Another winter day out north of Almaty Kazakhstan. Beautiful sunny weather rising to +4C (It’s unseasonably +16C today in Almaty).
Spring is arriving early this year here in Central Asia as elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
41 Sightings with an early Hoopoe, an unexpected Long-eared Owl, a lonely Pallas’s Gull sitting on lake ice near to a flock Caspian Gulls (proving it always pays to scan flocks of gulls), and 5 Dalmatian Pelicans – the earliest sighting ever of these early migrators for me. And of course, the fabulous raptors!
3 Mute Swans
Over 150 Whooper Swans
11 Ruddy Shelducks
100s of Mallard (or is it Mallards?)
3 Teal (with Gadwall, also early arrivals)
Flock of Tufted Ducks
1 male and a few female Smew (and should this be Smews?)
16 Little Grebe
2 Great Egrets
5 Dalmatian Pelicans
1 Common Kestrel
30+ White-tailed Eagles
1 Long-legged Buzzard
3+ Steppe Eagles
3 Green Sandpipers
Several Common Gulls
100+ Caspian Gulls
1 Pallas’s (Great Black-headed) Gull already in breeding plumage
Lots of Feral Pigeons in towns and villages
1 Long-eared Owl
Lots of Magpies, Rooks and Jackdaws
Several Carrion and Hooded Crows
6 Great Tits
2 Large flocks of id’d Calandra Larks but couldn’t id Bimacs or other larger larks in the flocks, although 4 smaller larks which may have been Short-toed of one species or another.
10 Common Mynas
6 Black-throated Thrushes
1 Mistle Thrush
Several House Sparrows in towns and villages
Lots of Tree Sparrows in the countryside
About 50 Greenfinches
My trips will become more frequent now as we move towards spring and migration season. Delicious!