birdwatching blogs

Almaty. Republic Square.

2012-11-27 | Askar Isabekov

Sunny morning. The flock of about 40 Waxwings flew above the Square. The Black-throated Thrushes were about 2 dozens. Under the bushes on the open ground the Blackbirds were raking up fall leaves; with Blackbirds there were the little bird, probably Robin, but I am not sure because bird hid in the bush. Two Lesser Whitethroats ate the frozen berries but were very active. A lot of Bramblings. [...... read more ]

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Almaty. Republic Square.

2012-11-26 | Askar Isabekov

8.30 am, sunny morning. I noted the flock of Waxwings I observed yesterday, one Lesser Whitethroat and two Goldcrests. These are only uncommon birds and only short morning visit! [...... read more ]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2012-11-25 | Askar Isabekov

Sunny, cold day. Generally I planned to find wintering Warblers, and I found one Barred Warbler and two Lesser Whitethroats. All Warblers were very active, so it means they easily survived the night cold (about -15-17 C). So I was pleased, but the most interesting observations were to come. From a distance I saw the flock of flying birds which were same to Mynahs by size and by flight. However it was not visible white on wings. Flock grounded on thuja, I moved closer and saw that they were Waxwings. Flock flew away but after a short time birds came back in two flocks. At the same tuyah thickets where waxwings foraged the Blackbirds, two Black-throated Thrushes and one Redwing (my lifer) were feeding too. Other noticed uncommon birds: Greenfinches, Siskins flock, one Goldcrest and numerous Bramblings. [...... read more ]

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Republic Square

2012-11-21 | Askar Isabekov

Weather is cloudy. At morning I passed through the Square. Warblers were not noticed. I didn’t hope to see any birds, because the birds’ activity in the winter time begin not so early, but later, about 10 am, when the sun warms the air and berries. But surprisingly there were birds on Square. The winter guests of our city which I noted were the flock of Black-throated Thrushes about 20 birds, several Greenfinches and the numerous Bramblings. [...... read more ]

Sorbulak, Zhana Arna

2012-11-18 | Askar Isabekov

In early morning we was in the riparian grove near Zhana Arna village. This grove looks very similar to riparian forest of Chagan river in Western Kazakhstan: dense trees, a thick layer of leaves under the feet. In grove and in djida thickets we saw a lot of birds, most interesting of them were Howfinch, Barbarian Falcon, White-winged Woodpecker, Wood Pigeon.Then we went to Sorbulak and again come round it. Birds were same as yesterday, plus Black-headed Goldfinches. [...... read more ]

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2012-11-17 | Askar Isabekov

The sunny but cold and windy day. We drove around Big Sorbulak but birds already were not so many. Around all the lake we saw Whooper Swans in groups of about one-two dozen birds; also we saw Mute Swans but in much less number. Ducks were seen badly because the strong wind caused larger waves, in midday time numerous Ruddy Shelducks appeared at the south sandy coast. Also we saw several flocks of Bean Geese. In shelterbelts of Little Sorbulak it was interesting to observe the flock of Red-fronted Serins. [...... read more ]

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Almaty, Republic Square.

2012-11-11 | Askar Isabekov

At 9 am birds were not active, there were not Mynahs and Crows when the sun rised. But at 10 am birds began active feeding. Today’s objects were the Warblers, I found both Barred Warbler and Lesser Whitethroats (at least 4 birds) [...... read more ]

Kimasar gorge. Ile Alatau National Park.

2012-11-10 | Askar Isabekov

Excursion to Kimasar with Oleg Belyalov. The weather was overcast but in first half of day we saw many birds. Raptors (Lammergeier and Eastern Buzzard) were soaring in the sky, Three-toed Woodpecker was heard in spruce forest, quite numerous flocks of Crossbills and White-winged Grosbeaks permanently darted back and forth. We could only spare the lack of sun. Generally I satisfied the excursion in spite of no of good photos. [...... read more ]

Almaty, Republic Square.

2012-11-04 | Askar Isabekov

So very overcast weather that at 2.00 pm it seemed that it was late evening. But despite the murky weather it was able to see both Warblers and many other birds. Most notable birds in the Square were Mynahs and House Sparrows hundreds of which ate up berries on trees and peck the seeds in the grass. I observed as the Rook hid the walnut under the stone. I always have the question - Where Rooks find the walnuts? Now I have another question - Do birds stock forage on wintering sites? Also I saw (the second time) Rats in the crown of thuja. Is it dangerous to sleeping in the spruce branches Warblers? [...... 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. Anna Yasko (64)


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...