I am researcher in All-Russian Research Institute for Environmental Protection and PhD student in Moscow State University. My research is supported by the Global Flyway Network, through the Royal NIOZ Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and the University of Groningen.
Several years ago I was involved in the Beluga Whale Project in Khairusova-Belogolovaya estuary in Western Kamchatka, Russia. There I became impressed by numerous flocks of waders that we observed in July and August. After the expedition I tried to find publications about the use of this area waders but found just few of them. They were rather old and had limited information. I wanted to know more about this stopover, and therefore in 2015 we started our investigations at Khairusova-Belogolovaya estuary. I`m focused mainly on Great Knots, Black- and Bar-Tailed Godwits. Our key aim is to clarify the importance of Khairusova-Belogolovaya estuary for different wader species. Each year we involve volunteers from different countries in our fieldwork.
We have five main activities during the field season.
- Foraging behavior
- Benthos survey
- Catching and marking with individual leg flags (Kamchatka combination is Black flag over engraved Yellow!)
- Observations of individually marked birds
- Wader counts
During last two years (2015 and 2016) we counted up to 28,000 waders during the peak of stopover. Totally were registered 31 wader species, including rare species as Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Far Eastern Curlew. We have rather large database of re-sights of individually marked birds. In 2016 we started ringing waders and have some re-sights from many countries of East Asian-Australasian Flyway. One our Great Knot was observed in United Arabian Emirates. OSME wrote small paper about this re-sight: From Russia with Love (or at least a ring): Kamchatka Great Knot reaches the Arabian Gulf.
Our investigations are supported by All-Russian Research Institute for Environmental Protection, MBZ fund, OBC, IWSG, AWSG. Theunis Piersma and Yvonne Verkuil kindly provided us with methodological support for benthos surveys and processing of collected samples and data.