Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | September 26, 2011 @ 6:52 am

Rain From The South; Birds From The North

This is the radar from 5:00pm last night to 6:00am 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

Lots of rain lots of birds! A wet day is to be expected today for us down here in Miami and along the west coast as lots of tropical moisture has been dragged north into the region.

Unstable conditions across the peninsula coupled with light surface winds sets up conditions for storms to pop up just about anywhere in the state. The Atlantic ridge is in place over Bermuda as a trough is over the Gulf. While birds were moving south on variable winds across the state, winds speeds were dismal indicating that birds should not have been swayed too much by surface conditions rather, precipitation. Low level fog and clouds should bring down birds or keep strong flyers low looking for a spot to wait out the conditions that are present today. Migrant traps should prove to be fruitful today, give it a try and let us know what you see.

Down in our hood we should expect some new arrivals. Birds may be dispersed across the landscape but areas that had large amounts of rain last night and this morning can hold some concentrations. Miami’s velocity radar showed birds moving N–>S along the east coast over traps such as Cape FL and Matheson Hammock. Other parks should still be birdy but natural areas along the coast are expected to be better. Most of the cloud cover from yesterday’s convective outburst is thinning which will just provide the necessary radiant heating that will set off the next round of storms. If migrants continue to move on a cloudy day they won’t make it too far with all the heavy rain aloft. Steering flow is light and less than 5 mph, birds that were here yesterday probably stayed around and new birds are not going to be affected too much by these weak winds. Wait out the rain and get out and look around, this afternoon may be jumping if the sun ever comes out.

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. Prior to the day’s start of the hawkwatch, took a quick stroll through the thatch palm trail at Curry Hammock. It was rather birdy but with not much variety. Most interesting were the various Swainson’s Thrushes throughout. Also present were a male Chestnut-sided, Redstarts, Prairie, Parula, Yellow-throated, Cape May, and Ovenbirds. Red-eyed Vireos were also present.

    We did not get much rain today, but it was certainly gray and overcast. Nighthawks continued in sizable flocks throughout the day. We will be posting the day’s results soon.

  2. Today, I decided to bird Matheson Hammock Park as it was closer to the coast where all the action occurred yesterday. The park belonged to the skulkers. Although numbers of individuals were not high for the various warbler species seen (other than Ovenbird), there was good diversity with plenty of goodies thrown in. Highlights included two Blue Grosbeaks in the weedy open areas on the west side of Old Cutler Road and a Swainson’s Warbler on the nature trail deep inside the hammock (also on the west side). Seems like we are starting to get the first real waves of Swainson’s Thrushes of the season, as well.

    1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
    1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
    1 Yellow-throated Vireo
    4 Red-eyed Vireo
    6 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
    5 Swainson’s Thrush
    14 Ovenbird
    3 Worm-eating Warbler
    2 Northern Waterthrush
    1 Swainson’s Warbler
    2 Common Yellowthroat
    5 American Redstart
    2 Northern Parula
    1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
    1 Yellow-throated Warbler
    1 Prairie Warbler
    2 Blue Grosbeak



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