Kazakhstan 2012

21st May - 3rd June 2012

The following small selection of bird images were taken on a birding trip to Kazakhstan and which was purchased from the Norwegian Ornithological Society's birding company NOF-Travel but organized in Kazakhstan by Rubythroat Birding. This was a pure birding trip aimed at seeing as many species as possible and no priority was given for bird photography although of course it was possible to document many observations at most locations. Unfortunatly these images are not always of the highest quality due to hazy photography conditions not helped by the originals being taken as jpegs. However, presenting them here will give an idea of some of the exciting birding that can be had from a trip this amazing country. Our group consisted of 14 Norwegian birders which included the NOF-Travel representative, plus a local guide, a language translator and a driver. The itinerary was divided in two with the first part starting in the south of the country out from Almaty (earlier named Alma Alta) and the second part in the north out from the new capital Nur-Sultan (called Astana in 2012). The flight between these cities was by Air Astana and included in the total price. Accommodation varied from simple cheap hostels, a desert yurt, and hunting lodges all of generally simple quality, but every night was spent at fantastic birding localities. Food served during the whole trip was basic or simple local dishes often washed down with very strong and cheap local beer. We were transported between locations by coaches of varying standard and occasionally several skeptical participants showed concern about the safety factor of one coach that we used, although there were no real issues during the whole trip. Kazakhstan offers many species that are very rare in the Western Palearctic and also some exciting Asian ones, but the impression I got was that it is essential to know where the different localities are for each species and that there is very little to see between these. Unfortunatly most of the exact localities were not noted and this reflects why they are mostly missing from these images. 

We managed to see ca. 250 bird species plus 12 additional subspecies, some interesting mammals and several butterfly species that you could only dream of finding in Europe.

To sum up, Kazakhstan is a fantastic birding country to visit although would be impossible without a local birding guide with knowlege of all the localities. Rubythroat Birding can be thoroughly recommended to other photobirders, particularly if a bird photography agreement could be made, but don't expect quality accommodation or gourmet food, just fantastic birding.

 

Demoiselle Crane

Demoiselle Crane

(Anthropoides virgo) - 27th May 2012

Demoiselle Crane

Demoiselle Crane

(Anthropoides virgo) - 27th May 2012

Black-winged Pratincole

Black-winged Pratincole

(Glareola nordmanni) - 29th May 2012

Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt

(Himantopus himantopus) - Kazakhstan 29th May 2012

Eurasian Nightjar

Eurasian Nightjar

(Caprimulgus europaeus) - Kazakhstan 29th May 2012

Pallas's Gull

Pallas's Gull

"Great Black-headed Gull" (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus) - 30th May 2012

Black Kite

Black Kite

"Black-eared Kite" (Milvus migrans lineatus) - 2nd May 2012

Long-legged Buzzard

Long-legged Buzzard

(Buteo rufinus rufinus) - 25th May 2012

White-winged Woodpecker

White-winged Woodpecker

(Dendrocopos leucopterus) - 23rd May 2012

Azure Tit

Azure Tit

(Cyanistes cyanus tianschanicus) - 25th May 2012

Greater Short-toed Lark

Greater Short-toed Lark

(Calandrella brachydactyla longipennis) juvenile - 23rd May 2012

Bimaculated Lark

Bimaculated Lark

(Melanocorypha bimaculata) - 24th May 2012

Black Lark

Black Lark

(Melanocorypha yeltoniensis) - 29th May 2012

White-winged Lark

White-winged Lark

(Alauda leucoptera) - 31st May 2012

Booted Warbler

Booted Warbler

(Iduna caligata) - 30th May 2012

Sykes Warbler

Sykes Warbler

(Iduna rama) - 27th May 2012

Sulpher-bellied Warbler

Sulpher-bellied Warbler

(Phylloscopus griseolus) - 1st June 2012

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

(Curruca curruca halimodendri) - 30th May 2012

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

(Curruca curruca halimodendri) - 30th May 2012

Asian Desert Warbler

Asian Desert Warbler

(Curruca nana) - 26th May 2012

Common Whitethroat

Common Whitethroat

(Curruca communis rubicola) - 28th May 2012

White-throated Dipper

White-throated Dipper

(Cinclus cinclus leucogaster) - 22nd May 2012

Brown Dipper

Brown Dipper

(Cinclus pallasii tenuirostris) juvenile - 21st May 2012

Rosy Starling

Rosy Starling

(Pastor roseus) - 22nd May 2012

Himalayan Rubythroat

Himalayan Rubythroat

"White-tailed Rubythroat" (Calliope pectoralis ballioni) male - 1st June 2012

Himalayan Rubythroat

Himalayan Rubythroat

"White-tailed Rubythroat" (Calliope pectoralis ballioni) male - 1st June 2012

Himalayan Rubythroat

Himalayan Rubythroat

"White-tailed Rubythroat" (Calliope pectoralis ballioni) male - 1st June 2012

Blue-capped Redstart

Blue-capped Redstart

(Phoenicurus coeruleocephala) male - 1st June 2012

Saxual Sparrow

Saxual Sparrow

(Passer ammodendri nigricans) male - 23rd May 2012

Saxual Sparrow

Saxual Sparrow

(Passer ammodendri nigricans) male - 23rd May 2012

White Wagtail

White Wagtail

"Masked Wagtail" (Motacilla alba personata) male - 21st May 2012

White Wagtail

White Wagtail

"Masked Wagtail" (Motacilla alba personata) - 3rd June 2012

White Wagtail

White Wagtail

"Siberian Wagtail" (Motacilla alba dukhunensis) - 31st May 2012

Red-mantled Rosefinch

Red-mantled Rosefinch

(Carpodacus rhodochlamys rhodochlamys) male - 2nd June 2012

Plain Mountain-Finch

Plain Mountain-Finch

(Leucosticte nemoricola altaica) - 2nd June 2012

Red-headed Bunting

Red-headed Bunting

(Emberiza bruniceps) male - 21st May 2012