9/16/2005

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Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS-Sept 9-15

Friday, September 9 was our busiest day of the fall to that point as 83 birds were banded. Swainson's Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Wilson's Warbler and White-throated Sparrow were a few of the common species on the day. We also captured an Eastern Phoebe, a single Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3 Northern Parula's and the seasons first Brown Creeper. Other season firsts on the day included Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Pipit and Wood Thrush. Less migrants were apparent on the following morning as 57 birds were banded although decent numbers of thrushes and warblers were still evident. The indisputable highlight of the day was an American White Pelican observed just prior to census. This is the 1st record for the species at TTPBRS. The north winds of the 9th and 10th ended on the 11th as winds were from the south and bird numbers were much lower. The first groups of Blue jays were observed moving through the count area (total of 12). Shorebirds were more in evidence on the 11th as American Golden Plover (1) and Sanderling were (6) recorded. Warm weather from the south persisted through the 14th and was responsible for some early net closure due to excessive heat. Relatively few birds were detected during these hot days but Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrush as well as Philadelphia and Red-eyed Vireo continued to trickle through the park. Our second Sharp-shinned Hawk of the season was banded on the 13th along with a "late-ish" Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and several Blackpoll Warblers. Migration monitoring is all about highs and lows and the 14th was certainly the latter as just 7 birds were captured and overall diversity was more reminiscent of early August! The season's first Red Knot was detected on the day. The week ended on a high note with the return of north winds on the 15th. A total of 88 birds were banded of 21 species. The day belonged to the Gray-cheeked Thrush as 16 were banded along with 9 Swainson's and 2 Hermit's. Detected Totals (includes banding and surveys) were particularly high for Nashville Warbler (12), Magnolia (24), Myrtle (46) and White-throated Sparrow (51).
 
It is well known that Tommy Thompson Park is a superb site for migratory birds but perhaps less well known for its concentration of Monarch butterflies during their fall migration. On September 15th some 9,000 Monarchs passed through peninsula D in 4 hours during the afternoon. During the heavy rains today I counted ~12,000 roosting in the trees near the tip. These numbers could make Tommy Thompson Park/Leslie Street Spit a site of international significance for this species. The International Network of Monarch Butterfly Reserves currently includes Point Pelee, Long Point and Prince Edward Point in Ontario. For more details on the September 15th Monarch migration and a photo visit the TTPBRS sightings board:
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
Banding
Sep 9
1-Sharp-shinned Hawk
3-Northern Parula (record one-day total for TTPBRS)
12-Magnolia Warbler
Sep 10
2-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2-Lincoln's Sparrow
Sep 13
1-Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sep 15
16-Gray-cheeked Thrush
8-Nashville Warbler
5-Ovenbird
 
Observations
Sep 9
45-Blackpoll Warbler
5-Slate-coloured Junco
Sep 10
1-American White Pelican (1st record for TTPBRS)
1-White-breasted Nuthatch (1st record for 2005)
Sep 11
1-Long-tailed Duck
1-Winter Wren
2-Blackburnian Warbler
6-Sanderling
1-American Golden Plover
Sep 12
1-Semipalmated Plover
23-Blue Jay
Sep 13
7-Yellow-shafted Flicker
4-American Pipit
1-Cape May Warbler
Sep 14
1-Red Knot
Sep 15
1-Bald Eagle
10-Black-throated Green Warbler
8-Palm Warbler
1-Field Sparrow
51-White-throated Sparrow
 
Season Banding Total
05-1091
04-776
 
Season Species Total
05-144
04-122