Ringing birds in Siberia.

In 2004, Phil was invited to take part in an expedition to Chukotka, a province in Northeast Arctic Siberia by Evgeny Syroechkovskiy. He was part of a four man team that were checking places that were once breeding sites for the seriously threatened Spoon-billed Sandpiper. In the process, the group would gather data on Arctic shorebirds. This chiefly involved ringing birds and recording nest information to map their distribution in an area never been visited by ornithologists. Here, Phil discovered new species for Russia and even a new species for Eurasia, a Western Meadowlark!

The chicks in the photograph above were a clutch of Baird's Sandpipers that he found and ringed. Although widely recognised as an American species, Phil found Baird's Sandpipers and other American waders breeding near Provedenya.

Phil was very lucky to find a Red Knot's nest high in the mountains along the Karupka river. It was the only one of the expedition and he was able to ring the four chicks. Today (November 2008), Phil learned that one of these birds had been trapped in New Zealand - about as far as you can get from Arctic Russia!! The photograph below is of the bird trapped in New Zealand, now an adult. 

It is lucky to re-trap any bird, but during the Chukotka Expedition, Phil recorded a Semi-palmated Sandpiper from Australia as well as a male Grey Plover, that had been ringed in Japan. He was one of only a handful of people to ever ring Mongolian (Lesser Sand) Plovers on their breeding grounds. There is a photograph of the Grey Plover further down the page wearing the blue rings placed on the bird in Japan where it spent the winter. Phil found it paired to a female with four eggs on a flat gravel plain by the Karupka delta.



Japanese ringed Grey Plover.


The mountains near Provedenya where Phil was to search for waders.



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