Sunday, May 5, 2013

5/5 IL Migration Report

Tonight's winds
As the 2013 Spring Bird Count, it seems like Spring Migration has finally had a chance to kick into high gear, though now we are in a period of "ebb" . Warblers now constitute huge portions of birders' lists, with 25 species being reported in some areas! Interestingly, the majority of the parulid species in most places does appear to be Palm, Yellow, and Yellow-rumped Warbler, but with it we have a decently sized concentration of early and mid-stage migrants, such as NORTHERN PARULA, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, NASHVILLE WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and others. But beyond this, some typically late
Tonight's light to marginal migration
migrants are arriving in decent numbers as well, with birds like BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, BLACKPOLL WARBLER, CAPE MAY WARBLER,  and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER showing light to moderate concentrations. Other than warblers, though I could write about them for hours, birds like SOLITARY, LEAST, and SPOTTED SANDPIPER, AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER, LEAST FLYCATCHER, EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, RED-EYED VIREO, WARBLING VIREO, and BLUE-HEADED VIREO, GRAY CATBIRD, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, INDIGO BUNTING, BALTIMORE and ORCHARD ORIOLE, and so much more are in a state of influx right now. As many have observed, overwintering ducks seem to have filled out for the most part, especially diving-types. Massive influxes of Northern Shovelers have even dwindled, and all this leaves are those ducks that do breed in our range. Rails seemed to have filled in nicely, with even KING RAILS being reported in addition to the expected SORA, VIRGINIA RAIL, and COMMON GALLINULE. Finally, in spite of all the movement, birds like DARK-EYED JUNCO and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW have remained in very low concentrations. Needless to say, there's a fantastic mix of birds out there. A final note of interest, for you NE IL birders, NNORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS have been present in unusual numbers. Matthew Cvetas details this here: These all are the birds that have occupied our lists, and will probably remain in this role well into this week. The suspense builds the closer we get to favorable migratory conditions.

So how close are to these conditions? Not very. Right now, conditions remain to be unfavorable. Because of an interesting interaction between a high- and a low-pressure system, the state is again experiencing fairly inconsistent winds, but we could generalize and say that the state is dominated by winds from the east (see above). Regardless of the direction or speed of the winds, not much is moving tonight, with the highest concentrations of birds migrating in Northwestern IL ( and in Southern IL ( or, though this movement is still light at best.

Right now is the kind of period to find every single bird that has been hiding in your local patch, as with incoming high pressure from the East, it looks like we won't be getting any massive movements within the next 48 hours (see below for 36 hours forecast). I'm sorry to say it, but it looks like migration will be unexciting for the next few days as northerly winds continue to win out (Northern IL Wind Forecast:, Southern IL Wind Forecast:, but nonetheless, there are always birds to be found. I know I'll still be out there.

To see a giant list of species to keep an eye out for, see the bottom of May 3rd's report:

That's all for tonight folks. Keep an eye on the weather; we'll be ready when the next big movement happens. Happy birding!

36 Hour Precipiation + Surface Analysis forecast

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