Written by Craig Brelsford
News just in from Yangkou, China is that there has been between 5 & 9 adult Spoon billed Sandpipers present this past week. The birds have been seen on the rising tide, the high tide roost and the run off of the tide within a 7km stretch along the shoreline. There is a 3 man international team present, which consists of Simon Buckell, Daniel Pettersson and Craig Brelsford who are also occasionally joined by Zhang Lin of Shanghai birds. You can follow the team’s progress by clicking on the relevant blogs and websites.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper perching up on a tussock in Chukotka, Russia in June 2011. © Simon Buckell
Also of note is that within the past six months Simon Buckell from the UK has found, viewed and photographed the Spoon-billed Sandpiper on its wintering grounds in the gulf of Thailand, the spring migration grounds of Yangkou, China, the breeding grounds Chukotka, Russia, and on the return autumn migration grounds of, again Yangkou, China. Simon is possibly the first person in the world to achieve this amazing feat and all in the same year of which took him just under six months!
Spoon-bileld Sandpiper feeding in the mud at Yangkou, China on on Tuesday the 23rd August 2011. © Daniel Pettersson
Daniel Pettersson, also known as Mudskipper because of his willingness to crawl across the mudflats in pursuit of the perfect shooting angle already has an impressive array of bird photos. Daniel is on his second trip to Yangkou.
Craig Brelsford is an American bird photographer living in Shanghai.
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is critically endangered; some estimates place the number of surviving individuals at 200.