Update from Roland Digby
At around 12:00hrs, all 30 of the 2017 cohort of headstarted spoon-billed sandpipers were released. Around three hours before the release all shelters were removed from the pen and dishes moved to the front near the entrance. We’ve adopted this approach as we’ve found that it helps the young birds move out in a more settled manner, as they can be rather reluctant to leave the security of the pen. Just before the release the food dishes were all removed and arranged just outside the entrance, the door was removed and we stepped back to watch the proceedings. It didn’t take long for things to start happening and after around 20 minutes the first bird gingerly left the release aviary.
After the first bird had left others quickly followed and within two hours all birds had left the aviary.
Upon leaving, the birds quickly melted away into the marsh and, once clear, all food dishes were removed and the pen sealed up. With so many insects around (particularly mosquitos and midges), there was no need for any supplementary feed other than a couple of handfuls of dried mealworms spread around to encourage the birds out and the birds all quickly settled down being all observed happily feeding away during the afternoon and evening when the marsh was surveyed.
Other news is that 0C and his chick lime green U6 have moved to our end of the marsh and we’ve been treated to some lovely views of him and his offspring on a daily basis since the day of the release. The chick is doing well and is a real eating machine, growing well on a daily basis.
That’s all from me, time permitting I’ll try and get another update sent to you before my helicopter leaves (hopefully) on the 4th.
Becs is now off for two weeks (off to Canada with Charlotte and her mum to see her brother) and Mark Simpson is off for the next week so I’m going to have to learn how to use the website software. Scary! Bear with me if all doesn’t go according to plan ….
What a fantastic result after such a difficult start with the weather. Well done Roland and team, brilliant work.
So good to see those young birds out and about in the wild. Well done to all concerned… again! Great effort, especially as the circumstances were so tricky to start with.
Brilliant! You have all proved that with co-operation between nations, really good results can be achieved. Next step is to get a team of International TV film makers to show the world how successful this work is. Not only successful in saving a bird species but also successful that humans from different countries can work together to achieve a common goal. I am assuming also that many new human friendships have been made too.
Well done everyone. Expect Roland is feeling bereft after all that hard work. but what an achievement!!
The chicks look very vulnerable so I desperately hope that they survive all the horrible things that could happen to them. Sincere best wishes for them to livehappily and breed in the future
Taking my hat off yet again, great work and brilliant news.
Well done Roland and all the team. It’s great to see all the birds doing well ( fingers crossed ) and to see all the photos.
Regards Peter Soper.
Wonderful. Heart-warming. Exciting. Thanks again for such great and worthwhile work. Congratulations to all the team.
Ever since Gerrit Vyn showed amazing footage of a Spoon-billed Sandpiper hatchling emerging under its parents wing at an Alaska Bird Conference in 2014 I’ve eagerly followed the herculean International effort to save this wonderful bird. This outstanding report is a testament to all the diligent Team planning and hard work by many people. God speed little Spoonies.
How wonderful Roland and Birds Russia guys. You deserve lots of gold medals for all you hard work and dedication. How exciting that you also saw the chick with 0C Dad too. VERY exciting and well done Nicholai for finding the head started Spoonies north of the pen with their successful chick. Now Roland and the team are Grand Parents for sure and their training has helped the birds behave naturally after release.
I agree with Bevan Craddock we need the BBC Wildlife guys to go and film your work in the Russian Far East! That would be brilliant.
Thank you for your work saving the spoonies! All the Best! Elaine Charkowski
It’s wonderful to read of all the good work being done. Congratulations to everyone involved. Please keep up the good work. Thank you.