Tuesday, December 8, 2015

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders December 2, 2015

Christmas Bird Count - December 16
House Wren
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
November Sightings 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 at the lake, email us at:
or phone 376-766-1801


  • Christmas Bird Count - December 16

  • December is the month of our annual Ajijic Area Christmas Bird Count. This is one of the birding highlights of the year. You can take part in an international census of bird species that has been conducted for 114 years. We plan five teams of about five people, each with a leader and an assigned area. There is no cost to take part in the count on the morning of December 16, but there is of course a charge for the evening dinner celebration at 6.00 p.m. where we share details of each team's adventures. Feel free to invite friends along if they have an interest in birds. We ask all participants to register ahead both for the count and for the dinner.

    Bird Count Registration:

    Registration will take place on Monday between 10.00 a.m and 2 p.m at John Keeling's home, Condominium Villas del Tepalo, Callejon al Tepalo #140, Villa #46. This is three blocks up-hill from Donas Donuts, on the east side of the school. For detailed driving instructions, or if this time does not work for you, phone John at 766-1801, or email chapalabirders@yahoo.com. We can arrange an alternate time for you.

    The other Bird Count

    We expect our keener birders to come with us also on Friday December 18 for the Christmas Bird Count at the far end of the lake (known as the "Cienega" count) which is a whole day trip because of the distance. We expect to pick up a number of species not seen on the Ajijic count.

    144 Species Seen in November
    The list of species seen in November is shown at the end of this newsletter.

    This fall we have noticed an unusually high number of house wrens throughout the greater Lake Chapala area. Some years we don't see any. (See the photo and notes below).

    Other birds that have been more commonly observed this fall than usual, are the Northern Mockingbird, mentioned in the last newsletter, and the Osprey. which we have seen on many of the small dams and lakes around Lake Chapala. Unusual sightings included three species sighted by Don Bell in west Ajijijc, the Baltimore Oriole (very rare here), the Blue-throated Hummingbird, and the Black-chinned Hummingbird.

  • House Wren

  • House Wren as seen at Santa Cruz de la Soledad in November. This species is the most widely dispersed of any bird species in the Americas, occurring from Canada to Argentina. They nest up north between May and September, and come down to the southern U.S. and Mexico for the winter. The nest is constructed of twigs and softer lining materials always inside a protected cavity such as a woodpecker hole.

  • Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks

  • Our bird walks 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. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 100-200 for a day trip).

    On Wednesday December 11 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving immediately for Lake Atonilco at Villa Corona, a one-hour drive. Throughout this year we have seen Roseate Spoonbills there, as well as various lake and marsh birds such as Common Yellowthroat. Take your own refreshments (there is no good place to have breakfast). We will be back in Ajijic about 12.30. If you plan to go please email chapalabirders@yahoo.com indicating whether you can bring a vehicle, to help us balance the car pool.

    On Monday December 28 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at the entrance to La Cristianía Park in Chapala. We should see an interesting selection of species in the tall trees and at the bushy edge of the lake. At about 10.30 we will go to Las Delicias for breakfast and complete the bird list.
    How to Get There: From Ajijic go the traffic light at the main street of Chapala (Av. Madero), cross straight over and keep going straight for five blocks, turn left at the T intersection and park on the right.

  • Bird Walk & Trip Reports

  • On November 9 we had 15 birders out at the San Antonio Tlayacapan malecon, which we surveyed for an hour before going on to the point in Riberas del Pilar. We saw Tri-colored Heron, Common Yellowthroat and Marsh Wren in the reeds, as well as American White Pelican, Cassin's, Thick-billed and Tropical Kingbirds, and Black-vented, Hooded and Streak-backed Orioles, for a total species count of 52.

    On November 18, four people ventured out to the Rosa Amarilla loop on the south side of the lake, where we sighted Brown-headed Cowbird, White-tailed Kite, Cooper's Hawk, Osprey, Wood Stork, and Blue and Northern Mockingbirds. The count was 60 species.

  • November Sightings List

  • Here are the 144 species observed in November around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Avocet, American (Dp)
    Bittern, American (Ca)
    Bittern, least (Ca)
    Blackbird, red-winged
    Blackbird, yellow-headed
    Bobwhite, northern (Ps)
    Bunting, Indigo
    Bunting, varied
    Caracara, crested
    Chat, yellow-breasted
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cowbird, brown-headed
    Cuckoo, squirrel
    Dove, Eurasian collared
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, mourning
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Dowitcher, long-billed (Dp)
    Duck, black-bellied whistling
    Duck, Mexican
    Duck, ruddy (Ca,Ps,Ra)
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Falcon, peregrine (Ca)
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, ash-throated
    Flycatcher, buff-breasted
    Flycatcher, cordilleran
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, gray silky
    Flycatcher, least
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermillion
    Gallinule, common
    Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, least (Ca,Dm)
    Grebe, pied-billed (Ca,Ra)
    Grosbeak, black-headed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Gull, ring-billed
    Hawk, Cooper's
    Hawk, gray (Ca)
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, great blue
    Heron little blue
    Heron, tri-colored
    Hummingbird, black-chinned (Ac)
    Hummingbird, blue-throated (Ac)
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Hummingbird, rufous
    Hummingbird, violet-crowned
    Hummingbird, white-eared
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kestrel, American
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kingbird, western (At)
    Kingfisher, belted (Xt,Dm)
    Kiskadee, great
    Kite, white-tailed (Ca,Dp)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern
    Motmot, russet-crowned
    Oriole, Baltimore (Ac)
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, bullock's
    Oriole, hooded
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Osprey (Ra,Ps)
    Owl, great horned
    Parakeet, monk (Av,Ch,Sn)
    Pelican, American white
    Pelican, brown (Ca)
    Pewee, greater
    Pewee, western wood
    Phoebe, black (Ch,Ps)
    Phoebe, eastern (Ps)
    Pigeon, rock
    Pintail, northern (Ca)
    Raven, common
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, spotted (Ra,Dm)
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Sparrow, chipping
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, lark
    Sparrow, Lincoln's
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Stilt, black-necked (Dm,Ca)
    Stork, wood (Ra)
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff (Ra)
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Swallow, tree
    Swallow, violet-green
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged (Ra,Ca)
    Teal, cinnamon (Ra,Ca)
    Teal, green-winged (Ra)
    Tern, black
    Tern, Caspian
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Towhee, Canyon
    Vireo, Bell's (Ps)
    Vireo, Cassin's
    Vireo, plumbeous
    Vireo, warbling
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, black and white
    Warbler, black-throated, gray
    Warbler, Lucy's (Ac)
    Warbler, MacGillivray's (Ca)
    Warbler, Nashville
    Warbler, rufous-capped
    Warbler, Wilson's
    Warbler, yellow (Ps)
    Warbler, yellow-rumped
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, house
    Wren, marsh (Sa,Ca)
    Wren, spotted
    Yellowlegs, greater (Ca)
    Yellowthroat, common(Sa,Ca)

    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 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