Rezervația ”Popasul Păsărilor” SÂNPAUL ”Bird Sanctuary” Reserve (Transylvania, Romania)

We are in the south-eastern part of Transylvania,
in the southern extremity of Harghita County The fishpond system occupies a depression area on
the left (eastern) bank of the Homorodu Mare River The village of Sânpaul (Homoródszentpál, in Hungarian) is seen
beyond the lakes and is located about 20 km south of Odorheiu Secuiesc The fish farm was made in the years 1982-1985,
the lakes being arranged above a massive of salt There are several saltness and salt springs in the area In 1896, tools have been discovered that prove
the exploitation of salt during the Roman period The fish farm (Agropisc Limited) comprises several
fishponds totaling 160 hectares of water The modernized road in the picture, from Sânpaul to
Ocland, passes through the middle of the piscicultural farm The bird protection area has been established
on a smaller area since the 1980s Through the laws 137/1995 and 5/2000 was set up the Nature Reserve
“Popasul Păsarilor de la Sânpaul” (”Bird Sanctuary from Sânpaul”) The reserve has 210 hectares, covering
the fishponds and the surrounding area We are at the end of July, in the pond
area from ​​the village, north of the road Draw attention to us the floating nests of the Great crested
grebe (Podiceps cristatus), the females being in the brooded period The reserve is remarkable by the very large
number, namely 256 bird species inventored Of these, only about 63 species nest here, most
of which are passage (migratory) or casual birds The loons and the divers (fumitorys) are
adapted to an almost exclusively aquatic life Great crested grebe and Little grebe nest regularly here The floating nests of the Great crested grebe
(in picture) are built together by both partners Of the long-legged birds, we
mention the storks and the herons There are 12-18 pairs of white storks nesting in the
village, and in the woods about 2 pairs of black storks Part of the herons (grey – night – little bittern) nest,
others (squacco – purple) are passage (migrators) Anothers passage birds are great and little egret, the great
bittern, rarely the common spoonbill and the glossy ibis From the family of anseriforms appear geese, ducks and swans Of the ducks nest four species (including the ferruginous
duck, very rare), and 11 species are passage birds Other passage birds are the swans, the greater
white-fronted goose, the common shelduck, some geese Among the birds of prey they are the osprey (fish only), the common
buzzard, the lesser spotted eagle, the commnon kestrel, the hobby Of the group of reed birds, nesting here, are the
water rail, the common coot, the spotted crake, the
common moorhen, the plover and the northern lapwing Of the limicola (shore) birds, on notice the snipes, the little
stint, the marsh sandpiper, the sanderling and the whimbrel Sometimes nest species of sandpipers (common, red shank, green) The pipits and the wagtails are grassy birds,
small but with long legs and thin beak We are now in mid-September It’s been a month and a half since we saw the
Great crested grebe brooding in floating nests Now we see the baby birds swiming with their parents The warblers (genus Sylvia) are small birds singing loudly
and nesting on reed stems, often parasited by cuckoo Among the species, one can mention the Savi’s warbler (singing
like the crickets) and the warblers (sedge – great reed – reed) Of the birds that feed mainly on fish and are well suited
for both flight and swimming, there are the gulls and the terns Nest only the black-headed gulls, other gulls, terns
and marsh terns species being passage birds The Nature Reserve “Bird Sanctuary” is a
semi-salt wet area with fishponds and ponds The custodians sof the reserve are the “Lost World”
Speo-Touristic and Nature Protection Association of Baraolt, Baraolt Forest District and Carpaterra Association The reserve can be visited under special conditions On the southern side of the road there are two
fishponds used for sport and recreational fishing The payment for fishing (one day, or subscription) is made
at the ticket office here, situated between the two ponds Fishing conditions are strictly regulated ”Szentpáli halastó” (”The Fishpond from Sânpaul”, in Hungarian) A little to the east of the ticket office we see
the headquarter of the fish farm (Agropisc Limited) In the pond in front of the farm is this old
wooden cottage, the former House of Salt From here, before 1985, the villagers
could take brine twice a week In the area of ​​Homorod rivers (in Lueta, Meresti
and Martinis) there are such fountains with brine The Salt Houses are a tradition, social and cultural
phenomena in this area (see videos made by me) A little further to the east (also south of the road)
is the second pond for recreational and sport fishing In the picture, people come to fishing and relaxation, and here the road from Sânpaul to Ocland
passing through the middle of the fishery In the two fishing ponds there are beautiful
catches made and competitions are also organized On the left, north of the road, we see
one of the ponds used for fish farming The Sânpaul fishfarm has as activity
the carp farming in polyculture In addition to carp, there are also related species:
the bighead carp, the grass carp and the silver carp) There are also the sheatfish (wels catfish), the pike-perch,
the (northern) pike, the Prussian carp and others

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