Habitat reconstruction at the Old Lake

About 10 years ago I was involved in the planning phase of a habitat reconstruction project which aimed to give an old bay back to the Old Lake in Tata. The bay was filled by mud after dredging it from the lake some decades ago. Unfortunately the funding of the project was really disappointing and it could came into realy only by this winter.


A view to the town from the reconstruction area. © Gyorgy Szimuly


Images of the embracing bank of the reconstruction area. © Gyorgy Szimuly

This morning Dani and me woke up with the first lights and headed to the bay for surveying breeding birds. This is a part of two projects. One of them is to follow the settlement of birds into this new habitat as well as to document the expansion of vegetation especially the reed. Of course we could not find much birdlife but what we found was rather different what was recorded prior to the reconstruction works in the same season. The affected area was not holding any breeding species so far but has some potential if plants will be emerging from the water (e.g. water lily). It could be nice for Chlidonias terns. There is one separated island left from the former dam which could be suitable for breeding Common Terns. It is separated enough from the main land and far from the water sport zone. Some more habitat management is needed to make it suitable for the terns.

On the islands we saw the following shorebird species:

Little Ringed Plover 1
Common Greenshank 2
Wood Sandpiper 2
Common Sandpiper 9


Common Sandpipers were feeding on the edges of the island. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Also tere were 19 Great Crested Grebe and about 40 Mallard on the lake.

In the evening there was many Little Gulls (first was seen from our window last night), Black Terns and Common Terns hunting over the lake.