Posted by: woodcreeper | May 8, 2008 @ 5:58 am

Some new birds; many northbound Florida migrants; big western invasion on the way

Birds were clearly on the move over Florida last night, but most activity was restricted to birds heading north over the peninsula. 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

A moderate push of migrants made their way out of Cuba last night, landing on the south coast of Florida early this morning. The Miami radar indicates that at least some of this wave made it into southeast Florida. The Key West radar suggests that the majority moved over the Keys and into the southern Everglades, as well as up the southwest coast. Otherwise the big migration show was that of the peninsula, with all Florida radars showing moderate to heavy migration on a S–>N trajectory. With no precipitation to concentrate birds, expect migrants to be dispersed across the landscape and the best conditions to exist at known spring migration hotspots.

There is something else though… the next three nights are really shaping up for a nice push of Trans-Gulf migrants into Florida. As strong low pressure moves into the Atlantic off of the northeast coast of the US, a SW–>NE wind gradient will form between the Yucatan and Central Florida. This trajectory will begin tonight and strengthen (and widen all the way down to the Florida Keys) over the next three nights such that the entire state should be seeing Trans-Gulf migrants by the end of the weekend.

No precipitation is on line for the weekend so birds will be well dispersed across the landscape. The best bets will be the tried-and-true spring migration hotspots… thinking about Connecticut and Bicknell’s as you scour the bushes. Okay, I’m signing off until Monday (a report from the Tortugas will follow).

Good Birding,


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  1. Hi, David–

    I posted a Key West one hour loop from around midnight this morning (Friday). It shows a healthy movement from Cuba. It is on my blog entry for today.

    Enjoy your Tortugas trip– Good Birding!


  2. on my blog, I posted four hourly loops from sunset to midnight this evening (Sunday). They show north to north-northeasterly movement.



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