Sunday, May 5, 2013

4/21 IL Migration Report

For the most part, we are a state starved of after post contains pleas for warblers, and tonight may be the night to deliver. As we pass out of the influence of the aforementioned high-pressure system and into the influence of an oncoming low-pressure system, our winds are gradually becoming more southerly, with winds currently flowing from the southeast. These 
winds are currently strongest in Central and Northern IL, with Southern Illinois experiencing more easterly winds, and weak ones at that. Overall though, in spite of this minor gradient of change, the entire state is experiencing moderate to heavy migration (shivers with excitement). Can you not feel the warblers coming? Tomorrow morning, expect many more Yellow-rumpeds in addition to OVENBIRDS, BLACK-AND-WHITE, TENNESSEE, ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, PALM, PINE, and YELLOW WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULAS, LOUSIANA and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and maybe even some early PROTHONOTARY or GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLERS to be on the move northward, and to at least be establishing some level of presence in our state if not arriving in huge numbers. In addition to warblers, more shorebirds, raptors, hummingbirds, and many other passerines will be moving some time in the next 24 hours, but we'll elaborate on this later.

First, today was fantastic for diurnal migration as the winds shifted. Today saw arrivals & influxes of 
HUDSONIAN GODWITS, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS, more SWAINSON'S HAWKS, FRANKLINS' GULLS, AMERICAN BITTERNS, CLIFF SWALLOWS, VIRGINIA RAILS, and of course, the WILSON'S PHARALOPES seem to have stuck around for the most part. Other interesting reports include a GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE and a WESTERN MEADOWLARK, though the latter is much more regular than the former. Overall, today saw decent amounts of migration, and this has definitely carried over into the night. Check it out (click image below)! The radar glows...and Illinois is really decked out.

So other than warblers, do keep an eye out for the likes of the following in the next 24 hours: AMERICAN BITTERNS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, GREEN HERONS, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, SORAS, VIRGINIA RAILS, maybe SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, both YELLOWLEGS, PECTORAL, SPOTTED, LEAST, and SOLITARY SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, UPLAND SANDPIPERS, WILLET, FORSTER'S TERNS, COMMON NIGHTHAWKS, CHIMNEY SWIFTS, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS (and maybe even some Leasts), EASTERN KINGBIRDS, BLUE-HEADED, WHITE-EYED, WARBLING and RED-EYED VIREOS, HOUSE WRENS, MARSH WRENS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, GRAY CATBIRDS, all the expected swallows, all the expected sparrows (especially take note of LE CONTE'S SPARROWS, GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS, and LARK SPARROWS), for warblers, see above, WOOD THRUSHES, SWAINSON'S THRUSHES, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, INDIGO BUNTINGS, SCARLET and SUMMER TANAGERS, BREWER'S, RUSTY, and YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS, and possibly early DICKCISSELS or BOBOLINKS. Also of note, with the increasingly warm and wet weather, we will soon observe the arrival and emergence of one of Illinois's best known and most feared species...the Mosquito. Oh boy!

As I often say, look sharp Illinois. Birds are a-comin', moving at densities of between 300 and 2000 birds per cubic kilometer. Tomorrow's a great chance to experience spring migration, so if you can, get out there!

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