Monday, December 20, 2010

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birding Club December 2, 2010


Species Seen in November

Black-capped Vireo

Christmas Bird Count Information

Upcoming Bird Walk

Report on November Bird Walk

November Sightings List


Lake Chapala Birding Club

Observadores de Aves del Lago de Chapala

Your hosts
John and Rosemary Keeling
John & Rosemary

If you have reports of interesting bird sightings near Lake Chapala, or need information about birding around the lake, email us at:
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.

  • Black-capped Vireo

  • b-c vireo

    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
    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
    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
    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)

    Location codes:

    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