birdwatching blogs

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Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-29 | Askar Isabekov

The overcast day. More likely the Lesser Whitethroats were located in three places where they could feed close to the spruce-trees. One of Whitethroats fed on the frozen birch-tree. The unusual event, but Whitethroat was not seemed faint or lethargic, behaved quite an active. [...... read more ]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-20 | Askar Isabekov

I still wait when Lesser Whitethroats fly away. They still did not migrate, today I photographed one of them. [...... read more ]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-17 | Askar Isabekov

Sunny and warm day. Snow was melting. Birds actively fed the thawed berries. In this action most active was the Mynahs and Hooded Crows especially. (Earlier I didn't see in the berry bushes neither Mynahs nor Crows, therefore I presume that Mynahs and Crows are capable to eat all the berries on bushes, that other birds will not have forage until the spring.) Other birds (House Sparrow , Chaffinches, Bramblings) prefered to peck out the seeds of thuja. I watched Greenfinches (about 5-6 birds), Lesser Whitethroats (3-4 birds), Bramblings more than a hundred (!), Chaffinches (about 10-20), a few Blackbirds, Great Tits. No rarities during one-hour walking were not run into. [...... read more ]

[more photos ......]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-16 | Askar Isabekov

After the heavy snowfall the weather is cold, snow is all around. The birds probably hide and waited for warmth. [...... read more ]

Ile Alatau National park. Batareika river.

2011-11-14 | Askar Isabekov

During the very short mountain trip I ran into the awaiting White-bellied Dipper. [...... read more ]

Little Sorbulak lakes.

2011-11-13 | Askar Isabekov

In Karaoi I saw the flying wedge of Gulls, which I could not identify. At entrance to Sorbulak in the morning twilight I saw the Saker Falcon perched on the pole. I thought that have time to take photo of perching Falcon, but unfortunately could not. As a result, only the photo of bird in flight.At the first lake I immediately saw the group of White-tailed Sea-eagles which flew out when I closed. On the lakes there were Great Cormorants, Steppe Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls, but not so much as a week ago. The number of the Crested Grebes became a less too. The wedge of Pallas's Gulls flew to south. The Ducks which I observed were the several flocks of Mallards, three males of Goosander, and large flock of Common Pochards (from afar). Also from afar I saw two adult Whooper Swans with two juveniles. Near the coast only Coots (about a hundred) and five Black-necked Grebes were floating. Then I watched the hunt of Peregrine Falcon to Pigeons. Peregrine Falcon chased two flocks [...... read more ]

[more photos ......]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-12 | Askar Isabekov

The day was sunny and warm. Though the morning was cool. The Warblers were not departed as yet, today in the morning I saw Barred Warbler, Common and Lesser Whitethroats. [...... read more ]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-11 | Askar Isabekov

Unlike Chaffinches and Sparrows which are feeding mostly the seeds of thujahs, the Bramblings prefer the birch catkins. However, there are both the Bramblings on tuyah, and Chaffinches on the birches. Also I saw the Sparrowhawk flying quite a high. Warblers are not departed, today I saw Barred Warbler, Common and Lesser Whitethroats. I noticed that all the Warblers always are in the same places - where the feeding bush is close to spruce, in which the warblers hide and most likely stay to night. [...... read more ]

[more photos ......]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2011-11-10 | Askar Isabekov

Yesterday, after the heavy snowfall in the darkness I saw the Lesser Whitethroat, but today it is not found. But I ran into the Barred Warbler, perching among the snow-covered branches. In the tuyahs many House Sparrows together with Chaffinches were feeding. Only one Brambling was noticed. Throughout the area the Blackbirds became noticeable. [...... read more ]

Sorbulak. Almaty oblast.

2011-11-05 | Askar Isabekov

Trip with ornithologists. We saw Little Grebes, Black-necked Grebes, Great Crested Grebes, Mute and Whooper Swans, juvenile Pelican, White Egrets and Grey Herons, many Great Cormorants, Coots, White-tailed Sea-Eagles, Twites and other birds, in total 31 species. [...... 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 (127)
2. Boris Gubin (102)
3. Alexandr Belyaev (84)
4. Alexandr Katuncev (71)
5. Malik Nukusbekov (66)


unidentified birds


Сергей Л. Волков:


Александр Катунцев: Предполагаю. что это vulpinus Для восточного мелковат!


Анна Ясько: Тут я пас. Не знаю признаков pseudorufinus.


Сергей Силантьев: Даже визуальное сравнение с большим крохалем на снимке говорит о том, что птица не маленькая...Кряква.

more unidentified birds...