Monday, May 25, 2009

Migration forecast May 26-29

Last year, on May 26, 2008, I saw two Connecticut Warblers and ten Mourning Warblers along the boardwalk at Magee, plus many other warbler species, Philadelphia Vireo, Black-billed Cuckoo, etc., for a fine birding experience. Last year on May 29 I saw all five species of eastern Empidonax flycatchers, good numbers of Wilson’s, Canada, and Blackpoll Warblers, and various other migrants. I duplicated that mix the previous year on May 28, 2007, with four Gray-cheeked Thrushes for good measure. So based on past experience, I certainly don’t consider the migration to be "over" as early as today, May 25th.

For the last few days, though, the birding has been slow (by local standards) in the Magee / Ottawa area. There are still more than a dozen warbler species being seen each day, decent numbers of Swainson’s Thrushes, lots of Red-eyed Vireos and the occasional Philadelphia, etc., and this would seem like a lot of migrants in the interior of the state, but for this area it’s slow compared to the typical spring day. And looking ahead at the weather forecasts, it’s hard to say when things will change. Tuesday the 26th looks like it will have a lot of rain. There should be an air flow from the south on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but there may be a lot of rain to the south of us, discouraging any migrants that remain in that area from moving. If the weather south of us is not as wet as predicted, we could have a decent arrival of birds on Wednesday May 27 or especially Thursday May 28, but at the moment I don’t expect those to be very big days. Winds out of the north, predicted for Thursday night, would keep things in place here, so if Thursday turns out to be a good morning then those birds would stick around for a while.

Beyond Thursday the weather predictions become even more vague. I could see a possible scenario where Sunday May 31 and especially Monday June 1 could have a very good push of migrants. The first few days of June are well within the normal migration period for the majority of our spring transients, so there’s nothing far-fetched about such an idea. But the weather forecast is likely to change, so I’m not making any strong predictions for the moment.

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

I'm delighted to see birding and nature education happening in NW Ohio! I was born west of Toledo in what was supposed to be (and for eons had been) the Great Black Swamp and deciduous wetland before it got tiled and drained by my industrious ancestors & friends. When I was growing up the variety of birds was way down (monoculture, pesticides, herbicides), but on a recent trip back there I heard a killdeer, which I don't ever remember from my childhood. Thanks for your good work!

Nature Blog Network