Friday, February 4, 2011

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birding Club February 2, 2011


173 Species Seen in January

Pine Siskin

Upcoming Bird Walks

January Bird Walk Reports

January 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.


  • 173 Species Seen in January
  • 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.

  • Pine Siskin
  • pine siskin

    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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)
    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

    Location codes:

    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