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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: 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: 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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Ivan checking the 1st clutch of eggs in the hatcher to make sure all pips are on the tops of the eggs, 1 July 2017. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

News from the Field: Hatching update from 3 July

Update from Roland Digby (from 3 July 2017) On 1 July, clutch A pipped and were all moved from the Hemel incubator to the AB Newlife hatcher. As of 3 July, a total of 24 of the 34 viable eggs have pipped and been moved over and we expect the remaining 10 eggs in the incubators to pip
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Ivan and Yuri making the final collection on 24 June 2017. Photo by N. Yakushev.

News from the Field: 38 eggs!

On 24 June, the final clutch of eggs was collected from the plain at the foot of the moraine hills close to the village, making a total of 38 eggs collected. This is amazing because at one point earlier in the season when the floods were inundating territories (particularly in Angkavi
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Two of the eggs at Slimbridge are fertile and developing well

On Tuesday, the eggs at Slimbridge were candled (tested for fertility) and at least two eggs are looking good! One egg from the first clutch and one from the second. As described in the blog announcing the eggs, the captive Spoon-billed Sandpipers at Slimbridge produced two clutches o
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Arctic Hare c Phil Palmer

An amazing day!

Today was just one of those days. Cold, drizzly and a long chilled hike to Ankavye, an area that has become my local patch. Ankavye is a hard area to work as the colder weather here makes things happen a week later than in Meinypil’gyno. Together with various team members, we had alre
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Transporting the first clutch

First Clutch

The day’s plan of beginning to construct the release aviary were disrupted mid-morning when Nikolay found us to say he had a complete clutch of four eggs and their incubation had begun. Richard H., Liz B. and I piled in the buggy with Nikolay driving and the portable incubator plugged
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Encouraging signs of Life – 2 July 2011

2 July 2011 A misty, cool day with no sun on offer.   What has for me been a rather anxious couple of waiting days culminated in post dinner meeting with Nikolay, Pavel and Liza.  On their arrival Nige was fielding another ropey skype call to WWT, Pavel joined in to comment. On comple
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Community work with local children is always fun – 30 June 2011

30 June 2011 Simon and I walked to the shop which was shut, we found out later it was for a stock take and resupply so there may be some goodies on offer soon. We headed for the school to meet up with some of the teachers. We had met them at our Spoon-billed Sandpiper presentation a w
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Incubating the eggs – 29 June 2011

29 June 2011 I woke a few times, every hour and finally checked my clock to see it was now 0440. I had beaten my alarm clock which was set for 0500. I woke Nige and Simon, we had a coffee and got set up for the day. The weather was OK, cool and overcast but dry and not too windy. As w
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