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 September a total of 107 species were reported around the lake (see the full list below).
The big interest this month has been the exploration of our newly-discovered birding area located on an elevated plateau at the village of Rosa Amarilla, just a few minutes drive from the south shore of the lake, and only a one-hour drive from Ajijic.
Here we have seen returning migrants such as American kestrel and northern harrier (illustrated), resident flocks of ravens, red-winged blackbirds and eastern meadowlarks, as well as wood storks which are summer visitors here.
Northern Harrier Returns
Seen last month at Rosa Amarilla.
Another New Species for Lake Chapala
On our September 8 Bird Walk at Rosa Amarilla we saw Botteri's Sparrows which are a new sighting for the Lake Chapala area. These are said to be shy, though they are also known for sitting on the topmost branches of bushes. We saw several. One came to a fence close by and suddenly behaved like a wren folding its tail feathers together, cocking its tail up, and then dropping into the grass.
They are relatively plain, with pink legs, flat head, unstreaked breast, small line through the eye, and a bit of yellow in the leading edge of the wing (marginal coverts). They like open grassland with a few bushes.
Bird Walks Coming Up
Tuesday, October 11we will go to the mountain village of Tapalpa. This will be a day trip returning late afternoon (5.00 p.m.) We carpool at Donas Donuts departing 8.00 a.m. Driving time is 1.5 hours. John Keeling will lead the group at various proven spots from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. at which time we will head into the village of Tapalpa to have lunch. Bring snacks for the morning. Expect to see eastern bluebirds and migrating hummingbirds. We may see Mexican jay, the colorful collared towhee and striped sparrow.
Friday October 21, Don Bell will lead us in the area behind the Pumping Station, which remains our top local birding spot. We will meet there at 8.30 a.m. and at 10.30 we will head to Las Delicias for breakfast and to complete the list. Expect to see a good variety of shore birds and field birds including great blue heron, green heron, tri-colored heron and perhaps a little blue heron. How to Get There: Drive east from Chapala passing Santa Cruz on your left and look out on your right for the pumping station which has three gray pump towers and a sign "Aqueducto". Take the first (hidden) gravel road to your right immediately after the pumping station. After a mile turn left at the T intersection, then after a quarter mile turn right and park near the water.
Bird Walk Reports
On September 18 nine enthusiastic birders joined John Keeling on the Rosa Amarilla loop. Sightings included Botteri's sparrow, crested caracara, eastern meadowlark, woodstork, black-bellied whistling duck, and cinnamon teal. In all 36 species were sighted.
On September 19, four intrepid birders joined Robert Taylor at the Cajititlan Marsh. We found black-backed and streak-backed orioles, ring-billed and laughing gulls, northern jacana and blue-gray gnatcatcher. The total was 43 species.
September Sightings List
These are the 107 species observed in September around Lake Chapala:
Groove-billed ani American avocet Red-winged blackbird Yellow-headed blackbird Crested caracara American coot Neotropic cormorant Brown-headed cowbird Squirrel cuckoo Common ground dove Eurasian collared dove (Jo) Inca dove Mourning dove White-tipped dove White-winged dove Black-bellied whistling duck (Ra) Mexican Duck Cattle egret Great egret Snowy egret Elegant euphonia (Rp) House finch Gray silky flycatcher (Av) Social flycatcher Vermillion flycatcher Common gallinule Blue-gray gnatcatcher Marbled godwit Lesser goldfinch Great-tailed grackle Least grebe Pied-billed grebe Black-headed grosbeak Blue grosbeak Laughing gull Ring-billed gull Northern harrier (Ra) Red-tailed hawk White-tailed hawk Black-crowned night heron Great-blue heron Green heron Tri-colored heron Berylline hummingbird Black-chinned hummingbird Broad-billed hummingbird Violet-crowned hummingbird White-faced ibis Northern jacana American kestrel Killdeer Cassin's kingbird Thick-billed kingbird Belted kingfisher (Cs) Green kingfisher (Dp) Great kiskadee White-tailed kite Eastern meadowlark (Ra) Blue mockingbird Northern mockingbird (Ra) Black-backed oriole Black-vented oriole Hooded oriole Orchard oriole Streak-backed oriole American white pelican Greater pewee Western wood pewee Rock pigeon Common raven Rufous-backed robin Spotted sandpiper White-collared seedeater Northern shoveler Loggerhead shrike Botteri's sparrow (Ra) Chipping sparrow House sparrow Lark sparrow Rustry-crowned ground sparrow Stripe-headed sparrow Black-necked stilt Wood stork Barn swallow Cliff swallow Northern rough-winged swallow Tree swallow Blue-winged teal Cinnamon teal Black tern (Dm) Curve-billed thrasher Orange-billed nightingale thrush Canyon towhee Black vulture Turkey vulture Black-throated gray warbler Golden-crowned warbler (Av) Nashville warbler Wilson's warbler Yellow warbler Golden-fronted woodpecker Ladder-backed woodpecker Bewick's wren Canyon wren Happy wren Spotted wren Gray-crowned 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 Ra - Rosa Amarilla Rc - Santa Rosa: Carnero dam Rp - Riberas del Pilar Ra - Rosa Amarilla Loop Sc - San Juan Cosala Sv - San Antonio/Chula Vista Te - San Juan Tecomatlan Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest Tu - Tuxcueca Xl - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas