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 at the lake, email us at: ChapalaBirders@yahoo.com or phone 376-766-1801
154 species seen in March
The complete list of sightings is shown at the end of this email. This is the season when the birds are looking for mates and nesting. Here are some of the interesting sightings from last month: - Purple Gallinules were sighted at the San Antonio malecon. - Also at the San Antonio malecon you can currently see the magnificent spectacle before sunset of thousands of Yellow-headed Blackbirds descending into the reed beds to roost for the night. - Cliff swallows are once again collecting mud for nests at the west end of the Ajijic malecon. - Fourteen Roseate Spoonbills were seen at the east end of the lake - the first time in more than a year. Global Big Day On Saturday, May 6, every birder is encouraged to get outside and count as many bird species as they can find in one day. These sightings should be entered in the eBird database.
The aim is to get people out to enjoy the birds, and to get more people into using eBird. eBird is an easy-to-use database for birders world-wide to record their sightings.
Black-crowned Night Heron's Nest
Photo of a Black-crowned Night Heron's nest at the San Antonio Tlayacapan malecon taken by kayaker Wayne Renz at the beginning of March. He saw seventy of these nests in the reed beds. Previously, before the growth of the reed beds in the last two years, these birds nested in the trees nearby.
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 Friday April 8, we will meet to carpool at 8.00 a.m. at Donas Donuts, leaving immediately for Lake Cajititlan (30 minutes drive). We will see a variety of marsh and lake birds. At about 10.15 we will go Las Delicias restaurant in Chapala for breakfast and complete the bird list. If you plan on going, email John: Chapalabirders@yahoo.com indicating whether or not you will have a car.
On Monday April 18, we will meet to carpool at Donas Donuts leaving immediately for Las Trojes (one hour away) to hike the 'horizontal oak forest trail' to the edge of the hidden valley (3-hours hiking uphill, 2-hours back). Don't expect very many birds, but the hike is very pleasant. Bring refreshments and sandwiches for lunch at noon at the top. If you plan on going, email John: Chapalabirders@yahoo.com indicating whether or not you will have a car.
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On March 5, we had seven birders out at El Bajio where we saw 57 species including Thick-billed Kingbird, Blue Mockingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, American Wigeon and the endemic Rufous-backed Robin.
On March 14 at Cristiania Park there were 10 people joining in our walk. Key birds were Rose-Throated Becard, which was clearly visible for several minutes and a single Brown Pelican( a species we see occasionally on the lake). Other species were Long-billed Dowitcher, Nothern Jacana, Semi-palmated Plover, and our endemic Black-baced Oriole.
On March 30 we had a carload of keen birders on the trip to Rancho El Venado in the Rio Verde Canyon. We observed Crested Caracara, Summer Tanager, Gila Woodpecker, a flock of Mexican Parrotlets and a pair of Pyrrhuloxia, for an exceptional total of 69 species.
March Sightings List
Here are the 154 species observed in March around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Becard, rose-throated (Tz,Ch) Bittern, least Blackbird, red-winged (Ra) Blackbird, yellow-headed Bunting, indigo Bunting, painted Bunting, varied (Tz,Av) Bushtit Canvasback (Ra) Caracara, crested Chat, yellow-breasted Coot, American Cormorant, Neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Creeper, brown (Sa) Cuckoo, squirrel (At,Sa) Dove, common ground Dove, Eurasian collared Dove, Inca Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Dowitcher, long-billed Duck, fulvous whistling (Ch,Rp) Duck, Mexican Duck, ring-necked (Ra) Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Euphonia, elegant (Tz,At) Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated Flycatcher, cordilleran Flycatcher, dusky-cappped Flycatcher, least Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, vermilion Gadwall Gallinule, common Gallinule, purple (Sa) Gnatcatcher, blue-gray Goldfinch, lesser Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least Grebe, pied-billed Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, laughing Gull, ring-billed Hawk, gray (Ps) Hawk, red-tailed Heron, black-crowned night Heron, great blue Heron, green Heron, little blue (Rp) Heron, tricolored Hummingbird, beryline Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, rufous Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Kestrel, American Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kingbird, western (Sa) Kingfisher, belted (Ch,Xt) Kinglet, ruby-crowned (Tz,Dp) Kiskadee, great Kite, white-tailed (Tz,Dp) Meadowlark, eastern (Ds,Ra) Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern Motmot, russet-crowned (Rp) Nightjar, buff-collared (Av) Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, Bullock's Oriole, hooded Oriole, orchard Oriole, streak-backed Osprey (Ra) Owl, great-horned Parakeet, monk Pelican, American white Pelican, brown (Ch) Pewee, greater Pewee, western wood Phoebe, black (Tz,Ra) Pipit, American (Ps) Plover, semi-palmated Rail, Aztec Redstart, American (Av) Robin, rufous-backed Sandpiper, least Sandpiper, spotted Seedeater, white-collared Shoveler, northern Shrike, loggerhead Snipe, Wilson's (Ps) Sora Sparrow, chipping Sparrow, clay-colored Sparrow, house Sparrow, lark Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, savannah (Ra) Sparrow, stripe-headed Spoonbill, roseate (Ds) Stilt, black-necked Stork, wood (Ra) Swallow, barn Swallow, cliff (Ds,Av) Swallow, northern rough-winged Swallow, tree Swallow, violet-green Tanager, summer Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged Teal, cinnamon Tern, Caspian Thrasher, curve-billed Thrush, orange-billed nightingale Towhee, canyon Vireo, Bell's Vireo, warbling (Av) Vulture, black Vulture, turkey Warbler, black and white Warbler, black-throated gray Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, orange-crowned Warbler, rufous-capped Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, yellow (Ds) Warbler, yellow-rumped Wigeon, American Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, house Wren, spotted Yellowlegs, lesser (Ra) Yellowthroat, common
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