Once again this year we are experiencing a super-hot summer! Seeing as the Slimbridge Spoonies can’t migrate to the wetlands of China like their wild counterparts, we have to bring the wetlands to them. Current temperatures in the United Kingdom actually match well to where they would be on migration (around the Yellow Sea) according to their artificial photoperiod. However the spoon-billed sandpiper facility reaches higher temperatures that we need to manage. It is beneficial to give them opportunities for cooler areas should they seek it. Humidity levels are also well mimicked with the misting system we installed in winter 2018/19.
The Spoonies are now in their wintering aviaries. These consist of larger pools of salt and fresh water and more damp sandy areas than they have in their breeding aviaries.
As well as the misting system that is used to cool the air and ground temperature, we also use ice in their ponds to keep the water cool. The network of small ponds within the facility is also connected to a water cooler, keeping the temperatures a little lower.
On the very hot days we place ice packs under the turf and towels in some of their roosting locations.
We hope you too are keeping cool like the Slimbridge Spoonies! Stayed tuned for a summary of the 2020 lockdown period…