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
Another New Species for Lake Chapala
In mid-January Erik Benedictson was photographing the birds in his garden in Chapala when he spotted a brightly colored warbler on the fountain which turned out to be a Yellow-throated Warbler - another first for the Lake Chapala List. This species breeds in the eastern U.S. and winters in the Caribean and the southern coasts of Mexico. It is also known to wander.
Other unusual sightings inlcuded Ring-necked Duck and Canvasback sighted by John Roynan and Don Bell near Rosa Amarilla; and Black-capped Vireo seen by John Keeling and John Roynon on the trails above Ajijic.
The 141 species observed around the Lake last month are listed at the end of this newsletter, Another 'Escapee' near Ajijic
On January 2nd, keen birders Brian and Lois Lewis spotted a Keel-billed Toucan outside a large, lake-edge home in El Bajio, just west of Ajijic, This bird is still in the area and was photographed this week by Mike Saunders. It is native to south-eastern Mexico, Belize and northern Honduras.
As we said in the last newsletter, more than 40 species of wild birds are regularly sold illegally in the markets of Guadalajara. The Christmas season is the peak purchasing period, and some accidentally fly out their cages.
Keel-billed Toucan seen just west of Ajijic. Photo - Mike Saunders
Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips
On Friday February 8, at 8.00 a.m. we will carpool and depart for the Las Trojes Forest Hike. This is an easy trail - 2 hours out and one hour back. Driving time to the trailhead is one hour. Bring sandwiches for lunch at noon overlooking the Hidden Valley. If you come, please email John Keeling ahead of time and indicate if you will bring a vehicle or not.
On Monday February 18 we will meet at the Pumping Station at 8.15 a.m. Expect to see a variety of shore birds and field birds. How to Get There: Take the shore road east from Chapala, passing Santa Cruz on the left and the Water Skiing Park on the right. Take the gravel road on the right immediately after the sign "Acueducto" at the Pumping Station. At the T-junction (1km) turn left and park at the next intersection. Note the road beyond this point is currently very uneven.
On Saturday February 23 we will depart at 7.00 a.m from Donas Dounts to go to the Primavera Forest. We hope to see a few species we don't see at Lake Chapala. Expect a minimum 90-minute drive each way. Bring sandwiches for lunch (as restaurants for late breakfast or early comida are hard to find.) If you plan to come please email John Keeling so we can balance cars and people. Maximum five vehicles.
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
January 11, twenty three enthusiastic people turned out at the Malecon Park in Jocotepec. With the lake less than half full, the water is out beyond the pier, which allows excellent views of 'mud-flat' birds on one side, and birds liking vegetation close to water on the other. Sightings included Willet, Common Yellowthroat, Cooper's Hawk and Eurasian Collared Dove for a total of 61 species.
January 21, four car-loads of people drove to the Rio Verde at Acatic and were amazed by the depth and beauty of the Canyon. Though the birds were not immediately evident, we managed to see 53 species including 23 new to the Rio Verde list including Townsend's Warbler, Warbling Vireo and Orange-fronted Parakeets.
January 29, fourteen birders gathered at La Christina spending most of the time along the beach. Among the 54 species seen were Gadwall, Painted Bunting, Northern Mockingbird and Gray Silky Flycatcher.
The January List
Here are the 141 species observed in January around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Avocet, American Blackbird, yellow-headed Bunting, indigo Bunting, painted (Ac) Bunting, varied Bushtit Canvasback (Rc) Caracara, crested Chat, yellow-breasted Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Dove, Eurasian-collared (Jo) Dove, Inca Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Dowitcher, long-billed Duck, Mexican Duck, ring-necked Duck, ruddy Egret, cattle Egret, snowy Euphonia, elegant Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated Flycatcher, cordilleran Flycatcher, dusky-capped Flycatcher, gray silky (Av,Ac) Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermillion Gadwall (Ac) Gallinule, common Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Harrier, northern Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, red-tailed Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, tricolored Hummingbird, black-chinned Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, rufous Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingbird, western Kingfisher, belted Kiskadee, great Kite, white-tailed Meadowlark, eastern (Ra,Cs) Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern (Ac) Nightjar, buff-collared (Sc,At) Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, orchard (Rp) Oriole, streak-backed Owl, great-horned Pelican, American white Pewee, greater (Ac) Pewee, western wood Phoebe, black Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern Pipit, American (Cs) Raven, common Redstart, American (Ac) Roadrunner, lesser (Sa) Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, least Sandpiper, spotted Scaup, lesser Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern Shrike, loggerhead Snipe, Wilson's Solitaire, brown-backed Sparrow, clay-colored Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, savannah (Jo) Sparrow, song (Jo) Sparrow, stripe-headed Stilt, black-necked Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Swallow, violet-green Tanager, hepatic Tanager, summer Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged Teal, cinnamon Teal, green-winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's Thrasher, curve-billed Towhee, canyon Vireo, black-capped (At) Vireo, Cassin's Vireo, plumbeous Vireo, warbling Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, orange-crowned Warbler, rufous-capped Warbler, Virginia's (At) Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow Warbler, yellow-rumped Wigeon, American Willet Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, greater 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