Sunday, November 3, 2019


Chapala Birders Newsletter November 2, 2019
  146 Species sighted last month around the Lake
The complete list of species for last month is shown at the end of this newsletter.

Interesting sightings last month:
- Paul Hart and John Keeling hiked up to the Oak Forest above Las Trojes seeing higher altitide warblers such as Red-faced Warbler, Hermit Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
- Laura Dangerfield saw an American Redstart on the lakeshore at San Antonio Tlayacapan.
Orchard Oriole
   An Orchard Oriole as seen at Lake Chapala.

The Orchard Oriole is a small oriole that likes to hide in bushes:
--  It breeds in the early summer from Southern Canada to northern Mexico. In August it moves in flocks at night on migration to warmer climates ranging from Central Mexico to Venezuela.
--  It is a winter visitor to Lake Chapala.
--  The female has a quite different appearance with a greenish yellow body and pale white wingbars, while one-year-old males are greenish yellow with a black bib below the bill.
--  Like other orioles, the bill is designed to pierce trumpet-shaped flowers at the base from the outside in order to extract nectar. They also eat caterpillars, grasshoppers, berries, fruit and seeds.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. Please note that we will try to limit car trips to four vehicles because larger convoys are less manageable when trying to stop on country roads to look at the birds. If you are being given a ride, we suggest you make a contribution to your driver for gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 150-200 for a day trip).
On Friday November 8, we will meet at 8.00 am to carpool at Donas Donuts leaving immediately for the Cajititlan Marsh (30 minutes drive). We expect to see a variety of marsh and lake birds such as Black-necked Stilt, Snowy Egret, and perhaps a Wood Stork. At about 10.15 we will go Las Delicias restaurant in Chapala for breakfast and complete the bird list. If you plan on going, email John at at least 48 hours ahead of time indicating whether or not you will have a car. (We don't always have enough cars).

On Wednesday November 13, we will meet at 8.00 am to walk the one-mile long Allen Lloyd Trail which has lots of underbrush in which birds love to hide. Expect to see Stripe-headed Sparrow and Groove-billed Ani and hear the Happy Wren - if we are lucky. At about 10.15 we will head to Cafe Negro restaurant for breakfast and complete the bird list.
How to get to the trail head: 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.

On Friday November 22, we will meet at 8.00 am at Donas Donuts to car pool, leaving immediately for the Rosa Amarilla Loop on the plateau above the south side of the lake (60 minutes drive). Expect to see Wood Storks, and possibly a White-tailed Hawk. Bring refreshments for the morning and sandwiches for the 12.30 lunch stop. We will be back about 3.00 pm. If you plan on going, please email John at at least 48 hours ahead of time saying whether you can bring a vehicle, to help in carpool planning. (We don't always have enough cars).
Bird Walk and Trip Reports
On October 9, we had one car-load of birders taking part in the hike along the Horizontal Oak Forest Trail at La Trojes (6,000 feet altitude). At the lower levels of the trail we saw Blue Mockingbird, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Common Raven, and later in the upper levels of the trees saw Painted Redstart, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Hermit Warbler and Townsend's Warbler.

On October 18, it was a dull wet day with very few attendees along the lakeshore east of the Old Train Station. We saw Marsh Wren, Orchard Oriole, Black-backed Oriole, Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-bellied Whistling Duck and Lincoln's Sparrow.

The October 28 trip to the Sierra de Tapalpa was postponed to Ocober 30, when we had a full car-load (and not enough cars). We saw Red-tailed Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, House Wren, Spotted Wren, Ruddy Duck, Cassin's Kingbird, Blue Mockingbird and Northern Mockingbird.
Monthly Sightings List
Here are the species sighted around Lake Chapala in October:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American (Ra)
Blackbird, red-winged (Ps)
Blackbird, yellow-headed
Bluebird, eastern (Ra)
Bunting, painted (Ps)
Bunting, varied (Tr)
Caracara, crested
Chat, yellow-breasted (Sa)
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cowbird, brown-headed
Dove, common ground
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed (Dp)
Duck, black-bellied whistling
Duck, fulvous whistling (Dp)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, Ruddy (Ca,Ra)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Elaenia, greenish (Tr)
Euphonia, elegant (Sa)
Finch, house
Flycatcher, ash-throated
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, gray silky (Av,Sa,Ra)
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Flycatcher, willow (Tr)
Gallinule, common
Gnatcatcher, blue-gray
Goldfinch, lesser
Grackle, great-tailed
Grassquit, blue-black (Ca)
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing
Harrier, northern (Dp)
Hawk, red-tailed
Hawk, sharp-shinned
Hawk, white-tailed (Ra)
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, little blue
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, beryline (Av)
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, rufous (At,Tr)
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kestrel, American
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Av)
Kingfisher, belted (Dp)
Kingfisher, green (Dp)
Kinglet, ruby-crowned (Tr)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Nightjar, buff-collared (Av)
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, hooded
Oriole, orchard (Ca,Ps)
Oriole, Streak-backed
Osprey (Ra,Dp)
Owl, ferruginous pygmy
Owl, great horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pewee, greater
Pigeon, rock
Pintail, northern (Ra)
Raven, common
Redstart, American (Sa)
Redstart, painted (Tr)
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, cinnamon-rumped
Shoveler, northern (Ca)
Shrike, loggerhead
Solitaire, brown-backed
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark
Sparrow, Lincoln's
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-headed
Stork, wood (Ca,Ra)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Dp)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Swallow, tree (Dp)
Tanager, hepatic (Tr)
Tanager, summer (Av)
Tanager, western (Av)
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon (Ds)
Teal, green-winged (Ds)
Tern, black (Ds)
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Vireo, Cassin's (Tr)
Vulture, black
Vulture, turkey
Warbler, black and white
Warbler, black-throated gray
Warbler, crescent-chested (Ra)
Warbler, hermit (Tr)
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, red-faced (Tr)
Warbler, Townsend's (Tr)
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, happy (Sa)
Wren, house (Ca)
Wren, marsh ((Ps)
Wren, spotted
Yellowlegs, greater
Yellowlegs, lesser
Yellowthroat, common (Ca)

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
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:

A laminated folder "Quick Guide to the Birds of Lake Chapala" illustrating 150 local species can be purchased for $150 pesos at Diane Pearl Collecciones, Colon #1, in the center of Ajijic. This is especially useful to newcomers - it is produced by "Defenders of Wildlife" which works to protect imperiled species throughout North America.