A full group enjoyed a relaxing stay and warm weather in the Canary Islands this year. Visiting both Fuerteventura and Tenerife (also including a day on La Gomera), we were lucky to connect with all the Macaronesian speciality birds, including repeated views of both Houbara Bustard and Fuerteventura Chat. 

Scroll down for further images taken by Lance and  Ian Smith


Berthelot's Pipit proved to be common on all the islands we visited

Perseverance was rewarded with some excellent flight views of  Black-bellied Sandgrouse

A stunning male Blue Chaffinch

Blue Tits on the Canary Islands have not only been separated from European birds as a different species, African Blue Tit,

but 5 different races have been recognised on the islands.  

Here is a teneriffae from Tenerife and La Gomera.

The group also saw ultramarinus (formerly degener) on Fuerteventura, which sports bold white wing bars and tertial edges

All aboard as the group leaves Los Cristianos for La Gomera

We saw lots of Canary Islands Chiffchaff on Tenerife, this one at the hotel!

The beautiful song of the male Canary was heard regularly throughout our stay on Tenerife

Cream-coloured Courser - what a beautiful bird

 Fuerteventura Chats were spotted at several locations, including this fine male near Tindaya

A more sombre looking female Fuerteventura Chat. This island endemic is resident but what are the mechanisms that give rise to such a restricted distribution?

A displaying male Houbara Bustard - how does it see where it is going!

We enjoyed good and repeated views of the bustard!

A close male

Great Grey Shrike of the race koenigi. This race, though confined to the Canary Islands, is closely allied to the algeriensis race

from North Africa and may be a future split as Desert Grey Shrike.

I thought it was Bird Holidays, not Last of the Summer Wine!

The dramatic landscape of Teide

and finally a lovely Trumpeter Finch





Paul has just returned from a week in the Canary Islands, visiting Fuerteventura, Tenerife and La Gomera. Here are a selection of photographs taken by Paul, and also by tour participant, Andrew Thompson. Thanks Andrew!


Mount Teide and the Las Canadas Plain, high on Tenerife.


Blue Chaffinch


The famous Roques de Garcia, with Teide in the background.





A very co-operative Houbara Bustard on Fuerteventura.


The endemic Fuerteventura Chat.


Barbary Ground Squirrels were introduced to Fuerteventura, but are nevertheless nice to see.




The local form of Chaffinch is very distinctive.



And here's a video of the Blue Chaffinch....



This Houbara Bustard did the opposite of what most do and walked towards us. Superb! (Andrew Thompson)


Cream-coloured Courser was high on the list of must-see birds, and we were not disappointed. (Andrew Thompson)


Black-bellied Sandgrouse were scarce this year, and kept us waiting until the last morning on Fuerteventura. It was well worth the wait, with eight seen, including a male on the ground. (Andrew Thompson)


The landscape on Fuerteventura is very arid, with it's own unique beauty. (Andrew Thompson)


This Barbary Partridge was spotted as we drove along a quiet road on Fuerteventura. (Andrew Thompson)


A pale-phased Booted Eagle was a nice find. (Andrew Thompson)


Egyptian Vultures are still fairly common on Fuerteventura. They nest in the valley below. (Andrew Thompson)



A two-tailed Canary Island Lizard! (Andrew Thompson)


Berthelot's Pipit is a common Macaronesian endemic. (Andrew Thompson)


Once on Tenerife, the Blue Chaffinch was the bird that most were wanting to see. This male was hoping for scraps as we ate our picnic near Mount Teide. (Andrew Thompson)


A day trip to la Gomera resulted in great views of Cory's Shearwaters from the ferry. (Andrew Thompson)


This African Blue Tit is quite different to European birds, although being on Tenerife it was also slightly different to African birds too! (Andrew Thompson)


The Great Spotted Woodpecker is another species represented by a very distinctive local race (species?). (Andrew Thompson)


The Canary Islands Chiffchaff has recently been declared a species in it's own right. (Andrew Thompson)


On our last morning we watched the partial solar eclipse from 8000 feet up on Mt Teide. Magical! (Andrew Thompson)



It's a few years since we visited the Canary Islands, but we've gone through our stock of photos, and here is a selection, taken by Phil Palmer and Paul Willoughby.


The local form of Blue Tit is now considered a seperate species, and is variously called African Blue Tit or Tenerife Blue Tit. Either way, it is very different to the birds we see at home.


Trumpeter Finches are common on Fuerteventura.


Turtle Doves are still common on Fuerteventura.


Southern Grey Shrikes may be further split, the ones on the Canary Islands being related to those in Morocco.


It is nice to see pure-looking Rock Doves on the islands.




White-tailed Laurel Pigeon is easier to find on La Gomera.



Another shot of the smart Southern Grey Shrike, soon to be called Desert Grey Shrike.


The landscape and vegetation on Tenerife is fantastic.




Our group in the gigantic crater called Las Canadas del Teide on Tenerife.


Blue Chaffinches are reliably found near our hotel on Tenerife.


Fuerteventura looks rather like Morocco, and shares some of its birdlife, such as this Cream-coloured Courser.


Migrants regularly drop in to Fuerteventura, such as this lovely Collared Pratincole.


This Little Crake was seen at a marsh which also held Baillon's and Spotted Crakes!


The Fuerteventura Chat only occurs on the one island.


A beautiful male Black-bellied Sandgrouse. This species is reliably seen on Fuerteventura.




Please note: The above photographs were taken on previous trips. Itineraries change from time to time and therefore you cannot rely on these photographs as being an exact representation of what can be expected on a future tour. For details of the each tour, you should refer to the brochure write-up.




click here for details of our next tour to this destination


home page