Spurn Bird Observatory

A few words about the Migration festival: BTO

22 July 2014

Nick Moran, Ieuan Evans and Paul Stancliffe

On behalf of his colleagues and reflecting on his attendance at last years Spurn Migration Festival and BTO’s involvement this tear, Nick Moran writes:

“Satellite-tracking Cuckoos and other long-distance migrants; 105 years of insight into bird movements via the Ringing Scheme; rapid population declines and contracting ranges of many migrants highlighted and quantified through the Breeding Bird Survey and Bird Atlas 2007–11. There’s no doubt that migration is a core aspect of BTO work, and one we’re incredibly passionate about.

Common Snipe from somewhere well east of Spurn were watched flying on off the sea in early September at the 2013 Migration Festival. A dynamic moment! Here’s how they are recorded on Birdtrack showing the early September peak.

Great Snipe- you never know… one of these visited Spurn a week after last years festival and was nominated by many as ‘bird of the autumn’

Coupled with our rich history is the here-and-now of migration that captivates many BTO staff members: the excitement of who will log the first local Swift in BirdTrack each spring, our unofficial field trips to such migrant hotspots as the Isles of Scilly, southwest Cornwall, the Outer Hebrides and Shetland.
It will come as no surprise that the inaugural Spurn Migration Festival in 2013 was a must-attend event for us – and what a fantastic weekend it duly proved to be.

juvenile Arctic Skua, Martin Standley. Another expected species at the #Migfest. See BTO Birdtrack graph below.

We’re ramping up our involvement in the Spurn Migration Festival this year. In addition to last year’s BirdTrack talks and informal demonstrations, BTO will have a stand where you can discover all the latest secrets that are being revealed by our migrant work. Paul ‘as-seen-on-TV’ Stancliffe will be flexing his vis-migging muscles (his ears, that is) and invites you to join him. Paul has a special gift when it comes to learning bird calls; not only can he accurately mimic 99% of all British species (go on, test him!) but he also has some unique and entertaining ways to help you remember them. Teaming up with Paul will be Ieuan ‘the eyes’ Evans, famed for his ability to identify a dot at 3-mile range (as a dot).”

A note about Swallows:
Swallows: You’ll certainly see some moving south and learn all about their phenomenal migration, the only question is how many? We are hoping for super charged movement of Swallows this September when literally 10′s of 1000′s can pass by in a single day at Spurn. The date of the Migration Festival spot on for such a ‘happening’.

Great Snipe watchers last September at Spurn.

What will we be watching this year?

One of these maybe…?

Have you booked your Migfest tickets?

Tickets are now on sale! Spurn Migration Festival Please call 01904 659570 or email Yorkshire Wildlife Trust info@ywt.org.uk.

The Spurn Migration Festival runs from the 5th – 7th September 2014 and the prices are as follows: £14 for a day ticket, £21 for the weekend ticket and £8 for the evening lecture with delicious hog roast.

The event is hosted by Spurn bird observatory and YWT in partnership with
Birding Frontiers and Westmere Farm.

A few words about the Migration festival: BTO
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