Posted by: woodcreeper | October 18, 2007 @ 6:08 am

Light migration over Florida


Although concentrated primarily in the southern half of the state, there was some migration over Florida last night. Here’s the radar from sunset last night through 5:00am 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 Key West, FL Base Velocity image from Key West, FL
Base Reflectivity image from Miami, FL Base Velocity image from Miami, FL Composite base reflectivity for the Southeastern USA
The radar over northern Florida indicated a small amount of migration into the state, and the radars over Tampa and Melbourne indicated a W–>E movement that was difficult to discern. With velocities low, and movement almost SW–>NE, it would suggest that the movement was something other than birds, but at the same time I can’t be certain (but since when am I ever certain?). The proof will have the be on the ground, around Orlando for instance. In southeast Florida the signal was much more typical of bird migration (higher velocity, NW–>SE movement) and suggests some good densities along the southeast coast. This should be easily ground-truthed by the dedicated Ladies of Cape Florida.
Of course one has to remember that heavy migration on the radar is not always (read: ‘rarely’) a recipe for high densities on the ground. Yesterday, for instance, the migration into the state was minimal, yet Bob Wallace from Alachua sent me photographs of a virtual warbler pool party at his backyard drip, including one good looking Golden-winged Warbler. Ron Smith, of St. Pete also had a great day of Bay-breasted and Black-throated Greens in his backyard, despite the light migration two nights ago. This is what I find so fascinating, and this is why I love posting the radar and getting your feedback.
With that, I will now turn this forum over to you!

Good Birding! 🙂

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  1. Maddog is back, pliers in hand.
    Today we had a bit of an influx compared to yesterday’s 10 birds banded. We captured 23 new birds, mostly common yellowthroats and black-throated blues. Wind was calm last night so birds weren’t blown away from Cape Florida, and a pre-dawn shower probably put some birds down. Species diversity was down from the last several days.


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