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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.

Bittersweet news – 12 July 2011

12th July 2011

Chick in the brooder, photo by Martin McGill

Roland and Liz have arrived today. They make up Team 2 who are going to take over from myself and Nige Jarrett when we return to the UK in about 10 days. Roland Digby is WWT’s Conservation Breeding Officer and Liz Brown works for the New Zealand Department of Conservation and has an impressive aviculture record working on the conservation breeding programme for the black stilt. Brilliant to see them and to receive replenished supplies and other goodies.

Unfortunately, and as expected, one of the chicks which hadn’t looked very good since it hatched has now sadly died. Also, it doesn’t look as though the remaining three eggs will hatch.

 But against the backdrop of the incredibly low survival rate of chicks in the wild, to have 16 chicks today is fantastic – way beyond our expectations.

  1. Linda Reply

    That’s fantastic. Keep up the good work, and safe journey back.

    They are so sweet!

  2. Giles Diggle Reply

    This has made my day. I’ll have a spring in my step as I set off to look at birds at Slimbridge after lunch. Congratulations to you all!

  3. Ken Turnip Reply

    So wonderful, but so nerve-wracking to enter the next stage. My thoughts are with you all and the chicks. Have a safe journey home. Birders back here in the UK have been kept well informed with your blog and articles in BB and Birding World. Well done again, guys.

  4. Roberta Reply

    Well done guys, to still have 16 is incredible. Got everything crossed that as many as possible make it back to the Trust, where I can’t wait to see them!

  5. Ken Turnip Reply

    Just listened to Nigel on the Jeremy Vine show, BBC Radio 2. The issue was not given much air time and only a couple of comments were aired but Nigel spoke brilliantly. His passion and dedication shone through and gave the plight of the spooner a welcome mainstream airing. I hope your kids heard you.

  6. Sierra Reply

    All spoonbill! Go team!

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