Saturday, March 3, 2018


Chapala Birders Newsletter March 2, 2018
154 Species Sighted Last Month
The complete list of February sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting sightings last month:

-  The Allen Lloyd Trail continues to be a hot-spot with reports of Greenish Elaenia, Rufous-capped Warbler, Macgillivray's Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Golden Vireo, and many other species.
-  Brian Lewis has once again seen a Gray Flycatcher at the Racket Club in San Juan Cosala. This species is sighted across Jalisco, but is quite uncommon.
- Visiting birder Rich MacIntosh from Kodiak Island, Alaska, found the uncommon Green-tailed Towhee at the Allen Lloyd trail. Knowing his gulls, he was able to identify both Bonaparte's Gull and Black Tern flying over the lake at Ajijic. For us, these are uncommon species.
Bonaparte's Gull
Bonaparte's Gull as seen at Ajijic in February.

Species details:

Bonaparte's Gull is frequently referred to as being 'different'. It is the only gull that nests in trees; it does not eat carrion, as other gulls do; and flies more like a tern than a gull.
-  It is one the smallest gulls, noted for its black head in summer and only a black patch behind the ears in winter.
-  They breed in most of Canada and Alaska, building a nest of twigs in conifers, usually spruce, not far from a pond or bog. Their summer diet is principally insects caught in flight.
-  They over-winter in the south-east United States, and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, occasionally coming inland to visit Lake Chapala. In winter they eat small creatures up to a half-inch long, in the water or on the shore, such as insect larvae and small crustacions.
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 March 9 we will meet at 8.30 am at the Malecon Park in Jocotepec. We expect to see a variety of shore birds such as Northern Jacana, as well as other species in the tall trees of the park, such as Golden-fronted Woodpecker. At about 10.30 we will head to Frida's for breakfast and complete the bird list.
How to Get There:
From Ajijic go through San Juan Cosala and after El Chante you wiil encounter a long curve to the left, followed by major topes, followed by a long curve to the right. Take a left exit at the beginning, or end, of this last curve. Proceed towards the lake and park in the malecon parking lot.

On Wednesday March 14 we will meet at 8.00 am at the Old Train Station in Chapala, proceeding immediately to bird various prime shore spots along the lakeshore east of Chapala as far as San Nicolas de Ibarra. 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 ahead of time.

On Monday March 26 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 Western Tanager, Stripe-headed Sparrow and possibly a Squirrel Cuckoo. At 10.15 we will head to Sunrise restaurant for breakfast.
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 February 6 nineteen people came out for the birdwalk at El Bajio on the west side of Ajijic. With good weather and an interested crowd we sighted 60 species including Gray-silky Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak, Tri-colored Heron, Lucy's Warbler and two endemic species: Blue Mockingbird and Black-backed Oriole.

On February 21
we had nineteen people in seven vehicles going to Lake Cajititlan. Fortunately, everone managed to stick with the group through four observation stops. We saw Common Yellowthroat, Western Sandpiper, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Northern Jacana, Orchard Oriole and Northern Harrier out of a total of 66 species.

On February 26
we had six carloads of birders for the trip to the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the south side of the lake. Sightings included Beryline Hummingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Red-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, Wood Stork, and Northern Beardless Tyrannulet for an unexpectedly high total of 73 species.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 154 species sighted around Lake Chapala in February:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ca)
Bittern, American (Ca)
Bittern, least (Sa)
Blackbird, red-winged (Sa,Ra)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (Sa,Ra)
Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
Bunting, Indigo
Bunting, painted
Bunting, varied
Chat, yellow-breasted (Ca)
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel (Sa)
Dove, common ground (Ca)
Dove, Eurasian-collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning (Ca)
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed (Ra,Ca)
Duck, Mexican (Ra,Ca)
Duck, ruddy (Ra,Ca)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (Sa)
Euphonia, elegant (At, Ac)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, ash-throated
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray (Sc)
Flycatcher, gray-silky (Av,Ac)
Flycatcher, least
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gadwall (Av,Ac)
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, Bonaparte's (Jo,Av)
Gull, ring-billed
Harrier, northern (Ra,Ca)
Hawk, gray (Ra)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned (Ac)
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, beryline
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kingfisher, belted (Ca,Av)
Kiskadee, great
Meadowlark, eastern (Ra)
Merlin (Ra)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Nightjar, buff-collared (Ac)
Oriole, black-backed (Ac)
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, bullock's (Sa,Av)
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Ca)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ra,Av)
Owl, great-horned
Owl, mottled (At)
Parakeet, monk
Parrot, red-lored
Pelican, American-white
Pewee, great
Phoebe, black (Ca,Rp)
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern
Rail, Aztec (Sa)
Raven, common
Redstart, American (Ac)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Sandpiper, western (Ca)
Seedeater, white-collared
Shoveler, northern
Shrike, loggerhead
Snipe, Wilson's (Sa)
Solitaire, brown-backed (At)
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, Lincoln's
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood (Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree
Swallow, violet-green (Ca)
Tanager, summer (At)
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Teal, green-winged
Tern, black (Av)
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's
Thrasher, curve-billed
Towhee, canyon
Towhee, green-tailed (Sa)
Tyrannulet, northern beardless (Ra)
Vireo, black-capped (Sa)
Vireo, Cassin's
Vireo, golden
Vireo, plumbeous
Vireo, warbling
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, Lucy's (Ac)
Warbler, MacGillivray's (At,Sa)
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, rufous-capped (Sa)
Warbler, Virginia's (Sa)
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Widgeon, American
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, marsh (Ca,Av)
Wren spotted
Yellowlegs, greater
Yellowthroat, common (Ca)

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: or 376.766.1801. Check out the website: