Calling all young birders

01 May 2018 | No. 2018-14


Spurn Bird Observatory and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) will again be running the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of The Year as part of this year’s Spurn Migration Festival (Migfest). The competition is named in honour of the late Martin Garner, one of Britain's top bird experts and a huge inspiration to birders of all ages, who was particularly welcoming to and supportive of young birders.

Any keen birder aged sixteen or under on Saturday 8 September 2018 who can confidently communicate their birding know-how to someone else should consider entering this prestigious contest! Entry is via an online questionnaire about your birding skills and experience.

The questionnaire is the first part of the competition. Six finalists will be invited to take part in a practical assessment on Saturday 8 September at Migfest 2018. During that day, finalists will answer questions on bird identification, status and distribution, and be given the chance to demonstrate their birding ability in the field in various activities, including a seawatch and observing waders on the Humber estuary.

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!"

Finalists must be available on Saturday 8 September 2018 for the practical assessment at Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, and will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult. Prizes include binoculars, field guides, BTO and Friends of Spurn membership and much more. All finalists will receive a Saturday evening meal ticket and a camping pitch (entry to Migfest 2018 is free for all under 18s).

Entries via the online questionnaire close on at midnight on Monday 25 June 2018.

Contact Details

Nick Moran
(BTO Training Manager)
Office: 01842 750050
(9am to 5:30pm)
Email: nick.moran [at]

Paul Stancliffe
(BTO Media Manager)
Office: 01842 750050
(9am to 5:30pm)
Mobile: 07585440910
Email: press [at]

Images are available for use alongside this News Release. Please contact images [at] quoting reference May-2018-14

The BTO has an ISDN line available for radio interviews. Please contact us to book an interview. Office:01842 750050

Notes for Editors

1.    The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Bangor (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.

2.    Migfest 2018 will be held at Spurn, East Yorkshire on Friday 7 to Sunday 9 September 2018:

3.    Online entries to the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of the Year competition:

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