Thursday, 13 June 2013

Agia Lake: An Oasis for Bird and Nature Watchers

Although the season has started, Mistral hostess Donna Southgate-Smith and her keen birding husband Harvey, have found time to explore the local area.

"The island of Crete in the south of the Mediterranean, and just 300 kilometres north of North Africa, is ideally situated for migrating birds heading north in the spring to make a quick pit-stop before heading onto their main breeding grounds throughout mainland Europe"

Black-winged stilt
One of the best areas to watch this wonder of the natural world is Agia Lake in north west Crete.  Just 10 kilometres west of the main town of Chania, the lake attracts bird watchers from all over Europe during the main migratory months of April and May.

Yellow Flag Iris
Birds seen on this occasion included black-winged stilt, little crake and hoopoe. In May you should also be able to see squacco heron, little bittern, baillons crake, night heron, booted eagle, glossy ibis, bee-eater, whiskered tern and many more.

Agia Lake
For the younger ones, its's usually possible to see a few of the dinner plate-sized stripe necked terrapins, as well as geese, ducks and gigantic bull frogs!

If you're not into bird watching, don't worry - there is a very good coffee shop and taverna!  Agia Lake is well worth a visit just to experience the calm surroundings set against the stunning back drop of the White Mountains.

By Donna Southgate-Smith

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