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Taking a look at a guide-book, you won't find any indication to the Notteri marsh. It definitely exists, but it doesn't seem to be a part of the scenery. Along the Sardinian eastern cost, the sea looks really important with its rocks, white beaches (Villasimius) and wild islands like (Capo Carbonara). But what about the Notteri marsh? Oh, yes, there it is! Over there, behind the large beach. It's a small, blue, transparent, pool surrounded by the sand. It appears as it used to be in the past: just sea. Geologists assert that it came from the sand and that in the past it was linked the mainland of the Punta Santo Stefano island.
It is the product of the slow tide swing. Under the sand, brackish waters flow and blend, but the salt pool's surface doesn't ripple, protected from the sea by narrow sand barriers. No fish, only salt water. The Notteri marsh is not an oasis; instead it's a natural forward position anticipating the seascape. It's ideal for a canoe ride and the perfect environment for pink flamingos and big migrating birds that have appointed Sardinia as their adoptive country. During the winter, when the peninsula depopulates and regains its authentic look, flamingos arrive by the hundreds. They sink their long stilts into the shallow water, frantically looking for food hidden in the mud. It's very easy to come across flamingos; they are now used to people and don't fear them. Unfortunately, some keep them as trophies and year after year, the number of these wonderful birds decreases.
The pool is locked in by the sand. Unfortunately it's incredibly disregarded by the protection laws related to the marsh areas and Notteri has to fight against cement. Buildings and houses, merged in the Mediterranean brush, are ever pressing and gripping.
The consequences to this weak, helpless little lake are devastating. Tourism sometimes means waste and rubbish accumulated in the shallow water, water that is continuously loosing its transparency and clearness. Some have thought of transforming the little lagoon into a pool for water-skiing or, even worse, into a private harbour for pleasure crafts. That means killing it, eliminating a real gift of nature.
The pink flamingos. They are very rare all over the world but quite common in Sardinia. They migrate quite frequently, moving from one moist area to another, but the south-eastern region of Sardinia is their ideal habitat. So, from Notteri they quickly move to the Stagno of Molentagius.