Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chapala Birders August Newsletter

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

Some interesting sightings last month:
  • Residents of upper Ajijic saw a Barn Owl sitting on a chimney of their house in the late evening, and watched as it swooped down to catch a rat.
  • John observed a dark round lump among the leaves at the end of a branch 12 feet above a trail in the hills above Ajijic. Putting his binoculars on it, he saw it was a nest with a bird inside, busily arranging it. The bird subsequently showed itself to be a Rusty-crowned Ground Sparrow.
  • Another nest was seen on the south side of the lake. This was a small whitish cup high up in the fork of a eucalyptus tree, with the tail of a bird sticking out on one side. The bird flew off and returned. It was a Western Wood Pewee.

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat 
as seen at San Pedro Itzican in July. This is a small less-common warbler that we see in the summertime in fields and scrubby areas away from water. Its range includes Mexico and all of central America.
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 August 12 we will meet at Donas Donuts at 8.00 am to carpool, leaving immediately for Lake Cajititlan (30 minutes drive). We expect to see a range of water birds, and possibly Marsh Wren and Common Yellowthroat. At about 10.15 we will go Las Delicias restaurant in Chapala for breakfast and complete the bird list. 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 Monday August 22  we will meet 8.30 am at the Pumping Station.Expect to see a variety of birds of the fields and hedgerows. At about 10.15 we will go to Las Delicias for breakfast.
How to get there: Take the Mexcala road from Chapala, pass Santa Cruz on your left, the air strip and water ski park on your right. Look out for the Pumping station on the right with three large gray pump towers and a sign "Acueducto". Immediately after this, turn right on a hidden gravel road. After one mile (2km) turn left at the T junction. Park at the next intersection, leaving space for farmer's cars and pickups to pass.
New Mexican Bird Names
Last December, CONABIO (Mexican National Commission on Biodiversity) published a carefully revised list of the Names of Mexican birds. Each part of Mexico tends to have its own names for common birds, different from the names used in other parts. The new list is the first officially sponsored national list, prepared by a high-level committee of Mexican bird authorities. Approximately half of the names of Mexican birds have been modified in the new list. It will take a while for these new names to be adopted by birders and bird-book writers.

It is interesting that CONABIO has accepted the AOU (American Ornitholigist's Union) taxonomic sequence and scientific names. Mexican and Latin American ornithologists tend to use the scientific (Latin) names of birds, for the practical reason that the local names for birds are not understandable by birders or ornithologists in other parts of the country or in the other Latin American countries.

Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On July 27 five keen birders went up the Allen Lloyd Trail in San Antonio under overcast skies. We saw Golden Vireo, Greenish Elaenia, both Greater and Western Wood Pewee, and Rufous-capped Warbler. A Squirrel Cuckoo was calling in the hills, but did not show itself. The total was 27 species, which is not high, nevertheless we had some good sightings.
July Sightings List
Here are the 100 species sighted around Lake Chapala in July:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet American (Ca)
Becard, rose-throated (Pz)
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (Pz)
Bobwhite, northern (Ca,Ra,Ps)
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, common ground (Ca)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Duck black-bellied whistling (Ca,Xt)
Duck, fulvous whistling (Ca,Ps)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ps)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (At,Pz)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gallinule, common
Gallinule, purple (Ca,Xt)
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed (Pz)
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing (Ch)
Gull, ring-billed (Ch)
Hawk, red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, little blue
Heron, tricolored
Hummingbird, beryline (Pz)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingfisher, green
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Meadowlark, eastern (Ca,Dp)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern (Pz,Ra)
Motmot, russet-crowned
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ps)
Owl, barn (Av)
Owl, great-horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white (Ra,Dm)
Pelican, brown (Ca)
Pewee, greater (At,Ra,Pz)
Pewee, western wood (At,Ra,Pz)
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common (Ra,Pz)
Roadrunner, lesser (Ra)
Robin, rufous-backed
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead
Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stork, wood (Ra,Dm)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Ch,Dm)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (Pz)
Vireo, golden (At,Sa)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey (Ra)
Warbler, rufous-capped
Woodpecker, golden fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, Sinaloa (Pz,Ch)
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common (Ca,Ra)
Yellowthroat, gray-crowned (Pz,Ra)

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: