and pair of Chukar Partridges with the large brood. On one pool I saw the Green Sandpiper, from time to time Kestrels flew by. In the vicinity of Karatau city near the rocks I watched Red-rumped Swallows which probably nest in these rocks. The rocks is the primary nestings place of Red-rumped Swallows, but later they become to nest in the human constructions. Also I saw on the road the crushed Nightjar. [...... read more ]

Zhambyl oblast.

2010-06-27 | Askar Isabekov

Myrzatai, Sarykemer area. The true rarity was one only - Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, other ones were common Eurasian Bee-eaters. On the semi-dryed fish-pond there were the mixed flock of Black-winged Stilt and Northern Lapwings, and also many Crested Larks. Weather was very hot, birds were a bit.Karaoi. Karatau foothills. In high willow trees of the little oasis I noticed more than one dizen nests of the Lesser Grey and Long-tailed Shrikes which active fed both fledglings and nestlings. [...... read more ]

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2010-06-26 | Askar Isabekov

On the little ponds in Aspara village the Coots and Moorhens float with juveniles, Black-headed Gulls fly by and one a little cautious Kingfisher hide in the cane thickets. At last I have shoot flying by Night Herons, though against the sun. There are a lot of Long-tailed Shrikes, Masked Wagtails and Corn Buntings which are feeding their nestlings.I have seen another nest of White Storks in which there were 6 birds, one of which is adult with the red bill. I guess that it not one big nest but two adjacent, if it possible. [...... read more ]

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2010-06-03 | Askar Isabekov

The rain was from early morning till afternoon. The weather was quite a dark. I didn't turn from the main road but on the road sides I didn't see any interesting. Only near Akterek I spotted sitting on branches Moorhen. [...... read more ]

Sary-Agash. Shardara.

2010-06-02 | Askar Isabekov

Sary-Agash region. At night the strong rain was again. Day was cloudy and sometimes overcast. I stayed at night in the village former named Ordzhonikidze but later renamed and now people are going to rename it again. At morning I went to Shardara town which was at about 60-70 km from my overnight place. Directly from the road I noticed Blue-cheeked Bee-eater sitting on the wires. I hoped to watch this bird and other birds of Southern Kazakhstan (such as Pied Bushchat) later, but unfortunately this record was one only. The road around the Shardara reservoir passes by steppe zone. The birds which I saw were common to steppes: Rosy Starlings, European Bee-eaters, Crested Larks, Rollers, and once and again I watched the Marsh Harriers. I was in this country first time but didn't feel any difference from the northerner places, probably because I didn't close either to Shardara reservoir or to Syradrya river. Shardara town. Weather was cloudy. On the little lake which there is almost in the town [...... read more ]

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Shaulder. Arys. Shymkent.

2010-06-01 | Askar Isabekov

Shaulder-Arys. Day began with the rain which was almost till evening. I went from Arystanbab across Syrdarya river but afraid to go to Shardara because the road on map was traced by dotted line only (but later I got to know that I could do it). So I came back to Shaulder and turned to main road in Tortkol and from it to Arys. All time the rain was, birds were a bit. I noticed only one Hobby was sitting directly on roadside. Arriving to Arys I again tried to go to Shardara but unfortunately the road from Arys to Shardara was repairing too. Therefore I came back to Shymkent and went to Sary-Agash. The steppe over Arys was dry, Crested Larks were a lot, there were some Caspian Gulls too.All road from Arys till Abai (through Shymkent and Sary-Agash) passes across the almost continual chain of towns and villages. I noted only common birds of southern villages: Laughing Doves, Long-tailed Shrikes, and once I saw how Red-rumped Swallows picked up the mud to nests from the puddle formed by the [...... read more ]

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 (134)
2. Boris Gubin (112)
3. Alexandr Belyaev (84)
4. Alexandr Katuncev (71)
5. Anna Yasko (67)


unidentified birds


Сергей Л. Волков: Анна, действительно, бывают и бекасы с таким исподом крыла. У нас бекасы довольно редки, и у наблюдал только светлый испод. Теперь буду знать.Я


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...