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 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 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 email@example.com 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 Bushtit 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 Killdeer 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)
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