Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders Dec. 2, 2013

118 Species Seen in November
Gray Hawk
Christmas Bird Count Information
Upcoming Bird Walks and Trips
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The November 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


  • 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

  • Gray Hawk as seen near El Bajio in November.

  • Christmas Bird Count Information

  • Ajijic CBC

    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 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
    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
    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
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kingbird, western
    Kingfisher, belted
    Kinglet, ruby-crowned
    Kiskadee, great
    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

    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 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