Fall Migration at TTPBRS-Aug 26-Sept 1

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

The fall bird migration was boosted by north winds in the final two days of the update period. However, the spotlight belonged to Monarch Butterflies (discussed later in this email). Light northerlies on August 26 resulted in the banding of 31 birds of 15 species. Shorebird numbers were improved on this day as Pectoral Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher were observed on the muddy perimeter of the study area. Increased abundance and diversity of warblers, vireos and thrushes was noted on August 27. The morning included the banding of 2 Cape May Warblers and tallies of 20 Myrtle Warblers, 8 Red-eyed Vireos and 5 Blackburnian Warblers. Red-breasted Nuthatches have been unusually common this fall and have been present at TTPBRS since opening on August 5. These observations of early and abundant RBNUs are in keeping with other stations across Ontario and may indicate seed shortages in the north. The birding subsequently slowed down for a few days, reaching a low of just 5 birds captured in 90 net hours on August 30th. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were common during the period, more often caught than seen as they tend to not linger very long at the site (4 captured on Aug 28). A sharp increase in migrant activity was noted on August 31 when 46 birds were banded and over 440 Monarchs were counted during the morning census. The light northerlies brought in hummingbirds (7), a few raptors and good numbers of warblers (22 species) and vireos (35 Red-eyed Vireo). A visit to the lighthouse later in the day revealed over 20,000 Monarch Butterflies, one of the highest concentrations documented at Tommy Thompson Park! The monarchs roosting in the cottonwoods overnight left during the early morning of September 1. The final day of the update period was the busiest of the season so far as 80 birds were banded, which included 12 Red-eyed Vireos, 6 Veerys, and 12 Nashville Warblers. Singles of Common Nighthawk and Red-bellied Woodpecker were observed.
Monarchs are still coming through and there could be some heavy movements still. We will keep you posted via the TTPBRS website-
HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in bold)
Aug 26
1-Green Heron
1-Peregrine Falcon
2-Short-billed Dowitcher
1-Pectoral Sandpiper
Aug 27
1-Great Crested Flycatcher
6-Red-breasted Nuthatch
8-Red-eyed Vireo
2-Cape May Warbler
20-Myrtle Warbler
5-Blackburnian Warbler
Aug 28
4-Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Aug 30
2-Common Loon
1-Horned Grebe
11-Green-winged Teal
1-Long-tailed Duck
15-Lesser Yellowlegs
Aug 31
1-Red-tailed Hawk
2-Sharp-shinned Hawk
7-Ruby-throated Hummingbird
8-Red-breasted Nuthatch
5-Swainson's Thrush
35-Red-eyed Vireo
10-Tennessee Warbler
1-Northern Parula
19-Magnolia Warbler
21-Blackburnian Warbler
3-Palm Warbler
5-American Redstart
10-Canada Warbler
6-Purple Finch
Sep 1
1-Common Nighthawk
1-Red-bellied Woodpecker (2nd fall record for TTPBRS)
2-Philadelphia Vireo
12-Red-eyed Vireo
3-Tennessee Warbler
12-Nashville Warbler
5-Wilson's Warbler
Birds Banded: August 5-September 1

Species Recorded: August 5-September 1