Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August Newsletter

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

Interesting sightings:
  • This summer our area has been host to considerable numbers of Wood Storks. Usually we think that a group of six or eight birds is a large group. But we have been seeing as many as 150 birds recently on the Rosa Amarilla Loop.
  • We are continuing to see Least Bittern in the reed beds at Cristiania Park in Chapala. These birds are known to be shy and only live around reed beds.
  • Sparkling-tailed Hummingbirds were reported in the Raquet Club in San Juan Cosala. We see this species in May, June and perhaps July when they nest here, usually leaving shortly after the rainy season starts in June.
Golden Fronted Woodpecker
This Golden Fronted Woodpecker photo was taken by Barbara Baird and submitted to the National Audubon Society. It is one of a series of beautiful bird photos which you can see here: "The 2017 Audubon Photography Awards: Top 100"
  • The Golden-fronted Woodpecker is the most common woodpecker in the Lake Chapala area. It is found in semi-open woodlands in central and eastern Mexico, as well as in Texas, and south as far as Nicaragua. It is non-migratory.
  • It is a medium-sized bird with fine black and white bars across the back and wings. It has an orange patch on the nape, and a small yellow patch between the eyes and the bill.
  • Both parents excavate a nest cavity in a hardwood tree or post, and both share in incubation duties as well as the feeding of the young.
  • They eat small insects under tree bark as well as larger insects on the ground, and a wide variety of nuts, seeds and fruit such as prickly pears in season.
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 11 we will meet at 8.00 a.m. at La Cristina on the west side of Ajijic. We will see some shore birds, some birds in the tall trees and some birds in the scrub. At about 10.00 a.m. we will head to Fonda Dona Lola for breakfast and complete the bird list.

How to Get There: Drive about 2 mi (4km) west from Colon, look for signs for Hacienda La Cristina (near signs for Las Palmas, a bus stop and a vivero), turn down to the lake, and park close to the lake.

On Monday August 28, we will meet at the old Train Station at 8.15 am to bird the Lakshore, including the Pumping Station, San Nicolas and the Lower Dam. This will cover a wide range of habitats. At 10.15  we will head to Las Delicias restaurant for breakfast and complete the birdlist. If you need a ride please email John at chapalabirders@yahoo.com ahead of time.

Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On July 3 we went to the Sierra de Tapalpa with three other birders. Under overcast skies we managed to see 28 species including an uncommon sighting of Mexican Chickadee, also Berylline Hummingbird, Trans-volcanic Jay, Slate-throated Redstart, Striped Sparrow, and Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush.

On July 18
we had eleven birders out to hike the Allen Lloyd Trail, but within 15 minutes of setting out along the arroyo it started to rain and we had to take shelter under a very large tree, until we reluctantly declared an early breakfast, reconvening at Sunrise Restaurant. In the short time available we recorded 18 common species, including Blue Mockingbird, Bushtit, Western Wood Pewee and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet.

Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 93 species sighted around Lake Chapala in July:

Ani, Groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ch)
Bittern, least
Blackbird, red-winged (Ra)
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Bobwhite, northern (Pz)
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed (Dp)
Dove, common ground (Ps)
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, white-tipped
Duck, fulvous whistling (Xt)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least (Dp)
Grebe, pied-billed (Ps,Ch)
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing (Ps)
Gull, ring-billed (Ps)
Hawk , red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, sparkling-tailed (Sc)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced (Ra,Ps)
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingfisher, green (Dp)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Meadowlark, eastern (Dp,Ra)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern (Ra)
Motmot, russet-crowned
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ps)
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk (Av,Ch)
Pelican, American white
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, spotted (Dm)
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead
Sparrow, Botteri's (Ra)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Spoonbill, roseate ((Dp)
Stork, wood (Dp,Ra,Ca)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Dp,Ra)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tern, Caspian
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Vireo, golden
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren Bewick's
Wren, spotted
Yellowthroat, common
Yellowthroat, gray-crowned (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/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: chapalabirders@yahoo.com or 376.766.1801. Check out the website: chapalabirders.org