Fall Migration at TTPBRS-Sept 16-22, 2006
The past week of bird migration at Tommy Thompson Park was impressive to say the least. On September 16, a significant concentration of birds occurred with large numbers of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Swainson's Thrushes, Red-eyed Vireos, and many warbler species. Record fall counts of several species were observed including Scarlet Tanager (4) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (15). A total of 19 warbler species were tallied on a day when 236 birds were banded and just 4 recaptured. Weather must have been appropriate for migration that evening as bird numbers were significantly lower on the 17th when 47 birds were banded. First-of-fall species observed on the day included American Golden-Plover and Long-tailed Duck. Strong south winds on the 18th slowed migration down even further. A Black-billed Cuckoo was observed followed by a Yellow-billed Cuckoo on the following day. September 19th was interesting as the first largish groups of Blue Jays were recorded and high counts of Blackpoll Warbler and Northern Harrier were noted. A Northern Mockingbird was observed trailing behind a flock of Blue Jays, this is the first fall record of the species at TTPBRS! On September 20th, raptors and hummingbirds took centre stage. High numbers (for TTPBRS) of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were captured daily for the remainder of the period. September 21st was a record day for raptor migration. Stiff west winds brought all-time high counts of Northern Harrier (27), Sharp-shinned Hawk (35) and Cooper's Hawk (4). Also recorded on the day were season firsts of Hermit Thrush and Orange-crowned Warbler. The winds calmed down that evening which likely led to another push of migrants on the 22nd. This time, Myrtle Warbler and White-throated Sparrow were the dominant species. Increased numbers of Slate-coloured Junco and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker were also observed.
The spring 2006 report is now complete and now available in pdf format. The report includes an interesting analysis of temporal characteristics of bird captures at TTPBRS.
Issue 2 of the TTPBRS Newsletter is nearing completion and will be circulated very soon!
Lori Nichols of the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) informed me that a Nashville Warbler banded at TTPBRS on September 14, 2006 was picked up in downtown Toronto on September 15, 2006. This bird had plenty of fat reserves so it is not surprising that it headed off on the night of the 14th but it is interesting that it was found north of us in the downtown core. This record is a poignant demonstration of the influence of city lights on nocturnal bird migration, drawing birds north when they should be pointed south. To learn more about the important work being done by FLAP and the Lights Out Toronto program, visit the following websites:
6-Black-throated Blue Warbler
28-Black-throated Green Warbler
Birds Banded: Aug 5-Sept 22
Species Recorded: Aug 5-Sept 22