Sunday, May 5, 2013

4/17 IL Migration Report

Stationary front in Southern IL...almost to northern

Today saw fewer reports of new arrivals than the past few days, which is likely because of the enormous system sitting on top of us that continues to pour rain and flood rivers, streets, and anywhere generally useful! Fewer birders were birding today, and thus reports are scarce, so it's difficult to piece together a picture of last night's movement. To be fair, last night wasn't witness to much movement, as the cold front from the north stalled most migration. But tonight is different. Instead of a cold front moving in from the north, we have the predicted warm front moving in from the south, bringing favorable migratory conditions with it. Trouble is, the warm front itself is currently stalling in its path to the North against the North/Northeasterly winds already present. So once again, southern and central Illinois are experiencing favorable southerly winds, whereas it has stalled just before reaching the Northern third of the state, leaving it with northerly/easterly winds. Needless to say, the North of IL shouldn't experience very much massive migration tonight unless the stationary front breaks and the warm front continues from the south. Birds are currently moving right up to the storm, where conditions are fantastic for fallout. This area is currently in Central IL, so if you're a birder in this area, tomorrow may hold some spring overshoots or arrivals in your local patch.
Changing winds to mostly southerly?

So what could these arrivals be? These arrivals could be any assortment of the following, though many of these are probably still a a short ways south: AMERICAN BITTERNS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, SORAS, VIRGINIA RAILS, both YELLOWLEGS, PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, EASTERN KINGBIRDS, BLUE-HEADED, YELLOW-THROATED, AND RED-EYED VIREOS, HOUSE WRENS, MARSH WRENS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, GRAY CATBIRDS, all the expected sparrows and swallows, warblers including OVENBIRDS, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, PINE WARBLERS, YELLOW WARBLERS, HOODED WARBLERS, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, WILSON'S WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULAS and LOUISIANA + NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and SWAINSON'S THRUSHES. Also keep an eye out for early ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, INDIGO BUNTINGS, SCARLET and SUMMER TANAGERS, and if you're really lucky, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, BOBOLINK, DICKCISSELS, or YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS. Also of note, birds like AMERICAN PIPIT and SMITH'S LONGSPUR should be peaking in migration now or soon, so those in or noear more open places should keep an eye out for those species. Finally, waterfowl are continuing the general trend of declining concentrations of diving ducks (which breed further north), and peak migration of dabbling ducks and state breeding residents. So for example, ducks like BLUE-WINGED TEAL and NORTHERN SHOVELER seem to be everywhere right now, whereas it's getting harder and harder to find species like Common Goldeneye.

Light migration in N IL near storm system
As far as Northern IL goes, easterly winds should make the lakeshore a great place for observing daytime migration tomorrow. If you have a chance to get out and do a lakewatch, expect species like RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, GREATER SCAUP, REDHEAD, and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT in abundance, but species like BONAPARTE'S GULL, LONG-TAILED DUCK, and WHITE-WINGED SCOTER may be moving as well. This could be your last time before next fall (if that) to see these species, so jump on the chance if you can.

***There is a chance that the warm front from the south will break its stationary status later tonight and continue its movement northward, bringing migrants with it. This would mean more new passerine species in Northern IL in addition to what Central and Southern IL are already getting, but it would also mean that the Easterly winds along the Lakeshore would change to Southerly, in which case the most favorable lakewatch conditions would no longer exist. Check the winds tomorrow if you're planning to check the lake (***

Moderate to heavy migration in most of the East + S IL

No comments:

Post a Comment