A total of 173 species were seen around Lake Chapala in January, which is a new record - the full list is at the end of this newsletter. These numbers are attributable to the visits of expert birders, the growing experience of our local birders, and the season.
A new species for the area, the Pine Siskin was observed by a group of birders near Ixtlahuacan with visiting international bird guide Gary Elton. Other uncommon sightings included Black Skimmer seen by Gary Elton at the dike, and both eared grebe and hooded merganser spotted at the dike. A Military Macaw was seen for many days over Ajijic. This was certainly an escapee, as the nearest place where this heavily-hunted bird is still found in the wild is at the coast.
Observed in January near Ixtlahuacan.
Upcoming Bird Walks
On Saturday February 5 Don Bell will lead a bird walk at La Christina and El Bajio at 8.00 a.m. We expect to see a selection of vireos, orioles and wrens. At about 10.00 we will go for breakfast at Dona Lola and complete the sightings list. To get there: Drive west from Ajijic about 2 miles (3km) and turn down towards the lake at the sign to Hacienda La Christina, just beside the turn to Las Palmas. Park in the field to the right about half way to the lake.
On Friday February 18 John Roynan will lead a bird walk at the malecon in Jocotepec at 8.30 a.m. Expect to see a selection of woodpeckers, doves and various shore birds. At about 10.00 we will head back to Dona Lola for breakfast. To get there: Drive to Jocotepec and turn left at the point where the road curves significantly to the right as you enter the town (almost across from the east-end Pemex). Park at the waterfront.
On Thursday February 24 John Keeling will lead a bird walk at Ixtlahuacan (Las Campanillas Dam) and Carnero Dam at 8.15 a.m. We hope to see a variety of ducks and warblers. At about 10.30 we will head for breakfast at 'Los Cinco Potrillos' in Ixtlahuacan. To get there: Drive on the Guadalajara highway past Ixtlahuacan. On your right after the town is a very large walled Fraccionamiento. After about a mile, your challenge is to turn and park under the trees immediately at the end of the wall, exactly across from an elevated Squirt sign. If you pass a patch of water on your right you've gone too far!
January Bird Walk Reports
On January 10, twelve birders drove to Lake Atotonilco at Villa Corona in the company of Gary Elton. Sightings included an American Bittern in full view, Clarks Grebe (adult and juvenile), Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Harrier, Osprey, Roseate Spoonbill, and Wilson's Snipe. A total of 54 species were identified.
On January 18, there was an excellent turnout of 24 birders behind the pumping station at Santa Cruz de la Soledad. They managed to see 74 species including Bufflehead, Gadwall, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and House Wren. A good breakfast was enjoyed after the walk, at Las Delicias.
January Sightings List
These are the 173 species observed in January:
Groove-billed ani Rose-throated becard (Ac) Brewer's blackbird Red-winged blackbird Yellow-headed blackbird Bufflehead (Cs) Indigo bunting Lazuli bunting Painted bunting Varied bunting Bushtit Crested caracara Yellow-breasted chat American coot Neotropic cormorant Bronzed cowbird Brown-headed cowbird Long-billed curlew (Dp) Common ground dove Eurasian collared dove (Jo) Inca dove White-winged dove Long-billed dowitcher Fulvous whistling duck (Dp) Mexican duck Ruddy duck Cattle egret Great egret Snowy egret Elegant euphonia Peregrine falcon House finch Ash-throated flycatcher Cordilleran flycatcher Dusky-capped flycatcher Gray-silky flycatcher Least flycatcher Nutting's flycatcher Social flycatcher Vermillion flycatcher Willow flycatcher (Dp) Gadwall (Ix)(Cs) Blue-gray gnatcatcher Marbled godwit (Dp) Lesser goldfinch Great-tailed grackle Clark's grebe Eared grebe (Dp) Least grebe Pied-billed grebe Black-headed grosbeak Blue grosbeak Bonaparte's gull Franklin's gull (Dp) Laughing gull Ring-billed gull Northern harrier Cooper's hawk Gray hawk Red-tailed hawk Sharp-shinned hawk Zone-tailed hawk (Ix) Black-crowned night heron Great blue heron Green heron Little-blue heron Tri-colored heron Berylline hummingbird Broad-billed hummingbird 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 Great kiskadee White-tailed kite Hooded merganser (Dp) Blue mockingbird Northern mockingbird Common moorhen Russet-crowned motmot Lesser nighthawk (Jo) Buff-collared nightjar (Av) Black-backed oriole Black-vented oriole Bullock's oriole Hooded oriole Streak-backed oriole Osprey American white pelican Greater pewee Rock pigeon Northern pintail American pipit Semipalmated plover (Dp) Common raven American redstart Lesser roadrunner Rufous-backed robin Least sandpiper Spotted sandpiper Stilt sandpiper (Dp) Western sandpiper White-collared seedeater Northern shoveler Loggerhead shrike Pine siskin (Ix) Black skimmer (Dp) Wilson's snipe Sora Chipping sparrow (Cs) Clay-colored sparrow (Dp) House sparrow Lark sparrow Lincoln's sparrow Rusty-crowned ground sparrow Savannah sparrow (Cs) Stripe-headed sparrow White-crowned sparrow (Ix)(Tu) Roseate spoonbill (Dp) Black-necked stilt Barn-swallow Northern rough-winged sparrow Tree swallow Violet-green swallow Hepatic tanager (At) Summer tanager (Ac) Western tanager Blue-winged teal Cinnamon teal Green-winged teal Caspian tern Curve-billed thrasher Orange-billed nightingale thrush Canyon towhee Bell's vireo Dwarf vireo (Ac) Golden vireo (Ac) 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-rumped warbler American widgeon (Cs)(Dp) Willet Golden-fronted woodpecker Ladder-backed woodpecker Bewick's wren Canyon wren Happy wren (Ac) House wren Marsh wren Spotted wren Greater yellowlegs Lesser yellowlegs Common yellowthroat Gray-crowned yellowthroat
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio At - Trails above Ajijic Av - Ajijic village Ch - Chapala Cl - Lake Cajititlan Cs - Santa Cruz de la Soledad Dm - Dike near Malteraña Dp - Dike near La Palma Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest Ix - Ixtlahuacan 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