Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 29, 2009 @ 7:18 am

Major Migrant Movement Last Night!

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

Last night marked another night of awesome migration for the birds; migrants were really on the move. Looking at velocity images more passerines seemed to be on the move last night than the night before, other migrants were mixed in as well. Birds were mostly moving in a NW-SE direction for the majority of the night. Huge numbers of migrants took off to Cuba and the Bahamas last night, with optimal winds this may have caused birds to overshoot Miami and instead head straight out to the islands.
In the panhandle some impressive movement was evident; we feel that this movement was helped along the way by a strong dry front making its way south. Huge numbers of migrants were entering the panhandle with lots of birds around the western panhandle. Winds were optimal for stacking up birds up there but in the middle of the night we saw a change in wind direction to a north wind. Migrants should be around as storms were moving through at night; hopefully the north winds did not vacuum the birds south.
St. Pete radar showed that migrants were passing over but not much is expected from this area as it seems that birds passed you up for the south.
As of noon today there were plenty of birds over the water, there is a possibility that from Ft. Pierce to Miami these birds will make a hastly return to land. Late afternoon may bring some awesome birding as these birds look like they are on the way back to land. On the west coast there are also birds over the water but they are moving fast; this makes us believe that they may be Shorebirds, Waders, Ducks and Larids. They may not have to come back to land and continue on with their journey south.
Miami radar showed lots of movement in and out but it seems as most of the birds made it out. Good news is that migrants were traveling down the coast as of early morning and with a special marine warning over the bay this may have caused some localized concentrations between Key Biscayne and Card Sound Road. Hope to hear awesome news from Michelle with some info on what is around there and if they indeed experienced an afternoon influx of birds; this storm system may have grounded birds.
Key West radar showed lots of birds streaming over on their way to Cuba, hopefully some migrants dropped for them.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. After reading the post from the birders this morning especially the one from Bryant Roberts about the birds he saw in the Everglades and seeing that we had yet another big push of migrants in. I went out to look and see if my Kestrel was back. I didn’t see him and it was pretty quiet out save for one Mocking bird singing up a storm. When I heard a Tutz tutz sort of sound and I thought oh good the Palm warblers are back then I got a glimpse of him and it wasn’t a Palm Warble at all. It was a Prairie Warbler. What a nice surprise.
    Wished I could play hooky from work and go looking for more!

  2. I am no longer Chestnut-sided-less for the year. Got one this morning at Matheson not far from where I saw the Cerulean yesterday. The Chestnut-sided was in the same tree as a Blackburnian. I was hoping the Cerulean would pop into the same tree to make it a trifecta, but I didn’t see it today. Overall the place was rather quiet. Nice species on the service road. Almost nothing on the east side except for R-E Vireos.

  3. Cape Florida seemed promising for numbers when we looked at the radar this morning, and we did have quite a few birds land out there after sunrise, but they pretty much evaporated as the morning wore on. Perhaps the big movements of birds on radar were very high up and just kept going. A shower last night over Key Biscayne probably would’ve put down a lot of birds, but the heavy afternoon storms were done by evening.

    We didn’t have the numbers we thought we would get, but there were a lot of new faces. The first nice movement of Swainson’s thrushes and a few Tenneessee warblers, and our FOS gray catbirds (oh joy!). 15 warbler species seen at the Cape, with 3 more that weren’t heard well enough to confirm. Also pewee, yellow-throated vireo, calling Alder flycatcher. 36 birds banded including 6 Swainson’s thrush, one Swainson’s warbler, first white-eyed vireo of the season.

  4. A 45 minute tour of the Mangrove Bay Neighborhood yield few migrants. Yesterday hordes of birds were feeding high up in the neighborhood oaks. This morning most of the birds were found in the Mangrove thickets in our backyard. There was a Northern Mockingbird imitating the call of a Merlin, perhaps that’s why the Golden-winged Warbler I found was feeding in a dense Brazilian Pepper overgrown with Virginia Creeper. All of the birds were very skittish.

    1) Golden-winged Warbler ( male )
    1) Bay-brested Warbler ( male )
    1) Chestnut-sided
    1) Black-and-White
    1) Palm Warbler

    Don Margeson

  5. Hi All,

    Today, there has been an impressive movement of Blue-winged Teal along the coast here in Holiday with a minimum of 610 birds seen in 9 flocks ranging from 30-120 birds between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. there has been very few passerine migrants as I believe the west/norhtwest wind which is blowing at roughly 10-15 mph here (since 5:00 PM last night) is pushing all these birds inland. A VERY stark contrast from yesterday morning, as hundreds of migrant thrushes were passing overhead when I was listening to the thrush flight calls as a conservative count of 225 Swainson’s, 30 Veery and 20 Gray-cheeked were noted. These birds were streaming overhead constanly calling between 3:30 and 6:45 AM I say a conservative count as there were probably thousands of thrushes moving at this time and it is a real coup to know these calls!! As I say this is a very conservative count!!!

    Good Birding!!


  6. cyprus tree at dawn
    by the lake, a Waterthrush
    in the morning sun

  7. They’re HERE, in Costa Rica! We spotted our first Baltimore Oriole two days ago. The missus yesterday as well as another pair today. This afternoon we spotted two black-cowled orioles. Can’t wait to look at your site and learn more about the migration. It’s fascinating. Has anyone ever realized the connection with baseball season starting and ending? They arrive here at the end of the season and take off within a day of the official start of the baseball season. Of course, we have a few stragglers. Can’t blame a bird for not wanting to leave Costa Rica.

  8. Added a 10th warbler at Matheson in the afternoon, plus some other stuff. Still no big numbers, but enough variety to keep things interesting. Final tally in two short whiles:

    Chestnut-sided Warbler (2)
    Blackburnian Warbler
    Yellow-throated Warbler (2)
    N. Parula
    Black-throated Blue Warbler
    A. Redstart (5)
    Prairie Warbler
    Ovenbird (~5)
    N. Waterthrush (3)
    Common Yellowthroat (few)

    Gray-cheeked Thrush (2)
    Swainson’s Thrush
    Scarlet Tanager
    Eastern Wood-Pewee (2)

  9. Thanks to all that posted their sightings; it is much appreciated.

    Angel & Mariel

  10. We finally got some activity at Spanish River Park in Boca Raton. In 3.5 hours this morning I had 10 warbler species including a Blackburnian, and a total of 7 thrushes, 4 Hermit and 3 Swainson’s. The volume wasn’t great but the mix was good.

    Here are the details:
    10 Redstarts
    2 Bk & Wt
    1 Blackburnian
    3 Bk-th Blue
    4 Common Yellow-throats
    2 Parulas
    1 N Warerthrush
    4 Ovenbirds
    3 Prairie
    1 Yellow-throated

    3 BGG
    2 RE Vireo
    3 WE Vireo
    3 Swainson’s Thrushes
    4 Hermit Thrushes
    1 Scarlet Tanager (f)
    2 E Kingbirds

    I also made a quick stop at Yamato Scrub County Park. The Least Grebe was in its usual spot in the north pond along with about 8 Morehens.
    On the south pond there was 1 N Shoveler, 3 BW Teal, and 3 species of egrets.

    John Shelly

  11. Sanibel Island

    Yesterday it rained until about 10am. Once it cleared, the birds were everywhere. I collected a nice list within two hours of walking out of my office.

    N. Parula
    Prairie W.
    Black-throated Blue
    N. Waterthrush
    Chestnut-sided W.
    Blue-winged W.
    Magnolia W.
    Blackburnian W.
    Yellow W.
    Rose-breasted Grosbeak
    Scarlet Tanager
    Summer Tanager
    Swainson’s Thrush
    Eastern Pewee
    Yellow-throated Vireo
    Blue-headed Vireo

    These birds were all over the Island. One of the best fallouts here in the last ten years.

  12. I forgot to add Hooded Warbler and Tennessee’s.


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