Sunday, September 22, 2013

9/21-22 IL Migration Report

Hey everyone!

Migration Friday Night
Sorry I missed y'all last night. Yesterday and last night definitely deserved my attention, but I guess better late than never!

Starting with what would've been the 9/21 report, migration was explosive Friday, really breathtaking even looking at radar. In the wake of the large southeast-bound storm front, migrants moved in huge numbers. Yesterday, though I couldn't get out there with you, was reportedly a magnificent day to be birding. Patches of green or blue all over the Prairie State were ripe with birds, and many if not most lists seemed to report more than 50 species. That's legitimate migration if you ask me. Warbler numbers, though high, weren't even half the show. Geese are definitely moving, although at this point they are primarily Canadas. Raptors were moving in good numbers, with Peregrines appearing to be peaking in their migration. Shorebirds are still making their way out of the state; most are some of the more common species like Spotted Sandpiper. Thrushes were moving in peak numbers, especially Swainson's Thrush, which always seems to be the majority. Vireos like Blue-headed and Philadelphia were on the move. Winter Wrens and kinglets, two typically late migrants, are starting to influx. Sparrows such a White-throated are influxing, although the highlight in this family has got to be the Ammodramus: Nelson's, Le Conte's, and Henslow's are quietly skulking their way through the state. Lapland Longspurs have arrived just to sweeten the deal. Overall a great variety of birds yesterday.
Migration last night (Saturday Night)

Today was very similar to yesterday, although last night held a bit less migration, counter to prediction. Regardless, a very similar species variety was present today, and once again many lists reported more than 50 species. These same species will be present for probably the next week or so; the interesting part is watching while some of these species dwindle in numbers while others grow. Good stuff, you guys.

Tonight, once again, a high pressure system to the north is being a party-pooper. At this point, we are positioned under its influence such that we are receiving easterly winds over much of the state. By tomorrow, winds are set to shift to southeasterly and will remain there at least through Tuesday, putting even more of a damper on our migration party.

Compare to tonight
So that's that about that. We still have lots of great birds around, and there's always the possibility of vagrants, so here's to getting out there and discovering stuff.

(Also, just a heads up, Ron Pittaway's Winter Finch Forecast, which is highly relevant to migration, came out today:

Bon voyage, everyone.

The High Pressure system to the north, whose winds rotate clockwise around it, is currently giving us easterly winds.
Tomorrow, the winds will be southeasterly.

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