Monday, February 4, 2013

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders February 3, 2013

Another New Species for Lake Chapala
Keel-billed Toucan
Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The January 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


  • 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
  • toucan
    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
    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
    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
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, spotted
    Yellowlegs, greater
    Yellowthroat, common

    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
    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