In record time – Friday 25 May

The Anadyr to Meinopilgyino helicopter

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, and to great good weather-luck, we were through the town in under 24 hours.

The helicopter from Anadyr to Meino was the ride of a lifetime. Unencumbered by standard equipment such as safety belts for the team or webbing to hold fast the half-ton of pile of gear, we squeezed together around windows fully open to rushing high-altitude air, looking down on tundra speckled with frozen aquamarine ponds, followed by a spectacular range of glacier-cut mountains still in the clutches of snow.The Anadyr to Meinopilgyino helicopter

Arrival at Meinopilgyino to more snow drifted up around the houses, and a warm welcome from Russian friends Pavel and Egor whose fieldwork has already begun, replete with heaps of boiled potato with salted salmon prepared by our wonderful hostess, Sveta, the Chair of the local Friends of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Committee. An auspicious start to the expedition!

3 Responses to “In record time – Friday 25 May”
  1. Tony Gale says:

    Great project and great people doing it. Hold on tight folks.

  2. Nickolai is a wonder. Not only is he VERY skilled at finding nesting sites it seems he is also VERY good at logistics!!! I am glad you had perfect weather for your flight from Anadyr. I am thrilled to hear you are safely at Meinopilgyino and look forward to hearing how you are progressing and when the birds arrive. Helena

  3. Nigel Jarrett says:

    A M A Z I N G – Fantastic work Nikolai and SBS team! I know first hand that Nikolai is an exceptional man. With him, Pavel, Egor and Christoph leading the way, this is going to be a great year for spoon-billed sandpiper in Meino and everywhere 🙂

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