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.
Male adult spoon-billed sandpiper, shortly after arriving at the Meinypilg'yno breeding grounds (c) Roland Digby

PHOTOS: Giving spoon-billed sandpipers a helping hand

Here is a gallery of images from this year’s expedition to headstart spoon-billed sandpipers in Chukotka. Enjoy!
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Young spoon-billed sandpiper (c) Nicky Hiscock

Headstarting spoon-billed sandpipers – Roland’s account

Roland and Nicky returned from Russia last week, after a successful expedition headstarting spoon-billed sandpipers. They’re taking some well-earned time off now, but Roland still kindly gave us a debrief: From my perspective this year was so much better. We learned a lot last year be
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Headstarting in Meinypil’gyno

While Nige and Nicky have been hard at work rearing the birds for the conservation breeding programme, on the opposite side of the world Roland Digby is going through the same stresses, trials and tribulations as he raises chicks for the headstarting programme. Roland has six red-neck
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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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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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Beautiful Veins c R D Smith

Beautiful veins

The past four days have been particularly tense and nerve-wracking for me.  On Friday I set the first clutch of spoon-billed sandpiper eggs in the Hemel incubator (the same machine that was causing grief in an earlier post, but has now been coaxed into running at a stable 37.5°C).  Em
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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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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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First Nest of Spoonbilled Sandpiper c Christoph Zoeckler

First Nest and Surplus of Males

We found the first nest today, but will wait a few days before collecting the eggs to ensure we have the full clutch. Most pairs are still in pre-nesting stages and patience is needed. Over the last few days we have been encountering more and more lonely males desperately displaying,
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Teddy wakes up c Phil Palmer

Expedition to the east

Expedition to the east Our four-man survey team camped two nights at Ankavia, 12km east of Meinoypil’gyno, to survey an area another 6 km on to the south east. We had to cross a narrow strait between Lake Peculnej and Yandatavey inlet, littered with icebergs that flowed off the lake,
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