BIRDWATCHING IN TIEN-SHAN AND NEIGHBOURING DESERTS
©Prof. Anatoliy F. Kovshar, 2005
The republic of Kazakhstan occupies a vast area between the Caspian sea in the west and the river Irtysh and Altai mountains in the east. In the north Kazakhstan borders with Western Siberia and in the south with the hot Turan deserts and with the highest ranges of Tian Shan. Its territory varies from the Caspian lowland which is 28 m below sea level (a hollow Karagie on the eastern coast of the Caspian is even lower – 132 below sea level) to the 7010 m high Khan Tengri peak in the Central Tian Shan. Steppes, forests, deserts and semideserts, picturesque lakes and high mountains give shelter to a great number of birds: about 500 species can be seen in different seasons; they represent 214 genuses, 60 families and 18 orders. You can see 13 species of a lark, 19 types of bunting and 59 types of sandpiper (plover).
The most distinctive and attractive landscapes in Central Asia are its highest mountains (Tian Shan, Pamir) and contrasting hot deserts. They are inhabited by rare species and subspecies of birds. These are snowcocks, lammergeiers, ibis, Severtzov tit-warblers which inhabit the mountain forests, the brave divers of the mountain rivers dippers, the desert inhabitants sandgrouse, Houbara bustards and other interesting species. There are species and subspecies that you can find only here, for example the saxaul desert jay or the eastern yellow stock dove.
The southern capital of Kazakhstan Almaty city is situated at the north foot of the most beautiful range of Tian Shan – Zailisky Alatau, whose slopes do magnificent fir forests cover and whose peaks do glaciers cover. Just 100-200 km away from the mountain peaks and glaciers deserts begin – clay ones, crushed stone ones and sandy ones. Particular types of birds inhabit each of them.
In May-June (the best time for birdwatching) you can see 260 bird species in the southern region of Kazakhstan. Of course it’s not equally easy to see all of them, you’ll have to climb the peaks and glaciers or walk in the dry desert for hours to see some types. Besides, many of the most interesting birds are very rare and are registered in the Red Book of Kazakhstan; you have to be lucky to see them.
The ornithological tours we are offering are just an introduction to the birdworld of Kazakhstan. In future the tours can be extended in 3 geographical directions – to the east, north and west. In the east of the republic, about 1000 km from Almaty (it’s a small distance for Kazakhstan!) there is the lake Alkakol where among numerous species of birds the rarest relict gull (Larus Relictus) lives. Such taiga birds as the Tetrao Urogallus and the Tetrastes bonasia are found in the Altai mountains, 1000 km further to the east.
And in the very centre of the republic, not far from the capital there lives a colony of Phoenicopterusroseus, which is the most northern in Eurasia. Just 500-600 km to the west from Almaty, in the Talas Alatau mountains there is the oldest and one of the most interesting nature reserves of Kazakhstan and Central Asia – Aksu-Djabagly. It is the Western Tian Shan and the mountains look different here, their slopes are covered by rare forests of archa juniper (Juniperus semiglobosa). Here there can be found a lot of birds that don’t live in the Northern Tian Shan. Quite a lot of in teresting birds inhabit the coasts of the Caspian sea: Phalacrocoraxpygmaeus, Egrettagarzetta, Ardeolaralloides, Porphyrioporphyrio and others. In short, the territory of Kazakhstan is rich in the wide variety of birds.
Nevertheless the greatest number of interesting mountain and desert birds can be seen in a radius of 200-500 km around Almaty. We’re offering you 3 types of 7-day tours. They all begin from Almaty and acquaint you with the mountain and desert birds and with some water birds.
Almaty city – lake Sorbulak – desert Taukum – right bank of Ili river – desert Saryshikotrau – Kapchagai reservoir – Almaty city – mountains of Zailisky Alatau – Almaty city.
Distance is 1200 km, duration is 7 days.
The tour includes a 5-day route in desert and semidesert localities spending nights in tents and a 2-day trip to the mountains of Zailisky Alatau. Moreover, on the day of arrival during the sightseeing tour it’s possible to have an excursion to the Botanical Garden to see the birds that usually live in the city: Turdus merula, Parus
major, Acridotheres tristis, Chloris chloris, Streptopelia
decaocto, Pica pica bactriana, Oriolus oriolus and others.
Day 1. Leaving to the northwest by the route: lake Sorbulak, desert Taukum (distance is about 250 km). First stop – on the shore of the artificial reservoir Sorbulak. Here you can see mostly water and birds which live near water: Grebes (Podiceps ruficollis, P.nigricollis, P.griseigena, P.cristatus), Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), herons (Egretta alba, Ardea cinerea), geese and ducks (Tadorna ferruginea, Tadorna tadorna, Anas platyrhynchos, A.strepera, A.querquedula, A.clypeata, Nettta rufina), plovers and sandpipers (Charadrius dubius, Ch.alexandrinus, Vanellus vanellus, Himantopus himantopus, Recurvirostra avosetta, Tringa ochopus, T.totanus), gulls and terns (Larus ridibundus, L.argentatus, Chlidonias nigra, Gelochelidon nilotica, Sterna hirundo, S.albifrons). On the shore of the reservoir dam there lives a big colony of Pastorroseus that includes a few thousands of pairs.
Second stop is made near the spring by the cafe “Akjol” (about 100 km from Sorbulak), where we can have lunch and while eating we can see birds such as Vanellusvanellus, Melanocoryphacalandra, Galeridacristata, Laniusminor, Bucanetesmongolicus.
Third stop – near the village Kanshengel: in the karagatch (type of elm) garden by the spring a lot of local and migrating birds can be observed – from Milvusmigrans and Streptopeliaorientalis to Meropspersicus, Phylloscopustrochiloides, Phylloscopushumei, Luscinialuscinia, Muscicapastriata, Ficedulaparva, Carpodacuserythrinus, Rhodospizaobsoleta and others.
Passing the night near the artesian well at the beginning of the desert Taukum, it’s 10-20 km to the west from the third stop. Here during the evening excursion (after 6 pm) the following birds can be seen: Chlamydotisundulata, Antrhropoidesvirgo, Tadornaferruginea, Pteroclesorientalis, Melanocoryphabimaculata, Calandrellabrachydactyla, Calandrellarufescens, Sylvianana, Anthuscampestris, Emberizabruniceps.
Day 2. In the morning an excursion in the environs of the camp, mainly in search of Chlamydotisundulata and Sylvianana; it’s possible to drive 20-30 km to the west to watch the Charadriusasiaticus. At 8 am breakfast.
9-10 am driving to the north, to the Taukum desert. First stop at 10.30 to see the landscape of the desert and to observe typical representatives of its fauna: a Central Asian tortoise (Agrionemyshorsfielgi), different lizards and birds Laniuspallidirostris, Emberizabruniceps, Sytlvianana and others.
Second stop – Topar lakes. Familiarisation with unusual formations – lakes in the desert – a result of the leaking of the underground water from the aquafilter of the Ili river. Watching ducks (Anascrecca, Nettarufina, Aythya
nyroca), herons (Ardeacinerea, Egrettaalba) and others.
Third stop and passing the night – in the grove Djelturanga near the village of the same name. In the ancient grove of the Kazakh steppe tree turanga watching its birds of which the most interesting are the Columba
eversmanni, the Dendrocopus
leucoptera, the Parus
bokharensis, the Paruscyanus and the Passerammodendri.
Day 3. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion around the turanga grove and its environs.
8 am – breakfast. 9 am – a trip ti the right bank of the river Ili. First stop – on the bridge across the river. From the high bridge the river valley and its landscapes are well observed and the following birds can be seen: Tadornaferruginea, Actitishypoleucos, Haliaeetusalbicilla, Haematopusostralegus and others. Then our way goes along the right bank to the north, towards the lower Ili. We have a few stops on the way, mainly near the old graves to watch the Passerammodendri, the Meropspersicus and other desert birds.
Passing a night at a spot 30-40 km to the north east from the village Karoi (valley Nurakpai or Karadon), among the saksaul bushes and sand dunes. The main purpose is to search for a rare bird – an endemic subspecies of the saxaul desetrt jay (Podocespanderiilensis) which is registered in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. Also watching the Pallas’ Sandgrous.
Day 4. In the morning (6-8 am) – in search of the Saxaul desert jay in the environs of the camp.
8 am – breakfast. 9 am – driving on the route Karoi-Bakanas – river Ili – Kapchagai reservoir. Passing a night on the river bank. Watching the lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) and other birds.
Day 5. At 6-8 am en excursionin around the environs of the camp. 8 am – breakfast. 9 am – leaving for Almaty. 12 am going up to the Big Almaty gorge. First stop – past the hydroelectric station number 2, at the lower edge of the fir forest to watch the following birds: Phylloscopustrochiloides, Phoenicuruscoeruleocephalus, Prunellafulvuscens. Corvuscoroneorientalis and others.
Second stop – before the station number 1, near a nest of the Myophonuscaeruleus. Third stop – near the nesting place of Cincluspallasii. Spending the night in the hotel by the observatory at 2700 m above sea level.
Day 6. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion to the Marble spring in search of a Severtzov’s tit-warbler (Leptopoecilasophiae) and other birds: Mycerobascarnipes, Carpodacusrhodochlamys, Phylloscopusgriseolus, Lusciniapectoralis, Prunellafulvescens, Phoenicuruserythronotus, Phylloscopushumei, Serinuspusollus.
8 am – breakfast.
9 am – leaving for the Space-station (3300 m above sea level) to watch a Guldenstadt’s redstart (Phoenicuruserythrogaster), and other birds Pyrrhocoraxpyrrhocorax, Pytthocoraxgraculus, Leucostictenemoricola, Prunellahimalayana.
1-3 pm - Lunch in the hotel, resting.
3-6 pm - Excursion past the Big Almaty lake to watch an ibis-bill (Ibidorhynchusstruthersii).
Day 7. In the morning (6-8 am) excursion in the environs of the observatory. 8 am –breakfast. 9 am – leaving for Almaty. On the way we make stops to see some birds, in some places it’s possible to walk and watch the birds of which the most interesting are Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus, Aegypius monachus, Aquila chrysaetus, Aegolius funereus, Surnia ulula, Picoides tridactylus, Nucifraga caryocatactes rotschildi, Troglodytes troglodytes tianschanocus, Prunella atrogularis, Regulus regulus, Phoenicurus coeruleocephalus, Phoenicurus erythronotus, Parus songarus, Parus ater, Certhia familiaris, Loxia curvirostra tianschanicus, Cincluscinclus, Cincluspallasii, Myophonuscaeruleus.
Almaty – Kapchagai – Altyn Emel national park – Almaty – mountains of Zailisky Alatau – Almaty. Distance is about 1000 km. Duration is 7 days.
Day 1. Almaty – Kapchagai – the pass Altynemel – village Baschi. On the way making stops on the shore of Kapchagai reservoir, on the pass, into the desert area before the village Baschi for birdwatching. Birds that you are very likely to see are: the larks (Melanocoryphacalandra, M. bimaculata, Calandrellabrachydactyla, Calandrellarufescens), the wheatear (Oenantheisabellina, Oenanthedeserti), the buzzard (Buteorufinus), the eagles (Aquilanipalensis, Aquilachrysaetus) and others. Passing the night in the village Baschi (in the hotel of the National Park) or near one of the cordons on the way to Mynbulak.
Day 2. In the morning (6-8 am) excursion in the environs of the camp. Despite the desert landscape many creatures live here but they only become active in a cool time of the day – either at night or in the early morning. Common mammals here are foxes (Vulpes vulpes), korsaks (Vulpes corsac), wolves (Canis lupus), quite a lot of small desert hares or tolais (Lepus tolai), which often can be seen in the headlights during a night drive in the desert. Hedgehogs (Erinaceus
auritus) and long legged jerboas of several species can also be seen. From birds quite common are sandgrouse (Pteroclesorientalis, Syrrhaptesparadoxus).
8 am – breakfast.
9 am – 3pm a trip to the “singing dune”, then to the bank of Ili river. The singing dune is situated between the mountains Big and Small Kalkans, not far from the riverbank. It is the pride of the national park. This magnificent natural construction strikes us with its uniqueness – a mountain of sand among the rocks against the background of bright green river vegetation. Its singing is especially impressive – something between a roar and a boom. It makes the sound when sand slides from the top, what can be caused either by a strong wind or by somebody walking on it.
On the banks of the Ili river and of the Kapchagai reservoir there are a lot of ducks, pochards, coots, plovers, gulls, herons, cormorants and other water and nearwater birds. Some of them nest here, some come here for food. It’s a good place to have lunch (1-2 pm) and watch birds while eating. Over the mountains Big and Small Kalkans eagles (Aquilanipalensis, Aquilachrysaetus) can always be seen.
To pass the night we can either go back to the cordon or pitch a new camp near one of the springs of Mynbulak to the west of the previous camp.
Day 3. The further journey will go to the west, on the territory of the park on a dirt road between the mountains and Kapchagai shore. First the road goes down to the shore and goes along it for some time. Different birds can be seen here. When the road goes onto the stony desert a few birds but a lot of big mammals can be seen.
This national park was established in 1995 on the basis of the Kapchagai hunting reserve and the Baschi horse farm. It took under its protection the places with the densest population of djeiran (Gazella subgutturosa) – a rare species that is registered in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. A few thousands of this gracious gazelle inhabit this area and during the day you can see several herds. Quite common are kulans (Equus hemionus) which were brought here in 1982 from the island Barsakelmes in the Aral sea. Now more than 800 specimens live here. In recent years the park is occupied with the re-introduction of the Prjevalsky horse. A few specimens live here in semifree conditions.
Apart from watching interesting animals along this route we can look at two monuments of ancient culture – the hills Beshatyr and so called “Stone fence” that was built according to one version to trap hoofed animals and, according to to another version, for defence. Lunch at one of these places.
The best place to pass the night is in the picturesque gorge Kyzylauiz where there is a nice guesthouse, or you can pitch a camp near the river at the entrance to the gorge. The total distance of the day journey is not more than 100-120 km but considering the difficult stony road and frequent stops it will take between 8 and 10 hours.
Day 4. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion round the gorge Kyzylauiz where a lot of chukars (Alectorischukar) can be seen, also the Big Rock nuthatch (Sittatephronota), the white-bellied dipper (Cincluscinclusleucogaster), and big birds of prey like the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetus), the Saker falcon (Falco cherrug), the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and even a black stork (Ciconia nigra). Early in the morning it’s possible to see ibexes (Caprasibirica) on the rocks.
After breakfast (8-9 am) our way lies to the west. Here in some sections of the crushed stone desrt there are nests of the birds, which are registered in the Red Book of Kazakhstan: Black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), Pallas sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), Houbara bustards (Chlamydotis
undulata), wheatears (Oenantheisabellina, Oenanthedeserti,Oenanthepleschanka), short-toed larks (Calandrellabrachydactyla) are quite common, and not so often you can see the desert warbler (Sylvianana).
The night can be passed (depending on the clients’ wishes) either on the shore of Kapchagai reservoir, where you can swim and rest, or in one of the hotels in Almaty. The distance from Kapchagai to Almaty is 70 km on a good road.
Day 5. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion in the environs of the camp. 8 am – breakfast. 9 am – leaving for Almaty. 12 am – going up to the Big Almaty gorge. First stop – past the hydroelectric station number 2, at the lower edge of the fir forest to watch birds Phylloscopustrochiloides, Phoenicuruscoeruleocephalus, Prunellafulvuscens. Corvuscoroneorientalis.
Second stop – before the hydroelectric station number 1, near the nest of a blue whistling thrush (Myophonuscaeruleus). Third stop – near the nest of a brown dipper (Cincluspallasii). Passing the night in the hotel by the observatory at 2700 above sea level.
Day 6. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion to the Marble stream to look for a Severtzov’s tit-warbler (Leptopoecilasophiae) and other birds Mycerobascarnipes, Carpodacusrhodochlamys, Phylloscopusgriseolus, Lusciniapectoralis, Prunellafulvescens, Phoenicuruserythronotus, Phylloscopushumei, Serinuspusollus and others.
8 am – breakfast
9 am – 1pm Going up to the mountain pass Space-station at 3300 above sea level to watch the Guldenstadt’s redstart (Phoenicuruserythrogaster) and Pyrrhocoraxpyrrhocorax, Pytthocoraxgraculus, Leucostictenemoricola, Prunellahimalayana.
1 – 3 pm Lunch in the hotel, resting.
3 – 6 pm Excursion past the Big Almaty lake to watch the ibis-bill (Ibidorhynchusstruthersii).
Day 7. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion in the environs of the observatory.
8 am Breakfast.
9 am Leaving for Almaty. On the way making stops or short walks to watch birds like Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus, Aegypius monachus, Aquila chrysaetus, Aegolius funereus, Surnia ulula, Picoides tridactylus, Nucifraga caryocatactes rotschildi, Troglodytes troglodytes tianschanocus, Prunella atrogularis, Regulus regulus, Phoenicurus coeruleocephalus, Phoenicurus erythronotus, Parus songarus, Parus ater, Certhia familiaris, Loxia curvirostra tianschanicus, Cincluscinclus, Cincluspallasii, Myophonuscaeruleus.
Tour 3. Almaty – gorge Kokpek – valley Sugatin – Charyn canyon – saksaul forests of the left bank of Ili – Almaty – mountains of Zailisky Alatau – Almaty.
Distance is 800 km, duration is 7 days.
Day 1. Leaving from Almaty along the Kuldgy road till the turn to the town Issyk and then going along the Big Almaty Channel to the beginning of the gorge Kokpek. First stop – near the place where the road crosses the river Issyk. Here in the area of Issyk datchas you can get familiar with the birds that would be the most interesting for tourists: the R\red-headed bunting (Emberiza
btuniceps), the black-headed shrike ((Laniusschach), the red-rumped swallow (Hirundo
daurica), the nightingale (Lusciniamegarhynchos), the roller (Coraciasgarrulus) and others.
Second stop – near the plantations of dendrary where we can see birds inhabiting the forest, for example an azure tit (Paruscyanus). Third stop – near the colony of sand martins (Ripariadiluta) before the river Chilik. Short stops on the way to watch predator birds.
1-2 pm Lunch in the gorge Kokpek where it’s possible to watch 4 types of bunting (Emberizacia, Emberizastewarti, Emberizabuchanani, Emberizabruniceps) and other birds including the chukar (Alectorischukar), the Hume’s lesser whitethroat (Sylviaalthaea).
Passing the night in the cottages of Charyn ash-tree datcha, which is in the bottom of the canyon. The Sogdian ash tree (Fraxinus sogdianus) grove is on both banks of the river Charyn as a line 200 m wide, it ‘s been a national nature reserve for 30 years. Apart from the ash-tree, willows grow in humid places and a lot of different bushes, Closer to the river mouth turanga starts to prevail. It’s a real forest here and there are mostly forest types of birds here: the golden oriole ((Oriolus oriolus), the blackbird (Turdus merula), the whitethroat (Sylvia
communis), the greenish warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides); the big tit (Parus major), the gray tit (Parus bokharensis) and the Tian Shan azure tit (Parus cyanus tianschanicus); the nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchus), the lesser grey shrike (Lanius minor), the common rose finch (Carpodacus erythrina), the grey goldfinch (Carduelis caniceps), the Scops owl (Otus scops) and the cuckoo (Cuculus canorus).
Day 2. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion in the ash-tree grove where a mixture of forest and steppe birds can be found. After breakfast – going along the river Temirlik till its crossing with the road “Almaty-Kegen”, turning right to visit the Yellow canyon and the Red canyon (Valley of the Castles).
On the way one stop in the valley of Temirlik (here it’s possible to have a close look at the black-headed penduline tit - Remizpendulinuscoronatus) and 1 or 2 stops to watch big predators like the black vulture and the griffon Vulture (Gypsfulvus, Gypshimalayensis). Both canyons attract tourists not really by their birds but by the beautiful landscape.
Red Canyon or valley of Castles is a unique gorge of the eastern part of the mountains Toraigyr. Red rocks are shaped like strange castles and columns and often look like they were made by man. This canyon is about 1 km long, its bottom is dry and you can easily descend to the gorge of the river Charyn which flows between thick walls of trees and bushes. On the top, in the stony desert covered by dry tumbleweed it’s possible to see horned and short-toed larks (Eremophila alpestris, Calandrella brachydactyla), the tawny pipit (Anthus campestris), the black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) and the pied wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka). On the canyon slopes there are nests of rock doves
(Columba livia), of kestrels and of lesser kestrels (Falco
naumanni, Falco tinnunculus), and approaching the Valley of Castles it’s possible to see the rare Saker falcon (Falcocherrug) which inhabited this area in big numbers 15-20 years ago but became a victim of poachers to be sold to Arab hunters. We can have lunch in the “Valley of Castles” or near it.
Passing the night at the ash tree datcha but we go there on the new road through the Sugatin valley. A pair of demoiselle cranes (Anthropoidesvirgo) makes a nest in the valley every year, also the Pallas’ sandgrouse (Syrrhaptesparadoxus) can be seen 10-12 km before descending to the grove. Also the feathered predators like golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetus), the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax), the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and even the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) can be seen quite often here.
The whole route described will take 9-10 hours including lunch break and stops for birdwatching.
Day 3. Begins in the ash-tree grove, ends in the saksaul forests of the right bank of the Ili river to the east from the villages Nurly and Burandisu. First we cross the whole Sugatin valley from east to west to the Bartagai reservoir on the river Chilik. Here a one hour stop to watch the ruddy shelduck (Tadornaferruginea), birds of prey like the long-legged buzzard (Buteorufinus), and from the small birds – the grey-necked bunting (Emberizabuchanani) and trumpeter finches (Bucanetesmongolicus). And if you are lucky you can see crimson-winged finches ((Rhodopechyssanguinea) and even the mountain goose (Eulabeiaindica).
Our further way goes through the gorge Kokpek to the valley of the river Ili. After the gorge it goes past the village Nura where a few years ago a museum of “berkutchi” was opened. In Kazakh it means hunting with an eagle. For a small fee you can see a small show with the manual golden eagle and different devices for its training and a demonstration of the hunting process. It’s well known that well trained Kazakh golden eagles can catch not only a hare but also a fox and a wolf.
Next is the village Baiseit. From here we turn right towards the abandoned village Nurly where the road turns to the east towards the lower Charyn river. Past the last village Burandisu the saksaul forests begin, they alternate with the open sections. To pass the night we can pitch tents near the big bushes of saksaul. In this section of the desert there are no rivers and springs. There is water only in an artesian well that is a watering place for different animals and birds. It’s 20-25 km from here to the Ili river but the road is not easy.
Day 4. In the morning (6-9 am) an excursion in the saksaul bushes and open sections of the clay-stone desert. 9 – 10 am Watching the birds at the artesian well from the hide. Most interesting are Pallas’ sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata), desert warbler (Sylvia nana), Lanius excubitor pallidirostris, Oenanthedeserti, Cercotrichasgalactotes, Rhodospizaobsoleta and others. Early in the morning you can scare off a djeiran (Gazellasubgutturosa) that hides in the bushes of saksaul from the day heat. Vulpesvulpes, Lepustolai, Merioneslybicus, Erinaceusauritus are quite common here and also different snakes and lizards.
It’s a bit more than 140 km from here to Almaty and it’s possible to drive the distance in 3 hours. But it makes sense to make at least two stops for birdwatching. One stop – before the village Nurly, where at the edge of the wet meadow and bushes of lokh we can have lunch, and while eating watch numerous birds living in the meadows and reeds: Motacillafeldegg, Cettiacetti, Acrocephalusarundinaceus & stentoreus, Luscinia
svecica, Cuculuscanorus, Circuspygargus, Phasianuscolchicus, Gallinagogallinago.
Second short stop can be made near the lokh bushes past the village Chilik, where you can have a close look at Remiz
pendulinuscoronatus by their nests and a also a range of other birds.
Passing the night in one of the hotels of Almaty.
Day 5. 8 am – Breakfast. 9 am – driving from Almaty. 12 am Going up to the Big Almaty gorge. First stop – past the hydro- electric station number 2, at the edge of the fir forest to familiarize ourselves with the following birds: Phylloscopustrochiloides, Phoenicuruscoeruleocephalus, Prunellafulvuscens. Corvus corone orientalis and others.
Second stop – before the hydroelectric station number 1, near a nest of Myophonuscaeruleus. Third stop- near the nesting place of Cincluspallasii. Passing the night in the hotel by the observatory at 2700 above sea level.
Day 6. In the morning (6-8 am) an excursion to the Marble stream in search of Leptopoecilasophiae and other birds Mycerobascarnipes, Carpodacusrhodochlamys, Phylloscopusgriseolus, Lusciniapectoralis, Prunellafulvescens, Phoenicuruserythronotus, Phylloscopushumei, Serinuspusollus.
8 am Breakfast.
9 am – 1 pm – driving up to the pass Space station at 3300 above sea level to watch Phoenicuruserythrogaster, Pyrrhocoraxpyrrhocorax, Pytthocoraxgraculus, Leucostictenemoricola, Prunellahimalayana.
1 -3 pm Lunch at the hotel, resting.
3 – 6 pm Excursion beyond Big Almaty lake to watch Ibidorhynchusstruthersii.
Day 7. In the morning (6-8 am) excursion in the environs of the observatory. 8 am Breakfast. 9 am –leaving for Almaty. On the way making stops and walking to see the following species: Gypaetusbarbatus, Gypsfulvus, Aegypiusmonachus, Aquilachrysaetus, Aegoliusfunereus, Surniaulula, Picoidestridactylus, Nucifragacaryocatactesrotschildi, Troglodytestroglodytestianschanocus, Prunellaatrogularis, Regulusregulus, Phoenicuruscoeruleocephalus, Phoenicuruserythronotus, Parussongarus, Parusater, Certhiafamiliaris, Loxiacurvirostratianschanicus, Cincluscinclus, Cincluspallasii, Myophonuscaeruleus.