Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8th, 2014

Hey all,

Today was a great day to be a birder. After the monstrous migration we experience last night, arrivals and influxes were apparent throughout the day. Shorebirds, swifts, Caprimulgids, vireos, sparrows, orioles, tanagers, and thrushes are all coming in now in substantial variety, and we appear to be getting into the full swing of warblers. Warm weather and lots of good birds...beat that!

Tonight, as far as winds go, the state is unified in favorable conditions. Strong, southerly winds are still rising up all the way from the Gulf of Mexico and bringing migrants with them. Except for one thing. The cold front due in Illinois in about 12 hours from northwest of us is pushing a large line of storm activity ahead of it, and for this reason we have extensive precipitation up and down the Prairie State tonight. The story is essentially the same throughout the state, so there's little reason to divide the report up tonight. The storms are moving through Illinois right now west to east, and wherever they pass over they will effectively block migration. Areas
outside of the rains tonight my experience moderate to heavy just depends on how calm the skies are wherever you are. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning, but influxes very likely will be much smaller than today's.

Just before tomorrow's
cold front gets here...
Looking forward a bit, the cold front coming in from northwest of us will make landfall in northwest Illinois in approximately 9 hours, and as it moves through the Prairie State tomorrow it will bring its west-southwesterly winds behind it. These will be slightly less favorable, but we'll probably still see some migration tomorrow and tomorrow night. On Saturday, a little high pressure system is forecast to come right through our state, weakening and confusing our winds during the day a bit. Thankfully, it looks like wind will again be southerly by Saturday night, when heavy migration should resume!

Good stuff! Predict what you'll find out there here.

Have a great night everyone, and good birding!

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