The Hide-away is on the west bank of the Atanasovsko Lake, in the protected area “Burgas Salt Pans”. The place is described as one with the most birds in Bulgaria. The hide-away is built after an English model and meets all current requirements for this type of equipment; it has specially built viewing windows which allow for optimal observation of the birds in the water pool, while they’re feeding or resting.
It’s free of charge.
The Atanasovsko Lake is 4 km north from Burgas. It’s divided in two parts by the Burgas – Varna road, north and south. The lake is approximately 9 km long and 4.3 km wide, its area is around 17 sq. km. It stands at 1.5 m under sea level. Its average depth is 30 cm.
There are 316 bird species found in the area (there is a total of 423 species on the territory of Bulgaria), which migrate, winter or nest in the reserve. Of those, 14 are world-wide endangered, 83 are in the Red Book of Bulgaria, and 170 are of European environmental significance. Here, you can observe rare and protected birds – in the winter, there are resting ducks, aythya, Dalmatian pelicans. During the summer – pied avocets, terns, gulls, black-winged stilts. You can observe different species during the different seasons, as well as in the different hours of the day – morning or afternoon.
The place is extremely interesting for and valued by home and foreign ornithologists and other experts.
The lake is surrounded by reeds, which house many residents. There are a lot of orchids here as well. The most interesting of which is the bird’s nest orchid. Because it’s an achlorophyllus type, it’s almost colourless and its roots are so tangled that they look like a nest, hence its name. Another interesting species is the lizard orchid. This name has been given to it because every blossom has a long, thin mouth which looks like a little lizard. In spring time the monkey orchid is a commonly found plant – every blossom looks like a tiny little monkey.
There are 17 fish species in the reserve, most of which are in the Red Book of Bulgaria as endangered (Caucasian dwarf goby, three-spined stickleback, nine-spined stickleback, etc.). The mammals include 12 types of rodents, 5 types of insectivorous and 6 types of bats.
Of special interest to the species preservation is the smallest mammal on the planet – the Etruscan shrew, Gunther’s vole, the European ground squirrel and the otter. There are also weasels, foxes, wild boars and jackals.
The vertebrates, especially the birds, are directly dependent on the specific invertebrates, inhabiting in the lake. The brine shrimp, or saline crayfish, is the most significant one since it’s an important food source for waterfowl. This is its only significant habitat.
How to get there
The hide-away is near the north exit of Burgas, towards Pomorie. The place is easily accessible by bike or car. There is a car park in front of the hide-away, as well as a biking lane, connecting it to the Seaside Park and the city centre. You can use bus line 211 of the public transport, however you will need to walk for about 20 minutes from the bus stop.