Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August Newsletter



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

Interesting sightings:
  • This summer our area has been host to considerable numbers of Wood Storks. Usually we think that a group of six or eight birds is a large group. But we have been seeing as many as 150 birds recently on the Rosa Amarilla Loop.
  • We are continuing to see Least Bittern in the reed beds at Cristiania Park in Chapala. These birds are known to be shy and only live around reed beds.
  • Sparkling-tailed Hummingbirds were reported in the Raquet Club in San Juan Cosala. We see this species in May, June and perhaps July when they nest here, usually leaving shortly after the rainy season starts in June.
Golden Fronted Woodpecker
This Golden Fronted Woodpecker photo was taken by Barbara Baird and submitted to the National Audubon Society. It is one of a series of beautiful bird photos which you can see here: "The 2017 Audubon Photography Awards: Top 100"
  • The Golden-fronted Woodpecker is the most common woodpecker in the Lake Chapala area. It is found in semi-open woodlands in central and eastern Mexico, as well as in Texas, and south as far as Nicaragua. It is non-migratory.
  • It is a medium-sized bird with fine black and white bars across the back and wings. It has an orange patch on the nape, and a small yellow patch between the eyes and the bill.
  • Both parents excavate a nest cavity in a hardwood tree or post, and both share in incubation duties as well as the feeding of the young.
  • They eat small insects under tree bark as well as larger insects on the ground, and a wide variety of nuts, seeds and fruit such as prickly pears in season.
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 Friday August 11 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at La Cristina on the west side of Ajijic. We will see some shore birds, some birds in the tall trees and some birds in the scrub. At about 10.00 a.m. we will head to Fonda Dona Lola for breakfast and complete the bird list.


How to Get There: Drive about 2 mi (4km) west from Colon, look for signs for Hacienda La Cristina (near signs for Las Palmas, a bus stop and a vivero), turn down to the lake, and park close to the lake.

On Monday August 28, we will meet at the old Train Station at 8.15 am to bird the Lakshore, including the Pumping Station, San Nicolas and the Lower Dam. This will cover a wide range of habitats. At 10.15  we will head to Las Delicias restaurant for breakfast and complete the birdlist. If you need a ride please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com ahead of time.

Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On July 3 we went to the Sierra de Tapalpa with three other birders. Under overcast skies we managed to see 28 species including an uncommon sighting of Mexican Chickadee, also Berylline Hummingbird, Trans-volcanic Jay, Slate-throated Redstart, Striped Sparrow, and Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush.

On July 18
we had eleven birders out to hike the Allen Lloyd Trail, but within 15 minutes of setting out along the arroyo it started to rain and we had to take shelter under a very large tree, until we reluctantly declared an early breakfast, reconvening at Sunrise Restaurant. In the short time available we recorded 18 common species, including Blue Mockingbird, Bushtit, Western Wood Pewee and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet.

Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 93 species sighted around Lake Chapala in July:

Ani, Groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ch)
Bittern, least
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Bobwhite, northern (Pz)
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed (Dp)
Dove, common ground (Ps)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, white-tipped
Duck, fulvous whistling (Xt)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least (Dp)
Grebe, pied-billed (Ps,Ch)
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing (Ps)
Gull, ring-billed (Ps)
Hawk , red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, sparkling-tailed (Sc)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced (Ra,Ps)
Jacana, northern
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingfisher, green (Dp)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Meadowlark, eastern (Dp,Ra)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern (Ra)
Motmot, russet-crowned
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ps)
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk (Av,Ch)
Pelican, American white
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, spotted (Dm)
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead
Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate ((Dp)
Stork, wood (Dp,Ra,Ca)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Dp,Ra)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tern, Caspian
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Vireo, golden
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren Bewick's
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common
Yellowthroat, gray-crowned (Ra)

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, 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