26 May, 2018 - 08:02
Fifteen rare eggs rescued from muddy Fenland farmland earlier this year in an operation dubbed Project Godwit were hatched by wildlife specialists at Welney.
Rebecca Lee, principal species conservation officer at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), said: “Conditions were so bad that we were concerned that they might not survive.
“A number of the eggs that we did manage to collect were in such bad condition that they resembled muddy potatoes. Thankfully, the majority of these eggs have shown signs of life and many have hatched successfully despite our reservations.”
Ms Lee said: “Flooding forced our ground-nesting birds off important nesting areas and they have been laying their eggs on nearby farmland where mud is widespread and tall crops can hide potential predators.
“Thankfully we have been able to work together with the landowners in the area to avoid the worst outcome.”
A total of 32 eggs were collected from farmland as part of ‘Project Godwit’- a partnership between WWT and RSPB, which aims to restore the UK breeding population.
The Nene and Ouse Washes in the Fens are the two main breeding sites for black-tailed godwits in the UK.