New arrivals overnight

Although northerly winds clearly dominated at higher altitudes, light southerly winds at the surface allowed for moderate to heavy migration over the region last night. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:30am this morning.

Frames are every 1/2 hour for reflectivity and velocity, and every hour for the regional composite. 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 Composite Base Reflectivity image from the Northeastern USA

As you can see from the composite image, migration was heaviest around the northeastern US and down around the Great Lakes, where southerly winds were strongest along the edge of the approaching cold front. Still, with clear skies and light winds over our area, Zugunruhe got the better of many birds that may have otherwise waited out better conditions just a weeks ago. Such are the patters of spring!

With no weather in the forecast to concentrate birds, but with light west winds over the state, I think the best bets for today will be inland migrant traps (Garret Mountain being my favorite) and coastal locations such as Sandy Hook. Of course, the best opportunity for diversity will be in south Jersey, and with the influx of birds apparent on the radar, we should see some new arrivals there this morning.

Be sure to come on back and let us know how it goes!

Good Birding


P.S. Come check out my migration forecast for the Mid-Atlantic on

Please don’t forget to become a member of the Woodcreeper/Badbirdz flock today. Membership has its privileges, so read the Become a Member post to find out more.

Back in New Jersey

We’re back, and we’re married!
We had a wonderful “wedding week” with lots of fun hiking, biking, swimming, and most of all, partying, with family and friends. Inga and I were so taken aback with how many of our loved ones could make it to the mountains of Georgia for the wedding- a testament to how truly lucky we are.
From Georgia we headed east, to Sicily, for two weeks of honeymooning. We focused our time on the northwest corner of the island, visiting Palermo, Monreale, San Giuseppe Jato (where my grandparents are from), Piana Degil Albanesi, Scopello & Zingaro National Reserve, the ruins at Segesta, Trapani, Erice, the island of Pantelleria, and Marsala.
There are plenty of stories to tell from both the wedding and our trip to Italy, and I plan to do so through periodic entries on this blog- so keep an eye out!
In the meantime, I’ve created a flickr group as a depository for wedding photos here: La Puma Wedding Photos; and a set on my flickr site for photos from our honeymoon here: Sicily Set.

Welcome Home, Tess!

The Arrival of Tess

Originally uploaded by Woodcreeper.

Tess has arrived!
Inga and I have been planning to get a dog since the end of June, but decided to wait until I was feeling better after the operation. I had been researching Catahoula Hounds for a month, actually considering driving down to Louisiana to pick one up from a breeder, when we came across Tess on Tess was surrendered by her owner to the Animal Rescue Team, in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and has been well cared for by her foster parent, Kim, for the past several months. Apparently the previous owners had her cooped up in an apartment near NYC, no place for a Catahoula Hound which requires lots of regular exercise. Hopefully life at Hutcheson Memorial Forest will prove more engaging for young Tess. She’s already gotten pretty excited over the rabbits and deer we’ve seen during our morning walk.

Also, if you are interested in adopting a lovely Catahoula Hound (aka Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catahoula Cur Dog), please consider the Catahoula Rescue. This is the site through which I originally found The forums are full of adoptable Catahoulas as well as great tips on rescuing and raising the breed.

Recovery Update

Feeling much better!

Feeling much better!

Originally uploaded by woodcreeper.

Today marks the 13th day since my surgery, and a day-and-a-half since I stopped taking pain meds. I’m officially onto a simple diet of Advil, plus the regular steroids and anti-seizure meds required for the next few weeks. What a relief to finally begin feeling normal again. All things considered, I think I’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks. For some reason the steroids make me hungrier than I’ve ever been- which has resulted in some serious over eating (at some good local restaurants, no less).

Sometime in the next day Inga and I will be adopting Tess, an 18 month old Catahoula Leopard Hound, who was surrendered to a shelter by her owner. In preparation for this I’ve been reading all sorts of books on positive reinforcement training and behavioral psychology of dogs, namely The Dog Listener, by Jane Fennell (thanks Sue Palmer); Don’t Shoot the Dog!, by Karen Pryor; and How Dogs Think, by Stanley Cohen (thanks David Ehrenfeld).

During the first week being home we had an explosion of mushrooms around the forest, so with the help of our friend Jay Kelly, I became hooked on the fungus among us. To that end I’ve been trying to key out the local fungal community using the National Audubon guide to North American Mushrooms, The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide, and Mushrooms Demystified. This has proven much more difficult than I imagined. Part of the problem, I think, is my lack of smelling ability, making it impossible to use smell (or even taste) as a helpful clue (I know, I shouldn’t be tasting strange mushrooms).

In between reading, sleeping, photographing and keying out mushrooms, I’ve been practicing my Deering Goodtime 2 5-string banjo. So far I’ve only mastered the first bit of Boil Them Cabbage Down, but I’m planning on focusing more of my attention on this in the coming weeks. 🙂 Inga is on her way to becoming the next big fiddle player, so by our wedding this May we hope to be a bonafide bluegrass duo.

I want to send out a special thanks to all the folks who have emailed, called, or commented on this site or my flickr photos. The power of the ‘group’ is often underestimated, but I wholeheartedly believe that the extended support has helped me immensely through my recovery. You’re all wonderful, caring people with so much to offer. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, to the top of my head.



…now I need to call the doctor and see how long before I can drink a beer…I’ve been saving a few special ones since before the surgery.

Hummingbird Photography

Hummingbird Photography Set

Originally uploaded by woodcreeper.

Sitting around the house can get old quick. Thank goodness for the hummingbird feeder outside the dining room window! I’ve created a set of photographs, including three which depict my camera setup used to take the hummingbird images. If you view the set, make sure to click on each image individually to see my written description. I hope you enjoy.