Posted on Monday, August 2nd, 2010
GBG Director David Waters has returned to Russia to coordinate transportation of bustard chicks from Saratov to the UK:
I tweeted this morning saying there was a smell of smoke at the airport. As it got light it became apparent that smoke is restricting visibility quite a bit. So far it is not having any impact on the airport operation but staff here tell me the fires are not close to the airport but they are moving about quickly.
My Saratov colleagues tell me many sections of road between Saratov and Moscow are closed due to the forest fires. This may make the road journey with the birds impossible. It will be very hard to predict where the fires may be and how long to allow for the journey. The usual plan is to do the bulk of the journey by night to avoid the heat of the day. It is blisteringly hot here in Moscow, and having the birds in the truck for any longer than necessary needs to be avoided.
We are talking to Saratov Airlines about the possibility of flying the birds to Moscow, but even if this is possible, there are complicated procedures for their transfer at Moscow. These may make the impossible as we cannot just keep the birds in the crates.
Interesting problems I have not faced before.
I should arrive in Saratov tomorrow morning ( if the train is not interrupted by the fires) and will review the situation then. In the meantime we will pray for rain and an end to the heat wave!