Anita Lake is one of the favorites spots for birdwatchers! The bird park in Eilat has plenty of pools of water. Most ponds are salt ponds with saline water of varying salinity; which are a great food substrate for algae and crustaceans that feed a wide variety of migratory birds. Including flamingos; gulls and many shorebirds. The only body of water that contains almost freshwater is Lake Anita! Here is a link for Eilat Birdwatching Center!
Anita Lake is hidden in the heart of the park and observed only while wandering the pedestrian paths. This lake was established to serve as a habitat and food substrate for freshwater birds such as herons, ducks, Moorhen; Coots; tern birds, and Old World warbler. They all tend to hide in the thick bushes of the reeds along its banks. In fact, the lake was built with the generous help of Anita Gat; who was very important to her so that all the birds migrating through Eilat would find shelter in the park and a source of food in their difficult way.
More About Anita Lake
For years the lake was relatively desolate from birds; the reason wasn’t clear. But a short study revealed that the water depth in the pool was too deep so many birds had a hard time finding a place where they could stand. Also, the water source of the lake, the brine from the Eilat Desalination Institute, is not one type of water. In other words, every time the lake got filled with water it was slightly different in terms of salinity and chemical composition.
So the lake biology to be endangered every time water was added. To fix the problem we used the Arava Drainage Authority and the JNF who helped us flatten the central part of the lake and create a large and comfortable basin for birds and at the same time, with a generous donation from Eilat Municipality the lake’s water got replaced. Finally, the biology of the lake was now stable.
The Birds Vote With Their Wings
The birds vote with their wings! And came back to Anita Lake! Since the renovation, the lake has been filled with birds of all species. Herds of various Herons such as large and small Egrets, Squacco heron; Cattle egret; Little bittern; Grey heron crowd the shores of the lake and devour the fish in it. Seagulls and ducks come to filter the water and eat the smaller particles and shorebirds of at least 15 species have been documented burrowing into the shallow mud that the center of the lake provides. Above them float above the water lots and lots of swallows of all species and from time to time a Pied kingfisher also flutters. In recent days, a pair of Osprey, have also been spotted, hunting in the renewed pond. Also special – Spoonbill; thick-beaked gulls; Glareola, Striated herons, and Terek sandpiper.