The honest answer is a kind-of “yes, but…”, which isn’t really the fault of any of the organisers. The problem is, it really only works if you are there for the full weekend Friday-Sunday. It takes at least a day to get around and see the key points through the site (I covered 8.5 miles, talk about your ‘Green Exercise’!), so if you arrive on Saturday morning that’s what you want to do. You therefore miss the lectures and many of the other activities in the quest for birds.
Whereas, if you gave yourself the full weekend, you can measure this stuff out. You can get to early morning stork stalking, moth trapping, and bird ringing. You can allow yourself a couple of hours for art classes, history walks, and lectures. You can spend more time chatting to the many other interesting people around with you.
Don’t get me wrong, I met people I only previously knew via Twitter. And it was lovely to see the fabulous and contrasting art work of Darren Woodhead and Ray Scally, and to have ten minutes chatting to Darren about local patches, patience, and hedgerows. But I could have done with more time.
So that’s my conclusion. If you only have a day, just go when it’s not the Migration Festival. Fewer people around and less competing for your attention. If you want to do the Migration Festival, do the festival properly. Get some accommodation sorted and be there Thursday night to Sunday. It’s the only way to get the benefit. It’s a lesson I’ll certainly be bearing in mind next year.