PUBLISHED: 14:39 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:39 08 February 2018
An adult black-tailed godwit. Picture: David Morris / RSPB
Two black-tailed godwits from Norfolk that were among the first ever British wading birds to be released into the wild under a new conservation technique have been spotted alive and well – 1,200 miles away in Portugal.
The birds were among 26 that conservationists hatched and reared by hand before releasing under a process known as ‘headstarting’.
After release the birds joined wild flocks and this is the first time any of them have been outside the UK.
Dutch ornithologists reported seeing the birds among a flock on the Tagus Estuary near Lisbon.
The team from RSPB and WWT behind “Project Godwit” has welcomed the news that their protégés have migrated safely.
Project Godwit manager Hannah Ward said: “Bird migration is an amazing feat and it’s fraught with dangers. These two godwits were last seen on opposite sides of the UK, one in Essex and the other in Somerset.
“It’s a huge relief to hear they have both made it to the same spot in Portugal safe and sound.”
She said as the birds were still less than a year old, they would probably not attempt return to the UK to breed this year.
“But older godwits should be setting off right now,” she said. “We’re appealing to all birdwatchers to keep their eyes out for marked birds.”
Project Godwit birds have coloured leg rings so they can be identified.
“Every bit of news helps us create a brighter future for the UK black-tailed godwits.”
The “headstarting” process involves taking eggs from nests to hatch and rear in safety until they are able to fly and fend for themselves. It is used to bolster wildlife populations that are dangerously low, such as the UK breeding population of black tailed godwits which is down to just 50 pairs.
It has been used successfully to help spoon-billed sandpipers in the Russian Far East, but Project Godwit is the first time headstarting has been used in the UK.
Project Godwit is a partnership between RSPB and WWT with major funding from the EU LIFE Nature Programme, The HSBC 50th Anniversary Fund, Natural England and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Back from the Brink programme.
The project, which is also looking into the dangers facing godwits, aims to secure their future in the UK.
- Look, no hands! How does it feel to ride in a driverless car?
- Mazda CX-5 review: Why this is Australia’s favourite SUV
- April Fools' Day Prank Roundup — The Good And The Bad
- Martin Peters dead at 76: 'Ultimate gentleman' of football celebrated winning the World Cup with England by having a quiet cuppa with his wife
- Prince George mixes it with the Queen: Four generations of the Royal family prepare Christmas puddings for the British Royal Legion - and the six-year-old STILL manages to stay spotlessly clean!
- Happy at home, anxious at school: How George went from relaxed to a bag of nerves (and there was no hiding the bruise under his eye)
- A shadow over Sandringham: The Queen cancels traditional shoot and stud trip as Royals hope Prince Philip will be fit enough to be released from hospital in time to join their Christmas celebrations
- OPPO A9 2020 – The smartphone designed to take on challenges. Grab your ‘New Expert’ now
- Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 review: A star is born
- 32 Tips to Help You Step Up Your Snapchat Game
- Use WhatsApp Web on Your PC: The Ultimate Guide
- A Complete Beginner’s Guide to macOS: Get Started in Just 1 Hour
- The Boys Of Peace Cross
- How Wes Anderson Made
- Justin Bieber: Mannish Boy
- Nokia 6.1 review: Misses a trick or two
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: a great phone, but just a bit too big
- Throne Together: A Crusader Kings II Preview
- Jerry & George & Kramer & Elaine
- Top 10 UK dinosaur attractions
Hand-reared godwits from Norfolk found safe and sound in Portugal have 658 words, post on www.edp24.co.uk at February 8, 2018. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.