The 5th year of the Migration Monitoring Program at Tommy Thompson Park began on April 2nd. The first week of fieldwork in 2007 has been unusual given the unprecedented number of cancellations due to weather and also the remarkable number of birds passing through.
We began the season on April 2 with westerly winds and high counts of Brown Creeper and Slate-colored Junco. TTPBRS was also buzzing with American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds and the ubiquitous Song Sparrows. On the water, Common Mergansers and White-winged Scoters were particularly abundant and have remained so throughout the first week. A total of 50 birds were banded on the day and 47 species recorded overall. Clear and calm conditions on the 3rd were more comfortable and a decent variety of birds were found. Several spring arrivals were recorded including Red-necked and Horned Grebe, Glaucous Gull and American Bittern. Seabrooke Leckie had the most unusual sighting of the day, a male European Goldfinch in full song near net 3 (very likely a recently caged bird)!
Steady rain was encountered for the first few hours of April 4th. When the rain ended the nets went up and an impressive early spring movement was recorded. Observations of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Hermit Thrush added some variety to the 109 birds of just 4 species banded in 3 hours of operation! Conservative estimates of Slate-colored Junco (240), Brown Creeper (160) and Golden-crowned Kinglet (190) established record high spring counts for all three species at TTPBRS.
Unfortunately, the nets were closed for the remainder of the week due to cold temperatures. Census was conducted daily, which documented higher than "normal" concentrations of landbirds at TTPBRS. Highlights of the surveys include a Pied-billed Grebe on April 5 and a Brown Thrasher on April 6. Despite the rather frustrating weather of the past week, it was great to be out at TTPBRS once again and we are all looking forward to the waves of migrants (and warm fronts) ahead!
The TTPBRS Sightings board will once again provide daily results and regular photos and reports so tune in here for a pulse on spring migration in Toronto: http://ttpbrs.blogspot.com
91-White-winged Scoter (record high count)
160-Brown Creeper (record high count)
240-Slate-colored Junco (record high spring count)
Season Banding Total
Season Species Total