Headstarting is a collaborative effort between WWT, BirdsRussia and the RSPB, and occurs as part of the International Arctic Expedition mounted each year by BirdsRussia under the leadership of Dr. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy.

Too close for comfort! – 17 June 2011

17 June 2011

Today as usual we all had a different area to cover, we are moved around so we all get a change. I was paired with Simon to take the quad into the hills to check over a few areas.

It was quite a challenge getting the machine through marshes in particular but the route is a regular one for all terrain traffic, with care we picked our way through. We did not locate any calling SBS but did find a suspected dunlin nest and a white-fronted goose nest with two eggs.

Adult dunlin, photo by James Lees

The big news from our wildlife experience point of view was watching a wolf which ran away from us and kept going in the opposite direction until it was miles away.

A bean goose, photo by James Lees

We also noted a few passerines, redpolls, Arctic warbler and little bunting as well as bluethroats, plenty of sandhill crane, white-fronted and bean geese. Another hugely pleasing if a little sobering highlight  of two close encounters with foraging bears, one showed a lot of interest in us and wanted to approach close, the other, as soon as it realised we were human ran away. Despite the interest I was glad to be able to move away on a quad rather than being on foot.

A bear spotted on our search for nests, Photo by Martin McGill

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