Monday, May 9, 2016

Migration outlook: May 10 - 13

A male Bay-breasted Warbler, one of the classic, and classy, migrants of May.
Monday, May 9, 2016: Our last prediction worked out fairly well in the short term. Only a small arrival of migrants appeared on May 4, but Saturday May 7 brought good numbers and much better variety of warblers and other migrants into areas near Lake Erie in northwestern Ohio. Birders visiting the Magee Marsh boardwalk on Saturday and Sunday were treated to more than 20 species of warblers, including some crowd-pleasing Cape May, Bay-breasted, Tennessee, Black-throated Green, and Blackburnian warblers that lingered for extended studies. The woodlot at the end of the road at Metzger Marsh had excellent numbers and variety on Saturday (including a "Brewster's Warbler" hybrid that was enjoyed by many), but fewer birds on Sunday, after the wind shifted back to the north. This small woodlot is in an exposed situation, and it doesn't seem to hold birds very long in north winds - the migrants probably disperse to more sheltered spots. 

The Wildlife Drive (auto tour) at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is open every day from sunrise to sunset through next Sunday, May 15th (the entrance gate closes an hour before sunset). This route through the interior of the refuge is always worth checking. (Go to this link for a map of the auto tour.) Pool 9, north of the road near the end of the route, held 7 American Avocets on Sunday, and one remained there on Monday. The impoundments marked as MS 7, MS 6, and MS 3 on the map produced a fair variety of shorebirds, including Black-bellied and Semipalmated plovers, Dunlin, and Least, Pectoral, and Solitary sandpipers. 

Looking ahead: A week ago, we thought that this coming Tuesday and Wednesday might be big flight days. The weather forecast has changed a lot since then. We'll probably see some turnover on those days, but conditions won't be particularly good for incoming migrants until Wednesday night. On the basis of the current weather forecast, it looks as if Thursday May 12 could have the biggest arrival of migrants for this week. (It's not a classic weather setup for a huge flight; but on the other hand, there are apparently a lot of migrants still held up to the south of us, and they have to move sometime.) So Thursday should bring a good supply of new birds, and many of those migrants should stick around through Friday and Saturday at least.


Adelle Lee said...

Ken Thank you so much for your time in posting the updates and your excellent photos. It helps when planning a long drive to have that extra motivation to get up there. You are so good to us!

Beaks Wings and Backyard Things said...

Thank you, for each season of information! It's so much appreciated by so many.

Beaks Wings and Backyard Things said...
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