Lake Chapala Birders Observadores de Aves del Lago de Chapala Your hosts John and Rosemary Keeling
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
78 Species Seen Last Month
In August a total of 78 species were observed around Lake Chapala. (See the full list below).
At the beginning of August John observed two brown birds in the tree outside his office window. One had the heavy beak of a bronzed cowbird. The other one, half the size, came back to feed it a caterpillar. The second bird turned out to be a spotted wren. It usual for cowbirds to lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
The migrants are beginning to return after breeding up north. We have seen returning gulls, including a Bonaparte's Gull (less than half the size of the other gulls we see here) on a spit at the Pumping Station. We have also observed a Black-throated Gray Warbler on its journey south in pines at Mazamitla, just south of the lake area.
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler, seen at Mazamitla, is the first warbler species to arrive here in the fall.
Upcoming Bird Walks & Trips
On Friday, September 7 at 8.15 a.m we will meet at the Pumping Station. We expect to see a selection of gulls, terns and herons, as well as field birds. At about 10.15 we will head for Las Delicias for breakfast and complete the bird list. How to get there: Take the lakeshore road east from Chapala. After passing the airstrip, the water ski center and Santa Cruz look out for the three gray pump towers of the Pumping Station. Take the hidden gravel road on the right between the station and the new Don Emilio restaurant. After half a mile turn left at the T junction, take the next right towards the lake and if the track is passable, drive closer to the lake.
On Wednesday, September 19 at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at La Christina. We will see both shore birds and birds of trees and hedges. At about 10 we head for Doña Lola for breakfast. How to Get There: Take the carretera west from Ajijic about 2 miles, turn left at the sign to Hacienda La Christina (beside the road to Las Palmas); park at the side of the road near the lake.
Everyone is welcome on these walks - just bring binoculars.
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
On August 8, ten birders met at the Jocotepec Malecon Park. Though there are less tall trees than before due to back-filling operations, we managed to see 26 species including white-collared seedeater, spotted sandpiper, tri-colored heron, bronzed cowbird and the resident target bird, the Eurasian collared dove.
On August 27, eight enthusiasts drove to the Rosa Amarilla Loop where we sighted thirty eight species, including eastern meadowlark, northern bobwhite, American white pelican (a group of 20 which did not go north for the summer), white-tailed hawk, and several Botteri's sparrows - this species was discovered last summer in the same area.
The August List
Here are the 78 species observed in August around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Blackbird, red-winged Blackbird, yellow-headed Bobwhite, northern (Ra) Caracara, crested Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Cuckoo, squirrel Dove, Eurasian collared (Jo) Dove, Inca Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Duck, Mexican Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Euphonia, elegant Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated Flycatcher, gray silky Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermilion Gallinule, common Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grosbeak, blue Gull, Bonaparte's (Cs) Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Hawk, red-tailed Hawk, white-tailed (Ra) Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, tri-colored Hummingbird, berylline Hummingbird, black-chinned (Av) Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, magnificent Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, tropical Kiskadee, great Mockingbird, blue Motmot, russet-crowned Oriole, black-vented Oriole, streak-backed Owl, great-horned (Av) Pelican, American white (Ra) Pewee, western wood Pigeon, rock Raven, common Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, spotted Seedeater, white-collared Shrike, loggerhead Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra) Sparrow, house Sparrow, rusty-crowned Sparrow, stripe-headed Stilt, black-necked Stork, wood (Ra) Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Thrasher, curve-billed Thrush, orange-billed nightingale Towhee, canyon Vireo, golden (At) Vulture, black Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, spotted
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