Birdwatching- birds supervision, amateur ornithology including birds observation and study with naked eye or with optical devices. Birdwatching is the most popular in Western Europe and North America countries.
Any birdwatcher will tell you that birds unlike of computer games exist on earth for millions years and watching them a man not only finds a peace of mind and strengthens the health but also attached to what is really valuable and important. Amateur ornithologist tours are truly eco-friendly tourism. These people are careful and responsible not only to birds but also to the natural world as a whole.
There are about 9 thousands species of birds in the world – for comparison there are only 6 thousands species of mammals.
The present region is of great interest for birdwatchers. Multiple lakes (Teniz-Korgalzhyn, Uyaly, Byrtaban-Shalkar and others) situated on crossroad of Central Asia-Indian and Siberian-Eastern African routes of birds migration and are important aquatic areas and wetlands for migrating birds in Kazakhstan and Asia.
Region`s avifauna is rich and interesting. Feathered world presented with 346 species, 41 of them recorded in the Red Book of Kazakhstan and 27 species in IUCN list. Here 126 species of nesting birds can be met. There are 17 rare and globally endangered species among them and all kinds of subendemics (4 species) and relics (7 species). During migration period 219 species stop here, out of them 14 species are listed as endangered. Waters rich in food attract vast number of waterfowl and wetland birds. There are 112 species of such birds recordered that is 87% of 130 species known in Kazakhstan.
In the vast waters of territory during the summer season and autumn migration a huge number of birds are stayed: thousands of geese and hundreds of thousands of ducks, shorebirds. Accounted number of red-necked phalarope (Phlaropus lobatus) in spring migration period on one of Teniz Lake Bays was equal to 500000.
During nesting season there were met up to 2000 pairs of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), and during moulting season up to 5000 of Mute Swans and Whooper Swans (Cygnus Cygnus) – Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan. About 2,5-3,5 thousands of Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelicanus crispus) can be found at this territory, species included to the Red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Red Book of Kazakhstan. Each year the waters of the reserve attract for nesting such rare species as White-headed duck (Oxiura Leucocephala)-IUCN Red list, threatened species and Red book of Kazakhstan. In compliance with accounting data about 5000 can be met in the region that is approximately equal to 20% of world`s population. The large fish quantities provide accommodation for a large number of fish-eating birds: Gannets, Herons, Seagulls, Terns, Mergansers. Salty, rich in invertebrates, large deserted lakes attracted as it seemed to be such a tropical bird as flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber). Almost every year from 5000 up to 35000 of flamingo are nesting on Teniz islands, species included to the Red list of RK.
The multiple steppe endemics inhabit the steppe areas: black lark and white winged lark (Melanocorypha yeltoniensis, M. Leucoptera), such species as Lesser Kestrel-Falco naumanni and Pallid Harrier-Circus macrourus can be met. The last two species included to the Red list of IUCN.
Scr. 1. Glariola nordmanni
Rather common included to the Red list of the Republic of Kazakhstan common crane - Grus grus (amount up to 3000 individuals) and Demoiselle crane - Anthropoides virgo (amount up to 5000 individuals). Little bustard can be met more often (Tetrax tetrax).
However the most valuable species the groups pass their route for sake are the steppe birds – Pallid harrier Circus macrourus, sociable lapwing, black-winged pratincole, white-winged lark and black lark (Melanocorypha. leucoptera M. yeltoniensis,). The first three species are globally endangered and included to the Red lists of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The latter two are still numerous but they can be seen only in Kazakhstan as they may be called conditional endemics of Kazakh steppe, as even in winter they do not leave its territory.
Scr. 2. Leucoptera M. Yeltoniensis
To embrace better the variety of birds which can be shown on the territory the spring and summer are the best seasons, and the best month is May. At this time you may supervise multiple migrated birds on the steppe lakes, especially there is a great variety of shorebirds, and birds nesting in here demonstrate mating behavior, sing that makes it easier to detect them. Therefore it happens very often that in May several groups arrive simultaneously. Rare groups can be met in summer and fall.
At the moment there are 2 options for birdwatchers staying in Korgalzhyn area.
Korgalzhyn reserve territory visiting, territory visiting out of the reserve with residing on reserve territory in Karazhar cordon in hotel complex on the bank of Sultankeldy Lake (see Accommodation).
Advantage: residing on cordon next to the lake. Qualified ornithologist presence in the reserve who knows birds, the places of their staying, the Latin language.
Visiting the area outside the reserve, access to the reserve territory, accommodation in guests’ houses in Korgalzhyn settlement
Qualified guide absence
Table. List of bird species especially attractive for bird watchers (top-species).
|Latin name||Russian name||English name||The reason why species is of an increased interest to bird watchers|
|Gavia arctica||Чернозобая гагара||Black-throated loon||Rare nesting bird within the inhabiting area|
|Podiceps nigricollis||Черношейная поганка||Black-necked grebe||Rare nesting bird within the inhabiting area|
|Podiceps auritus||Красношейная поганка||Slavonian grebe||Rare nesting bird within the inhabiting area|
|Podiceps griseigena||Серощекая поганка||Red-necked grebe||Rare nesting bird within the inhabiting area|
|Pelecanus crispus||Кудрявый пеликан||Dalmatian pelican||Rare throughout the world. Included in the Red list of the Republic of Kazakhstan and RL IUCN|
|Botaurus stellaris||Большая выпь||Bittern||Rare nesting bird within the inhabiting area, there are few of them in Europe|
|Platalea leucorodia||Колпица||Spoonbill||Rare bird included to Red list of the Republic ofKazakhstan. It nests in the reserve not every year. Here is the northern limit of its distribution.|
|Phoenicopterus roseus||Фламинго||Flamingo||The northernmost colony in the world. Included to the Red list of Kazakhstan.|
|Cygnus cygnus||Лебедь-кликун||Whooper swan||Rare bird in the Europe. Included to RL ofKazakhstan.|
|Aythya nyroca||Белоглазая чернеть||Ferruginous duck||Species with downsizing number included to RL of Kazakhstan and RL IUCN|
|Oxyura leucocephala||Савка||White-headed duck||Globally threatened species, extremely rare. Included to RL of Kazakhstan and RL IUCN|
|Circus macrourus||Степной лунь||Pallid harrier||Included to RL IUCN, but not included to RK RL|
|Falco naumanni||Степная пустельга||Lesser kestrel||Внесен в RL IUCN, but not included to Red list of Kazakhstan|
|Anthropoides virgo||Журавль-красавка||Demoiselle crane||Included to Red list of Kazakhstan|
|Chettusia gregaria||Кречетка||Sociable lapwing||Included to Red list of Kazakhstan and RL IUCN as critically endangered species.|
|Glareola nordmanni||Степная тиркушка||Black-winged pratincole||Included to RL IUCN, but not included to RL of Kazakhstan|
|Larus ichthyaetus||Черноголовый хохотун||Great black-headed gull||Included to Red list of Kazakhstan. Ancient continental fauna remaining|
|Larus minutus||Малая чайка||Little gull||Irregularly nesting bird rare within the area|
|Larus cachinnans||Хохотунья||Yellow-legged gull||It is of interest as a complicated case for taxonomy, there is debate about species origin tocachinnans or to barabensis|
|Melanocorypha leucoptera||Белокрылый жаворонок||White-winged lark||Species which only in winter period leave territoryof Kazakhstan towards Uzbekistan. One may have a look at its nesting only in the steppe area of Kazakhstan.|
|Melanocorypha yeltoniensis||Черный жаворонок||Black lark||The whole annual cycle takes place on theterritory of Kazakhstan. One may to have a look at its nesting only in the steppe area|
|Motacilla citreola||Желтоголовая трясогузка||Citrine wagtail||Steppe subspecies werae differs well from European subspecies that is a reason why it is needed to have a look at the species.|
|Locustella luscinioides||Соловьинный сверчок||Savi’s warbler||Extremely rare species in Europe well represented within the project area in the reeds.|
|Lusciniola melanopogon||Тонкоклювая камышевка||Mustached warbler||Rare nesting bird of the Southern Europe. It is easier to watch it on described territory.|
|Acrocephalus agricola||Индийская камышевка||Paddyfield warbler||Nesting area only comes a little on European part of the former Soviet Republics. It is impossible to find it in Europe.|
|Hippolais caligata||Северная бормотушка||Booted warbler||Due to recent division of this species into two independent ones (H.caligata and H.rama) represents by itself particular interest for taxonomy.|
|Sylvia nisoria||Ястребиная славка||Barred warbler||Nesting area comes a little on European part of the former Soviet Republics. It is impossible to find it in Europe. It is rather easy to supervise it on described territory.|
|Saxicola torquata||Черноголовый чекан||Stonechat Mauri||Siberian subspecies nest in Kazakhstan. It well distinguished from nominate subspecies familiar to European watchers|
|Luscinia svecica||Варакушка||Bluethroat||Subspecies nesting within the project territory, color “Plastron” (subspecies pallidogularis), that is the reason for of interest.|
It is needed to remember that birds watching shall not cause any harm to them. Distance to monitor birds is selected in such a way so that do not arise anxiety and unusual reactions in birds behavior. It is especially important in nesting period. It is needed to select watching point taking into account the day time. The sun shall stay behind of watchers backs or a little bit aside otherwise only shadows of the birds will be seen and it will be impossible to see feathers parts by which many species can be determined.