Migration: it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Yesterday we saw the latest cold front push off the eastern seaboard causing the winds over new jersey to turn from southwest to northwest. I watched this unfold from the Cape May hawkwatch, where the raptor flight picked up considerably in the early afternoon (and Melissa Roach broke the 40,000 raptor mark just after lunch!) . Nocturnal migration followed suit last night, with heavy migration apparent on the radar from the Great Lakes across to the New England coast, and down through the Mid-Atlantic. 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.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I think I can sum it up in a few words:
Many birds were here. Many birds left. Many birds arrived. Birds are everywhere. Generally speaking, the migration trajectory started out NW->SE and transitioned to N->S by morning. The Sandy Hook buoy is reading almost due north right now, and the Cape May buoy is reading NNE, which means that the main trajectory of birds across the state of New Jersey is slightly more inland than we experienced this past weekend. We should still see great conditions along the coast (akin to a “background” or “leftover swell”, for those surfers out there) while the bulk of this migration event will be dispersed across the state. Inland migrant traps, especially those along ridges, should be good this morning- so head there of you have the time. North winds throughout the day will also produce a good hawk flight at places like Raccoon Ridge and Chimney Rock, and again, Cape May will also produce great views of many migrating raptors (I got word this morning that there is already an excellent morning flight of raptors including a ‘bunch’ of Nothern Harriers over Cape May point, as per Doug Gochfeld).
Well, it’s back to the grind for me- I hope everyone has a great day out there, and please come back and let us know what you saw!