Balikesir Off The Beaten Path

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    BIRD PARADISE (BIRD...

    by yakacik Written Aug 24, 2002

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    BIRD PARADISE (BIRD LAKE)
    src='http://www.kodak.com/digitalImages/samples/images/jpeg/birds/bird05.jpg'
    Balikesir

    Geographical Position and Area

    Coordinates: 40' 10' N - 28' 00' E
    Altitude : 8 m.

    Location : Located in the northern part of Manyas Country,west of Susurluk-Bandýrma highway
    Area : 16,200 ha., reaching as mush as 20,000 ha. at high water level



    General Information


    The lake extends in a east-west direction to the south of the Sea of Marmara and is located at the western tip of extensive fault area containig Lake Ulubat in the east. The lake, formerly known as Lake Manyas, extends in a east-west direction. Twenty 20 km. long and 14 km. wide, it is a eutrophic freshwater lake The level of the lake, which is generally shallow, rises in spring, falling again at the end of summer and in fall when it drops as low as 1.5 m.

    Its deepest point, at high water level, is 10 m.and its average depth 4 m. The lake is fed by the Kocacay (Madra Stream), which forms a long delta where it empties ito the lake on the south. Another stream feeding the lake from the north is Eski Sigircý Stream. The lake waters flow into Susurluk Stream at Karacabey Through a branch called Karadere arising from the southeast corner and empty into the Sea of Marmara. The lake's shallowness ensures that the waves reach its floor, giving it a continuosly turbid appearance.

    The lake surrounded by farmland. Its shores consist alternately of reedbeds and cattails interspersed with grassy meadows.In several areas that are inundated in winter and in spring,beas, corn, melon, and water melon are grown in summer. The willow (salix sp.) is the predominant species of the lake enviroment.



    The trees, together with the reeds and rushes, provide an ideal enviroment for birds to nest. The 64 ha. willow grove and reedbeds at the mount of Eski Sýgýrcý Stream to north of the lake have been an important nesting ground for large variety of birds for a long time. Even the 17th century Ottoman traveler Evliya Celebi mentions this willow grove where birds nest, in his Travel Notes.

    Location west of Sigirrcýk Atik, the willow grove was discovered in 1938 by Prof. Dr. Kurt Kosswig, a former faculty member of the Istanbul University Faculty of Science, who named it 'Bird Paradise' due to its importance as a breeding range as weel as taking it under protection of the Faculty of Science. The area was incorporated into the forest regime in 1959 and declared a national park.


    This well-protected national park was awarded a class A European Diploma in 1976, a status granted by the Council of Europe to those areas in which nature conservation is of the highest quality.

    Lake's shores, especially those areas where the water recedes in summer, are coverd with an extiremely varied and dense plant cover. This plant cover is richest in the National Park itself. Willow is the predominant species of tree in the park, while the sandy, tongueshaped Kocacay Delta that extends at the south of the lake is covered with tamarisk (Tamarix sp.).

    Terns brood here. Tamarisk is also encoutered on the eastern shores of the lake. The Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron and Night Heron also used to breed in large numbers in the willow groves on Kabak Island to the east of the Kocacay Delta. In 1987, however, the neighboring villagers cut down the willows, thus destroying this lovely environment to the south of the lake.

    Reeds, cattails and sedges are also encountered at all points along the lake shores, and a large variety of meadow grasses and flowering plants are found in the neighboring meadows.

    The aquatic fauna of Bird Lake is also extremely rich with around 20 species of fish encounted in the lake. The major ones fished for commerical purposes are carp, sheatfish, pike, freshwater mullet, and roach. Small fish hunted by waterfowl include tench, chub, bitterling and roach.

    A large number of crayfish (freshwater lobster) are also found in the lake, where green frogs and warty frogs leaping frogs and tree frogs are plentiful as well. Meadow frogs are also encountered in the lake enviroment. A variety of salamanders and terrapin and large numbers of water snakes are found in the lake, which is also extremely rich in phyto and zooplankton.

    Mammals inhabiting the lake shores include the muskrat, rat, fox, weasel and rabbit.

    Ornithological Importance

    The lake and its environs provide a breeding, alighting, wintering and feeding ground for over 200 species of birds. The 64 ha.willow grove and reedbed located to the north and protected as a national Park is a world class breeding class breeding range known througout the world.The total of 239 species of birds have been identified in The Bird lake and National Park, 44 of which return regularly every year for breeding.

    The number of species coming to breed is even larger in some years, having reached as high as 66 in 1984, for example. The number of species that visit or spend the night during migration or that winter on the lake is 155. Another 18 species are also observed on the lake from time to time. A large number of species of ducks also winter on lake.

    Among the main factors in the birds' choice of the National Park as a breeding ground the following may be enumerated : The water level of the lake rises in spring with the result that the trees and sedges where birds nest are surrounded by up to a meter of water thus affording security. The plant cover, which is conductive to the nesting of a variety of species, is dense and healthy.



    The lake and its environs also contain a plentiful supply of fish, frogs, worms and other creatures for birds to feed on, and the region's temperate climate offers a hospitable refuge to birds in all seasons of the year. The lake, which never freezes over, and National Park are also situated along the main migration route.

    This region, which exhibits an extraordinary ornithological richness, offers tremendous opportunities for nesting, feeding and fefuge in general to birds. Over 3000 pair of birds breed in Kuþ Cenneti National Park alone, their numbers, together with their young, reaching as high as 15,000 in the breeding seasons.

    It is estimated that around 2 million birds per year visit, breed or otherwise take refuge in the lake and National Park.

    Breeding Species :Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Dalmatian Pelican, Cormorant, Pygmy Cormorant, Bittern, Littel Bittern, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Shoverer, Glossy Ibis, Graylag Goose, Mallard, Teal, Garganey, Ferruginous Duck, Rubby Shelduck, Water Rail, Corn Crake, Little Crake, Moorhen and Coot; of the nocturnal predators, the Eagle Owl, Barn Owl, and Little Owl; of the warblers the Turtle Dove and Roller; and various species of Woodpecker, as well as the Golden Oriole, Magpie, Hooded Crow and Jackdaw.

    Visitors and Wintering Species :Birds that breed in the National Park also include species from other countries that visit or winter here. These have not been included among the species enumerated above, which breed or find permanent refuge in Bird Paradise.

    Visitors and wintering species include the Great White Egret, White Pelican, Mute Swan, Crane, Black Stork, Stork and White-fronted Goose. Others are the Gadwall, Pintail Duck, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, European Falcon, Spotted Eagle, Osprey, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Woodcock, Snipe, Stilt, Avocet, various species of Sandpiper, the Curlew, Lapwing, Pratincole, Little Gull, Blackhead Gull, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Bee-eater, and various species of warblers.

    Thanks to: Mr Cenk Aslan

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    Here you have a 3-D flying...

    by yakacik Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Here you have a 3-D flying fishes picture try to see them by looking concentrated to a point few cm behind what you see

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    yakacik's Off The Beaten Path Tip

    by yakacik Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


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