Ecological reserve "Gherardesca's lake"
Castelvecchio di Compito
This area is located in the western part of 'padule' at the bottom of Monte Pisano. It has an extension of 30 hectares and it is located in a protection zone for the migration of birds. Hunting is forbidden in this zone. This area is external but contiguous to SIC BO3 “Ex alveo del lago di Bientina”.
The stretch of water borders with a recovery canal in the northern part; along the west side some sallow plants are used like roost by different species of cattle egret Bubulcus Ibis. Along the east side there is a row of cypresses Cupressus sempervirens that divides the area from surronding fields.
In the southern part, at the bottom of Monte Pisano there is a wood of Turkey oak Quercus cerris.
From the ornithological point of view this area results one of the most interesting things of “padule del Bientina”, in particular in winter when there are a lot of water birds and at the beginning of spring when there are a lot of transitory migratory birds.
In this area live about 3000 birds among rare ducks, grebes and coots. This zone hosts also a dormitory for herons, when every evening about 300 great egrets, snowy egrets, cattle egrets and cormorants gather. It is a result of birds' census of damp areas coordinated and organized by the IWC (International Waterbird Census) in January 2012.