Tuesday, September 1, 2015

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders November 2, 2014

Low October Species Count
American Kestrel
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Bird Trip and Walk Reports
117 Species seen in October

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


  • 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

  • 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
    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
    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
    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

    Location codes:

    Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
    At - Trails above Ajijic
    Av - Ajijic village
    Ca - Lake Cajititlan
    Ch - Chapala
    Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
    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
    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