Lake Chapala BirdersObservadores de Aves del Lago de ChapalaYour hostsJohn and Rosemary Keeling
If you have reports of interesting bird sightings near Lake Chapala, or need information about birding around the lake, email us at:ChapalaBirders@yahoo.comor phone 376-766-1801Website:ChapalaBirders.org
Another New Species for the Lake Area
Don Bell was visited by a group of Evening Grosbeaks recently. He has seen these birds up north, and was surprised to see them here too - this is the first time they have been reported here. (See note below). We have observed 134 species in the month of April. John Keeling and Robert Taylor observed several Western Sandpipers in breeding plumage at the dike at the other end of the lake. These are on migration and within a month will be on their breeding grounds on the Bering Strait, western Alaska, 4,000 miles (6,000km) from here. Brown-backed Solitaires were heard singing along the full-length of the hidden valley at mid-month. It may be noted that the number of sparrow species observed in the area is gradually rising as a result of improvements in our expertise in sparrow identification.
Note: The evening grosbeak is a resident (non-migrant) in Mexico occurring at higher elevations along the continental divide to the north of us and along the central volcanic belt to the east of us. It is known as an "irruptive" species, meaning that groups wander, appearing irregularly and unpredictably at locations within the normal range, and then may not be seen again at that location for many years.Flossie needs chairs.Flossie (the hummingbird lady) is currently running about 14 feeders. She is short on chairs for groups of visitors. If you have any surplus outdoor or plastic chairs please drop them off in the morning at the blue-gray door across from Barbara's Bazaar.
Observed recently at La Cristina.
New Website for Lake Chapala Birders
We now have a prototype version of the new website available for viewing at ChapalaBirders.org. The fonts, colors, menus, photos, etc. still need to be fine-tuned, and much of the content still needs to be prepared and uploaded! Let us know what you think of it so far.
Upcoming Bird Walks
Monday May 9, we will go to Lake Atotonilco near Villa Corona. We frequently see roseate spoonbills at this location, and from time to time wood stork, western grebe, Clark's grebe, American bittern and Eastern meadowlark.We will car pool at 8.00 a.m. at Donas Dunuts. The driving time to Villa Corona is one hour. We will not plan on breakfast afterwards. Expect to be back after twelve.On Tuesday May 24, at 8.30 a.m. we will go to the Santa Cruz Pumping Station. This has always been a productive area with a good selection of shore, marsh and field birds such as black-backed oriole, white tailed kite, common yellowthroat, black-necked stilt and marsh wren. At about 10.30 we will go for breakfast at Las Delicias and prepare the bird list.How to get there: From the old train station in Chapala proceed towards the Chapala Country Club passing the air-strip and water ski facility on the right, and the village of Santa Cruz on the left. Take the first gravel road on the right immediately after the sign 'Aqueducto' at the pumping station. After half a mile turn left at the T junction, then right and drive down to the lake edge.
Bird Walk Reports
On April 13, John Roynon led a group of 7 birders in Cristiania Park in Chapala. The day was a touch breezy, but at total 38 species were observed including social flycatcher, Cassin's kingbird, tropical kingbird, Nashville warbler, yellow warbler and common yellowthroat.On April 26, John Keeling led a keen group of 7 birders to the Lake Cajititlan marsh who managed to observe 44 species not including the ostriches. The star was a single brown pelican. The list included black-vented oriole, least grebe, pied-billed grebe, common raven and MacGillivray's warbler.
April Sightings List
These are the 134 species observed in April around Lake Chapala:Groove-billed aniAmerican avocetRed-winged blackbird (Cs)Yellow-headed blackbirdIndigo buntingLazuli buntingVaried buntingBushtitCrested caracaraYellow-breasted chatAmerican cootNeotropic cormorantBronzed cowbirdBrown-headed cowbirdSquirrel cuckooCommon ground doveInca doveWhite-tipped doveWhite-winged doveLong-billed dowitcherBlack-bellied whistling duck (Dm)(Cl)Fulvous-whistling duck (Dm)Mexican duckCattle egretGreat egretSnowy egretElegant euphoniaHouse finchAsh-throated flycatcherBuff-breasted flycatcherCordilleran flycatcherDusky-capped flycatcherGray silky flycatcherLeast flycatcherSocial flycatcherVermillion flycatcherBlue-gray gnatcatcherLesser goldfinchGreat-tailed grackleLeast grebePied-billed grebeBlack-headed grosbeakBlue grosbeakRing-billed gullNorthern harrierRed-tailed hawkBlack-crowned night heronGreat blue heronGreen heronLittle blue heronTri-colored heronBerylline hummingbirdBlack-chinned hummingbirdBroad-billed hummingbirdRufous hummingbirdViolet-crowned hummingbirdWhite-eared hummingbirdWhite-faced ibisNorthern jacanaKilldeerCassin's kingbirdThick-billed kingbirdTropical kingbirdGreat kiskadeeWhite-tailed kiteBlue mockingbirdNorthern mockingbirdCommon moorhenRusset-crowned motmotBuff-collared nightjarBlack-backed orioleBlack-vented orioleOrchard orioleStreak-backed orioleAmerican white pelican (Dp)Brown pelican (Cl)Greater peweeRock pigeonAmerican pipitCommon ravenRufous-backed robinLeast sandpiperSpotted sandpiperWestern sandpiper (Dp)White-collared seedeaterLoggerhead shrikeBrown-backed solitaire (Hv)Sora (Dp)Chipping sparrowHouse sparrowLark sparrowLincoln's sparrowRusty-crowned ground sparrowSavannah sparrowSong sparrow (Dm)Stripe headed sparrowWhite-crowned sparrowRoseate spoonbill (Dp)Black-necked stiltBarn swallowCliff swallow (Dp)Northern rough-winged swallowHepatic tanagerWestern tanagerBlue-winged tealCinnamon tealCaspian ternCurve-billed thrasherHermit thrush (Hv)Orange-billed nightingale thrushCanyon towheeGolden vireoPlumbeous vireoWarbling vireoBlack vultureTurkey vultureBlack and white warblerBlack-throated gray warblerMacGillivray's warblerNashville warblerRufous-capped warblerVirginia's warblerWilson's warblerYellow warblerYellow-rumped warblerWilletGolden-fronted woodpeckerLadder-backed woodpeckerBewick's wrenCanyon wrenMarsh wrenSpotted wrenLesser yellowlegs (Cs)Common yellowthroatLocation codes:Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El BajioAt - Trails above AjijicAv - Ajijic villageCh - ChapalaCl - Lake CajititlanCs - Santa Cruz de la SoledadDm - Dike near MalterañaDp - Dike near La PalmaHv - Hidden Valley oak forestJo - JocotepecLc - La CañadaLd - Lerma & Duero riversPe - Petatan causewayPo - PoncitlanPt - San Pedro TesistanPz - San Pedro ItzicanRc - Santa Rosa: Carnero damRp - Riberas del PilarSc - San Juan CosalaSv - San Antonio/Chula VistaTe - San Juan TecomatlanTr - Trails above Las TrojesTu - TuxcuecaXl - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas