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 Kerzhak camp – four go surveying on the tundra

Update by Guy Anderson (Nature Recovery Unit, RSPB). The first week after spoonies arrive back on their breeding grounds in early June is a critical time to find territories. This is when they are most vocal – lots of displaying, and lots of singing – a Dunlin-like bubbling tril
Continue Reading →

News from the field: More arrivals, eggs and spot the spoonie nest!

Update from Jodie Clements The second contingent of field workers arrived in Meinypil’gyno on the 5 June as planned! With good weather in Anadyr and a break in the fog at Meino the helicopter was able to fly with just a couple of hours delay. We were greeted by Sveta, Roman and
Continue Reading →

News from the field: First update from the breeding grounds

Update from Nikolay Yakoshev We are anxious to share the early news from the field season. The first team of four scientists has safely arrived in Meinypil’gyno in far eastern Russia. The team, spearheaded by BirdsRussia, surveyed the local habitat and made the first sighting of two r
Continue Reading →
Spoonies in keeping box

News from the field: China expedition September 2018

Update from Kane Brides. On Wednesday 5th September a team from the UK arrived in Shanghai to join colleagues from New Zealand, Hong Kong and China to continue the latest survey efforts of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in Jiangsu Province. Three aims of the expedition are keeping the team b
Continue Reading →
Sleepy Spoonies. Almost in complete juvenile plumage. Photo by Nikolay Yakoshev.

News from the Field: Onto the Release Pen!

A lot has happened since the last update on the 19th July. Here’s the story so far… By the 12 July all those that were able to hatch had done so. In the first 24/48 hours of a chick’s life it gets nourishment from the remaining yolk inside its body. This gives the chicks time to
Continue Reading →

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
Continue Reading →
White-billed Diver on Lake Pekul’neyskoye. Photo by James Phillips.

News from the field: A Close Encounter with the Loons

Update from James Phillips who is now back in the UK There are certain iconic birds that capture the imagination, that define a given landscape or habitat or are just emblematic of those beautiful remote wild places that we all on occasion dream about. The White-billed Diver or the Ye
Continue Reading →
'Spoon-billed Bagpiper'. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: A Full Incubator

Spirits are high now the incubator is full and the River mouth is finally open! This year a grand total of 35 eggs have been collected by Nickolay and Ivan, 31 before the re-lay cut-off date (21st June) allowing females the chance to lay a second clutch and males to rear their own bro
Continue Reading →
Lime 38 singing. Photo by Jodie Clements.

News from the Field: We’ve arrived! And so have the Spoonies..

We’ve finally reached Meinypil’gyno and already can’t wait to get stuck in to the 2018 season! Our journey from Heathrow to Meina has taken 5 days, with a short delay in Moscow and a 1 day extra wait for the helicopter at Anadyr. Being met by Russian staff at Moscow and Anadyr h
Continue Reading →
Lime green U6, 31 July. Photo by Roland Digby.

News from the field: Final update from Roland

Update from Roland Digby This will be my last update because, as I type, I’m finally waiting for my helicopter which should be here around 12:00 hrs local time. Things have been going well since the release with the birds growing and losing any remnants of down on their heads as
Continue Reading →