08/05/2017
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Calling all young birders!

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As part of the Spurn Bird Observatory 2017 Migration Festival, the observatory, Next Generation Birders (NGB) 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, who sadly passed away last January.

This is the third year that the prestigious contest, which is open to all young British birders, has taken place. If you will be aged 16 or under on Saturday 9 September 2017, know the difference between 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, 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 Common and Lesser Whitethroat.

The online questionnaire is the first part of the competition. Four entrants will be chosen to take part in the final, which will be held on Saturday 9 September at the Spurn Migration Festival. During that day they will answer questions on bird identification and distribution and be observed conducting a visible migration watch and a seawatch of birding, both challenging aspects of birding.

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Last year's winner, George Dunbar, receives his prize from Andy Clements and Mike Dilger (Photo: BTO)

Nick Whitehouse, Spurn Bird Observatory competition judge, commented: "Spurn Bird Observatory wants to encourage young birders of real ability to develop their skills. Just being able to take part in the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of the Year competition will be great fun but also a real and fair test of field knowledge. This is the third year of the competition and so far we have been privileged to meet some extremely talented young birders. Good luck to all the contestants — even if you don't win you'll be assured of a warm welcome from all the birders at Spurn."

All four finalists will need to be available on Saturday 9 September 2017 for the final at Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, and will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult. Entry to the Migration Festival and a camping pitch will be provided free for the finalists. Last year's prizes included binoculars, field guides, free membership of Friends of Spurn and much more besides.

Think you have what it takes? Why not enter today!

Written by: BTO