Monday, June 4, 2012

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders June 3, 2012

97 Species Last Month
Nothern Saw-whet Owl
Another New Species for the Area
Upcoming Bird Walks & Trips
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
May 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


  • 97 Species Last Month

  • In May a total of 97 species were seen around Lake Chapala. (The full list appears below).

    The Rosa Amarilla loop is currently providing us with the most interesting birding around, particularly as we are seeing less birds on the lake now that the lake is only 50% full, instead of the "lake management target" of 80% full.

  • Nothern Saw-whet Owl
  • n saw-whet owl
    Northern Saw-whet Owl Observed in Ajijic in May.

  • Another New Species for the Area

  • Early in May, Libby Townsend's gardener located the owl that was calling (annoyingly) every night in the manner of a burglar alarm in Ajijic. It turned out to be a Northern Saw-whet Owl, not previously reported in this area. John Keeling also heard the call above the village, without knowing what it was! This owl is 7 inches high and only calls in the breeding season in April and May.
    Trivia item: the name was given some 150 years ago when country people sharpened their own saws. The sharpening process included "Hammering, Sharpening, Setting & Whetting". One of this owl's calls is like the sound of whetting a saw - with a whet-stone of course.

  • Upcoming Bird Walks & Trips

  • On Thursday June 7, 5.00 pm Motmots in Chula Vista, Paseo de Golf #17. Margot and Bohdan Wojciechowski have kindly consented to open their house for us to view the rufous-crowned motmots which are breeding there.
    To Get There: From the carretera turn into Upper Chula Vista on Paseo de Golf. Proceed uphill, watching the numbers on the left. No. 17 is on a small side street. Park on Paseo de Golf and walk to the house. The side street is too narrow for parking.

    On Monday June 18, 8.00 am. Cristianía Park in Chapala. We will see common birds in the park and shore birds on the lake-front. At 10.00 we will go for breakfast to Las Delicias Restaurant for breakfast and prepare the bird list.
    To Get There: From Ajijic proceed straight across the traffic light on the main avenue (Madero); go five more blocks; turn left at the T-junction and park on the right, close to the park entrance.

    In the Week of June 11, we are planning a day trip to a new location in the Rio Verde Canyon, one hour north-east of Chapala. Last time we identified 3 species not seen at Lake Chapala. If you are interested in joining us, email John Keeling.

  • Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • May 10, we had five people on the Rosa Amarilla bird trip including two relative beginners who we were able to impress with the marvelous range of local birds, including Western Bluebird, Eastern Meadowlark, White-tailed Hawk with nesting material, Wilson's Phalaropes on migration, and two dozen Wood Storks.

    May 21, we had 11 visitors at Flossie's including some who dropped in because the gate was open! Sightings included four species of Hummingbird: Berylline, Violet-crowned, Broad-billed, and Sparkling-tailed. Our thanks to Flossie for hosting this and setting out extra chairs for the group.

    May 17, a small group of us went to the Sierra de Tapalpa, one hour south-east of the lake, where we managed to add six species to the Tapalpa list, specifically: Yellow-eyed Junco, Arizona Woodpecker, American Robin, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird and Bronzed Cowbird.

  • May List

  • Here are the 97 species observed in May around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
    Blackbird, yellow-headed
    Bluebird, western (Ra)
    Bobwhite, northern (Ra)
    Bunting, indigo
    Caracara, crested
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cuckoo, squirrel (Cs)
    Dove, common ground
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Duck, fulvous whistling (Ca)
    Duck, Mexican
    Duck, ruddy
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, ash-throated
    Flycatcher, cordilleran
    Flycatcher, gray silky
    Flycatcher, Nutting's (Ac)
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermilion
    Gallinule, common
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, pied-billed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Gull, ring-billed
    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, sparkling tailed (Ac)
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kiskadee, great
    Meadowlark, eastern (Ra Ch)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern (Ra Cs)
    Motmot, russet-crowned
    Nightjar, buff-collared
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Owl, great horned
    Owl, northern saw-whet (Ac)
    Pewee, western wood
    Phalarope, Wilson's (Ra)
    Phoebe, black
    Pigeon, rock
    Raven, common
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, spotted
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shoveler, northern
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, lark
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Stilt, black-necked
    Stork, wood (Ra)
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged
    Teal, cinnamon
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
    Towhee, canyon
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, rufous-capped
    Warbler, yellow
    Warbler, yellow-rumped
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, happy
    Wren, spotted

    Location codes:

    Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
    At - Trails above Ajijic
    Av - Ajijic village
    Ca - Lake Cajititlan
    Ch - Chapala
    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 & canyon
    Sa - San Antonio/Chula Vista
    Sc - San Juan Cosala
    Tz - Tizapan canyon
    Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
    Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
    Tu - Tuxcueca canyon
    Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas