On the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan inhabits a big variety of birds. The number of birds, especially during migration amazes imagination even experienced ornithologists. In Kazakhstan, located a large number of national parks and reserves that contribute to the development of ornithological tourism. Among them Korgalzhyn National Preserve is one of the largest and most popular.
The reserve was established in 1968 specifically as an ornithological. It is located 150 km from the city of Astana. The main purpose of the reserve is — the preservation of wildlife in the region. The reserve is one of the richest ornithological parks, which is of great interest for bird watchers from around the world.
For today, on the territory of the reserve there is about 340 species of birds. The pearl of Korgalzhyn Reserve is Flamingo. In the period from April to September in the area of Lake Tengiz is possible to meet large groups of birds, more than 40 thousand birds.
For more coverage of the diversity of birds that can be observed on the reserve, the most appropriate period from spring to summer, and thus a good time is the month of May.
At this time, the territory of the steppe lakes can observe a large number of migratory birds. Nesting birds show mating behavior, make loud noises, and thereby easier to detect them. Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve is a great place to have a good time and watch the big diversity of birds in Central Kazakhstan.
Day 1. Astana – Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve
After breakfast, we drive in a unique in its significance place — Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve. The road to the Reserve takes about 2-hours. On the way we can meet representatives of the following birds: Кобчик (Falco vespertinus), Black Lark (Melanocorypha yeltoniensis) and White-winged Lark (Melanocorypha leucoptera).
On entering to the reserve, we will make a couple of stops near the lake to watch the birds. We will meet next representatives of birds: White-winged Terns (Chlidonias leucopterus), Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), Little Stint (Calidris minuta), Curlew (Numenius), Marsh Sandpipers (Tringa stagnatilis), Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) and Garganey (Anas querquedula).
In addition, we can observe — Montagu’s Harriers (Circus pygargus), Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus), Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava), Northern Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe), Paddyfield Warblers (Acrocephalus agricola), Bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus) and Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica).
After observing the birds, we place in the guesthouse, where we will have dinner in a traditional Kazakh style.
Day 2. Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve
Early in the morning, we will walk through the cane thickets close to our base where we will look for a meeting with White-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) and Red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena). Then we will visit nesting place of Merlin (Falco columbarius), which is known to our local guide.
Next, we will go into the thick swampy area in search of the Booted warbler (Iduna caligata) and Paddyfield warbler (Acrocephalus agricola). On this territory also inhabited: Whooper swans (Cygnus Cygnus,), Greylag geese (Anser anser), Common pochards (Aythya ferina), Garganey (Anas querquedula), Great black-headed gulls (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus), Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), Common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Day 3. Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve (Tengiz — Korgalzhyn lakes)
Early morning after breakfast, we go to the Tengiz — Korgalzhyn lakes. Located at the crossroads of migratory routes, during migration these wetlands became the home to a huge number of birds.
The most valuable species, which inhabit on this area, are — Pallid harrier (Circus macrourus,), Sociable lapwing (Chettusia gregaria,), Black-winged pratincole (Glariola nordmanni,), White-winged lark (Melanocorypha leucoptera,) and Demoiselle Crane (Grus Virgo,).
During the observation, we find a large colony of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus,), approximately 30,000 individuals. We will also observe for the following representatives of the birds: Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena,), Slavonian Grebe (Podiceps auritus,), Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina,), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula,), Black-throated loon (Gavia arctica.), Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni,), Yellow-legged gull (Larus cachinnans,), Savi’s warbler (Locustella luscinioides,), Stonechat Mauri (Saxicola torquata,), Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica,) and others. After observing, we return to our guesthouses.
Day 4. Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve – Astana
It is time to say goodbye to Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve. After breakfast in the guesthouse, we collect our things and go back to Astana. It was a wonderful journey that will be remembered for a long time.
Arrival in Astana. Transfer to airport. Fly home