spoon-billed sandpiper video screen shot
  • Saving the Spoon-billed sandpiper

    In summer 2011 an international team of conservationists flew out to the Russian Far East on an emergency mission to help save one of the world’s rarest birds from extinction. The spoon-billed sandpiper is a unique and remarkable bird, but its shocking drop in numbers indicates likely extinction within a decade if urgent action is not taken.

    The conservation breeding team, led by staff from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and Birds Russia, is working with colleagues from the RSPB, BTO, BirdLife International, ArcCona, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force and Moscow Zoo to help save this species.

    Please support our spoon-billed sandpiper appeal

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In record time – Friday 25 May

Never in the history of the spoon-billed sandpiper expeditions has the journey from Moscow to Meinypil’gyno been as swift. The town of Anadyr, Gateway to Chukotka, is notorious for weather and bureaucratic delays. But thanks to Nikolai’s quick logistical maneuvering, to fast and sweaty teamwork hauling mountains of gear in endless stages to the helicopter, … Continue reading

Whales and cabbage – Saturday 26 May

What do gray whales and fermented cabbage have in common? The same unbelievable stench! Clear blue skies and wind continued today as most of the team crossed the dubious rotting ice over the channel to explore parts of the 50 kilometers-long alongshore gravel spit to the east of the village. It was a day for … Continue reading

The Anadyr to Meinopilgyino helicopter

In record time – Friday 25 May

Never in the history of the spoon-billed sandpiper expeditions has the journey from Moscow to Meinopilgyino been as swift. The town of Anadyr, Gateway to Chukotka, is notorious for weather and bureaucratic delays. But thanks to Nikolai’s quick logistical maneuvering, to fast and sweaty teamwork hauling mountains of gear in endless stages to the helicopter, … Continue reading

Spoon-billed sandpiper marathon report

Huge congratulations to Nigel Hewston, who ran the London Marathon in aid of the spoon-billed sandpiper. You can still support Nigel at http://www.justgiving.com/sandpiper Now that he’s caught his breath, he’s posted a report of his race. I won – hope you’ll be cheering for me at the Olympics! Not quite, but it would have been … Continue reading

spoon-billed sandpiper video screen shot

One of our spoon-billed sandpipers gives its first adult call, and some sadder news

Our flock of spoon-billed sandpipers are showing clear signs of maturing. All the birds have started to moult from juvenile into their first winter plumage, which is a polished silvery white like a suit of armour. During a recent evening feed all the birds were being particularly noisy, producing lots of sharp, high-pitched calls. The … Continue reading

New footage of the spoon-billed sandpipers

Enjoy this video of the birds enjoying a splash in the pool in their new room.

The sandpipers move to their new enclosure

Nicky writes: It has been a particularly exciting week at spoon-billed sandpiper HQ. After a couple of weeks’ preparation work, the 2nd wintering room was ready for the birds to move into. The heaters were cranked up to optimum temperature, the heat lamps hung, the pool filled with circulating, filtered water and the river sand … Continue reading

Spoon-billed sandpiper being weighed

Spoon-billed sandpiper health screening

Nicky writes: I’ve just returned from handling all the sandpipers, something we do fortnightly to assess their physical condition and general well-being. The good news – we were happy with today’s health check. Nigel, Rebecca, Michelle – our resident vet – and I rounded up the birds using a soft sided corral and handled them … Continue reading

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 video shown on  large screen in a 90-seat … Continue reading

Birds under the heat lamps

Spoon-billed Sandpipers Enjoying Their New Facility

By Nicky Hiscock, Conservation Breeding Assistant The sandpipers have been in their new home now for just over a month and they’re making good use of the surroundings we’ve carefully designed for them. The facility was built just in time for their arrival in 2011 and consists of two indoor enclosures where they can be … Continue reading