Saturday, March 10th, 2018
The 2018 observatory AGM was held on 10th March at Bridlington Links Golf Club. Despite roads near Bempton rendered impassable by flooding, a creditable 26 members braved the elements.
There were no changes to either the officers or the members of the working groups. In addition, it was pleasing to report that the finances at the end of 2017 were in robust health, despite the observatory publishing both the 2014/15 and 2016 Reports during a 12 month period. The compilation of the 2017 Report has recently been completed and is due at the designer/printer before the month-end. Clearly the surge in membership helped improve the financial position, with an incredible 60 new members joining over the course of the year.
Attendees were shown detailed plans for the seawatch shelter; the latter now having been granted planning permission by East Riding Council. Construction will take place during autumn, once the seabird breeding season has finished. This success is due to the hard work of a dedicated team, with special thanks also due to the Garganey Trust, Green Future Building and Salts Architects.
The future of ringing on the headland also looks rosy, with an increase in both trained and trainee ringers able to benefit from our ringing lab within the Living Seas Centre, South Landing. In excess of 2000 birds were ringed during 2017; all this within a year lacking easterlies and substantial arrivals of migrants.
Thanks is due to Ali Barrett, Site Manager of RSPB Bempton Cliffs, who gave an excellent presentation on the population fluctuations of our local seabirds. The results of the full census in 2017 proved enlightening, as was the evidence of where these birds are feeding, revealed by tagging studies.
Following an excellent buffet, the evening ended with a quiz genially hosted by our Ringer-in-Chief Jim Morgan.