Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | October 21, 2011 @ 6:59 am

Migrants Move Behind The Front

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

The cold front has been a welcoming front for birders across the state. Northerly winds kicked up the dust leaving behind an almost mirage type scene. We have talked to birders who have been birding the state as well as Miami for years on end and the consensus is the same. None of them can remember a fall migration that has been this awesome. Sure we have seen our fair share of good days or even a good couple of days but nothing like what has occurred this fall. Birds just keep coming and coming and coming! Yesterday three great FL rarities were found, Kirtland’s and Black-throated Gray Warbler and a Varied Thrush; WOW! This morning we received a call from our friend Larry Manfredi to report that he had found a Greater White-fronted Goose in South Dade, come on what’s next? Wagtail, Longspur, who knows 

Winds were ideal for flight last night and birds took advantage of the tail wind. All FL radars show the unmistakable “donut” which indicates birds flying high and over the radar station. What does this mean for the birder you ask? This means that the vast majority of the birds are flying over and past the radar station. We call this a “fly-over” birds have fattened up and resting for the trip south. Packing on enough weight some of these passerines can fly over FL in a single night/day! Historically northerly winds as such a great for hawk watching and the last two days have been no exception. First raptor of the morning for us yesterday was an adult male Mississippi Kite! Sharpies and Kestrels are moving by in big numbers as well. The Florida Keys Hawkwatch just broke the stations all time record for most raptors recorded in a single day with an astonishing 3,423 raptors tallied. Check out heir blog @ http://floridakeyshawkwatch.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/best-flight-of-raptors-over-south-florida/ It doesn’t get better than that. Keep your eyes peeled for that next rarity or for the uncommon fall migrant, this year is the year of the “big year!”

Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel

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