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.

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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When will they arrive? – 1 June 2011

1 June 2011 Simon walked 24 miles today, all alone on the spit, he saw a leg flagged red knot that had been marked in the area previously, he had three red knot territories and had also logged a western sandpiper. I went with Jochen for a walk into the moraine hills to check two terri
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Hmmmmmm Lemon cake! – 31 May 2011

31 May 2011 A misty and foggy start to the day. All three of us at Base camp continued with cleaning after breakfast, I copped the toilet and Simon the kitchen areas behind the cupboards and floor. We had to disinfect everything as we want nothing nasty to be anywhere in the base. The
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What a day – All too much for a naturalist – 30 May 2011

30 May 2011 Uncomfortable night as no pillow, my blow up one has punctured. After breakfast at Sveta’s house (local lady of the settlement who cooks breakfast and evening meals for us) we headed back to the house to continue house clearance and cleaning, the ‘incubation’ room was clea
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Nothing like a good spring clean! – 29 May 2011

29 May 2011 Spent all day clearing out three rooms in the house, dirty, grimy, dusty work and we were all itching. Finished at 1700 and after dinner went for a walk at 2000hrs, I watched the sea to witness the migration for an hour, big parties of Pomarine Skuas and Black Scoters were
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Off to find the breeding grounds – 28 May 2011

28 May 2011 After breakfast we walked out with Pavel leading and everyone else following to check all the last breeding territories of Spoon-billed Sandpipers, we checked the gravel spits and ridges where a few Turnstone were seen and Dunlin heard to the low moraine hills and slopes,
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Meinypylgno here we come! – 27 May 2011

27 May 2011 I woke early at 0300 and could see the mountains in the distance, we had to be flying today, surely. I stayed restless until 0500 and was going out but for the pools being all frozen. I went back to sleep until 0700 and then headed out to watch Long-toed Stints displaying.
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Another day, another cancelled flight – 26 May 2011

26 May 2011 Again I got up early with tightly packed bags for a chopper flight at 0900….put off to 1100……cancelled at 1200….again, sitting around waiting for the heads up and once again a big fat negative. The sun was out and we could see the mountains in the d
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