Posted by: woodcreeper | May 23, 2008 @ 6:14 am

Mystery migration from the Cuba and the Caribbean

Just when you think it’s getting easy, Mother Nature throws you a curve ball… 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

Last night’s radar wasn’t the easiest to interpret, so ground truthing this one will be very important. It looks to me that two decent sized waves of birds made their way to Florida this morning; one from Cuba, and the second from the Caribbean. Both appear to be moving on easterly winds, so the wave from Cuba would only be evident in the lower Keys and maybe the Tortugas, while the Caribbean wave appears to be making landfall from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. Birders in these areas, especially along the coast, should keep an eye out for new arrivals, and consider the possibility that these are not only passerines (they could be shorebirds). Any reports from the field would be most welcome.

Good Birding,


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  1. Hey David we hope all is good in NJ. Down here birding has been slow till Friday when we went out on a Pelagic bird adventure with Capt. Toe. The day started with some M. Frigatebirds that were hanging out with R. Terns and DC Cormorant. Next we spotted a Least Tern about 1 mile out, 2 Band-rumped Storm Petrel were next what a great bird! We continued on looking for a weed line which lead us to three Dolphin and lots of Bridled Terns. We had several Sooty Tern and 3 Audubon Shearwater fly past the boat for a treat. We decided to go out further and look for more birds when at about 5 miles out we had Wilson’s Storm Petrels checking out the boat and picking up on our chum & oil slick getting really close for about an half an hour. Great views!!! The Bridled Terns were flying just over our boat giving us crippling looks as well. Onward to find some other birds when Capt. Toe calls out a white bird at 1 o’clock starboard side, we rushed over at 20 knots to find a Red-billed Tropicbird chillin in the water. The bird took flight as we all got great looks, that is when Toe say’s lets catch it! Awesome riding side by side with a RB Tropicbird what else can you ask for, we were treated to better looks as the Tropicbird landed for us again. An awesome end to an already great pelagic trip out of Crandon Marina.

    Here is a link to some photos of the day as well as a video.

    Enjoy and thanks for always trying to keep the radar up even when things get complicated.

  2. I have indeed noted small groups of warblers passing through town in the last week (since May 21) while local birds are already fledging their first broods of the year.

    We are in Deerfield Beach, northern edge of Broward County on the coast.



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