Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More migrants coming April 4

Tuesday, April 2:  Conditions are looking good for an arrival of migrants this Thursday, April 4, and for more birds to show up over the weekend of April 6 and 7.

Currently there are good numbers of early migrants in the area.  Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers,  Fox Sparrows, Winter Wrens, and others are increasing, and Rusty Blackbird numbers have been excellent in recent days.  Great Egrets and Tree Swallows have arrived in force, and the first Purple Martins are being reported.  So another arrival of migrants will pump up the birding opportunities that are already present.

To focus on the short-term prediction:  Local winds are supposed to be variable, but more or less northerly, through tonight and most of the day Wednesday.  On Wednesday evening, however, winds are supposed to shift to the south.  With clear skies and southerly winds overnight Wednesday night, we're likely to see an arrival of migrants Thursday morning, especially where birds are concentrated near the Lake Erie shoreline.  In addition to the species mentioned in the preceding paragraph, we should look for Hermit Thrush and Yellow-rumped Warbler in wooded areas, and American Pipit and Vesper and Savannah sparrows in open habitats.  

The forecast for the day on Thursday is for temperatures reaching the mid-50s and winds from the southwest, so there should be a good flight of daytime migrants, especially Turkey Vultures and hawks.  Vantage points near the lake shore, such as the hawk tower at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area or the sledding hill at Maumee Bay State Park, should be worthwhile, especially near the middle of the day. 

Winds will probably shift again from Thursday night to Saturday morning, but they're predicted to go back to southerly on Saturday, and stay southwesterly during Saturday night.  On Sunday, despite the chance of showers, there are likely to be more migrants around.  The weather pattern for Saturday night looks as if there will be a flow of air all the way from the Gulf Coast north to the Great Lakes, so there could be some migrants coming in from a considerable distance: perhaps some unusually early arrivals, perhaps some of the regular early spring "overflight" species such as Louisiana Waterthrush or Yellow-throated Warbler.

Of course, all of these weather forecasts are subject to change.  But based on current forecasts, I expect Thursday the 4th and Sunday the 7th to produce some notable movements.  Even if they don't, we're getting to the time of year when it's worthwhile to get out whenever possible. Hope to see you out there!


Anonymous said...

Ken - thanks for the time you put into keeping this page going! You do a great job with it.

Steve J. said...

YAY!!! I'm waiting with baited breath for KY, Tenn. & Nash. Warblers this year. I might even go looking for a Chat or two.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I look forward to this time every year! Can't wait! Thanks Ken for all the updates. Because I live further away they really help me stay informed!

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