Heavy flight last night, plus some visible migration!

The eastern seaboard was ablaze with migration last night, along with the Central Flyway and parts of the Mississippi Flyway as well. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:00am this morning.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

Base Reflectivity image from Fort Dix Base Velocity image from Fort Dix Base Reflectivity image from Dover AFB Base Velocity image from Dover AFB Base Reflectivity image from Upton NY Base Velocity image from Upton NY Composite Base Reflectivity image from the Northeastern USA

Winds were light and southeasterly last night, triggering another night of migration across many parts of the country, especially at central and northern latitudes. On the east coast, migration was heavy from the Mid-Atlantic through the Northeast, with highest densities occurring inland from the coast. This appears due to the southeasterly flow of the winds, which (for once this spring) did not push birds toward the coast. Expect the highest densities at inland migration hotspots today, such as along the Delaware River, and along interior ridges such as Garret Mountain. East winds should preclude many nocturnal migrants from “sticking” to coastal hotspots such as Sandy Hook, but may bring the possible pelagic gem (such as Sooty Shearwater or Arctic Tern) closer to shore… so if you’re in Cape May for Spring Weekend, or out at Montauk for some sun, be sure to scan the sea for anything out of the ordinary! And of course, come on back and let us know what you see.

Last night I was alerted to some visible migration via the Night Flight Call listserve (are you a member of the list? well, if you’re interested in nocturnal flight calls, you might want to consider it). From a local patch on the south side of Boston, Marshall Iliff reported seeing an inland flight of White-winged Scoters heading north. By the time darkness fell, he had estimated 630 individuals in several flocks. What a great sighting! Along with the WWSCs, he also witnessed 80 Atlantic Brant, a more regionally common sighting, but still a notable movement of migrants heading to the northwest. Bill Evans brought up the possibility of seeing these birds on the radar, so I’m going to take a closer look at the loops for Massachusetts and see if anything stands out… I’ll post an update when I’ve got something.

Until then, get out there and find some birds- it’s Spring Weekend down here, and I’ve got a hankering for some Puffinus on today’s seawatch… or maybe the Swallow-tailed AND Mississippi Kites from yesterday will return again today (and I won’t have to be in the office this time!!!!)

Good Birding!


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One Response to Heavy flight last night, plus some visible migration!

  1. Chris Duffek says:

    Many cedar waxwings, indigo buntings, and Baltimore Orioles at the Sourlands Preserve today!