Search begins for Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder 2022


This year’s Spurn Migration Festival (9-11 September) will play host to the latest annual Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder event, a celebration of the identification skill and dedication of birders aged 16 and under. The event shares the aims of the late Martin Garner, a knowledgeable and inspirational birder who encouraged many others with his passion, expertise and hunger to explore the frontiers of bird identification.

Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder 2021 finalists with Killian Mullarney (Dave McAleavy).

To take part, all you need to do is complete a questionnaire that gives you a chance to showcase your passion for birds. It covers things like the birding you do, how you record the birds you encounter, what activities you’re involved in and any tales from your birding life. There are a few questions to test your British bird identification knowledge, too. There are two age categories: 13 and under, and 14-16. The closing date is Friday 3 July.

Six finalists will be chosen to join the event's friendly judges for a day’s birding at Spurn on 10 September. It’s a fantastic all-round location with excellent opportunities for seawatching, experiencing visible migration, watching waders on the Humber Estuary and migrants in the bushes. Demonstrate your skills and then answer a couple of theory questions back at base.

The winner in the senior age category will take home a pair of Swarovski binoculars, while junior winner will receive a pair of binoculars from Opticron. All finalists will win memberships of organisations including British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), British Birds, the Spurn Bird Observatory Trust and the Oriental Bird Club.

You must be 16 or under on 10 September and able to attend Spurn Point, East Yorkshire, with a parent or guardian.

Sarah Harris, Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder organiser, said: ‘We can’t wait to see who comes forward to take part in the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder event! Each year of the competition, it has been an absolute joy to read about the birding passion from young birders across the UK, and then to meet the finalists over the MigFest weekend.

"It’s always a really relaxed and enjoyable morning’s birding with some really inspirational young birders. Roll on MGSYB 2022 – good luck everyone!"

Jenny Allan, Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder 2021 finalist, says: ‘The Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder gave me the opportunity to visit Spurn Bird Observatory and see some very cool birds (like Common Rosefinch and Long-tailed Skua), and meet other like-minded people, even ones my own age (a rarity!). It was a very good weekend!"

You can find the qualifying questionnaire at bit.ly/MGSYB_2022.