Fall Migration at TTPBRS- September 16-22

Baird's Sandpiper (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

The seventh week of fall 2007 was dominated by warm temperatures and clear skies, which afforded much opportunity for migrating birds to bypass Toronto on their way south. Small waves of warblers, vireos and thrushes were recorded alongside an increase in numbers of White-throated Sparrows, kinglets and Brown Creepers. The leaves are beginning to turn and with that come the seedeaters and late fall insectivores. Raptors and shorebirds were recorded in low numbers this week, although several rare shorebird species caused much excitement.

A total of 28 birds were banded on September 16, which consisted mainly of Nashville Warblers and Swainson's Thrushes. Singles of Pine Warbler, Whimbrel and Blue-headed Vireo were also observed. Forty-two White-throated Sparrows and 3 Slate-colored Juncos were detected, signifying the shift from summer to fall at TTP. The highlight of the 17th was the first record of Buff-breasted Sandpiper for TTPBRS. Moderate numbers of Blue Jays were observed throughout the week, although daily counts have not exceeded more than a few hundred birds. A full morning of coverage on the 19th indicated very few migrants as just 5 birds were banded on the day. The first Baird's Sandpiper for TTPBRS was spotted amongst a few Least Sandpipers in embayment D. Calm conditions overnight spurred on the migration, which resulted in 6 new species arrivals for the fall and 49 birds banded. Rusty Blackbird, Golden-crowned Kinglet and our third record of Yellow-breasted Chat were amongst the new arrivals. Numbers of Gray-cheeked, Swainson's and Hermit Thrushes were up and decent numbers of 16 warbler species were documented. September 21 was much the same as 44 birds were banded on the day. The final day of the update period featured a return to strong south winds, and all was quiet on the bird front. A White-rumped Sandpiper was discovered, which put the final touch on a remarkable week for shorebirds; low numbers but very good diversity.

Reports of record early and abundant southbound Northern Saw-whet Owls are coming in from as far as Temiskaming, and as near as Prince Edward Point, near Kingston. Cooler weather with light northerlies should bring owls to the Toronto area during the next week.

The Winged Migration program got underway on September 24 for fall 2007. Students from grades 5-7 will be at TTPBRS on a daily basis through the end of October.

HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in bold)

Sep 16
1-American Golden-Plover
1-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
3-Eastern Wood-Pewee
5-American Pipit
1-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1-Blue-headed Vireo
2-Tennessee Warbler
16-Nashville Warbler
16-Black-throated Green Warbler
1-Pine Warbler
32-Blackpoll Warbler
42-White-throated Sparrow
15-Purple Finch
1-Stilt Sandpiper (1st TTPBRS record)

Sep 17
1-Sharp-shinned Hawk
1-Buff-breasted Sandpiper (1st TTPBRS record)
130-Blue Jay
1-Brown Creeper
1-Wood Thrush
1-Blue-headed Vireo

Sep 18
1-Barn Swallow
300-Blue Jay
2-Trumpeter Swan
2-Stilt Sandpiper
2-Pectoral Sandpiper
2-Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Sep 19
1-Baird's Sandpiper (1st TTPBRS record)
26-American Pipit

Sep 20
1-Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1-Eastern Phoebe
4-Gray-cheeked Thrush
2-Hermit Thrush
1-White-breasted Nuthatch
1-Golden-crowned Kinglet
10-Nashville Warbler
22-Magnolia Warbler
24-American Redstart
2-Rusty Blackbird
1-Yellow-breasted Chat (3rd TTPBRS record)
2-Slate-colored Junco

Sep 21
2-Northern Pintail
8-Northern Shoveler
7-American Wigeon
4-White-breasted Nuthatch
1-Winter Wren
9-Swainson's Thrush
1-Northern Parula
1-White-crowned Sparrow
50-White-throated Sparrow

Sep 22
5-Sharp-shinned Hawk
1-White-rumped Sandpiper (1st since 2004)
310-Blue Jay
1-Bald Eagle
7-Red-breasted Merganser

Birds Banded: Aug 5-Sept 22

Species Recorded: Aug 5-Sept 22