A mix of wind directions and precipitation scenarios made for a very uneven distribution of birds last night. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 6:00am this morning. Note that the Dover radar was having problems last night, so only a few of the images are present in the loop.
Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
The winds over New Jersey ranged from north to south, and east to west, throughout the night, with the only consistency being relatively low wind speeds. Therefore we did see some migration last night, even on the unstable wind conditions and precipitation that moved through overnight. Given the predominance of southeasterly winds over southern New Jersey, most birds over the Dover radar appeared to be heading inland, up the Delaware River, instead of across to the north bay shore. Over central and northern New Jersey, though, most movement started out on a S->N trajectory, and then turned the more typical SW->NE throughout the night. Birds could be seen heading over Sandy Hook on the early morning radar, but given the ESE wind readings on the Sandy Hook buoy as of 6:30am, I’d say that the probability is low for high densities of birds on this well-established migrant trap. Inland sites such as Garret Mountain and locations along the Delaware River may be the best bets for seeing some new birds today.
Over the next two nights we will see south winds across the region, as a cold front pushes east and then stalls over our area. We’re getting pretty late in the season now, so I’m not expecting anything major, but it will be interesting to see how May wraps up migration-wise. On that note, I’ll be signing off with my regular (almost) daily posts as of tomorrow morning, but will be posting throughout the summer on interesting topics, and hopefully with a summary of this seasons migration events. It has been another fun season, this time with the added benefit of living in Cape May… now I really can’t wait for fall!