A country which has established itself as a popular birding destination in the last few years, probably because a number of species which occur there are extremely rare vagrants to Western Europe. These include Pallas' Sandgrouse, Caspian Plover, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and of course, more recently, Black Lark. A wide variety of habitats from the Tien Shan mountains, where Ibisbill and Himalayan Snowcock breed, and superb White-tailed Rubythroats sing from the juniper tops, through the steppe beloved of larks and plovers, to deserts which hold such species as Saxaul and Desert Sparrows, White-winged Woodpecker and Yellow-eyed Stock Dove. There are also wetlands where Black-winged Pratincole, Pallas' Grasshopper and Paddyfield Warblers, and White-headed Duck may be found. Lake Alakol used to be one of only a few places in the world where breeding Relict Gulls could be seen, sadly sightings in recent years have been few, but the nature of their nomadic breeding pattern means the sight could return to its former status at any time.
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