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
126 Species Seen in February
The species observed around the Lake last month are listed at the end of this newsletter.
Unusual Species Seen
Unusual species seen in February included a second sighting of the White-throated Flycatcher by John Roynon in the reed-beds at the San Antonio Tlayacapan malecon. This species was first recorded in the Lake Chapala area in December at the far end of the lake. Carol Bradley and Ian Lind observed two White-tailed Kites mating and nest building on the south side of the lake (see photo below). John and Rosemary Keeling sighted no less than seven Lesser Roadrunners along a stretch of the Rosa Amarilla loop.
Pelicans with Plastic Tags
We have not yet seen any pelicans here with red or black plastic tags on their wings, but we want people to be aware that if they see one they should attempt to read the number on the tag and report it. Young white pelicans are being tagged each year at their breeding grounds up north in order to study their migratory range.
The Great Backyard Bird Count
This year the 'GBBC' was opened up to the whole world. It took place February 14-17, gathering sightings of over 4,000 species out of the more than 10,000 species in the world. Sightings from Ajijic were uploaded by Don Bell, John Keeling and Darlene Dehlin.
Next year's event will be held February 13-16, 2015. Sightings are not limited to backyards. Any sightings can be reported with the location and the date.
White-tailed Kite as seen on the south side of the lake in February - photo by Ian Lind
Colima Volcano & Patzcuaro
We are consdering possible trips to the Colima Volcanos (2 days, one night) and to the Patzcuaro area (3 days, 2 nights) in March or April.
If there is enough demand we will attempt to organize the trips. If you are interested in one of these, please email firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which trip and your date preferences. The Colima trip would be 'pay-as-you-go', with very simple basic accomadation for the night beside the mountain. The last time we did Patzcuaro, the trip cost was $2,500 pesos per person including 2 nights in a comfortable B&B, not including shared gas costs.
Upcoming Bird Walks
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 Monday March 10 at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for Cajititlan marsh, 30 minutes away. At about 10.30 we will head back to Sunrise Restaurant for breakfast and complete the bird list. If you plan to go please email email@example.com saying if you can provide a vehicle (to help us balance the passengers.)
On Wednesday March 19 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at El Bajio. Expect to see a variety of shore and field birds. To Get There: Drive west from Ajijic about 2 miles, look for the sign for El Bajio, exit towards the lake and park immediately on the lateral road. At about 10.30 we will go to Fonda Doña Lola for breakfast.
On Friday March 28 we will meet at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla loop, about one hour away. We will see an interesting variety of birds on the plateau above the south side of the lake. Bring refreshments. At about 12.30 we leave the plateau and arrive back in Ajijic about 2.00 p.m. If you plan to go please email firstname.lastname@example.org saying if you can provide a vehicle (to help us balance the passengers.)
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
This month our birding trips were very productive.
On February 6 we had nine keen observers out at La Cristina. Searching both the shore and inland, we reported 50 species including greater pewee, Lucy's warbler, greater yellowlegs, blue mockingbird and our endemic black-backed oriole.
On February 12 three fully-loaded vehicles headed for the Sierra de Tapalpa looking for higher-altitude birds. We saw 54 species which included orange-billed nightingale thrush, striped sparrow, zone-tailed hawk, eastern bluebird, olive warbler and acorn woodpecker.
On February 19 we had two well-loaded vehicles descending into the canyon of the Rio Verde looking for lower elevation birds. We managed to record 47 species including elegant trogon, rose-throated becard, gila woodpecker, berylline hummingbird and Say's phoebe.
The February List
Here are the 126 species observed in February around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Avocet, American Blackbird, red-winged (Ra) Blackbird, yellow-headed (Ca) Bunting, indigo Bunting, lazuli Bunting, varied Bushtit Caracara, crested Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Cuckoo, squirrel Dove, Eurasian collared Dove, Inca Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Duck, fulvous whistling Duck, Mexican Duck, Ruddy Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snow Euphonia, elegant (At) Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated (At) Flycatcher, cordilleran (At) Flycatcher, dusky-capped (At) Flycatcher, gray silky Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermillion Flycatcher, white-throated (Sa) Gadwall Gallinule, common Gallinule, purple Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least (Ca) Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing (Ac) Gull, ring-billed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, gray (Pz) Hawk, red-tailed Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, green Heron, tricolored Hummingbird, berylline (Ac) Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kiskadee, great Kite, white-tailed (Pz) Meadowlark, eastern (Ra) Mockingbird, blue Nighthawk, lesser (Ac) Nightjar, buff-collared Oriole, black-backed (Ac) Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, streak-backed Pelican, American white Pewee, greater (Ch,Ac) Pewee, western wood Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern Raven, common Roadrunner, lesser (Ra) Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, least Sandpiper, spotted Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern Shrike, loggerhead Sora Sparrow, clay-colored (Ra) Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, stripe-headed Stilt, black-necked Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Tanager, summer Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged Teal, cinnamon Teal, green-winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's Thrasher, curve-billed Towhee, canyon Vireo, plumbeous (Ra) Vireo, warbling Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, Lucy's (Ac) Warbler, Macgillivray's (Ac) Warbler, Nashville Warbler, rufous-capped Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow Warbler, yellow-rumped Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, marsh Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, greater (Ac,Ra) Yellowthroat, common (Ca,Sa)
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