Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5/22 IL Migration Report

Westerly winds will be keeping migration lighter tonight
So tonight, we will be seeing less migration because of unfavorable westerly winds in much of the state. There's even some northerly influence to these winds in Southern IL. So what does this mean? This means that for the most part, we will have to wait through a period of northerly winds tomorrow and easterly winds on Friday before any favorable conditions decide to present themselves this weekend (Northern IL Wind Forecast:, Southern IL Wind Forecast: Looking at some longer term wind forecasts, it looks like there may be very slight southerly flow on Saturday, and then starting Sunday night and moving into next week, we will again have favorable, dominant southerly winds. So this weekend, it looks like birds, for the most part, will be holed up in the rain.

See the cold front that brought in the Westerly winds
So if you haven't found yourself any empids, the last of the spotted thrushes to pass through, or any new shorebirds for the year, this weekend should be a good opportunity to do so. A lot of the birds reported today and yesterday (primarily passerines) will only be moving short distances with the combination of storm activity and unfavorable winds, so chasing anything you haven't seen but have a chance to tomorrow may be a good idea. Birds like the aforementioned empids, including ALDER, WILLOW, LEAST, and YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHERS, are around in good numbers right now. In addition, in the genus Contopus, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER has been moving through IL in decent numbers also (check out this eBird graph I created to show its influx in IL this spring below). Shorebirds, as predicted, also moved in the past 24 hours, with some crazy stuff showing up along the lakefront. See here: Fantastic finds, you guys.

eBird Data showing the influx of Olive-sided Flycatcher
(Contopus cooperi) this spring.  Click to play with this graph yourself.
To figure out which species to look for in your area, here are the eBird resources I've made a habit of sharing.
General IL charts:
Make your own:

Until tomorrow, fellow discoverers. Over and out.

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