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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.

Slimbridge Spoonies: They hatched, they grew, they fledged!

Update from Jodie Clements After what felt like an eternity, the eggs had finally been incubated long enough to see whether or not they were fertile… we had some concerns over fertility as no obviously successful copulations had been witnessed. You may be thinking, well this is a priv
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What’s happening at Slimbridge?

Update from Baz Hughes I think you might have all realised that there’s been a bit of blog silence on the Slimbridge spoonies so it’s time to update you. Put bluntly, we didn’t get eggs this year, but it wasn’t for lack of trying! Moult into summer plumage commenced in late February w
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First chick keeping warm on hatch day, 2 July 2016. Photo by Nicola Hiscock/WWT.

Hatching and heartbreak for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper captive breeding programme

From elation to devastation. Over the last few days, the two viable eggs at Slimbridge successfully hatched producing two perfect looking Spoon-billed Sandpiper chicks. The chicks seemed to do well initially but their health deteriorated and within 60 hours of hatching both chicks die
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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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Nest of the second pair containing two dummy eggs and one freshly laid Spoon-billed Sandpiper egg, this pair's fifth. Photo by Tanya Grigg.

Spoon-billed Sandpipers have finally laid eggs at WWT Slimbridge!

Two weeks ago we updated you on some positive signs that the captive population at WWT Slimbridge might breed this year. Now we have the great pleasure to tell you that WE HAVE EGGS, the first captive Spoon-billed Sandpiper eggs in history. We have been nervously watching the birds si
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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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Poster from Myanmar to Meiny School c Baz Scampion

Meinypil’gyno school and an incubator full of eggs

The team met with the schoolkids today. Sayam showed some funny shots of children playing in Bangladesh, as well as short video clips of mangrove delta Spoon-billed Sandpiper habitat, and bare feet walking on a sucky mudflat. This last clip raised giggles from these tundra-raised kids
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watching the spoon-billed sandpipers in the Slimbridge cinema

See the spoon-billed sandpipers live via CCTV

By Nicky Hiscock, Conservation Breeding Assistant This is our 38th day of showing live footage of the spoon-billed sandpipers to the public via a CCTV link at the conservation breeding facility. Each day at 2.30pm, when the birds are fed, visitors to WWT Slimbridge can watch live vide
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