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Departure from Brussels/Amsterdam, flight to Astana.
Arrival at Astana airport. After a rest, we depart to our place to be. We stay at a local inn at night.
Four full days of photographing near Korgalzhyn
Last morning of photographing. After this, we drive back to Astana, where we share a last dinner. We sleep in hotel Goldman.
Early morning drive to the airport and flight back home, where we arrive the same day.
SPRINGTIME IN KORGALZHYN
In springtime, Kazakhstan is a bird paradise. The Siberian winter has made way for lovely continental spring weather, and the northern tundra is about to defrost. Local breeding birds are singing lustily. The lakes of the moors around the village of Korgalzhyn are like a magnet for migrating waders, who interrupt their flight to feed and rest. Hailing from South-East-Asia, most of them will move on to the north.
A SPECTACLE OF BIRDS
Get ready for some Terek sandpipers, marsh sandpipers and spotted redshanks, tens of thousands of little sandpipers, hundreds of whimbrels, thousands of ruffs in breeding plumage and hundreds of curlew sandpipers! Did you know that almost 1 million red-necked phalaropes were counted here on one lake? Plus, you have a chance to meet the endangered sociable lapwing!
With up to 35 species of waders in the spring, a natural spectacle is assured!
WADERS, DUCKS, AND BIRDS OF PREY
The nutritious waters of the lakes of these moors are also very popular with waterfowl. Here’s a selection to give you some idea: white-headed ducks, common pochards, ferruginous ducks, garganey, European flamingo, red phalarope, slender-billed gull, big colonies of Mediterranean gull, white-winged tern and Caspian tern. Breeding season is a busy time of year and offers endless possibilities for bird photography. Did we already mention the demoiselle cranes on the shore and the pallid harriers, tawny eagles, long-legged buzzards, and red-footed falcons in the sky?
UNIQUE BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY
We visit different moors, always using the Mr Jan Gear floating hides to get close to these beautiful creatures. This gives you an unprecedented point of view, thanks to your wading suit that allows you to walk the bottom of the lakes. Your camouflage leaves the birds in peace and enables you to approach them.
Maybe you have taken one of my floating hide workshops? Then you know this is the most fun and efficient way to photograph birds, allowing you more creativity than ever in your choice of lighting, distance, and background.
Are you new to floating hides? Don’t worry, I will give you a thorough introduction, so you can operate independently during this trip. You’ll get the hang of it fast, and it will be one of the most exciting times you’ve ever passed behind your lens.
ACCOMMODATION AND TRANSPORT
We will stay in standard double rooms in a guesthouse or small family hotel. While waiting for our flight connection in Astana, we stay in a comfortable hotel.
Transport is by small bus or off-road vehicles. The roads are moderate to good. International flights are not included in the price. You can book these yourself, or we can do this for you.
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
We travel to the moors of Central Kazakhstan. Not your everyday destination, and therefore pristine. Nobody to bother us, an abundance of birds and plenty of unaffected fauna. The water surface is in full bloom after a harsh winter, welcoming you into a fresh and green environment. The perfect bird photography background!
Temperatures vary from 20°C in daytime to cold – sometimes close to freezing – in the morning and at night. Be sure to bring clothes for warm as well as cold and wet circumstances. A beanie and gloves for the evenings and nights are not a luxury.