The male, named ‘Delph’, is one 26 released into the wild last summer as part of efforts to boost the UK’s threatened breeding population.
A black-tailed godwit released into the wild in the Fens after being hand-reared has returned home from its winter migration, wildlife experts have said.
The bird is one of 26 raised at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Welney Wetland Centre, Cambridgeshire, and released into the wild last summer, from where they migrated as far as Portugal for the winter.
Their release was part of the Project Godwit efforts by the charities to increase the small, vulnerable breeding population of black-tailed godwits in the UK.
The wading birds were hatched in captivity and hand-reared by wildlife experts from the RSPB and WWT away from dangers such as predators, in a process known as “headstarting” which aims to improve survival chances and boost numbers.
The male is the first of the group to return to the Fens and has been named Delph after the river bank where he was sighted.
Project Godwit expert at WWT Louise Clewley, who made the discovery, said: “It was right in front of WWT Welney’s main observatory for everyone to see.