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
Two New Species for Lake Chapala
In October we saw 116 species around the Lake (see list below), including Green Violetear and Broad-tailed Hummingbird identified with the assistance of visiting birder Jesper Jacobsen on our Las Trojes hike. He took photos that helped in the identification.
The Green Violetear was also confirmed by its call - there were several males calling loudly in the oak forest. When it visits us, this large hummingbird is at the northern end of its range from Mexico to Ecuador.
The broad-tailed is a small hummingbird that summers in the northern half of Mexico and winters in the southern half. We are in the overlap area.
On another day John and Rosemary had a clear full-frontal sighting of a Greater Roadrunner near Rosa Amarilla. a key difference between the lesser and the greater is in the striations visible on the front of the neck. This is important because in our area we encounter both species.
Green Violetear seen at Las Trojes
Bird Festivals and Bird Count
The Lake Chapala Bird Festival will run from November 10-18. It is run by Mexicans for Mexicans. Its purpose is stimulate greater awareness and respect for birds. As part of the Festival we will co-conduct a bird walk in Spanish on Nov. 17.
The Vallarta Bird Festival will be held March 7-10 in 2013. Bird walks and photo walks will be conducted at the Botanical Gardens, El Tuito, and other locations. For info go to VallartaBirdFestival.org or Pat Morrow at email@example.com.
The Ajijic Christmas Bird Count will be held on Friday December 14. Please mark your calendar for this important annual event. Further details will be given in the December newsletter.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
We have arranged a Birding Trip to San Blas, Nayarit, November 19-23. This five-day trip will include three days of birding with professional bird guides and four nights in the leading birding hotel in San Blas. This is the top birding destination in Mexico because it has sea birds, mangrove swamps, jungle and mountains in close proximity with 400 bird species. Cost will be $4.900 pesos per person. A few spaces are open. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a Birding-Kayaking "trip" Wednesday Nov 7, 9.00 a.m. at La Tasca. Members of the Ajijic Kayak Club will set you up on kayaks; we will observe birds until about 11.30 and then go for lunch at Yves. Expect to get good views of water birds. The birding leader will be Don Bell. No experience necessary. Wear old sneakers or water shoes to stand in shallow water. Bring hat and sun screen. Leave behind things like phones, binoculars etc unless they are waterproof. Max. 11 people. Bring 150 pesos donation for kayak storage fees. Email email@example.com to reserve a spot.
Bird Walk Thursday November 29, 8.00 a.m. at the Pumping Station. We will be looking for shore birds as well as orioles and kingbirds. We will have breakfast at 10.00 a.m. and prepare the bird list at the adjacent Don Emiliano restaurant. To Get There: From Chapala take the shore road to the Country Club. After passing the air strip and the water skiing facility on the right, look for the Pumping Station with 3 tall pump towers and a sign "Acueducto". Immediately after take the hidden gravel road on the right. Turn left at the next T junction, then right, and park closer to the lake.
Everyone is welcome on our walks - just bring binoculars.
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
October 9, ten enthusiastic birders drove to the Sierra de Tapalpa. The total count of sightings was 50 species including the following six new species for the Tapalpa list: Brewer's Blackbird, Western Kingbird, Tropical Kingbird, Cinnamon Teal, Blue-winged Teal, and Rock Dove.
October 12, saw four birders at El Bajio who managed to spot 34 species including Osprey, Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls, Stripe-headed Sparrow and a group of Gray Silky Flycatchers.
October 22, ten keen hikers competed the 2.5 hours walk along the oak forest trail to the edge of the Hidden Valley. Special sightings were the Red-faced Warbler in the same location as last winter, and the new species: Green Violetear and Broad-tailed Hummingbird - a spectacular day!
The October List
Here are the 116 species observed in October around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Avocet, American Blackbird, yellow-headed (Ac) Bunting, Varied Caracara, crested Chat, yellow breasted Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cuckoo, squirrel Dove, Inca Dove, mourning Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged 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 Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermillion Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least Grebe, pied-billed Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Hawk, Cooper's (Ac) Hawk, red-tailed Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, tri-colored Hummingbird, berylline Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, broad-tailed (Tr) Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingbird, western Kingfisher, belted (Ac) Kinglet, ruby-crowned Kiskadee, great Meadowlark, eastern (Ra) Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern Motmot, russet-crowned Oriole, black-backed (Ac) Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, orchard Oriole, streak-backed Osprey Owl, great-horned Pelican, American white Pewee, western wood Phoebe, Say's (Ra, Rp) Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern Raven, common Roadrunner, greater (Ra) Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, spotted Seedeater, white-collared Shrike, loggerhead Solitaire, brown-backed (Tr) Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, stripe-headed Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's Thrasher, curve-billed Thrush, orange-billed nightingale Towhee, canyon Vireo, golden Vireo, warbling Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Violetear, green (Tr) Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, hermit Warbler, Nashville Warbler, rufous-capped Warbler, red-faced (Tr) Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow Warbler, yellow-rumped Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, house Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, lesser
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