Sticky: WSB FORECAST: Clear skies and westerly winds promise beautiful weather and a broad-front of migrants on the Big Day

Upper-level winds across New Jersey may be out of the NW but light westerly surface winds should provide enough room for migrants to move on Friday night. These conditions should result in a moderate migration event coinciding with the kickoff of the Big Day at midnight. This does increase the probability that staked out migrants may move on Friday night, so keep that in mind.  Garret Mountain and other inland migrant traps should see new birds on Saturday morning as conditions will be clear throughout Pennsylvania and the southern Mid-Atlantic, and coastal traps (especially those in the southern half of the state) should see an influx of birds as upper level NW winds and surface westerlies push them east. The greatest influx is expected into the southern half of the state where winds are forecast to be lighter. Also, expect good clear listening conditions to help pick out those migrants overhead. Given the high ceiling, the best listening will likely occur in the couple of hours predawn on Saturday and again just after dark on Saturday night.

I will post a special forecast here by 10:00pm Eastern Time with updated weather information regarding the World Series of Birding, so be sure to stop by.

Good Birding and Good Luck!

WSB Forecast Update

Current winds at all altitudes over the Delmarva and south NJ are out of the SW while only upper-level winds over the most northern part of the state (Southern NY, really) remain out of the NW. Migration has already begun and WSB participants should expect migrants throughout the region tomorrow AM. Coastal sites will see good density and diversity, as will interior migrant traps such as Garret Mountain. See the pervious forecast for more detail as everything still holds. Good luck and good birding!!

Birds head into the region

Bounded by a stationary front draped across northern New York, migrants pushed northward over the Mid-Atlantic last night. 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 

As you can see from the regional composite, most of the migration occurred over Eastern PA, the Delmarva and New Jersey with lesser concentrations over New York State. Some locally heavy thunderstorms moved across the western part of NJ and may have knocked down some of the migrants, so if your area saw heavy rain between the hours of midnight and 5:00am, you should consider checking your local patch this morning. Otherwise birding conditions in NJ should be best at inland hotspots today as the main trajectory of migration was from S->N from the mid-Delaware Bay up to the NE corner of the state.

Sorry for being absent for the last few days- but World Series scouting had me in the field at all hours. The results are in, and while we didn’t come close to garnering the Cape Island Cup (nor the Carbon Footprint Cup), we had an awesome time. In the end The Rutgers Scarlet Knight-Herons (this year’s team was myself, Ben Baiser, and Bill Lynch) pedaled 42+ miles and tallied 104 species of birds on Cape May Island over a period of 20+ hours. In doing so we raised money for the Rutgers Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association to fund graduate research projects. Our donation this year will be in the name of Charlie Kontos, one of our original teammates who passed away suddenly last year.  If you would like to support our cause, click here for information on how to donate. For those of you who have pledged support, a heartfelt thank you goes out to you from all of us. While our legs and butts are sore- our smiles are wide and our minds are full of the great memories of this awesome experience. Congrats to everyone who participated- and especially those who were able to take home the highly coveted awards. You deserve it!

Good Birding

David

Big flight underway…

…with HEAVY migration overhead tonight. Here’s the national composite as of ~10:30pm (5/12):

Birds are heading NNE over NJ and I’d expect Garret Mountain and Sandy Hook to be good tomorrow. It also looks like the Delaware Bay Shore and, to a lesser extent, Cape May will be hopping with new arrivals. I’ll post the full radar later in the day tomorrow, but scouting duties before work await me in the early AM!

 

Good Birding!
David

Heavy migration; birds heading north (was “Gone Fishing”)

I was scouting in the wee hours this morning so couldn’t get the radar up in time. Unfortunately that’s going to be the case for the next two mornings- so I’ll try and move to a night-post format until after the Big Day on Saturday. Here’s the radar from sunset last night until 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 

High pressure over most of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic triggered another push to the north. Heavy migration was apparent heading up into New York State and beyond. Those birds heading across NJ appear to be heading more inland although there did appear to be a late push to the NE over Northern NJ last night. I didn’t see what the upper-level winds were doing last night so it’s hard to tell whether it was wind-driven or not- but either way birds did spread out over the northern half of the state. Migration was heaviest, though, over NY State which is consistent with our being past the peak of spring nocturnal migration. Oh how quick it comes and goes!

For the next few nights we have the potential for migration across the region with south winds forecast in the upper atmosphere and southeast winds at the surface. The mix of winds will mean that even coastal locations will see some new birds while the bulk of the migration will continue to head NNW. This should favor migrant hotspots from central to western NJ on Saturday. Looks like precipitation will strike South Jersey sometime in the day on Saturday but should be restricted to the south until later Saturday night.

Good Birding

David