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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Early-September: Eurasian Teal, Garganey and Northern shoveler.
Late-September: Common Pochard and Northern pintail.
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.
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.
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.
Sand Dunes in Miankaleh
The best time to travel