The fall 2007 season of the Migration Monitoring Program officially came to an end on November 12. The final week of the season was much like the previous week with very few birds captured (39) but some pretty heavy diurnal movement of winter finches, blackbirds, Snow Buntings, American Pipits and Horned Larks. Numbers of waterfowl continued to increase as Long-tailed Ducks peaked for the season this morning at over 3,000. An estimated 1500 ducks are staging in cell 3, which includes over 70 Redhead, 250 Common Goldeneye and 800 scaup. Northern Saw-whet Owls continued to move through the park during the week with over 50 owls banded. It has been a remarkable season for owls, as 322 Northern Saw-whets have been captured, which is easily the busiest season in the 5-year history of TTPBRS. The program was featured on CBC news Toronto on November 8. November 10 was cold and overcast with light north winds. These conditions were ideal for a large passage of finches on the Toronto lakeshore. A total of 67 Common Redpolls were recorded along with smaller numbers of Pine Siskin and a brief sighting of an Evening Grosbeak. This was just the second record of Evening Grosbeak for TTPBRS and easily a record high count for Common Redpoll.
Despite the lack of activity indicated by our paucit banding totals for the last two weeks, the birding at Tommy Thompson Park has been excellent as always. A tour of the park this morning revealed some unusual species including a Red-throated Loon, Black Scoter, dark phase Rough-legged Hawk, Lapland Longspur, Short-eared Owls and a single Pine Grosbeak. It was a great way to close another fantastic year for TTPBRS!
A big thanks are due to our dedicated crew of 25 volunteers who make TTPBRS possible! Special thanks go to Jan McDonald for digitizing the fall data, Ian Sturdee for station support and comic relief, Tom Flinn for help with surveys, Andrew Jano for giving up sleep to help with owls and to Seabrooke Leckie for her countless hours of assistance with just about everything!
HIGHLIGHTS (banding totals in bold)
67-Common Redpoll (record high count for TTPBRS)
1-Evening Grosbeak (2nd record for TTPBRS)
Birds Banded: Aug 5-Nov 12
Species Recorded: Aug 5-Nov 12