Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Predictions for migration, April 15-19

Right now (Tuesday April 14) the songbird migration seems to have stalled. The expected species for this point in early spring are all here (for example, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird), in decent numbers but not in large numbers. Persistent northerly winds, cool temperatures, and occasional rain seem to be holding back the migration to some extent.

I don’t expect many songbird migrants to show up for the next couple of days, but temperatures are supposed to warm up this week, and by Thursday night (April 16th) the wind is predicted to shift to the south. If that happens, I think that woodlots near the Lake Erie shoreline will see an arrival of migrants on Friday the 17th and more on Saturday the 18th. This weekend may produce the first big arrival of Yellow-rumped Warblers and possibly some other early warblers like Pine, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, or Northern Parula. This is a good time to start looking for "southern" warblers that overshoot their breeding ranges: Louisiana Waterthrush is particularly likely, and Yellow-throated, Worm-eating, and others are possible.

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is a good place to look for all of these migrants, of course, and so are wooded areas at other lakeshore spots like Maumee Bay State Park and East Harbor State Park. This Saturday, the 18th, the Auto Tour at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge should be open. Our brand-new BSBO birding maps for the refuge may be available before the 18th; check the "birding hotspots" page on our website closer to the weekend to see if the maps are posted yet. Wooded areas on the refuge, such as the woods behind the Visitors’ Center, are excellent places to look for songbird migrants. In addition, shorebird migration is now really picking up, and there may be ten or more species present by this weekend.

No comments:

Nature Blog Network