Ground Control to Woodcreeper…

Sorry for apparently dropping off of the planet. I was in Florida for family matters (Inga’s grandfather’s memorial) which turned more complicated when my own 94-year-old grandmother unexpectedly passed away. Needless to say I wasn’t focused on Mid-Atlantic migration during that week and have only just begun to recover from the whirlwind trip. So right now I have over a week’s worth of radar imagery to work through but it’s not my #1 priority since the season has pretty much come and gone- so expect to see the archive updated sometime in the near future. If there is a particular date you’re interested in, let me know and I’ll prioritize it. While I was in Florida I received a very cool photo account of a fallout on Machias Seal Island, off the coast of Maine. The photos, by Ralph Eldridge, can be seen here: http://www.pbase.com/lightrae/image/135054464. I haven’t had a chance to go back and look at the weather leading up to the event, but it would be interesting!

Until next time, thanks for all of your support and participation this past spring season!

 

Good Birding

David

Birds keep-a-coming

Light southeast winds across the Mid-Atlantic and most of the Northeast triggered moderate to heavy migration into and out of the region. 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 

Last night was another textbook example of what migration looks like under little influence of the wind. While both the surface and upper-level winds were out of the southeast last night, they were light enough that birds could actively compensate for any drift associated with wind direction. Looking at the NJ radars you can see that most birds headed due north across the southern half of the state, bypassing the southern peninsula of Cape May County, while to the north birds headed more NNE following the geographical contours of the state. This means that interior ridges and hotspots along the Delaware River will be best this morning across the Garden State. Looking at the NYC radar you can then see birds tracking more SW->NE as they move up into the New England area. New birds should be present at Central and Prospect parks this morning based on this pattern. Over Central and Western NY migration was heavy for most of the night but was truncated locally following the passage of a few strong storms. If you’re in that area and you experienced heavy rain between midnight and 2:00am, be sure to check out your local patch.

Overall the Mid-Atlantic migration season is winding down, as can be told by the lack of significant migration to our south over the last few nights. Therefore I think I’ll switch to a more opportunistic posting schedule by this weekend, dependent on whether some significant event unfolds. I’ll be sure to ‘tweet’ any new posts to @woodcreeper so that you can get the word about it in a timely fashion. Thanks again for a wonderful season- and if you’d like to support woodcreper.com please head over to the “Become A Member” page on the right-hand sidebar and follow the links to make a donation. We keep it Ad-Free and totally community supported here at woodcreeper.com, and I plan to continue that tradition as long as it remains a viable model. Thanks in advance for your support.

Good Birding- and I hope to see you afield!

David

A coastal push of migrants into the region

Before turning northwest this morning, southwest winds at all altitudes triggered another night of migration across the Mid-Atlantic and especially the Northeastern US. 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

Looking at these loops I can see that migration was moderate to heavy over the region last night, especially before 2am when the winds appear to have switched around to the NW. The main trajectory across the Delmarva and Southern NJ put birds smack dab over Cape May this morning, while further north birds could be seen over Sandy Hook and eastern Long Island into the early morning hours. Simon Lane mentioned yesterday that it’s getting late for arriving migrants and he’s mostly right; although I will reiterate that our research in NY has shown the bulk of migration activity extends into the end of May so we’re still within this window. What is absolutely true is that the proportion of the migration ‘cloud’ made up of land-birds is heavily reduced by now and we’re probably seeing more and more shorebirds in these nocturnal flights. That hypothesis is further supported by the reports of nocturnal flight calls I have received lately. Still, landbird migration continues especially for those most northern breeders still waiting for green-up at the highest latitudes or altitudes: Connecticut Warbler, Bicknell’s Thrush, etc…

Given the coastal push I would suggest hitting Sandy Hook or Cape May (or Prospect and Central Park in NY) this morning, but with the early morning northwest flow it’ll be interesting to see whether the birds at Sandy Hook decide to head back inland today. Cape May, on the other hand, benefits greatly from NW winds following a flight- so I’d expect birding conditions there to be good. Given the apparent re-directed flight (you can see this on the Fort DIX loop) you might also consider Garret Mountain for both decent stopover habitat and its ability to concentrate spring migrants. Either way, you should get out there and start ‘digging’ for the northern breeders that made their way into the region this morning.

 

Good Birding
David

More heavy migration into the region

Posting from my phone here; traveling has me away from an Internet connection so I can’t get the radar up today but will try for later this afternoon. Last night the density and trajectory of migration looked good for bringing birds into the Mid-Atlantic and NY State with less birds making their way into New England. A SW-> NE trajectory should mean more birds at Cape May today, as well as Garret and Sandy Hook.

Good Birding!

David

The migration highway continues

Southerly winds over the western half of the region and southeasterly winds along the coast continue to convey birds up to the northern reaches of the country 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

Oh those southeast winds… good for the birds, but lousy for the birders along the coast! Here we go again, watching all of the birds most recently funneled to the Delmarva Peninsula several night ago, getting pushed up into WESTERN New Jersey and eastern PA overnight. Eastern NY showed little migration last night as well suggesting that the source of birds is currently well to the west of Long Island (as the conditions for migration were not “bad” last night over that area… so we assume that birds simply weren’t there to migrate out). Migration was heavy again over PA and NY state, while a line of heavy storms appear to have put some birds down over Washington DC and parts of northern VA. If those storms hit your area late last night (especially between midnight and 2:00am) make sure to check out your local patch for some grounded migrants.

For NJ, expect the greatest densities of migrants to be along the Delaware Bay shore and at hotspots along the Delaware River such as National Park, Palmyra, etc. and inland hotspots in the southern half of the state. According to the radar, it looks like the northern half of the state saw little migration activity so I wouldn’t expect much change at a place like Garret today- although it’s hard to tell what happened up there on the radar alone. Since Garret was hot yesterday, if little left and only some new birds arrived then it could be just as hot today. The coast, of course, is going to have the least migrants today given the southeast winds… so those of us in Cape May will probably just have to settle for more Mississippi Kites and tens of thousands of shorebirds (including the two Curlew Sandpipers and breeding plumage female Red-necked Phalarope being seen at Heislerville)… a few more spring warblers WOULD be nice, though 😉

Good Birding

David