Looking for wader watchers – Western coast of Kamchatka, Russia

The large wader stopover in Khairusova-Belogolovaya estuary on the Western coast of Kamchatka peninsula is not very famous and scientists have started investigate this area only several years ago. The last expedition in 2015, the estuary was found to host 31 wader species. During the peak of migration, in the end of July, we counted about 26 000 waders.

Most numerous in this area are Great Knots (up to 23 000), Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Red-necked Stints and Dunlins. Also we often recorded there rare species – Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Far-Eastern Curlews.

From middle of June till the middle of August 2016 we are planning to continue our field work in this area and looking for volunteers. We are planning the following activities:

  • Wader counts
  • Reading individual flag codes on Great Knots and Godwits
  • Maybe ringing waders and taking benthos samples.

We are looking for people with experience with wader counts and reading leg flags. The volunteers, preferably bringing their own scopes, can participate the whole field period or for the part of it. Main activities – wader counts and reading leg flags. Large part of Great Knots and some Godwits have individual leg flags, mostly from Australia.


Travelling via Petropavlovsk to Ust-Khairusovo by plane. In the study area we live in field tent camp. Camp is protected with electric fence from bears. Main vehicle is motor boat. It is necessary to have all field equipment – rubber boots, rain jackets and pants, warm clothes etc.

Unfortunately our expedition this year is not able to pay for expedition costs.

The deadline of the applications is 20 March 2016

Are you interested, or do you have questions, please contact Dmitry Dorofeev


——————-In 2013 we published an article about our study in English————————

Dorofeev, Dmitry S., and Fedor V. Kazansky. “Post-breeding stopover sites of waders in the estuaries of the Khairusovo, Belogolovaya and Moroshechnaya rivers, western Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2010–2012.” Wader Study Group Bull 120.2 (2013): 119-123. Click here for PDF