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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.

News from the Field: The First Chicks

On the 5th July the first eggs began to pip, 5 days on and we have 14 chicks so far! The eggs are weighed regularly throughout incubation to track their progress but as due date approaches they are checked carefully for the first signs of hatching. At around 19 days of incubation the
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The release pen set-up with four rearing coups inside, 14 July 2016. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

News from the field: One more week until release

There are now 30 chicks thriving under the team’s care and living in the release aviary. The chicks have one more week to get accustomed to their surroundings with release planned for early next week! In the last blog, we reported that 22 chicks had successfully hatched and ten
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Eggs in hatcher all imminently about to hatch, 2 July 2016. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

News from the field: Chicks, chicks and more chicks

The team reached their target of collecting 36 eggs and within days, 22 of those eggs hatched! The chicks are doing well and should all be ready for a single release in a few weeks time.  Last time we heard from Roland he reported that the incubator was almost full with 32 eggs but th
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First chick keeping warm on hatch day, 2 July 2016. Photo by Nicola Hiscock/WWT.

Hatching and heartbreak for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme

From elation to devastation. Over the last few days, the two viable eggs at Slimbridge successfully hatched producing two perfect looking Spoon-billed Sandpiper chicks. The chicks seemed to do well initially but their health deteriorated and within 60 hours of hatching both chicks die
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Headstarting in Meinypil’gyno

While Nige and Nicky have been hard at work rearing the birds for the conservation breeding programme, on the opposite side of the world Roland Digby is going through the same stresses, trials and tribulations as he raises chicks for the headstarting programme. Roland has six red-neck
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24-hour old Spoon-billed Sandpiper chick (Paul Marshall)

The first pictures and video

Once again, apologies for the intermittent and brief posts this week. For Nige and Nicky it has been full-on, 24 hours a day, looking after the rapidly growing chicks and checking the as-yet-unhatched eggs. So…what has been happening? Well, after the eggs arrived at Slimbridge l
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The lost posts: Escape from Meina

This post got lost in the ether between Meinypil’gyno and Slimbridge but Phil since managed to rescue it from his hard drive when he got home. Phil writes: At Meina, Pavel and Egor had located a brood of Grey-tailed Tattlers in a survey of the mountain streams and the nest of a
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Siberian Rubythroat (c) Phil Palmer

The lost posts: Marooned in Meino

This post got lost in the ether between Meinypil’gyno and Slimbridge but Phil since managed to rescue it from his hard drive when he got home. Phil writes: Last weekend, the Heritage Cruise arrived with lots of friends on board. Evgeny & Lena Syroechkovsky with their close f
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Bittersweet news – 12 July 2011

12th July 2011 Roland and Liz have arrived today. They make up Team 2 who are going to take over from myself and Nige Jarrett when we return to the UK in about 10 days. Roland Digby is WWT’s Conservation Breeding Officer and Liz Brown works for the New Zealand Department of Conservati
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