The midwinter waterfowl count has kicked off in Turkey's Gediz Delta, which hosts many bird species. The midwinter waterfowl count has kicked off in Turkey's Gediz Delta, which hosts many bird species. Bird watchers gathered in the delta, formed by the accumulation of alluviums carried by the Gediz River in the Gulf of Izmir over tens of thousands of years, to join the counting activity, which takes place annually from Jan. 10 to Feb. 15. The Gediz Delta is regarded as one of the biggest deltas of the Eastern Mediterranean with its area of nearly 99,000 acres. The delta, which has the protection status of Ramsar Area, Wildlife Protection Area and Natural Protected Area and which has been applied to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosts approximately 300 bird species. The area, which is also one of the two locations of flamingo breeding grounds in Turkey, hosts a large number of water birds each season. The teams observed the Caspian gull, one of the rare species in the region. Celal Murat Aslanapa, a field manager of Bird Paradise National Park, told Anadolu Agency that this study is recognized worldwide as an important tool for monitoring biodiversity, adding the first count in Turkey took place in 1967.