Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Newsletter



Chapala Birders Newsletter July 2, 2017
101 Species Sighted Last Month
The complete list of June sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting sightings:
  • At the lunch stop of our trip to Rosa Amarilla we observed a pair of Spotted Wrens actively collecting food while standing close by were three juvenile Bronzed Cowbirds hoping to be fed. A few days later we saw a pair of Bewick's Wrens activley feeding another juvenile Bronzed Cowbird at Lake Cajitilan.
     
  • Also at Rosa Amarilla, we were amazed to see some 400 Wood Storks on the reservoir. We have never seen so many near Lake Chapala before.
  • Recently we went to Concepión de Buenas Aires near Mazamitla, and were attracted to an unusual call from a small bird hiding in a damp field of clump grass. From our photos and the call we determined it was a Sedge Wren, a species we had not seen before.
Sedge Wren
Sedge Wren singing as seen at Concepción de Buenos Aires in June.
  • The Sedge Wren is a small, secretive wren of wet, grassy fields, in contrast to its cousin the Marsh Wren which is found close to beds of cattails.
  • While the North American population is migratory, the Mexican population is resident year-round. However, it is known as a nomadic bird which chooses different locations each year.
  • The song is said to sound like two pebbles tapping together.
  • The female is said to puncture the eggs in any other nest nearby, thereby preventing hatching.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars and show up. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 100-200 for a day trip).

On Monday July 3, we will meet at 8.00 am at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving imediately for the Sierra de Tapalpa (90 minutes away)
. We will bird from 9.30 till 12.30 and have lunch in the town of Tapalpa and complete the bird list. We expect to see higher altitude birds such as Acorn Woodpecker and slate-throated redstart and if we are lucky Trans-volcanic Jay. Bring your own refreshments for the morning. We will be back about 5.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle.


On Tuesday July 18, we will meet at 8.00 am to walk the Allen Lloyd Trail which follows a mile-long arroyo with lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. Expect to see Golden-fronted Woodpecker, stripe-headed Sparrow and possibly a Squirrel Cuckoo. At 10.15 we will head to Sunrise restaurant for breakfast and complete the birdlist.
How to Get There: Drive up the Libramiento a half mile from the traffic light at Walmart, and park on the north side of the road across from the El Dorado Condominium tower.
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On June 16, we had nine birders out for the Rosa Amarilla Loop. We sighted 53 species which was an unexpectedly good number. We saw Eastern Bluebird, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Ruddy Duck, Black-backed Oriole and Botteri's Sparrow as well as the 400 Wood Storks mentioned above.

On June 27
there were 11 people who came out birding at Cristiania Park in Chapala. We were very pleased to observe Bushtit, Purple Gallinule, Little Blue Heron, Black-necked Stilt, and the rare (for us) Least Bittern, several of which were seen in the open and sitting in the reed-beds. The total count was 38 species.
June Sightings List
Here are the 101 species sighted around Lake Chapala in June:

Ani, groove-billed
Bittern, least (Ch)
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
Bobwhite, northern (Ca)
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (PsRa)
Dove, white-winged
Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ca)
Duck, fulvous whistling (ChCa)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant (At)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky (Ra)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Gallinule, purple (Ch)
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, Clarke's
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, Cooper's (Ch)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, white-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, little blue
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, beryline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, sparkling-tailed (Sc)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed
Meadowlark, eastern
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Owl, great-horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Rail, Aztec (Ch)
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead (Ca)
Sparrow, Botteri's (AtRa)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Ra)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Teal, blue-winged
Tern, Caspian (PsCa)
Tern, Forster's (Ps)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (At)
Towhee, canyon
Vireo, golden (At)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, rufous-capped (Sa)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, Sinaloa (Sa)
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common (CaCh)

Location codes:
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan
Ch - Chapala
Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
Dm - Dike near Malteraña
Dp - Dike near La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
Jo - Jocotepec
Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
Pe - Petatan area
Ps - Pumping Station/Santa Cruz
Pt - San Pedro Tesistan area
Pz - San Pedro Itzican area
Ra - Rosa Amarilla loop
Rc - Santa Rosa/Carnero dam
Rp - Riberas del Pilar & canyon
Sa - San Antonio/Chula Vista
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon/Rio la Pasion
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/South Shore area
Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas
John&Rosemary
Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are seeking information about birding in the area. We also like to hear about sightings of birds or nests at: chapalabirders@yahoo.com or 376.766.1801. Check out the website: chapalabirders.org

Saturday, June 3, 2017

June Newsletter



Chapala Birders Newsletter June 2, 2017
95  Species Sighted Last Month
The complete list of May sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting sightings:
  • In May the Beryline Hummingbirds returned to our garden in Ajijic, obviously intending to nest. They like the flowers on our flamboyant bush, as well as on a bottlebrush bush. One afternoon we heard two hummingbirds noisily fighting - they were Berylines - had to be males. They dropped into the lawn grass, silent for many seconds, then, still tightly gripping each other, they flew up and off.
  • We went to San Pedro Itzican oak wooks, and sure enough, a pair of Sinaloa Wrens were once again building a nest. This is the only place we see the nests actually under construction. In the winter time when the leaves drop we see several such nests on the trails above Ajijic. The nest is retort shaped,with the access tunnel curving down on one side of a twig, leading to the top of a hanging bowl on the other side.
  • Northern Bobwhite appear to be scarce this year, we have only heard one - at Lake Cajititlan in May.
Berylline Hummingbird
This male Berylline Hummingbird was photographed by Jalisco birder Julio Álavarez.
  • This hummingbird is only found in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. It is a year-round resident here.
  • It looks as if the top half has been dipped in irridescent green paint (brighter in sunshine), and the bottom half dipped in purple and rufous colors. The belly tends to be a buffy gray. The female has a more grayish-green aspect to the throat area.
  • Like other hummingbirds, it eats flying insects and also nectar from trumpet-shaped flowers. The young must be fed primarily insects to assure sufficient protein.
  • The female does all the work of building the nest, sitting the eggs, and feeding the young.
  • It nests throughout the summer from May to September.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars and show up. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 100-200 for a day trip).

On Firday June 16 we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla Loop
on the plateau above the south side of the lake (60 minutes drive). Expect to see higher altitude and pasture birds such as Eastern Meadowlark, Redwing Blackbird and if we are lucky a Roadrunner. Bring refreshments for the morning and sandwiches for the 12.30 lunch stop. We will be back about 3.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.

On Tuesday June 27, we will meet at Cristiania Park in Chapala
at 8.15 a.m. We should see an interesting selection of species in the tall trees and at the bushy edge of the lake. At about 10.30 we will go to Las Delicias for breakfast and complete the bird list.
How to Get There: From Ajijic go the traffic light at the main street of Chapala (Av. Madero), cross straight over and keep going straight for five blocks, turn left at the T intersection and park on the right.
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On May 20, we had ten birders out at the Jocotepec Malecon. We saw Black-crowned Night Heron, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Gallinule, Forster's Tern, White-collared Seedeater and Yellow Warbler. The Total tally was 32 species.

On May 22,
there were two carloads of people to see a good variety of birds at the beach beside Villa Corona. Red-winged blackbirds were evidently nesting, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks flew overhead, Eastern Meadowlarks sang to us from the grassy areas; a dozen snowy Plovers were running across the sand, their breeding season finished. We were pleased to see Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks at relatively close quarters. We saw a large number of long necked grebes, but they were too far away to determine if they were Western or Clark's Grebes. The count was 43 species.
May Sightings List
Here are the 95 species sighted around Lake Chapala in May:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Bluebird, eastern (Pz)
Bobwhite, northern (Ca)
Bunting, varied
Bushtit (Ca)
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Cove, common ground (SnCa)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ca)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped (Sa)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, sharp-shinned (Sa)
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, tricolored
Hummingbird, beryline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's (Ca)
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Dp)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern (Pz)
Motmot, russet-crowned
Nightjar, buff-collared
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's (Ca)
Oriole, orchard (Jo)
Oriole, streak-backed
Owl, great-horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead (Ca)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rufous-crowned
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate (Dp)
Stilt, black-necked (Ca)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tanager, western
Tern, Caspian (Ch)
Tern, Forster's (Jo)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (AtSa)
Vireo, golden (AtCa)
Vulture, black
Warbler, yellow (AtJo)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, Sinaloa (Pz)
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common (Ca)

Location codes:
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan
Ch - Chapala
Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
Dm - Dike near Malteraña
Dp - Dike near La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
Jo - Jocotepec
Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
Pe - Petatan area
Ps - Pumping Station/Santa Cruz
Pt - San Pedro Tesistan area
Pz - San Pedro Itzican area
Ra - Rosa Amarilla loop
Rc - Santa Rosa/Carnero dam
Rp - Riberas del Pilar & canyon
Sa - San Antonio/Chula Vista
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon/Rio la Pasion
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/South Shore area
Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas
John&Rosemary
Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are seeking information about birding in the area. We also like to hear about sightings of birds or nests at: chapalabirders@yahoo.com or 376.766.1801. Check out the website: chapalabirders.org