A Black-tailed Godwit that was hand-reared at Welney WWT, Norfolk, has returned to the East Anglian Fens after migrating as far as Portugal for the winter, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) has announced.

The bird is one of 26 Black-tailed Godwits raised at the Norfolk reserve, and released into the wild in summer 2017. The wader, a male, has been named ‘Delph’ after the riverbank where it was sighted.

This is welcome news for conservationists at the RSPB and WWT, who have formed an innovative partnership called Project Godwit which aims to help Black-tailed Godwit, a species in decline in Britain.

Although some Black-tailed Godwits return to their breeding site in the first year, it’s not unusual for others to remain on their wintering grounds for their first summer.

The eggs of the endangered birds were collected from the wild in spring 2017 by RSPB and WWT staff and hatched and raised in captivity to boost their chances of reaching maturity.

Raising young birds from eggs collected in the wild is known as ‘head-starting’. The technique is proving a powerful tool for bird conservation.

black tailed godwit

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