Winds were downright belligerent last night, and out of the totally wrong direction, at that. Okay, so I’m bitter that I had to walk the dog in what felt like hurricane-force northwest winds. Either way, migration along the eastern flyway was nil. But that’s only part of the story. The Central and parts of the Mississippi Flyways were cranking last night. Click here for an image from midnight (CST) last night. You can see migration activity has really picked up!
Okay, so we have two things going on right now that look like they’re setting up a “perfect storm” scenario.
1. Strong flow out of Central American has been cranking over the last few days, already resulting in several nights of heavy migration into and over the Gulf Coast.
2. A strong low pressure system is spinning over the Northeastern US right now, and will continue to do so throughout today and tonight, as it moves eastward. The two systems together are acting as a funnel with the outflow of this confluence located directly over the mid-Atlantic (and specifically, New Jersey).
I’ve been talking with several folks in our building during the last 24 hours, and most of us agree that this system has the potential to bring birds from both the far north, and the far south as soon as Thursday morning. John Arvin from the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, in TX, noted yesterday that the southerly flow out of the Yucatan last night and tonight “should bring another shot of trans-Gulf migrants to inland areas while most will overfly coastal areas.”
Shorebird numbers have been increasing significantly in Florida over the last few weeks, and I think we could see our first “mixed bag” of peeps and their larger counterparts coming in on this wave. Don reports that Semipalmated Plovers have already returned to the Cape May Coast Guard base, so the rest are not far behind.
The real interesting question will be whether we get a double-dose of rarities from both directions (instead of just some early migrants from the south) due to the strong northerly flow out of the Hudson Bay region… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’ll be updating the radar tomorrow morning, and “tweeting” on Twitter as things unfold- so stay tuned!
…now to go walk the dog in this crappy weather…