Monday, July 11, 2016

Chapala Birders July Newsletter

Chapala Birders Newsletter July 2, 2016
100 Species Seen in June
The complete list of sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting sightings last month included:
  • An adult Bronzed Cowbird was observed mid-month entering a hanging nest of a Streak-backed Oriole, presumably checking it out with a view to laying eggs.
  • A juvenile Bronzed Cowbird was observed at the end of the month assiduously following an adult Streak-backed Oriole foster parent for food.
  • The pine-oak woods above San Pedro Itzican continue to yield interesting sightings - in June both Gray-capped Yellowthroat in the oaks, and Eastern Bluebird in the pines.
  • While bush-wacking a trail up the side of the Tepalo Arroyo, John Keeling saw a Buff-collared Nightjar doing the broken wing trick to divert attention, and looking down at the wet leafy soil covering saw a four inch depression with two fresh buff-colored downy chicks.

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

as seen at San Pedro Itzican in June. Note the distinctive white patches on the underside of the tail.

This small uncommon bird is seen here at higher altitudes in scrub and bushy areas year-round.
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, July 12 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. 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 ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning.

On Wednesday July 27 we will meet at the Allan Lloyd Trail at 8.00 am. We will bird this mile-long bushy trail until 10.15, when we will go for breakfast at Sunrise Restaurant and complete the bird list. Expect to see Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Stripe-headed Sparrow and possibly a Squirrel Cuckoo and Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush.
How to Get There: Drive up the Libramiento a half mile and park on north side of the road opposite Birds of Paradise Condominium. The trail runs on the west side of that condominium.
Local Monk Parakeet Population Expanding
The Monk Parakeets which were first seen at the Lake about five years ago are multiplying rapidly. There are three condo nests in a eucalyptus near the Ajijic pier, one nest near the Real de Chapala hotel, and more than a dozen nests in poplar trees in Fraccionamiento Nuevo Chapala. The population is considerably more than one hundred. These birds used to be exported around the world from their native Argentina. Now they are found nesting in the parks of every temperate city from Barcelona to Miami. This is the only parrot species in the world that actually builds a nest. The others employ hollows and cavities in trees for nesting purposes.
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On June 12 a group seven of us travelled to the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the plateau above the south side of the lake. We saw White-faced Ibis, Red-winged Blackbird, Lesser Goldfinch, Northern Mockingbird, Ruddy Duck, and Crested Caracara out of a total of 55 species.

The trip to Tapalpa was rained out and has been rescheduled for this month.
June Sightings List
Here are the 100 species sighted around Lake Chapala in June:

Ani, groove-billed
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Bluebird, eastern (Ra,Pz)
Bobwhite, northern (Ca,Xt)
Bunting, varied (Sc)
Bushtit (Pz)
Caracara, crested (Ra)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, common ground
Dove, Eurasian-collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (Ch)
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Duck, black-bellied whistling (Xt)
Duck, fulvous-whistling (C a)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (At)
Euphonia, elegant (At,Pz)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, dusky-capped (At)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, black-tailed (Pz,Ra,At)
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least (Ca,Ra)
Grebe, pied-billed (Ra)
Grosbeak, black-headed (Pz)
Grosbeak, blue
Hawk, red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great-blue (Ra)
Heron, green
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, sparkling-tailed (Av)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed
Meadowlark, eastern (Ra)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern (Ra)
Motmot, russet-crowned (At)
Nightjar, buff-collared (At)
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ra,Pz)
Owl, barn (Ch)
Owl, great-horned (Av)
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, greater (At)
Pewee, western wood (At,Pz)
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead
Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
Sparrow, chipping (At)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Vireo, golden (At)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey (Ra)
Warbler, rufous-capped
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren Bewick's
Wren canyon
Wren, Sinaloa (At,Pz)
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common (Ca)
Yellowthroat, gray-crowned (Sp)

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
Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are seeking information about birding in the area. We also like to hear about sightings of birds or nests at: or 376.766.1801. Check out the website: