Posted by: NatureIsAwesome | May 3, 2012 @ 11:32 am

When We Hear Migrants…It Makes Us Dance

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

Migration was moderate to heavy across the SE last night! High pressure has set up to our east while a low pressure system builds in the Gulf. This has created a wind tunnel of sort pumping strong SE winds up Florida’s west coast and towards the central fly-way which was jamming. Migrants were recorded flying fast over the Tampa and Tally radars as they headed north. Strong pulses were recorded flying NNW over the Okefenokee NWR, birders in GA, SC and NC should have had a nice nighttime chorus of migrants overhead last night!

Key West radar shows us another big push of migrants made the crossing and were vectored towards the NW. As migrants fly out over the Gulf they will meet up with the rain and a wind shift. The adverse conditions are out too far west to cause huge arrivals on the west coast in our opinion but the possibility is present. As this is being written migrants are streaming S-N over the Tampa radar which tells us migrants might have already come back in from the Gulf and are taking advantage of optimal prevailing winds.

Miami radar recorded a big exodus last night as well as a new batch of arrivals via the Caribbean. If you look at the Miami’s velocity radar you can see that birds took off at or near sunset while a new a new batch flew in from the eastern Caribbean. Easterly winds would carry migrants inland so we expect newbies at Barnes, KIH, Castellow, ENP and other migrant traps around west Miami.

With the majority of the movement flying SE-NW, your best chances of catching up with migrants will be at tried-and-true migrant traps along the west coast. The east side of the state should be looking for any Caribbean strays that may have gotten caught up in the migration buzz. Get out there and find you some migrants, they are waiting for you!

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

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