Fall Migration at TTPBRS-September 9-15

Female Black-throated Blue Warbler (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

Migrants continue to trickle through the study area at TTPBRS as nights with north winds haven't generated many significant passages of migrants in Toronto this fall. There was no coverage on the 9th due to weather. The cold front boosted numbers of migrants on the 10th as 91 birds were banded. Several fall firsts were logged amongst the 75 species recorded on the day, including Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper and Slate-colored Junco. A few late flycatchers were banded but the morning was dominated by Swainson's Thrushes, Red-eyed Vireos and 19 species of warblers. Red-breasted Nuthatches continue to pour through TTPBRS, reaching a high count of 20 on Sep 10. September 11 was distinctly more quiet with just 18 birds banded. West winds moved in on the 12th, which further stifled overall numbers of songbirds. However, the conditions were ideal for a raptor flight and by the end of the day a respectable 71 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 7 Northern Harriers were totalled. Also recorded were lower numbers of Broad-winged Hawk, Merlin, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle and Cooper's Hawk. Perhaps hummingbirds also like a strong headwind as 5 were captured in the nets that morning. American Pipits arrived from their breeding grounds in the arctic on the 13th, a day that also featured the arrival of their boreal neighbours, the Gray-cheeked Thrush. Moderate southerlies on the 14th made for a quiet morning with 12 birds banded in 6 hours of effort. High winds on the 15th forced early closure of our nets. We did manage to observe large flocks of Blue Jays heading into the west winds and Paul Prior discovered the first Stilt Sandpiper for TTPBRS in the bay. The water levels at Tommy Thompson Park are very low, which has created some great shorebird staging habitat in the embayments.

The birding continues to be excellent at TTPBRS this fall and everything is in place for another amazing October on the Toronto lakeshore!

Update on Members Events
The fall migration of the Monarch through the Great Lakes is coming to an end. We had an incredible passage on August 31. The timing was unfortunate as this was the same day as the bomb detonations at the spit, which made coordinating our event for members impossible. We will watch the skies for late movements of Monarchs and are looking forward to the Fall Bird Hike on September 29 and the Owls Up Close event in late October. Members who are interested in attending these events will need to contact Dan Derbyshire to reserve a space.

HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in bold)

10 Sep
2-American Wigeon
1-Long-tailed Duck
6-Eastern Wood-Pewee
20-Red-breasted Nuthatch
23-Swainson's Thrush
1-Hermit Thrush
5-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1-Brown Creeper
3-Philadelphia Vireo
30-Red-eyed Vireo
35-Nashville Warbler
3-Northern Parula
55-Magnolia Warbler
5-Black-throated Blue Warbler
24-Common Yellowthroat
16-Wilson's Warbler
22-White-throated Sparrow
5-Slate-coloured Junco

11 Sep
30-Hooded Merganser
2-Philadelphia Vireo
1-Northern Waterthrush
1-Canada Warbler
6-Purple Finch

12 Sep
1-Bald Eagle
7-Northern Harrier
71-Sharp-shinned Hawk
1-Broad-winged Hawk
5-Ruby-throated Hummingbird
1-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
30-Northern Flicker
32-Blackpoll Warbler

13 Sep
1-Common Loon
1-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
2-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
2-American Pipit
2-Gray-cheeked Thrush
6-Black-throated Blue Warbler
1-Northern Waterthrush
35-White-throated Sparrow

1-Common Loon
3-Black-bellied Plover
7-Swainson's Thrush

15 Sep
2-Wood Duck
36-Green-winged Teal
1-Lesser Scaup
290-Blue Jay
1-Stilt Sandpiper (1st record for TTPBRS)

Birds Banded: August 5-September 15

Species Recorded: August 5-September 15