US News Rare black-tailed godwit eggs rescued from farmland after flooding

15:53  10 may  2018
15:53  10 may  2018 Source:   pressassociation.com

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Black Tailed Godwit - Fact File. Limosa limosa. Rare breeder, more common on passage, and birds This unique area of regularly flooded marshland has continued attracting this distinguished summer A stoat which had removed three eggs was the enemy. Black - tailed godwits nesting in western

In spring, black - tailed godwits feed largely in grasslands, moving to muddy estuaries after breeding and for winter.[10] On African wintering grounds, swamps, floods and "Continental Black - tailed Godwit at College Lake – the first confirmed record for Buckinghamshire" (PDF). Rare Birds Weekly.

A project is aiming to boost numbers of rare breeding black-tailed godwits in the UK (Ray Cottrell/PA) © Provided by The Press Association A project is aiming to boost numbers of rare breeding black-tailed godwits in the UK (Ray Cottrell/PA)

Eggs belonging to rare black-tailed godwits have been rescued after flooding forced tens of thousands of birds to nest away from the safety of wetlands.

April downpours forced huge numbers of birds away from the Fens in East Anglia, as the Ouse and Nene Washes became submerged, leaving them having to nest on unsuitable farmland, conservationists said.

Wildlife experts trying to protect the black-tailed godwit, which nests in very small numbers in the UK, discovered clutches of their eggs on nearby farmland, trapped in the mud, they said.

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In spring, Black - tailed Godwits feed largely in grasslands, moving to muddy estuaries after breeding and for winter. On African wintering grounds, swamps, floods and irrigated paddy fields can attract flocks of birds. Comments. Did You Know? The Smart “ Rescue and War” Pigeons.

The black - tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a large, long-legged, long-billed shorebird first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. It is a member of the Limosa genus, the godwits . There are three subspecies, all with orange head, neck and chest in breeding plumage and dull grey-brown winter coloration

Wetlands Trust (WWT) of flooding on the Fens in East Anglia, as eggs belonging to rare black-tailed godwits have been rescued after the flooding forced tens of thousands of birds to nest away from the safety of wetlands. © Press Association Wetlands Trust (WWT) of flooding on the Fens in East Anglia, as eggs belonging to rare black-tailed godwits have been rescued after the flooding forced tens of thousands of birds to nest away from the safety of wetlands. But “Project Godwit” experts who are working to boost numbers of the rare bird, teamed up with farmers to rescue 32 eggs, which are now being incubated at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s Welney Wetland Centre.

Project Godwit, a partnership between WWT and the RSPB, is using a technique known as “head-starting”, in which eggs are collected in the wild and the chicks raised to fledging in captivity to boost their survival chances.

As well as keeping the young birds away from dangers such as predators and flooding until they are ready to take to the wing, the process can stimulate the adults lay a new clutch of eggs, which also helps boost numbers.

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The black - tailed godwit is a rare , large and elegant wading bird with a very long straight bill (3). In flight 2006). Extensive farmland habitats are of critical importance for breeding Western European In spring, black - tailed godwits feed largely in grasslands, moving to muddy estuaries after breeding

In spring, black - tailed godwits feed largely in grasslands, moving to muddy estuaries after breeding and for winter.[10] On African wintering grounds, swamps, floods and irrigated paddy fields can attract flocks of birds. Rare Birds Weekly.

The Ouse and Nene Washes, artificial wetlands created in the 18th century to drain the surrounding area for farmland, are two of just a handful of sites where black-tailed godwits nest in the UK, with numbers of breeding pairs critically low.

Hannah Ward, RSPB project manager at Project Godwit, said: “Historically, they nest on the washes but the high water has forced them onto wheat fields where the eggs have been fused to the mud and the tall crops conceal potential predators.

“Due to the conditions these eggs have been subjected to, we are anticipating a reduction in the number of eggs that hatch.”

Thousands of birds were forced away from the wetlands after spring flooding ) © Press Association Thousands of birds were forced away from the wetlands after spring flooding ) The Ouse and Nene Washes are being affected by a changing climate and pressure from increased amounts of runoff caused by housing developments upstream, leading to excess water later in the year, the conservationists said.

Leigh Marshall, centre manager at WWT Welney, said: “Flooding traditionally used to occur in the winter, but over the past 20 years we are seeing an increasing shift into the spring, affecting two wetlands which are the most important sites for breeding waders in the UK.

“The provision of more sustainable drainage systems along the catchment area, would help wetlands sites like the Ouse and Nene Washes.”

WWT and RSPB are creating nature reserves in locations around the washes which can provide safe godwit breeding areas, as part of their efforts to secure the future of breeding black-tailed godwits in the UK.

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