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African Chaffinch recorded again in Gibraltar.

25 April 2018

An African Chaffinch was present in the Nature Reserve at the end of last month.  The bird, an African subspecies of the nominate race of European Chaffinch, found in north Africa, has rarely been recorded in Europe.

The bird was seen in the area of Poca Roca in the Nature Reserve, and was photographed by nature photographer Jonathan Perera.  He was fortunate to get a good picture that depicts the main features of this bird, with the bluish-grey head and back with a greenish tinge on the upperparts and slight pink on the underparts.  The species has only been recorded twice in Gibraltar, both trapped and ringed at the Observatory at Jews' Gate.  The first on the 28th March 1986 and the second on 9th April 2004.  This one was recorded on the 30th March 2018.  Other European records include one seen in the Netherlands.

African Chaffinch, third record for Gibraltar.                                                                                                                                                     Photo:  J. Perera.