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
Low October Species Count
117 species were observed in October. (See the list at the end of this newsletter.) This is a lower count than average - the previous October high and low species counts were 145 (in 2010) and 101 (in 2013). We speculate that perhaps many of the migrants will be coming down later than usual.
We observed that the migrant American Kestrels arrived in force from up north in the middle of October, and they can now be seen on the wires along most roads around the lake. At the same time most of the Barn Swallows in the village disappeared from the overhead wires, presumably headed for warmer climates. Christmas Bird Count Note that the date for our annual count this year will be Monday December 15 for the Ajijic Area. Please reserve the morning on your calendar for this count, and reserve the evening for the celebration dinner. Sign-up details will be given in the December newsletter. We hope the keener birders will also come with us on Wednesday December 17 for the count at the far end of the lake, which is a whole day trip because of the distance.
American Kestrel as sighted in October on the Lakeshore.
Upcoming Trips and 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 Friday November 7 at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic. We expect to see a variety of shore birds and a good selection of field birds in the tall trees. At about 10.00 we will go to Dona Lola's for breakfast to complete the bird list. How to Get There: From the traffic light on the carretera at Colon proceed about 2 m (3km) west, turn left after the sign to El Bajio and park on the road running beside the carretera.
On Thursday November 13 at 8.00 a.m. we will meet at the entrance to Cristiania Park in Chapala where we should see water birds at the treatment runoff and park birds. At about 10.00 we will go to Las Delicias for breakfast. How to Get There: Going from Ajijic, continue straight at the traffic light at the main street (Madero). After several blocks you turn left at the T-intersection. Park on the right close to the Park entrance.
On Tuesday November 18 we will meet at 8.30 a.m. at the Pumping Station. We will walk to the shore seeing scrub birds and water birds along the way. At about 10.15 we will head for Las Delicias for breakfast and complete the bird list. How to Get There: From Chapala follow the lakshore from the Train Station towards the Country Club. Pass the air strip, the village of Santa Cruz and the water skiing facility. Look for the pumping station with its three tall gray pump towers on the right. After the sign "Aqueducto" take the first hidden gravel road on the right, go a half mile, turn left at the T, and park at the next intersection. When you park leave plenty of space to let other vehicles get by.
Bird Trip and Walk Reports
On October 10, we had ten keen birders at La Cristina enjoying the morning sun. The high point was the sighting of three female Dickcissels, which is only the second sighting of this species here. They stopover here on their fall and spring migration between the eastern USA and southern Mexico. Other species seen included Northern Mockingbird and Gray Silky Flycatcher out of a total of 50 species.
On October 18, five birders made the trip to the Rosa Amarilla loop, spying Ruddy Duck, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Mealowlark, Savannah Sparrow and Greater Yellowlegs for a total of 52 different sightings.
On October 24, nine people went to the Jocotepec Malecon park. The rising water level helped us see more water birds. We spotted 50 species including Fulvous Whistling Duck, Orchard Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and Hepatic Tanager. (Note that though water levels are up, the lake is still only 50% full, and a general drought condition in Northern Jalisco continues).
117 Species seen in October
Here are the 117 species observed in October around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove billed Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, yellow-headed Bunting, indigo Bunting, painted Bushtit Caracara, crested Chat, yellow-breasted (Ac,Ra) Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Dickcissel (Ac) Dove, Eurasian collared Dove, Inca Dove, mourning Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Duck, fulvous-whistling (Jo) Duck, Mexican Duck, ruddy Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Euphonia, elegant Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated (At) Flycatcher, dusky-capped (At) Flycatcher, gray silky (Ac,Av) Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermillion Gallinule, common Gallinule, purple (Ps) Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least (Ra) Grebe, pied-billed (Ra) Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, white-tailed (Rc) Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, green Heron, tri-colored Hummingbird, beryline Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingbird, western Kingfisher, belted (Ra) Kiskadee, great Meadowlark, eastern Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern (Ac,Sc,Ra) Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, orchard (Jo) Oriole, streak-backed Osprey (Ca,Sc) Owl, great-horned Pelican, American white Pelican, brown (Ac) Phoebe, Say's (Ra) Pigeon, rock Pintail, northern Raven, common Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, spotted Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern Shrike, loggerhead Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, Savannah (Ra) Sparrow, stripe-headed Stilt, back-necked Swallow, barn Swallow, northern rough-winged Swift, Vaux's (Rp) Tanager, hepatic (Jo) Tanager, western (Jo, Ac) Tern, Caspian Tern, Forster's Thrasher, curve-billed Thrush, orange-billed nightingale Towhee, canyon Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow (Jo) Warbler, yellow-rumped Willet Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, marsh Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, greater (Ra) Yellowlegs, lesser (Sn) Yellowthroat, common (Jo,Ca) Yellowthroat, gray-crowned
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio At - Trails above Ajijic Av - Ajijic village Ca - Lake Cajititlan Ch - Chapala Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan 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 Ps - Pumping Station/Santa Cruz 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