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.
First egg collection of the 2016 expedition, 13 June 2016.

News from the field: First eggs collected in Russia

Egg collection at Meinypil’gyno is underway and another headstarted bird has been spotted – White E7, headstarted just last year. The first eggs required for the headstarting programme were collected a couple of days ago, on 13 June. Three clutches have been collected so far tot
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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.
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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
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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
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Liz hands over to Nigel before the flight

Incubating eggs safely landed in Anadyr

Today was miraculous: for the third time in the expedition, the helicopter flew as originally scheduled. This time, for the 1.5 hour flight from Meinypil’gyno to Anadyr, the helicopter carried the incubator, attached to a battery, and with a full complement of eggs. The charge of the
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First fresh salmon c C Zockler

Camping in the West

We cross the First River several times at different locations with a small rubber boat to get our luggage and three people across to the coastal spit. Egor waits for us at a spot across from the end of the west end of the spit with the quad bike that had been transported earlier with
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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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Two new pairs of birds and one new pair of team members

Good news: two new pairs of Spoon-billed Sandpipers were found over the last two days. Sayam and Tom found one in the western delta with a female ready to lay, and Phil and I found one on a spit on the south shore of Piculnej Lake, where they have never been recorded. Today the first
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Red Knot incubating (c) Baz Scampion

Red Knot Update

Pavel writes: The Red Knot breeding population in Meinypil’gyno, only 10-12 pairs, is unique in that the birds breed on the coastal plain rather in the mountains and higher ground, as does the rest of the known population. It is likely the southernmost breeding site for this species i
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Meinypylgno here we come! – 27 May 2011

27 May 2011 I woke early at 0300 and could see the mountains in the distance, we had to be flying today, surely. I stayed restless until 0500 and was going out but for the pools being all frozen. I went back to sleep until 0700 and then headed out to watch Long-toed Stints displaying.
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