Fall Migration at TTPBRS-Sept 30-Oct 6

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Seabrooke Leckie/TTPBRS)

Conditions at Tommy Thompson Park on the Toronto lakeshore have been unusually warm which has severely delayed leaf fall. It is remarkable how green and dense the vegetation is for the time of year. The position of the jet stream to our north was a deterrent to southbound migrants during the first 5 days of the week. October is easily our busiest month at TTPBRS and so far we have had just a couple of good pushes of migrants. The return to more "normal" weather during the next week should stimulate a large movement of songbirds, owls and waterfowl.
The final day of September was warm with light southerlies. Remnants of the fallout on September 29 were still evident on the 30th as 62 birds were banded and 8 recaptured. Several boisterous Blue Jays were captured with their prey (wooly bear caterpillars and praying mantis) and decent numbers of thrushes, kinglets and sparrows were recorded. More south winds on October 1st contributed to a quiet day at TTPBRS, with just 20 birds banded. The variety and abundance of waterfowl remained constant throughout the week with decent numbers of dabblers but very few diving ducks. The aquatic habitats have been ideal for shorebirds for well over a month now and yet few shorebirds have been observed save for good numbers of Killdeer and the odd Black-bellied or American Golden-Plover. Wind and rain was responsible for just 2 hours of coverage on October 2. A total of 8 birds were captured on October 3, which is unusually slow for October at Tommy Thompson Park. The first Common Goldeneye of the fall was spotted. Later that evening, owls were on the move and 34 Northern Saw-whet Owls were captured. Diurnal migration picked up on October 4 as 24 American Pipits were tallied and increased numbers of Eastern Phoebe, Black-capped Chickadee, Golden- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrows were noted. Calm conditions that evening resulted in a substantial movement of birds, with 119 banded on the morning of October 5. The first Field Sparrow and Orange-crowned Warbler of this fall were logged. Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Brown Creeper and White-throated Sparrows were the most abundant passerines detected. Also noteworthy during the morning was the banding of a late Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and high counts of Blue-headed Vireo (12) and Black-capped Chickadee (22). Moderate numbers of migrants were evident on October 6 as 42 birds were banded and season "firsts" of Ruddy Turnstone and American Coot were observed.
HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in bold)
Sep 30
4-Northern Harrier
8-Sharp-shinned Hawk
1-Northern Goshawk
9-Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
105-Golden-crowned Kinglet
14-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Oct 1
1-Common Loon
12-Winter Wren
Oct 2
2-Black-bellied Plover
1-Northern Saw-whet Owl (daytime)
1-American Redstart
1-Pectoral Sandpiper
Oct 3
1-Common Goldeneye
1-American Golden-Plover
1-Purple Finch
Oct 4
24-Green-winged Teal
2-American Golden-Plover
1-Downy Woodpecker
2-Eastern Phoebe
26-American Pipit
1-Red-eyed Vireo
1-Eastern Towhee
Oct 5
1-Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
22-Black-capped Chickadee
16-Brown Creeper
70-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
20-Hermit Thrush
1-Brown Thrasher
12-Blue-headed Vireo
1-Orange-crowned Warbler
1-Northern Parula
1-Bay-breasted Warbler
1-Field Sparrow
30-Slate-colored Junco
Oct 6
1-American Coot
1-Ruddy Turnstone
5-Gray-cheeked Thrush
24-American Pipit
1-Red-eyed Vireo
1-Blackpoll Warbler
20-Rusty Blackbird
Birds Banded: Aug 5-Oct 6

Species Recorded: Aug 5-Oct 6