Lago Preola and Gorghi Tondi Nature Reserve
The damp area of the salt pans of Trapani is the most famous, but not the only one: another one, very important as well, lies in the Mazara del Vallo area The Preola Lake and Gorghi Tondi Integral Nature Reserve. Eddies ("gorghi") are little karst lakes that originated after the erosion of the chalky ground by the abundant rains, and surrounded by typical marsh vegetation. A lot of different bird species come here to winter: the Italy knight, the bittern, the ferruginous duck, the glossy ibis, the rare red heron, the hoopoe with its curved beak; among the predators, the marsh harrier, the buzzard, the kestrel; in the lakes there are mallards, coots, little grebes, red-crested pochards and great crested grebes. An inch from the surface of the water you will be able to observe the marsh turtle, a protected species. The Reserve is also home of foxes, rabbits and porcupines.
Along the hard sides of the lakes, the vegetation is composed by the typical Mediterranean scrub: the Palestine Oak, the Holm Oak, the Mastic, the Wall germander. The classic marsh vegetation can be observed as well: the common reed, the hardstem tule and the bulrush. Among the flowers, we can mention wild orchids, anemone, asphodels, daisies, the dandelion and greater knapweeds.
The best period to visit the Reserve is of course springtime or autumn, both for the climate and the presence of the flora and fauna described above.