Mid July 2018
The Kamenjak peninsula to the south of Pula is renowned for its orchid diversity in spring with 22 species recorded and a wide range of other plants characteristic of the coastal makija or maquis of low scrub and grasslands. In high summer, the flowers and grasses have withered under the unceasing Adriatic sun and the tourists take over; long lines of cars create dusty tracks through the peninsula to access the many pine-fringed beaches, rocky coves and blue sea.
At the small village of Pomer, there is an artificial coastal lagoon that is a Natura 2000 site formed by an old causeway with the tidal flow rushing in and out of two small channels. The shallow waters are exposed to great variations in salinity and temperature. On one fine evening there is an abundance of fish, hunting egrets, paddling gulls, a solitary curlew, a calling common sandpiper and distant greenshank.
In the mid-hills, the swathe of oak forests is only broken by small farms and villages. As the land rises, neat villages with ancient stone churches sit on small hills. This is a long-populated land where the low input farming and long history of grazing has added rich variety to the woodland biodiversity.