Thursday, January 6, 2011

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birding Club January 4, 2011


Record 167 Species Seen in December

Ring-necked Duck

Upcoming Bird Walks

4-day Trip to El Tuito

Christmas Bird Count Results

December 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.


  • Record 167 Species Seen in December

  • A total of 167 species were seen around the lake in December - the full list is at the end of this newsletter. Unusual sightings included Ring-necked Duck seen by Darnelle Dunn near Ixtlahuacan, Painted Redstart continuing to be seen in La Floresta and Great-horned Owl in Ajijic.

  • Ring-necked Duck

  • r-n duck

    Observed in December near Ixtlahuacan.

  • Upcoming Bird Walks

  • On Monday January 10 we will go to Lake Atotonilco at Villa Corona where we expect to see Roseate Spoonbills and possibly an American Bittern. Because of road construction we must allow 90 minutes to drive there, so we will car-pool at Donas Donuts at 7.45. There are no plans for breakfast after.
    Driving instructions will be handed out to the drivers.

    On Tuesday January 18 there will be a bird walk at the Santa Cruz Pumping Station where we expect to see a variety of ducks and wading species. We will meet there at 8.00 a.m.
    How to Get There: Drive east from Chapala, passing the air-field and the water-skiing park on the right. After you pass Santa Cruz village on the left you will see the big pumping station on the right. After it, take the first gravel road on the right; at the T-junction turn left and park in 200 m/yds.

  • 4-day Trip to El Tuito

  • The Club will once again run a four-day (three nights) birding trip to El Tuito, February 8-10. It will include two and a half days of birding at different altitudes in a remote untouched part of Jalisco south of Puerto Vallarta. We will have an experienced professional local bird guide and stay at a delightful country property with good birding on the grounds. Maximum capacity is 10 people. The cost is only 3,900 pesos per person. Please email us to obtain the full details.

  • Christmas Bird Count Results

  • On December 15 we deployed thirty birders to survey 6 areas within the designated circle around Ajijic - five along the lakeshore between San Juan Cosala and the Chapala Country Club, and one at Lake Cajititlan. The results showed 114 different bird species were identified, including Bufflehead , Western Grebe, and Buff-collared Nightjar. A grand total of 50,000 birds were counted. Two thirds of these were Tree Swallows which were seen flying eastward along the lakeshore in a continuous stream for a full hour and a half.

    At the dinner held the same evening Stan Dunn's team was recognized as having identified the most species - a total of 74 different species. Paul Hart's team was recognized as having seen the greatest number of birds - a total of 34,400.

    Two days later on December 17 we deployed seven birders in two teams to count the birds along the dike which runs across the east end of the lake between the towns of Jamay and La Palma. They counted a total of 7,000 birds of 89 different species, including Roseate Spoonbill, King Rail and Black Phoebe.

    Report on December Bird Walk

    On December 6 twenty two keen birders assembled at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic. The list compiled showed 51 species observed including the unusual sighting of Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, as well as Crested Caracara and Black-headed Grosbeak.

  • December Sightings List

  • Here are the 167 species sighted in December:

    Groove-billed ani
    American avocet
    Least bittern
    Brewer's blackbird
    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
    Squirrel cuckoo
    Common ground dove
    Inca dove
    Mourning dove
    White-tipped dove
    White-winged dove
    Long-billed dowitcher
    Mexican duck
    Ring-necked duck
    Ruddy duck
    Cattle egret
    Great egret
    Snowy egret
    House finch
    Ash-throated flycatcher
    Cordilleran flycatcher
    Dusky capped flycatcher
    Gray-silky flycatcher
    Hammond's flycatcher
    Least flycatcher
    Social flycatcher
    Vermillion flycatcher
    Willow flycatcher
    Purple gallinule
    Black-tailed gnatcatcher
    Blue-gray gnatcatcher
    Lesser goldfinch
    Great-tailed grackle
    Least grebe
    Pied-billed grebe
    Black-headed grosbeak
    Blue grosbeak
    Laughing gull
    Ring-billed gull
    Northern harrier
    Cooper's hawk
    Gray hawk
    Red-tailed hawk
    Black-crowned night heron
    Great blue heron
    Green heron
    Little blue heron
    Tricolored heron
    Berylline hummingbird
    Blue-throated hummingbird
    Broad-billed hummingbird
    Ruby-throated hummingbird
    Rufous hummingbird
    Violet-crowned hummingbird
    White-face ibis
    Northern jacana
    American kestrel
    Cassin's kingbird
    Thick-billed kingbird
    Tropical kingbird
    Western kingbird
    Belted kingfisher
    Ruby-crowned kinglet
    Great kiskadee
    White-tailed kite
    Eastern meadowlark
    Blue mockingbird
    Northern mockingbird
    Common moorhen
    Russet-crowned motmot
    Lesser nighthawk
    Buff-collared nightjar
    Black-backed oriole
    Black-vented oriole
    Bullock's oriole
    Hooded oriole
    Orchard oriole
    Streak-backed oriole
    Great-horned owl
    American white pelican
    Black phoebe
    Say's phoebe
    Rock pigeon
    Northern pintail
    American pipit
    King rail
    Common raven
    Painted redstart
    Rufous-backed robin
    Least sandpiper
    Spotted sandpiper
    Lesser scaup
    White-collared seedeater
    Northern shoveler
    Loggerhead shrike
    Wilson's snipe
    Chipping sparrow
    Clay-colored sparrow
    House sparrow
    Lark sparrow
    Lincoln's sparrow
    Rusty-crowned ground sparrow
    Savannah sparrow
    Stripe-headed sparrow
    Vesper sparrow
    Black-necked stilt
    Barn swallow
    Northern rough-winged swallow
    Tree swallow
    Violet-green swallow
    Summer tanager
    Western tanager
    Blue-winged teal
    Cinnamon teal
    Green-winged teal
    Caspian tern
    Forster's tern
    Curve-billed thrasher
    Orange-billed nightingale thrush
    Canyon towhee
    Bell's vireo
    Cassin's vireo
    Golden vireo
    Plumbeous vireo
    Warbling vireo
    Black vulture
    Turkey vulture
    Black and white 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 warbler
    Northern waterthrush
    American wigeon
    Golden-fronted woodpecker
    Ladder-backed woodpecker
    Bewick's wren
    Canyon wren
    Happy wren
    House wren
    Marsh wren
    Spotted wren
    Greater yellowlegs
    Common yellowthroat
    Gray-crowned yellowthroat