Big flight as front passes

The latest cold front passed across the region on Halloween night, allowing for high pressure to build in throughout the day yesterday. Northwest winds last night, coupled with a cloud-free sky, again set the stage for more migration into and out of the Mid-Atlantic. Here’s the radar from 6:00pm last night through 6:00am 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

Well, given the recent switch to Daylight Savings Time, it looks like I’ll need to set the radar download an hour earlier as well. As you can see from the images, birds were already in the radar at the beginning of the recordings! Migration was heavy across the NE and Mid-Atlantic last night, with most birds heading from N->S. Northwest winds aloft will result in a nice influx of birds into New Jersey, while northerly surface winds will allow many birds to disperse across the landscape (check both inland and coastal migrant traps this morning). The Sandy Hook buoy is showing strong NE winds, which usually means The Hook will be a bust today (at least for any appreciable numbers of nocturnal migrants). Cape May should by flooded with the common late-fall/early-winter species today.

On another note, I did some moonwatching last night from 7:30pm – 9:00pm, and counted an average of 52 birds every 10-minutes. I only heard a couple of nocturnal flight calls, one of which was a White-throated Sparrow. It’s possible that my proximity to a busy road severely limited my ability to hear them… but the moonwatching show was definitely spectacular! I took some video, and will upload it later today.

Good Birding


2 responses to “Big flight as front passes”

  1. Last night at 2220 hrs. in Hockessin DE I watched the moon for approximately 15 minutes (only when relatively clear of clouds). I counted 76 birds in that time including what I thought was an owl. I hope that the sky is clear tonight.

  2. Cool Jim! Hey, if you’re interested in contributing, we’ve got some standardized instructions and data sheets on the moonwatching page (right sidebar of this website) and would love to have someone in DE providing some observations. I’ve also got a reporter in Wilmington who is writing a story and would love to join someone doing the moonwatching. if you’re intersted, please let me know. Tomorrow (Tuesday) night is looking great for moonwatching.


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