The brilliant BTO bird camp was back for its 4th year and even better than before.
All photographs by Ben Porter (Ben Porter Photography)
One of the aims of the camp is to combine education and entertainment to help these young naturalists discover how they can make nature part of their lives and careers. Over the course of the three days the campers are exposed to a weatlh of knowledge and experiences.
This year, the Camp was run by Nick Moran, Faye Vogely and the excellent wildlife photographer, Ben Porter. The camp began on the friday with dinner and a talk from Faye about conservation careers, in which she warned that there could be many unexpected ups and downs
On Saturday morning some of the campers walked round the Nunnery grounds, to see what records they could submit to BirdTrack. Breakfast followed and then they all gathered to examine the moth traps they had set the night before. A Small Elephant Hawkmoth and a Lime Hawkmoth were the highlights of their catch. Next they headed to RSPB Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk, where they split into groups led by David Walsh, Chris Mills and a few other volunteers to roam in search of wildlife. They were rewarded with sights of Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo, Hobby, Bittern and Great White Egret.
Over a picnic at lunch, Lakenheath’s site manager, Dave Rogers, explained how the reserve had transformed itself into a conservation success, transforming carrot fields into fenland over a few decades.
Next on the agenda was a brief visit to NWT Weeting Heath National Nature Reserve, famous for its Stone Curlews. Back at the Nunnery, they were given a talk by Greg Conway, the Nightjar expert of Thetford Forest.
Returning to the camp, Nightjar traps were set before dinner.
On Sunday morning, the campers woke up early to travel to the Nunnery Lakes, the BTO’s adjacent nature reserve. There they contributed to the Breeding Birds Survey and took part in bird ringing and nest recording.
Finally it was time for the young naturalists to head back to camp, pack up their belongings and reflect on a wonderul weekend. See you all in 2020.
Read some of the reports from our Young Ambassadors.