This is the final update on field activities of the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station for 2006. Fall migration monitoring wrapped up on November 10th, providing closure to our busiest season since we started in 2003! It was a very interesting 100 days of fieldwork, as most species were more abundant than previous seasons, despite the fact that we lost more coverage due to weather than any previous fall.
The final week began with west winds, which is a limiting factor on migration, unless you are a raptor! A total of 90 net hours were logged and 9 birds were banded. The absence of landbirds was made up for by the growing rafts of waterfowl in the inner bays of Tommy Thompson Park and surrounding waters. A full day of banding (15 mist nets in operation for 6 hours) produced just 2 birds on November 5, a result that lent itself nicely to the notion that fall migration was winding down. Amongst the collective thousands of Long-tailed Ducks, Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes was a lone male Harlequin Duck, a first for TTPBRS! Calm conditions on the 6th of November were a bit more suitable for southbound migrants. Large numbers of American Pipits (204) and blackbirds (3320) were moving, although the action at ground level was still pretty low. A lone Pine Siskin passed over, which was the first of the fall. Diurnal migration was strong again on the 7th as Pipits, Horned Larks, Cedar Waxwings and American Goldfinches were recorded in high numbers. Also observed were 3 Surf Scoters. Numbers of American Tree Sparrow and Slate-colored Junco increased on November 9, although few were captured. A few Snow Buntings and Purple Finches were also recorded. After a 10-day absence, north winds finally returned to Toronto on November 10. A total of 47 birds were banded, which consisted of mostly Golden-crowned Kinglets, American Tree Sparrows and Slate-colored Juncos. A couple of late Swamp Sparrows were also banded. Highlight of the day was the capture of our first ever Oregon Junco, a western subspecies of the Dark-eyed Junco.
On behalf of Toronto and Region Conservation I would like to extend a big thanks to all of our volunteers and supporters who made 2006 a successful year for the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station!
14-American Tree Sparrow
1-Oregon Junco (1st for TTPBRS)
1-Harlequin Duck (1st for TTPBRS)
52-American Tree Sparrow
Birds Banded: Aug 5-Nov 10
Species Recorded: Aug 5-Nov 10