Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders March 2, 2011


159 Species Sighted in February

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Flossie's Back!

Upcoming Bird Walks

February Bird Walk and Trip Reports

February Sightings List


Lake Chapala Birders

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 376-766-1801


  • 159 Species Sighted in February

  • In February local birders saw 159 species around Lake Chapala, including a good haul of warblers - see the full list at the end of this newsletter. Uncommon birds for this area included Yellow-bellied Sapsucker seen on the bird walks in Jocotepec and Ixtlahuacan; John Keeling saw a Golden-crowned Warbler, and John Roynon observed a Black-capped Vireo above Ajijic. Many people have seen the Russet-crowned Motmot on the trails above Ajijc and a few have seen the Squirrel Cuckoo in the same area.

    Rosemary notes that although we saw 14 less species than in the previous month, our February list includes 18 species not seen in January.

  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

  • y-b sapsucker

    Observed in February at the Jocotepec malecon.

  • Flossie's Back!

  • Flossie the hummingbird lady left us at the end of last year to go north for some operations, not sure when or if she would be back! The doctors told her she did not need any operations, so she's back with us feeding her hummingbirds as usual.

    You can visit her and her hummingbirds any morning - just pull hard on the bell on the blue door just across from Barbara's Bazaar on Independencia, and be sure to bring some plain sugar.

  • Upcoming Bird Walks

  • On Tuesday March 8, at 8.30 a.m. John Keeling will lead a bird walk at a new location - the Cajititlan Marsh. We are likely to see a variety of waders, differrent sparrow species, common yellow throat, marsh wren and if we are lucky a king rail. At 10.15 we will head for breakfast at Los Cinco Potrillos in Ixtlahuacan.
    To Get There: Drive toward the airport and one mile after passing the La Barca turn-off, take the Retorno and go back one mile, turning right just before the Burrito restaurant. Drive 2 mi (7km) and turn right on a gravel road by a sign announcing the border between the towns of Tlajomulco and Ixtlahuacan. Go a quarter mile and park when you can see water.

    On Thursday March 17 at 8.30 a.m., John will lead a bird walk at the always popular pumping station at Santa Cruz. Expect to see a variety of shore birds, sparrows and warblers. At 10.15 we will head back to Las Delicias restaurant to have breakfast and to complete the bird list.
    To Get There: Drive from Chapala toward the Chapala Country Club, passing the village of Santa Cruz on the left. Immediately after the pumping station (look for the three tall pump towers on your right) you must take the very first gravel road to the right. When you hit a T-junction turn left, go another quarter mile and park.

  • February Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • On February 5 Don Bell led a group of 18 birders at La Cristina. Though its was a bit windy we saw three species of oriole - Bullock's, hooded and the black-backed which is the local endemic; also orange crowned warbler and greater pewee.

    On February 18 John Roynon led 12 observers at the malecon in Jocotepec where 55 species were seen including yellow-bellied sapsucker which is rare here; also eurasian collared dove and orchard oriole.

    On February 25 John Keeling led 10 birders at Las Campanillas dam in Ixtlahuacan where less usual sightings included sora, mourning dove, northern harrier, Wilson's snipe, and clay-colored sparrow.

    Ten keen birders made the trip to El Tuito in the wilds of western Jalisco, February 8-11. Highlights were a group of 30 very noisy west Mexican chachalacas, pauraques, elegant and citreoline trogons and both black-throated and white-throated magpie jays.

  • February Sightings List

  • These are the 159 species observed in February:

    Groove-billed ani
    American Avocet
    Red-winged blackbird
    Yellow-headed blackbird
    Indigo bunting
    Painted bunting
    Varied bunting
    Canvasback (Cs)
    Crested caracara
    Yellow-breasted chat
    American coot
    Neotropic cormorant
    Bronzed cowbird
    Brown-headed cowbird
    Squirrel cuckoo (At)
    Common ground dove
    Eurasian collared dove (Ch)
    Inca dove
    Mourning dove (Xl)
    White-winged dove
    Long-billed Dowitcher
    Black-bellied whistling duck (Dp)
    Fulvous whistling duck (Dp)
    Mexican duck
    Ruddy duck
    Cattle egret
    Great egret
    Snowy egret
    Elegant euphonia
    House finch
    Ash-throated flycatcher
    Brown-crested flycatcher
    Dusky-capped flycatcher
    Gray silky flycatcher
    Least flycatcher
    Social flycatcher
    Vermillion flycatcher
    Gadwall (Dp)
    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 (Dp)(Xl)
    Red-tailed hawk
    Black-crowned night heron
    Great blue heron
    Green heron
    Little blue heron
    Tri-colored heron
    Berylline hummingbird
    Black-chinned hummingbird (Av)
    Broad-billed hummingbird
    Lucifer hummingbird (Ac)
    Magnificent 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
    Great kiskadee
    White-tailed kite
    Blue mockingbird
    Northern mockingbird
    Common moorhen
    Russet-crowned motmot (At)
    Buff-collared nightjar
    Black-backed oriole
    Black-vented oriole
    Bullock's oriole
    Hooded oriole
    Orchard oriole
    Streak-backed oriole
    Tropical parula (Ac)
    American white pelican
    Brown pelican (Rp)
    Greater pewee
    Black phoebe
    Rock pigeon
    Northern pintail
    American pipit
    Common raven
    American redstart
    Painted redstart (Tr)
    Rufous-backed robin
    Least sandpiper
    Spotted sandpiper
    Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Jo)(Xl)
    White-collared seedeater
    Northern shoveler
    Loggerhead shrike
    Wilson's snipe
    Chipping Sparrow
    Clay-colored sparrow (Xl)
    House sparrow
    Lark sparrow
    Lincoln's sparrow (Cs)((Xl)
    Rusty-crowned ground sparrow
    Song sparrow
    Stripe-headed sparrow
    Roseate spoonbill (Dp)
    Black-necked stilt
    Barn swallow
    Northern rough-winged swallow
    Tree swallow
    Violet-green swallow
    Hepatic tanager
    Summer tanager
    Western tanager
    Blue-winged teal
    Cinnamon teal
    Green-winged teal
    Caspian tern
    Curve-billed thrasher
    Canyon towhee
    Northern beardless tyrranulet (At)
    Black-capped vireo (At)
    Golden vireo
    Plumbeous vireo
    Warbling vireo
    Black vulture
    Turkey vulture
    Black and white warbler
    Black-throated gray warbler
    Golden-crowned warbler (Av)
    Lucy's warbler
    MacGillivray's warbler
    Nashville warbler
    Orange-crowned warbler
    Rufous-capped warbler
    Tenessee warbler (Ac)
    Townsend's warbler
    Virginia's warbler
    Wilson's warbler
    Yellow warbler
    Yellow-rumped warbler
    Willet (Dp)
    Golden-fronted woodpecker
    Ladder-backed woodpecker
    Bewick's wren
    Canyon wren
    Happy wren
    House wren
    Spotted wren
    Lesser yellow-legs
    Common 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
    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
    Xl - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas