Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | March 22, 2010 @ 11:23 am

Of The Rain And The Birds…

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to 10:00am 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 was a decent night to take to the wing until the weather came in. Not much could be seen moving on the radar during the night. There was some activity in the late hours of the night and early morning hours. The most favorable winds were over the Bahamas; this may have been where the birds that appeared at the Cape this morning came from. On the east coast winds were in favor for an influx of migrants coming from the southeast, on the west coast the west winds would have pushed birds inland thus missing the hot spots along the coast.
During the early morning hours migrants could be seen entering the radar from the east into southeastern Florida and dropping down as the storms moved in from the west. Given the radar images this weather pattern would have dropped birds down. West winds over the surface would have caused birds to drop in at coastal locations rather than inland hot spots. Some small scale localized numbers could be expected along the southern east coast from the Upper Keys to the West Palm Beaches. We expect the best birding conditions to be at spring migrant traps such as Dagny Johnson, Cape FL, Matheson, Hugh Taylor, Evergreen Cemetery, and Spanish River etc. Birding locations such as Lucky Hammock, AD Barnes, etc. will probably not see much due to this movement since birds do not appear to have been pushed far enough to the West.

Conditions are looking up for migration as early as tomorrow; a low pressure system strengthens and moves east, causing a strong wind gradient along the east coast. This should be the winds the birds are waiting on; conditions as such can influence large numbers of migrants to take to the wing. Please post your sightings as this site works best as a collaborative effort.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. Classic morning “put down” in Cape Florida! Clouds moved south just in time to force birds down after sunrise. A fallout started at 8 AM and by 11 AM was full-blown. The numbers were spectacular (>400 parulas) but the diversity not so spectacular — mostly Caribbean-wintering birds. Other birds in large numbers: Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-throated, Black-and-white, Lousiana Waterthrush (5) and Prairie. First Cape Mays, Swainson’s Warbler (Larry found) and Chuck-will’s-widow showed up. It will be interesting to see if wind shift brings more diversity.

  2. Based on Robin’s report, I grabbed Rock Jetty and we hit the hammock at the Palmetto Bay Village Center (coastal location approximately 11 miles SW of Cape Florida). At around 5PM, the number of Northern Parula was staggering (~200) with lots of Black-and-White Warbler (~32) and Palm (~25). There were lesser numbers of Yellow-headed (6), Prairie (5), and Yellow-rumped (3). What a day!!

  3. Hi A&M!

    Time to crawl out of the woodwork again and pay attention to migration. Your discussion of the fall out was spot on; nothing much at Lucky Hammock except a few palm warblers, but we were near there and had to at least take a look. Could see all those parulas leaving the coast to continue on on the radar last night after sunset.

    I don’t have your phone number anymore, PM it if you want!



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