Thursday, August 4, 2011

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders August 3, 2011


July Sightings

Wilson's Snipe

Bird Walks Coming Up

Trip to Tapalpa

Bird Walk Reports

July 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


  • July Sightings

  • In July a total of 83 species were reported around the lake (see the full list below).

    One unusual species for the season was the sighting by Don Bell and John Keeling at the far end of the lake of a Wilson's Snipe. Howell and Webb, our birding bible, states that it is a fairly common winter visitor to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras between October and April. Howell, however, considers historical reports of Wilson's Snipe breeding in central Mexico to be doubtful. We can take this sighting as a very unusual one.

    Stan Dunn and John Keeling were surprised to find a lonely blue-winged teal on the shore behind the pumping station, that should have gone north to breed. (Howell says a small number over-summer locally in central Mexico.)

  • Wilson's Snipe

  • w-s

    Seen in July.

  • Bird Walks Coming Up

  • Tuesday, August 9, 8.00 a.m. at the Jocotepec Malecon, Don Bell will lead a bird walk in the park and along the malecon. Expect to see golden-fronted woodpecker, streak-backed oriole, black-crowned night heron, white-collared seedeater and rufous-backed robin. In particular we will be looking for the colony of Eurasian collared doves. At about 10.00 a.m. we will go for breakfast at Doña Lola.
    How to Get There:
    Driving west from Ajijic, on the final right hand curve joining to the main street of Jocotepec you turn left, almost opposite a Pemex station. Park in the lakeside parking area.

    Thursday August 25, 8.00 a.m. at the Santa Cruz Pumping Station, John Keeling will lead a bird walk around the shoreline and adjacent fields. Expect to see stripe-headed sparrow, loggerhead shrike, Cassin's kingbird, tri-colored heron, and a selection of other water birds. At 10.00 we will head to Las Delicias for breakfast and to complete the list.
    How to Get There:
    Driving from Ajijic, go through Chapala taking the shore road from the old train station. After passing the village of Santa Cruz on your left you will see the three pump towers of the pumping station. Take the very first gravel road to the right after the pumping station, turn left when you come to the T junction and park at the next intersection where the road (muddy) continues to the lake.

  • Trip to Tapalpa

  • Mid-month Stan and Darnelle Dunn traveled with John Keeling on a day trip to the Sierra de Tapalpa which is a plateau 2,000 feet higher than Ajijic and only 90 minutes drive away. Species seen of special interest were striped sparrow, eastern bluebird and the arresting collared towhee. Also identified were buff-breasted flycatcher, acorn woodpecker, blue-black grassquit and eastern meadowlark.

  • Bird Walk Reports

  • On July 15, six birders joined John Keeling at La Cristina on the west side of Ajijic. They were treated to sightings of 33 species which included northern bobwhite, blue grosbeak, berylline hummingbird, black-vented oriole and loggerhead shrike.

    On July 25 seven birders joined Stan Dunn at Cristiania Park in Chapala, where there were a total of 33 species (once again) including black-backed oriole, social flycatcher, tri-colored heron, and tropical kingbird.

  • July Sightings List

  • These are the 83 species observed in July around Lake Chapala:

    Groove-billed ani
    American avocet
    Red-winged blackbird
    Yellow-headed blackbird (Dm)
    Northern bobwhite (Cs,Ac)
    Crested caracara (Dm)
    American coot
    Neotropic cormorant
    Bronzed cowbird
    Common ground dove
    Inca dove
    Mourning dove
    White-winged dove
    Black-bellied whistling duck (Dm)
    Fulvous whistling duck
    Mexican duck
    Ruddy duck (Cs)
    Cattle egret
    Great egret
    Snow egret
    House finch
    Gray silky flycatcher
    Social flycatcher
    Vermillion flycatcher
    Lesser goldfinch
    Great-tailed grackle
    Pied-billed grebe
    Blue grosbeak
    Laughing gull
    Ring-billed gull
    Red-tailed hawk
    Black-crowned night heron
    Great blue heron
    Green heron
    Tri-colored heron
    Berylline hummingbird
    Black-chinned hummingbird
    Broad-billed hummingbird
    Magnificent hummingbird
    Sparkling-tailed hummingbird
    Violet-crowned hummingbird
    White-faced ibis
    Northern jacana
    Cassin's kingbird
    Thick-billed kingbird
    Tropical kingbird
    Great kiskadee
    White-tailed kite
    Eastern meadowlark (Dm)
    Blue mockingbird
    Common moorhen
    Black-backed oriole
    Black-vented oriole
    Streak-backed oriole
    Great horned owl
    American white pelican
    Western wood pewee
    Rock pigeon
    Common raven
    Rufous-backed robin
    White-collared seedeater
    Loggerhead shrike
    Wilson's snipe (Dm)
    House sparrow
    Rusty-crowned ground sparrow
    Stripe-headed sparrow
    Black-necked stilt
    Wood stork
    Barn swallow
    Cliff swallow (Tu)
    Northern rough-winged swallow
    Blue-winged teal (Cs)
    Curve-billed thrasher
    Orange-billed nightingale thrush
    Canyon towhee
    Black vulture
    Turkey vulture
    Golden-fronted woodpecker
    Ladder-backed woodpecker
    Bewick's wren
    Canyon wren
    Spotted wren

    Location codes:

    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