Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of the Year 2018

As part of the Spurn Bird Observatory 2018 Migration Festival, the observatory and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are once again running a competition to find the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of The Year. The competition is named in honour of the late Martin Garner, one of Britain’s top birding experts and a former Spurn Bird Observatory committee member. This is the fourth year of this very prestigious contest, open to all young British birders.

If you will be aged sixteen or under on Saturday 8th September 2018 and know the difference between a Meadow Pipit and Tree Pipit and feel you can communicate this to someone else, you probably have what it takes to enter. Any young birder is eligible to apply by filling in the competition questionnaire online (see below), answering questions such as whether or not you have a local patch, where you go birding further afield and if you can tell the difference between the songs of Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat.

The online questionnaire is the first part of the competition. Up to six entrants will be chosen to take part in the final that will be held on Saturday 8th September at the Spurn Migration Festival. Migration is a fantastic phenomenon! Finalists will be asked to identify a number of birds in a variety of settings (farmland, estuary, sea, migrating overhead, etc.), depending on the species present on the day. They will also be asked some supplementary questions about birds, particularly migratory species likely to be found at Spurn in autumn. The assessors are very friendly and finalists will also get lots of useful tips on bird identification and information on bird migration.

Nick Moran, BTO competition assessor, said, “BTO and Spurn Bird Observatory share Martin’s vision for MigFest: a celebration of bird migration for everyone with an interest in birds, and a unique opportunity to forge new friendships and develop birding skills at one of the UK’s premier migration hotspots. As part of this increasingly popular event in the birding calendar, we encourage young birders to showcase their skills through the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of the Year competition. The practical assessment is great fun, with plenty of migratory birds to see and hear, and provides a good test of field skills and knowledge. Finalist or not, all young birders can expect a warm welcome from everyone connected with MigFest…and some great birding, too!”

All finalists must be accompanied by a responsible adult to the final assessment briefing at the observatory at 10am on Saturday 8 September. The adult may then accompany the finalist for the practical assessment but must remain passive throughout. The assessment takes approximately 2–3 hours to complete and a light buffet lunch is provided afterwards. Finalists will receive a free ticket for food on Saturday evening (entry to MigFest is free for under 18’s) and a camping pitch.

The prizes last year included binoculars, field guides, free membership of Friends of Spurn and much more.

Think you have what it takes? Enter today HERE. Entries must be submitted by midnight Monday 25 June 2018. Previous winners are not eligible to enter for a second time.

26 April 2018

Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of the Year 2018

The 2017 Finalists

get in touch

Spurn Bird Observatory, Kilnsea Road, Kilnsea, HULL, HU12 0UB