A blustery week of fieldwork at TTPBRS with relatively few migrants passing through. Just 232 birds were banded during the 7-day update period, although I would estimate that several thousand leaves were extracted from the mistnets! Numbers of waterfowl, winter finches and blackbirds increased during the week and numbers of Fox Sparrows and Golden-crowned Kinglets remain record low.
High winds curtailed the banding operation on October 21. During the calm first couple of hours after sunrise, a substantial movement of blackbirds, pipits and finches occurred. Of note during the flight were high flying flocks of House Finches and House Sparrows, which makes one wonder what House Sparrows are up to traveling at several hundred feet over the lakeshore. Light bird activity on the 22nd included a late Yellow-billed Cuckoo and a Brown Thrasher. Conditions were suitable for owls later that evening as 21 Northern Saw-whets and a Long-eared Owl were banded. A stiff north wind arrived on the 23rd along with lots of rain. This weather likely led to a busier morning on October 24 as 92 birds were banded of 18 species. Highlights of the morning include the first Bonaparte's Gulls of the fall, good numbers of Hermit Thrushes and singles of Orange-crowned Warbler and Field Sparrow. Sparrows were more numerous on the 25th when 62 birds were banded. Banding totals included 3 Fox Sparrow, 10 Slate-colored Junco, 3 White-throated Sparrow, and 7 American Tree Sparrow. Long-tailed Ducks and Bufflehead suddenly appeared in large numbers on the 26th, which is one of the first indicators that the migration is nearing an end. October 27 was another windy day, cutting short our mistnetting effort. Of note during the fieldwork was the count of 3700 Long-tailed Ducks in the outer harbour.
Youth in the Field
Another great season of the Winged Migration Program for students has now finished and we look forward to more students at the bird research station in 2008! Thanks to Raja Raudsepp for her excellence as the program educator during the past season.
A female Rose-breasted Grosbeak banded at TTPBRS on August 5, 2006, was recovered in Palmetto, Florida, on October 13, 2007!
A Northern Saw-whet Owl banded at TTPBRS on October 16, 2007, was found 7 days later on October 23, 2007, in a mistnet at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory.
Rare Migrant Moths at Tommy Thompson Park
An informal inventory of fall moths was completed in recent weeks. Highlights of the effort include Texas Mocis (one of 2 or 3 records for Ontario), Yellow Scallop Moth, Lost Sallow and Three-spotted Pinion. Thanks to David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie for heading up the project and we look forward to resuming the inventory next spring/summer!
21-Northern Saw-whet Owl
7-American Tree Sparrow
Birds Banded: Aug 5-Oct 27
Species Recorded: Aug 5-Oct 27