Kazakhstan May 11 July 11 2008

By Sander Bot, sanderbot@yahoo.co.uk

Russian names of birds by Svetlana Baskakova

 

Introduction

For my study I went to Kazakhstan for two months to study Penduline Tits. The first period was spent in the village of Dzhabagly for the White-crowned Penduline Tit, the second part in Topar for the Black-headed Penduline Tit.

It is not easy at all to arrange a trip to Kazakhstan by your self. Car rental costs $200 a day, people dont respond to emails or phone calls. Accommodation can be very expensive in some places. Nobody understands a word English. If you want to arrange a trip yourself make sure you have some local contacts who can help you. One very useful contact over there is: http://www.wildnature-kz.narod.ru

 

Literature

The recently published The birds of Kazakhstan by Arend Wassink and Gerard J Oreel is a must. It is not an identification guide, but it gives very detailed information of the status, habitat, distribution and migration of every species and subspecies recorded in Kazakhstan.

More information (including ordering instructions) on the books website:

www.birdsofkazakhstan.com

Unfortunately there is no identification guide only covering Central Asia. Maybe you could use a mix of the following books:

-Birds of South Asia, the Ripley guide. This guide covers Kazakhstan, but it comes in two parts and is a bit expensive.

-Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle-East by Porter et al..

-Collins Bird Guide to Britain and Europe by Svensson et al..

-Collins field guide: Birds of the Palearctic: Passerines. By Norman Arlott.

-Dutch Birding kenmerkengids by Nils van Duivendijk. Sorry, this good book is in Dutch.

 

Places Visited

 

Dzhabagly May 12 - June 10

The village of Dzhabagly (Zhabagly, Jabagly), lies in South Kazakhstan province, some 100 km east of Shymkent, near the Western Tien Shan foothills. We stayed in this village in a homestay. This Full board homestay was very good. Website of the guesthouse: www.wildnature-kz.narod.ru In the village we met Svetlana Baskakova. She is an ornithologist and speaks good English and knows the birds very well. You can mail her for information on bird watching and ecotourism in the Aksu-Jabagly Nature Reserve: baskakova2008@mail.ru

From the village it is a few km walk to the foothills, our study site. The full period was used for walking up and down the study site for the White-crowned Penduline Tit. The bird watching companies do not visit this site. But if you want to see species like Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Rufous-naped Tit and Yellow-breasted Tit you might consider to visit this village.

 

Topar June 12 June 26

Topar is a small village some 100km north of Kolshengel. There is no accommodation but the driver managed to arrange a house for the period. You need a four wheel drive here, and its better to have a driver as well. Our driver was essential to survive all kind or people who said they were ranger, police man or whatsoever. We studied Black-headed Penduline Tit here, but were a bit too late in the season.

 

Tengiz-Korgalzhyn Region July 1 July 3

Essential for species like Black lark, White-winged Lark and Heuglins Gull. I went there by train from Almaty to Astana. Going by train is cheap and it takes only 21 hours one way. From Astana I took the bus to Korgalzhyn. Here I stayed at a home stay for 3000 tenge, including meals. The owners took me to the reserve. I also joined the Sociable Lapwing research team for a day. Maxime Koshkin works for the project and he not only showed me the Lapwings but also helped me with arranging the home stay etc. (Maxime, thanks).

 

Ili-Alatau national park July 5 July 8

The Tien Shan has many nice birds to offer including Ibisbill and different species of Redstart and Accentor. It is possible to arrange a trip to the Tien Shan by yourself. From Almaty I took city bus 28 to its final destination. From there its a 15 km walk to the Tien Shan Observatory. How to get there exactly is described in the Lonely Planet Central Asia. The Tien Shan Observatory offers decent rooms and meals. Price is 2500 tenge per night per room, and meals are 800 tenge. From this place you can walk to all spots mentioned in the trip reports. If you print some trip reports from the internet you should be able to find all the specialties yourself. I got some help from one of the owners of Central Asia Birding, Machiel Valkenburg (Machiel, thanks).

 

Species List

 

1. Mute Swan Cygnus olor Лебедь-шипун

13/6: 1 at Topar lakes.

1/7: 2 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

2. Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus Лебедь-кликун

2/7: 2 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

3. Greylag Goose Anser anser rubrirostris Серый гусь

25/6: 2 at the Topar lakes.

2/7: 3 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

4. Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea Огарь

15/6: 3 at the Topar lakes.

27/6: 4 at Sorbulak lake.

2/7: 4 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

5. Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna Пеганка

1/7: A group of about 50 birds flying past near Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

6. Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina Красноносый нырок

Common at the Topar lakes.

1/7: 6 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: 20 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

7. Common Pochard Aythya ferina Голубая чернеть

Not seen near Topar, but very common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region with big groups at Sholak lake and near Karazhar.

 

8. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca Белоглазая чернеть

Common at the Topar lakes and 1 in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region, near Karazhar.

 

9. Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula Хохлатая чернеть

Not seen near Topar and a few birds seen in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

10. White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala Савка

2/7: 3 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve, 2 males, 1 female.

3/7: 150 in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region. Mainly adult summers males, some females and one male with black head. I saw them on two lakes, one holding 20 birds, the other lake 130 birds. Dont know the exact location but I was with the Sociable Lapwing team not too far from Korgalzhyn.

 

11. Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula clangula Гоголь

2/7: 15 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

12. Goosander Mergus merganser merganser Большой крохаль

1 and 2/7: Male in a ditch at the edge of Korgalzhyn village.

 

13. Gadwall Anas strepera strepera Серая утка

15/6: 2 at Topar Lakes.

1/7: 10 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

14. Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope Свиязь

1/7: A pair at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

15. Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata Широконоска

15 and 25/6: small group at the Topar lakes.

Very common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region with big groups at different lakes.

 

16. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos Кряква

Common at Topar and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region, but never in big numbers.

 

17. Northern Pintail Anas acuta Шилохвость

1/7: 6 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: 5 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

18. Garganey Anas querquedula Чирок-трескунок

18/6: 1 female at Topar lakes.

20/6: 5 at the Topar lakes.

 

19. Common Teal Anas crecca crecca Чирок-свистунок

27/6: 1 drake at Sorbulak lake.

1/7: 1 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

20. Himalayan Snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis sewerzowi Гималайский улар

7/7: Twice heard calling around midday just down slope from the Cosmos Station. This is at a higher altitude than usually reported in May. This is not so surprisingly because there was no snow at all near the Cosmos Station, so probably the snowcocks move to higher altitudes in summer.

8/7: Few times heard calling from the slopes north-east of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake, also during midday.

 

21. Grey Partridge Perdix perdix robusta Серая куропатка

30/6: 1 from the train from Almaty to Astana, somewhere between Lugovoy and Shyghanaq.

 

22. Common Quail Coturnix coturnix coturnix Перепел

12 and 19/5: 2 and 5 birds near Dzhabagly respectively. One bird of the 12th flushed from a field, my first sighting ever after hearing 100s of birds.

18 and 21/6: On the 18th one bird calling near a marsh near Topar. On the 21st a dog flushed 2 birds at the same place (my second sighting ever!).

19: 1 calling from a field near the Topar Lakes.

7/7: 2 birds calling nearby the Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory (2750m).

 

23. Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus mongolicus Фазан

Heard daily on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly. However, hard to see, the only sightings were on May 24 and June 5: very light buffish wings obvious, broad white collar patches at sides of neck. Common around Topar, daily seen and heard, twice consumed a male as part of our supper.

 

24. Black-throated Loon Gavia arctica arctica Чернозобая гагара

1/7: 7 birds at the big lake in the evening near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

2/7: 2 birds near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

25. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis Большой баклан

Common at the Topar Lakes and abundant in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region, with big flocks near Karazhar on the 2nd of July.

 

26. Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus Розовый пеликан

17/6: A group of about 90 birds near Topar. 7 on other places near Topar that day.

20/6: 42 in flight near Topar.

23/6: 4 in flight near Topar.

25/6: 9 in flight near Topar.

 

27. Dalmatian Pelican pelecanus crispus Кудрявый пеликан

Seen daily around Topar, usually 2 or 3 singles a day, never in groups like Great White Pelican.

27/6: 1 adult at Sorbulak lake.

1/7: At least 5 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: About 10 birds near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

28. Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris stellaris Выпь

Regularly seen at the Topar lakes, also a few sightings in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

29. Little Bittern lxobrychus minutus minutus Волчок

Very common at the Topar lakes.

 

30. Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax Кваква

Few sightings at the Topar lakes.

 

31. Great Egret Casmerodius albus albus Большая белая цапля

Common at the Topar lakes.

2/7: 2 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

32. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea cinerea Серая цапля

Common at the Topar lakes and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

33. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea purpurea Рыжая цапля

24/6: 1 at the Topar lakes.

 

34. Black Stork Ciconia nigra Черный аист

13/5: 1 adult circling above the mountains near Dzhabagly.

 

35. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis Малая поганка

Sometimes heard and seen only once at the Topar lakes.

 

36. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus cristatus Чомга

Fairly common at the Topar lakes.

 

37. Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena grisegena Серощекая поганка

1/7: 4 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: >10 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

38. Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis nigricollis Черношейная поганка

3/7: 10 at a lake in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

39. Black-eared Kite Milvus lineatus Черный коршун

Absent from Dzhabagly. Common elsewhere.

6 and 7/7: 1 at the Cosmos Station (3336m asl!).

 

40. White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla albicilla Орлан-белохвост

Irregularly seen around Topar. Always adult birds and twice two together.

 

41. Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus aureus Бородач

25/5 and 2/6: immature above the mountains near Dzhabagly.

29/5: adult above the mountains near Dzhabagly.

6 and 7/7: 1 adult near the Cosmos Station. Could be the same bird, underparts nearly white, only at the breast a rufous-buff tinge.

 

42. Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus Стервятник

6/6: 1 adult near the mountains at Dzhabagly.

8/6; 1 adult in the Aksu Canyon.

 

43. Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus fulvus Сип

Seen nearly daily in small numbers in the mountains near Dzhabagly. Maximum of 16 on May 28. Unexpectedly, no sightings in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

44. Himalayan Griffon Vulture Gyps himalayensis Кумай

25, 27 and 28/5: 1 adult in the mountains near Dzhabagly. More easy to identify than expected. Because the whitish underparts at first glance more resembling Egyptian than Griffon Vulture.

 

45. Eurasian Black Vulture Aegypius monachus Гриф

Seen nearly daily in small numbers in the mountains near Dzhabagly. Maximum of 5 on 14/5.

14/6: 1 flying over Kolshengel.

 

46. Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Змееяд

26/6: 1 near Kolshengel.

 

47. Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus aeruginosus Болотный лунь

Only at one spot near Topar, where a pair was seen regularly.

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

48. Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus Степной лунь

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

49. Montagus Harrier Circus pygargus Луговой лунь

27/6: 3 males, 2 females near a river in the desert south of Kolshengel.

 

50. Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis schvedowi Тетеревятник

28/6: 1 above the city center of Almaty.

 

51. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus Перепелятник

13 and 24/5: female type near Dzhabagly.

2/6: adult male calling in forest patch near Dzhabagly.

7/7: Adult bird with prey at the Cosmos Station, at an altitude of 3336m! The same day maybe the same bird was seen at the Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory (2750m).

According to Wassink & Oreel, Sparrowhawks occur up to 2500m in this area.

 

52. Shikra Accipiter badius cenchroides Тювик

Unexpectedly common around Topar with up to three sightings a day. Different times seen well, sometimes even the narrow black streak at the centre of the chin was seen. Also photographed twice.

 

53. Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus rufinus Курганник

Seen nearly daily near Dzhabagly, usually 1 bird. On May 12 a dark brown morph was seen and on May 25 a bird caught a Rose-coloured Starling.

Common at Kolshengel, Topar and the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

54. Booted Eagle Aquila pennata Орел-карлик

A pair, both dark morph, was often seen in and around a patch of forest near Dzhabagly, suggesting breeding there.

6/6: 1 light morph near Dzhabagly.

8/6: 1 light morph in the Aksu Canyon.

26/6: 1 dark morph near Kolshengel.

8/7: 1 dark morph near Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake, Ili-Alatau national park.

 

55. Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos canadensis Беркут

24/5 and 1/6: adult in the mountains near Dzhabagly.

8/7: 1 adult at the Ili-Alatau national park, near Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

56. Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis Степной орел

18-26/6: 1 adult in a marsh near Topar.

 

57. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus tinnunculus Пустельга

Common throughout Kazakhstan, up to 3000m in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

58. Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus Степная пустельга

3/7: 3 males and 1 female seen from the bus along the way between Korgalzhyn and Astana.

 

59. Merlin Falco columbarius pallidus Дербник

A pair had a nest with recently fledged juveniles in Karazhar village, Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

60. Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo subbuteo Чеглок

Common throughout Kazakhstan. Twice in the Ili-Alatau national park, at 2500m.

 

61. Saker Falcon Falco cherrug Балобан

1/7: 1 adult in an electricity pole along the road to Karazhar village, in Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

62. Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides babylonicus Шахин

14/6: 1 adult flying over the highway at Konshengel, while waiting for the bus. Seen well enough to exclude al other falcon species.

 

63. Water Rail Rallus aquaticus korejewi Пастушок

Irregularly heard at the Topar lakes.

 

64. Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus chloropus Камышница

Seen at a few places in the Topar area.

 

65. Eurasian Coot Fulica atra atra Лысуха

Common at the Topar lakes and abundant in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

66. Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo Журавль-красавка

1/7: a pair near Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

3/7: a pair near Korgalzhyn.

 

67. Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax Стрепет

16/5: 1 male in the fields near Dzhabagly was probably a migrant.

 

68. Macqueens Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii Джек

27/6: 2 birds flushed and thus only seen in flight in the Taukum desert, between Kolshengel and Aqsugek. We spent a full evening and early morning searching for this species on the well known spot near Kolshengel. We couldnt found them there and felt happy to finally flush them in the desert on the way to the highway near Aqsugek.

 

69. Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus longipes Кулик-сорока

Scarce at Topar.

 

70. Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii Серпоклюв

6/7: 1 along the fast flowing stream, just before it enters Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake, in Ili-Alatau national park. Because it was Sunday, not only me, but many other people were having a good time at the spot of the Ibisbill. Most of them where sitting on a squad or motor bike, driving up and down the site, regularly flushing the Ibisbill. Typical Kazakhstan: no problem at all, driving around with your squad or motor bike on the breeding spot of a rare bird in a national park. I expect the birds to leave that spot sooner or later if disturbance stays at this level. One good thing about the squads: I got some good flight views!

 

71. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus himantopus Ходулочник

Common at the Topar lakes, few sightings in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

72. Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta Шилоклювка

2/7: A group of 12 near Karazhar in the Korgalzyn nature reserve.

 

73. Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni Степная тиркушка

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

74. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius curonicus Малый зуек

27/6: 1 adult at Sorbulak lake.

 

75. Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva Азиатская ржанка

27/6: 2 flying over head at Sorbulak lake, near Korgalzhyn. Identified from European Golden Plover by grey underwings.

 

76. Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarious Кречетка

On the third of July I joined the Sociable Lapwing team for a day. We saw a female with a chick, a kindergarten of 4 females of which we could not find their chicks and a group of 45 adults. I was also lucky enough to find a dead Sociable Lapwing, the skull safely made the trip through customs to Holland. Its under 24/7 security at my house now.

 

77. Northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus Чибис

Common at the Topar lakes and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region, but 2 were also seen in the Taukum Desert near Kolshengel.

 

78. Ruff Philomachus pugnax Турухтан

1/7: Groups of 20 ad 7 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: 10 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

79. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago gallinago Бекас

Fairly common at the Topar lakes.

 

80. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa limosa Большой веретенник

1/7: Group of 40 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

81. Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata Большой кроншнеп

Different groups of up to 40 birds at the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

82. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Перевозчик

Irregularly seen along streams near Dzhabagly and at Topar.

6/7: 1 along the fast flowing stream, just before it enters Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake, in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

83. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Черныш

Nearly daily seen in small numbers around Topar and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

84. Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia Большой улит

25/6: 2 at the Topar lakes.

 

85. Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Поручейник

3/7: 8 adults in summer plumage in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

86. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Фифи

Few sightings in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

87. Common Redshank Tringa tetanus ussuriensis Травник

Scarce in the Topar area, one at Sorbulak lake (27/6) and common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

88. Slender-billed Gull larus genei Морской голубок

1/7: Common at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

Adults had very bright red legs, more red as the birds I saw in Europe.

 

89. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus Озерная чайка

Common near Topar and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

90. Pallass Gull Larus ichthyaetus Черноголовый хохотун

1/7: >10 adults at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: 8 near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve, among them two fresh, recently fledged, juveniles.

3/7: Many young and adult birds were seen at a colony on an island in a lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

91. Heuglins Gull larus heuglini barabensis Восточная клуша

Very common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region. There is a breeding colony at the steppes near the entrance of the nature reserve. Upperpart coloration variable: most as dark or a little darker as a michahellis Yellow-legged Gull. However, few birds approached graellsii Lesser Black-backed Gull or were as light as a Caspian Gull.

 

92. Caspian Gull larus cachinnans Хохотунья

Fairly common in the Topar region, with 1-3 birds daily, usually immature birds.

27/6: Few birds at Sorbulak lake. An adult bird there showed a heavy bill, not usual for a Caspian Gull.

 

93. Mew Gull Larus canus heinei Сизая чайка

3/7: Group of adults in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

94. Little Tern Sternula albifrons albifrons Малая крачка

1/7: Fairly common at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

 

95. Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica nilotica Чайконосая крачка

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region. Often seen foraging on the endless steppe.

 

96. Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Чеграва

17 and 20/6: 1 adult at the Topar lakes.

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

97. Black Tern Chidonias niger niger Черная крачка

Common in the Topar region.

2/7: 1 adult near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

3/7: 1 adult near Astana

 

98. White-winged Tern Chidonias leucopterus Белокрылая крачка

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

99. Common Tern Sterna hirundo hirundo Речная крачка

Common in both the Topar and the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

100. Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis arenarius Чернобрюхий рябок

26/6: > 10 near Kolshengel

27/6: Common in the desert south and west of Kolshengel, usually seen in pairs.

 

101. Rock Pigeon Columba livia neglecta Сизый голубь

Few birds regularly encountered in Dzhabagly village. On June 9, a group of about 200 birds was seen in the fields near Dzhabagly. About 50% looked all right for a Rock Pigeon. The rest had varying degrees of Feral Pigeon influences, most being too dark or lacking the white rump patch.

There were always Rock Pigeons present of the roof of the school in Topar village. About 70% of these birds looked like good Rock Pigeons.

The percentage of Feral Pigeons like birds in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region and Almaty city centre was very high.

 

102. Yellow-eyed Dove Columba eversmanni Бурый голубь

Only seen during our 15min stop at the well known spot near Zhelturanga, 3 birds on June 15. If coming from Topar, dont go into the village of Zhelturanga, but continue to the east. After ca. 1 km there are some trees that vaguely resembles a small patch of forest. That is the spot. One of the birds was sitting in the wires alongside the road.

 

103. Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus casiotis Вяхирь

Common on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly and at lower elevations in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

104. Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto decaocto Кольчатая горлица

Common, for instance in Dzhabagly and Topar village and in Almaty.

105. European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur Обыкновенная горлица

May 12: 1 bird in Dzhabagly village was probably a migrant.

Scarce near Topar.

 

106. Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis meena Большая горлица

Common on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly. Very shy, hard to get good looks.

1/7: Few sightings from the train near Astana.

 

107. Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis Малая горлица

Common in Dzhabagly village, not seen in Topar. Also seen in Almaty

 

108. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Кукушка

Fairly common around Dzhabagly. Once a brown morph female, on May 14.

Common at Topar, with a brown morph female on June 25. On 21st of June a female inspected a unfinished nest of a Black-headed Penduline Tit, but she laid no egg in it.

Common in the Ili-Alatau national park, with many sightings near the tree line, at around 2750m.

 

109. European Scops Owl Otus scops pulchellus Сплюшка

Very common in Dzhabagly village.

Several times I went listening for owls in Topar, without success. However, during one of the last nights there I saw an Otus owl sitting in the wires. Could either be Pallid or European.

 

110. Little Owl Athene noctua bactriana Домовый сыч

2 birds seen often at the same spot at the edge of Topar village.

26/6: 3 in the desert west of Kolshengel.

 

111. Long-eared Owl Asio otus Ушастая сова

12/6: 1 flushed from a patch of Russian Olives near Topar.

 

112. Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus flammeus Болотная сова

1/7: 1 flying over the steppe in the dusk near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

113. European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus sarudnyi Козодой

June 1: 1 bird flushed from a dry riverbed near Dzhabagly.

26/6: 1 shortly heard calling in the desert west of Kolshengel, just after dusk.

 

114. Common Swift Apus apus pekinensis Стриж

Common at Almaty.

9/6: Very common in Shymkent

18/6: 2 near Topar.

 

115. European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Золотистая щурка

Common. Seen at Dzhabagly, around Kolshengel and once in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

116. European Roller Coracias garrulous semenowi Сизоворонка

11/5: Often seen from the train between Almaty and Taraz.

Common at Dzhabagly, the desert at Topar and along the way between Almaty and Kolhengel.

 

117. Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops epops Удод

Common throughout, e.g. seen in Dzhabagly, Topar and the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

118. White-winged Woodpecker Dendrocopus leucopterus Белокрылый дятел

May 13, 22, 25: 1 bird near Dzhabagly.

Scarce in Topar, with up to 3 birds together in the village, or close to the village.

 

119. Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra psammochroa Степной жаворонок

26 and 27/6: Common in the desert west of Kolshengel. Less often encountered than Bimaculated, but in bigger groups (10 to 20 birds).

120. Bimaculated Lark Melanocorypha bimaculata torquata Двупятнистый жаворонок

26 and 27/6: Common in the desert west and south of Kolshengel. Usually singles or very small groups.

 

121. White-winged Lark Melanocorypha leucoptera Белокрылый жаворонок

26/6: Fresh juvenile photographed near an artesian well near Kolshengel.

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region. Several times groups of >10 birds were seen.

 

122. Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis Черный жаворонок

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region. Males were completely black by now (early July).

 

123. Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla longipennis Малый жаворонок

26 and 27/6: Common in the desert west and south of Kolshengel.

Few sightings in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

124. Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens heinei Серый жаворонок

26/6: Small group near an artesian well at Kolshengel.

 

125. Crested Lark Galerida cristata magna Хохлатый жаворонок

Common alongside the road between Topar and Kolshengel and the road between Kolshengel and Almaty, but not seen elsewhere.

 

126. Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis dulcivox Полевой жаворонок

16 and 20/5: singing near Dzhabagly.

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

127. Sand Martin Riparia riparia Береговушка

12 and 27/6: 20-30 birds near Sorbulak lake.

19/6: 2 near Topar.

Common at Korgalzhyn village.

 

128. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica rustica Деревенская ласточка

Common throughout, e.g. Dzhabagly, Topar, Almaty, Taukum Desert.

 

129. Common House Martin Delichon urbicum urbicum Городская ласточка

27/6: 3 near the Kurti River (between Kolshengel and Sorbulak Lake).

Few nests at a building close to Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake (2500m).

 

130. Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica rufula Рыжепоясничная ласточка

11/5: Few seen from Almaty I train station.

9/6: Some in Shymkent.

A breeding pair was present in Dzhabagly village.

 

131. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris Полевой конек

From 28/5 onwards: male singing in a field near Dzhabagly.

 

132. Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis Лесной конек

15/5: 2 birds near Dzhabagly village were migrants.

5-8/7: Common in Ili-Alatau national park, at 2700-2900m.

 

133. Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta blakistoni Горный конек

5-8/7: Common in Ili-Alatau national park, seen at 2800-3300m, for instance at the Cosmos Station.

 

134. Blue-headed Wagtail Motacilla flava Желтая трясогузка

1-3/7: Abundant in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region, many juveniles. Some birds looked like beema, others like flava, but these forms are very similar.

 

135. Black-headed Wagtail Motacilla feldegg Черноголовая трясогузка

Common at the marshy areas near Topar.

 

136. Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola Желтоголовая трясогузка

13/5: 1 male of the subspecies calcarata near the edge of Dzhabagly village.

Subspecies citreola common at the Topar marshes

2/7: 2 females near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

137. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea cinerea Горная трясогузка

 

Fairly common along the bigger streams near Dzhabagly. Higher numbers during mid May could be a migration peak.

1-3/7: Common along streams in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

138. White Wagtail Motacilla alba Белая трясогузка

3/7: 1 in Korgalzhyn village.

 

139. Masked Wagtail. Motacilla personata Маскированная трясогузка

Very common in southern Kazakhstan, e.g. in Dzhabagly, Topar and Almaty. Juveniles seen from June 6 onwards.

May 21, 28, 30: A bird with a blackish back was seen in Dzhabagly village, suggesting a hybrid origin with Hodgsons Wagtail Motacilla alboides. The back was blackish, showing nearly no contrast with the head. The rump however was dark grey. Contrast strongly depended on light conditions. Flanks dark grey. According to the Pipits and Wagtails helm identification guide by Alstrom et al, the only difference between male Masked Wagtail and Hodgsons Wagtail is the back coloration.

 

140. Brown Dipper Cinclus pallasii tenuirostris Бурая оляпка

 

29/6: 1 near Medeu. From Almaty you can take bus 6 (30 minutes) to the Medeu ice rink. From there on you can walk a exhausting 800 steps to a dam. Just upstream from the dam I saw the dipper.

8/7: 1 seen very well some 1,5 km down stream from hydroelectric station GES-1 in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

141. Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes tianschanicus Крапивник

8/7: Several singing birds in the pines along the road down from Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

142. Brown Accentor Prunella fulvescens fulvescens Бледная завирушка

6/7: 3 birds at the Cosmos Station.

7/7: Several birds in the valley just west of the Tian Shan Observatory.

 

143. Black-throated Accentor Prunella atrogularis atrogularis Черногорлая завирушка

29/6: 1 singing male between the Medeu ice rink and the big dam. From Almaty you can take bus 6 (30 minutes) to the Medeu ice rink. From there on you can walk a exhausting 800 steps to a dam. I saw the male while climbing the steps.

5-8/7: Common in Ili-Alatau national park, e.g. around the Tien Shan Observatory and the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

144. Altai Accentor Prunella himalayana Гималайская завирушка

7/7: 5-7 birds on the rocky slopes, directly east of the Cosmos Station.

 

145. Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos hafizi Южный соловей

Common on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly and around Topar.

A nightingale heard in Korgalzhyn Village on July 1st was heard to short to hear whether it was a Common or a Thrush Nightingale.

 

146. Bluethroat Luscinia svecica pallidogularis Варакушка

15/5: male near Dzhabagly.

18/5: female near Dzhabagly.

Fairly common around Topar and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

147. White-tailed Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis ballioni Черногрудая красношейка

Fairly common in the Ili-Alatau national park, easily seen around the Tien Shan Observatory.

 

148. Eversmanns Redstart Phoenicurus erythronotus Красноспинная горихвостка

5-7/7: Up tot 3 males and 1 female seen in the high pines near the Tien Shan Observatory.

6/7: 3 males and 1 recently fledged juvenile in the pines just north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

149. Blue-capped Redstart Phoenicurus coeruleocephalus Седоголовая горихвостка

5-8/7: Common in the pine forest north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

Juveniles were easily sexed, because the males already showed adult like wings, while the rest of the plumage still looked like a juvenile.

 

150. Gldenstdts Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogaster grandis Краснобрюхая горихвостка

6 and 7/7: Common around the Cosmos Station. In the small settlement a pair was feeding 5 recently fledged juveniles. As in Blue-capped Redstarts, the juvenile males showed adult like wings. On the slope east of the station I saw some female types and a male.

 

151. Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus maurus Черноголовый чекан

20/5: Female on a mountain slope near Dzhabagly.

26/5: Female near the entrance of the Aksu-Jabagly Nature Reserve.

15/6: Male near Topar.

1/7: Male at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: Male in Korgalzhyn.

7/7: Family party near the Tien Shan Observatory.

 

152. Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina Каменка-плясунья

Very common in the desert around Kolshengel, less common around Topar.

 

153. Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe Обыкновенная каменка

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region and in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

154. Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka Каменка-плешанка

30/5: Female near Dzhabagly. The only sighting of any wheatear near Dzhabagly.

16/6: Pair in the first village northwest of Topar, along the way to lake Balkhash.

 

155. Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti atrogularis Пустынная каменка

26 and 27/6: Some female types in the desert west of Kolshengel.

 

156. Blue Whistling Thrush Myophonus caeruleus Синяя птица

Irregularly seen along streams near Dzhabagly. A shy species, song heard only once.

8/7: 2 noisy and not so shy birds some 1,5 km down stream from hydroelectric station GES-1 in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

157. Common Blackbird Turdus merula intermedius Черный дрозд

Fairly common in and around Dzhabagly. A male seen on May 16 in a forest patch appeared to me clearly bigger than the nominate subspecies. Also seen in Almaty city and in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

158. Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus bonapartei Деряба

8/6: Common in the Aksu Canyon, Aksu-Dzhabagly nature reserve.

5-7/7: Common around the Tien Shan Observatory in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

159. Cettis Warbler Cettia cettialbiventris Широкохвостка

Irregularly heard around Topar. Maybe more vocal earlier in the season.

160. Common Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia Обыкновенный сверчок

12 and 14/5: resp. 7 and 3 individuals flushed from the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly.

6 and 8/7: 2 singing birds between the Tien Shan Observatory and Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

161. Savis Warbler Locustella luscinioides fusca Соловьиный сверчок

2/7: Only heard once, near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

162. Blyths Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum Садовая камышевка

Between mid May and early June Acrocephalus warblers were common on the mountain slopes and fields near Dzhabagly. Identification of these skulkers was difficult, but some were singing: babbling imitations, softer and less pretty than Marsh Warbler. These birds were warm brown, sometimes even recalling Cettis Warbler in colouration, suggesting these birds were Paddyfield Warblers. However, the long pale supercilium was usually not obvious, concerning and confusing me a bit. Once a dark tip was seen on the lower mandible, excluding Reed Warbler. Fortunately I made some sound recordings of the soft babbling songs, and it appeared to be the sub song of Blyths Reed Warbler. This does not mean that all Acrocephalus records near Dzhabagly were Blyths, because two trapped birds most resembled Reed Warbler. Difficult group!

 

163. Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola Индийская камышевка

Only heard and seen a few times near Topar, but I think this is because we were only there from mid June, which might be a bit late to hear many birds.

164. European Reed Warbler Acrocephalus (scirpaceus) fuscus Тростниковая камышевка

29/5 and 6/6: Mist netted and photographed on a mountain slope near Dzhabagly. However, even with good photographs of these birds, it is hard to exclude Blyths Reed Warbler.

Only heard and seen a few times near Topar, but I think this is because we were only there from mid June, which might be a bit late to hear many birds.

 

165. Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Камышевка-барсучок

May 14: 1 flushed from a field near Dzhabagly.

Later I heard that this was only the first record for the Aksu-Dzhabagly nature reserve.

 

166. Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon mimicus Тонкоклювая камышевка

1/7: Excellent views of a bird at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn, where the lake flows into a river.

 

167. Booted Warbler Acrocephalus caligatus Северная бормотушка

1/7: 1 at Sholak lake near Korgalzhyn.

2/7: Family party in Korgalzhyn village.

 

168. Sykess Warbler Acrocephalus rama Южная бормотушка

Very common in and around Topar. By far the most common bird in the back yard. One mist netted and photographed in the back yard on June 20.

 

169. Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus zarudnyi Дроздовидная камышевка

Common at the Topar lakes

 

170. Clamorous Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus brunnescens Туркестанская камышевка

After seeing a few possibles during our stay in the Topar area, I finally managed to photograph a bird on the 25th of June. Identified from the pictures: primary projection 72% (thanks to Photoshop), broad white supercilium till above eye, long slender bill, long and slender posture with long tail. Be aware with identifying this species that in some respects the brunnescens subspecies of Clamorous Reed Warbler is very similar to zarudnyi Great Reed Warbler, e.g. in upperpart and underpart coloration and bill shape.

 

171. Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana Пустынная славка

27/6: About 8 birds during our drive in the desert west and south of Kolshengel.

 

172. Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca Славка-завирушка

curruca type birds were common migrants around Dzhabagly during mid May. Short description of a typical bird, seen in an orchard on May 18: song a whistling melody. Big, structure of curruca. Flank unmarked, neither grey nor buffy. Ear-coverts clearly darker grey than crown, accentuated by pale eye-surround. Upperparts hard to judge on colour, grey-brown, not clearly greyer or lighter than curruca.

halimodendri types very common in and around Topar.

 

173. Humes Whitethroat Sylvia althaea Горная славка

Fairly common on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly, the first sighting on the 20th of May.

Song fairly similar to Common Whitethroat, usually clearer and a bit faster.

Compared to the curruca Lesser Whitethroat migrants in the valley: bigger, greyer back and no clear ear-coverts. T6 completely white.

 

174. Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis Серая славка

Fairly common on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly.

Seen at only one spot near Topar, but common there.

5 and 8/7: Several individuals between hydroelectric stations GES-1 and GES-2in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

175. Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides viridanus Зеленая пеночка

During mid May a common migrant around and in Dzhabagly. By the end of May less common and sometimes seen or heard on the mountain slopes.

Few sightings in the pine forest north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

176. Humes Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus humei humei Пеночка-зарничка

Common on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly.

Very common in the pines near the Tien Shan Observatory and north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

177. Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus Индийская пеночка

7/7: Excellent views of a family party (2 parents, 3 juveniles) in the valley just west of the Tien Shan Observatory. Two other birds heard singing more up mountain.

8/7: Male seen and heard singing along the road between the Tien Shan Observatory and Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

178. Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis Пеночка-теньковка

During the middle of May subspecies tristis was a fairly common migrant on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly. Latest sighting on the 26th of May.

 

179. Goldcrest Regulus regulus tristis Королек

8/7: Only heard once in the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

180. White-browed Tit Warbler Leptopoecile sophiae sophiae Расписная синичка

5/7; Brief views of a male in the low juniper vegetation on the mountain slope northwest of the Tien Shan Observatory.

 

181. Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata Серая мухоловка

Very common migrant during the middle of May on the mountain slopes near Dzhabagly. Uncommon by the end of May and not seen in June.

 

182. Asian Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone paradisi leucogaster Райская мухоловка

14/5: a female in a patch of forest on a mountain slope near Dzhabagly. This patch was visited nearly daily during May and early June, so this single sighting suggests a migrant.

5/6: About 4 female type birds near the entrance of the Aksu-Jabagly Nature Reserve.

10/6: 2 female types (however, 1 singing 1st summer male?) in a river bed on a mountain slope close to Dzhabagly village.

 

183. Bearded Reedling Panurus biarmicus russicus Усатая синица

Very common at the Topar lakes and in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

184. Yellow-breasted Tit Cyanistes flavipectus Желтогрудая лазоревка

Fairly common around Dzhabagly, seen or heard daily in small numbers.

On June 1 a nest was found with at least 5 nestlings, about 10 days old. The nest was in the open top of a sign bordering the Akzu-Dzhabagly Nature Reserve. One bird of the pair was mist netted and photographed. Song and call as Azure Tit.

 

185. Azure Tit Cyanistes cyanus Белая лазоревка

14/6: 2 near Topar.

17 and 23/6: 1 heard near Topar.

20/6: Family near Topar.

5/7: Family near hydroelectric stations GES-1, Ili-Alatau national park.

 

186. Turkestan Tit Parus bokharensis ferghanensis Бухарская синица

Fairly common in and around Dzhabagly. However, by the end of May the species was very silent, and only seldom heard or seen. Thick bill compared to Great Tit.

Once a hybrid with Great Tit was seen near Dzhabagly, on June 10.

Common in and around Topar.

 

187. Great Tit Parus major major Большая синица

Common in and around Almaty, also at lower elevations in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

188. Rufous-naped Tit Periparus rufonuchalis Рыжешейная синица

8/6: 3 birds seen very well in the Aksu Canyon, Aksu-Dzhabagly nature reserve.

 

189. Coal Tit Periparus ater rufipectus Московка

8/7: Twice a small group in the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

190. Songar Tit Poecile songara songara Джунгарская гаичка

8/7: Took me 3,5 hours to find them, on the well known spot, in the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake. Apparently they are quite silent in July. In the end, found 4 birds.

 

191. Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris tianschanica Обыкновенная пищуха

8/7: 1, while searching for Songar Tits, in the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

192. Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus jaxarticus Обыкновенный ремез

2/7: Found an abandoned nest with 3 eggs in the village of Korgalzhyn.

 

193. Black-headed Penduline Tit Remiz macronyx macronyx/ssaposhnikowi Тростниковый ремез

During our stay in Topar we saw 9 males, 5 females and 3 juveniles. Because this was our research species, we can conclude that this species is scarce, if not rare. However, our timing was bad, maybe we should have found more birds earlier in the season. This species prefers old reed beds (hearing a Great Reed Warbler is a good indication that you are searching on a good spot), which are uncommon around Topar. Many lakes near Topar (for instance, the ones you pass coming from Kolshengel) have only a thin fringe of (young) reed. The only spot were we found them after days of searching were the reed beds some 6km from Topar along the way to Zhelturanga. Walking slowly and listening carefully along the reed beds on both sides of the road is the way to find this species.

Of the 9 males we saw, 4 looked like a nominate macronyx Black-headed Penduline Tit: a complete black head, a dark red breast and back and broad white fringes on tertials, primaries and tail, giving them a black-red-white appearance. Two of them were seen building a nest in the reeds. 4 other males looked like ssaposhnikowi: black mask, throat mottled black and white, the rest of the head chestnut brown. One of these males was seen building a nest in a tree, not in the reeds. The other male seen was a hybrid between these two forms and I placed a photo of this bird on surfbirds: http://www.surfbirds.com/media/gallery_photos/20080715063417.JPG

On the picture it might look like a good macronyx Black-headed Penduline Tit, but the throat is whitish, parts of the head are chestnut brown and the black of the head is less extensive than in the nominate. The 5 females observed looked surprisingly like a European Penduline Tit. They differed from them in having a more square mask, some chestnut brown above the bill, a variable amount of black in the neck and lighter upperparts with broader white fringes on tertials, primaries and tail.

Because the males are fairly dimorph, with one morph resembling a caspius European Penduline Tit and with only one hybrid seen, it is tempting to hypothesize that subspecies ssaposhnikowi can best be regarded as a subspecies European Penduline Tit, occurring sympatrically with the macronyx Black-headed Penduline Tit. A sample size of 14 birds is a little low for a statement like this, so more research and sightings are needed to get a good idea what is happening over there.

 

194. White-crowned Penduline Tit Remiz coronatus Черноголовый ремез

The nominate was our study species near Dzhabagly. 4 Small streams on mountain slopes were monitored. In this habitat the species is common, we found 25 nests.

Ssp. stoliczkae was found along a stream near Topar. 7 Nests in different stages were found there, but not seen on other locations near Topar. This species prefers a different habitat than Black-headed Penduline Tit. White-crowned is found along rivers and streams without extensive reed beds. Black-headed is found along lakes with old reed. Combined with their different breeding system makes it unlikely that these species hybridize.

195. Indian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus kundoo Иволга

Very common in and around Dzhabagly.

 

196. Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio collurio Европейский жулан

13/5: A singing male on a mountain slope near Dzhabagly was a migrant.

 

197. Turkestan Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides Туркестанский жулан

Fairly common around Topar.

2/7: Female and 2 recently fledged juveniles near Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.

 

198. Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach Длиннохвостый сорокопут

Common in Dzhabagly, but not seen outside the village.

 

199. Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor Чернолобый сорокопут

Common in and around Dzhabagly, also in the mountains.

27/6: 1 in the desert southwest of Kolshengel.

4/7: 1 along the road between Korgalzhyn and Astana.

 

200. Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius pallidirostris Серый сорокопут

12/6: 1 along the road between Kolshengel and Topar.

26/6: 3 near Kolshengel.

27/6: Common, with about 20 sightings in the desert south and west of Kolshengel.

 

201. Eurasian Magpie Pica pica bactriana Сорока

Very common throughout, also at high altitudes in Ili-Alatau national park.

 

202. Spotted Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes rothschildi Кедровка

8/7: 5 ind. in the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

203. Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula soemmerringii Галка

Common, but not seen near Dzhabagly.

 

204. Rook Corvus frugilegus frugilegus Грач

Common throughout, however, not seen near Dzhabagly.

 

205. Carrion Crow Corvus corone orientalis Черная ворона

Common, e.g. around Dzhabagly and Topar, sometimes in groups.

 

206. Hooded Crow Corvus cornix sharpii Серая ворона

Very common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region.

 

207. Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis ruficollis Пустынный ворон

12/6: 2 birds along the highway at Kolshengel.

26/6: 6 birds flying over the highway at Kolshengel.

27/6: In the desert south and west of Kolshengel groups of resp. 6, 4, 8, 2 and 1 birds.

 

208. Common Raven Corvus corax Ворон

May 17: pair of unknown subspecies flying over head and calling on a mountain slope near Dzhabagly.

209. Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris porphyronotus Скворец

Very common throughout.

 

210. Rose-coloured Starling Sturnis roseus Розовый скворец Sound recorded 11/5: huge groups seen from the train between Almaty and Taraz.

In Dzhabagly, the first sighting only on the 21st of May, abundant there from the 23rd on.

In June, at dawn (9PM) many small groups fly over Dzhabagly in western direction.

28/6 and 5/7: A group in Almaty city.

Fairly common at Topar, first fledged juveniles seen on 27th of June.

Common in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region; a small colony with adults and fledged juveniles in a yard in Karazhar in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve

 

211. Common Myna Acridotheres tristis tristis Майна

Very common in and around Dzhabagly. During the day they follow cattle in the fields, often sitting on the back of horses or sheep. By the end of the day they come back to the village, like the cattle. A pair was building a nest near our bed room, waking us up every morning.

Also common in Topar, Almaty and the Ili-Alatau national park. Present at the Tien Shan Observatory, but not seen at the Cosmos Station.

 

212. Saxaul Sparrow Passer ammodendri nigricans Саксаульный воробей

15/6: Different birds seen during our 15min stop at the well known spot near Zhelturanga.

16 and 17/6: 1 flying over the road near Topar

 

213. House Sparrow Passer domesticus Домовой воробей

I think the nominate subspecies is a common breeding bird in Dzhabagly. However, a House Sparrow photographed there on June 6 looks like a bactrianus (Indian Sparrow).

12, 13 and 31/5: A group or respectively about 30, 20 and 10 birds migrating over the mountain slope in Southern direction. They flew very fast in a straight direction. The group of the 13th landed in a small bush and could be identified as the subspecies bactrianus. I expect the other groups to be bactrianus as well, because of their migratory behavior.

The birds in Topar looked often intermediate between bactrianus and domesticus.

Birds in Shymkent and Almaty were certainly domesticus.

27/6: Twice a big colony in the desert south and west of Kolshengel. These colonys were in bushes, far away from any human settlement and the birds looked like bactrianus.

The many intermediate birds seen, may indicate that bactrianus can best be regarded as a subspecies, not a full species.

 

214. Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis transcaspius Испанский воробей

10/6: 10 birds briefly present in Dzabagly village. The whole month before not seen in the village.

8/6: Some birds near the rangers house at the Aksu Canyon.

27/6: 2 males in the desert south of Kolshengel.

 

215. Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus dilutus Полевой воробей

Very common in Dzhabagly, common in Almaty and Korgalzhyn.

 

216. Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus Красношапочный вьюрок

Common in the Ili-Alatau national park. Both in the pines and above the tree line up to 3000m. Common in the electricity wires along the first part of the track between the Tien Shan Observatory and the Cosmos Station.

 

217. Goldfinch Carduelis (carduelis) paropanisi Седоголовый щегол

2/6: 1 near Dzhabagly village.

5/6: 2 near the entrance of Dzhabagly nature reserve.

Common in the Ili-Alatau national park. Common in the electricity wires along the first part of the track between the Tien Shan Observatory and the Cosmos Station, with groups of up to 10 birds.

 

218. Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina bella Коноплянка

A few sightings near Dzhabagly village.

 

219. Twite Carduelis flavirostris kirghizorum Горная чечетка

3/7: group of about 20 ind. on a dirt road near Korgalzhyn.

 

220. Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra tianschanica Клест-еловик

7 and 8/7: Common in the pines north of Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

221. Plain Mountain Finch Leucosticte nemoricola altaica Гималайский вьюрок

Common in the Ili-Alatau national park above the tree line. Groups not bigger than 20 ind.

 

222. Desert Finch Rhodospiza obsoleta Буланый вьюрок

15/5: a pair in very fresh plumage feeding on the ground along the main street in Dzhabagly village.

 

223. Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus Обыкновенная чечевица

Common on the higher mountain slopes near Dzhabagly. The red in males extends further on the underparts and upperparts than the nominate subspecies.

7/6: female flew in a mist net, while trapping Penduline Tits near Dzhabagly.

15 and 16/6: Singing male in Topar village.

5-8/7: Common in the Ili-Alatau national park.

 

224. Red-mantled Rosefinch Carpodacus rhodochlamys Арчевая чечевица

5-8/7: Only a few sightings in the Ili-Alatau national park. Only seen around the Tien Shan Observatory and the valley just west of it.

 

225. White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes carnipes Арчевый дубонос

Fairly common in the Ili-Alatau national park, around the Tien Shan Observatory and in the pines around Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake.

 

226. White-capped Bunting Emberiza stewarti Овсянка Стюарта

8/6: Some singing males in the Aksu Canyon.

 

227. Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani neobscura Скальная овсянка

13/5: 2 birds at the edge of Dzhabagly village gave great views and must have been migrants.

 

228. Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps Желчная овсянка

Very common around Dzhabagly; common around Topar and between Topar and Kolshengel. Not seen in the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn region. Females were seldom seen.

 

229. Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra buturlini Просянка

Abundant in the fields around Dzhabagly.

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