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
Four Unusual Sightings
In addition to a number of sightings of the phainopepla, there were four rare sightings among the 149 species seen around the lake in January. (The full list is shown below).
John Roynon saw a female Mountain Trogon near the Tepalo waterfall. This is within its normal range, but it is very rare here. (We had a probable sighting of one on the Primavera Forest trip in the fall.)
Bob Forgie spotted a Common Merganser at the San Juan Cosala malecon. This species is normally seen in the winter in northern Mexico, but used to be seen this far south in the early days of birding more than a hundred years ago.
Don Bell saw some Franklin's Gulls at La Canacinta. These are 'irregular' throughout much of Mexico. Their regular migration route from the northern prairies follows the Atlantic coast down to the isthmus where they cross over and continue down the Pacific coast to winter on the west coast of South America.
Lois Brock observed a Ringed Kingfisher at the malecon between Riberas and Chapala. It is characterized by its large size and raucous call. Here, it is considerably outside its normal range, but it is a common resident at the coast.
Female Mountain Trogon seen at the Tepalo waterfall.
Birding Trip to El Tuito
We have organized a four day/three night birding trip to El Tuito, Februry 21-24. This trip fills up quickly with people who have been before, but we still have 2 spots open. El Tuito is in the center of a large unpopulated area south of Puerta Vallarta. We will explore a variety of highland and lowland habitats accompanied by a professional guide. If you are interested, please email or phone John Keeling.
Upcoming Bird Walks
Tuesday February 7 at 8.30 am Robert Taylor will lead a bird walk at the Jocotepec malecon. Expect to see Eurasian collared doves, woodpeckers, warblers and a range of shore birds. At 10.30 we will head to El Bambu restaurant for breakfast. How to Get There:From Ajijic, drive to Jocotepec and turn left on the curve to the right entering Joco where there is an OXXO on the left and a Pemex on the right. Park in the malecon car park.
Monday February 13 at 8.00 am we will meet at El Bajio where Don Bell will lead the group. Expect to see vireos, tanagers, warblers and shore birds. At 10.00 we will head for Doña Lola's for breakfast and prepare the bird list. How to Get There: From Ajijic drive west for about 2 mi (4km) and look for the sign 'El Bajio'. Exit left and park on the lateral road.
Wednesday February 29 at 8.00 am we will car-pool at Donas Donuts and drive to the Cajititlan marsh where John Roynon will lead us. Expect to see marsh and creek birds as well as dry scrub species. At 10.30 we will go to Los Cinco Potrillos restaurant for breakfast.
Bird Walk Reports
On January 6, a convoy of 19 birders followed John Keeling around the Rosa Amilla loop on the south side of the lake. The 54 species observed included ruddy duck, crested caracara, eastern meadowlark, northern mockingbird and phainopepla.
On January 23 John Roynon guided 28 birders around Cristiania Park in Chapala. The weedy shore line at the east end provided considerable bird activity. Sightings included Eurasian collared dove, greater pewee, American pipit and semipalmated plover.
Here are the 149 species observed in January around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Avocet, American Blackbird, Brewer's (Dm) Blackbird, red-winged Blackbird, yellow-headed Bunting, indigo Bunting, lazuli Bunting, painted (Dp) Bunting, varied Bushtit Caracara, crested Chat, yellow-breasted Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Cuckoo, squirrel Dove, common ground Dove, Eurasian collared Dove, Inca Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Dowitcher, long-billed Duck, Mexican Duck, ruddy Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Euphonia, elegant Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated Flycatcher, cordilleran Flycatcher, dusky-capped Flycatcher, gray silky (Ac,Av) Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermilion Gadwall Gallinule, common Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least Grebe, pied billed Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, Franklin's (Ac) Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Harrier, northern Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, red-tailed Hawk, white-tailed (Ra) Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, green Heron, tri-colored Hummingbird, berylline Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingbird, western Kingfisher, belted Kingfisher, ringed (Ch) Kiskadee, great Kite, white-tailed Meadowlark, eastern Merganser, common (Sc) Merlin Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern Motmot, russet-crowned Nighthawk, lesser (Cs) Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, streak-backed Pelican, American white Pewee, greater Phainopepla Phoebe, Say's Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern Pipit, American Plover, semipalmated Raven, common Redstart, American Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, least Sandpiper, spotted Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern Shrike, loggerhead Snipe, Wilson's Sparrow, chipping Sparrow, clay-colored Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, Savannah Spoonbill, roseate Stilt, black-necked Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Swallow, violet green Tanager, hepatic Tanager, summer Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged Teal, cinnamon Teal, green winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's Thrasher, curve-billed Towhee, canyon Trogon, mountain (At) Vireo, black-capped Vireo, warbling Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, Macgillivray's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, orange-crowned Warbler, rufous-capped Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow-rumped Wigeon, American (Ac) Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, happy (At) Wren, house Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, greater Yellowthroat, common
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 Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers Pe - Petatan causeway Po - Poncitlan Pt - San Pedro Tesistan Pz - San Pedro Itzican Ra - Rosa Amarilla loop Rc - Santa Rosa: Carnero dam Rp - Riberas del Pilar Sc - San Juan Cosala Sv - San Antonio/Chula Vista Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest Tu - Tuxcueca Xl - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas