09:18, Thursday 28 June @ Yakutsk airport Liza T. and I are now with the eggs in Yakutsk airport after flying for 3 hours. The plane is refuelling (takes 1.5 hours). We’ve another 6.5 hrs fly time to Moscow. There have been one or two bumps along the way … we can only hope the baby SB
Today was miraculous: for the third time in the expedition, the helicopter flew as originally scheduled. This time, for the 1.5 hour flight from Meinypil’gyno to Anadyr, the helicopter carried the incubator, attached to a battery, and with a full complement of eggs. The charge of the
17:52 (BST), Saturday 23 June @ Moscow Zoo Text message: I’m at zoo. Got through customs without a hitch. They x-rayed my bags but let me through. Please let all of our support team at Slimbridge know. 14:56 (BST), Sunday 24 June @ Departures lounge, Sheremetyevo Airport, Mosco
The team met with the schoolkids today. Sayam showed some funny shots of children playing in Bangladesh, as well as short video clips of mangrove delta Spoon-billed Sandpiper habitat, and bare feet walking on a sucky mudflat. This last clip raised giggles from these tundra-raised kids
We cross the First River several times at different locations with a small rubber boat to get our luggage and three people across to the coastal spit. Egor waits for us at a spot across from the end of the west end of the spit with the quad bike that had been transported earlier with
The past four days have been particularly tense and nerve-wracking for me. On Friday I set the first clutch of spoon-billed sandpiper eggs in the Hemel incubator (the same machine that was causing grief in an earlier post, but has now been coaxed into running at a stable 37.5°C). Em
Good news: two new pairs of Spoon-billed Sandpipers were found over the last two days. Sayam and Tom found one in the western delta with a female ready to lay, and Phil and I found one on a spit on the south shore of Piculnej Lake, where they have never been recorded. Today the first
The day’s plan of beginning to construct the release aviary were disrupted mid-morning when Nikolay found us to say he had a complete clutch of four eggs and their incubation had begun. Richard H., Liz B. and I piled in the buggy with Nikolay driving and the portable incubator plugged
We found the first nest today, but will wait a few days before collecting the eggs to ensure we have the full clutch. Most pairs are still in pre-nesting stages and patience is needed. Over the last few days we have been encountering more and more lonely males desperately displaying,
Expedition to the east Our four-man survey team camped two nights at Ankavia, 12km east of Meinoypil’gyno, to survey an area another 6 km on to the south east. We had to cross a narrow strait between Lake Peculnej and Yandatavey inlet, littered with icebergs that flowed off the lake,
The spoon-billed sandpiper conservation breeding programme is a collaboration between WWT, Birds Russia, Moscow Zoo and the RSPB working with colleagues from the BTO, BirdLife International, ArcCona and the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force.
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