Europe’s rarest passerine, the Blue Chaffinch, spotted in Gran Canaria

Photo: Alex Jones.

It’s Europe’s rarest passerine, and it has been sought and spotted by a Welsh birder called Alex Jones. It lives in Gran Canaria and is a Blue Chaffinch, and here are Alex’s photos of it after he spent some time recently in Gran Canaria to look for it. As he says, “after many hours and miles covered, we eventually had views of a male and two females within the beautiful scenic Inagua Reserva Natural”. Alex explains that “a forest fire some years ago decimated the population by a large percentage and even though numbers have slowly started to recover, they’re hugely vulnerable. Worryingly for them, there were plenty of Kestrels and Sparrowhawk inhabiting the same area.” They are stunning, though, and the males are very blue! I had thought we were without blue birds here, even the African blue tits are hardly blue, but the male Blue Chaffinch is undeniably and very beautifully blue!