Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lake Chapala Birding Newsletter

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders August 2, 2014

91 Species Seen Last Month
Lucifer Hummingbird
Upcoming Bird Walks
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
The July 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


  • 91 Species Seen Last Month

  • Interesting recent sightings include Blue-black Grassquit and Fulvous Whistling Duck at Cajititlan marsh, and White-tailed Kite at Cajititlan and also at the dike at the east end of the lake. During the month we have heard Northern Bobwhites calling in a variety of locations.

    Late in the month Stan and Darnelle Dunn saw Lesser Yellowlegs and an early migrating Spotted Sandpiper at San Nicolas, while John and Rosemary saw a Lucifer Hummingbird in the scrub near the International School (see photo). These hummingbirds like arid scrub areas and are permanent residents here and across the central transvolcanic range.

    The Monk Parakeet communal nest in a palm tree in downtown Ajijic came down in a storm. These birds will have to learn to build their large nests in a more secure manner. The five Red-Lored Parrots (also feral escapees) are rumored to be seen near the San Antonio Tlayacapan plaza in the late afternoons.

    The 91 species seen in the lake area last month are listed at the end of this newsletter.

  • Lucifer Hummingbird

  • Lucifer Hummingbird as sighted last month near the International Institute.

  • 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 August 7, we will meet at 8.30 a.m. at the Pumping Station where we will see field birds like loggerhead shrike and possibly white-tailed kite as well as shore birds. At about 10.30 we will go to Las Delicias restaurant for breakfast and prepare the bird list.
    How to Get There: Take the lakeshore road east from Chapala past Santa Cruz. Watch out for three tall gray pump towers on your right with the sign 'Aqueducto'. Immediately after this take the first gravel road to the right; at the next T junction turn left and park at the next intersection. We will walk to the lake.

    On Tuesday August 19, we will meet to car-pool at Donas Donuts at 8.00 a.m. leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla loop on the plateau on the south side of the lake. We expect to see higher elevation birds including eastern meadowlark, Botteri's sparrow and wood stork. Take refreshments for the morning. Do not expect to be back in Ajijic before 2.00 p.m. If you plan to go please email John at indicating whether you can bring a vehicle.

  • Bird Walk and Trip Reports

  • On June 11,we had four carloads of birders out for the trip to the Sierra de Tapalpa. The first impressive sight in the oak forest was a Greater Roadrunner sitting in the top of a sizable tree. Later in the pine forests were Mexican Chickadee and White-breasted Nuthatch and finally, in forest-edged pastures we saw Spotted Towhee and Mountain Trogon. A great day with a total of 47 species.

    On July 22 we again had a party of four vehicles on the longer trip to the Rio Verde canyon near Acatic. The hot pools were very refreshing, and the top birds were Rose-throated Becard, Black-throated Magpie Jay and Common Black Hawk out of 41 species observed.

  • The July List

  • Here are the 91 species observed in July around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, Groove-billed
    Blackbird-red-winged (Ra)
    Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
    Bobwhite, northern (CaSnRa)
    Caracara, crested
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cuckoo, squirrel
    Dove, Eurasian collared
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, mourning
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Duck, black-bellied whistling (CaDm)
    Duck, fulvous whistling (ca)
    Duck, ruddy
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Elaenia, greenish (At)
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermillion
    Gallinule, common
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grassquit, blue-black (Ca)
    Grebe, least
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, great blue
    Heron, green
    Heron, tri-colored (Sn)
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Hummingbird, lucifer (Sa)
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Hummingbird, white-eared (Sa)
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kingfisher, green
    Kiskadee, great
    Kite, white-tailed (CaDm)
    Meadowlark, eastern (Ra)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern (Ra)
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Owl, great-horned (Av)
    Pelican, American white
    Pewee, western wood
    Pigeon, rock
    Raven, common
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, solitary (Dm)
    Sandpiper, spotted (Sn)
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Stilt, black-necked
    Stork, wood (Ra,Ca)
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff (Ra)
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Tern, Caspian
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
    Towhee, canyon
    Vireo, golden
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, rufous-capped
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, spotted
    Yellowlegs, lesser (Sn)
    Yellowthroat, common (Ca)

    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