Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Newsletter

Chapala Birders Newsletter July 2, 2017
101 Species Sighted Last Month
The complete list of June sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting sightings:
  • At the lunch stop of our trip to Rosa Amarilla we observed a pair of Spotted Wrens actively collecting food while standing close by were three juvenile Bronzed Cowbirds hoping to be fed. A few days later we saw a pair of Bewick's Wrens activley feeding another juvenile Bronzed Cowbird at Lake Cajitilan.
  • Also at Rosa Amarilla, we were amazed to see some 400 Wood Storks on the reservoir. We have never seen so many near Lake Chapala before.
  • Recently we went to Concepión de Buenas Aires near Mazamitla, and were attracted to an unusual call from a small bird hiding in a damp field of clump grass. From our photos and the call we determined it was a Sedge Wren, a species we had not seen before.
Sedge Wren
Sedge Wren singing as seen at Concepción de Buenos Aires in June.
  • The Sedge Wren is a small, secretive wren of wet, grassy fields, in contrast to its cousin the Marsh Wren which is found close to beds of cattails.
  • While the North American population is migratory, the Mexican population is resident year-round. However, it is known as a nomadic bird which chooses different locations each year.
  • The song is said to sound like two pebbles tapping together.
  • The female is said to puncture the eggs in any other nest nearby, thereby preventing hatching.
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 July 3, we will meet at 8.00 am at Donas Donuts to carpool, leaving imediately for the Sierra de Tapalpa (90 minutes away)
. We will bird from 9.30 till 12.30 and have lunch in the town of Tapalpa and complete the bird list. We expect to see higher altitude birds such as Acorn Woodpecker and slate-throated redstart and if we are lucky Trans-volcanic Jay. Bring your own refreshments for the morning. 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.

On Tuesday July 18, we will meet at 8.00 am to walk the Allen Lloyd Trail which follows a mile-long arroyo with lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. Expect to see Golden-fronted Woodpecker, stripe-headed Sparrow and possibly a Squirrel Cuckoo. At 10.15 we will head to Sunrise restaurant for breakfast and complete the birdlist.
How to Get There: Drive up the Libramiento a half mile from the traffic light at Walmart, and park on the north side of the road across from the El Dorado Condominium tower.
Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On June 16, we had nine birders out for the Rosa Amarilla Loop. We sighted 53 species which was an unexpectedly good number. We saw Eastern Bluebird, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Ruddy Duck, Black-backed Oriole and Botteri's Sparrow as well as the 400 Wood Storks mentioned above.

On June 27
there were 11 people who came out birding at Cristiania Park in Chapala. We were very pleased to observe Bushtit, Purple Gallinule, Little Blue Heron, Black-necked Stilt, and the rare (for us) Least Bittern, several of which were seen in the open and sitting in the reed-beds. The total count was 38 species.
June Sightings List
Here are the 101 species sighted around Lake Chapala in June:

Ani, groove-billed
Bittern, least (Ch)
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
Bobwhite, northern (Ca)
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (PsRa)
Dove, white-winged
Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ca)
Duck, fulvous whistling (ChCa)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant (At)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky (Ra)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Gallinule, purple (Ch)
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, Clarke's
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, Cooper's (Ch)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, white-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, little blue
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, beryline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, sparkling-tailed (Sc)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed
Meadowlark, eastern
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Owl, great-horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Rail, Aztec (Ch)
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead (Ca)
Sparrow, Botteri's (AtRa)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Ra)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Teal, blue-winged
Tern, Caspian (PsCa)
Tern, Forster's (Ps)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (At)
Towhee, canyon
Vireo, golden (At)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, rufous-capped (Sa)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, Sinaloa (Sa)
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common (CaCh)

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/Rio la Pasion
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: