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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.

Spoony and friends – the breeding waders of Meina

Blog from Guy Anderson (Nature Recovery Unit, RSPB) While searching for spoonies on the tundra around Meina, we often bump into other waders rushing through their short breeding season. Some of these share much of their year with our spoony friends. Red-necked, Long-toed and Temminck’
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spoon-billed sandpiper (c) Richard Smith

Earliest Record Ever

The morning is bright with a strong and cold south-west migration-friendly wind. The first of the Terns have arrived, Arctic Terns flying along the coast on their elaborate wing beats. Christoph took the WWT group out on to the tundra in search of a good site to build the rearing avia
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Harlequin duck (c) Christoph Zockler

Getting ready…

Karin writes: After moving house with the aid of the ‘go anywhere’ vestikhod, the unstoppable Russian Caterpillar, and a few good card games while waiting for it to arrive, the WWT team spent the afternoon cleaning and disinfecting what is to become the Incubation Facility. Set up in
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First day of exploring the tundra

Richard Smith writes: I woke with the sun streaming in all the windows (there are no curtains) at 2.30am local time. It hadn’t even got dark! At 3.10 though a large flock of White-fronted Geese fly past my window and 20 minutes later a flock of Sandhill Cranes headed in the same direc
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Rising water levels causing concerns – 12 June 2011

Sunday 12th June Martin reports: A bright sunny day. Today we headed out onto the spit with the quad bike. Simon and I took a radio and did a range check. It was connecting to about 2.5kms. We rode the 15kms to the end of the spit stopping off to check marshy ground adjacent to the la
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A day to remember, we’ve spotted the spoon-billed sandpiper! – 5 June 2011

5 June 2011 It is still very windy and cold but less so than the last few days, after breakfast I got ready and picked up the Quad bike (ATV) from the storage container. I headed west of the village to check the spits that had thawed to see if any Spoon-billed Sandpipers were present,
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When will they arrive? – 1 June 2011

1 June 2011 Simon walked 24 miles today, all alone on the spit, he saw a leg flagged red knot that had been marked in the area previously, he had three red knot territories and had also logged a western sandpiper. I went with Jochen for a walk into the moraine hills to check two terri
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Hmmmmmm Lemon cake! – 31 May 2011

31 May 2011 A misty and foggy start to the day. All three of us at Base camp continued with cleaning after breakfast, I copped the toilet and Simon the kitchen areas behind the cupboards and floor. We had to disinfect everything as we want nothing nasty to be anywhere in the base. The
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Bad weather means more birdwatching – 25 May 2011

25 May 2011 Hanging about until 0900, no helicopter flight, review later……..1100, still no flight…..1200 flight cancelled. I took a walk out through the airport marsh…2 displaying Long-billed Dowitcher and 2 more in the river marsh. 7 Pacific Eiders, 80 Black B
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