The wheel in the sky keeps on turning…

… I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrrrrroooooowwwww.

Here’s the radar from sunset last night through sunrise 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 

Seriously, I’m pretty sure that somewhere up there, between 600 and 3,000 feet above ground height, someone was cranking that infectious Journey tune as millions of birds took to the sky for points north. This flight was simply awesome.

For the third night in a row the conditions across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic aligned to produce a heavy flight into the region, this time with birds making it even further north into the Northeastern US. At the time of this writing the radar returns from Binghamton are still hot and heavy- with many pulse volumes (fancy radar term for the sample area- in this case they are synonymous with the image pixels, or 1-cubic-km) still returning values of 25 dbZ. 25 dbZ is almost as good as it gets, and rarely do you see such values at 5:30am. It’s safe to say that there are some serious birds above Binghamton right now!

Looking at the regional scale you can see many birds entering into the Mid-Atlantic throughout the night and into this morning, with the heaviest returns visible on the NJ radars until the early morning hours. Also in the early morning, you can see precipitation over Southern New York finally clearing to the northeast which allowed the heavy flight from Pennsylvania to enter Southern and Central NY State.

Looking at New Jersey specifically, migration was heavy and consistent overnight with the main trajectory also consistent with the last two nights. Southwest winds did push some birds to the coast, but the vast majority of the migration event occurred along the Delaware Bay Shore –> Sandy Hook axis. Heavy migration over eastern PA means that densities are also quite high in Western NJ this morning. Hitting the spring hotspots like Garret Mountain, Sandy Hook, Belleplain, and East Point (along the Delaware Bay shore) will prove fruitful today. Anywhere along the Delaware River should be good today as well. Oh- and NYC! While my gauge for the Big Apple isn’t as fine-tuned, I think it’s probably safe to say any birder in NYC will do well to hit one of the several important bird areas within the five boroughs. Prospect Park? Central Park? The Ridgewood Reservoirs? I bet they’re all loaded this morning.

More on tap over the next few nights- so stay tuned!

Good Birding


ps. We’re getting the band back together! No No- we’re not a Journey cover band. We’re the Scarlet Knight-Herons World Series of Birding team and we’re raising $$ for graduate research at our Alma mater: the Rutgers Ecology & Evolution program. I’ll be posting more about this in the next couple of days, but in the meantime you can read about our previous years exploits here at our blog. You can also make a donation via that page, or you can send a check (instead of giving a portion to PayPal) directly to me at my work address:

David La Puma * NJ Audubon * 600 N Delsea Drive. * Cape May Courthouse * NJ * 08210

Thanks in advance- and again, stay tuned for a more detailed description of our plan to do the WSB without carbon emissions!

This entry was posted in Birds, Forecast, Migration, Migration Radar, NEXRAD Migration Study, Spring Migration 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The wheel in the sky keeps on turning…

  1. The bird activity in east-central New York took off today following last night’s flight. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks arrived for the first time in a widespread area, as well as more (and lots of) White-throated Sparrows. Indigo Bunting and Eastern Towhee also reported in the area. The radar doesn’t lie!

  2. Sandra Keller says:

    Tinicum NWR in Philadelphia was super. But I didn’t get a chance to seriously
    bird until a group I was helping out with left. So, here’s some stuff – and most
    was between 12:30 and 1:30PM! Although what came in last night and what was here from Sunday say – I have no idea.
    30 plus HOUSE WRENS
    40 or so GRAY CATBIRDS
    2 PALMS
    1 CERULEAN WARBLER – 1 was reported Sunday – I assume this is the same one – hence I don’t know what is new in.

  3. John says:

    My eBird checklist… highest species diversity of the year so far.

    Location: Donaldson Park
    Observation date: 4/26/11
    Number of species: 40

    Canada Goose 15
    Mallard 4
    Common Merganser 1
    Double-crested Cormorant 40
    Killdeer 2
    Ring-billed Gull 8
    Mourning Dove 6
    Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 4
    Eastern Kingbird 1
    Blue Jay 8
    Fish Crow 1
    Northern Rough-winged Swallow 6
    Tree Swallow 8
    Black-capped Chickadee 1
    Tufted Titmouse 1
    White-breasted Nuthatch 1
    Carolina Wren 1
    House Wren 1
    American Robin 30
    Gray Catbird 10
    Northern Mockingbird 2
    Brown Thrasher 2
    European Starling 30
    Cedar Waxwing 3
    Northern Parula 3
    Yellow Warbler 14
    Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 22
    Black-and-white Warbler 1
    Chipping Sparrow 4
    Savannah Sparrow 1
    Song Sparrow 8
    Swamp Sparrow 1
    White-throated Sparrow 3
    Northern Cardinal 2
    Red-winged Blackbird 30
    Common Grackle 10
    Orchard Oriole 1
    Baltimore Oriole 3
    American Goldfinch 6
    House Sparrow 1