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
137 Species Seen in December
The 137 species observed around the Lake last month are listed at the end of this newsletter, and a summary of the Christmas Bird Counts is given below.
Uncommon sightings during the month included a Redhead (Duck) seen near Rosa Amarilla by a group with Mexico City birder Hector Ceballos. Two Rare Species Sighted A Fork-tailed Flycatcher was seen by Derick MacDonald in Riberas del Pilar behind Mom's Restaurant. This is a beautiful long-tailed non-migratory bird of southern Mexico that is occasionally seen on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Also, an Orange-breasted Bunting was identified in Jocotepec by Ryon Johnson, and later photographed. This brightly-colored species is not normally seen at our altitude, but is common near the coast of Jalisco.
Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that these two birds arrived here unaided. They are probable escapees. More than 40 species of wild birds are regularly sold illegally in the markets of Guadalajara. The pre-Christmas season is the peak purchasing period, and a few of them accidentally fly out their cages before or after being given as a family gift.
Orange Breasted Bunting
Orange Breasted Bunting seen at Jocotepec. Photo - Derick MacDonald
Christmas Bird Count Results
The two Christmas Bird Counts were a big success as usual. For the seventh Ajijic Christmas Bird Count we had 17 people assigned to five teams, who managed to count 109 different species and a total of 5,482 individual birds. The count included 1 Gadwall, 127 American White Pelicans, 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 15 Gray Silky Flycatchers, and 14 Eastern Meadlowlarks. A cheerful Count Celebration dinner was held at the end of the day at Sunrise Restaurant.
For the La Cienega Christmas Bird Count at the other end of the lake we had a select group of 5 birders in two teams who sighted 83 species and 8,017 individual birds, including Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Little Blue Heron, Eurasian Collared Dove and also Greater Pewee which is an unusual sighting in the winter season.
Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips
On Friday January 11 at 8.30 a.m. we will meet at the Jocotepec Malecon Park, where we expect to see Eurasian Collared Doves and perhaps Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers as well as a selection of shore birds. By 10.15 we'll be heading for Fonda Doña Lola for breakfast. To Get There: As you approach Jocotopec from Ajijic, turn left at the OXXO on the left. Proceed to the lake and park in the parking lot.
On Monday January 21 we will carpool at Donas Donuts at 8.00 a.m. to go the the Rio Verde Canyon - a 90-minutes drive north-east of Ajijic. We hope to see Elegant Trogon, Squirrel Cuckoo and Gila Woodpecker. If you plan to come, please email John at email@example.com and let him know whether or not you can bring a vehicle. Bring snacks and sandwiches for lunch. Don't expect to be back before 4.00.
On Tuesday January 29 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at La Christina. This is one of our better birding spots - we'll be looking for warblers and vireos as well as ducks on the shore. At 10.00 we will go to Dona Lola's for breakfast and complete the bird list. To Get there: Drive about 2 miles west from Ajijic, look for the sign to Hacienda La Christina. You will see the exits to Las Palmas and La Christina just a few yards apart. Proceed downhill to La Cristina and park near the lake.
Binoculars For Sale
Bushnell Birding Series Natureview Waterproof 8x42 Binoculars Model 123000 with bright image, wide field of view, weighing only 26 oz. Slightly used. Asking $70US, orig $120. Email Marv Armendinger firstname.lastname@example.org
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
December 7, thirteen enthusiastic birders assembled at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic, where they idenitified 58 species including Varied Bunting, Yellow-breasted Chat, Gray Silky Flycatcher, Common Raven, and Stripe-headed Sparrow.
December 27, fifteen birders formed a four-car convoy to bird the Sierra de Tapalpa, which is 1,500 feet higher than Lake Chapala. During the morning they observed 48 species including Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Painted Redstart, American Robin, Striped Sparrow as well as two new species for the Tapalpa List, the Mexican Chickadee and the Olive Warbler.
The December List
Here are the 137 species observed in December around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove billed Avocet, American Bittern, least (Ca) Blackbird, Brewer's (Ch) Blackbird, red-winged Blackbird, yellow-headed Bunting, indigo Bunting, lazuli Bunting, varied Caracara, crested Chat, yellow-breasted Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Dove, common ground (CaCs) Dove, Eurasian collared (JaCh) Dove, Inca Dove, mourning (Cs) Dove, white-winged Dowitcher, long-billed Duck, Mexican Duck, ring-necked Duck, ruddy Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Falcon, peregrine Finch, house Flycatcher, cordilleran Flycatcher, gray silky (Av) Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermillion Gadwall (Ac) Gallinule, common Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Godwit, marbled Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, eared (Ra) Grebe, least Grebe, pied-billed Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Harrier, northern Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, gray Hawk, red-tailed Hawk, white-tailed (Ca) Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue (Dp) Heron, green Heron, little blue Heron, tricolored Hummingbird, berylline Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, calliope Hummingbird, ruby-throated (Ac) Hummingbird, rufous Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingfisher, belted Kiskadee, great Meadowlark, eastern Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, streak-backed Owl, barn Pelican, American white Pewee, greater Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern Pipit, American Raven, common Redhead (Ra) Redstart, American (Ac) Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, least Sandpiper, spotted Sapsucker, yellow-bellied (Cs) Scaup, lesser Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern Shrike, loggerhead Sora (Ca) Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, stripe-headed Stilt, black-necked Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Tanager, hepatic Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged Teal, cinnamon Teal, green-winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's Thrasher, curve-billed Towhee, canyon Vireo, plumbeous Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, Nashville Warbler, orange-crowned Warbler, rufous-capped Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow Warbler, yellow-rumped Wigeon, American Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, house Wren, marsh Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, greater (Ac) Yellowthroat, common
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 Ja - Jamay 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