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.

A brief but exciting update …

Many of you will have been anxious to hear some news today so our apologies for not posting sooner but things have been rather hectic! This is just a brief update to say that Nige and 20 Spoon-billed Sandpiper eggs arrived at Heathrow in the early hours of this morning. By mid-morning
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Sandpiper Sex Ratio

We have learnt some very promising news regarding the sexes of our twelve strong flock of spoon-billed sandpipers. We were recently informed of the sexes of almost all of the birds which includes at least four females – hooray! This gives us a ratio of four females to seven males with
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One of our spoon-billed sandpipers gives its first adult call and some sadder news

Our flock of spoon-billed sandpipers are showing clear signs of maturing. All the birds have started to moult from juvenile into their first winter plumage, which is a polished silvery white like a suit of armour. During a recent evening feed all the birds were being particularly nois
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New footage of the spoon-billed sandpipers

Enjoy this video of the birds enjoying a splash in the pool in their new room    
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The sandpipers move to their new enclosure

Nicky writes: It has been a particularly exciting week at spoon-billed sandpiper HQ. After a couple of weeks’ preparation work, the 2nd wintering room was ready for the birds to move into. The heaters were cranked up to optimum temperature, the heat lamps hung, the pool filled with ci
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Spoon-billed sandpiper being weighed

Spoon-billed sandpiper health screening

Nicky writes: I’ve just returned from handling all the sandpipers, something we do fortnightly to assess their physical condition and general well-being. The good news – we were happy with today’s health check. Nigel, Rebecca, Michelle – our resident vet – and I rounded up
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Birds under the heat lamps

Spoon-billed Sandpipers Enjoying Their New Facility

By Nicky Hiscock, Conservation Breeding Assistant The sandpipers have been in their new home now for just over a month and they’re making good use of the surroundings we’ve carefully designed for them. The facility was built just in time for their arrival in 2011 and consists of two i
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The birds’ daily routine

Nicky Hiscock, WWT’s conservation breeding assistant has been caring for the spoon-billed sandpipers since they arrived in the UK. We’ve posted some more footage from the CCTV cameras that monitor the birds below and you can see Nicky going in with the birds. She’s described for us th
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The spoon-billed sandpipers are halfway through quarantine

Nige reports: At this half-way stage of their quarantine period, we’re really pleased with how the birds are doing. They are feeding, drinking, bathing and loafing just as they should be. When the birds arrived they were understandably a little unsettled. In the first few days wheneve
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They’re here!

Baz Hughes, WWT’s Head of Species Conservation writes: Wow. What a day we had on Friday! I couldn’t sleep the night before. I woke up at 5.30am thinking how would 13 tiny little Spoon-billed Sandpipers cope with being boxed up for 17 hours and flown from Moscow to Heathrow and t
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