Three weeks until Migweek 2019


Is it that time already? It's just over two weeks until The Filey & Flamborough Ringing and Migration Week – or #Migweek – kicks off once again, and this year it's bigger and better than ever. Beginning on 12 October and running until 20th, Migweek is packed with exclusive talks, guided walks, ringing demos, vismig and seawatching drop-ins, activities and much more – and once again, as always, it's all completely free and open to everyone.

Now in its fourth year, Migweek is taking place across various neighbouring venues along this hallowed stretch of the east coast, including the legendary hotspots of Flamborough, Bempton, Filey, Hunmanby Gap and Buckton, and is aimed at anyone and everyone who shares a fascination with birds and migration – as usual, we welcome absolute beginners, migration junkies and everyone in between.

The Yorkshire coast between Filey and Flamborough has a long and illustrious track record of producing extreme vagrants in October, such as this Eastern Crowned Warbler at Bempton Cliffs (Mark James Pearson).

The ringing hubs at Filey Country Park and South Landing, Flamborough, will be open every day, with extra ringing sessions at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; evening talks take place across both weekends at the YWT Living Seas Centre, with a mouth-watering line-up of speakers and subjects; and various walks and drop-ins are spread across the area, allowing lots of choice and variety on any given day.

The beauty of October migration on this part of the Yorkshire coast is that there's always something happening, no matter which way the wind blows. If there's a northerly gust, then the sea takes precedence, with all manner of birds on the move, from skuas and shearwaters to ducks, geese, waders, divers and much more. If it's south-westerly, then visible migration is the priority, with finches, buntings, larks, pipits and more flowing through overhead.

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Whooper Swans return to their fenland wintering grounds in October, with good numbers often visible moving overhead on the Yorkshire coast (Mark James Pearson).

And if it's from anywhere in the eastern sector - especially with a bit of accompanying weather – then it's defcon one ... falls of thrushes, finches and Goldcrests can be accompanied by classic coastal scarcities and rarities from the east, with some of the most awe-inspring migration spectacles in north-western Europe. October on the east coast always provides, and #Migweek is the perfect conduit through which everyone can enjoy it.

If the winds are right, large numbers of arriving Fieldfares should be apparen in mid-October (Mark James Pearson).

Ahead of the event, the team would like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved, especially all the local volunteers who make it possible, to YWT Living Seas Centre for hosting many of the evening talks, and to the speakers – all of whom give their time, energy and skills for nothing, meaning we can continue to keep everything completely free for everyone. Special thanks to Yorkshire Coast Nature for funding our special Migweek merchandise, all profits from which will be split between the Refugee Council and Jean Thorpe Wildlife Rescue (if you enjoy yourself, feel free to buy some merch or make a donation!).

Note that all talks are free but require booking, and spaces are limited – see the programme for details. All ringing demos and outdoor events are weather dependent, and late changes may also be required – see fbo.org.uk by 7 pm the evening before for updates. Spread the word and we'll see you in a few weeks!

Written by: Mark James Pearson