Transformation of water bodies into fishponds in the last century has an impact not only on lake Fehér of Szeged. In direct neighbourhood on the East of the sodic lakebed have lied the locations called „Szák-oldal” and „Gyevi-fertő” which belongs to Sándorfalva nowdays. However conversion into fishponds started in 5th April, 1979, and we can find the 1st and 2nd unit of Fertő (a.k.a. “new fishponds”) on the previously mentioned sodic, endorheic, periodically swampy areas since its completion in 30th June, 1982. The two fishpond-system are divided only by the Szeged-Sándorfalva road and they can be considered as integrated in regard of the avifauna because of their similar habitats.
Lake Fehér and Fertő form together a fishpond system on more than 2000 hectares. Reed-bed along the dykes offers undisturbed breeding habitats for grebes, ducks, geese and swans. Most of Hungary’s heron species breed in the bigger reed-islands of the area, moreover cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) can also be listed as breeding species in one of the mixed heron colonies. One of the first breeding of Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus) also happened in the black-headed gull colony of Korom island on the 11th unit of the fishpond system.
Dense reedbeds offer excellent conditions for songbirds as well, many of our bird species nests in these habitats exclusively. Common reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) and bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus) can be found in the reedbeds of Lake Fehér the whole year, while great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Eurasian reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Savi's warbler (Locustella luscinioides) or moustached warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon) stay in the country merely in the breeding period.
Occasional drainage of the fishponds naturally accompanies fish farming, moreover silt emergence on larger surface serves as feeding habitat for shorebirds visiting the ancient sodic lake on their migration. Since not all units are drained off at the same time, dry fishponds are available in most of the year.
At the end of summer Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) and gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) can be regularly found while resting in the dry lakebed. Collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola) used to be a tipical breeding species of the ancient sodic lake, nowadays it is only an extraordinary guest on the dried-off fishponds however. Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) and black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus) were also classic breeders here, sadly they visit the dry lakes in decreasing – but still in great – numbers. In the period of spring and autumn masses of shanks, sandpipers and stints breeding in the North also cover the fresh silt where occasionally rare species also have a rest i.e Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) or ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres).
Yet the most spectacular phenomenon is the groups of ten thousands of common cranes (Grus grus) taking a rest on their migration here. About half of the area of lake Fehér is dried off in late autumn where masses of migrating cranes find roosting place, their peak number has been estimated to 70.000 individuals in November of 2017.