Spoon-billed Sandpiper is one of the rarest bird of the World, the total population is probably under 1000 individuals. It’s still easy to see in Thailand, but the birds are in winter plumage. I was interested in the more colourful breeding plumage. Visiting the breeding grounds in Eastern Siberia would be very expensive, so I decided to try finding them on the migration route. There’s a huge tidal zone in China, near Shanghai, it is an important stopover area for Shorebirds. Sadly there are big contruction works going on here, huge pieces of the mudflats are drained by building long dams. Friends from Hungary, Ireland and France joined me, so we had quite an international team. Our professional local guide, Menxiu Tong helped us in the first days to locate the birds. It was not easy. The tidal zone is at least 20 kms long, and at low tide there’s a 6 km wide muddy area. We had to find these Sparrow-sized birds here. At high tide all the Shorebirds gathered on the other side of the dams, giving us chance to scan them. The only problem was that most of them spent this time sleeping, with their bills tucked into the feathers on their back. Without seeing the spoon-shaped bill, it was almost impossible to pick up the Spoonies among the flock of Red-necked Stints. At the end we gained some practice and saw 1-2 birds every day, a total of 5-6 individuals during the 10 days. Nordmann’s Greenshank was the other highlight.