Shallow waters of the Caspian Sea from the delta of the Volga to the mouth of the river Sulak has been famous for an abundance of waterfowl.
Powerful jets of the Volga, Terek and Sulak strongly partly desalinate the northwestern part of the Caspian Sea. Therefore, here along the shore reed, cattail and bulrush form surface vegetation belt widths of up to 12 km to the north (the Kalmyk coast) and from 2 to 6 km to the south (the Dagestan coast). Reed is low — 2-4 meters, but almost everywhere it forms impassable thickets. Among the reed roof supports many stretches overgrown comb pondweed, bulrush and triangular. In the open shallow waters are often found vast fields and a small mollusk marine mollusk.
For zhirovki and recreation grounds, these birds are very good, but the conditions of the nesting waterfowl are extremely unfavorable. The fact is that usually in these places spring winds — the sea water level rises quickly, break and flood the nests of birds. Examining in 1970 between 5 and 15 May thickets of the Caspian Sea coast, we have not found any whole masonry: all the nests of swans, geese, ducks and coots were broken moryanoy storm, blowing from 4 to 7 May. In the coastal strip near the mouth of the Kuma was met based on 100 hectares of land: Swans — 6 pairs of gray geese — 2 mallards — 20, white-eyed dives — 5, red-nosed dives — 22 and coots — 70 pairs. All these birds are displayed here in a small number of chicks due to repeated layings and extremely favorable spring with a few weak and moryanami.
Better conditions for aquatic life on the coast of the Gulf of Agrakhan different grounds. This gulf connected to the sea by a narrow strait, through which the Caspian Sea water break Terek, so storms at sea is not rising high water level in the bay, and it does not create a big wave. In stormy weather in the Gulf Agrakhan going to a variety of birds.
Normally, the maximum depth in the Gulf of 1.5-2 m. In the summer, when a lot of water from the Terek take on watering crops Agrakhan Gulf shallower and some peripheral shallow stretches dries. Shoal Bay covered with impenetrable reed roof supports. Among the reeds closed many stretches (to get to them — the dream of every hunter), in which the fall is going to a lot of different game. In the spring they feed on broods of geese, ducks and coots. The inner part of the bay there is a huge (up to 40 thousand. Ha) reaches.
The reed is attached nesting mute swan, gray goose, river and diving ducks, coots and grebes. In the central part of the bay by 100 hectares of land was considered 20 nests of coots and coastal reaches — 213 in reed and willow groves of coastal form pure or mixed colony of spoonbills, ibis, eight species of herons, pelicans and cormorants.
The maximum number of waterfowl observed in Dagestan in November, followed by a recession — are only hibernating. Since the second half of February, the number of birds increases again — Spring migration begins. Peak numbers of waterfowl in the spring migration occurs in March. In mid-April in the main span ends. In Azerbaijan, Kyzylagach reserve during spring migration waterfowl do not form large clusters: birds tend to fly in transit to Dagestan. Do not linger in the spring bird for a long time, and in the Volga delta. Thus, the sea coast of Dagestan is a «transit» point of waterfowl when moving to the north. Advanced flock of birds and then attempting to get ahead, but encountering ice and cold, come back. This continues until the ripple more or less steady warming not only in the Volga delta, but also to the north. Then begins the gross span.
On spring migration birds congregate in Dagestan, has survived all the hardships of winter and most of them are connected to the pair. In other words, stop here to rest breeding stock, which should be protected. Not every year and not all passes safely wintering. Often part of the bird arrives in Dagestan exhausted and therefore tries to use a breather in a way to recuperate. Especially dangerous for weakened birds of spring with unstable weather, with a sudden return of cold weather, with snowfall and freeze-up. Such cold weather is usually accompanied by the loss of the most depleted species.
That is why the necessary security in Dagestan good land, the creation of zones of peace and regular feeding birds in the cold of winter and spring. In this regard, we share the view of local hunters the need for a reserve in Dagestan. Note that a hunting ban would not lead to the desired results, as the waters of the land will continue to plow tens of fishing and transport vessels. Only in a reserve can provide a complete rest for migratory birds, more efficiently by feeding them and finally qualified to set up experiments to attract a variety of birds of artificial nests and re-acclimation disappeared from Dagestan species. I think that the best place to reserve — wetland in Dagestan is Agrakhan bay. It seems that here the nature has taken care of a shelter for migrating and wintering birds bay area is quite extensive, well protected from storms and easily guarded.