Thursday, May 28, 2015

Migration Forecast May 28-31

Thursday, May 28: As expected, the third wave of migrating songbirds began to move into the area this past week with the highest volume occurring Sunday (May 24). Numbers trickled down each day from Monday through Thursday but expected species for the third wave such as Eastern Wood-Pewee and the Empidonax flycatchers, Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed Vireo, Cedar Waxwing, American Redstart, and Mourning Warbler were all present in suitable habitat (mostly limited to a handful of individuals of each species).

For those still coming up short on a Connecticut Warbler sighting there is still hope. A second pulse to this last wave is expected for this upcoming weekend, bringing in the last of the migrating songbirds. Steady easterly winds tonight should keep any birds still residing along the lake shore in place for Friday, but by Friday morning winds will begin to shift back to the south and hold throughout the night producing favorable southwest winds for migrants. This means that by Saturday morning, May 30, we should see a whole new group of birds in stopover habitat. The species in this pulse will remain the same -- flycatchers, waxwings, cuckoos, Red-eyed Vireo -- but late-migrating warblers will also be present (predominately females and some second-year males). This weekend could be one of the last opportunities this spring to see breeding plumage warblers such as Amreican Redstart, Blackpoll, Canada, Wilson's, Mourning, and the elusive Connecticut Warbler. 

Aside from passerines, the end of May is also the peak time for migrating White-rumped Sandpipers and one of the last opportunities to view other migrating shorebirds. This weekend and next week should bring in White-rumped as well as Semipalmated Sandpiper into suitable wetland habitat, mudflats, and flooded fields. An ideal place to check for these birds would be Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area adjacent to the road near the first and second pulloffs -- as these areas tend to be fairly muddy with low water levels. Also, walking around the pools at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and scanning the water along the causeway and walking the beach at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area could produce some shorebirds.

By mid-June mostly all shorebirds that are not breeding in Ohio will be gone until fall migration. Along with White-rumped and Semipalmated Sandpiper, this upcoming weekend and the first week of June will be the last time to potentially see any lingering individuals such as Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, and Short-billed Dowitcher -- but there is always the possibility that a second-year bird that has failed to make the journey to its breeding grounds could hold out in the area until fall

Beginning Sunday night and continuing through Tuesday, winds are expected to shift back to the north and be fairly strong, keeping any new arrivals in the area for a few days. With temperatures in the low 60's and 70's and little chance of rain, it appears as if there will be a good string of days this weekend and upcoming week for catching the last bits of spring migration through Northwest Ohio -- until fall migration and the challenge of identifying fall female warblers begins! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Once again, the public has come to recognize my work, and through rationalization, accept (it). It’s purpose is therefore served. Time once again, to shed yet another skin (in both name and medium), and hide, in plain sight, among you. As I’ve done, eight times already, across the breadth of the American landscape. Not one solitary Clevelander understands fully; what art, at it’s best, is all about. Not one. That you should have extended your opinion, even one which compliments, and suggests a glimmer of comprehension; has become so much warm air washing over me. To be so utterly alone within my field, brutally painful.

Marc Breed, Fine Artist
Cleveland, Ohio

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