Thursday, 2 April 2009
What a place. Surely one of the largest, best and most important wetland sites in the Western Palaearctic. We spent a day here and only managed the NW area. The site really deserved a week. Here it wasn’t just quality, but quantity.
Near on 12,000 Greater Flamingos was stunning, nearly 10,00 Shoveler and 298 of the globally endangered White headed Ducks was awesome. 18 chicken like Purple Gallinules stomping about the reeds added a bit of character while the general birding was non-stop.
Part of the lake is saline and salt is being extracted. However, due to contamination, the salt is currently condemned from consumption – perhaps an early warning about this site if something isn’t done about the effluent pouring into it from surrounding villages (and Aleppo?). There is also a threat of a large chemical works being built on its shores.
The two local wardens took us back for tea and we had a good chat about the site and birds in general. Two guys who need all the support they can get.