Lake Burgas lies in the heart of Burgas, between two of its housing estates: Gorno Ezerovo and Dolno Ezerovo.
It is also called Lake Vaya. This is the biggest natural lake in Bulgaria, stretching over an area of 2,899.9 hectares.
Vaya was declared a protected area by virtue of Ordinance No RD-405 of 4 December 1997.
It is a curious fact that the coast lake – liman is a salty-water lake due to its connection to the sea by a channel. This connection with the sea results not only in a constant inflow of salty water but also in the inflow of salty-water fish in the lake. However, the rivers Aytoska, Sandardere, and Chukarska also pour their waters into the lake, filling it from the western side. The lake is separated from the sea by a strip of sand where the industrial area of Burgas stands today.
Vaya is part of the three most important wetland complexes for water birds living on the Black Sea Coast. Here, with the assistance of experts from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, tourists can see approximately 260 bird species throughout the year. Many of the species are rare in Bulgaria and Europe, and nine of them are threatened with extinction globally. There are very few spots in Bulgaria where people can see colonies of nesting black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), little egrets (Egretta garzetta), and squacco herons (Ardeola ralloides) in one place. If you take walks around the lake during the winter you have a chance of seeing pygmy cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Dalmatian pelicans (Pelecanus crispus), beautiful and exquisite red-breasted geese (Branta ruficollis), tender white-headed ducks (Oxyura), common pochards (Aythya ferina) and tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula).
Vaya is a preferred rest stop for many migrating birds passing through the Via Pontica invisible migratory highway.
Lake Burgas Protected Area is part of the NATURA environmental network in Bulgaria. It was declared a part of the network by virtue of the Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds with the aim of preserving and protecting the habitats of bird species protected by law, as well as achieving appropriate nature protection. One of the goals of the activities carried out in protected areas is to restore the habitats of the species that live there. Visitors must not disturb the inhabitants of the protected area.
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