Friday 8 July 2016

Better news about the Spoon-billed Sandpipers.

The headstarting team in Russia have met their target of collecting 36 eggs after many hours of tramping over the Russian tundra in search of nests. 

Team members Pavel and Egor found the last nest with a clutch of four eggs which were later assessed for their suitability to join the other collected eggs by Roland and Nikolai. It was found that the chicks inside were of a suitable stage of development to fit in with those already taken and so they were added to the collection making up the 36 eggs which had come from 9 clutches.

Of these 36 eggs, all of which were fertile, all but three continued to develop as hoped. Two failed to develop further and another was found to be at a development stage that would not fit the anticipated release dates. This egg was therefore returned to the nest for the parents to rear. The remaining 33 eggs looked viable and on course for the desired single release scenario.

Eggs in hatcher very close to hatching, 2 July 2016. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

Between the 2nd and 5th of July 22 chicks hatched successfully and another hatched too early (by about 36 hours) sadly resulting in its early demise.

Newly hatched chicks from clutch A on 2 July 2016. Photo by Roland Digby/WWT.

This means there are 10 eggs left unhatched as yet, the chicks are looking healthy and feeding well, but recent events have taught us not to be too certain about the future of these little birds. Of course we are rooting for a best of all possible scenarios with all of the remaining eggs hatching successfully and all the chicks being released back into the wild thus boosting the wild population for another year.

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