If you have reports of interesting bird sightings near Lake Chapala, or need information about birding around the lake, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 766-1801 in Ajijic.
Species Seen in November
We observed 150 species around the lake in November - the full list is at the end of this newsletter. Once again we have a new species for the Lake Chapala list - a Black-capped Vireo spotted by Don Bell at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic. Other unusual sightings included an Eared Grebe seen by John and Rosemary Keeling from the dike at the other end of the lake, a Hermit Warbler seen above Las Trojes by Paul Hart and John Keeling, and a Rose-throated Becard seen on the bird walk at Cristiania Park in Chapala. Townsend's Warblers have been reported by various people, and the Yellow-winged Cacique first seen in Riberas in the spring can still be seen there. It is a presumed cage-escapee, as it is not native to this area.
Observed in November at El Bajio.
Christmas Bird Count Information
The Ajijic count (officially the Lake Chapala Count) will be held Wednesday December 15. This is the biggest event in our calendar. It offers a great way for birders of all levels to enjoy a day in the field, sharpen their birding skills and discover good local spots to find birds. Sign up will on Monday December 13, 10.00 a.m. to noon in the foyer of the Auditorio in La Floresta (or on the December 6 birdwalk, or by special arrangement with John Keeling.) When we know how many keen volunteers we have, we will divide people into teams. Each team will be assigned a route. The shore from San Juan Cosala to the Chapala Country Club will be divided into several specific routes, as will be the dams between Santa Cruz and Lake Cajititlan. We are hoping small groups of hikers will go up into the oak forests above Las Trojes and into the Hidden Valley. Observers should expect to count birds from 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and attend the celebration dinner at 6.30 p.m. the same evening.
The count at the other end of the lake (Cienega de Chapala) will be Friday December 17. This count is likely to produce interesting species such as roseate spoonbill, green kingfisher, eared grebe, osprey, peregrine falcon, and northern harrier. Contact John Keeling if you are interested in taking part in this count.
Upcoming Bird Walk
Monday, December 6, join leader Don Bell at El Bajio at 8.00 a.m. This area is good for vireos, warblers and other small birds. At about 10.00 a.m. we will go to Fond Doña Lola restaurant for breakfast and prepare the sightings list. You can take this opportunity to sign up for the Christmas Bird Count. To Get There: From Ajijic, drive west towards Jocotepec. At about 3 miles from the Colon traffic light you will see a sign on the left to El Bajio. Exit and park fairly close to the carretera.
Report on November Bird Walk
On November 16, a group of 22 birders managed to spot 47 bird species inside Christiania Park in Chapala, and at a shallow-water viewing spot just east of the old train station. Species included Eurasian collared dove (previously seen only in Jocotepec), American white pelican, Wilson's snipe, and the biggest surprise, a clear sighting of a rose-breasted becard.
November Sightings List
Here are the 150 species sighted in November:
Groove-billed ani Rose-throated becard (Ch) Red-winged blackbird Yellow-headed blackbird Indigo bunting Lazuli bunting Painted bunting Varied bunting Bushtit Crested caracara Yellow-breasted chat American coot Neotropic cormorant Bronzed cowbird Brown-headed cowbird Eurasian collared dove Inca dove Mourning dove White-tipped dove White-winged dove Long-billed dowitcher Mexican duck Ruddy duck Cattle egret Great egret Snowy egret Elegant euphonia House finch Ash-throated flycatcher (At) Cordilleran flycatcher Dusky-capped flycatcher (At) Gray-silky flycatcher (Tr) Hammond's flycatcher (Tr) Least flycatcher Social flycatcher Vermillion flycatcher Blue-gray gnatcatcher Lesser goldfinch Great-tailed grackle Eared grebe (Dm) Least grebe Pied-billed grebe Black-headed grosbeak Blue grosbeak Laughing gull Ring-billed gull Northern harrier (Dp) Cooper's hawk Red-tailed hawk Black-crowned night heron Great-blue heron Green heron Little blue heron Tricolored heron Berylline hummingbird Broad-billed hummingbird Ruby-throated hummingbird (At) Rufous hummingbird Violet-crowned hummingbird White-faced ibis Northern jacana American kestrel Killdeer Cassin's kingbird Thick-billed kingbird Tropical kingbird Western kingbird Belted kingfisher Ruby-crowned kinglet (Tr) Great kiskadee White-tailed kite Eastern Meadowlark Blue mockingbird Northern mockingbird Russet-crowned motmot Black-backed oriole Black-vented oriole Bullock's oriole Hooded oriole Streak-backed oriole Osprey American white pelican Brown pelican (Dp) Greater pewee (Tr) Western wood pewee Black phoebe (Dp) Rock pigeon Northern pintail Common raven American redstart Painted redstart (Tr,Aj,At) American robin (Tr) Rufous-backed robin Least sandpiper Spotted sandpiper Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Jo) Lesser scaup White-collared seedeater Northern shoveller Loggerhead shrike Wilson's snipe Chipping sparrow House sparrow Lark sparrow Lincoln's sparrow Rusty-crowned ground sparrow Stripe-headed sparrow White-crowned sparrow (Ac) Roseate spoonbill (Dp) Black-necked stilt Barn swallow Northern rough-winged swallow Tree swallow Western tanager Blue-winged teal Cinnamon teal Green-winged teal Caspian tern Curve-billed thrasher Orange-billed nightingale thrush Canyon towhee Black-capped vireo (Ac) Plumbeous vireo Warbling vireo Black vulture Turkey vulture Black and white warbler Black-throated gray warbler Hermit warbler (Tr) Lucy's warbler (Ac) Nashville warbler Orange-crowned warbler (At) Rufous-capped warbler (At) Tennessee warbler (Ac) Townsend's warbler (At,Tr) Virginia's warbler (At) Wilson's warbler Yellow warbler Yellow-rumped warbler American wigeon Golden-fronted woodpecker Ladder-backed woodpecker Bewick's wren Canyon wren Happy wren Northern wren Marsh wren (Ca) Spotted wren Greater yellowlegs Common yellowthroat (Dm)
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio At - Trails above Ajijic Av - Ajijic village Ch - Chapala Ca - Lake Cajititlan Cs - Santa Cruz de la Soledad Dm - Dike near Malteraña Dp - Dike near La Palma Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest Jo - Jocotepec Lc - La Cañada Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers Pe - Petatan causeway Po - Poncitlan Pt - San Pedro Tesistan Pz - San Pedro Itzican Rc - Santa Rosa: Carnero dam Rp - Riberas del Pilar Sc - San Juan Cosala Sv - San Antonio/Chula Vista Te - San Juan Tecomatlan Tr - Trails above Las Trojes Tu - Tuxcueca