Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 30, 2009 @ 7:28 am

Miami And The Northern Keys Are Getting Slammed!

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

Winds last night were optimal for migration as birds love a north winds to help them along the way, with rain out over Miami and the northern Keys. Conditions were set up for a large concentration of birds to drop down from Miami to the northern Keys; also with a strong weather system coming in on the Ten Thousand Islands around 10:00 a.m. the area should also be crawling with birds, and lots of birds flying over trying to beat the storms inland. Check all migrant hot spots on the west coast from Ft. Myers south as they should have large amounts of migrants around.
If you are in Miami or Key Largo you should go out and bird as the storms definitely brought down birds. The radar images favor inland sites over coastal sites in Miami and in the northern Keys you have nothing but coastal locations so get out there and check all those migrant hot spots, or even your backyard. With the densities visible on the radar there should be big numbers and a diversity of birds around. Songbirds seem to be the bulk of the returns on the radar last night so get ready for a 15+ Warbler species day along with some Thrushes, Orioles, Tanagers and maybe even a rarity. We wish we were in the northern Keys today as it seems that they got slammed! Please anyone birding the area come back and report what you see, we are sure it will be jumping.
Migrants are still visible on the radar from Merritt to Miami over the water and with the storms moving inland from the south the birds have no escape. Get out there and bird; you will be happy you did.
The Merritt and Melbourne area may get a late morning rush as birds are stuck over the water and are making their way back as of 10:00 a.m. Anywhere along the coast from Merritt to Miami chances are you will have birds flying in off the ocean, check all your hotspots along the coast. Merritt Island, J.W. Corbett WMA, Jonathan Dickinson SP, Green Cay/Wako, Sebastian hot spots, Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, Spanish River, Deerfield Island Park, Anne Kolb / West Lake, Hollywood N. Beach Park, you get it all coastal locations from Merritt down to Miami should be checked.
Down here in Miami both inland locations as well as coastal locations should see a big influx of migrants today with even more birds stacking up through out the day as weather is going to be over us for most of the day. In Miami you should check out Cape Florida, Matheson, Deering, Bill Sadowski, Dump Marsh, KIH, Castellow, Chekika, Lucky/Annex, Black Point, Biscayne National Park / Convoy Point. In Key Largo spots like Card Sound Road, Carrysfort Circle, DJ Botanical Site, John Pennekamp State Park should be really birdy.
Pass by and report your sightings as this site works best when it is a collaborative effort, have a good birding day everyone.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. In your standard residential neighborhood yard in Cape Coral (Lee County) on 9-30-09, maybe 10 miles inland from the Gulf: Swainson’s Thrush, Scarlett Tanager, Summer Tanager, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Yellow-eyed Vireo, Warblers: No. Parula, Blackburnian (multiple), Yellow, Yellow-throated, Tennessee. Fly-bys of all shapes and sizes at various altitudes while the weather was still drizzling and a t-storm was to the south of me. Some of the birds were flying north to avoid the storm I’d suspect!

    Charlie Ewell
    Cape Coral, FL

  2. little tail bobbers
    on St. Pete’s first cool, fall day
    Palm Warblers are back

  3. Hit A.D. Barnes this morning and at first, no birds, even though I arrived later than usual. But, they quickly showed up in the rooster area and later near the fountain. Couldn’t check the oaks and trees between the lake and pool due to all the county employees celebrating “lawnmower day”. Here’s the list from just a small area of the par:

    Tennessee Warbler (6-8)
    Northern Parula (~30)
    Chestnut-sided Warbler
    Magnolia Warbler (2)
    Black-throated Blue Warbler (~10)
    Black-throated Green Warbler
    Blackburnian Warbler
    Yellow-throated Warbler (2)
    Pine Warbler (3-4)
    Prairie Warbler (~5)
    Palm Warbler (3)
    Black-and-white Warbler (4)
    American Redstart (~15)
    Worm-eating Warbler
    Ovenbird (2)

    Eastern Wood-Pewee (2)
    Swainson’s Thrush (4)
    Gray-cheeked Thrush
    Scarlet Tanager (2)
    Baltimore Oriole
    Yellow-throated Vireo
    White-eyed Vireo
    Red-eyed Vireo (~50)
    Blue-gray Time-wasters (100+)
    Gray Catbird (2)

  4. Good birds were at Abercrombie Park in St. Petersburg between 1:00 and 2:00 this afternooon: many American Redstarts (all females or young males), a Hooded Warbler and a Prairie Warbler (both males will full breeding colors), a few Black-and-white Warblers and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and a flycatcher that I got some fair photos of that I’m still attempting to ID.

  5. Today the birds were all back out in the oaks, 2 blocks up from my house. The were feeding frantically, moving en masse from one oak to the next. Strangely I could find only warblers and Gnatcatchers, no Vireos, Thrushes, Tanagers or Flycatchers. List is below.

    17) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
    9) Prairie Warbler
    5) Palm Warbler
    4) Black-and-White Warbler
    3) Tennessee Warbler
    2) Yellow Warbler
    1) Blue-winged Warbler ( female )
    1) Cape May Warbler ( male, still had a touch of orange on the cheek! )
    1) Yellow-throated Warbler
    1) American Redstart ( female )

    Don Margeson

  6. Better day of birding, the highlights were

    Hooded Warbler
    Black-throated Green Warbler
    Black and white Warbler
    Prairie Warbled
    Yellow throated Warbler
    C. Yellowthroat
    American Redstart
    Northern Parula
    Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

    Cheryl Lachance

  7. Hi everybody,

    Anticipating a good fallout, my son and I readied ourselves to go bird Pinecraft Park in Sarasota early this morning, walked outside, and never even got in the car. My neighborhood in SW Englewood was absolutely frantic with migrating birds. We spent three hours outside this morning, and there are still birds popping around now at 2:00 p.m. To date we have seen 13 species of warblers, many male and female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, E. Wood Pewees, Yellow-throated and Red-eyes Vireos, male and female Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, and a FOTS Tree Swallow and Gray Catbird. Our day’s total is 53 so far, and we intend to continue enjoying this bonanza throughout the afternoon until dark. The Warbler species are as follow:



    No. Parula




    Black-throated Green




    American Redstart

    Common Yellowthroat


    I have never seen such variety in such numbers here before. At times, we honestly didn’t know where to look next. YAHOO!!!

    Susan Daughtrey

    Englewood, FL

    P.S. We did manage to add two more migrants this afternoon – a Black-throated Blue Warbler and a young Indigo Bunting.

  8. This evening i birded my neighbourhood in Kissimmee for about 2 hours. There were alot of migrants around including 13 species of warbler. Here are todays highlights:

    Cooper’s Hawk- 1 Juv.
    Chimney Swift- 10
    Eastern Wood-Pewee- 1
    White-eyed Vireo- 1
    Red-eyed Vireo- Only 1
    Blue-grey Gnatcatcher- App. 50
    Tennessee Warbler-3
    Chestnut-sided Warbler-2 Males
    Magnolia Warbler- 1 Male
    Black-and-white Warbler- 1 Juv. Female
    Black-throated Blue Warbler- 4 Males
    Black-throated Green Warbler- 1 Juv. Female
    Yellow-throated Warbler- 3
    Prairie Warbler- 1 Female
    Palm Warbler- 1
    Yellow Warbler- 1
    Ovenbird- 3
    Common Yellowthroat-4
    American Redstart- 9
    Indigo Bunting- 1

  9. It was huge at Cape Florida!
    I just got home so that’s why I’m posting late. I listened to the night flight calls for about a half-hour before dawn and heard mostly Bobolinks with some Swainson’s thrushes and herons, esp. green herons. We had about the same morning flight as yesterday, but the birds were behaving differently and were getting into the woods where we could band them. The squall line associated with the front was just to the SE, past North Key Largo, and the lightning was dramatic. (wondering if migrants ever cue into distant lightning when deciding what to do). Around 1120 the clouds associated with the disturbance moving E from the gulf got to us, and it started to rain lightly. This was enough to make the birds that have probably been passing over us for days now decide to land. We started to notice new incoming individuals/species around 1140, and it just ramped up all afternoon. (A&M: think that day last year; but with diversity)
    We closed nets at a quarter to 5 PM and it was only getting busier, with birds collecting in the hammocks at Cape Florida. Here’s our numbers (nearly half were banded after 1300):

    Black-throated blue warbler 55
    American redstart 37
    Ovenbird 18
    Tennessee warbler 9
    Common yellowthroat 8
    Black & white warbler 8
    Northern waterthrush 7
    Magnolia warbler 6
    Northern parula 6
    Hooded warbler 6
    Worm-eating warbler 5
    White-eyed vireo 4
    Swainson’s thrush 4
    Chestnut-sided warbler 3
    Blackburnian warbler 3
    Acadian flycatcher 2
    Summer tanager 2 (including one gorgeous adult male)
    Scarlet tanager 2
    Blue-winged warbler 1 (adult male)
    Golden-winged warbler 1 (young female)
    Prairie warbler 1
    Willow flycatcher 1 (called; measurements taken)
    Eastern wood-pewee 1
    Yellow-breasted chat 1
    Red-eyed vireo 1
    Indigo bunting 1

    Total: 193 birds of 26 species

    Seen onsite but not banded:
    Painted bunting (full adult males)
    Rose-breasted grosbeak
    Nearly a hundred more Tennessee’s
    Bay-breasted warbler
    Western palm warblers
    Swainson’s warbler (but he was banded so we got ‘im yesterday!)

    I haven’t had this much fun with migration since….oh, I don’t know…..Sept 29 2001 in Key West????

    I like the Haiku guy.

    (sorry for being so long-winded; got a good buzz going with celebratory distilled beverage)

  10. Awesome day at the Cape, congrats! Thanks to all birders who posted; we really appreciate it.

    Angel & Mariel


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