Thursday, December 3, 2020

Newsletter

Chapala Birders Newsletter, December 2, 2020
150 Species Seen in November
The complete list appears at the end of this newsletter.

This has been a busy birding month as we have ventured afield to Tapalpa, Mazamitla and Colima Volcano, all of these being trips that in normal times we would have invited others to join us.

Interesting sightings:
  • Brown Pelicans are being seen on Lake Cajititlan.
  • We went to the Dike at the east end of the lake with Nicola Cendron and Lizzy Martinez of Guadalajara, seeing Purple Gallinule and Long-billed Curlew.
  • John and Nicola hiked to the Oak Forest from the International School, seeing White-eared Hummingbird and ten species of warblers including Red-faced Warbler.
Another New Species for the Lake
Nicola Cendron was able to photograph a Brewer's Sparrow near the Pumping Station. This is a new species for Lake Chapala.

It is known as a nondescript sparrow of gray-brown color, which summers in the western U.S. and winters in western Mexico. In the summer it is the most common bird in sagebrush country. We are at the southern end of its winter range in Mexico.
Christmas Bird Count Details
Our Ajijic area Christmas Bird Count will be held on Tuesday Dec. 15. You should register by contacting John Keeling by email (chapalabirders@yahoo.com) or phone (376.766.1801 or 331.091.2136) giving us your name, phone, email, city of residence and donation preference - see below. John will assign you to a team. A typical team might have a maximum of 4 or 5 people in two cars. Usual start time is 8.00 am and counting normally continues until mid-day. We intend to follow government protocols for Covid control with small teams, compulsory masks and social distancing. This year there will not be a group dinner at the end of the day.

There is no fee for the Count, but in the past, members have encouraged me to ask for a donation towards the out-of pocket costs of Chapala Birders. These are for website hosting and newsletter mailing, which together cost $7,000 pesos per year.

The "Cienega" Christmas Bird count at the dike at the east end of the lake will be on Thursday Dec. 17. This will be a full-day affair leaving at 8.00 am and returning at 6.00 pm. Please let John know if you are interested in joining us.

Other Christmas Bird Counts near us:
  • The Guadalara Count will be held December 20.
  • The Primavera Forest Count will be on December 18.
History of the Christmas Bird Count
The tradition of a Christmas bird count started when Frank Chapman, an officer of the Audubon Society in New York, thought there must be a better way to celebrate the holiday season than spending the day in the great outdoors trying to shoot as many ducks and geese as you could, in competition with your buddies trying to beat your numbers. They proposed to look for as many birds of every kind that they could find in one day and to record totals. On Christmas Day 1900, 27 birders took part in the first Christmas Bird Count.

The tradition has been spreading across the Americas. Now more than 2,600 counts are conducted, including 58 in Mexico. More than 80,000 people participate annually in the event. The count area currently reporting the most species is the Yanayacu count in Ecuador with 491 species.
Featured Bird: Canyon Wren
Canyon Wren
The Canyon Wren is an elusive bird that sometimes sits on a prominent rock or roof line, waving its head from side to side while it sings a signature song of loud descending notes. It likes dry, rocky areas and is quite common in Ajijic.
  • It is found in Mexico, the western U.S. and British Columbia.
  • It is a resident in all locations, but sometimes relocates to lower altitudes in winter.
  • It has a very long bill to get at spiders and other insects in narrow crevices.
  • Pairs are monogamous, cooperating in nest building. The female incubates five eggs for 15 days. Both feed the nestlings for 15 days until they fledge. They may nest more than once in a summer.
Bird-walks and Trips
Unfortunately, we have not been scheduling any Bird-walks or any Birding Trips for Chapala Birders, due to the ongoing Covid restrictions.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 150 species sighted around Lake Chapala in November:
Ani, groove-billed
Bittern, least (Ds)
Blackbird, Brewer's (Ch)
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Bunting, lazuli (Dp)
Bunting, varied
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Chat, yellow-breasted (Xt)
Coot, American
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel (St,Sa)
Curlew, long-billed (Dp)
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed
Duck, fulvous whistling (Ca)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (Sa)
Euphonia, elegant
Falcon, peregrine (Te)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, ash-throated (Sa)
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray-silky
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermillion
Gallinule, common
Gallinule, purple (Cu)
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Goshawk, northern (Te)
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed (Sa,Dp)
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, ring-billed
Harrier, northern (Cu,Dp)
Hawk, Cooper's (Xt,Dp)
Hawk, gray (Ca)
Hawk, red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great-blue
Heron, green
Heron, little blue (Dp)
Heron tri-colored
Hummingbird, beryline
Hummingbird, black-chinned (Te)
Hummingbird, blue-throated (Te)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, bumblebee (Te)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Hummingbird, white-eared (Ch)
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western
Kingfisher, belted
Kingfisher, green (Tz,Dp)
Kinglet, ruby-crowned
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Oriole, black-backed (Dp)
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Dp)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Cu)
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pelican, brown (Ca)
Pewee, greater (Ch,Dp)
Phoebe, black (Tz)
Phoebe, eastern (Dp)
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern
Raven, common
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shoveler, northern
Shrike, loggerhead (Dp)
Siskin, pine (Ch)
Snipe, Wilson's (Ds)
Solitaire, brown-backed (Sa)
Sora
Sparrow, Brewer's (Ch)
Sparrow, clay-colored
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, Lincoln's (Cu,Ds)
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Sparrow, white-crowned (Ch)
Spoonbill, roseate
Stilt, black-necked
Swallow, barn
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree
Tanager, hepatic
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Teal, green-winged
Tern, Caspian
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, hermit (Ch)
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Vireo, Cassin's
Vireo, golden (Sa)
Vireo, Hutton's (Sa)
Vireo, plumbeous
Vireo, warbling (Sa)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, hermit (Ch)
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, red-faced (Ch)
Warbler, rufous-capped (Ch)
Warbler, Townsend's (Ch)
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Woodcreeper, white-striped (Ch)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, happy (Sa)
Wren, house
Wren, marsh
Wren, spotted
Yellowlegs, greater (Ca,Dp)
Yellowthroat, common (Cu)
Sighting Location codes:

Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan & marsh
Ch - Chapala
Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
Dm - Dike: Jamay to Malteraña
Dp - Dike: Maltaraña to La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
La - La Cañada-Hidden Valley
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/Allen Lloyd Trail
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/San Luis Soyatlan
Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas
John&Rosemary

Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling.

We like to hear of bird sightings at: chapalabirders@yahoo.com.

Check our website:
ChapalaBirders.org



Saturday, November 21, 2020

Newsletter

Chapala Birders Newsletter, November 2, 2020
158 Species in October Including Two New
Species for the Lake
This is a fantastically good list. The complete list appears at the end of this newsletter. Special sightings last month included:

  • John and Rosemary saw a pair of Green-tailed Towhees at the Cajititlan marsh. These are large sparrows with maroon cap and greenish body and tail, that are seen here only every few years.
  • Sandra Young had various hummingbirds at her feeders including Black-chinned, Bumblebee and Ruby-crowned.
  • Nicola Cendron saw a large number of Clark's Grebes on Lake Cajitlan, and also many warblers on the higher levels the mountain above Ajijic including Red-faced, Hermit and Townsend's not to mention White-eared Hummingbird and Mexican Violetear.
The New Species
Costa's Hummingbird was sighted at the feeders of our Hummingbird Lady, Sandra Young, who lives in the country near Mezcala. This small hummingbird is one of those described in the books as 'unmistakable", the male having not just a purplish-colored gorget, but the color extends from the throat to the crown. It winters along the north-west coast of Mexico and we are on the very edge of its winter range.

Gray-Collared Becard was seen by Nicola Cendron on a trail that ascends to the oak forest on the top of the mountain range above Chapala and Ajijic, It is a small flycatcher with a dark cap and a flat-topped head seen in the higher levels of tall trees. It is an uncommon resident in various parts of Mexico, but is known to be an altitudinal migrant, moving to lower altitudes in winter.
Two Christmas Bird Counts in December
Our two local Christmas Bird Counts will be conducted this year on Tuesday Dec. 15 for the Ajijic area, and on Thursday Dec. 17 for the Dike at the east end of Lake. We will follow whatever government protocols for Covid virus control are in force at the time, such as smaller teams. Registration will take place on December 11 and 12. Further details will appear in the December 2 newsletter.
Featured Bird: Vermilion Flycatcher
Male Vermilion Flycatcher
The Vermilion Flycatcher is an iconic year-round resident in our area.
  • It is found in Mexico, the southernmost parts of the U.S, and various subspecies are found in many parts of Central and South America.
  • The females have whitish breasts with streaks and a pink or yellow wash on the belly.
  • They prefer fairly open shrubby areas not far from water.
  • The birds spend much of their time sitting on exposed branches waiting for flies and beetles which are caught in flight.
  • Three eggs are laid in a shallow nest. The female incubates the eggs and the male feeds her. Ten percent of females copulate with more than one male and ten percent of females lay eggs in other nests.
  • The chicks fly within 15 days and the parents build two nests in a summer.
  • The nests are often a target of brood-parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds.
  • The Vermilion Flycatcher is known to sing its particular trill at night in the breeding season.
Bird-walks and Trips
Unfortunately, we have not been scheduling any Bird-walks or any Birding Trips for Chapala Birders, due to the ongoing Covid restrictions.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the 100 species sighted around Lake Chapala in September:
Ani, groove-billed
Becard, gray-collared (Ch)
Bittern, American (Ca)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (Ps,Ca)
Bobwhite, northern (Ps)
Bunting, lazuli (Ca0
Bunting, painted (Te)
Bunting, varied
Bushtit
Caracara, crested
Chat, yellow-breasted (Av)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dickcissel (Ca)
dove, common ground
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed
Duck, black-bellied whistling
Duck, fulvous whistling
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish
Euphonia, elegant (Sa)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, ash-throated
Flycatcher, cordilleran (At)
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gadwall (Ca)
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, Clark's (Ca)
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, Cooper's
Hawk, gray (Te)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned (Ca)
Hawk, zone-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, berylline
Hummingbird, black-chinned (Te)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, bumblebee (Te)
Hummingbird, Costa's (Te)
Hummingbird, ruby-throated (Te,ch,Ca)
Hummingbird, rufous (Ra,sa0
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Hummingbird, white-eared (Ch)
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American
Killdeer
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western
Kingfisher, belted (Ps,Sa)
Kinglet, ruby-crowned (Ch)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned
Nighthawk, lesser
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's (SaAv0
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Ps)
Oriole, streak-backed
Osprey (Ra)
Owl, ferruginous pygmy (Sa)
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pelican, brown (Ca0
Pewee, greater
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern
Raven, common
Redstart, painted (Sa)
Redstart, slate-throated (Ch)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shoveler, northern
Shrike, loggerhead
Solitaire, brown-backed (Ch0
Sparrow, chipping
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, rusty -crowned ground
Sparrow, savannah
Sparrow, song
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked
Stork, wood
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Teal, green-winged
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Towhee, canyon
Towhee, green-tailed (Ca)
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Violetear, Mexican (Ch)
Vireo, Cassin's (Ch)
Vireo, plumbeous (Ch)
Vireo, warbling
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, hermit (Ch)
Warbler, McGillivray's (Ch)
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, red-faced (Ch)
Warbler, rufous-capped
Warbler, Townsend's
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy (Sa)
Wren, house
Wren, Sinaloa (Ch)
Wren, spotted
Sighting Location codes:

Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan & marsh
Ch - Chapala
Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
Dm - Dike: Jamay to Malteraña
Dp - Dike: Maltaraña to La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
La - La Cañada-Hidden Valley
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/Allen Lloyd Trail
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/San Luis Soyatlan
Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas
John&Rosemary

Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling.

We like to hear of bird sightings at: chapalabirders@yahoo.com.

Check our website:
ChapalaBirders.org
Lake Chapala Birders | Callejon al Tepalo #140, Ajijic, Jalisco 45920 Mexico
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