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.

Just what we are here for! Our first clutch of eggs – 19 June 2011

19 June 2011 Late afternoon Nige dropped Simon at the foot of the hills so he could search he returned for me as I was going to lead him to a Dunlin nest later. Pavel, Egor and Nikolay were all searching the moraine hill territories for SBS nests. Jochen went with Gerrit to the east e
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More pictures added to the gallery – 19 June 2011

19 June 2011 More pictures have been added to the gallery page. The gallery contains images of bird sightings, people we work and live with and members of the team.
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spoon-billed sandpiper gallery so far – 19 June 2011

19 June 2011 A collection of images that we have collected of the spoon-billed sandpiper. All images by Martin McGill/Jochen Dierschke   [slideshow]
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Trekking through the hills – 18 June 2011

18 June 2011 Nige and I spent the day searching for nests with Jochen, each day we partner, go it alone or form a group to search, we covered several over hills, marsh and gravel,  and employed a treble transect technique, forming a line with the three of us spaced out and walking the
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Too close for comfort! – 17 June 2011

17 June 2011 Today as usual we all had a different area to cover, we are moved around so we all get a change. I was paired with Simon to take the quad into the hills to check over a few areas. It was quite a challenge getting the machine through marshes in particular but the route is
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Our first grim discovery – 16 June 2011

16 June 2011 I felt sickened  today, to see one of the birds I had been watching dead, to know it had laid eggs in the same small gulley where I watched a pair together in the sun days before and saw the male on guard was rather sad. Natural predators are a part of what happens, it ha
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Look out – Bears! 15 June 2011

15 June 2011 Martin reports: Need to catch up a bit, two full on days! On a downer over the spoon-billed sandpiper still. We need some good news. Had some seriously close bear encounters and saw a wolf today. The bears are scary. I’m not sure what they would do, but we kept our distan
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Bad news! – 14 June 2011

14 June 2011 Martin took a break from blogging today and handed the reigns over to Nigel Jarrett for the day. We got an upsetting message from Nigel yesterday. It comes on top of all the stresses of trying to build a safe rearing facility for one of the world’s rarest birds in a very
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Close encounters of a spoon-billed sandpiper kind – 13 June 2011

13 June 2011 Martin reports: It was a public holiday for locals; another gorgeous, sunny, but still cool day for us. Simon went off with Pavel and Egor catching red knot for ringing and trying to locate nests. They spent all day out there using a mist net to catch them. Poles are carr
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Rising water levels causing concerns – 12 June 2011

Sunday 12th June Martin reports: A bright sunny day. Today we headed out onto the spit with the quad bike. Simon and I took a radio and did a range check. It was connecting to about 2.5kms. We rode the 15kms to the end of the spit stopping off to check marshy ground adjacent to the la
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