ORNITHOLOGICAL CAMP UČKA 2023
Even this summer we call you to join us on Učka, to relax in nature and get to know birds on their autumn migration. Join us at the Ornithological camp Učka!
We invite you to the bird ringing camp, which we have organized with the Nature Park Učka for many years. The camp will last during the period between the 14th of August to 3rd of September.
The ringing of birds is carried out at Rovozna Pond in the Nature Park Učka since 2006, during the period from mid-August to mid-September, during the birds’ autumn migration. In autumn, birds migrate to places where they can find enough food in winter until they can return for spring breeding. They often follow the coast and mountain Učka, as coastal highlands, with its forests and fields and pools, offer an important resting on their long and dangerous journey. The aim of this camp is to explore migrating birds, evaluate the importance of local habitats for their rest following migration and confirm local bird populations.
Our official ringers in the area put up ornithological nets. Once the bird is caught, they measure it, determine species, sex, and age as they put a ring on the bird. The birds are released within the shortest amount of time and their safety is our main concern.
Join us for a few days or weeks during the period of the 14th of August to the 3rd of September and strengthen your knowledge about birds and love for nature with the warmth from the campfire. You can register by filling out this form here. Registration is open until the 19th of July, but bear in mind that just registering does not guarantee a place in the camp. The number of places for the camp is limited and confirmation about a secured place in the camp and information about the waiting list will be sent on 21st of July at the latest.
For participation in the camp it is not necessary to have previous knowledge and experience, but goodwill, willingness to work, cooperation and learning, respecting the rules that apply when working with birds. The camp will in turn offer relaxing stay in nature, surrounded by many enthusiastic local and international volunteers from the European solidarity corps, new knowledge about birds and their habitat as well as other plant and animal species in Učka.
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE CAMP
The camp is organized in a beautiful protected area and offers numerous opportunities exploring the plant and animal world, discovering hiking trails, swimming in nearby Istrian towns, looking at romantic sunsets as well as multicultural learning along with our foreign volunteers. Still it is important to remind you that the camp is “Robinson-esque” so you need to consider if camp conditions are for you.
Donation – 30 EUR daily for foreign volunteers, for Biom members 15 EUR, for kids and students 10 EUR per day. Donations secure maintenance of the camp, purchase of drinkable water, garbage disposal, and similar.
Sleeping in tents – for an overnight stay you need a tent, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping mat. It is possible to lend everything mentioned from us but we have it in limited numbers so please inform us either way in the registration form.
Cooking together – every so many days common grocery shopping and meals are often prepared on the campfire. It is expected from the volunteers to help plan the meals, cook, gathering and splitting wood for fire and similar. Considering that we do not have a fridge at the camp, the food will mainly be vegetarian.
Drinking water from plastic tanks – the supply for drinking water is exclusively for drinking and for everything else, we will use rainwater. The water needs to be rationally used as the amount of water is limited.
Outdoor shower – the amount of water depends on the weather conditions and we can not risk being without water therefore showers are only possible every three days. When possible, we will go to the nearby beach with the showers.
WC in nature – the toilette is located in the meadow near the camp and consists of a shovel and a DIY chair of hornbeam wood.
Electricity from solar panels – only for small electronic devices like charging phones or cameras.
Weak reception – phone/internet reception exists but is generally quite weak. Sometimes it disappears completely so a short walk uphill is necessary to make calls.
Everyone is welcome – everyone can contribute to the activities therefore we call for volunteers no matter their age, knowledge and interests. You can bring your pets with you but considering that they can endanger the caught birds, they should be tied up in the camp.
5:00 – 11:30 Putting up nets and checking them every 45 min
7:00 – 8:00 Breakfast
11:30 – 16:00 Daily break
16:00 – 21:00 Putting up the nets again and checking them every 45 min
16:15 – 17:00 Knowledge pot – educational activities
19:30 – 20:30 Dinner
21:00 – onward Socialising around the campfire
During the daily break nets are closed and this time is used for eating, reading, playing board games, hiking, swimming and resting. The free time is planned as you wish so feel free to bring books, games, sports equipment, or whatever makes you happy and relaxed. 🙂
Equally, we would like to call you to share your knowledge with us and organize a knowledge pot for camp participants. If you are interested in preparing an educational activity, write to us in the registration form and we will let you know about more details.
WHEN AND HOW TO GET TO THE CAMP?
Arrivals to the camp are possible on Fridays and Saturdays, and departures on Saturdays and Sundays in the period between 14th of August and 3rd of September (you can see the schedule with dates in the registration form). It is important to know the place and time of your arrival beforehand so that we can plan our schedule accordingly, therefore we ask you to send this information in the registration form. Also do not forget that we do not have good reception at the camp and therefore it is important to let us know as soon as possible about any eventual changes.
ARRIVAL WITH PRIVATE CAR
You can join us on Fridays or Saturdays at any time during the day and stay over the weekend or the whole week.
Firstly you have to get uphill to the Sveta Jelena settlement → in Sveta Jelena you have to turn on the bike lane nr. 8, close to Slamnjaki tavern → once you are on the bike lane nr. 8, firstly you have to turn right, after that left and the third time keep going straight (on the third turn bike lane nr. 8 separates from the road sharply right) → at some point the road turns into a macadam road where you have to drive slowly (around 3,5 km macadam road to the camp) → the camp is very visible from the road itself, and in front of the camp there are places for parking.
ARRIVAL WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Volunteers who arrive with public transport can be transported to the camp by car from Sveta Jelena or Mošćenička Draga on Fridays or Saturdays during the daily break (11.30 -15.30). Likewise, volunteers can be transported to the bus stop in the same time period on Saturdays or Sundays.
If you wish to get to the camp on your own, we recommend that you travel by bus to Sveta Jelena and keep following instructions to the arrivals by car. The whole route is approximately 4 km long.
Route: Google Maps
HOW WAS IT ON THE CAMP UNTIL NOW AND DO YOU NEED TO JOIN US?
Read the impressions of our European solidarity corps volunteers from last year’s camp!
“Učka is a place we heard about since the very beginning”, says Estela, my volunteer colleague here in Croatia. She was right: our mentors, our friends and acquaintances
told stories (even some love stories), anecdotes… How to not get excited? However, some of us did not want to come to this moment as this would mean the start of the final phase of our long term volunteering in part with the European solidarity corps. But once we arrived in Učka, we did not want the moment to end.”
Register in the registration form no later than 19th of Juy. Do not forget that the number of places are limited. 🙂
For further questions you can address them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in Učka!