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
118 Species Seen in November
The species observed around the Lake last month are listed at the end of this newsletter.
Interesting sightings included a Gray Hawk seen by Don Bell in the El Bajio area (see photo below), several Black-bellied Whistling Ducks seen in Chapala on the first bird walk of the Chapala Bird Festival, and an immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker seen on the second bird walk of the Festival. We continue to receive reports of parrot sightings on the lakeshore including a Monk Parakeet in La Floresta.
Be sure to sign up for the annual Ajijic Christmas Bird Count (CBC) being held Monday, December 16 (see details below). This is the biggest birding event of the year. Everyone is welcome to take part.
Other Bird Counts: The Guadalajara Christmas Bird Count is on Sunday, January 5 and the Primavera Forest Christmas Bird Count is being held Sunday, December 15.
Gray Hawk as seen near El Bajio in November.
Christmas Bird Count Information
The Eighth Ajijic Christmas Bird Count will be held on Monday December 16. We usually set up six teams to cover the territory within our official 15 mile-diameter circle. Everyone is welcome to help with the counting and recording of the species and the number of each species seen, and also to attend the counting celebration dinner at 6.00 pm the same day. Team members should bank on counting for at least four hours. Please arrange to pre-register for the count and dinner, either at the breakfast after the San Antonio Bird Walk, or between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm Saturday Dec.12 at John Keeling's (Villas del Tepalo, Villa 46, 766-1801). (Drive uphill from Donas Donuts, fork half right in front of Min Wah Restaurant, continue uphill, turn in at Callejon al Tepalo 140, on the right opposite the school.)
CBC at Far End of Lake
The "Cienega Christmas Bird Count" at the other end of the lake will be held on Wednesday December 18. This is an all day affair that attracts the serious birders who are divided into two teams for this count. For more information ask John.
Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips
Our birdwalks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars and show up. We always have knowledgable birders on hand to identify the species.
On Friday December 6, we will meet to carpool at 8.15 a.m. at Donas Donuts and leave immediately for Villa Corona (a one hour drive). We expect to see roseate spoonbills, woodstorks, American avocets and other shore birds. Bring refreshments as there are no good breakfast options in the area. Do not expect to be back before 12.00 noon. If you plan to come, please email John at email@example.com to say whether or not you will have a vehicle - to help us balance passengers and cars.
On Wednesday, December 11, we will meet at the San Antonio malecon at 8.00 a.m. This currently offers excellent birding because it has a shallow lagoon with reeds, favoring good numbers of herons, egrets, ducks and kingbirds. At about 9.30 we will head to Sunrise Restaurant for breakfast and prepare the bird list. How to Get There: (Print these instructions.) Driving from Ajijic turn south at the first traffic light in San Antonio onto San Jose (this is the intersection where you turn uphill for the Little Theater and El Parque, near Coca Cola). Drive straight down to the lake, parallel park on the raised cocrete circle - taking care not to fall off the narrow ramp. (When you go back, return to the first cross steet (Paz), turn left, then first right onto Colon. Follow Colon up to the carretera.)
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
On November 8, we had eleven birders out at the Jocotepec Malecon Park. We managed to sight brown pelican, Eurasian collared dove, ruby-crowned kinglet, orange-crowned warbler, and house wren for a total of 41 species.
On November 18, fourteen birders joined us at the Pumping Station at Santa Cruz. We saw crested caracara, cinnamon teal, Forster's tern, American pipit, tropical kingbird and Cassin's kingbird. The total count was 44 species.
The November List
Here are the 118 species observed in November around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Blackbird, red-winged Blackbird, yellow-headed Bunting, painted Bunting, varied Bushtit Caracara, crested Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Dove, Eurasian collared Dove, Inca Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ch) Duck, fulvous-whistling (Sa) Duck, Mexican Duck, ruddy Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Euphonia, elegant Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated Flycatcher, dusky-capped Flycatcher, gray-silky Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermilion Gadwall Gallinule, common Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Hawk, Cooper's (Ac) Hawk, gray (Ac) Hawk, red-tailed Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, green (Ca) Heron, tricolored Hummingbird, beryline Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingbird, western Kingfisher, belted Kinglet, ruby-crowned Kiskadee, great Merlin Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, streak-backed Pelican, American white Pelican, brown (Jo,Ca) Pewee, greater Pewee, western wood Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern (Ca) Pipit, American (Cs) Raven, common Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, least Sandpiper, spotted Sapsucker, yellow-bellied (Ch) Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern (Ca,Cs) Shrike, loggerhead Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, stripe-headed Stork, wood Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Tanager, hepatic Tanager, western Teal, cinnamon (Cs) Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's (Cs) Thrasher, curve-billed Thrush, orange-billed nightingale Towhee, canyon Vireo, plumbeous Vireo, warbling Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, orange-crowned Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow Warbler, yellow-rumped Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, house Wren, spotted
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 area 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 Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club Tz - Tizapan canyon Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest Tu - Tuxcueca canyon Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas