Big migration last night

 So my radar source seems to have “gone under” for awhile. I’m in the process of switching over to a better one, but now that I’m in South Florida for 2 weeks, it might not happen as quickly as I’d like. Anyway, this is the national composite image from midnight, last night.  Migration was evident over most of the Eastern Flyway, from Cuba up through New Jersey. The highest densities were on the Mississippi and Central Flyway, especially along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. WOW! Look at those birds go!

Florida: Birds coming across the Straits appear to be heading S–>N, as do birds heading over Miami, Melbourne and the rest of the Florida radar stations. As of 5:30 this morning birds appear to have dropped out of the air in Central and Northern Florida, while they continue to come over from the Atlantic and Florida Bay. Without any weather to concentrate birds, the best bets are likely the tried-and-true spring migrant traps.

New Jersey: Here we have a different story; with strong SW–>NE flow and heavy migration we should see very high densities of new birds at places such as Sandy Hook, with less-but-still-significant influx at inland sites such as Garret Mountain. All locations will likely support new birds today as migration into New Jersey was exceptional and the weather to the north prevented a major exodus.

So, I’m off to the Tortugas this morning. To get your daily fix of radar, the NCAR site is running and has everything you’ll need. In the interim I have asked Sam Galick to post his observations and interpretations of the New Jersey radar so please make him feel at home 🙂

Go Birding!

Birds over Jerze

Optimal migration conditions continued last night, with clear skies and light northeast winds across the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. The radar indicated nocturnal migration from Maine through Florida, with the highest concentrations being along the coast. Migration was noticeably less than the previous night, although it is typical for heavy movements to be followed by smaller ones simply due to the number of birds prepared to make the journey (especially in early fall, when resources are still plentiful and the rush to stake out breeding territories is not a driving force). Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:00am this morning.

With the help of Bertram Murray (and the advice and technique of “Wild Bill” Elrick), I’m starting a pilot project this morning to see if we can catch migrants at Hutcheson Memorial Forest in an attempt to quantify the site significance as a stopover location…I’ll report back later as to how successful we were.

Good Birding
Base Reflectivity image from Fort Dix Base Velocity image from Fort Dix

Wrapping up the 2006 Spring Migration Study

Well, it had to come to an end sometime, so it might as well be now. Tomorrow morning Inga and I head south to Georgia for the big wedding. I’ll be back after our honeymoon around June 16th. Until then may waves of migrants beat down your doors.

Thank you for making this third spring migration study a success. Most importantly though, Good Birding!
Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus)
Seaside Sparrow © David La Puma

Migration over New Jersey

Alright! The Northeast corridor has been open for several evenings now. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through sunrise this morning.

Base Reflectivity image from Fort Dix Base Velocity image from Fort Dix

Migration was widespread across the east coast last night and heaviest from the mid-atlantic to extreme northeast. Again, the trajectory suggests that Sandy Hook would be a good bet this morning, but as we have seen recently this pattern at this time of year appears to favor all New Jersey migratory hotspots. I’m personally enjoying my backyard…now to find an Olive-sided Flycatcher!

Good Birding