Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Big Wave Coming

male Magnolia Warbler
 Wednesday, May 11, midday: I just got off the phone with Mark Shieldcastle. We’ve both been looking at weather maps, and looking at what’s happening with the migration. I won’t go into detail right now, but the next two days – Thursday May 12 and Friday May 13 – should be very good for a big arrival of migrants.

Conditions are such that Friday is almost a guarantee for a lot of birds. Thursday is a little less certain. It should have more birds than today (which is already quite a lot) but it might turn out to be even bigger than Friday will be. Mark points out that there’s sometimes a phenomenon of birds ballooning out ahead of an arriving front – this is essentially what happened on the big day last Friday, May 6. A lot depends on very local weather conditions in the predawn hours, which are impossible to know with precision ahead of time.  But it appears there are very large numbers of second-wave migrants fairly close to the south of us, and they’ll be arriving here soon. Mark quipped that “One of these next two days, people may feel like Magnolia Warblers have blanketed the earth.” And the second wave is the one with the biggest diversity, so even if total numbers fall short of predictions, there should be a great number of different species available.

If you can’t get out until the weekend, don’t despair – the weather is going to turn cooler again after Friday, and a good percentage of the birds arriving during the next two days should stay around for a while. But if you’re free to get out, it looks likely that Thursday May 12 and perhaps especially Friday May 13 could turn out to be memorable days here.


eileeninmd said...

Great news, Friday the 13th sounds great to me, I'll be there on the boardwalk.

Jean Bremermann said...

I hate to see it all end. Your blog and the birding have been great. We really appreciate the info you put out. Has the last wave come yet?

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