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Birds of western Siberia (1 Viewer)

Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
Hello! I am from Novosibirsk, Western Siberia, Russia. I am biologist, not an orniologist. But i am bird watcher since 2007. English isn't my strong suit but i'll try to tell about birds of Siberia, about places where you can find birds, and may be about Siberia too. I am sorry if there is many grammatic errors in my texts, but i'll try to compensate this by fotos.
Novosibirsk is a very big city, 3 places in Russia and more then one and half millions of citisens. And Novosibirsk is very huge: city aglomeration is about 50km from N to S and only little less from W to E.
City is in very good place for bird watching because there is big river Ob'. River have a 3-d place in world by the size of bassin area. But right in Novosibirsk Ob' is not so big river because from city to North Ocean about 3500km along the river. There is reservoir with dam in Novosibirsk. Reservoir is about 200 km-long and the city is on the north side of it. Left shore of Ob' is an eastern frontier of huge lowlends. On a right shore close to city there is some little ridge. Ridge is a part and nothern edge of one of most bigger in Eurasia mount system - Altay-Sayan mount ranges.

fotos: Cyanistes cyanus; Berd' river - gulf on a Ob' reservoir, where little river Berd' flovs in reservoir, late March.

to be continued
 

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Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Welcome to BirdForum - that's a great photo of the Azure Tit. We look forward to hearing more about birds in your area.
 

Simon Wates

Well-known member
Welcome to BirdForum - that's a great photo of the Azure Tit. We look forward to hearing more about birds in your area.

I'll second that, what a fabulous little bird!

Your English is better and displays a lot more effort than many British folk, so don't worry about a bit of grammar that's slightly off ;)
 

Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
Thank you very much!
If you are from South, you'd be surprised that snow start falling from october-november till march-april. Not every year, but you can see snowfall in september or in may. In second half of winter the depth of snow common richs 1 meter, but in low places may be 2 meters or even more. On a foto from 1 letter one can see that most common tree in W.Siberia is a birch, and the second is pine. In Novosibirsk district pine forest plased alond rivers and birch forests is common on a big areas. Little tit from foto above is common on a river's shores where willows bushes grows. One day i have fond nest of ihese bird in a hole between big branches of old birch on a top of little limestone rock over the old channel of Inya river about 120 km eastern of Novosibirsk. I have found these nest second time couple years after and tits was still nests.
But in last year when i wont to show it to my friend from Sweden, birds was not here.
Foto - Isyli river - little trbutary of Inya river in May.
Cyanistes cyanus with moss in front of nest.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
Shores and islands of Ob' reservoir - is one of the most popular places for little bird watcher community of our city. In Russia, bird watching is not common hobby. And almost all bird watchers came to these hobby from photographing. I know not more then 20 may be 30 people from our big city that like bird watching. Most of them live in Academgorodok. It is distant part of Novosibitsk that was built in 1950s as scientific town. In the Academgorodok there is a big botanical garden - many happiest days of bird observation was here.
Several last years we have observates gull's colonies on a distan islands of reservoir - about 100 km to South from city. Several times in every spring and first half of summer we go to the islands. We reachs the right shore of Ob' reservoir by a car in about 2 hours and then travels on a boat about 1-2 km to islands. There is several spieces of birds that nestings on the islands: larus heuglini (or may be barabensis, situation with classification of big white gulls is very complicated yet), common gulls, Pallas's gull (these spieces is most interesting) , common tern and mayyy be only several pairs of black-headed gulls and oystercatchers. Nests of last 2 species we cannot find yet. Also there i several nests of black-eared kites Milvus migrans lineatus on islands. One of pairs lives on the last tree , that not to be eated by beavers yet. One time we were happy to see great spotted eagle on the island. These species is not so rare on a swamp shores in center of pine forests across reservoir. Eagle was sitting on a dead tree and obviously was too full to fly away.
In these summer i have seen another example of such bechaviour of great spotted eagle in another colonie o gulls, pelicans and cormorants in Altay region.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
In this year, we have find first gulls on the ilands as early as 27 march. I can not imagine, what these poor birds eats on the reservoire. All the water surface was covered bt 1 meters shield of ice. As i know, Pallas,s gulls is almost obligatory fish-eater.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
Red-necked phalarope - common migrating birds of resrvoir. Femails arrives from north in middle of summer.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
As i already have say, in the borders of Novosibirsk agglomeration there is 2 little rivers - Berd' and Inya, that flows into Ob'. Both rivers flows from E to W and there is a little ridge between rivers. This ridge calls "Salayr" or Salayrsky ridge. Ridge on a russian sounds like "kryazh" and i in doubt that you can easely pronounce this word right. Wen i says "little" it means that top mounts of righe have only about 500m over the sea level. But length of ridghe so big as about 300-350 km and it separates Novosibirsk district and Barnaul district (called Altayski'i kray) from more eastern Kemerovo district (called "Kuzbass"). Many little rivers flows from Salayr to South and so into Berd' river. Aspen and spruce are most common trees on a slopes of Salayr. These forests are very dark and wet. In winter there is a very deep snow on this ridge. On a filds and forests along the rivers you can meet common buzzards, honey buzzards also very common is great grey shrike. Peregrin falcons nestings on a cliffs over Berd' (Inya almost have no cliffs, but I know several nesting of peregrins over Inya too). There is golden eagles nestings on a Berd' shores too. But it is a very big luck to see this carefull bird.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
On a fotos above one can see Berd' river and it's shores. This young great grey shrike have catch this beetle in front of my eyes. On next foto there is all it's family sitting on a wire. And below you can see it's parent that was wery angry.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
One of the most cost-effective bird watcher's trips in our places we have invented 3 years ago.

It is a night journeys along little roads close to home – we makes it by a car from June to last September – first days of October. 35 km out-of-town rout brings to us up to 50 meetings with short-eared owls in the years of outbreak. In others years short-eared owls are replased by other species. It is scops, little owl, european nightjars. Also we have seen long-eared owls, ural owl and eurasian woodcocks. On a roads with very little traffic owls admits the car to a distance of 3-4 m. One can exit from a car and takes a photo from very close distance. The main thing – you must not stay closer, then headlamps of your car. But if you have headlight you can approach a distance 2 or 1.5 meter and look on hunting owl! In summer 2017 I have seen 5 different owl species on this road!

One of most curious meetings was finding young little owl, that hunts insects on the road. Area of this species is not include our region. It was the first documented findings of little owl in Novosibirsk region. And it was young owl!
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
Thank you for watching!
Owls is my first love. Besides the owls that nestings around Novosibirsk there is owls that migrating to city in winter. For example, great grey owl. This bird can nesting close to Novosibirsk, but is more common to north regions like Tomsk region. Because GGO prefer taiga to the other type of forest. And Novosibirsk is in a forest-steppe belt. But owl's family from photo below we have meeted in summer 2017 to the East of Novosibirsk - in Republik of Khakassia in birch forest on Batenevsky ridge.
First time i have meeted great grey owl exactly in my own birthday right in Novosibirsk in late March (photo with owl on a pine tree).
Undoubtedly, photos of owls in daylight is more attractive, but i think that it's very interesting to see the childrens of the night in a darkness.
 

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Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
In winter, there are few roads clear of snow. We can no longer drive trough the fields by a car because of the deep snow. But many birds can not find enough food under the snow and must fly along the roadsides. We starts looking for birds on the roads, and often we can take close photos directly from an open window. Snow buntings, horned larks, bullfinches (eurasian and baikal), redpolls and partridges searches food and little stones across the roads.
 

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DMW

Well-known member
Great to have information and photos from Siberia - a mythical land for most western European birders! Thanks for posting.
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Really enjoying your postings - especially the GG Owl. Looking forward to more!

Cheers
Mike
 

Homo sibiricus

Well-known member
Thank you! It is great to share information too! In winter rare raptors keep closer to towns and villages. Light day is very short: on a latitude of Novosibirsk (not so high latitude!) diurnal raptors have only 6-7 hours for hunting. And northern owls like these is more diurnal, rather then night raptors too. And weather like snowfalls as on photos interfere bird's hunting. As a result we can meet such careful birds like golden eagles so close to towns as 3-4 km (but not so often unfortunately). Dumps of garbage on a town's borders attracts hundreds crows (cornix and orientalis in winter too), ravens and jackdows. (Rooks is a migrant bird in our area.) Pigeons concentrates in villages and towns too and attracts goshawks and ural owls right in the cities.
 

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