• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

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The search is on to find the UK’s most knowledgeable young birders!

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The search is on to find the UK’s most knowledgeable young birders! Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder 2022 finalists and assessors. Apply now for this year’s Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder competition, held at Spurn MigFest in East Yorkshire from 9–11 September.

The competition is a test of bird knowledge and identification skills. It’s open to all birders aged 16 and under.

Are you aged 16 or under and passionate about birds and bird identification? Showcase your skills and enthusiasm by taking part in the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder (MGSYB) competition at this year’s Spurn Migration Festival (MigFest), which will take place 8–10 September. The competition is run by a friendly and welcoming group of fellow birders who are looking forward to meeting you and chatting about all things birds!

MGSYB shares the aims of the late Martin Garner, a knowledgeable birder who was passionate about sharing his expertise to encourage and inspire others to really study birds and push the boundaries of bird identification.

Wryneck, Spurn September 2022, copyright Glyn Sellors, from the surfbirds galleries

To take part, simply fill out the online questionnaire (https://forms.gle/vJyVsv9izRmTH7xs7) by 9 July 2023. It asks you about your birding experiences, including where you watch birds, how you record them and what motivates you to go birding. There are also a few questions that test your ability to identify birds that regularly occur in the UK.

Six finalists will be invited to spend a morning birding with our friendly judges on 9 September at Spurn, East Yorkshire. This will give you the chance to showcase your identification skills at an incredible birding hotspot – including seawatching, looking at waders and wildfowl on the Humber Estuary, and searching through scrub for migrants – before heading back to base to answer a few theory questions.

There are two age categories: 13 and under, and 14 to 16. All finalists will win memberships of organisations including BTO, British Birds and Spurn Bird Observatory Trust (SBOT). The winner in the senior age category will take home a pair of Swarovski binoculars while the junior winner will receive a pair of binoculars from Opticron, both along with further bird-related subscriptions.

To enter you must be 16 or under on 9 September and able to get to Spurn, East Yorkshire, accompanied by a parent or guardian. The closing date is Sunday 9 July.

Josiah Evans, 2022 junior category winner, said: “The Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder competition was an unforgettable experience. It was a time of making new friends, gaining knowledge and birding. I really enjoyed birding with others of a similar age and learning from more experienced people. Winning the junior category in 2022 was a highlight of my year!”

Sarah Harris, MGSYB coordinator for SBOT and BTO, said: “It is always a great privilege to meet these enthusiastic and skilled young birders, and it’s fantastic that there are now so many different and varied opportunities for young people who are inspired by birds and wildlife. MGSYB is just one example and we hope it will help young birders to build their confidence and passion, and give them the opportunity to meet like-minded people.”

Other MigFest events for young people taking place over the MigFest weekend include walks, talks, ringing demonstrations, a photography competition and lots more! Visit http://spurnmigfest.com/ for more information. You can enter this year’s Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder here: https://forms.gle/vJyVsv9izRmTH7xs7