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.

Another two broods more outside 18 July 2011

We finished building two more coops, this makes four outside, we set them up with tundra and moved another two groups of chicks out into the sun.  Lots of final touches to the aviary, got the electric fence going.  Nige and Liz spent time cleaning the feet of the oldest chicks. Liz ha
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Time running out, but we move two broods outside 16-17 July 2011

Building coops, looking after birds. It is a race against time as Nige and I are off on the 19th. We spend all of both days until dusk on the job, Roland and I riveting and drilling and cutting hour after hour after hour, Nige totally involved in setting brooders up, Liz in watching c
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Visa problems take valuable time 15 July 2011

It was another day building of coops, the aviary and looking after chicks. In the afternoon Nige and I have to go to an office at the airport where the military and customs reps await with a translator. We are asked to apologise for our crime…..it turns out that our visas are to
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Building the outdoor coops 14 July 2011

Nige and I were at the flat, Roland and Liz were in a nearby town for the night. The last two chicks hatch 0330hrs. It was a full day of constructing coops, Nige, Roland and myself all outdoors facing a huge amount of work yet to do. We grafted all day but it seemed to go very slowly.
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A worrying powercut 13 July 2011

1023am Nige got busy sorting the storage containers with Roland. There was a lot to do, lots of equipment to move to the rearing site. Liz and myself spent the morning with the chicks. We were still getting the little ones to feed, a combination of mosquitoes and the artificial food,
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Liz and Roland arrive 12 July 2011

The whole day still carrying out our routines, we had a good system despite the cramped conditions, it was all catching up with us, Nige and I felt well down, worn out. At 7.59pm Liz and Roland arrive, it was a very low start to the day with a better finish. It must have been hard for
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Ringing the chicks at the flat 11 July 2011

We were both on autopilot, carry on with the regime we had set up. 1930 hrs Jochen  and Liza arrived, Jochen rings eleven of the chicks, he has probably ringed more SBS chicks in one go than anyone else ever in the world. We felt that our shaking hands and tired minds were not up to t
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Landing at Anadyr, set up at the flat 10 July 2011

We got a rest, later today it would be very stressful. Another move with eggs and chicks from boat to mainland. We had a good breakfast and managed a few good hours sleep, Nige slept with the birds. We waited for the signal to move. All the passengers were ashore, the problems with cu
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Taking chicks on the boat 8-9 July 2011

I joined Nige on the boat, saying goodbye to everyone who had been a part of the expedition and our friends from the school.  I was waved off from the beach. Simon was our housemate for all these weeks but was staying. I had said bye to all the team involved in the project. The waves
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Birding and belugas

A much refreshed Simon came to visit the birds and we could clearly see how fascinated and enthralled he was with the young birds. He suggested that I join him in the evening for a few hours birding around the lagoon. I leapt at the chance, as not only would it nice to get a break, bu
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