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Agia Reservoir (Crete) - BirdForum Opus

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From a birding point of view the Agia (or Ayia) Reservoir is undoubtedly the best wetland on Crete. The large areas of open water, extensive reedbeds and surrounding scrubland attract many species of interest during the breeding season and on passage.


Notable Species

Various waders and herons including Squacco Heron and Little Bittern occur on passage and this site has regular crakes of three species, all three marsh terns and Moustached Warbler.


More rarely a Bluethroat, Great White Pelican and Black Stork in autumn 2008. Viewing the distant White Mountains [Lefki Ori] from the pump station, you may get distant views of Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Griffon Vulture.


Birds you can see here include:

Great Crested Grebe Little Grebe, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Mute Swan, Mallard, Garganey, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Northern Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Teal, Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon, Honey Buzzard, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Black Kite, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eleonora's Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Baillon's Crake, Common Snipe, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Temminck's Stint, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Northern Lapwing, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Crested Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Northern House Martin, Common Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Nightingale, European Stonechat, European Robin, Black Redstart, Eurasian Wryneck, Cetti's Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Hooded Crow, Eurasian Jackdaw, Eurasian Blackbird, Italian Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Starling, Water Pipit, European Stonechat, Great Tit, Blue Tit, European Serin

Other Wildlife

Stripe-necked Terrapin Mauremys caspica and Green Treefrog Hyla arborea are common around the Agia Reservoir. Balkan Green Lizard, Dice Snake. There are also a large numbers of bullfrog present

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

Check out the tall trees and shrubs and the fresh water springs to the south over the footbridge.Further along there are one or two openings in the bamboo to observe the lake.

Access and Facilities

Agia Reservoir is situated less than 10km south of Chania (Hania or Xania) on the road to Samaria. Chania has a wide range of accommodation from simple rooms to luxury hotels. Stop at the small village of Agia and park near the church, and explore the eucalyptus woods and reservoir from here.

Directions from Chania
From the main national highway at the junction to Omalos/Samaria road (set your car trip to zero) travel 6.5km take the turn right at the village of Agia, just past the large church. There is a large sign with a swan directing to the lakeside taverna. Continue 0.6km to a left hand bend, take the gravel track on the right, you are at Agia, parking is 50 metres. ColD

Contact Details

To do

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve


chriswyeth's review

I have just returned from an October visit to Agia lake and found it to be under development. An esplonade and taverna have been built and a 'noddy' train deposits several dozen visitors regularly. The area where the crakes have been reliably seen in spring has been landscaped. It will be interesting to see how these developments will affect the birding at this top location next spring.

Birding still excellent, although the "Noddy train" or "Wally trolly" as the holiday reps call them ! still deposits numbers of visitors between 10-12 daily in the height of the summer,I think they have a fifteen minute stop. the areas below the dam wall are overgrown and as the water levels drop waders, Little Bittern, rails etc allow close views, sit quiet near the sluice gates some will come within two metres. Walk from the wall to the south end towards and over the footbridge into the wood area, follow the path through an open gate keeping the lake on your left to view the south side of the lake from one or two areas of cleared bamboo and grasses. ColD


  • Easy access

Either from the church on the Omalos/Chania road or from the taverna near the sluice gates and dam wall the newer taverna on the north side has only limited access to the grass slope in front of it (May 2010)ColD


  • No recent development in the last two years (May 2010) ColD