11/12/2006

Fall Migration at TTPBRS- November 4-10,2006

Long-tailed Ducks (© D.Derbyshire)

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!

HIGHLIGHTS

Captures

Nov 4
1-White-crowned Sparrow
Nov 7
1-Myrtle Warbler
Nov 10
5-Golden-crowned Kinglet
14-American Tree Sparrow
2-Swamp Sparrow
24-Slate-colored Junco
1-Oregon Junco (1st for TTPBRS)

Observations

Nov 4
5-Redhead
1-White-winged Scoter
1-Peregrine Falcon
Nov 5
1700-Long-tailed Duck
280-Common Goldeneye
1-Harlequin Duck (1st for TTPBRS)
4-Myrtle Warbler
5-Purple Finch
Nov 6
1-Eastern Phoebe
3-Horned Lark
204-American Pipit
3320-Mixed Icteridae
Nov 7
250-Bufflehead
185-American Pipit
50-Cedar Waxwing
3-Pine Siskin
3-Surf Scoter
Nov 9
2-Snow Bunting
20-Slate-colored Junco
Nov 10
11-Horned Lark
2-Eastern Bluebird
85-American Pipit
52-American Tree Sparrow
105-Slate-colored Junco
8-Pine Siskin

Birds Banded: Aug 5-Nov 10
06- 4450
05- 4230
04- 3819

Species Recorded: Aug 5-Nov 10
06-176
05-180
04-173

11/06/2006

Fall Migration at TTPBRS: Oct 28 - Nov 3, 2006


Northern Saw-whet Owl (D.Derbyshire)

Fall 2006 is drawing to a close, as most of the landbirds have now passed through the area. However, birding is still good at Tommy Thompson Park as wintering birds arrive and late fall migrants trickle through. Northern Saw-whet Owls are still heading south through the Toronto area but in lower numbers than "normal". Due to weather, we have only been out on one occasion since the night of heavy migration on October 26. A total of 54 owls have been banded so far and 2 foreign banded birds have been recaptured.

The week of October 28-November 3 began with inclement weather, which limited our field coverage for the first two days. A full day's work on the 30th produced some interesting birds including observations of a Northern Shrike, 6 Snow Buntings, and good tallies of several waterfowl species. A fixture of late fall migration, the distinctive calls of Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins have been completely absent this fall. This is likely due to abundant cone crops in the north, which means that these species do not need to wander south for food. West winds continued on the 31st as 20 birds were banded from 5 hours of effort. The highlight of the day was our second ever capture of the maritime subspecies of Palm Warbler, the "Yellow" Palm Warbler. It was a chilly start on the 1st of November with temperatures hovering around 0 degrees Celsius. A total of 28 birds were banded on the day and a decent variety of late fall migrants were recorded. American Pipit, Cedar Waxwing, Slate-colored Junco and American Tree Sparrow were moving through despite the cold headwinds. November 2nd and 3rd were census-only days due to excessive wind chill.

HIGHLIGHTS

Captures


Oct 31
1-Common Yellowthroat
2-Northern Cardinal
1-"Yellow" Palm Warbler (2nd record for TTPBRS)
Nov 1
11-Slate-colored Junco
2-American Goldfinch

Observations

Oct 30

1000-Long-tailed Duck
360-Bufflehead
1-Northern Harrier
5-Bonaparte's Gull
1-Northern Saw-whet Owl
1-Hairy Woodpecker
4-Horned Lark
1-Northern Shrike (2nd record for TTPBRS, although a regular winter bird in the park)
6-Snow Bunting
Oct 31
5-Northern Pintail
2-Peregrine Falcon
12-Dunlin
28-American Pipit
Nov 1
3-White-winged Scoter
4-Redhead

Birds Banded: Aug 5-Nov 3
06-4,368
05-4,214
04-3,799

Species Recorded: Aug 5-Nov 3
06-173
05-177
04-167

Dan Derbyshire
Coordinator, Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS)
Toronto and Region Conservation
News and Sightings: http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com