Monday, February 4, 2019

Newsletter



Chapala Birders Newsletter February 2, 2019
   155 Species sighted last month around the Lake
The Complete list of species seen around Lake Chapala last month is shown at the end of this newsletter.

This weekend the Jocotepec Ecology Department is organizing a series of events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the designation of Lake Chapala as an international RAMSAR site. This designation is for lakes and wetlands needing protection because of environmental threats. Our birdwalk on Wednesday February 6 is officially part of the Festival.

Another New Species for Lake Chapala
Jules Evens has been regularly birding the Allen Lloyd Trail where he has sighted a Dusky Flycatcher. This species has not been reported for Lake Chapala before, though it has been seen in other parts of Jalisco. See the article below.

Other Interesting Sightings: 
-  John was woken by a Great Horned Owl calling close by. It was joined by another one dueting slightly further away. January is the month in which breeding commences for this species.
- Jules Evens encountered a pair of Nutting's Flycatchers on the Allen Lloyd Trail and a Northern Waterthrush at the San Antonio malecon.
Dusky Flycatcher
 Dusky Flycatcher (photo by Jalisco bird photographer Julio Alvarez).

The Dusky Flycatcher is one of the  "Empidonax" series of small flycatchers known for the difficulty in distinguishing each species in the field.
- Olive-gray in color, they have a medium thickness white eyering. The bill is smaller than Gray Flycatcher but larger than Hammond's Flycatcher. 
- They spend the winter in central and western Mexico.
- In April they fly north to western US and Canada, where they may be locally wiped out by late cold or wet weather. Nesting is at medium height in a bush; the female sits the eggs for 16 days; the chicks fledge at 16 days. Both parents feed the chicks before and after fledging.
- They feed entirely on insects such as moths, butterflies, bees, grasshoppers and caterpilars. They are under threat from declining insect populations caused by extensive  agricultural use of insecticides. 
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. We will try to limit day trips to four vehicles, as larger convoys are less manageable. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 150-200 for a day trip).
 
On Wednesday February 6, we will meet at 8.00 am at the Jocotepec malecon. This will be part of the Festival del Lago in Jocotepec. Expect to see lake birds and other species in the trees of the park. At 10.00 am we will have breakfast at Frida's nearby for breakfast.
How to Get There: From Ajijic go through San Juan Cosala and after El Chante you wiil encounter a long curve to the left, followed by major topes, followed by a long curve to the right with an OXXO store. Make a left exit at the beginningor end of this last curve. Proceed towards the lake and park in the malecon parking lot.


On Friday February 15, we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am to carpool, leaving immediately for Las Trojes (one hour away), to hike the Horizontal Oak Forest Trail. We hike to the edge of the hidden valley (3-hours hiking uphill, 2-hours back). Don't expect very many birds, but the hike is very pleasant and we may see the Red-faced Warbler. We will be back about 4.00 pm. Bring refreshments and sandwiches for lunch at noon at the top. If you plan on going, please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com 48 hours ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.


On Monday February 25, we will meet at the Old Train Station in Chapala at 8.30 am leaving immediately to bird the lakeshore road to the country club and the pumping station. Expect to see a good variety of shore birds in a variety of habitats. At 10.00 we will head to Las Delicias for breakfast and complete the bird list. If you need a ride to Chapala please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com ahead of time. The train station is on the Lakeshore road to Mezcala, located just east of Cristiania Park.

Bird Walk and Trip Reports
On January 7, we had 15 keen birders visiting Lake Cajititlan. We observed 52 species including Loggerhead Shrike, Marsh Wren, House Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, Cooper's Hawk as well as significant numbers of Ring-billed Gulls and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

On January 18, there were 17 people out to bird Cristiania Park in Chapala. The list total was disappointing at 36 species, but we saw Caspian Tern, Ring-billed Gull, Laughing Gull, Spotted Sandpiper, Tri-colored Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Bullock's Oriole and Black-backed Oriole.

On January 28, we went to the Rosa Amarilla Loop. We had more people than space in the cars offered - this is our tourist season - so only 13 people got to go. We saw Elegant Euphonia, Ring-necked Duck, Crested Caracara, Osprey, Roseate Spoonbill, Sora, Spotted Wren, also Gray Hawk and White-tailed Hawk.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 155 species sighted around Lake Chapala in January:

Ani, Groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ra)
Bittern, least (Sa)
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (Ca)
Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
Bunting, lazuli (Sa)
Bunting, painted (Ac)
Bunting, varied
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Chat, yellow-breasted (Ca)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed
Duck, fulvous-whistling (Ps)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ring-necked
Duck, ruddy
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Euphonia, elegant (Ra)
Falcon, peregrine
Finch, house
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky (Sa)
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky (Av)
Flycatcher, least
Flycatcher, Nutting's (Sa)
Flycatcher, Social
Flycatcher, Vermilion
Gadwall
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least (Ra)
Grebe, pied-billed (Sa)
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing (Ch)
Gull, ring-billed
Harrier, northern
Hawk, Cooper's (Sa)
Hawk, gray (Ra)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned
Hawk, white-tailed (Ra)
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great-blue
Heron, green
Heron, little blue (Ps)
Heron, tricolored (Ch)
Hummingbird, beryline
Hummingbird, black-chinned (Ac)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, calliope
Hummingbird, ruby-throated (Ac)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kingfisher, belted (Ch)
Kinglet, ruby-crowned
Kiskadee, great
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Nightjar, buff-collared
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Ac)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ra)
Owl, ferruginous pygmy
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, greater
Phoebe, Say's (Ra)
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern
Rail, Aztec (Sa)
Raven, common
Redstart, American (Ac)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shoveler, northern
Shrike, loggerhead
Snipe, Wilson's (Sa)
Solitaire, brown-backed
Sora
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, Savannah
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate (Ra)
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree
Swallow, violet-green
Tanager, summer (Ac,Sa)
Tanager, western (Ac,Sa)
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Teal, green-winged
Tern, Caspian
Turn, Forster's (Ch)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (Av)
Vireo, warbling (Sa)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, Lucy's
Warbler, MacGillivray's
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, rufous-capped
Warbler, Townsend's
Warbler, Virginia's
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Waterthrush, northern (Sa)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy (Sa)
Wren, house (Ca)
Wren, marsh (Ca)
Wren, spotted
Yellowlegs, lesser (Ra)
Yellowthroat, common (Sa)

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
La - La Cañada-Hidden Valley
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/Allen Lloyd Trail
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/San Luis Soyatlan
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.
A laminated folder "Quick Guide to the Birds of Lake Chapala" illustrating 150 local species can be purchased for $150 pesos at Diane Pearl Collecciones, Colon #1, in the center of Ajijic.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Newsletter



Chapala Birders Newsletter January 2, 2019
   164 Species sighted last month around the Lake
The Complete list of species seen around Lake Chapala last month is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting Sightings:

-  Once again John Roynon has seen a Caliope Hummingbird in Upper Ajijic. -  Carlo Cuevas reports seeing Red-Lored Parrot in Jocotepec. Over the years these have been reported in Ajijic and Chapala.
-  Purple Gallinules have been sighted again at the Dike during the Cristmas Bird Count at the far end of the lake.
-  An unusual Eastern Phoebe was also sighted on the Dike.
Social Flycatcher
 A Social Flycatcher as seen at Lake Chapala.

The Social Flycatcher is one of our more common birds at Lakeside, perching in prominent positions in trees calling out noisily "kachee, kachee, kachee".   
 -  The challenge is to distinguish it from the similar-looking Great Kiskadee. The differences are subtle. The Kiskadee is slightly larger, has a bigger bill and has more rufous coloring in the wings and tail. The wings and tail of the Social Flycatcher are olive green. 
 -  It is called "social" because it is often seen in small groups.
 -  It feeds principally on insects and berries, but is an opportunistic eater consuming tiny water animals in shallow water when available.
-   The nest, built by the female, looks like an untidy ball of plant stems, but is does have a hidden side entrance. 
Christmas Bird Count Report
We had a good turnout for the Ajijic Area Christmas Bird Count, fielding five teams of five people covering the lakeshore from San Juan Cosala to the Chapala Golf and Country Club, and out to Lake Cajititlan.

The total count was 5,900 birds of 115 species. High numbers were recorded for American White Pelican, Golden-fronted Woodpecker and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

On our "other" count at the Dike across the east end of Lake Chapala, we recorded 21,400 birds of 86 species. High numbers were reported for Blue-Winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Jacana, Belted Kingfisher and Fulvous Whistling Duck.

There were no surprises in the data, some species were up, and some were down. We are unable to see any trends in local bird populations from studying the Christmas Bird Count data over the past thirteen years.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. We will try to limit day trips to four vehicles, as larger convoys are less manageable. 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 January 7, we will meet at 8.00 am to carpool at Donas Donuts leaving immediately for the Cajititlan Marsh (30 minutes drive)). We expect to see a variety of marsh and lake birds such as Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, and perhaps a Wood Stork. At about 10.15 we will go Las Delicias restaurant in Chapala for breakfast and complete the bird list. If you plan on going, email John: Chapalabirders@yahoo.com at least 48 hours ahead of time indicating whether or not you will have a car. (We don't always have enough cars).

On Friday January 18, we will meet at 8.15 am at the entrance to Cristiania Park in Chapala. We should see an interesting selection of species in the tall trees and on the shore of the lake. At about 10.30 we will go to 'La Palapa de Don Juan' for breakfast and complete the bird list.
How to Get There: From Ajijic go to 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.  

On Monday January 28, we will meet at 8.00 am at Donas Donuts to car pool, leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the plateau above the south side of the lake (60 minute drive). Expect to see Wood Storks, Osprey and possibly a White-tailed Hawk. Bring refreshments for the morning and sandwiches for the 12.30 lunch stop. We will be back about 2.30 pm, depending on traffic. If you plan on going, please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com at least 48 hours ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
On December 7 we had fourteen birders at the Allen Lloyd Arroyo Trail. We saw 44 species including American Kestrel, Squirrel Cuckoo, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Blue Mockingbird, MacGillivray's Warbler and Western Kingbird.

On Deceber 28 we had three carloads of people on the trip to Villa Corona. We saw large numbers of Snow Goose, American White Pelican and American Avocet. Also Northern Harrier, American Wigeon and Common Yellowthroat. Unusual species were Vesper Sparrow and Collared Plover. The total species count was 65.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 164 species sighted around Lake Chapala in December:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American
Bittern, least (Jo,Sa)
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Bunting, indigo
Bunting, lazuli (Sa,Ca)
Bunting, painted (Ac)
Bunting, varied (Dm)
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Chat, yellow-breasted (Ps,Sa)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel (Sa)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (Jo)
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed
Duck, fulvous whistling (Dm)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (At)
Euphonia, elegant (Jo)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, ash-throated (Sa)
Flycatcher, cordilleran (Sa)
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gadwall (Ps)
Gallinule, common
Gallinule, purple (Dm)
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least (Cu)
Grebe, pied-billed (Sa,Ca)
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing (Dp,Sc)
Gull, ring-billed
Harrier, northern (Dm)
Hawk, Cooper's (Dm)
Hawk, gray (Dm)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned (Ca)
Hawk-zone-tailed (Jo)
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, little blue (Sa,Dm)
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, black-chinned (Jo)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, calliope (Av)
Hummingbird, ruby-throated (Jo)
Hummingbird, rufous (Sa)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kingfisher, belted (Ps,Dm)
Kinglet, ruby-crowned (Ca)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Xt,Dm)
Merlin (Ps)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Nighthawk, lesser (Ps)
Nightjar, buff-collared
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Jo)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ca,Dm)
Owl, ferruginous pygmy (Jo)
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk
Parrot, red-lored (Jo)
Pelican, American white
Peewee, greater
Phoebe, black
Phoebe, eastern (Dp)
Phoebe, Say's (Dm)
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern
Raven, common
Redstart, American (Av,Dm)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Sapsucker, yellow-bellied (Ca)
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shoveler, northern
Snipe, Wilson's (Ps)
Solitaire, brown-backed (At)
Sparrow, chipping (At)
Sora
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, Lincoln's (Ps)
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground (Ps)
Sparrow, song (Dm)
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate (Ca)
Stilt, black-necked
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree
Swallow, violet-green
Tanager, summer (Ps,Jo)
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Teal, green-winged
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale (Sa)
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (Av)
Vireo, Bell's (Jo)
Vireo, plumbeous (Av)
Vireo, warbling (Sa)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, Lucy's (Av)
Warbler, MacGillivray's (Sa)
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, rufous-capped
Warbler, Virginia's (At)
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Wigeon, American (Ps)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy (Sa)
Wren, house (Ca)
Wren, marsh (Dm)
Wren, Sinaloa (Jo)
Wren, spotted
Yellowlegs, lesser (Dm)
Yellowthroat, common

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
La - La Cañada-Hidden Valley
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/Allen Lloyd Trail
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/San Luis Soyatlan
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.
A laminated folder "Quick Guide to the Birds of Lake Chapala" illustrating 150 local species can be purchased for $150 pesos at Diane Pearl Collecciones, Colon #1, in the center of Ajijic.