Wednesday, May 4, 2016

FW: Lake Chapala Birding News

Birding News Lake Chapala
Lake Chapala Birders May 2, 2016

Two New Species for the Lake
Bald Eagle
Global Big Day
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
April 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


  • Two New Species for the Lake

  • We saw 160 species last month - a very large list for April. This was aided by lots of birding trips and top-notch visiting birders. The complete list of sightings is shown at the end of this email.

    The big news is that we have added two species to the Lake Chapala list.

    The first species is the Mexican Whip-poor-will which was observed by Raul Padilla, a visiting birder from the city of Pachuca. He camped out on the ridge of Chupinaya, 2,000 feet above Ajijic, and these birds were calling all night. We have not encountered them at lake level This species sleeps during the day, and flies at night to catch insects.

    The second species is the Bald Eagle. Nicola Cendron, a visiting birder from Mexico City, observed one flying over the El Volantin dam. This eagle has been seen further north in the neighboring states of Nayarit and Zacatecas, but not this far south before. These eagles breed primarily in Canada and winter primarily in the US. They are fish eating birds, but when fish are not available they will eat crabs, coots, ducks, or jackrabbits - dead or alive.

    Other interesting sightings in April were:

    - Greenish Elaenias on the trails above Ajijic.
    - An estimated 3,000 American white pelicans at Petatan
    - An estimated 65,000 yellow-headed blackbirds at evening assembly at the malecon at San Antonio Tlayacapan
    - A Black-tailed Gnatcatcher above San Pedro Itzican
    - Squirrel Cuckoos and Rufous-Crowned Motmots have started calling from the hills
    - Wilson's Phalaropes have been passing through on migration
    - A group of migrating Dickcissels was seen at Lake Cajititlan
    - The American White Pelicans departed on April 23. As usual, a few have stayed behind

  • Bald Eagle

  • Photo of a Bald Eagle as sighted at the end of April on the Rosa Amarilla loop, flying over the El Volantin dam.

  • Global Big Day

  • A final reminder, on Saturday, May 6, every birder in the world 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 for recording their sightings.

    Most birders will be aware that a "Big Day" typically involves a team of birders in one car hitting as many bird hot-spots as possible in a 24-hour period. On May 6 you do not have to form a team, but it's an idea!

  • 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 Tuesday May 8 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. to hike the Allen Lloyd Trail which follows a long arroyo with lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. At 10.00 we will head to Sunrise restaurant for breakfast and complete the birdlist.
    To Get There: Take the libramiento northwards from Walmart. After the first curve, look for the culvert just before "Birds of Paradise" condominium. Park on the north side of the road close to the culvert.

    On Friday May 27, we will meet at 8.00 a.m. in Riberas del Pilar to follow the shoreline observing marsh, lake and scrub birds. At about 10.00 we will head to Mom's restaurant for breakfast.
    How to get there: Take the carretera to Riberas; half way along, turn down to the lake at the Seven Eleven store; park close to the lake.

  • Bird Walk & Trip Reports

  • On April 8, we had eight keen birders out at Lake Cajititlan. Though the water quality is not good we managed to record 57 species including American Avocet, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, White-tailed Kite, Sora, Marsh Wren and Common Yellowthroat.

    On April 18, the trek to Las Trojes attraacted just two people, However, but we saw and heard 44 species which is unexpectedly high for the dry oak forest. We heard Acorn Woodpecker, Brown-backed Solitaire and Elegant Trogon, and saw Hepatic Tanager, Squirrel Cuckoo, Hermit Thrush, Happy Wren, as well as dozens of Gray Silky Flycatchers,

  • April Sightings List

  • Here are the 160 species observed in April around Lake Chapala:

    Ani, groove-billed
    Avocet, American (Ca, Ra)
    Becard, rose-throated
    Bittern, American
    Blackbird, Brewer's (Ra)
    Blackbird, red-winged
    Blackbird, yellow-headed
    Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
    Bobwhite, northern (Ca)
    Bunting, indigo
    Bunting, lazuli
    Bunting, varied
    Caracara, crested
    Chat, yellow-breasted
    Coot, American
    Cormorant, neotropic
    Cowbird, bronzed
    Cowbird, brown-headed
    Cuckoo, squirrel (At)
    Dickcissel (Ca)
    Dove, common ground
    Dove, Eurasian collared
    Dove, Inca
    Dove, white-tipped
    Dove, white-winged
    Dowitcher, long-billed
    Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ca)
    Duck, fulvous whistling (Sa)
    Duck, Mexican
    Duck, ruddy
    Eagle, bald (Ra)
    Egret, cattle
    Egret, great
    Egret, snowy
    Elaenia, greenish (At)
    Euphonia, elegant
    Finch, house
    Flycatcher, cordilleran
    Flycatcher, dusky-capped
    Flycatcher, gray-silky
    Flycatcher, least
    Flycatcher, social
    Flycatcher, vermillion
    Flycatcher, willow (Pz)
    Gallinule, common
    Gallinule, purple (Sa)
    Gnatcatcher, black-tailed (Pz)
    Goldfinch, lesser
    Grackle, great-tailed
    Grebe, least
    Grebe, pied-billed
    Grosbeak, black-headed
    Grosbeak, blue
    Gull, laughing
    Gull, ring-billed
    Hawk, Cooper's (Tr)
    Hawk, red-tailed
    Hawk, sharp-shinned (Av)
    Heron, black-crowned night
    Heron, great blue
    Heron, green
    Heron, tri-colored
    Hummingbird, berylline
    Hummingbird, broad-billed
    Ibis, white-faced
    Jacana, northern
    Kestrel, American
    Kingbird, Cassin's
    Kingbird, thick-billed
    Kingbird, tropical
    Kiskadee, great
    Kite, white-tailed
    Meadowlark, eastern (Ra)
    Mockingbird, blue
    Mockingbird, northern
    Nightjar, buff-collared (Av)
    Oriole, black-backed
    Oriole, black-vented
    Oriole, hooded
    Oriole, streak-backed
    Osprey (Ra)
    Owl, great horned
    Parakeet, monk
    Parula, tropical (Pt)
    Pelican, American white
    Pewee, greater
    Phalarope, Wilson's (Ra,Ca))
    Phoebe, black
    Phoebe, Say's
    Pigeon, rock
    Pipit, American
    Rail, Aztec (Sa)
    Raven, common
    Redstart, American
    Roadrunner, greater
    Roadrunner, lesser
    Robin, rufous-backed
    Sandpiper, least
    Sandpiper, spotted
    Seedeater, white-collared
    Shoveler, northern
    Shrike, loggerhead
    Snipe, Wilson's (Sa)
    Solitaire, brown-backed (Tr)
    Sparrow, chipping
    Sparrow, clay-colored
    Sparrow, house
    Sparrow, lark
    Sparrow, Lincoln's
    Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
    Sparrow, savannah
    Sparrow, stripe-headed
    Spoonbill, roseate (Dp)
    Stilt, black-necked
    Stork, wood (Ra)
    Swallow, barn
    Swallow, cliff
    Swallow, northern rough-winged
    Tanager, hepatic
    Tanager, western
    Teal, blue-winged
    Teal, cinnamon
    Tern, Caspian (Ra)
    Thrasher, curve-billed
    Thrush, hermit (Pz,Tr))
    Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
    Towhee, canyon
    Trogon, elegant (Tr)
    Vireo, Cassin's
    Vireo, golden
    Vireo, plumbeous
    Vireo, warbling
    Vulture, black
    Vulture, turkey
    Warbler, black and white
    Warbler, black-throated gray
    Warbler, MacGillivray's
    Warbler, Nashville
    Warbler, orange crowned
    Warbler, Townsend's
    Warbler, Virginia's
    Warbler, Wilson's
    Warbler, yellow-rumped
    Warbler, yellow-throated
    Whip-poor-will, Mexican (At)
    Woodcreeper, white striped (Av)
    Woodpecker, acorn (Tr)
    Woodpecker, golden-fronted
    Woodpecker, ladder-backed
    Wren, Bewick's
    Wren, canyon
    Wren, happy (Tr)
    Wren, house
    Wren, marsh
    Wren, spotted
    Yellowlegs, greater (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 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