First off let’s start with the obvious, the radar animations are missing?! We had some difficulty last night and today that kept us from posting the radar but we wanted to give a quick and dirty overview of nocturnal migration last night.
An area of low pressure has been circulating southeast of the Keys for a couple of days now. We did not expect much of a flight last night given the unpredictable conditions over the takeoff point. When we logged in last night and realized that migrants had indeed taken the leap of faith, we got excited about the prospects. Looking at the broad area of circulation we thought to ourselves, these birds are crazy to attempt the migration tonight! Migrants were aloft and were already over the Straits at this point. These birds had to make a hasty retreat as the strong winds and heavy rains over the Straits, pummeled migrants while aloft. As in the case with the big arrivals of last weekend, FL birders were once again thrown a bone. Rain to our east, strong winds pumping, clear skies ahead of the birds confusing them into thinking the coast was clear; it wasn’t!
Key West radar picked up lots of signals departing Cuba, heading north over the FL Straits. The vigorous low was pumping heavy rains and strong winds SE of the island. While looking at conditions unfolding on our screen we both told each other, FALL OUT; KEY WEST! Conditions were perfect for the birder but not for the birds which had to make a quick descent. Migrant traps such as The Dry Tortugas, Indigenous park, Fort Zach Taylor SP, Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Gardens and other sites north of KW should be awesome today, if we are right of course :) The easterly component in the winds last night may have pushed many of these migrants west out over the Tortugas and the Marquesas. We feel that birding should be just as good in Key West as in the Tortugas but the Tortugas is small so it may look like there are more migrants on the ground, making for an incredible experience.
For the rest of the state we expect the usual springtime migrants to show up at tried-and-true migrant traps. We do not expect big numbers or diversity but new birds should be around as they always trickle out during the flight. We will keep an eye on weather conditions and give you all updates on what the weather will mean for birding this week.
As always, Badbirdz depends on YOU to report your sightings and be our ‘eyes on the ground’, so please come back and give us an idea of what you are seeing in your neck of the woods. This will help us better understand the radar images and in return we can pass this knowledge onto you.
For migration updates in other regions check-
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – The Northwoods BIRDAR by Max Henschell <- NEW!
New England – Tom Auer’s blog
PA/Ohio Valley – Nemesis Bird by Drew Weber
NW Ohio – Birding the Crane Creek by Kenn Kaufman
Arizona – Words About Birds by Tim Schreckengost <- NEW!
Pac NW – Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth
Continental US – eBird BirdCast Forecast & Report by Team eBird
Nature is Awesome,
Angel and Mariel