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Bird songs from deep fog or IWC 2017 results

Cold weather and wind. Fog. We are not looking for easy ways! 23 people began to get binoculars and set on the scope on the shore of IBA 'Tuyabuguz reservoir'. Despite the bad weather, International Waterbird Census - IWC 2017 has been held on January 15. The census of birds was conducted at eight reservoirs in Samarkand, Bukhara, Namangan, Kashkadarya and Tashkent regions of Uzbekistan simultaneously.

It should be noted that the first ecological date of the new year became twice anniversary. The first waterbird census was held 50 years ago, moreover Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (UzSPB) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

This year bird counts were held in five regions of Uzbekistan. Thanks to the activity of all observers involved, a total number of counted birds at eight reservoirs is pretty impressive: 94,941 birds of 45 waterbird species. Three top species among them were White-fronted Goose 24,030, Mallard 38,594 and Common Teal 9,210. Also there were recorded species listed in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan: Common Pochard - 345, Ferruginous Duck - 16, Pygmy Cormorant - 182, White-tailed Eagle - 10 and others. These are the final figures of the winter census this year in Uzbekistan. However, we want to tell more about each survey.

In Tashkent region the IWC took place on January 15 at the IBA 'Tuyabuguz reservoir'. The event was attended by 23 participants, including students, journalists, photographers, UzSPB staff and members. Despite the fog, the participants were able to see an impressive flock of Great Egrets (82), Mallards (882), Pygmy Cormorants (40), White-tailed Eagle (1) and many others. Pygmy Cormorant and White-tailed Eagle are listed in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan. In total, participants counted 1,550 birds of 30 species. However, due to the fog and poor visibility, UzSPB staff decided to re-count birds at Tuyabuguz reservoir on Sunday, January 22. That day was clear, which allowed the four participants to count more 14,135 birds. The most interesting meetings of that day were as follows: Red-crested Pochards 2,580, Mallards 9,276 and Avocets 440 birds.

In Tashkent region, six representatives of the 'Uzbek Hunting and Fishing' association has held counts at four reservoirs of the hunting management area. The total number of birds in those areas was 12,258 individuals. In Gazalkent, beside the river Chirchik in Tashkent region, three activists of Birds.uz team counted 916 birds of 17 species, and at Djambai lakes, in the middle reaches of the Zarafshan River in Samarkand region, two members of UzSPB counted 301 birds of 13 species.

Members of 'Flamingo' students birdwatching club at the State University of Samarkand held counts at Kattakurgan reservoir (Samarkand region) on January 15. Five Participants of the census recorded 3,685 birds of 31 species. In Namangan region, 6 members of 'Ecobirds' student club at Namangan State University recorded two White-tailed Eagles, 40 White Storks, 30 Pygmy Cormorants at Rezaksay reservoir. In total, they counted 5,182 birds of 15 species on that site. On January 10 in Kashkadarya region at the Talimarjan reservoir two UzSPB members, due to good weather conditions recorded 30,319 waterbirds of 18 species.

In Bukhara region, at Tudakul and Kuyumazar water reservoirs waterird census was held by six members of 'Ivolga' student club. On January 15, these areas was foggy. Nevertheless, the census was held. The participants recorded such species as 25 Dalmatian Pelicans, 16 Great White Pelicans, 3 Mute Swans, 6,540 Common Teals and many others. Total number was 40,403 birds of 28 species.

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds express gratitude to all participants of the census for active participation and for the passion they demonstrated. Not hiding from the cold wind and not fearing the "fog-traitor" they kept records and were observing our feathered friends.

Supported by: BirdLife International RSPB Darwin Initiative

© Compiled by Oleg Kashkarov
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Last modified: 10.02.2017