Saturday, May 10, 2014

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders May 2, 2014

Three New Species
Dickcissel at Lake Chapala
Upcoming Bird Walks
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The April 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


  • Three New Species

  • April was a fabulous month with three new species for the Lake and a total count of 134 species (listed at the end of this newsletter) which is as high as our winter levels. The new species are:

    Dickcissel seen by Carol Bradley and Ian Lind on the south shore (see photo below). This species spends the winter closer to the coast. The bird sighted would have been migrating to its summer breeding grounds in the southeastern U.S.
    Mottled Owl seen by Duncan Poole above Las Trojes, sleeping in a tree. This night-hunter is a resident here, being found from central Mexico to northern Argentina.
    Gray-collared Becard seen by John Keeling and Brian Lewis near Las Trojes. This is an altitude migrant that moves downhill closer to the coast in the winter, returning here to breed. It is endemic to our region being found only in Mexico and neighboring Guatemala.

    In the last two weeks we have seen the return of the White-tailed Kites to the pumping station. There has been an influx of summer birds on the trails above Ajijic, including orange-billed nightingale thrush, and the western Mexico endemics: golden vireo and Sinaloa wren. These appear to be altitude migrants, going downhill closer to the coast for the winter, and coming up here to breed (as does the other west-Mexican endemic, the happy wren). Also, at this time of the year the rusty-crowned ground sparrows are suddenly not afraid of appearing in the open.

  • Dickcissel at Lake Chapala

  • This Dickcissel was seen on the south side of the lake, on migration to its summer breeding grounds in the eastern U.S. - photo by Ian Lind

  • 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 Tuesday May 6 we will meet outside the Yacht Club in La Floresta. The area is good for birding because it has so many tall trees. We will bird until about 10.00 and then go for breadfast at the Real de Chapala to see shore birds and complete the list.
    Where to Park: The hotel prefers that you do not park on the street beside their parking lot. Please park near the Yacht Club which is next door on Paseo de la Huerta. Exit from the carretera at the traffic circle with the "sculpture" and go to the last street (Paseo de la Huerta), turn left and park.

    On Monday May 12 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla loop which is on the plateau above Tuxcueca on the south shore. This is the only place we see Botteri's sparrow. Expect to see Eastern Meadowlark and perhaps a Lesser Roadrunner. Bring your own refreshments. We will be back in Ajijic by 2.00 p.m.
    If you are going: please email chapalabirders @ saying whether you can bring a car, so we can balance passengers and vehicles.

  • Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • On April 8, we had six people out on a windy morning at the malecon park in Jocotepec. As usual we sighted the local Eurasian Collared Doves, as well as a few visiting Brown Pelicans and four species of Orioles: Bullock's, Hooded, Orchard and Streak-backed. The orioles were particulary attracted to a flowering silk-oak tree. The list included 41 species.

    On April 21, we had four carloads of birders out for the trip to the Sierra de Tapalpa which, besides being scenic, was unusually productive, yielding Yellow-eyed Junco, Eastern Meadowlark, Olive Warbler, Acorn Woodpecker, and Brewer's Blackbird out of a total of 54 species.

  • The April List

  • Here are the 134 species observed in April around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Avocet, American
    Becard, gray-collared (Tr)
    Blackbird, yellow-headed (Ca)
    Bobwhite, northern (Cs)
    Bunting, indigo
    Bunting, lazuli
    Bunting, varied
    Caracara, crested
    Chat, yellow-breasted
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cowbird, brown-headed
    Cuckoo, squirrel
    Dickcissel (Tx)
    Dove, Eurasian collared
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, mourning
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Duck Mexican
    Duck, ruddy
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Euphonia, elegant,
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, ash-throated
    Flycatcher, buff-breasted (Tr)
    Flycatcher, cordilleran
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, gray silky (Tr)
    Flycatcher, least
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermillion
    Gallinule, common
    Gallinule, purple (Jo,Tr)
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, least
    Grosbeak, black-headed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Gull, ring-billed
    Hawk, Cooper's (Ca)
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, great blue
    Heron, green (Ca)
    Heron, tri-colored
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kiskadee, great
    Kite, white-tailed (Cs)
    Meadowlark, eastern (Cs)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Motmot, russet crowned
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, Bullock's
    Oriole, hooded
    Oriole, orchard (Jo)
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Owl, great-horned
    Owl, mottled (Tr)
    Parula, tropical
    Pelican, American white
    Pelican, brown
    Pewee, greater
    Pewee, western wood
    Phoebe, black (Tz)
    Pigeon, rock
    Pipit, American (Cs)
    Raven, common
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, least
    Sandpiper, spotted
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shoveler, northern
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Snipe, Wilson's
    Solitaire, brown-backed (Tz,Tr)
    Sparrow, chipping
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, lark
    Sparrow, rufous-crowned (Tr)
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Stilt, black-necked
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Tanager, flame-colored (Tr)
    Tanager, hepatic
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged
    Teal, cinnamon
    Tern Caspian
    Tern, Forster's
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
    Towhee, canyon
    Vireo, Bell's
    Vireo, Cassin's
    Vireo, golden
    Vireo, plumbeous
    Vireo, warbling
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, black and white
    Warbler, black-throated gray
    Warbler, Nashville
    Warbler, rufous-capped
    Warbler, Wilson's
    Warbler, yellow-rumped
    Woodpecker, acorn (Tr)
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, house
    Wren, Sinaloa
    Wren, spotted
    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 area
    Po - Poncitlan
    Pt - San Pedro Tesistan area
    Pz - San Pedro Itzican area
    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/South Shore area
    Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas