Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lake Chapala Birding Newsletter

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders June 2, 2014

118 Species Seen Last Month
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Upcoming Bird Walks
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The May 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 Last Month

  • May was a good month, perhaps because some species waited longer than usual to fly north to their summer breeding grounds. After wondering all winter 'where have all the birds gone', we have been happily surprised by the quantity of birds seen on our personal birding trips in April and May, both locally to Las Trojes and the Pumping Station, and further away near Mazamitla and Talpa de Allende (four-hours drive from here).

    We have recently received reports of sightings of the Rufous-crowned Sparrow at Las Trojes and San Juan Cosala (see photo). This is an uncommon bird in this area, recognized by its plain breast, rufous cap, brown line behind the eye and a black and white malar (moustache) stripe. It is found in mountainous scrubby areas of Mexico as well as in certain zones across the southern U.S.

  • Rufous-crowned Sparrow

  • Rufous-crowned Sparrow as sighted recently in the oak forest at Las Trojes.

  • 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 knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species.

    On Thursday, June 12, at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for Cajititlan marsh, 30 minutes away. This is our best area for water birds, because it has many reed beds and is easily accessible by road. 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 saying whether or not you can provide a vehicle (to help us balance cars and passengers.)

    On Friday, June 27, we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at El Bajio. Expect to see shore birds and a good variety of field birds, as this area has many tall trees. We may see different species of oriole and several species of wren.
    To Get There: Drive west from Ajijic about 2 miles, look for the sign for El Bajio, and exit towards the lake at the point where the super topes exist. Park immediately on the lateral road. At about 10.30 we will go to Fonda Doña Lola for breakfast.

  • Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • On May 6 we had six birders out to stroll the pretty garden streets of La Floresta with its tall eucalyptus trees -- followed by breakfast overlooking the lake. We saw roosting Black Vulture, Gray Silky Flycatcher, Bewick's Wren and Streak-backed Oriole, as well as nesting Spotted Wrens and nesting Social Flycatchers.

    On May 12, a car-load of birders set out for the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the plateau on the south side of the lake. Interesting sightings included White-tailed Hawk, Eastern Bluebird, Wood Stork, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Botteri's Sparrow, and on their way up north to breed - Wilson's Phalarope and American Pipit.

  • The May List

  • Here are the 118 species observed in May around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Avocet, American
    Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
    Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
    Bobwhite, northern (Cs)
    Bunting, indigo
    Bunting, varied
    Chat, yellow-breasted
    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 (Ca)
    Duck, Mexican
    Duck, ruddy
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, ash-throated
    Flycatcher, buff-breasted (Tr, Ra)
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, gray silky
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermilion
    Gallinule, common
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, least (Ra)
    Grebe, pied-billed (Ra)
    Grosbeak, black-headed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Gull, ring-billed
    Hawk, Cooper's
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Hawk, white-tailed (Ra)
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, great-blue
    Heron, green
    Heron, tricolored
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Hummingbird, magnificent
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kiskadee, great
    Kite, white-tailed
    Meadowlark, eastern (Ra, Cs)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern (Ra, Cs)
    Motmot, russet-crowned
    Night-jar, buff-collared
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, bullock's
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Owl, great-horned (Sc, Av)
    Pelican, American white
    Pelican, brown (Ca)
    Pewee, greater (At)
    Pewee, western wood
    Phalarope, Wilson's (Ra, Cs)
    Phoebe, black
    Pigeon, rock
    Pipit, American (Ra)
    Raven, common
    Roadrunner, lesser
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, spotted
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shoveler, northern
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, lark
    Sparrow, rufous-crowned (Sc)
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Spoonbill, roseate (Ra)
    Stilt, black-necked
    Stork, wood (Ra)
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff (Jo)
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Swallow, tree
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged (Ra, Ca)
    Tern, Caspian
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
    Towhee, canyon
    Tyrannulet, northern beardless (Sc)
    Vireo, Bell's (At)
    Vireo, golden (At)
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, rufous-capped
    Warbler, yellow
    Warbler, yellow-rumped
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, Sinaloa (At)
    Wren, spotted
    Yellowthroat, common (Ca)
    Yellowthroat, grey-crowned (Ra)

    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 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 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