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.
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.