After the introduction, we took part in a workshop and heard a speech by Faye Vogely about careers in conservation. We picked a job that we might want to do in the future and wrote down what steps we would need to take to get there. Nick Moran gave a speech and we were introduced to one of the volunteers, Ben Porter.
In the morning, we got out of the tent early to search the ground for birds, where there were Singing Sedge and Reed warblers, as well as many other species.
It wasn't long before we checked the moth trap, with some amazing species in it such as Small Elephant Hawk-Moth, Lime Hawk-moth, White Point and many Treble Lines. I thought the moth trap was great and it has encouraged me to construct my own and see what turns up in my garden.
|Small Elephant Hawkmoth|
We then went off to do some woodland birding, first stopping off to see Stone Curlews at Weeting Heath, then going to a nearby forest ride, where we saw Tree Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Firecrest, and a Dingy Skipper butterfly.
We headed back to camp briefly to eat, and hear a talk about Nightjars before we went out to see them. Unfortunately, being awake for over 24 hours was finally starting to catch up with me, so I fell asleep during the whole talk, only waking up when everyone was getting on the bus to head to the Nightjar site!
It wasn't long before Nightjars were churring and Woodcocks were roding. The Nightjars gave good views as they floated around and, very soon, a male was caught in the net. It was brought up to us and we were given the chance to study these amazing birds up close. Another one was caught, this time a female, not as colourful, but still very interesting - this event was probably the birding highlight of the weekend.
That night I was so tired, I actually got some sleep, so was better prepared for the next day.
In the morning, we were transported to the Nunnery Reserve, where we saw Hares and a Stone Curlew on the drive up, as well as a couple of Eurasian Curlews and many Cuckoos. The first stop was at the CES (Constant Effort Site) bird ringing station, where we saw Blue Tit, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and a Blackbird ringed.
We packed our stuff up and went inside for a summary of the camp and speeches from some of the young birders. The final bird of the trip was a Swift that had flown in to the building, which was picked up and set free by the volunteers, after it was shown to the crowd of participants and their families.
|Figure of eighty|
Thank you to the many volunteers who helped organise and run the camp, the Cameron Bespolka Trust for supporting it and the BTO for creating it! One of the best parts of the camp was meeting and talking to all the young birders - some who I will probably meet again.