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.
Light green A1 back at the breeding grounds on 8 June 2016. Photo by Egor Loktionov.

News from the field: Dry conditions, a bear and the first photos

As reported in the last blog, conditions this year are unusually warm and dry. While these conditions have been good for breeding habitat in some low-level areas, conditions are too dry in many of the key areas used by breeding Spoon-billed Sandpipers in recent years at Meinypil’gyno.
Continue Reading →
Evgeny Syroechkovskiy

News from the field: Birds returning to the breeding site discovered in 2015

Our latest update comes from Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Director of BirdsRussia and Head of the Arctic Biodiversity Conservation Centre of the All-Russian Institute for Nature Conservation. Evgeny reports that although spring came early on the breeding grounds this year with relatively wa
Continue Reading →
Steller's eiders in Norway, March 2016 (Kane Brides/WWT)

News from the field: White MA is back!

As mentioned in the last blog, we were really hoping to see the Spoon-billed Sandpiper marked White MA (white leg-flag engraved with the letters MA) this year. He was headstarted by Roland and the team in 2013, has been seen and photographed in the flyway, and returned to successfully
Continue Reading →

The fifth headstarting expedition is underway and love is in the air at Slimbridge (possibly…)

We have just heard that Roland (WWT) has arrived safely in Meinypil’gyno, Chukotka, along with colleagues from BirdsRussia, to begin the 2016 expedition to monitor and ‘headstart’ Spoon-billed Sandpipers at this important breeding site. It’s a long journey from Slimbridge, via London
Continue Reading →

The 2015 headstarted birds move to their wintering grounds

A fourth bird from our 2015 cohort of headstarted birds was resighted n 16 November, this time in the Gulf of Thailand. Although the image is a little grainy the bird was identified as: P7 (pink left), a bird that was last seen in Chukotka on 3 August, aged 27 days old. The observer M
Continue Reading →

Headstarting continued: more great news from further along the flyway

The physical component of headstarting for me finished on 2 August, but the reality is that work never stops with any aspect of this project. There is always planning and preparation for the next year and, most excitingly for me, there are the reports from further along the flyway. On
Continue Reading →

Hitting the ground running

Together with ‘SBS in China’ I am leading a group of international wader experts (Guy Anderson from RSPB, Richard Hearn from WWT, Ewan Weston from Highland Ringing Group and David Melvile from New Zealand) who have come to China to help Professor Chang Qin of Nanjing Normal University
Continue Reading →

Countdown to Spoonievision Live

In our world, this is going to be as big as the Super Bowl! Spoonievision Live is the first ever chance to see behind the scenes of the Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper conservation breeding programme. Going out in two days time, Spoonievision Live will be hosted by long time support
Continue Reading →

A Stirring of Spoonies

Today is one of the most important days in the calendar of the 2015 Headstarting expedition and a very important one in the recovery of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Today is the day the WWT and Birds Russia team release the birds they have known from the newly-laid egg stage….  t
Continue Reading →

The one and only photo from Meina!

Sorry for the silence everyone. It’s been all hands to the pumps, both here at Slimbridge and in Meina. What’s more the team in Meina are struggling with one of the dodgiest internet connections they’ve had in recent years, but we can now reveal the one photo and only photo they’ve ma
Continue Reading →