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.

See spoonies in Myanmar and support their conservation

As a reader of this blog you might be considering booking a holiday this winter to go and see spoon-billed sandpipers for yourself. Well, we’re pleased to tell you that there is the opportunity to do both that AND help support the spoon-billed sandpiper conservation breeding programme at the same time.

Bird Holidays are taking a tour to Myanmar in January 2014, taking in a search for spoon-billed sandpipers at the Gulf of Martaban. Full details of the tour are available on their website. For each person who books on the tour Bird Holidays will donate US$50 to BANCA, the local charity working with the fishing villages to protect spoon-billed sandpipers. They will also donate a minimum of £50 for each person to the spoon-billed sandpiper conservation breeding programme, but Bird Holidays will increase this to £200 if you mention this blog when booking.

Wader flock in the Gulf of Martaban


Just five years ago, conservationists uncovered the largest, previously-unknown concentration of the birds in the Gulf of Martaban in Myanmar. Almost immediately it became obvious that bird hunting, carried out by the poorest sections of society, could be a major factor behind the recent drastic decline in numbers.

Save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper poster in a village on the coast of the Bay of Martaban

Save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper poster in a village on the coast of the Bay of Martaban

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force and BANCA have made great progress working with villagers to find alternatives to bird trapping, by helping provide fishing equipment and access to other livelihoods. Ecotourism is playing its own part in helping to save this wonderful bird.

Christoph Zockler and Phil Palmer of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force will lead the tour. Both Christoph and Phil are closely involved with spoon-billed sandpiper conservation and have contributed to this blog whilst on expeditions in Chukotka.

In the Bay of Martaban, the group will be guided by former bird hunters who will use their knowledge of the mudflats to help track down spoon-billed sandpipers and other waders.

For further details visit the Bird Holidays website or call 0113 3910 510. Please don’t forget to mention this blog.


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