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5/20/2005

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Migration Monitoring at TTP-May 13-19

The past week started off with north winds and cool temperatures on the 13th and as a result few migrating birds were evident at Tommy Thompson Park. Yellow-rumped "Myrtle" Warbler was the most abundant species on the day (11 banded) and a captured Blue-winged Warbler was the highlight. A total of 58 birds were banded on the following morning which included 2 Wood Thrush, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler and 7 Western Palm Warbler. Spring 2005 is turning out to be a record season at TTPBRS for numbers of Wood Thrush as we have banded 7 this season (only 8 total from previous years). New arrivals on the 14th included Blackburnian Warbler, Indigo Bunting and Orange-crowned Warbler. Wind direction shifted to the south on the 15th and brought in a good number of migrants into the park which was appropriate timing for TRCA's annual "Bring Back the Birds Festival". Twenty-two warbler species were detected on the day and high numbers were evident for Nashville, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided and Ovenbird. 18 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were tallied which is a record one day total for this species at TTPBRS. Unusual for peninsula D were 2 Eastern Bluebirds spotted near net 9. Some 80+ visitors were given banding demonstrations and introductions to TTPBRS activities! Highlights from the 16th were observations of a single Marsh Wren and Solitary Sandpiper. The doppler radar showed very heavy migration on the evening and early morning of the 18th. The result was our busiest day of the season thus far as 113 birds were banded. The diversity and abundance of birds was ideal for a visit from noted author and birder Kenn Kaufman and TV Ontario (TVO). Swainson's Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat were the dominant species on the day. Most impressive was the unusually high number of Scarlet Tanagers, 2 were banded and 13 were observed! The Toronto Star came out on the 19th to take photos of the banding operation and interview staff of TTPBRS. Look for an article on Tommy Thompson Park in the coming weeks.
 
Overall it was a great week with lots of bird activity and events at TTPBRS! We still have not had a true "fallout" this spring but we are slightly ahead of last years pace. Average monthly banding totals are about the same however the "boom or bust" pattern of 2004 has not been evident this year. Rather, spring 2005 has been a more consistent season with more "average" days and less extremes. We still have 2.5 weeks remaining and therefore have much to discover yet!
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
 
Banding
May 14
1-American Woodcock
2-Wood Thrush
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
15
2-Wood Thrush
1-Blue-winged Warbler
1-Golden-winged Warbler
1-Cape May Warbler
1-Canada Warbler
18
1-Great-crested Flycatcher
1-Bay-breasted Warbler
1-Blackpoll Warbler
12-Ovenbird
19
1-Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2-Gray-cheeked Thrush
12-Swainson's Thrush
1-Hermit Thrush
1-Cape May Warbler
 
Observations
May 14
1-Canvasback
32-Myrtle Warbler
1-Indigo Bunting
5-Lincoln's Sparrow
15
5-Least Flycatcher
12-Veery
15-Chestnut-sided Warbler
2-Eastern Bluebird
16
1-Marsh Wren (3rd record for TTPBRS)
17
1-White-winged Scoter (late record)
40-Barn Swallow
2-Cliff Swallow
18
12-Gray Catbird
2-Northern Parula
24-Magnolia Warbler
26-American Redstart
13-Scarlet Tanager
10-Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1-Red-headed Woodpecker (4th record for TTPBRS)
19
1-Red-necked Grebe
 
Season Banding Total
2005-1697
2004-1587
 
Season Species Total
2005-160
2004-160
 
Dan Derbyshire