Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 3, 2011 @ 7:37 am

The Migration Train Has Slowed Down For Now

This is the radar from 5:00pm 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

Birds were on the move last night but nothing like the last few days. As the front worked its way south along the state a big flight occurred Friday and Saturday night with tail winds and clear skies. Fast forward to last night and you can see the big change in migratory pattern. As the front cleared the peninsula, we have been left with less than ideal winds and a lack of precipitation to bring down birds.

A look at the SE mosaic radar shows that migration was more evident in the extreme southern portions of the state including the FL Keys. Birds did not fly long distances as they had been doing the last two nights. Most of the fast fliers seem to have taken advantage and booked it to the south in the nights past. We expect a new batch of birds down here in Miami, birds could be seen moving into the Miami radar before 1am. The flight was cut drastically short, radar signals decreased exponentially around 1 am. The Keys radar shows a large fly over by migrants that had been fattening up in South Dade. Here in Miami we expect the best birding locations to be coastal migrant traps today. Miami radar had some birds entering the radars beam near the end of the flight coming in off the Atlantic. Wonder what Cape FL, Matheson or Black Point and other spots have to offer today?

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel


  1. With rain over the Marathon area into the early morning, it seemed a good opportunity for passerine migrants. Larry McDaniel and I headed out a bit early to check the hammock on the bay side of Curry Hammock. We were soon joined by Paul Cooper. There were certainly some birds around, and had we the time, we might have certainly rendered some surprises. But once again, we had a hawkwatch to get to. We saw/heard the following species in relatively good numbers:

    Northern Parula
    Prairie Warbler
    Black-throated Blue Warbler
    American Redstart
    Yellow-throated Warbler
    Black-and-white Warbler
    Common Yellowthroat
    Northern Waterthrush
    Palm Warbler
    Red-eyed Vireo
    White-eyed Vireo
    Indigo Bunting
    Swainson’s Thrush
    Gray-cheeked Thrush
    Gray Catbird – first of the season at Curry Hammock

    Migrating raptors were rather moderate compared to some of the good days we’ve been having. Harriers are starting to show up in better numbers – the falcons are holding steady with a slight increase in Kestrels, but the Accipiters are still slacking. Compared to our great number and diversity of buteos recently, today’s 3 Broad-wings attested to the power of rain and low cloud cover over the mobility of thermal riders.

    Check out the Florida Keys Hawkwatch post for today at:


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