Don't be left out in the cold! Plan your winter visit to Tommy Thompson Park carefully.
TTP is a wonderful destination during the winter. The heavy snow weighing down the bows of Pine trees on Peninsula B, the bright morning sun glistening off the ice of Cell Two and the crisp cold air from across Lake Ontario certainly create the ideal winter experience. Yet there are some hazards to keep in mind during your visit to the park. The weather can change suddenly and ice forms quickly and unevenly. For your safety, do not walk on frozen bodies of water. Also keep in mind that very strong and cold winter winds blow off the lake, so be sure to dress warmly before venturing out to the lighthouse.
Fall migration monitoring is now officially over. A great big thank you to Nigel and his amazing team of volunteers!! They certainly had their work cut out this year. Have a look at the extensive list of birds they banded in 2013.
The last day of fall migration monitoring is November 10, 2013. Bad weather and unfavorable conditions has delayed migration and has hampered banding efforts at the station. With so many late migrants, we are anticipating banding significant numbers right to the last day.
The owl migration is still in full swing although numbers haven't reflected that. This trend is also mirrored at other banding stations.
The American Pipit banding continues, with 62 individuals banded to date.
Dunlins, a familiar shorebird, are slowly making their way to Tommy Thompson Park from their Arctic breeding grounds. One was banded earlier this week. We are hoping more will make an appearance before next Sunday!
Incoming weather patterns are promising disturbances from the south. We anticipate Cave Swallows and hopefully some western birds to fly through the park. Fingers crossed!
Stop by the TTPBRS this weekend for a last chance to see fall migrants in hand. Sunday November 10 is also your last chance to join the Sunday Morning Guided Bird Walks at TTP. Meet the guide at the entrance of the park at 8:00 a.m. for an intimate tour highlighting the best spots for bird watching.
The American Pipit is a lovely songbird, often associated with shorebirds because of similar life histories. Like its shorebird counterparts, the American Pipit summers among the moss-covered, rocky hills on the bleak coast of Labrador, along the Arctic tundra to northern Alaska, and on the west coast of Greenland.
As soon as the young birds are able to care for themselves the Pipits gather into flocks and begin to migrate, leaving their breeding grounds before the end of August. The American Pipit winters in the mid United States and along the Gulf coast.
A pilot monitoring project was initiated by Nigel Shaw, TTPBRS coordinator. Although there were many observations of Pipits in previous years, this curious little bird has only been recorded in small numbers at Tommy Thompson Park. Nigel is hoping to capture and band a good sample of the birds that are passing through, and hopefully learn a little more about the species.
To date, the Pipit Project has been a success. Volunteers at the research station have witnessed 100's of American Pipits flying through the park during this fall migration. Tommy Thompson Park is on a significant migration route for this species. 41 individuals have been banded since the project began.