Oh yeah- things just got kicked up a notch around here. If you’ve been following my twitter feed you know that I’ve been kinda keeping up with the arrival of spring, but last night was definitely the most widespread movement up the east coast that I’ve seen this season. The verdict? Spring has sprung- and migration is ramping up. Here’s a 12-hour loop from 7:30pm last night through 7:30am this morning.
Frames are every 1/2 hour. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
Southerly flow over the Central, Mississippi and Eastern flyways last night triggered migration across most of the US east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes and Delmarva Peninsula. Low pressure over the Northeast precluded the bulk of migrants from reaching points further north, but that’s going to change a little tonight. The heaviest migration over the Mid-Atlantic appears to have reached the D.C. / Baltimore area, with a little backdoor movement up into Western NJ as the low and associated warm front moved northeast overnight.
Since it’s still early in the season, expect the bulk of this movement to be short-distance migrants (sparrows, kinglets, finches) with some mix of birds wintering in the Southern US (Pine and Yellow-throated Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, etc.), as well as herons, egrets, cormorants, and other nocturnal/diurnal migrants. For New Jersey, along the Delaware river east to about mid-state should see some turnover of birds today, while the southeast will need to wait until tomorrow morning for any appreciable change.
Tonight expect winds to pick up out of the southwest as the front approaches us from the west. This should trigger widespread migration across the eastern seaboard and favor coastal locations tomorrow morning. Sandy Hook and Cape May should see some new birds tomorrow before the rain shuts us in, and the chance for an overshoot from points south is quite good given the wind speed and overall densities moving the last two nights.