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.
First Nest of Spoonbilled Sandpiper c Christoph Zoeckler

First Nest and Surplus of Males

We found the first nest today, but will wait a few days before collecting the eggs to ensure we have the full clutch. Most pairs are still in pre-nesting stages and patience is needed. Over the last few days we have been encountering more and more lonely males desperately displaying,
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Teddy wakes up c Phil Palmer

Expedition to the east

Expedition to the east Our four-man survey team camped two nights at Ankavia, 12km east of Meinoypil’gyno, to survey an area another 6 km on to the south east. We had to cross a narrow strait between Lake Peculnej and Yandatavey inlet, littered with icebergs that flowed off the lake,
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Red Knot incubating (c) Baz Scampion

Red Knot Update

Pavel writes: The Red Knot breeding population in Meinypil’gyno, only 10-12 pairs, is unique in that the birds breed on the coastal plain rather in the mountains and higher ground, as does the rest of the known population. It is likely the southernmost breeding site for this species i
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Arctic Skua chasing a Vega Gull off its turf (c) Sayam U. Chowdhury

Sayam’s Arctic Shots

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Dummy Run (c) Richard Hesketh

Egg collection “dummy run”

Liz Brown writes: As we approach the time when the first spoon-billed sandpipers will begin to nest, it is becoming increasingly important to test all the equipment that we will use with their eggs.  This led the WWT team to conduct a field test of the three different portable incubat
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Searching for Spoonie in the fog (c) Christoph Zockler

Pair-bonding and nest-starting in a reluctant spring season

Christoph writes: The nice weather that allowed Sayam to join our team did not last. We are back to fog and cold wind and the snow piles in the village have still not melted. But all this does not seem to deter our SbS. We encounter daily displaying pairs and singing males all over th
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Longest Birthday Ever (and a hat trick of Eider)

Richard Smith writes: After the fog of the day before, on 6 June the sun quickly burned through the clouds and turned the day into a real scorcher. Most people headed into the hills in small groups to try a pin down some more SbS territories. But it was so warm most creatures were in
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Displaying Ruff while waiting in Anadyr (c) Sayam U. Chowdury

From Chittagong to Chukotka

Sayam writes: I was sitting on a boat under the full moon in the mudflats of Myanmar when Christoph invited me to join the 2012 Spoon-billed Sandpiper expedition to Chukotka. Saying ‘yes’ immediately was the easy part, as the Spoon-billed Sandpiper has a precious place in my heart. Th
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Tundra ponds open for ducks (c) Karin Eberhardt

One day of spring for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Karin writes: After several straight days of fog, frost, flurries and snow, which dusted the hills yesterday morning, today was like the first day of spring. The skies turned blue, clear, sunny, and warm – that is, until the sea fog rolled in an hour ago. In the moraine hills, t
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Spoonie reflects (c) Thomas Noah

Photographs by Thomas Noah

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