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.

Time to catch up – 11 June 2011

11 June 2011 Woken many times in the night by dogs and drunks, Nige was up at 0600 and trying to Skype home, I was woken by his frustration, he and his wife were desperately trying to have a conversation which was impossible, all I heard was ‘can you hear me, can you hear me know, wha
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Gull-fest – 10 June 2011

10 June 2011 I went to breakfast without Nige and Simon, we had a lot of planning and set up a meeting at our place to discuss immediate issues. Nicolai thinks the birds in the study area are 4-5 days away from laying eggs, we all agree that it is best that we stand down until then to
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Tequila, it makes you miss breakfast! 9 June 2011

9 June 2011 Oh dear….late start, missed breakfast, I was trying to email WWT when Liza knocked, she had brought porridge for the larry lightweights who had not got up for breakfast, the Pacific air and tequila had taken its toll. Apart from the reaction to celebratory spirits on
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Happy birthday Pavel! 8 June 2011

8 June 2011 Usual routine for morning, I head out in the afternoon with Nige heading east to the base of the spit, a broad sweep of gravel interspersed with creeks and pools. We set off on a route but have to walk around many stretches as they are too deep. Eventually we reach the lak
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Mating pairs! 7 June 2011

7 June 2011 Getting out to search for more SBS, today? We have established a routine this week it is likely to change when we search for nests but it is… Get up after very late night to bed…some of us 0300 in the morning or get up early 0600-0630 largely due to slow intern
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A day to remember, we’ve spotted the spoon-billed sandpiper! – 5 June 2011

5 June 2011 It is still very windy and cold but less so than the last few days, after breakfast I got ready and picked up the Quad bike (ATV) from the storage container. I headed west of the village to check the spits that had thawed to see if any Spoon-billed Sandpipers were present,
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More spoon-billed sandpipers, we celebrate with a beer – 6 June 2011

6 June 2011 Woke at 0630, Nige already up, we are rather mixed up as it is only slightly dark for a few hours. Off to breakfast, creamed rice and some pancakes to take out with us today. Got a plan for later and will see if we find more. Really hoping Nige gets to see a spoon-billed s
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The first injury of the trip! 4 June 2011

4 June 2011 A wet day, I headed out and checked what we call the corrall area (old Reindeer handling station) with Simon, a couple of very wolf-like feral dogs were busy digging out Ground Squirrels from a burrow system, many of these dogs roam the area  and predate eggs and young. We
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Rain and gales hamper efforts – 3 June 2011

3 June 2011 Simon went out at 0200-0900 but did not find any spoon-billed sandpipers, I decided against going out in the harsh conditions at 0700, nothing to be gained, I spared a thought for Simon as I made a hot cup of tea. He returned with news of the leg flagged Mongolian plover p
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The bird has finally landed – 2 June 2011

2 June 2011 Awful weather, stayed in until late afternoon when I set off in the gale and rain with Simon for the corrall, we were overtaken on a slightly different route by three of our teammates on the two quad bikes who were also heading for the same destination. I decided to head b
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