Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 23, 2009 @ 7:17 am

Holy Migration Radar

This is the radar from 6:00pm last night to 6:00am this morning.

Frames are every 1/2 hour. 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

Migrants were on the move last night over north Florida; birds could be seen on the radar from the panhandle to Jacksonville. Surface winds were optimal for migration across all of north Florida; upper level winds were great as well. Surface winds over Jacksonville were coming from the NW helping birds fly over in a rush. Michael Brothers heard a constant stream of nocturnal migrant calls early this morning in Volusia, he described it as “the sky was alive with calls” as birds travelled south they may have met up with some rain over the region. Melbourne radar picked up lots of movement as well as rain coming in during the early morning hours, birds may be concentrated in the area due to the rain.

The panhandle had some awesome migration last night, with a north wind birds were taking off over the water and traveling slightly to the west as winds shifted from the NE. With the shift of winds we were wondering if birds jogged over to Dauphin Island.

Large amounts of birds were flying out over the Gulf via the west coast; birds could be seen flying out over the water from Cedar Key to Bradenton. Dave Gagne and Jason Guerard reported hearing lots of flight calls over their homes before sunrise indicating that birds were traveling over the west coast in numbers. These birds were displaced over the ocean as of 11 a.m. and were starting to head to the south. Migrants displaced by stiff east winds usually are faced with the option to try to head south or head back to land. If the migrants headed back they may have arrived somewhere between Sarasota and Naples it is hard to tell as we were unable to track them any later than 11:30 a.m. If anyone was birding the right spot they may have experienced some concentrations of birds this afternoon.

Miami radar was picking up birds for most of the night with the general direction of N-SW, constant stiff east winds would have pushed migrants inland. During the early morning hours rain entered the radar; much of the rain was short showers mostly over northern Miami Dade. The rain may have caused some birds to land in the northern portions of Dade; we had rain over our home at 5:45 a.m. which produced migrants in the morning for us in our neighborhood. Inland migrant traps should be your best bet at any good numbers of migrants; new faces should be around today.
Key West radar picked up an influx of migrants along with rain as well, birds could be stacked up in the Lower keys.

Good Birding to all,
Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. Lots of flight calls over Lutz, Hillsborough County around 6:10 am. I averaged about 20+ a min. Mostly Gray-cheeked Thrush, Veery and a few Swainson’s. Not many warblers at all from what I heard.

    List from the all too short walk I went on is below.

    Location: Violet Cury ELAPP- Hillsborough County
    Observation date: 9/23/09
    Notes: 2383 steps = approx. 1.55 miles
    Number of species: 28

    Red-shouldered Hawk 2
    Mourning Dove 1
    Red-bellied Woodpecker 5
    Downy Woodpecker 2
    Pileated Woodpecker 1
    White-eyed Vireo 5
    Red-eyed Vireo 6
    Blue Jay 8
    Carolina Chickadee 2
    Tufted Titmouse 8
    Carolina Wren 10
    Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 12
    Brown Thrasher 2
    Blue-winged Warbler 2
    Northern Parula 1
    Magnolia Warbler 1
    Yellow-throated Warbler 4
    Prairie Warbler 2
    Black-and-white Warbler 2
    Ovenbird 4
    Common Yellowthroat 1
    Hooded Warbler 1
    Summer Tanager 2
    Eastern Towhee 4
    Northern Cardinal 6
    Bobolink 10
    Red-winged Blackbird X
    Common Grackle 8

    This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(

  2. Seems most birds went over the gulf coast. Very little at Matheson this morning. Only did east side with 6 warblers species. No thrushes, tanagers, orioles, hits, runs, or errors.

  3. Middle of the state, Mead Garden, Winter Park had only 5 warbler species. The bird of the day was a Blackburnian Warbler. Also of note were at least 16 Common Yellowthroat. No thrushes or orioles.

  4. Hi All,

    A high volume of Catharus thushes were passing overhead this morning between 3:45 AM and dawn, over my house along the Gulf here in Holiday with the most detected between 5:00-7:00 AM. Very few warblers were noted as only 10 unidentified individuals were detested.

    Here are the thrush numbers for the 2 hours I actually listened!!!!

    86 Veery
    41 Gray-cheeked Thush
    18 Swainson’s Thush

    I have learned these calls over the past 32 years of birding experience, and have been taught by the best in upstate New York 25 years ago and these are genuine counts!!

    These numbers will far exceed any groud sightings and they represent true and accurate counts as therre were MANY others that I did not count due to noise from air conditioners and traffic.

    Other birds of note were my first fall female Northern Harrier seen just after dawn and 8 flyover Bobolinks (which is another bird I could show you, as they are migrating in numbers right know also).

    Dave Gagne

  5. Hey everyone,

    Whenever it takes 4.5 hours to cover the entire place, you know you’ve had a decent morning at Mead Gardens. Today was a lot of fun. I arrived just after 10 AM, and the place was pretty active. Most of the activity was centered around the picnic area, but also along the creek and the boardwalk, there were things to see. The diversity was decent, but not crazy out-of-this-world. Please keep in mind that I spent about 1.5 hours alone walking around the picnic area. There was a lot to see, and of course I may have double-counted a bird or two. These numbers are a ball park estimate:

    Great Blue Heron
    Great Egret
    White Ibis
    Wood Stork
    Turkey Vulture
    Red-Shouldered Hawk
    Mourning Dove
    Barred Owl (1)
    Chimney Swift (lots after an absence of a couple weeks. Are our breeders gone and are these northern migrants?)
    Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (5-6)
    Belted Kingfisher
    Red-Bellied Woodpecker
    Downy Woodpecker
    Northern Flicker
    Pileated Woodpecker
    Eastern Wood-Pewee (1, by the creek)
    White-Eyed Vireo (2, my FOF at Mead)
    Yellow-Throated Vireo (2)
    Red-Eyed Vireo (15-18)
    Blue Jay
    Fish Crow
    Tufted Titmouse
    Carolina Wren
    Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
    Northern Mockingbird
    Brown Thrasher
    Northern Parula (7-8)
    Blackburnian Warbler (1, very yellowish-throated female on the creek – I assume the same bird other birders told me about when I arrived this morning. Thanks for the tip!)
    Yellow-Throated Warbler (9-10)
    Pine Warbler (4, picnic area)
    Prairie Warbler (2)
    Black-and-White Warbler (3)
    American Redstart (15?)
    Ovenbird (1)
    Northern Waterthrush (2)
    Common Yellowthroat (8-9)
    Northern Cardinal
    Common Grackle
    House Finch

    I didn’t see or hear any Great Crested Flycatchers today, but I’m sure they’re still around. Also, I was expecting at least a few thrushes, but again, I didn’t find any. There also may have been a bird or two I missed in the picnic area. There was a Tennessee looking bird that I never got quite on, etc.

    Mead Gardens is in Winter Park, north-central Orange County.

    Good birding,

    John Thomton

  6. Hello,

    A quick stop this morning at Green Key found many migrants moving through, although only had a few minutes to count.

    5 Prairie warblers
    13 Yellow Warblers
    1 Northern Parula
    1 Red-eyed Vireo

    Ken Tracey

  7. This morning, 9/23, I walked the dog at about 5:20 a.m. Every morningthis fall I have been hearing an occasional migrant call overhead, butusually only a small number have been heard each day. This morning thesky was alive with calls. Between 5:20 and 5:35 a.m. I counted 235calls. Most were unidentified, but those I could ID included Swainson’sThrush and Indigo Bunting. It is raining here now and I have not beenable to get out to investigate.

    On Monday, 9/21, I found about 6 White-rumped Sandpipers along with aGull-billed Tern, 2 Stilt Sandpipers, an American Avocet, 4 Black-neckedStilts, lots of Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers, and both Yellowlegson Biolab Road in Brevard County. In addition, I found a Merlin.Yesterday, 9/22, large numbers of gulls and terns continue to congregateon the north side of Ponce Inlet. Inlet dredging continues and the spoilis being dumped on the beach north of the Inlet. This has raised thelevel of the beach somewhat and during our recent very high tides, whenDisappearing Island and other favored roosts have been flooded, thisbeach has been covered in a couple thousand gulls and terns. Althoughmostly Laughing Gulls, there are also a few Ring-billed Gulls, growingnumbers of Herring Gulls, 6+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 5+ GreatBlack-backed Gulls. Large numbers of Royals Terns with smaller numbersof Sandwich Terns, with a few Caspian and Forster’s Terns and BlackSkimmers were present. Significant numbers of Common Terns are stillpresent — yesterday about 28.

    Michael Brothers

  8. Cape Florida was not too busy, as one might expect with east winds. We banded 22 birds; a nice mix with worm-eating warblers, black & white warblers and ovenbirds dominating, with a Swainson’s warbler, Traill’s (probably Alder) flycatcher and a Cape May warbler the most interesting captures. FOS rubythroated hummingbird seen. No thrushes over here yet!
    Red-eyed vireos have been missing from this fall’s migration so far.

  9. At FIU today we had two for one Vireos in the form of Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireo as well as Parula, Redstart, BTBW, Ovenbird, N. Waterthrush, BG Gnatcatcher, B & W and Prairie Warbler. We also had a Blue Grosbeak to round out the day, they are right on time.

    Can’t hardly wait for favorable migration weather, the winds have not been up to par for us down here.

    Angel & Mariel


%d bloggers like this: