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Akrotiri Peninsula (Crete) - BirdForum Opus

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Greece, Crete


Close to Chania (Xania, Hania), this scrub-covered peninsula attracts good numbers of migrants and there are two monasteries with gardens worth checking for passage birds.

In addition the Tersanas Pool may hold waders and there are vineyards and orchards. Close by is Chania Harbour where herons and gulls roost on offshore rocks.

The hills and woods from the old road from Chania to Souda also hold migrants and the gardens of British War Cemetery at Souda have a good reputation for passage birds.


Notable Species

The peninsula attracts migrant raptors such as Red-footed Falcon and Eleonora's Falcon and Lesser Kestrel. European Bee-eater and a wide range of passerine migrants occur including warblers and shrikes.

Breeding species include Eurasian Scops Owl, Chukar Partridge, Ruppell's Warbler and Italian Sparrow. Chania harbour has Little Egret and Grey Heron and gulls such as Mediterranean Gull and Yellow-legged Gull.

Great White Egret and Osprey can be seen at Souda Bay and the cemetery can produce Wood Warbler and Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, Woodchat Shrike and Red-backed Shrike and Tree Sparrow, a rare bird on Crete.


Birds you can see here include:

Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Osprey, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora's Falcon, Chukar Partridge, Common Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Scops Owl, Common Swift, Alpine Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Ruppell's Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, European Pied Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Hooded Crow, Italian Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, Ortolan Bunting

Other Wildlife

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Site Information

History and Use

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Areas of Interest

On the road out of Chania towards the airport is a park at Venizelou Graves where migrants and local breeding birds can be found.

Access and Facilities

Chania has plenty of accommodation and provides an excellent base from which to explore the immediate area as well as most of the birding areas of western Crete such as Agia Reservoir.

Chania Harbour lies at the eastern end of town and can be viewed from the small park to the east of the Porto Veneziano Hotel.

The monasteries are signposted from the airport road. Souda Bay lies on the eastern side of the peninsula and is signposted from Chania. The War Cemetery is signposted and can be reached by turning off the main road at KM9.

Contact Details

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External Links

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Content and images originally posted by Steve