TN49 Chris Collins on Chukotka and Spoon-billed Sandpipers

spoon-billed sandpiper chris collins 01

A conversation with Chris Collins, a highly-experienced guide with Heritage Expeditions, the New Zealand-based ecotourism company that became a Species Champion for the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper in August last year. Chris has just (literally just) returned from Chukotka, north-eastern Russia, as part of a large team of aviculturalists, scientists, and birders who are involved in a remarkable project to discover new breeding populations of this iconic and rapidly declining shorebird and to develop a captive conservation breeding programme in the UK.

Chris had only been home for one night when I caught up with him for this podcast, having just made an exhausting sixty-two hour journey from Chukotka back to the UK. Despite the jet-lag and lack of sleep, the excitement and realisation of what he’d seen over the last few weeks was very apparent…

Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Chukotka, July 2011. Photos copyright Chris Collins. Used with permission.


Disclaimer: This podcast has been produced by Talking Naturally to support conservation. No fees or benefits of any kind have been charged or accepted by Talking Naturally. Bandwidth costs for this podcast are sponsored by Digital Spring.


Show Notes

Chris would like to thank Heritage Expeditions and WildWings for all their support and if you are interested in coming on the 2012 trip, Chris recommends checking out the WildWings website for further information.




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About the author

Passionate about animal welfare and conservation, veggie and dairy-free, I live in the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. I co-founded Birders Against Wildlife Crime and Birds Korea. Trustee of the League against Cruel Sports On Twitter @charliemoores


  1. Helena Jefferson says:

    It was lovely to hear Chris talking about our wonderful experience of searching and finding Spoon-billed Sandpipers in Chukotka. After the tough walk into the area where we were going to search to see the lovely little bird and to see it’s amazing behaviour and hear its call was VERY special. Thanks Chris and Charlie for a brilliant podcast.

  2. Charlie says:

    Helena – you’ve had a busy night listening to all three Spoon-billed Sandpiper podcasts. Thankyou for your very kind comments and I’m glad you enjoyed them – though probably not as much as actually seeing the birds live I suspect!

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