BAM! It finally happened, a decent night of migration across the entire southeast into the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley. Winds were light and from the south the entire night, excellent conditions for migration. This is the heaviest migration we have seen since April 16th so there were a lot of birds bottled up, waiting to arrive. Many of you who noticed scattered reports of many migrants but no big influx, this should have changed overnight. This is still a bit early in the season for many Neotropical migrants, so there likely won’t be high concentrations or variety at many spots, but as a whole, the region should be finding a good variety of species.
Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.
As I sit here writing this post, my first Wood Thrush of the season is singing outside of my window, a great indication that there was a good flight into the state last night. Expect widespread reports of warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles and grosbeaks. Parts of western PA may see a net loss of birds as migration was good overhead, but storms blocked new arrivals to the south. The southwestern counties may actually have some fallout conditions where the storm passed through overnight. The central and eastern counties should see a lot of new arrivals. Without precipitation to put birds down, check local migrant traps such as local parks in urban areas, riparian areas or edges along lakes and rivers.
As always, please leave me comments on what you find out in the field.
Maryland experienced good migration conditions all night as well. Some precipitation did move through but it did not appear to slow down the birds. Birders there should expect a nice influx of a broad range of species.
Central New York saw good migration conditions all night. The skies were clear across the state so a good changeover in species as new birds arrive and winter residents begin to thin out.
Despite the storms moving through Ohio, birds really wanted to move on the slight south winds. You can see the storms roll through from west to east but the velocity radar still registers movement from south to north, at least in the northern part of the state. Storms were much thicker near Wilmington and it is hard to decipher how much of the scatter on the radar images is actually birds. The velocity radar does show a SW -> NE flow which is different from the storms direction so I think birds were flying overhead in southern Ohio as well.
There was strong migration to the south of Ohio so these storms may have created local fallout conditions. It would be a great day to go out and check local migrant traps to see if there are any higher concentrations of species from this weather.
Check Kenn Kaufman’s blog for more specifics on what to expect this time of year.
For migration updates or other regions check-
New England – Tom Auer’s blog
New Jersey – Woodcreeper by David La Puma
Florida/SE – Badbirdz Reloaded by Angel and Mariel Abreu
NW Ohio – Birding the Crane Creek by Kenn Kaufman
Wisconsin – Woodcreeper by David La Puma
Arizona – Words About Birds by Tim Schreckengost
Pac NW – Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth
I need your help! These reports will only be as good as the feedback I get on these updates. Please leave comments on interesting patterns of migration you are seeing in the field so I can incorporate some ground truthing to my forecasts and predictions. Thanks!