8/26/2006

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Fall Migration at TTPBRS-Aug 19-25, 2006


The week of August 19-25 was nothing short of spectacular as unprecedented August numbers of birds were found. This statement echoes the update from the same week in 2005 although this past week was more impressive by far. The period started off slow as 17 birds were banded on the 19th. This was "the" day for swallows at Tommy Thompson Park this year as a steady stream of an estimated 650 Barn Swallows were tallied during the morning! Only half of the morning of the 20th received coverage as heavy winds out of the north began around mid-morning which is likely responsible for what occurred the following days. On August 21st a total of 66 birds were banded which included a sudden influx of Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart and Northern Waterthrush. Most of the birds present that day remained high in the canopy as described in the update from last week. First of fall species on the day included Great-crested Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed Vireo and White-throated Sparrow. Migration was again steady on the 22nd as the daily totals included 90 Myrtle Warbler, 70 Magnolia Warbler and 18 American Redstart amongst 17 warbler species. August 23rd will be hard to forget as by day's end 171 birds of 27 species were banded! Single day banding records were set for Northern Waterthrush (19 banded, 35 total), Magnolia Warbler (36, 110), Chestnut-sided Warbler (18, 50) and Bay-breasted Warbler (7, 20). Twenty-one species of warbler were banded or observed and high numbers of Traill's Flycatcher, Veery and Bobolink were also recorded. The north winds continued into the next day and there was no break in the action as 126 birds of 26 species were banded on the 24th, 50 of which were Magnolia Warblers (140 daily total!). To put these numbers into context the previous high one-day banding total for August at TTPBRS was 62 on August 25-2005. The birding during the two-day period was excellent and the incredible numbers of birds hopefully point to a very good breeding season this year. The weather took a turn for the worse on August 25th with high winds and rain which limited our coverage.

News and Notes
The fall migration of the Monarch butterfly is in full swing and so far counts near the lighthouse have revealed an early concentration of over 5,000. The peak of migration is typically in early-mid September which means that numbers could be phenomenal in a week or two! See a report from last year on this annual spectacle at Tommy Thompson Park (scroll down a bit)- http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com/2005_09_01_ttpbrs_archive.html

A male Yellow-shafted Flicker originally banded at TTPBRS by Paolo Viola on May 14-2003 was recaptured at TTPBRS on August 24th! Paolo Viola was instrumental in the formation of TTPBRS in the "early days" and has been very helpful ever since. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paolo for all of his efforts over the years and wish him all the best in his move to Sarnia next week!

HIGHLIGHTS

Banding

Aug 20
1-Philadelphia Vireo
1-Cape May Warbler
7-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
2-Red-eyed Vireo
7-Northern Waterthrush
Aug 22
1-Hermit Thrush
Aug 23
1-Black-billed Cuckoo
4-Ruby-throated Hummingbird (released unbanded)
10-Traill's Flycatcher
2-Swainson's Thrush
4-Veery
5-Black-throated Blue Warbler
4-Blackburnian Warbler
15-American Redstart
Aug 24
50-Magnolia Warbler

Observations

Aug 19
650-Barn Swallow
90-Bank Swallow
65-Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Aug 21
1-Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1-Olive-sided Flycatcher
45-Magnolia Warbler
6-Blackburnian Warbler
Aug 22
1-Sharp-shinned Hawk
1-Cooper's Hawk
8-Tennessee Warbler
70-Magnolia Warbler
Aug 23
12-Tennessee Warbler
22-Nashville Warbler
50-Chestnut-sided Warbler
150-Myrtle Warbler
60-American Redstart
11-Ovenbird
35-Northern Waterthrush
10-Canada Warbler
1-Scarlet Tanager
15-Bobolink
Aug 24
140-Magnolia Warbler
145-Myrtle Warbler
17-Bay-breasted Warbler
10-Wilson's Warbler

Season Banding Total
06-691
05-520
04-463

Season Species Total
06-102
05-109
04-99