Tour At A Glance

Cost:

3900.00

Deposit:

1000.00

Single Room Supplement:

300.00 - please note single rooms may not be available in all locations

Tour Code:

Intensive with some early starts and late finishes. Some of the walks in the mountains are at altitude but are not strenuous and are on good paths..

Group Size:

Ten plus Leaders

Caspian Plover White-browed Tit-warbler Guldenstadt's Redstart Kegen Plateau Pallas's Gull Pallas's Sandgrouse Steppe Eagle

Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan - Birding Paradise of Central Asia

Date: 17th May - 1st June 2022 (SPACES)
Leaders: David Pearce and Arend Wassink

Introduction

 

Black Lark
 
In the heart of Central Asia, we find the attractive countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (Kirgizia). For a long time, known for their wide variety of rare Western Palearctic species and alluring steppe species like Black Lark and White-winged Lark. In Kazakhstan, everything is on a vast scale, which is not surprising; it is the ninth largest country in the world! Vast expanses of flat steppe grasslands merge into sandy and stony deserts. Dotted here and there are saline and freshwater lakes that act like magnets to nesting and migrant birds. In sharp contrast, we find the tiny nation of Kirgizia. The ‘Switzerland of Central Asia’ is well-known for its massive towering peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains - an extension of the Himalayas - edging onto China, rise to over 20,000 feet. Here we find ecosystems varying from massive tracts of deciduous and coniferous forest cut by untamed rivers in deep gorges at lower elevations, to snow-capped peaks and flower-rich alpine meadows higher up.
 
The birdlife is stunning! Apart from an extensive list of more typically European species, there is a remarkable list of extraordinary breeding birds primarily confined to Central Asia. To us, western birders, the most attractive for sure, are the near-mythical species such as the previously mentioned Black- and White-winged Lark; The endangered Sociable Plover and sensational displaying Macqueen's Bustard; flocks of the secretive and rare Pallas's Sandgrouse and tiny Asian Desert Warblers singing loudly in the vast plains of Sogety. Visits to the declining Turanga Forest near Balkhash Lake is a certainty for White-winged Woodpeckers, Saxaul Sparrow, Shikra, and the very rare Yellow-eyed Pigeon.
 
Finally, we meet a plethora of Himalayan specialties in Kirgizia. Like pleasing White-tailed Rubythroat's; glamorous looking Ibisbill; crazy colorful White-browed Tit-Warblers; an odd White-winged Grosbeak or two. We relish the Curlew-like calls from Himalayan Snowcock. The flying strawberry, better known as Red-mantled Rosefinch, is found in some dwarf-junipers! Not to mention some fascinating mammals, butterflies, and reptiles! Birders have been enjoying these stable countries and their fantastic birds and history ever since they gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A combined visit to these destinations is a guaranteed success and an unforgettable experience.  Terrain will vary and a reasonable level of physical fitness is required to undertake this tour. This new revised itinerary is highly recommended to enable you to get the most out of your holiday to this fabulous birding destination. Your principal tour leader will be Dave Pearce and you can expect to see approximately 200 species.
 

 

 

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