Burgas is an unique place for every birdwatcher. What is making it different from any other Bulgarian site, is the all-year round abundance of birds. This is the only Bulgarian area where three big wetlands have been preserved - Atanasovsko Lake, Burgas Lake (Vaya) and Manra Complex. Being very different - hyperhalline, brakish and fresh water wetlands, together with the sea they provide very different ecological conditions and suitable habitats for many birds, including endangered ones. This makes Burgas one of the few European cities surrounded by wetlands of international importance for birds.
The city is situated on one of the major migration flyways in Europe, known as Via Pontica. The unique position at the westernmost point of the entire Black Sea coastline is the reason for extremmely intensive bird migration here, as most of the birds follow the coastline. Milions of passerines, but also waders, gulls and terns, bee-eaters, swifts and other, together with more than 200,000 White Storks and 100,000 Raptors of over 30 species pass every season over the city. Is it not natural in this case Burgas to be recognised as the Bird Capital of Bulgaria!
Poda Protected Site is situated in the natural centre of the Burgas Wetlands. As a real focus it concentrates the essence of the bird diversity of the region. This explains the amazing fact that on its just 1 sq. km surface Poda shelters 273 bird species, which is more than the half of all recorded in Bulgaria 420 species! Poda Protected Site was designated in 1989 under proposal a of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / BirdLife Bulgaria (BSPB), which was officially assigned with its management. This is for first time in Bulgaria protected area to be provided for management to a civil organisation. Through the years Poda proved itself as a successful model for protected area management. At Poda BSPB created the first in Bulgaria Nature Conservation Centre as a focal point for conservation, education, information and visitor activities in favour not just of Poda, but also of the rest of the Burgas Wetlands. Management Plan was elaborated as a basis for the conservation of the Protected Site.
Through the years the BSPB Nature Conservation Centre (NCC) Poda become one of the most attractive and popular bird sites in Bulgaria. The Centre was included in the List of the 100 National Tourist Sites of Bulgaria, was awarded by the Henry Ford Conservation Award, by the Association of the German Tour Operators and by different national institutions. Visiting the Poda Centre, one can learn interesting facts about the exceptional natural threasures of Burgas Wetlands, to get in touch with one of the very few 'happy end stories' in the Nature Conservation, or just to enjoy from the terraces of the Centre the magic of the flying Dalmatian Pelicans, White-tailed Eagles, Great Bitterns and the 'juwels' of Poda - the Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Pygmy Cormorant and other. Walk on the trail with birdwatching and photographic hides is possible for more keen visitors.
Why not join them by visiting Poda yourself?