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: Hatching begins

Update from Jodie Clements (3 July 2019) In early July, chicks were hatching left, right and centre! And with new life, came new challenges… The first chick hatched on 1st July, the earliest to hatch in the rearing house since headstarting in Meina began. During incubation, natural or
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News from the field: Busy, busy, busy!

Update from Jodie Clements (24 June 2019) In addition to the eggs in the last post, another 4 eggs were collected. These came from K6 and his unmarked partner. This clutch was quite intriguing with the eggs appearing larger than normal, especially once put in the incubator with the ot
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News from the field: Collection Complete

After a slow start locating spoonie pairs, relentless searching (and a bit of luck) enabled us to find several more pairs and 9 clutches were collected for headstarting. The incubator now has 34 precious Spoonie eggs developing within it! By collecting eggs this early in the season it
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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