|Look! Illinois is blue with birds! Moderate to heavy migration is occuring throughout the state tonight|
At long last, the beginning of a period of migratory greatness is beginning tonight. The state is finally experiencing dominant southerly flow throughout the region, and the birds are certainly responding to it
http://bit.ly/ZJd7mw). This means that things like LEAST FLYCATCHER, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, RED-EYED VIREO, MOURNING WARBLER, and many more species will begin moving further northward to make up for lost time in the past week or so. Yay! Southerly type winds will have an influence on the state for much of the week, but the forecast has changed considerably from yesterday. It appears that Tomorrow night, the winds will take on a strong westerly component, and by Wednesday night, the state will be divided into thirds: Northern IL with NW winds, Central IL with W winds, and Southern IL with SW winds (Northern IL wind forecast: http://bit.ly/14neVJd, Southern IL wind forecast: http://bit.ly/124R3WX). So conditions are significantly more favorable for migration tonight and tomorrow night; Wednesday night may fall short in some areas. I'll keep you posted on the weekend; it looks like after a brief interruption by Northerly winds on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday should be great days for birding. How convenient!
Rather than giving you a full fledged (pun?) report on birds of the day, and list of birds to be looking for, I'm going to give you some eBird resources. These are my (and many bird people's) secret weapon. The amount and quality of information available to amateurs like myself is truly in a class of its own, and it has certainly changed the way I bird. That's enough evangelism though, so here's some links:
IL Rare birds found in the last week: http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN35545
Frequency Graphs for 432 species of birds seen in IL: http://bit.ly/11A4gKW --specifically look for species whose frequency increases notably in May. This is a great way to predict which species will be arriving/influxing next.
Good luck, everyone! Tomorrow should be better than today for sure, so if you can, make sure you get out to check your local patch.