Pomorie Lake

The lake is a hyper saline lagoon separated from the sea by a sand strip. It’s overall surface is 850 hectares, with 6.7 km length and about 2 km width /Ramsar Site/. It is divided into one big deep basin and a score of smaller basins varying in depth and salinity. They are separated from one another by broad sand dykes or narrow one-meter-wide bars. The whole system has been built for the production of sea salt through a 2000-year-old traditional method.


 

Lake Pomorie – one of the many shallows.
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

In September the salt water plant Glasswort /Salicornia Europea/ turns red and emphasizes the autumn look of the lakes.


These high salinity soils and the water are inhabited by specific unique plant and animal species. The smaller basins provide varied diet to the birds living there. Since in the Black Sea there are practically no substantial tides, these shallow lagoons are the main biotope for most of the waders living or passing though here.


 

Dunlins
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev


Lake Pomorie
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

The lake consists of many water bodies of different sizes with or without links between them. Every one of them contains its own different world.


In the lake and its adjacent areas breed the Little Grebe, Gadwall, Marsh Harrier, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Kingfisher, Common, Little and Sandwich terns. The wilderness lands, the reeds, the bushes and the woods nearby offer home to the Black-headed yellow Wagtail, Great Reed, Marsh Reed and Olivaceous warblers, Larks, the Bearded Tit, Black headed Bunting and many other birds. In the summer period the lake gives food to some non-nesting species as well, like the Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Gull-billed tern, Slender-billed and the Mediterranean gulls, etc. Waders and other birds in mating plumage are not a rare sight as early as July. Most often these are individuals that breed further north but having failed to produce offspring are now moving slowly south waiting for the rest of their species to catch up.


 

Little Egret
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

As usual they are the most numerous and active and you can often see them quarrelling over the small fish.


The lake is a place of great interest because of the species living there during the breeding season, but the migration period leaves birdwatchers in rapture. Most of the European waders can be seen and photograph here. Grebes, terns, gulls, cormorants, ducks, warblers, larks, swallows and many others stop here for a short or a longer stay. The of passing individual birds or of whole formations of White and Black storks, White and Dalmatian Pelicans, herons, as well as raptors can be observed from the areas around the lake. All in all, about 230 bird species can be seen here.
 

Lake Pomorie
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

Some of the barred shallows dry out completely or have a depth of only a couple of cm. These shallows are the perfect place for most waders.


Little Egret, Lake Pomorie
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev


In the middle of August waders are already in active migration, some of them still in their breeding plumage, while others in juvenile, transitional or winter plumage. In April the process repeats with a new gust of energy and colors, some birds still in winter plumage, others already in full breeding apparel. In winter the lake is a home to the Red-throated and Black-throated divers, Pigmi Cormorants, Bitterns, many species of Ducks, Dalmatian pelikans and many others.
 

The main basin, Lake Pomorie
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

The specially adapted islands are a favorite place for reproduction of little and sandwich terns. During the winter the lake is a home for hundreds of Black-necked, Little and Great Crested Grebes, Red and Black throated Divers, many species of ducks, Dalmatian Pelicans.


From a photographer’s point of view, the place offers excellent opportunities for shooting a great part of the species breeding in the area, as well as of the migrating birds. Waders, Herons, Gulls and Terns are the most often seen and the easiest for photographing. The Shelduck and the Ruddy Shelduck are a bit trickier, but by no means impossible, to shoot. Having in mind the concentration of the bird migration in the area, who knows what luck might bring before your camera.
 

Whiskered Tern, Pomorie Lake
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

In autumn migration terns of diferent species with their winter plumage hover-about in the area till mid of October.



Kingfisher – female
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev

With their incredible energy these fishers manage to raise 2 broods during the summer. There are even some reports for 3 broods. During the autumn the birds leave their breeding grounds and wander in the whole country. Many of them choose Lake Pomorie and the other lakes around Burgas.



Bearded Reedling
Image copyright 2005 Emil Enchev



Little Stint
Image copyright 2006 Emil Enchev

Autumn migration – flying in southern direction again. This is one of the waders that can be seen often along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, as well as in other parts of the country.



Mediterranean Gull
Image copyright 2006 Emil Enchev

One of my favorite gulls. Usually several thousands of them migrate along our coast. A few nest in Bulgaria. Several pairs nest near the salt pans, where they live side by side with colonies of other gulls and terns.



Sandwich terns
Image copyright 2006 Emil Enchev

This birds nest on an artificial island created by ”Green Balkans” Federation www.greenbalkans.org



Sandwich Terns – beautiful, temperamental, noisy.
Image copyright 2006 Emil Enchev