A dammed reservoir on the Black Sea coast, below which lies a brackish lagoon linked by an outlet to the sea, next to the town of Burgas. The open-water surface covers 1,300 ha, and is fringed by Phragmites, Typha, Juncus and Bolboschoenus. Along the shore, salt-tolerant vegetation is dominated by Puccinellia and Salicornia, and sand-dunes are overgrown with Leymus grass and Gypsophila. The lake is surrounded by wet meadows, marshes, arable land and areas of Paliurus scrub, with some forest of Quercus and Acer on the south bank.
The complex is important for many bird species, notably for globally threatened species (e.g. Numenius tenuirostris, Oxyura leucocephala), breeding waterbirds (e.g. Platalea leucorodia, Recurvirostra avosetta), and wintering waterbirds. The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on a regular basis, and is also a notable migratory bottleneck site in autumn, where more than 3,000 raptors (notably Aquila pomarina) and up to 20,000 Ciconia ciconia pass overhead. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria while staging at the site: Pelecanus crispus, Aythya nyroca. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Nycticorax nycticorax (28-30 pairs).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mandra-Poda complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/01/2023.