My last day in Anadyr was a dry, bright, sunny and warm one. I took a short stroll over the airport marsh where there was not a lot around bar a few wood sandpipers. I then packed my last bits and boarded my Yakutia airlines flight at 16:00hrs where for the very first time in my life I was upgraded to first class ! "result" and quite poetic I thought seeing as I had to sort this out for myself. It was a bit of grief trying to arrange this flight or myself as I speak no Russian and the girl behind the desk spoke no English but we got there in the end. There was no difference between first and economy class in terms of food or service but the seating and leg room was much better and much appreciated. After 10 hours and 40 minutes of flying I arrived in Moscow. I then travelled accross Moscow to the international airport where I had 11 hours to kill which went quite quickly as I managed to get a few hours sleep. I then boarded my British Midland flight which was a Transaero flight and I arrived to a nice bright, sunny and warm day in London. I don't wish to hang this story line out any longer for this blog and so I have just uploaded some of my video's (see the Vimeo file / clip box for many more videos of the trip) and also some of my personal favourite photos. I say favourite because I think that the photos are ok but they are my favourite due to the actual event around the photo and not the photo itself of which I would say these were "nice moments" and happy memories.
Great Knot: This was a "great day" as we were supposed to fly from Anadyr to Meino on this day but Martin and myself quietly hoped that the flight would get cancelled in order to give us the opportunity to get up to the mountains where this species breeds. Nigel, Martin and myself headed off as soon as we got the news that the chopper was cancelled. After a trek up to the area where the birds are we managed to locate at least 2 birds. Nigel and Martin left and returned back to the hotel but I hadn't got any photos I was happy with at this point and so I remained as I just wanted to know that I gave it my best shot. I managed to locate another 2 birds in a different area including the individual in the photo above. After I spent tme watching, enjoying and photographing this bird and I was happy with what photos I had got I also then turned back for the hotel.Long Billed Dowitcher: I managed to get this shot when Martin and I went out for the day to the area of the coal river and marshes. We had at least 400 birds this day flying over in small groups as they were migrating north as well as flocks dropping in to feed nearby.Red Necked Stint: Not the best shot I got but again a nice day just out on the eastern spit, Meino with Martin. We had a lot of waders migrating through this day including grey tailed tattler, bar tailed godwits, both red necked and red phalaropes and the sun was shining down from a beautiful sky above.Summer Solstice: I took this shot of the skyline at 01:30hrs on the longest day of the year and this was the day that we got lucky and found a spoon billed sandpiper nest and I got to finally see what I had wanted to see for a very long time and that was an adult bird clearly visible sitting on a nest.Wandering Tattler: This is not an easy bird to see on the breeding grounds and so I was real pleased to finally "nail" this species actually on the breeding grounds and just seeing them on the moss coverred boulders of the fast flowing mountain rivers really was a very special moment for me indeed.
Martin McGill: A good birder and a nice guy who I believe if you snapped hm in half you would see the WWT logo running right through him. Martin is dedicated to the WWT and the work that he does. He worked hard on this project. He missed his family as he was away from them for a long time. My heart went out to him on several occasions as he is a vegetarian and he really did struggle in getting a healthy intake of food. "A good west country lad"
Above and below shows a couple of poor quality video clips of spoon billed sandpiper I took from this trip
Below is a vimeo video clip box that i nhave put together from this trip there are around 20 video clips here and so I hope you find something you like.
If you would like to see more spoon billed sandpiper chicks hatch successfully in the wild like the one in the photo below then please make a donanation (no matter how small) to the WWT in order for them to be able continue their work on this project. Click on the link: http://www.wwt.org.uk/support-us/please-help-us-to-save-the-incredible-spoonbilled-sandpiper-
Spoon Billed Sandpiper chick: This bird successfully hatched against all the odds stacked against it and this is such a great story of this individual. Watching this bird walking in the grass, in the wild with the male close by of the aptly named "English nest" was the biggest high-light of this whole trip for me. I was speechless by this and for those of you who know me will also know this does not happen that often. A great trip which was tough going at times for several different reasons but what more can I say ? Other than I hope you have enjoyed this blog over the past 80 days ( I lost a few days along the way). It will be nice to have a break from the constant blogging but I had to try to keep this trip up to date because it was such a big trip for me.