As Spurn Bird Observatory Trust enters its 70th year, a very exciting event unfolded on March 27th 2016. Since 1946 the Observatory has been run from rented accommodation at the Warren, positioned at the northern end of the Spurn peninsula, but now the Observatory commences a new era with its very own observatory building. Owing to the fragile nature of the Holderness Coastline the Observatory has been planning for the last few years to acquire its own building as the Warren area would always be at risk of being claimed by the sea in the not so distant future. The perfect opportunity came about in autumn 2015 when a substantial detached property was offered for sale in the village of Kilnsea, just a mile to the north of the Warren.
The Observatory moved quickly to the secure the property and gained a mortgage to purchase the property. A long winter of renovation then followed and thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers the house was converted into a swish modern observatory with four bedrooms able to house 13 visitors, two separate upstairs bathrooms and a downstairs toilet, large kitchen, comfortable common room and an additional boot room!
The luxury even extends to free Wi-Fi and a washing machine and dishwasher! Not many Observatories can boast this! After many hours preparing the building it was officially opened on Easter Sunday by the Spurn Bird Observatory Trust’s Patron and BBC’s One Show presenter, Mike Dilger in front of a crowd of nearly 250 supporters. A very exciting day and it was great to hear all the upbeat positive feedback coming from the visitors to the new Observatory. Securing a building like this is vital to the future of the Observatory and it was great to see plenty of the younger generation at the opening ceremony. A great start to what is set to be a very exciting 2016 for the Observatory.
Preparations for the annual Migration Festival are already well under way and this year’s festival will see a new partnership forming between the Observatory and the BTO. The two organisations will be working closely alongside each other to produce what will hopefully be the best MigFest yet! A key feature will be the ‘Young Birder of the Year’ award, held in conjunction with the Next Generation Birders and Swarovski, four young birders will go head to head over the weekend and the winner will receive a pair of Swarovski binoculars. Keep an eye out for the nominations stage in the next few weeks for more details on this from the BTO.
Yet more exciting news to be coming out of the Observatory is the announcement of a three-way Friendship Agreement between Spurn Bird Observatory, Cape May Bird Observatory and Falsterbo Fåglestation. The intention is to promote international relationships and promote best practice between the Bird Observatories. It is hoped that respective members of each Observatory will benefit from the arrangement through special discounts to encourage inter-observatory visits to raise the awareness of bird migration on an international scale, as a result of this unique partnership.
As many of you will have already heard, Andy Roadhouse has been working on a new book called ‘The Birds of Spurn’, it will be a definitive work on the birds of the Spurn area and is expected to be published by early June.
Further details on all of the above exciting news can be found on the Spurn Bird Observatory Website- www.spurnbirdobservatory.co.uk
The Observatory has put a substantial amount of funding into the new observatory building but does require further funding in order to continue its work. Due to not wanting to miss out on such an ideal property there was no time to fundraise before the purchase was made, but in order to pay off our mortgage on the new Observatory building we’ll need some support from our friends. Be it from coming and staying in our new Observatory building, purchasing Spurn Bird Observatory branded clothing or merchandise or making a donation online at their Just Giving page
This is the beginning of a whole new exciting era for the Observatory which could not have been achieved without its many supporters to whom a massive thanks is owed, it is hoped that the significantly upgraded facilities will attract a wider audience of birders in the immediate future and be there for whole new generation birders to enjoy the magic of the Spurn area for many years to come.