If you have reports of interesting bird sightings near Lake Chapala, or need information about birding around the lake, email us at: ChapalaBirders@yahoo.com or phone 376-766-1801
114 Species Sighted in May
At the beginning of the month we saw the stragglers before they flew north (Townsend's warbler, Virginia's warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, Savannah sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, blue-winged teal, and cinnamon teal). At the end of the month we saw some newly arrived summer visitors (blue-black grassquit, and wood stork). The full list for the month is shown below.
Another New Species for Lake Chapala
John Keeling sighted a Spotted Towhee (previously known as Rufous-sided Towhee) at the Tepalo waterfall. This is a first sighting for the Lake Chapala area.
Observed in May at the Tepalo waterfall.
Bird Walk at Flossies on Thursday
Our first "bird walk" this month will be Thursday June 2, at Flossie's to see the Sparkling-tailed Hummingbirds. These tiny birds come through for only a few weeks every year. Expect to see four or five other species of hummingbirds, of course. Flossie is currently running 14 feeders simultaneously. We will have two viewing sessions, the first at 8.00 a.m., the second at 9.00 a.m. Please bring a donation of plain sugar for Flossie as most of her social security goes to buy sugar for the hummingbirds.
How to Get There: Go to Independencia #2 in Ajijic, just one block up from the pier. The house has a blue-gray door across from Barbara's Bazaar. Pull hard on the rope to ring the bell.
Birdwalk at El Bajio
Our second bird walk will be at El Bajio, Tuesday June 14 at 8.00 a.m. The variety of tall trees draws a good selection of large and small birds. Expect to see black-backed and streak-backed orioles, rufous-backed robin, social flycatcher, and western wood pewee. At about 10.00 a.m. we will go for breakfast at Doña Lola.
How to Get There: Drive one mile west of Ajijic. There is a sign for El Bajio on the highway. The exit is on the south side. Park on the lateral road beside the carretera.
Bird Walk Reports
On May 9 we had eleven birders out at Villa Corona to see the birds on Lake Atotonilco. There was an unusually good selection of bird species, 36 in all. Interesting species were wood stork, roseate spoonbill, American avocet, fulvous whistling duck and perhaps a hundred Wilson's phalarope on their way north.
On May 24, John Keeling led a group of 9 birders to the area behind the pumping station at Santa Cruz. 45 species were sighted which was considered good for the time of year. Less common species included common ground dove, white-tailed kite, eastern meadowlark, red-winged blackbird, American avocet, and one that should have already flown north, the northern shoveler.
Bird's Nests Two nests were seen on the bird walk. A loggerhead shrike's nest consisting of a few twigs in the fork of a small tree on the road; and a bushtit's nest in a piece of mistletoe overhanging the road. This nest appeared to be made of leaves and spider's web in the shape of a tube sock, such that the nest expanded as the bird moved around inside. In previous years we have seen inca doves and vermilion flycatchers sitting on minimalist nests in the same area.
May Sightings List
These are the 114 species observed in May around Lake Chapala:
Groove-billed ani American avocet (Cs,Dp) Red-winged blackbird (Cs) Yellow-headed blackbird Varied bunting Bushtit Crested caracara American coot Neotropic cormorant Bronzed cowbird Squirrel cuckoo (At) Common ground dove Inca dove Mourning dove White-tipped dove White-winged dove Black-bellied whistling duck (Dm) Fulvous whistling duck (Dm) Mexican duck Cattle egret Great egret Snowy egret House finch Ash-throated flycatcher Dusky-capped flycatcher Gray-silky flycatcher Social flycatcher Vermillion flycatcher Lesser goldfinch Great-tailed grackle Blue-black grassquit (Tu) Least grebe (Dm) Pied-billed grebe (Dm) Black-headed grosbeak Blue grosbeak Laughing gull Cooper's hawk Black-crowned night heron Great blue heron Green heron Little blue heron Tri-colored heron Berylline hummingbird Broad-billed hummingbird Calliope hummingbird (Av) Magnificent hummingbird (Av) Ruby-throated hummingbird (Av) Sparkling-tailed hummingbird (Av) Violet-crowned hummingbird White-eared hummingbird White-faced ibis Killdeer Cassin's kingbird Thick-billed kingbird Tropical kingbird Great kiskadee White-tailed kite Eastern meadowlark (Cs) Blue mockingbird Common moorhen Russet-crowned motmot Buff-collared nightjar Black-backed oriole Black-vented oriole Streak-backed oriole American white pelican Greater pewee Western wood pewee Wilson's phalarope (Cs) Rock pigeon Common raven Rufous-backed robin Spotted sandpiper Western sandpiper White-collared seedeater Loggerhead shrike House sparrow Rusty-crowned ground sparrow Savannah sparrow (Cs) Stripe-headed sparrow White-crowned sparrow (Cs) Roseate spoonbill (Dm) Black-necked stilt Wood stork (Dm) Bank swallow (Cs) Barn swallow Cliff swallow (Cs) Northern rough-winged swallow Western tanager Blue-winged teal Cinnamon teal Caspian tern Curve-billed thrasher Orange-billed nightingale thrush Canyon towhee Spotted towhee (At) Warbling vireo Black vulture Turkey vulture Orange-crowned warbler Townsend's warbler Virginia's warbler Yellow warbler Whimbrel Golden-fronted woodpecker Ladder-backed woodpecker Bewick's wren Cactus wren (Av,Tu) Canyon wren House wren Spotted wren Greater yellowlegs Lesser yellowlegs Common yellowthroat
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio At - Trails above Ajijic Av - Ajijic village Ch - Chapala Cl - Lake Cajititlan Cs - Santa Cruz/pumping station 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 - Las Trojes/oak forest Tu - Tuxcueca Xl - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas