Photo: Dimitar Gradinarov

The  Nature Conservation Camp “Atanasovsko Lake” 2023 united nearly 100 volunteers from August 19 to 27 for the 34th time, taking care of nature and birds. This year, with the help of brigade participants, we managed to repair two floating platforms in Lukoil Neftochim’s oxidation ponds. These platforms were created by BSPB in 2021 and have become significant resting and roosting places for Dalmatian pelicans in Bulgaria. It is expected that pelicans will nest there in the near future.

The volunteers also performed maintenance and repair work on both artificial islands in Atanasovsko Lake. These islands were created with the help of volunteers during previous camps and are one of the most important resting and roosting places for Dalmatian pelicans in Bulgaria. They accommodate up to 150 individuals each evening. During the breeding season, the islands also host large numbers of nesting cormorants and spoonbills.

The participants had the opportunity to engage in activities related to maintaining good ecological conditions for birds in the ‘Poda’ Protected Area, such as mowing reeds.

All participants underwent training in bird recognition, including observing the migration of soaring birds from a fixed point and observing waterfowl. From the bird observation point, more than 100,000 white storks were counted, along with many other species of migrating birds.

Volunteers also had the chance to participate in the regular monitoring of dangerous power lines in the Burgas area. This is an important activity that helps identify priority sections of power lines where many birds are at risk. During the camp, patrols were conducted along hazardous power lines, resulting in the identification of over 250 victims.

We would like to express our gratitude to all participants, volunteers, experts, and friends for their assistance, dedication, discipline, and spirit of cooperation and support that they created and maintained throughout the brigade. Your involvement inspires us to continue, and we are already dreaming of the next August when we will meet again.

The Nature Conservation Camp “Atanasovsko Lake 2023” is part of the activities of the Pelican Way of LIFE project (LIFE18/NAT/NL/000716), funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and with the assistance of the Whitley Fund for Nature.