The first week of Migration Monitoring in September was a little below average in terms of both numbers of birds and variety of species. Based on our observations of radar, the fall migration has been comparatively very dense through the midwest, which would explain why Thunder Cape Bird Observatory on Lake Superior had an extremely busy August period.
Light winds and cool temperatures on September 2 resulted in a moderate passage of migrants at TTPBRS, as 37 birds were banded, including the first Lincoln's Sparrow of the fall and several Swainson's Thrushes. Most shorebird species have been scarce in recent days, with the exception of several Lesser Yellowlegs that have been present in embayment D for a few weeks now. South winds moved in on the 3rd and slowed things down, as just 9 birds were captured in 6 hours. The following morning was more active with 44 birds of 18 species banded. Blue Jay and a few early Bufflehead were observed. Red-eyed Vireos, Veerys and warblers were the order of the day as is typical for early September. Rain and high winds moved in on the 5th, cancelling banding. A single White-throated Sparrow observed near the station was notable and a reminder that autumn is approaching. Calm conditions on the 6th resulted in another trickle of migrants on the Toronto lakeshore. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were abundant that morning. A single American Golden-Plover was a highlight of the 7th, which was otherwise a quiet affair with just 12 birds banded and 7 recaptured. North winds on the 8th spurred on some Monarch passage and a late morning sprinkling of warblers and vireos.
Thus far, the fall migration in 2007 has been generally quiet with some exceptional migration events (e.g. Monarchs, Purple Martins) and some unusual early movements (e.g. Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch). The next few weeks will be very interesting as September is the period of peak species diversity with the heaviest passage of insectivores.
TTPBRS was recently featured in the Toronto Star for a story on the relationship of infectious disease, climate change and migratory birds. Click the following link for the story.
Exciting new research has just been published in both Ontario Birds (Ontario Field Ornithologists) and Birding (American Birding Association) on Baltimore Orioles. The genesis of these findings goes back to 2005 at TTPBRS when a strange looking hatch-year oriole was banded at TTPBRS. Click the following link for the article from Birding magazine.
The first ever TTPBRS event for members was held on September 5, 2007. The Mothing at Tommy Thompson Park event was a resounding success and we look forward to future adventures with moths and "the beadle" at Tommy Thompson Park! Click the following for a pictorial account of the evening.
HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in bold)
1-Western Palm Warbler
1-Cape May Warbler
8-Black-throated Green Warbler
Birds Banded: August 5-September 8
Species Observed: August 5-September 8