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
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.)
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 Killdeer 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
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