Sunday, November 4, 2012

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders Nov 3, 2012

Two New Species for Lake Chapala
Green Violetear
Bird Festivals and Bird Count
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The October 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


  • 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
  • green violetear
    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 or Pat Morrow at

    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

    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 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
    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
    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

    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 MalteraƱa
    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