Rubythroat Birding Tours

Rubythroat Birding Tours


Pretty MEGA this year was the find of a pair of Marbled Polecat near our camp in the Taukum Desert during one of our tours in Kazakhstan. It were my first in 15 years of travel to Kazakhstan!
thankyou for your invitationinto your link.
Hello, I am Augustin from Rwanda and I am a tour operator. I want to request for a tie up with your travel safari company.

We are a company of adventures and explorers; birds and mammals are our targets; our ventures take y


We are happy to start our travels again in Central Asia. Join Arend Wassink this coming May on an adventure with the best birding Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have to offer. Check the link to our website for more information.


We are happy to start our travels again in Central Asia. Join Arend Wassink this coming May on an adventure with the best birding Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have to offer. Check the link to our website for more information.

Rubythroat Birding Tours is now on WhatsApp. 12/10/2021

Rubythroat Birding Tours is now on WhatsApp.

Rubythroat Birding Tours is now on WhatsApp.

Rubythroat Birding Tours updated their website address. 17/04/2020

Rubythroat Birding Tours updated their website address.

Rubythroat Birding Tours updated their website address.

Rubythroat Birding Tours updated their business hours. 17/04/2020

Rubythroat Birding Tours updated their business hours.

Rubythroat Birding Tours updated their business hours.


Another breeding speciality from Kazakhstan is the graceful Caspian Plover. These super plovers breed in Tau-Kum and are regularly spotted from our accommodations in the desert. They always are a hot target for birders visiting Kazakhstan. My drivers, with whom l work for over 10 years, even know the species and are always on the look out! Have you seen them in their breeding plumage?


I think these birds have everything: they live in difficult conditions in difficult to reach places, they are great songsters and they look extremely stunning! Maybe that is the reason l named my company after them? White-tailed Rubythroat’s occur throughout Central Asia in the high mountain areas such as the Tien Shan and Pamirs.


Rubythroat Birding Tours's cover photo


At the wells in Kazakhstan many migratory birds drop by for a drink. Easy photography options are the result. Had a fun time photographing a large group of wagtails. This Gray Wagtail posed lovely.


Rubythroat Birding Tours


The Turkestan Red Pika (Ochotona rutila) is a common mammal to come across while birding the Tien Shan Mountains in either Kazakhstan or Kirgizia. These little animals prefer rocky slopes and are easily approachable while they forage. Note the short limbs, small tail and rounded ears which are typical for Pika's. On our Kirgizia photo tour with Ed Michels we will for sure spend time photographing these cute animals.


Soon we will be leading again a few more trips to this extraordinary landscape where predominantly Black Larks and Sociable Lapwings are the kings!


Rubythroat Birding Tours will send out its first newsletter next week! The first edition will be on our tour to the Altai Mountains in Russia and Mongolia. Go to our website and apply for the newsletter - don't miss out!


Rubythroat Birding Tours's cover photo


Kazakhstan is a huge country of which a vast majority is deserts and steppes. In this open habitat little mammals like Susliks, Gerbils and Steppe Marmots have their homes. These mammals always keep an eye out for predators and with one of their main threats being the Steppe Eagle it is probably very wise to do so. This beautiful and majestic bird is found in good numbers in Kazakhstan and seen during our tours to Kazakhstan yearly. They start arriving in Kazakhstan from March, returning from their wintering grounds in eastern Africa, the Middle East or India. By September/October they leave again before the harsh winter drops in. Some young birds remain during their first winter in Kazakhstan but it is not regular. They spend around half of the year in central Asia where they breed in the semi-deserts having a nest on the ground. I am looking forward again to returning to Kazakhstan coming May for the Victor Emanual Nature Tours venture in Central Asia.


In 2016 Rubythroat Birding Tours is offering a newly developed trip in Kazakhstan. In the first weeks of May we are exploring northern Kazakhstan on a photographical journey visiting the calving grounds of the Saiga Antelope. This year an unexplained mass mortality of Saiga Antelope occurred, the research is still ongoing why half the world population died in only 2 weeks, which has happened before in the eighties.

To support the research we developed this tour with the ACBK (Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan) and a significant donation goes towards ACBK. During the tour, as said, we visit the calving ground where we can get very close to the animals without disturbing them. This will give wonderful opportunities to photograph this prehistorical looking animal. Ecologist and professional photographer Ed Michels will lead this, without a doubt, unique tour.

We thank Klaus Nigge & ACBK for lending their photographs.


One of the most beautiful and least traveled regions of Asia must be for sure the Altai Mountains. This range is stretching out over 4 countries; Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. My wife is from Oskemen, located just west of this range in Kazakhstan. As we lived here for a while I had the opportunity to explore the land. This very diverse region is the home to many good birds and mammals some named after the German zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas. We find here illustrious species such as Pallas’s Rosefinch, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Pallas's Gull, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and Pallas’s Cat. On a trip with Thijs Fijen en Thomas Lameris we found a few of these gems!


Poppy fields in Kazakhstan.


Sometimes they are there and sometimes they are not
Sometimes they are abundant and sometimes they are not.
When they are there, they bring color and joy.
When they are there they make me a happy boy.

On the way to Taukum Desert - Kazakhstan, 6 May 2015.


Hoeraa we have reached 600 likes 😀


Today a nice start of the tour to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the rainy weather did not stop us)) We had good sightings of the more common birds such as Ferruginous Duck, Azure Tit, Siberian Chiffchaff, White-crowned Penduline Tit, Demoiselle Crane, Alpine Swift and many 'barabensis' Steppe Gulls! Also Black-eared Kites where on the move with around 1000 birds throughout the day. We ended with some shoppings (wine))....heading to Karakol tomorrow!


I am ready!! 😀😀


Now in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan where we start our first trip of the season. Looking forward to some splendid spring birding and ancient history along the Silk Road. Tomorrow the group arrives and the fun begins :)


Rubythroat Birding Tours's cover photo



In search of cranes, eagles and endemics!

Next year February we are visiting Japan for an amazing birding trip. For every birder a visit to the land of the rising sun is a ‘must do’ once in
there lives, and this exploration takes in the very best of what Japan has to offer. Visiting Japan in winter offers so many wonders. One of them is
probably the greatest avian spectacle on earth; the dancing cranes in Arasaki, where every year thousands of White-naped- and Hooded Cranes winter here occasionally joined by Common and Sandhill Cranes. Other spectacles are
the magnificent Steller’s Sea Eagles on the pack ice at Lake Furen/Hokkaido or searching for endemics such as Copper and Japanese Green Pheasant in the Japanese Alps at Karuizawa forest! Needless is to say that the photographical opportunities during this tour are outstanding.

February 01 – 18, 2015

2015 Tour Price €3.670,- / £3.090,- (excluding international air)

With Machiel Valkenburg as leader

(Photo: Henk Hendriks) 05/02/2014


Hello dear Facebook friends!

The newly updated Rubythroat Birding Tours website is online. Next to our classic tours in Central Asia and Siberia we now run also very sharply priced high quality tours to Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Japan!!

Please have a look at and let us know what you think about it!!))) Dear guests with pride and enthusiasm we present to you the website of Rubythroat Birding Tours. We started out offering birding tours to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan 7 years ago. In the mean time we haven’t been sitting still and we have developed our company in becoming the leading birdtour operator…


Coming May we again run our classic tour to Kazakhstan which already has reached the minimum amount of participants! Join us in search of some truly amazing birds in the gorgeous poppy filled steppes of Kazakhstan.

We journey firstly towards the border with China where we hope to find wonderful Pallas’s Sandgrouses, lovely Asian Desert Warblers and gorgeous Asian Crimson-winged Finches. We continue the tour in the deserts north of Almaty where Demoiselle Cranes, Macqueens Bustards, Caspian Plovers and Greater Sand Plover vie for your attention. Birding the Central Asian endemic forest of Populus diversifolia will render good species as Yellow-eyed Dove, Turkestan Tit, Shikra, Saxaul Sparrow, White-winged Woodpecker and sometimes we also come across a gorgeous Striated Scops Owl! We finish in the south of Kazakhstan with a visit to the Tien Shan Mountains where many splendid birds wait for us. Interesting species such as three types of Redstarts (Eversmann’s, Güldenstädt’s and Blue-capped), three types of Accentor (Brown, Altai and Black-throated), the superb Red-mantled Rosefinch, the mysteries Ibisbill, the skulky White-browed Tit Warbler and many more awaits us in the Tien Shan. We end the tour with a flight which takes us north to the capitol of Kazakhstan, Astana. This completely newly builds city feels a little bit like walking the set of a Star Wars movie! In the grassland steppes surrounding the city we find mouth water species as the endangered Sociable Lapwing, Central Asian endemic Black Lark together with smart White-winged Larks. After 2 weeks of good birding in Central Asia we say goodbye to a country filled with amazing birds and smiley people!

There are a few spaces open on our 10 – 23 MAY 2014 tour to the Central Asian steppes in Kazakhstan, in country dates. The tour price is EUR 2550,- which includes all logistics except international air. Please see our website for more information


In a few weeks our new website with many new tours comes online. To give you already a hint on what to expect we like to show you a newly developed trip called:


During this enigmatic trip we take you on a 2 week trip through this majestic country with such an excellent flora and fauna. We start with a visit to an ancient walnut forest from where Alexander the Great took the nuts back to Macedonia. Our route continues through the hot lowlands where we come across many patches of lovely Eremurus tianshanicus. At several high mountain passes we find thousands of darkest red Allium atrosanguineum as well as hundreds of Tulipa heterophylla, Tulipa dasystemon, many Primula algida, white flowered Eritrichium villosum and the pale yellow Chorispora Macropoda. Another great experience is to sleep across the stars in a yurt; this felt made tent was the portable dwelling of the Central Asian nomads in the times when Genghis Khan’s armies roamed the steppes. We come across many good birds as well; we have a good chance on coming eye to eye with Himalayan Rubythroat, Güldenstädt’s Redstart, White-Browed Tit Warbler and the enchanting Ibisbill.


Just back from Markakol Lake in the Kazakh Altai, good birds included; Eastern Imperial Eagle, Upland Buzzard, Black Grouse, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Pine Crosbeak, Hawfinch and many large groups with Black-throated Thrushes!!



Keep an eye on the Rubythroat Birding Tours website! We are working hard to get you the updates and new tours online!

RUSSIA - LENA DELTA: this exciting tour takes us to the very north of Russia. Our targets will be breeding Ross' Gull, Sabine's Gull, Red Phalarope, Pacific Golden Plover and Pectoral Sandpiper!!

RUSSIA - AMUR: we bird the very east of magnificent Russia where top targets include Steller's Sea Eagle, Siberian Spruce Grouse, Pied Harrier, Scaly-sided Merganser and even Rhinosores Auklet!!

Two gorgeous new trips for spring 2014!

We have upcoming new tours in 2015 to the Volga Delta, Chukotka and Japan.

Check it out and hopefully see you soon on one of the Rubythroat Birding Tours!!


Enjoyed a day of birding today in Charyn Canyon - this gorgeous Steppe Eagle came right over head!


The weather is great in Almaty! Been birding a couple of days ago with Johannes Kamp at Sorbulak. Had some nice views of Citrine Wagtails, White-tailed Eagles and a new one for Johannes; Daurian Shrike!


Gorgeous Altai!!


Rubythroat Birding Tours's cover photo


Rubythroat Birding Tours's cover photo

Pictures of Georgia, Batumi! 13/02/2013