Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | March 26, 2011 @ 11:42 am

Weak Front Brings On A Bit Of Action

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to 11:00am 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 continue to push north with the help of tailwinds over Cuba and the FL Straits. Last night birds took off from Cuba and headed north. As the returns got closer to the Keys westerly surface winds as well as mid and upper level winds converged pushing migrants to the west. Patches of locally dense fog was developing over the southern peninsula early this morning. The fog was forecast thickest over the Glades which would halt migration due to limited visibility for the birds.

Radar returns were visible moving into the peninsula over Ingraham Lake in a general NNE direction. The dense fog could have caused some localized concentration of birds in the northern portions of Everglades National Park proper. Returns were visible moving north and seem to have dropped out of radar range as they approached the area of Shark Valley. These returns were on the decent and could have well flown farther inland. Tree islands in Water Conservation Areas north of US41 can act as temporary refuge for birds descending from a long night flight. These migrants would be expected to move in search of better foraging habitat which in this area would be west into Big Cypress or north into western Broward County.

A look at KW radar reveals migrants departing just after sunset from the keys chain of islands. A new group of migrants could be seen moving north over the straits. Returns mostly flew right over the Keys but that is not to say that there won’t be any birds, a few always trickle out. Birding may be fair along the Keys today but we don’t expect much in the way of density.

Miami radar was alive with movement over most of the night. A dense fog was developing in the early morning hours but should have burned off relatively early. Zonal flow in the mid-level and a high pressure stationed over S. Fla will induce warm temps for us down here in Miami. Westerly winds were in place over the region last night and continued into the morning. Returns are seen moving into the southern portions of Miami-Dade but the majority of this movement was still flying past the coast in what is called “coastal hiatus.” Migrants are restless during the spring and in the rush to make it to their breeding grounds they will continue to fly for miles inland. If the fog was in the right place at the right time we may see some fair to moderate birding in Miami today.

Farther up the peninsula migrants were thick in the first hours of the night continuing the flight north along the east coast from Merritt to Jacksonville and eventually out of the state, Theses returns could be seen as green radar signatures that blanketed the coast for a couple of hours. More birds were on the way out than into the area. Birding is not expected to be awesome today in the NE region of the state. Jacksonville stands the best chances of seeing new arrivals that decided not to continue north in the face of a strong squall line that was moving west to east along the northern portions of Georgia. Birders in the GA, SC and NC may be wet but birds could be everywhere as the storms would have caused birds to “fall out.”

Looking over to our friends in the west coast, migration was evident and west winds were in place pushing migrants farther inland and may have left Fort D out. Most of the returns that were visible on radar look to have halted their flight farther south closer to the Naples area. Birding along the west coast is expected to be better along the SW coast of the state.

Overall it was a good night of migration for the birds with favorable conditions to fly carefree without the worries of flying into bad weather or strong winds. Birding conditions should be patchy but some localized areas could see some decent birding.

Now it is your turn; please drop us a note by clicking on the comments link (btm right hand corner below the Tweet button). By clicking here you will be able to comment on what you experienced today while out looking for migrants. Your contribution to the site is priceless and helps us better understand what we are looking at on the screen. Together we can further improve the accuracy of the interpretations posted on this site.

Get out there and BIRD!

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel



  1. Lots of Palm Warbler and Painted Bunting activity yesterday and today – looks like they are getting ready to go! Found two Prairie Warblers, one at the beach in Boca, and another inland in Deerfield Beach. That’s all folks …

    • Thanks Holly! Birds are restless to begin the journey north. The Palms and Buntings may be on the move tonight. The radar is alive with birds flying over Florida.


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