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
October Sightings & Christmas Bird Count Dates
In October a total of 131 species were reported around the lake (see the full list below).
October is the month in which we expect to see the returning migrants from up north. This fall the number of species seen is good, but the quantities of birds appear to be down. Perhaps this is because of warm weather in the north.
Earlier in the month Don Bell and Paul Hart joined John Keeling on a hike above Las Trojes which is becoming an annual affair to look for migrating warblers. At one point in the target area of the oak forest a small mixed group of warblers came through moving in a southerly direction, and in ten minutes they had moved on. They included painted redstart, black-throated gray warbler, Townsend's warbler and hermit warbler. Also seen on his hike were white-striped woodcreeper and buff-breasted flycatcher.
Christmas Bird Count Dates
These are the dates for the local Counts: Ajijic - Wednesday December 14 East End of the Lake - Friday December 16 Guadalajara - Sunday December 18 Primavera Forest - Sunday December 18 Mark your calendar and be sure to assist in at least one of these annual events. More details in the next newsletter.
Seen last month in Ajijic.
Another New Species for Lake Chapala (again)
At the beginning of the month John Keeling was drawn into his garden by an unusual bird call. Getting out the scope, a preening Green-tailed Towhee was identified. This is another new species for this area. It is said to be quite elusive, scratching for food at ground level, but is also occasionally seen on a prominent perch. This one was probably on migration.
The same size as a Canyon Towhee, with the same mousy brown head and body, this species has yellowish-green wings and tail, white throat and rusty crest.
Primavera Forest Trip & Bird Walk Coming Up
Wednesday November 9 we meet at La Christina at 8.00 a.m. Don Bell will lead us along the lake and around El Bajio and back. Expect to see an number of warblers and perhaps some vireo species. At around 10 o'clock we will go for breakfast at Doña Lolas and complete the list. How to Get There: Drive west from Ajijic about 2 miles (5km). After El Bajio you will see signs for Las Palmas and Hacienda La Cristina. Take the road to La Cristina and park near the lake.
Saturday November 19 we will go on a special trip to the Primavera Forest which is a large protected area on the west side of Guadalajara. We will be led by Francisco Leon who works for the Primavera Forest Management Unit. Francisco insists that the first two hours after sunrise are the key time to view birds. We will carpool from Dona's Donuts leaving at 6.00 a.m. sharp. Please reserve (766-1801 or chapalabirders @ yahoo.com). Francisco needs a list of names and ages for his office. We will enter areas not normally open to the public. Bring water, refreshments and a jacket.
Bird Walk Reports
On October 11 nine birders drove to the Sierra de Tapalpa under intermittent rain and low cloud. At one good pond we suffered high winds and 200 yards visibility. We saw the expected eastern bluebird and acorn woodpecker, as well as northern flicker and an unusual short-tailed hawk. Twenty seven species were recorded including four new ones for our Tapalpa master list.
On October 21 we had 11 birders out at the Pumping Station seeing 53 species including northern harrier, little blue heron, eastern meadowlark, white-tailed kite and greater yellowlegs. American white pelican was also seen - believed to be part of the group that stayed over for the summer, as the migrants have not returned yet.
October Sightings List
These are the 131 species observed in October around Lake Chapala:
Groove-billed ani American avocet Red-winged blackbird Yellow-headed blackbird Painted bunting (Ac) Varied bunting Bushtit Crested caracara (Ra) Yellow-breasted chat American coot Neotropic cormorant Bronzed cowbird Brown-headed cowbird Common ground dove Inca dove Mourning dove White-tipped dove White-winged dove Long-billed dowitcher (Dp) Mexican duck Ruddy duck (Ra) Cattle egret Great egret Snowy egret Elegant euphonia Peregrine falcon (Dp) House finch Ash-throated flycatcher (Ac) Buff-breasted flycatcher (Tr) Cordilleran flycatcher Dusky-capped flycatcher Gray silky flycatcher Least flycatcher Social flycatcher Vermilion flycatcher Common gallinule Blue-gray gnatcher Marbled godwit (Dp) Lesser goldfinch Great-tailed grackle Black-headed grosbeak Blue grosbeak Laughing gull Ring-billed gull Northern harrier Cooper's hawk (Ac) Red-tailed hawk Zone-tailed hawk (Ac) Black-crowned night heron Great blue heron Green heron Little blue heron Tri-colored heron Beryline hummingbird Black-chinned hummingbird Broad-billed hummingbird Ruby-throated hummingbird Rufous hummingbird Violet-crowned hummingbird White-faced ibis Northern jacana American kestrel Killdeer Cassin's kingbird Thick-billed kingbird Tropical kingbird Western kingbird Belted kingfisher Green kingfisher Ruby-crowned kinglet Great kiskadee White-tailed kite Eastern meadowlark (Ra) Blue mockingbird Northern mockingbird Black-backed oriole Black-vented oriole Hooded oriole Streak-backed oriole American white pelican Greater pewee Rock pigeon Northern pintail Common raven Painted redstart (Tr) Lesser roadrunner Rufous-backed robin Spotted sandpiper White-collared seedeater Northern shoveler Loggerhead shrike House sparrow Lark sparrow Lincoln's sparrow Rusty-crowned ground sparrow Savannah sparrow (Ra) Stripe-headed sparrow Black-necked stilt Barn swallow Northern rough-winged swallow Tree swallow Hepatic tanager Western tanager Blue-winged teal Curve-billed thrasher Canyon towhee Green-tailed towhee (Av) Northern beardless tyrannulet Plumbeous vireo Black vulture Turkey vulture Black and white warbler Black-throated gray warbler Hermit warbler (Tr) MacGillivray's warbler Nashville warbler Rufous-capped warbler Townsend's warbler Virginia's warbler Wilson's warbler Yellow warbler Yellow-rumped warbler American wigeon White-striped woodcreeper (Tr) Golden-fronted woodpecker Ladder-backed woodpecker Canyon wren House wren Spotted wren Greater yellowlegs Lesser yellowlegs
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