Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 24, 2009 @ 8:47 am

Moderate to Heavy Migration Over the Panhandle

This is the radar from 6:00pm last night to 7:30am 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

Last night migrants were on the move once again, with the heaviest flow over the western panhandle. Winds were optimal for migration over this region of the state, with east winds blowing during the morning hours birds were headed for Ft. Morgan and Dauphin Island. Bob and Lucy Duncan reported having a nice variety of birds this morning at their migrant trap home in Gulf Breeze as a result of the heavy flow over the panhandle.

Tallahassee had some moderate migration overhead but we don’t expect much given the winds and the lack of weather to bring down birds. Further east along the Georgia/FL border weather may have caused local concentrations; storms were headed east when they met up with migrants in the vicinity of Octahatchee and Melrose, GA.

Jacksonville radar picked up some migration moving mainly SW, there does not seem to be any reason for birds to land since they flew over mostly at night. By morning birds that had flown over Jacksonville had made it to the St. Pete and Melbourne radars which also picked up storms heading inland. If it was raining in the Merritt area during the early morning hours in the area you may have some new faces around today.

St. Pete radar picked lots of migrants heading out over the water again; winds have not been optimal for birds to come into the area. Some migrants should be around but in low density, migrants moving south from the panhandle and Jacksonville seem to have made it down to the area but again in small numbers.

Miami radar picked up birds coming from Melbourne; some late morning activity may produce migrants at inland migrant traps. We would check inland locations such as Lucky Hammock/Annex, ENP, and Castellow etc… For the most part birds passed us up and continued down to the Keys.

Key West radar did pick up migrants on their way in but due to the east winds they seem to have missed the Keys and continued on to the west. Dry Tortugas may have received an influx of migrants today as birds were headed west in the early morning hours.

Please share your sightings on Badbirdz2 as this site works best when it is a collaborative effort. Good birding everyone.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel



  1. The US Air Force operates a system that tracks bird movements in near-real time (6 minute updates) using NEXRAD data that is processed to remove weather … see for imagery

    The system is located in Panama City, Florida

  2. Hello,

    5 Yellow Warblers
    4 Chestnut-sided Warblers
    1 Gray Catbird
    2 American Avocet (1 by another birder?, 1 flyover)

    Ken Tracey

  3. Hi all,

    A good mix of warblers are in our neighborhood, mostly in our yard, today in Gulf Breeze in the extreme w. Panhandle.

    Redstart, B & W, Hooded, Worm-eating, Blackburnian, Tennessee, Chestnut-sided. R E & W E Vireos and Blue Grosbeaks plus swarms of Gnatcatchers.

    Late yesterday, Canada & Ky. Dauphin Is. and Ft. Morgan should be good.

    Bob Duncan

  4. Cape Florida was OK today. Lots of warbler calls at dawn, and they settled into the vegetation and fed all day, even though most of our captured birds were pretty fat already. You can’t eat too much during migration! East winds were about 10 kts at sunrise, but enough birds were moving in So Fla that some were out here anyways; once again they seemed to be following the contour of the coastline. 46 birds banded; majority were Carribbean migrants that were probably correcting against the E wind. Banding highlights: 11 worm-eatings, 10 redstarts, 7 black & whites, 3 Swainson’s warblers, treats were yellow-throated (seen a lot more often than captured) and a young male Blackburnian -he was really fat and ready to continue on tonight!

  5. There were a few migrants in my neighbourhood in Kissimmee. Had 2 types of Vireo, and 5 species of warbler.

    5 Chimney Swift
    1 Red-eyed Vireo
    1 White-eyed Vireo
    10-15 Blue-grey Gnatcatcher
    1- American Redstart
    10- Common Yellowthroat
    Heard- Yellow-throated Warbler
    1- Worm-eating Warbler
    1- Louisiana Waterthrush*

    * Its not too late migration to be seeing Louisiana Waterthrush is it? This Waterthrush looked very white underneath, had the pinky feet, and an unmarked throat. It looked very different to the yellowish Northerns i have been seeing recently. Could anyone confirm my sighting?

    The Teenage Birder
    Kissimmee, FL

  6. Sounds like a Louisiana. The real clincher IS the un-streaked throat. It will appear very white. Other field marks to look for will be a darker brown on the back, much whiter underneath (which you already noticed), longer and bolder streaking but fewer in number, and sometimes a bit of peach or pink on the flanks. The Northern will have shorter, fainter streaks but more of them. The Northern will sometimes be white underneath as well, so be careful. Only when combined with the other field marks can you really tell them apart.

    Trey and I had a day this April in Anhinga Trail where he photographed both species and posted the shots on the TAS Birdboard. When the board is back up, I suggest looking for it and comparing the photos. They were classic shots of a perfect comparison of both species. I don’t recall the date, and with the board down I can’t go back to look.

    Good luck.


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