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
105 Species Seen in May
The complete list of sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.
The Oak Woods above San Pedro Itzican have been ylelding some less commonly seen species such as: - A Common Black Hawk which we have only seen at the Rio Verde to the north east of Lake Chapala - A Sulfur-bellied Flycatcher which we have seen once in Ajijc in lower Chula Vista several years ago. - A Sinaloa Wren observed actively building a nest in the shape of an up-side-down 'U' at the end of a tree branch.
We have recently seen a Yellow-winged Cacique in Riberas, and also near Mezcala. These are believed to be cage-espapes. This species is common at the coast, and their normal range does not include this area. If in the future they mate and form a continuously growing colony, we would then add them to the Lake Chapala List. Seven Years of this Newsletter We, (John and Rosemary) have been putting out this newsletter for seven years now.
Allen Turner and Judy Boyd started sending out formal newsletters announcing bird walks and listing bird walk sightings, in September 2006.
We took over when Allen and Judy went to live in Ecuador (they now live in the US). Our first newsletter went out on June 6, 2009 listing for the first time the monthly sightings list for Lake Chapala, in that case the list for the May 2009 sightings.
Golden Vireos such as this one are being heard and seen in the hills above the village of Ajijic. These birds are endemic to Mexico, being found on the western seabord from Sonora in the north, to Oaxaca in the south.
They are considered permanent residents in our area, though many probably move downhill closer to the coast for the coolest winter months.They are small, being easily confused with Wilson's Warblers which are winter visitors.
They are difficult to photograph because they stay in the mid to upper canopy of trees, and because they are in constant motion.
Results of the Global Big Day
On May 14, birders were encouraged to get outside and count as many bird species as they could find in one day, and enter their sightings on the eBird database.
Globally, 16,000 people responded to this challenge, reporting 6,300 species. (There are 10,426 bird species known in the world.)
Here at Lake Chapala we reported 73 species in the single day, and in the state of Jalisco 203 species were identified. This is our low season for birds, so these figures are much lower than our Christmas Bird Count results.
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 Monday, June 6 we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am to carpool, leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the plateau above the south side of the lake (60 minutes drive). Expect to see higher altitude and pasture birds such as Botteri's Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark. We will be back about 3.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.
On Tuesday, June 28 we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am to carpool, leaving immediately for the Sierra de Tapalpa (90 minutes away). We will bird from 9.00 till 12.30 and have lunch in the town of Tapalpa and complete the bird list. There will be higher altitude birds such as Acorn Woodpecker - and if we are lucky Trans-volcanic Jay and Yellow-eyed Junco. We will be back about 5.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at email@example.com ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On May 10 we had six keen observers out to the Allen Lloyd Trail, including a pair of experienced birders from up north. A highlight was hearing, then seeing, a Squirrel Cuckoo for several minutes. Other birds out of a total ot 34 species included White-tailed Kite, Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush and at least 10 Western Wood Pewees.
On May 27 we had six birders out at Riberas del Pilar, including three residents of that sub-division. We observed 41 species including Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer, American Avocet, Spotted Wren, Blue Mockingbird, Black-backed Oriole, and at least 12 Groove-billed Anis.
May Sightings List
Here are the 105 species observed in May around Lake Chapala:
Ani, groove-billed Avocet, American (Rp) Becard, rose-throated (Pz) Bunting, varied (Sa) Bushtit Caracara, crested Coot, American Cormorant, neotropic Cowbird, bronzed Cowbird, brown-headed Cuckoo, squirrel (At,Sa) Dove, Eurasian-collared Dove, Inca Dove, mourning (Sn) Dove, white-tipped Dove, white-winged Duck, fulvous-whistling (Ch) Egret, cattle Egret, great Egret, snowy Elaenia, Greenish Euphonia, Elegant Falcon, peregrine (Av) Finch, house Flycatcher, ash-throated (Pz) Flycatcher, cordilleran Flycatcher, dusky-capped Flycatcher, Nutting's Flycatcher, social Flycatcher, sulfur-bellied (Pz) Flycatcher, vermillion Flycatcher, willow (Pz) Gallinule, common Gnatcatcher, black-tailed Grackle, great-tailed Grebe, least Grebe, pied-billed Grosbeak, black-headed Grosbeak, blue Gull, ring-billed Hawk, common black (Pz) Hawk, Cooper's (Pz) Hawk, red-tailed Heron, black-crowned night Heron, green Heron, little blue (Av) Heron, tri-colored Hummingbird, beryline (Av) Hummingbird, broad-billed Hummingbird, violet-crowned Ibis, white-faced Jacana, northern Killdeer Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird, thick-billed Kingbird, tropical Kiskadee, great Kite, white-tailed (Av,Sa,Dp) Meadowlark, Eastern (Dm) Mockingbird, blue Mockingbird, northern Motmot, russet-crowned (Av,Sa) Nightjar, buff-collared (Av) Oriole, black-backed Oriole, black-vented Oriole, streak-backed Owl, great-horned (Av,Rp) Parakeet, monk Pelican, American white Pewee, western wood (Sa,Pz) Pigeon, rock Raven, common (Av,Pz) Robin, rufous-backed Seedeater, white-collared Shrike, loggerhead Sparrow, chipping Sparrow, house Sparrow, roufous-crowned Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground Sparrow, song Sparrow, stripe-headed Stilt, black-necked (Rp) Stork, wood Swallow, barn Swallow, cliff Swallow, northern rough-winged Tanager, hepatic Tanager, western Teal, blue-winged (Av,Rp,Ch) Thrasher, curve-billed Thrush, orange-billed nightingale Towhee, canyon Vireo, golden Vireo, warbling (Av) Vulture, black Warbler, Nashville Warbler, rufous-capped (Av,Pz) Warbler, yellow Woodpecker, golden-fronted Woodpecker, ladder-backed Wren, Bewick's Wren, canyon Wren, happy (Pz) Wren, Sinaloa (Pz) Wren, spotted
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