BTO Youth was joined by 15 younger wildlife lovers at 2023’s Chicken Camp Northern Eire, for a weekend of studying, assembly like-minded younger folks and exploring native nature websites.
On the primary night, the campers met on the Gortin Out of doors Exercise Centre, County Tyrone, the place they’d be staying for the weekend. They took half in a session hosted by the superb in-house artist and visible facilitator, Stéphanie Heckman, to study in regards to the significance of fundamental fowl shapes in artwork, and the best way to contemplate perspective when drawing pure scenes.
The group was then joined by native Biodiversity Officer, Julie Corry, who gave an insightful speak on bats and conservation efforts in Northern Eire, and led an outside session – an opportunity for campers to practise utilizing bat detectors.
An early begin to the subsequent day adopted, for a fowl ringing demonstration on the close by Cottage Farm, an Ulster Wildlife nature reserve. Licensed ringers, Steven, Emma and Sorrel (BTO Northern Eire’s Ripple Undertaking Officer), ringed and launched many birds, together with a Goldfinch, a Goldcrest, plenty of Nice Tits, a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff, to call just some species.
Once they arrived again on website, the campers took half in a fowl identification session hosted by Sorrel and Jemma, additionally from the BTO Northern Eire staff. The campers realized about native species and their habitats, and the best way to determine birds in flight, and by music or name – abilities all expertly demonstrated by Sorrel. Additionally they performed some interactive video games, resembling a fowl version of ‘What Am I?’, to spice up their abilities and confidence in figuring out birds themselves.
BTO Youth Consultant and camp volunteer, Benjamin, led a mindfulness session, speaking in regards to the significance of being current and specializing in respiration methods. He wrapped the session up with a relaxing meditation.
The campers then took a visit to Davagh Forest, the place they met native birder extraordinaire, Stephen. Stephen shared his data about fowl nests with the group, describing the numerous completely different constructions and shapes constructed by completely different fowl species, and led a guided fowl stroll via the forest. There have been many blended finch flocks to look at, and surprisingly for this explicit space, plenty of Sand Martins! The group divided into groups for a bioblitz to conclude this session, with one staff recording over 80 wildlife findings – a formidable achievement.
Later within the afternoon, the group visited the OM Darkish Sky Park and Observatory at Davagh Forest for a guided tour, the place they (and the BTO workers!) learnt about astronomy, and the superb observatory itself. Publish-dinner, they ventured to a campfire for a couple of rounds of the sport ‘Wink Homicide’ and a few toasted marshmallows.
On the ultimate day, the group explored extra of the Gortin website, gaining inspiration for artwork exhibition items and figuring out plenty of moths present in our expertly set-up moth entice (with particular because of Sorrel). Campers additionally had an introductory session on the BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Chicken Survey (WeBS), led by native college instructor and BTO Regional Consultant, Claire Hassan. The Gortin website workers then offered superior staff constructing actions and a few rounds of archery – the campers actually outperformed the workers on that one!
It was then the ultimate countdown to the artwork exhibition, which was seen by mother and father and carers throughout pick-up. Everybody did a tremendous job of contributing to the paintings!
We’re excited to share a extra intensive Chicken Camps weblog on the BTO web site quickly. Subscribe to our Youth enewsletter to search out out extra.
BTO Chicken Camps are made doable because of the assist of the Cameron Bespolka Belief.