Heavier migration into the Mid-Atlantic!

Wow! Now THAT was an awesome flight! 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 

Light and variable winds last night allowed a major flight of birds into the Mid-Atlantic and western portion of the Northeastern US although the low pressure system off of Maine continues to stifle any movement into the eastern half of the Northeast (see yesterday’s post for discussion). With easterly winds becoming more dominant, especially in the south, expect most migrants to have moved inland today. This is suggested on the regional composite where the migration cloud can actually be seen heading SSE->NNW, and is confirmed on the velocity loops for Fort Dix and Dover. This pattern is especially pronounced in the south, where east winds built in earlier in the night, and less so in the north which is still under light NNW winds (at least for a little while). If you look at the Fort Dix velocity image, though, you’ll see that Sandy Hook is only barely within the main distribution of migrants- with most birds heading almost due north over Staten Island and points to the west. I imagine that anyone scouting Sussex for the World Series should have a good number of migrants around Culver’s Lake today. Garret Mountain should also be good today, as it has been for the last week. On the Dover radar the main flight line appears to have been straight up the Delaware River, making any migrant traps around Pennsville, NJ an ideal place to be this morning. The National Park dredge spoils and Palmyra should be hopping today! I know my posts have a very local focus and I want to thank Jason in DC for his comment yesterday. It should be noted that the greatest number of migrants are actually passing west of NJ entirely, and the various radars to our west indicated a very heavy flight over the DC area into PA and up into NY State. Birders in those areas should be seeing lots of new birds at local migrant traps this morning. If you’re one of them (birder, not migrant trap), please drop in and let us know what the conditions were like.

World Series of Birding outlook: Right now mostly clear skies and light to moderate southeast winds are the story for the next three nights, so expect migration to continue through Saturday with most migrants on a SSE->NNW track. This means migrants at inland hotspots from Central NJ to the west, and should bode well for the full-state teams up in the Northwest corner at first light. The Delaware River, as today, should see a constant flow of new birds throughout the weekend. For those of you (us) limited to the coastal region, expect to have to work hard for your migrants on Saturday. As is most often the case anyway, breeding birds will be of the utmost importance along the coast during the big day.

On the topic of the World Series, I have some great news! An anonymous donor has covered our entrance fees for the event and any $$ raised will now go directly to supporting research grants for graduate students in the Ecology and Evolution department at Rutgers. Please consider supporting our Rutgers Scarlet Knight-Herons team by making either a per-bird pledge, or a single denomination donation. Every little bit helps- so give what you can and support graduate research in New Jersey. Thanks in advance! More information can be found here.
Good Birding


5 responses to “Heavier migration into the Mid-Atlantic!”

  1. Purple! Right over my house! Should be a great next couple of days… The forests and lakes are really alive with the migrants, and my usual residents are almost all back again, too. Happy, busy birding here. Best, G

  2. Wow. For about a week, I’ve been visiting a local park here in Lyndhurst, Bergen County – (not DeKorte in the Meadowlands, but a local park along the Passaic River.) Yesterday I had 8 species of warbler there, and perhaps 40 individuals or so. (Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-White, Yellow, Redstart, Parula, Black-throated Blue.)

    Today? 3 Yellow-rumps and 1 Yellow Warbler. That’s it. The only addition today seemed to be 2 Eastern Kingbirds.

    So in my neck of the woods, it seems like a lot of the migration were Leavers instead of Arrivers.

  3. Seemed like mirgation was markedly slower today in DC than yesterday. 13 warbler speices, but numbers quite lower than yesterday (18 W. species). Seems like slow birding at dawn , but picking up somewhat after 8am. Not sure if that means the birds are just continuing to fly after dawn or something else…

  4. Birded the Jacques Lane section of Six Mile Run in Somerset County, NJ before work today. Not much evidence of migration, but the resident birds – yellow and prairie warblers (especially prairie), blue winged warblers, towhees, orchard orioles, etc. were singing up a storm. Seemed like every bush had a bird in it! But, these were clearly residents.

  5. There was a bit of a discussion a little while ago about what type of weather is best for Garret Mountain. I will echo some of the comments made here as part of a response– My WSB team and I have done a lot of scouting and non-scout birding around Bergen and Passaic Counties. In addition, two of us live in those counties. We have seen very low levels of migrants in general this year, but especially in the last few days as winds have pushed birds NW. Bergen and Passaic are not considered ‘coastal’ locations, but in terms of fitting in with a migration paradigm I would postulate that they are. I believe many of the birds that end up at Garret find themselves EAST of the park over urban areas of Passaic County at dawn and retrograde west to the park itself on fallout days. The inland-pushing winds for the last two days seem to confirm this and I’d expect that if the weather stays this way for the next two days we’ll see more of the same, few birds in the park. An hour and change this morning with part of the team yielded <40 species with only 13 warblers, 1 vireo, no empids. Yesterday was similar.


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