Miankaleh Lagoon

Iran is considered to be a warm and dry country and because of this each year, many immigrant birds escape the severe cold in the northern parts of the world and come to Iran. Lagoons, beaches, and lakes all over the country. These are the type of places in which they take shelter.
One of the most important places that migratory birds travel to is the Miankaleh Lagoon in Mazandaran province; an international lagoon, which serves as a bird sanctuary in this part of the country.

Miankaleh Lagoon
The lagoon is considered to be a part of the Miankaleh Wildlife Refuge. A natural sanctuary for land and sea wildlife. Various types of birds are found in this area, including a wide range of migratory aquatic birds such as flamingos, Dalmatian pelicans, swans, ducks and all types of geese.

Miankaleh Lagoon
Plus if you’re lucky you can find a Western marsh harrier, a white-tailed eagle, a ring-necked pheasant, an Asian francolin or even some bee-eaters.
In addition, this particular lagoon is also a place for rearing and breeding various fish such as common carp, mullet, white fish, zander, and all types of sturgeon. In the end, this lagoon plays an important role in preserving the Caspian Sea wildlife and the local people’s livelihood and income.
Geographical location: Miankaleh lagoon is located on a peninsula of the same name. A narrow peninsula that has the Caspian Sea to its north and the Gulf of Gorgan to its south.
And also it happens to be in the vicinity of Zaghmarz Lapoo Wetland. In the east, it reaches Ashuradeh Island and from there it connects to Bandar Torkaman.

Miankaleh Lagoon

Dasht-e Naz, Sari

Now we travel just outside of Sari, past Siahkalrud village, en route to Miankaleh lagoon. Dasht-e Naz is one of the places you simply cannot miss. It is located near the city of Sari and it is considered to be an Iranian wildlife sanctuary, much like Miankaleh lagoon. Follow the signs alongside the road to get there. It is an area of about 55 hectares and it is also the main center for the propagation and preservation of a number of rare and endangered species of animals in Iran. Quite specifically the Persian fallow deer. You can watch these beautiful creatures and marvel at their existence. Oak trees and beautiful forest landscapes are just some of the attractions of this sanctuary.

Miankaleh Lagoon

Zaghmarz Lapoo Wetland

After that, we went to Behshahr. We took the coast road and crossed the Neka power plant in order to get to the next lagoon. This particular wetland is part of the Miankale Peninsula, yet it has its own unique beauty. In the past, due to the proximity of the lagoon to the Caspian Sea and the Miankaleh wetland, there were many birds seen in the area, but excessive hunting and lack of environmental regulations around the lagoon led to a decrease in the number of these birds. Still, a lot of fish are grown in the Lagoon. Incidentally, since then fishing has been banned in the area.

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Miankaleh Lagoon

But why did we recommend this particular lagoon?

The reason is the beauty that comes with this lagoon, which is by the way found in no other places. We advise you to schedule your trip so you can enjoy this particular lagoon and get to see it firsthand. Do not forget to walk the length of the lagoon because it is quite relaxing.

Miankaleh Lagoon

Take a stroll alongside the lagoon

Walking alongside the Miankaleh lagoon will be a different experience for you. You are indeed away from the noise and bustle of the city and this creates an opportunity for you to hear the sound of nature. The water is not that deep so you don’t need to worry about anything.

Miankaleh Lagoon

The timeline in which the birds migrate to Miankaleh lagoon

Every year the birds and animals begin to migrate from early September. About 500,000 to one million birds and animals (terrestrial, aquatic and other types) spend the cold season in this particular area.

Miankaleh Lagoon

The presence of various birds in Miankaleh lagoon

Of course, the immigration, regeneration and the life of different migratory birds in Miankaleh lagoon are not limited only to cold seasons. Many of them migrate on different occasions. In this section, we will describe the different arrangements resulting in the presence of various birds in Miankaleh lagoon. If you are interested in a particular bird, you should know when to travel to this particular lagoon.

Miankaleh Lagoon

Early-September: Eurasian Teal, Garganey and Northern shoveler.
Mid-September: Mallard.
Late-September: Common Pochard and Northern pintail.

Miankaleh Lagoon

Early in October: Tufted duck and Greater scaup.
After Oct. 15: Crested duck and the rest of the species of ducks such as Smew and Cormorant.

Miankaleh Lagoon
November, December, and January

Early November: Greylag goose, Lesser white-fronted goose.
Early December: Coot, they form 50 to 60 percent of the population in this area. Their migration will continue until the end of December.
The second half of December to early January: Swans and Pelicans are the last birds to arrive during the immigration season.

Miankaleh Lagoon
Return time:

Due to rising temperatures immigrant birds usually start returning to their homes from late March. This return period lasts until early June, but if a bird is injured or sick, it has to stay back.

Sights located in the vicinity of Miankaleh

As we said before, Miankaleh lagoon is located in the much larger area of Miankaleh biosphere reserve. If you have enough time, please take the time to go out and see other sites located in the area.
Miankaleh is actually a small sample of different climates in Iran lest the mountainous part, you can see the pine forests, lush meadows, lagoons, beaches and so on. When visiting this place, be mindful and respect the natural environment. Pomegranate forest, lush meadows, and wildlife on the Miankaleh PeninsulaThe most important vegetation in the area is the wild and native pomegranate trees that have created the so-called pomegranate forest. The Miankaleh Peninsula has salty soil, so it is suitable for the growth and propagation of pomegranate trees. They grow 4 to 5 meters and create a lush environment all around themselves.

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Miankaleh Lagoon

Sometimes you can see pasture fields used by the local ranchers to graze their livestock. Pomegranates from these trees are different the kind that is grown in Shiraz or Saveh. They are mostly used for making pomegranate juice. In the fall, most locals come to this area and start picking pomegranates.
But pomegranate is not the only fruit and product found in this particular area. As we move towards the beach or the lagoon, the masses of trees are reduced, and raspberry shrubs are more and more visible.
If you are lucky to be here when the raspberries are ripe, you can take the liberty to eat as much as you can. After that, you might get to see a fox, rabbit, hedgehog or even the famous Miankaleh Piebald.
Miankaleh Lagoon

Sand Dunes in Miankaleh

If you go past the lagoon and go towards the shore until you reach the sea, you will see an abundance of sand dunes. Walking on these sand dunes can be almost like walking in the desert.
Miankaleh Lagoon

Fisherman’s Cottages

If you get past the dunes and forests you can almost see the Caspian Sea. On the north side of the beach, there are some wooden cottages. These are fishermen’s huts. They come during the hunting season.
The materials used in the making of these huts is that of the surrounding environment. They are made of wood and cob. After the huts, you reach the beautiful Caspian Sea and its spectacular beach.
The water is clean, and the birds come flocking. The beach is also clean and you can walk for hours there just enjoying the environment.
Miankaleh Lagoon

Pejvak Ship

The ship is located near Zaghmarz Lapoo Wetland and it is considered one of the attractions of the area. The ship is landlocked and beached so through the years it has been eroding slowly. You can visit this ship at the end of your journey and take a photo with it.
Miankaleh Lagoon

The best time to travel

Spring and summer: If you like to see the nature of the Miankaleh at its best and enjoy the pleasant weather, go during the spring. The summer the weather is quite hot, and there is not much wildlife either.
Fall and winter: Fall t is the season for picking pomegranates and raspberries. And also the bird migration will begin in late November. If you want to see the various types of birds, it’s better to go to the lagoon during winter, but be careful because the weather gets quite cold and it might get brutal.

Miankaleh Lagoon



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