Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Predictions for migration, 5/7 and subsequently

Birders have been asking me for predictions about the next big wave of migrants, and I’ve been mulling over the weather maps and forecasts and trying to figure it out. We’ve had a lot of days and nights with major southerly wind flow over the last couple of weeks, so migrants haven’t really been dammed up to the south of us recently; they’ve been moving into the area in good numbers. That movement is likely to continue through Tuesday night and Wednesday (May 6 and 7), but then it appears that the winds will shift around to the north for several days. The migrants that are here now, or that come in tonight, are likely to stick around. This is good news for general birding because we have a lot of variety present in the area now. Later migrants like cuckoos and most flycatchers haven’t arrived yet, but most of the warblers are in, with more than 25 species in the general area every day now, along with thrushes, vireos, orioles, tanagers, a good mix of birds. And it’s worth remembering that even a slow day along the lakeshore will produce more birds than a good day at a migrant trap in the interior of the state.

The weather patterns for the next week aren’t very clear, and there’s a good chance the forecasts will change. But on the basis of current forecasts, I would guess that the coming weekend (May 10 and 11) will continue to have good variety but no massive fallout of migrants. Sunday might have more birds than Saturday. The next really big wave of migrants might not get here until the middle of next week, but the weather predictions that far out are so vague that I’m pretty much just guessing here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking at the info at, it looks to me like the wind will drop during the day on Monday (12th), while shifting around to the east before becoming SE by dawn on Tuesday.
I take it that this should bode well for good variety on the boardwalk, at least until the rain threatens on Wed afternoon.
By Thursday the wind goes back around to NE and then N.
I would appreciate any comments before I cash in some comp time at work and come over for Tues & Wed.

Ted from Elkhart

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