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.
Spoonies in keeping box

News from the field: China expedition September 2018

Update from Kane Brides. On Wednesday 5th September a team from the UK arrived in Shanghai to join colleagues from New Zealand, Hong Kong and China to continue the latest survey efforts of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in Jiangsu Province. Three aims of the expedition are keeping the team b
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Headstarted Spoon-billed Sandpiper taking its first steps into the big wide world!

News from the Field: The Release

After months of planning, preparation and implementation. The moment we’ve all been waiting for… Over the last 2 weeks these precious little chicks have grown into totally independent fledgling Spoon-billed Sandpipers. They’ve learn to feed themselves, know what is good to eat, where
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Spoon-billed Sandpiper Announcement

It’s with great pride and sadness that we announce the successful breeding of the first spoonie chick at Slimbridge and the first ever anywhere in the world, however the bird has sadly died. Just as we were about to officially announce the news, it died of a tragic flying injury that
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Sleepy Spoonies. Almost in complete juvenile plumage. Photo by Nikolay Yakoshev.

News from the Field: Onto the Release Pen!

A lot has happened since the last update on the 19th July. Here’s the story so far… By the 12 July all those that were able to hatch had done so. In the first 24/48 hours of a chick’s life it gets nourishment from the remaining yolk inside its body. This gives the chicks time to
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News from the Field: The First Chicks

On the 5th July the first eggs began to pip, 5 days on and we have 14 chicks so far! The eggs are weighed regularly throughout incubation to track their progress but as due date approaches they are checked carefully for the first signs of hatching. At around 19 days of incubation the
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White-billed Diver on Lake Pekul’neyskoye. Photo by James Phillips.

News from the field: A Close Encounter with the Loons

Update from James Phillips who is now back in the UK There are certain iconic birds that capture the imagination, that define a given landscape or habitat or are just emblematic of those beautiful remote wild places that we all on occasion dream about. The White-billed Diver or the Ye
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'Spoon-billed Bagpiper'. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: A Full Incubator

Spirits are high now the incubator is full and the River mouth is finally open! This year a grand total of 35 eggs have been collected by Nickolay and Ivan, 31 before the re-lay cut-off date (21st June) allowing females the chance to lay a second clutch and males to rear their own bro
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A full clutch of Spoonie eggs, waiting for collection. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: The First Eggs

The first few eggs are safe in the incubator, but the search for more nesting pairs continues… Finding Spoon-billed Sandpiper pairs has been a little tricky this year. Normally very site loyal they tend to nest in the same place every year but with the heavy flooding many birds have b
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Lime 38 singing. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: We’ve arrived! And so have the Spoonies..

We’ve finally reached Meinypil’gyno and already can’t wait to get stuck in to the 2018 season! Our journey from Heathrow to Meina has taken 5 days, with a short delay in Moscow and a 1 day extra wait for the helicopter at Anadyr. Being met by Russian staff at Moscow and Anadyr h
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Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Meinypil'gyno. Photo by Roland Digby.

News from the Field: Initial Report

Preparations in Russia have begun for the 2018 breeding season! Most of the headstarting team are already in Meinypil’gyno awaiting the return of the Spoon-billed Sandpipers. This year the headstarting team welcomes a new member. Jodie Clements has been working with the Slimbridge Spo
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