Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19th, 2014

And we're back ladies and gentlemen!

Yay! Warm front from the
My apologies for my brief hiatus from my migration report writing. The camping I did over the weekend was wonderfully fulfilling, with experiences like being incredibly close to a Prothonotary Warbler and a Bald Eagle (not at the same time) while kayaking. I do feel bad about missing you all, especially last night. Last night (as in Sunday night for you morning readers) was a great night for the birds. As a low pressure system began making its way toward us and high pressure was moving away, southerly winds gave birds some nice tailwinds to cruise up northward. At that point, migration was sitting right around moderate concentrations, with some areas reaching the heavy mark.

Moderate migration tonight
Tonight shows about the same pattern, in the surface analysis, wind map, and radar. Throughout our long and flat state, winds are south/southeasterly tonight and migration is light to moderate. Strange, eh? I hesitate to suspect that migration may actually being dying down already; there may be some condition on there unbeknownst to me that is inhibiting migration, as with these conditions I would expect heavy movement. I may very well be that migration will be heavy by midnight tonight. Best way to meter it? Get out there tomorrow! It is very likely that there will be some arrivals and influxes, with later-migrating spring species showing now en masse.

Tonight's winds
Cool! So how about some wind forecast? Winds in Northern and Central Illinois seem to be united on a common path the next few days. Southerly winds are forecast to continue at least through Tuesday night, but starting Wednesday morning, winds will begin shifting to be more westerly, and eventually unfavorably northerly by Wednesday evening. So at least for this first half of the week, tomorrow will probably the best day for some migrant mixup. Southern Illinois is only slightly more likely, with winds forecast to last southerly through Tuesday. The winds will then shift to be more westerly with the approach of a front from the north, and will remain so at least through Wednesday evening. More on that to come!

Cool! Here's the eBird frequency chart for predicting what will be migrating right now.

Good stuff everyone. Good birding!

Nick Minor, on behalf of the Illinois Ornithological Society and the Illinois Young Birders' Club

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