Well this is it. My time here in Meinopilginor is at an end and so "The Siberian Summer of 2011" closes. I am now due to leave on the caterpillar taking the ferry accross the first river where we will drive along the beach adjacent to the sea then inland, through the base of the mountains to Berinovski. We are to camp for a few nights on route and then take a small plane (24 seater) to Anadyr. I am intending on spending some time in Anadyr as there are few specialised species I wish to try for and so will updaate from Anadyr. I think back on this trip with a lot of smiles, it has been tough at times and I have had my down days for sure but just look at the title photo of this blog and this just makes it all worth it. This was adream trip and so I bid you farewell from Meinopilginor. Until Anadyr, Over and Out..
Friday, 22 July 2011
My second from last full day here in Meino began with a cloudy start to the day and after breakfast I returned back to the cottage to start working through photos for people. After a while I went to the shop to buy some last bits. I forgot to mention in one the previous posts of this blog that last week I went to the shop and all the shelves were bare and empty with hardly any products present. I remember thinking to myself that this does not look for the remainder of my stay. Then two days later I returned back to the shop to get a loaf of bread when all the shelves were bursting with new products such as bottles of Coke, Fanta, cream soda, different types of crisps, nuts, chocolates etc (photo above). All itmes that had not been here previously. I asked what happened and it turns out that the "American ship" had came in with fresh supplies. "oh my days" I was stunned, still no diet coke but even at the time of writting this post I still have a single can from when Nigel got me those two cans back when the expedition ship arrived. I have learnt a lot about this area of Meinopilginor and it appears that the Chelse FC owner Roman Ambrovich is the one who spent his own money on the new houses for the village, the school was built from his own money and previously to this there was no school here. The infastructure of the village is pretty much all his own doing and when any body mentions his name they say "Roman Abromovich good for Meinopilginor" that includes Chukchi's and Russian people alike. There are pictures of him as well as other governors of the sate of Chukotka (photo above) in places such as the shop and some peoples homes. Any oil or minerals that is discovered in this area, however does beliong to him.
After this I went as planned to pay a last visit to the "English Nest" as I had not been for over a week. I had decided to only visit the area once a week from a safe and undisturbing distance in the hope that this nest would be a successful one. I can now tell you that this nest was so successful. There is an amazing story to this nest and the clutch of eggs involved but I have decided to maybe write this at another time or even in another place but as you can see from the photo below it was a heart warming moment for me.
As I sat with Nicoli from the usual viewing area we could see the adult male and as I scanned with my bins a the tiny chick above appeared in my bins and I was just so very pleased. I told Nicoli I could see a chick and after a while. We went in for a closer inspection and then we decided to leave. As I turned my back and walked away I just couldn't walk away, without glancing back one last time. Me being me I just had to have that last look and as I watched the chick walking through the grass with the male (photo below) I just felt so very chuffed. I hoped that this chick makes it safely to the wintering grounds and has a good positive life ahead of it in the wild and hope it makes it back the area of Meinopilginor to one day be able to brood it's own chicks. I took the photo of the male below and left feeling really pleased but at the same time sad. Sad because I have become attached to this Spoon billed sandpiper and it was Martin and I who were lucky enough to discover this nest. (So Martin & Nigel if you are reading then "Cheers to you and a glass raised"). As I walked away I just couldn't help but feel so pleased. What an amazing end to the story of this nest which has had many twists and turns along the way. I will never forget this whole story and the great and beautiful moments that this bird and nest has provided me with. The poem "If" reads "don't make dreams your master" well I did make them my master and I have spent a long time hoping for this. I have seen spoon billed sandpiper in breeding plumage, on the breeding grounds, displaying over head, displaying on the ground, attempting copulation, giving teritorial behaivour, feeeding and walking right in front of me. I have been lucky enough the find a teritorial pair in the early days of which nested and got 3 chicks off in to the wild. I have found a nest with Martin, I have seen and watched the male on the nest and I have seen chicks from a few minutes old in a hatching unit, to seeing this chick in the wild. So, I may have made dreams my master but I really lived the dream in so many ways!