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rare birds records

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Siberian Pipit (Anthus rubescens japonicus)

© Artem Vorobyov


The first record in the eastern part of Kazakhstan. Before that, only a few records were registered (birds were caught) in the western, southern and south-eastern regions of the country (Gavrilov & Gavrilov, 2005). Records at Sorbulak in 2012-2014 confirmed by photo fixation. (see the gallery of the species www.birds.kz).

Hume's Warbler (Phylloscopus humei)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Karamendy vill., Naurzum reg., Kostanay oblast

The first record in Kostanay region confirmed by photography.

Black-throated Accentor (Prunella atrogularis atrogularis)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Karamendy vill., Naurzum reg., Kostanay oblast

The first record confirmed by photo in Kostanay region. It was previously recorded twice in October 1996 and 1998 (Bragin, Bragina, 2002), but the species was not included in the list of local fauna without confirmation of the record.

Little Gull (Larus minutus)

© Askar Isabekov

Sorbulak system. Almaty oblast.

The rare record for Sorbulak. Earlier, Little Gull was recorded here on the autumn migration on August 9, 2003, November 6, 2004 and October 27, 2006 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012).

Macqueen's Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenii)

© Aleksandr Feldman


The northernmost point of Macqueen’s Bustard's record confirmed by photography for Kazakhstan. For many years, there were no reliable information from Semipalatinsk region. The obtained photos confirm the literature data of the species’ records in the region of Semipalatinsk in the past (Khakhlov, Selevin, 1928; Gavrin, 1962; Gubin, 2004).

Pomarine Skua (Stercorarius pomarinus)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Sorbulak lakes, Almaty region

The first record of Pomarine Skua in Almaty region. In general, there are a little more than a ten records for Kazakhstan, the closest of which are known from Chokpak on September 13, 1967 and 1972. (Gavrilov, Gistsov, 1985).

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Karamendy vill., Naurzum reg., Kostanay oblast

The second vagrant to the Naurzum reserve area in recent years. The first one was recorded on October 10, 2012 (Timoshenko, Moiseyev, 2012). The nearest record was in 1920 in the Kostanay area, 200 km to the north (Geptner, 1925).

Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Small Sorbulak lakes, Almaty region

The first reliable record of Long-billed Dowitcher in Kazakhstan. This species nests in tundra zone of Chukotka and Yakutia. Known only several records in the inside of continent: in spring migration of 1972 in Baikal lake (Durnev etc, 1996); 21-22 of September in vicinity of Sahyurte village, Maloe More (Pyzhyanov, 1989); 26 of September young male was shot in fish factory Filippovka, Kirovo-Chepetzky region, Kirovskaya oblast (Sotnikov, 2009); from 22 to 29 of September of 2011 juvenile bird was observed in taiga zone of NE Trans-Baikal area in Charskaya depression, in the edge of Chara village (Goroshko, 2014).

Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor mollis)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

For the first time bird of mollis subspecies was photographed in the territory of Kazakhstan. The Great Grey Shrike of this subspecies is described by Eversmann in 1853. The breeding range covers Altai, Sayan, Khangai and Kentei. There are several winter specimens shot in the area of Katon-Karagaya and in the vicinity of Alma-Ata. The only one summer record of the young male was made by Y.N. Grachev on Markakol on July 17, 1966 (Korelov, 1970).

Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus)

© Murat Baidildin

Naurzum reserve. Shoshkaly lake.

Naurzum's lakes always be the place of traditional stop-offs of Siberian Cranes of the West Siberian population on the migration route passing through the Aral-Turgai depression. Earlier records were regular (Kovshar, 1982). In recent years, birds are not seen annually. The last ones were August records of singles in 2007 and 2010 (Bragin, 2011).

Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)

© Valentin Zenkov

Sarsenbay, Katon

Until recently, was known in Kazakhstan only on migration, but the records are rare till present day. E.I. Gavrilov (1999) assumed that in the Kazakh Altai it should be recorded not only on migration, but also on nesting. The lack of data of the species he explained by the fact that Oive-backed Pipit is easily confused with Tree Pipits which is commonest bird here. In 2001, in the upper reaches of Bukhtarma (the area of Berel village, 1200m) was first recorded on the breeding (N. Berezovikov, B.Rubinich, Selevinia-2001, p. 60); it was assumed the expansion of the species breeding range from the Russian part of Central Altai to the west. Photo confirms that nesting in the Kazakh part of Altai is not an exceptional case.

Hume's Short-toed Lark (Calandrella acutirostris)

© Fedor Karpov


First photos of this species in the territory of Kazakhstan. High mountain range of Karzhantau, the only place where the breeding population is known; and there are reliable data about it. M.N. Korelov (1956) in 1949 found it here as numerous, it was confirmed by the observations of V.I Kapitonov (1969) in 1961 and 1962. The next data were reported only many years later: in the summer of 2003. E.S Chalikova saw birds here (KOB-2003, p. 96). In Aksu-Jabagly was recorded in 1930-40 years (shot by LM Shulpin and DF Zheleznyakov), but later disappeared for unknown reasons (Kovshar, 1966, Korelov, 1970).

Eurasian Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)

© Aleksandr Feldman


Photographed in the vicinity of Semipalatinsk for he first time. More than 80 years ago the only record of the species in this region was published (Zalesskie, 1931). For the eastern regions of Kazakhstan this record is the northernmost.

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

© Askar Isabekov

Sorbulak lakes system.

The first record at Sorbulak confirmed by photography. Previously, there is record of two vagrant birds here of June 5, 2011 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012). The nearest known breeding range is the Alakol system of lakes, where the first nests were found in 2000 (Berezovikov, 2004, Berezovikov, Levinsky, 2008).

Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata rossorum)

© Victoria Kovshar

low Ural River, Atyrau region

For the first time ever recorded in the Northern Pre-Caspian. Breeding in Kazakhstan is known only for Kyzylkum. Several vagrants were recorded to the east of the breeding range: at Bilikol (Gubin, 1991, oral report); at Aksu-Jabagly (Kolbintsev, 1999); at Chokpak (Gavrilov & Gavrilov, 2005); at Sorbulak (Kovalenko, 2007, www.birds.kz), and to the west from the breeding range: in Mangyshlak (Gubin, Vilyaev, 2012, www.birds.kz). The northernmost until this day record is the report about male of May 14, 1882, near Orenburg (Zarudny, 1897).

Menetries Warbler (Sylvia mystacea turcmenica)

© Askar Isabekov

Ile river holm

And then one even more eastern record of the Menetries Warbler confirming its habitat in the floodplain of the Ile river. That expands the range of the habitat for more than 600 km to the east of the previously known breeding spots in Kazakhstan.

Menetries Warbler (Sylvia mystacea turcmenica)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Zhambyl area. Chu river.

The Menetries Warbler breeds in Kazakhstan along the valley of the Syrdarya river. However for a long time Oleg Belyalov suggested that Menetries Warblers regularly caught at the Chokpak station can breed much to east from the known breeding range. After more than 10 years these assumptions were confirmed. This is the first record of a Menetries Warbler proving its breeding on the Chu river, at 400 km to the east of the previously known breeding spots.

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

© Alexey Timoshenko

Shili lake., Auliekol reg., Kostanay obl.

The first vagrant confirmed by a photography. In addition to this record there are several more ones are known: in 1900-1901 birds were observed on the Irtysh in autumn (Yablonsky, N.I, 1904); on August 27, 1998 a flock was observed on the Sorkol lake, on May 4, 1999 single bird was observed in the mixed flock between the Bozshakol and Pyatikhatka lakes (Erokhov SN, Berezovikov N.N, 2000); on February 13, 2006, on Shoshkakol lakes 6 Barnacle Gees were observed (A.V Kovalenko, SA Kravchenko, 2006).

Common Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Sorbulak lake, Almaty region

For the first time Common Oystercatcher breeds in Sorbulak last year. But the eggs were not measured, and the history of the nest was not traced. This year the birds made the clutch in the same place. The size of the eggs and the behavior of the bird confirmed their breeding.

Corn Bunting (Emberiza calandra)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

For the first time recorded on Altay. The nearest records are known from Alakol depression (Berezovikov,2008).

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba baicalensis)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Sorbulak lake, Almaty region

Two birds were observed on Sorbulak.

Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Small Sorbulak lakes, Almaty region

First record from Sorbulak.

Bewick's Swan (Cygnus bewickii)

© Andrey Kovalenko

Almaty area. Sorbulak.

The first record in Semirechye confirmed by photography. The spring records are known in two places: on Ile in the mouth of Khorgos (Alferaki, 1891) and in the delta of Tentek river (Berezovikov, 2002). On Sorbulak it was previously recorded once in the beginning of winter (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012).

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

© Alexandr Katuncev


First winter record in western part of Kazakhstan. Earlier only several records were in Southern Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Almaty oblasts.

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

© Galina Kondratenko


First record of Laughing Dove on Mangyshlak.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

© Ivan Zuban


First winter record in Kazakhstan confirmed by photos. Earlier the latest records in Ural river delta were in the third ten days of October (Gistsov, 2012). There is the information about December record in foothills of Western Tien Shan (Kolbintsev, 1997).

Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla kobdensis)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

First confirmed by photos record of Great Rosefinch in Kazakhstan part of Altai. Earlier at July 20 of 2005 Raffael Aye observed couple in upper of Katun river near the border with Russia (KOB-2005, p183).

Blyth's Rosefinch (Carpodacus grandis kotschubeii)

© Andrey Kovalenko

South Kazakstan area. Zhabagly.

New species of fauna of Kazakhstan. First birds were shot in Zhabagly (Southern Kazakhstan) at January 12 2014 by E.Belousov. In same place at 8-9 of February A.Isabekov, A.Kovalenko and V.Fedorenko also photographed these birds. Previously known in localities of Uzbekistan bordered to Kazakhstan territory, nests in Ugam and Pskem ridges.

Pallas's Rosefinch (Carpodacus roseus)

© Serg Silan


The first photos of this species on the site. In the Kazakhstan’s part of Altai the nesting of Pallas’s Rosefinch is known only in several sites. In winter time was observed in foothills.

Caucasian White-winged Snowfinch (Montifringilla nivalis alpicola)

© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Space station, Zailiysky Alatau

First winter record in Ile Alatau. In this ridge only three observations of the little flocks (15, 25 and 27 of October 2003) in Middle Talgar (3000-3400 m) was known (Dzhanyspaev, 2004). The nearest breeding sites are in the Kyrgyzstan part of Kungei Alatau. In Kazakhstan was found in Terskei Alatau, Kyrgyz Alatau, Talas Alatau and Ugam ridges (Gavrilov, 1974). Probably this record shows to the nesting on the southern slope of the Ile Alatau which is almost unexplored by scientists.

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

First time photographed in Kazakhstan. Before only one record was known in Kazakhstan - in the upper Bukhtarma river at August 27, 1987 Boris Scherbakov (1990) observed the brood.

Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

© Andrey Kovalenko

South Kazakhstan area. Shardara.

Very rare vagrant to Kazakhstan. Earlier recorded on Caspian sea (Dolgushin I.A.., 1962), at 30 of October 1969 on Ile river (Gavrilov E., Gavrilov A., 2005), at 1st of October, 2006 on Koibagar lake (Berezovikov N.N., 2007) and at January of 16, 2009 in Aktau (Kovshar V., 2009)

Spotted Great Rosefinch (Carpodacus rubicilla severtzovi)

© Yevgeny Belousov

South Kazakhstan, Dzhabagly village.

Rare resident occurring at long intervals. The first record at December 15, 1938 (Kovshar, 1966). Next winter observations was in 1970/71 and 1971/1972 years. (Gubin, 1989). Later observed in 1989, 1991, 1995, 2003. (Chalikova, 2004; Kolbintsev, 2004). The last records was at March 7 and 16, 2011 - (E.S. Chalikova, unpublished information).

White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)

© Alexey Timoshenko


The 6th record in Kazakhstan.

Red-throated Thrush (Turdus ruficollis)

© Madina Dyussebayeva

Almaty city

The 10th record of Red-throated Thrush in Almaty oblast and the 4th in 2013. This year Red-throated Thrush was observed at January 19 (Dyakin G., Isabekov A., Kovalenko A., www.birds.kz) , at February 17 (Isabekov A., Fedorenko V., www.birds.kz) and at February 23 (Fedorenko, V., www.birds.kz). Earlier the six records (Nikolsky, 1887, Shnitnikov, 1949, Gavrilov, 1970) and several unpublished records were known.

Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus)

© Askar Isabekov

Almaty. Republic Square.

The first winter record in Kazakhstan. Breeds only on Lineisky and Ivanovsky ridges of Altai (Scherbakov, 2002). In all the rest territory only six autumn records are known: in 1920 near Kustanai (Geptner, 1925); in 1925 near Semipalatinsk (Selevin, 1930); in 1960 at Kurgaldzhino (Krivitsky et al, 1985); in 2011 at Aktobe steppes (Timoshenko, 2012) and near Sorbulak (V.Fedorenko, www.birds.kz); in 2012 at Betpak-Dala (A.Vilyaev, www.birds.kz).

White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)

© Ivan Zuban


The fifth record of White-winged Crossbill in Kazakhstan, but the first record confirmed by the photos. Previous records: in 20s of November 1971 near Semipalatinsk (Kovshar A.F., 1974); at August 19, 1999 on the lake Sultankeldy (Heinicke, 2006); at August 30, 2002 at the lake Shangin (Belyalov O.V., 2002); at January 27, 2008 in the upper river Tautekeli (Starikov S.V., 2009).

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

© Oleg Belyalov


Only few winter observations are known for South-Eastern Kazakhstan (Gavrilov, 1999). The third winter record in Sorbulak vicinity, the previous two were at December 09, 2000 and February 20, 2011 (Belyalov, Karpov, 2012).

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

© Vladimir Vorobyov

VKO Katon-Karagay

Very interesting record. The nearest nesting sites were on Zaysan lake and Black Irtysh river, but the reality of nesting in recent years is unknown. (Starikov, 2002; Gistsov, 2012). Spoonbill is rare bird of fauna of Kazakhstan. Despite the widespread breeding, its total number is least than 1000 pairs.

Pander's Ground-Jay (Podoces panderi panderi)

© Alexey Timoshenko

UKO, Kyzylkum

Lives in the distant parts of the Kyzlkum desert and rare recorded by researchers. The subspecies transcaspius (Zarudny Kudashev, 1916) was described from this area, but later combined to P. p. panderi.

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unidentified birds


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