Fall Migration at TTPBRS- October 21-27, 2006
Banded Slate-colored Junco (©D.Derbyshire)
The week began with a major concentration of late fall migrants, as kinglets, creepers and a variety of sparrows were abundant. A total of 211 birds were banded and 52 species were documented. Overhead, blackbirds were on the move as 3,500 were tallied (mostly Red-winged Blackbirds with some Rusty Blackbirds and grackles mixed in). Also on the day were observations of Green Heron, Eastern Bluebirds and a Dickcissel! There was no coverage on the 22nd due to weather. The winds were strong from the south on the 23rd, which limited diurnal migration, although birds were still plentiful at ground level. Forty-one birds were banded on the 24th, the bulk of which were Hermit Thrushes and Golden-crowned Kinglets. Highlight of the day was a final tally of 46 American Crows, an unusual concentration of this species for the spit. October 25th featured an influx of Bufflehead and Long-tailed Duck, among other waterfowl species. Also recorded were the first American Tree Sparrows of the fall and a sharp increase in numbers of Slate-colored Juncos (140 observed). Cold and calm conditions occurred on the 26th which led to a moderate movement of birds. A total of 71 birds were banded and the first Long-eared Owl and Snow Buntings of the fall were observed. The conditions were good for migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls as 37 were captured that evening and overnight (36 banded, 1 foreign recovery). Slate-colored Juncos and American Tree Sparrows were the most conspicuous species on the following morning when 52 birds were banded. Two roosting Northern Saw-whets were found in the dense willow thicket, raising our cumulative species total to 172 for the season.
Overall, it was a fantastic week of monitoring and research at Tommy Thompson Park with plenty of birds in the skies, on land and water, and even in the dark of night!
1-Black-throated Blue Warbler (record late, prev. record Oct 16, 2003)
2-American Tree Sparrow
10-American Tree Sparrow
10-Great Blue Heron
1-Magnolia Warbler (record late, prev. record Oct 14, 2005)
1-Dickcissel (2nd record for TTPBRS)
3500-Unidentified Blackbirds (mostly Red-winged)
35-American Tree Sparrow
Birds Banded: Aug 5-Oct 27
Species Recorded: Aug 5-Oct 27
Coordinator, Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS)
Toronto and Region Conservation