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.

Arriving in Moscow – 14 May 2011

14 May 2011

After two days off work on annual leave I have been preparing for this trip, buying all sorts of things that are needed and will be essential.

The day has arrived where I must say goodbye and begin travel. The last two hours at home and being dropped off at WWT Slimbridge were the hardest I have ever known all my life. My son was very upset at not having his dad around for such a long time, true meaning of heartache and the acute sense of family bond.

Said our goodbyes at 1500 and set off for Heathrow airport, arriving at 1700, filled hire car with fuel and dropped it off, milled about, had a meal and boarded the 2155 flight to Moscow. A new country, city and airport awaited, the sky was salmon-red with a spring sunrise and Moscow sprawling away in every direction.

We transferred to Liza’s home where we met Nicolai who will be joining us later on the trip and his partner who is not. We drank coffee and spent a couple of hours of talking the trip through before being left alone where went to bed for three hours. Waking later we set up Skype on Nige’s laptop, we dearly hope it can be used at our final destination….phoned and texted home and both had a chat to our families via Skype. Eventually Liza returned with more equipment for the trip.

Around Moscow we saw mallard, hooded crow, jackdaw, swift and heard house sparrows.

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