The day’s plan of beginning to construct the release aviary were disrupted mid-morning when Nikolay found us to say he had a complete clutch of four eggs and their incubation had begun.
Richard H., Liz B. and I piled in the buggy with Nikolay driving and the portable incubator plugged in. Upon arrival, as Nikolay neared the nest, the male Spoon-billed Sandpiper jumped off, flew twenty metres away and stayed there as Liz replaced the paper-thin waxy eggs with dummy eggs and put the real McCoy in the incubator.
The nest was a neat affair, although the eggs are small the Spoon billed Sandpiper is a very little wader and the eggs look large in proportion to the bird.
Once back, Liz B weighed, measured and candled the eggs before marking each with an individual code and setting it in the large incubator set up in the house. Liz took first watch and the rest of us changed over every two hours through the ‘night’!
Incubation has begun!