Seeing any bird with the word “Himalayan” in its name is going to be a thrill.  Ditto for any bird named with any variation of “Rubythroat.”  So seeing a bird that combines those two words, the Himalayan Rubythroat, is pretty amazing.  Seeing that bird well, singing repeatedly from exposed perches in decent light while you are looking through a great scope is, well, words fail me.  I’ll just say that watching and photographing Luscinia pectoralis in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan just upstream from Big Almaty Lake has to rank up there as one of the birding highlights of my life.  The fact that the Himalayan Rubythroat was in fact the second bird of the day with “Himalayan” in its name*, well, that is just too much.  But enough with the words on to the pictures!

This post has been submitted to Bird Photography Weekly #42 and Digiscoping Today – Week 6.  Go check them out!

*Some, for some foolish reason, refer to the bird as the “White-tailed Rubythroat,” a horrendous name that should be stricken from the ornithological canon.


My trip to Kazakhstan was made possible by the wonderful folks at Swarovski Optik who sponsored the trip not only to draw attention to their marvelous optics but to the fact that Swarovski Optik is, with the RSPB, the Species Champion for the Sociable Lapwing, a critically endangered species that breeds almost entirely in Kazakhstan. We here at 10,000 Birds, the only blog designated a Species Champion by BirdLife International, salute Swarovski Optik‘s commitment to conservation.

To learn more about 10,000 Birds’ commitment to conservation through BirdLife International’s Species Champion program and what it means to us at 10,000 Birds (or to donate to the program through 10,000 Birds) just click on the nice Species Champion logo to the right.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.