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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.

Dragged out for a beer – 23 May 2011

23 May 2011
I woke up in the night feeling bad and took some medication, I spent the morning recovering from the migraine, In the late afternoon Nige and I went for a long Tundra walk, we saw a pair of Pectoral Sandpipers, 13 flew in and landed next to us with 3 and 8 seen later. Also enjoyed were a pair of Arctic Skuas on territory, a Lapland Bunting and displaying Long-toed Stint.

A large number of Black Brant have arrived, 1270 are in the river mouth and bay feeding, a pair looked very much like Dark-bellied Brents. We saw also saw 13 Pacific Eider, Long-tailed Duck, 3 Red breasted Merganser, two Ringed Plover the Semi-palmated Plover, Pacific Golden Plover and c20 Long-billed Dowitchers, perhaps the latter have calmed down a bit now they are paired. The snow has begun melting quickly, more Tundra appears by the hour and all streams are flowing, the Tundra is coming to life.

As I write this blog I can see 4 Sandhill Cranes migrating South (they winter in California and travel up the West coast of US through Alaska before crossing the Bering straits to Russian breeding grounds. The Bering straits are still completely frozen over and stretch away as far as the eye can see.

We hope our plane comes in tomorrow with the expedition equipment so we can get busy with that, despite the weather being clear here the helicopters are not flying as it is not good in Meinypilgyno. Late evening we were all dragged to a small, smoky bar in the airport hotel by Gerrit to sink a few beers.

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