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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Chapala Birders May Newsletter



Chapala Birders Newsletter May 2, 2017
120  Species Sighted Last Month
The complete list of April sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.
John Keeling in currently helping with the translation of the excellent Lake Chapala birding app, which is available free in the Spanish language version from both Android and Apple App Stores ('Aves de Chapala').

Interesting sightings last month:
  • George Webb reported sighting a Green Violetear at his hummingbird feeder on the laksehore west of Ajijic. This species is only rarely seen here. We have previously seen one at Las Trojes.
  • We continue to be impressed by birds which stick to very specific 'niche' locations. For instance the Western Kingbirds seen this winter on the Allen Lloyd trail can be still be seen there, but in reduced numbers; and several Orchard Orioles can now be seen at the pier in Jocotepec exactly where we have sighted one or two of them in prior years.
  • We received a photo of a fledgling green and blue bird which had landed on a terrace, and was not yet keen on practicing the art of flying. It was an Elegant Euphonia.
  • Local birder Carlos Cuevas was part of a small group of University of Guadalajara bird banders who went to La Cañada during the Easter break to band bats at dusk on the Los Sabinos creek which is a State Protected Area. An unexpected catch was the Green Kingfisher shown below.
Green Kingfisher
This male Green Kingfisher was photographed by Carlo Cuevas after being caught in mist nets at dusk on Los Sabinos Creek at the village of La Cañada.
  • The Green Kingfisher is a very small bird which we see from time to time at the east end of Lake Chapala.
  • While the male has a red breast, the female has a white breast with green spots.
  • It is a non-migratory resident with several subspecies which cover the territory from Southern Texas to Southern Brasil.
  • Found at streams and ponds, it eats small fish, crustaceans and water insects.
  • It is easily missed because it perches very low in vegetation over water.
  • It typically nests in a horizontal, meter-long tunnel in a stream bank.
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 Wednesday May 10 we will meet at 8.30am at the Jocotepec Malecon.
We will observe water birds at the pier and explore the park for wrens and woodpeckers. At 10.15 we will go to a local restaurant for breakfast and complete the bird list.
To Get There: Driving from Ajijic, close to Jocotepec you encounter a left curve followed by serious 'topes', then a curve to the right with an OXXO on the left side of the curve. Turn left before or after the OXXO, proceed to the shore, and park.


On Monday May 22 we will meet to carpool at Donas Donuts at 8.00am, leaving immediately for Lake Atotonilco at Villa Corona (a 60 minute drive).
We expect to see Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks there, as well as various other lake and marsh birds. Take your own refreshments (there is no good place to have breakfast). We will be back in Ajijic about 12.30. If you plan to go please email chapalabirders@yahoo.com indicating whether you can bring a vehicle, to help us balance the car pool.

Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On April 7 five people came out for the hike up the Allen Lloyd trail. Particpants were thrilled to see two Squirrel Cuckoos putting on a display. An Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush made itself visible, while a Russet-crowned Motmot was identifiable only by call. We observed 34 species in total.

On April 19 we had 17 birders out at Lake Cajititlan,
where we saw 52 species, including Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Black-necked Stilt, White-tailed Kite, immature Gray Hawk, and Loggerhead Shrike.
March Sightings List
Here are the 120 species sighted around Lake Chapala in April:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American (Sa)
Becard, rose-throated (Ps)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (JoCh)
Bunting, indigo
Bunting, painted (Sc)
Bunting, varied
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed (CaCh)
Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ca)
Duck, fulvous whistling (Ch)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (CaCh)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gallinule common
Godwit, marbled (Ca)
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, gray
Hawk, red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned
Nightjar, buff-collared
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, orchard (Jo)
Oriole, streak-backed
Owl, great-horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pelican, brown (Jo)
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common (Jo)
Redstart, American
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead
Sora (Jo)
Sparrow, Botteri's
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark (JoSa)
Sparrow, Lincoln's (Jo)
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, savannah
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked (Jo)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Jo)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's (Sa)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale (At)
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Violetear, green (Jo)
Vireo, Bell's
Vireo, golden
Vulture, black
Warbler, MacGillivray's
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, Virginia's
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, Yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Willet (Ch)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, house (Jo)
Wren, marsh (Ca)
Yellowthroat, common (JoCa)

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