Migration Monitoring at TTPBRS: May 20-26, 2008
A light breeze from the south on May 20 stimulated an impressive movement, which brought several new arrivals and a total of 78 species during that morning. A total of 151 birds of 39 species were banded, the highest single day total of spring 2008. Swainson's Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Northern Waterthrush and American Redstart were the most numerous species banded during the morning. Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Wilson's, Blackpoll and Mourning Warblers were all new arrivals for the spring. High winds and cool temperatures arrived the following day, leading to less bird activity in the study area. Many birds from the previous day opted to stopover, as evidenced by the 25 individuals recaptured. The banding of a female Cerulean Warbler and the observation of a Yellow-throated Vireo were both exceptional records as these were both new for the TTPBRS Migration Monitoring Program! More high winds on May 22 forced many migrants to linger in sheltered areas on the Toronto lakeshore as recaptures (31) outnumbered new bandings (30) for the first time this spring. Warblers were well represented during the morning as 19 species were recorded and some high counts were noted such as 24 American Redstart and 28 Magnolia. May 23 was quite interesting as the strong north winds never relented and yet an increase in new migrants with very high fat scores were sampled. This is likely due to the many restless and corpulent migrants dispersing between greenspaces in wait for suitable winds. Swainson's Thrushes and Red-eyed Vireos were more apparent, adding some late spring flavour to the masses of warblers present. A total of 10 Blackburnian Warblers (including 4 males in a net at once!) was a standout amongst the 23 warbler species noted. More "weighty" warblers arrived on May 24 with strong north winds. Cape May Warbler, Myrtle Warbler and Canada Warbler were more abundant this day and the first flock of Whimbrel in 2008 was recorded. Winds shifted to light southerlies for May 25, which resulted in the first significant wave of empidonax flycatchers, Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes and another strong push of warblers. Common Nighthawk, Orchard Oriole and Winter Wren were noteworthy sightings. The final day of the update period was a little less busy but still very productive for surveys and net checks. The composition of migrants had changed sharply overnight as thrushes, flycatchers and Cedar Waxwings took centre stage after a mass scale departure of most warbler species. A record high total of 30 Common Yellowthroats was significant (banded and observed).
The Spring Migration Monitoring Program will operate on a daily basis until June 9, so we have 11 more days left of fieldwork to look forward to. The bulk of thrushes, vireos and flycatchers are still yet to come through and there are always a few surprises in store!
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEK (banding totals in bold)
1-Great Crested Flycatcher
39-Magnolia Warbler (58 total detected)
1-Cape May Warbler
4-Cape May Warbler
4-Blackburnian Warbler (10 total detected)
7-Cape May Warbler
Individuals Banded: April 1-May 26
Species Recorded: April 1-May 26