Monday, April 29, 2013

April 30 - May 5: Lots of migrants coming!

Monday, April 29:  With rain yesterday and last night, songbird migration has been slowed down a bit, but some of the strong-flying shorebirds were on the move.  On April 28, a flock of 42 American Avocets was present for most of the day at Maumee Bay State Park, and a couple of Upland Sandpipers and some American Golden-Plovers showed up on Stange and Krause roads, just west of Ottawa NWR.  This morning, a Piping Plover was found on the beach at Camp Perry, west of Port Clinton.  Adverse weather conditions at this time in spring often result in interesting shorebird records like this.  

Weather conditions should be just about to turn from adverse to awesome.  Once again the forecast is for southerly winds, and this time I think they'll come through, with a fairly good flow of air from far to the south.  A lot of first-wave neotropical migrants should be staged a little to the south of us by now.  With the encouragement of winds, warmth, and mostly clear skies, large numbers of migrants should be moving during the next few nights.  Right now it looks as if the next three days - Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April 30 through May 2 - all have very good potential, with daytime highs in the 70s and southerly winds.  The way the weather fronts are shaping up, there isn't any one of those three days that appears to have a clear advantage.  But the overall effect should be to pump a lot of birds into the area.  Diversity of warblers at places like Magee Marsh should jump from 5-to-10 species up to 15-to-20 species, and we should see a fine influx of thrushes, vireos, orioles, and all kinds of other wonderful spring migrants.  

By Friday, May 3, when The Biggest Week In American Birding kicks off, temperatures should be a little cooler again, with daytime highs in the 60s. Depending on the location of some approaching low-pressure areas on Thursday night, Friday may or may not be a really big day for migrants; but even if the Thursday night flight fizzles, we'll have plenty of migrants in the area by then.  And the diversity of migrants in the area through that first weekend should live up to this region's reputation.  

Summary: April 30 through May 2 should be the first really big days for diversity this season, and the variety and numbers should stay really good at least through May 5.  Beyond that point, I'll be studying the weather maps and hoping to pick out clearer patterns for the next prediction.  

1 comment:

Kim Smith (Michigan) said...

Kenn, thanks so much for doing these predictions for all of us. They sure get the adrenaline pumping! See you at the Biggest Week!

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