Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/27 should be big

Late evening Tuesday, 4/26:  As reported earlier today, this turned out to be a major day for migrants all over n.w. Ohio.  Huge numbers of Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers were around, and one Audubon's Yellow-rumped was found near the west entrance to the boardwalk at Magee Marsh.  This western form (which probably will be treated as a full species again in the future) is very rare in Ohio, and I can't resist pointing out that it showed up on John James Audubon's birthday!  Other notables at the boardwalk area included Kentucky Warbler (on the boardwalk near number 27) and Blue Grosbeak (near the west end of the Crane Creek beach). 

Myrtle Warblers swamped everything else in numbers today, but other birds present in numbers included Blue Jays (which stage a massive migration here each spring), Palm Warblers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  Scarlet Tanagers and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks put in their first appearance of the year locally.  Warblers that I saw or heard about at either Magee or Metzger Marsh were Blue-winged, Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Northern Parula, Yellow, Cape May, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Yellow-throated, Pine, Palm, Black-and-white, Ovenbird, Kentucky, and Com. Yellowthroat.  Seventeen warbler species is a good total for this early in the season, and a big jump from the day before!

Tonight (Tuesday night) a lot of birds are moving, as indicated on the Nexrad radar images from Cleveland and Cincinnati.  There may be a lot of turnover before morning, but tomorrow (Wednesday 4/27) could be a very big day.  Mark Shieldcastle pointed out this evening that the conditions looked classic for bringing in a lot of birds from the south. 

From the Weather Channel, here are conditions just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.  The low-pressure area centered over eastern Iowa / n.w. Illinois and a high-pressure area off the screen in the Atlantic are contributing to the air flow from the south, which is clearly coming all the way up from the Gulf.  There will be areas of rain overnight, but not enough to shut down the migration.

Also from the Weather Channel, here's a graphical presentation of those winds just before 6 p.m. -- strong winds out of the south, heading right up through our area.  Although the wind speed slowed down considerably after dark, the overall flow is the same.  It's almost certain that Wednesday morning will produce a major number of birds in northern Ohio.  There may be stormy weather in the morning, but in between showers there could be a ton of migrants to sift through. 

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