Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday 5/4 update, long-range forecast

Tuesday, May 4: As of this morning, numbers of individual birds are a little light but variety is excellent in the migrant traps along the Lake Erie shoreline. At the boardwalk at Magee Marsh, according to the guides from Tropical Birding, a Kentucky Warbler is present again (or still?). Other highlights there include Yellow-throated, Blue-headed, and White-eyed vireos, a number of warblers including Magnolia and Black-throated Blue, plus Summer and Scarlet tanagers and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Looking at the long-range weather forecast, I expect good numbers of birds to arrive overnight the next two nights, so there should be a lot of new arrivals on Wednesday and Thursday, May 5 and 6. After that, it appears that a major low-pressure system will pass by well to the north of us, and winds will shift to the west and then north, with some rain showers moving in over the weekend. That should mean that most of the birds present this Thursday should still be around over the weekend. Birders taking part in the International Migratory Bird Day festivities on Saturday, or in the Big Half-Day Bird Race on Sunday (see details at http://www.biggestweekinamericanbirding.com/ ), should see great variety but not huge numbers. Days with passing showers often produce great birding in the woodlots within a couple of miles of the lake: the birds often stay put, stay relatively low, and become very active and very visible in between showers. But on a day with no big fallout, the key is to keep moving, keep checking different spots, as individual birds may be settled in for the day in limited areas.

This is almost purely speculation at this point, since the weather predictions can change so much from day to day; but if current weather forecasts hold true, the biggest migration day of the season might turn out to be Friday, May 14. But don't quote me on that! A lot could change in the next ten days! I'll keep watching the weather and will try to update this prediction.

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